Brides DailyBudgetFlowers

Fake Wedding Flowers That Aren't Cheesy!

  • Infuse instant artisanal charm into your day—and make guests do a few double takes—with faux flowers that are impeccably crafted, intriguingly offbeat, and even cool.

    1. Mulberry gardenia, starflower, cymbidium orchid, and buttercup place cards painted on color-customizable rice or mulberry paper, from $37.50 for 25, divinelionesss.etsy.com.

    2. Pink tissue-paper flower poms, $40 for nine strung on monofilament, partypoms.etsy.com.

    3. Pomander made of pages from a 1934 National Geographic, $120, whetherpaperworks.etsy.com.

    4. Green, brown, and cream paper-flower bouquet, $72 ($4 per flower), theonehappygirl.com.

    5. Mini paper-poppy bundles, $3 each, thegildedbee.etsy.com.

    6. Quilled paper flowers on table-number card, from $10 for 12, dizzeelizzee.etsy.com. Calligraphy, Nan DeLuca; scribenyc.com.

    7. Spiral flowers (on table and favor bag), $10 for 14, suzannebwebb.etsy.com. Bag, foryourparty.com.

    8. Crepe-paper flowers, $35 each, Livia Cetti for the Green Vase; thegreenvase.com. Embossed paintable wallpaper (all pages), brewsterhomefashions.com.

  • The Write Stuff: An intricate pomander holds sophisticated appeal for literary types—some of the paper is printed with type from vintage magazines. Order custom-colored bunches for your bouquet or the table decorations.

  • Diminutive Details: Add a 3-D twist to a summery gift bag with spiraled pastel paper flowers. You can also affix them to place cards and programs.

  • Scraps of fabric are transformed into fun floral keepsakes—bouquets, boutonnieres, and more. They're perfect for country-style weddings, or for those looking to bring some eco-friendly attitude to their day.

    1. Ombré brooch made of folded grosgrain ribbon with an engraved shell button, $48, cocarde.etsy.com.

    2. Daisy bouquet of wool-felt flowers with vintage-button centers and embroidery thread, $216, theonehappygirl.com.

    3. Handmade organza blossoms, $9 for three, jujacrafts.etsy.com.

    4. Silk rosettes, $15.50 each, and loose ribbon, hanahsilk.com.

    5. Green fabric bouquet made with silk, linen, cotton, and upholstery fabric, $225, milkpodstudio.com.

    6. Mini linen rose pin, $68.50 for six, and five-inch linen poppy pin, $54, emersonmade.com. Scissors with golden handle, katespaperie.com.

    7. Felt chrysanthemum brooches, $20 each, digs.com.

    8. Fabric poms made of linen and cotton, $195 or three, oncewed.com.

    9. Boutonnieres made with silk, linen, cotton, and upholstery fabric, $25 each, milkpodstudio.com.

  • Felt Tips: Basic buttons add interest and define the daisy-like features of this funky bunch of topstitched felt flora. A sophisticated palette and a bright, streamlined vase (a spray-painted asparagus tin can!) help make this bouquet charming, not childish.

  • Natural Knockoff: With muted earth tones and nature-inspired details, this bouquet of fabric scraps is especially lifelike—each stem is one-of-a-kind. Green fabric bouquet made with silk, linen, cotton, and upholstery fabric, $225, milkpodstudio.com.

  • What could be more whimsical than flowers fashioned from baubles, buttons, and beads? Add sparkle to bridesmaids' locks with botanical bobby pins, set the table with a bundle of beaded blooms, or carry a breathtaking bouquet of vintage brooches.

    1. Beaded plumeria hairpins and lapel stickpin, $50 each, heartinhawaii.etsy.com.

    2. Bobby pins, $14.50 for three, miabeads.com.

    3. Brooch bouquet, from $350, fantasyfloraldesigns.com.

    4. Enameled anemone cake jewels with Swarovski-crystal centers, $1,050 for four, Debra Moreland Is Paris; parisstyles.com. Scissors, katespaperie.com.

    5. Beaded forget-me-nots, $35 for two, foreverflowers.etsy.com.

    6. Button bouquet, $120 for 60 stems, reallybadkitty.etsy.com.

    7. Beaded zinnias, $40 for two, and beaded lilies, $35 for two, foreverflowers.etsy.com.

    8. Enameled magnolia-stick cake decoration with Swarovski-crystal center, $780 for three, Debra Moreland Is Paris; peacockparkdesign.com. Table, parisstyles.com.

  • Buttoned Up: The crafty creator of this quirky bouquet stacked three to five buttons of different shapes and sizes to make each "flower," then wrapped the stems in ribbon. Holding it all together: the two-tone color scheme.

  • Treasure Trove: A dazzling mix of vintage floral brooches dripping with multicolored costume gems makes a luxe statement piece, sending out a rainbow of rays when it catches the light. Carry this hefty piece for the ceremony, then let it sit pretty on your table.

    —Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine


BRIDES magazineBeautyBrides DailyBudget

Wedding on a Budget: How to Save Money on Hair and Makeup


Photo by Bruce Soyez-Bernard/BRIDES

BRIDES magazine is here to help you get more bang for your hard-earned buck. Take a look at our list of five essential do's and don'ts for scheduling your hair and makeup for your wedding day.

DON'T shell out big bucks for a hair accessory you'll wear just once. If you've admired a headpiece or hair accent worn by a friend, ask if she'll lend it to you.

DO stop by a few different department-store makeup counters before the wedding. Schedule a time with a makeup artist whose style you like, and buy only what you love.

DON'T hire a stylist to make a house call—it costs a lot less to go to the salon yourself.

DO ask a talented friend to do your hair and/or makeup, especially if you're low-maintenance. Make sure she understands your wedding-day vision, and have a trial run a few weeks ahead.

DON'T feel obligated to pay to have your stylist take care of your attendants' hair and makeup. The exception: Mom.

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyBudgetFinance

All You Need to Know About Wedding Tipping


Andrew McCaul/BRIDES

What vendors are you supposed to tip? How much? And how, exactly, do you hand off the cash without feeling like a mobster? BRIDES magazine brings you a guide on whom to tip, how much, and when.

OFFICIANT: $75 to $100 for a clergy member. (It's a donation to the house of worship.) A civil employee, such as a judge or clerk, often can't accept a tip. The best man offers the tip after the ceremony.

CEREMONY MUSICIANS: $20 to $25 each, unless tips are included in a house of worship's rental fee. The best man offers the tips after the ceremony.

ALTAR BOYS AND GIRLS: $5 to $10 each. The best man offers the tips to the kids after the ceremony.

DELIVERY PEOPLE (flowers, rentals, cake): $5 to $25 each, depending on the time and toil. Whoever (Mom, planner) is supervising wedding-day deliveries offers the tips on the spot.

COAT-CHECK AND RESTROOM ATTENDANTS: $0.50 to $1 per guest. Post a sign that gratuities have been taken care of. The host (i.e., you or your parents) pays in advance, based on the number of guests.

VALETS OR PARKING ATTENDANT: $1 per car. Post a sign telling guests that gratuities have been taken care of. The host pays in advance, based on the number of guests.

HOTEL WEDDING COORDINATOR: $200 to $400. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

WAITSTAFF: 15 to 20 percent of the total catering bill, to be split among the waiters, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

BARTENDERS: 10 percent of the total liquor bill, to be split among the bar staff, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

DJ OR BAND: $50 to $100 for a DJ, or $20 to $25 for each band member, if they work for an agency; no tip if they're self-employed. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER: $50 to $100, if they're working for a studio; no tip if they're self-employed. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

INDEPENDENT WEDDING PLANNER: None expected. But if your planner went out of her way, you can thank her with cash ($100 to $1,000, depending on your budget) or a gift, sent after the wedding.

LIMO OR BUS DRIVER:15 to 20 percent of the total bill, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip after the final drop-off.

HAIRSTYLISTS AND MAKEUP ARTISTS: 15 to 20 percent of the total bill, if you go to a salon; at your discretion if they come to you.

—Barrie Gillies, BRIDES magazine

Brides DailyBudgetTravel

10 Best Wallet-Friendly Resorts

  • Courtesy of Anacaona Boutique Hotel

    Escape the cold winter weather on a Caribbean vacation that won't break the bank.

    You'll be pampered with luxe touches like cocktails and refreshing towels (nice!), brought to you on one of the isle's finest sugar-white stretches. Doubles from $150 (low season) and $250 (high season); anacaonahotel.com.

  • Courtesy of Nonsuch Bay

    We fell for the one-bedroom apartments, which have bushels of tropical chic (white-on-wood decor) and to-die-for ocean views. Doubles from $195 (low season) and $300 (high season); nonsuchbayresort.com.

  • Courtesy of Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort

    There's a lot to love about this couple-centric resort, like its prime location near Eagle Beach, the kitchenette-equipped studios (grab groceries at the on-site minimart), and the super-friendly service. Doubles from $189 (low season) and $295 (high season); amsterdammanor.com.

  • Photo by John Runnin/Courtesy of A Stone's Throw Away

    Nassau's homey B&B is—surprise!—a stone's throw from the sea. After sun time, siesta in one of the porch hammocks. Doubles from $175 (low season) and $200 (high season), including breakfast; astonesthrowaway.com.

  • Courtesy of Little Arches Barbados

    Feast on fresh fish at Café Luna, the hotel's terrace restaurant, before heading to St. Lawrence Gap, a saloon-y strip where locals get their groove on. Doubles from $205 (low season) and $295 (high season); littlearches.com.

  • Courtesy of Natura Cabanas Boutique Hotel & Spa

    This eco-friendly stay near laid-back Cabarete scores points for its spa and thatched-roof bungalows, built sustainably mere steps from swell surf. Doubles from $180 (year-round), including breakfast; naturacabana.com.

  • Courtesy of Rockhouse

    Even at double the rates, Negril's cliff-top hideaway would simply, well, rock. Perfect your tans by the pool, then ladder down to Pristine Cove for snorkeling. Doubles from $125 (low season) and $160 (high season); rockhousehotel.com.

  • Courtesy of Errol Pemberton

    You'll discover cozy stone cottages, delish rum punches, and monkeys frolicking in the rainforest at this newly renovated sugar-plantation-turned-inn. Doubles from $200 (low season) and $260 (high season); golden-rock.com.

  • Courtesy of Mago Estate Hotel

    Fruit trees cocoon this hillside gem, where you trade direct beach access (it's only a 15-minute walk) for views of the Petit Piton mountain. Doubles from $200 (low season) and $250 (high season), including breakfast; magohotel.com.

  • Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

    Quiet isn't for everyone—which is why we're fans of El Con's casino, golf course, and water park. And there are still plenty of intimate spots for two, like the plush booths at the Strip House steak joint. Doubles from $149 (low season) and $259 (high season); waldorfastoria.com.

    —Peter Michaels, Chanize Thorpe, and Elizabeth Woodson, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyBudgetFlowers

Wedding on a Budget: How to Save Money on the Flowers & Decoration


Photo by Tara Donne/BRIDES

BRIDES magazine is here to help you get more bang for your hard-earned buck. Take a look at our list of seven essential do's and don'ts for considering flowers and decorations for your wedding day.

DO reuse the bridesmaid's bouquets at the reception—they can be slipped into vases to decorate the escort-card table and the entrance.

DON'T limit yourself to classic floral arrangements for the centerpieces. A glass bowl filled with water, rose petals, and floating candles is a luminous, low-cost alternative.

DO take advantage of seasonal sales to buy items like candles.

DON'T order out-of-season flowers that need to be flown in, since that will most likely incur big shipping costs.

DO weave herbs and branches into arrangements—you'll need fewer flowers that way.

DON'T spend money decorating reception areas that won't be heavily trafficked, such as staircases and hallways. Put your money where guests will see it: the entrance, the dining tables, and the bar.

DO use masses of candles bought in bulk.

—BRIDES magazine

Brides DailyBudgetDIY

Girl Talk: What was the smartest thing you did to save money on your wedding?


Photo by Diane Fields/BRIDES

We asked real brides to share their best budget-trimming tricks. Here's what they said!

We called a local art college and asked the staff to recommend a photography student for our wedding. The guy we chose had won awards, was eager to please, and charged thousands less than many of the professionals we considered.

We got married in a villa in the Dominican Republic. The villa chef prepared the meal—a resort would have charged far more. And since it was a destination bash, the guest list filtered itself. Brilliant!

Instead of hiring a DJ, we asked five musically inclined friends to do it in shifts. I sent them a list of must-plays and do-not-plays, and the rest was up to them. We used Google Docs so they could submit proposed playlists, and bought inexpensive DJ software to ensure that the music sounded professional. They were a hit—and they totally felt like rock stars!

We did my bouquet, my bridesmaids' bouquets, and all the boutonnieres with flowers I got at Costco—they cost a third of the lowest quote I got from a florist. My mother, aunts, bridesmaids, future mother-in-law, and I all sat around my grandmother's dining-room table and put the flowers together. I saved money, my friends and family bonded, and we have great memories from our afternoon of floral design. With all the DIY instructions available online, it was really easy!

Instead of buying an expensive wedding cake and floral centerpieces, I bought a bunch of small cakes from the local bakery for about $12 each. They were beautifully decorated with flowers, so we used them as table centerpieces. Since they were all different flavors, everyone had a blast sampling different cakes at different tables and chatting with other guests in the process!

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyBudgetGuest Blogger

Budget Tips From The Broke Ass Bride


Courtesy of Alexandra Breckenridge

Blogger Dana LaRue of "The Broke Ass Bride" shares her totally practical, totally sneaky tricks for planning an affordable wedding with BRIDES magazine:

1. Bride-share! Find a like-minded bride-to-be, and go in with her on bulk purchases like favors and paper (for invites).

2. As an alternative to floral centerpieces, decorate with unusual items like fabric poms and paper flowers. Collect something fun, like vintage creamers? Show it off at the bash.

3. Don't rent or buy new tableware. Go to a flea market and pick up mismatched china, flatware, and Mason jars (for glasses). After the wedding, you'll be set for dinner parties!

4. Forgo expensive linen rentals. Opt for money-saving fabrics like burlap, muslin, or gingham. Cut them to measure with pinking shears to dress tables on the cheap.

5. Not wedded to linen? Use inexpensive kraft paper for tablecloths. Place crayons and markers in jam jars so your guests can doodle during dinner.

6. Skip table numbers by assigning each table a color, then covering it with DIY cloths (see #4) in that shade.

7. Veto traditional wedding flowers (roses, orchids), and try inexpensive picks like moss, cotton, baby's breath, or herbs.

8. Go picnic-chic: Make a dinner care package for your guests, featuring gourmet sandwiches and yummy sides--you'll save big on catering and waitstaff bills.

9. Nix printed menus at every place setting in favor of a few large chalkboard menus in the dining area. To save even more, create your own using plywood and chalkboard paint.

10. Edit your wedding wish list. Prioritize what you and your fiance really want (e.g., small-batch bourbon) instead of what other people say you need (a string quartet).

—Dana LaRue, The Broke Ass Bride

Brides DailyBridesmaidBudget

The Best Bridesmaids' Gifts for $50 and Under

  • Scoring the perfect present for your bridesmaids doesn't have to cost a fortune. Here, 15 fab finds for every budget.

    Rainy-Day Plan
    Boldly patterned umbrellas will bring sunshine to their blah days; $20 each, jimeale.com. Use the code brides15 to receive a 15 percent discount!

  • Put a Ring on It
    A funky-yet-sophisticated sparkler adds just a touch of sass to a work outfit; $38, bcbg.com.

  • Secret Sauce
    These vintage-image flasks with tongue-in-cheek quotes (there are 12 to choose from) will be a hit with tailgaters; $22 each, Anne Taintor; amazon.com/home.

  • Wrap Artist
    Bare shoulders deserve a supersoft (and superstylish!) cover-up; $48, Kiran Rai; satyarai.com.

  • Darling Drops
    Pearl earrings: a preppy pal's go-to. These cuties will become an everyday fave. Twenty-four-karat-gold over sterling-silver hoops, $48, satyajewelry.com.

  • Mood Lighting
    Colorful mini candles sex up the bath and the bedrooms; $14 each, skeemshop.com.

  • Golden Goddess
    This attention-grabbing bracelet embodies runway glamour. You won't stop blinking at the real-life price!; $39, talbots.com.

  • Beauty Booty
    A must for makeup junkies, this kit's got every shade of shadow, gloss, and blush under the sun. Complete Color Portfolio, $50, saks.com.

  • The Bold and the Beautiful
    Scoop up a statement necklace to go with their strapless dresses; $48, Aqua; Bloomingdale's, 800-232-1854.

  • Model Citizen
    Buy this boho-chic tote and three Guatemalan children receive nutritional supplements for one year. "Feed 3" Guatemala bag, $39, lordandtaylor.com.

  • All That Glitters
    Present your peeps with their own rock star-worthy ring tones. "Ibiza Sunset" crystal-and-enamel dome rings, $50 each, Akkad; hsn.com.

  • Photo Finish
    You'll both look like a million bucks in this eye-catching four-by-six-inch ikat-print frame; $41, Two's Company; burkedecor.com.

  • Please Don't Stop the Music
    This yoga mat sports an MP3-player dock, so they can listen to tunes while saluting the sun; $40, Gaiam; bestbuy.com.

  • Sugar Rush
    Chocolate addicts will devour this 40-piece set in a flash. Bonus: They can save the cool tins for stashing (future) treats; $39, maxbrenner.com.

  • Full Bloom
    These petite planters will pop no matter where they're placed. "Camelia Avenue" bud vases, $25 each, katespade.com.

    BRIDES magazine

    All Photos by Halley Ganges/BRIDES

Brides DailyBudgetFashionRunway

The Hottest Bridal Looks From the Runway At Retail Prices

  • Photos, from left: John Aquino and Robert Mitra

    From girly minis to vintage Jackie O–inspired frocks, BRIDES editors saw tons of gorgeous dresses go down the runway during the spring 2011 bridal collections. Here, our favorite styles at prices for every bride:

    Soft and Effortless
    Both Kevan Hall and Thread went the effortless route, perfect for the fuss-free bride, with easy, flowing dresses—no restricting undergarments required.

    Kevan Hall ($9,100)
    Thread ($1,200)

  • Photos, from left: John Aquino and Kyle Ericksen

    Textured Blooms
    Lazaro and David's Bridal took texture to a new level with floral ball gown skirts—fit for the bride who relishes being the center of attention.

    Lazaro ($6,600)
    David's Bridal ($1,250)

  • Photos, from left: Thomas Iannaccone and Robert Mitra

    Art Deco
    Talk about glamour—Douglas Hannant and Sue Wong conjured old-Hollywood sophistication with lace bias-cut art deco–inspired gowns.

    Douglas Hannant ($5,500)
    Sue Wong ($549)

  • Photos by John Aquino

    Knife Pleating
    Marchesa updated its signature swirl with knife pleating, and Watters infused its version with the modern twist of a tiered ball-gown skirt.

    Marchesa ($6,995)
    Watters ($1,200)

  • Photos, from left: Thomas Iannaccone and Kyle Ericksen

    Jackie O
    Amsale's structured ball gown, J.Crew's classic slim dress: These silhouettes (both finished with a wide bow at the waist) hark back to the timeless feminine elegance of Jackie O.

    Amsale ($5,700)
    J.Crew ($1,000)

  • Photos, from left: Thomas Iannaccone and John Aquino

    Froufrou Minis
    Shorter hemlines dominated this season—specifically in the style of frilly minidresses. With their tiered, ruffled frocks, Peter Langner and Simone Carvalli showed the trend at its girliest.

    Peter Langner ($10,186)
    Simone Carvalli ($1,600)

    —Beth Swanson, BRIDES magazine

Brides DailyBudgetDIY

DIY Button Cookie and Favor Box

  • Hi all — This is Ms. Polka Dot from Polkadotbride.com, and I'm gaga for buttons! They symbolize everything marriage is—the coming together, the working together, and the holding together of two people in a lifelong commitment. That's why I decided that the DIY project I would present for BRIDES Daily readers would be this cute button box with an even cuter button-cookie favor inside.—Polka Dot Bride

  • Clockwise from top left: Buttons, box lid, tissue paper, box base, bone folder, ribbon, double-sided tape

    Materials For The Box:

    • 6-by-6 inch origami paper, scrapbooking paper, or any paper that you desire
    • Square boxes with lids—either flat-packed and premade (as shown in the photo above) or as a kit
    • Bone folder or metal ruler
    • Hot-glue gun or double-sided tape
    • Ribbon
    • Scissors
    • Assortment of buttons
    • Tissue paper

  • Licorice ribbon and fondant

    Materials For The Cookies:
    • Cookie dough, with extra flour for dusting your surface
    Ready-to-use fondant
    • Icing sugar
    • Licorice strips, plus assorted candy or cachous (if using)
    • Rolling pin
    • Wooden skewer, other assorted items for making patterns on fondant
    • Sharp knife for trimming

  • The Button Box

    I chose a simple white box for this project. If you have the time or inclination, you can create the template yourself, but if you're making in excess of 50, you may want to go for the premade option!

    1. Using the bone folder (or metal ruler), lightly score all the folds before you assemble the box—it makes for a neat finish. Assemble your box and lid.

    2. Place a dab of hot glue or double-sided adhesive at the middle of your box base and attach your ribbon. Make sure it's long enough to go up the side of the box and be tied in a bow and cut. Measure the length and cut equal lengths of ribbon for the rest of your boxes.

    3. Place your buttons on the lid to cover it. It's fun to play around with the arrangement of buttons to get the mismatched look (see photo above).

    4. Attach the buttons to the lid using the glue gun or tape.

    5. Cut a square of tissue paper to line the box—it keeps the grease from the cookies from marking the box and provides cushion to help prevent breakage. Set everything aside so the glue can dry and cure.

  • The Button Cookies

    Here's one of my favorite recipes to make your own basic biscuit-dough, or you could use store-bought ready-made dough for sugar cookies.

    1. Add extra flour to the surface and roll out the dough. Cut out the shapes with a cookie cutter. (Make sure the cookies are the right size to fit into your boxes.)

    2. Bake until just lightly browned (or as per recipe or manufacturer's instructions).

  • The Fondant

    Knead your fondant as per the packet directions to soften it. Using icing sugar to dust your work area, roll the fondant out to about one-eighth of an inch thick and cut it with your cookie cutter. (Use the same cutter you used for your cookies for a neat finish.)

  • The Decorating

    1. Vary the decoration of each button by alternating between two and four thread holes using a wooden skewer, creating a rim on some—I used a plastic spice-jar lid that was a little smaller than the circumference of the fondant—and threading licorice through the holes of others. (See image below for more ideas.)

    2. Mix up a small amount of extra icing to a paste, using icing sugar and a little water. This will be your "glue" that holds the fondant shape to your cookie. Put a little dab of the icing on the biscuit, and attach your fondant shape.

    3. Allow a few minutes for it to dry.

  • 4. Place a button cookie in a tissue paper-lined box and tie a bow with your ribbon, to secure the lid.

  • Ms. Polka Dot's Tips:

    • It's easy to make this project your own. Just switch up the colors of the buttons, box, and paper to put your own spin on it.

    • Color your fondant to match your color scheme and your chosen buttons.

    • It's best to use metal cutters to cut the cookie and fondant shapes—they make for a cleaner edge.

    • Make each button different by using silver cachous, licorice strips, and other candy. Make stitching or other decorative elements with a patient hand and your wooden skewer.

    • Look around your kitchen, among children's toys (e.g., play-dough cutters), or in craft-supply shops (e.g., stamps) for interesting shapes to use for cutting the cookies and the fondant.

    • Ask family, bridesmaids, and friends to be involved for a fun project to do together!

Brides DailyBudgetDIYFlowersGuest Blogger

DIY Paper Flowers

  • Hello, folks! My name is Summer, and I'm from My Bohemian Summer. I specialize in origami flower art, wedding bouquets, and favors, and I'm very excited to be here on BRIDES Daily with a fun DIY project. Follow my instructions (the pictures will be a big help!) and you'll have a lovely origami centerpiece or place card that doubles as a favor. No special skills are required, and even those who are all thumbs will get the hang of it after the first few times.

  • Supplies Needed:

    • 6-by-6 inch origami paper, scrapbooking paper, or any paper that you desire
    • 6-inch bamboo skewers or chopsticks
    • Hot-glue gun
    • Wire cutters or heavy shears
    • Matting or card stock, cut into 1.5-by-3-inch tags
    • Hole punch
    • Raffia or ribbon in any color

  • Directions:

    1. Start with your origami paper, with the white side up, or, if you're using paper with designs on both sides, put the side that you want visible down. Fold the bottom right corner to the top left corner. Unfold and do the same thing to the other side.

  • 2. Now fold each corner into the center of the paper. Leave a little gap between each fold, so they do not touch or overlap.

  • 3. Fold the bottom right-side corner to top left corner; unfold and do the same on the other side. When finished, flip your paper over. You should see an X across the paper from where you folded last, on top of a faint T.

  • 4. Using your index fingers and thumbs, push in from the left and right of the T to the center of the X. The top and bottom of the T should fold in, leaving you with a four-point star.

  • 5. Now fold the corners together to get a triangle.

  • 6. Select one corner and raise it up. Open the flap.

  • 7. Press the flap down flat, so the crease goes down the middle.

    Tip: If you're having difficulty getting the flap to lay flat, you can use a skewer or a chopstick to open the base.

  • 8. Repeat with other flap. Then turn the whole thing over and do the same with the other two. When you're finished, you should have one kite shape.

  • 9. Looking down into it, you should see four points on the right side and four on the left. Lay your kite flat so that the long end is pointing toward you. Now fold the bottom up about a half an inch, then unfold.

  • 10. Holding your kite shape at the fold you just made, and with a flat side facing you, slowly pull out the two tallest corners on the left and right. (The top and bottom petals will unfurl as you do this.) Press all four petals flat with your thumb, so you now have a basic flower shape.

  • 11. Using a skewer or chopstick, roll each petal around and down, toward the center of the flower.

  • 12. Cut the point off the skewer, add hot glue to the top, and push it through the center of the flower.

  • 13. For the tag, punch a hole and thread through the raffia or ribbon.

    Tip: Fan out the raffia to look like leaves.

  • 14. Repeat to make a beautiful (and lasting) bouquet!

    —Summer Skillman, My Bohemian Summer

    Photos Courtesy of Summer Skillman

BeautyBrides DailyBudgetDIYFlowersFoodTravelWedding Style

BRIDES Editor's Wedding Pics

  • This past May, Michael and I got hitched. We wanted a small, intimate wedding outdoors. We picked our favorite American city to visit (San Francisco) and our favorite hotel to stay at (Hotel Vitale). My sister, Kristy, was the officiant and my brother, Mike, was the photographer. I planned most of the wedding from our home in Brooklyn, and on the day of, family pitched in to put together paper pom-poms, do hair and makeup, and sweep up rose petals. Like most weddings we see at BRIDES, ours was a combination of DIY, expert help, and family gumption. Hope you enjoy the photos, and maybe even get inspired!—Joyce Bautista, BRIDES

    I chose the color of my silk Jenny Yoo dress (Capri blue) and then came up with a color scheme that would complement and not overwhelm it. Amy Burke Designs in San Francisco put together four arrangements used to decorate the terrace where we held the ceremony and, later, the tables at dinner. The paper pom-poms were from Party Poms.

  • The throwing of rice after a wedding ceremony symbolizes prosperity for the new husband and wife. Taking luck any way we can get it, we followed suit. The calligraphed gauze bags were by Bell'occhio in San Francisco.

  • My friend Ema talked me off many an emotional precipice back in New York during the wedding planning. Even the day of, she was there, if only in spirit. She put together an emergency kit with everything I might need last-minute.

  • That's me peeking out from the bathroom, waiting for Michael to arrive at the ceremony. My sister did my hair and makeup after a free consultation at Sephora the day before.

  • My bouquet (also by Amy Burke Designs) included some of my favorite flowers and foliage, such as lilies of the valley, kangaroo paw, and dusty millers. Those shoes are my first-ever pair of Christian Louboutin heels, and I continue to wear them all the time—I'm getting my money's worth, baby!

  • The tie is Liberty for Target and features what I think are supposed to be London taxis, but we bought it because they look like VW Beetles—Michael owns a convertible cream one that we both love. The bout was by Amy Burke Designs.

  • Michael and I wrote our own vows. I forgot about half of mine—I was definitely more nervous than I thought I would be. My engagement ring is from the 19th century and was picked out by Michael all on his own from our friend's Brooklyn shop, Erie Basin.

  • We went with plain gold wedding bands. Both are engraved on the inside with our wedding date, and mine reads, "Michael <3 Joyce," while his reads, "Joyce <3 Michael." We are total cheeseballs!

  • The terrace at Hotel Vitale provided a dramatic city background to the ceremony. That was one of my non-negotiables: I wanted to get married outdoors. It turned out to be a typical but lovely cool, windy San Francisco day.

  • In a blip, it was over. My sister became an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church so she could officiate the ceremony.

  • I went pretty nontraditional for most of the wedding details, but I really wanted to wear a birdcage veil. It is such a cute look, and I think it can look costumey any other time.

  • That's the Bay Bridge in the background. I love San Francisco almost as much as I love Michael.

  • The vanilla-and-orange chiffon cake with salted-caramel filling and vanilla-buttercream frosting was made by my brother's friend Kathy Chong, a pastry chef at Town Hall and Salt House in San Francisco. I was inspired to make the ribbon flags by the beautiful food blog Forty-sixth at Grace. The paper banner, which reads "Mr & Mrs Ferrari," was by Bell'occhio.

  • We didn't have a traditional reception (just dinner downstairs at the yummy Italian restaurant in the hotel), but we did want a first dance. After dinner, Michael and I went back up to the suite and danced to Yaz's "Only You" — I know, total cheesefest!

    Photos Courtesy of Michael Bautista

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyBudget

Wedding Costs: Real or Rip-off?


Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham/BRIDES

Hidden costs can throw even the most organized bride for a loop. BRIDES magazine details what charges are legitimate and which you should question.

Are they included in the gown's price?
What's real: They're usually an additional charge determined at the first fitting, when the seamstress sees exactly what work needs to be done. To avoid a big shock, ask for an alterations estimate in writing at the time of the purchase. A major change, like remaking a dress should you lose 30 pounds, will cost you big bucks.
What's a rip-off: Being charged per fitting rather than for the actual work, or paying fees that are based on the price of the gown.

Should moving the ceremony flowers to the reception site cost extra?
What's real: That depends. If there's a considerable amount of time involved, some florists will charge a fee. A crew has to stay at the first location, clean up after the ceremony, travel to the second site, and reinstall the flowers. If the arrangements are elaborate, this can take hours.
What's a rip-off: If a florist wants to charge you for moving a couple of simple baskets from one site to the next, ask a guest with a minivan to do the transporting instead.

You've rented the hall—should you pay for parking, too?
What's real: Generally, sites that own their parking lots free and clear don't charge for self-parking. Valet parking, however, will cost you extra, unless it's included in the catering package. If a venue doesn't have its own on-site parking, it may have an arrangement with a nearby garage where you and your guests will receive a discounted rate.
What's a rip-off: Being charged for self-parking if your reception facility owns its own lot. Honk if that makes you mad—then look into other sites.

Should a caterer charge you for serving wine or wedding cake that you provide?
What's real: In some states, caterers are required by law to have additional insurance for serving alcohol; a corkage fee (usually about $3 per guest) helps offset the expense. A cake-cutting fee (typically $1 to $2 per person) is pretty standard when your caterer can provide a cake but you choose to purchase your frosted tiers elsewhere.
What's a rip-off: Paying a steep corkage fee ($15 per bottle in some venues!). Don't be afraid to question such charges and to try to negotiate.

—Hillary Quinn, BRIDES magazine

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!


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 DailyBudgetDIY

Paper Wedding Crafts Made of...Post-its!


Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

When the BRIDES editorial staff was sent packages of multicolored Post-it craft paper to test out, we knew we'd love it—our office desks and walls are already covered in the square sticky notes. We resolved to have a friendly competition to see how many ideas we could come up with for using the paper for...you guessed it, weddings.

Managing editor Joyce Bautista, photo assistant Luigi Menduni, and online coordinator Jackie Lebowitz entered the ring and put their creative skills to work. (After all, it's not every day that you get to do arts and crafts at the office.)

With just over an hour allotted to them, they created table numbers, flags and banners, escort cards, candle votives, book centerpieces, even a boutonniere—all made out of little more than the paper (and absolutely no messy glue!).

These are just a few of the ideas we had for creating simple, budget-friendly crafts and accessories for your wedding. Now we want to hear from you! What paper DIY projects are you incorporating into your special day?

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