Keep your guests entertained as they wait for the service by adding a wedding crossword puzzle to the back of your programs. This is a fun and inexpensive way to personalize your wedding! We did this for ours, and it is one of my favorite DIY details. Scroll down for a 9 Step How-To! 🙂
One thing I learned very fast about my husband and his family is that they LOVE crosswords. And, boy, they are good! I can contribute on the occasional clue, but for the most part they’ve finished the entire thing before I finish my morning coffee. Knowing this about my husband, I just had to incorporate a crossword into our wedding somehow! I’ve seen neat ideas where couples put the crossword on the back of a menu card at the reception. Good idea, except we weren’t doing menu cards… Then, I’m sure after some pinterest inspiration that I have now forgotten, I realized that a wedding crossword puzzle would go great on the back of the ceremony program to entertain guests while they wait for the service to begin.
I won’t lie to you… it definitely took a LONG time to make. I was absolutely set on doing a heart shaped wedding crossword puzzle, and wanted to keep all the clues meaningful and personal. Not an easy endeavor to say the least… BUT, definitely doable, and yes, even enjoyable if you like puzzles and good challenge.
How to Make Your Own Wedding Crossword Puzzle
1. Create a list of facts and tidbits that relate to you and your fiance. Brainstorm anything that is significant to you. Here are some ideas:
- Where did you meet, how did you meet?
- Colleges/Highschools attended, mascots, sports played there
- Activities you both enjoy: types of sports, board games, outings, special places
- How he proposed, where, when, type of diamond, what she said…
- Color of eyes/hair
- Middle names/nick names for eachother
- Wedding facts: month of wedding, colors, food, locations, flowers, decor, songs
- Favorites: food/color/bands/music/sports teams/animal etc.
- Numbers (these are good fillers), # of years between you, # of siblings, how long you’ve dated, think of a significance for every number
- Locations: dates, where the couple will live, honeymoon destination
- ***Wedding buzzwords (these are the best fillers): some I came up with are listed below… (with the clue coming after the backslash)
Love / Deep affection Ido / Words before a kiss Vows / “I shall” and “I promise,” e.g. Ring / Commitment symbol Knot / Tie it and you’re hitched! Wed / Made one Blue / Something old, new, borrowed, and _____ Kiss / “You may now ____ the bride” Wife / Bride upon saying I do Knelt / Posed to Propose
2. Organize all your words by length (all 3-letter words together, for example)
This will help you in the next steps when you begin putting them into your crossword. Also, it will identify weak areas, maybe you have 20 five letter words and only 3 four letter words. Try to get a balanced distribution. In general, shorter words are MUCH easier to use!
3. Create a template (I found the easiest way to do this is in Excel)
- Decide how tall and wide you want it
- Make the height and width of the cells equal
- Use the ‘fill color’ tool (the paint can guy) to create a template
- Below is how I formatted mine (after several different attempts I might add…)
4. List all your words on the left side of the crossword template sorted by word length
This is just personal preference. I found it easier to remember which words I had to work with when they were on the same screen.
5. Start filling it in!
So yes, this is the tricky part… But you can do it!!!! 🙂
- Start with a few (like 3 or 4) longer words that you definitely want to use, and place them right in there, somewhere you think they would fit well.
- Now this part is largely trial and error, and frustration, and more trial and error, but trust me, it is well worth it… 😉
- Remember, not every space needs to be filled (that would practically impossible…), but a good guideline is that every word should have at least two other words attached. Don’t freak out if you just CAN’T find two perfect fits for that three letter word… it will be fine 🙂 Just make sure you give a very helpful clue for those words with less attached.
- You will not use all of the words you came up with! You have a plethora so that you have plenty of choices when you are in a tight place (literally!)
- Finally, (**VERY IMPORTANT TIP**) online crossword helpers are your BEST FRIEND…. if you have a space you cannot fill, see if you can plug it in on one of those websites and use any of the words they come up with. I did this a LOT 🙂
Here is what my final wedding crossword puzzle excel template looked like: (Ok, some words may not make total sense to you, but it’s ok, they have significance to us and our guests :))
Once you have finished your wedding crossword puzzle (first have a very large glass of lemonade–or whatever your drink of choice may be–and be very, VERY proud of yourself!), fill in the empty spaces with a light gray fill with our little excel paint bucket friend again.
6. Get it into a Word Doc
I had a hard time achieving this step without losing major formatting…. So here is what I learned and hopefully it helps you:
- First, set font color in your excel doc to white (so you can’t see the words, but they are still there… brilliant? I know ;))
- Next, (this is the best way I found to do it) printscreen that baby and paste it into paint. Then crop it down to just template portion.
- Paste that sucker into word and whala! You’re practically done 🙂
7. Number It
This can be a little tricky, I opted to use text boxes in Word to place the teeny numbers exactly where I wanted them.
8. Fill in the clue portions below
I used two columns to make everything fit nice.
9. Get it printed
Staples can do this for you, and easily print your program on the reverse side.
And Finally…. GET MARRIED!!! 😉
I just had to add that part…. But, honestly this could be used for SO many other purposes than weddings. It would be a fun birthday party activity, a neat DIY anniversary gift… the potentials are endless!
After the wedding, my in laws told me that while their parents (hubby’s grandparents) were visiting, they would subtly sneak in questions, such as, “What is that website those two play fun games on together?” Finally after three or four of these, Mr. Fancee’s grandpa announced that he would finally be able to finish the wedding crossword puzzle… 🙂 Told you they LOVE them! 😉
And just for fun since I’m so proud…. Here’s a glimpse of the front of our programs. They matched our invitations with the lace doilies and kraft paper.
Let me know how this works out for you! It is a super fun way to add a personal touch and meaning to your wedding. Below is a ‘pinnable’ picture 🙂 If you like this tutorial visit my other wedding projects or follow me on Pinterest!