Passion, Love & Sparkly Things

Welcome to my ranting, raving, fashion picking, jaw dropping, oooh la la-ing wedding blog. My life... is Weddings. My love... is Weddings. My dreams... are Weddings. My mission... is to make your wedding as fantastic as they come.

Charming Deet #215: DIY CENTERPIECES

With the economy still in a slump, many brides are taking the Do-It-Yourself approach to certain aspects of their weddings.  This can be a great way to stretch a tight budget or allow for bigger spending on other wedding items.  DIY projects are great for learning a new skill, spending time with your significant other, or helping the wedding party get to know each other before the big day!

For our first centerpiece, you will only need one large Mason jar per table and three small mason jars per table.  You will also need lemons, hemp, a hot glue gun, extra sticks of hot glue, votive candles, and your choice of flowers.  First, you want to slice your lemons to about a quarter of an inch thick.  Put your bundle of flowers in the large Mason jar and then carefully maneuver your flowers to slip lemons just around the outside of the Mason jar.  For the smaller Mason jars cut the end at an angle (so it won’t be as noticeable) and begin to glue the hemp down until you reach your desired width.  When you’re ready to finish it off, cut the hemp at an angle so that it ends on the same side that it began.  Place your large Mason jar in the middle and the smaller three in a triangle surrounding it.  Add a mirror for more light and color and voila!  You just made a cute and rustic centerpiece!

Our second DIY centerpiece is an easy one!  All you need per table is a vintage china plate or a simple plate that matches your color scheme, three tall bottles (or vases), three votive candles, and flowers.  Position a plate in the center of each table then add the three bottles (or vases).  These can be varying in height, width, and design depending on how uniform or creative you want to make your reception.  Between each of the three bottles (or vases) place a votive and now it’s time to get really fun!  For inside your bottle or vase you can add some pebbles, aquarium rocks of the appropriate color, or (depending on how wide the mouth of your bottle is) you could even add a fish!

Our last DIY idea for centerpieces is for book-lovers and vintage-lovers or anyone who happens to have books or trinkets lying around the house.  Take your favorite old books and stack them in the middle of the table, either neatly or a little spiraled, depending on your taste.  Then add family heirlooms, small Mason jars of flowers, votive candles, or whatever else strikes you as vintage and appealing to the eye.  This centerpiece allows each table to be a little different and gives guests an excuse to get up, check out all the different items, and mingle!

Just remember that “Do-It-Yourself” doesn’t necessarily mean “Do-It-Alone!”  Recruit your friends, family, or wedding planning staff to hang out, get to know each other, and create beautiful centerpieces!

Charmer A.T.

Charming Deet #214: WRITING A MEMORABLE & MEANINGFUL TOAST

Having trouble thinking of the perfect speech to say at your bff’s wedding reception? Here are a few tips for getting started!  

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1. Start preparing your speech early. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your perfect toast!  Keep an on-going list in your phone and every time you think of a fun memory you had together, or a piece of advice, write it down.  Brainstorming is just the beginning! Don’t expect to write it all the day before!

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2.  Don’t make it too lengthy.  Try and condense everything you want to say in a few minutes - we recommend 2-3.  After that, people will just be counting down until they get to take a sip of their drink.  Keeping your energy up will keep your listeners engaged and alert!

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3. Practice! Most nerves  come from not feeling prepared for a speech.  Practicing in front of friends and family will ease the stress on the day of.  It will also save you from any misprints in your speech and avoid stumbling across your words!  

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There are so many sweet things to say in your wedding day toast, be sure to include a thanks at the end! A short few sentences about how much the bride or groom means to you and how lucky you are that they included you in their day will mean so much to the happy couple!  Also don’t forget to include how much you love the union of the two! Your perfect speech is sure to be one they, and the guest, will truly appreciate!

Charming Deet #213: STAY STRESS FREE

Brides tend to get pretty stressed during the planning process between finding your perfect dress and arranging the seating chart.  The most important thing that you MUST remember is that there are ways around the stress so you can focus on the fun and excitement of starting this new chapter in your life.  Sometimes it only takes a bubble bath but others may need more of a long-term fix.

For a quick fix on a stressful day, consider taking a hot bath with some bubbles or bath salts.  This will not only help you unwind but it will also aid in exfoliating your skin and giving you a healthy glow.  Another easy fix is to pick up your phone and make a quick call.  You can call a family member, a best friend, a bridesmaid, or anyone that you render appropriate in easing the pressure of planning.  Sometimes you just need to talk it out!  Laughter is the best medicine, especially when you need to alleviate some stress.  Take some time out to be with your girlfriends for a movie night or fun day out!  Finally, we’ll take it back to basics with counting down from ten.  Just by taking a deep breath and a moment for yourself, you can relieve an insane amount of stress.  Remember that while a problem may seem big in the moment, you can take a step back and realize there are solutions to everything.

If you feel the need for a longer strategy, there are many options to choose from including journaling and taking a fresh look at a healthy lifestyle.  Starting a journal and writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you calm down and look at things from a new and different perspective.  A great benefit of keeping a journal is that you can look back at it years from your big day and relive the process of planning and butterflies in your stomach.  You could also take up yoga and add more water to your diet.  Practicing yoga can increase happiness and help you sleep more soundly while drinking more water can refresh your system and give you an all-around better feeling.

{{This journal can be personalized and purchased from OhMyLunaa}}

Finally a great fix to heavy stress is to delegate one night a week for a date night with your significant other.  It is so important to remember the reasons why you fell in love and decided to get married.  Always keep in mind that you are NOT alone in the process!

Charming Deet #212: WEDDING VENUE

When choosing the spot for you wedding and reception to take place, there are many things you should take into consideration! For some, getting married in their childhood church is the obvious decision, but now there are so many wonderful and unique places to get hitched, how will you ever decide?! Here are some things we think are important to consider…

1. Size - be sure that the amount of guests you plan on inviting will fit comfortably in your location, but not be too big that it feels empty even with everyone in there.  An intimate size where guests still have comfortable elbow room is ideal.  Also be sure to check the venue has enough parking for your guests and outside vendors such as bartender, caterers, DJ, photographer. 

2. Cost - although there are some lovely options out there, be sure that the majority of your wedding budget isn’t going towards you location.  There are plenty of ways to make an affordable venue look like the one of your dreams! With lighting, drapery, fancy tents, etc. turning your space into a fairytale will be rewarding and fun!  Having your ceremony and reception in the same location can often make it more affordable and convenient!

3. View & Lighting - The view your venue offers will serve as the backdrop you your big day and many of the picture involved so be sure to find a spot that offers proper sights that you have in mind! Lighting is also a key element to achieve the type of atmosphere you are aiming for!  If it is an indoor wedding, consider maybe some uplight.  For outdoor weddings, string lights under a tent have been popular lately!

Picking a wedding venue is an event defining piece of the puzzle that will help bring the whole atmosphere together.  Make sure to do the research before committing to the first site you fall in love with as this will be a large chunk of you wedding cost! Have a charming day!

Charming Deet #211: ETSY FRIDAY 6.27.14

One of the first things a newly engaged couple sends out is their wedding announcement/save the dates. This is the first impression your guests will get of your wedding and you want to be unique and make a splash! Etsy is the place to go for this kind of thing because there are multiple shops that personalize and customize these announcements to your liking! This shop, {{SugarfliesDesigns}} stood out to me in particular. 

These adorable templates are so unique and personalized! 

Not only can you customize them to your wedding colors/themes but I love that you can add multiple pictures of you and your fiancé to the announcement! It makes it that much more personal and adorable! The file will be sent directly to you so you can add or change pictures as you please. This way you are able to add the information yourself to make sure they are perfect! 

Be sure to check out this shop if you are newly engaged and looking for an adorably unique wedding announcement/save the date!

Charming Deet #210: NO REGRETS!!

There are only a few things that brides look back on their wedding day and say “I wish I had done that.”  Most of the reasons for not doing the following things is either budget or it simply slipped their minds.  Today’s blog is to help new brides remember and give some explanation as to why these aspects of a wedding seem to be at the top of the list.
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The regret of not getting ENOUGH family pictures.  Weddings are almost the only time that everyone is together and dressed to the nines, so take this opportunity to document the occasion.  A quick method of taking large family photos is to start with everyone in one large group and gradually subtract.  As people finish with this photos, they can leave to go to the reception.  Another regret concerning photos is forgetting to tone your arms for close-ups of the ring, the bouquet, and details on the dress.  This is especially true with sleeveless and strapless dresses and hairstyle that reveal your upper arms and shoulders.
Throughout the night, you will most likely be hot from going around and greeting everyone and DANCING!! so you may want to consider having a secondary dress for your reception.  This can be a shorter version of your wedding dress or your second favorite that you found while shopping.  A reception dress helps keep your ceremony dress as clean as possible and certainly does not have to be expensive.  While you are changing your dress, why not change your shoes, too?  Slip on some comfortable flats for hitting the dance floor! And make sure that the DJ or band plays “your song.”  It may sound cheesy but this is a big one on the list of regrets.  This song is special to you and your significant other, whether your guests understand it or not.  This is your moment!
Finally the two super important points for just you and your new spouse.  Book a room at a nice hotel or a cute bed and breakfast for the night of the reception.  This is your first night as a married couple and should be spent in a bit of luxury. Splurge a little and fully enjoy this first together.
Perhaps the point that can never be stressed enough is to take 10 or 15 minutes to go with your new hubby (or wife) directly after the ceremony to let the realization sink in that you are OFFICIALLY married!!!  This reflection is a really great way to just spend a few moments together, talking, laughing, smiling.  It will also perhaps be the only alone time you get until the reception is over. Take advantage of this!
No matter how extravagant or elegantly simple your wedding is, there is sometimes one thing that every bride overlooks. Hopefully this short review can help you remember the little things or help you think of others.

Charming Deet #209: BABY STEPS, PLEASE

            Many brides think that as soon as they get engaged, they HAVE to start planning the wedding right away.  This is SO not the case.  Take time to relish in the moments of beginning a new chapter in your life.  The first thing you’ll want to do is announce it to everyone you know, but don’t get ahead of yourself.  Be sure to tell your family and close friends first; you don’t want them finding out via social media or someone else.  The best way to do this is either in person if you’re close enough or over a Skype session or phone call.  After you’ve told all of the people close to you, you can announce it through photo on Instagram or a status change on Facebook.  Just remember that this should be about a week after the initial engagement so you have plenty of time to spread the word personally.

            After you have enjoyed that time with your soon-to-be spouse and made your big announcement, then you can start planning!  It can be a bit overwhelming at times so the best advice to take is to get a binder or a box for all of your ideas, pricing guides, and contract copies.  The first thing you want to decide on is your budget.  The budget plays into every other decision that you need to make.  This can be a significant date to you and your partner or simply a date that seems to work for everyone involved including your chosen wedding venue, which is step #2.  

            The venue is an extremely important part of choosing your date.  If you have your heart set on a certain venue, the best route to go about choosing a date is by starting with a season or month and then checking the venue’s availability.  Next on your planning list should be what type of wedding you would like to have.  Do you want a super formal occasion or an informal event?  How about a traditional wedding versus a destination wedding?

            One of the last big decisions that comes pretty early in the process is your guest list and your bridal party.  How big do you want your wedding to be?  There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a huge wedding with all of your family, friends, and co-workers but on the other hand, having a small, intimate wedding with only your closest family and friends can be just as enjoyable.  As for your bridal party size, you should think of who is the most important in your and your significant other’s lives.  Try to include siblings and best friends if the occasion calls for it or if you think your significant other would appreciate that inclusion.

Charming Deet #208: CHOOSING BRIDESMAID DRESSES

Despite their bad rep, bridesmaid dresses are a fun way to make your favorite ladies feel the love on your big day!  Keep in mind that these women are the ones you asked to stand by your on your WEDDING day (they are pretty darn special!), and they are probably paying for these dresses themselves, it would be nice if they could wear them again!  Although it can be a little tricky to find a color and style that works best for all of your ladies, it is definitely possible! Have you considered doing different styles for each woman like these?

Having different styles for each special lady is a good way to take into consideration a variety of body types! Although you loose that sense of uniformity, they will appreciate having a little uniqueness and it will show in the way they carry themselves on your big day!  Another fun and modern twist on the traditional idea of bridesmaid dresses is to have different shades of dresses in the same color scheme…

A little variety in the way your ladies are dressed adds some spice to your big day, but if you inclined to go with the traditional one dress in a specific color for your women, go for it!!! This day is all about you, and they will surely do whatever they can to make your day the best it can be!  These are just some fun ideas for if you are looking to see some different ideas.  Have a charming day!!!!

Charming Deet #207: ETSY FRIDAY 6.13.14

One of the many things I love about weddings and engagements is when the bride gets to ask who will be standing beside her on one of the most important days of her life. The bride gets to choose, based on her personality and her friendships how she will ask. You can be as creative as possible and the options are endless! 

{{ClassicWeddingDesign}} has the most adorable customizable bridesmaid/maid of honor wine labels! 

These labels are absolutely adorable and the bride can add another personal touch when choosing the bridesmaids favorite wine. {{ClassicWeddingDesign}} has multiple themes to choose from so you might be looking for awhile because they are all beautiful!

Definitely check out this shop and start planning who will be standing beside you on your big day. 

Charming Deet #206: ETSY FRIDAY 6.6.14

So the last thing you probably think about you could decorate for your wedding are your shoes, right? Well, think again! When you visit {{CristysStudio}} you can find the cutest stickers to put on the bottom of your wedding shoes! 

It’s a simple and cheap detail that can fit into any bride’s budget. You can customize how you want the wording and also what color. {{CristysStudio}} also has stickers for your Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids! 

These make for an adorable detail shot before the ceremony and when you look at those shoes you will always remember how you danced the night away with your new hubby! Check out {{CristysStudio}} to see more options!