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How To: Party Store Banner

A backdrop alternative that won't break the bank

One of the reasons we decided to do large scale backdrops for our current DIY tutorial series, is because the secret of wedding decor is you don’t really need as much STUFF as the wedding industry tells you. As Meg said in the comments of this post against inspiration boards, “You notice table decorations for the five seconds before you sit down. Then you can hardly see them amidst the food, and you’re focused on conversation anyway. If I were doing my wedding again, I’d cut centerpieces. So much work for five seconds of noticing.” Which is not to say all of those little things can’t be awesome (they really can be), but if you don’t have a lot of time/ money/ energy/ give-a-shit-ness, it can be smart to focus on big impact items. Backdrops, in particular, are generally a lot of bang for your buck. They make your pictures look pretty and they don’t usually get destroyed, so you can even hang them up in your home after the wedding.

But backdrops don’t have to big big or expensive to be impactful. (I’m looking at you, commenter who wanted a cheaper alternative to last week’s backdrop. How does less than $10 sound?) The secret to making this one look hip and not cheap is in stringing together enough words to make an actual, well, statement. We also decided to spray paint ours gold when we were done to give it a more polished look, though even that is not necessary (and we kind of wish we’d painted one hot pink). Like many of our How-To posts, this one is less about teaching you how to do something, and more about showing you that you don’t need an overcomplicated project to make something really cool. In fact, if you decide to eschew spray paint, then this tutorial only requires one item. We bought our pre-made party banner kit from Party City for $9.99 plus tax.

The hardest part of this tutorial is figuring out what you want your banner to say. (Brainstorming in the comments, please).

And just to show you the kind of impact this project can have at a wedding, we asked an APW reader if she’d be willing to share the final product from her actual wedding. Hers was a little more labor intensive (glitter!), but you get the idea. As for me, I’ll be co-opting this idea for our living room, quoting Harry Potter, and painting it neon.

Photos: Allison Andres / Styling: Michelle Edgemont / Final photo: Hart & Sol West

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