Category: DIY wedding ideas

Welcome to 2016! Advice to Start Your Wedding Planning

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Welcome to 2016! Advice to Start Your Wedding Planning

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It’s here. Another year. Another holiday season complete. We hope you had a nice and relaxing time with you family and friends. We know we ate a bit too many sweets but enjoyed the indulgence. If you received a small sparkly gift this holiday season, congrats on your engagement! It really is a magical time to be proposed to. So now what? Where do you start with the planning? Whatever you do, take a deep breath and slow down. Here is a list to get you started so you can avoid the stress!

  • Don’t let everyone start telling you what you should do. This happens quickly and can get out of control fast. Trust me. Just politely smile and say thank you for the ideas.
  • Get an idea of the date you want first but have two others on stand by. If you fall in love with a location and they don’t have your date you will want to be flexible.
  • More advice on picking a date. Make sure it doesn’t fall on dates that your guests would already be busy or out of town. These include Superbowl, Fourth of July, Memorial Weekend etc. Look at a calendar so you can see all the holidays.
  • Have a general budget in mind before you start looking at venues. Being able to afford $5000 is a lot different than $10,000.
  • Start looking at ceremony and reception venues when you have a few dates picked out. Again remember to be flexible if you fall in love with a site.
  • Take notes and photos of the ceremony site. If it’s outside when you visit it now is not how it will look when you get married.
  • How many people can the site hold? Love a small intimate restaurant but have a guest list of over 100? Then be realistic. Cutting out 60 guests from your list is painful, really, really painful and not worth it.
  • Referring to the previous post, get a general headcount of who you want to invite. This will really help determine what time of venue will work for you.
  • Have a note book dedicated to your ideas, photos, plans, budget. Things will change and should while you are figuring out the details. I can’t stress enough that you need to be flexible during the planning stages. Sometimes you just can’t fit a round peg into a square hole! Save yourself the stress and take it step by step.

This is a basic list to get your started. I know there are many books out there that detail what you should do. I have seen them, bought them and in my opinion they were overwhelming. They are a good source to refer to but it’s best to break up your planning into sections. The ones above are first. Don’t call anyone else until you have your date and venue booked! I used to get so many calls from folks who wanted to book my services but they didn’t have a  date. I can’t do anything with that. Photographers, caterers, florists etc need to know when and where you are getting married. Otherwise you are wasting their time. Happy planning and  be sure to head over to our vendor list when looking for fabulous wedding professionals.

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Photography Tips for your Winter Wedding

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Photography Tips for your Winter Wedding

Winter and holiday-themed weddings truly are magical affairs. With fresh, white snow, glittering white lights, and evergreen trees, you have the perfect setting and a photographer’s winter wonderland. While you can choose any type of venue, winter weddings really shine when you host them at a charming inn or a historic mansion.

It’s so romantic this time of year to get married and literary kiss snowflakes together. Your wedding photographer wants to capture each of those moments so here are my favourite tips for staying cosy and looking stunning during your winter wedding photos and the best place to look for wedding photography in Melbourne.

If you’re one of the couples who choose to get married in the winter, whether it’s less expensive or you just love winter, then play up on those aspects so that it’ll show throughout the day, especially in your photos. You and your photographer should keep these winter wedding photography tips in mind for the best outcome possible.


  • Plan your ceremony accordingly. In the winter, it gets darker so much earlier so aim to have an early afternoon ceremony, allowing you plenty of time for photos in afternoon light or even as dusk hits, which can be pretty with lots of shimmering lights.
  • Make a grand entrance by arriving in an open sleigh or a horse and carriage. Not only does it fit the theme of an old-fashioned church and inn wedding, but you’ll be warm and cosy under those blankets and your photographer will get some stunning photos of you both as you arrive and step onto the walkway.
  • Use the snow outside to your advantage. Are you getting married at a country inn near Christmas time? Take some pictures outside by some evergreen trees, dusted with snow and twinkling lights.  They’ll make a stunning backdrop for photos
  • Take some playful poses, like carving your initials together in the snow, or just gazing in each other’s eyes and sharing a kiss and tasting snowflakes, oblivious to everyone else. Some of the best candid poses in the snow include making snow angels, playing in the snow with the bridal party, or riding the chair lift at a ski resort.


  • Stay warm. Consider wearing a fur wrap during outdoor photos and activities. This way you can truly embrace the beauty of winter without shivering.  Bring along pairs of warm gloves and snow boots as well. Your dress will cover your boots and you can find some warm and designer white or cream gloves. Think about gifting your bridesmaids with warm colourful shawls for a contrasting pop of colour in the photos so that they also stay warm.  Adding props like an umbrella will not only keep you shielded from possible rain or sleet, but make for some fun poses.
  • Find a covered entryway or gazebo to take some photos under. You’ll still have the snow glistening around you in the backdrop and be inside some shelter for a few minutes.

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If you choose to have a winter wedding, embrace the snow as the Farmer’s Almanac says that snow on wedding day brings good luck. Therefore, use it to your advantage in your theme, decorations, and photos. If you can, use the holiday lights already at the venue; otherwise see about adding some soft lighting or candles which will make dusk or even night time snowy pictures possible.

Wedding Day Alters

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Wedding Day Alters

You have checked off the majority of your “to do’s” from your wedding day list. One thing that you have yet to figure out what to do is the Alter. The Alter is the spot where you will say your vows to one another. Everyone will be watching and the photos will be snapped. The Alter will be in all your ceremony photos and often is used as a backdrop for your family photos. What can you do that will look good but won’t be distracting? You also want to make sure that the alter decor isn’t sticking out of your head for the photos so stand in front of it to make sure you have the size right, better to go a little bigger than too small.

We have some great ideas for you from real weddings all shot in Oregon. Then if you need more ideas head over to the DIY Network Blog for a great online gallery of more alter ideas!

For this lovely backyard wedding the groom used his handy skills to create and build this one of a kind alter entirely made out of branches from the property.

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Sometimes it’s best to use something that is on site. For this cute and retro couple the barn doors where the natural choice of where to say their vows.

sl-274 copyIf you are getting married in a vineyard use old wine barrels to anchor the corners of an elegant wrought iron alter. Complete the look by decorating with fresh flowers.

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Let the beauty of the outdoors be your backdrop. This couple used an already stunning natural spot accented by a round brick patio to say I Do.


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Sometimes the weather doesn’t go the way you had hoped it would. Don’t be afraid to improvise as this couple did by tying the knot under a bright red umbrella!




All images are copyright of Alexis Arnold Photography. Please contact for usage.

Are you an Appy Couple?

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Are you an Appy Couple?

I am one of the Generation X’s. I had the opportunity to experience the first cell phones becoming mainstream, the start of the internet and sending messages via email. If you are part of the Generation Y then this is all common to you. Life without your iPhone/smartphone is something many have never experienced or if you did (like me) it feels like a distant memory.

Today I text, Tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Pin and blog. Technology is everywhere and not going away anytime soon. Knowing that, it is time to update the way you communicate with your wedding guests. Sending out traditional invites – printed on paper – is still needed and always recommended for a wedding. With the invitation you set the theme, style and feel of the event. Once your guests receive the invite is when you direct them to all the information that would clutter or not fit on your paper invite. That is when Appy Couple comes into play.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to share this with you. Before getting to all the fabulous designs we will explain exactly what it is! The Appy Couple is the only wedding website you will need. It’s more than just a website, it’s a App as well!  Why we LOVE them.

  • Hundreds of stylish designs to choose from.
  • Easy set-up with drag and drop widgets and content you can add.
  • The app and website are coordinated based on the design you choose.
  • You choose from a modern single page layout or multi-page editorial style.
  • Free download for your guests.
  • Take and upload photos.
  • Chat in Real- Time with your guests!
  • Push notifications and more!

Ok, now let’s get to the fun part, the designs! Click on the color wheel to find designs that work with your color palette and then start having fun. Here are just a few that we fell for immediately. See more and find your Appy Couple website and app today! Send us an example if you have time, we’d love to see which one you picked. Have fun! Cheers- Alexis

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Affordable DIY Wedding Decor

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Affordable DIY Wedding Decor

Decorating the tables at your wedding should be fun but the cost of doing so can add up quickly. Place settings, name cards, glassware & linens are the basics you will need. Then you may want to add fresh flowers, candles, photos or anything else to personalize the event. If your wedding is at a hotel with a reception room you won’t have to worry about the basics, they will include that in the cost of the room. But what if you are doing most of the planning yourself? What if your event is outside in a park or a backyard? Then it’s time to save when you start the DIY projects. Don’t get caught up thinking that just because you are doing it yourself that you will save money. You can actually spend more time and money on some projects than if you hired a pro. That’s why it takes a little more planning and organizing to pinch those extra dollars.

We found one way to do it. There’s a store that has been right in front of you the whole time and you just didn’t think to go inside. I know, I was the same way. I thought to myself, “I’m stylish, fashionable, a savvy shopper. Why would I ever need to shop at the Dollar Store?!” Well I’m here to tell you because you will save so much money!

Want to do your own flowers? You don’t need big arrangements to make a statement. A grouping of single stemmed flowers looks modern and elegant. You can buy in store but we recommend ordering online to ensure you get the quantity you want. The catch, you need to order by case for most things online.

This tall green tapered vase is available in other colors as well, such as red, orange and pink. We like the lime green color.

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Example of mixing different sizes and heights of vases with single stems of flowers. Mix and match with what you have from home with what you get online.Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 4.03.29 PM

Take it up a notch and hang the vases from ribbon to create a unique backdrop. Keep the colors tone on tone for a modern look.

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These tall etched vases are available here. Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 3.57.27 PM

Want to number your tables? You should always have an easy to understand seating system for your guests. One of the easiest ways is to create names cards with your guests name on it and a table number. Then they simply find the table with their number on it. These cute silver toned frames could be used for either. Put table numbers in them or give them as a favor with your guests name and table number in it.

Find these mini silver frames at the store.

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Here is an example of the guests name with table number in it already. Nice take away gift.
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If you decide to use them for the large numbers on the tables. The option is yours.Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 4.26.39 PMWe will be back with more ideas later this month from the Dollar Tree/ Dollar Store. Be creative and budget smart with your wedding planning! Cheers.



National Proposal Day!

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National Proposal Day!

Did you know that there is a national proposal day?! Well there is and it’s today! Men, it’s time for you to put your thinking cap on and come up with ideas to wow your sweetheart. Do you want to go the more public route and announce it in front of a strangers? Options could include at a romantic restaurant, a sporting event, concert or at her birthday party. Maybe that’s not your style or more importantly not her style. Then you will want to go the more intimate route. A weekend getaway, during a favorite holiday such as Valentine’s Day, or on a hike to a beautiful look out are examples of more relaxed ideas.

Whatever you do, just make sure it’s from your heart and it will be a memory to last forever. Have fun!

This is a cute video with lots of different proposals, the music is a bit annoying but you can just turn it down!

How to Create the Perfect Rustic Wedding

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How to Create the Perfect Rustic Wedding

When hosting a wedding, people often want to stand above the rest. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to impress people as most ideas are so overused that it’s not easy to stand out. While true, don’t give up as you can throw a rustic wedding that will impress all your guests. However, it’s not an easy wedding to pull off. Luckily, with these five tips, you can throw the perfect rustic wedding.


Without a doubt, if you want to throw a rustic wedding, you can’t do so at a hotel or another modern venue. At the same time, if you want to impress your guests, you won’t do well if you are on the beach or other areas where crowds of strangers will congregate. You need to find a nice location in the middle of nowhere. With an older house and barn, people will grow excited when they notice all the interesting and old buildings. In fact, with an old and worn barn door, you will impress people and watch as they take plenty of pictures and enjoy your setup. With an excellent site, you will go a long way in throwing a beautiful and memorable wedding.

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Painted wooden signs

When you want people to find your site, you will need a well-placed sign right off the road. While tempting, don’t run to a local printing shop and create a large banner. Also, it’s wise to avoid large cardboard signs as visitors will struggle to read the letters. No, instead, when you want to impress guests, find a large block of wood and create a hand-painted sign. Then, when on the road, visitors will not get lost as they will notice the rustic and unique sign pointing them in the right direction.
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Pillows on seats

A rustic wedding held outdoors will impress people and provide guests plenty of opportunities to take amazing pictures. To ensure that guests stay comfortable and don’t grow antsy, you need to invest in seat cushions or pillows. Then, once you find the pillows, you need to place them under each seat. Simply put, with pillows, your guests can sit comfortably and won’t need to deal with pain.
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Live band

If you want a rustic theme, you can’t play music from an iPod or smartphone; it will look tacky and the guests will notice. Instead, hire a band and require them to dress the part. When doing so, you don’t necessarily need to require your band to play country music or other older songs. However, if they dress up in rustic outfits and play well to the crowd, you will go a long way in creating the perfect atmosphere. Remember, nothing ruins a rustic wedding more than a tacky DJ or large speakers connected to an iPod. Finally, when you want to provide the stage, make sure to use reclaimed wood so it fits in with the rest of the theme.
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Ensure your guests wear the right outfits: When you send out invitations to your guests, you need to let them know it’s a rustic wedding. Most people, when heading to a wedding, will wear a suit and tie. While a nice look, if you are hosting a rustic wedding, you will probably want people to wear something a little more unique. If you tell them this in your invite, you will avoid communication problems when people show up dressed in the wrong outfit for the situation.

When you want to throw the perfect rustic wedding, you need to prepare well in advance. While some things like weather are not in your control, you can take a few steps to help everyone remain comfortable and happy. With these five simple tips, not only will you throw the perfect wedding, but your guests will have fun and won’t need to worry about the elements or any other issues.