Friday, November 9, 2012

Last Day To Enter Latest Giveaway

(Image provided by Pablo from Dream Cake Toppers)
Today is the last day to enter to win a Dream Cake Toppers $100 gift card on The Handmade Wedding! If you win, you'll work with the awesome wedding cake topper designers and makers at Dream Cake Toppers to create custom replica figurines of you and your bride or groom doing whatever it is you both love to do, from simply sitting on a bench, to reading, to painting, to taking photographs, to cooking! How awesome is that?

Ready to Enter? Please visit the Dream Cake Toppers website then leave a comment on the giveaway post including what "scene" you would want your wedding toppers to depict if you were to win. Please don't forget to include your email so I can notify you if you win!

This giveaway will end today, November 9th, 2012 at midnight PST. G'luck! :]

(Please note that you must be a blog follower to enter or be following two of our other platforms. To join please see our right panel for our social media links.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Real Weddings: Maggie + Dylan + Making Your Own Wedding Dress

Could you ever fathom making your own wedding dress? When I found out that Maggie Evan's not only made her own super chic and adorable wedding dress, but also created a convertible dress that could go from a full-length gown to a cocktail dress, I had to ask her more about it! And she was kind enough to not only share photographs from her real wedding with her sweetheart, Dylan, but to also answer some questions to help brides know what goes into making your own wedding dress. And as a wedding gown designer, she offers some really great tips I hope you'll enjoy!

The couple got married at a small local park called Foothills Community Park in North Boulder, Colorado. A huge thank you and congratulations to Maggie and Dylan! We wish you a lifetime of happiness!

(photo credits: Caitlin Hamilton Photography)

So now that you've seen the photographs, what goes into making your own wedding dress? Here's what Maggie had to say:

1. Why did you choose to make your own wedding dress?

Gosh, that was something I dreamed about for years since I began making wedding gowns for a living. My ideas went through so many variations before I arrived at the convertible dress idea. I wanted a gown for the ceremony and a little short dress for the party. I made the dress so the full skirt buttons off to reveal a cute little cocktail dress.

2. What was important to you when designing it? What style would you say it is?

I would say my dress is modern, artsy, edgy and romantic. The two things that were really important to me were to be able to wear a comfortable bra and not fuss with keeping my dress up, and being able to wear the dress all day since we got married in the morning and celebrated all day.

3. What goes into making a wedding dress?

I think the first thing is to get clear on what is most important to you. Are you sure about fabrics? Are you sure you want strapless? Are you sure you want a short dress? Sometimes those are not as easy questions to answer. These are things I ask my brides when I make custom gowns. If I'm designing a dress for my shop I usually start with a fabric I really want to work with or a shape or dress detail I'm interested in exploring. When working with a bride, I always do at least one sketch, if not more. When I'm designing for my shop, I rarely sketch and just go where my inspiration leads me. The second thing is to make a muslin based on the sketch (that's a cotton mock-up of the dress design used for fitting purposes as well as making sure all the design lines and details are in the right places). The third part is to take the muslin apart, make a pattern from the muslin, and cut the whole dress out in the chosen fabrics. This is the biggest and most exciting step is when the dress goes from an idea on paper to the real deal. Everything after that is just tweeking, fitting, and finishing.

4. What was the most enjoyable part of it, what was the most difficult?

My favorite part was choosing the fabrics. Of course, I wanted the best and I wanted something no one else would have. I chose gold metallic silk as a main accent fabric along with a textured ivory silk organza and lace. All the edges remained raw and un-hemmed. I also used a very special handmade lace that a friend gave to me when I opened my shop. She found it in an antique shop in Hungary. I loved that part.

The most difficult part was fitting the dress on myself. I always have my brides sit down in their dress before I alter it to make sure it won't be too tight to sit in. I didn't do that for myself! So the dress ended up being pretty snug to sit in, but it sure looked good when I was standing!

5. Tell me a little bit about your business as a wedding dress designer. Why do you do it?

I love working with brides! I also have a background and master's degree in psychology, specifically art therapy. I have a great respect for marriage and planning a wedding. It's a huge right of passage and can be incredibly transformative. I see the wedding dress as a cocoon for that transformation, therefore the dress is so important to the process of getting married and I want to help facilitate a meaningful experience for the bride during the process of making her dress.

Interested in having Maggie design your wedding dress? Her wedding dress designs are available through Etsy and can be made in a variety of fabrics.

Or are you interested in making your own? If so, what inspires you?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wedding Makeup Advice From Carolyn Scott

It's the first Wednesday of the new month, and that means, yup, you guessed it, we get a new feature by guest writer, Carolyn Scott, the awesome Raleigh wedding photographer. This week, regarding wedding makeup! Thank you so much to Carolyn for writing this feature! Like always, I truly appreciate it, and am happy to share your wedding photography advice with readers!

I get asked about makeup a lot, which is kind of funny since I hardly wear it and I could probably name about three brands if I tried. ;) But girls getting ready for their big day are really concerned about how their makeup will affect their photographs, so I’ve compiled a list of things to keep in mind as you pick out your makeup artist and makeup location for your day.

1. It doesn’t have to be dramatic: I highly recommend doing what you feel comfortable with. If you want dramatic makeup, by all means make it dramatic! But don’t get pushed into having a lot of heavy makeup by friends or your makeup artist if you aren’t comfortable wearing it. Be yourself and be comfortable because…

2. Not wearing enough makeup is a myth: I’ve photographed plenty of weddings with very natural girls, two in particular simply wore mascara, and that was it. Both of their weddings were published, one in a national magazine, and the other on a popular wedding blog. They looked GORGEOUS and they looked like themselves, which is what they wanted. Did it cause me a problem while photographing? No. Did it make the girls look pale or strange in the pictures? Absolutely not. They looked simply stunning, perhaps even more so because they looked so natural.

3. But there IS such a thing as too much makeup: In contrast to the natural beauty presented by wearing little makeup is the ever-present danger of wearing too much. Too much makeup absolutely can and will cause photographic challenges. Many brides have their makeup done almost like stage makeup for the benefit of the guests to see their features during their vows. The downside to this is the photographs. You will have a ton of close-up portraits done, and you really don’t want to look clownish. Layers and layers and layers can look piled on and create strange skin tone variances and an unnatural-looking surface. Fake eyelashes will definitely be visible and noticeably fake due to the crispness of lenses. Some people are fine with that, but just know what type of look you’re going for instead of being talked into too much makeup.

4. Don’t go tanning the month before your wedding: There’s nothing worse than an orange bride. Your bridesmaids, your groom, your groomsmen, and even your grandma have more than likely not been tanning, so you’ll stick out like a sore thumb in all of your pictures. It’s fine to want a little color, but don’t go tanning for at least a month before your wedding in case your last session turns you orange. My advice? Don’t tan at all. It’s hard to keep orange tones down in pictures and you don’t want to look like a nuclear accident.

5. Get ready in natural window light: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, florescent lighting doesn’t translate well to photographs taken outdoors. Make sure that you do your makeup in natural light so that you’ll have a good sense of what it will look like outside.

(photo credit: Sandra Proudman Photography)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Adorned Tea Lights

Simple, pretty, classic. This can be made from picking leaves outdoors or by purchasing a bunch of nice foliage and cutting it up into pieces. Add rustic style string to the mix, and voila! I love this adorned tea light votive idea!
(photo credit: Xeniya Amber LiveJournal)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Inspiration Board #38: Rustic Home Gift Guide

One of the things Joe and I continue to do is find new ways to decorate our home, and it's one of our favorite things to do together. Are you looking to add home decor items to your wedding registry? The following are some awesome gift registry ideas if you're thinking of having a rustic feel to your house! Best of all, with the Etsy Registry or Gift Registry 360 it's easier than ever to add items from anywhere on the web to your wedding gift registry.

(photo credits from left to right: blue ceramic houses, champagne flutes, marbles print, vintage red books, rustic style lamp)

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