27 April 2009

Cupcake BLING - DIY Style

I came across a few fantastic ideas for fun ways to decorate cupcakes.. having a cupcake wedding cake, or just love making cupcakes (like I do)? Here are a few fun ways to decorate your cupcakes.
Courtesy of Une-Deux Senses and Wedding Cabaret- here are instructions on how to make your own cupcake flags.

Here's another fantastic idea... Goosgrease has been featured in this month's Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine. In addition their adorable cake toppers, they also do a smaller cupcake topper. How fantastic are these? (ANNND... only $40!)
Another cute cupcake topper (great for birthdays) are Goosegrease's round toppers.. How cute are these? A set of two costs $10 and can be customized to match your color scheme!

24 April 2009

Addressing the issue at hand...

Okay, so a quick apology for my absence. Family emergency pulled me away from my beloved laptop for a few days. But I'm back.. and have a few fun things I've found this week...

Check out this vendor (courtesy of from I will to I do) - how fantastic are these address labels?
Have any other fantastic address label websites? Please share! I mean, can you really EVER have enough stationary?

17 April 2009

Birds... AGAIN

So, I know I need to stop this crazy thing i've started for birds... but I just can't help it. (AGH!) I saw this post on Once Wed and had to share, such a fantastic DIY project!

See the step by step directions below, and click here to download the template!

What You'll Need:
One Bunch "Million Star" Gypsophilia (AKA Baby's Breath) Generally, a bunch is 10 - 12 stems, with multiple laterals on each stem)
One Spool Fabric Coated Wire
Decorative Paper (3 or so coordinating sheets)
A Sheet of Card Stock
Floral Snips
Small Hole Punch
Computer and Printer

Resources: Gypsophelia is a very common flower and available through any floral wholesale house, flower shop, or grocery store florist. There are many on-line resources as well. Fabric coated wire is available in the floral section of your craft store.

Before you get started on the garland, unwrap your bunch of Gypsophelia, trim the stems and place in warm water. Allow the flowers to drink for a couple of hours before proceeding.

1. Take your floral clippers, and trim all of the flower tufts off the end of the sprays, leaving just a little stem. (see figure 1)

2. Cut a 7 foot length of fabric coated wire. Twist the end of the wire to make a little loop at the end.

3. Take a tuft of Baby's Breath, and lay it on your support wire, just past the loop. Pick up your wire spool, and wrap the wire around the flower stem and support wire. (see figure 2)

4. Add another tuft, this time to the back side of the wire, and wrap again.

5. Keep adding the flower tufts, alternating front and back, and work your way down the wire. (see figure 3)

6. When you reach the end of the wire, cut the spool away and wrap the wire around the garland end several times to secure. Make a loop on the end with your support wire. Trim your flower stems to make the end of the garland tidy. (see figure 4)

To keep your garland fresh, coil it up, mist it lightly with water, and place it inside a plastic garbage bag. Put it in your refrigerator, or in the coolest spot available. It should stay fresh for 24-48 hours depending where you keep it.

7. Print out the bird template(see below) on a sheet of card stock. Cut out the birds, and trace them onto your decorative paper. ( I used 10 pairs for a six foot garland)

8. Cut all of your birds out, and punch a small hole in the middle of each bird's back. (see figure 5)

9. Cut a length of string about 14 inches long, and tie a bird to each end. (see figure 6)

10. Hang your garland from the wire loop ends and hang your birds over the garland, spacing them evenly apart. (see figure 7)

What it Cost: (to make one six foot garland)
1 bunch of Baby's Breath = $8.50 (from a wholesale florist)
3 Sheets of Paper = $1.80
Spool of Fabric Coated Wire = $2
String = $1.50

16 April 2009

Vera Wang... Love her, but SERIOUSLY?

So, I don't DARE disrespect Vera Wang. I mean, lets be honest - she is a bridal God. Okay, well not God, but you get my drift . She continually works her fashion magic and has created some of the best gowns of our time. She's well respected, well known and she's what most little girls dream of... wouldn't everyone love a Vera Wang gown? (Fine, now on to the story...) So yesterday I was all pumped to sit down, and finally watch the MARTHA Show that I had DVR-ed. I couldn't wait to see new dresses by Vera, and hopefully learn a tip or two. The show was fun, had some great ideas and over all seemed to be a huge success. UNTIL an audience member (another bride-to-be) asked Vera about how long you should wait until you order your wedding dress? Now keep in mind the normal response here should be umm, maybe 6-8 months (if not MORE!). So anyway, Vera responded... "2 MONTHS!" I mean, no disrespect, but SERIOUSLY Vera? I mean, have you tried ordering one of your OWN dresses? I was practically cheering when Darcy Miller (ED of Martha Stewart Weddings) and of The Bride's Guide, laughed and said.... umm... maybe more like 6 months. I was SO glad she set the record straight. So brides beware, while Vera might think two months is enough... I would in NO way recommend it.

Lesson learned? Don't believe everything you hear (or read:: wink wink::) ...but it's always better to plan ahead than to be cramming things in at the end. Enjoy the experience!
Heard any other wack-a-doole wedding advice? While we don't dare FOLLOW IT.. it's always fun to laugh about ;)

15 April 2009

Guilty as charged - I'm a two dress kind of bride!

So, the verdict's in and I'm SO guilty. I'm definitely a two-dress kind of bride. Before I get comments about how wasteful I am in this poor economy - let me explain ;)

So, in my endless search for everything fabulous in the wedding world. I came across a few dressed that exactly fit what I was looking for... romantic and perfect for a garden wedding. With my magazine photos in hand, I went to Priscilla of Boston with one of my bridesmaids (little shout out to LB), and there I found what I thought was 'the' dress. Keep in mind, I was aware that there were similar, maybe even more fabulous, Monique Lhuillier styles - but her dresses were MORE expensive and pretty similar. To be sure, I even went to a different shop and tried on a gown similiar to the one I was looking at at Priscilla of Boston. While Monique's gowns seemed to be silkier and made out of better fabric, it was hard to justify paying almost DOUBLE for a gown that was SO similar. So, with my budget in mind, I decided to purchase the gown at Priscilla of Boston.

Ten months later, my dress arrived, it was pretty, and all was 'okay.' However, in the back of my mind I always had a nagging feeling that I wasn't 100 percent happy with the dress. I am so excited about all of the details of our wedding... but I was still unsettled about my dress. Regardless, I tried to logic that the cost savings was well worth it - and you only wear the dress once, right?

Now, fast forward to last week. I go back to the shop where I tried on the Monique gown (Hannelore's) to pick up my mom's dress that she ordered. Standing there amongst all the fabulous-ness around me, it hit me ... I absolutely was not happy with my dress. It sounds SO silly - I mean, it sounds silly even as I type it- but right there and then I knew I couldn't wear the Priscilla dress. So I spoke with Pamela at Hannelore's - she told me that she could either help me fix my current dress, or work on ordering me a new one, should we need to resort to such drastic measures. I was excited about the idea of altering my dress ... maybe there was something I could do to it to make it more 'me'. So, needless to say, I met her back at her store the VERY NEXT DAY to figure out once and for all.. WHAT was the right dress for me. Long story short... it definitely wasn't my first dress. Despite my attempts, I decided it best to just CONSIDER trying on new dresses.. with the hopes that it would help sway me, finally, one way or the other. And that's when I met my dress. Once I put the dress on, I instantly knew there was no going back...not the Priscilla dress, nor any dress I'd seen could even come close to my new dress. And with that I closed my eyes and PRAYED that Pamela would work some price-voo-doo so that the dress was in my price range. And guess what? It was!!!

As luck would have it, I fit perfectly into the sample, which not only means I have the dress NOW but, I also got the most fabulous deal on the dress! So, while I'm not happy that through this process I've actually purchased two gowns, what I can say is that the pain was well worth the effort. In fact, had I bought my Hannelore's dress originally, I don't think I would have been able to afford it... the 'deal' I got on the sample dress was so fantastic that it made the impossible, possible!

So, what's the moral of the story?

  • Take your time to shop for your wedding dress! Don't be rushed into buying something because it's 10 percent off. (PS: they can offer those 'trunk sale deals' anytime - so don't be persuaded by a measly 10 percent!)
  • Don't shop for your dress during the weekend. Think bridal madness! When you're buying your dress you want to take your time, enjoy the experience and not feel like bridal road-kill (yes, I said bridal road-kill)
  • NEGOTIATE! No prices are 'final' ... work your negotiating magic!
  • Take it from me, wedding dresses can't be returned - so think long and hard before you 'show them the money' - it's harder to take it back then to just wait to make the purchase!
  • In the end, it's YOUR day. Do what makes you happy and to heck with the rest!
Anyone else have any wedding dress stories???

PS: Anyone in the market for a brand-new, never been worn Priscilla of Boston Nora dress?? Email me! :)

14 April 2009


Just a quick fun idea to help spur your thinking on this BLAH tuesday morning. I found these last night on the stylish scribe, and just couldn't wait to share them. How fun is this idea?!?! I'm thinking these are MUST HAVE for my welcome totes!

Happy creative Tuesday!

Daily Candy - wedding style

Living in a major city? Then you should be well aware of Daily Candy - a fabulous daily email that provides listings of sales, new products, things to do in your area and much much more. A few times a year they post information about wedding vendors/trends in your area. While these are fun to read, you what would be more fun? DAILY wedding tips from Daily Candy. Well, our requests have been heard! They have launched their own wedding site. Check it out here~!

13 April 2009

A little taste of heaven

So, I don't think I mentioned that the fiancee and I are getting married at Lansdowne Resort in Lansdowne, VA. The resort sits on an amazing scenic golf course and has views of the Potomac that runs through northern Virginia. The resort is not only super scenic, filled with anything you could possibly need, but is home to some pretty fantastic chefs.

So it was only natural that the fiancee and I were SUPER excited for our food tasting that took place on Friday. Both being 'foodies' - we were eager to taste all our menu options and make sure that our guests enjoyed all the different foods and wines that we paired together. I've been to a few food tastings, but never anything like how they do it at Lansdowne! They begin by bringing out samples of all of the Hors d'oeuvres, then bring you small samples of the appetizers, salads, entree and dessert. However, what made it special was that for each item, they brought out a full size plate of each item - so that we could see exactly how the appetizer/salad/entree/dessert would be plated and the portion size that would be served. The food was fantastic ... and far from traditional dreadful hotel rubber chicken.

ANNND one of the best parts... they box up all of the full-sized viewing plates for you to take home! That's right, we went home with quiet a few containers of steaks, salads, desserts, and even two halves of wedding cakes! Talk about heaven!!

So I'm excited to report.. here's what we'll be serving at our wedding:

Our "signature cocktail" will be a garden mojito (little mojito shout out to Donna!!). One of my favorite drinks (who am I kidding, I love ALL drinks), a think a mojito will be a refreshing thing for guests to enjoy as the enter the reception from the outdoor ceremony.

Hors d'oeuvres:
Charred Beef on Parmesan- Potato Crouton
Rice Paper Vegetable Rolls, Spicy Peanut Dip
Kaffir Lime Shrimp with Tequila Aioli
Greek Chicken Souvlaki with Tzaziki
Pesto Grilled Vegetable Skewers
Pear and Almond Brie Crisp
Spinach and Artichoke Tart
Ratatouille and Goat Cheese in Phyllo

Plated Appetizer:
Seafood “Martini” -Lemon Poached Lobster, Jumbo Shrimp and Scallops in Brandy Cream Sauce

Plated Salad:
Baby Spinach and Dried Cranberry Salad with Goat Cheese Medallion and Apple Cider-Hazelnut Dressing, topped with candied pecans

Paired Dinner Entree:
Grilled Petite Fillet Mignon and Half of a Butter Poached Maine Lobster, Light Dijon Mustard and White Wine Jus

Plated Dessert:
Tropical Fruit Tart with Grand Marnier Pastry Cream, Raspberry and Mango Sauce

And the Absolute best part (DUH:: wedding cake)... our three tier wedding cake will feature alternating layers of the below cakes:

-White Chiffon brushed with Grand Marnier Bavarian Cream and Fresh Strawberries
-White Chiffon brushed with Chambord and Layered with Raspberry Marmalade and
Raspberry Butter Cream Filling

Wedding-EVERYTHING addict

So, do I watch almost EVERYTHING on WE TV? YES! :X Yikes... it's like i'm addicted to everything 'bride.' Well, in case you're like me... here's a quick heads up... Set your DVR, Martha Stewart is doing a wedding special on her show this Wednesday (April 15).

SALE! (our favorite word)

A great tip, from our friends at from-i-will-to-i-do... Beaucoup has extended their anniversary sale!!!! For two more days you can save big on your wedding favors, decorations and more. Check out the sale codes (below)
$10 when you spend $75 or more when you use the coupon code: BCSALE10
$20 when you spend $125 or more when you use the coupon code: BCSALE20
$30 when you spend $175 or more when you use the coupon code: BCSALE30

09 April 2009

ETSY addict

How do I love ETSY? Let me count the ways.... agghhhh, who am I kidding, my ETSY shopping cart is a joke. I'm definitely an ETSY-addict. So from one addict to another - here's a fun idea for your wedding. How fabulous is this customized cake stand from Vesselsandwares? Affordable and such a great keepsake that can be used after the wedding. How FANTASTIC would it be to eat the top of your wedding cake a year later, and put it on this stand???

Just throwing it out there...

So I realized last night (yes, it suddenly came to me)... the throwing thing!! What am I going to have people throw at us after we tie the knot? AND... do I even really want someone to 'throw' something at us (ha!). I think rice is a bit outdated, and not too eco friendly. Birdseed is fun, but definitely has the ability to get in your hair, dress, etc (yikes). I stumbled across a few ideas that I thought I'd share...

1. Ecofetti. This is a biodegradable and water soluble confetti that comes in a wide variety of colors... AND is good for the environment.

2. Or my personal current favorite (as always, subject to change)... how about lavender buds? How cute would some lavender be in these little glassine envelopes? You can get loose lavender for a decent price at this ETSY shop (only $14 for a pound of lavender!)

3. When in doubt... flower petals always make such a classy statement. Not only are they super colorful.. but they won't 'hurt' or be too terribly distracting if your cousins try and pelt you with flowers :)

Any other ideas.. please share!! :)

08 April 2009

Oh No.... am I a two-dress kind of bride??

So I've got to be brutally honest... I've been second guessing my dress. (AGH!). I've tried to rationalize that you only wear the dress once - and well, why go 'nutsy' buying a crazy expensive gown when I found a perfectly good gown at a great price. Enter:: Alexis' doubt. So yesterday I went to go pick up my mom's gown at another bridal store. (Big mistake) I was instantly overcome by a massive tidal wave of dress envy. That's right. I panicked and quickly realized... am I planning the wedding of my dreams only to be in an 'average' kind of dress?? AGH! So in my currently completely perplexed state I realized quiet simply that my dress isn't 100% what I am looking for. So I decided yesterday to take a hold of my fears and get this 'dress debacle' figured out once and for all.

The woman at the dress shop offered to have me bring in my current dress to see if there is something we can alter to have it fit what I'm looking for. (truth be told - I never considered that my current dress could be modified - eureka, is this the answer?). Anyway, fingers crossed... today back to the dress store I go... old dress in hand. Will I come back with a new dress, or will we find a way to make my old dress work?

More to come...

Anyone else a two-dress bride? Any words of encouragement would be GREATLY appreciated!

Say what you mean...

A little Wednesday morning humor thanks to DCNearlyweds... go ahead and just say what you mean...

07 April 2009

A CLUTCHING must have...

If you haven't yet heard of Rowena of RedRubyRose then you've definitely got to check out her ETSY shop. I had the pleasure of working with Rowena to create custom clutches for my bridesmaids (sorry... since there are a few of them that read this blog.. I can't spill too many beans). BUT, I can share with you some of her fantastic new designs. I can't say enough about RedRubyRose. Not only is Rowena a pleasure to work with ...but she sent me samples of the fabrics and customized each clutch! Her design aesthetic is unmatched - I love her prints and the way she places the prints on the bags. Not only are these fantastic additions to a wedding.. but think of the possibilities! Can't find a bag to match a special dress..?? WALLA, RedRubyRose surely can create something that will turn heads. Doesn't everyone need a special honeymoon clutch ;) ???

(PS: Not only is each piece hand made in the UK, but she's got the most fantastic packaging... every element is so very chic!)
Check out this new bag... Yes, I'm drooling over this one.

And I actually purchased this one for my mom... it will match perfectly with her dress!

And if I could manage it in the wedding budget... I'd love to have this one. How fantastic is the pop of color in the lining?

06 April 2009

Being in style...

A little humor from the New Yorker.
How appropriate, and how true...

Invites with a purpose...

You've got to love Elizabeth Anne Design's blog... I just saw this posting and was inspired by this bridal shower. How fantastic are these invitations...??Not only are they every bit unique, but they serve as a part of the decor, a favor and a reuseable hanky! What a great idea to incorporate more into your invitations... so that they serve as more than just an invite, they can be a special reusable memory from your event! Planning a wedding might be a lot of work, but little details like this sure do make the entire experience special!

Clutching Must Haves

Okay, so I might already have somewhat of a 'thing' for clutches... but I just saw these on ETSY and had to post these. I love the girly look of EmmaGordonLondon's clutches. They'd make a fabulous bridesmaid gift - and I imagine could easily be customized to match your wedding (or any stellar outfit!)
You've got to check these out... (drooling over this!)....

And this one...

And if you havent' found a bridal clutch yet... This is pretty fantastic, and only $65!

Happy Shopping!

02 April 2009

Quit your day job (well... maybe)

Did anyone read the ETSY profile of Elizabeth from nelladesigns? Check it out here. It's a really cute story. (Finally some uplifting news in this economic downer) **Update - just saw that the story was pulled off the ETSY website (Grr... anyway, keep reading, Nelladesigns is still fantastic!)

Not only are Elizabeth's designs affordable, but SO DARN cute. But you know me, I go a little nutsy for bird things (maybe it's a phase?) ha. Anyway, check out a few samples of things she sells in her shop. So fantastic!

So the fiancee and I are not living together yet, but I couldn't resist these fabulous address labels. (again, do I score any points for thinking ahead? ;) I'm trying to control myself.. but I'm LOVING this cute print. AND she customizes... choose your color, your photo and add in your wedding date. What a great gift, and a fun addition to your new home together!Or this:

My own Kissing Tree

Surfing around the wedding blog world this morning I found this fantastic resource... go here to make your very own kissing tree. Kissthegroom is offering free customized kissing tree graphics. Trying to save money? This free artwork would make fantastic invitations, stationary, or even a sweet valentines gift (okay, I know it's only April... but you can't blame me for thinking ahead). Anyway, check it out!

PS: within minutes I received my own kissing tree.. here's what it looks like:

01 April 2009

Carried away with Manolos!

So I must admit... i'm a SATC addict. I loved the episodes, devoured the movie, and can't wait for the next movie (ps: SO excited about the next movie!). So many women connected with Carrie's character... her relationship ups and downs, her sassy friends, her addictive love-affair with fashion and more specifically her appreciation of fine designer shoes. Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Louboutin. All equally amazing and absolutely necessary. The series may be over, but watching the re-runs is still fun all these years later.. who doesn't love seeing all that great fashion... drooling over the fantastic shoes, clothes, bags, etc.

So it's only natural that a girl would want to dream BIG on her wedding day and get to dawn one of these amazing pairs of shoes for her big day. Are they upwards of $700 (minimum)? yes. Is $700+ considered 'reasonable' for a pair of shoes? No. (ish) But did I still want them none the less? Absolutely. If EVER I can make a "logical" argument for a pair of shoes that costs over $700, then surely my wedding day would be just THE special day.

So I logiced that if I were to more 'reasonable' with my other wedding-day purchases, I'd somehow be able to squeeze a piece of Manolo heaven into my wedding budget. So, the good news is that I decided upon a wedding dress (thanks to LB - bridesmaid extraordinaire) that was well under my budget!! (talk about an amazing feat!)

So I'd like you to meet the newest member of my shoe closet family...
I'm now the proud owner of my first pair of Manolo Blahnik's! Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out girl!

PS: Also secretly drooling over these Louboutin's... but can't find them to save my life :X Anyone have any ideas where I can find these? ACK .. they are amazing!!

PSS: If you really think about it.. the SATC movie inspired some serious wedding fashion. Vibrant and different colored dresses for bridesmaids, and a SERIOUS use of feathers. Granted, i'm not going to stick a big blue bird in my hair...but maybe i'd think about it (::wink::wink).

A runner with style

Looking for another interesting DIY idea??? Check this out...A personalized hand-made aisle runner!

The How-To:
Step 1: purchased white muslin that measured 36″ wide. I used a bolt, but purchases as many yards to create the length you want.
Step 2: Layout the muslin and iron flat the section you wish to do the logo. I placed mine toward the bottom of the aisle runner.
Step 3: I purchased the stencil from Hobby Lobby. Arrange the stencil so that you will be able to fit two of them angled where the ends almost touch.
Step 4: Complete the circle by rotating the stencil around four times.
Step 5: For the initials, create your layout on the computer and print it. Place the paper under the fabric centered in the circle. You will be able to see the initials through the fabric.Trace the initials with paint. I used acrylic craft paint. Do the same thing for the date.
Step 6: The edges of the muslin are already serged all you have to do is serge or hem the top and bottom of the muslin.

I saw this on Vintageglam, and couldn't help but pass it on. How fantastic is this DIY runner idea? Thank you Brandi for the step by step instructions.... it looks pretty easy, and turned out fabulous! The big question is do I still stomach the $150 the florist is charging me for a runner, or do I attempt this beauty on my own??

*PS: not only is this idea fun for wedding related items, but think of using the technique on other things... how about a personalized hanky or pillow... or even napkins!?!