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A Wedding Journal To The Rescue

Instruction and information for a do-it-yourself design that everyone can handle.

I have always been in love with books and had an interest in mixed media, so it made sense that I would become interested in a particular activity: scrap-booking. 

I have a nice collection of handmade scrapbooks. One scrapbook is my philosophy journal from school, another is filled with inspiration for my dream house, and still another is a small compilation of events from my relationship. All are creative, unique and carry important information.

Now there is one more book to add to the collection. Yours truly got engaged this past Valentine's Day, and you better believe I am creating a wedding journal for my big day. I feel this is a vital part of planning an event. To have all your ideas, inspirations, plans and information in one place makes it so much easier.

Even if you're not engaged, it’s smart to jot down your ideas to prepare for the bid day. Why not be more prepared? Planning a wedding is crazy enough. Plus, you will always have the journal to look back on after you say your I do's. 

I am going for an earthy, rustic feel for my wedding. Not having a big budget has allowed me to get really creative and start with a blank slate, the venue. Being a designer, I wouldn't have it any other way! But you can imagine all my ideas and thoughts. Wedding journal to the rescue.

What You Will Need: Any notebook or journal of your choice, scissors, double sided tape, magazines, pen(s) and any other materials you would like to use.

First, you need to choose a book. It can be a notebook, a scrapbook, a drawing pad — anything you want. I have extra notebooks on hand so I used an eco-friendly one I received as a gift. It made perfect sense, considering my big day is all about celebrating love, beauty and the Earth.

You can find notebooks and sketchbooks at Rite Aid at Long Beach Plaza on East Park Avenue, as well as Walgreens on Long Beach Boulevard.

Then you want to organize the book into sections. For example, my book has the guest list, general design ideas, table settings, flowers, invites, favors and food decor. It also includes all the information about the venue, photographer, DJ and caterers, with dates and prices.

You want this experience to be as fun as possible, so get creative. Use different fonts or handwriting and add decorative accents like drawings or stickers. Apply some color with different pens and markers, or keep it one color for a streamline look.

Look for pens, pencils and markers at CVS on West Park Avenue and Waldbaum's at Long Beach Plaza.

For any event, especially your wedding day, you have to do some research. You may think you have the best ideas, but there are always lots of inspiration out there that you can benefit from. I recommend buying wedding magazines every other month or so. They have exactly what you need and most provide quality photos.

Check out the magazine selection at you local drug and bookstores.

You could also look through design magazines for inspiration. Take advantage of the stores in your neighborhood and see what they have on display. Sometimes you can find some unique ideas and color schemes that way. Just bring your camera and take snapshots.

Visit Santos Floral Designs on East Park Avenue and the Long Beach Florist on West Beech Street for some colorful inspiration and flower ideas. Check out the scene at Pier 1 Imports and Gordon's Cards & Gifts on East Park Avenue to see what they have on display.

So as you look through the magazines, cut images out you like and add them to your journal, you can use glue but double-sided tape is much better. You won't have any heavy imprints from the glue and it will be much neater.

If you want an area to hold scraps of paper or images, just create a paper pocket in the back. Cut a piece of paper to size, fold in the edges and staple it to the back. You can also cut an envelope in half and use that instead. You want the journal to suit your needs but make it look pretty so you enjoy working on it.

Your wedding journal not only makes your life easier, it also makes wedding planning fun, inspirational and organized. I now have a new memorable addition added to my scrapbook collection. One that celebrates my love for art and design as well as my other love — my fiancé Danny!

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