Jul 31, 2009

How better to bring DIY Week to a close than with a great big CONTEST?!?!?

Here's the scoop:
If you're a DIY goddess, get your sewing shears and scissors out because we're looking for the crème de la crème of creativity! I want to see your BEST DIY project{s} ... they can be big or small, elaborate or simple, so long as they are unique and original!!!

Did you stage and style your own engagement photos {what a feat that would be!}? Make a music video montage to show at your reception? Create killer Save the Dates or invitations? Work tirelessly on constructing your own photobooth?

We want to see your efforts and ultimately, we want to see projects that make our jaws drop and have us saying WOW!!!

To submit:
Send a step-by-step tutorial of your DIY project to You will need to include written steps AND a series of low-res photos that walk us through your steps to be considered. Deadline is August 20, 2009 at midnight CST.

How it works:
I will narrow the entries down to the top 5 and then turn the decision over to a panel of judges {see below}! The winner will be announced on CB's 2-year blog-i-versary, August 28.

Let me introduce you to the fabulous judging panel:

And, finally, what you've been waiting for ... THE PRIZE PACKAGE:

The prize package details:
From left to right:
Row 1:
{1} $200 gift certificate toward a save the date or invitation letterpress order from Delphine; {1} $50 gift certificate from Tallu-lah; {1} Black and white wedding logo from betsywhite {$50}
Row 2: A month-long supply of yummy treats from Skinny Cow; {1} pair of versatile vermeil dangle earrings {$45} from Margaret Elizabeth; {1} $50 gift certificate from The Wedding Outlet; {1} Boss Box from Coastal Cigars, containing four cigars, a cutter, and mini-bottle.
Row 3: 200 Free Save the Dates from Magnet Street Weddings worth $180 - any style, any design; {3} silver and {3} sparkle silk charmeuse wraps from Nimli for the bridesmaids; {1} Fine Art 10x13 Hahnmuhle Bamboo Fiber Print by Look Photography. {$275.00}

Notes: This contest is restricted to U.S. residents only. Regarding the bamboo print by Look Photography, the winner must own the rights to have the photo printed (contract or release needed if taken by professional photographer) and will need to e-mail the high resolution photo to Look Photography.

DIY Week: Flower How-To with Summer

Even though DIY Week is winding down, the projects certainly aren't losing any steam! On this last day, I'm ecstatic to have Summer, of {grey} likes weddings, let us in to her world of floral design! Summer also hosts the occasional workshop so if you're in the OC metro area, check out all the details here! Okay, I'm going to stop chatting so you can get to the good stuff! It's all yours, Summer:

For Beginners

If you are completely and totally afraid of flowers, don’t worry! Individual stems can look absolutely fabulous, particularly when you plop them into unique vessels (think out of the box!) and pair them with friends. Secret to success: be sure the opening of your vessel is fairly small, so the flower can stand upright on its own.

Arrangement How-to
Step One:
For the vessel we’ve chosen (which is AFFORDABLY plastic…but when it is covered up with flowers, totally looks like it could be milk glass!) we have to use floral oasis. This isn’t too expensive and can be found at supply stores such as Michaels or your local florist. Be sure to get the “wet” version…the stuff used for dried flowers isn’t the same! If you have floral vitamins/life extender, put that in a bucket of water and then soak your oasis in it until it is heavy enough to sink below the water line. (Don’t force it down…it will cause air bubbles to get trapped and potentially neglect water to some of your stems).

Step Two: Treat all your flowers with a fresh cut. Then peel off all leaves or branches carefully and discard.

Step Three: Start with your larger stems. Don’t be afraid to choose unique pieces for your arrangement. We started with kale…seems crazy but worked really well in our pieces.

Step Four: Begin to create the shape of your arrangement by spreading out your next hardiest flowers. Keep the floppy fragile ones until the end…they’ll need to lean on the stronger stems! The number one pitfall to avoid: over crowding your arrangement. Keep things spread out…it will look ugly in the beginning, but you’ll have a chance to keep filling things in and by the end, you’ll fill all the holes in.

Step Five:
Add the more fragile flowers…give them something to lean on. Remember, your stems can be at varying heights. This creates an element of surprise and texture.
Step Six: Add your fun filler!
Step Seven: WATER & enjoy!

Bouquet How-to
Step One: Treat flowers by giving a fresh cut and peeling off leaves.
Step Two: Start by grouping three or four flowers together. These will serve as your center.
Step Three: Gradually add flowers around this center point at a very SUBTLE decline, so as to create the round look. Add the filler as you go. Secret to success: work in odd numbers!
Step Four: Tape the bottom with floral tape or secure with twine.
Step Five: Give the stems a fresh and even cut. Enjoy!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Summer! These how-tos are totally inspiring me to dabble in the art so I can have beautiful arrangements around the house all year long! And, of course, they'd be spectacular for a wedding!!!!! I love the idea of getting crafty with the vessels and using teapots or vintage vases!

PS. Make sure to head right back here later this afternoon for a BIG, BIG, BIG surprise! :o) xox.

{Images: Jasmine Star}

DIY Week: Hair accessory with Anne

Jul 30, 2009

Next up, let's turn the floor over to the very talented Anne, of Perfect Bound, who will share a great style trick:

I love the way a bride looks with a flower in her hair whether it's a sophisticated stem pinned into an updo or a casual bud tucked behind the ear. I barely decided on my own hair style in time for my wedding and after changing my stylist at the last minute (2 days before the wedding to be exact,) I had no time to pick out a hair accessory.

Thank goodness for my friend Ashley who not only made all of the bridesmaid jewelry, but thought to take an extra boutonniere and use it as the inspiration behind the ultimate DIY.

It was long ago decided that Tom's groomsmen wouldn't wear boutonnieres but we decided to stick with tradition when it came to our fathers. Both my dad and Tom's dad wore beautiful gardenia boutonnieres made from a single fragrant bloom. Our florist, X-quisite Flowers & Events, was kind enough to send a third boutonniere on the day of the wedding for good measure. Gardenias are super soft and even the slightest handling can leave an impression on their pure white petals.

That extra boutonniere came in handy after the ceremony when my veil was removed and we were getting ready for the reception. Ashley worked her magic and with a little luck and a few bobby pins secured the spare boutonniere in place to make the most beautiful hair accessory I could have asked for. The single flower was the perfect size and the pure white gardenia couldn't have looked more beautiful if we planned for it months in advance.

I ended up wearing the flower in my hair all night long and love the way it looks in our photographs. I spent weeks searching for the perfect veil and that only lasted 50 minutes! The flower was much more my style--simple, elegant and totally spontaneous.

I think the trick with all DIY is to keep things simple and inject meaning wherever you can. I ended up saving the gardenia and keep it in a special place to remind myself of our wedding day but also of my father, my best friend Ashley, my mom who requested the gardenia in the first place (so she had something sweet to smell on my father's lapel whenever she cozied up to him on the dance floor!) and most of all, the unexpected moments throughout our wedding that made the night so memorable. I'm also grateful that I had wonderful vendors whose extra touches made all the difference!

To see more little details from our wedding, including our fabulous wedding vendors, click here.

Thanks so much for sharing, Anne! You were such a beautiful bride! And I'm a fan of gardenias, too - I wore one tucked behind my ear on our wedding day, as well! ;o) More great ideas on the way!!!

{photo credits: Belathee Photography}

DIY Week: Lanterns with Livy

Today, I'd like to introduce Livy, of A Field Journal, to DIY Week! Despite Livy's busy schedule, she was able to send over a lovely past project she did detailing Photo Lanterns. Welcome, Livy:

"It's been posted before at my blog and Decor8, but it really is so perfect for summer that it would be nice to share with your readers. I just love outdoor celebrations when the weather's warm and these are such a sentimental complement."

These lanterns would be such a sentimental touch to an outdoor wedding! You could include heirloom family photos or recent pics of you and your sweetie ... or, DUH! engagement photos! The possibilities are endless! For the full tutorial, head over to Decor8 right here ...

+ a little bit about Livy, in her own words:
I am a university student of history and art history, living and crafting in a circa 1948 Los Angeles apartment. I love discovering new places in the city, going home again and taking trips to the craft store. In the past I've contributed DIY tutorials at Once Wed and Decor8, and currently produce content for Project Wedding.

Thanks so much for sharing, Livy! I love lanterns and your project really personalizes the concept! Visit Livy's blog for more inspiration and MAKE SURE you tune in to CB tomorrow for a BIG SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!

DIY Week: Linen Flowers Fascinator with Christine

Jul 29, 2009

I am a huge fan of Christine's oh-so-feminine and romantic accessories so naturally, when I found out she'd be joining in and sharing the steps behind a très glam fascinator, I was just thrilled! Take it away, Christine:

I love linen and the way the edges fray in a perfectly romantic way. And ivory linen just screams spring or summer wedding to me. This comb is perfect for the bride who wants something simple and romantic. Also would be wonderful, handcrafted loveliness for your bridesmaids.

- 4” plastic comb
- 10” x 10” square ivory linen (or scraps)
- 7” x 7” square ivory tulle
- Small glass pearls
- Fabric glue
- Thread
- Beading needle or skinny sewing needle
- Scissors
*All supplies available at JoAnn Fabrics

1} Cut linen into circles: 5 x 2.5” and 5 x 1.5”

2}Stack small circles on top of larger circles and fold the double circles into little cones. Sew the bottom of the cones to gather.

3}Sew a glass bead (or glue with a tiny drop of glue) in the center of each cone. Fray the edges of the circles a bit.

4}Fold the tulle square into a cone and sew the bottom to gather.

5}Put a drop of glue on middle of comb and press tulle cone into glue and let dry.

6} Put more glue along the top of the comb and press flowers into the glue scrunching them together a bit.

All done! Have fun and use different colored linen, different colored pearls, more pearls, bigger circles, add feathers, whatever!

Thanks for stopping by, Christine! And visit Modern Romance for more over-the-top chicness! Christine also has a blog full of gorgeous content -- have a visit!

DIY Week: Cupcake flags with Yours, Truly

Thought I'd sneak in and share a fun + EASY DIY of my own! :o)

Cupcakes are a fabulous addition to any wedding or event and the only thing that can make them even cuter is a little flag flying above them!!! I spent an afternoon baking a batch of red velvet goodness and then popped these already assembled hand-lettered flags on top. Cute, no? Scroll down for the how-to ...

What you'll need:
- Cupcakes ;o) ... You could whip up a batch yourself or give the task to your local bakery
- Toothpicks
- Zots from Michael's {great little double-sided stickies for adhering the flags}
- Flags {I used some from Martha Stewart's collection but you could easily make your own}

The steps:
First, you'll need to choose what you want to write on the flags ... it could be your shared monogram, your wedding date, your names or a cute saying ... Second, either write your chosen words on the flags --or-- task it out to your favorite calligrapher! Third, wrap the flag around the end of a toothpick and adhere with a Zot. Finally, fold the flags in thirds to create a wavy look and place the toothpicks in the cupcakes. All done!

Too time-consuming? Just order them!
If you love the look but don't have the time, no worries! I'm currently taking custom orders through my shop! I'll find the flags, hand-letter them in my custom calligraphy, attach them to the toothpicks and mail them to you for your special event!

Just e-mail me with the following info:
- The flag color
- The ink color
- The words you'd like hand-lettered on the flags
- The number of flags you'd like to order
Flags are only $1 each and I accept payment via PayPal. Shipping is a flat $12 {includes priority mail + delivery confirmation}. For more information, visit my shop, SD Calligraphy! I look forward to hearing from you!

DIY Week: Florals with Anne

Jul 28, 2009

Hello Classic Bride readers! It's Anne from The City Sage here. I'm so honored to be a part of Sarah's DIY Week--and like all bloggers and recent brides, I'm no stranger to DIY myself! I love the effect that lots of greenery can have in a flower arrangement; it makes the settings look bountiful while keeping costs low.

Last fall I made these simple arrangements from wheat grass, dahlia blossoms, and ceramic pots from Ikea. Just plop the grass in the pot--don't even remove it from its plastic container--then poke a dahlia or two amongst the leaves. You can of course use different flowers depending on your theme and what's in season.

And check out my buddy Jen's gorgeous backyard wedding! Homegirl went all the way in the greenery department, literally rolling sod down the length of her tables, then nestling flowers and tealights amongst the grass. Even the cake and cupcake display got the treatment! Super easy, yet super effective.

Be sure to check out the rest of Jen's DIY wedding story at her blog Raising Granola (I dare you not to laugh hysterically at her writing!) and I hope to see you at my blog The City Sage sometime soon!

DIY Week: Orangeade with Erika

Continuing the fun, I'm excited to share Erika's yummy recipe and decor idea for homeade Orangeade! Erika recommends leaving the sugar out altogether for a more healthy drink and she adds, "It's a great eco-friendly alternative to serving those little plastic bottles of water at parties. Plus it's pretty and makes a nice 'centerpiece' on a table."

Thanks for stopping by, Erika! My mouth is already watering! ;o) Visit Erika's fabulous stationery shop and blog for beautiful wedding invitations and don't forget to tune in to CB the rest of this week for more DIY ideas!

Welcome to DIY Week!!! First up: Photobooth with Kate

Jul 27, 2009

I thought it would be great fun to gather a few of my favorite bloggers + vendors in the wedding industry and have them all come together for a celebration of DIY style right here on Classic Bride. So, all this week, we'll be raising our collective glasses to crafty brides {and grooms} everywhere by sharing loads of DIY crafts and inspiration ... and like any good party, we expect to mingle and get to know the guests ... so on Friday, the tables will turn ;o) ... Stay tuned for a fun-filled week and a fabulous finale!

To kick it all off, I'd like to welcome one of my favorite photographers in the wedding industry,
Kate Headley! Take it away, Kate:

Last winter, local DC wedding planner Maria Cooke, of the Ritzy Bee Blog, asked me to take some photos of her for her new website. I don't have a real studio and it was very chilly outside for an extended shoot, so I had a challenge. My solution was this adorable little lantern set I created with just a few supplies. I thought it would be fun to share the behind the scenes to this photoshoot, which could easily be adapted into a fun photobooth.

Here's what you need:
- Roll of Kraft paper: $2.99 at CVS
- Blue tape: $4.99 from hardware store
- String: white cotton string, Michael's $2.99
- Lanterns: assorted sizes and colors $46 from Paper Lantern Store
- Stool: found in my alley

The light for this was from an adjacent window - I didn't actually light the lanterns, but it's something you could explore. It's pretty self explanatory ... you just cut the strings different lengths, tie to the lanterns and then attach to the ceiling using painters tape. (The trick to style the lanterns at different lengths, strategically placing different colors and styles to achieve a collage-like affect.) If you had a lot of people coming and going around the lanterns, I recommend putting them back behind people or securing to the ceiling in a more sturdy way.

Thanks so much for sharing, Kate! I love the idea of a lantern photobooth! Visit Kate's website and blog for more beautiful inspiration! And make sure you check in all this week for lots more DIY ideas!

Fun NYC/Columbia University engagement shoot

Jul 26, 2009

Seriously, I think this is my new favorite engagement session ... so fun and stylish yet still relaxed! You can just see the love oozing out the photos and isn't that what engagement photos are all about??!?

And even more fun: The couple are the winners of Classic Bride's contest with Missy Photography! They opted for the e-shoot instead of the day-after shoot and I've gotta say, I think they made a darn good choice! To see more from their NYC/Columbia University shoot, visit Missy's blog here.

Can't wait to see your wedding next June! Congrats Kasia and David!!!

Ardour for your bridesmaids

Jul 25, 2009

Exciting news ... chloe & reese just launched Ardour, a bridal-inspired collection, and it's pretty much all-out fabulous! Sophisticated styles and thousands of custom options ... your 'maids will love you! More info here.

Cute as a button chapel

Jul 24, 2009

We glimpsed this DARLING chapel on the way to visiting Oak Alley a few weeks back ... there was even a wedding going on ... see the sweet green wreaths and draped tulle around the doors? It couldn't have been a more beautiful, sunshine-y day for a wedding!

Which would you rather get married in -- a charming chapel or a stunning cathedral?

{Located along the Mississippi River in Vacherie, La.}

Vintage dress

Jul 23, 2009

Seriously ... can you get over that dress?!??! It's vintage 1950s ... which explains why I love it so! To see more from this insanely beautiful wedding, click here.

Would you consider wearing a vintage dress for your wedding?

An at-home wedding .... giveaway!!!

Jul 22, 2009

If you're a regular reader, you know I'm madly in love with the idea of an at-home wedding ... there is something so endearing and timeless about it! Which is why I had to share this gem with you ...

Gorgeous, right? Imagine dancing on the lawn under the stars after your afternoon wedding ....

Well, it gets better! This breathtaking inn + restaurant is giving one lucky couple an all-expense paid destination wedding! All you have to do is submit your story and then have your friends and family vote for you. So get that pen and paper out and start writing! ;o)

Bonus! The fab estate has incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and is situated in Mendocino Village, an enclave brimming with charm ... Can you imagine the photos?! Gahhh:

{Contest found on InStyle Weddings}

NOLA colors = sublime wedding palettes

Jul 21, 2009

Thought I'd share a few photos from my birthday stay in New Orleans ... I think the mix of cheerful colors found on homes in the French Quarter provide great inspiration for wedding palettes! The lemondrop and eggshell blue {above} would be incredible for a late summer farm wedding.

Coral + pale blue + butter = Bubbly and lighthearted feel for a springtime city wedding.

Warm teal + limoncello = Perfection for a Southern fall wedding ... I'd want to include that Vespa, too!

In case you can't quite make it out, that's a lime tree on the city sidewalk ... I loved the surprising, surreal quality of it! .... Lime + Slate = Fresh mix for an urban chic loft soiree

Robin egg blue + cream = Love this combo for a snowy winter wedding.

Where do/did you find your inspiration for color palettes?