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Wedding Ideas

  • Project and Photos by Erica O'Brien     Piped flowers are perfect for everything from backyard weddings to bridal showers to formal affairs. Although they had fallen out of favor during the height of the fondant craze, piping has made a huge comeback. You can use any buttercream recipe you like, but we prefer Swiss meringue buttercream. Because it's made with real butter, it has a slightly yellow tint, so be sure to practice on a small batch before adding lots of color.     What You’ll Need: Small (8” or 10”) piping bag fit with leaf tip (such as Wilton tip 68) Large (18” or larger) piping bag fit with small star tip (such as Wilton tip 1M) Ivory, light pink, dark pink and leaf green buttercream Large icing spatula Small icing spatula   To fill the piping bag, fold the top third over your hand.     Use small icing spatula to fill small piping bag about half full with leaf green buttercream.     To fill large piping bag, open base of piping bag wide so tip is visible. Think of interior of piping bag as a circular (pie-shaped) cavity divided into thirds.     Fill large piping bag with ivory, light pink, and dark pink buttercream, placing each color to fill only one third of the interior of the pie-shaped cavity in the piping bag.     Twist piping bag to create pressure on buttercream. Hovering above cake surface, squeeze piping bag until full star is formed. Release pressure so buttercream ceases to flow and lift up and away from cake
.      Repeat shape directly touching previous shape.     Continue on top and side of cake creating a round, piped mound. Continue creating round piped mounds around edge of cake.     To create leaves, twist piping bag to create pressure on buttercream.     Hovering above cake surface, squeeze piping bag until buttercream starts to come out. Gently touch buttercream to cake surface to adhere. Gradually release pressure while pulling away to create a pointed leaf.     Enjoy!    
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  • Project and Photso by Brittni Mehlhoff   Everyone loves a little something sweet every now and again. So why not give your guests a wedding favor they'll love: a sweet treat for guests to eat. These edible DIY gem favors are the perfect snack favors for guests to grab as they're leaving your reception. And they'll also give you the opportunity to add a clever thank you note!     The best part about these colored chocolate candies, though, is how easy they are to make. Here's how to make your own.     Supplies:  White Chocolate Chips (8 oz makes about 6 gems) Spoon Food Coloring Gel Jewel Ice Cube Tray (you can buy it here) How-To:     1. Separate chocolate chips into several different bowls (each bowl will eventually be a different color chocolate) and microwave at half power in 20 seconds intervals until melted. Stir with a spoon to make sure all the chips have melted completely.     2. Next, add food coloring to each bowl of melted chocolate and stir until the color has been completely incorporated.     3. Spoon melted chocolate into each ice cube well. Once all wells have been filled, gently tap the tray several times to remove any air bubbles.     4. Place the tray into the freezer. Once the chocolate has hardened, pop each gem out of the tray.     5. Fill small canvas bags with the chocolate gems and a note to guests to say thanks for coming to your wedding.     There you have it! Pretty, delicious little parting gifts!   Tip: If you purchase several gem trays to work with, you'll be able to get these candies made in a fraction of the time.  
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  • By Victoria Hudgins

      Bidding a nod to tradition and family, having heritage photos at your wedding can be a beautiful statement.     Here is a simple and pretty way to display them for a table top/reception accent piece.     Materials: Craft Letters Mod Podge Paintbrush Enlarged copies of family photos  X-acto Knife

      Step One Purchase craft letters from a local craft store to spell out LOVE, your initials, or another meaningful phrase.     Step Two Gather family photos and have enlarged copies made of them (to preserve the actual photos). Don't be worried if the prints are not 100% quality, the aged look is appealing for this project. Old family wedding photos are nice to use. You may also choose to use photographs of a loved one who has passed, as a way to honor them and pay tribute.     Step Three Position the photos on the letters so that faces and important features are visible, then turn over and adhere using mod podge. Be sure to use hard pressure when applying to press out any air bubbles that form.     Step Four Once dry, turn the letters over again and use an x-acto knife to trim the edges.     Display Tip Place at the head table, escort card table or by your cake for a beautiful presentation of family and love.     Photos by Pictilio
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  •  

    Project By: Victoria Hudgins Photos By: Prokopets Studios   Want to leave your ceremony in style? There is no better way to do it then under a canopy of flying confetti! Here is a fun way to present the confetti to your guests; be ready for a colorful shower of love!     Materials: Vellum paper, scissors, a small hole punch, embroidery thread, a needle and a stack of scrapbook paper in your color palette     Step One: The first step is to make the confetti, which is the easiest part but also the most time consuming. I would suggest tackling 20 sheets or so each day over a week. More than that and your hands will get VERY tired. To make the confetti, simply punch holes out of the paper, easy peasy!     Step Two: Next, cut the hearts from your vellum; you will need to cut double the number of confetti packs you hope to make.     Step Three: Once everything is cut, lay the hearts out and top every other one with a handful of confetti. Top the bottom half with another vellum heart.     Step Four: Hold one end of the heart and starting at the bottom, begin hand sewing around the other side with embroidery thread. Make about 7 stitches around. Do not sew these too tight and leave a decent length of thread at the bottom of each heart. Tie once at the bottom, in a lose knot. The idea is to keep the confetti in but to allow your guests to easily pull the thread right out.     Lay out your hearts with a note of instruction for guests to pull the thread and throw up their hearts when it is time. A beautiful shower of bright confetti and iridescent hearts awaits your finale.     Tip: Be sure to check with your venue before planning this project- not all venues allow you to throw confetti or rice. Happy hole punching!    

     

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  • Photos By: Victoria Hudgins

    Paper marbling is a technique that has been around for a long time. The process leaves a beautiful impression on paper giving a high design style to invitations, gift tags and stationery. For your wedding why not take this traditional paper impact a little further by saturating your paint and marbling in a bold, modern and fresh way?     Materials: Heavy stock white paper, 2-3 colors of acrylic paints, a shallow pan and water.     Step One: Begin by dropping each of your paints into the water filled pan. Drip the paints in a straight line one at a time.     Step Two: Using a kitchen skewer, blend the paints together. When you do this some of the paint will rise to the top but (unlike normal marbling) the weight of the paint will allow a majority of it to remain on the bottom of the pan.     Step Three: Holding your paper on both ends make a U shape with it and set it in the water, bottom of the U first. This will prevent any air bubbles from ending up in your final design.     Step Four: Once the paper is entirely in the pan quickly take two fingers and push it toward the bottom of your pan. Swirl it around the bottom of the pan in a circular motion, this is where it picks up the bold saturation.     Step Five: Pull the paper out and let dry for 6-8 hours.     Once the paper is dry, cut it up for tags, seating cards or any other paper-based project you've dreamed up.       Project styling, design concept + photography by Victoria Hudgins    

     

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  • Photos By: Jordan Ferney

        It's simple, sweet and eco-friendly. Now we have the step-by-step on this popular DIY from Jordan Ferney! Supplies + Sources: A Tray of Irish Moss, Mini Terra Cotta pots($1/each Home Depot,) Metallic Spray Paint ($5 Home Depot), Ribbon ($3/spool Paper Source)     Paint it Shiny: Lay out some scrap paper outside and spray the Terra Cotta pots following the directions on the can of spray paint. Then turn the pots over and spray the second side until it is all silver.     Did you know? A tray of Irish Moss is just $12 for 25 at Home Depot!     Get your Hands Dirty: Separate a section of the moss and shape the soil with your hands so it fits in the pot.     You want the moss to have a round shape, add or remove soil until it is at the right height.     Clean Up: Tuck the edges of the Moss into the pot so it has the round shape and no soil is showing. Brush any dirt off the top of the moss and wipe off any soil from the pot with a rag.     Make it Pretty: Add a ribbon and if desired attach a little sign or name tag to a toothpick.     These can serve as place settings or cute favors.     We love using moss for lots of reasons, but we love it most because of it's modern shape and feel.    
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  • A few simple steps to do it up right (expert advice)
    photo by Purple Peony Couture
    By Lisa Butterworth for our sponsor, Etsy Weddings

    What do you do when one of your best friends gets engaged? If you’re like me, beyond the excited squeals and enthusiastic hugging — you have no idea.

    I met my friend Jeanette when we were five years old. Five! And when one of your best friends gets engaged — as Jeanette recently did — it's time to celebrate her. Here’s a helpful breakdown of the party-planning process — so when it comes time to throw your best girl a bridal shower, you can honor her in style.

    Photo & Invite Design by Erin Mowry

     

    1. Pick Invites

    We’re going the simple, eco-friendly route and sending email invites through PaperlessPost.com, but there are a ton of adorable, tangible shower invite designs on Etsy, as well as download-and-print options.

    Clockwise from top left: Light shower invitation by Youngwanderlust; Hydrangea invitation by Digibuddhapaperie; Whimsy invitation by Yellowbrickgraphics; Love is sweet invitation by Pinkcreativeinvites; Coed shower invitations by Cadencepaige; I Do couples shower invitations by Minkcards. See more shower invites... 

     

    2. Decorate

    This is where a theme comes in handy. If you have a specific vibe, you can decorate accordingly. If your party doesn’t have a theme, pick a color scheme to bring it all together. A few areas you’ll want to decorate: serving buffet, bar area, gift table, activities area, table for favors. Don't forget about centerpieces, string lights, hanging decorations, banners, and food markers for added flair.

    Clockwise from top left: Poppy hanging flowers by Whimsypie; Engagement ring cookies by Peapodsnyc; Bride-to-be banner by Fancyflamingo; Mossy pot place cards by Fairyfolk; Corset cookies by Pastrytartbakery; Mr. and Mrs. chair banner by Purplepeonycouture; Candy heart tree by Astylishdesign; Something blue wedding cake cookies by Lindasedibleart. Browse more décor...

     

    3. Plan a Menu

    Plan your menu according to the theme of your party or the time of day. If you’re intimidated by all that kitchen prep, make the shower a potluck and have everyone bring copies of their dish’s recipe (here are a couple of adorable, (1) free downloadable (2) recipe cards for such an occasion).

    Photo by Erin Mowry

     

    4. Snag Fun Favors

    It’s the hostess’s job to send all the party-goers home with a little favor. To go with our beachy, West Coast theme, we’re making friendship bracelets for all of the ladies. Make sure your favor is small but meaningful and tie it in with the theme of your party as best you can.

    Clockwise from top left: Personalized seed bomb favors by Visualingual; Pinwheels by Pickledparlor; Personalized honey jar labels by Elsiej; Succulent favors by Tobieanne; Personalized photo sleeve by Myonesweetdaydotcom; Unicorn farts lip balm by Longwintersoapco; Gin and tonic soap by Aromaholic. Shop for favors on etsy...

     

    5. Shower Her with Gifts

    The bride-to-be is almost certainly registered with at least one department store, but often it’s more fun to shop off-list, especially for a shower present. Kitchenware and home décor are excellent go-to gift genres, but a sassy piece of lingerie will always be welcome, too.

    Clockwise from top left: Bride panties from Bridalbooties; Chill pill soap by Kcsoapsnmore; Vintage clock from Ethanollie; A Guineafowl Gathering painting by Unitedthread; Ceramic salad bowls by Blueskypotteryco; Dry rub spice trio from Craigsmarket; Customized rubber stamp by Housethatlarsbuilt; Personalized wood initials ring by Braggingbags; Vintage ceramic teapot from Hindsvik; Wood ampersand by Hindsvik.  See more gift ideas for the bride-to-be...

    Whew! That’s a lot of steps. The most important thing to keep in mind is to create an environment that will allow your guests to have fun, even if the cupcake frosting isn’t perfect or the décor doesn’t totally come together. As long as it’s memorable, and the guest of honor feels loved, you’ve done an amazing job.

    Lisa Butterworth is a writer and editor soaking up the eternal sunshine in  Los Angeles. When she's not on the hunt for the latest and greatest in girl  culture as the West Coast editor of BUST magazine, she's flea marketing,  taco trucking, and generally raising a ruckus.

     

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  • Photos By: Mary Swenson     Simple, inexpensive clay pots can be turned into lovely little favors and centerpieces with just minimal effort and even less cash. Here's how!     To make the favors, we started with a small three-inch high pot. We cut the top off a plastic water bottle (make sure to keep the cap on), which fit perfectly inside as a liner for the pot.     Cut a piece of wet floral foam to fit inside the plastic liner.     Insert the liner and the foam into the pot, and fill the inside of the liner with water, so that the foam absorbs most of the water. The liner will ensure that the water stays away from the inside of the clay pot, preventing it from getting dark and wet (and, from leaking out of the hole that's in the bottom of most pots).     We purchased an inexpensive flower arrangement at a grocery store, cut out the flowers we wanted to use, and inserted the cut flowers into the foam. Since these favors will be going home with your guests, the foam will keep their arrangement intact during travel.     Our finished favor arrangement is sweet and simple!     Creating a matching centerpiece is even easier -- simply use a larger pot, and stick a cup of water inside the pot for your stems. We used the same flowers as we did for our favors, and added tulips for an extra touch.     The coordinating favors and centerpieces create a cohesive, beautiful look for your event!     To personalize your arrangements, print out guest names and table numbers on regular printer paper, cut into strips, and affix with double-sided tape or glue to the pots. So charming!  
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  • Welcome tables are a lovely touch to any wedding. Use them as a place to put the guest book, seating chart, or even old photos! Get inspired by these eight creative examples. 

    1. Vineyard Display

    Photo by Claire Pacelli Photography

    We love the creative use of wine barrels for this super cool welcome table!

    2. Fruity Welcome

    Photo by Joielala Photography

    This cute yellow and peach-themed table gives guests a warm (and fruity) welcome! 

    3. Vintage Feel

    Photo by Marie Skerl Photography

    Set a vintage tone for the reception by decorating your welcome table with lace linens and antique baskets. 

    4. Rustic Inspiration

    Photo by Candice Benjamin Photography

    Between the repurposed wood slices and wooden windowpane seating chart, this welcome table definitely gives off a rustic vibe. 

    5. Photo Flashback

    Photo by Hot Metal Studio 

    Take a walk down memory lane by filling up your welcome table with photos of old family weddings or pictures of you two as children. 

    6. A Seaside Welcome

    Photo by Chelsea Boatwright Photography 

    Give everyone a very beachy welcome by displaying your table right by the water. 

    7. Home Sweet Home

    Photo by Urban Fig Photography 

    We love the way this couple made their welcome area look like just like home! 

    8. Time To Celebrate

    Photo by Twin Hearts Photography

    Let your guests know it's time to celebrate by adding tassels or balloons to your welcome table! 

    NEXT: 9 Dessert Displays That Are Too Pretty To Eat >>

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  • Photos By Chelsea Fuss

    This homemade project is so sweet and surprisingly easy to create!      You will need an iron to get your fabric just right.     You will also need blank envelopes, fabric (we like a variety of several patterns!), a glue stick is a must -- a cutting mat, an X-acto knife ... and do not forget your scissors!     Initially, you will need to make a pattern for your envelope.    For the Pattern: 1. Open your envelope and lay it down flat on your ironed fabric.     2. Trace the envelope and then cut out the fabric.   3. Next, trim the fabric so it's slightly more narrow and shorter than the envelope.    4. Slip the fabric inside the envelope to make sure it fits the width. You may have to trim some more until it looks about right. If the top of it is too long, this is OK, you will trim this later after you glue.     To Line the Envelopes: 1. After you've cut out your fabric liners (using the template or your own pattern), fit one inside an envelope to make sure it fits.    2.When it looks about right and is nice and flat with no wrinkles, lift up the top part that goes over the envelope flap. Cover this section of the envelope in glue.      3.Next, lift up the bottom portion and hold the envelope open. Cover the inside of the envelope with glue and press down the fabric.   4. Make sure the fabric is glued securely, especially along the edges of the flap.   5. Leave it to dry for about 15 minutes.   6. Take an X-acto knife and a cutting mat and trim around the edges. Make sure these are nice and clean.     7. Use 3 dabs of glue along the envelope flap to secure the envelope to mail.   Your guests will be surprised when they open the envelope and find the beautiful fabric liner! Add other special touches, like personalized stamps as well.     Voila! The total cost, including envelope, is about .70 cents per envelope.     Photos By Chelsea Fuss
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  • Project and Photos by Erica O'Brien     Piped flowers are perfect for everything from backyard weddings to bridal showers to formal affairs. Although they had fallen out of favor during the height of the fondant craze, piping has made a huge comeback. You can use any buttercream recipe you like, but we prefer Swiss meringue buttercream. Because it's made with real butter, it has a slightly yellow tint, so be sure to practice on a small batch before adding lots of color.     What You’ll Need: Small (8” or 10”) piping bag fit with leaf tip (such as Wilton tip 68) Large (18” or larger) piping bag fit with small star tip (such as Wilton tip 1M) Ivory, light pink, dark pink and leaf green buttercream Large icing spatula Small icing spatula   To fill the piping bag, fold the top third over your hand.     Use small icing spatula to fill small piping bag about half full with leaf green buttercream.     To fill large piping bag, open base of piping bag wide so tip is visible. Think of interior of piping bag as a circular (pie-shaped) cavity divided into thirds.     Fill large piping bag with ivory, light pink, and dark pink buttercream, placing each color to fill only one third of the interior of the pie-shaped cavity in the piping bag.     Twist piping bag to create pressure on buttercream. Hovering above cake surface, squeeze piping bag until full star is formed. Release pressure so buttercream ceases to flow and lift up and away from cake
.      Repeat shape directly touching previous shape.     Continue on top and side of cake creating a round, piped mound. Continue creating round piped mounds around edge of cake.     To create leaves, twist piping bag to create pressure on buttercream.     Hovering above cake surface, squeeze piping bag until buttercream starts to come out. Gently touch buttercream to cake surface to adhere. Gradually release pressure while pulling away to create a pointed leaf.     Enjoy!    
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  • Project and Photso by Brittni Mehlhoff   Everyone loves a little something sweet every now and again. So why not give your guests a wedding favor they'll love: a sweet treat for guests to eat. These edible DIY gem favors are the perfect snack favors for guests to grab as they're leaving your reception. And they'll also give you the opportunity to add a clever thank you note!     The best part about these colored chocolate candies, though, is how easy they are to make. Here's how to make your own.     Supplies:  White Chocolate Chips (8 oz makes about 6 gems) Spoon Food Coloring Gel Jewel Ice Cube Tray (you can buy it here) How-To:     1. Separate chocolate chips into several different bowls (each bowl will eventually be a different color chocolate) and microwave at half power in 20 seconds intervals until melted. Stir with a spoon to make sure all the chips have melted completely.     2. Next, add food coloring to each bowl of melted chocolate and stir until the color has been completely incorporated.     3. Spoon melted chocolate into each ice cube well. Once all wells have been filled, gently tap the tray several times to remove any air bubbles.     4. Place the tray into the freezer. Once the chocolate has hardened, pop each gem out of the tray.     5. Fill small canvas bags with the chocolate gems and a note to guests to say thanks for coming to your wedding.     There you have it! Pretty, delicious little parting gifts!   Tip: If you purchase several gem trays to work with, you'll be able to get these candies made in a fraction of the time.  
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  • By Victoria Hudgins

      Bidding a nod to tradition and family, having heritage photos at your wedding can be a beautiful statement.     Here is a simple and pretty way to display them for a table top/reception accent piece.     Materials: Craft Letters Mod Podge Paintbrush Enlarged copies of family photos  X-acto Knife

      Step One Purchase craft letters from a local craft store to spell out LOVE, your initials, or another meaningful phrase.     Step Two Gather family photos and have enlarged copies made of them (to preserve the actual photos). Don't be worried if the prints are not 100% quality, the aged look is appealing for this project. Old family wedding photos are nice to use. You may also choose to use photographs of a loved one who has passed, as a way to honor them and pay tribute.     Step Three Position the photos on the letters so that faces and important features are visible, then turn over and adhere using mod podge. Be sure to use hard pressure when applying to press out any air bubbles that form.     Step Four Once dry, turn the letters over again and use an x-acto knife to trim the edges.     Display Tip Place at the head table, escort card table or by your cake for a beautiful presentation of family and love.     Photos by Pictilio
    7
  •  

    Project By: Victoria Hudgins Photos By: Prokopets Studios   Want to leave your ceremony in style? There is no better way to do it then under a canopy of flying confetti! Here is a fun way to present the confetti to your guests; be ready for a colorful shower of love!     Materials: Vellum paper, scissors, a small hole punch, embroidery thread, a needle and a stack of scrapbook paper in your color palette     Step One: The first step is to make the confetti, which is the easiest part but also the most time consuming. I would suggest tackling 20 sheets or so each day over a week. More than that and your hands will get VERY tired. To make the confetti, simply punch holes out of the paper, easy peasy!     Step Two: Next, cut the hearts from your vellum; you will need to cut double the number of confetti packs you hope to make.     Step Three: Once everything is cut, lay the hearts out and top every other one with a handful of confetti. Top the bottom half with another vellum heart.     Step Four: Hold one end of the heart and starting at the bottom, begin hand sewing around the other side with embroidery thread. Make about 7 stitches around. Do not sew these too tight and leave a decent length of thread at the bottom of each heart. Tie once at the bottom, in a lose knot. The idea is to keep the confetti in but to allow your guests to easily pull the thread right out.     Lay out your hearts with a note of instruction for guests to pull the thread and throw up their hearts when it is time. A beautiful shower of bright confetti and iridescent hearts awaits your finale.     Tip: Be sure to check with your venue before planning this project- not all venues allow you to throw confetti or rice. Happy hole punching!    

     

    1
  • Photos By: Victoria Hudgins

    Paper marbling is a technique that has been around for a long time. The process leaves a beautiful impression on paper giving a high design style to invitations, gift tags and stationery. For your wedding why not take this traditional paper impact a little further by saturating your paint and marbling in a bold, modern and fresh way?     Materials: Heavy stock white paper, 2-3 colors of acrylic paints, a shallow pan and water.     Step One: Begin by dropping each of your paints into the water filled pan. Drip the paints in a straight line one at a time.     Step Two: Using a kitchen skewer, blend the paints together. When you do this some of the paint will rise to the top but (unlike normal marbling) the weight of the paint will allow a majority of it to remain on the bottom of the pan.     Step Three: Holding your paper on both ends make a U shape with it and set it in the water, bottom of the U first. This will prevent any air bubbles from ending up in your final design.     Step Four: Once the paper is entirely in the pan quickly take two fingers and push it toward the bottom of your pan. Swirl it around the bottom of the pan in a circular motion, this is where it picks up the bold saturation.     Step Five: Pull the paper out and let dry for 6-8 hours.     Once the paper is dry, cut it up for tags, seating cards or any other paper-based project you've dreamed up.       Project styling, design concept + photography by Victoria Hudgins    

     

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  • Photos By: Jordan Ferney

        It's simple, sweet and eco-friendly. Now we have the step-by-step on this popular DIY from Jordan Ferney! Supplies + Sources: A Tray of Irish Moss, Mini Terra Cotta pots($1/each Home Depot,) Metallic Spray Paint ($5 Home Depot), Ribbon ($3/spool Paper Source)     Paint it Shiny: Lay out some scrap paper outside and spray the Terra Cotta pots following the directions on the can of spray paint. Then turn the pots over and spray the second side until it is all silver.     Did you know? A tray of Irish Moss is just $12 for 25 at Home Depot!     Get your Hands Dirty: Separate a section of the moss and shape the soil with your hands so it fits in the pot.     You want the moss to have a round shape, add or remove soil until it is at the right height.     Clean Up: Tuck the edges of the Moss into the pot so it has the round shape and no soil is showing. Brush any dirt off the top of the moss and wipe off any soil from the pot with a rag.     Make it Pretty: Add a ribbon and if desired attach a little sign or name tag to a toothpick.     These can serve as place settings or cute favors.     We love using moss for lots of reasons, but we love it most because of it's modern shape and feel.    
    2
  • A few simple steps to do it up right (expert advice)
    photo by Purple Peony Couture
    By Lisa Butterworth for our sponsor, Etsy Weddings

    What do you do when one of your best friends gets engaged? If you’re like me, beyond the excited squeals and enthusiastic hugging — you have no idea.

    I met my friend Jeanette when we were five years old. Five! And when one of your best friends gets engaged — as Jeanette recently did — it's time to celebrate her. Here’s a helpful breakdown of the party-planning process — so when it comes time to throw your best girl a bridal shower, you can honor her in style.

    Photo & Invite Design by Erin Mowry

     

    1. Pick Invites

    We’re going the simple, eco-friendly route and sending email invites through PaperlessPost.com, but there are a ton of adorable, tangible shower invite designs on Etsy, as well as download-and-print options.

    Clockwise from top left: Light shower invitation by Youngwanderlust; Hydrangea invitation by Digibuddhapaperie; Whimsy invitation by Yellowbrickgraphics; Love is sweet invitation by Pinkcreativeinvites; Coed shower invitations by Cadencepaige; I Do couples shower invitations by Minkcards. See more shower invites... 

     

    2. Decorate

    This is where a theme comes in handy. If you have a specific vibe, you can decorate accordingly. If your party doesn’t have a theme, pick a color scheme to bring it all together. A few areas you’ll want to decorate: serving buffet, bar area, gift table, activities area, table for favors. Don't forget about centerpieces, string lights, hanging decorations, banners, and food markers for added flair.

    Clockwise from top left: Poppy hanging flowers by Whimsypie; Engagement ring cookies by Peapodsnyc; Bride-to-be banner by Fancyflamingo; Mossy pot place cards by Fairyfolk; Corset cookies by Pastrytartbakery; Mr. and Mrs. chair banner by Purplepeonycouture; Candy heart tree by Astylishdesign; Something blue wedding cake cookies by Lindasedibleart. Browse more décor...

     

    3. Plan a Menu

    Plan your menu according to the theme of your party or the time of day. If you’re intimidated by all that kitchen prep, make the shower a potluck and have everyone bring copies of their dish’s recipe (here are a couple of adorable, (1) free downloadable (2) recipe cards for such an occasion).

    Photo by Erin Mowry

     

    4. Snag Fun Favors

    It’s the hostess’s job to send all the party-goers home with a little favor. To go with our beachy, West Coast theme, we’re making friendship bracelets for all of the ladies. Make sure your favor is small but meaningful and tie it in with the theme of your party as best you can.

    Clockwise from top left: Personalized seed bomb favors by Visualingual; Pinwheels by Pickledparlor; Personalized honey jar labels by Elsiej; Succulent favors by Tobieanne; Personalized photo sleeve by Myonesweetdaydotcom; Unicorn farts lip balm by Longwintersoapco; Gin and tonic soap by Aromaholic. Shop for favors on etsy...

     

    5. Shower Her with Gifts

    The bride-to-be is almost certainly registered with at least one department store, but often it’s more fun to shop off-list, especially for a shower present. Kitchenware and home décor are excellent go-to gift genres, but a sassy piece of lingerie will always be welcome, too.

    Clockwise from top left: Bride panties from Bridalbooties; Chill pill soap by Kcsoapsnmore; Vintage clock from Ethanollie; A Guineafowl Gathering painting by Unitedthread; Ceramic salad bowls by Blueskypotteryco; Dry rub spice trio from Craigsmarket; Customized rubber stamp by Housethatlarsbuilt; Personalized wood initials ring by Braggingbags; Vintage ceramic teapot from Hindsvik; Wood ampersand by Hindsvik.  See more gift ideas for the bride-to-be...

    Whew! That’s a lot of steps. The most important thing to keep in mind is to create an environment that will allow your guests to have fun, even if the cupcake frosting isn’t perfect or the décor doesn’t totally come together. As long as it’s memorable, and the guest of honor feels loved, you’ve done an amazing job.

    Lisa Butterworth is a writer and editor soaking up the eternal sunshine in  Los Angeles. When she's not on the hunt for the latest and greatest in girl  culture as the West Coast editor of BUST magazine, she's flea marketing,  taco trucking, and generally raising a ruckus.

     

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  • Photos By: Mary Swenson     Simple, inexpensive clay pots can be turned into lovely little favors and centerpieces with just minimal effort and even less cash. Here's how!     To make the favors, we started with a small three-inch high pot. We cut the top off a plastic water bottle (make sure to keep the cap on), which fit perfectly inside as a liner for the pot.     Cut a piece of wet floral foam to fit inside the plastic liner.     Insert the liner and the foam into the pot, and fill the inside of the liner with water, so that the foam absorbs most of the water. The liner will ensure that the water stays away from the inside of the clay pot, preventing it from getting dark and wet (and, from leaking out of the hole that's in the bottom of most pots).     We purchased an inexpensive flower arrangement at a grocery store, cut out the flowers we wanted to use, and inserted the cut flowers into the foam. Since these favors will be going home with your guests, the foam will keep their arrangement intact during travel.     Our finished favor arrangement is sweet and simple!     Creating a matching centerpiece is even easier -- simply use a larger pot, and stick a cup of water inside the pot for your stems. We used the same flowers as we did for our favors, and added tulips for an extra touch.     The coordinating favors and centerpieces create a cohesive, beautiful look for your event!     To personalize your arrangements, print out guest names and table numbers on regular printer paper, cut into strips, and affix with double-sided tape or glue to the pots. So charming!  
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  • Welcome tables are a lovely touch to any wedding. Use them as a place to put the guest book, seating chart, or even old photos! Get inspired by these eight creative examples. 

    1. Vineyard Display

    Photo by Claire Pacelli Photography

    We love the creative use of wine barrels for this super cool welcome table!

    2. Fruity Welcome

    Photo by Joielala Photography

    This cute yellow and peach-themed table gives guests a warm (and fruity) welcome! 

    3. Vintage Feel

    Photo by Marie Skerl Photography

    Set a vintage tone for the reception by decorating your welcome table with lace linens and antique baskets. 

    4. Rustic Inspiration

    Photo by Candice Benjamin Photography

    Between the repurposed wood slices and wooden windowpane seating chart, this welcome table definitely gives off a rustic vibe. 

    5. Photo Flashback

    Photo by Hot Metal Studio 

    Take a walk down memory lane by filling up your welcome table with photos of old family weddings or pictures of you two as children. 

    6. A Seaside Welcome

    Photo by Chelsea Boatwright Photography 

    Give everyone a very beachy welcome by displaying your table right by the water. 

    7. Home Sweet Home

    Photo by Urban Fig Photography 

    We love the way this couple made their welcome area look like just like home! 

    8. Time To Celebrate

    Photo by Twin Hearts Photography

    Let your guests know it's time to celebrate by adding tassels or balloons to your welcome table! 

    NEXT: 9 Dessert Displays That Are Too Pretty To Eat >>

    0
  • Photos By Chelsea Fuss

    This homemade project is so sweet and surprisingly easy to create!      You will need an iron to get your fabric just right.     You will also need blank envelopes, fabric (we like a variety of several patterns!), a glue stick is a must -- a cutting mat, an X-acto knife ... and do not forget your scissors!     Initially, you will need to make a pattern for your envelope.    For the Pattern: 1. Open your envelope and lay it down flat on your ironed fabric.     2. Trace the envelope and then cut out the fabric.   3. Next, trim the fabric so it's slightly more narrow and shorter than the envelope.    4. Slip the fabric inside the envelope to make sure it fits the width. You may have to trim some more until it looks about right. If the top of it is too long, this is OK, you will trim this later after you glue.     To Line the Envelopes: 1. After you've cut out your fabric liners (using the template or your own pattern), fit one inside an envelope to make sure it fits.    2.When it looks about right and is nice and flat with no wrinkles, lift up the top part that goes over the envelope flap. Cover this section of the envelope in glue.      3.Next, lift up the bottom portion and hold the envelope open. Cover the inside of the envelope with glue and press down the fabric.   4. Make sure the fabric is glued securely, especially along the edges of the flap.   5. Leave it to dry for about 15 minutes.   6. Take an X-acto knife and a cutting mat and trim around the edges. Make sure these are nice and clean.     7. Use 3 dabs of glue along the envelope flap to secure the envelope to mail.   Your guests will be surprised when they open the envelope and find the beautiful fabric liner! Add other special touches, like personalized stamps as well.     Voila! The total cost, including envelope, is about .70 cents per envelope.     Photos By Chelsea Fuss
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