Julianne Smith, owner of The Garter Girl, is here sharing her embroidery skills with us for a super sweet tutorial: how to add a little custom embroidery to your wedding day. Whether it’s a memento on the groom’s shirt, or something blue on the wedding dress, we love how simply charming this DIY project is!

If you want to add something sweet and personal to your wedding dress, then consider hand embroidering something on the inside. You could put your new monogram or wedding date, even a heart! Once you master embroidering on the inside of your dress, you can also try embroidering your fiance’s dress shirt cuffs or a ring pillow. Embroidering by hand is simple, I promise, even if you can’t sew or don’t think of yourself as a “crafty” person!

Embroidery also a very affordable wedding DIY project. Most packages of embroidery floss cost less than one dollar and you will only need a very small amount of a package. This is such a simple and small project that anyone can try it! The best part is that if it doesn’t work or you don’t like how it turns out, you can take it out with some scissors and try again!

Sewing needle
Embroidery floss in any color

Step 1.  Because I embroider so much and have been doing it for years, I do most of it by “eye balling” the design. But, if you are beginner or just doing this once and want to get it just right, I recommend typing out what you want to embroider and printing it out. This print out will be act as a stencil for your embroidery design. You can pick a gorgeous font or something sweet like a clip art heart. Take your print out and place it underneath your fabric. Use the pencil to very lightly trace your design.

Step 2.  Cut a length of embroidery floss about 30 inches long. You will notice that one piece of floss is made up of several smaller strands of floss that are twisted together. You’ll want to separate the floss strands and only use two strands of the floss at one time. You can separate it by pulling the strands apart. It helps to place the long piece of floss between your knees as you pull it apart.

Step 3.  Hold your two strands of floss together and thread them through the eye of your sewing needle. The “eye” is the loop on the opposite end of the pointy end. It helps to moisten your strands and slightly trim them at an angle to make a point so they are easier to thread through the needle. Pull the strand about half way through the eye and let it hang down. On the long end of the floss hanging from the eye, tie a knot. It helps to moisten your fingers and hold the floss between your pointer finger and thumb. Wrap the end of the floss around your pointer finger and roll the strands through your fingers to make a knot.

Step 4.  Hold your fabric in your lap with the right side facing you. (The “right side” is the side that you want to see when it is finished. The “wrong side” is the backside of the side of the fabric that no one will see.) Put your needle underneath your fabric and point the tip of the needle at the spot where the pencil mark starts. Pull the needle through the fabric at this point. The needle should go from the wrong side through to the right side of the fabric. Gently pull your needle with the floss on it through the fabric until the knot catches and you can’t pull it anymore.

Step 5.  You will use the pencil marks as a guide and sew right over the pencil marks. If you made the pencil marks light enough, you won’t see the marks when you are done. Place your needle 1/8th an inch past the point where the floss came through from the wrong side. This is your starting point. Push the needle through the fabric slightly and pop it back through the fabric just before the starting point. It helps to use your opposite hand’s thumb as a guide. Gently pull the floss until it catches and you can’t pull anymore. Be soft and don’t pull it too tight. Put your needle 1/8th of an inch father up the pencil mark and pop it through the fabric right at the point where the first stitch started. Repeat these tiny stitches all across the pencil marks until the end. This is called the running stitch. If you need more instructions for how to do the running stitch or are a visual learner, you can search the Internet for tutorials on the running stitch.

Step 6.  When you get to a sharp corner, push your needle down through the fabric to the wrong side. (You will be starting again.) Then bring the needle back up through to the right side of the fabric at the point that you want to start a new angle. Continue the running stitch down your new pencile marks.

Step 7.  When you are finished, push your needle down through the fabric to the wrong side. Turn the fabric over so that you are looking at the wrong side. Pull your needle off of the floss and set it aside, you are finished with the needle. Gently tie the floss strands into a knot and trim the ends, leaving about a 1-inch tail.

Concept, Tutorial: The Garter Girl / Photography: Abby Jiu


The Garter Girl is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink. If you’re looking for the perfect, custom garter for your wedding day, look no further! Every piece is made by hand, and we especially love the set of 5 ombre garters for you and your bridesmaids. 

4 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: DIY

I love Jillian Mitchell‘s photos because they really capture the energy of her clients and their weddings – that’s why she’s a Snippet & Ink Select vendor! It’s so clear from these images that this wedding and the bride and groom were full to the brim of love and joy… plus they chose a venue with a working carousel, so it would be hard not to enjoy yourself!

The couple opted to get married in the town where they live: “Michael is from Australia, and my family lives in South Carolina, so anywhere we chose would have been a destination wedding for at least half the guests – might as well have it where we currently live so it was convenient for us to plan. Our venue had it all: a beach, views over Long Island Sound, an already gorgeously decorated space, a roof and walls in case of inclement weather, and oh yes a WORKING CAROUSEL.”

Jillian Mitchell | Snippet & Ink Jillian Mitchell | Snippet & Ink

I asked the bride what her favorite part of the day was. “This is an impossible question,” she says. “Was it when we were walking back down the aisle after the ceremony? Was it when we snuck out back to make out during the reception? Was it laughing hysterically during the dance? Was it revealing the sex of our baby after the speeches and getting a standing ovation (I was five months pregnant at the time, and we had the ultrasound technician write the sex on a card, then we opened the envelope at the end of the speeches)? I think the best part was seeing so many people smiling so hard and really truly wishing us deep happiness. It was the BEST feeling in the world.”



What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We (yes, both of us) read the book A Practical Wedding and chose a few key words that were important to the feeling we wanted the ceremony and reception to have: fun, meaningful, inclusive, relaxed, and elegant. In terms of visuals, we used a photo of one of the carousel horses to guide the color scheme, and focused on the colors that were already part of the venue: silvers and golds, dusky purples and pinks and sage green. We knew we didn’t want a “carnival” so instead our theme was “vintage carousel at the beach.” I scoured the internet for photos that spoke to me. We spent a lot of time working on the ceremony with our amazing officiant. The theme of inclusiveness guided a lot of our decisions for the ceremony.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  What made our wedding so special (besides the fact that it was ours) was the goal of inclusiveness, which guided a surprising number of decisions. We both had our parents walk us down the aisle, we had the bridal party read a poem during the ceremony; we had the entire audience agree to support us in our marriage. After the ceremony we took a big group photo of all the attendees and asked everyone to sign our wedding certificate as witnesses (a take on a Quaker tradition) – both these items are framed in our apartment, and the latter now hangs above our bed.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Don’t forget about the ceremony – that’s the whole point, after all! I really really recommend reading A Practical Wedding at the beginning of the process.

What advice do you have for other brides?  See above. Set a budget and choose your three priorities (for us it was venue, photography, and food), and then go low rent on the rest of it. Don’t forget about the fussy little bits like programs and reserved seat signs – we printed them ourselves and it’s such a relief to just get them out of the way as early as possible. And if you get overwhelmed, just remember that planning a wedding boils down to decisions and logistics.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  We got buddies to DJ and we rented a full PA system for them for under $100 and it sounded awesome. Find a great venue. Ultimately, you’re throwing a party for other people, and they won’t care about your dress or your bouquet. They’ll care about how happy you look and how meaningful the ceremony was. (And they’ll REALLY care about the food and if there’s enough booze.). Also, if you’re working with a tight budget, TELL YOUR VENDORS UPFRONT; they will try to massage things so that they work for you – and if your vendors aren’t like that then get new ones!

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  Two things: life and death. Both relate to my speech (because why shouldn’t a bride give a speech?). My grandmother had passed away about five months before the wedding. She loved flowers and flower arranging with a passion. So, instead of tossing my bouquet to the tiny collection of single girlfriends, I had originally planned to give it to her. Instead, during my speech I gave it to my grandfather. He put it on her grave on their 66th wedding anniversary, just two days after our wedding. In my speech I also brought up how this was as close as I was going to get to winning an Academy Award: I spent hours in hair and makeup, I was wearing a gorgeous dress, I got to thank everyone who had supported me along the way, etc., etc. And what awards show would be complete without the drama of opening a gold envelope? So then we had our brothers, the future uncles, come to the front and open then envelope containing a card with the sex of our baby on it. Upon the revelation that it was going to be a girl, everyone went nuts and gave us a standing, cheering ovation. (Her name is Francesca, by the way, and she is why I am answering these questions at 3AM several weeks after I was supposed to.)

Photography: Jillian Mitchell / Venue: Carousel House at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, Connecticut / Day-of Coordination: Leah Willis / Officiant: Rev. Megan Lloyd Joiner-Clark / Bride’s Dress: J.Crew / Tailoring: Valentino Tailors / Shoes: Loeffler Randall / Veil: Everthine Bridal / Hair Accessories: Untamed Petals via Everthine Bridal / Groom’s Suit, Shirt: Ravi Seghal / Bow Tie: EH&CO / Shoes: Donald J. Pliner / Maid of Honor Dress: Allsaints / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Calypso St. Barth, Dillard’s / Flower Girl Dress, Groomsmen Suits: J.Crew / Pocket Squares: MJW Threads / Floral Design: Blossom Shop / Music: Matt Dingledine / Catering: Catering by Christine / Baklava: Mamouns / Cookies: Berger Cookies / Lighting: Philips Color Kinetics / Wedding Certificate Calligraphy: Lori Raines Calligraphy / Stationery Calligraphy: Jennifer Babcock / Hair: Adriana Papaleo, TIGI NYC / Makeup: Christopher Catanese, TIGI NYC

Jillian Mitchell is a Snippet & Ink Select vendor.

  • Carousel House Wedding from Jillian Mitchell

    27 March 2014
  • 7 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

    There’s nothing quite like a summer wedding on the San Francisco Bay, as you’ll see in this beautifully foggy July wedding at the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts. Wild floral design by Shotgun Floral Studio were the perfect accent for the rugged and historic venue, and these photos by The Weaver House are beyond dreamy…

    From the bride: “We were immensely inspired by our location, and focused our vision on highlighting the natural beauty of the area and the WWII-era building. My design aesthetic was Vintage Naturalist, and our ceremony reflected our shared Celtic ancestry. Connor and I were also inspired by our friends and family who happen to be incredibly talented floral designers, DJ’s, and wedding planners. Our families and friends are so important to us and we wanted to give everyone a enjoyable weekend to say thank you for all the support we have received.”

    The bride explains the choice of venue: “Connor and I were engaged in West Marin, and felt connected to the natural beauty and romance of the area. When it came to choosing a location for our wedding, Marin Headlands Center for the Arts was the first and only site we visited. It reflected Connor’s love of history and my love of nature. We also knew that an outdoor ceremony was a priority, so when we spotted a gorgeous old cypress tree in the nearby field we knew it was the perfect place for our vows. The location and nearby accommodations also allowed for the weekend gathering we were envisioning – one where family and friends could relax and enjoy each other’s company, and our entire wedding party could stay together in one house!”

    Long navy ribbons adorned the bride’s bouquet, echoing the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses.

    Bouquets included jasmine vine, clematis, peonies, and hydrangea.



    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Our first look was incredibly special. We met out on the cliffs with our photographers and our dog. It was a chilly day but I don’t think either of us even noticed the wind and fog. It was just so exciting! We had a few moments to be with one another, and prepare ourselves for the upcoming ceremony. We had gone back and forth about doing a first look, and I am so glad we did!

    Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  We had a blend of traditional and nontraditional elements on our day. My bridesmaids gave a blessing for me just moments before the ceremony. It was so moving to feel surrounded by the love of my best friends, sisters-in-law, and my mom, just before my dad walked me down the aisle. There were so many elements that our families contributed to our day including Connor’s dad’s classic Woody, and the heritage table which was one of my favorite parts of our reception. Connor and I were both very close to members of our family who had passed away prior to our wedding, so having photos of our loved ones there made the day feel complete.

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Allow yourself to take in the love around you. It was an intentional act for me to really receive the kindness and well wishes of our guests and it allowed me to feel so much gratitude throughout the day for the people who witnessed our vows and danced the night away with us.

    What advice do you have for other brides?  Pre-marital counseling. It was a priority for us to have as much focus on our relationship as on our wedding day. I cannot recommend this highly enough! Our mantra was “the wedding is a weekend, the marriage is forever.” This helped keep things like escort cards and party favors in perspective (most of the time!) and kept our love and commitment to each other at the center of our lives.

    Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Decide what it is you both value most, and let go of things that are not as important. This can be difficult in the planning phase but when the day comes, you will be focused on the love and celebration, not the extras you thought you had to have. Also, be open to receiving help from friends and family in terms of DIY projects and preparation. My parents, family members and friends gave so generously of their time and energy. I realized after our wedding that this is a gift friends and family want to give, so let them!

    Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  When I look back on our wedding I am so thrilled to see how much our guests enjoyed themselves! We were surrounded with an incredible amount of love and support and that is what we carry forward with us into our marriage. We have friends that still talk about how much fun they had at our wedding!

    Photographer: The Weaver House / Event Planning: Lenae Fawcett Designs / Venue: Marin Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California / Bride’s Dress: Mara Hoffman / Shoes: Target / Floral Design, Floral Crown: Shotgun Floral Studio / Suit: Black by Vera Wang / Save the Date: Petite Framboise / Invitation: designed by the groom /Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals / Catering: Katie Powers Catering / Hair, Makeup: Alifa Wong Beauty and Bridal, Sean Metcalfe for Bateau Salon / Accommodations: Marin Headlands Hostel, Cavallo Point
  • Marin Headlands Wedding from The Weaver House

    26 March 2014
  • 4 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    We see so many dinner-and-dancing weddings that it’s easy to forget: there’s more than one way to celebrate a marriage! Sarah and Alex opted for a delicious brunch wedding in the backyard of the bride’s childhood home, and with such sweet details and stunning photos from Ciara Richardson, I have a feeling it might make you rethink your evening wedding plans…

    Tinge floral created dramatic centerpieces in shades of red and peach, adding rich color to the backyard venue. The invitation design was hand-painted by the bride.

    Sarah’s parents made the tables from old barn wood. The bases of the tables (the legs and heavy-duty wheels) came from an old granite countertop company, that had gone out of business. “They were very industrial, beat up, and a perfect fit for the barn wood,” says Sarah.

    The brunch menu included tomato and pesto salad, sweet and savory crepes in a variety of flavors, omelets, fruit skewers and yogurt, as well as other breakfast favorites, and watermelon punch with mint.

    For dessert there was a selection of “naked” cakes in strawberry champagne, white chocolate raspberry, triple chocolate, carrot cake, lemon soufflé, and cinnamon almond creme (the bride’s own creation).



    Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  I grew up in Northern California roaming the creeks and fields, my parents’ backyard has everything I ever dreamed of having for my wedding. It was full of stories and experiences, it was charming and “real,” a little bit rural but still could host a classy party, and it just fit us. Alex and I both loved the idea of an outdoor reception. // We chose to do a breakfast reception from 8:00 to 11:00AM rather than an evening dinner with lights and dancing, because it was so cheerful and beautiful in the mornings in my backyard. And it was different from other wedding receptions! We liked that uniqueness. We had a Crepe Bar, in addition to lots of cake, omelets, and other items on the menu that we just loved. Alex and I made crepes all the time when we were dating, we love them, so it was a bit of tradition for us. Something I hadn’t even considered until day of was that our photos would have that beautiful, California, morning light – that was perfect. It was great having the rest of the day to spend with our visiting friends and family, too. It was a continual party all day long! But, we didn’t get that “reception lag” you hear about so often. I think we could’ve done the reception day after day and never tired from it.

    What inspired you when you where planning your wedding?  I wanted our wedding to feel authentically us. I think authenticity is so important and I knew that if I tried to be anything but “us” it wouldn’t work. I searched the web, read through magazines, looked at art, and just gathered things that I loved. On choosing colors, I went to a craft store with my mom one night and got samples of fabrics that I loved, we picked strands of beads, string, ribbon, even crafting materials like copper sheets, put them all together in little boxes, and all the colors worked together somehow. They were just textures and colors that I loved. We even ended up sending those “color boxes” to Alex’s family in Hong Kong and Australia as well as to my family that lived far away so we could all coordinate colors.

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  “Just enjoy your day.” You hear that everywhere and from everyone, but I really did choose to enjoy the day, and it was perfect. Honestly, I don’t have one thing bad to say about it. It made me realize that anything could happen, but as long as you’re married, that’s the only thing that matters. I really wanted the day of the temple ceremony to be the biggest focus, and it was exactly that.

    What advice do you have for other brides?  To other brides I would say, “choose your happiness.” Start day 1 of your marriage, your wedding day, happy. That is how it should be, and it’ll continue on and on. I guess I would say, too, to choose to be happy during the planning process – the day will be perfect even if every detail isn’t. I had bought my wedding dress 6 months in advance, but after a nightmare of this and that, 7 days prior to the wedding I didn’t have a dress! We scrambled and I ended up finding one at Avenia Bridal that really was even more perfect – I was thrilled with it! It was so different from my original dress, but it was ME. I was so comfortable and felt so classy. It was something that, when 7 days prior I realized I didn’t have a dress, I decided that after everything is said and done, maybe if I just wore a simple white dress from Nordstrom or somewhere, what was important was that I and my groom were happily married. Gratefully, however, I have wonderful parent’s who were so willing for me to go find another wedding dress, and it worked out beautifully.

    Do you have any budget tips for brides?  I would say, don’t be afraid of DIY, and don’t be afraid of “less is more.” I had a vision in my mind, that when my wedding day all came together, I wanted quality over quantity. There were a few things and ideas we had thought about for decorating, etc. but when it came to the final price – we could either get those things REALLY expensive, or REALLY cheap – typically we decided to opt out all together. I am so glad we did. It kept it simple, and it was lovely.

    Photographer: Ciara Richardson / Venue: private residence in Sacramento, California / Dress: Avenia Bridal / Shoes: Nordstrom / Bolero: Dress Barn / Shirt: Macy’s / Tie: J.Crew / Floral Designer: Ashley Byer, Tinge Floral / Catering: Cindy Medlar
  • Brunch Wedding from Ciara Richardson

    25 March 2014
  • 12 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    $350 GIVEAWAY!

    Minted has a brand new beautiful collection of wedding invitations AND they’re giving away $350 to one Snippet & Ink reader! Read on for all the details…

    Whenever friends ask me where to find wedding invitations that are both beautiful and hassle-free, the first place I send them is Minted. They have such an incredible range of styles (all by independent designers) that never disappoint, and I am totally in love with the new foil-pressed line… what a stunning impression to make on your wedding guests!

    Aren’t they gorgeous?! The foil adds such a festive, glamorous touch. Of course, Minted‘s wedding invitations are charming even without the gold and silver, and with special options like letterpress, extra-thick luxe paper, and the ability to fully customize any design, there’s no way you can go wrong. And if you’re having trouble deciding which invitations you love most, you can receive free samples of up to 10 designs.

    Planning a wedding can be stressful, so why not let Minted simplify at least one part of the process… the Minted Perfection Team will provide etiquette and design advice and tailor your design until it is perfect for you, and then, once your invitations are ready to go, Minted offers free envelope addressing. How’s that for hassle-free?!

    Beautiful designs, free samples, custom options, etiquette advice, free envelope addressing… and now Minted is giving away $350 to one Snippet & Ink reader! Just check out the 2014 collection of wedding invitations from Minted (and don’t miss the foil-pressed designs!) and figure out which one is your favorite. Then leave a comment below telling us why it’s perfect for your wedding. Check back on this post next week when we’ll announce the winner.

    Contest begins Monday, March 24, 2014 at 9:30AM PCT, and ends Friday, March 28, 2014 at 11:59PM PDT. Winner will be selected by Snippet & Ink and announced on this post. Please note: winner must live in the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec).

    Official contest rules.


    This post sponsored by Minted.

    114 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Discounts and Giveaways, Sponsored Posts