Merry Brides

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DIY: BOHEMIAN WEDDING BOUQUET

Filled with rich earthy tones, this whimsical, free-spirited collection of florals is perfect for the unconventional bride.

THE FLOWERS

  • Protea (1 stem)
  • Rose (2 stems)
  • Safari Sunset (3 stems)
  • Liatris (2 stems)
  • Succulent (1 stem)
  • Scabiousa Pod (3 stems)
  • Limonium (4 stems)
  • Assorted Greens

And your tools; a length of wire, an elastic band, a pin and some ribbons.

1. PREPARE YOUR INGREDIENTS

After your flowers are hydrated, organise and lay out the stems you will need in front of you. Be sure to wire your succulent prior to assembling your bouquet.

2. BUILD THE FOUNDATION

Create the base of your bouquet by combining the assorted greens with the limonium. For a more wild effect, keep some of the greenery longer than others.

3. TUCK IN THE FOCAL FLOWERS

Focal flowers are protea, rose, succulent and safari sunset. Tuck them in evenly inside the foundation you have built.

4. ADD IN ACCENT FLOWERS

Accent pieces are the liatris and scabiosa pods. Keep the two stems of liatris at two different heights to avoid making it look like an antennae.

5. BIND AND CUT TO LENGTH

Bind your bouquet with a rubber band. Tip: use floral tape first to make it easier. Trim the stems according to your personal preference. We usually recommend 6”.

6. TIE YOUR BOUQUET

Wrap the bouquet with ribbon, covering the rubber band. Secure the ribbon with pins pointing upwards at a 45 degrees angle. Tie a bow with black and white ribbon and pin it into the bouquet.

Isn’t it gorgeous? And so blooming simple!

*** A special Thank You to Bloominous for sharing this great tutorial with us. 

Filed under DIY Bouquet Flowers Wedding Bouquet Bohemian floral designs hand tied bouquet

27 notes

DIY: Watercolor Wash Place Cards

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These beautiful place cards will make a statement on any table. Each card has a unique watercolor wash background flecked with contrasting acrylic paint, and the possible color combinations of watercolor and calligraphy are endless. This project can be made over and over again and adapted to any occasion, whether it’s a wedding reception, holiday dinner, or birthday party.

Yield: 75 place cards
Time: 8 hours (including drying time)
Budget: $65.00

Supplies:
• 90 3.5×6-inch pieces pieces of heavy watercolor paper cut
• Pan of assorted watercolors
• 1 tbsp acrylic paint in an accent color for splattering
• 2 tbsp table salt
• Ink, watercolor or gouache of your choice for the calligraphy
• 1-inch-wide artist tape
• Wide paint brush
• Small paint brush for watercoloring
• Dish of water
• Paper towels
• Bone folder
• Calligraphy nib and holder
• Old toothbrush

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1. Apply a strip of artist tape across the full width of each watercolor paper card, starting 1 inch up from the bottom short edge. Press the tape down firmly, especially along the edges, so that no watercolor will be able to seep underneath. There should now be 1 inch of paper exposed below the tape and 4 inches exposed above it.

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2. Using the large paint brush, brush both the front and back of each card with water, then pat dry with a paper towel. (This prevents the paper fibers from expanding unevenly and warping.) Since there are so many cards, I recommend painting about twelve at a time so your workspace doesn’t get too cluttered.

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3. Using the smaller paint brush, paint the cards with an abstract watercolor design in the colors of your choice. (I normally combine two to four watercolor shades per card, but play around with what you like best.) Don’t let this step scare you! This should be liberating because there is no wrong way to do it. You can fill up the entire paper with paint or leave portions of it unpainted. You can overlap the colors or keep them from touching. You can paint uneven blobs or perfect pinstripes or streaks fanning out in circles like fireworks. You can use light, similar shades for an elegant, understated look, or bright, contrasting ones for a bold, festive effect. Each card can be different – if you use the same colors, they will tie together in a series.

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4. If your paper is soaking wet, blot off excess watercolor with a folded paper towel. Then sprinkle the cards with a pinch of table salt. The salt crystals create a unique pattern by absorbing the wet color they land on, producing slightly lighter spots when you brush off the salt later (see step 6).

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5. With the old toothbrush, splatter acrylic paint randomly over the card. Choose a color that will really stand out from the background colors you chose. I really like using gold to add some sparkle. Lay flat and let dry.

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6. Brush off the salt and carefully peel off the tape. If the cards aren’t flat (which can happen in humid weather), press them between a stack of books overnight.

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7. Fold the cards in half and make a sharp crease with a bone folder.

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8. Use ink, watercolor, or gouache to calligraph the guests’ names in the blank strip on each card. If you’re nervous about messing up, just practice each name on scrap paper a few times until you’re comfortable. Let dry completely.

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*** Thanks so much to to Green Wedding  Shoes and Molly Suber Thorpe for sharing this lovely DIY with us today. For those interested in learning more about calligraphy, pick up Molly’s latest book Modern Calligraphy.

Filed under DIY paint place cards wedding reception seating escort cards paper art calligraphy

10 notes

Affordable Rustic Wedding Inspiration

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Q. I would like to get married at my parents farm and have a very casual barbecue reception with swimming and dancing. However, my future mother-in-law thinks that is corny. What do you think? Any suggestions for affordable decorations  Thanks!

A. Congratulations on your engagement! I think a barbecue country wedding would be a lot of fun. Decor for a country wedding is quite easy.  Here are some ideas….

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Gingham tablecloths with wild flower centerpieces in simple vases can create a  charming homey atmosphere.

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Create tables with large wood barrels and old rustic wood boards or doors.

One of the simplest ways to add a touch of fun to any wedding is with signs. Signs do not need to be the boring or traditional. I recently found some really cute vintage signs on an Etsy shop called Sauls Creative. I like these signs as they are hand painted on recycled wood.  Here are a few of my favorites…..

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This vintage Grill This Way Wood Sign would be perfect for an outdoor barbecue.

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Hope You’re Living High On the Hog  is an old Southern saying and would be charming for a rustic farm wedding.

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This Vintage Wood Coffee Sign would  be  fun to display behind  your coffee serving area. After the wedding you could hang it in your kitchen.

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Add a touch of charm to your pool area with this distressed Life Is Better By the Pool Wood Sign.

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Encourage your guests to dance the night away with this Da Wake Zone Wood Sign.

A farm wedding would seem naked without burlap, lace, and, mason jars…

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Baby’s Breath is very affordable and just seems to go perfect with a rustic wedding. 

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Bales of hay covered with cloth can make fun seating areas.

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****A very special Thank you to Sauls Creative for allowing us to use their vintage sign photos. You can view more signs here.

Filed under wedding signs vintage rustic signs wood sign etsy distressed Retro Signs

21 notes

DIY: Cassette Tape Escort Card Idea

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If you’re like me, you probably have an old shoe box full of cassette tapes, and nary a cassette deck in sight. Instead of ditching your old tapes, you can recycle them into escort or place cards.

To make an escort card simply place washi tape over the cassette and label them with a sharpie. Instead of table numbers you can name the tables after your favorite bands.

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This idea is perfect for rock ‘n’ roll weddings and music geeks of all kinds.


*** A special Thank you to Halleluja Weddings for inspiring this blog post.

Filed under escort cards recycle music cassette tapes upcycle diy

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DIY: Natural Bath Salts

DIY bath salts are probably the easiest and most economical DIY favors known to man, er woman – especially with this bath salts recipe. Talk about bang for your buck! Which of your female guests wouldn’t love a luxurious soak in a tub filled with gorgeous aromas and pure, skin-softening salts?

Bath Salts Recipe 

  • 3/4 cup Epsom salts
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 8 drops essential oil
  • food coloring

            

Mix all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl.

If there are lumps, crush them. Add food coloring and essential oil.

Using a whisk, mix in the essential oil and food coloring.

Scoop bath salts into airtight containers.

             


*** A special Thank You to Intimate Weddings for sharing this fun tutorial with us. 

Filed under beauty Bath Salts DIY

7 notes

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

An easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie with a crunchy peanut graham cracker crust and a creamy yet slightly tangy peanut butter filling!

INGREDIENTS

For Peanut Graham Cracker Crust
  • 9 whole graham crackers
  • ¼ cup cocktail peanuts
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacoa)
For Filling
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • Chocolate shavings and/or curls, for topping

DIRECTIONS

To make the crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-ince pie dish and set aside. Combine the graham crackers and peanuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture and pulse until combined and mixtures looks like wet sand. Press into the bottom and sides of the prepared pie dish. Bake the crust until set, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a simmering saucepan of water. Stir until smooth. Pour the chocolate over the crust and evenly spread using an offset spatula, going up the sides of the crust. Chill until chocolate sets, about 10 minutes.
To make filling:
  1. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. In a clean bowl, beat the peanut butter, cream cheese, milk and vanilla extract until smooth, about 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Reduce speed to low and add in the powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in half of the whipped cream until just incorporated and then fold in the rest. Spoon the filling into the crust and smooth the top.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until set, about 3 hours or overnight.
  3. To serve, top with chocolate shavings or curls.


*** Recipe & Photo Credits: Blahnik Baker 

Filed under peanut butter pie recipe chocolate dessert dessert recipe pies

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GREEN WEDDING INSPIRATION

In weddings, green is like a breath of fresh air. Thanks to the increasing volume of eco-talk, green’s a prominent hue at environmentally-conscious weddings. Green means growth, new life, and positive energy. When paired with a light color like white or gray, it can be the perfect palette for Summer or Spring. Or pair it with a more rustic hue like brown to create a look perfect for Fall or Winter.

Filed under ceremony decoration green wedding green party green and white green reception

34 notes

DIY: Printing On Burlap


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Are you ready to have your life changed? I promise you when you start printing on burlap you will NEVER go back to stenciling, painting, or your cut machine for simple little projects like monograms. Of course, you can also use the print on burlap technique for more complex projects too.

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What you need:

  • Freezer Paper (found near the wax paper in the grocery store)
  • Burlap
  • Inkjet Printer
  • Hot Iron
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors

Step 1: Get a piece of printer paper to use as your guide.

Step 2: Cut out a piece of burlap and a piece of freezer paper the exact size as your piece of printer paper.

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Step 3: Iron the piece of burlap so it’s nice and flat.

Step 4: With the burlap on the ironing board, place the shiny side of the freezer paper down onto the burlap.

Step 5:  Take your hot iron and run it all over the top of the freezer paper.  The freezer paper will start to get all crinkly as it adheres to the burlap.  Be sure all edges and corners have ‘stuck’ to the burlap.

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Step 6: If you have any overhang from the burlap, trim it.  You don’t want burlap strands getting stuck in your printer.

Step 7: Remove all other paper from your printer tray.

Step 8:  Position the burlap with freezer paper in the printer tray so that the printing will be on the burlap side.

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Step 9: Print

Step 10: Starting at the corner, remove  the freezer paper.  (You can reuse the same piece of freezer paper several times until it no longer sticks to the burlap.)

A few examples of Printed Burlap Projects….

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**** A very special Thank You to 2IY for sharing this fun tutorial. 

Filed under burlap printing diy design decor

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Hiring A Professional Graphic Designer For Wedding Invitations

image                                           Photo Credit: Kaizen Design

Q.  After searching for the perfect wedding invitation I have come to a dead end. I know what I want, but simply can’t find it. So I would like to design my own wedding stationery but not sure where to begin. Do you have any advice on what programs to use? I am a newbie when it comes to design so any advice would be appreciated?

A. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. I do not think it is a very good idea to try to design and your  own wedding invitations since you have no experience in design.  In theory, it may save some money, but in the long run, this is your wedding, not a birthday party or family reunion that happens yearly. If you design an ugly birthday party invite, you can try again next year. That isn’t an option for your wedding invitations. Is this really the time to practice your graphic design skills?

Plus, the programs such as Adobe Illustrator, or Photoshop which are used to create such things as wedding invitations are expensive and can be complicated. You could end up spending hours trying to get it just right and still be dissatisfied, while a professional graphic designer could whip one up while you’re tasting cakes or choosing bridesmaid dresses. And if it isn’t just what you like, they’ll make changes until it is.

Graphic designers come in all price ranges so do your homework. One of my favorite designers is Kaizen Design which I found a while ago on Etsy. Not only are they affordable but Rai Valencia, the owner, is a magician when it comes to design work. He can help you design everything you need for your wedding…special labels, wedding logos, websites, party brochures, etc. 

image                                            Photo Credit: Kaizen Design

When hiring a graphic designer do not forget to ask questions. Here are several questions you should ask to make sure the designer is a proper fit for your needs…..

What is your design background?

Graphic designers are as varied as any other group of people. Some of them went to school specifically to learn graphic design while others may have just picked it up along the way. Some are artists working in a variety of mediums while others only create printed pieces like wedding invitations for brides and brochures for brands. You may find that you really like something about the background of a graphic designer that impacts the work he or she creates.

Will the designer also make place cards, ceremony programs, thank you cards, etc?

In all likelihood, your wedding invitation project probably isn’t your only printing project. Place cards, ceremony programs, thank you cards, and custom logos are other digital print projects that a bride may want to coordinate with her wedding invitation. Make sure that the graphic designer you choose isn’t a one trick pony.

How long will it take to finish the designs?

The answer to this question is going to be very important, depending when you want to mail your invitations. Find out their timeline for being able to start on your project, apply revisions, and complete the wedding invitation before making your decision. Be sure to include anything else that may go with your invitation, like RSVP cards and envelope design. It’s best to choose a different designer if his or her schedule doesn’t fit your timeline. 

 What about extra services that I may want?

Your graphic designer may be able to help you with other projects, such as photo editing services, and wedding website design.

Store-bought invitations aren’t for everyone. Professional graphic designers can create unique wedding invitations, just for your special day. The design is created from your direction and it can be revised until it looks exactly as you like. Make sure your wedding invitations live up to your imagination: Hire a graphic designer.

***  For more information on  the services Kaizen Design offers, please click on the images below

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Filed under graphic design wedding invitations design

9 notes

Unique Soutache Jewelry

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Like most women, I’m constantly on the hunt for unique accessories, and that especially applies to jewelry. When I browse stores for new jewelry, everything starts to look the same to me. Didn’t  I just see that necklace somewhere else? Doesn’t my friend own this bracelet? It’s hard to be one-of-a-kind with mass produced store bought jewelry.

That is why I enjoy shopping online sites, such as Etsy, where everything is handmade. I recently found some unique soutache jewelry from Black Market Jewels which would be fun for bridesmaid gifts.

Soutache is a narrow, flat braid in a herringbone pattern usually used as the trimming of drapery or clothing. Soutache bead embroidery utilizes the soutache cord differently by stacking the cord in multiple layers and stitching them. In soutache bead embroidery, the soutache cord can be curved into different patterns, not only creating a stable base for adding beads, but a stunning piece of soutache jewelry.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces…

        image                                                Grande Macchiatto Soutache Earrings

image                                       Soutache Ivory Bridal Necklace

                  image                                                        Something Blue Soutache Earrings

    image                                               Tiger Soutache Stone Necklace

                image                                                     Provence Fields Soutache Necklace

image                                       Very Mulberry Soutache Statement Necklace

               image                                                  Black Velvet Velvet Soutache Earrings

You can view the entire line of Black Market Jewels here

Filed under soutache jewelry handmade jewelry bridesmaid gifts jewelry handmade

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How To Include Your Dog In A Wedding

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Calling all dog owners! No doubt you’re head-over heels in love with that pooch of yours, and you may even be looking for a creative way to include your beloved dog in your wedding. Whether that means a nod to your pet on your save-the-dates or your dog in a fancy dog collar walking down the aisle.

image                                    Polka Dot Halloween Dog Bowtie

If you are thinking about including your favorite four-legged friend in your wedding ceremony, here are some tips….

  • The first thing to consider is the personality of your dog. Does she do well in crowds? Is she social or shy? How old is your dog? Will this be physically challenging for her? If the event will be more stressful than fun for your dog, you may want to weigh in how important it is to include her. There are lots of fun ways to honor your pet at the wedding without actually having her there.
  • If you’ve decided that Fido is in fact going to make an appearance, the next thing you want to do is make sure that dogs are allowed at your wedding venue. For example, a restaurant wedding would not be an option for you if you wanted to include your pooch. Talk to the officiant of your ceremony as well as the venue to make sure all are comfortable and aware of your plans. You may need to follow some specific rules or pay an extra fee to include them.
  • Another place to check in with is your hotel. If you book with a hotel that is dog-friendly you’ll have a place where your dog can relax and get some space from the hustle and bustle of a crazy wedding day. If your dog will tolerate a crate, make sure they have one so they can feel safe.
  • Think about what role your dog will play. Will she carry a ring-bearing pillow around her neck or will she simply accompany you down the aisle? Will you want your dog to wear a special collar or leash? There are some  fun shops on Etsy, such as, Bellie Boop that make handmade dog collars so your dog will feel right at home with the rest of the well dressed attendees. You can find all sorts of collars to match your wedding colors and styles…here are a few of my favorites from Bellie Boop…..
image                                     Red And White Heart Flower

image                              Blue Seersucker Striped Bowtie Collar

image                                  Pink And White Polka Dot Flower


image                                          Chevron Dog Bow Tie      

  • Before the wedding day, it’s a good idea to take your dog to visit the space a day or two ahead of time, so you can both be comfortable with how they will behave there, and check out any foreseeable trouble spots.
  • Make sure you arrange for care before, during, and after the ceremony and reception, so a handler has specific responsibility for your dog at all times. This should be someone she trusts, so she feels comfortable in an unusual environment. You don’t want to be worrying about your furry child on your wedding day. Make sure the handler has supplies for any accidents, such as doggy bags and paper towels, and that the handler allows for many potty breaks. Also, bring their favorite treat and toy to help distract them if they get upset or squirrly.
  • You’ll need portable food and water on hand and to feed and water your dog early and often, since dogs can easily get over stimulated at events like this.
  • Make sure to have an exit plan if they can’t sit through the ceremony, or things don’t go as expected on the wedding day.
  • Always make sure your dog is on a leash, even if she is very well trained. This will make the guests more comfortable as well as eliminate the dog getting lost during the reception. You also want to be aware of guests with allergies or a fear of dogs.
  • One last thing is you might consider wedding insurance, especially with a dog in attendance.

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If you choose NOT to bring your pooch to the party, you can still honor her in a number of significant ways. Perhaps she can be part of your engagement shoot, and you can include portraits of the three of you to decorate the reception, put in your save the date cards or wedding announcements.

One bride included her dog in a sweet pendent she attached to her bouquet. Another used their dog as inspiration to decorate their wedding menu and napkins, and another used the image of their dog to light up the reception dance floor!

There are so many fun things you can do to include your dog as part of your wedding day festivities, whether or not she is able to actually attend.

***  A very special Thank You to Bellie Boop for allowing us to use their dog collar photos. You can see the entire line of Bellie Boop collars here

  image                                         Halloween Skull Dog Bowtie Collar

Filed under dogs Wedding dog bowtie dog collar

23 notes

DIY: Doily Soap Cozy

Guest Blog: Paper Mama

A Doily Soap Cozy is perfect for increasing the amount of lather… not to mention the adorableness… to a bar of soap.  They make charming party favors. (Free printable tags below)

Supplies:

  •  A favorite bar of soap (preferably with rounded edges)
  •  1 small doily (mine was around 6 inches)
  •  Stretchy cord string
  •  Upholstery needle (you need a needle with a big eye)

Directions:

1.  Do a test run with the doily and the soap. Wrap the doily around the soap: Is there a lot of excess material? Then you may need to trim the doily. I trimmed enough so there was about a 1/2 inch of overlap, when I wrapped the doily over the soap.

2. Once your material is all trimmed to size, it’s time to stitch the doily. Using your upholstery needle and stretchy cord string… sew your doily around your soap.

3. You can make these little soap goodies into favors or gifts with tags.

                              TAG PRINTABLES  (right click + save).


***  A special Thank you to Paper Mama for sharing this charming tutorial. All photos courtesy of Paper Mama

Filed under diy doiles doily soap favors party favors