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Brooch Bouquets Made Easy


One of the more popular alternative ideas in the wonderful world of weddings in the last few years has been the brooch bouquet. If you’ve got access to a bunch of fun sparkly pins, you can make a unique – and potentially quite meaningful – bouquet to carry when you marry.

But you may be wondering how exactly it’s done.

Best Destination Wedding has a great article on creating your own brooch bouquet. With just a few simple tools and materials, you can make a bouquet like the one shown above. Or leave out the faux flowers for an all-brooch one.

The author mostly bought brooches from inexpensive sources, such as thrift stores, eBay, and Etsy, but if you’ve already got a selection of sparkly brooches or have ones you can borrow from family members or friends, it gets even less expensive to make.

I don’t know about you, but I love these things!

Two Opposite and Equally Awesome Thoughts on DIY


(Illustration via A Practical Wedding)

You guys know me. I’m a DIY diva and proud of it. Give me some threads, some scraps of paper, a little ribbon, and a hot glue gun, and I’ll make you something remarkable with it. I love making things and I’m good at it, too.

So it’s no surprise that I loved Sam and Stew’s handmade South African wedding when I read about it at A Practical Wedding. Together, they made most of the accessories for their big day, and both families got into the fun of it.

Most of all, I loved the reason Sam gave for loving all the projects she, Stew, their families, and their friends did for the wedding:

There was a moment, when I stood back, and looked around at the happy smiles and goofy grins of all our favourite people, and literally felt surrounded by love.

Because there it was—hammered into the menus, baked into the cookies, sewn into the seams of the table runners and sprinkled into that darn confetti. So if the crafty crazy is getting to you, don’t worry too much. Because it’s neverabout the details you get out. It’s about the love you put in.

You know what? That’s how I felt when I looked at my wedding, too. Everywhere I looked, I saw concrete evidence of the love our friends and families have for us. Everywhere I turned, there was something I poured my heart into that was making someone I love smile.

But you know what else? I’m not every bride. There are other equally valid ways of choosing to do things. One of these ways is described by guest blogger Danielle in a july article, also at A Practical Wedding.

In it she discusses how she almost panicked her way into doing a series of last-minute DIY projects because they’re everywhere on the internet.

Having carefully chosen to marry in an art gallery so she wouldn’t have to worry about decorations, Danielle almost decided she needed to make piles of random things to fill out the space, once she looked at a few wedding blogs and Pinterest boards… but she remembered something at the last minute: DIY isn’t her.

An intervention from a good friend brought her back to sanity just as she was pricing out the cost of making her own pinwheels.

I remembered that we can have whatever kind of wedding we want, and that just because I’m not panicking in these final pre-wedding weeks doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong. It probably means I’m doing something right.

And knowing that I won’t glance around the room at the end of our wedding night and see sloppy homemade pinwheels abandoned on tables and tossed into trash cans? That feels pretty right too.

Always remember, there is no wrong way to plan a wedding as long as you’re enjoying the process and feel your personality as a couple is being represented. Craft it all by hand, don’t craft a thing, find a middle path by all means. Don’t worry too much about what other people are or aren’t doing. Seek inspiration, but never forget who you are.

It’s your wedding. It should look and feel the way you want it to.

‘Reality’ Becomes a Reality


Brides.com has an overview of wedding gown designer Austin Scarlett’s latest collection for 2013… and I was struck by how familiar this gown looked.

In fact, I knew precisely where I had seen it before.
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The Bride Wore a White Sheet


Meet Cynthia Reese and Michael Bof. This was their wedding day. It wasn’t quite what they’d originally planned, but they’re more than happy with it.

You see, a few weeks after Cynthia and Michael got engaged, they discovered Cynthia was pregnant. Figuring they would need the money they might have spent on a wedding more for raising their first child, the pair decided that sometime before the baby was born, they would just head down to City Hall for a bare bones wedding.

Then again, there didn’t seem to be a particular hurry… that is there wasn’t until monday when, at seven months pregnant, Cynthia’s water broke and she was rushed to the hospital in premature labor.
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Quickie Question: Best Trend/Worst Trend?

Trends come and go in the wonderful world of weddings. One year everyone simply must dress their attendants in green and have a signature cocktail based on rum. The next, it’s all about the silver wedding gown trim and cupcakes. But what is the soon-to-be classic of the season and what the embarrassing white boy afro of the day?

We won’t actually know that for certain until history crowns the winner and starts laughing hysterically at the loser… but we can nominate our choices.

For my money, the best new trend of the past five years or so is the dessert table. Once upon a time, if you went to a wedding dessert was cake. That was it. More often than not, it was white cake with white frosting and all the flavor of licking a piece of cardboard. But as people started demanding better tasting desserts, they also wanted to expand the flavor profile so everyone can find something they specifically would like to eat. Enter the dessert table. It gives guests a choice, looks festive, allows the bridal party to have that peanut based cake despite allergy fears, since there will be another alternative for those who can’t have peanuts, and if you’re self-catering, you can ask your best baking buddies to break out their best recipes rather than choosing your cake according to who can make the prettiest one at a price you can afford. So whether your guest list includes people with potentially deadly allergies, vegans, folks going gluten free, or just plain picky eaters, it’s easy to satisfy everyone with a sweet tooth whilst adding to the decor affordably.

My runners up would include: photo booths, mix and match bridesmaid’s dresses, and the return of the sleeve to wedding gowns.

My pick for the bottom of the pile?

The bridal belt.

Seriously. All it does is add one more expense to dressing the bride, often ruining the line of the gown she so carefully chose in the process. It’s another fiddly thing to lose or have go wrong on an already stressful day, too. While I’ve seen a lot of these belts on a lot of different gowns (often carefully chosen and styled for photo shoots), I’ve only seen one or two that actually enhanced the gowns they were worn with. Even if it does look good, does it really look good enough to justify plunking down another couple hundred dollars on your wedding look when your budget barely covers catering? I have to ask.

Not only is it another unnecessary expense, it’s one that adds nothing to the overall experience of the occasion.

Other trends I’m so over: moustaches, jumping photos, photos of feet, bridal flip flops and sneakers.

So what about you? What are your picks for best and worst trends of the past few years? Anything you’re hoping picks up steam?

Tell me all about it!

Love is Blind… and So Are Some Brides

I love this photograph of a bride and groom from the sixties and the bride’s seeing eye dog.

I also loved my grandmother’s second husband who, as it happened, was legally blind. In fact, Granny met him while volunteering with a group dedicated to helping the blind.

And so I was frankly appalled when I read this article by a legally blind bride-to-be at Offbeat Bride. Not, I hasten to mention, because of anything about the lady or her plans. Her steampunk cane is a delight and her groom’s sense of humor is beyond awesome.

No, what appalled me was the ignorance and small-mindedness displayed so casually by potential vendors, not to mention others who simply couldn’t conceive of her choices based on her comfort and ability to navigate the event easily. Choices such as wearing a colored dress so she can see it, not to wear a veil so as not to impede her limited peripheral vision, or to use her cane to help her navigate the aisle successfully.

Apparently these things are ‘not bridal.’

To that, all I can say is a hearty cry of “horse hockey!”

A bride is a bride, is a bride. A groom is a groom, is a groom. And if the ring bearer needs a cane or a wheelchair, then that’s what he needs.

I remember some years ago reading on the web about a blind bridesmaid who had a disastrous time in the wedding party because of the attitude that any acknowledgement of her disability was somehow less than ‘bridal.’ She wasn’t allowed to use her cane down the aisle, and after she had practiced many times with a certain configuration at the altar, a major item was moved directly into her path at the last minute and nobody warned her. Of course she crashed into it and people got mad at her for ‘ruining’ the wedding. After all, a sighted bridesmaid would have known to move out of the way!

If you or someone in your wedding party has a disability, the key to making things work is not to ignore that disability or try to make it go away for a few hours. The key is to looking squarely at the practical issues it raises and then dealing with them frankly and without making a huge fuss.

Blind people marry. Wheelchair users marry. Deaf people marry. Amputees marry.

And you know what? They’re beautifully bridal, too.

For more ideas on planning a wedding when someone in the wedding party has a disability, check out some of the terrific tips and planning ideas on disaboom.

Politics, Schmolitics! Let’s See Their Wedding Photos!

The election is over. We’ve cast our votes, the winners have been declared and now it’s time to let go of party animosity and find ways to work together. And you know what always makes me feel good? A wedding!

The only president ever to marry in the White House was Grover Cleveland, when he married twenty-one year old Frances Folsom. There may have been (and in fact, there was) a twenty-seven year age gap between them, but they had a happy marriage by every account I’ve heard or read.

But while other presidents did not marry in office, most of them did marry at some point before getting elected. In fact, the only lifelong bachelor to serve as president of the US was James Buchanan. His neice, Harriet Lane, was his official hostess. Several others were widowers when they took office, such as Thomas Jefferson who depended on his older daughter, Martha, and his good friend Dolley Madison to handle the particulars of the social side of things.

So what did some of our most famous leaders look like on their wedding days? Take a look and see!
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