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New York Times

Back to School Before You Say 'I Do'

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Looking for a hands-on way to add a personal touch to your wedding that could also cut costs? A new crop of wedding-themed classes and workshops offer expert training in various skills, from flower-crown making to wedding-vows writing.

“These are different from generic bridal parties where everyone makes candles or lavender sachets,” said Harmony Walton, the owner of the Bridal Bar, a Los Angeles-based company that connects engaged couples with bridal services. “These events are more purposeful with the end result being an element that’s incorporated into the wedding.”

Here are a few classes that can help you tackle wedding projects like a professional.

Fitzgerald Jewelry offers workshops that teach couples how to melt, cast, design and create matching bands.
Credit...An Rong Xu for The New York Times
Make Your Own Wedding Band

Fitzgerald Jewelry in Brooklyn offers workshops for designing wedding bands from silver and gold jewelry or heirloom pieces. Over a one- or two-session class, you will melt, cast, design and create matching bands. “This lets couples include pieces from their family’s history that have been passed on to them that they didn’t think they would be able to wear or use,” said Michael Fitzgerald, the owner who works with five to seven couples a month. “That piece of history is now part of their most important piece of jewelry they will ever own. Because they’re designing it, couples add their own personality, too.”

Michal Rudiak, 27, who lives in Brooklyn with her fiancé, Alex Neufeld, 28, created bands two months ago in preparation for their September wedding. “This was one of the most significant experiences we’ve had,” Ms. Rudiak said. “We made something that brings a wedding aspect into something we will wear forever.”

Ms. Rudiak also appreciated the old-school experience. “It’s easy to click and buy something — it arrives at your door but there’s no meaning behind it,” she said. “We did this together. It took time and sweat. It was hard work but it was worth it.”

Costs for the workshop, per couple, are $600, for four hours (one class for silver wedding bands); $900, for six hours (two classes, for gold wedding bands). Fitzgeraldjewelry.com

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