Trash the Dress Inspiration & Link Love!

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[Images: Brittany Goldwyn]

It’s FRIDAY. We made it to another weekend. This rain is GETTING TO ME man, I don’t mind the cold but good lord if it’s going to precipitate, at least be SNOW. We have a JAM PACKED weekend this weekend with the Miss Pixies Customer Appreciation party tonight (you should come & hang with Pop Wed Co! & I), a girls night, visiting the WHITE HOUSE tomorrow, and then our FINAL DIY Workshop on Sunday.

For today we have a rockin’ Trash the Dress session in Rock Creek Park and some LINK LOVE to get you to the weekend. Hope to see you on Sunday!


Pop Wed Co gives you some SUPER RAD Alternative Wedding Hair & Makeup ideas

The Plannery discusses an important, but difficult topic: How to Cancel Your Wedding

Bayside Bride has an awesome DIY Seed Bomb Wedding Favor tutorial on their blog!

Kick Ass Social Co. just launched. You should know about it.

Pink Dot Concepts is hosting  an event centered on decadent sweets & treats! Check out The Sweet Life Sugar Tour on Sunday to meet budding bakers & treat makers in the local area.

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Kayte & Luke’s Brightly Colored, DIY Newton House Mansion Wedding in Maryland

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[Images: Liz Fogarty Photography]

I loved the way you could totally feel this couple’s personality from their wedding images. From the bright orange, pink, and yellow color palette, to all the DIY projects – it was no wonder that this Maryland wedding totally rocked, with the bride being a SUPER talented musician. (Check her out!). The wedding has a slight bohemian meets Rock N Roll vibe and I am pumped to get to share some awesome insight from the couple to go along with their gorgeous wedding images from Liz Fogarty. Enjoy!

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Since we were long distance engaged (I was in MD where we’d be getting married & Luke was in LA), Luke gave me free reign to make a lot of the design choices, although I tried to run things by him whenever I thought he might have a preference :)  We wanted the wedding (which we referred to as ‘the party’) to feel young and colorful and delightful and casual.  We wanted all of our friends and family to have an amazing time. We went with a palate of shades of hot pink, fuchsia and orange for the bridesmaids, navy blue suits on the (12!) groomsmen, and pops of yellow to tie it all together – DIY-ed billy ball bouquets for the girls and (also DIY-ed) boutonnieres for the guys.

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Our invitation photo, which came before all of our wedding design choices, totally encapsulates the feel of the wedding – Luke and I sat on a bench in LA front of a hot pink wall and asked random strangers walking by to snap photos of us with his iPhone.  The very first one was the best and when I was back in Maryland, we designed our invitation together over Skype. When a cousin we’d invited noticed the lack of formal wording and fancy calligraphy on our invitations I was super happy because I knew it felt like “us” … as a couple we’re more “print” than “cursive.”

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The gorgeous grounds and architecture and round reception room with floor to ceiling windows at Newton White Mansion sold us on the venue. I knew the pictures would be gorgeous.  Luckily the rain on our wedding day held off long enough for us to get pictures outside, but by the time the ceremony started it was pouring, so we were glad we decided to move everything into the reception space as our rain plan. Having windows on all sides made us feel like we were outside and in at the same time.

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Kayte’s friend and former band mate Kevin accompanied her on guitar from his seat as she sung to Luke during the ceremony. Luke’s friend Adrian sweet talked a store into opening early and picked up Luke’s tie the morning of the wedding (don’t ask!) and got it to him just in time for the ceremony. Our friend Peter put together amazing playlists of music for before the ceremony, the cocktail hour, eating and dancing.  Luke’s friend Stephen drove all night from Ohio to be at the wedding and pick up the beer in time for the cocktail hour and reception. Our friend Nicole was the crazily organized ring master who was the “Day Of Coordinator” for us.  And our amazing bridal party made sure we had a great time.

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Click inside for more of Kayte & Luke’s adorable DIY Maryland wedding!

Meet the DIY Maven: Jenn from Ribbons & Bluebirds


If you’ve been reading this blog for longer than today, you’ve seen the plethora of AMAZING DIY tutorials and inspiration pieces that we’ve been lucky to feature from the amazingly talented Jenn of Ribbons & Bluebirds. Jen is hosting our LAST DIY WORKSHOP OF 2014 (this Sunday. Seriously. Don’t miss it!) and we thought it would be fun to do a little “Meet the Maven” interview with Jenn ahead of her workshop. Can’t wait to see you all on Sunday!

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Originally trained as an architect, Jenn specialized in traditional design including hand-drafting and watercolour (and even some furniture.) She has lived in Rome and London for her architectural studies and career, and she worked on some very interesting projects before leaving the field and focusing on her stationery business.

Jenn has been living in the DC area off and on since 1996 (the year she met her husband, on the elementary school playground.) Their family includes two mischievous cats and one handsome dog, and their townhouse is a continual DIY-in-progress.

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How’d you get into graphic design/stationery?
I’ve always been interested in graphic design, and especially paper products, but it really took planning my own wedding before I transitioned from being an admirer to actively pursuing information to take me to the next level. I don’t have a degree in graphic design but I do have one in an art-related field, and I think that gives me my own notions on what a balanced, well designed piece looks like.

When we started wedding planning, I was living in London while my better half was getting his master’s degree here in the DC area. Planning anything was difficult given our lack of overlapping time and the fact that I was having trouble reaching out to vendors from overseas, and I was getting really frustrated not “making progress” – so I threw myself into planning the invitations and the overall design of the wedding. I think I created 8 or 10 totally different design directions before I convinced my dad to help me build my own letterpress, which changed the direction again.

About midway through wedding planning, it became obvious that I really enjoyed working with all this specialty paper, and I decided to transition into a business. For almost three years I ran my stationery company on nights and weekends, after coming home from my architectural job, but early last year I took a chance to transition to working on Ribbons & Bluebirds full time. Now I work on learning and creating every day!

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Where do you find inspiration for your DIY projects?
This is just as hard as you’d think it would be – some days are just not great creative days! But I love brainstorming with other wedding pros and friends and family, and then I save lists of ideas to try out. I would say at least a third of my ideas never make it past the testing phase – either they require specialized equipment or crazy artistic skill, or they flat out don’t work. I spend a lot of time in craft stores, and I often run across cool products that I know I want to try and incorporate somehow. In addition to my own personal inspiration directions, I do try and keep up with trends in the wedding industry and think about how I can bring those (often expensive) looks into a smaller scale or a handmade product.

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Any tips or tricks for those of us that don’t find ourselves particularly crafty?
I joke that I test out my DIY’s on my sister to get a lay-person’s opinion, but the what I honestly believe is that most people have more crafting skills than they think. If you’re really feeling like the projects you’re taking on aren’t working, then look at your results and try and determine what went wrong – are you using different materials that don’t work in the same way as the original, or are you missing a tool that could make a big difference? Make sure you haven’t set yourself up for failure.

If you do feel like you’re not crafty but you’d like to be, then I’d recommend either taking a class or starting with a simple, clear DIY that doesn’t require too much free-hand work. Using a template, or a pattern, really helps set the groundwork for you to be able to follow along, and ultimately create something you’re proud of. Paper Source or other small specialty stores are a great resource for learning about tools, and taking small hands-on workshops (and of course, the last of Bree’s awesome DIY workshops is THIS WEEKEND, hosted by yours truly!)

Starting small and simple and taking baby steps not only builds your confidence (and your tool library) it also starts to improve your coordination and technique as well. But most importantly, don’t stress! Crafting is supposed to be fun, and if it isn’t fun then it’s time to take a break!


The coolest/best/most rad DIY project you ever finished?
This is hard, because I love almost all my DIYs. An easy answer would be to say my homemade letterpress and my wedding invitations, but I also love the little things I’ve been working on recently and I am especially proud of how my cake toppers are coming along. I think I will say, with total confidence, that my favorite DIY is always right around the corner, waiting for me to get started :)

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Thanks so much Jenn! Now go get your ticket for Sunday’s workshop!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make Paper Holly & Mistletoe Holiday Decorations

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I’m not quite in the Holiday spirit just yet and I can’t really tell why. Andy & I got our tree this past weekend, and decorated the house, but for some reason I just can’t bring myself to get fully in the holiday spirit/excited for Christmas. Hoping Ribbons & Bluebirds’s amazing DIY tutorial today will help turn things around for me – anyone else got any other suggestions!? For today we have a DIY Paper Holly & Mistletoe tutorial. Take it away Jenn!

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DIY Paper Holly & Mistletoe Tutorial

Aaand now it’s December.  I cannot BELIEVE how fast this year has gone by – thanks for sticking with our DIY series!  We’ve got some great ideas to finish out 2014, and Bree and I are both excited for what 2015 will bring in the DIY department – stay tuned ;)

To round out my paper flora, I wanted to create some holiday classics – holly and mistletoe! These little sprigs could be used to brighten up holiday gift tags, in wreaths or banners, or as place card décor… there are endless possibilities! This time I was lucky enough to have my friend Traci of Traci J Brooks Studios along for a little crafting party, so you can get a front row view of each step!

For the holly, you’ll need:

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·         Holiday leaf template, available here.

·         Green cardstock – I used textured cardstock for the holly and lighter green for the mistletoe, but this is up to your personal preference!

·         X-acto knife

·         Metallic Red Tissue

·         Green tissue (tiny amount)

·         Floral wire lengths

·         Floral tape – I used brown

·         Hot glue gun

Step by Step Instructions:

Step 1: To make the holly, start by downloading the free template here! Next, cut out the leaves on the template, and use them to trace onto your cardstock. Carefully cut out the leaves with your X-acto knife – I used 1 large leaf and 2 small for each holly sprig.

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Step 2: Once the leaves are cut out, you’ll want to fold them to give them an authentic holly look.  Each leaf should get folded along the length, from top point to bottom point, and then from each of the side points in towards the center fold.  This also makes each point stand out, just like in real holly.

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Step 3: While your glue gun is warming up to attach your leaves to wires, you can work on the holly berries.  I was excited to use shiny metallic foil for these berries, since real holly berries are so glossy and luminous in the winter landscape.  To make the berries, cut several sheets of tissue to approximately 2×2” squares.  Start by crumpling up one square, and press it onto the end of 4” of precut floral wire.  Use a second square to wrap around the crumpled piece onto the wire (similar to a lollypop wrapper would be wrapped.)  Holding the wrapped sheet firmly around the wire, carefully wrap use floral tape to secure, starting to wrap just under the “bulb” of the berry and continuing most of the way down the wire.  Remember that floral tape needs to be stretched to release the glue.  It may take a few practice tries to get the berry securely tight to the wire, but you’ll get it! I made 3 berries per holly sprig.

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Click inside for the rest of Ribbons & Bluebirds’ DIY Paper Holly & Mistletoe DIY Tutorial!

Gwen & Hillary’s Offbeat, Pop Up DC Wedding at DC Brau Brewery

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When I saw this one on Pop Wed Co‘s Facebook page, I just knew I had to have it. I mean, let’s be honest, I feel like I could feature EVERY wedding that Maggie & Steven deliver, but this one ESPECIALLY caught my eye thanks to the coolest DC wedding venue ever: DC Brau’s Brewery!!!

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From the lovely brides, on their offbeat DC wedding venue choice:

We got engaged a year ago at a winery in Virginia, so a brewery in DC felt like at natural choice for a wedding. It really wasn’t that simple though… We were planning a small wedding with a few friends and our parents, but after hitting a few bumps in the road we decided to scrap that idea and elope just the two of us. We wanted a wedding that we would remember and be able to enjoy, knowing we could always plan a party for a later date with everyone else.

We stumbled upon Pop! Wed Co and decided that they do the types of weddings we both envisioned. Maggie and Steven were great from the start and made all the stress of wedding planning disappear (on our end at least). We discussed a few possible venues with Maggie before realizing that DC Brau was the perfect spot.

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The folks at DC Brau were so awesome and so welcoming and who knew a brewery would be such and awesome spot for a wedding photo shoot?

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Although our friends and family weren’t physically there, they were there at heart. After the ceremony we had an awesome photo shoot at DC Brau with our Pop! Wed Co friends, Maggie and Steven, and then met with a few close friends for drinks and dinner. We will have our grand party in California in March at the arboretum on the university campus where we met nine years ago. We will have a short vow ceremony with our family and friends followed by the big party with dinner and dancing under the stars.

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Click inside for the rest of Hillary & Gwen’s totally awesome, offbeat DC brewery wedding!

Katie & Ryan’s Quintessential Washington DC Engagement Pictures

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[Images: Photography by Steve & Jane]

Well I’m BACK! Back in the blogging groove this week with the most quintessential Washington DC engagement session and love story. It was SO NICE to take a much needed, full week off of work and blogging, but I am happy to be back in my favorite city, sharing more DC love with you guys as we prep for the end of 2014 and the holiday season. I hope you all had a GREAT Thanksgiving … we got to eat outside in Arizona, as it was 70 on Thanksgiving day! But enough about me, let’s get to Katie & Ryan:

Katie and Ryan met through Twitter – how cool is that?! And over a mutual love of DC, beer, and the Washington National’s President mascots they fell in love. I’m not sure you can get more DC than this and they’ll be capping off their DC love with a wedding at the Decatur House (eep!) next Fall.


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How they met:

We met on Twitter! Ryan followed me because he thought I was cute, and I followed him back because I thought I recognized him. We discovered we lived in the same neighborhood and chalked it up to “well maybe I’ve seen you out and about on H Street.” We kept tweeting at each other periodically for the next month or so. Then, in January 2013, the Nats announced they’d be adding a fifth Racing President to their lineup, and I tweeted a link to the Washington Post article on the subject with my commentary “C’MON CHESTER A. ARTHUR” (because, who the f is that amirite, haha). Ryan replied to my tweet with “If it’s not Millard Fillmore, I’m canceling my season tickets.” The response just so perfectly encapsulated my sense of humor, so my next tweet to him was “Can we be friends in real life?” We planned a time to meet up for drinks, and the rest, as they say, is history.

After reading this, I kinda wanna be friends in real life with these two too! So fun.

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Click inside for the rest of Katie & Ryan’s DC engagement pictures AND the awesome proposal story!

Cyber Monday Deal: BOGO DIY Watercolor Workshop Tickets – TODAY ONLY!


We’re joining in on the CYBERMONDAY fun with a little BOGO ticket deal for our LAST WORKSHOP of 2014! Buy 1 regular priced ticket to Sunday’s DIY Watercolor Workshop with Ribbons & Bluebirds, and get 1 free!

All you need to do is purchase a ticket here, and then email me ( to claim your free ticket.

Act fast — only 5 available!

Attend Sunday’s DIY Watercolor workshop and learn how to make gorgeous paper goods such as:

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Kat & Dave’s 1950s, Rockabilly Wedding at National Marine Corps Heritage Museum in VA

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[Images: Stephanie Kopf Photography]

When I saw this one drop into my Two Bright Lights submission queue, I had to silence an audible squeal and instead I tweeted, “POLKA DOT BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES …. I repeat, POLKA DOT BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES”. Because omg you guys – these polka dot bridesmaids dresses, with purple-blue crinoline underneath are just to-die-for. If I got married all over again, these would be my bridesmaids. Hands down. The rest of the details from this Rockabilly/1950s Virginia wedding are no less awesome. Unfortunately I don’t have insight from the couple on this feature, but I think the images speak for themselves. Enjoy.

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Some insight from the photographer, Stephanie:

I’ve never had the pleasure of photographing such a unique celebration as Kat and Dave’s 1950’s/Rockabilly wedding, but goodness gracious great balls of fire…I’m a fan. A fan of Kat’s, a fan of Dave’s, a fan of their hilarious and fun bridal party, and a stalker status fan of their crazy-cool style.

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Take note, everyone. Kat and Dave know how to throw an incredibly happy, unique, memorable celebration. Black and white polka dots, purple bow ties and petticoats, piercing red lipstick, sweet motorcycles, and abundant “that’s what she said” jokes from the bridesmaids had me on cloud nine. Oh, and an incredibly adorable dog named Bella adorned with a purple handkerchief who was quick to adorn you with puppy kisses.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE AWESOME from Kat & Dave’s rockabilly Virginia wedding (with awesome, 1950s Rock & Roll wedding details!)

DIY Tutorial: How to Make DIY Glitter Heels for Shoes

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[Images & Tutorial by Ribbons & Bluebirds]

I’ve seen these beauties in more than a few “real wedding” features across the blogosphere, so when Jenn told me she wanted to take a stab at creating a DIY tutorial for Brides to create their OWN DIY Glitter Heels – well it was met with an astounding OH HELL YES. I, for one, could always use a little more sparkle in my life and I think this would be the perfect way for a bride or bridesmaid to snazz up her wedding day footwear – on the cheap! So check out the full, step by step, DIY tutorial below!

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DIY Glitter Heels Tutorial

From Jenn: I love shoes. I have no problem admitting that I spent more money on my wedding shoes than on my wedding dress. I saw a gorgeous pair of fancy glittered heels on one of my favorite wedding photographer’s blog the other day and a lightbulb went off: I could make those!!  And you’d better believe these hot heels are not just for enjoying on your wedding day – they can be for any day you want a shiny pick-me-up!

You’ll need:

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  • One pair of heels.
  • Modge Podge or your glue of choice
  • Small foam brush
  • Glitter sealer (I used Krylon)
  • Masking tape
  • Glitter

Step by Step Instructions:

Step 1. Start by making sure the heels are clean – if they have any dirt on them you’ll want to clean them with a damp cloth.  Using your masking tape, tape off the area you’d like to end up glittered.  You could very easily extend the glitter all the way up to the rim of the shoe too – I just chose to do just the heel portion below the body of the shoe.  Taping a little extra area will help protect the rest of the shoe from the glitter sealer overspray, so don’t be afraid to use a decent amount of tape.

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Step 2. Once you have masked off your glitter area, apply your glue with the foamy brush.  Sprinkle the glitter on right away, and tap the heel to knock off any excess glitter.  Make sure you coat the heel evenly!

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Step 3. Let the glue dry for a few minutes before coating the glitter with spray sealer.

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After the sealer dries, carefully remove the tape and you’re done!

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Alright Romancers! Show me those DIY Glitter Heels!!!!!! Thanks again, as always, to the fabulous Ribbons & Bluebirds for creating such an AWESOME tutorial. Be sure to check out her Etsy shop & design skills for your holiday card needs this winter!

Need Help Making DIY Projects for Your Wedding? Attend Our Workshops!