{Simple Centerpieces}

Being a DIY bride is no easy feat.  By the time “go-time” rolls around, you’ve crafted your little heart out.  You just cannot spray paint, glue gun, scallop, or cut another thing.

But there are still tables to decorate.   What can you do??

First of all, start with no-fail staples that have been used since the beginning of time for table decor: flowers, vases, and candles.  Here are a few ideas for centerpieces that require little to no advance prep, are cost effective, and still look amazing.

 

{use glasses candle holders, then accent with votive candles and simple flowers }

wine glass and candle

{ mix votives and pillars on your table, along with vases of flowers }

random vases and flowers

{ add pizzazz with votive candles and faux diamonds }

faux diamonds and votives

{ class it up with floating candles and decorative rocks in candle holders or vases }

candles

{ mix and match candles and flowers on a mirror }

candles and mirror

 { mix and match vases and candles }

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{ put flowers in a small vase with glitter }

flowers and glitter

{ use a simple flower in a fish bowl vase }

flower and vase

{ float a flower in a square vase with decorative rocks }

flower and square vase

{ mix things up with random vases and simple flowers }

cluster of vases

{get beachy with candle, vases, sand and seashells}

candles and sand 2

candles and sand

{try this simple diy tutorial for a flower and burlap centerpiece}

Courtesy of www.smartschoolhouse.com.  I love this because it’s adorable, takes minimal time and effort, and can be done with four easy cost-effective items, most of which can be purchased at your local dollar store.

Rose and burlap

If you are close to the big day, and feel overwhelmed by the tasks ahead, your centerpieces are something that you can opt to keep simple.  Give it some thought!

 

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{Gray with a Chance of Straps}

Prediction Megan

The bridesmaids dresses are almost as important as the bride’s, as they round out the bride’s vision of her day.  The bridesmaids are her supporting cast, and how they look as a unit is a reflection of the bride’s hard work and decision-making.  This is a repost from the blog Our Detroit Wedding and the way this bride put things into the hands of her bridesmaids.  Such a great idea and a way to make sure nobody winds up with a dress they will never wear again!

 

Our Detroit Wedding

As I’ve written about previously (post), my bridesmaids will be wearing mismatched dresses. I’ve chosen to do mismatched dresses for a number of reasons…

– One, with a wide variety of body-types across my eight girls, mismatched dresses allow each to find a dress that makes them look and feel amazing.

– Two, for my friends still in school and in need of saving money, mismatched dresses let them decide their own budget.

– Three, all of my girls are absolutely full of personality and they definitely have their own styles. Mismatched dresses help emphasize this while still having them pull together as one cohesive image of “bridesmaid.”

– Finally, this way they can pick a dress they’d actually like to wear again. I’ve been trying to find a clip from the movie 27 Dresses about shortening it and wearing it again but alas, no luck.

With mismatched…

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{DIY Photo Booth Ideas}

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I personally love the photo booth idea at weddings.  Your guests are having fun, and they are dressed up, so what better time to let them cut loose and get their picture taken?  The days of renting a photo booth for a few thousand dollars are over.  Wedding budgets just aren’t that elaborate for most people. And now, thanks to the internet, a great photo booth can be created for a fraction of the cost and with a little bit of forethought.

The exact photo booth idea appropriate for your wedding or event will vary depending on a number of items, such as your venue type, the layout of your event, limitations in your rental contract, and what resources you’ll have available.  You will have to figure out if you will be able to hang things on the wall, or will you need a self-standing frame.  If you have to come up with a self-standing frame, will you have a wall available to help support it?  If you want to set up your booth outdoors, you will need to figure out if you will be able to make use of the grass for anchoring your frame or will there be trees available that can be an asset to your set-up.  Then you also need to think about prep-time.  Will you have time to assemble it before-hand, or will you have to do it all on-site when you arrive at the venue?  All of these things matter.  But luckily, there are quite a few simple and low-cost options for creating a great DIY photo booth.

One thing you need to remember is that the backdrop is just the backdrop.  You do not need to create the world’s most amazing photo studio.  When the picture is taken, you will not see the white pipe or the clips holding the backdrop in place.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make it look as nice as possible, but just keep in mind when you’re planning what will be seen by the camera and what won’t.

Here are a few ideas…

{clothing racks/pvc pipe and curtains/fabric}

TheGirlInspired tells you how she does it.

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{use balloons as a backdrop when no wall or structure is available}

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{hanging frames/backdrops from string}

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{self-supporting frame}

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{science project style}

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{tiki torches with a frame}

 Smarty Had a Party tells us how she did it

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{turn a wall into a backdrop using diy pendants}

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In summary, a DIY photo booth can range from simple to complex depending on the options you have available at your venue, spacing restrictions, and whether you are allowed to stick or hang from the walls and ceilings.  Luckily there are a lot of low cost options that may work as a great solution.  What you can’t do with your backdrop, you can make up for with chairs and props (to be discussed in a future post).  Make sure you have a good understanding of what your venue does and does not permit.  Know where in the venue you want to set the booth up.  And work with what you have.  Give it some thought.  Run your ideas and obstacles past someone that wants to see your vision come true.  There will be a lot of people that don’t get it and will try to talk you out of it.  Why do you want to do that?  That’s too much trouble.  That’s what the naysayers will say.   Those will be the main ones you have to drag out of the photo booth once it’s up and running.  When all else fails, keep it simple – try a lot of balloons and some chairs, and have a great time!

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{Cute Find – Stop By and Say Hi}

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I was just perusing Pinterest…which I do faithfully, almost as if it’s a job that I get paid to do…and I stumbled across this idea.  What a great way to encourage guests to come by while also keeping it to a minimum.  At this point in the day, you will be (a) exhausted (b) relieved (c) starving and (d) excited to be sitting next to your new bride or groom.  You’ll want to share smiles and laughs…but also want to eat…and you’ll want to just savor and enjoy the moment with your new life partner.  By placing a chair or two on the other side of your table, you are saying “hey, come say hello…but I’m also going to keep eating while we chat because it’s been a long day, and while I want to talk to you…I also really want to eat before I faint.” lol.  Or something like that.

{What to Put on Your Sweets Table}

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Sweets tables have become all the rage at weddings these days.  The table is the perfect end cap to a day of love, celebration, food, and cake.  Some couples offer a goodie bag for you to fill up with the different sugar treats.  Some couples serve a multitude of sweets along with their cake.  The sweets table has become a cute, sweet (yes I used that word) addition to the reception that ties in the theme, color scheme, and personality of the couple.

The sweets table can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.  But for a bride that may not have a patisserie in her immediate friend-circle that owes her a favor, or that maybe doesn’t have a lot of time or money to devote to the effort, I’m here to help provide some simple options that give you a table that still makes an impact.

First things first…let’s put the sweets table into context.  People are looking forward to the cake.  The sweets table is somewhat an extension of the decor while also providing your guests with something to nibble on.  A lot of people are watching their sugar intake, calories, fat, or what have you.  They’ve already indulged in a meal, and made room for cake.  The sweets table does not need to fill their bellies.  Many will pass on the sweets table all together.  Others will have one or two things.  But most will not fill up on the sweets at your dessert table.  That means…you don’t need to purchase enough of each item for the 150 people at your reception.  You also don’t need to break the bank putting together a nice display.  The things that makes the sweets table so adorable are typically the cake stands, platters, and apothecary jars that hold your sweets, and the way that they are arranged.  Signage helps to tie in your wedding theme and add a decorative element.  Sweets tables are a great example of the saying that “presentation is everything”.

After you have the cake stands, jars, doilies and signs…now it’s time to figure out the sweets.  Here are a few no-fuss options.  Some can be found in most grocery stores for a reasonable price and placed right out for display.  Others on the list below may take a little preparation time.  Here goes…

{powdered donuts}

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{marshmallows} 

dip them in melted chocolate, white or colored to suit your theme, add some sprinkles and voila!

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{nilla wafers}

dip them and sprinkle them and make them adorable

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{powdered lemon or keylime cookies}

found in the cookie aisle of your local grocery store

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{various store bought cookies}

most bakery sections have fresh cookies that you can buy by the dozen…or by the bag or platter

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{iced oatmeal cookies}

i’ve fallen in love with ones sold in Giant that are 8 for $1.  LOVE!

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{sugar wafers}

they come in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

if none of those match your theme, dip them in white chocolate and/or sprinkles

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{rice krisy treats}

dip them to match your theme or put them on a platter, doily, or small cupcake wrapper

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{popcorn}

hey, everybody’s not into sweets.  try popcorn…buttered, colored, or covered in white chocolate.

here’s a recipe to try: She Wears Many Hats

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{pretzels}

both salty and sweet, when covered in white chocolate or white yogurt, dipped and sprinkled (optional)

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{merengues}

available in stores…I saw them in Trader Joe’s last night…$3.29 for about 30

dulce-de-leche-merengues

merengues 2

merengues

 

And now I have a hankering for a sweet treat…

{15 Reasons Why Maryland is Amazing}

I ❤ Maryland. That is all.

BS in BMORE

I may not have chosen to grow up in Maryland, but I did decide to continue to live here (and trust me, I have thought about moving away, California always sounds nice). There is just something about Maryland that keeps me here and keeps me happy. On this day, 380 years ago, the first European settlers landed on what is now known as the great state of Maryland. In honor of Maryland day, I bring you 15 reasons why Maryland is amazing (in no particular order and by no means, an all-encompassing list):

1. We have all 4 seasons. Yes, while snow at the end of March is not ideal, it is going to be in the 60s later this week. Maryland, you crazy. I like you, but you’re crazy.

seasons

2. Getting crabs in Maryland is not a bad thing. Blue crabs that is.

marylandcrab

3. We have it all. Beaches…

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{Baby Bundts in Your Wedding}

 

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If you have ever been to a Corner Bakery Cafe, then you are well aware of the oh-so-tempting display of sweets that they have at the counter.  Some days I’m able to ignore it, but many times I have succumbed.  And one of the things I love the most are the baby bundt cakes. I am just a sucker for the cutely displayed dessert.  Ask the Starbucks birthday cake pop or the Potbelly sugar cookie displayed in the precious shabby chic lunchbox.  Mmmm mmmm….

Anyways…back to the baby bundts… I ordered a tray for a birthday party once, put them on a cake stand, and I was an immediate super star.  So this leads me to today’s post.

Baby bundt cakes are flat out adorable.  But more than that, they are delicious.  They are an easy addition to any DIY bride’s sweets table or a great idea for wedding favors.  They could also be used as an alternative to a traditional wedding cake or in a welcome bag for your out-of-town guests.  Take a peek at how they were used in these weddings.

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So now that you agree with me, and find bundt cakes adorable, let’s talk about next steps.

Silicone Mini bundt cake pans like the one pictured below are available everywhere from Target to Kmart to Amazon for about $10. You may want to buy a few…baking six cakes at a time could make for a REALLY long night.

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If you’re a non-baker, keep it simple and buy a box cake mix.  If baking is your thing…pull out your favorite cake recipe.  If you can, try different flavors…red velvet, chocolate, yellow, etc.  Top them with powdered sugar or a simple sugar glaze.

For the wedding, you can put the baby bundts on display at the reception, add them to your sweets table, have someone from your bridal party walk them around on a tray for guests as they mingle, or wrap them up with a cute thank you note from the bride and groom as a wedding favor.  People will love them.  Remember, adorable and delicious is an absolute no-fail recipe.

{More Tips for Your Big Day!}

Looking for innovative solutions for your wedding day?  Silly question, right?  Well  I LOVE these ideas originally posted by Fried Green Design ! These are great ways to save money AND get people involved…and honestly, people love to be involved, so take advantage of it!  Think having people get their own drinks is tacky?  No way!  Make your event feel more casual and personal by having a self-serve beverage table.  Don’t want to ask your bridesmaids to do too much? Nonsense!  They are there because they love you and want to be there for you, so ask them to take on some of those unassigned wedding day tasks.  See what other ideas Fried Green Design has!

Fried Green Design

If you’ve been following for any length of time, you know I love a good wedding. I love the details, the sparkles, the happiness, the fancy shoes. Though wedding season in New Orleans never really takes a break (some of the best weddings in our city are winter weddings!), wedding season is ramping up in the frostier parts of the country and I’m working with some amazing brides and grooms this spring who are throwing truly unique parties to celebrate their love! I can’t wait to see how they all turn out.

I wanted to share with you an updated list of things to think about to make your big day even more special and memorable for you and your guests. Last summer, I shared with you a few Tips for the Modern Wedding that I think are still super relevant. I wanted to expand on that list, so keep reading…

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{What Inspires You? Create Your Own Inspiration Board}

Once upon a time, you actually had buy a $10 bridal magazine to get your wedding inspiration.  It would be huge, thick, and full of ads.  It would also contain pages and pages of gowns you could never afford with the closest vendor being two states away.  And the rings…my word…they would be gorgeous and huge and out of most people’s price range.  You might get some ideas for a color palette or places you wanted to go for a honeymoon, but they really didn’t help you figure out too many details and specifics for your wedding.

Fast forward a decade or two, and now inspiration is at your fingertips.  You can find the ever-changing wedding styles, what’s hot and what’s not for any given season, and tips for everything from invitations to gift registry to decorating your salt and pepper shakers.  Thanks to google, pinterest, and the thousands of wedding blogs on the web, you can search while on your lunch break or  in between work meetings.  So now your problem becomes having inspiration overload and figuring out which of the thousands of ideas you want to implement for your wedding.

That’s where inspiration boards come in.  Any bride-to-be has seen them.  They are on all the wedding blogs and photography sites.  They are perfectly laid out diagrams with dresses, bouquets, smiling brides and grooms, wedding favors and gorgeous tablescapes.  A lot of them look straight out of a chic wedding magazine.  They look professional and hard to do.  The good news is you easily can create an inspiration board tailor-made just for your big day.  And you can fill the board with things that are realistic for you, your budget, and your abilities.

Here’s how you can create your own inspiration board.

Let me be up front about the following.  I am not a photoshop genius or graphic artist by any stretch.  I don’t even actually know how to use photoshop…or really any photo editing software.  I fake it til I make it, and there’s no shame in my game.  So this post is more for those individuals that are not savvy with photo or publishing software.  My tool of choice is Powerpoint.  Most people have it on their laptops or desktops, it’s easy to use, and it offers a little more layout flexibility than Word.

With that said…here goes.

The first step to creating an inspiration board is deciding what kind of inspiration board you want to put together.  Do you want to put together pics showing your bridal party coordination?  Wedding decorations?  Photo ideas?  Or a combination.  Here are a few suggestions for your first inspiration board.  Start simple and start with the things that are probably the most prevalent on your mind – how do I want the wedding party to look and how do I want my venue to look?

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So once you figure out what kind of board you want to create, start surfing the web to find pictures that fit your board.  Save them to your computer or copy and paste them into a blank document or Powerpoint presentation.

Next, open a blank Powerpoint presentation and pick a background for your board (if you want a background.  It certainly is not required).

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Insert a white rectangle within your background so that it appears to be a framed white shape.

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Insert a title for your board.  I’m going to keep it simple, and just call it “Wedding Inspiration Board”.

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Now just start inserting your pictures.  Don’t worry about placement yet.  Just get your pictures onto your presentation.  You can move them around later.

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Once you get all of your pictures onto your presentation, start arranging and cropping.  Lay them out however you want.  You can layer them or just put them side by side.  Whatever works for you.  The design board is almost like pretty scratch paper.  It’s where you brainstorm your thoughts…neatly.  Your design board becomes a great way to see color ideas and style concepts come together.  Once you see things in one place, it gives you a sense of what may or may not work well together.  Better to make that decision from your computer, than go from store to store, spend a ton of money, waste time assembling ideas, and then realize you don’t like something.  It’s a lot easier to decide you don’t like teal and coral from your computer screen, than to have 6 girls go out and buy a dress and shoes, and realize you hate it on wedding day.  Play around with ideas.  Create more than one board if you can’t make decisions.  And have fun with it!

This is what I came up with for a teal and coral color scheme.  Now work your magic!  Have fun with it, and then make your decision.

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