Sometimes you just need a break from wedding planning, and by Friday everyone is ready for a break anyway! So each week, we send you into the weekend with some of our favorite finds from around the web, from pretty products to tutorials to interesting articles, and whatever else strikes our fancy. We hope you enjoy, and of course have a happy, happy weekend!
How about this black and white bathroom makeover.
Rethinking the word “foodie.”
Seersucker napkins are perfect for summer.
Look what happened to this lawn after a heavy rain!
Dried pineapple flowers for a tiki party cocktail.
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“I would have had my Dad walk me down the aisle but sadly he passed away in 2009. I didn’t want to replace him for the role, so Dave met me part way and we walked in together,” shares Leandra. “Overall, we weren’t going for a traditional wedding but I like to think we may have started some traditions of our own. Instead of a traditional ring pillow or box, Dave found a beautiful piece of driftwood on the shore of the lake and cleaned it up to present our rings at the ceremony.”
Why this beautiful location? “Shuswap Lake in British Columbia has always been a special place for my family and me. Despite growing up in Winnipeg, I spent every summer of my childhood on the edge of this lake surrounded by mountains and fresh air. My ancestors on my father’s side moved from England and settled in this area in 1893, so there is a strong family tie. Even though Dave is from Perth, Australia, he was the first one to suggest the lake (having visited and loved it as much as me) for our location. I’d never thought of it beforehand but it was such a natural fit.”
We asked the bride what her favorite part of the day was: “Can I have more than one favorite?” she says. “Getting a surprise serenade by my new husband on his ukulele in front of everyone at the reception – he sang Soul Sister by Train. I didn’t even know he could play the ukulele! Sneaking in a practice wedding dance outside in the gazebo during dinner. Running down to the dock and jumping in the lake just as all the guests’ sparklers went out – this was THE perfect end to our day, it was freezing but amazing!”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Both Dave and I are avid travelers and coming from different countries (Canada and Australia) we knew most of our guests would be making a long journey to attend our marriage. Instead of traveling all that way just for a wedding, we were inspired to get our guests into ‘lake mode’ for the entire weekend, starting with a welcome bag of sunscreen and snacks in their rooms. We hosted a Meet & Greet Bonfire the night before with s’mores and Jiffy Pop and continued the gathering with a post-wedding brunch at the Lodge. Naturally, we were also inspired by the location on the lake, and by the native heritage of the area. Quaaout Lodge is situated on a First Nations reserve and run by the Little Shuswap Indian Band.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? In Australia many brides carry a white satin or lace horseshoe with their bouquet for good luck and I was given a beautiful one to carry by a friend of Dave’s family. I then subsequently forgot both my wreath and the horseshoe when I walked out. I think that was the only bad luck of the day!
Please tell us about any special details from your wedding. My engagement ring was hand carved from Jarrah (an Australian hardwood) by Dave after he heard the story of my Dad carving a cherry wood engagement ring for my Mom, and my brother having done the same for his engagement. // We collected rocks from the lake to use as place cards and several people took theirs home as a souvenir. // As a small tribute to my Dad, we used beeswax candles on the tables at the reception that I made from his beekeeping days. // We planted organic herbs in second-hand teacups as part of our centerpieces. After the wedding we planted all the herbs in our garden and used the cups as decorations along the border. // In order to get us to kiss, guests had to write a poem using the words from a page of a romance novel, which had some very amusing results!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Some really good advice I got was actually right here on this site – basically, decide on your own theme, priorities, preferences, then stop looking at wedding blogs and Pinterest at least two months before your wedding. There are so many cool ideas out there (and more still tomorrow), but you can’t possibly do them all. Take a break and cut yourself off from outside influence once you know what you both want.
What advice do you have for other brides? Keep it in perspective. Making it a memorable day doesn’t have to cost an entire year’s salary. While the number of guests can bump your spending up, try to keep the focus on what’s important. Personally, we didn’t bother with things like chair covers (who really looks at the back of their chair once they sit down?) or rental cars (no one saw us arrive or leave), or a DJ (get your playlists out!). Instead we kept things interesting with good food, an amusing MC (my brother), a few dance lessons and some sparklers.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? If you have the time, do it yourself (or ask a friend). We had a long engagement so our planning was quite stretched out, but that didn’t mean we had everything done in time! We did save a lot of money by keeping things simple but unique. Initially we wanted printed canvas tote bags to use as welcome bags but this ended up being way out of our budget. We settled for brown paper bags with just a few well-selected items and personalized them with a note. We put them in everyone’s room before they arrived and that was all it needed to be – a warm welcome and a token of thanks.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? We had guests from Australia, France, Ireland, Poland, the UK, United States and Canada!
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British Columbia Wedding by Ed Peers23 July 2014
Cara and Matt’s wedding epitomizes the impact of choosing a spectacular venue – what could possibly match the drama and beauty of dogwood tress in full bloom?! And of course it never hurts to hire a photographer like Marta Locklear, who can preserve those memories in beautiful images like these…
“My favorite part of the day,” says Cara, “was the moment when I was walking down the aisle with my Dad, I looked up and saw everyone that Matt and I love looking right back at me. All of the people who have shaped our lives for so many years had all gathered there on that day to celebrate us and our love for each other.”
“Matt and I focused a lot on the feeling and the content of the wedding ceremony. We wanted everyone there to feel love – for their spouses, their families, and the friends in their life. We hand picked readings, songs, and specific parts of the ceremony that meant something to us. I wanted all of our family members to play a role. Matt and I had our brothers escort our mothers during the ceremony and helped them to light the unity candles. The readings were done by my brother, sister, and Matt’s brother. My sister-in-law sang ‘All of Me’ and ‘Simple Gifts’ during the ceremony.”
“Matt rented a 1960 Rolls Royce to take us around town after the ceremony in order to get some pictures and just have a moment to ourselves. I have always loved classic cars and felt like royalty riding in it!”
“Our fathers used their handiwork to help with our wedding decor,” says Cara. Her father made table number posts, and Matt’s father made the large M & C initials.
Other DIY elements included table assignments painted on window frames, centerpiece doilies crocheted by the bride’s mother, and mason jars “punch glasses” decorated by the bride and her sister. The couple had two signature drinks: an Old Fashioned (Maker’s Mark Whiskey, bitters, orange zest, and a sugar cube) and “The Attention Seeker” (vodka, rosé, lemon juice, honey, rosemary sprigs).
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? The Virginia Center for Architecture is in a building also known as the Branch House. It is a beautiful mansion formerly owned by a prestigious couple in Richmond, turned into a museum in the heart of the Monument Avenue Historic District. We picked the venue because of the historic nature of it, along with the beautiful courtyard in the back lawn. The windows and hardwood floors inside just spoke of long-standing romance.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? I grew up in Western Pennsylvania where it was a tradition to have a cookie table for dessert and a take-home treat for your guests. Family members and friends of the bride and groom will get together and make a variety of cookies to bring to the wedding. It is a common occurrence to see guests heading to the cookie table before dinner is even served!
Please tell us about any special details from your wedding. One of my favorite parts of the decor for the wedding was the family photo table. Matt and I gathered photos of our parents and grandparents from their weddings, put them in frames, and labeled them along with their anniversary dates. We chose the date of our wedding because it was Matt’s parents 38th wedding anniversary.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The night before the wedding, I received a note from my sister. Part of it said, “At some point during the wedding and reception, stop and take a minute for yourself. Just look around and take it all in. The music, the laughter, the room, and all of the people that are surrounding you guys on your first day of marriage. Enjoy your guests, but make sure that you and Matt steal little moments away and for each other during the evening.” This advice resonated with me, and I made sure that I did just that. Just stop, look around, and enjoy every minute of it.
What advice do you have for other brides? Make your wedding day fit your personality. There are so many dresses, vendors, decorations out there to choose from. You can easily get lost in ideas and second guess your choices. Go with the first one that “fits” and that makes you smile. Be happy and confident about your decisions because they were inspired by you. Also, I have to say that the best money that I spent on the wedding day was for my day-of wedding coordinator. She allowed me to relax and just enjoy the day.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? The guest of honor at our wedding was our brand new niece, Joy. She was born exactly one week before the wedding! She was all dressed up in her satin pink dress and was on the dance floor all night long!
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Virginia Dogwood Wedding from Marta Locklear22 July 2014
This is a wedding that all the springtime brides are going to fall head over heels for! Trees in bloom, fields of tulips… plus lush garden floral arrangements in a sweet sherbet color palette. Says the bride, “I was inspired by the idea of having a garden party as a reception. I wanted it to be unique but not trendy. More classic and timeless.”
“My mom and I had lots of fun watching a great amount of David Tutera’s ‘My Fair Wedding’ before my special day,” says Kim, “and it was awesome when my mom surprised me with David Tutera shoes for the wedding. My grandmother, Shara, made the dress I wore in the temple and got married in, which is special because she also sewed my baby blessing dress.” Kim then changed into an Anne Barge dress for the reception.
Instead of carrying bouquets, the bride’s sisters wore crowns of flowers in their hair. Also, as a nod to the baby’s breath that grew around her childhood home, the tiny little flower was incorporated into arrangements.
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? I chose the Salt Lake Temple because my parents were sealed there, but I chose the Loggia Gardens because it was in a great central location for our family, it was a unique outdoor location, and because my family lives out of town it was great knowing that Thanksgiving Point could help plan the reception and put it on for us. It took a lot of stress out of the wedding day.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? My favorite moments were sitting in the celestial room with my fiancé and talking together for an hour or so before the wedding, looking around the sealing room and seeing so many people that cared about me and Cole, and hugging Cole after we got married. // Besides getting married to my best friend, I loved dancing with Cole at the reception; we had the band play a song we ugly-sing in the car to and it was fun to dance to a song that had so many good memories for us. I also loved running down the path towards our car after the reception and having all of our friends and family surrounding us and wishing us luck on our new life!!
Please tell us about any special details from your wedding. We had an Italian soda bar with the vanilla and cherry flavoring because that is the closest we could get to Cole’s favorite drink (Diet Coke). // The groomsmen all wore polka dot socks because Cole has always loved wearing colorful socks. // The folk ensemble that performed at the reception is an ensemble that I play with, so it was special having all of my friends and fellow musicians perform for me. I started playing flute when I was a very little girl and my teacher from way back then made the time to drive all the way up to my wedding. // My family loves playing games so we included Mancala and a big corn hole game for everyone at the reception.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Before the wedding my mom and I watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding together. In the movie the main character’s wedding was nothing as she planned because of crazy situations and problems; but at the end of the day her and her husband were just so happy to be together none of the rest of it mattered. After the movie my mom commented on what a good message it was: It’s easy to get caught up in making the “perfect wedding” and to get stressed about money or opinions, and it’s hard to know how to make everyone happy, but at the end of the day it is simply being married that matters.
What advice do you have for other brides? The only thing that really matters on the wedding day is being married to the love of your life. It is not about the cake, or the dance, or the dresses, or the hairstyle, it’s not about whether you have a perfect complexion that day, or the weather. It is so important not to stress about the little things. It’s the marriage that makes the day perfect, not anything else. // ALSO, WEAR YOUR SHOES BEFORE THE WEDDING DAY.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Choose a budget before you start the wedding planning so it is clear from the start where money can be spent.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? Our friends trashed our car with Oreos, condoms, balloons, paint, and streamers, and it was very difficult hopping in the car after the wedding and cleaning it up. // After the wedding I couldn’t find a vase for my flowers, so we stopped by McDonald’s and put my wedding bouquet in a large cup of water we bought. Super classy. It was funny eating Big Macs in our wedding clothes too. // Most of my family is from North Dakota as well so it was special having around 30 people drive 14 hours to come to the wedding.