Unconventional Wedding Invitations

When it comes to sending out wedding invitations, the options are endless. You can buy premades from a card store, print free templates online or have an entire invitation suite made personally for you by a designer. However, if you feel the traditional invitation just won’t cut it when it comes to representing who you are as a couple, here are five unique ways to ask your guests to be a part of your day.

Blow Your Guests Away (just don’t blow on these)

I have a thing for vintage hankies. I have taken to collecting them whenever I see them at the flea market or in an antique store. Something about them just gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. These invitations from Benign Objects’ etsy store are  printed on vintage-style handkerchiefs that would be perfect for a summery, outdoor wedding or garden party. They’d also be super cute for a shower or bridesmaids brunch.


Remember Book-It? I’ve had my nose hidden in a book pretty regularly since the Book-It days of elementary school. There’s just something about wandering through a library or sifting through the musty stacks in an old book store that has a certain appeal. For you others out there with a love for literature, these library card invitations (found here )and save the dates (here) are such a unique way for a couple to display their appreciation for the written word. And the Dewey Decimal system.

Make A Show of It:

Living in Nashville, you can’t miss the incredibly cool, custom letterpress posters that Hatch Show Print churns out for concerts and events. Their unmistakable style easily translates into an awesome wedding announcement that’s a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n roll. While Hatch has been limiting the amount of wedding jobs they can take on, many design companies offer Hatch inspired looks.

 Photo from The Knot via Wedding Aces.

How awesome is this invite modeled after a vintage boxing poster? From Whirly Bird blog.

Give Them Something to Play With:

Remember loving these viewmasters as a kid?  I wanted a new one to commemorate every cool family outing or event. A trip to the zoo would result in a viewmaster so that I had photos of all the animals we met. If you send 7 images to Melangerie’s esty shop with your wedding details, you can get souvenir worthy viewmaster invites for all your guests.

Provide Entertainment Value:

Everyone loves a good movie, right? Show your guests a good time with a video wedding invitation. Go super artsy or do something fun and animated or action packed. Send to your guests on a DVD and give them some good ole’ fashioned TV watching pleasure. The first clip below is incredible cute and funny and the second, while being a Save the Date and not a technical invite, had me rolling.

Whatever type of invitation you choose, be it a wacky, out of the box approach or a more traditional paper suite, the most important thing is what stands for: asking those you care about most to be with you as you become man and wife.

DIYF: Here Comes Summer!

For me, Memorial Day represents the true beginning of summer. Even though it’s somehow already been in the high 80s for several weeks in Nashville, Memorial Day is that magical long weekend that gets us back outdoors after a long winter. Yes, this past winter was sort of wimpy and warm anyway, but still. It’s finally time to begin planning for cookouts, pool parties and camping trips. It makes me so happy, I kinda want to do the Urkel.

 Here are some fun DIYs to get you ready for summer fun!

Make your own little umbrellas for all the fruity drinks you will be sipping pool or beachside this summer. The Creative Place blog has a quick tutorial on using recycled magazines and extra scrapbook paper to give your tasty beverages a little extra flair.

Inviting guests over for a picnic or backyard BBQ? Check out these super cute homemade place mats on Feeding the Soil and the adorable utensil caddys at Eleven Cupcakes and Design Sponge.

Make citrus candles using lemons and oranges for a super cheery look. Martha Stewert has the tutorial for the lemon candles here, while Mom in Madison shares a slightly modified version with oranges here.

Photo from Mus

Wouldn’t these little lemonade bottles make such adorable favors for a little summer garden party? The printable templates for the tags can be found on Eat Drink Chic.

Now go out and enjoy the long weekend and celebrate summer!

Inspiration in All Shapes and Sizes

Let’s face it, most of my inspiration these days comes from Pinterest.  I want to find a pretty bouquet I look for it there or I google it.  I think sometimes it is fun to find inspiration from everywhere and build up from it.  For instance, starting with your grandparents wedding photo and a piece of lace or your old ballet slippers and a strip of wallpaper.  I have put together some photos that inspire me to want to build a design around them.  Enjoy!

1.Pinterest, original source unknown  2. Urban Outfitters  3. Etsy  4. {Lifestyle Bohemia}

 I think you could take all these and build a wedding design around them.  The ballet shoes and tulle could give you a a soft pink to use as well as some lace accents. The peony wallpaper is incredible and you could take the bright coral color scheme on and use the oatmeal background color for your linens.  The chair is just plain ole cool and again brings in the coral color but adds a more modern pattern into the mix.  The field to me just shows nature’s beauty; pure, white, wild. Your dress and flowers could mimic this.

Look for inspiration in your every day life, these are the things that will make your wedding (or party) uniquely you.  Be inspired today!

New Mexico Engagement Photos

I feel like our couples this year get to travel to fun and exciting places for their engagement photos.  The only question that keeps coming up in my mind is, “Can you take me with you?”

Emily and Josh are such a sweet couple.  Emily goes to the University of Georgia and is currently getting her graduate degree and Josh is in the military. They are the.cutest.couple.  They don’t so much live in the same state and I know they will be so excited to build their lives together. Together being the key word here.

We are meeting with them next month about their wedding and we can’t wait!  Have I mentioned that we love Emily’s mom also?

Their engagement session was photographed by Chris and Adrienne Scott in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I will save my ravings about Chris and Adrienne for another post.  (But seriously, they are awesome.)

There is your Wednesday installment of love.  I love how genuine their smiles are and how these photos exude their affection for each other.  Now pay it forward and give someone this type of loving smile!

Vendor Spotlight: Ariel Renae Photography

The first time I met Ariel Renae, I was instantly put at ease with her laid back demeanor and relaxed attitude.  Ariel is easy to talk to and super fun. She describes her shooting style as having a west coast based influence and you will often hear her referring to things she likes as “rad.”  I love this. People just don’t say rad enough anymore. From the first time I glimpsed her website, I was smitten with both the gorgeous photos and the site itself  – the clean lines and gray tones with pops of neon are a testament to her distinct style.

I am a details person through and through — I love the way the many little elements and personal touches all come together to create a day that is truly characteristic of each couple’s personality and style. Ariel Renae’s eye for detail enables her to capture all those special moments and aspects that tell the story of a couple’s journey together up to this day.

In addition to her wedding day packages, Ariel Renae loves doing both engagement sessions and after sessions for the extra time they allow to play around with different ideas and get some genuinely unique photos. And have a bunch of fun.

Ariel Renae’s talents do not stop at photography. She can also provide videography, both for your wedding day as well as engagement videos. Videography can help get a more complete view of all of the events of the day and Ariel Renae encourages brides to consider it alongside still photography. She feels that many brides do not realize how important videography is to fully capture the day until it is too late.  She has a unique motion picture-type take on videography and will provide couples with both a trailer and movie-length video of their day. Check out some of her videos on her website here.

We were pumped to get to work with Ariel Renae a few weeks ago and can’t wait to see what types of rad shots she captured of the day. Here are a few more lovelies to brighten your afternoon.

View more of Ariel Renae’s work and contact her about photography or videography for your event here.

DIYF: Dessert Buffet Part Deux and Dessert Stands

I have dubbed this week dessert week.  You know why?  It’s Mother’s Day week and I want to be able to eat dessert on Sunday without any guilt.  So, if it is dessert week and Mother’s Day, I can eat a giant cupcake guilt free.  Yep, that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

But really, earlier this week we posted about dessert buffets and their benefits.  I thought I would expand on that and also give you some DIYF dessert stand creations that could be a Mother’s Day gift that would make Mrs. Matthews proud. (You know, Cory Matthew’s mom from Boy Meets World.)


Photo by Chris and Adrienne Scott

Jessie and I made the cake stand above for this shoot.  We used hat box tops, scrapbook paper, dollar store taper candle holders and embellishments.  Oh, and a lot of Gorilla Glue.  I LOVE  the way it turned out but it took us for-e-ver.  I should say that again to make Squints proud and to emphasize, for-e-ver.  It was also a bit pricey, it cost about $60 to make.  A similar cake stand could be made using a plate (that is already designed) and the exact same dollar store candle holders we used.  I think a plastic plate or even china would be perfect to get a fun look like the one below from The Happy Housewife.

Another of my favorite type of stand is a wooden one. These can be simple stumps with or without tops.  I made some of these for my son’s second birthday here:

But I love the ones from Oncewed with instruction here:

I thought I would bring in the big guns once more by talking to Amy Richardson with Main Event Productions.  Maine Event has catering, cakes, venues and flipbooks.  There is nothing this girl hasn’t seen.  I asked her a few questions to get her thoughts on dessert bars:

  • What do you think the benefits of a dessert table/station are?

[Amy ] variety!! People can choose lots of different things- easier to please everyone! And its way cute!!

  • How often do you see weddings and events doing multiple desserts as opposed to a wedding cake?

[Amy ] we are starting to see more of it- I have done several this year alone and wedding season just began

  •  Do you have suggestions about desserts for a station?

[Amy ] we do lots of s ’more stations, also grilled pound cake with berries and whipped cream- this has been really popular. Popcorn bars- sweet and salty. We do lots of mini desserts- petit fours, brownies, shot glasses with banana pudding or mousse cups.

  • Do you help with the stands/containers or does the host supply that?

[Amy ] we do as much or as little as the host needs us to. As a full service caterer we have access to lots of different props and containers that we own- if we are catering the wedding, we will usually use our own items.

  • Do you think guests like a dessert station?

[Amy ] yes- I think they love seeing different items than the same old cake.

Photo supplied by Main Event Productions

Wedding and Party Trends: Dessert Tables

I saw this dessert table from Chef’s Market on Ashley’s Bride Guide and I am in love.

I love dessert.  It is really one of the main reasons I clean my plate.  I hear a lot of people say they do not really like cake that much, which can pose a problem when you are hosting a wedding or any event for that matter.  How do you please yourself and all those other crazy guests you might have that don’t like cake?  Dessert table of course!!  You can offer a variety of different desserts perfect for every sugar lover at your party.

I have done dessert tables for almost every party I have thrown in the last couple of years.  I have seen them at weddings as well and I think they are a great idea.  I talked to Jo at Jo’s Custom Cakes and Catering to get her professional thoughts on dessert tables.  If you haven’t had her desserts you surely are missing out!  In addition to making you salivate like Pavlov’s dog they will make you swoon (what wedding blog is complete without the word swoon) because of their sheer beauty.  She mentioned that one of the benefits is giving your guests a choice of desserts, “Unfortunately a lot of bakery cakes are dry and not so flavorful, so people shy away from them. With a dessert table the options are endless, so there will always be something there they like,” Jo says.

Image from Jo's Custom Cakes and Catering

Jo has many different options when it come to satisfying your guests sweet tooth such as individual banana pudding, individual pies in a jelly jar with multiple flavors or cheesecake lollipops.  (That is cheesecake on a stick folks, she had me at  on a stick.)  If you do want cake, but not a traditional cake Jo suggests cupcakes or a cake bar.  Their cake bar features cake in shot glasses.  I have had cake in a shot glass before and it way better than any liquid that comes out of those glasses.  With both cupcakes and cake bars you have the luxury of doing different flavors as well.

Let’s face it, when it comes to weddings presentation is everything.  Ok, taste is more important but presentation is big.  “With a dessert table you have the opportunity to get really creative  and themed with the way you serve your desserts.  I think decor is much more important when you are doing a dessert table- it ties everything together, ” says our local dessert expert. (I tried to come up with a play on words here but they all seemed too cheesy.)  I personally love the wooden cake stands or desserts on a stump.

Jo had some really good thoughts on the actual logistics and what works well on a dessert table.  For instance, an ice cream cake may not be the best choice for your outdoor August wedding.  Sorry, DQ.  She said,” We always try to figure a way to get in a dessert they really want. We may have to change they way it is served to make it work, but it can almost always be done. I do try to get people to stay away from anything that needs to stay really cold. That is a little harder on a  buffet style dessert table. Also people need to think “How is this going to look after sitting out for 2 hours?” You want to choose desserts that hold up well. I think most people enjoy dessert tables- they love to see things they really like and can be served creatively.”

Dessert Table Styled by Modern Vintage

DIYF: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta!

Wow. You ever have one of those weeks where you blink and it’s gone? This week has just flown by for us and it’s time for another DIYF. Remember all of Stephanie Tanner’s catchphrases on Full House? One of the more memorable ones for me was “So, so suck your toe, all the way to Mexico.” Although a trip to Mexico is unfortunately not in my future at the moment, I can at least add some Mexican flavor to my weekend for Cinco de Mayo.

Here are some super fun crafts and Mexican themed DIY you could incorporate into a Cinco de Mayo fiesta:

Ruffled blog shared this awesome tutorial for agave syrup favors. They even have a link to download the free adorable labels.

These festive paper flowers would look so cute adorning the table for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. I love how colorful they are! And I can just never get enough of paper flowers. The tutorial can be found on 100 Layer Cake.

We also found this mini pinata tutorial on Ruffled. How cute are these?!  And the process looks easier than I would have thought, although possibly a little time intensive.

These papel picado inspired invitations are absolutely gorgeous. Papel picado is the Mexican art of cutting paper into elaborate designs. Or as Uncle Joey would say — they take some paper and…

They are so detailed and unique. The how-to for these beauties can be found on Once Wed.

Finally, I just had to share this birthday dessert table from Eye Candy Events via Sweet Designs blog. I love the colorful accordion flower backdrop and am absolutely swooning over that ruffled cake.

Now go out, drink some margaritas and make your Cinco de Mayo fiesta muy bueno!