Monday, October 31, 2011

DIY Week Part 1

I absolutely love Do-It-Yourself projects because they're fun and they bring such a personal element to any event!

This week I want to highlight a few that I thought were the awesomesauce of DIY projects.

These mason jar name cards we found from Emmaline Bride and Style Me Pretty are so adorable and something your guests can use even after they find their table!

Photo By: Beaux Arts Photography 

How To:
          -Apply 2 coats of chalkboard paint on your jar
         -When dry, use a chalk marker to write your guests name or any other message!

What do you guys think of these jars? Are they not adorable?!?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Inspiration Board

You may or may not have noticed, but we love Autumn.
And pumpkins.
And fall colors.
And caramel apples
....well, lets be honest. Caramel anything.

The simple fact is, we're falling for fall so much that it inspired us to create an wedding inspiration board that features all things autumn!

I mean really, spun sugar on a wedding cake! How can you get yummier and prettier than that!

Cake, Car, Bride & Groom, Place Card, Bridesmaids & Flowers, Caramel Apples
We just love the warm colors and intimate harvesty feelings of fall weddings.

What about you? Do you fall in love with autumn themed weddings?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Guestbook Set in Stone

Everyone knows the best part of a wedding are the memories you get to take with you-but what if those memories could be a little more set in stone? This was such an easy and awesome alternative to a guest book we found from Emmaline Bride!

Photo By: Cabana Pictures
Here's how it works- Each guest signs their name on one side of a stone and then chooses a word they think describes the bride or groom on the other, and places them in their respective buckets. Then after the wedding, the bride and groom are left with memories of how much all their friends and family love them!

This would be so great to decorate your garden or use to make a centerpiece to place in your house!

Have you guys ever signed personal guestbooks?? What were some of the ideas you loved??

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Cake Topper

Cake toppers are a hit-or-miss for me, but when I saw these Pumpkin Cake Toppers over at Emmaline Bride I fell in LOVE. Obviously I had to share so you could obsess as well!

Via Indigo Twin Weddings Via Emmaline Bride
How adorable, right?! The hand-painted details and super fun font are just simply the sweetest.

Via Indigo Twin Weddings Via Emmaline Bride
This cake topper would be absolute perfection for a fall-themed wedding! And you could keep them and decorate every fall with them!
If you're in lovelovelove just like me, head over to the creator, Indigo Twin Weddings', shop and pick this topper up for yourself. There are tons of other toppers to browse through, as well.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wedding Fitness

Via 31:17 Training
A lot of brides are looking to drop those last few pounds before the big day, but don't know the right type of workouts to do.

Plus, let's face it. You can only sweat your bum off on the elliptical for an hour so many times before you start getting a littttllleee bored. (that's what I've heard, anyway....)

But, thanks to A Paper Proposal, we found a great interval training Bridal Cardio Boost to get your metabolism working super fast and those pounds melting off!

If you go here, you can find step by step instruction guides on a few different cardio fat blasters. My personal favorite is the "Thirty Minute Slim-down." (I tried it yesterday. My glutes hate me but it was AWESOME)

What is your gym routine of choice?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fun Place Cards

Creating place cards for your reception can be super fun, so we found a wonderfully creative and budget-friendly DIY idea at Green Wedding Shoes, we were ecstatic!

The wedding was a Beatles theme, so the bride and groom took old Cassette Tapes and wrote the guests name, along with a Beatles Tune on them.

Via Green Wedding Shoes
The couple used Beatles albums in lieu of table numbers, so the guests then got to test their Beatles knowledge and find the album that "their song" was a part of in order to find their seat! So fun!

Via Green Wedding Shoes
This is a really cute and clever way to do wedding placecards and you could use whichever artist you preferred.

Have you heard of any creative place card ideas?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wedding Templates

A friend of mine recently emailed me explaining that her bride-to-be friend was in a dilemma. She was going down her bridal to-do list and saw that ordering invitations was next on her agenda. She set out to find some wedding-invite options, but soon got some intense sticker shock at the costs she was given.

I think this happens often, you get engaged and just don't realized all of the costs associated with a wedding in general. Frankly, it all adds up. And paper, isn't expensive, but the work that goes into creating an invitation out of that paper, is costly and labor intensive.

Creating your wedding invitations can be a blast, but many brides don't realize that they can also put a decent sized dent in your bridal budget. For that reason, we are here with a suggestion: templates!

Via Marinaatmakina Via Etsy

Via Designwomb Via Etsy

Templates are an easy way to choose the invite image you want, the designer customizes your details (Name, Date, Location- you know the drill), emails it back to you and you take it to a printer- voila! Wedding Invites Galore!

Via PhotographicMVP Via Etsy

Esty has a wonderful selection and variety of beautiful wedding templates- so simple. so quick. so fun!

Just do some finger exercises, because you'll need to build up your using scissor muscles... most likely.

Have you ever used templates or know someone who has? Share your experience with us!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dove Hair Care

I felt pretty luck when a representative from Dove emailed me and asked if she could send me their new line of Hair Care Products for me to test out.

First I have to let you know, I've used those Purple Bottles of Hair Care products for, as long as I can remember. I love the smell and my hair consistently looks decent. I don't like to spend a lot of time on my hair.

But trying something new, I was up for that.

So, when the box came, the first thing I did was smell it. I was nervous, I wanted something that smelled yummy... and frankly it did. Not fruity or florally, but clean.

I do have to say with a name like Nourishing Oil Care, it made me a bit nervous it was going to leave my hair feeling like a grease-ball. But, honestly it didn't! It allowed my hair to not frizz, behave under the intense Florida Humidity, and still look good.

I love the idea of having an intense conditioner that wasn't a 3-minute treatment, if I had more time, I'd let it stay in longer, and if I didn't, it would still work.

The Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave In Conditioner was amazing, it was thick and luscious, and really made my hair super soft and touchable, I was impressed.

I think what I liked the most about the products was that you could really feel the difference, the conditioner was thick, and didn't drip down my hand (sort of the sour cream test of thickness) and felt like Salon Quality Products, that I can buy at my local store.

Honestly, I was impressed.

I'd buy the products again.

{Dove sent me these products to review on my blog, I was not compensated for this post, I was trusted to give my full and honest opinion on the product. And I did.}

If you have a product you'd like featured on our Bridal Nesting Labs, please email me directly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Unique Groomsmen Gifts

When thinking up fun and thoughtful gifts for your wedding party, the bridesmaid gifts are a snap! There are so many adorable and perfect gifts that your closest girls will love, cherish, obsessed over, etc.

...but what about the groomsmen?

Thanks to this unique and delish idea we found over at Floridian Weddings, that question is easily answered:
Via Floridian Weddings

A DIY Groomsmen Goodie Box full of food and booze (for these are a few of their fav-o-rite things)!
Via Floridian Weddings

This gift box is not only super fun and full of wonderful treats like brownies, Maker's Mark (which is my husband's favoritest in the whole wide world), and a miniature flask that your groomsmen will surely appreciate, it's simple to make as well! Floridian Weddings gives you complete DIY instructions on how you can create this giftbox (and those delectable looking brownies) yourself.

{This post is in honor of the wonderful John DiStefano (ahem, that's my hubs) and his love of Maker's Mark}

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Open Letter to Wedding Vendors

I found this post recently on one of my dear friends blogs, and it is verbatim what I have been thinking lately, so I thought stealing borrowing, plagiarising, quoting her, would be the best way to say what I mean.

Photography by: Footstone Photography
This post has been brewing in me for a little while now. It is NOT directed to any one person or situation in particular. But a accumulation of occurrences.

As wedding engineers (er, planners), we get a plethora of wedding vendors that contact us requesting to be on our referred vendor list. Facebook messages, emails, cards, phone calls, and more. We have a process when we recommend a vendor (and yes, we will occasionally recommend vendors that we have not worked with before… as long as they have some stellar testimonials that we check out).

We are also offered many things, one of which a little “kick-back”. “Refer me and I’ll give you $50.” says wedding a vendor.

Honestly that’s not our motivation when referring vendors. For the record, we do not accept kick-backs of any kind. What we prefer is that you (the wedding vendor) extend that $50 towards our client’s service package. You look good, we look good. Win/Win.

However here’s the real needle in the haystack that I want to address in this blog post.

What we really would love, (we = wedding planners) are for wedding vendors that we recommend to do the following:

  • Bring your A game and a little more. Seriously. Treat the clients that we bring to you with such great care that they want to be your Bestie as well.
  • Want to work with US. That’s right. We bring you into the team-fold to spend all day with you on a Saturday (away from our family), we want you to work with us. If you have ever experienced working with the {wedding planning} team, you KNOW that we don’t ask you to do anything that we wouldn’t do ourselves. In fact, there is no such language as, “That’s not our job” at an event. We pitch in and work hard right along side of you.
  • Watch each other’s backs. It takes a full vendor team to execute a fabulous wedding. Everyone doing their part and a little more. We all make mistakes (yes, us too). We’re human. Help us and we’ll help you.
  • Be a little more flexible. You know that your job is going to be a little easier with us on site. Timelines and production schedules are complete. All vendors are contacted prior to the wedding. So don’t lump us with all your other DIY clients. We are professional. Time is money and we know what we are doing. A little flexibility goes a long way to repeat referrals.
  • Have fun on the wedding day. We pull 17 hours sometimes. Often, we’re the first ones there for setup … to the ceremony … the reception and breaking out. We love what we do, but I won’t lie. Sometimes it can be a long hard work day. Bring a smile and a great attitude. The day will go by faster and easier.
  • Communicate with us. Sometimes client’s don’t tell us everything. A rogue Father of the Bride goes off and plans special events during the reception as a surprise and we don’t know anything about it. Let us know ….
  • Refer US. You read that correctly. Throw our name out there to YOUR clients. Ask them, “WHO is your wedding planner?” and tell them about us. Tell them why you like to work with us. You should know, we SELL YOU before our clients call you to meet. This is a tight wedding vendor circle and throwing back some love to us is just as important as us always referring you. One sided relationships almost never work. Think about it.

This blog post was from the heart and for educational purposes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Footstone Photography

Have I mentioned that we are obsessed with our wedding pro's?

Footstone Photography, who we think are just super fantastical, recently shared a video giving you a behind the scenes look at the passion and professionalism that they put into their photography on the day of your wedding.

One thing I cannot say enough, is how important it is that you actually get along with your wedding professionals, especially your photographer, they are going to be "in your face" the whole day, so if they annoy you in the slightest while you are meeting for the first time... you'll probably want to claw your eyes out by the time your wedding day rolls around...

You can watch that video right here and get a glimpse into why we are so happy to work with such creative and wonderful vendors!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Invitations By Dawn Giveaway

Wedding invitations are one of our favorite parts of weddings (I have a thing for all things paper)- selecting the perfect theme, sending them, receiving them- it’s all just wonderful! We feel brides may get overwhelmed when looking through all of the options that are available to them.
So, when Dawn at Invitations by Dawn asked us if she could do a guest blog and giveaway with us, we said YES YES YES! Not only are her invitations trendy and  the awesomesauce, they are completely affordable and their customer service is out of this world! Check out what she had to say about wedding invitation trends and maybe you’ll be the lucky reader to win her giveaway:

Invitations By Dawn:

We’re thrilled to be here from Invitations by Dawn to share the latest news about wedding invitations and trends in today’s weddings.

At Invitations by Dawn, we specialize in theme wedding invitations and coordinating theme ceremony accessories and reception accessories perfect for YOUR celebration. Our brides contact us daily asking for invitations and accessories that coordinate with their unique wedding themes. And we aim to please by adding new wedding invitations and coordinating accessories all the time!

Some of the latest requests from our brides include:

via Invitations by Dawn
Whether they’re musicians themselves or just love music, today’s brides are loving a music theme for their weddings! We designed our Noteworthy Invitation with a flourish and music notes in classic black and white inspired by sheet music. Coordinating enclosure cards and a matching seal pull the wedding stationery look together!

Destination weddings are a hot wedding theme and we love this Passport Save the Date for letting guests know they’ll be traveling to celebrate with you. The colors and design all mimic a real passport for a fun and unique look.

Via Invitations by Dawn
Kate Middleton confirmed what we’ve always known — lace and weddings go hand in hand! We designed our Lacy Rose wedding invitation with modern shimmer paper and an embossed lace pattern to give brides the opportunity to add a regal and romantic touch to their own lace theme weddings.

How do you choose a wedding theme? Anything you love can become your wedding theme! While some brides base their theme on their favorite color or season, others draw their themes from hobbies, their occupation, or even their favorite movies! Don’t forget that the location of your destination wedding can become a theme in itself (Hawaii, the mountains, the tropics).

Have fun with your wedding theme! We hope you’ll visit us at Invitations by Dawn soon to find the perfect wedding invitations and coordinating accessories for your theme wedding.

Best wishes,

...and that's not all! It's time for an invitation giveaway from Invitations by Dawn!

The lucky winner will get to choose 100 wedding invitations from Dawn's great collection of theme wedding invitations- all of which include the latest trends, patterns and color schemes! Invitations by Dawn adds new wedding invitations all the time, so you can be the first bride to send one of their unique styles! Here's how to enter:

1. You must live in the United States (sorry to all of our international readers- we still love you!)
2. You must leave a comment on this post by Monday, October 24th at Midnight
3. Your comment must include your favorite time of the year to get married and why 
4. Also include a valid email so we can contact the lucky winner.

The winner will be selected randomly once the giveaway has ended. Good luck!

{MasterPiece Weddings was not compensated in anyway for posting this - we just like to share awesome things with our readers}

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Unique Fall Wedding Decor

October has always been one of my absolute favorite times of the year. Crisp air, fall colors, Halloween decorating, cute scarves, pumpkin spice lattes...what's not to love?!

One of my very very favorite things to do, however, is Pumpkin Carving! So many options and fun designs to utilize- even as decor for your wedding!

I'm not talking about our friend the Jack O' Lantern (although if you're going for a spooky theme, then awesome! Go for it!), I'm referring to this beautiful doily stenciled pumpkin I stumbled across on Better Homes and Gardens.

via BHG

Isn't that just BOO-ti-ful (I couldn't help myself)? It may look like something only a Pumpkin-pro could produce, but you can learn how to create this masterpiece right here!

Make sure to save us some roasted pumpkin seeds when you're finished- YUM!

What do you think?

Would you consider some carved pumpkin decor at your wedding?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Save-the-Date Magazine

We know that brides are looking for super creative Save the Date ideas, so, when we came across this awesometastic Save The Date Tabloid Magazine, we all fell in love! Everyone should feel like a celebrity on their wedding day!!

We found this on Inspired by This

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Flower Girl Dress

Photography by: Caroline Johnson
I love this image for so many reasons! First, I think it's adorable that the Flower Girl is helping the bride ger ready, so sweet!

I love this because this flower girl dress, tutu and leotard combination is just so stinkin' cute!

I love it because you can see how much the Flower Girl is concentrating on getting the shoe on just so.

It's true a picture is worth a thousand words. I think everyone sees something different in an image. And that is what makes photography at your wedding so worth it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Corset Back Wedding Gown

Me tying a Corset Back.... photo by Damon Tucci
I think that having a corset back on your wedding gown is gorgeous! I don't play favorites, buttons are beautiful too!

But when you have a corset back, there are 32 different ways to lace a corset and they all work.... your dress sales person will do it one way, your alterations seamstress will tell you another, the designer of the dress may have had another in mind... and your planner, well, she does it every weekend. And knows some great ways to lace you up!

These are my hands lacing up my sister's wedding dress. You want it to look pretty, but at the same time, a corset is function it needs to hold up the dress (amongst other things) in the gown for the night. And it will losen with movement, humidity, sitting, standing, breathing, so if it needs to be tightened once throughout the wedding evening that's okay.

My point of all this, is to trust your planner when she's lacing you up, and also budget some extra time (usually 15 minutes) to make sure you are in, it's straight and it looks pretty.

It doesn't have to be like this:

Me pretending to pull on Summer's Corset Hard - Photo by: Pure By Lindsey

Friday, October 7, 2011

Taking care of You

Eat Right.
Okay, so I am fairly selfless, I admit it, I put everyone in front of me. My family (pictured above is our 19 month old Gabriel - he is getting the last of the milk out of his cereal bowl- the kid cracks me up). But I digress, I love my clients, my family, my friends... and I have had a really hard time saying no.

Saying no to projects.

Saying no to my husband.

Saying no to my friends.

Not volunteering for that church committee.

It's hard, no is the hardest 2 letter word out there... I want people to be pleased. I want people to be happy. I don't want to say no.

Just like you may not like an idea that one of your friends or family members has for your wedding, you don't want to break their heart if they feel a pink bedazzled underwear cover is perfect for you and you hate the idea (I don't even know what an underwear cover is...if you love them, I am sorry...)

Stay Clean. (that's Gabriel and Harrison in the bath)
Getting to my point... promise.

There are times you have to just check yourself out, say no to everyone and have some YOU time. Read a book, take a bath, light some candles, turn your phone off, open that bottle of wine, turn on a movie you love. Just take some you time. Life is stressful enough, add to it, planning a big event - and you leave yourself open to get sick. Trust me I've done it.

Blurry Gabriel on the first day of school.
Remember what it was like when you had no cares in the world (if you can even remember back that far) When the best part of your day was eating that after school snack and your mom wasn't there to count how many cookies you were eating.

And breathe.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Worried about the Weather

Photography by Pure by Lindsey
I recieved the sweetest card from one of our brides - and I really just felt like sharing the love!

"Thank you so much for helping make our wedding day perfect! If it wasn't for you, I would have completely forgotten about a Grandma and might have been incapasciated by my fear of the rain! (there's a freen blob on the radar!). side note by Melissa: this bride literally wouldn't put her iphone down the entire day, I swear she had it stuffed in bra and was looking at the weather radar every 20 seconds like it was oxygen... it never rained. I told her it wasn't going to. My family and friends were all so impressed with your work, and I would and will recommend you to all my friends! Thank you again for being so great....

This is why I love my job!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Churros Are Delicious

I am a sucker for all things sugar-coated, so when I stumbled across this fantastical idea from Simply Perfect Weddings, I simply had to share it!

A make-your-own Churro bar!!! So fun, so easy, SO delicious!

Pick a Churro, put in the toaster....

Roll in your favorite coating....

And uh, dip!

My stomach is starting to growl thinking about the cinnamon-sugary-goodness that this Churro bar will bring. Mmmmmm!

How much fun will your guests have creating their own churro creations!?

Click here to find out how you can create this DIY display of yumminess for yourself!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fun Wedding Treats

Recently, Every Last Detail shared this super sweet donut hole on a stir stick & hot chocolate wedding treat idea that we love-love-loved!

With the Fall wedding season starting up, these would be the perfect treat to pass out to your wedding guests- especially presented in such an adorable way!

Photo by Harwell Photography, via SMP, via Every Last Detail

Hot chocolate and donuts! Who doesn't love that combination? A completely delightful and delicious way to wind down your wedding celebration!

What is your favorite treat? Are you going to share it at your wedding?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hiring Professionals for your Wedding

Beautiful Cake Courtesy of The Knot
When searching for the perfect baker for your wedding cake, always bring inspriation with you. In this instance, the bride brought this picture to her baker and said:

"I love this cake, can you make this happen for me?"

The baker replied:

"I have never done anything like that, but I'll give it a try"

The bride said:

"Are you sure? This is my wedding and I want it perfect"

The baker replied:

"I'm new at this, but it looks easy enough..."

And, this is what she got.

Not the same as above

Beware!!! Please hire professionals, look at their images, get referrals from professionals in your area, don't let your wedding be their test. You are looking to be disappointed.

There are so many amazing cake bakers in Gainesville, here are just a few:

KB Kakes
Ms. Debbie
Dream Day Cakes
Share Your Cupcakes

Thank you Cake Wrecks for spreading the PSA's to all of us, to hire Professionals! Go Pro or Go Home!

Blogging tips