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Planning Wedding Ideas


  • Photo by Jack Looney Photography

    For some couples, choosing a first dance song is super-easy. Maybe you have a song you danced to in high school or a tune you always blast in the car. But for other couples, choosing a first dance song can be a little more complicated. So we looked at our recent real weddings on Project Wedding to see which songs were resonating with couples to provide some inspiration.

    “Better Together” by Jack Johnson “Close Your Eyes” by Michael Buble “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne “Hey Pretty Girl” by Kip Moore “All of Me” by John Legend “Marry Me” by Train “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz “La Vie En Rose” by Louis Armstrong “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” by Ingrid Michaelson “Then” by Brad Paisley “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young “At Last” by Etta James “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran “The Book of Love” by Magnetic Fields “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan (Adele cover) “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder

    Be sure to follow our Real Weddings Editor for more gorgeous real wedding inspiration! 

    5
  • 1. A Pair of Mums

    A cute pair of flowers is simply perfect for celebrating the pair of you! Oh, and mums the word on how cheap these invites are.

     

    2. Pastel Patterns

    A trend you can’t resist — mixed patterns! This distinctly patterned invite will also reflect your savvy style for a price that fits your budget. Find them here.

    3. Flair for Style

    Show your flair for style and your knack for scoring a good deal with these flourish wedding invitations featuring a bold element of design.

    4. Flowers and Flourishes

    A colorful floral sketch accented by faint flourishes creates a touch of whimsical charm on these inexpensive wedding invites.

    5. Love Springs

    You won’t have to spring much for these! An array of colorful flowers below two lovebirds becomes a trendy display of modern day romance. Find them here.

    6. Sultry Blooms

    Sultry blooms in rich colors bring an artistic quality of romance to these watercolor wedding invitations

    7. Typography on White

    Trendy typography looks amazing on this bright white wedding invitation- they’ll never know you paid so little for something so stylish!

    8. Simply Modern

    A unique look and vibrant colors all for an affordable price. 

     

    Shop for more invitations under $100 here

     

     

    6
  • 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! 

     

     

    7
  • Photo by Jackie Cooper Photography

    Lots of questions swirl around what's OK and what's not when it comes to documenting a wedding via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While experts will disagree up and down the line about what's appropriate for guests, at the end of the day it's ultimately up to the bride and groom. If you're in favor of live documentation, here's a few helpful tips for making the most of it. 

    1. Pick a #hashtag. 
    Twitter, Instagram, and now Facebook all use phrases proceeded by the "#" sign to group designated thoughts together in a consecutive stream. Pick something easy to remember, such as #DZWedding or #SmithPartyof2, and stick with the same one for all events surrounding your wedding. 

    2. Share that hashtag with your guests—just don't do it too early. 
    Sending out Save-the-Dates and then actual invitations is very exciting, but these are not the places to share your wedding hashtag (leave those for the most pertinent information). It is fine, however, to share your hashtag on your wedding website as it gets closer to your actual ceremony. Guests will be logging on for last-minute gift registry, directions, and other information, and this will get them excited to share snaps and thoughts from the day when it actually arrives.  

    3. Consider your platforms. 
    Users generally have a larger following on Twitter, but those followers are more likely to be professional, personal interest, or internet-only connections. Facebook circles are generally smaller, but your photos will more likely be seen by people who may be hurt they were not invited to the wedding. Instagram is the most private of the platforms, with people mostly following real life friends. If you're concerned about privacy, you may want to (politely) request that guests refrain from posting on a particular platform. 

    4. Wedding weekend has arrived! Now's the time to remind everyone of your hashtag. 
    Have a bunch of guests staying at one hotel? Include your hashtag on any welcome notes you leave in their rooms. When it comes time for the actual wedding, instruct greeters and members of the wedding party  to spread the word as guests arrive. You can also put include it at the top of your ceremony program. 

    5. But wait—do you really want phones out at the ceremony? 
    Think carefully about encouraging social media at your actual ceremony. Sure, it will be wonderful to see photos from the very moment you say 'I Do', but you also run the risk of amateur photographers accidentally blocking the shots of your professional ones. Having a night ceremony? There may be multiple flashes going off while you say your vows, which could be distracting. Guests are also more inclined to get sucked into their apps and/or accidentally leave alerts on, which could detract from what's happening between you and your spouse. At the end of the day, social media at your ceremony is entirely up to you, but this is one facet of the wedding that might work best when it's phone-free.  

    6. Your guests want to know what's allowed and what's not--and it's more than OK to tell them. 
    If you decide to allow social media at your ceremony, include any special rules or requests in a prominent place on your ceremony program, and ask greeters and family members to reiterate those rules as they say hello to guests. Don't worry about offending anyone too much--guests are more worried about doing something that may accidentally upset you! They'll be grateful for the clear guidelines. 

    7. Put up signs at the reception. 
    Create signs indicating your wedding hashtag and the platforms you're encouraging guests to use it on. Place those throughout the party space, perhaps with a few photobooth props by their sides (large sunglasses, mustache sticks, etc). This will encourage guests to take fun, memorable pictures of the night. 

    8. Collect the Memories! 
    Use storify to curate tweets and photos from the wedding in one place (you can also ask a friend or relative to do this). Printstagram takes Instagrams of the day out of phones and onto glossy hard stock, which will be perfect for displaying in your new home. Fleeting as it may be, social media can absolutely provide a more permanent reminder of this important occasion if you know how to work it. 

    10
  • Find out what's hot in wedding cakes this year; we've asked a few of our favorite cake designers to weigh in!    Geometric Patterns Cake by Erica OBrien    "Feminine geometrics, such as chevron, are still very popular," says Connecticut-based Erica OBrien. "I'm expecting to see a lot of arrows and hexagons this season."  Photo by Brooke Allison Photography       Metallics Cake by City Sweets & Confections    The gilded look is a favorite for both Deborah Lauren of City Sweets & Confections and Erica OBrien this year. "Gold is back, and stronger then ever," says OBrien.  Photo by CLY Creation       Hand-Painted Cake by Sweet & Saucy Shop    "Hand-painting is definitely a new trend right now," says Sweet & Saucy Shop's head pastry chef Melody Brandon. "It's a personal and a one-of-a-kind style that brides are falling in love with."  Photo by Melody Brandon       Staying True to Your Style Cake by Maggie Austin Cakes    Virginia baker Maggie Austin recently created this lovely confection for a friend's casual backyard wedding, and she loves that it perfectly reflects the couple's "understated and sophisticated style." Matching a cake to the personalities and priorities of her clients will be a big focus this year.  Photo by Maggie Austin     Multiple Cakes Cake by Layered Bake Shop    Brides booking cakes with Layered Bake Shop's Shannon Star have been moving away from the traditional single large wedding cake. Instead, they're opting for multiple smaller confections in a similar decor suite. "It allows for more creativity and personality," says Star.  Photo by N. Barrett Photography   Showpiece Cakes Cake by The Pastry Studio    According to owner Sherri Meyers, cakes have become a core component of reception decor. They are increasingly created to be equal parts delicious dessert and visual show-stopper. Designs are getting bigger and grander, and sometimes even include a fake tier or two to accommodate for ceiling height!  Photo by Sherri Meyers     Going Natural Cake by Enjoy Cupcakes    Honor a cake that's free of artificial dyes by allowing the natural state of its flavor to become the main decorative element. This year, Amber of Enjoy Cupcakes is all about making fluffy chocolate cakes look fluffy, drenching caramel desserts in drips of caramel, and providing texture to peanut butter cakes with chopped up peanuts.  Photo by Alex Creswell     Ombré Cake by Erica OBrien    Almost every baker we asked agreed— ombré is still at the forefront for 2013. "The shading lends itself so naturally to romantic designs," says OBrien of the style.  Photo by Devon Jarvis     Embossed Cake by City Sweets & Confections      City Sweets & Confections owner Deborah Lauren recently etched an intricate floral pattern on a wedding cake for a friend. "It was modern, and different from any cake I've ever done or seen."  Photo by Turnquist Photography     Classic White Elegance Cake by Mark Joseph Cakes    A white wedding cake never goes out of style, says Mark of Mark Joseph cakes. Couples turn to him for a modern, sophisticated take on the timeless aesthetic.  Photo by Mark Joseph     Textured Icing Cake by Betty Bakery    Cheryl Kleinman agrees with Mark Joseph—white will always be popular, especially for formal weddings. At her Betty Bakery, she and partner Ellen of Bijoux Deux Specialty Cakes keep the look from becoming boring by texturizing the outer layer of icing. Pleats (seen here) and confetti are two favorite styles.
    2
  •  

    DIY Project

    In this project, Mary Swenson extended the life of a pre-packaged paper flower centerpiece kit by turning the blooms into favors and centerpieces as well. Love it!
    View the Full Tutorial


     

    Ready-Made Bouquet

    Available at The Green Vase

    10 DIY and ready-made ways to bring paper flowers in to your wedding. 

    Want your wedding bouquet to last longer than a season? Consider investing in a beautiful paper alternative from The Green Vase ($325). This multi-talented NY-based floral design shop also offers single paper blooms, cake toppers, and cake decorating kits.

     

    Etsy Shop

    Available at Frances & Francis 



    We love the idea of topping a reception table with a single romantic stem in a vintage glass bottle—and then repurposing the centerpiece as bookshelf decor in your new home! These romantic blooms from Frances & Francis ($14 to $60) are perfect for that.

     

    West Elm

    West Elm Paper Flower Shop 



    Several national chains are hopping on the paper flower trend. For example: Furniture store West Elm, which offers several pretty pre-made sets ($7.99 to $36).

     

    Etsy Shop

    Available at House That Lars Built 



    Handcrafted in Copenhagen, these gold-stemmed paper roses ($14 each) will look beautiful gathered in a vase or laid upon individual place settings. Designer Brittany Watson Jespen also creates jumbo-sized versions of these blooms, as well as paper flower hats—email her for custom projects!

     

    DIY Project

    Crepe Paper Flower Bouquet DIY 



    You won't believe how easy (and inexpensive!) it is to whip up these colorful crepe flowers—it takes just three simple steps.

     

    DIY Kit

    Available at Paper Source 



    Looking for a little guidance while you construct your paper blooms? Consider a pre-packaged kits from The Paper Source your new best friend ($10.95 - $19.95).

     

    The Crafting Book

    Paper to Petal, Available at Barnes & Noble 



    Husband and wife duo Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell are very good at what they do (which includes photography, design, and, yes, plenty of paper crafts). Releasing late this August, their new book ($16.29) will show you how to make 75 paper blooms yourself. With a forward authored by Martha Stewart herself, it's clear the couple knows what they're doing.

     

    The Perfect Prop

    Large Paper Rose, Available at BHLDN 



    This extra-large paper rose ($68) is almost five feet tall! At that size, it's the perfect addition to any wedding photo booth. It's also, as the website suggests, a whimsical alternative to a basket of petals for the flower girl.

     

    DIY Project

    Paper Posy Escort Cards 



    Easy-to-make crepe flowers will add a joyful touch of color to any spring wedding! This tutorial offers step-by-step instructions for making these cheerful escort cards out of streamer ribbon. It's a great way to save money on a fun but lower priority item on your decor list.

     

    More Inspiration

    See the Full Wedding 



    If you're still on the fence about paper flower decor, you have to check out Liz and Josh's color-infused Minnesota wedding. They created some of the most unique centerpieces we've ever seen!

     

    Idea By: Sarah Zlotnick

    7
  • This inexpensive material is more versatile than you think. 

    By: Sarah Zlotnick 

    1. Ring Pillow

    A simple, rustic way for the ring bearer to present the rings. View this rustic country wedding. 

    2. Centerpiece Cover 

    Save on renting vases and other flower vessels by using old tins and covering them in burlap instead. View this yellow garden wedding. 

    3. Silverware Holder 

    A simple burlap packet holds the silverware for Heather and David's charming Annapolis nuptials.

    4.  Bouquet Wrap 

    A strip of sturdy burlap will hold all your flowers in place—and look sweet while doing it! View this rustic whimsical California wedding. 

    5. Favor Bags 

    You could hide any kind of sweet treat in one of these adorable burlap sacks. View this fun fall wedding. 

    6. Bunting 

    We love this simple wedding sign. View this Texas ranch wedding. 

    7. Candle Accent 

    A mossy green candle collection gets a little texture from a simple burlap wrap. View this country chic wedding. 

    8. Table Number 

    Such a sweetly country table marker. Burlap wine bag table numbers, $150 for 10 at Lil Missi Etsy Shop. 

    9. Table Runner 

    Thinking about using a burlap table runner? Be sure to strech and distress the fabric a bit before you lay it down. This creates dimension by allowing some of your tablecloth color to peek through. It also gives the fabric a little more grip. 

    You Might Also Like: 9 Wine Wedding Decor Ideas

    17
  • One of the trends we love about rustic weddings is the do-it-yourself projects even the least crafty brides create with wood. Here's what to display for every part of your big day: 

    Ceremony

    Photo by JK Photography

    Seating Arrangements

    Photo by Stacey Kokes Photography

    Reception

    \

    Photo by Twin Hearts Photography

    Chair Decor 

    Photo by Athena Pelton Photography

     

    41
  • Photo by Sandals

    When you have guests flying in from coast to coast for your destination wedding weekend, it's important to keep them occupied during their stay. Get the most out of your location by gathering guests together for some of these fun -- but optimal -- activities: 

    Zip lining Parasailing  Snorkeling/scuba diving  Boating  Visiting a museum, historic site, botanical garden or local tourist attraction Golfing Spa treatments Safari ride  Surfing  Biking 

     

    0
  • Photo: Rachel Thurston Photography

    Need inspiration for a fall wedding? A few of our editors share their favorites below:

    Photo: Rachel Thurston Photography

    From the Fashion Editor – Choose a bridesmaid dress color that complements the season’s changing colors: red, orange, yellow, purple, or brown. (Just like Jessica and Michael, Cami and Erik, and Bonnie and Drew did.)

    Photos (from left to right): Cluney Photo and Meg Ruth Photo

    From the Flowers Editor – Bouquets of black-eyed susans, dahlias, chrysanthemums, calla lilies, roses, orchids and gerberas are a must-have. Maybe add some texture with feathers, fern curls, curly willows, scabiosa pods, or wheat too? Check out more fall bouquets here.

    Photo: Meg Ruth Photo

    From the Decor Editor – Spice up your decor with pumpkins, pine cones, leaves, figs, acorns, and more. 

    Photos (from left to right): Keepsake Memories Photography and jHenderson Studios

    From the Favors & Cakes Editor – Place your three-tiered buttercream wedding cake on top of tree bark for an added rustic touch. Check out more fall wedding cakes here. Nothing tastes better than a caramel apple, pumpkin pie, and hot cocoa on a crisp evening. Let guests unwrap cozy blankets to keep warm.

    4

  • Photo by Jack Looney Photography

    For some couples, choosing a first dance song is super-easy. Maybe you have a song you danced to in high school or a tune you always blast in the car. But for other couples, choosing a first dance song can be a little more complicated. So we looked at our recent real weddings on Project Wedding to see which songs were resonating with couples to provide some inspiration.

    “Better Together” by Jack Johnson “Close Your Eyes” by Michael Buble “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne “Hey Pretty Girl” by Kip Moore “All of Me” by John Legend “Marry Me” by Train “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz “La Vie En Rose” by Louis Armstrong “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” by Ingrid Michaelson “Then” by Brad Paisley “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young “At Last” by Etta James “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran “The Book of Love” by Magnetic Fields “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan (Adele cover) “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder

    Be sure to follow our Real Weddings Editor for more gorgeous real wedding inspiration! 

    5
  • 1. A Pair of Mums

    A cute pair of flowers is simply perfect for celebrating the pair of you! Oh, and mums the word on how cheap these invites are.

     

    2. Pastel Patterns

    A trend you can’t resist — mixed patterns! This distinctly patterned invite will also reflect your savvy style for a price that fits your budget. Find them here.

    3. Flair for Style

    Show your flair for style and your knack for scoring a good deal with these flourish wedding invitations featuring a bold element of design.

    4. Flowers and Flourishes

    A colorful floral sketch accented by faint flourishes creates a touch of whimsical charm on these inexpensive wedding invites.

    5. Love Springs

    You won’t have to spring much for these! An array of colorful flowers below two lovebirds becomes a trendy display of modern day romance. Find them here.

    6. Sultry Blooms

    Sultry blooms in rich colors bring an artistic quality of romance to these watercolor wedding invitations

    7. Typography on White

    Trendy typography looks amazing on this bright white wedding invitation- they’ll never know you paid so little for something so stylish!

    8. Simply Modern

    A unique look and vibrant colors all for an affordable price. 

     

    Shop for more invitations under $100 here

     

     

    6
  • 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! 

     

     

    7
  • Photo by Jackie Cooper Photography

    Lots of questions swirl around what's OK and what's not when it comes to documenting a wedding via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While experts will disagree up and down the line about what's appropriate for guests, at the end of the day it's ultimately up to the bride and groom. If you're in favor of live documentation, here's a few helpful tips for making the most of it. 

    1. Pick a #hashtag. 
    Twitter, Instagram, and now Facebook all use phrases proceeded by the "#" sign to group designated thoughts together in a consecutive stream. Pick something easy to remember, such as #DZWedding or #SmithPartyof2, and stick with the same one for all events surrounding your wedding. 

    2. Share that hashtag with your guests—just don't do it too early. 
    Sending out Save-the-Dates and then actual invitations is very exciting, but these are not the places to share your wedding hashtag (leave those for the most pertinent information). It is fine, however, to share your hashtag on your wedding website as it gets closer to your actual ceremony. Guests will be logging on for last-minute gift registry, directions, and other information, and this will get them excited to share snaps and thoughts from the day when it actually arrives.  

    3. Consider your platforms. 
    Users generally have a larger following on Twitter, but those followers are more likely to be professional, personal interest, or internet-only connections. Facebook circles are generally smaller, but your photos will more likely be seen by people who may be hurt they were not invited to the wedding. Instagram is the most private of the platforms, with people mostly following real life friends. If you're concerned about privacy, you may want to (politely) request that guests refrain from posting on a particular platform. 

    4. Wedding weekend has arrived! Now's the time to remind everyone of your hashtag. 
    Have a bunch of guests staying at one hotel? Include your hashtag on any welcome notes you leave in their rooms. When it comes time for the actual wedding, instruct greeters and members of the wedding party  to spread the word as guests arrive. You can also put include it at the top of your ceremony program. 

    5. But wait—do you really want phones out at the ceremony? 
    Think carefully about encouraging social media at your actual ceremony. Sure, it will be wonderful to see photos from the very moment you say 'I Do', but you also run the risk of amateur photographers accidentally blocking the shots of your professional ones. Having a night ceremony? There may be multiple flashes going off while you say your vows, which could be distracting. Guests are also more inclined to get sucked into their apps and/or accidentally leave alerts on, which could detract from what's happening between you and your spouse. At the end of the day, social media at your ceremony is entirely up to you, but this is one facet of the wedding that might work best when it's phone-free.  

    6. Your guests want to know what's allowed and what's not--and it's more than OK to tell them. 
    If you decide to allow social media at your ceremony, include any special rules or requests in a prominent place on your ceremony program, and ask greeters and family members to reiterate those rules as they say hello to guests. Don't worry about offending anyone too much--guests are more worried about doing something that may accidentally upset you! They'll be grateful for the clear guidelines. 

    7. Put up signs at the reception. 
    Create signs indicating your wedding hashtag and the platforms you're encouraging guests to use it on. Place those throughout the party space, perhaps with a few photobooth props by their sides (large sunglasses, mustache sticks, etc). This will encourage guests to take fun, memorable pictures of the night. 

    8. Collect the Memories! 
    Use storify to curate tweets and photos from the wedding in one place (you can also ask a friend or relative to do this). Printstagram takes Instagrams of the day out of phones and onto glossy hard stock, which will be perfect for displaying in your new home. Fleeting as it may be, social media can absolutely provide a more permanent reminder of this important occasion if you know how to work it. 

    10
  • Find out what's hot in wedding cakes this year; we've asked a few of our favorite cake designers to weigh in!    Geometric Patterns Cake by Erica OBrien    "Feminine geometrics, such as chevron, are still very popular," says Connecticut-based Erica OBrien. "I'm expecting to see a lot of arrows and hexagons this season."  Photo by Brooke Allison Photography       Metallics Cake by City Sweets & Confections    The gilded look is a favorite for both Deborah Lauren of City Sweets & Confections and Erica OBrien this year. "Gold is back, and stronger then ever," says OBrien.  Photo by CLY Creation       Hand-Painted Cake by Sweet & Saucy Shop    "Hand-painting is definitely a new trend right now," says Sweet & Saucy Shop's head pastry chef Melody Brandon. "It's a personal and a one-of-a-kind style that brides are falling in love with."  Photo by Melody Brandon       Staying True to Your Style Cake by Maggie Austin Cakes    Virginia baker Maggie Austin recently created this lovely confection for a friend's casual backyard wedding, and she loves that it perfectly reflects the couple's "understated and sophisticated style." Matching a cake to the personalities and priorities of her clients will be a big focus this year.  Photo by Maggie Austin     Multiple Cakes Cake by Layered Bake Shop    Brides booking cakes with Layered Bake Shop's Shannon Star have been moving away from the traditional single large wedding cake. Instead, they're opting for multiple smaller confections in a similar decor suite. "It allows for more creativity and personality," says Star.  Photo by N. Barrett Photography   Showpiece Cakes Cake by The Pastry Studio    According to owner Sherri Meyers, cakes have become a core component of reception decor. They are increasingly created to be equal parts delicious dessert and visual show-stopper. Designs are getting bigger and grander, and sometimes even include a fake tier or two to accommodate for ceiling height!  Photo by Sherri Meyers     Going Natural Cake by Enjoy Cupcakes    Honor a cake that's free of artificial dyes by allowing the natural state of its flavor to become the main decorative element. This year, Amber of Enjoy Cupcakes is all about making fluffy chocolate cakes look fluffy, drenching caramel desserts in drips of caramel, and providing texture to peanut butter cakes with chopped up peanuts.  Photo by Alex Creswell     Ombré Cake by Erica OBrien    Almost every baker we asked agreed— ombré is still at the forefront for 2013. "The shading lends itself so naturally to romantic designs," says OBrien of the style.  Photo by Devon Jarvis     Embossed Cake by City Sweets & Confections      City Sweets & Confections owner Deborah Lauren recently etched an intricate floral pattern on a wedding cake for a friend. "It was modern, and different from any cake I've ever done or seen."  Photo by Turnquist Photography     Classic White Elegance Cake by Mark Joseph Cakes    A white wedding cake never goes out of style, says Mark of Mark Joseph cakes. Couples turn to him for a modern, sophisticated take on the timeless aesthetic.  Photo by Mark Joseph     Textured Icing Cake by Betty Bakery    Cheryl Kleinman agrees with Mark Joseph—white will always be popular, especially for formal weddings. At her Betty Bakery, she and partner Ellen of Bijoux Deux Specialty Cakes keep the look from becoming boring by texturizing the outer layer of icing. Pleats (seen here) and confetti are two favorite styles.
    2
  •  

    DIY Project

    In this project, Mary Swenson extended the life of a pre-packaged paper flower centerpiece kit by turning the blooms into favors and centerpieces as well. Love it!
    View the Full Tutorial


     

    Ready-Made Bouquet

    Available at The Green Vase

    10 DIY and ready-made ways to bring paper flowers in to your wedding. 

    Want your wedding bouquet to last longer than a season? Consider investing in a beautiful paper alternative from The Green Vase ($325). This multi-talented NY-based floral design shop also offers single paper blooms, cake toppers, and cake decorating kits.

     

    Etsy Shop

    Available at Frances & Francis 



    We love the idea of topping a reception table with a single romantic stem in a vintage glass bottle—and then repurposing the centerpiece as bookshelf decor in your new home! These romantic blooms from Frances & Francis ($14 to $60) are perfect for that.

     

    West Elm

    West Elm Paper Flower Shop 



    Several national chains are hopping on the paper flower trend. For example: Furniture store West Elm, which offers several pretty pre-made sets ($7.99 to $36).

     

    Etsy Shop

    Available at House That Lars Built 



    Handcrafted in Copenhagen, these gold-stemmed paper roses ($14 each) will look beautiful gathered in a vase or laid upon individual place settings. Designer Brittany Watson Jespen also creates jumbo-sized versions of these blooms, as well as paper flower hats—email her for custom projects!

     

    DIY Project

    Crepe Paper Flower Bouquet DIY 



    You won't believe how easy (and inexpensive!) it is to whip up these colorful crepe flowers—it takes just three simple steps.

     

    DIY Kit

    Available at Paper Source 



    Looking for a little guidance while you construct your paper blooms? Consider a pre-packaged kits from The Paper Source your new best friend ($10.95 - $19.95).

     

    The Crafting Book

    Paper to Petal, Available at Barnes & Noble 



    Husband and wife duo Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell are very good at what they do (which includes photography, design, and, yes, plenty of paper crafts). Releasing late this August, their new book ($16.29) will show you how to make 75 paper blooms yourself. With a forward authored by Martha Stewart herself, it's clear the couple knows what they're doing.

     

    The Perfect Prop

    Large Paper Rose, Available at BHLDN 



    This extra-large paper rose ($68) is almost five feet tall! At that size, it's the perfect addition to any wedding photo booth. It's also, as the website suggests, a whimsical alternative to a basket of petals for the flower girl.

     

    DIY Project

    Paper Posy Escort Cards 



    Easy-to-make crepe flowers will add a joyful touch of color to any spring wedding! This tutorial offers step-by-step instructions for making these cheerful escort cards out of streamer ribbon. It's a great way to save money on a fun but lower priority item on your decor list.

     

    More Inspiration

    See the Full Wedding 



    If you're still on the fence about paper flower decor, you have to check out Liz and Josh's color-infused Minnesota wedding. They created some of the most unique centerpieces we've ever seen!

     

    Idea By: Sarah Zlotnick

    7
  • This inexpensive material is more versatile than you think. 

    By: Sarah Zlotnick 

    1. Ring Pillow

    A simple, rustic way for the ring bearer to present the rings. View this rustic country wedding. 

    2. Centerpiece Cover 

    Save on renting vases and other flower vessels by using old tins and covering them in burlap instead. View this yellow garden wedding. 

    3. Silverware Holder 

    A simple burlap packet holds the silverware for Heather and David's charming Annapolis nuptials.

    4.  Bouquet Wrap 

    A strip of sturdy burlap will hold all your flowers in place—and look sweet while doing it! View this rustic whimsical California wedding. 

    5. Favor Bags 

    You could hide any kind of sweet treat in one of these adorable burlap sacks. View this fun fall wedding. 

    6. Bunting 

    We love this simple wedding sign. View this Texas ranch wedding. 

    7. Candle Accent 

    A mossy green candle collection gets a little texture from a simple burlap wrap. View this country chic wedding. 

    8. Table Number 

    Such a sweetly country table marker. Burlap wine bag table numbers, $150 for 10 at Lil Missi Etsy Shop. 

    9. Table Runner 

    Thinking about using a burlap table runner? Be sure to strech and distress the fabric a bit before you lay it down. This creates dimension by allowing some of your tablecloth color to peek through. It also gives the fabric a little more grip. 

    You Might Also Like: 9 Wine Wedding Decor Ideas

    17
  • One of the trends we love about rustic weddings is the do-it-yourself projects even the least crafty brides create with wood. Here's what to display for every part of your big day: 

    Ceremony

    Photo by JK Photography

    Seating Arrangements

    Photo by Stacey Kokes Photography

    Reception

    \

    Photo by Twin Hearts Photography

    Chair Decor 

    Photo by Athena Pelton Photography

     

    41
  • Photo by Sandals

    When you have guests flying in from coast to coast for your destination wedding weekend, it's important to keep them occupied during their stay. Get the most out of your location by gathering guests together for some of these fun -- but optimal -- activities: 

    Zip lining Parasailing  Snorkeling/scuba diving  Boating  Visiting a museum, historic site, botanical garden or local tourist attraction Golfing Spa treatments Safari ride  Surfing  Biking 

     

    0
  • Photo: Rachel Thurston Photography

    Need inspiration for a fall wedding? A few of our editors share their favorites below:

    Photo: Rachel Thurston Photography

    From the Fashion Editor – Choose a bridesmaid dress color that complements the season’s changing colors: red, orange, yellow, purple, or brown. (Just like Jessica and Michael, Cami and Erik, and Bonnie and Drew did.)

    Photos (from left to right): Cluney Photo and Meg Ruth Photo

    From the Flowers Editor – Bouquets of black-eyed susans, dahlias, chrysanthemums, calla lilies, roses, orchids and gerberas are a must-have. Maybe add some texture with feathers, fern curls, curly willows, scabiosa pods, or wheat too? Check out more fall bouquets here.

    Photo: Meg Ruth Photo

    From the Decor Editor – Spice up your decor with pumpkins, pine cones, leaves, figs, acorns, and more. 

    Photos (from left to right): Keepsake Memories Photography and jHenderson Studios

    From the Favors & Cakes Editor – Place your three-tiered buttercream wedding cake on top of tree bark for an added rustic touch. Check out more fall wedding cakes here. Nothing tastes better than a caramel apple, pumpkin pie, and hot cocoa on a crisp evening. Let guests unwrap cozy blankets to keep warm.

    4

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