Love is Sweet
Floral Accessories for the DIY Bride
Outdoor Wedding Spaces
Finding the Perfect Photographer
TILL DEATH DO US PART
A Perfectly DIY Wedding
cultivating your life Special Wedding Edition
cultivating your life
in every issue
14 Spaces Hitched: Outdoor Wedding Spaces
18 Decor DIY Decor
22 Found Forget-Me-Not Wedding Finds
24 Food Homegrown Flavor
34 Flourish: Floral Accessories for the DIY Bride 48 Paper Cuts: DIY Stationary 58 Till Death Do Us Part: Jon And Courtneyâ€™s Wedding Planner
68 Shutter Bliss: Wedding Photography
meet us ALICE LEWIS firstname.lastname@example.org
EMILY MULLET email@example.com
NOEL RIVARD firstname.lastname@example.org
MALLORY WIEGERS email@example.com
Hannah and Daniel Grover March 24, 2012
The Art of Celebration www.canvasandcanopy.com
SOME THINGS ARE JUST NO BRAINERS, like knowing you can always find a lot of organic food at our stores. As the first nationally certified organic grocer in the US, we offer you the biggest and best choice we possibly can because it’s an important part of our commitment to you and the planet. Choosing organic supports farmers and producers who believe in good health, quality foods and earth-friendly sustainable agricultural practices. And that’s good for everyone, from the farm worker to the planet to your family—and future generations too.
Keds for madewell.com MADEWELL.COM
he outdoor wedding is one of the most magical weddings of all—if you do it right. When you are scouting locations for an outdoor ceremony and wedding reception, keep some important factors in mind. You will need to select a spot that allows for a contingency plan. If it rains, what will you do? If you’re having a tent, you can rent one that has flaps so guests won’t get wet. You can also plan to have a wooden dance floor (and not just grass) so that guests can still dance if the ground is wet.
Bigger weddings that are outdoors are going to require a staff to man them. Many places will offer a ceremony outdoors by a garden, terrace, or at-
If you are not using your own
tractive focal point. Then you can come inside for
backyard, you will want to con-
the actual reception. This works for a number of
sider what each site you visit has
reasons. You don’t have to worry as much about the weather since you can always move the cer-
to offer. Can you marry outside an
emony inside. If you’re already planning an indoor
inn or bed and breakfast and then
reception, you know they have the space. Also,
have the guests stay over? This works well with a small wedding. You could choose to rent a beach house and hold your ceremony on the shore and then have guests stay at the house with you
you don’t have to figure out how you’re going to serve dinner and drinks outdoors.
Field weddings hold an endless ar-
ray of opportunities, especially with decorations. You can get creative with your set up of the ceremony: Try using hay bales with colorful blankets draped over them for seating, or place pews from a church in the field. You and your guests will enjoy the serene atmosphere of this natural space.
2 Garden: Gardens and conservatories serve as the perfect backdrop to your ceremony. Use the
natural beauty of the flowers and plants in your advantage. Experience the sights and fragrances of a wide variety of flowers and plants, all in their natural settings.
3 Barn: There is something magical about lights being strung up in a barn. This is a very rustic yet romantic place for your wedding, and also are a great shelter in case it rains.
4 Orchard: Orchards
alone, so you canâ€™t go wrong with this location. Choose an orchard with a perfect backdrop for the ceremony.
5 Beach: Beach weddings are casual.
ral beauty and aroma of the water and sand make it the perfect backdrop. A shorter dress is great for the sand, and think about having your groomsmen in shorts, and casual dresses for bridesmaids.
Don’t feel like you have to settle for barbecue just because you’re having an outdoor wedding. Some of the most upscale weddings have been designed outdoors. Just make sure you choose a locale that has access to bathrooms, indoor facilities if it rains, and provisions for other extreme weather like excessive heat or a freak hail storm.
for your outdoor wedding Lighting your site
Cozy it up
To set the mood (and help guests see each
The more you bring into your space, the warmer
other), add paper lanterns, pinspot lighting,
it will feel. Colored linens, miss-matched plates
twinkling lights or stately chandeliers. Light up
and silverwear, vibrant up- lighting and quirky
surrounding walkways for easy access to the
knickknacks set a great vibe.
bathrooms. Think luminaries and small up— lights along the paths and Mason jars with tea
lights hanging from nearby tree branches.
If there aren’t any restrooms nearby (and even if there are a few), you should consider renting
Creating a relaxing space
them. These days, you can find luxury portable
Whether you’ve chosen a grand, grassy lawn or
restrooms with amenities like in—room music,
a small backyard, pick an area and make it more
granite countertops and air conditioning or heat-
inviting with lounge furniture and lots of pil-
ers depending on the season.
lows. If you don’t have room to bring in couches and plush chairs, arrange your dining area with
Keep bugs at bay
smaller 4—person reception tables instead of
To control insects on your wedding day, think
larger 8— or 10—person tables to create a more
about having your site sprayed by an extermina-
intimate look and feel.
tor two days beforehand and placing citronella candles throughout the space.
secondhand hen it comes time
biscuit, or coffee tins (lined with plastic bags
to create center-
to prevent leakage). Anything that can hold
pieces and other
water can serve as a container; donâ€™t be shy
about pilfering from friends and relatives,
dinner tables, cocktail tables, the cake table,
especially if someone you know is a collec-
and so on, there are a million intriguing op-
tor. Again, either go full-on matching or very
tions. Consider placing small potted plants
eclectic, featuring either one striking bloom
on cake stands, using pitchers or antique
or masses and masses of the same flower
patent medicine bottles in lieu of vases, or
arranging flowers in a conglomeration of tea,
tips for creating centerpieces
If you use opaque vases or containers, then the stems won’t be visible, and your arranging doesn’t have to be as precise. Another option is to wrap a bouquet of a single type of flower, such as a calla lily, in florist’s tape and then ribbon and then prop it up in a slender clear glass vase filled with a couple inches of water, so the flowers jut out at an angle. (Make sure the ribbon wrap doesn’t get wet.) You could even put several bouquets of different types of flowers at different heights in a
3 4 5
low glass vase, anchoring them with glass marbles or river rocks. Avoid placing fragrant flowers near food. If the arrangement will go on a table where people are seated, remember to keep it either very low or so high that it’s above the sight line. Anything at eye level will more than likely hinder conversation. You can line clear glass containers with big, shiny leaves for a sleek look that also conceals stems.
To make centerpieces more unique and specific to the bride, collected vintage tin cans and containers can be filled with varying flowers for an eclectic feel. Additional object could be incorporated as well such as old books, trinkets, figurines or candles Each table will be slightly different and unique for the guests. This will allow personal tastes to reveal to guests as well as display flowers in a engaging way.
New or vintage, tin containers and glass jars or vases are inexpensive and easy to find at specialty-food stores, tag sales, thrift stores, and online auctions.
found things we love
wedding Our favorite things
It is the special touches that make a wedding stand out. Make your wedding unforgetable with these items that are perfect for your dream garden wedding.
Chalkboard paint is a must for any garden wedding. It adds a handmade element and is so handy for labeling food, seating, and signage.
chalkboard paint, hobbylobby.com, $3.49
With a little twine and gift tags you can make these simple napkin holders. Use rubber stamps to turn them into place cards also!
Paper lanterns can add a romantic glow to your outdoor wedding space. Use colorful ones like this picture for a fun and festive look.
paper lanterns, peir1.com, $12
Find different antique pitchers at a thrift store to use as vintage inspired centerpieces.
water pitchers, thrift store, $10
twine, walmart.com, $9
Mason jars can be used to add a rustic touch to your wedding. This couple used them as glasses and personalized them with handmade tags.
mason jars, kmart.com, $10.34
Collect various beer bottles for these DIY vases. Be sure to pick out bottles with cordinating labels and green or brown glass.
beer bottles, your local liquor store, $12
Embroidery hoops make the perfect garden accesory! Here they are used to make decorative signs hanging from a tree branch.
embroidery hoops, amazon.com, $7
1 2 5
food homegrown flavor
Traditional wedding cakes are out and the fruit cakes are in.
wedding cake is a focal point on your special day. It is hard to define what exactly constitutes a modern wedding cakeÂâ€”although most people agree that if you opt for a white tiered cake then you have gone the traditional route. Modern cakes are infused with fun and whimsy. They reflect the personalities and tastes of the couple instead of being just a sweet and pretty looking dessert. They are works of art that a cake designer has labored over. The modern wedding cake is a magnificent marriage of creativity, taste explosions and unparalleled beauty.
If you love desserts, why stop there? Indulge your fantasies and have a dessert buffet. Here, treats are playfully displayed on stands and sticks and in cups and bags, as they would be at an old-time carnival. Familiar favorites, such as toffee apples, snow cones, and caramel corn, make an appearance.
2 1 ice cream cakes Frosty sorbets are served in lemon peels for a light and refreshing accompaniment to the wedding cake. Cut lemons in half and scoop out the flesh. Pack the peels with your favorite sorbet and freeze until set, about one hour. Slice into wedges just before serving. As a prelude to the wedding cake,
homemade popcorn cake
give each guest a miniature version molded from sorbet, a palate cleanser.
Here’s the step-by-step for the popcorn cake, dreamed up by Cortnie from Canvas
2 by the slice
The mocha cake (top left) is flavored with three buttercreams—vanilla, and light and dark cof-
1 large popcorn
fee—between tiers of dense devil’s food cake. On the bottom layer: a bittersweet-chocolate ganache. White-chocolate pistachio cake (top right) is made with airy layers of pistachio sponge cake nestled in
— Cut off the top quarter of each bucket and discard that trimmed off bit. — Use hot glue and a glue gun to attach the fabric to each bucket. — Once the glue has cooled, wrap a ribbon around the middle of each container and secure it with adhesive. — Make your popcorn and fill the large bucket.
cloudlike white-chocolate mousse layered with pistachio cream, served with a scoop of pistachio gelato. The blackberry buttermilk cake (bottom) is four layers of fruit-studded buttermilk cake and blackberry buttercream are encased in fondant, a decorative sugar paste that helps keep the interior moist.
Place the smaller container on top of it and fill it
3 personal souff le
with popcorn as well.
A slice of wedding cake concludes your special day
— Place your “cake” on a cake stand and enjoy!
on a deliciously festive note. But if you love desserts, why stop there? Indulge your fantasies and have a dessert buffet. Here, treats are playfully displayed on stands and sticks and in cups and bags, as they would be at an old-time carnival. Familiar favorites, such as toffee apples, snow cones, and caramel corn, make an appearance.
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Feel free to contact us if you need some advice on what to grow, or for any questions or concerns.
food homegrown flavor
barbecue A popular option for on-site catering is barbecue. Plymouth-based T-Bones Roadhouse has won numerous awards and been named a “hidden jewel” by the Phantom Gourmet. Menu choices range from $9.95-$19.95 per person and include sides like pecan rice pilaf and corn succotash in addition to the range of barbecued meats. Dedham-based Tex’s BBQ Express has packages ranging from $11-$29 per person. Pawtucket-based B&M Catering takes alternative catering to a whole new level, offering on-site Carolina-style whole pig roasts, Hawaiian-style whole pig roasts, and an “islander” style menu with items like Jamaican jerk pork and grilled mahi mahi in addition to traditional barbecue.
clambakes B&M Catering also offers another huge trend native to the area: Cape Cod-style clambakes. While B&M’s business is to ship the finished clambake to the venue, companies like Clambakes Etc. bring the whole clambake process to your door. Based in Osterville, the company can come to the reception venue and either dig a pit to cook the clambake, or make it pot-style. Lobster, New England clam chowder and Cape Cod steamers are just a few of the menu items that make this clambake a truly local affair.
sustainable food For those couples who wish to shed light on the sustainable and local food movement, the Webber Restaurant Group offers “farm-tofork” catering options. The company uses as many local farms and sources as possible for their seven restaurants/catering services, but couples have the additional option of getting married at the picturesque verdant hills of the company’s main farm in Groton, Gibbet Hill. The Webber Group also offers the Fruitlands Museum in the town of Harvard as a wedding venue. Like Gibbet Hill, the Fruitlands Museum offers stunning views of orchards and forests, and overlooks the Nashoba Valley.
Cooking with organic ingredients doesn’t require any special equipment or even any unusual cooking techniques. In fact, you’ll find that with organic ingredients, you need to do less to bring out the foods’ character.
â€œThe food already is brimming with flavor. All you have to do is use the food in a way that accentuates its natural goodness,â€? â€”Steve Demos
While choosing a caterer can seem
caterer can seem like a daunting task,
like a daunting task, the opportunity
the opportunity for couples to make
for couples to make their menu as
their menu as unique as they are is
unique as they are is well worth the
well worth the effort. With the abun-
effort. With the abundant choices of
dant choices of fresh, local food and
fresh, local food and scenic venues
scenic venues in the area, your wed-
in the area, your wedding can be a
ding can be a day cherished as much
day cherished as much for its menu
for its menu as for its memories.
as for its memories. While choosing a
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T H E R E â€™ S N OT H I N G H E R E Nothing but living color everywhere you least expect it. An otherworldy landscape filled with bears and wolves. Where abundant herds of elk and bison follow the earthâ€™s ancient rhythems. With nothing on the fringe but charming towns full of creature comforts. Nothing will take you so far from home or you more comfortable in ours. MONTANA. VISIT MT.COM
Floral tips for the DIY bride
may your love
f flower arranging is your specialty, or you’re a fairly low-maintenance type, full-on DIY flowers are doable. But because flowers are so delicate and time-sensitive—they need to be handled carefully, for maximum freshness—they may be treacherous territory for most brides.
Instead of trying to do them
all on your own, why not delegate them to
While you’re dreaming up options for your wedding flowers, spend as much time as possible at botanical gardens, flower stores, and farmers’ market, asking questions and making notes about what appeals to you. Also, spend some time in the craft section of
someone in your network, or perhaps do all
your bookstore looking through flower books. You’ll
the planning and purchasing yourself and
likely learn the names of blooms you’ve admired for
hand the day-before and day-of work over to
years, and you’ll become familiar with types you’ve only heard about. For a good basic visual primer
a talented friend? Then, on your wedding day,
on flower varieties, visit the flower library at www.
you can say “For me? You shouldn’t have!”
aboutflowers.com. Floral design is deceptively tricky. Anyone who’s tried to arrange a boquet of grocerystore flowers in a vase knows that you need to have a knack for it.
of flowers early
The good news is that many
flowers have a longer or even yearround season these days. This is due to imports from warmer climates, and commercial growers cultivating the flowers under glass, out of season. Commercial growing techniques now mean that flowers are available out of season.
g rin S Li Ra wee lacs An nun t Pe em cu as on lus es
sp te r
Tulips Hyacinth Daffodil
Ch Z Dah ry inn lia s a nt eas s he m um s
Probably around 60-70% of the flowers out there are available year-round (though more expensive at some times than others), but there are a few types that captures the essence of a particular season. Here are some that are great for weddings:
m m H er yd ra F Q ue Lis ree nge en ian sia a A th St nne us oc â€™s k La ce Sunflower
However, expect the best quality and lowest prices to be for seasonal wedding flowers that are in their normal flowering season.
Am Ile P Nar aryl x b oin cis lis e s su Gr rry ettia s ee bra s n er nch y es
your flowers You have several options: growing your own, buying from a wholesale flower market, purchasing online, or buying from a local grower (the best, most environmentally friendly option). You can easily combine flowers from a variety of sources. When buying from a vendor, you’ll want to find someone who will sell you at as close to a wholesale price as possible without re-
If you live in a big city, your flower market or flower district will likely
be quite easy to find—you may even already know where it is. If you
minimum order quantity.
are not sure where to find a flower market or wholesaler near you,
Farmer’s markets are the
visit the Wholesale Florist and Florist Supplier Association (www.
best places to scout for local growers.
wffsa.org) has a “find a wholesaler” link that allows you to search
them and ask where their
by state. Or you can ask local florists where they find their flowers.
farm is located and if they
Typically, these markets open to the public after retailers have fin-
would consider providing
ished their buying, usually in the early morning hours.
flowers for your wedding.
Plan a visit well ahead of the wedding, six to nine months in advance. Don’t be deterred by a “wholesale only” plaque in windows. Just go inside, and inquire whether they’d sell to someone planning to do her own wedding flowers. If they say yes, ask whether they’d do a special order. Then keep shopping. Compare prices at several vendors to determine a reasonable range. Not which vendors seem to stock which types of flowers and plants, and take down contact information for any you really like. If you’re lucky, you’ll find someone who’s willing to help you out for the right price.
There are an endless array of possibilities when it comes to your bouquet and boutonniere. Check out the inspiration page for ideas on color palettes and flower choices.
Styles of bouquets
Blooms cover a 3D ballshaped creation carried by a loop of ribbon.
Flowers are tied together and held in the crook of the arm like a baby.
Flowers fall forward in a waterfall effect.
This is a bouquet that looks like it was plucked from a vase.
LET’S TALK NUMBERS: Flowers are counted by the stem, so you pay
ter of taste, and grip—you’ll want to figure
for the number of stems in your hand, not
out how man stems you can comfortably fit
the number of blooms. As a general rule,
in your hand.
you’ll want eighteen to twenty-four stems
For boutonnieres and corsages, however,
per table arrangement bridesmaid’s bouquet
you do count the blooms: each boutonniere
(unless it’s something giant like a sunflow-
is one to three blooms; corsages are three to
er, in which case three to five is probably
five; and you’ll need one bunch of greens per
enough); ten to twelve stems for a small bou-
three or four arrangements.
quet for a mother of the bride or groom or a flower girl; and twenty stems for a robust bride’s bouquet. The exact number is a mat-
UNCONVENTIONAL BRIDE This beautiful bride rocked an orange dress on her special day. Branch out from the standard protocol and make it the kind of day that you could imagine as being as fun and meaningful as possible for you.
BUY THE BEST
HYDRATING YOUR BLOOMS
Buy the freshest, highest quality flowers available.
Hydrate blooms immediately upon arriving
Choose buds that are somewhere between tightly
home. Use a sharp knife to trim off the bot-
closed and fully open, depending on how soon
tom of each stem, on the diagonal (to expose
you want to use them. In a pinch, you can get cut
maximum surface area), and plunge them into
flowers to open faster in warm water or warm air,
cold water. Using a knife ensures a clean cut
but never place them in direct sunlight.
and minimum damage to the stem.
Select all the stems you want to use for an ar-
Don’t forget the greenery—sometimes the
rangement before you begin, and lay them out on
most striking elements of a floral arrangement
your work surface or put them in a bucket. Use
aren’t flowers at all. You may have interesting
off numbers of each flowers—three, five, or seven,
choices in your own yard or in a nearby park.
depending on how big the final arrangement will be—in a mixed bouquet.
your Use this helpful page for inspiration for your flowers and accessories, plus find the meaning behind certain colors.
blue: The pale blue hues of a hydrangea or the purple: With its origins tied to royalty and cerdeep blues of an iris can calm worries and preoc-
emony, purple flowers represent dignity, pride
cupation representing peace, openness, and se-
and success. Whether grouped alone in a bold
renity, fresh floral arrangements filled with blue
range of rich hues or mixed in with other colors
flowers offers an antidote to anxiousness.
to provide depth and contrast, an arrangement filled with purple blooms represents accomplish-
Think pink and you think of grace, gen-
ment and admiration.
tility, and happiness. Regardless of the shape of the flower – from the tight, small buds of a pink
white: Often associated with innocence, humil-
garden rose to the delicate, open petals of a
ity, and reverence, white flowers evoke simple
pink caellia in full bloom – pink blossoms convey
beauty. Whether they take their shape as the
youth, innocence, and joy.
luxurious, silk petals of fragrant gardenias, the small, white bells of a lily of the valley, or the
orange: There’s nothing bashful about the color orange–its message is clear and blatantly proud. Symbolizing energy, enthusiasm, and warmth, an
quiet drama of a dozen white roses, fresh floral arrangement dominated by white blossoms conveys modesty and elegance.
arrangement of blooms in this vibrant color conveys confidence, satisfaction and a passion for
yellow: There’s a good reason why it can feel all
but impossible to refrain from smiling when you spot a bouquet of bright daffodils or a pot filled
red: There’s an indisputable energy to the color red – an energy that has the power to transform an otherwise unassuming flower into the essence of desire, strength, and passionate love. With beauty, courage and heat as its symbolism, it’s no surprise that a bouquet filled with rich, red blooms knows no restraint.
with sun-drenched chrysanthemums–the color yellow evokes feelings of joy and lightheartedness. Also a symbol of friendship, a bouquet bursting with yellow blooms sends a message of new beginnings and happiness.
hairpieces + boutonniere A boutonniere is a very easy thing to make, and a corsage and hair piece is effectively three boutonnieres lashed together. If you need to make a lot of them, however, this work can get fiddly and tedious, so enlist help. Also, consider making a small bouquet for moms and grandmas instead of the usual corsage.
corsages, boutonnieres and hairpieces in plastic in the refridgerator, away from anything too cold â€” you donâ€™t want to freeze them. You can make them the evening before the wedding but no earlier than that.
• Florist’s knife
• Flowers and greenery • 26-gauge floral wire • Green stem-wrap tape • Clippers • Pencil • Ribbon or fabric • Corsage pin
1. Cut flower stems to 3 inches long, on the diagonal, using the florist’s knife. 2. Take a lenth of floral wire and gently pierce the green base of the flower, and then push it all the way through. (Make sure you push through the meaty part, but make it closer to the stem than to the flower. 3. Bend the wire into a hairpin shape. 4. Wrap the stem and wire in stem-wrap tape from top to bottom in a spiral. 5. Cut the “stem,” including toe wire, which may exten below the stem itself), to the desired length using clippers. 6. You can cover the stem with ribbon, if you like, or finish with a bow, but it’s probably best to keep the stem small and unobtrusive. 7. Pin on a lapel using the corsage pin.
Christine and Ian’s invitations: designed and fabricated by the couple
wedding surfaced early on: the drive to do as much as we can ourselves, or with the help of our friends and families. We’ve both found that the sometimes arduous work involved with creating something yourself is vastly out-weighed by the pleasure of looking upon something you created yourself. And in our opinion, it is also the only real way to let your personalities show through the work. We knew we could design our wedding invitations and hand them off to one of the many local letterpress printing shops and end up with something beautiful. However, this didn’t feel right to us. Beyond just designing them ourselves, we wanted to fabricate them ourselves as well. Not only did we think the process would be fun, but it also made the most sense for something as important as our wedding invitations.
Another reason is the application of embracing constraints. By choosing to make the invitations ourselves, we limited our options drastically, making decisions much easier to make along the way. Modern print methods, and to a lesser extent letterpress, make almost anything possible. This can be a daunting realization when staring at a blank aking, but conversely opened us up to a new level of customization and rarely seen effects that traditional methods wouldnâ€™t allow. Luckily for us, there is a friendly neighborhood TechShop around the corner from our house. Just a two-minute walk down the street was a warehouse with custom-fabrication machinery for us to use.
main invitation card Ian designed the main invitation card beautifully and spent hours and hours at TechShop on the laser cutter. It took twenty minutes for every four cards. The kraft backings were also laser cut. Using an Xacto knife, the trees were punched out carefully and bent forward to create the 3D effect. The front cards were then sewn to the kraft backings with a sewing machine.
rsvp & map The RSVP cards were printed on our inkjet printer and individual names were stamped with red ink.
materials: » 80# Kraft Cardstock » Printer » Stamps
The front and back covers of the Field Guide were laser cut. Sketches of local wildlife were drawn, scanned and printed onto legal paper. They were then glued onto the front and back covers with the adhesive dots.
materials: » 80# Kraft Cardstock » Laser Cutter » White 8.5”x14” Legal Paper » Printer » Letraset Letratac Adhesive Dot
Wedding invitations are a perfect place to DIY. You can save a ton of money, create something entirely personal and unique, and go easy on the environment at the same time, if you use recycled or wood-free paper and/or materials you already have on hand. Just keep in mind that what may look stunning (and seem doable) when you’re working up a prototype could be difficult to re-create in large quantities, or could start to look sloppy when fatigue and boredom set in after a few hours of repetitive assembly.
final touches The wood buttons were cut using a band saw at TechShop. Each button was hand drilled and sanded. The text paper was cut into thirds and then each band was folded into thirds to wrap around the entire bundle. The removable glue was used to keep the wrap closed. Each return envelope was stamped with the return address and the C/I logo. The #10 envelopes were also individually stamped with a stamp kit. The main invitation card, RSVP and map, Field Guide and Return Envelope were put into a bundle and wrapped with the kraft paper band. Red and white twine was wrapped around the entire finished bundle and a wooden button, individually picked for each family, was attached. It was then put into the #10 envelope and closed.
Total cost: less than $200.
stamps: You can easily order personalized photo stamps online at www.stamps.com. though, sadly, you'll pay extra. But the post office always has at least two wedding~y stamp designs to choose from, along with plenty of nonwedding designs that might complement the personality of your event. (Go to www.usps.com to browse.)
envelopes: Some websites sell custom invitation and envelope patterns and dies, If you really. really want to DIY but most stationery shops have precut papers and envelopes in every shape and size. If you’re purchasing envelopes rather than making your own, make sure everything fits smoothly inside,
tracking: Put a return address on the main envelope. In case of mailing error. Be prepared for forgetful guests who might send back response cards without their names on them (it happens!) by assigning each guest a number and writing that number on the back of their response card with a pencil and a light hand. (This is easiest to do if you’re keeping your guest list In a spreadsheet.) No one will notice the numbers, and you’ll save yourself the trouble of tracking down the identity of any mysterious guests.
materials: Kraft Paper Band » Text Paper in Paper Bag from Paper-Source » Removable glue
Return Envelope and #10 Envelope » 4 Bar Envelopes in Paper Bag from Paper Source » #10 String and Button Envelopes in Paper Bag from Paper Source » Stamps
Death Do Us Part
A PERFECTLY DIY WEDDING Meet Jon and Courtney Roberts窶馬ewly weds currently living in
fornia. This young couple fits our profile for the ideal DIY wedding with impecable taste for all things fresh. From proposal to honeymoon, Cournety and Jon maintained a keen sense of resourcefullness. All the while, Courtney kept a journal of her findings and is sharing it with you.
“and away we went
May 02 2011 • Los Angeles “The Sunday.”
Apr 12 2011 • Los Angeles “In the Land of Sugar”
I’ve been thinking some random thoughts lately.
Because cake is one of my all-time favorite foods, I think a professional
One of those thoughts is how I should be blog-
cake-tester would be at the top of my list of dream jobs. This kinda came
ging more, but the following thoughts viscously
true last Friday :] Another to-do was marked off of the wedding checklist
squash my aspirations. In the past week, I have
at Sara J Bakery in West Hills. I have yelp.com to thank for pointing me in
closed a big chapter of my life : tennis. I played my
the direction of this gem of a bakery.
last singles and doubles match this last Thursday, gave it my all one last time, & soaked up the time with my team.
I knew it was going to be a great morning when I walked in and saw these…
It feels strange to be letting go
.a daily treat of mine when I was in Israel! Little did Jon and I know that
of that title (“college athlete”) and to no longer be
we had discovered an Israeli bakery in the heart of LA! Even though they
required to practice. From here on out, tennis is
aren’t kosher-approved (because they work on Saturdays), their bourekas
purely recreational…& that might be a good thing.
and challah bread are highly sought after. I loved meeting Sigar (the owner) and her daughter who had just returned from her two-year service in the
Goodbye tennis, hello finals : they exist to remind
army in Israel.
me that I should be glad I’m graduating early. I’ve been pushing back those year-end projects the last couple of weeks to spend my time….
registering for the wedding…we might be 1/3 done, maybe
Fruit tart, Mango mousse, Fruit & Custard Florentine, Lemon Mousse, Tiramisu, Marquis, Hazelnut Crunch Cake, Chocolate Mousse Trio, Flourless chocolate cake, Passion Fruit Mousse,
as told by
Creme Brulee tart, & Pyramid Chocolate Cake.
1. Fruit tarts for life.
And there we stopped, because to keep going would have made things extremely complicated. This is my favorite kind of decision to make :] Come September, you will be tasting sugar at its
2. Cholla and I. Holla! 3. Holy macaroons!
best….several of the above desserts and also a big vanilla cake with vanilla creme stuffed with the fresh fruits of the season. They call it their “fruitcake”, but for obvious reasons I refuse to give it such a name.
Sara J’s Pastries I’m excited to take my parents to Sara J’s this weekend, simply to remove the above image of
Established in 1996, Sara J. Pastries has been providing the hos-
“fruitcake” out of their mind. Sigar and I share a
pitality, gourmet restaurant and catering industries with fine
similar phobia :: fear of dry cake ! For this and
quality gourmet cakes and pastries for a decade. Specializing in
many other reasons, I am eagerly anticipating September 4! We will have only the best for our guests and loving family.
fine European and continental pastries, Sara J. Pastries emphasizes the use of only the freshest and finest ingredients to create the highest quality and state-of-the-art products.
Jan 25 2011 • Los Angeles “On The Warpath” I NEED A VENUE // to channel my excitement frustration // that allows me to express myself //
as told by
for our wedding
“We found some breathtaking views of California splendor.”
Oh California, your beauty and your wealth of resources can be so enticing…& yet so elusive. Jon & I have been on the hunt, scouring the Internet (blogs, photographer sites) for our dream location. After several weekends spent driving through parts of LA that remain an unknown to most people, we reached the point of despair. Too expensive, no open dates, the wrong “feel”, overpriced catering (over $50 for a meal? $9 per person for a dry bar?) It adds up.
orcutt ranch The lush manicured gardens and towering oaks of the Orcutt Ranch make this historical monument a perfect setting for a garden wedding or special event. The patio areas provide picturesque backdrops and dappled shade for your reception or party. A cozy guest house which has two separate dressing rooms is also available to the bridal party before the ceremony.
Jun 06 2011 • Kansas “The Outrage of the Day” I find that trusting God becomes applicable in a
Outrageous food // I’ve been talking with some of you about this
new way once again. I think telling yourself to “re-
book, a read that I strongly recommend for those who have a curi-
lax” and be at peace is impossible without letting
ous palate. Food has been on my mind a lot lately as I’m consider-
the mess inside your head find a new home…&
ing different lifestyle choices & how to be prepared for marriage.
there is no better place to leave it then at the foot
After all, we do eat three times every single day, and yet how many
of Christ’s cross. Pray for our sanity & persever-
people care to know what they are actually eating (food is a lot more
ance as we sniff out the most affordable venues
complicated these days). If nothing else, it has spurred me on to dream of
& keep reminding ourselves :: the reason for a
what impact I can have on the future of our food. Knowledge is so power-
wedding is marriage. That…carries far greater re-
ful that it causes people to do one of two things : run or change. Mr. Pollan
sponsibility & more trials than a day-long event
states that many people today seem perfectly content eating at the end of
&&& should take considerably more preparation.
an industrial food chain, without a thought in the world. One of my favorite lines….”But in the end this is a book about the pleasures of eating, the kind
All that said, we found some breathtaking views
of pleasures that are only deepened by knowing.”
of California splendor // hills, vineyards, lakes, parks // from Malibu.
my wedding palette The lush manicured gardens and towering oaks of the Orcutt Ranch make this historical monument a perfect setting for a garden wedding or special event. The patio areas provide picturesque backdrops and dappled shade for your reception or party. A cozy guest house which has two separate dressing rooms is also available to the bridal party before the ceremony.
Jun 06 2011 • Kansas “The Outrage of the Day” Outrageous food // I’ve been talking with some of you about this book, a read that I strongly recommend for those who have a curious palate. Food has been on my mind a lot lately as I’m considering different lifestyle choices & how to be prepared for marriage. After all, we do eat three times every single day, and yet how many people care to know what they are actually eating (food is a lot more complicated these days). If nothing else, it has spurred me on to dream of what impact I can have on the future of our food. Knowledge is so powerful that it causes people to do one of two things : run or change. Mr. Pollan states that many people today seem perfectly content eating at the end of an industrial food chain, without a thought in the world. One of my favorite lines….”But in the end this is a book about the pleasures of eating, the kind of pleasures that are only deepened by knowing.”
Here’s a quick drive-by….
Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother
wouldn’t recognize as food.
2 So that’s us: processed corn, walking. 3
“These quotes are stuck in my head as I try to put my new knowledge into action.”
Were the walls of our meat industry to be-
come transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do.
While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity,
the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest.
The sheer novelty and glamor of the Western
diet, with its seventeen thousand new food products every year and the marketing power – thirtytwo billion dollars a year – used to sell us those products, has overwhelmed the force of tradition and left us where we now find ourselves: relying on science and journalism and government and marketing to help us decide what to eat.
Take a 3-hour cooking class with your fiance. I highly recommend the sushi course if you bring your man…he enjoyed the fruit of his labor with 5 rolls that day and leftover for the work week.
September 4, 2011 Despite all of my attempts to slow down time, the day flew by & left me with a bouquet of snapshot memories. I guess all the best days do. These shots were handpicked from 700+ in an effort to share this most special day with you.
finding the right Great wedding photography doesn’t just capture the essence of the day. It also captures the essence of your relationship, your feelings for one another, and your affection for your guests (and vice versa). It’s impossible to take your own photos, of course — you’ll be in front of the lens, not behind it — but you can DIY by choosing a photographer who shares your vision, using all the amateur resources in your stable,
raditionally, wedding photographers made portraits, friends and setting up ways for and family took care of the candids. That’s changing, as more and more brides and grooms want photojournalism-style
guests to capture their own images. The best way to get brilliant re-
shots, or images of their big day that lookmore like fashion or art sults is to work all the
The great news is that, when you look
angles: recruit several
beyond the territory of wedding photographers,
helpers, and choose two
you’ll find a world of options.
If you have a family mem-
or three of the various techniques described in
ber or close friend who’s a good photographer, then half your work is this article. done. If you aren’t so lucky, start looking for help in all the unusual places, colleges near you, or you can post a notice on a bulletin board on campus to see if that shakes out any candidates. Ditto for your local newspaper—call the photo desk and ask if anyone does weddings. You may find your man or woman on the first try.
hiring a friend or a relative Hiring a talented friend or family member may require a delicate touch. Choose your approach based on whether the person in question would be invited to the wedding even if you didn’t want his or her services. Photographing a wedding is hard work. And if this is someone you’d be inviting anyway, and you’re asking him to shoot your wedding, then he’ll be working hard instead of enjoying leisurely vodka tonics and canapés, and you shold acknowledge as much. Say something like, “We’d love for you to shoot our wedding, but only if it would add to your enjoyment of the event.”
setting up a round robin If you can’t find—or don’t want—a single (professional or amateur) photographer to capture the wedding day from start to finish, or you just want more coverage, consider creating a friends-and-family photographer roster, with everyone taking a shift. Make sure you have a high-quality digital camera, along with a gigantic memory card (or two, or three) and a backup battery, available for their use. Make a list of the best photographers among your guests. Break the event up into shifts (ceremony, reception until dinner, dancing, and the like—whatever makes sense to your event) and assign two people—a photographer, and a buddy/assistant/drink fetcher—per shift. Make it the responsibility of each photographer to hand equipment off to the next, but make sure a reliable bridesmaid or groomsman knows the roster, just in case.
Photographers should be notified if anything big (such as the cake cutting or bouquet toss) is scheduled to happen during their shift, so they don’t get distracted shooting the ring bearer stealing maraschinco cherries from the bar and miss it. (Another tip: Put anyone who likes to booze on an early shift.) Because it’s not a fulltime job, you shouldn’t have trouble getting people excited about volunteering. They’ll likely be flattered that you asked, and they will enjoy the excuse to be near the celebs of the day. Even if you don’t set up a roster, encourage your friends to bring cameras and snap away. You’ll be grateful for their shots—someone who knows you will know what to look for and may wind up capturing better moments than a stranger ever could.
snapshots “PROM” PHOTOS AND MORE! Once you know you’ve got the basics covered, it’s
phenomenon is called a “step-and-repeat,” be-
time for some fun photo add-ons. Remember your
cause the beautiful people swarm by in an end-
prom photos? That fake arbor, those sparkly lights,
less stream while the shutters pop like firecrack-
maybe a slogan emblazoned on a banner behind
ers. Whatever you call it, a station set up with
you. No matter the setting, the result is the same:
a portrait background (yes, sort of like the photo
put up a backdrop, and people instinctively begin
studio at Sears) and a camera can capture some
to pose. In the world of red-carpet photography, this
For your wedding photos Your hair and makeup are flawless, but your nerves? A little frazzled with that camera lens in your face. Heed these tips to guarantee great shots -- of you, your groom, and your friends.
During formal pictures, “stand at a slight angle, not straight on. Take a deep breath, exhale, then tilt your chin down and look up.
clasping both hands around it, clutch it loosely with one and let the other hang naturally by your side. It’ll look more relaxed.
People look slimmer when photographed from an elevated point, so ask your pro to hop up on a chair for some shots.
Hold the bouquet with one hand, rather than
Be nervous -- it’s okay! Everyone’s a bit jittery on the big day. Rather than forcing a smile the whole time, let yourself be real.
Bring a friend, have her stand off camera to carry on a conversation -- bonus if she’s the funniest bridesmaid.
ALMOST ANYTHING CAN SERVE AS A BACKGROUND
You can either assign a guest to man the camera, or set it up as a self-service stationâ€”you may get funnier shots that way. As an alternative, you can even rent a real photo booth from a party supply company. It could set you back around $1,000, but it would
Here are some ideas:
make for great, easy favors for your guests. Assign someone to
Scout around for a visually appealing surface
keep one eye on the photo station to make sure everything is go-
somewhere in or around your reception space, such as a brick wall, cool wallpaper, heavy curtains, or a garden wall covered in ivy. A red carpet step-and-repeat background usually has a sponsor logo on it, so why not take the same approach and put in a plug for your wedding? Locate some clean, blank wall space and stick up custom vinyl lettering with your names and the date, or use stencils to decorate a bedsheet or drop cloth with letters and/or designs. Ask your photographer if he or she has access to a muslin backdrop, or rent one from a photography supply store. For a kitschier approach, you might hire a local sign company to print inexpensive banners of the kind that you really might have had behind you at prom.
You can either assign a guest to man the camera, or set it up
later, either attached to an e-mail or in the form of a printed
as a self-service station—you may get funnier shots that way.
photo card ordered from an online photo service. Assign some-
As an alternative, you can even rent a real photo booth from a
one to keep one eye on the photo station to make sure every-
party supply company. It could set you back around $1,000,
thing is going well. Put a digital camera on a tripod and attach
but it would make for great, easy favors for your guests. Assign
a bulb, or print up step-by-step instructions on how to use
someone to keep one eye on the photo station to make sure
the camera’s self-timer. You can send the shots to people later,
everything is going well. Put a digital camera on a tripod and
either attached to an e-mail or in the form of a printed photo
attach a bulb, or print up step-by-step instructions on how to
card ordered from an online photo service.
use the camera’s self-timer. You can send the shots to people
Advice from real couples We got married in vegas, and, instead of having a traditional guest book, we had a life-size card board cutout of elvis. Instead of signing in, guests were asked to pose with elvis while my bridesmaids took pictures. Now we have all the photos of our guests hamming it up, which can be put into a nice photo album. I think it’s an idea that could work at other venues: if you were on the beach guests could pose next to a tiki torch or palm tree; at a new york wedding you could have a cheesy cutout of the brooklyn bridge or statue of liberty.
-LARA COREY, SAN FRANCISCO
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