Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fabulous Products: Pretty Hangers For That Perfect Gown

You spent hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars on your dress.  It's a work of art, and simply the most beautiful thing you've ever put on.  You've invested in a marvelous photographer, too, who takes the time to photograph your gown before you put it on in your getting ready shots.

After all the thought and effort you put into choosing your gown, and selecting the perfect photographer to capture these moments forever, do you really want your dress to be hanging on an ugly plastic hanger?

Many photographers carry a wooden hanger in their bag of tricks for just this reason.  But not all do, and sometimes the photographer might forget to pack the nice hanger.  The hanger is something most brides don't even think about, but you have an opportunity to create a beautiful picture, something worthy of that gorgeous gown.

Check out these beautiful photographs from photographer Kelly Maughan.

The bride made them herself to coordinate with the wedding colors!  Aren't they just gorgeous, and the perfect touch?  It's thoughtful details like this that really make a wedding stand out and capture my attention.  See more fabulous pictures from Christina and Brandon's wedding on Kelly's blog.

Like this look, but don't feel up to doing the work yourself, like Christina?  Sellers on Etsy like Out Of the Closet Hangers are happy to make them for you at a very reasonable cost.

For another beautiful, custom hanger look, check out these pictures from Tiarra and Trent's wedding, also captured by Kelly Maughan.

Gown shots like these just make me smile.  Such beauty, such thoughtfulness.  To get this look, check out designer Lila Frances's work:

Banish plastic hangers!  There are too many other pretty options out there to leave that spectacular gown on a lackluster, cheap hanger.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bridal Bargains: Rent or Buy linens? If it's the Same Price...

Are you in the market for some tablecloths?  Been scoping out the party rental sites in your city?  Before you make a decision, check out

90" round tablecloths in seven colors for only $9.99 each.  It costs $13 to rent the same tablecloth from my local rental company.  Rent or buy?  At these prices, it seems like a no-brainer!

Even if you have no desire to own 20 white tablecloths after the wedding, it's worth doing.  Clean them up and sell them on Ebay or Craigslist after the big day.  You can save money upfront and make a little bit back on the other end.

Tablecloths Factory also has chair sashes, table overlays, and just about any linen you might consider renting.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bridal Bouquets Without Flowers

Flowers are the traditional choice for bridal bouquets, obviously, but they aren't the only choice.

And I'm not talking silks.

Whether because of allergies, or because you want to keep the bouquet as a keepsake, or just because you love the look, there are plenty of innovative, beautiful options for bouquets that don't include a single flower.

Check out this gorgeous bouquet made from vintage brooches:

Or how about this paper bouquet, available on from seller Desicra on Etsy?

Or this incredible paper pomander ball/bouquet from Etsy seller WhetherPaperworks.  As cool as realistic paper flowers are, I'm completely in love with how they embraced the medium and used paper printed with text to make these gorgeous flowers.

Or this ultra-chic feather bouquet from Etsy seller Croska:

And last, but certainly not least, this incredible balsa wood bouquet from the amazingly talented team at JL Designs.  Check out the rest of this gorgeous wedding on their blog.  It's definitely worth the click.

And of course, we here at Tradewind Tiaras are happy to make you a bouquet made entirely out of Swarovski crystals.  Talk about sparkle!

An heirloom, a convenience, or simply a thing of beauty, a non-conventional bouquet can be a marvelous choice.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Real Wedding: Christina and Paul (An Amazing Rainy Wedding)

You've been planning your wedding for more than a year.  You've thought through every detail a hundred times. The beautiful park setting.  The dresses.  The shoes (ok, so maybe you've thought of the shoes a thousand times).  And when the day comes, it's raining.  This was not your vision.

It's going to happen to some percentage of brides.  It just is.  Rain will fall.

Luckily, a rainy wedding can be just as special, spectacular, and beautiful as a sunny one, especially if you have a gifted photographer like Tacoma, Washington based Sergio Mottola.

Check out these pictures from Christina and Paul's amazing, glorious, absolutely beautiful and decidedly wet outdoor wedding.

Since I built a wood-fired oven in my backyard, I think it's going to be a rule of this blog that if a wedding features a WFO, I'm going to feature it.  Delicious, beautiful food is always worth showing.  ;-)

Check out the full wedding post on Sergio's Blog.  Many more gorgeous pictures there, from this wedding and many others.  You'll be glad you did!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Edible Favors = Favors Worth Giving

Jillian over at the Catch My Party blog recently posted about edible favors, and I agree completely with everything she says.  I've been a big fan of consumable favors since I started planning my wedding 11 years ago, and started considering favors for the first time.

I've been to a lot of weddings over the years, and seldom do I have any inclination to keep the favor, no matter how big and extravagant the wedding is.

The teas, the sweetly packaged candies, the jams, the herb seeds, however...those were used and enjoyed, and brought sweet memories of the weddings and showers they came from.  That's exactly what a favor should do.

Whenever I have an occasion to give favors, I typically choose edible favors.  From my daughter's first birthday party this year, homemade strawberry jam and macarons:

Take a look at these adorable honey favors from a Queen Bee Birthday party, courtesy of No Fuss Fabulous.  While you're there, check out the rest of the party.  Every detail is as exquisitely thought out and presented as the favors.  

Not feeling up to a big DIY project?  There are great options available for purchase online.  

How about these custom-labeled olive oil and vinegars from Beau Coup Fine Favors?

Or these adorable maple syrup jars, also from Beau Coup:

Don't want to give food?  How about these charming basil seed favors from Go Green Eco Favors and Gifts:

A consumable favor can be found to fit any theme out there, and is a great opportunity for an easy, thoughtful DIY project for your wedding.  And it's less likely to end up in the next garage sale.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

An Amazing Centerpiece Suspended in Air

I saw these pictures courtesy of The Cinderella Project, and my jaw dropped.  What a truly innovative, beautiful floral arrangement.  Love love love.

Plastic test tubes can be bought online for only $7.49/100 at The WEBstaurant Store.

That makes this incredible look a very affordable DIY option.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Trends: Small Plates at Home

The small plates concept has been popular in the restaurant industry for several years now.  Tapas from Spain was the original inspiration, but the flavors have now gone global.  I love the trend.  I love sharing with friends and getting to sample many dishes.

Happily, this trend is coming to the home.  Can you imagine a better way to serve delicious nibbles at a wedding shower than with the miniature servingware now available?  Mini mojito and martini glasses!  Tiny spoonfulls!  Itty bitty bowls and skewer-holders!  Check out these options now available from Pier One:

Or how about these miniature trifle dishes from Crate and Barrel?

I love trifles as a general principle.  So pretty, so fresh, so easy!  There is one thing I don't love about them, however.  They look great in the big trifle bowl, but the second you serve up the dessert, your guests are given a smushy, unattractive mess.  Delicious, but not pretty.  When each guest gets their own adorable tiny trifle, problem solved!

Someone get engaged or pregnant so I can throw a shower, already!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to Get Wrinkles Out of a Veil

The dress has been altered.  The accessories ordered and arrived.  Every detail is in place and it's the last few days leading up to your wedding.

Then you take the veil out of the bag where it's been sitting for the last several months.

And it's wrinkled.  Really wrinkled.

Never fear!  There are a number of easy ways to get the wrinkles out of that veil so you'll look perfect on your wedding day.

The first thing you can do is prevent the wrinkles.  When you get your veil, remove it from the bag and hang it in the closet.  The comb can easily be attached to a hanger (with safety pins, clothes pins, even paper clips) and the veil will be safely and perfectly stored until the big day.  Any wrinkles that did occur during shipping should easily hang themselves out by the time you need to wear the veil.

If there are a couple stubborn wrinkles, or you left the veil in the bag for a few months, try these steps to get the wrinkles out of the veil.

1)  Steam the veil.  If you have a steamer, great!  That's the fastest way to get the wrinkles out of a veil safely.  Don't own a steamer?  No problem.  Hang the veil in the bathroom and take the hottest, longest shower you can stand.  The smaller the bathroom the better.  Usually, even that amount of steam will smooth out any creases.

2)  Iron.  On LOW.  Really, really low.  Silk and English netting veils can take higher heat, since they're natural fabrics, but bridal illusion is a man made fabric, and will melt if it gets too hot.  It's better to spend more time going over a spot a few times than risk melting your veil right before your wedding.

3)  Tumble dry.  This is a last resort option, and is risky.  Toss the veil by itself in the dryer, on the very very lowest setting the machine is capable of.  Check the veil every thirty seconds or so.  Again, don't even try this unless there is no other option.

There.  You look gorgeous and wrinkle-free.  I told you not to worry.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fabulous Products: From Flower Girl to Bridesmaid, Felt Headbands are Fab

I've been loving and making felt flower headbands for a little over a year now.  I first found saw them on Etsy, and was immediately charmed.  So sweet!  So colorful!  And I could add Swarovski sparkle (there's very little to which I won't add a little Swarovski crystal)!  My six year old daughter loves them, too, and happily wears anything I make for her.  Here's a selection of her collection at this point:

Now, I make them myself, because I love making things.  If I can do it myself, I typically want to.  I don't sell them, however.  Why?  Because the sellers at Etsy sell them for way less than I would ever think about selling them for!  Seriously, the amount of time I put into each one makes the prices from Etsy sellers incredibly enticing.

I think felt headbands are a marvelous choice for a wedding accessory.  They can be so incredibly sweet for a flower girl, and the color choices are essentially limitless.  Check out these adorable headbands from Leslie at Bloomz Bows.  Only $14.75!

Or imagine this more streamlined, sophisticated option from Loopty Loo Designs for your bridesmaids for only $13 each:

Now that's something they could wear again.

Friday, September 17, 2010

This is What Wedding Videography Should Be

So often, wedding videos are special only to the bride and groom.  Their parents, too, perhaps.  Low production values and unimaginative editing are pretty common.

It doesn't have to be like that.

I know this, because I've seen it done, and done brilliantly.  Filmmaker Michael Y. Wong is an exceptional artist who creates wedding videos so beautiful, so compelling, that you'll want to watch them--even if you don't know anyone at the wedding in question.  Really.  They're that good.

Check out this small but powerful sample.

nicole+michael - all this time in mexico from Michael Y Wong on Vimeo.

Yes, this is what wedding videography should be like.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Cutest, Most Personal Cakes You'll Ever See

I've admired Lorraine McKay's work for years.   Her signature style and glorious gift is in sculpting the sweetest (no pun intended) sugarpaste sculptures of her clients to adorn her cakes.  Take a look at a few examples of what I mean:

Look at that detail!  The plaid on the kilt!  The lace on the dress!  The gumpaste jewelry, the hair!  And yes, it's all edible.

There's bad news and good news.

First, the bad news.  Lorraine doesn't make many cakes any more.  She's too busy.  Besides, she's from Scotland, so most of our readers would have been out of her delivery zone, anyway.

The good news, she's too busy teaching!  She's put together some amazing tutorials on her website, and travels the globe teaching workshops on how to make amazing figures like she does.

DIY brides charmed by Lorraine's work, take note.  Doing this kind of modeling work pretty much just involves dusting off your old preschool playdough skills and a little bit of practice.  Lorraine's tutorials at her website, Extra Icing, are detailed, helpful, thorough instructions that show you how to make incredible sugarpaste doppelgangers of your own.

Here in the United States, this kind of work is often done with gumpaste, rather than sugarpaste mixed with CMC (as Lorraine uses).  Lorraine has more information about the exact ingredients she uses in her tutorials, but if you're going to give it a try, it might be simpler to find a commercially prepared gumpaste.

If you decide to give it a try, I really like working with Satin Ice brand gumpaste.  Far better than the Wilton brand widely available at craft stores, it's well worth seeking out online or at cake decorating supply stores.