Tag Archives: Wedding

We’re home!

M and I are home again home again after our 2 week honeymoon! We had such a wonderful time – it was so great to really have a vacation together. But I’ll blog about what we did on our adventure another time. Right now I want to share the pictures from our wedding!

matt & bekka in the park

Sheila Addleman was our amazing photographer, and she was really the only vendor we hired for the wedding. All our other “vendors” were friends and family, people we know personally whose talents we called upon. But for the photography we knew we had to “splurg” and Sheila’s talents have just wowed us ^_^

Take a look at her website and her blog, where she’s done a little expo of our wedding. You may recognize a few projects that I’ve posted here on this blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

On her main page you can also see ALL the photos from the day by going to her “Client Access” section and finding Bekka & Matt on her list of galleries. Hope you enjoy! And I’ll be posting more wedding-related pictures soon ๐Ÿ™‚

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Wedded Bliss

It’s been a whirlwind of a week!!! I’ll be back soon with lots of posts about our wedding!

Here’s a teeny preview – picture is courtesy of my new mother-in-law! Our wedding day was such an amazing day, and in my opinion it was truly perfect. Lots more to come soon ๐Ÿ™‚

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Birdie sneak peak, updated!

A little while back I showed you a pair of cute little birds I had made out of clay. Well, they’re all finished now, fired and glazed!

However, they are really little – only about 1.5 inches tall. And my master baker uncle (who is making our wedding cake) told me that, despite being adorable, a cake topper needs to be larger than that because otherwise they’ll just get lost visually.

So I decided to put my little birdies on a platform, to make it a whole set-piece rather than just the two little actors.
Here’s what I came up with:

(Aren’t they cute??) Now my teeny birds are on a 4″ diameter platform with a cute arching trellisย  to give it more height.

I don’t have step-by-step pictures of how I made this topper, but this is the basic way I did it:

My supplies were – a 4″ diameter round foam disc (about 2″ thick), green fabric, white lace applique trim, silk flowers (green and white ranunculus), floral wire twigs, and my birdies.

I took my bare foam disc and wrapped it tightly with my light green fabric, securing with my hot glue gun. On the under side of the disc, I glued a 3″ cardboard circle to cover up the fabric edges.

Now that I had a fabric base to work with, I trimmed the circumference with my lace, which also folded over the top edge.

Then, on top of the lace, I hot-glued the individual silk flowers around the top edge of the base, keeping them tightly spaced.

Next, I made two small holes in the fabric on either side of the top of the base, to place my wire twigs. I just pierced the foam with the ends of the twigs and played with the bend and curve until I liked the shape the twigs made.

All that was left was to put my cute little birdies in their new home! Ready to be placed atop a beautiful wedding cake! ^_^

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Grampa’s Mix

As far back as I can remember, whenever my family would visit my grandparents during summer vacations, cocktail hour was a given, and the ubiquitous drink in hand was the Old Fashioned (for the adults, of course, not us kids). As you may know, the standard Old Fashioned is a whiskey cocktail made with a splash of bitters, sugar and usually garnished with a orange wedge and maraschino cherry. This is NOT the way my family does an Old Fashioned.

In our family we have what’s affectionately known as “Grampa’s Mix.” This syrupy, aromatically spicy mixer basically makes the Old Fashioned the easiest mixed drink in the world. And for us kids growing up, we were treated to kiddie cocktail of Grampa’s Mix and Sprite (with a cherry or olive for good measure) when the grown-ups had their real drinks.

The reason I bring this up is because I just made a HUGE batch of Grampa’s Mixย  – because at our wedding, one of our signature drinks will be – you guessed it – our special Old Fashioned.

The ingredients are simple and few: Sugar, Club Soda, and Angostura bitters. That’s it!

And the directions couldn’t be easier. All you do is mix the three ingredients together* and give it a stir every once in a while for about 5 hours. No need to heat AT ALL.

When you first add the club soda, it will foam up like CRAZY, but don’t worry, it will calm down after a short while.

Soon the mixture will be a beautiful spicy syrup that will keep indefinitely. Make sure you keep those Club Soda bottles – you’ll need them to store your newly made mix! (You’ll actually need more containers than the original soda bottles since the sugar and bitters have volume too)

And to make things a little more fun for the bar at our wedding reception, I made up a few hand-drawn labels with my dear grandpa’s mug shot, haha ๐Ÿ™‚

*So here is the actual recipe for Grampa’s Mix
(I made a batch for 400 mixed drinks, soย  clearly I wouldn’t recommend making as much as I did!)

Grampa’s Mix
for Old Fashioneds

2.5 lbs granulated sugar
8 oz Angostura bitters (2 four-ounce bottles)
1.5 liters club soda

Mix all ingredients together. Stir well. Let sit for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Do not heat. Store in air-tight bottles.

Papa’s classic Old Fashioned
A glass full of ice
1 shot whiskey
1 shot Grampa’s Mix
fill up the rest of the glass with lemon-lime soda
garnish with green olives, maraschino cherries, or marinated mushrooms

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Homemade boutonniere

Let’s talk about wedding flowers.

For whatever reason, despite being a self-proclaimed crafty person, I have never gotten the hang of flower arrangements. Perhaps this is just due to not receiving any guidance or instruction in the art of arranging flowers, but the fact is, if you give me a pile of beautiful individual flowers, I will most likely make them look terrible in a vase.

So, I was completely inspired when I read this post on Once Wed several months ago on DIY herbal boutonnieres. The tutorial was so simply laid-out and gave such a charming end result, it made me think that even I could craft a beautiful homemade boutonniere out of plants I have growing on my balcony!

So here is my own attempt to make a green and white boutonniere from plants I already have. This is really only an experiment – I don’t know if I intend to make the groomsmens’ boutonnieres for the wedding day, but at least now I know that I could!

So I gathered up a small stash of plants: Dusty Miller, Lamb’s Ear, two “flowers” I knicked from roadside bushes, rosemary, and mint

I made all of the stems roughly the same length, and then began layering them. I knew the lamb’s ear should be in the back for a nice back ground, then the rosemary and mint, then the white flower-thingy in the middle, and then the Dusty Miller sprigs in front.

I held all the stems together and then wrapped them up with floral tape. I was amazed at how easily I could make something that looks this good! It looks like a real boutonniere, haha ๐Ÿ™‚


So when M got home from work I showed him what I had whipped up, and to my delight he thought it was fantastic. He especially loved that it smelled of rosemary (he loves rosemary). And then he kept petting the lamb’s ears.

So I’d say this was a successful experiment. Even if I don’t end up doing the flowers myself, we’ll at least be able to tell our florist that we want something similar to the herbal boutonniere I concocted. It feels like progress ๐Ÿ™‚

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Another Wedding Project – Paper Cones

As a wedding guest, one of my favorite parts of the festivities is when we get to shower the newly-weds with something – rice, rose petals, dried lavender, confetti, whatever! There is something so celebratory in the act of tossing a big fluttery cloud of WOO HOO! I don’t know, it’s just fun, and as a guest I feel like I am even more connected to wishing the couple happiness and prosperity through this ritual.

M & I aren’t planning a big exit from the party at the end of the night (heck, I want to stay till I’m ready to drop!); lots of couples have the big send-off exit with the confetti tossing (or sparklers or whatever!) after the reception. But that doesn’t make sense for us. Rather, we will have our big “exit” when we head back down the aisle after we’re pronounced husband & wife, and our guests can toss stuff at us then. I was hugely inspired by this post from Style Me Pretty back in January.

This DIY bride made paper cones to put confetti in for her guests. I love the double-sided paper, and the simplicity of the idea. Plus, the little sticker informs the guests on what to do and when.
Our variation on this idea will be to hang the cones (with ribbon) on the backs of the chairs at the ceremony rather than hand them out to guests.

M really liked the idea, especially since it involved cool paper (he’s such a graphic designer…he drools over fonts and papers!). So we hit up a few paper stores until we found some really cool designer paper at a cute little store in Wallingford called Paper Delights. We wanted to find a double-sided patterned paper in our color palette, and though we were hoping to find some navy blue & white damask paper (no luck), the green and light turquoise pattern we bought is just beautiful.

So here’s how you do this…

The paper we got was 24″x36″ so we could cut them into 6″ squares and get 24 cones per sheet (not too shabby). A paper-cutter made this waaaaay easier than cutting by hand.

After making a stack of paper squares, I popped in a movie and got to work taping. I quickly realized that forming a perfect cone is not easy to do freehand. The paper does not want to cooperate which can be very frustrating. My solution? I made a kind of template out of stiffer cardstock, so then all I would have to do is wrap my pretty paper around the template cone to get the right shape! This definitely made the whole process easier.

So with template cone in hand, I would wrap a paper square, grab a little piece of double-sided tape, and tape the edge down near the point. Then with a larger strip of tape, I’d tape the rest of the edge down to finish it off.

I alternated which side of the paper faced outward so there would be a bit of variety.

We still need to design stickers to put on the front of the cones, and also punch a hole in each one to string with ribbon. But the tedious part of taping the cones is done ๐Ÿ™‚

I envision these hanging from the chairs at our ceremony, filled with rose petals, ready to be tossed joyously into the air as M and I walk back down the aisle ^_^
Yes, it’s the little details that make me smile.

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Totally Custom DIY Save-The-Dates

It’s official! Our Save-the-Date cards have been posted. This is the first real wedding “deadline” on our way to the big day. And I think we met this hurdle quite well! We wanted to send them out by the middle of January, and by gosh, we have! (Well, to be honest, we have a few stragglers that still need addresses, but who’s counting?)

Because M is the official graphic designer of the house, he was in charge of the design (with plenty of me nagging him about it…). The first step was figuring out a layout/paper-design. We found inspiration from these examples:

and:

We loved the crisp lines and use of visual layering in the top photo, and I loved the sewn detail and charm of the bottom picture. (top photo from StyleMePretty, bottom photo from 100LayerCake)

We wanted to avoid glue (which is messy and tedious), and we wanted to have multiple layers of paper in our colors. We did lots of brainstorming, tried out a few ideas, and M designed the beautiful text and a central monogram.

Rather than just show you the finished product right-out, I’m going to take you through the step-by-step (which we did about 70 times…haha) But you can scroll to the bottom if you want to cheat ๐Ÿ™‚

Supplies

Supplies: Navy blue cardstock cut to 4.25″x5.5″, white stipple paper with text cut to 4″x5.25″, green 2.5″ paper strips, Fiskars corner punch, ruler, x-acto knife, cutting surface (and later, sewing machine and green thread)

slits for the green paper

We decided to thread a strip of green paper around the blue cardstock, and through the white paper. So we needed slits in the white paper–centered and cut to just bigger than the paper strips themselves.

M's design in raw form

The beautiful text and monogram that M designed.

Punch those corners

A corner punch tool can make dramatic changes to a simple piece of paper.

M got in on the punching too

Punching out 280 corners turned out to be hard on the hands! ๐Ÿ˜›

Top layer with corners punched out

What a difference the decorative corners make!

Folding green strip over blue cardstock

Next, the background must be assembled. The green paper strip gets folded over the cardstock for a snug fit.

Folded and ready

Threading the paper strip through the pre-cut slits

Next, the green strip is threaded into the slits of the white top piece, through the top, and the bottom.

Assembled!

We could easily have used glue or double-sided tape to secure the paper components. It looks pretty good just as it is! But we decided to take it a step further…

To the sewing machine!

Sewing took the most attention to detail. Making sure the card pieces were centered, I sewed lines parallel to the card edges. When I got to a corner, I would stop, lift up the foot, and pull about 4 inches of slack thread out (you’ll see why), then rotate to the next side.

all sides sewn

I left plenty of slack thread at the corners, because we wanted 4 separate lines of stitching (not joined together) for a really clean look on the front.

snip those thread loops

So, to clean up the front, I snipped the thread loops at the corners, then flipped over the card to bring all the threads to the back. To do this, you just give a little tug on the back-side threads, which makes a little loop appear. By pulling on the loop, the front thread gets pulled to the back.

all threads on back-side

All that is left is tying off the threads on the back and snipping off the excess!

Our Save the Date card

While these cards took plenty of time to make, M and I had fun working together on them through the whole process, and we hope the recipients like them as much as we do!

Most importantly, I think the cards reallyย  feel like us. And it’s the first clue (we hope) to our guests what to expect in July.

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