State Flower Wedding Favor Cookies

Maggie Austin is an absolute genius when it comes to transforming cookies and cakes into little works of art. We thought it’d be fun to have Maggie create cookies based on some of our favorite state flowers. We love the idea of including a package of cookies inspired by your state flower in a welcome bag or a delicious wedding favor for your guests.

Photography: Ali Harper | Cookies: Maggie Austin Cake |Calligraphy: Meagan Tidwell

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08.29.13 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

How To Smoldering Smokey Eyes


We’re so thrilled to share this absolutely gorgeous tutorial from Amy Clarke today. She has made it so easy for you to recreate this sexy, yet understated, smoldering smokey eye on your own.

Smoldering Smokey Eyes
1. Prep the whole eyelid and under eye with either a concealer or eyeshadow primer. I used MAC Paint in Bare Canvas.
2. + 3. + 4. +5. Apply a black pencil liner all around your eye, close to your lash line, making the liner thicker on the outer parts of your lid, and in your waterline.
6. Using a mini dome eyeshadow brush, smudge the liner all around the eye until it appears smooth.
7. Apply a matte bone colored eyeshadow to the brow bone.
8. Next, apply a warm, medium brown eyeshadow to your crease, and blend well.
9. Take that same brown eyeshadow and apply it under the lower lash line, blending into the black liner.
10. To add a little interest, take a shimmery gold eyeshadow or pigment and apply to your lid, then, apply a little to the center of your lower lash line.
11. To Finish off the look, apply a coat or two of mascara. Don’t forget to curl them first!Pro Tip: Since applying eyeshadow can be a messy job, first, do your eyes, then clean up any eyeshadow that has fallen on your under eye with some makeup remover. Then, apply your foundation! 

Favorite Products: Stila Kajal Eye Liner Pencil in “Onyx” & Urban Decay’s Naked Palette 1.

Photography: Bryce Covey | Makeup: Amy Clarke | Hair: Heidi Marie Garrett

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08.27.13 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

Sweet Mammoth Wedding

It’s hard for me to adequately describe our wedding because Ben Christensen captured it with such artistry and perfection that I think his images speak for themselves. What Shane and I wanted, above all else, was for the love and simplicity of our day to be the elements we will always remember.

We asked less than 30 of our immediate family and friends to drive up to Convict Lake for an intimate ceremony. Our concept wasn’t too complicated, but we required a lot of help from our venue to pull it off as we weren’t using their designated wedding site. As my bridesmaids and I finished getting ready, Shane and our guests took boats to the back of the lake. We had chosen a spot in the tall grass next to a hut built of branches, with the lake in front of us and a forest behind us. Everyone waited and listened to music, while my bridesmaids and I arrived by boat to a separate cove. I had managed to control my overwhelming emotions for most of the morning until our boat pulled up and I saw my dad waiting on the shore to walk me down the aisle. I walked into our ceremony surrounded by the joy and excitement of our family and friends, who had driven for hours to stand with us. One of Shane’s best friends officiated our marriage, and he had written the most personal and sincere words for us. We took advantage of the informal atmosphere to hug and thank our parents during our ceremony, and there were even a couple of moments during the wedding where our friends and family chimed in and made us all laugh. I will never forget the details that made our wedding uniquely ours, or the look in Shane’s eyes as we made our lifelong commitment to each other. We are fortunate to have what we think are the most honest and beautiful photographs we could have hoped for to help us relive our day. We can’t say enough good things about working with Ben Christensen, and his sister Kami who was our stylist. They’re great at what they do and beyond that, they’re great people. Having them there helped us stay calm, relaxed, and made it easy to be ourselves when it mattered most.

Wedding ceremony and dinner: Convict Lake, near Mammoth Lakes, CA| Photography: Ben Christensen | Hair and Makeup: Kami Christensen | Wedding dress: Theia from Lovely Bride in West Hollywood | Wedding Shoes:  handmade leather ELF | Bridesmaids dresses: Anthropologie | Florals: The Little Branch from Los Angeles | Shane’s suit: Topman | Shane’s boots: Generic Surplus | Shane’s sunglasses: Raen Optics | Our little cake: Schat’s Bakery in Mammoth Lakes | Leather guestbook: Leather Keepsakes 

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08.26.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

DIY Lace Ballet Flats


Remember the beautiful lace ballet flats Rylee Hitchner wore at her wedding(you can see the full wedding here)?  You wouldn’t know it, but Cheryl transformed a pair of inexpensive everyday flats from Forever 21 into the delicate, vintage inspired beauties you see above for Rylee. I love this idea not only because is it easy on the pocketbook, but it’s a project any gal with a glue gun, some vintage lace, and a bit of time can undertake. Enjoy!

step by step lace shoes
Materials and Tools

It’s best to use a glue that dries clear like E600.
Sharp scissors
Quick un-pick
Lots of pins
Needle and thread
Lace and tulle, vintage or modern.
Pair of Lacy or soft fabric ballet flats (choose a color closest to the color of your dress and or the lace you will be using).

For this project I used a vintage C1910 tambour lace neck tie purchased at Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta.

Step 1
I like to remove the tape binding the top edge of the shoes using the quick un-pick. This makes the decoration process easier and softens the look of the shoes  when the lace scallop edge is applied.

Step 2
To maintain the correct shoe shape and tension run a row of small stitches around the top edge.

This stage is optional. I find the tulle covers the original shoe fabric  and also creates a softer look.

Cut an 8inch wide length of tulle long enough to wrap all round the shoe.
Fold in half and pin the folded edge close to the sole edge and glue.  Keep the pins in place till the glue is dry.  Trim and tack the top edge, pleating the tulle to fit over the toe area.

Step 4
Pin the lace on the shoes starting at centre back.  I featured the small lace scallops to decorate the top edge of the shoes.  I pinned and pleated the lace where necessary.

Leave 1/2 inch extra lace at the sole.  Fold the lace under to follow line of sole and pin and glue. Add more glue if necessary.  Take out pins after the glue has fully dried.

Step 5
This stage is optional.

Trim down front of shoes to favored shape.    Use running stitches round top edge, pulling tight to fit foot and to stabilize shoes.

Step 6
Apply front lace detail, pinning and stretching to suit shoe style.

Step 7
Stitch and glue,  finish with three pearls.

Step 8
Finish the back of the shoe by folding and glueing the lace.

Step 9
This stage is optional

Finish the bottom edge of the shoes with a length of the small scallops trimmed off the lace.

1st Image: Tec Petaja | Tutorial Photography: Rylee Hitchner | Styling: Joy Thigpen | Tutorial: Cheryl Taylor 

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08.22.13 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured