8/24

Exactly 14 seconds after you announce your engagement, you will get bombarded with questions. Have you set a date? Where? Theme? Colors? If you are anything like me, you kind of wanted to scream at everyone. “CHILL OUT YO, the ring hasn’t even gotten warm on my finger yet, I’ll let you know as soon as I know!!!”

Confession time: We only got to share one day together engaged before Michael had to go back home. That night, I had a nightmare where I was standing on a tiny island alone, surrounded by a sea of wedding ideas, concepts, colors … junk essentially. I could see a tornado of all of this screaming towards me, and I had no place to run. I get swept up in this swirling vortex of nuptial doom and I’m trapped with no way out. Even in my dream I start having a mini panic attack. OMG, what color will the napkins be? Should I use real flowers or silk? Is there really a difference between ivory and ecru? Faster and faster I’m swirling until I wake up in a cold sweat gasping for air. Holy crap, did I just have a nightmare about wedding planning?! UGHHH! I had the same nightmare every day for the rest of the week. By the time the weekend came, I made a mad dash to Connecticut to see Michael. Maybe we could help me master the nuptial vortex.

Now, I’ll admit I had been quasi wedding planning for about a year or two. Don’t pretend you don’t have that secret Pinterest board where you squirrel away your wedding ideas. We all do it. My fiancé, Michael, on the other hand, has not been secretly planning a wedding since birth. So, while I was sort of expecting this bombardment of people demanding information, he was completely blindsided. It doesn’t help that we are separated by 250 miles and didn’t get a chance to absorb everything in one sitting. I was going to set some things straight if it killed me. Four sleepless nights aren’t pretty.

Real Bride Danielle...and Mike

Everyone always teases me that I live my life in a series of lists. Meh, so what, it’s how I organize my thoughts. After we had full bellies and a glass (or three) of bubbly to celebrate, I pulled out a notebook and started making a list. We realized, before we could even begin navigating this insanity known as wedding planning, we at least needed to lay out our priorities. In hindsight, this is perhaps the best thing we could have done together. There are all of these things I’d love to have and have always wanted but this one little list made me stop and think: What are the absolute most important things that I want for my wedding day besides my guy? What did I absolutely have to have in order to be happy? We both set out to write three things we needed in a wedding and then shared the notebook.

Once I sat down and really thought about it, the only things I HAD TO HAVE were great food, fun (hopefully in the form of a bouncy castle) and a short wedding dress. All Michael wanted was to minimize cost and scale. Bless his penny-pinching skills! Putting these things down on paper lifted a huge burden off my heart. No matter what happened, as long as we had these things and each other, we’d be just fine. It felt like we had waded through the wedding planning tornado and actually found ourselves on the other side. . That night, I slept like a baby. I now know who we are as a couple, and this can keep me anchored as I navigate these stormy seas.

What about you? Did you feel suddenly overwhelmed once you landed the ring? How did you find yourself again?

  • 8/23

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewIf you’re anything like me, you’ve been mad crushing on all the gorgeous agate and geode details popping up in wedding and home decor lately. With a little investigation, you probably found that lots of these pieces aim to break your budget super-fast, so that’s why I’m hear to share the fruit of my trial-and-error labors. A word of warning: this project calls for Mod Podge super glossy and that comes with a four-week curing time (!!!), so if your wedding date is fast approaching, get started quickly so you have plenty of drying time!

    To get these pretties going, grab a square or rectangular glass candle holder, pick out 4-5 colors of polymer clay from the same color family. You’ll want plenty of contrast with lights and darks. You’ll also need some glossy Mod Podge, a rolling pin (or empty wine bottle!), gold craft paint and a fine paint brush, coarse salt like rock salt or sea salt and a regular metal spoon.

    agate geode DIY step oneStart by rolling each of your clay colors into individual snakes. For reference, a 4x4x4 cube takes about 2 1/2 total blocks of clay to cover. Twist all of the cords together into one and roll them into a ball. Let the colors get marbled, but don’t over-mix them. While you can still see the individual colors, roll them out into one flat sheet.

    agate geode DIY step two

    Wrap your clay sheet around the four sides of the candle holder, pressing the seams down with the back side of the spoon. Seal the top side down, making sure there is no air between the clay and the glass. You can save the extra clay for future projects.

    Agate geode DIY step three

    Choose a side to add your “crystal” and dig out an organic shape with the tip of your spoon, following the lines created in your clay for the most natural shape. You can see where I had a big spot that over-mixed and created an ugly, muddy color; this is the perfect way to get rid of something you don’t like! As you dig out the clay, make sure to press the edges down to seal it to the glass. Pop your candle holder in the oven according to the clay’s directions (usually about 15 minutes at 275). Your piece will be hot for about an hour, so this is a great time to practice if you’re hoping to make a large batch for your wedding!

    agate geode DIY step four

    Once your candle holder is cool enough to handle, take the gold paint, and trace around the edges of the hole you made. You can also add gold “veins” along some of the naturally occurring lines in the clay for some added sparkle!

    agate geode DIY step 5

    Once your gold paint is dry (which should only be a couple minutes), take your spoon and carefully drizzle a little of the Mod Podge into your cavern, but only fill it about half-way up.

    agate geode DIY step six

    Now we get to make the faux-crystal using salt! I had the most success by using a super-coarse rock salt around the edges, then sprinkling a coarse sea salt throughout and finishing with a more finely ground sea salt to fill in any gaps. Use your fingertip to press the salt into your Mod Podge and if anything still feels loose, you can drizzle more to set it. Once you have the crystal portion created, leave it flat and allow it to dry overnight.

    agate geode DIY step seven

    Once the crystal portion is sufficiently set, you can finish the entire piece with Mod Podge to give it a polished, shiny look. Just be aware that it takes about four weeks to cure and will need to be stored in a sealed container to keep it from accumulating dust. The best part is, these not only make gorgeous additions to your wedding tablescapes, but beautiful gifts, or even home decor to give you that sweet reminder of one of your best days ever!

    agate geode DIY display

    Have you tried this DIY? What colors did you use? We’d love to see the results in the comments below!

    This DIY was originally posted on Little Wedding Extras and happily shared with BAB readers!

  • 8/19

    Personalized Hand Fans by ModParty

    Personalized Hand Fans - Set of 24, $36 by Etsy seller ModParty If you're anywhere in the U.S. right now, chances are it's crazy hot. I'm talking sweating-while-you-dry-your-freshly-showered-hair kind of hot, coconut-oil-is-a-clear-liquid kind of hot, AC-on-full-blast-is-still-too-hot kind of hot. PSA, guys: HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE! But that brings me to today's Broke-Ass Advice topic: How to keep cool at an outdoor wedding. Whether you're a guest, a bridesmaid or a bride,…

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    8/18

    Prospere Gown from BHLDN

    Today's CAI/GOI request is for a lovely French gown from designer Delphine Manivet. Reader Colette wrote in on this post asking us for some help. She loves the Prospere gown, a tea-length satin-cotton dress with half sleeves. The Prospere features a deep v-neck and side pockets (aka, flask caddies!), but is otherwise simple and sophisticated. It's classic, yet modern. Colette says: "It's so stunning, but…

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    8/17

    TLNFunctionalArt Dollar Sign Marquee

    Dollar Sign Lighted Marquee available from Etsy seller TLNFunctionalArt Russel says I should start and end this post with "Everything." I'm not gonna do that, but I will confess that the title should probably say "Things *I* Am Spending Too Much Money On." Several of our wedding elements that are super important to me happen to be somewhat pricey. I knew that going in, and…

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  • 8/16

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    Over the course of my engagement, I had a lot of different ideas on who I wanted to be in my wedding but I held off until I had my date and venue at least to ask anyone. Being engaged for four years meant people came in and out of importance in my life and I knew that was the way things went sometimes. I'm…

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    8/15

    HeyShabbyMe Glam Squad Makeup Bag

    Makeup bag available from Etsy seller HeyShabbyMe As a makeup artist, I've learned a few things about doing hair and makeup for weddings. Here are my best tips: Do a trial first. This seems like a no-brainer, but it's an important step for both you and the artist. It gives you a chance to try different looks, and be sure they understand your vision and…

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    8/12

    Mens Whiskey Barrel Wood Wedding Band

    Hey there, dudes! It’s time to talk about rings. We've covered the baubles for the ladies, and now it's time to focus on you. I won’t go into a long diatribe about their significance, the symbolism of eternal love and blah, blah, blah. Instead, I’ve done a bit of shopping and I’m gonna share the loot I’ve found. The list is separated into three categories:…

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