Posts in the 'Wedding Inspiration' Category

DIY or DIE: Terrarium Centerpieces with PopShop

Have you guys heard of PopShop? Well, it’s a really cool little design fair where you can browse around for arts and crafts and other goods, as well as get your mitts dirty with a little DIY craftiness of your own. This weekend, PopShop Houston is hosting a Handmade Weddings event, where you can get down with some rad crafts with a wedding-y slant, find other fun doodads for your big day and maybe even find your wedding gown! In honor of their awesomely DIY-centric event Sept. 20-21, in Houston, PopShop shared this rad little terrarium how-to with us. If you’re in the Houston area this weekend, be sure to stop by PopShop Houston and get your craft on with the lovely ladies there! And keep an eye out for PopShop events in your ‘hood!

Looking for a hip and minimal way to bring the outdoors to your wedding table? Try terrariums. They could even be a fun gift for your guest to take home. They are easy to make, easy to care for and quite affordable. You can use colored sand rocks and seashells in a million different colors and match any terrarium to the style and color palette of your special day. A terrarium with multiple plants, like in the video, will cost about $20 to make.

How to Make Terrariums from Pop Shop America on Vimeo.

Ingredients:

1. A Shallow Bowl

2. Rocks for Drainage

3. Cactus Soil or Regular Potting Soil

4. Several cacti and succulents

5. Colored sand, crystals, or seashells for decoration to fit the color and style of your wedding

6. A sunny window

Start with a shallow bowl. A shallow bowl allows the plants to absorb water easily. Add a layer of rocks on the bottom. This will help the soil to dry completely in between waterings. Gently pack and firmly place the succulents in the soil. You can add all kinds of decorations like colored sand, crystals, seashells or miniature toy like objects such as birds or deer. Place your terrarium near a sunny window and water once or twice a month. Let your plants dry out in between waterings. Succulents will start to look sunken in when they’re dehydrated. Look for visible signs to know when to water. Feed every three to six months.

About Pop Shop America:

DIY means something to us. We think that everything in life should be meaningful and made with care. At Pop Shop America, you’ll find a curated series of events and online boutique that showcase handmade & vintage fashion, art, and indie products. Our goal is to create a super fun setting in which artists can earn a living and shoppers can find products that they’ll love for a lifetime.

Winning Wednesday: DIY Your Bridal Bouquet with Bloominous

Let’s talk wedding flowers.
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They can be super pricey, but they’re so pretty and damn, they smell good. But paying a florist — or floral designer — can often cost considerably more than a pretty penny. And DIYing can be one huge asspain. Which is why I’m super in love with our partner, Bloominous.

As a less-than-stellar DIY-er, and a broke-ass, Bloominous is the kind of company that is like, literally, made for me. So, they’re probz a good fit for you, too.

Here’s the thing: Because Bloominous cuts out the middle man (floral designers) by sending you pre-prepped stems — cut-to-order, de-thorned and trimmed — along with all the goodies and bits ‘n’ bobs to fancify the bouquet yourself, you’ll end up shaving a pretty huge chunk off your original floral budget.

With step-by-step photo instructions so easy that even I could master ‘em, bouquet and centerpiece DIY becomes a lot less daunting — and time consuming, since the kits show up right to your doorstep and you don’t have to go out to a craft shop to try to find the right doo-dads for assembly. And since the have kits for centerpieces, boutonnieres, bridal and bridesmaids bouquets and hell, even a flower crown, your flower needs are pretty much covered.

So, got that? You save time, money and you know … headache. Sign me up, yo!

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Oh, wait, the best part? Well, that’s for you. Specifically one of you. The one of you who will win your own bridal bouquet kit — stems, ribbon, pins, ribbon and whatever else is needed — of your choosing from one of Bloominous’ 6 collections.

As per usual, for each task below that you complete, you’ll earn one entry. The more entries you have, the better your chance of winning. Open to US residents only (sorry, darling!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just in case you don’t win, (or even if you do!) if you join Club Bloominous  andyou’ll save 10% off all future orders!

Real Wedding: Ashley and Curtis’ Unique Farm Wedding

Ashley and Curtis’ sweet Minnesota wedding was put together with a lot of time, energy, effort and love. While the bride and groom did not set a budget (!!), they managed to pull off a great party and amazing wedding under around $18,000. While rain threatened to put a damper on their big day, the skies cleared up, the roads dried up and the party got started!

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Name: Curtis and Ashley Cauley

Occupation: City Planner

Wedding Location: Carver, Minnesota

Wedding date: June 21, 2014

Budget: Curtis and I decided early on that we would not set a hard-fast budget. Rather, we would diligently research every decision to be sure that we were getting the most value for every dollar we spent. For us, this didn’t mean that we were picking the cheapest vendor. Rather, we considered how the price compared to other options and whether we would be satisfied with what we got for the price we paid. Most of the time, this meant we didn’t go with the cheapest option. {After some needling, Ashley threw out $15K- $18K as their final tally – Eds.}

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How would you describe your wedding:  This will likely be the easiest question for me to answer. Our wedding was simply OURS. Growing up and getting married in a smaller town leaves you without a lot of options to make the wedding as unique as you are as a couple. Around here, more often than not people have their receptions at a golf course and serve chicken dinners. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but we wanted something different.

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After several disappointments with reception halls, a family friend offered us their farm. This was an opportunity for us to make the wedding unique and basically gave us a blank slate to work with. This opportunity allowed us to pick the vendors we wanted instead of a list of four or five vendors “allowed” to cater to each venue.

Our wedding theme was inspired by an invitation at a wedding fair and Curtis’ family farm. Our classy peacock and rustic wheat theme was perfect for us!

There so many things that we did to make our wedding OURS:

  • Commemorating those who have passed before us. My mother passed away six years ago after a yearlong courageous battle against breast cancer. Then tragically we lost Curtis’ dad two years ago unexpectedly. We decided that we would pick something to commemorate our parents. For my mom, I included two pictures of my mother on her wedding day. One of which was my grandparents walking her down the aisle. This was extra special because they walked me down the aisle. Before Curtis’ dad passed away, he passed down a pocket watch that had been passed down in the family for four generations. It only made sense that he would carry the watch in memory of him.

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  • Unity tree. Rather than doing a unity sand or candle ceremony, we branched out and had a unity tree celebration. During the ceremony we followed our wedding party in watering the tree that is now planted in the yard. The tree was also a beautiful décor piece in the church.
  • Ceremony song choices. Thankfully our pastor was open to letting us select our own ceremony music. We weren’t looking for anything “crazy” but wanted music that was special to us. Truthfully I think in the beginning I overlooked how challenging finding our ceremony music would be until I started trying to find music. Curtis and I decided a long time ago that I would walk down the aisle to Look at You Girl  by Chris LeDoux.

We ended up finding a string rendition of Stand by Me that we were both absolutely in love with. After hearing it there was not a doubt this was the song for our wedding party to walk into the church to. The issue was we couldn’t download the song since it was a preview for a string quartet that plays at weddings. We couldn’t find anything that beautiful and we tried to reach out to them. After a few attempts, I got a response saying they weren’t even sure if they had a copy of it and other copies were located across the county. However, after some chatting and some research on their end they emailed us a copy at no cost.

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The rest of the music just fell into place. My cousin sang a Miley Cyrus song. Yes, Miley Cyrus. (When I look at You.)

  • Invitations and programs. Over the course of several days, Curtis and I spent probably 12 hours looking through pages and pages of wedding invitations online. We couldn’t find something that we were in love with, and we weren’t willing to spend $4 an invitation. After coming up empty-handed, I decided I would spend a few hours designing our own to see what I could come up with. If we didn’t like it, it was only two more hours wasted on invitations.

I used designed a tri-fold invitation which included several of our engagement photos. They turned out beautiful. Then the only challenge was where to print them at a reasonable price. I called around and found that our local newspaper could print them. They printed them for 50 cents each including an envelope.

To save even more money, rather than doing RSVP cards which never get sent back, we set up a Wedding Wire account. Through the account people could RSVP electronically. The website was completely customizable and allowed us to include additional wedding information such as maps, hotel information, song requests and time lines.

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I also decided to take on our wedding programs. I fashioned them like a magazine and included more engagement photos. The programs included so much more information than a typical program. We were able to include our menu, a reception to-do list, paper airplanes, our story, a heart-felt thank you and information on our wedding party.

  • Paper airplanes. I hated the idea of doing bubbles or sparklers for when we walked out of the church. I almost skipped the idea entirely but then last minute decided it would be fun to do paper airplanes. It was perfect since we are waiting to take our honeymoon to Europe. So the airplane included the following poem:

The last two years have been busy and have kept us on the run.

Therefore, we’ll wait two years to have some honeymoon fun.

That’s right folks, we are waiting until our second anniversary

to enjoy Europe’s territory

Use this paper to fold a plane and set it aside,

Then let ‘er fly when the newlyweds walk outside.

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  • Cake and pie To say that I love cake would be a complete understatement. In fact, I could easily have eaten our entire three-tier wedding cake myself. Curtis, on the other hand, is not a fan. He loves pie, especially fruit pies. When it came to figuring out what we wanted, we decided to do both. People from our church volunteered to make homemade pies, which was perfect. In fact, I believe more slices of pie went than cake.
  • Pups. We have a mini and a toy Australian shepherd. They are our babies and we spoil them rotten. It would have been completely wrong for them to not be at the reception to celebrate with us. They wore matching bowties and enjoyed the reception right alongside our guests.
  • First dance. Curtis and I did not want to do the traditional stay-and-sway for our first dance but were not looking to break out to Baby Got Back. We settled on taking some dance lessons and showcased our new moves to (I had) The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing. No, we did not do or practice the infamous lift.

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  • Shoe Game. I shamelessly stole this idea from Pinterest. To avoid knowing what the questions were I printed off several renditions and sent them directly to our DJ. This game was absolutely hilarious and gave our guests a look into our relationship with a ton of laughs. Facing back-to-back, each of us had one of our own shoes and one of the other’s shoes. When asked a question, we answered by raising the shoe of the one who was more likely to do or exhibit that behavior. Some of the questions were serious like “who is the first to say sorry” and “who is the most stubborn” but ranged all the way to “who wears the pants in the relationship” and “who runs the TV remote.” The guests said the best part of the game was watching our faces as we answered.
  • Reception. Having our reception outdoors, we had so much space to do whatever we wanted. We included a hayride for our guests from their cars (which were parked a nearby farm). Dinner was under tents. We wanted our guests to have something to do even if they didn’t like to dance. So, we had yard games (including lifesize Jenga); a campfire and s’mores; picnic tables outside; and a photo wall with endless props. We found that our guests stayed way longer than at other weddings. It think it was largely in part because there were things to do for those who didn’t want to shake their groove things. The last song played at 1:15 in the morning and we still had over 50 people at the farm –30 of which were dancing.

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What was your favorite part of your wedding? Is it cliché if I say everything? Because I mean it, the day was absolutely perfect. The wedding was personal and so full of love. Our wedding is still being talked about as being the Wedding of the Year. I think it was all the small details that made the biggest impact.

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What did you splurge on? What did you save on? I can’t really answer these questions, since we just researched and were happy with all our financial decisions.

Was there anything you would have done differently? Had you asked me a month ago I would have said started my pictures earlier. But since then we got our pictures back and there are way more than I thought there was going to be. So nothing.

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What was your biggest challenge in planning?The biggest challenge was knowing when and where to start. I felt pretty lost during the whole process. Many women have their mother to help and guide them or at the very least to turn to advice or a good cry. We had no idea how much a wedding could or should cost. I got over this by religiously using my wedding planner. I buy one for each and every one of my friends who gets engaged.

What lessons did you learn from planning or having the wedding itself?

  • Have a “get stuff done” day. A friend held a couple days where she invited us over, gave us some wine and had us work on wedding projects. She highly recommended I try it out to get stuff done. I had one day where 15 people came over to help. We polished off a lot of wine but they got projects done so fast I was literally pulling more out to do. In one afternoon they managed to get more done than I had in the last year of crafting.
  • Learn to say noWeddings equate to everyone wants to sell you their services. It’s actually exhausting to listen to people try to sell you their stuff. I’m such a softie that I have the hardest time saying no to people. Finally I had to learn what it means to say no, I’m not interested.

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  • Something will go wrong. Everyone tells you that something will go wrong but the day of everyone seems to forget that. I had been telling myself for months that I was going to stop worrying about wedding stuff at 9 a.m. on my wedding day. Best thing I could have done. I let go of my schedule, let go of my tedious type A planning and lived in the moment. I have no idea if anything truly went wrong. I was too busy enjoying the day. 
  • Dare to be different. Our wedding was unlike any of the ones held around us and it was perfect. The day was unique and filled with love. Don’t just use something because it’s the only option. Find your option.

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What were your top 5 favorite things?

Top 5 least favorite? This question is really hard to answer, since I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything went perfectly, so much so that I’d be afraid to do it over again in fear it wouldn’t go so well the second time.

So, I’ll fill this section with a major challenge. Two days before our wedding we got 10 ½ inches of rain in 24 hours. Almost every road was either washed out or flooded, houses were flooding and there was literally water everywhere. Rumor has it that our town of 5,000 made the world news. Thursday was supposed to be our set-up day leaving Friday for the relaxing day to finish up details and get our nails done. Obviously the rain made us change our plans.

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Thankfully, everyone was accommodating and we were able to change our Friday appointments to Thursday when it was pouring. Looking out the window as the day passed made the reality of how much water we were getting set in.

Our church and reception site were only ½ mile apart on a gravel road. Before we went to bed on Thursday, the road between the church and the reception site washed out. I put a message on Facebook asking friends who had some free time to come help us make up for lost time.

By Friday morning, the county was fixing the small township road (someone must have put in a good word) and 20 people were in the yard with one tent already assembled and a kitchen crew was slicing pies. It was enough to make me cry, it was so overwhelming as we were so blessed to have such amazing people in our lives.

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I only had one moment where I broke down and cried for 20 seconds. I am a Type-A planner who had a floor plan for all the tables, candy bar, cake table, DJ stand and food to fit under the tent. Well with all the rain we couldn’t use my plan anymore. I had to walk away for a minute before I realized how silly I it was. This was my wedding, and there was no way I was going to let something so silly get in the way of so much hard work, excitement and planning. In what I was planning to take a day and a half took about seven hours because so many people came to help. People say it takes a village to raise a baby, but I think it also takes a village to pull off a wedding.

This may leave you wondering how things turned out. Our wedding was the only wedding in a string of seven where it didn’t rain. Most of the yard dried out and most of the roads were at least partially opened in time for the wedding,hich was fantastic since we had so many travelers. We had representatives from 12 states joining us. Other than a few well-placed sheets of plywood no one would have known we had just had so much rain.

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What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? “The details don’t matter.” I think that everyone talks about in the grand scheme of things, no one will know that it was supposed to be there or it was missing. It’s probably true but when the details are there, people talk. Dare I say it … we had Port-A-Potties for restrooms at our wedding. We placed a pop-up tent in front of the bathrooms, hung lanterns, stocked baskets with tons of grooming items, hung mirrors and rented hand-washing stations. I am not kidding … people talked about how awesome our bathrooms were.

We spent a lot of time draping the ceiling with lights and tulle. While it wouldn’t have mattered, it looked spectacular at night. I also hung large pieces of fabric at the shed entrance with a “best day ever” sign. People dubbed the wedding the “Best Day Ever” and would not stop talking about how awesome the shed looked.  

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The best? The best advice I got was to use the WedPics app. It’s an app that allows your guests to upload all of the photos they took in one space. Then people can look, download and print the photos right from the app. We ended up getting over 400 photos through the app and helped us be patient while we waiting for our professional photos. It was so fun to go look through the photos the next day and see all the smiling faces of our friends. Also, some of our friends took some photos that our photographer missed.

Any other bits of wisdom? This is so long I think I covered just about everything. Ha.

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Church:
West Union Lutheran Church, Carver, MN | Wedding Dress: The Wedding Shoppe, St. Paul, MN | Tuxes: Tuxes by Theresa, Belle Plaine, MN | Venue: Family friend’s farm | Rental company: G&K Rental, New Prague, MN | DJ: Showtime Entertainment, River Falls, WI | Florist: Corey Ann Allen Designs, New Prague, MN | Photographer: Katie Maier Photography, Belle Plaine, MN | Videographer: Kaj Kjellesvig, Friend, Hopkins, MN | Cake: The Cake House, Glencoe, MN | Caterer: Dangerfields, Shakopee, MN | Hair and make-up: The Hair Saloon, Belle Plaine, MN

Real Bride Tiffany: When to BUY, not DIY

Thanks to the wonders of Pinterest, I often convince myself that I can create ANYTHING. Even though my brain and my severe lack of patience tell me otherwise. Even so, my wedding crafting to-do list reached about 10 items too many. To resolve this problem, I turned to my best Internet friend, Etsy.

BABs, if you are unfamiliar with Etsy, get outta town! But keep reading first. Etsy is like that one friend that can do anything and everything and oh, how you envy her skills. And every now and then you find such a well-priced handmade item on Etsy that you just simply can’t turn it down. Because the cost of supplies and patience to create it yourself are outweighed by the joy in making that little click to buy a homemade, handmade item from a small business. Here are some of the items I purchased for our wedding:

etsy

1. flower girl bracelet from Stargazing Lily | 2. cake topper from The Path Less Traveled | 3. clipart from Shh Maker Design | 4. garland from Funky Frills UK

Etsy browsing has become one of my many online hobbies, and I’ve purchased from quite a few different sellers. These ones in particular (with the exception of the clipart because you get to download it immediately and there is no interaction) feature great customer service and fast shipping. And trust me, I’ve had my bad Etsy experiences. We’ll talk flower girl dresses at a later date, maybe. But you guys already know my … ahem … skills as far as DIY is concerned, so for me it sometimes just made sense to throw money at it rather than try for the potential headache.

So BABs, my advice to you would be to take the time to browse a variety of Etsy sellers {Eds note: Aftcra is also a fabulous resource, and its wedding section is schamazing} before making a decision. Create lists of your favorites shops and items (within Etsy, not like actually on real paper). Check shipping costs and speeds. And if that cost is low enough, why not spend a little dough to check one of those many DIY projects off your list? Just click “buy” and let the Etsy pros do it for ya!

Five for Friday: Books to Curl Up with This Fall

Aside from its propensity to have perfect outdoor drinking weather (helloooo beer garden!) and a slew of cute new fashion finds, fall also seems like a good time to get my nose buried in a few good books. Throw open the windows to let the crisp air in and get rid of the summer stuffiness, bake some cookies, pour a glass of vino and crack that puppy open while the kitties surround me with cuddles. Heaven, right? So for this Five for Friday, I found five books that are either wildly enticing and I can’t wait to get my mitts on or beautifully inspiring for this fall. Obviously, the no. 1 book I would recommend would be our book, but I figure that goes without saying (don’t have a copy? Get it here). 

 

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“#GIRLBOSS” by Sophia Amoruso

“A #GIRLBOSS is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it.”

It’s been a powerhouse summer over here at BAB, so this seems like an appropriate read. Plus many lovely girl bosses, who I respect profusely, highly recommend it.

Inspired Wedding

“The Inspired Wedding” by Emma Arendoski

This beautiful hardcover is chock full of themes, ideas, inspiration and gorgeous photos. Whether you’re pre-engaged, engaged or just really love beautiful things, “The Inspired Wedding” won’t disappoint. Plus, it was written by the lovely lady behind Emmaline Bride, so you know it’s good.

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“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” by Jenny Lawson

Guys, if you don’t know and read The Bloggess, you really ought to start. Jenny is freaking hilarious. I’m bound and determined to get around to reading her book this fall, because I don’t just feel but I KNOW that I’ve been missing out.

HONY

“Humans of New York,” by Brandon Stanton

I began following the HONY Facebook page at the behest of a former BAB editor, and every single post gives me pause. Some are funny, some are gut-wrenchingly sad, some are achingly honest … but all are absolutely beautiful. Brandon Stanton does a fan-fucking-tastic job at what he does.

financial lives of the poets

“The Financial Lives of the Poets,” by Jess Walter

This is one of those books that I started reading because the title seemed oddly fitting (writing/editing + finances? Duh). I kept reading because it was funny and sad and had a tinge of a super bumbling, clumsy “Breaking Bad” feel to it.

What books are you picking up this fall? Have you read anything good lately? Spill in the comments!

 

BAB Throwback: Summer’s Over! So, What Did We Learn?

Happy Friday, BABs! I hope you’re all nicely recovered after a long weekend, and a short workweek that felt like eternity (or was that just me?). Our darling erstwhile advice guru, Liz Coopersmith of Silver Charm Events, wrote this bad boy back in early September of 2011, but as I was scrolling through the archives I found it to be as relevant as ever. One sure can learn a lot by putting some serious time into other people’s weddings. Sure, some trends have come and gone in the time since, but the solid advice still holds true.

BAB Throwback Summers Over What Did We Learn

From May 25th to September 5th, I coordinated 8 weddings. Here are pictures from half of them, but that’s five full-service, three day-of. Basically two a month. I had the chance to learn a lot and confirmed even more that I already knew. Here’s a few new tidbits of wisdom, in no particular order:

Give up THIS for a year? Hah! That’s funny!

If you find yourself looking at some glorious wedding thing and thinking, “Well, if I gave up Starbucks/the gym/cable for year, I can afford this,” DUDE. Run. Away.

And again I say to thee: Give yourself plenty of time on your wedding day. My most relaxed brides this season were the ones that listened to me and scheduled their prep and pictures so that they had an hour or more to chill before heading down the aisle.  Nothing I like more than a relaxed and laughing bride, and there’s nothing you’re going to like more than being one.

Don’t they look so pretty, waiting for you at the venue where they belong?

You will not need your flowers until you start taking group pictures. Rather than have your florist make a separate trip to your hotel room and then go to the ceremony site to set-up, wait to get your flowers until you get to the ceremony, too. Yes, I have had brides and bridesmaids who’ve left bouquets at the hotel. Guess who had to go get them?

You can’t really see it, but I swear these  are in alphabetical order. (Courtesy of Hazelnut Photography)

Once you finish your place cards, alphabetize them before handing them over. Once you finish your place cards, alphabetize them before handing them over. ONCE YOU FINISH YOUR PLACE CARDS, ALPHABETIZE THEM BEFORE HANDING THEM OVER. Thanks!

If you know that you’re going to have a difficult time with your family, bring back-up. Someone who will confirm what you said, what you want, and who you would feel embarrassed if you all of a sudden went off on your parents in front of. You don’t want to know how many times this summer I stood behind one of my brides nodding, “Oh, no, she’s got it. It’s going to be fine.” It helps.  And remember, if all else fails, find an excuse to walk away before you explode.

Don’t be surprised  if everyone doesn’t make it to the rehearsal. This does not seem to be as big a problem on the East Coast or in the middle of the country.  Of course, no one else has the 405 and 101 and 10 and 5 freeways that we do, and the endless time-sucking fun that occur on them. Might have something to do with it. Odds are everyone will make it to dinner, though.

For the breaking glass ceremony, use a light bulb. If you don’t want a light bulb, believe it or not, amazon.com has the glasses, in any color you want. Remember Charlotte and Harry’s wedding on “Sex and the City”? Sometimes he just can’t break it on the first try. Or the second. And it’s funny, but it’s funnier when it’s not happening to you.

A great trend I’ve seen at a couple of weddings this year — invite all your guests to join you halfway through your first dance song. People love that, and it makes me bounce up and down with glee every time I see it. Nothing rules like a full dance floor, you know?

I have yet to coordinate a wedding where the amount of money the couple put towards the bar did not run out. But it’s usually around the time that you would do last call, anyway, so it all works out. Thumbs up!

So, what did you lean from planning your wedding this summer? Share in the comments below!

 

Real Bride Elizabeth: And Just Like That, The Wedding Was Over

Almost three weeks later, I have a new husband, a new job, a new last name and a new haircut. These last couple weeks have been almost as much of a whirlwind as the month leading up to the wedding itself, and this is the first weekend I’ve had to just chill out. I almost can’t believe that everything is done, but to be honest, I’m glad.

Real Bride Elizabeth And Just Like That The Wedding Was Over

Made with PicMonkey

 I think weddings are probably like childbirth, where you don’t remember all the pain because you have this awesome baby. Now that everything is over and I have the pictures back, I have only good memories. I have not, however, ever been so tired as I was when I woke up on the morning after the wedding.

Yes, there were snags. My mother-in-law decided to change the venue of the rehearsal dinner three days before the event. That was a challenge. My headpiece was MIA until an hour before the ceremony – I was resigned to the fact I wasn’t going to happen. The first bridesmaid down the aisle took off waaaaaaay before her cue. But you know what? It had absolutely no bearing on how wonderful the whole day was.

If I can offer any advice to my broke-ass friends, it would be the following:

Ask for help, and take it when offered

I felt almost useless because everyone helping out was so on top of it. My friend Jenny, my coordinator, went above and beyond transforming my venue into a magical place that you could see Gatsby and Daisy dancing the night away in. She had the entire day scheduled down to the minute (so not my forte), and made sure everyone stayed on track, time-wise. Honestly, it would have been a whole different wedding without her, and I am be eternally grateful.

Try not to take things personally

I’m not going to lie, Bryce turned into quite the “groomzilla” the week of the wedding. My uber laid-back attitude and his compulsive need to have a hand in everything and make sure everything is perfect did create some drama the week of the wedding. The low point might have been a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store, but I realized that weddings do make people a little bit crazy. Take a deep breath and try not to take it personally.

Something that seems bad might actually be good

It rained pretty much all day – poured during parts of it. Since everything was inside, that didn’t really affect me too much, but on the upside, the temperature was nice and cool. I had expected it to be a typical, hot, muggy August day. I expected the make-up to be melting off my face, and being somewhat uncomfortable in my dress. Instead, it was cool (some people were even chilly), and the rain broke for just enough time to get some awesome outdoor shots.

Listen to your photographer

My photographer was amazing. He knew exactly what to do to make us feel comfortable. He had great ideas for where to take pictures and how to set them up (and quickly!) He took a venue that was pretty challenging to shoot in, lighting-wise, and gave me some of the most beautiful pictures I’ve ever seen! If you’re in North Carolina (or anywhere, I’m sure he’d be glad to travel), I’d HIGHLY recommend Jon Black Photography.

On that note, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite pics from the day. Best of luck with your upcoming nuptials, my broke-ass friends.

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

 

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Real Bride Elizabeth's Stunning North Carolina Wedding | Photos by Jon Black Photography

Congratulations, Elizabeth and Bryce!

Real Bride Tiffany: DIY-ish Invitations

I have been completely hesitant about this post because: #1 I could talk about paper for days and #2 I OVERSPENT and am mildly shameful.

IMG_6108

It was DIY hell but totally worth it.

When I first started browsing invitations, I hated everything. Well, not hated. But I just couldn’t find what I was looking for. I was also, as per usual, mildly horrified at the cost. I knew what had to happen. I would have to do these bad boys by myself. With some help. Well, a lot of help. Here is what you need to DIY your wedding invitations if you are insanely picky like me.

A graphic designer

Everyone knows someone that is a graphic designer, right? RIGHT. Well, hopefully you do. If not, browse Wtsy for an unreasonable amount of time until you find a designer’s style you like and pray that they will do custom for you! I was fortunate enough to use my MOH’s best friend and her impressive design skills. I am not even joking when I say that she designed exactly what we wanted. A modern, clean, brewery themed wedding suite. I still can’t get over it.

invites

Envelopes

Did you know that square envelopes cost significantly more to mail? NOW YOU DO. They looked so good though. 

Did you know that your printer will eat your expensive envelopes if they are too thick? NOW YOU DO. Ugh, this though. This hurt me. I “splurged” on getting pre-lined envelopes from Cards & Pockets and our printer ate most of our “extras.” Thank goodness for those extras!

I downloaded the fonts our designer used to make a super sweet envelope template in MS Word because it is 2014 and handwriting should be outlawed. If you think guests appreciate the time you took handwriting their names, then I shall tell my guests how I individually hand-fed each envelop through the printer all whilst holding my breath that it wouldn’t jam. All of this sans alcohol, because calories and wedding dress and stuff.

A  reliable and affordable print vendor

We used Cat Print for the Save the Dates and invitation pieces. I will also be using them for our programs. Their pricing is fantastic for the quality of paper they offer. I chose 130# stock because I like to give people paper cuts. And also because it looked and felt expensive. Want round corners? They can do that too. Want free paper samples? HECK YES I DO. That might have been my favorite part of this entire process and left Justin completely perplexed about the intricacies of paper textures.

A small posse to assemble all the pieces

We only had 67 invitations to mail out. And I decided that they needed that monogram AND twine. After assembling 10, I was done. Justin was a HUGE help as was my little sister (even though he can’t lick envelopes and she doesn’t know how to tie things … ). It took a little over one week to get everything done once I had the final printed pieces in hand.

helpers

You can bribe helpers with beer and also things to play with.

The final cost? Let’s break it down, shall we? This includes our save-the-dates as well.

Design: $160. for 8 hours of design
Printing: $157. 4 pieces, 80 of each with bleeds, rounded corners and on 130# stock.
Envelopes: $127. square, lined and RSVP.
Postage: $132. Those damn square envelopes.
Misc. supplies (twine, eyelets, replacement eyelet tool for the one I broke … ): $35

Total: $611 for 80 pieces. Or $7.60 each.

Is that more than I wanted to spend? Yes. But they are incredible and completely us, so totally worth it!

BAB Throwback: DIY or Die – A Step-by-Step How-To Guide To Making Colorful Paper Rosettes

This wonderful tutorial first appeared on the blog in 2012, but with the ubiquity of gorgeous, interesting backdrop ideas in weddingland lately, I figured it was a great time to take a little jump back and revisit this awesome paper rosette how-to.

I don’t know about you Broke-Asses, but spring has finally sprung (fingers crossed!) in my neck of the woods. And due to such, I thought it would be a great time to break out a bright, festive tutorial. The ladies over at A Good Affair popped this bad boy in my mailbox and I just knew you’d love it. The paper rosettes are easy, fun, CHEAP and look awesome for any wedding. 

How-To by A Good Affair Wedding & Event Production

Photos: Luminaire Images

Supplies:
2- 12”x12” sheets of paper
Glue stick or Elmer’s
Hot Glue Gun
Scissors

Step 1: Take your 12”x12” sheets of paper, and cut in half.


Step 2: Fold the 6”x12” papers accordion style with ½” folds.


Step 3: After you finish folding all the pieces, glue the end of one piece to the end of a second piece so that they overlap.


Step 4: After gluing all your pieces together to form one long accordion paper strip, take the two ends and join those together in the same fashion. This creates a completed ring of folded paper.


Step 5: Making sure the glue has dried and all pieces are secure, stand your ring upwards, and gently press the top edge outwards, with the bottom edge remaining on your work surface. This will form your paper rosette!


Step 6: If you are using two-sided paper, decide which side will be the front or back. The back side should be facing up. This is where you will hot glue to secure your rosette.

Step 7: To secure your paper rosette, take your hot glue gun (it sets faster) and put a dollop of glue right in the center. Make sure to hold down the rosette as the glue sets. If you are planning to have your rosettes double-sided i.e. both sides will be seen, be sure to hot glue right in the center very neatly.

Step 8: (Optional) Dress up your paper rosette with a simple circle cutout, or a coordinating embellishment! You can get creative!


Step 9: (Optional) To give your paper rosette a rounded edge, after you’ve folded your papers but before gluing, take your scissors and round off one side of your folded paper.


End Product: A beautiful 12” Paper Rosette!

Notes: Different paper sizes and fold sizes will give you a variety of rosette sizes and looks!

Pretty neat, eh? You down for some DIY awesomeness? I mean, it looks so simple even a DIY dunce like myself could prolly get it done.

Submitted via Two Bright Lights.