Monday, August 16

Brand New Bridal Styles... Round Two!


As if I didn’t already obsess over White House Black Market enough, I found out I could love them just a little bit more after discovering their newly expanded wedding boutique this morning. If you recall, I blogged a couple of weeks ago about the new line of wedding attire and accessories from WHBH, but at that time, they only offerered one “limited edition” gown. Well guess what? They just introduced three more gorgeous and affordable styles! In addition to adoring the newest bridal gowns, I found myself also swooning over the sexy but classy bridesmaid dresses that are designed to match the bridal gowns. Is it any wonder why I wish I could have more than one wedding, just so I can implement all my favorite wedding fashions?! Check out their newest designs and see what I mean…
For the Bride…
AudreyFront Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
AudreyDetail Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
Audrey – $698

GraceFront Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
GraceDetail Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
Grace - $498

katharineFRONT Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
KatharineDetail Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
Katharine - $348

VictoriaFront Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
victoriaDetail Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
Victoria - $598

For the Bridesmaids…
Black Tulle Ballerina Gown Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
Black Tulle Ballerina Gown (Pair this style with the Victoria bridal gown!)

RubySatinRosette Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
Ruby Satin Rosette (Goes great with the Audrey bridal gown!)

The Black Katharine Gown Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
 Black Katharine Dress (Goes perfectly with the Katharine bridal gown!)

Strapless Ruched Satin Rose Dress Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two! 
Strapless Ruched Satin-Rose Dress (The gathered waist matches perfectly to the Grace bridal gown!)
Don’t forget to accessorize…
 SATINCHIFFON FLORAL T STRAP HEEL Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
Satin Chiffon Floral T-Strap Heel - $108

128GLASS PEARLRHINESTONE BOW NECKLACE Brand New Bridal Styles… Round Two!
Glass Pearl Rhinestone Bow Necklace – $128
Which new style is your favorite? It’s a tough decision, but mine is probably the Victoria when you pair it with the matching bridesmaid dresses. Check out the entire boutique yourself by visiting the White House Black Market site!

Wednesday, August 11

Treat Your Bridesmaids


As the wedding day quickly approaches, I find myself shopping for one last special gift for each of my bridesmaids. I’ve already picked up a few things over the past couple of months that I thought each bridesmaid would like, but I’m still looking for a little something extra that shows just how much I appreciate all their time and hard work. So as I perused the internet last night looking for a gift that was worthy, I came across these adorable edible creations by Weddingish. Not only would they be a great way to say thanks to your maids, but if you’re just starting out in the planning process and have yet to find a creative way to ask your bridesmaids, this would be the perfect way to say “will you?”. The cookies come in all different designs and can be ordered through dozens of different companies with a simple google search. Even better news is, for less than $10 each, they’re affordable on any budget! Here were some of my favorite picks:
 Treat Your Bridesmaids
 Treat Your Bridesmaids
 Treat Your Bridesmaids Treat Your Bridesmaids
Another great idea is to give a personalized cookie to a bride-to-be! They’re perfect for a congratulations to a newly engaged friend, or even as a tasty treat to give at a bachelorette party. I thought these were so cute since they come with a little crown pin!
 Treat Your Bridesmaids
Who doesn’t love a delicious sugar cookie, especially one that was made just for them? You could even DIY these cookies if you’re the baking type! No matter what, your girlfriends are going to swoon over a gift like this… and if you’re lucky, they might even share!

(All Photos by Weddingish.com)

Tuesday, August 10

CONTEST: Win a Foxy Originals Jewelry Set!

Who doesn't love an exciting giveaway? The Upbeat Bride has teamed up with Foxy Originals to give one lucky reader a free 'Dreams Come True' necklace and bracelet set!

Foxy Originals is quickly becoming one of the web's most popular boutiques by offering a line of trendsetting fashion jewelry designs. Their creations are catching on like fashion wildfire and already being worn by fashion icons such as Sienna Miller, Megan Fox, Paris Hilton, and Miley Cyrus!

 

Foxy's beautiful jewelry pieces make perfect thank-you gifts that your bridesmaids would absolutely love. Their popular ‘Wearable Words’ necklace and bracelet series include five memorable phrases to choose from: ‘Live Laugh Love’, ‘Love and Be Loved’, ‘Peace on Earth’, ‘Dreams Come True’ and ‘You Are My Sunshine’. These quotes are then scrambled up into a delicate charm that is truly unique! For more information about these pieces and other fabulous bridal selections, click here. Foxy offers a huge selection of jewelry styles and designs, so be sure to browse their entire site. There's truly something for everyone!




Are you ready to WIN the Foxy necklace and bracelet jewelry set shown above? Simply e-mail theupbeatbride@yahoo.com and answer this question: What has been your biggest dream come true?

*No purchase necessary. One entry per person. Winner will be drawn at random on Friday, August 27, 2010 and notified via email no later than August 31, 2010. Upon entering the contest, you consent to have your first name, state, and answer posted on The Upbeat Bride blog.

Thursday, August 5

DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!


Today I’m finally getting the chance to reveal our wedding invitations, the project that has been a DIY work in progress over the past several months. I was shocked (yet impressed!) to learn that our St. Louis guests had already started receiving their invites on Monday, only 3 days after having mailed them out from Tampa, FL. Hopefully by the time this blog is posted, our guests will all have gotten a first hand glimpse at the invitations and I’m not ruining the surprise for anyone.
Let me start out by saying that this was one massive undertaking. I love hand making all types of things; I take pride in being crafty and putting a personal touch on anything I can, especially when it comes to our wedding. But even with tons of help from my fiance, creating our own stationery was a huge challenge, and if I could do it all over again, I’m not sure I would go the homemade route. I’ll explain why.
Joe and I are both very picky and detail-oriented. To call us both perfectionists would not be a far stretch. So when we began the search for what would become our invitations, we started out like any other engaged couple would. We scoured the internet and browsed catalog after catalog, looking for the perfect invitation style to match our personality. But even after all of our research, the only thing that even came close to being exactly what we were looking for was $4.50 per invitation/response card set. Seeing as how we needed 60 total (without accounting for a few extra to have on-hand), that put the cost for just the invitation and RSVP to $270. Not bad, right? The only issue was, we KNEW we could create something similar to – if not better than – that same invitation for a fraction of the cost. All it would take was a little patience and determination. (Or a lot of it, as we would come to find out.)
From my experience, the most challenging aspect of invitation creation was finding all the supplies we needed. I had a very specific vision in mind and wouldn’t settle for anything less than perfect, no matter what obstacles stood in our way. We’d decided to use metallic pink, brown, and pearlescent ivory papers in the exact shades of our color scheme, which proved to be very difficult to find. We also needed the paper to be a certain thickness to ensure that each invitation would not be flimsy once we glued all three layer together. Eventually we did find exactly what we were looking for at Michael’s craft store, only to discover that the “special” pink paper had been imported from Italy and was being discontinued. We then began researching online paper suppliers and ordered numerous samples until we finally came across a paper similar enough to the ones we’d originally selected in the store. Fortunately the same supplier also stocked the brown and ivory paper we needed, so we were able to order it all at one time. Total spent on ALL wedding stationery, including the invitations, RSVP and directions cards, menu cards, programs, escort cards, and envelopes for 90 guests? A mere $150.
It was planned for each invitation to also be embellished with glitzy crystals and pink-tinted glitter to add a touch of eye-catching detail. We purchased two bottles of Stickles Fruit Punch glitter for a just few bucks, and I found all the Mark Richards crystal stickers we needed for a low bargain price on ebay. The glue we used to fasten the layers together was a tricky trial-and-error process, but we eventually settled on a simple stick of crafting glue found at Joann’s craft store. Since my scrapbooking paper cutter was pretty old and dull, we also invested $15 on buying a brand new one from Target. Total cost for all additional supplies? $25.
supplies 600x462 DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!
Joe and I worked together to create the printed design in Adobe Illustrator, a graphics program that I conveniently already had on my personal laptop at home. I searched high and low for the cursive font that we used, Feel Script, and the secondary font we chose was called Cambria Math. In order to create the green branch-swirl, I utilized the freehand pen tool and then used Photoshop to draw the little pink lovebirds. Then we used a laser printer to make sure the colors turned out clear and crisp, and printed several different times to ensure the ink colors matched the paper shades perfectly. Once everything was printed, I hand-sliced each ivory page, and Joe was on the glued-layers station where he put brown on pink, then ivory on brown. Then we set them aside to dry, and… Ta-da!
work 600x450 DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!
For Christmas last year, my Dad had given us a gift card to Stamps.com so we could order personalized postage for our invitations, featuring any photograph of our choosing. It was an easy choice to use my favorite black and white image from our actual proposal, and assuming 44 cents would cover our lightweight invitations, we ordered the stamps as the last step in the process. Meanwhile, my Mom was finishing up the calligraphy addressing of the envelopes, and the very same day they were returned to me, I stuffed, stamped, and sealed each and every one. (After months of planning and embellishing them, I was beyond ready to get them out of my sight!) I contemplated whether or not to just put the entire stack with the outgoing mail, but the less impatient part of me decided to first have them weighed at the post office just in case they required more postage. And guess what… it was a good thing that I did! Every single envelope required an additional 17 cents!! I was a little disappointed that the second stamp ruined the look of the pristine presentation, but I figured it was a better alternative than having the invitations returned to us, or even worse… requiring additional payment from the recipients. If I could offer my best advice for this stage in the planning process, it would be this: Make sure you weigh the invitations at the post office before mailing them!!! I thought I was in the clear with a 44 cent stamp, but the USPS certainly thought otherwise. Better safe than sorry!
stamp DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!
With the invitations out of my hands once and for all, I reflected on all the time and hard work we spent planning, researching, designing, testing, printing, slicing, cutting, gluing, embellishing… But can you believe it? We saved nearly $100 by creating our own invitations, and saved way more than that when you factor in that we got supplies for ALL of our stationery and not just the invitations. This is definitely promising news for any bride on a budget who is considering DIY invitations, but just understand that comes at another cost… commitment and dedication. It wasn’t always fun to hand cut, glue, and embellishment page after page, so I had to keep reminding myself how much our guests would appreciate all the time we spent making them personal, and how proud I would be of the outcome. In the end they turned out even better than I could have hoped, and they’ve been accepted with very positive feedback thus far.
So, what’s next on my to-do list? Menu cards! Ceremony programs will follow, and then lastly, escort cards. I’ll continue posting with updates on our progress. But now, without further ado… I present the photos of our DIY wedding invitations!
names 600x450 DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!

closeup2 600x450 DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!
map 600x450 DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!
star 600x450 DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!
rsvp 600x450 DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!
closeupbirds 600x365 DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!
cutout 600x450 DIY Project: Pink Lovebird Invitations!