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They brought you into the world, now show them you care with these creative ways to say thank you! (expert advice)
photo by: Gifts for the Good Life
Your parents have played a very big role in making your wedding spectacular. Not only did they raise you into the beautiful bride-to-be that you are, they've stood beside you through all your planning stress, offered their suggestions, and they may be funding the affair. Your parents, and your fiancé's, definitely deserve a huge thank you. Set a Budget I don't have to tell you that weddings are expensive - I'm sure you're learning that! It's important to include gift giving in your original wedding budget. There are no rules specifying an amount you should spend on gifts for your parents, but it's best to spend the same amount on both sets and to choose gifts that are somewhat similar. Some couples decide to give their parents a gift for the two of them while others select 2 separate gifts for mom and dad. Thank You Gifts for Two Giving your parents a thank you gift to enjoy together can be very meaningful and can also allow you to spend a little more on each gift. Depending on your budget, consider: Travel. Cruise tickets, hotel reservations for the weekend, or a romantic retreat to a local resort are all possible gift ideas. An evening out. Whether it's a gift card for a favorite restaurant, tickets to a show or a complete night of pampering including the limo, your parents deserve a night out to unwind after the wedding. Gift baskets. Wine baskets, gourmet food collections, or personalized his and her gift sets are terrific ways to say thank you and can fit into most any budget. Something personal. Creative gifts often hold the most meaning. Consider making a personalized video or slideshow for each set of parents, presenting them with a family photo calendar, or framing your favorite wedding pictures for a sentimental touch. Digital photo frames with a personal message are big hits with parents. For Him, For Her You may decide to honor your mom and dad with individual gifts rather than a joint thank you. If you've set a large budget, you could even do both! Ideas for dads: Personalized cufflinks to wear on the wedding day. Gift certificate to a favorite store. Wine and cheese assortment. Personalized golf accessories. Pens, intriguing paperweights, monogrammed money clips or key chains. Mothers may enjoy: Spa certificates. Earrings or a necklace for the wedding day. Bath soaps, candles, and fragrances in an elegant gift basket. Personalized photo albums, frames, or a jewelry box. Charm bracelet or necklace with a family theme. Consider your parents' interests and you'll be sure to choose thank you gifts that your parents appreciate and remember for years to come - whatever your budget.
By: Jenny BattFringe is still everywhere and I don’t think it's going out of style anytime soon. Traditionally, you take tiny pieces of fringe and cover shapes and large paper mache objects. For this DIY, I will show you a new technique to breeze through fringing anything. Materials: Tissue Paper Cutting Mat and Rotary Cutter Scissors (or fringing scissors – easier) Elmer’s Glue Poster Board Step One Lay several sheets of tissue paper flat and fold in half lengthwise. Use your cutting mat, a straight edge and your rotary cutter, to cut strips 2.5” wide across the fold. Step Two Take each set of strips and unfold. Refold lengthwise. Step Three Fold in half widthwise and cut fringe on the bottom (not the folded) edge. Step Four Separate each fringed strip and refold lengthwise. Take your poster board and across the short edge, run a thin bead of glue across the length. Lay a fringed piece across the glue and press lightly to adhere. If the strip isn’t quite long enough to reach, just add pieces as needed. For the next layer add another bead of glue above the first strip and add another strip. Step Five Repeat until the entire poster board is covered. Let dry. Step Six Print out letters from your computer. Cut out the letters from the paper. Place each letter on the fringed board, adjusting it so the fringe goes left to right across the letter, and cut loosely around the edge. Once you have the smaller piece, use the template to cut out the shape perfectly. Step Seven Repeat with remaining letters. Sometimes after cutting, the tops of the letters are missing fringe. Simply add touch up pieces of tissue paper fringe and glue down. Let dry and trim. Step Eight Use a bunting template to make a fun garland. You can use the fringed poster board to make any shapes you like or keep as is for a fun backdrop or to use as a tray liner. The fringing goes quickly using this method and is less tedious than fringing each shape individually. Step Nine To make a garland from the letters, simply flip over the pieces and tape down to twine. Here I used washi tape so I can remove and adjust the letters easily after hanging. photos by hankandhunt.com
Photos By: Mary SwensonCandles are that one favor you know your guests will use, and they're easier to make than you may think! Forget special candle-making equipment -- microwaveable soy wax is easy to use, and add a package of candle wicking (both available at craft stores) and you're ready to get started! Begin by choosing an interesting container for your candle: vintage tins, miniature clay pots, and teacups all make lovely and unique statements, and are easy to coordinate with your event. For our project, we used inexpensive cobalt blue jars found on eBay. First, we cut the wicking to fit the depth of our container. To keep the wick straight, we tied the top loosely around a wooden stick long enough so that it was able to rest on top of the jar, and then centered the wick over the jar. We put the soy wax flakes in a microwave-safe container with a spout (which makes it easier to control the wax when we're ready to pour it into our jars) and melted the wax according to the package instructions. You can personalize your candle's fragrance with a huge variety of fragrance oils, or leave them unscented. We added a few drops of lavender oil to our hot, melted wax, carefully poured it into the jars, and let them sit undisturbed until completely cooled and solid. While the candles cooled, we prepped the packaging for our candles. We made simple gift tags and cut sprigs of dried lavender to tie around each jar. The finished product: fragrant soy candles, personalized for each guest! Use each candle as a place setting, or display them all together on a favor table. Your guests will love them! Photos By: Mary Swenson
Photos By: Chelsea Fuss
If you've always dreamt of carrying a bouquet of old fashioned garden roses down the aisle, but your budget doesn't quite match up to the dream, try this version!
Directions:First, pick off the brown petals from the blossoms. We used spray roses, one of the most inexpensive roses on the market, to create this bouquet. "Edit" each stem. Spray roses have several blossoms on each stem. Clip 1-2 off each stem to leave the prettiest blossoms and the stems that are around the same level on the stem. Also, remove the leaves from these stems. Take a few of the stems with nice leaves and clip off all the blossoms. Wash the leaves. Leave 1-2 branches of leaves on the stem. Make sure none of the leaves are too low on the stem or it will interfere with the "handle" of your bouquet. Be sure to choose leaves that are hydrated and feel firm. Spray roses consist of 3-5 smaller blossoms on each stem, and have a more casual feel then your normal florists' roses. They are readily available at markets and florists all year. Gather a few stems in one hand at a 45 degree angle. Each time you add a stem, turn your bouquet. Don't be afraid to place some blossoms higher than others. This gives your bouquet depth and interest. Be sure to add leaves in as you go. These frame the blossoms and give the bouquet a natural feel. Tie with twine, cover in florist tape (to protect the ribbon) and tie up with a ribbon. By deconstructing the spray roses, you can create a bouquet that looks very natural. Your guests will never guess that your flowers came from the local grocery! The total cost of this bouquet: $12 + ribbon! Enjoy your beautiful, garden bouquet!
Photos By: Chelsea Fuss
Inspired by the sweet strawberry cakes that Swedes make during their Midsummer holiday each year, we came up with this festive wedding cake! It's perfect for an outdoor, rustic wedding. You can make the cake yourself, or simply embellish a store bought cake using our styling inspiration. It's easy and such a unique idea!
First you'll need a white dome cake. We used a citrus flavor dome cake filled with whip cream, from a small family bakery, and it was delicious. We just took off the doily and cardboard it came on and slid it onto a rustic wooden board. You could also make your own. Here are instructions on how to make a dome cake.
You will need around two pints of strawberries per cake.
Cut the stems off and slice the strawberries in half.
Lay the strawberries flat side down, all over the cake.
Keep the cake in the fridge until just before the reception.
Photos By: Jordan Ferney
Bunting is a cheap and easy way to add color to your soiree! Materials Needed: Tissue Paper, Scissors, glue stick, and string.
First, decide how large you want each flag and then cut out several sheets at once.
You'll want to cut out pieces that are double the desired flag size so that they can be folded over.
To safely store your flags, wrap them around an empty cardboard gift wrap roll or paper towel roll so they don't wrinkle.
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!
DestinationWeddings.com gives us the inside scoop on five resorts off the beaten path (expert advice)
photo by DestinationWeddings.com
Sponsored by DestinationWeddings.com
Searching for the perfect, out-of-the-way location for your destination wedding? We chatted with the experts at DestinationWeddings.com to discover five incredible resorts that you've likely never heard of. From boutique hotels to private islands to luxe villas, put these on your list to explore before you make your final decision.
Hidden Gem no. 1: Petit St. Vincent
When we say hidden, we mean really hidden. Why not say 'I do' on the private island of Petit St. Vincent? This tiny Grenadine Island is home to lush rolling hills and white sand beaches. Think seclusion and serenity, a perfectly suited paradise for taking vows.
Hidden Gem no. 2: El Dorado Maroma
Go for intimacy and relaxation by choosing El Dorado Maroma to host your big day. This boutique hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico is surrounded by secluded beaches and awe-inspiring views.
Hidden Gem no. 3: Curtain Bluff in Antigua
Sit in the lap of luxury at Antigua's Curtain Bluff Resort. The setting is pure magic with private pools overlooking the ocean and the finest of simple pleasures. Depending on the number of guests attending, you may even opt to rent out the entire resort!
Hidden Gem no. 4: Azul Villa Carolla
The Azul Villa Carola is a well-kept secret just waiting to be discovered. Located next to the Azul Beach Boutique Hotel on a stretch of pristine, white-sand beach, you'll enjoy the privacy of a luxe villa vacation, with the service of a five star resort and in-house butler. If you're jetsetting with just a few close friends to bear witness, up to twelve guests can spread out in this 10,700 square foot haven with an idyllic master bedroom and dozens of fabulous amenities.
Hidden Gem no. 5: Sugar Ridge in Antigua
If breathtaking views paired with the charm of a boutique hotel sound right up your alley, Antigua's Sugar Ridge is a must-see! This stylish and romantic setting features an Aveda Concept Spa and special perks for brides, grooms, and honeymooners.
Learn more about booking a destination wedding at one of these hand-picked venues over at DestinationWeddings.com.