DIY or Handmade?

If you’re into arts and crafts and creative endeavors in general it’s likely the thought of a DIY wedding has crossed your mind. Projects like this can be so fun and really give you a sense of accomplishment when it comes to planning. Nevertheless, it is easy to get caught up and underestimate what a DIY wedding really entails. But have no fear – you can still have the personal, handmade feel without actually getting down and dirty with your glue gun. Etsy is an engaged girls dreamworld and I know we’ve all been sucked into the black hole that is Etsy shopping. These are just a few of my favorite things from the handmade wedding world that I’ve found during my browse sessions. (all photos courtesy of individual shops on etsy)

il_570xN.689834484_3gk1Bride and Groom Signs

I just used these carved wooden signs at an outdoor wedding and they are just perfection. Perfect size, rustic without being too rough, and so sweet when tied with some satin ribbon. Working with Laura was a breeze as well and she helped easily manage a shipping snafu we had. This might be one of my new favorite shops.

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Personalized Tumblers

These little guys caught my eye while flipping through the site recently. You can never have too many tumblers and Vanessa seems to offer a lot of style variations. I personally like them with just the names but there are so many options there is definitely something for everyone!

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Custom Wedding Bands

Some gentleman are wary of the wedding band. I’m not talking commitment here, I’m talking style and I can’t help but agree. Etsy is a treasure trove for unique bands for the men in your life. This particular piece highlights meteorite and dinosaur bone. Yes, dinosaur bone. It is just so weird and wonderful I had to share!

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Bridal Skirt

Everybody deserves to feel like a princess during their wedding and nothing screams princess more than a tulle skirt! I am obsessed with this knee length blush beauty. I think it would make the perfect piece for a party dress or even a statement during the rehearsal. This shop has numerous styles available along with a lot of other fantastic finds.

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Sequin hanger

Last but not least, the perfect accessory for your bridal gown, the sequin hanger. I knew Emily from college and just love what she has done with her shop. This hanger is the perfect compliment for all of those gown pictures while you’re getting ready! If you’re a recent grad the Koozies make a great cocktail hour conversation piece as well!

So, there you have it. A few of my favorite things at the moment. If you’re doubting your DIY prowess go handmade and let someone else sweat it out! I’ll be opening my own Etsy shop soon and will share all of my goodies as soon as its available.

Have you seen an Etsy shop you want to share? How about any projects you’ve tackled that turned out better than you thought? Share the news!

Let’s Get Digital

(Sung in my head with this in the background and some minor lyrical adaptations of course. Side note – we had that rowing machine in our house growing up. When I try to explain it to people now they don’t know what I’m talking about – but there is proof!)

There once was a time that families didn’t stray too far from their roots and weddings were a home town celebration.  Now, if even 20-30% of the guest list are “local” it’s a big deal. Destination weddings are the norm and that is one of the many reasons why the digital age is sweeping the wedding industry. Today, I just wanted to share a couple of fun ways to add some technology to your big day.

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1. Use video conferencing for guests unable to attend. Ikea’s getting in on the trend too. This is such a wonderful way to share this emotional moment with those you care most about in life!

2. It’s not a wedding without a hashtag! Find you’re personal hashtag with an online generator. Try HashtagWall and Wedding Wire. Get creative!

3. Not convinced you need one? Here are 5 reasons to use a wedding hashtag via Rustic Wedding Chic.

4. Skip the hashtag and get direct access to everyone’s photos! The Huffington post has a great list of options for just that.

5. Snap pictures as you dance the night away and never worry about your battery! Mobile charging stations are a great option. You can DIY your own or rent one. I have personally seen ChargerFi in action and it is a great addition to the party, allowing you to upload a slideshow as well.

Even with all of the options to harness the power of technology a lot of couples still opt for a phone free event. Let your guests know in advance, post a sign, or make a note in the program requesting them to be present during the big day.

(I don’t do sponsored posts on this blog, I just happen to want to share these ideas with the world)

In The Studio

AKA my (brief) encounter with the flower god himself, Preston Bailey

It is not often in life that we get the opportunity to see, much less meet, celebrities. One of my biggest “meet and greets” to claim was one short-lived elevator ride with Julia Stiles in an NYC  design store, and even then I was too shy to say hello as I was pretty sure she thought I may have been following her (oops). Thankfully, the city I live in and my business of choice has opened up that window a little bit more.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working on a photo shoot for Preston Bailey. If you don’t know who Preston Bailey is, well, he’s essentially the king of flowers, especially in the world of weddings. His work is over the top, labor intensive, and absolutely stunning. When I first started getting interested in the wedding market my parents gifted me one of his coffee table books and it has been showcased in my living room ever since (FYI he has 5 if you’re ever interested). More recently, I have been an avid reader of his blog and love the insight he and his team can offer into this crazy industry.

The photo shoot was for a new collection of specialty linens that Preston is launching with a local Miami vendor, Nuage Designs. Nuage is one of the top companies when it comes to luxury, couture table linens. Their product is very exclusive and ships all over the world.

Photo from Nuage Designs

Photo from Nuage Designs

Our company, Parrish Designs, was selected to do some floral arrangements for the launch photo shoot along with four other florists in the South Florida area. Though the designs were relatively simple (the show stoppers are the linens), I and a lot of fun brainstorming these looks with my boss. Though I don’t generally have a hand in making arrangements, it’s always exciting when I get to put my two cents in.

As expected, the studio was a bit hectic that day. I haven’t been in a true “photo studio” setting in a long time, so it was thrilling to be around that environment again. Studio lighting and product photography was never one of my strong suits so I always enjoy getting to watch true professionals work their magic. It really made me itch to get my camera out again and start experimenting with some projects.

We set up two table scapes, a low and a tall. Though we had to keep the decor in a dramatic, Preston approved style, ultimately the shots were about the cloths not the flowers, so we didn’t want to do anything too over the top. All of these pieces were made with completely faux flowers so that the arrangements could be left behind for permanent installation.

 

We used the same fabric for the shade as the underlay on the table, trimmed in white satin ribbon.

We used the same fabric for the shade as the underlay on the table, trimmed in white satin ribbon.

 

The chair covers helped tie the linen shade and oversized flowers in beautifully

The chair covers helped tie the linen shade and oversized flowers in beautifully

 

Amaryllis, phaleonopsis and hydrangea were the focal point of the tall lampshade arrangement

Amaryllis, phaleonopsis and hydrangea were the focal point of the tall lampshade arrangement

 

Classic silver elements and elongated taper candles contrasted the modern-esque arrangement beautifully

Classic silver elements and elongated taper candles contrasted the modern-esque arrangement beautifully

 

The table scape is all about texture and neutrals

The table scape is all about texture and neutrals

 

Nautilus shells, air plants and orchids made for a stunning, natural, yet colorful arrangement

Nautilus shells, air plants and orchids made for a stunning, natural, yet colorful arrangement

At the end of the day, I finally had my opportunity to meet the man in charge. As expected, Preston Bailey is the nicest human being ever. He is very soft spoken and very engaging in conversation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to snag a photo op with him, but it was a moment I’ll remember regardless. It is very apparent he and his entire team are so busy, yet it was really inspiring to see how much effort they put into everything they touch. It really is a wonderful reminder to do what you love and push every boundary you can. I can’t wait to use their beautiful cloths for an event. Now I just have to wait for the launch….

(*apologies for the iPhone photos, shame on me*)