Pinterest Pins of the Week

Pinterest Pins of the Week

Pinterest Pins of the Week

Door Signage: We’ve seen monogrammed wreaths and all kind of fun DIY floral bunches for adorning your front door, but we absolutely fell in love with this whimsical sign. The oversized “ I DO” could easily be changed up to fit any theme. For a more traditional affair, the large monogram or couple’s initials might be a nice touch. Or for the more party-oriented Bride and Groom, even little sayings like “ Let’s party “ or “Oh happy day” would be just as welcoming and fun. This sign reminds us to have fun with your décor and also to not overlook the simple touches of decorating your home for the biggest day of your life! Don’t forget about adorning your entrance for at-home bridal showers and other special soirees leading up to the big day!


Pinterest Pins of the WeekVia Shelly Jones

Personalized Whiskey: This might just be one of the hottest trends we are seeing right now and we are thrilled that it involves the Groom! Asking your guys to be in your wedding has never been easier ( or manlier!) Personalized bottles ( like this one with it’s label found on Etsy) is the perfect way to inflect your personal tastes and give your guys something to truly enjoy or keep for years to come. Adding their own names is a great way to make it even more special and show that you really took the time to acknowledge their part in your wedding. The great news is that these options are just able endless. From personalized whiskeys and tequilas to Fireball- whatever your taste, there’s a way to make it special for your Groomsmen.


Pinterest Pins of the WeekFound on Etsy

Confetti Push Pop: Okay so we all remember those super orange, really sugary sherbet push pops with Fred Flinstone on them that we had almost every day in the summer as kids? Well lose the ice cream and enter colorful confetti that pops out as you shower the bride and groom after their traditional exit from the ceremony. The engineering of the cylinder is perfect and can be decorated with fun labels and tassels to accompany the wedding décor. Almost too cute, but spot on for kids and adults alike!


Pinterest Pins of the WeekVia Zulily

pinterest pins of the week

Pinterest Pins Of The Week

Pinterest Pins Of The Week

Big Balloons: We’ve been seeing this trend for awhile in small doses. Dessert table queen Amy Atlas wowed us with her monochromatic take on sweets with coordinating extra large balloons attached to her table. But balloons are taking over for real now with less emphasis on florals and total whimsy with these giant childhood favorites stealing the show and acting as centerpieces and focal points.  And there’s really no limit to colors and styles- AND prices! BHLDN makes some uber fancy golden and metallic ones with ultra plush add -ons, but you can also find DIY tutorials, some serious steals on ETSY and wholesale finds from sites like Event Décor Direct. Some of calling them Geronimo balloons, but in reality they are just super sized latex balloons that need lots of helium and are making a huge statement.  The coolest part? They can be customized with over the top fancy tassels and double as wedding photo props. They’re adorable and in bulk make a massive statement, literally. See ‘blackboard decor’ here.
pinterest pins of the week

chicago cotton candyCotton Candy Accessorizing: We knew earlier this week, when we covered local vendor Spin Spun, that cotton candy was definitely all the rage. But Colin Cowie took it to a whole new level on Pinterest with this dream- like presentation of cocktail hour with cotton candy glass toppers.  You can imagine our surprise when we also found this photo in the latest Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine. Try it on in small doses since it seems a bit labor intensive. We are thinking engagement party or bridal shower. Either way, the look is fabulous and sure to induce lots of chatter.

Floral Envelope Liners: Lining envelopes has long been a highly sought after trend of the upscale stationary lovers, and now the look has become even more fun and also more accessible.  For those with a big budget and even bigger imagination, you can custom line your envelopes in almost any pattern or design. We especially love the idea of a floral, almost wallpaper-inspired design for the upcoming Spring. We also adore what companies like the always whimsical Cherie Berry are doing with vintage prints and initials. And for those brides who are looking to save a few bucks? Lining your own has never been easier! Buying the paper in bulk or even printing your own on a laser jet printer can save you tons and with a little time and the right adhesive can look just as good!Modern Elegant Wedding Invitation

Pinterest: Pins of the Week

Mason Jar InvitesEtsy has quickly become one of our favorite wedding resources.  Not only does it showcase great handmade products, but it also allows couples the chance to connect with beautiful artists all over the world.  Wedding invitations are one of our favorite things to browse on Etsy, and these beauties caught our eye this week.  They set the tone for an elegant and classic wedding, with touches of rustic simplicity.  Both the color and font create a relaxed, yet special feel, preparing guests for a one-of-a-kind celebration.  If you’re looking for that extra special touch when it comes to your invitations, may we suggest Etsy as delightful resource.

Mason Jar

DIY Silk Hairpin.  Do it yourself projects have been taking the blog world by storm lately, with more and more people embracing their inner artist and giving handmade creations a chance.  DIY in the wedding world is of course a longtime favorite, but with easy-to-follow tutorials and great resources, they’re becoming easier than ever.  This silk hairpin tutorial is a simple project, perfect for the bride who wants to add an extra something to her wedding day hair.  This would be perfect with an updo or loose curls, and may also be something to make for bridesmaids on the big day.

Flower Tray Centerpiece. As winter continues to wrap most of the country, we can’t help but look forward to spring and the warmth it brings.  (It’s probably not a coincidence that most of our recent pins involve bright sunlight, glorious florals, and grassy outdoor spaces!)  So of course, we loved this simple yet cheerful wedding centerpiece, made easy with classic florals and a wooden tray.  This could also be recreated with wooden drawers, mismatched in size and color.  This pin is proof centerpieces don’t need to be over-the-top to make a statement!


Amelia Johnson Photography

Update Your Wedding Checklist

There is so much key advice that other bride’s will give you as you embark on your wedding adventure. So much so that almost all of it you may forget until you decide to  actually begin or update your master checklist with things to do and timelines for when they need to be done.  Once you have all of the major things covered and begin deciding on extras like personal touches and upgrades in décor, you may think you have everything you could think of covered! Wrong!

Like many brides, you will suffer the post- wedding, Pinterest infused, “ Why didn’t I think of that?” moment where every new idea seems so much better than your “old, so last minute” ones you used for your wedding. Stop right there! The brilliant thing about wedding today, especially in a time of social media, online e-zines, Pinterest and Etsy, is that it is ever-changing.  There are so many new and fresh ways to incorporate unique touches into your day that you almost need to keep your list tight so that you don’t “over plan.” But that’s an entirely different subject all together. So let us say this: Your wedding is the most important day of your life thus far but keep in mind that it really is ONE day. Stick to doing a few things very well and always value quality over quantity. Sometimes the best motto is to keep it simple and figure that you are treating yourselves and your guests to one great party.

So in this edition of “ The Wedding Checklist” we want to offer some vital tips that are sometimes overlooked and other things that you can definitely skip!

Here’s our thoughts:

Edit, Edit, Edit!:  You  don’t need a degree in journalism to know a good edit is imperative to the whole story making sense.  The same goes for your wedding. You want a constant stream of cohesion between the events, the colors, the feel and setting of you big day. Don’t try to cram in every idea you have ever seen in your life! Just go with what works and the best idea for the feel of your wedding should win. There will be other parties and events to use those secret touches on in the future! Remember, you’re not trying to impress anyone and keep in mind that guests are often more impressed with subtle, well executed details rather than over-the-top themes that don’t really work. Like we said before, taking some things off the list, is a great addition to the overall wedding.

Inexpensive Odds and Ends:  Something to keep in mind is how many Thank you notes you will be writing during this whole process From your showers, to bachelorette parties, engagement soirees and finally the wedding, consider a monogram or custom stationary that will take you from each event flawlessly. Think about different notes for each event and as is gets closer to the big day, you can really show off a lot of personal style well before the wedding. So have fun with it! Invest in a monogram address stamper that typically runs your about $40-$60 instead of paying for each envelope to be printed with a return address. You can also by matching address labels or seals to jazz-up any note. Remember, a thoughtful bride is always well regarded so don’t be shy when it comes to telling the people in your life how truly grateful you are. Adding personal paper to your list makes it so much easier when the time comes to thank everyone!

Etsy Find of the Week

Etsy, for those of you newcomers, is an online marketplace where vendors can sell their handmade goods.  Sounds crafty, but Etsy has quickly become one of the go-to places for brides to find everything from custom signage and invitations to veils and jewelry for their big day.  The advantage is getting something completely unique and having your money go directly to the designer or creator, which seems to be how most vendors keep their prices so competitive.  Either way, this online bazaar of sorts can keep you busy browsing for hours and if you are getting married, Beware…their wedding sections are freakishly addictive!

Here is our pick of the week for a sweet bridal gift found on Etsy: personal, special and quite the keepsake!

Pinterest: Pins of the Week

Groomsmen Sperry’s.  It’s hard to believe that summer is already winding down, but fall will be taking over the Midwest before we know it.  That being said, we’re soaking up all things summer, and this shot of these groomsmen and their Sperry’s did just the trick.  Footwear is one of the easiest ways for guys to infuse a little fun into their wedding day look, as well increase the overall comfort level for the big day.

Mike Larson Photographers, Inc.

Initials Cake Topper.  We’ve seen lots of fabulous cake toppers, and in fact, cake toppers seem to be making a comeback these days.  From fondant figures to vintage ceramic duos, there are tons of options if you want to have a happy couple sitting a top your wedding cake.  But if you want something a bit less traditional, how about these great initials?  From an adorable Etsy site, these letters would finish off any dessert with just the right amount of pizzazz and class.

Black, White, and Gold.  Black and white is a classic color combination, but it doesn’t have to be boring.  And this pin is perfect proof that the classic combination is bigger and better than ever.  With pops of gold and punches of patterns, the classic combo takes on a whole new life, perfect for a celebration to remember.  From the polka dots, to the box, to the gold rings around the candles, we are simply smitten with the fun take on this classic combo.

Pinterest: Pins of the Week

Vintage Tea Length Love.  We pinned several tea length dresses this week, and all we can say  is blame it on Chicago’s gorgeous spring weather!  We fell head over heels for the vintage inspired frock below, and we imagine we’re not the only ones.  With classic lines, a beautiful cut, and a few special details, we have no doubt any Music By Design bride would be stunning in this number.  We also can’t help but think how fabulous it would look topped with the perfect birdcage veil!

Custom Wood Cake Toppers.  We’ll admit, we’re suckers for just about anything sweet, so we love almost any wedding cake we see.  And with these cute wooden cake toppers, how could you not love what you see?  We think these toppers would be perfect on a simple cake, just right for the couple wanting a hint of the outdoors.  Even better, the Etsy shop responsible for these toppers offers custom wooden accents for your big day.

Childhood Photo Op.  We’re always on the hunt for cute photo ideas, and this is one we haven’t seen before.  Seeing a couple’s personality is so important on the big day, so to see a little “old school” personality, well, we dig it.

Using Etsy for Your Big Day

Etsy offers an invaluable resource to blushing brides hoping to add creative and unique touches to their wedding celebration without spending countless hours on DIY projects. In case you haven’t heard of it, Etsy is an online marketplace for artists, jewelers, designers, photographers, and other creative geniuses selling original, one-of-a-kind, homemade, or vintage gifts and goods that are often customizable. And now, Etsy offers an entire category dedicated strictly to weddings. Here are ten ways to use Etsy to add a wow factor to your wedding…

Photo Props: From cute chalkboard signs to handmade “Just Married” pennants to fake mustaches aplenty, Etsy’s vendors offer adorable, one-of-a-kind accessories to spruce up professional wedding photos and add some fun to candid photo booth shoots.

Cake Toppers: Customize your wedding cake with handmade cake toppers that represent you and your spouse. Etsy provides everything from edible designs to comical figurines to paper flags to provide couples with an original way to top their treats.

Bridesmaids Gifts: Etsy offers gorgeous gifts for bridesmaids or attendants that can be personalized while remaining affordable. Scour the online marketplace for jewelry, home goods, hair accessories, or artwork that make original and posh presents.

Stationery: The array of talented artists and designers on Etsy are able to fulfill your every paper need with an astounding collection of invitations, save the date cards, thank you notes, and more. With the ability to customize color and design, Etsy illustrators allow you to create the perfect paper items without the hefty price tag that can accompany hiring a personal graphic designer.

Favors: Etsy offers a wide array of wedding favors, sold in bulk quantities at great prices. Search by wedding season or type of gift (home goods, bath & body, edible, etc). Not only is Etsy a great place to shop for favors themselves, you can also find fun favor accessories on the site. Vendors offer homemade tags, customizable favor boxes and bags, and personalized labels.

Attire & accessories: Bedeck yourself in one-of-a-kind baubles from Etsy’s wide range of jewelry sellers, or walk down the aisle in a custom-made wedding gown from the crop of fashionistas selling their styles on the site. Etsy also offers a wide selection of hair accessories, shoes, and purses.

Flowers: Believe it or not, you can even find wedding florals on Etsy. A huge assortment of bouquets, corsages, and centerpieces are available, made from silk, fabric, or even paper flowers.

Guest Book: A full line of customizable and unique guest books are available on Etsy, as well as some unique ideas for documenting guests. Select a personalized framed illustration for guests to sign, have gifts fill out individual cards and file them in a guest box, or create a wedding puzzle with individual pieces for invitees to sign.

Candles: Add originality to the age-old tradition of lighting the unity candle with handmade candles or accessories, or spruce up reception décor with personalized candleholders that can double as favors.

Décor: Etsy’s got you covered for everything else as well, with a full line of interesting, creative, and original wedding décor items. Whether you need personalized signage, table numbers, centerpieces, or place cards, Etsy offers it all.

Wedding Bouquets – 4 Alternatives

A few weeks ago, country couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton tied the knot. Miranda wore her mother’s beautiful ivory wedding gown and a multi-million dollar necklace, but as she walked down the aisle, she was flowerless. Yes, flowerless. Most brides carry a beautiful bouquet of flowers as they walk down the aisle toward their future husband, but not Miranda. She went a different route —she carried a brooch bouquet.

What is a brooch bouquet?

A brooch bouquet is an alternative bouquet made of brooches instead of flowers. It is a great way to incorporate an heirloom into your wedding day. It is also perfect for a wedding with a vintage flare. Best of all, you can save the bouquet after the wedding. Unlike flowers, this bouquet will last forever.

To make a brooch bouquet, begin collecting a variety of brooches. These can be found at flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales and your grandmother’s jewelry box.  Not crafty? No problem. You can order brooch bouquets on Etsy.

Unfortunately, brooch bouquets can be expensive, unless you make them yourself. Here are some other, more budget-friendly alternatives to traditional bouquets.

Felt Bouquets

Felt is a soft but durable fabric. It comes in a vast amount of colors and can be transformed into almost any shape. Felt bouquets are made of individual felt flowers. The designs can be simple or extravagant. These are perfect for summer or springtime weddings because they have a more casual feel.  If you are crafty (and have free time), you can make these bouquets yourself, or like the brooch bouquets, you can order from online stores such as Etsy.

Paper Bouquets

Don’t like felt? No problem. Another alternative is paper flowers. Don’t be fooled. These do not look like the flowers you made in kindergarten. In fact, many of these flowers are so artistically crafted that you can’t even tell they are fake (until you touch or smell them of course). The possibilities for paper bouquets are endless —there are tons of colors, textures, and patterns. Online stores such as Etsy offer paper bouquets for all types of weddings, ranging from casual summer weddings to romantic fall events. Again, this can be a DIY project, but you better me crafty and you better have some free time.

Silk Bouquets

Silk flowers are another alternative to traditional wedding flowers. Many silk flowers are beautifully crafted to look like real flowers. One of the great things about this option is the cost. Whether you make your own bouquet or purchase it, this option is typically cheaper than traditional bouquets. Also, you will have a great keepsake. Unlike real flowers, silk flowers don’t die.

All of these alternative bouquets have pros and cons. When choosing a bouquet, whether it is made of flowers, fabric, paper, or brooches, you need consider the tone of your wedding, your budget, and your priorities. Choose a bouquet that fits your personality and wedding-theme. The options are endless; you decide which option is best.

Below are two examples of Paper Bouquets.












Wedding Veil Alternatives

Years and years ago, brides wore veils, long veils.  It’s just what they did.  They wore a white wedding dress and veil.  And if you were an early trendsetter who decided to forgo the veil, you probably got a stern look of disapproval from your grandmother.  Now days, things are changing.  Don’t get us wrong, brides still loves veils, veils are still in, and veils are still very gorgeous.  But brides are beginning to expand their bridal headwear options to include baubles, headbands, flowers, vintage hair pieces, and much, much more.  Check out a few of our favorites!

Birdcage veils. For the bride who loves vintage or dramatic glamour, this is a fabulous option for you.  These stunning beauties have a classic elegance to them, while maintaining a sense of no fuss fashion.  There are tons of great options throughout Etsy.  Just search “birdcage veils” and you’ll be met with hundreds of options, each with great pictures and descriptions.  Still not sure you’re sold on the birdcage veil for the wedding day?  Think about using one in your bridal portraits for a dramatic and different look.

Brooches. These sparkly baubles give you the freedom to incorporate as much or as little bling as you want, as brooches come in every possible shape and size.  You can also incorporate hints of your wedding colors into these accessories, without overwhelming your entire look.  Lots of brides also take advantage of brooches as their something old or something borrowed, incorporating brooches from family members or dear friends.  Don’t have any brooches in the family?  Look at antique stores, vintage shops, and estate sales for older finds or scour jewelry shows for newer bling.  Brooches can be incorporated into almost any hair style…up, down, long, short, you name it!

Floral. The idea of flowers in the bride’s hair used to be reserved for destination weddings, but not anymore.  Brides everywhere are looking to nature to add a festive flair to their look.  Simple blooms look best, and white blooms create a look that is both polished and pretty.  Talk with your florist about what blooms might look best as well as what will be in season.  It is important to make sure the stem is long enough to slip a few bobby pins through, and if you would prefer to have your florist wrap a barrette or hair clip with the bloom, most are happy to do that for you.  And for the whimsical bride planning a garden party, why not do a wreath of baby’s breath?  A look fit for a princess, without being draped in diamonds.

Headbands. Once a thing for schoolgirls, headbands have come back onto the fashion scene in a big way the past few years.  Headbands are a fun way, yet hassle free way to add some fun to your bridal look.  And since headbands are so popular, look beyond the typical bridal stores.  Some of your favorite retailers such as Ann Taylor, J.Crew, Nordstrom, and Forever 21, make great headbands.

Custom hairpieces. Can’t decide what you want?  Thinking you want a little bit of everything, or maybe something with feathers, or maybe something you haven’t even actually seen yet?  Having a hair piece specifically designed for you is a special way to make a personal stamp on your bridal look.  Lo Boheme is one of our favorite places for custom hairpieces, as well as other wedding day accessories.  If the price tag is a bit high for you, invest some time looking around Etsy.  There are some incredibly talented people out there, just waiting to make the perfect hairpiece, just for you!

And if you’re not quite ready to give up on the veil, no worries!  Have the best of both worlds by wearing a veil for your ceremony and switching into one of the options above for your reception.  That way you can dance the night away hands and worry free! Wedding Veil Alternatives