How To: Decorate for Less by Skipping the Flowers

Your wedding day budget is depleting and you are looking for ways to save costs. One way couples have found to reduce wedding costs is by replacing flowers with simple décor items. Many couples are straying away from using flowers and are instead choosing to make their own decorations and bouquets out of other unique items. Flowers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so if you are a bride who doesn’t want flowers at their wedding we’ve got some alternatives that you and your guests will love.

Aisle Decorations

 

Decorative Lanterns are a great choice to brighten up your aisle. They can be painted to match your wedding colours or dressed up using a decorative ribbon and you’ve got the perfect addition to guide you down the aisle.

Candles are another great way to decorate your aisle. They provide a romantic lit atmosphere perfect for that cozy indoor affair. However, if your venue does not allow open flames, flameless candles are also available.

Flowerless Centerpiece Options

 

Add a vintage look to your reception with these Candle Holders. You can decorate them to add your own flair. Add some candles and you’ve got a simple alternative to flowers.

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Photography by:
Kat Williams
Featured here:
Mini Mason Jar With Lid

Having a summer wedding and want some pops of color on the guest tables? With beautiful decorated mason jars you’ve got a fun and easy DIY project that the whole wedding party can help out with.

Other summer weddings choose to use fruits to decorate with, filling tall glass vases or jars with different colored fruits for the right amount of color.

The Bridal Bouquet

 

A bride’s bouquet can be made up of all kinds of different things but one of the most popular for today’s bride is a brooch bouquet. These are easy to make, even if you aren’t very crafty and they look fantastic in photos. Brides usually ask for brooches to be donated by friends or family members, but can also find them in antique stores for relatively cheap. This bouquet is not to be thrown though; it is meant as a keepsake for the bride and there is usually a small substitution bouquet that is used if the bride chooses to do a bouquet toss.

Other bouquets may include flowers that are made out of sheet music, comic books or origami paper. Rustic themed weddings have seen flowers formed from burlap and ribbon, and others include fabric flowers made by the bride or purchased from a crafter.

Whether you decide to go with flowers or not, the choice is yours for your wedding. However, if you are feeling adventurous, skip the flowers and let your flowerless décor be the talk for years to come.

Writing & Concept by:  Theresa Gibson

Photography by: Weddingstar, LV Imagery, Kat Williams

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Wedding Advice From Real Brides

View More: http://jvephoto.pass.us/winterstyleshoot

Photo by Jennifer Van Elk

Brides who are planning their wedding want to know first-hand what other brides would have done differently on their wedding day if they could. Here are some top responses we’ve received from real brides, sharing their best wedding advice.

Do: Take Time To Eat

“My only regret was not having food available for myself and my bridesmaids after pictures and before the ceremony. We had a late wedding (ceremony at 5) and were all so hungry by the time the ceremony started… so ya, if I was doing it again, I’d have food (and wine!) “ –Cynthia

“Make someone set you aside a plate of food for afterwards! I was starving. During dinner you’re likely to be too busy taking photos and greeting to eat”-Peyton

Do: Research & Spend The Money On An Experience Photographer

“I wish I picked different photographers. I went off recommendations and experience but they focused on quantity not quality. I have 1300 photos of my wedding day, yet there’s more photos of the staff than of just me (the bride). They also blurred out me a few times to focus on the background. It was just very disappointing.” – Sammie

“Completely regret my photographer. Spend the money, that’s one place to splurge and then save somewhere else.” –Jac Lynn

“Photography.. really REALLY do your research and don’t cheap out. If they don’t have a Facebook page pass on them.. I thought I had a good one. I’ll never forgive myself” – Chantal

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Photo by Brooke Images

Do: Have A Clear Idea On Photos You Want

“Took more pictures with my entire family/extended family. We have photos with everyone by themselves but not a single group photo of our families together. (Like aunts/uncles/cousins) Make sure you get every single photo you want as those are the only thing that last a lifetime. “ –Eilea

“I wish I put more emphasis on photos with family members. I told my photographer to speed through it so we can start the reception and now I don’t have half the photos I wish we did.”–Carolyn

“ I used my aunt as a photographer and she wasn’t really up to date on newer more adorable poses but she did it for cheap so I used her…I wish I would have paid more and had a better photographer” – Brianna

Do: Splurge On A Videographer

“Get a videographer. Your day goes so fast and you don’t get to see everything. I would give anything to be able to watch my wedding video back but I never got a videographer. “ – Tiffany

“Even if you have to sell your right arm to do it, get a videographer! This is my #1 regret, not having one. I wish I could relive the day through videos.” – Beth

“All the other ways that we cut corners to save money turned out great but I really regret not getting a videographer… Not sure where the money would have come from but I really wish I had made it a priority and figured out a way to pay for it.” –Lauren

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Photo by Alan Maudie Photography

Do: Take Time To Thank Your Guests

“Taking two moments as bride and groom to address and thank all of our guests for attending. We had intentions on doing this, but after speeches and dinner, it slipped the itinerary. We greeted each table, but I feel like taking the microphone and thanking the guests as a whole would have been nice as well.” – Courtney

Do: Coordinate Carefully With Your DJ

“I got a “great deal” on a DJ, but he didn’t play any of the songs we requested. Lots of old stuff and repeats. If my MC didn’t tell him to play certain songs we may not have had a first dance! It was the worst part of my wedding for me, but people still danced and no one remembers what songs were played anymore (except maybe me).” –Amanda

Photo by Rhythm Photography

Do: Make Sure You Have Enough Time

“I wish I wrote down that the ceremony started a half hour earlier on the invites. We ran late waiting for guests so everything else got cut short. “ – Kristy

“I wouldn’t have changed anything except I would’ve made the reception longer. I felt like one minute we were eating dinner and the next someone was tapping me on my arm telling me there was half an hour left” – Lala

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Top Three Destination Wedding Tips

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Photo Shoot Location: Reynisfjara-Black sand beach near Vik, Iceland

Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular. They also involve extra attention when it comes to planning and preparation for the big day. Today we are sharing with you expert advice from event planner and Weddingstar Ambassador Phoebe Lo.  Here are her top 3 destination wedding tips:

1. Work With Professionals

Enlist the services of an experienced planner with a background in destination wedding planning, especially in the location you have selected for your celebration. Expect to work with both hometown and on site vendors and service providers to tackle the countless logistical details that all come together to customize your event.

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featured above: Small Gold Decorative Candle Lantern / Medium Decorative Candle Lantern / Heart Shaped Sand Ceremony Vase Set / Just Married Sandals

2. Planning Is Key

Thorough preparation is crucial when planning a destination wedding. Be knowledgeable about customs and border regulations that may affect what you can pack. Consider all aspects of the transportation and have a backup plan in case of bad weather. To help ensure your planning does not have gaps, envision a walk-through of all the activities, starting from the moment you depart from your home.

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featured above: Gold Compass Wedding Favor

3. Pack & Go Style

In spite of the spectacular scenery, this remote location required a few critical accessories to help set the stage. Here are a few points when travelling to a foreign destination with décor products. Checked luggage is stowed as cargo so expect extremely cold temperatures and rough handling. Securely wrap all fragile items. Upon arrival, a custom agent may require you to prove ownership, so take along purchase receipts and detailed information. But, have a plan B just in case an item is not allowed through customs.

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featured above: Heart Shaped Sand Ceremony Vase Set-The Adventure Begins

If you are planning on having a destination wedding, make sure you keep these tips in mind!

Credits: 

Event Design and Planning: 
Phoebe Lo Events
www.phoebeloevents.com

Photography:
Rhythm Photography
www.rhythm-photography.com

Model:
Sally Leung of Sally Leung Fitness
www.sallyleungfitness.com

Desserts and Sweets: 
Cakelaine
www.cakelaine.com

Jewelry and Accessories:
The Loved One
www.thelovedone.ca

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Our Must Have Planning Checklist

You’ve made the to do list . . . we’ve got the must haves. Here’s a quick checklist of our favorite items this season to help you during your planning process. From gifts to party essentials we have got it all laid out for you in a monthly checklist.

12 Months – Just Engaged

9 Months

6-8 Months

4-5 Months – Halfway to Hooray!

3 Months

2 Months

1 Month – Crunch Time

For a downloadable version of this checklist, click here.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: How To Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Style

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If you haven’t noticed by our recent post topics, we’ve really been in the mood to party lately. And it has everything to do with all the great celebration essentials that were recently added to the Weddingstar line up. With a varied array of party ready accessories, from customized napkins to personalized glassware, all you need to do is mix and match your favorites for your own personal party perfect assortment. Today we’re lining up our favorites for a stylish Valentine’s Day soiree, which can just as easily apply to an engagement party, bridal shower, or any get together where pink and pretty is a must.

Tabletop Style

Set the stage for a love celebration with little more than a few key tabletop accessories. It can be as simple as incorporating custom and clever paper napkins, or as creative as using pretty with a purpose florals. Little details really do make all the difference.

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“love” plates set, filled with roses and used as a centerpiece concept

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heart plates

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heart shaped plates

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‘drunk in love’ & ‘kiss’ printed paper napkins, paired with gold strokes black cocktail napkins

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Cheers to Love

What’s a celebration without a proper toast of pink bubbles! Serve yours up in unique glassware options for an easy way to customize your event, and incorporate your choice drink into your takeaway concepts for a favor they’ll love.

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can shaped glasses personalized with ‘i love you like xo’ and ‘i can’t even without you’

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xoxo.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: Party Perfect Favors

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Today marks the last post in our no fuss, no muss holiday series and fittingly, it’s our easiest how-to to date. Thanks to some of the prettiest boxes and bags, and a few sweet treats, we’re sharing party perfect favors, ready in just minutes. Perfect for any occasion, New Years, birthdays, showers or weddings, and featuring the loveliest of versatile color palettes, these trendy takeaways are simply a celebratory must have.

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‘we’re so engaged’ paper goodie bags filled with mini gourmet doughnuts

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gold printed white linen favor baggies gold heart favor baggie

diamond party favor

xoxo.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: How To Plan a New Year’s Eve Pop Up Party

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If you caught our Holiday Gift Guide post from two weeks ago than you know that this festive season we are all about keeping it stress free. And new year’s eve is no exception. We want all the glitz, sparkle and pop that hosting the party of the year calls for, and absolutely none of the fuss. Sound appealing? We certainly think so! From on trend paper goods, to easy breezy decor, here’s everything you need for your personal, stress free, and super fun New Year’s Pop Up Party.

Be a Paper Good Goddess

Gone are the days where dinnerware paper products were used only at a backyard BBQ. Coupling the convenience of one time use with designs that sparkle and shine, these essential party supplies are a definite pop up must have.

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personalized paper napkin - bring on the cheer black and gold place setting

Sippers Served in Style

Mix personalized glassware with trendy paper cups, add some brilliant gold straws, and you’re set to serve your party sippers in style.

Decor and More

With all your tabletop needs covered, all that’s left are the little extras. Dress up your room with a few key festive focal points, think backdrop and balloons. And finish off the experience with a candy confetti takeaway.

xoxo.

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How Much Does It Cost To Be A Bridesmaid?

It is an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid, but how much will it actually cost you? When you factor in every possible cost, from the dress to the bachelorette party to the wedding itself, it can be surprisingly expensive. Here’s our bridesmaid’s budget breakdown to keep your stress levels low and keep your friendship with the bride intact.

Bridesmaid Budget Breakdown

It’s tempting to feel so flattered you jump at the opportunity but if cash flow is a problem and the bride is not a very sharing person you may want to consider the costs to you before you accept. Here is what can be involved in being a bridesmaid:

  • Bridesmaid dress
  • Dress alterations if needed (these could work out even more if you’re pregnant too!)
  • Shoes, jewelry and any other accessories the bride requires you to wear
  • Professional hairdressing and
  • Professional make up on the morning of the wedding
  • Bachelorette Party spending money
  • Wedding rehearsal dinner spend if required
  • Travel to dress fittings, bachelorette party, wedding rehearsal and/or travel abroad if required
  • Wedding present for the bride and groom

Hundreds and Thousands

This list is not exhaustive but it gives a pretty good idea of what’s involved and could come in at anywhere between a couple of hundred dollars and several thousand. A wedding abroad could cost even more due to overseas travel and accommodation, so it is worth taking all the potential costs into account. If the bride does want you to pay, it could work out to be more expensive than you think.

Who Pays and How To Compromise

Traditionally the bride’s parents would cover the costs of the bridesmaids dresses but these days most couples pay a large proportion of their wedding costs themselves and it has become more acceptable to ask for financial contributions from the bridal party. Unless the bride and groom are offering to pay for everything, it’s worth discussing costs and coming to a compromise where you are all happy.

If your little girl is asked to be a flower girl you may be expected to pay for her outfit. Luckily she won’t need cash for the bachelorette party so it’s a lot less expensive than being a bridesmaid, but you may still be asked to pay for her shoes and accessories.

How To Cut Bridesmaid Costs

Assuming the bride is in agreement, you can cut costs substantially by wearing a second hand bridesmaid gown, an informal low cost summer dress you can wear again, or even a dress you already own. For fashionably non-matching bridesmaids you can save cash by choosing low-cost gowns that co-ordinate in similar colors or styles.

It often falls to the maid of honor to arrange the bride’s proverbial ‘last night of freedom’, and another way to cut costs is to organize a low-key bachelorette party in a venue that is local to you or a casual bridal shower at home which can be just as much fun as an expensive night out in the city or a weekend abroad.

And finally, don’t ever let it cost you your friendship. There will always be a compromise and the key is to discuss it all and be mindful of everyone involved. The bottom line is the bride is special to you and she wants you to be a part of her special day. Together you should be able to find a way for that to happen.

Credits:

Originally written by Kate Thompson-Confetti

DIY Wedding Wednesday: How-To Gift a Wine Lover

wine lovers gift guide

Today marks our first November post and we’re pretty darn excited about it, because as far as we’re concerned it might as well be December {read: it’s time to party!}. As of today there are only 7 weeks and 4 days until Christmas, and this year we’re getting started early on both our planning and our partying. To kick off the festivities we’re focusing on the essentials, the “bevies”. Specifically, we’re sharing our top picks for the perfect gifts for the wine lovers in your life. And naturally we just had to run each one of these products through some rigorous testing, so that you can take our experienced word as gold. Cheers!

Gorgeous Glasses

What’s front and center as the wine lovers ideal gift? The perfect bottle of wine of course. But a great wine just isn’t a great wine unless served in a proper glass. From red, to white, to bubbly, there’s a pretty and personalized option to cover them all.

wine glasses

personalized stemless wine glass champagne flutes

The Sidekicks

Get creative with your gift giving by covering off all the extras. Think cute stoppers, sleek serving boards and personalized corkscrews. And that’s just to name a few.

personalized serving board teak serving board personalized teak board

personalized wine label

personalized coaster

xoxo.

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DIY: Chalkboard Signs Part 2

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A few weeks ago we shared a DIY Chalkboard post by our Ambassador Lorrie Everitt from Creative Bag. Today we are continuing on the chalkboard topic with these large, decorative chalkboard chair signs. DIY projects like these chair signs are a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding decor. Use this step-by-step guide and template to create your very own chalkboard chair signs.

In addition we will also show you how to create paper flowers used to embellish the chair signs, to create your own DIY boho styled decor.

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The Supplies:

Large Decorative Chalkboard With White Frame
• Liquid Chalk Markers
• White transfer paper
• Pencil
• Painter’s Tape
• Scissors
• Print out with design/ text
Ribbon
• Tools to Punch Holes Into Chalkboard
• Water Mister
• Glue
Optional – Gold Craft Paint or Gold Paint Pen to decorate your flowers

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The Step by Step

Step 1:

Print and cut out the lettering for the signs. Position the lettering on the chalkboard so there will be space to add the paper flowers later. Use painter’s tape to hold the paper in place.

Step 2:

Place the white transfer paper with the chalky side down towards the chalkboard, as shown above, under the paper template. Use a pencil to trace the lettering onto the chalkboard.

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Step 3:

Your traced lettering will be very faint but you should be able to see the complete design before you remove the paper template.

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Step 4:

Using your traced image as a guide, fill in the lettering with a chalk marker. Once the chalk ink has dried you can easily remove any remaining tracing lines with a soft dry cloth.

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Step 5:

At this point you will want to add a couple of holes to the top of your chalkboard for hanging later. I used a craft punch that is suitable for wood and metal products.

Option: If you would like to add a gold touch to your chalkboard, like I did on the chair signs for the boho wedding, you can do that using gold craft paint or gold paint pens.

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Step 6:

Print the paper flowers template on the paper of your choice. Cut the flowers shapes out as shown above.

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Step 7:

To make the paper easier to work with, lightly mist each flower.

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Step 8:

The swirly flower shape will make a 3D floral shape. Start with the small outer end and begin to roll the paper as shown above. Continue to roll it until you almost reach the end. The wide inner edge will become the base of the flower. Allow the paper flower to dry.

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Step 9:

Once dry, glue the bottom of the rolled flower to the wide base so it will stay in place and lay flat. You don’t want the other floral shapes to be flat so while they are still a little wet, scrunch them up with you hand.

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Step 10:

After the floral pieces have dried completely you can glue them together however you would like. This will allow you to form larger, fuller flowers.

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Step 11:

I painted gold glitter paint on the edges of the petals of these white paper flowers for a different look.

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Step 12:

Glue the paper flowers to the top of the chalkboard just above your beautiful hand lettering.

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Step 13:

And finally, add a ribbon for hanging.

 

Download the flower & Lettering template here.

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Chalkboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Visit weddingstar.com for more chalkboard options and let your creativity run.
We’d love to see your completed chalkboard projects. Post your pictures on Instagram and use the hashtag #weddingstar or tag us @weddingstar so we can find them.
Credits:

Styled boho wedding vendors:
Photography by Attakat
Wedding cake & Baked goods by Cakelaine
Chalkboard Hand Lettering Love Lettering
Floral arrangements by Periwinkle Flowers
Vintage tableware from The Perfect Table
Shot on location at The Warehouse Event Venue in Toronto

DIY Photography & Styling credit- Lorrie Everitt

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