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Vanilla Bakeshop

Check out this amazing cupcake stand from Vanilla Bakeshop! My friend Jenny sent over the picture after she read about the owners in the current issue of The Nest magazine. Turns out that Amy & Jeremy also had their wedding featured on The Knot which, naturally, was amazing. I've come across the pictures of the centerpieces before but the rest of the wedding is beautiful as well. It was shot by Nicole Caldwell:I love those striped lanterns and her dress is amazing!

Thank You!

While reading Brooklyn Bride, I saw her post about being included in Instyle Wedding's blog roll I thought, "Oh wow, good for her!" Not until I clicked on the link did I realize that my little blog was on that list too. A huge thank you to InStyle for including me - I am honored to be on the list!

Pearl Dog Collar

Last summer, I saw this article in Martha Stewart Weddings about cute ways to dress your dog for your wedding day. There is no chance that Lola is well behaved enough to be a part of the wedding itself, but we would like to get a few pictures with her beforehand. There are several collars and leashes made of ribbon in the article, but I think that the pearl collar is to cute! To make the collar you need embroidery thread, large faux pearls (I used 18mm), a needle and some satin ribbon. I also eventually opted for a clasp because tying the thread in a not wasn't quite as sturdy as I needed it to be. Lola isn't a huge fan of the collar so I need to be sure it will stand up to her attempts at removing it! So first, measure around the dog's neck and add about 12 inches. Then cut the thread to size:

Tie a knot in one end of the thread, thread a needle and start putting the pearls on (I wound up finding mine on ebay for about $5).
It took exactly twenty 18mm pearls to make the right size collar for Lola. The $5 package that I bought had about 35 pearls in there, so I used a little more than half.Once all the pearls are on tie another knot in the opposite end and you're finished! Again, I eventually decided to use a clasp because just tying the string around her neck didn't work out very well. Once the collar is on take some satin ribbon and tie it around the clasp into a bow...I couldn't get her to sit still long enough to take a picture of that step!
Here she is, in all her pearl collar glory:
Admittedly, she's still not a huge fan, but hopefully if we let her wear it around the house a little she'll get used to it. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Handmade Wedding Series

I am sure most of you have heard by now, but Etsy is currently hosting a Handmade Wedding series that is a wealth of ideas an inspiration. The above "cake" is from seller Daisyanddots, and breaks apart to reveal individual candy boxes. I am convinced now more than ever that you could plan an entire wedding via Etsy, and wind up with an event that is both unique and relatively inexpensive. The level of talented people on that site is just amazing, look at these Save the Dates from seller vreelanddesign: This green garnet ring from ShadeJewelry is so unique (and only $200):
I don't even know what I would use these poppy corsages for, but I want one just based on the picture.
Have you bought anything from Etsy for your wedding? Anyone else find the site as addicting as I do?

More Accessories

I ordered the necklace and I couldn't possibly love it more! I was able to try it on with my dress this weekend and they fit perfectly together. My Mom and I decided that some sizable (9-10mm) pearl studs would be the perfect earring to tie it all together, and therefore the hunt for the perfect pearls became part of our weekend projects. We were at Macy's looking for some socks for the boys when we decided to check out the jewelery counter. I was sure that I would have to get fake pearls, considering the size I wanted them to be and the fact that I wasn't willing to spend a small fortune on earrings. We found the real pearl section and decided to just quickly ask about the price of the perfect pair of 9mm pearls that was staring us in the face. The original price was a little staggering, but then the saleswoman told us that they were having a 50% off sale, plus there was a 10% coupon, and if you used your Macy's card there was an extra 15% off...how I love a good sale! We wound up getting the earrings for 75% off, which wound up being almost exactly what I wanted to spend. So, I give you my wedding day earrings:
I would have never thought to look in a department store for pearls, so this just goes to show that you should always keep your options open! What kind of earrings did/are you wearing on your wedding day?

The Production Begins

We went to my parents house for Easter weekend and got so much wedding related work done it will take me all week to blog about it! And when I say "we" I really mean that everyone else worked and I walked around and gave direction while taking pictures. It's the way to be. First up, my Mom and I made one of the runners so that we can take it up to Wisconsin for our "table mock-up" in a few weeks. We were originally planning on making them 14-16" wide, but when we laid the fabric out it was clear that each runner could only be as wide as the biggest part of the pattern:
So each runner is almost exactly 12 inches. If you can see those little diamond things on the outside of the large pattern, we cut right down the middle of those to make each runner. That way we could fold each edge under about 1/4 of an inch. We made the first runner 120" long, which will be the longest possible length. When we put it on the table we'll decide how long we actually want them to be and trim accordingly. The first cut was through the width of the fabric, to get the appropriate length:

Then we cut out each runner...if you look closely you can see the lines that we drew right on the fabric. The ends get folded under, so even if you're not completely accurate (I am nearly incapable of cutting in a straight line) you won't see the lines.
Then you pin each of the edges under 1/4 of an inch. After my Mom pinned them this way she realized it was easier to put in the pins in vertically because you can run the sewing machine right over them.
We decided that white thread would blend the best. The actual sewing takes only a few minutes, it's the cutting and the pinning that takes awhile.Here is the first finished product! As you can see, my Mom's measuring skills were right on and the large pattern is perfectly centered all the way down.
The lumps in the fabric are just because we didn't feel like ironing at the moment. They lay quite nicely and the fabric is a great weight so that they hang over the edge perfectly.
We also decided that sewing some black satin ribbon onto the edges might make it look more finished. My Mom is going to get some ribbon and make another runner with the ribbon attached this week. We'll take both of them up to Wisconsin and decide which we like best when we see them on the tables. I would say it will take about an hour to make each runner, and I tried to let my Mom off the hook several times this weekend but she insists that she wants to make them. Thank goodness for Moms :)

David Meister Dress

Lyndsy from Yellow Brick Blog sent me the link to this dress and thought it would be perfect for a rehearsal dinner. I couldn't agree more! It's actually chocolate colored pattern, definitely something that can be worn again. Thanks, Lyndsy! Be sure to head over to her blog and check out her new wedding shoes...they're fabulous!

Oh Happy Day!

I am not sure it's possible for me to be more pleased with myself right now. I successfully made our ring bearer pillow last night!Yes, I know, really I just sewed two square pieces of fabric together and stuffed them. But if you knew me you would know that this is an accomplishment. I think I mentioned that I just got a sewing machine for Christmas, but people were actually worried I would lose a finger (which is a valid concern). Here is a close up:
And the back, so you can see the pattern and just how cute that fabric really is:
I'll admit that the first one I made was way to small, making this one my second attempt. And it really did take me about three hours to get it right but the fact that it's actually sewn together in a square is nothing less than thrilling for me. If you're interested in the details I can give some, but basically you just get yourself some fabric, cut it into 10" squares, sew them together and stuff!

Spring?

I am so ready for some warm weather I can hardly stand it! But since the Chicago climate doesn't seem to be cooperating at all, this will have to hold me over. This wedding, shot by the amazing photographers at Valls Photographic, just seems so bright and spring-like (we'll ignore that it was actually shot in September). If you want to know the details behind all the vendors, check out their blog.

Tie 'Em Up

As I've mentioned before, I am painfully indecisive. I am also really terrible at trying to visualize how things will look...I need to see them beforehand so I can stare at the picture for hours on end, agonize over it a little more, and then come to a decision. Since our wedding party is essentially traveling from all over the country, we've decided to just tell the boys to wear their own black suits. Plain black, no stripes, but the rest is up to them. If they want to rent one, buy one, wear one they already have, doesn't matter to me! I am envisioning black suits, white shirts, and a green tie. Easy, right? Not so much. I've been hunting for months to find the perfect green tie! I really wanted a stripe of some sort and nearly every green tie is paired up with navy blue stripes. And then, when I was close to my witts end, I found this at Brooks Brothers:
It's the perfect shade of green, no blue stripes, and it's also $75. That would mean that if we only bought these for the groom & two groomsmen we're looking at over $200. I whined and cried and kept looking. But now my friends, Brooks Brothers is having a sale! Not only do you get 15% off your entire purchase (25% if you have a store card) the ties are buy one get one 30% off. A little over $50/tie is a lot more reasonable and it will make an excellent gift for the boys (we liked them so much the ushers and the Dad's are getting some too). But since I am a freak and have to create mock-ups of things to see what they'll look like, I had to get a visual of the entire ensemble before ordering. I give you, a really bad mock-up of the groomsmen:

The ties are ordered! And yes, there is a pocket square in that picture for a reason. I don't know what color we'll wind up going with but B is completely against boutonnieres so this is our alternative. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

The Necklace?

I think I've mentioned this before, but I can be painfully indecisive. Pair that with the fact that I don't normally wear a lot of jewelry and deciding on a necklace for my wedding day is almost impossible. I want something simple and that probably doesn't involve diamonds. The next logical choice would be pearls, but I don't think a standard strand of pearls really fits my personality or the level of formality we're going for. Then I saw this picture of the always lovely Molly (from her knot bio):
{Photography by Heather Cook Elliott}

The necklace is just one long strand of coin pearls with some crystals mixed in...I think it's perfect! I looked around online and found a close match from Etsy seller BeadleJules:
I love that it can be worn so many different ways...I can make a purchase and still don't have to make up my mind! And if I decide to go Molly's route and wear it hanging down my back I can just cut off the clasps and always reattach them later.

Fabric

I get a lot of emails about Damask fabric, so constructing a post about where to find it is long overdue! When my Mom and I first decided to make the runners (well, more like after she agreed to make the runners) we went to several different fabric stores looking for black & white damask fabric and came up with nothing. We turned to the internet and found three places that always seem to have some damask fabric in stock:
1. Warehouse Fabrics Inc. - This is where I bought my fabric (pictured above) for $6.98/yard. It's called Traditions Black and actually comes in several different colors. There is another black & white damask pattern available on the same site, called Madison Black. It's the exact same pattern as the Traditions but the print is much smaller. If you look at the "repeat" you'll see that the Madison pattern is 4x4, whereas the Traditions is 12X13:
2. BuyFabrics - I like this site a lot because you can search for fabric by color. In the black & white section you'll find the same two fabrics that are pictured above plus an array of stripes and polka dots. I seriously considered this paisley fabric before landing on the damask:
3. Ebay - Just search for "damask fabric" and hundreds of results come up. Everytime I've searched I've always seen the Madison & Traditions fabrics mentioned above, along with an array of others. This is really the place I've found the most options - there is damask fabric in almost every color imagineable. Yesterday I mentioned buying some green & white fabric but there are lots of other options:
And a lot of great black and white choices:
I swear this is almost the exact same fabric as the Pier 1 chair:

So, I hope this helps, but don't hesitate to keep emailing me with questions. I love hearing about how you're all planning your own weddings!

Ring Bearer Pillows

{Lisa Lefkowitz Photography}

I love colorful ring bearer pillows and the two above are some of my particular favorites. My Mom actually has a handkerchief that could be used to make the one on the left, but honestly I am a little worried about it getting dirty or otherwise damaged. It's something I would rather have as a keepsake that I can maybe use another way for the wedding. So, I decided to try and find some brightly colored green fabric so that I can make one similar to the picture on the right. I was searching for some damask fabric for someone else on ebay, when I came across this:
My Mom gave me my first sewing machine for Christmas and I have high hopes that with the right color thread and some ribbon I'll be in business. There is also a solid chance it could wind up looking disasterous, but for now I have high hopes! I am still debating on how to display the escort cards but I bought some extra fabric in case I decide to go along this route: I would opt for two standing easels and use the rest of the fabric to make these amazing tacks that could hold each card in place:You can find out all about the tacks and how to make them from the amazing Jessica Jones on How About Orange. And if you're feeling adventureous and also want to make your own ring bearer pillow, Martha can tell you how.

MoxieBee

The lovely Tressie of So Frugalicious has opened her own online boutique! She and a friend started MoxieBee because they were increasingly frustrated trying to find cute, affordable, work appropriate clothes and accessories. Besides having a soft spot for fellow bloggers starting businesses, I have to say that their stuff is really cute (and so affordable)! I love this red trench, which is only $38:And there are some great accessories and jewelery, all so reasonably priced. These would go with practically any bridesmaid dress and would definitely be worn again (only $12.50):I like these so much I am thinking about ordering a pair for myself ($14)!Tressie says that they're going to be getting new things in all the time, so be sure to check it out!

If I Had a Million Dollars...

How amazing is this?? The lovely Natalie sent me this picture a few weeks ago and I've been staring at it ever since. If there were no such things as budgets I would be commissioning one of these right this second.