Friday, October 30, 2009

Etsy Loves Grooms

Being the budget bride that I am, I've been hopping on the contest bandwagon to cut costs on some major things, such as photography and save-the-dates. Our latest triumph was winning Soiree Design's giveaway from a cigar company. Eventually, my fiance and I came out on top with nearly 90 votes! (My friend, Evan, teased me that I'll end up on Oprah as the "girl who won her whole life!") Thanks to everyone who voted. Now that I've secured cigars for my honey, what else would work for a groom's gift?

I LOVE this from Droplet Studio on

or YougNeek's vintage mini-lighter:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Inspiration #39: Corsages

I plan to do some of my floral arrangements myself but I do want help with my own bouquet and the flowers for our wedding party. In particular, I've been exploring corsages as a lower cost alternative to bridesmaid bouquets as they are generally anywhere from $15-30 a pop.

{Silk flower peacock feather corsage on by ekaminsk}

{from Cross Pollination Floral Blog, photo by Jennifer Lindberg}

{"Green with Envy" Corsage on by Ardesign}

Martha Has last!

I've been on for a couple years now and they are pretty selective on who gets to host their sponsored parties.

You can imagine my excitement when I learned I was among 1,000 women across the nation selected to host a Martha Stewart House Party.

I just received via UPS, 8 lbs worth of Martha's good things, including 3 bottles of beautiful glitter in tourmaline, peridot and florentine, paper punches as seen on Martha Stewart Crafts, embellishments and bundles of paper and boxes for cards and gifts. To top it off, I have 100 pages of brochures with 2 coupons for 50% off of Martha Stewart Craft products until the end of the year. All this for free in exchange for hosting a party with my crafty girl friends. Wowza!

Our projects, as directed, by Martha, are to revamp an old ornament, create a greeting card and decorate a gift box. I can't wait! This will be a good primer for how to create some of the handmade elements we plan for our wedding, especially in refreshing old things into "good things" once again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I heart our photographers: Davina + Daniel

Aren't urban e-sessions fantastique? I'm tickled by the use of balloons, shadows and reflection. {All photos by Davina + Daniel of Montreal, Quebec; they also just won 1st place for the Wedding Photojournalist Association's "Bride" category -- check it out in this month's BRIDES magazine.}


Inspiration #38: Font Play

I am a typography nerd. Yes, I admit it. I subscribe to "i love typography" and this page from a new design book published by Chronicle Books caught my eye. Can you imagine playing with the dates of your wedding in this fashion? Totally fun.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Style Unveiled SF: Launches Vendor Directory

Style Unveiled San Francisco announced the launch of its Vendor Directory today and I'm excited that my fiance, Fred Boette, aka Guitar Fred, is featured as a Founding Member of Style Unveiled SF! Check out Style Unveiled SF for more Bay Area vendors to help you plan your wedding in style.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cutest Photo Booth Design...Ever.

My friend, Samantha, passed along this must-steal photo booth design by Sasha Souza as seen on Apartment Therapy Los Angeles. Click here to see how Sasha did it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DIY Keepsake: Recipe for a Good Marriage

I've been researching fun ways for our guests to leave well wishes for us: wish trees, guests books, murals, photo mats, and more. Then, I reached into memories of my early childhood. Remember making salt-dough Christmas ornaments? Yeah, you know those ones you rolled out like cookies, baked and painted? I was then inspired to make a long-lasting recipe card so guests can tell us their recipe for a good marriage. It's a nice fit since food/throwing dinner parties is one of my passions.

I envision making these ahead of time and shaping and painting them as if they're index cards. We'll leave Sharpies in a variety of colors so that guests can easily write and share their love notes to us. It'll be a nice keepsake for us every Christmas!

Here's the recipe for the salt-dough ornament (from

Classic Salt Dough Ornament Recipe

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water

1. Mix salt and flour.
2. Add in half the water, then gradually add the remaining water.
3. Knead until the dough is smooth, this can take up to 10 minutes.
4. For flat dough ornaments roll out the dough on baking paper
Or be creative and make odd shapes and wreaths (takes longer to bake)

Use cookie cutters, cut-out templates, or just use your hands.
Dust dough with flour and begin to add details to the ornaments with a toothpick, popsicle stick, and knife.

Don't Forget:
Use a straw to make a hole so you can hang the ornament.

Baking: Time varies based on thickness of ornament
Temperature: 325 degrees
Time: 1 1/2 hours - or until dry

Decorate: Let cool before you begin
Paint with acrylic paints
Glue on beads, buttons, or any fun accessory

Preservation: Making them last a long time
Coat with acrylic varnish when everything is dry

*** Color Variation Notes from our Visitors***
- Substitute coffee for water - great for gingerbread people - Thanks, Shelly
- Add food coloring to make dough a unique color - white, blue, red, etc...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Circles and Poppies

Circles and Poppies
Originally uploaded by studiocake
I'm loving this clean, modern cake design! The circles remind me of mid-modern century ranch homes in Phoenix (

Inspiration: Unique photo booth ideas

{from Dolci & Odille's Custom Photo Backdrops}

Our photographers, Davina + Daniel, offered to set up a photo booth for us as long as we provided the backdrop.

Now we've been trying to decide on that! He loves pulp fiction/vintage film noir and science fiction, so we thought we could paint a book cover on muslin. Another idea is musically driven, so painting bars could also work (see below). Or, the easiest option may be to buy fancy gift wrap or wall decals (that can peel off afterwards).

Here are some inspirational photos:

{Originally posted on}

{Musical note decals on}

{West Warwick Public Library}

{Apartment Therapy New York}

{Originally posted on; an Etsy damask magnetic board}

Below, IKEA's Cecilia fabric for $5.99/yard

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Going Stamp-Crazy

{Visit Craft Pudding on}

This week marks the 12-month countdown. I started planning like crazy and even booked our venue within 3 weeks of our engagement last April, so I've been on cruise control. Now, I'm starting to realize that things will only pick up faster from here on out!

Lollipop Events and Design just sent us the final proof of our Save-the-Dates and so I'm preparing the surprise we're enclosing with each announcement. Let's just say the packaging for this surprise is a medium weight craft paper and on the outside, I want to either stamp the outside with something that represents me and my fiance's young-at-heart spirit and title it Vera + Fred. Our STD's feature a bird motif. My search eventually evolved into a cutesy boy meets girl look -- Craft Pudding's stamps of the boy and girl are my favorite. Let me know what you think:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Offbeat Wedding Entertainment

Last night, I read a Craigslist ad posted by a couple looking for a comedian to perform stand-up at their wedding reception (I guess their best man might not cut it in the humor department). That got me thinking about offbeat wedding entertainment. I've thrown dinner parties before where I hired a fire dancing troupe, tarot card reader and a Brazilian funk band. Fine for a rockin' dinner party, but is it proper for a wedding fete?

All depends on you and your fiance, of course! If you'd follow the beat of your own drum, why not entertain the idea of a sketch artist, acrobat, etc, at your wedding reception?

Here are a few ideas:

{Photo of Unpopable}
  • Balloon Artist: You've got the standard hot dog making balloon artist, but what about a balloon bass playing one? Check out Unpopable.
  • Comedian: This one is tricky. Let's hope your family and friends have a good sense of humor, or you might run the risk of offending someone. But then again there's usually one or two people in the crowd who don't have a funny bone. When looking for a comedian, I'd suggest seeing him/her live, or asking to see their routine on their MySpace Comedy Channel page (or personal website) to see if their kind of humor jives with yours.
  • Dancers: There's a lot of opportunity here to showcase your heritage or family traditions here including: the intoxicating rhythms of Brazilian Carnaval, the colorful Mexican folklorico dance, the fluid undulation of Chinese dragons, or even country line (or square) dancing!! Or you can definitely hire poi (aka fire) dancers!
  • Aerial Acrobats: Think Cirque du Soleil. These acrobats can perform amazing aerial stunts on circus apparatus. The twirling, dancing, and flirting on aerial silk, hammock, hoop, static trapeze, Spanish web, bungee, and swing makes any event a memorable one.
{Photo of Cirque du Soleil from UK Lite Structures}
  • Sketch Artist: This is an alternative to the highly popular photo booth. Your guests will enjoy a highly personalized favor -- a portrait or caricature. Here's one of my fiance by Dax Tran Caffee at
  • Other: If you've got an offbeat venue, it might inherently offer your reception entertainment. For example, the local zoo may provide a critter encounter (a zookeeper will bring out a friendly owl or porcupine for an up-close meeting) or if you choose a dinner theater venue, you can watch a Cirque du Soleil-esque performance.
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