Unique Gift Idea for the Bride: Bridal Beauty Scrapbook of all the Wedding Events, Bridal Showers and Parties

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Creating a scrapbook of all the bridal events for the year is a great keepsake and gift for a bride!

A couple years ago, I started up a scrapbook whirlwind by making 2 books for my girlfriends that were getting married in 2012. I started way too late into the year though and didn’t have nearly the arsenal of scrapbook tools that I do now! So for Amie’s book, from this past year’s wedding celebrations, ended up being triple layered in stickers and all sorts of embellishments! Plus I started it right away and did one page/event at a time—which allowed for my creative juices to really flow through each page.

So I just wanted to share a few of my favorite pages from these books and at the end of the post there are some tips if you find yourself making one for yourself or for a friend!

For another gift idea, see my post on a scrapbook of letters for the bride!

First up, Lauren’s scrapbook:

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This was my first ever scrapped page… I remember being so excited working on it with my mama at her kitchen table.

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I’m pretty sure we blew Instagram up on the day of their wedding! So we definitely needed to have a #wagonerwedding page—which also included a wood engraved sunflower from their wedding favors.

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My absolute favorite page in Lauren’s book was their wedding day page. I just love the pictures she chose—by All Aboard Studios.

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And here’s a few of my favorite pages from Brittany’s book:

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Their engagement party was Anchorman themed so we chose some of our favorite Anchorman quotes for the page.

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My mom and I had fun making the pages for our Fairy Weekend… that was such a great weekend! We included the fairy house, fabric from the sparkly purple tablecloth and a mini paper scroll to remember our moments reading our bride our favorite memories with her.

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I love the details on the shower page too… since we had a panty line and lavender sachets, the book had to have them too! More photos here.

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And just like Lauren’s, my favorite page in Britt’s book is of the wedding. It was such a beautiful day. They had moss covered table numbers so I found some green glittery numbers for the wedding date and also included a key from their favors! So much fun remembering the day through the details.

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And now a TON of photos from Amie’s… I had a really hard time narrowing down my favorites…

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Starting with page 1, I loved that I had found a bench sticker to remember where Matt had waited for his soon to be fiance!

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And we included lace from the mason jar decorations at the engagement party!

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Engagement photos below are from Harvard Photography.

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Bridal shower photos below are from J. Rose Photography.

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With the shower being as detailed as it was, I tried to incorporate as much as I could… from the cupcake topper to the paper flowers on the favor boxes.

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Photos below are by me! See more from our engagement session here.

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The bachelorette party was also filled with details! We saved a business card from our crazy scavenger hunt in Pacific Beach along with some kisses from “Pin the Kiss on the Groom” game. And of course a giant ring sticker to remember our light up rings when we went out dancing—just wish I could find a pink ring for the book!

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Hashtag: #pankratzwedding! I loved having an Instagram themed page in Lauren’s book so we had to have one here too! And I love my new banner punch I got in my stocking at Christmas! I was really excited to use it in the book!

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And then the wedding… Amie had a very hard time narrowing down photos and since I knew my scrapbooking adventure was coming to a close, we decided just to include the whole wedding! See more photos of the glorious day here.

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This is one of my favorite pages! It was such a sweet moment!

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There were just a few name card tags leftover from the wedding… it made a great touch for the reception page.

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And with one odd page left, we ended the book with a page remembering their honeymoon in Zion.

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And now a few tips on making your own Bridal Beauty Scrapbook!

  • It helped that I took the majority of the photos with my camera so I had access to all the high quality images right away.
  • During the event remember to grab an item or 2 to use in the books: business cards, tissue paper, etc.
  • Remember the details that aren’t photographed and use as details in the book. For example, during the bride’s family portraits, a butterfly landed amid the girls’ bouquets so I made sure to get some butterfly stickers. Also, the bouquets were made with purple hydrangeas so I made sure to get those stickers for the wedding pages too.
  • Have the bride pick out the photos. I loved asking the brides to pick their photos because they chose totally different pictures than I would have—it makes the book that much more special because its their favorite memories of the events.
  • To save money, try to get sticker packs that will last through several different events so you aren’t buying a set of embellishments for just one single page. I have a pretty solid aesthetic across all the pages so it was easy to mix and match sets of stickers and paper.
  • Another money saving tip… I waited until the big paper pads went on sale at Michael’s so I got Buy 1, Get 1 Free! And to make them last, I bought one in warm tones and one in cool colors that would look good together to get a good variety but also keep a cohesive look.

A few more notes about the books… all of them are 8×8, a perfect size for a coffee table book. Brittany’s was bought at Michael’s while Lauren’s and Amie’s were bought at Hobby Lobby. All photos were printed at Sam’s Club.

Are you a scrapbooker? I just love it! Please share your tips below!

P.S. Dear Mom, I can’t say I’m sorry enough that I made fun of you for years for all the money and time spent on scrapbooking as I am growing closer and closer to having quite the paper crafting hoard myself. Please accept my apology. xoxo

The Pankratz Wedding: A Purple DIY Shabby Chic Fall Wedding

After a year of planning, my best friend’s wedding has come and gone. And while that may sound bittersweet, in place of wedding planning, they now are building their married lives together. It truly is the best end to the year, and a whole new beginning to something even sweeter.

All that to say, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited to blog here before! And to share these photos from Harvard Photography, with a couple of my own photos thrown in there too.

This was definitely a DIY, do it yourself, craft-centric wedding… and don’t you worry, plenty of links will follow.

As the Matron of Honor, I got the chance to be there all along the way… with dress shopping, crafting, and shower planning. But even better, I got to design the save the dates, invitations, and so much more of the day of paperie and decor. From the chalkboards to the escort cards, I got to hand letter them all. It really was a joy to get to be so involved and that is another big reason why I am so excited to share all these photos with you!

Enough blabbing from me, here are a few words from our lovely bride…

It is so hard to believe that the wedding has come and gone! Over the past year, countless nights were spent crafting and planning to create the perfect decorations, stationery and timeline for what turned out be the wedding of my dreams. We were so blessed by everyone who made our special day a reality — Matt and I had a perfect day shared with the ones we love the most!!  Anyhow, enough of the mushy stuff, lets get to the good stuff…pictures!

As most of you know, my Matron of Honor, Sam is a very talented graphic designer, and as of late she has been exploring the world of photography! Before the wedding photographer arrived, she graciously took these amazing getting ready photo’s of me and my bridal party!

My normal hair dresser, the lovely Tessa Ellis from Runaway Bridal, was our AMAZING hair stylist for the day of the wedding. She works side by side with the equally talented make-up artist, Amy Grieser to give both me and my girls the exact look I envisioned.

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Our lovely invitations were designed by the one and only, Sam Allen! Not only are they beautiful, but each piece holds a special memory of the late nights we spent creating them. Special thanks to my bridesmaids for helping us put them together! (photo supplied by Sam Allen)

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The dress..let’s just say I am still SO in love with it! I absolutely love pearls and lace, so when I saw this dress at David’s Bridal I just knew it was the one for me.

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I bought two very different garters from different shops on Etsy. The first, a beautiful shabby chic lace garter with pearls and stones from Petal n Pearl Boutique. The second garter was a little surprise for my husband to be. Matt is the biggest Indianapolis Colt’s fan and a while back I came across a cute little shop that sold NFL team garters and I knew it would be a sweet little surprise.

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Our niece was quite the character all day — she wanted to be in the middle of everything! The previous picture captures that just about perfectly.

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After shopping for veils at various bridal shops, I decided that making my own was the way to go — and if you’re wondering, it was pretty easy! One evening I enlisted one of my wonderful bridesmaids, Vanessa and Loretta (Matt’s second Mom) to help me. We were able to find the appliques and trim at a local fabric store as well as the basic plain veil. And get this, all we used was hot glue! No sewing was required! I am so happy with the way it turned out — simple yet elegant.

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My Papa passed away almost seven years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him just a little bit more. He was so special to me and I couldn’t imagine my wedding day without him. When I found this locket I knew it would be perfect for his sweet picture to walk with me down the aisle.

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Sam here, I can’t help but interject every now and then… I was so thankful the photographers allowed me to grab my camera for a few shots too! So while the main photographer was taking this angle…

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I was able to take these of the bride… Isn’t she gorgeous!!?

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Kim Ryan from Tulips, Trophies and Treasures is amazing! She truly took my vision and made it a reality. From my first meeting with her, all I knew was that I wanted hydrangeas in my bouquet and books in the centerpieces.  From the few sample photo’s I shared with her, she included those and so much more!

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My Grandma and Mom are two of the strongest people I know. These hands have made me who I am and I am so grateful for their strong presence in my life.

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While us girls were having a wonderful start to the day, the guys were doing their thing…

How cute are these boys?! I love the friendship that my husband and his Best Man share.

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Matt loves his Van’s! They are seriously the only shoes he will wear. So it only seemed fitting that they were the shoe of choice for his big day.

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And then it was time for the First Look…

Your Favorite Moment of the Day

Amie: For me, the best part of the day was walking up to Matt and seeing him for the first time. There are no words to describe just how excited I was to see this man! I love him with my whole heart and more (if that’s even possible)! I was so overcome with emotion and I couldn’t wait to feel the warmth of his embrace (For those of you who don’t know, this guy gives the best hugs EVER). We had waited so long for this moment and it was finally here!

Matt: Standing in front of our family and friends saying I Do to the love of my life.

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From the beginning of our relationship, Matt and I have always pinky promised over the big and even the silly small. This may be one of my favorite pictures from our wedding day. 

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Now that we got the bulk of our emotions out during the first look, it was time for the ceremony!

One of the most important things to Matt and I when shopping for a wedding venue was the privacy of the location. It was very important that the venue was secluded and intimate — especially the ceremony site.  We envisioned our wedding to be a special moment shared with the ones we love most with no outside distractions. Secluded Garden Estate definitely fulfilled that desire completely.

From early on in our planning stages, I knew we wanted to decorate with a lot of wooden signs throughout the venue, from telling guests where to park, where the reception was, to the sign my nephew held as the “ring bearer”  and with only a few days to go, the best Matron of Honor was at my service once again to hand paint each and every one!

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Our typewriter held a welcome letter to our guests… it was given to us by Matt’s mom, originally it belonged to her father in law’s family back in the day!

I LOVE old books and this unique sign in book designed by Morgann Hill Designs definitely fit out theme well! You can check out her shop on Etsy here!

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My Grandpa’s chair was reserved in his honor by his favorite hat.

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I love the emotion captured in my mom’s face in this picture as my brother walks her down the aisle to start the ceremony…she is beautiful!

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Music Choices

One of the hardest parts of wedding planning was selecting the music for our ceremony and key reception events! Finally Matt and I agreed on the most important songs, and let our DJ decide on the rest.

 For our bridal party processional we went with “It’s a Good Morning Beautiful Day” by Keith Urban. For the first three months of our relationship, Matt re-wrote the lyrics to this song and texted them to me every morning!

For my processional I choose “You Had Me From Hello” by Kenny Chesney and our recessional was “Overwhelmed” by Tim McMorris.

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Here is a little wedding day story that holds a special place in my heart: I was overcome with emotion as our bridal party lined up for the wedding ceremony. I seriously could not stop crying happy tears (which is not like me — I’m normally not that big of a cryer). As I stood with my dad, watching our bridal party proceed down to our ceremony site I balled, the ugly cry. I was just so excited to marry the man of my dreams. Anyhow, moments before we were to walk down the stairs (and I was still balling) my dad told me to look down and he said, “You know, your Grandpa is up there laughing at you right now.” After a few seconds I got it together and my dad told me that the two of them were ready to walk me down the aisle. I miss papa so much but I was so blessed to have him as I made the walk to marry the love of my life. I definitely took a mental picture at that moment and I will cherish that moment the rest of my life.

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Our ceremony was the most perfect part of the day. I loved every moment of it and not to mention it was just beautiful!

Another aspect that Amie loved about Secluded Garden Estate from Day 1 was not only that the ceremony site was located on the foundation of an old green house, but that the original window panes are displayed, hanging from the wooden framing. Plus Kim, the florist, added her special touches by wrapping the posts in burlap and adding a chandelier.

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After the ceremony, the bride and groom were able to steal away for some more photos at the ceremony site… along with some fun formals with family and friends.

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Then Amie and Matt made their way over to the reception site for their grand entrance as Mr. and Mrs… as husband and wife.

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Matt is definitely an outdoorsy type person. As our relationship has grown, I have become a lot more open to the whole wilderness thing and I’ve truly come to enjoy the outdoors a whole lot more.  Our reception site felt like it was in the middle of wilderness and we just loved that! 

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One of the things I truly loved about our wedding was the handmade look everything had. From the tea stained escort cards, made by Primitive Blessings, to the hand written chalk boards and signs.

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Matt and I are big history nerds — especially when it comes to United States History! Although all these books are not US history related, they are all pretty old and we thought that it would be a fun way to tie our love of history into our wedding day. And then our florist engraved the table numbers.

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Our signature cocktail was a mix of lemonade, vodka and iced tea… perfect for a BBQ dinner.

Each guest got to take home a mason jar, ladies got the redneck wine glasses, complete with a bookmark and wedding tattoo.

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Our cake from Cakes to Celebrate was absolutely delicious! Each layer was a different flavor ranging from red velvet to dark chocolate cake filled with coconut pecan filling. I seriously can not wait for our first anniversary to dive in to this cake again!

Our cake topper was also designed by Morgann Hill and they can be found in her Etsy shop.

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This was by far one of my favorite craft projects made for the wedding! It definitely was a joint effort made by my Husband, Sam and I.  You can find the DIY link here.

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Sam’s husband, Andy runs a BBQ competition team and he so graciously cooked for us and all of our guests! If you ever have the chance, check out Rooftop BBQ at one of their competitions! You won’t be sorry….

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Matt’s favorite band is AC/DC and he was adamant that we make our grand entrance to “Thunderstruck.” Because I got to choose most of the other music I went along with it and boy am I glad I did! It was the perfect song!

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Since Matt and I love games, while we were taking our formal pictures, we had the guests fill out a Mad Lib card…

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Although you can’t tell from these pictures, Matt has quite a few tattoos! And so just for fun we decided to make temporary tattoos with our wedding date and a pair of love birds for all our guests! (photo provided by Dave Anderson, Sam’s dad)

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Matt’s Best Man, Jim, gave the one of the sweetest, emotion filled speeches I’ve ever heard…not what we were expecting from such a funny guy!

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Matt and I surprised each member of our bridal by using their baby picture as their place card. We also did a little tribute to them at the end of our slideshow with these pictures!

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Music Choices for the Reception Dances

Matt and I danced to Making Memories of Us by Keith Urban for our first dance. Mr. Urban seriously writes some of the best love songs.

I had my dad select the song for our first dance and he decided to go with Wildflowers by Tom Petty (One of my dad and my favorite bands)!

Matt’s right arm tattoo sleeve is based off of the song Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It is seriously such a sweet song about what a mom taught his son…it was perfect!

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Matt’s niece and my nephew are seriously the perfect pair! These two were such party animals all night and they seriously danced the night away!

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Advice to Future Brides

My biggest advice is really to be organized and to do a first look! I am so happy will all the pictures we got and that wouldn’t have been possible with the short amount of time in between the ceremony and reception.

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Vendor Links

Location: Secluded Garden Estate

Photographer: Harvard Photography

Videographer: Boffo Video

Florist: Tulips, Trophies, and Treasures

Stationery Designer and Letterer: Matron of Honor, Sam Allen Creates

Caterer: Rooftop Barbeque

Cake: Cakes to Celebrate

Cake topper: Morgann Hill Designs (bragging bags)

DJ: Good Time Entertainment (Mike)

Makeup and Hair: Runway Bridal

Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: purchased at Mary Me Bridal by the Dessy group

Veil: handmade by bride and family

Garters: PetalnPearlBoutique

Dress hanger: Creations by Tilly

Guest book: Morgann Hill Designs (bragging bags)

And one final note…. Thank you Matt and Amie for allowing me to have such a special part in your big day. I am so honored and will never forget these moments that we have been blessed with to share. I love you both so much and couldn’t be happier for you as you start your happily ever after…

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A Pankratz Wedding: Amie’s Cherry Blossom Festival Themed Bridal Shower

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Amie and I say that April 10, 2000 was the day we became best friends because that was the day we left for our 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. Before that day, we had grown up in girl scout trips not liking each other much… but after that trip, things changed. I stopped considering her a spoiled brat and she didn’t think I was as much of a cry baby as she once thought.

Six years later, Amie went back to Washington D.C. to attend American University as a transfer student for the next two years.

Washington D.C. holds a very special place in Amie’s heart which is why we were inspired to host a Washington D.C. themed shower. But you see, that isn’t a very girl-powered theme so instead we threw a cherry blossom themed shower in honor of the annual spring festival in D.C. (I seem to throw very geographic centered showers)

The shower, of course, wasn’t held in the spring months where cherry blossoms actually bloom so instead we opted to create paper blossoms. Easier said than done.

What followed is a good part of the year filled with crafting days, and nights, with cherry blossoms growing in my head. (see my Cherry Blossom Bridal Shower Pinterest board here)

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More photos and info on the invitation at the end of this post.

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Paper Cherry Blossom Centerpieces

My original idea was to handcraft each and every blossom at the shower. Obviously I must plead temporary insanity! I am so so SO thankful for finding a wonderful paper punch on Ebay… it came in 2 sizes as well so each blossom was a double layer of pink cardstock, punched through with half a pearl corsage pin (pin idea from this post) and then taped with green washi tape to the branch (most of the branches were purchased from Save on Crafts).

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We then collected a wide variety of bottles, each table had at least one large white vase along with a variety of blue tint and mercury glasses.

After spending months collected glasses from garage sales, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels… I then followed a few DIYs to get the exact number I needed:

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Flower Hair Pin Favors

Fellow bridesmaid, Joyce, made up the flower hair pins for all the guests! Our bride is well known for the various hair pin flowers she wears on a day to day basis. They were a hit and many wore them in their hair or as a brooch on their dresses throughout the shower. It truly was the perfect favor as it not only fit the theme but was so “Amie.”

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Eat, Drink and Be Cherry!

When I had asked Amie about some of the items she would like included at the shower, she said she’d love to have a custom cocktail! Luckily, we had already found quite a few recipes including a cherry blossom tea!

Drink Recipes: Cherry Blossom Tea and Lemonade and Blushing Bride Cocktail

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The dinner menu was inspired by one of Amie’s favorite D.C. restaurants, a French cafe called Le Madeline’s. Brittany compiled all the recipes, many of which were directly inspired by Le Madeline’s.

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Dinner recipes included:

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Paper Cherry Blossom Garland Chandelier

Hanging above our buffet table was a chandelier made from pink paper cherry blossoms, strung together with a variety of beads and pearls. Each garland was then fastened to a embroidery hoop which we had painted white and added a lace trim.

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Also hanging in the pergola were strings of tissue paper flowers, inspired by Emma’s bachelorette party on A Beautiful Mess. We changed the DIY tutorial by making them about 3/4 the size and using our cherry blossom template (enlarged from the paper punch).

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Dessert: Red Velvet Cupcakes and Strawberries Romanoff

Another request from the bride was to have red velvet cupcakes—her fave! Plus we had Strawberries Romanoff, another famous dish at Le Madeline’s. Recipe can be found here.

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Games and Activities

I am not a big fan on shower games so any shower I’ve had a hand in usually doesn’t have too many… but the ones we have usually end up being way too hard (like the Guess the Movie Bride game from Brittany’s shower last year)!

But when the idea for the “Guess the Washington D.C. Monument” game was proposed, we just had to do it! We collected years worth of photos of Amie’s time in D.C., framed and numbered each one and then had the guests guess which monument was which. Needless to say, this game was way too hard! But it was fun to have all the photos of Amie’s and almost all of her bridesmaids, mom, and fiance in them as well!

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We also had a “wishing tree,” where guests could write little notes to Amie… the tree was the very first shower decoration that I bought way back in April at the Garment District—cut from a whole Manzanita tree in the back of the shop!

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Another “game” we played was reciting the Panty Poem… each bridesmaid, along with the mother of the bride, chose a pair—or two—of panties for Amie. Since we had already requested all the guests to bring a pair to hang on our “panty lines,” it was only appropriate to have this poem. Fellow bridesmaid, Joyce, did a wonderful job reading the poem in her best 1st grade teacher voice. 🙂

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Gifts for the Bride!

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The backdrop for the gifts was one of my favorite decorations of the whole shower, and what took the absolute most time! Bead upon bead, blossom upon blossom, these garlands were strung ranging from 3 to 9 feet!

Now what do I do with them? Any buyers?? 🙂

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More About The Invitation…

As a graphic designer, I had placed quite a high standard for the quality of Amie’s shower invitations. I think 1/4 of my shower Pinterest board were various floral invites and envelope liner how-to’s.

Thankfully, it was time well spent because I just LOOOOVE how the invitation came out. Probably one of my favorite I have designed yet!

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I was able to take the time and get the details right, two favorite details though were the Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom postage stamps… and the envelope liner inspired by the crafted paper and bead garlands we had hanging in the tree by the gift table.

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Thank you Jess!

A big huge thanks goes out to Jess from J. Rose Photography who photographed all the decoration details and the various group shots Amie requested. Such a load off my shoulders and really allowed me to focus on hosting the shower. Would totally recommend that you hire an event photographer, if photos are a high priority for you! It really felt like a prelude to the wedding with her there!

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More Thanks…

The amazing details of the shower could not have come together without the help of some very special women in my life… thank you Brittany, Jan, Mom, and my fellow bridesmaids! You never seemed to tire of the various questions I ran by each of you… thanks for the crafting days, your help setting up, and of course the delicious food!

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Update: This shower was featured on My True Blu, a site dedicated to helping the friends of the bride. What a great site!

Doilies, Lace and Burlap Engagement Party for Amie and Matt

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This past year I have been obsessed with scrapbooking. Literally, obsessed. My husband will not even go with me to Michael’s anymore… Since completing the year of engagement scrapbooks for my 2012 brides, I have been missing the craft like crazy! So when Amie and I started talking about her engagement party I got so excited to bring out the craft supplies: the paper, the glue, the photos, all the fun stuff!

Here’s the invite we came up with… she wanted to use lace and burlap to decorate the party—and the wedding—so we designed a card that had the rustic look with Kraft paper but with the added feminine touch of a paper doily. And I love how we got to use a photo from the actual proposal too!

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And I love adding the extra detail of the brown edges with a stamp pad, ever since creating Shane and Kyrene’s Meant to Bee wedding suite.

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And of course, we had a little craft night to create these multi layered invites… something I always look forward to, a girls night in with the bride to be!

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The party was just this past weekend, and what a party it was. Here’s a very small glimpse of the decorations, Amie plans on reusing these white frames at the wedding for the table numbers too. You may recognize the first framed photo from our Christmas shoot in 2011.

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I loved how I had this Kraft wrapping paper on hand for their gift to match the decor!

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We were only missing Joyce from the bridal party, but here are the bridesmaids with our bride!

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And of course this post wouldn’t be complete without a photo of the bride and groom to be! So happy for them!

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Photographing My Best Friend’s Proposal

When Matt sent me a text message on the Thursday before Christmas I just knew what it would entail. He was about to propose to my best friend. What started as a discussion on the where and when turned into the who and what as well. I would be starting Amie’s morning with breakfast and coffee with a walk down to the Orange Circle where her darling boyfriend would be awaiting her with a ring in hand.

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Of course, several minute details of the day caused several mishaps like Matt falling asleep after his night shift and barely making it in time to propose and Amie having one of the many colds of the winter season. Those small “almost missed the moment” moments will add the depth every good proposal story needs.

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I will always remember the day as the morning I cried on the phone with my mom as I drove to Orange County in the anticipation of the day.  The morning I drank too much coffee to stall the soon to be bride before the [so far] best moment of her life. The morning I got to witness, and photograph, when my best friend’s man of her dreams got down on one knee with their dog in tow. And the morning where she said yes.

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Amie calling her family to spread the great news!

Thank you Matt for making my best friend of the happiest girls in the world. And thank you for allowing me to be a part of that oh so special morning in Orange.

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P.S. In the craziness of the morning and a case of the common proposal nerves along with the urgency of keeping hidden until the last moment, Matt is disguised dressed like a homeless man. 😉 Everyone keeps asking that so I might as well say that here and now as well.