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Photo By Chelsea FussUsing 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
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: Mary SwensonChalkboards 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
Project By: Victoria HudginsPhotography By: Pictilio This 3-D heart bunting is pretty and a great project to incorporate some handmade charm into your wedding. Hang between rows of seats, behind a dessert table, vertically to stage the ceremony, or around the head table as accent décor. For a bunting of good length, purchase a heart punch from your local craft store. The small investment (about $10) will save your wrists from cutting hundreds of hearts out! You will also need colored craft paper, glue, and string. Stamp out hearts for the length of your bunting. Each section of the bunting will use two hearts. Once the hearts are punched, cut a length of thin string and begin gluing on the hearts. Lay one heart down (backside up). Center a small line of glue, then quickly layer the string on top and another heart (backside down). Measure a few inches and continue the process. Once all the hearts are laid and dried, fold the top and bottom hearts away from one another for a pretty 3D effect. Run the lengths of garland around cardboard dividers and tape in place as you go. This will make it easier to transport without getting tangled.
A tour of Secrets The Vine, Cancun's premium spa resort (expert advice)
photo by Secrets The Vine Cancun
Sponsored by Secrets The Vine Cancun
Does a luxury spa honeymoon sound right up your alley? It sounds like perfection to us, which is why we took a dreamy photo tour through Cancun's ultimate spa resort, Secrets The Vine- an incredible locale for romantic and relaxing honeymoons.
This contemporary, adults-only resort is situated along a white sand beach with crystal clear views of the Caribbean Sea. Offering an adults-only Unlimited-Luxury® experience with gourmet dining, top-shelf spirits, 24-hour room service, daily activities, nightly performances, elite services and superior amenities, this elegant haven is the ideal escape for honeymooners.
Honeymoons are about relaxing and being pampered – and Secrets The Vine accommodates. The exquisite, 12,580 square foot Secrets Spa by Pevonia is boldly inspired by cave-like structures and natural cenotes of the area and hosts fourteen treatment rooms with spa suites for couples. A full-service beauty salon provides haircuts, styling, manicures, pedicures and make-up application for a romantic night out.
And, like the name implies, Secrets The Vine Cancun’s signature element is wine. Enjoy Sommelier-led wine tastings and infused spa treatments. The Spa carries a line of products made from the finest wine and grape seed essences, evoking the richness of a vineyard.
Specialty treatments include The Vine’s Diva Ritual Spa Package: a Bordeaux manicure, a facial, a massage with a blend of antioxidants, and a mélange of pomegranate and grape wine.
Talk about a toast-worthy honeymoon!
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.
By: Sarah Zlotnick
Glam South Beach wedding coming up? Nothing flatters quite like flirty, ruffly fuchsia on sun-kissed skin. Take a tip from local ladies and keep jewelry to a minimum—a few sparkly gold pieces (and sexy, strappy heels to match) are all you need to keep the focus on the dress. Well, that and a pop of bright pink lipstick.
Credits: Rachel Rachel Roy pave hoop earrings ($42) • Marchesa Notte Faille cocktail dress ($695) • YSL Lipstick ($34) • Gorjana Pristine bar necklace ($100) • BCBG Senna sandal ($225) • Matthew Williamson clutch ($1450)