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Photos By: Chelsea Fuss
How sweet would it be to have all of your guests sporting a colorful corsage! Here's how to create them.
By Mary SwensonWarm-weather weddings, whether they're indoor or outside, call for plenty of liquids for your guests. These subtly-flavored waters are easy to make, are a creative way to hydrate your guests, and can do double-duty as table numbers! Purchase glass bottles with airtight stoppers (like these) for your water; they look great, and the stoppers will keep your water as fresh as possible. We used a simple number stencil and multi-surface acrylic paint to put the table number on each bottle. No stencils? Painting the number by hand can be just as charming. Once the numbers are fully dry, you are ready to start flavoring the water. Start by adding the flavorings of your choice to each bottle, fill them to the top with water, and secure the stoppers. Done! We combined cucumber and mint in our bottle, but the flavor possibilities are endless. Try raspberry and lime; sliced lemon, peaches, watermelon, or strawberries; vanilla beans...whatever you like! Make sure any fruit you use is washed thoroughly before using, and use spring or filtered water for the best taste. Chill your water before placing them on each table. As guests arrive to their tables, they can help themselves to sips of the refreshing brew. Ahhh! By Mary Swenson
Project and Photos By: Victoria HudginsThe latte bowl is having a wonderful design moment this year. Coming out at every store in the most beautiful hues, textures and styles. Grab a stack of coordinating bowls and bunches of your favorite flowers to finish off reception tables with a beautiful touch. Using latte bowls as centerpieces gives a gorgeous presentation to flowers, allows you to use fewer stems (which saves money!) and they are low enough to allow guests to see each other and chat across the table. 1. Collect anywhere from 1-3 bowls per table in coordinating colors and designs. Place a small floral ball in water to soak for hours before putting the centerpieces together. You will need to make these on the day of your event, so enlist the help of a good friend to do the final put together and placement. 2. Carefully poke 3-4 stems of your favorite fully-blooming flowers into the balls. 3. Mist to keep florals alert just before table placement. Project and Photos By: Victoria Hudgins
Photos By: Carly Taylor
The vintage book theme has been a major player in wedding themes this year. We think these bookmark escort cards are the perfect touch to your celebration!
Using an exacto knife, cut around the heart 90% of the way.
Leave a small portion of the heart uncut and attached to the page.
After cutting, you can easily erase your tracing lines with a clean cloth.
Using your pen, fill in table numbers on the heart and fold up for easy viewing on your seating table.
Write in each guest name on the long end of the book mark - and you are done!
A sweet addition to any dessert table! Photos By: Caroline Drake Bringing a sweet menu to your wedding doesn't have to be expensive or very difficult. Cream puffs are perfect to serve at weddings, and bring the right amount of fancy, but are actually very easy to make! The best part is that you can make them in advance, and easily put them together for the big day! Pastry Cream Ingredients: You will want to make the filling first, since you need to refrigerate it for at least a few hours or overnight to set. We adapted a recipe from Baking Illustrated. 2 cups half-and-half ½ cup sugar (divided into 6 tablespoon, and 2 tablespoons) Pinch salt 5 large egg yolks 3 tbsp. cornstarch 4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces 1½ tsp. vanilla bean paste (this makes such a difference if you can find it!) Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions: Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds. Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions: When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions: Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days. Pâte à Choux Ingredients: 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces 2 tbsp. whole milk 6 tbsp. water 1½ tsp. sugar ¼ tsp. salt ½ cup (2½ oz.) all-purpose flour Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 425° F. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: To make the pâte à choux, whisk the eggs and egg white in a liquid measuring cup. You should have ½ cup (discard the excess). Set aside. Combine the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. When it reaches a full boil and the butter is fully melted, remove from the heat and stir in the flour until incorporated and the mixture clears the sides of the pan. Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, using a smearing motion, until the mixture is slightly shiny, looks like wet sand and tiny beads of fat appear on the bottom of the pan (the mixture should register 175-180° F on an instant-read thermometer. Takes about 5-10 minutes on LOW heat. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Immediately transfer the mixture to a food processor and process with the feed tube open to cool slightly, 10 seconds. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: With the machine running, gradually add the reserved eggs in a steady stream. When they have been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process 30 seconds more until a smooth, thick, sticky paste forms. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip with the pâte à choux. Pipe the paste into 1½-inch mounds on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 to 1¼ inches apart (you should be able to fit 24 mounds on the baking sheet). Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Use the back of a teaspoon dipped in water to even out the shape and smooth the surface of the piped mounds. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Bake for 15 minutes (do not open the oven door during baking). Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F and continue to bake until golden brown and fairly firm, 8-10 minutes longer. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use a paring knife, cut a ¾-inch slit into the side of each puff to release steam; return the puffs to the oven, turn the oven off, and prop open the oven door with the handle of a wooden spoon. Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Dry the puffs in the turned-off oven until the centers are just moist (not wet) and the puffs are crisp, about 45 minutes. Transfer the puffs to a wire rack to cool completely. (At this point the puffs can be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month in an airtight plastic bag. Before serving, crisp in the oven at 300° F – 5-8 minutes for room temperature puffs, 8-10 minutes for frozen puffs.) Cream Puff Assembly: To fill the puffs, use a bread knife, and carefully cut the puff in half. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch plain tip with the pastry cream. Cream Puff Assembly: Pipe some of the pastry cream onto the bottom half, then place the top on the pastry cream, and sift powdered sugar onto the top. Repeat to fill all the puffs. This recipe will make about 24 small cream puffs. Such a simple treat to make, that will "wow" your guests!
Project and Photos By: Victoria HudginsIf embossing seems like a formality beyond your budget. Not to worry! It's a very easy craft to learn and will give your papers and packaging that polished look. This particular project shows embossed favors, but you can use the same tools to emboss your invitations, menus, programs, or save the dates! You will need... A craft heater, available at most craft stores. A jar of embossing powder, which will last you through hundreds of favors boxes and other projects, a stamp in the words of your choice and a white stamp pad. Step One: To emboss favor boxes, start by stamping the box with a very wet stamp. Take extra care to ensure the entire stamp has been covered before pressing down. You could use other colors but I love the look of embossing with white for a traditional wedding. Step Two: Once the favor box is stamped sprinkle a generous amount of embossing powder on top of it. Step Three: Use the heating tool to dry and heat the embossed word on your box top. It will bring pretty dimension to a simple statement. Step Four: Tap the extra powder onto a sheet of paper for re-use!
Photo: This Modern Romance
Photo booths are all the rage at weddings, and why not? They keep your guests entertained! Here's our step-by-step guide to make your own.
Materials Needed:Digital point-and-shoot camera Camera tripod Remote shutter release Backdrop Props
The Camera - Place a digital point-and-shoot camera on top of an extended tripod at eye level, tunr on the flash (unless you're having a spotlight) and connect a remote shutter release so guests can take their own photos. As backup, have polaroid cameras on standby.
Photos (from left to right): This Modern Romance and Anjuli
The Backdrop - Pick a colored or patterned piece of fabric that you can hang. If you're having an indoor wedding, pin it to a wall, or if you're having an outdoor wedding hang from curtain rods, secure with rope, and nail into the ground.
Photos (from left to right): Shelly Kroeger Photography and Birds of a Feather
The Props - Go on a scavenger hunt! Look for props in your own home (like scarves, hats, glasses, frames). or make your own from paper (lips, mustaches, ties). Even provide chalkboards or dry erase boards for guests to write messages on.
Photo: This Modern Romance
The Location - Choose an area that doesn't obstruct the flow of the reception, but is still easily accessible. If you're having an indoor reception, consider a hallway or corner of the ballroom, or if you're having an outdoor wedding, consider next to the DJ that way guests can pose to the beat.
Photo: This Modern Romance
The Extras - After the wedding is all said and done, you're back from your honeymoon, and all the gifts are unwrapped and put away, go through the camera's SD card and save the ones you'd like to put into a scrapbook. Those memories will last a lifetime!
Project By: Victoria HudginsPhotography By: Pictilio This 3-D heart bunting is pretty and a great project to incorporate some handmade charm into your wedding. Hang between rows of seats, behind a dessert table, vertically to stage the ceremony, or around the head table as accent décor. For a bunting of good length, purchase a heart punch from your local craft store. The small investment (about $10) will save your wrists from cutting hundreds of hearts out! You will also need colored craft paper, glue, and string. Stamp out hearts for the length of your bunting. Each section of the bunting will use two hearts. Once the hearts are punched, cut a length of thin string and begin gluing on the hearts. Lay one heart down (backside up). Center a small line of glue, then quickly layer the string on top and another heart (backside down). Measure a few inches and continue the process. Once all the hearts are laid and dried, fold the top and bottom hearts away from one another for a pretty 3D effect. Run the lengths of garland around cardboard dividers and tape in place as you go. This will make it easier to transport without getting tangled.