Tag Archives: silver

DIY Gilded Cotton Boll Boutonnieres

1 Oct

Before even thought about my bouquet, I knew what I wanted to do for boutonnieres for the wedding. Anthony and I met at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park, Dallas so I thought natural cotton bolls would be a sweet nod to where we met (like our engagement photos).

Rather than paying $135 on boutonnieres (9 x $15 is what I was quoted), I DIYed my boutonnieres for $17.

I made the bows with metallic velvet ribbon and hot glue, then adhered them to the stems of the natural cotton. I was going to keep the stems natural, but last minute I decided to gild the stems with supplies I had leftover from making my wooden menus. I love how they turned out. I made silver boutonnieres for the dads, groomsmen, ushers, and officiant, but I painted Anthony’s gold.  I think these are perfect for fall wedding and could be painted any color. They can be made months in advance, and and add great texture to the grooms(men) attire.

Image

Originally I planned on hot-gluing pins behind the ribbons to attach the boutonnieres to the guys’ lapels to make it easy for them, but in the middle of making them, I found out the head of the cotton were just to heavy to stay upright. Typical straight pin application worked just fine.

DIY Gilded Cotton Boll Boutonniere www.gustoandgraceblog.com

All photos were taken by Jeremy & Krisitin photography. 

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DIY Floral Shutter Backdrop

13 Aug

When thinking about my what I wanted my wedding centerpieces one of the first questions I asked myself was “What did my sister have for her centerpieces?” For the life of me, I couldn’t remember. I had to ask her.

Here’s what’s interesting: I spent hours hot-gluing rose metals to long sticks to make the unique and dramatic centerpieces my sister envisioned. Between that, and realizing centerpieces had nothing to do with the priorities Anthony and I set for the wedding, I opted to forgo the expensive floral centerpieces.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t want flowers at the wedding. I love flowers. If I were the type of person who could rationalize spending oodles on a wedding, I would have had flowers everywhere.

DIY Floral Shutters *www.gustoandgraceblog.com*

I found another way to incorporate them in the decor without spending a new piece of furniture, or an extra mortgage payment. I made flower covered gold shutters for a grand total of $60.

While I just used small shutters on a table, you could use large shutters (or even a shutter like room divider), for an altar backdrop. Or you could use them as an escort card display, sliding escort cards (folded like a place card), in the slats of the shutters. I think they would look great in a fun color with bright flowers, I chose gold and white to stay consistent with my metallic color scheme.

DIY Floral Shutters *www.gustoandgraceblog.com*

All images were taken by Jeremy & Kristin Photography.

What you need:

  • Shutters- I got mine from a used home supply store for $6 per shutter
  • Spray paint- I used 2-3 cans of Rustoleum for my 3 shutters
  • Flowers- I used about 200 button poms and carnations to keep it cost-effective
  • Water tubes- I ordered a pack of 100 from afloral.com

The process is simple. Spray paint your shutters and let them dry completely (See my husband helping me on Instagram). The flowers can be added a day or two before your event. Add ice-cold water to all of your water tubes, filling them about two-thirds of the way. The cold water helps the flowers stay fresh and keeps them from opening too early. If you add the flowers the day of your event, room temperature water is fine.

Trim the stems of your flowers to  approximately 4-5 inches in length, varying them slightly. With the slats of your shutters facing upward (see photos), slip one or two flowers through a slat, putting a water tube on the back side. Repeat this process until your shutter is pretty well covered. Remember that most flowers will open up more after you purchase them, so leave a little room between flowers.

Do any of my wedding guests remember my centerpieces?

And Sixpence in Her Shoe

25 Jun

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…” Most people, especially non-British brides, stop the rhyme there. Did you know it goes on to say, “and a sixpence in her shoe”?

According to The Knot, “Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness; something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity; and a sixpence in your shoe is a wish for good fortune and prosperity.”

While I think that blessed marriages come from a lot more than rhymes and customs, why would I leave off the last part?

I didn’t.

My “something old” was a pair of shoes I splurged on, just after paying off my student loans, when I walked into Neiman Marcus and saw the designer there signing them. Maybe they aren’t quite old (my something borrowed and my sixpence were much older), but they were the only part of my wedding attire that was not purchased specifically for that day.

Something Old

My something new was my dress (though my veil, garter, and the necklace Anthony bought me were all new too).

Something New

My something borrowed came from my sister/matron-of-honor. A day or two before the wedding she asked me if I had something borrowed. I didn’t. She also asked me if I had earrings. I didn’t. She came to my rescue with a pair of vintage earrings that matched my necklace perfectly.

Something Borrowed

I put much more thought into my something blue than my something borrowed. A few months before the wedding I ordered blue clothing labels that read, “April 27, 2013 Gannoe-Paolini Wedding.” The tags came in multiples, so Anthony got one for each piece of his suit and some family members have our wedding date sewn into the clothing they wore that day.

Something Blue

The sixpence, from 1929 was ordered from Etsy. After misplacing the one I ordered, I almost used one from the 1940s that had been my stepdad’s grandfather’s from his travels. The night before the wedding, I found the one I purchased, and opted to use it so I would not lose such an irreplaceable heirloom.

A Sixpence in Her Shoe

All images, with the exception of the sixpence, were taken by Jeremy and Kristin Photography.

6 Tips for DIYing Your Wedding Invitation Suite

18 Jun

You’re Invited! Please join me weekly as I time travel back to our wedding day. Our photos are in, and we will be sharing them soon!

6 Tips for DIYing Your Wedding Invitation Suite

There are some parts of our wedding that worked out strangely and perfectly in our favor. Our invitation suite was one of those parts (if you remember, our venue was another).

When I first got engaged, I was over at my mom’s talking wedding planning, when she asked me if I was going to send save -the-dates. I told her I probably was not because the only ones I liked enough were these, and I didn’t have, or know anyone who had, a diecut machine.  What does my mom do? She goes to her closet and comes back with this. She says bought it for me for Christmas (this is August, y’all), but supposes it would make a better engagement present.

I DIYed our entire gold and silver suite (with plenty of help). Rather than spending $1500 on invitations, I spent $150. Here are my tips if you are making your own wedding invitations:

1. Don’t settle for fonts already on your computer

There are so many amazing fonts you can download for free or for a small donation to the creator. I scoured dafont.com.

2. “Brand” your wedding- Matchy- matchy is good

I ordered a custom wax seal and a custom address stamp from sellers on Etsy with one of the fonts I used on our paper goods. I omitted our last names and used Anthony’s address on the address stamp so Anthony and I can still use it. It was handy (and again, consistent) on our save-the-dates, wedding invitations, and thank you cards. I also ordered a stamp to match the wax seal to make the design on our favor bags consistent.

3. Paper Source is your best friend

I got most of my cardstock and envelopes from Paper Source. The mini envelopes on the “For Tears of Joy” Programs came from Paper Presentation. I cannot imagine that one of those two places does not have the color you are looking for.

4. There is etiquette 

Martha Stewart can help you with your wording. She can also tell you the proper way to address your envelopes. Lean on her genius.

5. Know thine printer

In my case, this meant knowing that inkjet printers won’t print on metallic paper. In your case, it could be that your printer won’t print on 4-bar (RSVP sized) cards. My dad has a laser printer, so I spent many nights in his home office printing programs, invitations, and RSVP enclosures. You can always take your layout to a copy shop (i.e. Kinkos) and have them print your suite for you if your personal printer won’t suffice.

6. If you plan on having guests RSVP electronically, include an e-mail address

Anthony and I forewent traditional RSVP cards. Instead we included cards that told guests how to RSVP on our wedding website. As an alternative, I included an e-mail address I created for responses. Wedding website can be unfamiliar and tricky to navigate, but most everyone knows how to send an e-mail. I personally didn’t care how people RSVPed, I just needed a yes or a no and a number. 

If you want to how-tos on the ruffled invitations or the number garland save the dates, I’d be happy to share.

My Love is in the (Hot) Air (Balloon) Bridal Shower

7 Mar

Last Saturday I attended the best bridal shower I’ve ever been to: my own! My bridesmaids, with plenty of help from my mom hosted a mint, gold, and silver hot air balloon themed party. It was obvious that they put a lot of thought and work into the day.

Hot Air Balloon Centerpieces

 

Bridal Shower Wish Tree

They made a wish tree for guests to put advice to Anthony and I on. Here are a few words of wisdom I thought were worth sharing:

NEVER stop flirting with Anthony.”

“Don’t divorce””

“Keep your sense of humor- never be afraid to laugh at yourself!”

“…Sow mercy and lots of kisses.”

“If you ever argue- fight naked-”

Donut Hole Skewers

Mint Menu and Hot Air Balloon Garland

The menu consisted of donut hole skewers, mini monkey breads, champagne cupcakes from Stir Crazy, mini quiche, mini pancakes with smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese, and a yogurt bar.

Love is in the Air Banner

We played a game that was loosely based off of the game IMAgiNiff. One of my bridesmaids read off questions with multiple choice answers and everyone (including myself) wrote down what they thought I would choose. At the end of the game, whoever had the most answers to match mine won. The questions were entertaining. For example: If Dominique were a road sign, what would she be? “Dangerous curves ahead” was my answer, of course!

Engagement Photo Clothesline

The gold and silver clothespins are hanging a few of our engagement photos. These will always be treasures.

Bridal Shower Guests from Above

The love and generosity of my friends on that day was overwhelming. I truly felt showered with love and blessings. And all because I fell in love… It was incredible to spend time with so many women who have shaped who I am and supported me for so many years.

Cookie Cutter Favors

I love the hot air balloon cookie cutter favors as much as all the rest of the guests.

Craft Night and Crepe Lasagna

21 Feb

I am deep into the project phase of my DIY heavy wedding planning. Last week, I hosted a wedding craft night.  With the help of my mom, Anthony’s mom, my bridesmaids, and a couple of other close friends, my wedding t0-do list has several new check marks! Having more than a dozen hands made the monotonousness tasks enjoyable and short-lived.

Gusto and Grace: Monogram Stamped Favor Bags

On craft night, cupcakes from the wedding cake baker were a must. So was this crepe lasagna my fiancé told me would be a great recipe to try “with my friends.” As the original recipe is in Italian, I translated it to English, converted it to US measurements and adapted a few things and here’s the recipe I ended up with:

Crepe Lasagna

Serves 8

For the crepes:

1 1/4 cup milk

7/8 cup of flour

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon Parmesan

Salt

Parsley or pesto

For the filling:

10 oz. frozen spinach

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg

1 cup Parmesan cheese

Approx. 15 oz. Ricotta

salt, pepper, nutmeg

For the sauce:

14 oz. tomato sauce

oregano, pepper

+ a handful of extra Parmesan

Mix all of the crepe ingredients together, then let the batter sit in the fridge for at least two hours but up to a day. To make the crepes, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup of batter onto a hot skillet or griddle. When the batter starts to bubble, flip it, like you would an ordinary pancake. You should get 6 or 7  8-9 inch crepes.

Saute the spinach with the garlic over medium heat. Mix in the ricotta. Stir in the egg. Add the Parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper. This will serve as your filling. Mix the tomato sauce with the oregano and pepper (or other Italian spices of your choice).

Pour a few tablespoons of sauce into the bottom of a 9 inch round pan. I used a glass pie pan. Lay down your first crepe, add filling, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Repeat until you have used about half of your crepes. Halfway, add only tomato sauce between two crepes, and then continue with the ricotta an Parmesan layers. Your top layer should be a crepe. Pour the tomato sauce on top and bake at 350F for 20 minutes. This is even better a day old!

Gusto and Grace: Gold Shutters

Between craft night, my stepdad’s work, and the weekend with my fiancé, in the past week mini envelopes have been stuffed, stands welded, shutters painted, favor bags stamped, envelopes embossed, yards and yards of ribbon cut, fabric strips torn, signs glittered and tissue paper ruffled.

Gusto & Grace: Collected Mercury Glass

Groomsmen suits have been chosen. Groom’s cake toppers have been ordered. I finally began to collect mercury glass pieces. Wine has been tasted and voted on. The officiant has been met with.  A timeline has been drafted. Ceremony music has been selected. It’s all coming together…

Sixty-four days and counting!

The Perfect Wedding Venue

23 Sep

Bell Tower Chapel- Katie Norris Portrait Arts

The venue is the first big piece of any wedding planning puzzle. When I think of the venue Anthony and I selected, I can’t help but think it is perfect. We started talking about where we wanted to get married and we came up with two absolute criteria: the first is that we wanted to get married in Fort Worth, where I, and both of our parents live, the second criterion was that I didn’t want to spend more than a certain amount on our venue. Anthony narrowed down the options even further by saying he didn’t want to stray too far from downtown.

Another deciding factor in our venue hunt was date. We played hopscotch on the calendar, avoiding family birthdays, holidays, and the Texas heat until we came up with our options: April or October. We didn’t want the average 14 month engagement, so we settled on April and started our search. I added one more thought to the list of ideals, but tried to remain flexible: I wanted to have the ceremony and reception in the same place.

I did my research, and lots of it. I began online by looking photos and compared pricing. Then I sent e-mails and made phone calls. Ultimately, I narrowed it down to two venues: YWCA and Bell Tower Chapel. I set up an appointment for Anthony and I at Bell Tower via e-mail, then called YWCA to set up an appointment and found out they were booked each weekend in April. If Bell Tower didn’t work out, the search would continue.

Let me back up a bit. When I first saw Bell Tower Chapel, it stood out to me. It was the only venue that grabbed me. It might have even been love at first sight (if you can fall in love with a venue).  I had never seen it, nor heard of it. I didn’t know anyone who had gotten married there, but the photos, which don’t do the venue justice, spoke to me.

We met with coordinators of Bell Tower, and signed a contract. That’s it. One venue is all we visited. But it gets better.  As silly or insignificant as they may seem the chairs that come with the venue are, well, perfect. My colours are metallics. The chiavari chairs for the reception area are gold. Additionally, what venue called Bell Tower would be complete without a bell? Anthony and I are looking forward to ringing the bell after we walk back down the aisle together. Wedding bells will be ringing, literally.

There are a couple of other details that add to the feeling of delightful perfection. The Chapel was built in 1958 and designed by architect Donald Nelson. That may mean nothing to you, but it holds significance to us. One of Donald Nelson’s most notable works was Fair Park, in Dallas, Texas, where we met! Furthermore, the chapel was donated in 2008 to ACH Child and Family Services. They had no programmatic use for the chapel and gardens so they use it as a wedding venue and all proceeds support the mission of the organization.

Location. Budget. Timing. Significance. Support.

Venue perfection.

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