Tag Archives: Engagement To Dos

Finding Wedding Inspiration & Making It Your Own

This  is about taking wedding inspiration and applying it to your own wedding. It’s about making your wedding YOURS- not anyone else’s, not the wedding I featured yesterday, not the last wedding you saw in a magazine. I know it’s said so many times, over and over. “Be true to yourself,” or “Do whatever is right for you”, things of that nature, blah blah blah. But it’s the truth. So how do you actually take all of the inspiration out there and make it your own?

Really, when you’re planning your wedding, sometimes you just don’t know what to do to make it your own. I get that. I was totally there. I’m the first to admit that my wedding was a pretty run-of-the-mill-ballroom-of-country-club wedding with not that many awesome details (although I am still pretty proud of our EVOO and aged balsamic favors). What I ran into when looking for inspiration for my wedding was that I loved everything. I really couldn’t decide and I was all over the place. I was a designer’s worst nightmare because I had a specific look in my head, but didn’t know how to convey it. So today I thought that I would sort of “outline” the process of looking for inspiration and then applying it all to making it your own for your wedding!

1. You want TONS of inspiration for your wedding. Colors, flowers, details, dresses, themes, etc etc- inspiration is the key. You will spend hours going through blogs and magazines, saving photos, tearing out pages, scrolling through pages. Look until you’ve exhausted all of your options and feel content about what you’ve found. And then go to the next step…

2. So now that you have tons of inspiration, how do you narrow it down? Narrowing down your inspiration is really important to do, but many forget to do it. This is where you really have to know your style and what is going to reflect you best. You probably have a whole folder on your computer dedicated to photos that you’ve seen that you like, right? And another separate folder of pages you’ve torn out of magazines. (And if you’re internet-savvy, different Pinterest folders too!) Go through them to weed out some of the inspiration images you’ve saved. Refine your inspiration. And then do it again a few days (or weeks) later. Most of the time you’ll start to see a recurring pattern in your inspiration, whether it’s a type of flower, colors, a style, etc. It usually happens, so don’t worry about making it happen. Let your inspiration speak for itself. 🙂

3. You have your “refined” inspiration now, but you don’t quite want to completely replicate that one wedding you loved that you saw in a magazine. Now is the time to look to you and your fiance’s personalities to help you refine your inspiration even more. Sure, you really like that one favor. But when your guests get a packet of seeds at their seats, are they going to pick it up and say, “Now THIS is totally your name here and your other half’s name here!” Maybe they will, but maybe they’ll be totally confused as to why they’re getting seeds from you because you don’t even own a potted plant. See where I’m going with this?

Thursday Tips: Finding Wedding Inspiration & Making It Your Own

Invitation Suite by ELV Vendor Gourmet Invitations, Photo by Kristen Taylor Photography

You want your wedding and everything about it to be a reflection of you and your fiance. Think about the two of you together as a couple- what you like to do together, a favorite hobby, favorite food, music, style, something that the two of you share. Even if you think it’s stupid, it could always be integrated into your wedding in some manner- especially if you’re working with an event designer. I have seen some pretty awesome things come to fruition because of a designer! Seriously, it can be anything- because it’s YOUR wedding! 🙂

4. And now come the decisions. What aspects of your wedding are you going to really infuse your personalities into, and what are you just going to buy or rent? What are you going to DIY? It all depends on what route you’ve decided to take- everyone’s situation is different. Ultimately, just know that when you want your wedding to really reflect you, it’s most likely going to take some work- whether it’s amongst yourselves or with a designer. But it’s so worth it. 🙂

I wanted to lay all of this out because I had no idea how to take my inspiration and make it my own when I was planning my wedding. Which resulted in it being pretty plain. But often times we get caught up in needing to have certain things a certain way for weddings. So much that we can forget about what was originally wanted and envisioned from the get-go. Sometimes what you originally wanted completely changes in the process of planning your wedding (thanks to all of the inspiration out there). This is all totally fine, because it needs to be YOUR wedding.

The bottom line is this: find your inspiration, refine it, and make it your own. No rules, no restrictions, just your. Own. Wedding. Then you’ll without a doubt have YOUR wedding.


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It’s Theme Time Again!! – The Rustic Country Wedding

Rustic wedding themes are about using earthy colors, natural elements and the natural environment. Rustic receptions can be casual and warm or elegant and classy. When planning a rustic reception, the setting is the most important, followed by small touches like hanging lanterns for romantic lighting and twigs or branches included in centerpieces. Rustic ideas can come from primitive or Americana crafts as well, such as ivy and distressed wood decor.

Rustic Colors and Favors

  • Rustic or country colors are deep reds, burnt orange, yellow, browns, beige and greens. Include wedding theme colors in the reception decorations and even wedding favors. Wrap gingham ribbon in orange and yellow or red and beige around clear cube favor boxes filled with candy, or around cardboard boxes filled with flavored popcorn.

Reception Setting Ideas

  • A rustic reception should be at places that have the old, country atmosphere. Some of these places can be old boat houses, fishing or hunting lodges, ski resort lodges, rustic barns, horse ranches or vineyards. TheLittleNell.com in Aspen, Colorado, features breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, at an elevation of 11,212 feet. After the ceremony, you can host a rustic wedding reception at the Aspen Mountain Club, where pine wood paneling, warm stone fireplaces, antique Austrian tables and hand-woven needlepoint rugs provide a country and cozy setting.

Wedding Cake Ideas

  • A rustic wedding cake can feature country details such as maple leaves instead of flowers. The wedding cake can be the traditional butter cream filling and fondant icing, but the leaves can be in red, green, and orange in fall colors to mimic falling maple leaves. Add tan and red berry details on the bottom and throughout the cake, inspired by primitive country home decor. For a cake topper, use a dark red, primitive star instead of a monogram. The cake topper can be edible or a distressed metal piece.


  • Sunflowers are common in rustic weddings, because they are rich in color and reflect the landscape. They can be used to decorate both the ceremony and reception. For reception tables, place them in clear glass vases or large Mason jars with a deep red ribbon around the top of the jars. You can add other flowers in with them, such as black-eyed Susans.

Fall Leaves

  • Like sunflowers, fall leaves are a versatile decoration that can be used for both the ceremony and reception. Consider mixing small autumn leaves with flower petals in the flower girl’s basket. For a reception centerpiece, fill a shallow crystal platter with autumn leaves, and add gold and red candles as a finishing touch. If you’re concerned about the leaves catching on fire, consider using silk leaves instead of real ones. If the venue will not allow the use of lit candles, consider investing in flame-less candles, available at most retailers.

Twinkle Lights

  • Tents and barns are logical venues for rustic weddings. Dress the location up with white twinkle lights around the edges of the rafters, or drape them from the ceiling of the tent.

Harvest Garlands

  • Use harvest garlands to decorate a rustic wedding. These can be made from artificial vegetables and gourds, or you can make them yourself using real ones. If specific areas will be roped off during the ceremony, such as the ends of the aisles, consider using a harvest garland instead of rope or ribbon.

Bales of Hay

  • If you want an extremely rustic country wedding, incorporate bales of hay into both the ceremony and reception. You might place two bales at the end of the aisle where the wedding ceremony will take place, or set them next to the buffet tables during the reception.

Colored Aisle Runner

  • Although aisle runners are traditionally white, you can use an earth-toned color for a rustic wedding. Consider a deep red or yellow runner for the ceremony to reflect both the theme and the landscape.

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8 Great Fall Wedding Ideas

Fall is a very popular time for weddings. primarily because of the weather and that nature masterfully weaves its color palette into stunning displays of oranges, yellows, reds and browns. It’s natures best color coordinated season of the year. Brides simply love this season and here are some great ideas to accentuate your fall wedding planning.

1) Location
Make sure that wherever you host your wedding, that it’s somewhere that is accented by the natural beauty of the season. A quiet Victorian style church surrounded by trees in their fall colors makes for some incredibly brilliant wedding photo opportunities. Mountain settings are simply stunning if you can get your location reserved before that other bride does!

2) Set the Tone
It’s good to plan ahead and make your guests aware of your fall themed wedding in advance. This may help to steer them in their choice of fashion accessories such as maple leaf broaches or autumn color handkerchiefs. Set the pace by sending our leaf save the date cards or wedding invitations with a fall or autumn feel to them. There are tons of wedding invitations places online including Get Married’s shop which carries some nice unique wedding invitations that you won’t find anywhere else.

3) Fall decorations
It’s also important to make sure that your guests can enjoy the seasonal colors whether they are inside or out by decorating the tables with centerpieces that use colorful leaves, straw, dried flowers, and pumpkin colors. Keeping within the brown and yellow spectrum of colors will be eye catching. Small details like using a Leaf Guestbook or maple leaf place card holders make very dramatic statements. Handmade tablecloths and doilies also give a small town feel that adds a nice touch.

4) Fall wedding favors
Give your guests fall wedding favors that will help them to remember the occasion. They may not remember details, but when they get to take home fall themed wedding favors like copper leaf bottle stoppers, place card holders, or simply any of the many ideas that are available out there, you give them a point of reference to remember the occasion. If leaves or pumpkin type gifts aren’t your style, at least try and manage to stick to your color palette.


5) Dress Color
In some people’s eyes, the only potential downside to a fall wedding is the dress color. An off white wedding dress is normally a safer bet with fall weddings. primarily because a bright white dress can clash with your fall motif. Be sure to stick to the color coordination since you are the focal point of the day. If you’ve inherited a white dress or refuse to walk down the aisle in anything but white, it won’t ruin the day, but it’s that attention to detail that will set the bar. Also ensure that the wedding party and especially bridesmaid dresses will help to support your color choices.

6) Food
Your fall wedding menu should highlight food of the autumn season with selections like pumpkin pie, pecan pie, squash, zucchini, and apple cider with cinnamon sticks. Don’t forget your vegetarian guests as well. Likewise your wedding cake should also have fall colors and decorations incorporated into layers or decorations. Placing the cake on a light brown or dust yellow tablecloth surrounded by leafs would be a great eye catcher.

7) Everyone knows
Out of all of the great fall wedding tips that are available out there, be sure that you keep the color coordination on the top of everyone’s mind. Let your wedding planner know your plans so that they can inform all of the right people and monitor the situation for you. The caterer needs to know that you want your menu seasonal so that they can plan accordingly. It’s just very important that everyone is aware of your autumn motif to make sure that they don’t add something to the mix to clash with your flow and feel of fall.

8) Lighting
Make sure that whoever is in charge of decorating, that they keep the lighting subdued and not bright white. All of your colors can get washed away in bright white light. Keep lighting off-white or yellow to keep the ambiance flowing even in the air. If the DJ will be supplying lighting as well, be sure that they know of your color plans so that their “disco lights” don’t ruin everything you worked so hard to create. But more importantly, be sure to let your wedding photographer know about the yellow lighting since yellow plays havoc on white balance. It’s best they know as far in advance as possible.

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The Engagement Announcement

Sorry I’m late on this addition to our wedding dos – I’ve have a very busy week moving and getting set up.  Without further ado – here we go!!

Before you rush into planning your big day, relish the moment with friends, family and your fiancé

Spread the news!

Tell your families, particularly your parents, first. This tradition protects your mother and father from hearing it elsewhere. Then contact your relatives and close friends—some couples choose to mail out formal letters. You can also announce your engagement in the local papers. To find newspapers in your area that print announcements, and to learn their specific requirements. Or create your own Wedding Web Site  to get the word out immediately!

Get a manicure

Your hands—the left one, at any rate—will never attract more attention than the moment you slip on that sparkler. Neatly shaped nails, trimmed cuticles and a soft pink polish that doesn’t compete with the bling in your ring will be your diamond’s best friend.

Photo op

Many couples choose to personalize their wedding announcement with a photo of themselves. If you don’t already have one you like, this is a great time to choose a photographer and give him or her a prewedding assignment called the engagement session. Working with a photographer prior to the wedding also allows couples to become comfortable in front of the camera.

Gather the parents

If they haven’t met already, now’s the time for your folks to get acquainted—the wedding will be much more enjoyable if your families are comfortable with each other. Usually the bride’s family will ask the groom’s over for a celebratory drink, but you, as a couple, can also invite both clans out to dinner.

Engagement party

Traditionally the bride’s parents invite family and friends (from both sides) to a party, at which time her father announces the engagement. Today many couples host the celebration themselves, and it can be as elaborate as a catered four-course meal or as casual as a poolside barbecue. The only “rules”: Throw the party shortly after you’ve gone public with your plans, and extend an invitation only to people you are definitely inviting to your wedding.

Need the ring?

Many men are hesitant to purchase an engagement ring on their own, preferring to pop the question sans sparkler so his fiancée can select the ring she truly adores. If this is your situation and you haven’t already started shopping, now’s the time.

Get your ring sized-and insured!

Even the guy who delivers the most inspired and well-planned proposal may flounder in finding out your ring size. A trip to the jeweler ensures it won’t twirl around, or worse, slip off! And having your ring insured guarantees it will be replaced if lost, stolen or damaged. Most homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies require a separate rider to insure jewelry, so call your agent to confirm. Annual coverage costs about 1 to 3 percent of the ring’s appraised value.


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