Saturday, January 14, 2012

Inspiration Board #6: An Eclectic Mix

I love weddings where everything is sort of mismatched together, yet flows really well. These items completely inspire an eclectic outdoor summer wedding with an array of bright colors and warm vibe.

Photo Credits From Left to Right: air plant centerpiece, cut out invitations, rose gold diamond ring, feather headpiece, customizable clutches.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Manmade Wedding: DIY Rustic Driftwood Frames

Hey everybody, welcome to The Manmade Wedding segment. I hope all of you are keeping warm with your hot buttered rums, and are as excited about this week's segment as I am.

This week we are going to create a driftwood frame. This makes a great decoration piece at a rustic or barn wedding or even a handmade gift for your other half. It's low cost, quick and great looking.

Part of my goal when building stuff is to use fairly accessible tools and materials. I know not everyone has a drill in the garage, or even a garage. So I made sure to keep it basic, but without sacrificing a tremendous result.

The materials you'll need:
Four pieces of round driftwood as equal in length as you can find. (These are branches that have spent time in the lake, river, ocean or what have you.)
Gardening twine
Clothesline clips
A Pair of Scissors

When picking driftwood, be sure to find pieces that are going to fit the dimensions you are thinking. If you want a rectangle, find two of the same length, then find another two that are the same length, but longer/shorter than the other two. In the end, you're going to let the wood speak for itself when you hang it though.

Step 1: Lay out your driftwood pieces on a table in the shape they will end up in. Again, let the wood do it's thing and sit naturally. In the end, it's gorgeous wood already and will look good no matter the arrangement. Now start hot-gluing the pieces of wood together in the corners. It can be a little sloppy, but the hot glue is easy to clean up.

Step 2: Once you got all sides glued and dried, you're going to wrap twine around the corners to cover the glue. You don't need too much, maybe a bit over a foot or so. It really depends on the thickness of your branches. Then you wrap, twist, wrap. That will give you an "X" on the corners. Repeat this step until you've wrapped all four corners.

Step 3: You are now past the halfway point, and in the home stretch. We're going to attach the piece of twine that will stretch from one branch to its counterpart and hold your photo. With twine still on the roll, do one wrap around one branch and tie the first part of a knot. Just under once. Then squeeze a bit of hot glue on top and make sure it touches the branch. Then do two loops on either side of the original loop to cover the glue on each side. Tie it off and cut off any extra. Now do the same at the other side, cutting the string from the roll this time. Just make sure it's long enough to wrap a few times.

Repeat as many times, for as many rows of photos you would like. If you make a bigger frame than me, you can put a vertical string and separate it even more. There is a lot of variations on this that you can do to fit your style.

Well, that's all there is to it. Construction time is about half an hour, and cost is about $2 if you already have a hot glue gun and around $10 if you don't.

I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to share your creations with us!

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Inspiration Board #5: Boutonnieres

A bride's bouquet is an important detail in a wedding, and so is a groom's boutonniere. There are so many details that you can take from your wedding and carry it over to the groom's boutonniere. From your wedding colors to little details such as feathers from your centerpieces. You can also start with a more unique boutonniere such as a mini guitar and add an element from it to the bride's bouquet. Here's some inspiration:

Photo credits from left to right: guitar and picks, flower boutonnieres, herbal boutonnieres, paper flower, feathers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Beauty & Fitness: Green Monster Smoothie

Do you like smoothies? Smoothies are a great way to refresh after a morning workout and a delicious breakfast option. Often, you get enough servings of fruits and veggies in for the day, and they can be full of oxidants. They're also quite filling, so you won't be reaching for the fridge soon after you finish.

I love this recipe from Sing For Your Supper for a green monster smoothie. It includes lots of great fruits, greek yogurt, and a handful of spinach. Plus it's the perfect sharing size. To view the complete recipe click here. For more ideas you can check out Pinterest for a plethora smoothie recipes!

(photo credit: Sing For Your Supper)

Beauty & Fitness: Get Rocking Arms

It's no secret that every bride-to-be wants to be in the best shape possible for their wedding day. For me this was no different. I lost about 15 pounds and several inches off my waist before going dress shopping and kept the weight off until my wedding day, over six months later. Best of all, I finally go into a exercise groove that I've kept for over a year. Because fitness is such a big thing on a bride-to-be's mind, we of course will be having fitness segments every once in a while, with an emphasis more on getting stronger than on getting skinnier. Afterall, your physique is very much handmade!

Today, I thought I'd share a great way to get rocking arms and work your way to completing one hundred pushups through, a great regiment for all levels. When I added this regiment to my workout routine I went from not being able to complete even five full body pushups to completing 30 within two weeks. I also noticed that it created leaner muscles than exercising with weights, more quickly. Plus, as you increase your pushup ability, you'll feel much more empowered to take on some of those wedding stressors head on.

How it works is that you complete three sets of pushups at your current level three times a week, resting a minute or so between sets. Every day you do the regimen you increase the number of pushups you do. You can also start on your knees like I did and work your way up to full body pushups, but I'd recommend only doing this after your regular workout so your muscles are warm and you don't get injured. To get started click on the image below. G'luck!

(Photo Credit:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lollypop Yum

Have you considered having gourmet lollypops as your wedding favor? I love these lollypops from The Groovy Baker on They come in lots of different flavors like watermelon bubblegum and orange blossom thyme, and look delicious. Pair them up with some handmade tags and you've got yourself a mouth-watering favor that is sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth!

Continued: Our First Giveaway!

If you haven't already entered our first giveaway, you still have time to win a bulk of great wedding accessories including a coffee stained paper flower for decor, a nature inspired headband for your ceremony or reception, and a "bride" bridal hanger for you to hang your dress on. You can also enter for a friend or family member as long as they're getting married and you know their wedding date.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors, Courtney Rae Troup of Book Craft, Danielle Sandoval of Three Little Birds, and Luis Serrano of Einspanner for making this giveaway possible!

For a chance to enter, click here to read the details in our original post, and enter there before Sunday, January 15 12:00 PM EST.

p.s. I've loved reading all of your first date stories! Joe and I went to see Zombieland for our first date, although neither of us were sure if we were on a date or not. I'd already seen the movie, but told Joe I'd go with him since he saved my butt on a college project I was working on. I remember rummaging through downtown San Mateo before the movie in order to find Twinkies. I told Joe if we were going to see the movie, we had to sneak in Twinkies, which are a fun element in the movie.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Inspiration Board #4: Mellow Yellow

Is your wedding in need to some color brightness? When I was doing research on colors for my wedding, it seemed like a lot of brides shunned away from choosing yellow as one of their wedding colors. I'm not sure what the phobia is, but to me, yellow elements can definitely add a hint of warmth to your wedding color palette. And as we've seen in this weeks real wedding feature, it really is a great color choice. So if you're not sure if you're ready to take the yellow plunge, take a peak at some inspiration below, before choosing to discard the color.

Photo credits from left to right: yellow macaroons, lace garter, bridesmaid dress, clutch, yellow flowered bouquet.

DIY Projects: Circle Garlands

What You Will Need:
Paper stock (white or any other color you wish)
Round paper punch at least one inch in diameter
A pair of scissors
A single needle and some bright colored thread (ours was the same thread you use for needlepoint projects)

Price to Make: You can purchase a round paper punch at your local craft store for under $10. We purchased ours from Michaels using one of their nifty 40 percent off coupons. The paper we used to make this garland came from a plain white notepad (also from Michaels) that has hundreds of pages and was less than $3. You will most likely have a sewing needle and a pair of scissors in your home already or can borrow them from a friend or family member. The thread we used we purchased at 50 cents per roll at a flea market. Making the total for this project no more than $13.50.

Step 1. Create stacks of whatever paper stock you will be using for your garland, making each four to six pages thick.
Step 2. Using your round paper punch, take a stack and punch out a large amount circles. Go through as many stacks as you need to until you feel like you have enough to complete your garland(s).
Step 3. Set your circles aside in a pile, then take your thread and cut it to the length you desire. You can make one really long garland or make several of them. It's completely up to you. Thread your needle and keep the short end extended about four inches throughout the entire project.
Step 4. Take four to five circles at a time, keeping them stacked, and start threading them through the center using your needle. It doesn't have to be perfectly centered. Repeat this step until you have gotten to the end of the thread or you no longer have any circles.
Step 5. Using your fingers spread the circles out about 1/6 of an inch apart from each other until you reach the end of the thread.
Step 6. Create a knot and loop at both ends for easy hanging.
Step 7. Put your garland(s) in a safe place until it's time to set up, and you're done!

The best thing about these garlands, beside that they are easy to create and are not very fragile, is that you can be as creative as you want with them. You can hang them separately or group several together for a curtain effect. You can also use your wedding colors for the paper and thread or group them with christmas lights for a romantic effect. The possibilities are endless!

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