DIY Wedding Wednesday: How To Personalize Your Ceremony

sand ceremony how to

I’ve never been one to do tradition for tradition’s sake. But when it comes to weddings certain rituals are worth exploring and honoring, especially when personalized with a sentimental twist. Which is precisely what today’s how-to feature, the sand ceremony, does for the unity ceremony concept. From as simple as a custom sand color selection, to a modernized vessel that acts as a perfect keepsake long after the big “I dos”, there’s a reason sand ceremonies continue to reign in popularity with brides and grooms across the globe. Here’s our top three favorite ways to incorporate the love ritual into your day.

#1 – A Sentimental Spin

Want something ultra unique? Go for a contemporary design that doubles as a keepsake. Opt for the framed version of this chic acrylic shadow box, to display a couple of your favorite wedding day pictures, or select the clear acrylic version to fill with something special from your big day, like the preserved petals from your bridal bouquet.

acrylic shadow box etched acrylic

unity ceremony shadow box preserved petals preserved bouquet petals bridal bouquet

#2 – A Family Affair

For the couple whose love has grown beyond just two, go for a sand ceremony that allows you incorporate your little one, or ones. Their participation in the celebration of your unity will no doubt be cherished always.

heart shaped vase

#3 – Color Match

Just looking for something simple to mark the occasion? Then pick your color match, either something that goes with your wedding day design or a couple of shades that mean something special to the two of you, and run with a neutral vase set that can easily find a spot in your home for years to come.

ceremony sand



7 Tips for a Stress-free Wedding

It can be easy for time to run away on you while you are planning, but your wedding week does not have to be a stressful one. We promise that with a little preparation and these tips, you will be smiling on the day of your wedding!


1) Cheat sheet

On the day of the wedding, it is important that your bridal party and family members are all on the same page. Make a little cheat sheet with some of the important details that they can refer to. A timeline and list of where they need to be when, a list of phone numbers they might need, addresses of the ceremony and reception locations could help prevent little timing mishaps throughout the day.

2) Payment

In all the excitement of your wedding day, a few key things might unintentionally escape your mind. Like paying your vendors. A great way to avoid this is by placing your cheques in a Thank you card. The night before your wedding, give all your cards to a trusted member of your bridal party or family to give to it’s owner on the day of your wedding. Not only is this a nice way to thank them for all their hard work, but it is a great way to avoid that awkward money conversation at the end of the night!

3) Plan ahead

With such a large list of things that need to get done a few days before the wedding, the thank you speech is often the item that gets bumped to the very last minute.Don’t get caught sitting in a corner on the morning of their wedding scratching everything down. Throughout the whole planning process, keep a little list. Booked your photographer? Add them to the list. Your cousin is helping with the guestbook table? Add them to the list. When the time comes to compile what you would like to say, it is going to be so easy AND the chances of forgetting someone is a lot less likely.

main image

Featured here: Rustic Wood Pencils

4) Hydrate

Ok, we know this is the most obvious tip, but it is also one of the most forgotten by brides. So we are going to say it again… Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated will keep you calm, keep your mind clear and make you feel your very best. Not only will you feel your best, but it can do wonders for your skin. Think of your wedding like you would think about preparing for a marathon. Athletes spend the days leading up to a marathon drinking extra water to ensure that their bodies are ready for the big day. We encourage all our brides to adopt the same practice to ensure they are powered up and ready.

5) Ditch your device

After countless hours of putting this day together, it has finally come. Now, it is time to let it all go and enjoy it! Step 1 is to hand over your cell phone. It is likely that there will be friends, family and vendors trying to get a hold of you on the day of your wedding. Assign a reliable bridesmaid or family member to man your cell phone on the day of your wedding. Trust us, the day is going to fly by and the last thing you want is to be on your phone all day long. Be present and soak it all in!

6) Put a sticker on it

Wedding décor and accessories can come from many places. Maybe you have gone through a rental company, borrowed from a past bride or purchased some things yourself. When the wedding is coming to an end, chances are that there will be lots of people willing to help with the cleanup and tear down. The last thing you want is to be bombarded with a million questions or for anything to get misplaced or forgotten.  The solution is as simple as a subtle sticker. When you are setting up for your wedding, place small colored dot stickers to the bottom of your decorations. We advise that any rented items be left without a sticker, then use one color for the items you own and one for the items you borrowed. This way everyone will be able to divide and sort things properly and know where they go.

WS - Burlap Chic Creative_129

7) Organize

There are a lot important pieces of paper, lists, receipts and emails that need to be kept track of when you are planning a wedding. As simple as it sounds, it is something that will save you a lot of headaches. Keep everything in one place. Find a file folder, binder, or even shoe box (if that is what it takes) and keep all of your wedding related information in there. When you are doing some last minute searching for the rental contract or a vendor phone number, you will be so glad you did!



Weddingstar Quiz: What’s most important to you? Prioritizing your wedding


Quiz: What are your priorities

From our Brides: 4 Ways to be the Worst Wedding Guest of all Time

It is wonderful to be able to celebrate your new Mrs. status with friends and family, but sometimes the combination of large numbers, varied personalities and high emotions can cause a little bit of stress along the way. When these moments happen, there are three things we want to remind you of.  1) You cannot please everyone. 2) There is always a solution. And 3) You’re not alone. We asked our brides to weigh in with their own personal experience dealing with difficult wedding guests.

Bride and Groom First Look

1) Dealing with the Narcissist:

“When family members who have conflict with each other make the day about them and their issues.” – Sarah Beth

If you have found yourself in this situation, we promise that you are not the first. Emotions and adrenaline are at an all time high at most weddings and this can sometimes cause tension. When diffusing a situation keep in mind that you want to make it better and not worse. If you let your emotions get the better of you. things will only escalate. With a level head and a calm voice, politely remind them why they are here today. Your wedding is a celebration of your relationship and it is OK to remind them of that.

2) Runaway guest list: “I can invite anyone I want to your wedding, right?”

Asking the morning of my wedding if you could bring your daughter, when you didn’t even bother to send your RSVP. And RSVP-ing for 3 when your invite specifically said to Mr and Mrs your name there.” — Michelle Flowers

There are 2 types of guests: 1) There was an unintentional miscommunication and your guest didn’t realize who exactly was invited. or 2) Your guest disregarded your wishes and didn’t think  a plus one was a big deal.

It is so important to be clear who the invitation is intended for. If you don’t feel like the names on the addressed envelope are clear enough, feel free to write the names out on their RSVP Card as well. This should help alleviate any miscommunication. If your RSVP mishap lands in the second category, ask yourself if it is a big deal. Do you have the space and the budget to have them there? Is it more of an annoyance than an inconvenience? If having extra person at your wedding is something you can deal with, consider letting it go and moving on. If having them there is not possible, a conversation is a great place to start. Explain to them that unfortunately you do not have any wiggle room with the guest count and although you wished more could attend, it is not possible at this time. And remember that asking is often more effective than demanding.


3) Dealing with the Flake:

“We had a groomsmen back out the week of the wedding and then one of them “forgot” he was in the wedding all together.” — Ginny Raettig

Although situations like this are incredibly frustrating, they can often be the easiest to resolve. Many couples feel that it is really important to have an even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. We are here to tell you that it is totally O.K to have an uneven bridal party. When you initially decided who you wanted to stand up with you, it was probably because they have been a key part of your life. Don’t feel pressured to find a replacement just for the sake of having a replacement. Sometimes the best solution is to let it go.


4) Head Count:”RSVP’s are just a suggestion, right?”

“Not RSVP-ing or saying I don’t know yet but trying….” — Jamie Wieber

It can be as simple as asking your guests to send an RSVP email or click a button on your wedding website, but hunting down RSVP stragglers is just a part of the wedding planning process. That being said, there are a few ways to make it a little easier on yourself. A handy trick is to set the “please reply by:” date a few weeks before you really require a final head count. This will give some of the stragglers extra time to get their replies in and downsize the number of people you need to track down later.

Your day is about one very important thing, getting to say “I DO”. We know that planning a wedding comes with it’s up’s and down’s, but despite the fuss, it’s going to be worth it! We are so excited to be on this journey with you and helping to put those beautiful elements into your day. We know it’ going to be spectacular!

“None it was my day and everyone put all there problems aside and made it all about me my husband and six kids.” — Stephanie Hodgins



How long will I need? – Your Guide to Timing your Wedding Day

Wondering how you will fit everything into your wedding day? We have a way to customize your timeline and create a solid plan.

Start with your wedding ceremony. Once you have a set start time, work backwards to create an outline for your wedding. Every wedding runs on a different time line, you can use this as a guide to bring the overall vision for your day to life. Once you have a general idea of what your timeline will look like, make sure you speak with your vendors. They are the pros and have done this many times. They will have a really good idea of how much time they will need to help create your perfect wedding day.

Vintage Wedding Couple

Hair and Makeup

A general rule of thumb for most hairstylists is 1.5 hours for the bride and 45 minutes for a bridesmaid. Talk to your girls about their hair in advance and get a couple of key pieces of information. Will your hair be staying about this length when the wedding rolls around? Will you be doing it up or down? By answering these 2 questions for each bridesmaid, your hairstylist will be able to provide you a more exact schedule for the morning of the wedding.

Most makeup artists will typically set aside 40-50 minutes for a bride and 25 -40 minutes for a bridesmaid. A  good question to ask your bridesmaids in advance is: Will you be wearing false eyelashes? As these take a bit more time to apply than regular mascara.

Getting Makeup done on Wedding Day

The Ceremony

A great starting point for your wedding ceremony is about 20-25 minutes. A wedding of this time-frame would include the following: Procession, opening words, a reading from a loved one, exchange of traditional vows, exchange of the rings, signing of the wedding licence, first kiss and the recession. If someone will be singing or you are having a unity sand ceremony, it is important to you than make sure to include that extra time in the traditional ceremony outline. Remember to speak to your officiant about time when you are planning the ceremony for the most accurate estimate.

Classic Wedding Ceremony

Featured here: Classic Wedding Theme


Make sure to meet with your photographer for a consultation closer to the wedding. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know them a little better, review times, addresses and a few shoot locations before the big day. Talk about a list of family photo combinations (ex: Bride’s parents with Bride and Groom. Brides parents with Bride, Groom and Siblings etc.) Your photographer will be able to call out the names and your family photos can be done in record breaking times! Once you have gone through the details of the day with your photographer, ask him/her for a time estimate. Keep in mind that you may need to cut out a location, or adjust a few things.

Bride posing for photo

The Reception

It is a good idea to set aside 1 hour for dinner. This will vary depending on the number of guests, and style of service (buffet/table service), but this is where your Master/Mistress of Ceremonies are going to be very important. They can keep an eye on things and once things start to settle down and everyone has eaten, they will be able to get things rolling for the program and speeches. If you are worried about how much time the speeches and toasts will take, just mention it in advance. Provide the speakers with a set time to keep their toast within. 3-5 minutes per speaker is a great starting point. It is very important that your Master/Mistress of Ceremonies are kept in the loop. Provide them with the plan for the evening so that they can keep their eyes on the clock and make sure everything moves along smoothly.

Here are some of our favorite tips to help you stay on time:

1) Delegate: If you’ve hired a wedding planner, they will be extremely helpful in moving the day along and sticking to the schedule. But don’t worry. You don’t need a wedding planner to stay on time. Speak to a reliable member of your bridal party or family member about helping in this area. If you provide them with the day-of schedule and ask them to help move things along, they will be able to keep an eye on the clock and make sure no one loses track of time.

2) Prioritize: Ask yourself “what is the most important part of the day?” Is it the photography? Is it having some alone time with your new husband? Once you have answered this question you will have a good idea of where to prioritize your time. It is also a really good idea to schedule in an extra 15 or 20 minutes for your most important item. Which brings us to our next tip!

3) Leave yourself a little wiggle room: Even the most organized of wedding days will often have a few unexpected surprises. The good news is that if you plan for them, they won’t be a problem. There are 2 ideal times to leave some”buffer space”. #1 is before the ceremony and #2 is after the ceremony. Leaving yourself an extra 20 – 30 minutes is sure to keep you on schedule and keep your guests happy.



Take our Quiz: What is your Wedding Style?

Winter White-12052012-003
Every bride wants their wedding to be a unique reflection of their personality and style. Find your flair with this wedding style quiz. What kind of bride are you?

5 Ways to Make Your Wedding Even More Meaningful

Every wedding is special and personal in its own way. And it is obvious that your wedding day is already going to be one of the most special and meaningful days of your lives. You are marrying your best friend, afterall! But we have a few ideas that might just take your wedding one step further. Here are 5 ways to make your day even more meaningful.

1) Introduce the bridal party yourselves

There are probably a few reasons that you asked your bridesmaids and groomsmen to stand up with you at your wedding. Each of them holds a special place in your lives. Rather than having your MC tell your guests what they mean to you, try telling them yourselves. Sharing a fond memory or how you became friends is even more special if it comes straight from you.

2) Having a loved one sing or play at your wedding

Music plays a huge role in weddings. Ask a friend or family member to play an instrument or sing a special song to bring you down the aisle, while your guests are arriving or while you sign your wedding license. It will be equally as special for them as it is for you and will create a special memory for you to look back on.

3) Have family time before the big day

If you ask any married couple, they will agree that the wedding day goes by incredibly quickly. Take some time to do something fun with your friends and family before the wedding day. Your out of town guests will appreciate the extra time with you and it is a great way for friends and family to meet before the big day.

4) Toast each table individually

The receiving line is a tradition that we are seeing less and less of. One of our favorite variations is to visit each table during the reception. Once dinner is starting to wind down there is usually some time before the speeches begin for you to make a loop with your new husband. By stopping at every table, it ensures that you will get a little bit of time with all your guests. It is a wonderful opportunity to personally thank them for coming and celebrating with you. It will mean a lot to your guests to be able to have some time with you and there are sure to be some good laughs along the way.

5) Unity sand ceremony

While a candle ceremony is beautiful and traditional, it leaves no permanent keepsake for the couple. The sand ceremony allows you to retain the memory of their special day for years to come. Combining the sand symbolizes the present and future  of two lives joined and forever inseparable. Every ceremony creates a different sand design that is unique like you as a couple. You can even personalize your vases and containers for an even more meaningful touch.

These 5 little touches are sure to create special moments that you will cherish for years to come! But, the best advice we can give you is to remember to keep it all in perspective. It is so easy to get swept up in the excitement and wedding plans that sometimes you just need to take a little step back. You are getting ready to celebrate the next chapter in your life as husband and wife. If you can remember WHY you are planning a wedding, that will be more meaningful than anything.

Ceremony Trends: Beyond The Traditional Wedding Ring Pillow

Put a ring in it…Or on it, but if you’re reading this then he’s probably already taken care of that! Today we’re sharing an excerpt from the 2015 edition of the Weddingstar magazine that’s all about our favorite new (and completely unique) ways to present your rings at the ceremony. So, if the traditional pillow isn’t quite your style, here are some unique ways to show off your shiny new bling.

The Dish

Not just for soap anymore, unique dishes have become a popular trend at weddings as a way of presenting the rings. We’ve fallen in love with the idea and the fact that these ring dishes will also look gorgeous on your dressing table at home. Not only are these ring dishes pretty, but their heirloom qualities may inspire a new family tradition. Pass along to your future Mr. or Mrs. for use on their wedding day.

Delicately Detailed

This exclusively designed Porcelain Leaf Ring Plate has a unique leaf shape making it a perfect choice for nature lovers. Made from high quality porcelain it has a delicately embossed pattern and if you look closely you will notice a pair of sweet lovebirds. Designed with openings for ribbon or twine, this pretty plate allows your rings to be safely secured inside.

Not just a ring dish

Not necessarily just for your rings, this vintage inspired Feather Wing Dish can serve another purpose as well. Cast from iron with a distressed white finish it has a unique small shape that fits snugly into the palm of your hand, making it the perfect size to present your wedding rings at the ceremony. It’s dual purpose? This little beauty sits so pretty at place settings you may also want to gift it as a favor your guests are sure to find completely irresistible.

The Box

The ring box is not just any box. It is the box that every bride (and bride-to-be) is restlessly waiting to see before her. It’s an expression of both your personal and wedding style. The way in which you display your rings as they are carried down the aisle is becoming yet another lovely way to personalize your day. And these not-so-ordinary boxes bring on the lovely tenfold. So if you’re trying to think outside the box when it comes to choosing your ring holder, these stunners may just reel you right back in.

On display

This is one box that you can truly make your own thanks to its versatile design. From custom etched monograms to all the personal touches you can place inside (some of our favorite fillers are petals, feathers and moss to name a few), this Acrylic Ring Box will never be replicated. And with a see-through riser to hold your rings, they will appear as if they are floating in your very own display case.

Just the right size

Because of its unique shape, this handcrafted Wooden Ring Box is not your traditional box. It’s a presentation all its own. This adorable keepsake is the perfect size to tuck safely inside any jacket pocket. Made from hand polished dark wood, personalize both the outside and inside with your names, wedding date or your own special message.

The Frame

Commonly used to accent pieces of art or photography, the frame has now been re-designed to hold something else you love and cherish—your wedding rings. The clever combination of a pillow and frame makes this an exceptional way to show off your new rings. This Framed Ring Cushion will look stunning at any vintage or shabby chic affair, not to mention on display in your home long after the wedding. And for a pretty piece of personalization you can call your own, the idea of wrapping the removable pillow in a piece of fabric from your mother’s wedding gown (as shown here) simply makes our hearts sing.

Stick With Tradition

Is the classic pillow still your pick? See and shop our more traditional ring pillow designs right over here. But first, take a look at this adorable miniature version that we couldn’t resist sharing!

The Mini

Perfect for tiny hands, this petite pillow is the sweetest accompaniment for your ring bearer’s walk down the aisle. Made from off-white raw silk, the hand beaded detailing is unmatched in quality and provides a soft, plush surface that will allow your rings to shine. Complete with white satin ribbon, your rings will sit pretty (and securely) in place on this delicately beaded ring pillow.


Wedding Planning Essentials: Shop the {Wedding} Look

If the simple fact that it’s Friday isn’t a good enough reason to celebrate, today’s post provides some extra incentive to pour yourself a glass of bubbly and toast to good news. Today marks the official launch of the brand new Weddingstar E-Catalog, essentially a virtual shopping playground for any bride planning her wedding. I know, exciting right?!

e-catalog cover image

Built entirely around the “shop the look” concept, the new e-catalog is an extension of the Weddingstar print magazine, tenfold. Because there was just no way of making room for it all in print! Featuring inspirational imagery from exclusive creative shoots, editorials filled with planning tips and all 3000 + products in the Weddingstar lineup, the e-catalog provides a fun and easy shopping experience. Browse pretty pictures, get inspired and click to buy if something catches your eye. Covering everything from wedding stationary to ceremony and reception accessories and décor, down to guest favors and gifts, this is definitely a must visit ‘one stop wedding shop’!

But enough talk. Given Weddingstar is all about inspiration, here’s a sneak peek into what you can expect to see in the inclusive 724 pages.

vintage themed wedding shoot wedding stationery wedding ceremony products - aisle runners reception products - guest book alternatives porcelain cake toppers wanderlust themed wedding shoot wedding reception - toasting flutes wedding reception products -  decorative vintage drawers wedding favor container - mini burlap bag wedding favors - wine stoppers bridesmaid's gifts woodland themed wedding shoot

Love It? Want More?

If you like what you’ve seen so far, you’ll love the rest! Click here for more tips, products and inspiration.




DIY Wedding Wednesday: Ceremony Confetti Cones


If I had to pick a favorite design approach it would be the blending of the new and the old. I love putting fresh twists on classics. And given how far back the tradition of the wedding ceremony goes, there’s plenty of opportunity to get creative. Today I’m playing around with updating the lovely sentiment of the rice toss, by a simple swap for preserved petals and a focus on presentation. Making the switch from rice to petal and individually packaging the petals in embellished clear acetate cones, gives guests a pretty and functional way of celebrating a bride and groom as they take their first steps as husband and wife. Here’s the easy DIY breakdown on how to create these pretties.

The Supplies


The Simple Three Step How To 

diy confetti cones - step by step

Step 1: Stuff your cone with the petals. Using whatever pointy ended object you have lying around (I used a paint brush) help guide your petals down the cone. This ensures they fill through to its narrow bottom. Use just enough petals to fill up the cone while still keeping a loose finish.

Step 2: Apply self-adhesive jewel stickers. For precise placement use a pair of tweezers. Nothing fancy required. Your everyday eyebrow tweezers will do!

Step 3: Add your ribbon. For easy bow tying cut more ribbon than you need and then snip to achieve the final desired length.

The Pretty End Result 

diy ceremony confetti cone diy ceremony confetti cones - detail diy ceremony confetti cone