Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Décor Inspiration: DIY Water Bead & Hydrangea Centerpiece

A couple weeks ago, I had the honor or coordinating a wedding for two wonderful clients and friends, Kim and Francis, who recently spent the past week honeymooning in sun-kissed Cancun. Their wedding day was incredibly beautiful, and I of course can’t wait to share more details and photos very soon.

In the meantime, I was so inspired by Kim’s vision for a quick, easy and eye-catching centerpiece that I just couldn’t wait to share it with all of you. Taking only mere minutes to assemble, this centerpiece is perfect for a wedding or dinner party, and could even be tailored to add a splash of prettiness to your home and office décor. 

How's it made? Read on! 

Items Needed

* Wide glass containers in the style and quantity of your choosing

* Glow sticks

* Water beads, also known as jelly beads, in the color of your choice

* Hydrangeas or another flower type of your choosing


* Place one or two lit glow-stick necklaces in the bottom of a fish bowl or other type of wide glass container.

* Cover the bottom of the container with a layer of water beads, filling as high as you desire.

* Cut a hydrangea stem, or the stem of another type of flower you prefer, so that only a small portion remains beneath the head. Place the cut flower in the center of the bowl atop the water beads, inserting the stem to help hold it in place.

And that’s it – fun, fast and lovely! Have you ever experimented with water bead décor, and what are some of your favorite DIY ideas?

(Photo Credits: Personal Library) 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Barbie’s Big Day

Many of us can remember fantasizing about Barbie’s wedding day as little girls, from dressing her in over-the-top sequined ensembles to marching her down a makeshift aisle lined with plastic chairs.

Now that we’re brides and newlyweds ourselves, how could we not appreciate photographer Béatrice de Guigné’s stylish and creative Barbie & Ken “real wedding” photo shoot, which is funny and sweet all at once?

If you haven’t yet checked out the full feature over at Rock n’ Roll Bride, you simply must, if for no other reason than to start your week off with a big smile!

P.S. Thank you all for your well wishes ahead of Hurricane Irene. We made it through just fine, hunkering down for the weekend with good books, a couple bottles of wine and our trusty iPhones as we waited out the tropical-storm force winds and rain. Other than a few downed trees and a temporary power outage, it looks as though our immediate area thankfully made it through without any severe damage. My heart goes out to all of those facing serve flooding and destruction as a result of the storm.  

(Photo Credits: Béatrice de Guigné) 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Earthquake Bride

Hurricanes… Earthquakes… It’s been a wild week for all of us here on the East Coast, including this bride, whose secret courthouse nuptials were interrupted by Tuesday’s unexpected temblor. Talk about a shock on your wedding day! 

If you haven't already, check out her story here, and have a fun and safe weekend, everyone! I'm sending lots of love to all my friends up and down the East Coast, and here in DC, we've got our flashlights and wine at the ready. See you on the other side of Irene! 

(Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images) 

Monday, August 22, 2011

'Kaptur'-ing Our Day

Returning from our honeymoon last year to start organizing all of our wedding photos, videos and well-wishes was undoubtedly exciting but also somewhat daunting, since our friends, family members and vendors alike had tons of memories stored all across the Internet, on CDs, on photo-share sites and more.

After a year of juggling these items in different locations, I was excited to discover and start using Kaptur, an interactive website that allows you to easily bring together everyone’s photos, videos and updates for access via a personal online album.

Quick to set up and easy to use, this customized program pulls together media from sites including Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, along with items you choose to upload from your personal computer. Once you’ve created an album, it’s a cinch to share via email, Facebook or Twitter, too.

I plan to keep adding to my collection over time, and am thrilled to see my album and wedding story featured on the Kaptur blog today! Feel free to check it out and give this service a try for a fun and simple way to relive your day over and over. 

How did you or will you organize your wedding photos and video clips? 

(Graphic Credit: Kaptur) 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Always The Bride, Never A Bridesmaid

How many times have you been a bridesmaid? If you’re like me, the number is zero. Have I been the bride? Check. Wedding coordinator? Check. But bridesmaid? Not yet.

Last week’s bridesmaid-themed Twitter chat (where I won a free copy of the movie Bridesmaids – yay!) got me thinking about these special ladies and what an incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they have to share with the bride. I also started to think about those women who have been bridesmaids multiple times, for many of whom the thrill seems to eventually wane, with excitement and joy replaced by been-there-done-that sentiments and nagging concerns about money, time and other practical considerations.

While I can definitely relate to these concerns and agree that they’re incredibly important, in my eyes, weddings will always stand out as irreplaceable milestones – each one entirely different and unique in that it is the celebration of a singular love story, two distinct families and a personal vision that in its totality is not identical to any other event in the world.

On my wedding day, it gave me amazing joy to be surrounded by the nearest and dearest ladies in my life, including my lifelong sister, sisters-to-be, and close friends who have been at my side from elementary school to high school to college and beyond. These strong and inspiring women, including some who had been bridesmaids before and some who had not, know me better than anyone else, have stood beside me through thick and thin, and showed a genuine love and excitement about my day that truly meant the world to me. 

All in good time, I hope I’ll someday be able to return the favor and that no matter how many times I’m asked to be a part of a wedding, whether as a coordinator, guest or bridesmaid, the sense of magic will never completely fade.

How many times have you been a bridesmaid, and what was your experience like? 

(Photo Credit: Damien Smith Photography) 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bridesmaid Twitter Party!

Back during my own days as a bride, I got so many fabulous and inspiring ideas from Sharon Naylor’s wedding book collection, including Your Wedding Your Way and The Bride’s Survival Guide. Since then, Sharon’s come out with a couple new titles, including Bridesmaid on a Budget and The Smart Guide to Bachelorette Parties, which are also super helpful and fun to read.

As editor of the Weddzilla Blog, I had the honor of personally working with Sharon, along with the outstanding team at Bridal Guide magazine. Today, these two powerhouses are teaming up to bring brides and bridesmaids a fun and informative Twitter party @ 2 p.m. EST covering all things bridesmaid-related, from dress shopping to throwing a stellar bridal shower to planning an awesome bachelorette party.

I’ll be there gathering advice to share with my clients, friends and readers, so stop by to say hi, chat with Sharon, and take your chance at winning copies of her books and other fun prizes. Visit Bridal Guide online for instructions on how to join the party, and I hope to see you there!

(Graphic Credit: Sharon 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From Blog To Keepsake Book

In my publishing master's program, we talk constantly about the contrast between electronic and traditional media, including e-books, web platforms and social media. Though I’m obviously a huge fan of blogs and online publishing, even I must admit that there’s just something so special about holding a printed copy of your work, seeing your thoughts and words preserved permanently in ink and on paper.

That’s why before I left for my summer trips to California and St. Maarten a few weeks ago, I used Blogger’s SharedBook program to turn this very wedding blog into a keepsake book – or as it turns out, books, since my more than 400 blog posts, plus comments, ended up taking up much more space than I originally anticipated! 

Still, this online program was easy to use, and I was able to order two paperback copies – one pre-wedding volume with 343 pages and one post-wedding volume with 479 pages – for less than $100. Had I decided to splurge on hard covers or color photos, I would have paid several hundred dollars extra, and after receiving the books, I’m so glad I didn’t bother. All in all, the black-and-white paperbound copies, each about the size of a textbook, look great and are just what I wanted.

Did I really write that much?!
Customizing the covers with some of my favorite photos was fun!

Sure, the layouts, adjusted by the program to minimize the total number of pages, aren’t perfect in a few places, and some of my longer headlines are truncated, but overall, I couldn’t be happier as I flip through each volume reliving what was without a doubt the happiest and most exciting time of my life to date. Plus, the fact that this program allowed me to include reader comments, unlike some others I tested out, including BookSmart, sold me on it immediately.
So many comments! See yours? 
I’d give anything to hold in my hands a wedding diary or memory book written by my mom or grandmothers, and thanks to these books, I hope I’ll be able to share my own special moments with my children and grandchildren, long after the electronic versions have faded in the wake of new and changing technologies.

Do you keep a personal diary or hard copy of your blog? After seeing mine transformed, I'd definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to start!

(Photo Credits: Personal Library) 

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Blog...High Heels & Flip-Flops

Greetings, readers! Since I last posted here a few weeks ago, I’ve happily completed my first year of grad school and also enjoyed two incredible weeks in California and St. Maarten. Now that I’m back, I can’t wait to share all the fun details about my trips and start blogging regularly again.

Though I plan to keep posting wedding-related inspiration here as the mood strikes, including about the next wedding I’m coordinating in just two weeks, I’m also excited to share my new blog, High Heels & Flip-Flops! Head on over to read my first post, describing the inspiration behind the title, and join me as I share my experience as a West Coast girl who’s spent the past few years learning to live and love life in our nation's capital.

Inspired by my love of food, fashion, fitness, travel, career and all of life’s adventures, High Heels & Flip-Flops chronicles my mission to live a positive, meaningful life to the fullest, whether East Coast or West Coast, in high heels or flip-flops.

Hope to see you there! 

(Photo Credit: Personal Library)