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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 FussThis 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
Project & Photos By: Victoria HudginsLooking for a less traditional cake topper for your wedding? These vintage fabric stars will bring a dose of bright charm to your cake or dessert bar. Materials: To make them, you'll need basic star frame(s), mod podge, fabric, and scissors. Small cardboard star frames are available at your local craft store, while larger metal frames can be readily found at thrift stores or at many big box stores. Materials (cont.): Find a fabric that coordinates with your wedding day. Search Etsy for a wide variety of pretty vintage florals or check your local fabric store for vintage replica fabrics. Step One: Cut your fabric to the approximate size of your star and dredge it in a bowl of Modge Podge until completely wet. Place the fabric on top of your mold and use your fingers to gently shape it into form. Let dry overnight. Step Two: Once dry, cut the fabric closer to the frame shape and turn over. Secure any extra fabric in the back with glue. Step Three: Use wood glue to attach a stick to the backside of a large star frame. Many smaller frames come sold with small wooden sticks already attached. Display Tip: Place one large star in your cake for a bold bright touch or scatter smaller stars atop cakes, cupcakes and desserts.
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.
Sandals reveals the latest in planning a custom destination wedding (expert advice)
Photo by Sandals Resorts
By Project Wedding for our sponsor, Sandals Resorts
Naturally, you're probably intent on bringing to life the most creative, personalized ideas you can find for your wedding day. And why not?! According to Liene Stevens of Splendid Insights, a wedding market research firm, “Millennials see custom as a need and not a luxury; they want custom everything: a custom life, a custom career and a custom wedding.”
Yes, indeed, we think that sounds about right. The same goes for destination weddings. No need to settle for a cookie cutter wedding, just because you're planning from afar!
No matter where they marry, we hear all about couples wanting an experience filled with personalized details that reflect their style. Today’s trend is moving toward a totally customized wedding package-- a destination wedding experience that’s distinctly, uniquely yours.
To help reach brides where they live today – online – Sandals Resorts has created an exclusive online Destination Wedding Designer. This interactive tool allows you to personally style and execute your dream wedding at any one of Sandals’ fourteen luxurious Caribbean resorts.
After selecting a color palette, you can easily browse almost 1,000 wedding ideas for flowers, décor, wedding cakes, entertainment, and more. Traditional or tropical? Modern or romantic? Every design style has been included, so you're sure to find what you're looking for, down to the last detail.
Sound utterly perfect? Head on over to try it out!
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...
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.
By: Sarah Zlotnick
We've definitely got rustic weddings on the brain here at Project Wedding! We styled a dreamy Joanna August chiffon wrap dress with a floral hair comb and sweet dusty rose flats. Simple glimmers of deep brass jewelry and one truly adorable clutch to round out the look.
Credits: Joanna August 'Amanda' gown ($895) • Indulgems pink amethyst gold branch earrings ($88) • Vanessa Mooney 'With a Tiny Tender Kiss' Necklace ($30) • ASOS floral beaded clutch ($66.50) • Seychelles peep toe flat ($89.99) • BHLDN Silvestre comb ($180)