Tag Archives: New York City

Destination: Inviting Invitations!


Destination: (Wedding) Invitation

They’ve been a long time coming, but I’m very excited to have FINALLY finished making my wedding invitations!

Because I decided that selecting an invitation ‘off the shelf’ would just be far too sensible and easy, so I managed to convince my fiance to brush up on his ‘self-taught’ Photoshop skills, and have a crack at making our own! It wasn’t easy, and we had our fair share of arguments, but it was worth it in the end.  Here’s what happened:

Destination: Procrastination!

After two separate (and completely different) failed attempts, we finally came up with something that reflects both of our styles and tastes, and was was alsonwithin our skill set to design and create!

The general inspiration around the invitation was a vintage theme, featuring art deco fonts and muted colours, with a focus on the minted ‘Tiffany Blue’ which will be our theme colour that runs throughout the wedding. We also incorporated some floral elements to represent Central Park in New York where our ceremony with take place.

Destination: Personalisation!

Despite the difficulties and heartache caused by ‘DIY’ invitations, now that they are finished it’s so nice to hand them out to our family members and have them notice all of the personalised elements that we included.

My favourite inclusion is the ‘Big Apple’ which is featured under the bottom scroll on the invitation.  Instead of going with the obvious clichéd red apple to represent New York, I decided to go with a ‘Tiffany Blue’ apple with a New York cityscape printed across it.  We then used this apple as the motif on our guest tote bags, which we had screen printed in the same colours and design of the invitations.

To add an element of fun, Trav and I also thought we’d include a tiny skull and crossbones at the bottom of the invitation next to one of the flowers.  Whilst this may sound a little random, When Trav and I first met he was a little ‘alternative’ for my Mum, however as she grew to love him she embraced this in a way that only a Mum can, and every Christmas or Birthday she would buy him something with a skull and crossbones on it, because in her mind this was what Trav was all about.  We thought this was a perfect way to add some fun and it will also create a talking point for years to come!

Destination: Make Your Own Invitation!

Here’s a few tips and tricks on how we made our invitations, but remember there are no hard and fast rules – I strongly recommend you take lots of ideas and then add your own personal stamp to make your invitations your own, as I think that’s the whole point of DIY in the first place!

Printing – We uploaded our finalised designs to Vista Print.  I have to say, they are the cheapest and easiest print option we’ve found, and they can print to a higher quality and standard than most people can do at home.  We’ve used Vista Print for our Engagement Invitations, Engagement Thank You cards, and many other projects and we’ve never been disappointed.  You can find them online at www.vistaprint.com

Accessories – We went to various paper and craft stores (we used www.thepaperconnection.com.au and www.eckersleys.com.au both in Brisbane CBD) to find the various elements used in our invitations.  The diamante buckles were by Christina Re, as were the laser-cut doily folders.  The ribbon we sourced at Eckersleys and the 16 x 16 invitation boxes were bought at Paper Connection.  They sell them individually and flat-packed which makes them cheaper, however putting them together isn’t pleasant so if you have a lot of invites, I recommend buying them fully assembled!

Whilst it took Trav and I a couple of months to finish our invitations, and there were times when I thought we were crazy for going out of our way to make life difficult for ourselves, I think the results speak for themselves, and we are both so happy to have an invitation that is uniquely ours, and represents both of our personalities.

xx DWB

PS. What do you guys think of our invitations? I’d love to hear your feedback so please feel free to add your comments!

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Destination: DIY


Ok. so if you haven’t already figured it out by my previous posts, or my weird and sick obsession by everything on Etsy, here it is: I like to dabble in Crafty DIY.  I’m not sure why but I’ve  always felt a certain amoutn of exhilaration in ‘Doing It Yourself’.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ll spell it out for you:  I’m one of those people who often browses markets and says “Why would I pay $40 for that when I can make it myself?” (and yes – I’m often that person who should just shut-up and buy it, because rarely do I have the time or energy to ‘make it myself’!) Having said that – I think that in a world full of mass-produced rubbish that there’s something refreshingly satisfying about making something yourself.  It’s unique, personalised and brings about a huge amount of satisfaction when you can tell people you made it yourself!

With my wedding on the horizon, this incessant need to DIY has really been thrust into the forefront as I experience the frustrations that I’m sure most of you planning a wedding have already encountered – That as soon as you mention the word ‘Wedding’ everything is fifty times more expensive than it normally is!  I’m also a huge believer that anything and everything regarding your wedding should be personalised to reflect you and your partner – because after all, it’s all about you two!

With that theory in mind, I decided that I’d start out my DIY test run on the Engagement party (as you may have seen in previous posts) and then really have it perfected down to a fine art in time for the wedding!

This blog is all about motivating and inspiring you to do the same – but keep in mind that you have enough to stress about for the wedding, so whilst the idea of sewing your own wedding dress sounds fabulous in theory – if your more likely to sew your own finger to the dress than be able to hand-craft the 200 taffeta rosettes that you are dreaming of – then don’t go there girlfriend!

Where do I Start?

Alright – so you’ve decided that you want to give this DIY caper a red-hot go, but you have no idea where to start right?  What I would normally do was stalk some of the amazing wedding blogs that are out there (or even event or craft blogs will work!) and start looking for ideas and inspiration (remember – the whole point of this exercise is to do something original – so avoid blatantly ripping off people’s ideas!).  You might find elements of things that you love, and then combine it with your own personalities and interests to make it unique.

Inspiring Destinations

As featured on Ruffled Blog

One of my favourite places to visit for inspiration for DIY inspiration is RuffledBlog. Not only is it a beautiful blog and full of inspiration, but there is also a dedicated section to DIY! They are constantly updating the blog so I recommend subscribing to their updates.

Another fabulous website that is full of inspiration for all kinds of things is Pinterest.  Pinterest is basically a website full of ‘interest boards’ that its users create and share. The boards can include anything from colour themes, images, craft etc. You can browse through peoples ideas and choose who to follow.  You can even make your own Pinterest boards which is a lot of fun….but I must warn you – it can be addictive!

One of my all time favourite time wasters is trawling through the pages of Etsy.  Etsy is basically an online market dedicated to  ‘hand made’ products.  It is the perfect place to find inspiration for any number of projects (or if you like to cheat – the perfect place to buy things that someone else made by hand!).  I spend hours just picking a topic and then sitting back with a cup of tea marvelling at peoples creativity!

Etsy Inspiration - by Geneploss

Practise makes Perfect!

Now that you have an idea of what you’d like to do, my best advice is to do a trial run – I can’t tell you how many fabulous ideas I’ve had, only to attempt it once and then realise my exclamations of ‘I could totally make that myself’ are not entirely true! Think about the cheapest, easiest ways you can achieve what you want, and don’t be afraid to use the expertise of your nearest and dearest to improve on your vision (e.g. I have a fiance who has an eye for detail, and he’ll often as quality control!).

Let the Creativity flow….

Once you’ve started your project and experienced the joy of having it actually turn out the way you’d imagined, start thinking about how you can personalise other aspects of your wedding, this can save you money on all sorts of things such as decorations, flowers, favours, the wedding cake, invitations, place cards, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

Lead by Example

In the hopes of inspiring you all, here are some examples of what I’ve managed to DIY for my own Engagement party/Wedding.  And trust me – if I can do it, so can you!

Click on any of the images below to see them in all their glory 🙂

xx DWB

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Destination: New York (themed) Engagement Party!


Our DIY Engagement Invitations

After much anticipation (and a little bit of trepidation) our Engagement party has now come and gone!  After months of designing invitations, planning menus, and countless afternoons of DIY crafting, our New York themed Engagement party happened last weekend, and it was a massive success! (Although I am slightly biased).

Location, Location, Location!

We chose a gorgeous spot in the Bayside suburb of Manly in Brisbane, and arrived at the park nice and early to secure ourselves a great table that overlooked the water.  We arrived nice and early to begin setting up trestle tables, bunting and all sorts of New York themed decorations, before the guests started to arrive at midday. If any of you also decide to use a public space that you can’t reserve, I recommend you arrive early and check the space out for amenities close by such as toilets, taps, and Barbecue’s that are in good working order

New York – The City that Eats!

Desserts were home-made by family members

Our aim on the day was to keep things as casual and relaxed as possible (an intentional nod towards the demeanor of the couple being recognised on the day ;-)) and decided that a BBQ lunch was the perfect way for people to kick back and enjoy a beautiful day on the bay.  We tried to make the menu meaningful and relevant, so all the usual suspects were present: Steak, sausages, coleslaw, potato salad etc.  It was also necessary to introduce some New York favourites to carry our theme throughout, so this included New York cheesecake, chocolate brownies, and our delicious Arnold Palmer ice-tea concoction!

Styled to Perfection

We also went out of our way to ensure our New York theme was recognisable, but not tacky so we kept our colours muted and used highlights of red to add a pop of colour.  I purchased some fabric that featured New York icons, then matched it with neutral tones of biscuit and white which my Mum sewed into bunting flags.  They looked amazing and it was nice to have this personalised touch which we will also be able to reuse for our Central Park wedding next year.  My fiance ordered some big red disposable cups as he loved the fact they resembled those used at American frat parties.  We then teamed them up with white paper straws that had red hearts on them that I sourced through Sharnel Dollar Designs.  They were very popular especially with the kids that attended!

Bunting made by my Mum featuring NYC icons

Favour Flavour!

As a special thank you to all of our guests who attended, we also created little party favours to ensure everybody got a little piece of New York to take home.  These came in two forms: The first was a little airmail envelope that we’d stamped and tied up with bakers twine.  Inside the envelope was a little thank you note, as well as three little Polaroid magnets that my Fiance and I made ourselves.  The images on the magnets featured photos of New York that we’d taken ourselves, as well as little descriptions.  The magnets were a hit and were a nice little talking point for all our guests as they now take pride of place on their refrigerators.  We got the idea from a blog by Ambrosia Girl and then changed the design to meet our own needs.

 

Red Velvet "Big Apple" Cake Pop Bouquets

The second take-home gift (although many didn’t even make it to the car-park before being devoured) were our Big Apple cake pops!  I ordered 70 red velvet cake pops from Tori’s Delights which were made to resemble big juicy red apples.  The cake pops were displayed in metal pails supplied by Tori and decorated with red and white apple ribbon that I bought from Ribbons Galore.  As a final touch, my Sister helped me hand-stamp our initials onto little manila shipping tags to add a personalised touch.

An Engaging Map

Because our wedding next year will be small and only attended by a handful of family members, I decided that the Engagement party was a more appropriate event to have everyone sign our signing board.  Because I thought the idea of a guest book was a little old-fashioned and not nearly creative enough, I decided to design my own framed map of New York, that was surrounded by a white photo mat that people could write on.  I purchased a good quality re-print of an old vintage map of New York, then took it to my local framing place to have a heart shape cut out of the photo mat.  They then put it all into a silver frame and left the glass out so that people could write on it.  After everybody had signed it, I took it back to the framing store so they could add the glass, and voila! we have a beautiful keepsake that will hang on our wall for years to come.

We designed our own signing board featuring a map of NYC

Party’s Over…

With the party now over, it’s so nice to look back and see all the hard work and planning paid-off, and that our closest friends and family had the opportunity to share such an exciting time in our lives.  If any of you are planning a destination wedding and you also aren’t able to have everybody you love attend your special day, I highly recommend throwing a destination-themed Engagement or Post-Wedding party.  You can do it with a very small budget like I did, or go all out and book a fabulous venue.  Either way, it’s worthwhile and I’m sure you’ll enjoy yourself as much as I did!

xx DWB

The Happy Couple

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Destination: Party Time!


Throwing an ‘Engaging’ Party

As a Destination Bride-to-be, part of the sacrifice my Fiance and I have made to have our dream wedding in New York City meant that we’ve had to keep our wedding an intimate affair.  This was a tough decision, as we both have lots of extended family and friends that we would have loved to be there to share our special day.  As a solution, we have decided to throw ourselves an Engagement party prior to our wedding and invite along everyone that we would have ideally liked to have at our wedding!

My fiance and I made each guest a personalised little favour that tied in with our vintage, destination New York theme!

Low-Key = Low Costs!

My fiance and I are pretty low-key people, therefore we decided to keep it a relaxed affair and have opted to have a BBQ in the park.  We chose a spot that has existing tables, seating with great views of the bay that we knew would be the perfect setting for our casual get together. 

 Whilst we were keen to keep the party fairly basic in terms of planning, we also wanted to ensure that our guests felt like this was their opportunity to celebrate our day with us, and to do that we went with a New York/Vintage theme that will reflect our actual destination wedding.

To do this, we made a lot of the party favours and decorations ourselves.  Not only was this cheaper, but it meant that we could personalise and inject our own quirky personalities into everything we planned. 

If DIY is not your thing, don’t forget there are lots of great companies that hire out party decorations too.  I’ve arranged to hire a large glass drink dispenser through  Sharnell Dollar rather than spend a fortune on buying one brand new.  It will look a million dollars on the day, but in reality cost lest than $50 to hire! There are lots of other great products available too, and it means you get the look you want without having to blow your budget.

Choosing a Palette

I was completely overwhelmed when it came to choosing a colour palette. I started out by heading to Spotlight to find some fun fabric to make up some decorative bunting. My mum had pointed me in the direction of some fantastic New York themed fabric that had cute iconic NY images printed on it.  The colours were simple and neutral (biscuit, white and red) so I found some other designs to compliment this, and went from there! I decided to build upon the theme and added in some fun additions, including a decorative wooden apple, a miniature statue of liberty (that we bought on our last trip to NY), and few other bits and pieces to decorate tables and help carry the theme throughout.  Once you find your groove, the colour palette is easy but if like me you were slow to start, check out The Perfect Palette who specialise in colour palette possibilities – If you don’t find exactly what you are looking for you will at the very least get an idea of where to begin.

I chose my palette after finding these fabrics that I loved, which we used to make decorative bunting!

Choosing a Theme

It’s not easy choosing a theme or colour palette, however if you are struggling to come up with your own, try talking to the experts!  I met the lovely girls from Enchanted Empire recently at a Brisbane Bridal Expo, and they did some amazing stuff! They have a gorgeous website and had some beautiful original ideas.  If you are on a lean budget and can’t afford the luxury of an event planner or stylist, I recommend looking to blogs for inspiration, I know they are a constant source of inspiration to me! Check out our Facebook page for some of our favourites. 

Once your theme is in place, you can decide how you are going to replicate it in other aspects of your party. I decided to stretch the New York theme throughout our menu for the day, so steak, mini hot-dogs and coleslaw will all be featured on our menu.  We’ve also decided to do up a big batch of ‘Arnold Palmers’ (a popular iced-tea/lemonade drink) to keep our guests cool and hydrated throughout the day.  We tried our first ‘Arnold Palmers’ at the famous Magnolia Bakery (of SATC fame) in the US last year, and have been longing for them ever since so we figured this was the perfect occasion to try making them ourselves.

I love Enchanted Empire's take on this 'Pink Lemonade' theme

It’s all about You!

Whilst most of what I’ve planned for our Engagement Party is all about pleasing our guests and ensuring everyone enjoys themselves, remember that at the end of the day this celebrations is all about you and your partner! Make sure you inject your personality and some of the things that make your relationship special, and then remember to sit back and enjoy your day….as it’s not often you get a room full of your friends and family and an opportunity to Party!

Please check back with us soon for the second part of our blog, which will include some pictures and the wrap up from our engagement party on Saturday! Wish

xx DWB

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