September 2010
Brides DailyBudgetDIYFlowersGuest BloggerWedding Style

DIY Boutonnieres in Just Three Steps

Hello, lovely readers—I'm Katie from WeddingFanatic.com and so excited to share this project with you on BRIDES Daily! Not only because it involves fresh flowers that pop with color and smell delicious, but because BRIDES is one of my absolute favorite wedding publications of all time. It's a bridal blogger's dream come true. ;) And as a lover of all things wedding, handmade, and pretty, I thought this DIY project was the perfect way to share some crafty wedding love and help you get your creative juices flowing!

When you think of wedding flowers, the mind first jumps to the bouquet, reception centerpieces, and ceremony decorations. But sometimes we forget about flowers for the guys! If you're a DIY gal (or have crafty friends helping you with your handmade wedding), consider making boutonnieres for the guys in your bridal party. Here are a few simple steps to help you make your own hand-tied arrangements!

supplies.jpg

Courtesy of Katie Olson


You don't need much to make these! Grab some shears (or scissors) and floral tape. If any of your stems are flimsy, get some floral wire, too. Pick out the flowers you want to use. Here we are using green trick, pink and white ranunculus, and myrtle branches.

step 1.jpg

Courtesy of Katie Olson


STEP 1 - Prep your flowers. Remove any leaves on their stems. Remove the lower portion of the leaves on your foliage. If you are using single leaves rather than branches, as we're doing here, use your floral wire to create a longer stem. To do this, take a four-inch piece of wire and feed it though the leaf toward the bottom, close to the stem. Twist it around the existing stem to create a longer stem. The wire will be hidden when you wrap everything together in step 2.

step 2.jpg

Courtesy of Katie Olson


STEP 2 - Build your boutonniere. Take your larger leaves or branches and group a few together. Add one flower at a time, placing each at a different level and in a slightly different direction. If you see any holes in the front, fill them in with more foliage. Rearrange as you feel necessary, then wrap the stems with floral tape to hold everything in place.

step 3.jpg

Courtesy of Katie Olson


STEP 3 - The finishing touch. Wrap the stems (over the floral tape) with ribbon that coordinates with your wedding colors and flowers. Start at the bottom and wrap your way up. Just below the flowers, tie the ribbon in a knot or a bow.

Finished Bout.jpg

Courtesy of Katie Olson


Add a pin or two and it's ready to be placed on a lapel!

—Katie Olson, Wedding Fanatic and Gown Studio

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyTravel

The Best Honeymoon Suites With Pools

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Courtesy of Anson Smart

Looking to make a splash on your honeymoon? These rooms are a pool lover's delight!

TIDES RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO At this part-beach, part-tropical forest resort, every villa's best accessory is the plunge pool, conveniently hidden from public view by the jungle. Doubles from $585 (low season) and $700 (high season); tidesrivieramaya.com.

JADE MOUNTAIN, ST. LUCIA If you never left the room at this honeymooners' fave, we wouldn't blame you. Each open-air suite's "missing" fourth wall has been replaced by a huge infinity pool with to-die-for views of the Pitons. Trust us, you'll take that morning swim. Doubles from $1,250 (low season) and $1,550 (high season); jademountain.com.

ECCA LODGE, SOUTH AFRICA Always keep that camera handy: At this six-suite safari lodge, you can snap photos of impalas and zebras as they cruise by your outdoor lap pool. Doubles from $996 (low season) and $1,870 (high season), all-inclusive; andbeyond.com.

SIX SENSES HIDEAWAY YAO NOI, THAILAND Each villa at this island resort is decked out with a pool and an outdoor living room, which means days go something like this: swimming and sunning in the a.m., then lunch on the couch, followed by a game for two at your chess table. Doubles from $1,197 (low season) and $1,708 (high season), including breakfast; sixsenses.com.

ASTRA SUITES, GREECE At this sugar-cube white compound on Santorini, happy hour means sipping the crisp local vino in your deluxe-pool suite at sunset. Doubles from $476 (low season) and $596 (high season), including breakfast; astrasuites.com.

LA MAMOUNIA, MOROCCO Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow jetted in for this Marrakech hotel's reopening party. We're pretty sure they spent their stay oohing and ahhing over the three riads (traditional Moroccan palaces) and their mosaic-tiled private pools. Doubles from $690 and riads from $9,196 (all seasons); mamounia.com.

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyFashion

The Perfect Shoes For Your Wedding Locale


  • Photo by Halley Ganges/BRIDES

    Beach - Satin-pom-pom raffia sandals, $585, Lanvin.

    Quick Tip: Size things up.
    If it's been a while, have your feet measured by a salesperson. Weight gain or loss, as well as age, can affect the size of your feet.


  • Photo by Halley Ganges/BRIDES

    Ballroom - Satin peep-toe pumps with a tulle bow, $215, Badgley Mischka.

    Quick Tip: Take them for a test run.
    Wear your shoes around the house to break them in. Remember to scuff the soles with sandpaper to create traction and prevent slipping.


  • Photo by Halley Ganges/BRIDES

    Vineyard - Peep-toe ballet flats with a crystal-and-pearl brooch, $80, Pink Paradox London.

    Quick Tip: Keep cool and dry.
    Apply a gentle sprinkling of powder to the soles of your feet before putting on your shoes. It will help keep your feet dry and blister-free throughout the night.


  • Photo by Halley Ganges/BRIDES

    Loft Space - Silk ankle boots embellished with Swarovski crystals, $265, Diane Lynn by Saugus Shoe.

    Quick Tip: Give yourself some wiggle room.
    As you try on shoes, remember that your toes and heels shouldn't feel locked. You should be able to move them.


  • Photo by Halley Ganges/BRIDES

    Night Club - Lace-and-satin peep-toe platform pumps with a Swarovski-crystallized heel, $2,595, Christian Louboutin.

    Quick Tip: Work the late shift.
    Shop for shoes in the afternoon. Feet expand throughout the day, and you'll be standing, dancing, and working the reception for hours. You want to be sure that your shoes feel good well into the evening.


  • Photo Courtesy of MyGlassSlipper.com

    Garden - Silk platform peep-toe heels with rosette, $340, Kate Spade; myglassslipper.com.

    Quick Tip: Don't sacrifice comfort for style.
    You'll be wearing these shoes from your walk down the aisle until the last dance, so if a pair doesn't feel good on your feet right from the start, forget it.

BRIDES magazineBrides Daily

Five Signs Your Friends Hate Your Man

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Photo by James Merrell/BRIDES

When it comes to your man, you always want the approval of your gal pals. So how do you know if they like him? Here are five signs they don't.

1. They immediately change the subject or abruptly stop talking whenever you mention him.

2. They needle you with passive-aggressive questions, like "You're finally going to be joining the girls this weekend? Is Steve really okay with that?"

3. They purposely exclude him from conversations by cracking inside jokes or discussing people he doesn't know.

4. They make plans to see you only when they're sure he's out of town or won't be available.

5. When he answers the phone, they quickly hang up, then call you on your cell.

What's a bride to do?

Figure out if the friend is actually the problem
If one friend is unhappy, look at your history together. Has she hated all your boyfriends? Jealousy is a powerful emotion, and she may be mourning the loss of your exclusive partnership. Give her time to make the transition and to accept your relationship with your fiancé. Also, be sure to let her know her friendship is extremely important to you. Just hearing that she hasn't been replaced in your life can work wonders.

Don't ignore the power of numbers
When an entire group of friends doesn't care for your guy, there may be a legitimate reason. Does he have a problem with alcohol or drugs? Is he physically or emotionally abusive? If so, you have to take serious stock of the situation. On the other hand, sometimes a group reacts strongly just because you're breaking up the club. If you think that's the case, talk to members of your crew individually, and try to be sensitive to their feelings.

Stand by your man
One of the best ways to mollify concerned friends is to calmly explain why you've chosen to marry this particular person. It's crucial to clarify his attributes for them. Once you've had these discussions, expect support--but be willing to forge ahead without it.

Pave the way
Avoid the tendency to make things easy by keeping your friends and your fiancé apart—distance will only perpetuate the problem. Bring them together in small social gatherings, and allow them to get to know one another on their own terms. However, be prepared for the chance that they'll never like each other. Some personalities just don't mix, and learning to deal with that is a part of life.

—Hillary Quinn, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides Daily

The 10 Hottest Engagement-Ring Styles

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Courtesy of De Beers

BRIDES magazine brings you a list of the top ten hottest engagement-ring styles of the year. Which one is your favorite?

  1. 1. Emerald-cut diamond
  2. 2. Oval diamond solitaires
  3. 3. Diamond solitaires with pear-shaped accents
  4. 4. Rough diamonds set in recycled gold
  5. 5. Rose-cut diamond solitaires set in rose gold
  6. 6. Pink sapphires with diamond side stones
  7. 7. Vintage-inspired settings with cushion-cut diamonds
  8. 8. Three-diamond rings
  9. 9. Princess-cut diamonds
  10. 10. Cognac-hued diamonds

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyDIYFlowers

DIY Centerpiece in 3 Steps

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Photo by Andrew McCaul/BRIDES

All you need to make this easy arrangement is ample prep time, willing helpers (bridesmaids!), a cool storage area, and a way to transport the centerpieces to the party. Check out your local nursery and craft stores for supplies.

SUCCULENT MIX

What you need:

  • A three-ply plastic trash bag
  • Bamboo cylinders (in various sizes)
  • Succulents (such as echeveria)
  • Potting soil
  • Tropical leaves (such as monstera)
  • Flowers (such as protea)
  • Flower frogs (available at crafts stores)
  • Floral tape

Step 1: Cut the bag to fit the cylinder bottoms. Line them with it, and secure the lining with tape.

Step 2: Repot the succulent plants in some of the cylinders, using the potting soil. Then place flower frogs in the bottoms of the remaining cylinders and use them to anchor the stems of the flowers and some of the leaves. Pour about 2 inches of water into each cylinder.

Step 3: Set the cylinders on the remaining leaves (using them as place mats).

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyBridesmaid

15 Things a Great Bridesmaid Will Do

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Photo by Jen Siska

While every bride would love to have her bridesmaid take away all the stress of the wedding, that isn't always reality. But here are some ideas on how she can make the process a bit easier.

1. GIVE YOU HONEST (but gentle) opinions as you try on dresses.

2. WEEP (along with your mom) when you finally emerge from the dressing room wearing The One.

3. CREATE a "tasteful" bachelorette-party wardrobe for you—diamond tiara, fluffy pink boa.

4. OFFER to do your hair and makeup on the wedding day.

5. STUFF 167 candy-favor bags without complaining or eating one single jellybean.

6. RECORD GIFTS at your bridal shower (in legible handwriting).

7. RUN OUT to pick up last-minute items on the wedding day.

8. CALL YOU OUT for bad behavior (i.e., making the matron of honor promise not to get pregnant before the wedding).

9. LEND YOU a shoulder to cry on when the stress gets to be too much.

10. SPEND THE NIGHT before the wedding at your place to talk, laugh, and calm your nerves.

11. DECORATE the outdoor-reception venue in scorching afternoon heat, minus any whining.

12. START DANCING to get the reception crowd up.

13. GIVE YOUR MOM special attention at the wedding—it's her day, too.

14. DEAL WITH THE DJ the second he starts spinning "Who Let the Dogs Out?"

which she knows is song number one on your "don't play—ever!" list.

15. TEXT YOU post-honeymoon for drinks on Thursday night...like always.

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyFinance

7 Financial Tips for Newlyweds

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Photo by Condé Nast Digital Studio

Financial issues are the #1 cause of marital friction. Therefore, learning how to talk about money early on could not only help you get a handle on debt but save your marriage. Here's are BRIDES magazine's tips:

1. Talk! Find out about any debt either one of you has, and figure out a plan to bring it down each month. Schedule a financial check-in with each other once a month to make sure you are on the same page and are meeting your goals.

2. Create a joint budget and a master financial plan for your mutual spending. Decide what you'll do with your wedding checks: which should be used for immediate needs, like a deposit on a rental apartment, a down payment on a car, or furniture for your new home; and which should stashed away in your savings.

3. Go through all your policies and accounts, and change the beneficiary designations if you want your new spouse to own these assets should something happen to you. Besides insurance policies, 401(k) plans, IRAs, and savings, also change the beneficiary on any bonds and CDs.

4. Set up an emergency-cash fund that would cover your living expenses for several months. You want to know you'll be secure for a minimum of three—and ideally six—months should one or both of you lose employment. Remember to put this money into an interest-yielding savings or money-market account.

5. Have a designated amount automatically deposited into your savings or money-market account every payday—ideally, 10 to 20 percent of your income before paying for essentials like rent, food, or even student loans. Automatic deposits are painless, because if you don't have the money in hand, you won't be tempted to spend it.

6. Discuss who'll pay the bills, and issues like how much each of you can spend without consulting the other. Do you need to tell him about every single shoe purchase? Not if you've discussed your monthly allotment. Purchasing a new Harley-Davidson...now, that's another story.

7. Once you have everything settled, it's time to invest in retirement funds like Roth IRAs and 401(k)s. Disability insurance is also a must, because it protects your income in case of sudden illness.

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineFitness

How to Learn to Love the Gym

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Photo by Bruno Gaget/BRIDES

Joining a fitness club can be intimidating: the crowds, the chiseled bodies, the complicated machines. Equinox fitness manager and personal trainer Keith Irace offers strategies to put you in the comfort zone:

  • Use the buddy system: It's always easier to try something new when you've got support. "You won't feel so conspicuous if you have company," says Irace. Bonus: A workout partner will help motivate you.

  • Time it right: Ask about the gym's slowest hours, and try to schedule your visits then. Navigating a not-so-crowded gym is less stressful.

  • Be proactive: "Most clubs offer a free orientation with a trainer when you join--take advantage of it," advises Irace. "This person will show you how to use the machines and the correct form."

  • It's all about you: Serious gym-goers tune everyone out. Put on your iPod, stop checking out the "competition," and focus on yourself.

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazine

The Guilty Girl's Guide to Cutting the Guest List

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Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham/BRIDES

Feeling torn? BRIDES magazine will help you decide which guests should—and shouldn't—make the cut.

Do you have to invite...a casual friend who invited you to her wedding two years ago but whom you haven't been in touch with since?
What's a girl to do? Even if you were tight with her a few years back, friends drift apart (it happens to everyone), so you're under no obligation to invite her to the nups. The telltale signal: You think of her as a "casual" friend, not a bestie.

Do you have to invite...a plus-one for the single friend from out of town who won't know a soul?
What's a girl to do? Make an exception. Seeing her alone at a table while everyone else does a conga line with pals would make you feel pretty awful.

Do you have to invite...guests' children? You'd planned a no-kids policy but are worried that some guests might take offense when they see your niece (the flower girl) and nephew (the ring bearer) running around the reception.
What's a girl to do? Stick to your guns. Since the kids are working the event, how could other guests be mad? Also, parents with little ones are often grateful for a night off from kid duty.

Do you have to invite...all 24 of your adult cousins who reside in your hometown, even though you're close to only five of them?
What's a girl to do? A shared zip code doesn't buy anyone a slot on the guest list, so just invite the ones you feel most connected to. To avoid any hurt feelings, don't talk up the wedding at family gatherings.

Do you have to invite...your dad's elderly aunt and uncle, who live across the country and can't easily travel long distances anymore?
What's a girl to do? Send them an invitation as a courtesy, with a note that says something like, "We wanted to share this happy family news with both of you. We'll send photos after the wedding!"

And, finally, the Do-Not-Invite List:

  • The boyfriend who broke up with you in a text
  • Your dry cleaner
  • Anyone who unfriended you on Facebook
  • Your shrink
  • The woman who does your Brazilian

—Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazine

5 Rules NOT to Break at Your Wedding

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Photo by Carrie Patterson

Having a little fun with tradition is what makes your wedding unique and totally you! We get it. Having your future sister-in-law as the "best man"? Awesome. Ditching the flower toss to present your bouquet to Grandma (who's been married for 60 years)? Touching. However, there are five rules you just shouldn't break...ever.

1. Make sure there's no more than an hour of downtime between the ceremony's end and the start of the reception. It's just not nice to force out-of-towners to kill the better part of an afternoon in a doughnut shop.

2. Keep guests in the loop. That means having the DJ or emcee explain anything unusual (e.g., that you and Dad are shooting hoops at the reception instead of having a first dance).

3. Be hosts. Greet all of your guests, even if you don't know some, either on a receiving line or by going table-to-table. And don't ask anyone to pay for anything. (No cash bar!)

4. Throw a wedding, not a business conference. Avoid long speeches, longer slideshows, and anything that smacks of sponsorship ("Flowers provided by Pay Back Gardens"). Your guests are there to have fun.

5. Make guests' comfort your priority. Inviting an elderly aunt? Don't make her scale a small alp to get to the ceremony. Tying the knot at a farm? Let guests know they should leave the heels and ties at home. And—duh—make sure there's plenty of food and drink.

—Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyCelebrity GossipFood

Celebs Love These DeLuscious Cookies

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DeLuscious Cookies & Milk

Just being on a pre-wedding diet doesn't mean you should totally deny yourself the occasional sweet treat. (Even celebs like to take a break from their constant calorie-counting and enjoy their favorite desserts.) After all, you're not superhuman—and neither are celebrities.

Can you guess which A-listers' favorite DeLuscious cookie choices are listed below?

1. Chocolate Decadence - Even though she's superfamous, this Sweet Home Alabama star orders these cookies herself!

2. White Chocolate - Although best known for her role on the TV sitcom Friends, this real-life mom is now known as a cougar.

3. Cinnamon Sugar - She may—or may not—be engaged to The Hangover's hunky Bradley Cooper.

—Jackie Lebowitz, BRIDES magazine

Answers:
1. Reese Witherspoon 2. Courtney Cox Arquette 3. Renee Zellweger

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