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Wedding Ideas

  • Planning healthy snacks for your big day is just as important as your wedding cake, so don't overlook it! (expert advice)     From the time you wake up until you finally settle into your honeymoon suite, your wedding day is going to be full of nonstop action. Where will you find the energy to play the role of the beautiful bride without any time to eat?   Planning healthy snacks for your big day is just as important as your wedding cake – especially since that bite of cake may be the only thing you put in your stomach!  Start out your day with a light, but filling breakfast and ask your maid of honor to help you prepare a snack bag to bring along to the wedding.   Snacks to Avoid   You don’t want to stain your dress or destroy your makeup and you definitely don’t want an upset stomach to ruin your special day – those nervous butterflies are bad enough. Stay away from carbonated drinks, heavy or greasy foods, and anything that may drip, drop, or ooze into a potential wedding disaster. You’ll also want to avoid lots of sugars and carbohydrates or you may experience a crash rather than an energy boost.   Snacks to Pack   Choose healthy wedding day snacks that are easy to eat on the go. High protein foods will provide you with the energy you need to make it through the big day. I would suggest carrying along an insulated lunch bag to keep things fresh and remember to pack a few extra snacks to share with your groom – his day will be nearly as hectic as yours!   Peanut butter crackers Beef jerky Trail mix Yogurt String cheese Peanuts Dried fruit   Bring along a few plain saltine crackers to nibble on too, just in case you experience any last minute waves of nausea.   Wedding Day Snack Station   Instead of carrying around snacks for yourself, you may want to organize a snack station for the entire wedding party to enjoy. It will be a busy day for everyone and nothing could be worse than a hungry, inattentive flower girl or the sounds of a groomsman’s growling stomach! Set up a table with vegetables and dip, turkey wraps, or crackers and cheese to keep those hunger issues at bay.   High protein, healthy snacks are a must for your big day. Whether you arrange a platter for the entire wedding party or just toss a few things into your tote bag, be sure you take a few minutes to munch throughout the day. Healthy snacks will give you the energy you need to create a picture perfect wedding.  
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  • 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.
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  • Project and Photos By: Jennifer Kirk   Here's an easy and oh-so-chic way to add a little glimmer to your wedding day!   You'll Need:  10 3/4" x 14 3/4" wooden tray from craft store 3/4" wide masking tape Metallic gold leaf sheets Size (adhesive for gold leaf) Foam brush x2 White spray paint Spray gloss laquer (clear) Fine grit sandpaper Paint brush with small, fine tip White acrylic paint Hand-vac or vacuum with hose attachment (to clean up bits of gold leaf as you work)     Step One Lightly sand away any rough spots on tray     Step Two  Spray entire tray white (I didn't bother with the underside). Let dry completely.     Step Three  Starting from the upper right corner of the tray, stretch a piece of masking tape down to about 7 3/4" in from right side.     Step Four Lay down three more strips of tape flush with one another.     Step Five  Remove the third tape strip completely and save, using as a "spacer" to evenly add more masking tape diagonals to the left.     Step Six  When the left side of the tray is completely masked, begin the opposite diagonals on the right side of tray. Each strip must be cut straight at the top and should just touch the perpendicular diagonal.     Step Seven Once the right side is masked, carefully remove the perpendicular diagonal. Burnish the tape with your fingers to make sure each strip is firmly adhered to tray.     Step Eight With a foam brush, apply a thin, uniform layer of size to exposed white stripes. Allow to dry for 30-45 minutes.     Step Nine  Carefully expose a sheet of metallic leaf. With clean, dry hands (the leaf will cling and tear if your hands are wet), gently tear off a small corner piece. Press into the corner of the tray using your fingers and/or a dry foam brush.      Step Ten  It helps to first leaf where the side of the tray and bottom meet. Use the straight edge of a leaf sheet to get a straight, clean line.     Step Eleven For the longer stripes, tear off strips of metal leaf and press down onto the white areas prepared with size. Gently smooth and burnish the metal leaf with your fingertip. If you're like me, you may be a little impatient and want to remove the masking tape as you work. Before you remove the tape, clean up any residual leaf with a vacuum attachment and hose, but be careful not to scratch off any leaf you just applied. Next, very slowly peel off tape, burnishing the metal leaf as you go.     Step Twelve Use a small piece of masking tape to clean up any leaf clinging to the sides of the tray. Tiny pieces of gold leaf may cling to white areas of the tray. Use a bit of white acrylic paint to touch up any wayward leaf. When finished, spray a couple of coats of protective clear laquer.    
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  • If you and your significant other love seeking out new foods and value good quality ingredients, then you (understandably) have high standards for your wedding day grub. These delicious meal ideas from real weddings are sure to have your guests going back for seconds.

    1. CHEESE PLATTER

    Photo by Cage & Aquarium Productions

    Let your guests indulge in various gourmet cheeses! Chances are, they'll be very thankful for your food expertise. 

    2. MADE-TO-ORDER CREPES

    Photos by Viera Photographics and Eric Kelley Photography

    Breakfast for dinner anyone? Set up a crepe station so guests can satisfy their sweet tooth early in the night (or serve these instead of cake). 

    3. HERB DISPLAY

    Photos by onelove Photography

    Add a kick to the meal by offering a variety of add-on herbs and spices. You can also set small bags or jars by the display and let guests take home a sampling of their favorites as favors! 

    4. DESSERT SHOOTERS

    Photos by Sweet and Saucy Shop

    Make dessert even more fun by putting your confections in a shot glass!

    5. GRILL OUT

    Photos by Millie Holloman Photography

    Instead of the traditional fine dining at your reception, opt for something more casual—like a barbeque! 

    6. LATE-NIGHT FOOD TRUCK

    Photo by This Modern Romance

    Your guests are bound to get hungry after dancing up a storm, so ask your favorite food truck to make a late-night appearance at your reception!

    7. CHEESE CAKE

    Photos by Aaron Delesie Photography and Caught the Light

    If you and your significant other are lacking a sweet tooth, serve a cheese wheel in lieu of a cake! 

    8. CLAM BAKE

    Photo by Dreamlove Photography

    A seafood broil is a great idea for an onceanfront reception. 

    9. BISCUIT BAR

    Photos by Taylor Lord Photography

    Tying the knot down south? Serve some traditional southern fare! A biscuit bar is just the ticket. 

    10. TACO BUFFET 

    Photos by Onelove PhotographyA 

    A build-your-own taco bar is pretty much always a crowd-pleaser. 

    11. BRICK-OVEN PIZZA

    Photo by Sweet Little Photographs

    We are totally on board with a brick-oven pizza dinner for your reception. Who doesn't want a cheesy slice of heaven?

    NEXT: 12 Reception Details You Probably Haven't Thought Of

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  • Photo By Chelsea Fuss

    Using five varieties of Lilac and a a few stems of springtime Spirea, we created a gathered, musky bouquet that any bride would be happy to sink her nose in for a day. The textured, romantic style is perfect for a modern, traditional or country wedding.             You will need: 30 stems of lilac.  We used: Korean Lilac (tiny flowers), "Beauty of Moscow (light pink), "Mount Baker" (white), Common Purple Lilac and Wedgewood Blue. 15 stems of spirea string flower clippers ribbon or cloth tape   Directions: 1. Condition flowers overnight. Cut the stems and cut a slit upwards in each stem to allow it to drink water. Sit them in lukewarm water in a cool place away from drafts, heat, and fruit and food.   2. Strip most of the leaves off the lilacs. Usually the stems are long so trim them to around 12" each. Make sure there is one stem per large blossom. If there are two stems, trim one off.     3. Make piles of each type and color.   4. Gather 1- 2 stems in your one hand. Add stems at a 45 degree angle. Turn the bouquet to the right each time you add stems.     The stems should spiral. For the most part, larger, heavier blooms should sit at the bottom of the bouquet and lighter buds and blossoms should sit near the top.     5. Secure with twine or string.     6. Add a ribbon. We used a patterned cloth tape (usually sold for bookbinding) and simply wrapped it on top of the string. If you use a ribbon, secure with a pin.     Tips for working with lilacs: Always give them a clean cut when you bring them home. Cut at an angle, and then cut upwards into the stem, once. Use lukewarm water, lilacs don't like to be shocked by really cold or hot water.  If some blooms start to wilt, recut the stems. Keep away from fruit, food, direct sunlight, and drafts. Plan to buy a bit more than you need, a few stems in the bunch will always wilt.   Don't be afraid to work with lilac, if you remember these simple tips, it's easy!   Photo By Chelsea Fuss
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  • Photos By: Mary Swenson

    Candles 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
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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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  • Photos By: Mary Swenson

    Chalkboards are all the rage in the design world lately, and they're also an easy way to add a bit of unexpected character to your wedding day! Whether you're going for a casual, country, or even chic look, check out our ideas on how you can incorporate this fun element into your event.   When we stumbled upon this amazing blackboard oilcloth, we knew we had to somehow use it in one of our do-it-yourself projects. It's a dream to write on, and the chalk easily washes off with a damp cloth, so the oilcloth can be used over and over again. We cut ours to fit a large white frame and wrote guests' seat assignments on it to create a modern-looking seating chart.   Sources: Oilcloth from Bell'Occhio; Ribba frame from Ikea     Cut the oilcloth to make a dramatic place mat for each table setting; write the guest's name across the top in lieu of a place card.   Sources: Oilcloth from Bell'Occhio     We cut tags from cardstock and sprayed them with chalkboard spray paint to create super-easy place cards.   Source: Chalkboard spray paint by Krylon     These adorable mini-chalkboards are a perfect size for place cards; wind them around napkins or favors for a charming look.   Source: Mini-chalkboards by Darice from Joann Fabrics     Votive holders or small cups can also get the spray-paint treatment; fill them with bright flowers for a glamorous favor, and write guests' names on the front for added personalization.    Source: Chalkboard spray paint by Krylon     When black is matte, it looks sophisticated and soft -- and is a fabulous compliment to a floral arrangement. We spray painted a vase with chalkboard paint, wrote the table number on the front, and filled with pretty pale tulips. Volia! An inexpensive centerpiece that still looks dramatic.   Source: Chalkboard spray paint by Krylon     We hung a page from this blackboard album around an old wooden box, wrote the table number on the front, and then filled it with floppy flowers. The result? A casual, rustic centerpiece that's truly unique.   Source: Blackboard chipboard album by Cosmo Cricket    

     

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  • 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.

    Add edible wildflowers a few hours before your event. We used buckwheat, meadowsweet, and winter savory. The flavor of these flowers worked wonderfully with the citrus flavor of the cake!     We laid them all around the cake and sprinkled the petals and leaves on top of it. The more you add, the better it looks. Make sure the flowers you use are edible and have not been sprayed with pesticides!     More ideas for edible flowers: pansies violets nasturtium roses calendula     Display your cake on a rustic farm table and decorate with flowers around the bottom of the cake like in slide one. Your guests will love digging into this summery treat!    
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  • Project By: Victoria Hudgins

    Photography 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.  
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  • Planning healthy snacks for your big day is just as important as your wedding cake, so don't overlook it! (expert advice)     From the time you wake up until you finally settle into your honeymoon suite, your wedding day is going to be full of nonstop action. Where will you find the energy to play the role of the beautiful bride without any time to eat?   Planning healthy snacks for your big day is just as important as your wedding cake – especially since that bite of cake may be the only thing you put in your stomach!  Start out your day with a light, but filling breakfast and ask your maid of honor to help you prepare a snack bag to bring along to the wedding.   Snacks to Avoid   You don’t want to stain your dress or destroy your makeup and you definitely don’t want an upset stomach to ruin your special day – those nervous butterflies are bad enough. Stay away from carbonated drinks, heavy or greasy foods, and anything that may drip, drop, or ooze into a potential wedding disaster. You’ll also want to avoid lots of sugars and carbohydrates or you may experience a crash rather than an energy boost.   Snacks to Pack   Choose healthy wedding day snacks that are easy to eat on the go. High protein foods will provide you with the energy you need to make it through the big day. I would suggest carrying along an insulated lunch bag to keep things fresh and remember to pack a few extra snacks to share with your groom – his day will be nearly as hectic as yours!   Peanut butter crackers Beef jerky Trail mix Yogurt String cheese Peanuts Dried fruit   Bring along a few plain saltine crackers to nibble on too, just in case you experience any last minute waves of nausea.   Wedding Day Snack Station   Instead of carrying around snacks for yourself, you may want to organize a snack station for the entire wedding party to enjoy. It will be a busy day for everyone and nothing could be worse than a hungry, inattentive flower girl or the sounds of a groomsman’s growling stomach! Set up a table with vegetables and dip, turkey wraps, or crackers and cheese to keep those hunger issues at bay.   High protein, healthy snacks are a must for your big day. Whether you arrange a platter for the entire wedding party or just toss a few things into your tote bag, be sure you take a few minutes to munch throughout the day. Healthy snacks will give you the energy you need to create a picture perfect wedding.  
    2
  • 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
  • Project and Photos By: Jennifer Kirk   Here's an easy and oh-so-chic way to add a little glimmer to your wedding day!   You'll Need:  10 3/4" x 14 3/4" wooden tray from craft store 3/4" wide masking tape Metallic gold leaf sheets Size (adhesive for gold leaf) Foam brush x2 White spray paint Spray gloss laquer (clear) Fine grit sandpaper Paint brush with small, fine tip White acrylic paint Hand-vac or vacuum with hose attachment (to clean up bits of gold leaf as you work)     Step One Lightly sand away any rough spots on tray     Step Two  Spray entire tray white (I didn't bother with the underside). Let dry completely.     Step Three  Starting from the upper right corner of the tray, stretch a piece of masking tape down to about 7 3/4" in from right side.     Step Four Lay down three more strips of tape flush with one another.     Step Five  Remove the third tape strip completely and save, using as a "spacer" to evenly add more masking tape diagonals to the left.     Step Six  When the left side of the tray is completely masked, begin the opposite diagonals on the right side of tray. Each strip must be cut straight at the top and should just touch the perpendicular diagonal.     Step Seven Once the right side is masked, carefully remove the perpendicular diagonal. Burnish the tape with your fingers to make sure each strip is firmly adhered to tray.     Step Eight With a foam brush, apply a thin, uniform layer of size to exposed white stripes. Allow to dry for 30-45 minutes.     Step Nine  Carefully expose a sheet of metallic leaf. With clean, dry hands (the leaf will cling and tear if your hands are wet), gently tear off a small corner piece. Press into the corner of the tray using your fingers and/or a dry foam brush.      Step Ten  It helps to first leaf where the side of the tray and bottom meet. Use the straight edge of a leaf sheet to get a straight, clean line.     Step Eleven For the longer stripes, tear off strips of metal leaf and press down onto the white areas prepared with size. Gently smooth and burnish the metal leaf with your fingertip. If you're like me, you may be a little impatient and want to remove the masking tape as you work. Before you remove the tape, clean up any residual leaf with a vacuum attachment and hose, but be careful not to scratch off any leaf you just applied. Next, very slowly peel off tape, burnishing the metal leaf as you go.     Step Twelve Use a small piece of masking tape to clean up any leaf clinging to the sides of the tray. Tiny pieces of gold leaf may cling to white areas of the tray. Use a bit of white acrylic paint to touch up any wayward leaf. When finished, spray a couple of coats of protective clear laquer.    
    5
  • If you and your significant other love seeking out new foods and value good quality ingredients, then you (understandably) have high standards for your wedding day grub. These delicious meal ideas from real weddings are sure to have your guests going back for seconds.

    1. CHEESE PLATTER

    Photo by Cage & Aquarium Productions

    Let your guests indulge in various gourmet cheeses! Chances are, they'll be very thankful for your food expertise. 

    2. MADE-TO-ORDER CREPES

    Photos by Viera Photographics and Eric Kelley Photography

    Breakfast for dinner anyone? Set up a crepe station so guests can satisfy their sweet tooth early in the night (or serve these instead of cake). 

    3. HERB DISPLAY

    Photos by onelove Photography

    Add a kick to the meal by offering a variety of add-on herbs and spices. You can also set small bags or jars by the display and let guests take home a sampling of their favorites as favors! 

    4. DESSERT SHOOTERS

    Photos by Sweet and Saucy Shop

    Make dessert even more fun by putting your confections in a shot glass!

    5. GRILL OUT

    Photos by Millie Holloman Photography

    Instead of the traditional fine dining at your reception, opt for something more casual—like a barbeque! 

    6. LATE-NIGHT FOOD TRUCK

    Photo by This Modern Romance

    Your guests are bound to get hungry after dancing up a storm, so ask your favorite food truck to make a late-night appearance at your reception!

    7. CHEESE CAKE

    Photos by Aaron Delesie Photography and Caught the Light

    If you and your significant other are lacking a sweet tooth, serve a cheese wheel in lieu of a cake! 

    8. CLAM BAKE

    Photo by Dreamlove Photography

    A seafood broil is a great idea for an onceanfront reception. 

    9. BISCUIT BAR

    Photos by Taylor Lord Photography

    Tying the knot down south? Serve some traditional southern fare! A biscuit bar is just the ticket. 

    10. TACO BUFFET 

    Photos by Onelove PhotographyA 

    A build-your-own taco bar is pretty much always a crowd-pleaser. 

    11. BRICK-OVEN PIZZA

    Photo by Sweet Little Photographs

    We are totally on board with a brick-oven pizza dinner for your reception. Who doesn't want a cheesy slice of heaven?

    NEXT: 12 Reception Details You Probably Haven't Thought Of

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  • Photo By Chelsea Fuss

    Using five varieties of Lilac and a a few stems of springtime Spirea, we created a gathered, musky bouquet that any bride would be happy to sink her nose in for a day. The textured, romantic style is perfect for a modern, traditional or country wedding.             You will need: 30 stems of lilac.  We used: Korean Lilac (tiny flowers), "Beauty of Moscow (light pink), "Mount Baker" (white), Common Purple Lilac and Wedgewood Blue. 15 stems of spirea string flower clippers ribbon or cloth tape   Directions: 1. Condition flowers overnight. Cut the stems and cut a slit upwards in each stem to allow it to drink water. Sit them in lukewarm water in a cool place away from drafts, heat, and fruit and food.   2. Strip most of the leaves off the lilacs. Usually the stems are long so trim them to around 12" each. Make sure there is one stem per large blossom. If there are two stems, trim one off.     3. Make piles of each type and color.   4. Gather 1- 2 stems in your one hand. Add stems at a 45 degree angle. Turn the bouquet to the right each time you add stems.     The stems should spiral. For the most part, larger, heavier blooms should sit at the bottom of the bouquet and lighter buds and blossoms should sit near the top.     5. Secure with twine or string.     6. Add a ribbon. We used a patterned cloth tape (usually sold for bookbinding) and simply wrapped it on top of the string. If you use a ribbon, secure with a pin.     Tips for working with lilacs: Always give them a clean cut when you bring them home. Cut at an angle, and then cut upwards into the stem, once. Use lukewarm water, lilacs don't like to be shocked by really cold or hot water.  If some blooms start to wilt, recut the stems. Keep away from fruit, food, direct sunlight, and drafts. Plan to buy a bit more than you need, a few stems in the bunch will always wilt.   Don't be afraid to work with lilac, if you remember these simple tips, it's easy!   Photo By Chelsea Fuss
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  • Photos By: Mary Swenson

    Candles 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
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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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  • Photos By: Mary Swenson

    Chalkboards are all the rage in the design world lately, and they're also an easy way to add a bit of unexpected character to your wedding day! Whether you're going for a casual, country, or even chic look, check out our ideas on how you can incorporate this fun element into your event.   When we stumbled upon this amazing blackboard oilcloth, we knew we had to somehow use it in one of our do-it-yourself projects. It's a dream to write on, and the chalk easily washes off with a damp cloth, so the oilcloth can be used over and over again. We cut ours to fit a large white frame and wrote guests' seat assignments on it to create a modern-looking seating chart.   Sources: Oilcloth from Bell'Occhio; Ribba frame from Ikea     Cut the oilcloth to make a dramatic place mat for each table setting; write the guest's name across the top in lieu of a place card.   Sources: Oilcloth from Bell'Occhio     We cut tags from cardstock and sprayed them with chalkboard spray paint to create super-easy place cards.   Source: Chalkboard spray paint by Krylon     These adorable mini-chalkboards are a perfect size for place cards; wind them around napkins or favors for a charming look.   Source: Mini-chalkboards by Darice from Joann Fabrics     Votive holders or small cups can also get the spray-paint treatment; fill them with bright flowers for a glamorous favor, and write guests' names on the front for added personalization.    Source: Chalkboard spray paint by Krylon     When black is matte, it looks sophisticated and soft -- and is a fabulous compliment to a floral arrangement. We spray painted a vase with chalkboard paint, wrote the table number on the front, and filled with pretty pale tulips. Volia! An inexpensive centerpiece that still looks dramatic.   Source: Chalkboard spray paint by Krylon     We hung a page from this blackboard album around an old wooden box, wrote the table number on the front, and then filled it with floppy flowers. The result? A casual, rustic centerpiece that's truly unique.   Source: Blackboard chipboard album by Cosmo Cricket    

     

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  • 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.

    Add edible wildflowers a few hours before your event. We used buckwheat, meadowsweet, and winter savory. The flavor of these flowers worked wonderfully with the citrus flavor of the cake!     We laid them all around the cake and sprinkled the petals and leaves on top of it. The more you add, the better it looks. Make sure the flowers you use are edible and have not been sprayed with pesticides!     More ideas for edible flowers: pansies violets nasturtium roses calendula     Display your cake on a rustic farm table and decorate with flowers around the bottom of the cake like in slide one. Your guests will love digging into this summery treat!    
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  • Project By: Victoria Hudgins

    Photography 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.  
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