DIY Wedding Projects and a Book Review!

DIY Wedding projects and a Book Review!  Ok…I’m going to state the obvious. Weddings are expensive – very.  Most of us don’t have unlimited funds to spend any way we choose on our big day; choices must be made.  One way to save is to employ as many DIY, (Do It Yourself), wedding projects as possible.  But even this option can be pricey.

Just the wedding cake can cost you a fortune!  (Photo creds: Patty Cloherty)

I discovered a new cozy mystery series recently.  It’s a “Garage Sale” Series.  ‘Garage Sale?’ you say.  Yes!  It’s super cute and gives one the best ideas.  But the series doesn’t revolve just around ‘tag sales’ as we prefer to refer to these sales in New England.  It’s just a fun backdrop.

Barnes and Noble gives us a great synopsis of the first book, “Tagged for Death“:

Starting your life over at age thirty-eight isn’t easy, but that’s what Sarah Winston finds herself facing when her husband CJ runs off with a 19-year-old temptress named Tiffany. Sarah’s self-prescribed therapy happily involves hitting all the garage and tag sales in and around her small town of Ellington, Massachusetts. If only she could turn her love for bargain hunting into a full-time career. 

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure

But after returning from a particularly successful day searching for yard sale treasures, Sarah finds a grisly surprise in one of her bags: a freshly bloodied shirt. . .that undoubtedly belongs to her ex, CJ, who now happens to be Ellington’s chief of police. If that’s not bad enough, it seems Tiffany has gone missing. Now it’s up to Sarah to prove that her cold-hearted ex is not a cold-blooded killer. . .

But finding that treasure can be murder.

I…LOVE…SARAH.  She is spunky, smart, and I think she and I would be great friends.  She’s just the kind of woman I’d love to hang with – of course I really enjoy the company of her creator, the talented Sherry Harris, perhaps that’s why I like Sarah!  🙂

So think about it…wouldn’t it be a great idea to look for garage sale deals when you’re attempting to create centerpieces for your wedding dinner tables?  You can pick up some mason Jars for pennies on the dollar at a tag sale, or perhaps some charming antique teacups to use as favors at a bridal shower. The options are endless!

My dad, 99 this year, was always a big garage sale fan in California.  I didn’t go with him as much as I wish I had.  We all have those little regrets, don’t we?  But boy did he make some finds.  My first set of golf clubs, at the tender age of 6, were purchased at a garage sale.  He cut down some adult clubs for me, and lovingly wrapped the shafts in some durable tape.  My father, who is a pack rat as am I, probably still has those clubs stashed somewhere…

Little Mary with Dad

The good news? Once you read the first book in the series, “Tagged for Death” you’ll want to read all three!  Click on the links if you’d like to order.  I included links to Barnes and Noble, but they are available at Amazon as well.

Book #2: “The Longest Yard Sale

Book #3 “All Murders Final

I must admit, after I finished book number three, I felt a little bereft.  But YES!!!  Book # 4, “A Good Day to Buy” is now available for per-order and will be available April 25, 2017!!!  I can’t wait!

I love these books, and much to my delight, each one seems to get better.  I enjoy the familiarity of a series.  You feel like you know the characters, as if they’re friends, almost family.  Harris achieves this effortlessly. Do yourself a favor and try this series.  Believe me, you’ll be hooked once you do.

Below, the lovely author, and my friend, Sherry Harris.

If you’d like to ready other posts on DIY projects, click on the links: DIY Wedding Flowers and DIY Wedding Ideas.

Professional Bridesmaids — Is It Really a Thing?

Professional Bridesmaids — is it really a thing?  Apparently…it is!

In the two photos above, you see my four daughters at daughter number 1 and daughter number 2’s weddings.  My girls have built-in bridesmaids. The two younger girls, now 17 and 20, have already been in 3 weddings.  (They were flower girls at a tender age)  Heck , maybe this is a profession they may want to pursue!  They have enough experience!  🙂  Not all brides are as lucky as my daughters, however.  I have heard, and have seen, horror stories about less than attentive bridesmaids.  If you hire a professional, you have more control.  Concerned about the hairstyle of your attendants?  Write it into your “professional” contract that your bridesmaid not cut her hair until AFTER the wedding.  Want your girls to wear their hair in an “undo”? Write that in too!

So what exactly does a “Professional Bridesmaid” do?  Well, exactly what a friend or relative would.  According to the knot.com, duties include“…planning and arranging bridal showers, bachelorette parties, wedding speeches, wedding day logistics and managing email chains and group texts.”

Let’s face it. In today’s world, ladies are thrilled to be a tapped as an honor attendant, but life can get in the way of doing a good job.  If one’s JOB is to be a bridesmaid, she can make your wedding her top priority.  But would this really make you happy?

The girls as “Little Girls”

There is something so magical about the bond that ladies share as they support their friend or relative in the months and days leading up to her wedding.  And note the photo above when my daughters were much younger.  Standing up for their sisters on the most important day of their lives is just another page in their book of memories.  Some things just can’t be bought…

Photo creds: #1 Hannah Colt

The Infinity Bridesmaid Dress

The Infinity Bridesmaid Dress – one dress, so many options!  The attire for brides’ attendants in the last couple of years has made a dramatic change.  No long must ladies’ dresses match.  Brides are being very generous to their attendants.  They are allowing them to choose the fabric, style, color and price point that best fits their needs. Usually, a color palate is suggested.  But all else is up for grabs.

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And what do I mean about an “Infinity” dress?  Well, take a look at the above photo and all the options for it!  Pick your neckline, back, sleeves or no sleeves…I love it! Not your favorite, well, look at all the other options on this post!  The dresses in the next photo are all different, yet they have the same air.  They all have gauzy, floaty skirts, but differing necklines and colors.  The hues flow and compliment each other.

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Feeling a little more glam?  Love the beauties below. These gowns would definitely be for an evening affair.  I think it works to have differing hemlines as well.  Perhaps one lady has great legs and wants to show them off — opt for a short skirt!  Have a generous bustling  you’re proud of?  Choose one with a more plunging neckline.  It’s a win-win for all.

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The next two photos have ladies dressed in all the same color, but differing styles.  This works for me.  And I think these girls really COULD wear their dresses again!  If you look closely, the bouquets the ladies in red are varying as well.

marthastewartweddings.com

Love the yellow color below.  But I think long gowns for bridesmaids is on the way out.  Especially with a light informal color such as the yellow.  I see this hue as a light casual spring/summer wedding.  Lovely.

mywedding.com

 

Wedding Arbors – The Perfect Backdrop

Wedding Arbors – the perfect backdrop.  If you choose a wedding venue other than a religious one, you’ll need a focus point for your nuptials in place of the church alter.  How about one of these gorgeous arbors?  There are so many ways you can decorate them, and tie the whole thing together with your color scheme.

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Best case scenario? It frames a gorgeous scene such as the beachscape in the photo above.

stylemepretty.com

The next photo has a rustic/farm theme. I love how the open doors seem to be inviting the guests into the couple’s future; so welcoming, so beautiful.  The floral arrangement is a key component to this display’s attractiveness.  Although I think the low-handing sections may hit the bridal party in the head as they enter!

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The addition of the candelabra in the next photo is brilliant!  It lends a magical, fairy tale type air: so whimsical!  It appears that the candelabrma is functioning.  I highly recommend hiring a licensed electrician to hook something like this up, if you’re of a mind to use something similar.  Always better safe than sorry.  And wouldn’t it be a disaster if all the circuits blew out your power on your big day?

savvysistersinc.com

Doesn’t the photo above remind you a a magic garden?  I think it would be so romantic to proclaim one’s vows under such a masterpiece!

atrendywedding.com

And my favorite of all?  The arbor above — ok — it’s the flowers that do it for me. They are just fabulous.  Remember to make sure you have enough advance time at your venue to allow your vendors to set up properly. An arrangement such as the arbor above had to take hours to assemble.

Mary P. Karnes photos

And the last photo?  It’s one I took at one of my “Barn Weddings”.  The bride and groom made it themselves, with a little foliage from their generous florist.