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Hooray for Spring Giveaways of Fabulous, fun and flirty accessories! 

J.Crew Awholics Spring Giveaway!

J.Crew Awholics Spring Giveaway!

J.Crew makes everything better am I wrong? I kind of love it. And I LOVE  this giveaway from Leigh at J.CrewAhaholics! Post on her link about it, tweet or embed her gadget to enter to win the glass beaded necklace shown above! hurry though. today is the last day! 

 

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I HAVE to share this with you. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these new save the date cards from Dabney Lee at Home. The bright colors, the fun scripty fonts…I’m in LOVE . Check out her new  Soiree collection set to land in stores in June 2009 below and visit her blog  blog for more fun gifts and stationary.

 

Dabney Lee Soikee Save the Date Cards

Photo Courtesy of Dabney Lee at Home

 

 

Flour Seeds Custom Cupcake Mixes- The Perfect Favor!

Flour Seeds Custom Cupcake Mixes- The Perfect Favor!

We have a winner….Drum roll please……

Laura F. is the winner of our Flour Seeds Custom Cupcake Favor Giveaway from the Gourmet Gift Co.! This $50 gift certificate is good toward a custom order with Flour Seed Gourmet Gift Co.

Laura please email your contact information to weddingbellesonline@gmail.com and we will get you your gc! 

A BIG THANK YOU to the fabulous the Gourmet Gift Co. for this wonderful offer! Don’t forget to check out their products for your next Champagne & Cupcakes shower!

Keep an eye out for upcoming contests and giveaways from more fantastic retailers!

 Oh programs. So annoying. So left to last minute. So easily the bane of the day before the wedding. Here’s a tip. Get it done as early as you can. Try to make sure your music, your altar posse and your readings are confirmed early so you can print these out and get it done ASAP. It’s also a REALLY good idea to bring one to the rehearsal. It serves as a nice guideline for “what comes next” with a room full of people who are probably just thinking about dinner. 

Here are a few ideas for DIY Programs to get you started…

TRADITIONAL PROGRAMS

Photo Courtesy of The Knot.com

Photo Courtesy of The Knot.com

This specific set of instructions is from Caitlin & Mike’s Blue Ceremony Programs from The Knot

What You Need:
•  8 1/2″ x 11″ navy blue card stock
•  3″ x 3″ light blue invitation liner paper 
•  2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ white paper card stock printed with your monogram
•  20″ to 30″ light blue ribbon (about 1/4″ thick) 
•  *7 1/2″ x 10″ paper printed landscape-style with the ceremony info
      •  Mini hole puncher
 •  Glue or spray adhesive

How to Make Them:
•  Fold the sheet of navy blue card stock in half width-wise.
•  Glue the light blue paper square onto the middle of the folded navy blue card stock. Let dry.
•  Glue the monogram-printed white square on top of the recycled paper square. Let dry.
•  Fold the inner page(s) width-wise and tuck into the inside of the blue program cover so that the pages come together like a booklet.
•  Close the booklet with the pages still inside, and punch two holes exactly on the fold line and 2″ to 3″ away from the program’s top and bottom.
•  Open the booklet and loop the light blue ribbon through the holes. Close the booklet and tie a bow around the outside to bind it together.

* Tip: Don’t have 7 1/2″ x 10″ paper? Use an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet for the inner pages — just set the print area for 7 1/2″ x 10″ and then trim the edges after printing. Print pages 1 and 4 on one side and pages 2 and 3 on the other. 

 

 

“COOTIE CATCHER” Programs

 

Program "Cootie catchers" from Kat's Krafts (Etsy)

Program "Cootie catchers" from Kat's Krafts (Etsy)

 

I was chatting about days gone by with some of my girlfriends on the beach this weekend and we started talking about cootie catchers. You know that “foldy game” you played at the cafeteria tables at lunch or during recess on the playground. I actually don’t know if that’s what we used to call this, but it’s the one with colors and numbers and fortunes inside 🙂  “You will marry Michael Stiles.” False. (thank god)  Turns out there is a useful and practical way to incorporate this childhood game into your ceremony… programs. You can buy these (show above) from Kat’s Krafts, which have been featured on Brides.com and New York Weddings Summer 2009 issue. You can attempt to fashion your own, which might be a little more difficult with nice paper and printed ink instead of loose-leaf and a ball-point pen, but knock yourself out. If you give up, and prefer the best, go to Kat’s Krafts and shop around there. Her prices are: First 25 = $37.50 ($1.50 each), each additional up to 100 (add $1/each), each additional over 100 (add $.75/each). Prices are subject to orders though so go and look around.

 

PROGRAM POCKETS

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

The paper is from Paper Presentation. You’ll need ribbon and a rubber stamp to customize the pockets, but all you have to do is fold up the bottom of the pocket, secure with a adhesive, and place smaller cards (print on a computer in sheets if need be) into the pocket. Loop colored ribbon through the top and hang.

 

BOW PROGRAMS

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

To Make:
To make these programs (one letter-size sheet yields two programs), arrange your text horizontally on the page in landscape mode over four columns. Cut the sheet in half, wrap a 10-by-7/8-inch band around the center, and tape in back. Bend the ends of each program toward the center and tuck them under the band, making sure they overlap slightly.

 

LUGGAGE TAG PROGRAMS

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Perfect for the traveling couple. This program is put together to resemble a bundle of luggage tags.

To Make:

1. Six “tags” can be printed on a sheet of thick 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper. Choose an ink color that coordinates with the paper for the covers. Print your program text onto the paper, along with cut lines that divide the sheet into six rectangles; then cut out rectangles.

2. Make a tag template from sturdy paper to use as a guide in trimming each rectangle: Cut the top two corners using scalloped shears. Punch a hole in the top of each page; add a hole reinforcer over each hole.

3. For covers, glue patterned paper to plain, and cut into the same shape; add a hole reinforcer. Tie the bundle of tags together with twine, yarn, or embroidery thread.

 

And when all else fails…


DOWNLOADABLE  PROGRAM TEMPLATES

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Customize your programs right at home. Choose from different motifs, and three different shades: orange, aqua or gray.  If you want to add more visual punch, we suggest you experiment with the paper color. MSW chose paper in a range of soft, complimentary hues like peach, coral, and pale sage for a palette that’s at once soothing and arresting.

To Make:
Type in your wedding date, print on letter-size paper or card stock, fold in half, and bind with rayon cords.

Printable Directions
Template in Black
Template in Gray

 

It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of scripty scrolly text, but play with the details of your program so that they are very “you.” Change up the type using fun fonts like typewriter settings (Courier) or use two different patterned ribbons with similar color themes  that compliment each other or Use stylized paper cutters to add flair to plain square programs/ (See Below)

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

 

For more ideas check out 25 Perfect Programs on Martha Stewart Weddings. She wins in the DIY Program category.

 

CUSTOM FAVORS: Flour Seeds Gourmet Baking Mixes

CUSTOM FAVORS: Flour Seeds Gourmet Baking Mixes

 

 You all know how obsessed I am with cupcakes… well this is the perfect favor for your cupcake themed bridal shower, or wedding reception. I’m a big fan of giving away favors that people can actually enjoy instead of trinkety nonsense  they’re going to throw away. So what better favor than food. Seriously.

These adorably packaged favors from the  Gourmet Gift Co., are gourmet baking mixes in beautiful customized boxes for your guests to enjoy! The cupcake mixes come in four tasty flavors including vanilla, chocolate, champagne and red velvet. YUM! Each mix is made with Nielsen-Massey Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla and NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS OR PRESERVATIVES!  Wooo! Plus their amazing frosting recipes are available right on their website so your guests can replicate Flour Seeds incredible frosting right at home!

All you have to do is combine the ingredients from your own kitchen, bake and enjoy! Easy! You can personalize the label with a variety of colors to match your theme and add your own custom text. I so love this. Plus, the Gourmet Gift Co. is a Style Me Pretty Little Black Book member, so you know they’re good people. She doesn’t let just anyone in there you know.

Now here’s the best part… The Gourmet Gift Co. is giving away a $50 gift certificate toward a custom order.
This is the perfect addition to your champagne and cupcakes shower! 

All you have to do is tell us why you love cupcakes, and you can do it in THREE PLACES!
Comment here, send us a message on Twitter or post on our Facebook wall

We’ll pick a winner at random and announce a winner next Wednesday April 29th.

Be sure to check out The Gourmet Gift Co.’s founder, Tawnya Zebrowski’s blog Stylish Giving for more stylishly fun and easy DIY favor ideas!

HOORAY for Cupcakes and THANK YOU to The Gourmet Gift Co. for this incredible offer!

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would think green and give you some of my WED favorite “eco-friendly” ideas to style your wedding all happy and green without wasting and killing unnecessary trees and shit…

Ahhh…It’s the little things… 

Dressed to Impress…

Go classic with this twist on the little black “organic” dress for your rehearsal dinner. The  CMarchuska  Sylvia dress is perfect for toasting in, and perfect for the environment using high fashion, and highly sustainable fabrics and a super reasonable price. This hot up and coming line from designer Christine Marchuska  debuts on the runway tonight in NYC, and I’m told her Spring collection offers a brighter eco chic look for your favorite ladies in waiting. Stock up on her “Vivons Vert” (Live Green en francais” organic  tees for welcome baskets or out fit your girls in them instead of those terribly tacky “bridesmaid” shirts for wedding day errands, and bachelorette party weekends. I mean… would you really prefer to wear a rhinestone encrusted tank top?

 

CMarchuska Sylvia Dress $164

CMarchuska Sylvia Dress $164

 

CMarchuska Vivons Vert T-shirt $38

CMarchuska Vivons Vert T-shirt $38

ALSO.  Brides… check out this AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL eco-friendly wedding gowns from Natural Bridals on Etsy. They are really simply magnificent and elegant and totally great for the environment and you and your hubby and the bridal party… just about everyone. 

 

Natural Bridals (Etsy) Eco-Chic Wedding Gowns $6,800

Natural Bridals (Etsy) Eco-Chic Wedding Gowns $6,800

The dress above is made from Bamboo and Organic Cotton Jersey Dress with Organic Linen Flower Details and Charmeuse bust and sash. So pretty. And the one below is made from Hemp/Silk with Floral Jacquard Halter and a full gathered skirt… and that one is just $2,600.

Natural Bridal's Charlotte Couture Eco-Friendly Wedding Gown $2,600

Natural Bridal's Charlotte Couture Eco-Friendly Wedding Gown $2,600

Do Me a Favor…

Lose the favors altogether. thanks. Seriously. People throw them away… so instead of wasting money on cheap plastic doodads for weddings that will end up in someones junk drawer at home… keep it simple and donate to a charity. Your guests will understand, and probably be very impressed at your willing and giving spirit. If you MUST give your friends and family something to remember your special day by, keep it natural. Plant miniature herbs like lavender, rosemary and basil in tiny containers for guest to take home and plant in their own garden. Another idea… think locally and give your guests something that’s meaningful to you and your hubby. Jars of honey, homemade jam, and peaches might be local to your area and look adorable with a touch of ribbon.

 

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

 

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

 

 

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

 

 

Be Our Guest…

Paper is wasteful. Yes, yes we know. “But what about our invitations?!” She cried. Relax. There are plenty of recycled invitation options out there. Try 100-percent recycled paper from TwistedLimbPaper.com or plantable invitations from BotanicalPaperWorks.com are embedded with seeds that guests can plant and grow! How’s that for remembering your special day? If you’re feeling like you have a trendy and eco-chic crowd as it is who will understand your decision to opt for digital invitations over paper, go with MyInvitationLink.com and customize your invites with music and pictures.

CENTERPIECES…

Yes. Flowers are “green” already. But some of them are loaded with pesticides and garbage that make them less pretty, expensive, and dangerous to you and your guests. Stick with flowers that are in season to avoid shipping costs and fuel usage associated with bringing in exotic flowers from far away just because you refuse to settle on something that’s in season. Seriously. Pick your diva moments. This isn’t one of them. Go local and use fresh flowers from farmers markets and local gardens to decorate tables with recycled glass containers like these beautiful green glasses made from… beer bottles! So cute. Found objects and mismatched containers make great centerpieces.

 

Recycled Beer Bottle Glasses from Yava Glass (Etsy) 2 for $20

Recycled Beer Bottle Glasses from Yava Glass (Etsy) 2 for $20

 

If you’re still not sold on the eco-wedding and you think it’s totally impossible to integrate “green” into your wedding world check out the Etsy Handmade Wedding Blog post on “Crafting an Eco-Friendly Wedding”

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

I have to admit, when it comes to makeup I am completely overwhelmed. I rely on others to tell me what I should use to moisturize, brush, line, and apply.

The secret to this is that I have a band of very intelligent beauty experts hiding behind the curtain. So for your benefit, I bring you my favorite beauty products that I cannot live without.

FACE FIRST…

Moisturize. Kick the winter blues and invest in a little tube of summer. I like Jergens facial moisturizer, but there are a ton out there. Just do everyone a favor and make sure you match up your skin tone appropriately… “whorange” doesn’t look good on anyone.

bareMinerals

My sister introduced me to Bare Minerals. I tossed the liquid foundation and upgraded to powder, bronzer, mineral veil- 1, 2, 3. Perfection. Stays on all day and there isn’t a line at your chin that distinguishes your real skin color from your makeup. THAT is the worst.

 HAIR…

SO IMPORTANT. Especially for special events… like ohhh I don’t know WEDDINGS. For whatever reason I tend to want to cut my hair at the beginning of the winter, and then spend the next 6 months trying to grow it back by Spring. I’ve tried all kinds of shampoos that promise “fast growing locks.” Until my friend J introduced me to the new Pantene Pro V Beautiful Lengths Collection. I am kind of obsessed. Not gonna lie. It makes hair 10 times stronger AND it gives back to women undergoing cancer treatments. 

Beautiful Lengths from Pantene Pro V

So now that I’ve been using the Beautiful Lengths for awhile, my hair needs a jumpstart too. So, I switched to Nature Fusion Smooth, from Pantene Pro V, which smells amazing by the way, and combines Cassia seed extract, avocado, bamboo and grapeseed extract and I LOVE IT. Try it… seriously.

Nature Fusion Smooth Collection

FRAGRANCE…

I’d love to tell you but then I’d have to kill you. 🙂 A girl’s gotta have her secrets. But find one that works, and stick with it. Signature scents are like signature cocktails… completely necessary.

 

SMILE…

My best friend M bought me my first pot of NARS when I was in high school, and girl can’t get enough. These beautiful shades, a little goes a long way, and while it may cost a little bit more than your average drug store lip gloss, consider it an investment… for your oh so kissable future. My favorites… Hot Wired  and Bewitched Lip laquer. A little goes a long way… don’t overdue it here. It’s your wedding… not halloween.

NARS Lip laquer

While you’re at it, slap some of those Crest White Strips on. Yes. The real ones. Personally I don’t think the drug store wannabe’s really cut it. White teeth make you look ten years younger, and way way hotter. A beautiful smile is priceless.

 
EYES…

Sometimes MAC scares me. So many pretty colors that look they couldn’t possibly belong on your face…. Oh but they can live there. My personal favorite, their new Emanuel Ungaro line, specifically Lilac Touch, Phloof! and Mineral. I also switch back and forth with Bare Minerals Nude Beach and Queen Tiffany.

Eye colors

MAC Cosmetics

So as much as I love and find it necessary to be surrounded in flowers… sometimes they are the first to go in the great wedding budget cut. It’s true. Flowers can be one of the more expensive things in your plan, and people have different feelings about this. You know my feelings. I worked in a flower shop for two years when I was 16 and can’t seem to shake the petals from my hair. I love them. And for me, they’re up there with food, and music as VIP wedding “big bucks” items. BUT, it’s different for everyone, AND it’s absolutely possible to maintain a beautiful wedding sans enormous blooms with simple elegant elements. Here’s how…

CHEAP FLOWERS IN BULK

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

This is one of my favorite rules, and if you are a regular Wedding Belles reader, you know that I talk about this often. You can maintain a really beautiful look at your wedding by using uniform flowers… lots and lots of them. Daisy’s, mums, carnations and tulips look AMAZING in large bunches. Simple and sophisticated.

 

BRANCHING OUT

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Especially if you’re planning a wedding that incorporates natural elements, using branches instead of flowers can be a very sleek and modern centerpiece substitute for mounds of fluffy petals. Incorporating other details like ribbon, hang tags, and even food can give your centerpieces a modern look for less. Just don’t go overboard.

 

MOOD LIGHTING

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

 

Candles are a great way to light your party, and your guests faces for photographs. Ambiance is very important, and creating different lighting schemes can changes the theme and style of your event. Substituting high candlesticks with lower votives along with small floral elements can add a unique style to your table. I have something similar to this on my dining room table now. Crate & Barrel, CB2, and Anthropologie have beautiful and really inexpensive faux glass candlesticks with beautiful embellishment. Add bright candlesticks, a dash of floral color and you’re done!

 

GIFT GIVER

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Showcase  your favors in beautifully packaged boxes as table centerpieces. Fill them with assorted candies, handmade soaps and stacked elegantly on white cake stands. 

 

FOUND OBJECTS

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

 

Nix the typical centerpice vases and head to your local flea market in search of found objects to incorporate into your wedding style. Use mismatched shapes and style to create a whimsical look on each table with simple florals.


WRAP IT UP

Etsy Seller Two Inspire You $55

Etsy Seller Two Inspire You $55

 

Turning a wreath on it’s back and filling the inside with high candlesticks or hurricane lamps with lighting is another way to make a smaller affair seem more intimate. Choose the wreathe carefully, and make sure your elements go together. 

So there’s a part of me that really believes that in my past life I was sitting on a piano (Madonna style in Dick Tracy) singing my little heart out with a tumbler of brandy in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I LOVE the elegance and charm that is any and all things vintage. It’s so much more fun and unique than  cookie- cutter decorations, and accessories. On this hump day I bring you some of my WED favorite vintage pieces… another good place to shop vintage.. flea markets. Weather permitted… I’m heading there this weekend. Here are some treats to hold you over until then…

 

Oval Frame pouch from Oktak (Etsy) $78

Oval Frame pouch from Oktak (Etsy) $78

 

 

Silvertone Shoe Clips from Lorel Mae (Etsy) $20

Silvertone Shoe Clips from Lorel Mae (Etsy) $20

FYI- Shoe clips instantly change a pair of shoes and an entire outfit. I adore them, and these are wonderful. Or… make your shoes your something blue.

 

Vintage Half Bow Slingbacks (8.5) from Esea (Etsy) $14

Vintage Half Bow Slingbacks (8.5) from Esea (Etsy) $14

 

Vintage Hair Accessories from Che Che Couture (Etsy) $5.50

Vintage Hair Accessories from Che Che Couture (Etsy) $5.50

 

Vintage Brush & Comb Set from Vintage Butterfly 94 (Etsy) 415

Vintage Brush & Comb Set from Vintage Butterfly 94 (Etsy) 415

Ok ladies… so plenty of you have tried and succeeded OR tried and failed miserably at planning the perfect afternoon bridal shower. I’m all about the success factor here and making sure you reach it. The last thing you want is a crazy bridezilla in your face screaming about the misery and failure that was her shower. (P.S. BRIDES- REALLY bad form to do this. Don’t. Be grateful. It suits you better.)

Now, I like to cook. I don’t always have time, but I really do enjoy it. In fact one of my resolutions this year was to make something new – from a cookbook presumably – every week. I’ve stuck to this resolution more so than any other I’ve ever made. I wonder why…

So in times of panicked planning I turn to my dear friends at The Humble Gourmand for help. A team of brilliant foodies is behind the gourmet curtain of this D.C. based monthly publication. And trust me… they do not disappoint.

So… today… we talk bridal shower menus that will blow your guests away and won’t keep you holed up in the kitchen for days at a time. Who has time for that?

Keep it light, you don’t want to weigh your guests down in the middle of the day. They will after all… have to leave you and your band of bridesmaids to go prepare dinner for their own family at some point., so avoid the food coma.

AFTERNOON BRIDAL SHOWER MENU:

Starters…

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Gougères (Fancy way of saying French Cheese Puffs)


Entree…

Roasted Lemon Chicken

Roasted Lemon Chicken with…

 

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Orzo Salad with Bell Peppers

 

Dessert…

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Grovestand Lemon Cupcakes

Opt for a champagne punch (champagne with a scoop of sherbet) served in champagne glasses to guests. Perfection. If you want to kick it up a notch…  
Humble Gourmand has a whole post devoted to Cocktailing 101.  My favorite… The Mojito… heavy on the mint.
Serve in oversized pitchers (You can get them cheap at Crate & Barrel or Plum Party) on each table, or in tall glases garnished with what else… mint!

Mojito
(a la The Humble Gourmand)

3 ounces white rum
3 ounces sour mix, as prepared above
8 to 10 spearmint leaves
Splash club soda
Small lime wedge
Sprig of mint

Put the mint leaves and the lime wedge in a shaker. Muddle until the mint is nicely broken up and the lime wedge’s juices are smashed into the bottom of the shaker.

Fill the glass you plan to serve the mojito in with ice as a measuring device. Pour the ice into the shaker. Add the rum and sour mix. Shake vigorously.

Pour into your serving glass and top with a splash of soda. Add the sprig of mint for garnish.

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