Here is a really cute gift for someone getting married. It’s a Bride Kit that has little odds and ends you may need during the wedding day when it isn’t convenient to get to the grocery store. For the presentation we used a wood box and made a transfer using Temporary Tattoo Paper
. I love the results and can’t wait to experiment more with it. Please scroll down for the free download, and full instructions.
Items to fill the box - not pictured but you may also consider adding aspirin and stomach medicine for nerves.
Step 1: Lightly sand the box. Paint the box with craft paint. You could remove the hardware or just carefully paint around it.
Step 2: Download the image here and follow the instructions on the package of the tattoo paper. The kind we used came in two parts, a white sheet, and a green sheet. Print the design on the glossy side of the white sheet on your inkjet printer with the photo setting. The image should be reversed.
Step 3: Carefully peel the green sheet apart and place the adhesive face down on the design on the white sheet. You burnish it all over with something like a spoon to get it stuck down really well and get out any bubbles.
Step 4: Cut the design out right along the edge of the outer box of the design. Peel the other side of the (formerly) green sheet off, leaving just the thin, waxy layer over the design on the white sheet. It’s very sticky at this point.
Step 5: Carefully position and stick the design down centered on the lid of the box. Stick down well everywhere.
Step 6: Lay a very damp (but not drippy) paper towel over the design and allow it to saturate the back of the white sheet for about 15 seconds. The paper should become translucent and you’ll be able to see the design. Rub any dry looking areas with the wet paper towel.
Step 7: Starting from one corner, slowly and carefully lift away the white paper backing from the design. If any bits of the design start to lift with the backing, lay it back down and rub those areas with the wet paper towel again. It should come away easily, so if it’s sticking, add more water.
Step 8: Once the paper backing has been removed, if there are any air bubbles where the film with the design is not stuck to the surface, you can use a little bit of the white backing paper to rub them onto the surface. (It’s very slippery and won’t damage the thin film the design is on. Don’t use your fingers because they will tear it and mess it up.) Once it’s dry, it’s much more durable, but you could put a clear coat of wipe on poly over the design if you wanted to make it more durable.
Photos and styling by Alexis Birkmeyer. Concept: Oh Happy Day
Wedding favors don’t have to be dull and uninspired…
Wedding favors often evoke a “been there, done that” response from wedding guests. Looking for something a little more memorable than a bag of Jordan almonds? Here are our top choices for a few inspiring guest thank-yous.
After dancing for hours, rolling out individual snacks like mini-hamburgers with a fixings bar is a big hit.
Rent a photo booth and let your guests take turns posing for the camera. Add props like costumes, hats, sunglasses, and even chalkboards where the guests can write messages to photograph themselves with. Then set up a DIY station with mini-frames so they can take home their favorite shots.
Escape the elements
If you really want to impress, give your guests something sublimely stylish yet useful to keep them smiling through the elements: stylish sunglasses (to deflect glare), sleek umbrellas (in case of rain), or scarves (should a breeze pick up).
Place small journals at each place setting, and write every guest a personal thank-you note on the front page.
Make some noise
Liven up the party by handing out maracas, small horns, or even kazoos – a great idea for a relaxed affair or a particularly festive bunch.
Gather a collection of favorite family recipes from both sides into a small recipe book or box printed with your names and wedding date.
Enlist the parking attendants to place a flower with an attached thank-you note on the dashboard of each car. If you’ll be providing guest transportation, be sure to place a basket of these favors at the front of the bus for guests to take prior to departure.
Yes, this idea has been done, but altruism is at an all-time high, and we’re jumping on the bandwagon. Donating in the name of your guests to a charity, one that holds special meaning for the two of you, adds another sentimental personal touch to your wedding.
One day my cousin Michelle called to say that she was getting married and asked me help her plan the wedding? I told her “of course” without realizing she wanted to get married within 8 weeks…eeek!
To make matters worse Michelle wanted to get married in her fiance’s hometown where I didn’t know any local vendors. To be honest at first I felt overwhelmed, but after doing some research online I quickly realized it wouldn’t be as hard as I had imagined and all turned out well.
If your planning a destination wedding or just need some help finding reliable vendors the internet is a good place to start. I recently found a great online site called Last Minute Wedding Dealswhich is a wealth of information. This site allows wedding vendors and planners from across the country to post offers for spur of the moment weddings at discounts prices. You can find offers for basically everything you need for your big day - caterers, musicians, limos, venues, florists, etc.
These are not “bargain” vendors but quality vendors who list their services when they have unfilled wedding dates. These vendors would rather work for a discount than not at all. Their loss is your gain and you can find great deals from top wedding vendors at huge savings! You can even shop for gently used and new wedding items.
This site is not only for brides but also for vendors as you can list your unbooked wedding days at a discount without “advertising” yourself as a bargain or discount service!
I love to browse the Etsy shops for inspiration. I recently found this shop called Indelible Ink Workshop which professionally prints motivational sayings and cute whimsical designs. I think these prints would be a fun gift to give to your bridesmaids or as gifts for any special occasion.
Choose an extra-special perfume after you get engaged and save it for your wedding day. Then when you wear that perfume post-wedding, it will take you back to when you said “I do.” (Like smelling Estee Lauder Beautiful always takes me back to my grandma’s house as she always loved flowers.)
This Lemon Mousse is light, airy, fresh and creamy. Great by itself served in a parfait glass topped with whipped cream, but it would be equally great in a graham cracker crust or mini tart shell.
If you are short on time, you can buy a pre-made lemon curd, and just add gelatin and fold in whipped cream. However, store-bought lemon curd can be expensive, so the homemade version is a more cost effective option if you have the time.
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon plain gelatin
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
In a small bowl add the water and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow it to ‘gel’ for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the sugar, salt, lemon juice and zest. Whisk together and then add the egg yolks. Place over medium low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon (this should take roughly 8-10 minutes). Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle, if it begins to steam remove it from the heat for 20 seconds to allow it to cool then return it to the heat.
Once it has thickened, whisk in the gelatin. Allow this mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once the lemon curd has cooled, beat the whip cream to stiff peaks. Adding half of the whipped cream into the lemon curd, gently fold it in.
Pour the lemon mousse between 4-6 parfait glasses. Top with a large dollop of the whipped cream.
When it comes to wedding flowers and bouquets, the prettiness factor is in the presentation. Today we are showing you two unique ways to present flowers so they will look their very best.
Carnations have typically been given a bad name as a cheap filler flower. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though; in fact, it’s an advantage for crafty brides embarking on this charming DIY, especially in large quantities.
Carnation Cones Instructions
These paper-wrapped carnations are as sweet as ice cream. Print carnation cone template onto heavyweight paper, and cut out. Shape into a cone, and fasten at tabs using double-sided tape. Bind stems with floral tape, and set inside cone.
And, secondly, have you ever seen burlap + tulips look so beautiful together? These would make beautiful bridesmaid bouquets!
You’ll Need :
1 square foot piece of burlap
1 yard of satin ribbon
TIP : When you pick up your flowers at the grocery store florist, ask them for some water tubes. It will help to keep the bouquet fresh. It is not absolutely necessary, but it will help if they will be out of water for more than an hour.
Planning a fall wedding? You’ll love this caramel apple wedding cake to top it off! It is always fun to incorporate favorite fall-isms into autumnal events (like caramel apples, apple pie, cider + donuts) and this caramel apple wedding cake is perfect! This cake seamlessly blends in all the spices of the season: caramel, apple, moist cake, chopped nuts, buttercream… YUM!
This cake is perfect as a wedding “sweetheart cake”, the term we like to use for a small cake made just for the bride & groom. This is a perfect alternative to still have the cake cutting ceremony if you’re having cupcakes, or another dessert in lieu of a traditional wedding cake. And, if you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen you can learn how to bake this cake yourself!
There are no etiquette rules that state your bridal bouquet has to be made of flowers. If florals are too feminine and not your thing, or if you just want something different why not carry a bouquet made of buttons and brooches.
A fun idea and to save money have wine bottles do double-duty as table numbers. Cover-weight paper printed with large graphic numerals can be adhered over existing labels with double-sided tape for a clean, contemporary look. It’s a clever touch that will have guests drinking to your good fortune — and your good taste.
The key here is simple changes you can incorporate into your daily routine that will gradually improve your health and the look of the body. In other words: no crash dieting. Extreme caloric deprivation is not only dangerous, but it sets you up for failure since it’s impossible to maintain.
If you’re looking to lose a lot of weight, you’ll need to get cracking at least six months before your wedding day (or as soon as you read this!). Even if you’re just looking to tone up and drop a few pounds, start today. Why wait?
When it comes to losing or maintaining your weight, forget fad diets and forget the off-limit foods. There is only one simple rule you need to know: To lose weight, you must burn more calories (energy/exercise) than you take in (eat). It’s all about calories in versus calories out.
Nutrition 101 (the calories-in part)
Get a general estimate of how many calories a day you’re burning, then build your meal plans around an equal amount of calories (to maintain) or slightly less calories (to lose). A handy free tool can be found at Dailyplate.com. Here you can enter personal stats like height, weight, and weight-loss goals, along with the various types of physical activity you do each day (not only at the gym, but also activities like cooking, cleaning, walking up stairs – they all count). The tool will then calculate the number of calories you should eat based on your goals.
Here are some simple guidelines to help you maintain your caloric goals, keep your energy level up, and get all the nutrients you need:
Eat five to six small meals a day
Give up the notion that you must starve yourself to lose weight. Your body is designed for survival, and part of its survival mechanism involves holding onto body fat to be used in times of food shortage. Skipping meals or eating a very low amount of calories causes your body to go into starvation mode, which slows your metabolism. Three large meals do not provide your body with the constant flow of nutrients and energy it needs to increase your metabolism and burn fat. Strive to eat five or six small meals evenly spaced throughout the day.
Understand that the size of your stomach is about as big as your two fists. So at one meal, you should never eat more than two fists full of food. Here’s a general idea of the correct sized portions:
Protein: a deck of cards or the meaty part of your hand with the fingers cut off.
Carbohydrates: make a fist and cut your hand in half (or about one cup).
Focus on fiber and protein
Food without protein or fiber has little to no nutritional value (that’s what they mean by “empty calories”). With every meal you eat, you should aim to get about 10 grams of protein and about 5 grams of fiber, for a total of at least 60 grams of protein and 25 grams of fiber per day. This doesn’t mean you have to bring out the calculator every time you eat. Getting your daily amount of protein and fiber is easy if you’re eating five to six small meals a day consisting of foods that have at least a few grams of fiber and protein. Check the nutrition labels on the foods you buy.
Carbohydrates & Fiber
Forget the notion that all carbohydrates are evil. Complex carbohydrates rich in fiber are “good carbohydrates,” absorbed slowly into your system, giving you a steady energy supply. They can be found in whole grain breads, pasta, and rice, as well as beans, fruits, and veggies. The fiber in these foods also helps promote satiety, making you less likely to overeat.
When it comes to carbs, aim to have at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit per day. Avoid any grain products with the word “enriched” on the label and pasta products with “semolina” in the ingredients; instead, opt for those with whole grain, stone ground, and whole wheat. Same goes for items containing high fructose corn syrup (sugar) in the first three ingredients – skip ‘em!
Protein is necessary for muscular growth and aids in weight loss by:
Requiring more energy to digest than other foods (i.e. burning more calories and helping with the calories-in versus calories-out equation).
Helping to preserve lean muscle tissue while you lose fat.
Slowing down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, reducing hunger and making it easier for the body to burn fat.
Promoting satiety – helping you feel full so you can stop eating sooner.
Other easy nutrition tips
Having difficulty sticking to this eating plan? Here are some small steps you can take to achieve your caloric goals:
Stay hydrated: Drinking lots of water helps you stay hydrated and may also make you feel full (sometimes hunger pangs are actually a sign that you’re thirsty). How much should you drink? Multiply your total body weight by 75%; this is the total number of fluid ounces you should take in each day.
Substitute sugar-free/low-fat versions of your favorite snacks.
Substitute low-fat or fat-free dairy for whole-fat versions.
Switch to diet sodas.
Replace sugar with Splenda in recipes or other items you usually add sugar to.
Limit alcohol intake – not only is alcohol empty calories (all sugar, no fiber or protein), but it usually leads to poor eating decisions or skipping workouts. Try your best to avoid it.
Exercise 101 (the calories-out part)
Establish an exercise routine you can live with. If you’re currently sedentary, don’t attempt to dive into an hour-a-day/seven-days-a-week routine, because chances are, you won’t stick to it. Instead, increase your energy level with achievable goals; 30 minutes for three to four days a week is a good start for those who haven’t hit the gym in years. If you’re already pretty active, commit to taking it to the next level either by adding a few extra minutes to your workouts or increasing the intensity of your routines.
Regardless of your current fitness level, you should strive for an exercise routine that combines cardio, strength, and flexibility.
Here are some things you’ll want to incorporate into your fitness schedule. Depending on your current fitness level, working up to this routine may take more or less time:
3–4 cardiovascular workouts a week for 25–40 minutes.
Pick activities that you enjoy and try to change it up.
Remember: Exercise should be fun so try to find something you enjoy. Take a fast walk, jog with your dog, go swimming, ride your bike, or play tennis.
3–4 strength workouts a week for 30 minutes.
When strength training, you should work until fatigue – meaning the last repetition of each exercise should be extremely difficult.
Don’t forget to include core and stabilization training; try incorporating physioballs, BOSU, and discs into your workouts, or take a pilates class once a week.
Stretching will help you increase flexibility.
Flexibility training can help avoid muscle imbalances, postural distortion, and injuries.
Stand tall, shoulders back, walk graceful, and don’t forget to smile – this is your day!
With the warm weather lately, I can’t help but daydream of a blanket spread on the grass, and the sun shining down on a perfect picnic. I think a picnic in the backyard or maybe a park would be a fun idea for a laid back bridal shower. I found this cute tutorial on how to make your own picnic baskets…enjoy!
Step 2: You trace the template four times onto the 18″ x 24″ heavy paper. Starting in one corner trace the template with the handle at the top and facing inward. Flip it like a mirror image and trace again. Flip it from the bottom and trace again. Trace it to the side one last time. (See photos below for reference.)
Step 3: Once it is traced cut it out.
Step 4: Take the two sides with the slits and slip them over the corresponding handle to create a sweet little picnic basket.
Step 5: Fill with goodies and serve to your guests.
Concept + Photos + Styling by Alexis Birkmeyer for Oh Happy Day
Q. I’m in my early 30s and getting married for the second time. Having my father walk me down the aisle at my first wedding was one of the biggest joys of my life, but is it still appropriate for him to do the honor now that I’m remarrying?
A. By all means. As long as your father is willing and able, there are no rules against his escorting you to the altar once more. And you certainly wouldn’t want to offend him by not asking him to do so.
It’s wonderful to see so many DIY projects that take advantage of the humble paper globe light. Just when I think I’ve seen them all, I come across a new one that I love, like this version created by Heather Jennings of Poppy Haus. While browsing her local Anthropologie store, Heather was inspired by two things: the ingenuity of the displays, all made with simple, everyday materials, and the Rhododendron Chandelier. Adorned with handmade, sculptural paper flowers, the chandelier is amazing, but at $898, Heather thought it would it be the perfect candidate for a DIY variation.
Luckily, Heather stumbled upon decorative cupcake liners with an optical, graphic print that provided the perfect amount of depth and texture. By layering them over plain liners, she was able to create a beautiful effect on these orb lights; the organic, anemone-like shapes look lovely up close, far away, unlit during the day and glowing from within at night. This project is a great example of the magic that can happen when you experiment with new materials and configurations. Thanks so much for sharing, Heather!
100–125 white standard-sized paper cupcake liners
100–125 vertically striped petit fours papers
(1) 18–20″ white paper lantern
hot glue gun
1 Hemma Cord from IKEA (for lighting) ($3.99)
1. Assemble the lantern and place it top up in a wide, shallow bowl to act as a base.
2. Put a small dot of hot glue on the backside of a white cupcake liner. Starting about 1/2″ in from the wire ring at the top of the lantern, place the cupcake liner on the lantern and press until it is attached.
3. Continue around the ring, spacing the papers so that the circular bases are approximately 1″ apart, allowing the outer edges to merge and shape.
4. Apply the cupcake papers around the lantern in rings until you are 3/4 of the way down, and then flip the lantern over and gently place it back in the bowl, top side down.
5. Complete the underside, and fill in the bottom so that the papers cover the base opening.
6. Begin applying the petit fours papers, centering them inside each white paper. Three-quarters of the way up the lantern, flip it top side up. Complete the top side.
7. Go back through, gently manipulating the outer papers to the desired shape. I kept mine fairly organic.
First Three Wedding Planning Steps for the Newly Engaged
Unfortunately for most newly engaged women, the excitement of finally finding “the one” is dampened by a hard dose of stress and anxiety. Sure, you’ll find about a gazillion wedding planning checklists out there, but they all tend to overwhelm more than they help, and all essentially fail to address the fundamental question: “Where do I begin?”
After you’ve announced the exciting news and taken some time to bask in your newly engaged glow, it’s time to get cracking. Here are the first three wedding planning tasks you absolutely must accomplish before anything else. Cross these items off your wedding checklist - and you’re on your way.
Step 1: Decide on a Budget -
Every decision stems from the wedding budget. Before you can plan anything, you must know how much you can spend and who plans to contribute. Your budget will determine the type of wedding you can have - from how many guests you invite, to where and when you host your wedding, right down to the specific blooms in your bouquet. And with the ever increasing cost of weddings, financing the event is often a group effort; the bride’s parents no longer need to take out a second mortgage just to fund the upcoming nuptials. You’ll need to talk to your families about who will pay for what, and arrive at a total wedding budget.
Step 2: Tackle the Guest List -
Some “checklists” suggest setting a date and commencing other wedding plans before this step, but the guest count is the most vital decision after the budget. Here’s why: Capacity is one of the most important criteria in finding a suitable wedding venue - more so even than style and vision - and you must secure your location before you can successfully plan anything else. Cramming 300 people into a venue that seats 150 will not go over well. You don’t need to have the list finalized just yet, but you’ll need an estimate from both sides of the family (and yourselves) right away to avert countless planning headaches down the road.
Step 3: Set a Site and Date -
Only once you have an estimated budget and guest count can you begin searching for a place to hold your event with any accuracy. Remember - many reception sites book over a year in advance, so you really can’t decide on a wedding date until you have officially booked your venue with a signed contract. Find as many reception sites that meet your budget, capacity and overall style quotient as you can. Then schedule appointments to tour each wedding venue and meet with the manager. After that-it’s decision making time.
As you may have heard it said, once you find your reception site, everything else falls into place. Once you have accomplished these steps, you will find the rest of your planning task list a piece of, ahem, wedding cake.
One trend that’s not going away anytime soon is feathers. While most brides incorporate the look into their wedding decor, feathers are now popping up somewhere else — as hair extensions!
A big hit with celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Jessica Simpson, and rocker turned American Idol judge, Steven Tyler, feather hair extensionsare currently one of the hottest trends in hair accessories. Some brides are now incorporating them into their wedding hairstyles for their big day look!
The nice thing abouthair feather extensions is you can choose a feather that compliments your hair color for a subtle bit of flair. Or go as bold as you dare; feathers come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. And they can be treated like your own hair.
Salon feather extensions can be pricey so if you’re looking to DIY I would recommend youbuy feathersfrom MoonlightFeathers.com which is one of the largest feather suppliers online.
Adding feathers to your hair is simple. Check out this video:
No matter how you choose to word your wedding invitation reply cards, one trick of clever hosts is to number the back of the cards in pencil just in case the guest forgets to write their name. The guest list coordinates to these numbered cards and provides a way to look up whose card is being returned even if there’s no name on it.
So, one of your best friends just got married! How exciting! Now you just can’t wait until she gets back from her honeymoon so you can talk about what a beautiful wedding it was. You know the exact date she’ll be returning to her home, so why not surprise the newlyweds with a beautifully decorated “Just Married” front door.
2-inch vinyl press-on letters (available at most office supply stores)
Yarn or string, assorted ribbons and streamers
Expandable tissue paper, wedding bells in different sizes (I found these at my local dollar store).
Step 1: Peel off your letters and center them on the paper cards. Punch two holes on the top of the oval. Thread the yarn or ribbon through the holes to create your garland. Be sure to thread the yarn from the back side of the card each time for consistency.
Step 2: Gather all your materials to take with you to your friend’s door. Also bring scissors to cut the ribbons and streamers, and tacks to hang the garland and streamers. I also added some mini juice cans I had spray painted white, as a reference to the days when people tied beer cans to the newlywed’s car (do people still do that?!)
Step 3: Hang your garlands, bells, ribbons, cans and streamers. For a cute touch, I also hung a little mason jar full of flowers from the doorknob, with a little note letting them know just who left their surprise.
Step 4: Run away! Oh yes, and hope it doesn’t rain!
This fast and easy strawberry recipe is also a low-fat dessert. I love how easy they are to make and since they are tasty and low in calorie, you can indulge guilt free. Have one, two or ten! These would be fun to serve at a summer bridal party or even your wedding.
Strawberry Shortcake Popsicle Recipe
1 ½ cup pureed strawberries
½ cup crushed vanilla Oreos (or Nilla Wafers for fewer calories)
2 cups vanilla yogurt
Puree strawberries in blender. Place Oreos in a food processor and pulse until cookies become fine crumbs. If you do not have a food processor, you can place Oreos in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush cookies. Add crushed Oreos to the yogurt and mix until combined.
To assemble as the seen in the picture, layer the yogurt portion first and let freeze for 30 minutes before adding the strawberry layer, let this second layer freeze for 30 minutes and then add the last yogurt layer. For a quick assembly, pour each layer on top of one another without any freeze time in between and then use a skewer or fork and gently swirl for a swirled Popsicle look.
A few notes:
I do not add any sugar to the strawberry portion, as ripe strawberries are sweet enough on their own. If you find your strawberries not sweet enough, add ¼ cup of simple syrup to every 1 ½ cup of pureed strawberries.
I like to use Dixie Cups as my form, but use any Popsicle form you have to mold yours.
Hi Erin of Sparkle & Hay here, absolutely thrilled to be visiting with you today. My blog Sparkle & Hay focuses 100% on rustic chic wedding inspirations, so today I’d love to share with you a few quick how-to’s to keep in mind when planning a Rustic Chic event!
Even with all of the lovely details you can infuse into your big day the number one influencing factor to the “feeling” of your event (besides your glowing smile) is your venue. The most commonly considered venue space for a rustic chic event is a barn; what I would call the classic rustic chic venue. However, there are so many other possibilities to achieve a rustic chic ambience; tents (amazing what you can do with them), vineyards, backyard gardens, parks/park lodges, ski lodges, old factories (I love the mix of an old-school industrial look), you just have to be on the lookout for plenty of exposed wood & great lighting. For example, my reception was at a vineyard which was originally a WWII aircraft hangar. Normally when you think of a hanger you think of metal, but as this one was so old it was all (gorgeous) old wood – perfect to be transformed into a rustic chic space.
Two crucial elements to carrying out a rustic chic vision. The flowers should be soft, with primary colors being in the pastel family (accent flowers can be darker) & you can never have too much moss. We incorporated hay/wheat into our wedding as well – with shimmering (sprayed with a shimmer spray) bunches atop the dessert table. Lighting is also so absolutely positively important. Soft, romantic lighting is crucial to create your rustic chic event; make sure you have plenty of candles, and look into what kinds of rental options are available in your area. (Yes, you too can have that chandelier in a barn – through the magic of rentals!)
When planning your bridal style you should 150% follow your wedding inspiration as a guide. Soft, flowy, and gauzy dresses are ideal for a rustic chic wedding dress. J.Crew and Ivy & Aster have some of my favorite styles. But even if you always dreamed of a big poufy princess dress you can still have that – rustic chic style! A twirly tulle dress or slinky mermaid gown can both look perfectly rustic chic mixed with the right hair and accessories!
I hope you enjoyed my few tips on how-to plan a Rustic Chic wedding! Thank you so much for having me.
This bride looks like an absolute Greek Goddess in her wedding gown. And with good reason! She’s in Mykonos, Greece. The dark blue-green ocean, the clean white architecture, the clear blue sky, and the dazzling sun make for a stunning wedding backdrop.
We love the above photo so much that it inspired us to create this grecian blue wedding color palette.
How many gift cards do you have in your wallet? If your anything like me, you receive gift cards for all holidays and birthdays. Just yesterday I received a gift card for “Books a Million” as an Easter gift.
Now I am not complaining as I love gift cards, and I am guilty of giving gift cards myself. However, it seems as if I use a card once then stick it in my wallet and forget about it until months later. Then I have no clue how much money is left on the card.
Recently a friend sent me a link to a helpful online site called GiftCardBalanceSearch.comwhere you can easily check the balance of any gift card without calling the company or going to the store website and pulling your hair out in frustration trying to find the balance information.
Next time you want to check your gift card balance try this site as it’s so simple to use. Last night I checked the balance on a Dunkin Donuts gift card which has been in my purse for months and with only a few clicks I found out I still had over $11.00 left on it. Don’t worry this site does not try to sell you any gift cards or any other merchandise.
If your anything like me, you love to receive handmade gifts. So when I found this site called DoroBox which sends you a handmade surprise every month I wanted to share it with you.
This is a refreshing new company who partners with talented artisans and designers across the country specializing in a wide variety of hand-crafted goodies such as women’s accessories, home goods, jewelry, bath products, stationary, and more.
Not only is DoroBox helping you discover the best handmade products available, but you’ll also be supporting artists who pour their heart and soul into each product they make. It’s a win-win!
It’s easy to sign upfor your monthly surprise goody box. You can sign up on a month to month basis or purchase a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription, so there’s a plan for everyone.
Instead of the same old junk mail in your mailbox, treat yourself or maybe your bridesmaids to a handmade surprise made by talented artists.
I am often asked if purchasing Wedding Insurance is necessary…and my response is generally YES! Especially for large or destination weddings. Just think the average wedding costs approximately $20,000 or more. That is equivelant to the cost of a new car. Would you purchase a car at that price without insurance?
While every bride wants her special day to be perfect, I am sure you have probably been to a wedding where things didn’t go exactly according to plan. Vendors don’t show up, bridal gowns disappear, wedding venues close unexpectedly after deposits are made.
That’s where wedding insurance has you covered as it is designed to cover the unexpected. We hope the damage is minimal and can be laughed at while watching the wedding videos later, but the business of insurance is to plan for a potential catastrophe that could cause a postponement, or even a cancellation.
As you might expect, all wedding insurance policies are different, and you will need to make comparisons to decide which one suits your particular requirements. According to WeddingInsurance.netcertain aspects are to be found in most of policies.
For example, should you have to cancel the wedding due to unexpected death or illness, extreme weather, then you will be covered for cancellation and expenses.
You will be covered if one of your wedding suppliers goes bankrupt or goes into liquidation, and in some cases you will also be covered for any additional costs incurred as a result of arranging alternatives.
In a similar vein there will be cover for all expenses incurred in the re-taking of official wedding photographs, videos or DVDs should the photographer not turn up or use faulty materials.
If the Limo company providing your transport fails to meet their contractual obligations you will be covered for the additional costs of alternative transport.
Wedding attire is covered with regard to loss or irreparable damage; wedding rings are insured for loss or damage for a short period before and after the wedding; and the cake and flowers are also covered for loss or damage.
As for presents, they are usually covered for a short period before and after the wedding, but checks or cash gifts are usually excluded.
Public liability cover for the bride and groom is usually included and, for an additional premium, you can extend this to cover all the guests. The bride and groom are also covered should – heaven forbid! - they have an accident that results in death or permanent disablement.
Remember that all aspects of any policy will have exclusions and cover limits and there will also be general exclusions, so you should check your policy documents very carefully.
It is more than acceptable to take your friends to lunch and ask them to be your bridesmaids. Or you can get crazy and whip a fabulous little box full of delightfulness like Bethany. Most of her bridesmaids-to-be lived far from her. Given how very much they meant to her, she did not want to text them and ask them to play a major role in her wedding.
Bethany had a great “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” project. She went down to her local JoAnn’s and bought some unfinished Cigar boxes. You can buy them online. She then painted them a sweet cream and blue Bahama. Wonderful wedding colors as well. Don’t you think?
The outside of the box got two to three coats of light ivory to cover up the natural wood aura, and inside was treated to one layer of ivory, too. After that dried Bethany attacked the inside lid with a pencil, and free handed the bracket. I suggest downloading a template here from “Wedding Chicks blog” and tracing.
Bethany used a few sets of playfully calligraphic adhesive letters. You can pick those up at your local craft store. Before filling it with goodies Bethany used two coats of satin varnish, even over the letters.
Then it was time to tackle the contents. The bottoms got lined with vintage handkerchiefs.
Bethany wanted to lay out all the details about the wedding. She purchased scalloped A6 postcards and laid out all of her info in Word, making sure each postcard was progressively longer, allowing her to cut, then bundle. I tried to enlarge photos so you can see what they say….sorry they are so blurry and hard to read but hopefully they are readable.
In the boxes, she placed photos of an inspiration board and paint chips to show where she was going with her color scheme. This is such a fun and unique way to ask your favorite ladies to be part of your special day. A lot of work is involved, but your girls will love it.
These would be cute as wedding favors. Place in cellophane bags and add a label or ribbon and viola…cuteness!
Strawberry Milk Whoopie Pies
Yield: 30-40 whoopie pie shells
Make the shells:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
3. In a bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder, set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine vegetable shortening, strawberry milk powder and brown sugar. Mix until crumbly.
5. Add the egg and egg white, to the mixture and beat well, then add the heavy cream; mix until smooth.
6. In a small condiment cup, combine milk, baking soda and vinegar. Stir well, mixture will foam.
7. Pour baking soda mixture into the batter first and then pour flour mixture in on top. Mix on low speed until thick and combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and mix again until well combined.
8. Transfer mixture to a piping bag or a large zip-top sandwich bag with the corner snipped off.
9. Pipe batter into heaped 2” rounds widely spaced on the baking sheet - about 6 cakes to a pan.
10. Bake for 7-10 minutes. Be careful not to over bake. Cakes are done when they just start to turn golden around the edges.
Fill the shells:
1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
2. Beat on low speed until just combined, then whip at high speed until light and fluffy.
Note: Sweetened whipped cream is also a very good filling for these pies.
Decorate the shells :
1. Pour milk into a small bowl.
2. Add confectioners’ sugar a tablespoon at a time while whisking constantly until thickened to piping consistency.
3. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a plain piping tip. I used Wilton #4.
4. Pour sprinkles on a plate and dip decorated cake top in the sprinkles, brushing the excess away - or sprinkle nonpareils over tops of cakes, letting the excess fall in the plate.
When you accidentally blast yourself with too much perfume just before your about to dash out the door, tone down the fragrance with this quick trick: Simply rub a bit of unscented body lotion over the areas where you applied the perfume. The lotion absorbs and neutralizes scent molecules on the skin’s surface so you can step out on time, leaving the right amount of scent in your wake.
Ombre pinwheels are perfect for any party or celebration. They are easy to make and will add a major touch of whimsey and some seriously cute eye candy. Read on for instruction on how to make your own ombre pinwheels.
Supplies 1. cardstock paper 2. glue gun 3. scissors 4. paint brush 5. watercolor paint in your favorite color 6. hole punch 7. watercolor paper 8. 36″ dowels (not shown)
Step One To create a colored wheel for a gradient look or an ombre appearance, paint half (or a little more then half) of your paper. Make sure to paint the end darker and go lighter on the half. Take a piece of napkin or washcloth and wipe the paint to the other half of the paper. Repeat this on multiple sheets to create 1 pinwheel fan. Note: All of your pinwheels do not have to be watercolored you can make some using this technique and some without. For the water-colored pinwheels, I like to use Van Gogh water color paint, and water color paper (water color paper has texture compared to regular cardstock paper). But you can use any kind of water color paint.
Step Two Fold cardstock paper accordion-style into 1/2 inch folds. It’s good to have different size papers in order to form different sized pinwheels. So you can cut the paper in different sizes.
Step Three Fold accordion in half and secure using a glue gun for extra hold. This creates a part of the pinwheel. Repeat this 3 times. 3 fans equal 1 pinwheel.
Step Four Punch holes with a hole punch or cut holes about a quarter of an inch from the ends of the pinwheels.You can add as many or little to your pinwheel. This is to make them a bit different!
Step Five Use the glue gun to glue your pinwheels to the dowel for extra hold since this will be fastened to your wall. There’s no systematic way to glue wheels. Glue wheels at different angles whether it’s to the dowel or to another wheel. Make sure to cover the whole dowel! About 7 pinwheels will create a pinwheel dowel for your pinwheel wall (see below). Repeat this whole process 4 times to create your pinwheel wall!
For the pinwheel wall in the photos an 8×4 lattice wall was used to pin the dowels. Place the pinwheels one under the other and fill in empty spaces with an individual pinwheel. It’s up to you if you want to cover your wall completely or leave some empty spots!
Let’s face it – the world just isn’t as big as it used to be. As a testament to the earth’s seemingly shrinking waistline, more and more young men and women are finding true love outside their faith – and making it work. Yet no matter how progressive you and your families may be, the peaceful merging of two religions can prove an ambitious undertaking. Take a deep breath, remind yourself that love is the end goal, and get ready to celebrate a marriage made in heaven, er, make that two heavens.
Interfaith wedding ceremonies pose a few planning challenges. Here is some advice to get you started:
Do Some Soul Searching - If you’ve been neglecting your spiritual side, it’s time to get reacquainted. Assess your beliefs and the role you see them playing in your life. How important to you is it that your wedding ceremony reflects your religious background? How willing are you to compromise for your fiancé’s beliefs or family? Know your personal stance on faith and religion, so you can speak candidly with your fiancé and your families and make decisions accordingly.
Talk it Over - After you’ve come to terms with your own spirituality, you and your fiancé need to have an honest discussion about religion. Although you should have broached the topic at some point during your relationship, now a wedding ceremony and marriage loom, adding a sense of urgency. During your internal reflection, you may have discovered your own views altering a bit, and he may feel the same. Discuss together your values, and identify what traditions are most meaningful for each of you to incorporate into your wedding ceremony and marriage.
Invite the Families - Combining two sets of traditions while keeping the peace with both families can be tricky. Invite both sides to listen to your ideas and contribute their expectations for your wedding day. You’d be surprised how an honest group discussion can bring about solutions once deemed elusive. As the happy couple, you and your fiancé should be prepared to discuss openly your choices, but you should also be receptive to their viewpoints. Be honest, open and supportive, and make sure that your ceremony plans are agreeable (or at least livable) for everyone.
Get the Right Officiant(s) - While many officiants do not perform interfaith weddings – or only do so with restrictions – just as many specialize in interfaith wedding ceremonies. If either of you has a relationship with the clergy at your respective place of worship, consult with that him or her first. Even if your clergy is unable to perform the service, he or she should be able to evaluate your situation with an open mind and make suggestions and recommendations. Many religious and interfaith organizations maintain lists of clergy who will officiate at interfaith ceremonies. You will also find a valuable resource in your local newspaper’s wedding announcements. Search for the names of officiants who have conducted interfaith ceremonies.
Get Counseled - Counseling sessions, often recommended before a wedding regardless of the couple’s religion, offer a good opportunity for a bride and groom to not only learn about the other’s faith, but also to consider ways to merge traditions or celebrations during the ceremony. Since religion won’t disappear after your wedding day, counseling sessions also offer insight to other situations that may arise in your marriage, including raising children.
Plan a Fusion Ceremony - Consult your officiant(s) and families for advice in designing a ceremony that incorporates both faiths and cultures. Determine which customs are personally significant, and select rituals and readings together. Continue this blending of cultures into the reception, and design a menu of personalized fusion cuisine – think egg rolls with a side of Spanakopita.
Reassure the Family - As your wedding plans unfold, remember to pause from time to time and check in with your families, especially if the news of an interfaith wedding was an initial shock for either side. Continue to keep them involved and informed throughout the planning process. Spend quality time together, and if logistics allow, plan some group get-togethers.
Reassure Yourselves - Along those lines – don’t forget to reassure each other along the way, as uncertainty can creep in with potential roadblocks and planning challenges. Don’t stress that you’re losing your religion, because your not. Remember to always keep the focus on the marriage of two people in love, and rejoice that you now have two great traditions from which to draw your spiritual inspiration. Delight in a spiritually rich life and future to come!
Are you looking for the perfect gift for your girls? Try a simple yet elegant giftbag.
Bridesmaids love girly gifts, so if you’re wondering what kinds of goodies you can place in your bridesmaid gift bags – think pretty, and scented bath sets such as this all natural gift set by Me Thyme.