wedding invites, from frugal to extravagant!

9th April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

I was absolutely shocked when I saw how expensive all paper products for weddings are! Who would have thought that something so tiny and thin would cost me 12 percent of my wedding budget! Here are some fanatic ideas for your wedding paper invitations regardless of your budget. There’s always something for everyone!

Note: Many people automatically assume that an e-invite would be the cheapest way to go because it’s….well, free. Don’t even think about it. This fringes on tacky! Spend the extra money to purchase some paper goods and stationery to notify guests of the occasion!

For the budget savvy bride: Clearly DIY is the way to go here. There are many kits you can purchase to DIY or purchase the materials at your local craft or paper good store. Your best inspiration for something like this would be Pinterest– type in keywords like DIY invites, DIY wedding invites, and DIY paper goods and you love what you find! Most of these give a how to as well. Invite your bridesmaids over and have an invite making day, it will be fun and inexpensive!


Image Courtesy of


For the techie bride: If you’re anything like me, you will enjoy and take advantage of all that technology has to offer frazzled brides. I purchased my save the dates from a smaller printing company with vintage and mod romantic designs (PearTreeGreetings); order over 150 and you can get your cards for as little as 53 cents each. They’re amazing designs and if you order in bulk, will save you a ton of money. Many smaller printing companies like this have templates online you can create your invites with customizable colors, shades, themes, and your own photos . ( Check out wedding paper divas too!) Once you’re done, they send you a proof to approve or deny and then you’re on your way!


Invites available at


For the non-existent budget bride: *Sigh*  Don’t we all wish we didn’t have budget constraints? I envy you ;) if you’re one of those brides who does not have a strict limit on funds, you can hire a graphic designer through a friend, freelance site, or places like and they will create your own original design based on what you want or have envisioned. It will be a one of a kind design and invitation set, created just for you! For extra money they can have them printed as well, just depends on your time frame and how busy of a bee you are. Looking for a more elaborate invite? Stick them in aged bottles for ” Message in a Bottle”,  have 3-D invites, hire a videographer to create a video story for  DVD invites, or hire  a techie for an iPhone app invite with details to location, registry info, couples stories, and a slide show of engagement photos.


Image Courtesy of







an intimate backyard wedding…

7th April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Backyard Wedding Ideas


2012 Wedding Trends– it seems to be a year of going back to the basics, simplicity is key, less is more & all that jazz.
Backyard weddings are a beautiful setting for your wedding. It incorporates elegance, simplicity, and the vintage style we all love. Your backyard can serve as your ceremony and reception, and most of all– your home.


Who said your backyard can't be a wedding venue? Image Courtesy of StyleMePretty


Decor: Flowers, flowers, flowers. Utilize the florals in season (or in your backyard) and encompass them into everything–incorporate them into the hairstyles, decor, background decor, the food tables, etc.


Backyard Weddings: Simplicity & Elegance in your own backyard. Image Courtesy of the Blog



Menu:  Again, because the general tone of your backyard wedding will most likely be casual, your menu can be that as well. Take simple, casual dishes and add some flair. BBQ or smoked meats and grilled kabobs–or things like herb roasted vegetables, marinated and grilled chicken, fruit salsa, and strawberry shortcake. You can’t go wrong with these favorites!


Image Courtesy of


Favors:  Backyard weddings allow you to have a lot of versatility in your wedding favors you choose to set out at the end of the night. A favorite that can be encompassed as a wedding favor AND dessert is a milk and cookie bar. There are plenty of ways to have this at your wedding– just depends on your style & taste.


Cookies & Milk Wedding Favors: Adorable favor idea for a backyard wedding. Image courtesy of



diy florals with an edge..

29th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Stumbled across this beautiful photo on Pinterest, and naturally it sparked some DIY ideas of my own. So many brides are set on using fresh florals, but what about ad libbing, being creative, and creating something that not many have done before?


Let’s take this storybook bouquet for a bride’s storybook ending. I love the meaning behind this bouquet. Love truly is a story– it has a beginning, middle, end, and a ton of chapters that are unlike any other book you’ve read. You have a unique story and I feel this conveys that point so beautifully. What do you think?

As a write, author, and journalist I’m actually considering a design like this!

Interested? Check out these DIY blogs on how to make a bouquet such as this!

Love & Tulle,

Hope A.


cake time…sweet decisions.

15th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Last week I finally got to attend my first cake tasting. I’ve emailed various bakers back and forth, had a couple phone conferences and exchanged business cards with a few bakeries at bridal shows. With so many different vendors to pick from, it’s hard to hone in on just one! Here’s some tips when choosing your baker:


1.Price. Know your cake budget before going into the meeting– find out the price difference between fondant and buttercream, edible flowers and decorations, and cake vs. cupcakes, etc. What are you willing to spend, and what can you do without?

2. Cleanliness. It’s important to see the facility of a bakery– I encourage you to go to the actual location of where the cakes are made so you can get a good idea of how clean and neat this particular baker is.

3. Reputation. It’s a wise idea to go with a baker that has built a reputation with other brides in the area. Ask to see previous wedding cakes and cupcakes, ask to be referred to their review Facebook page or feedback, know your baker and how they operate their business before you sign any contract or put down a deposit.

4. Ask Questions. You are paying your baker to give you what on your special day– so make sure that they are professional, give you what you’re looking for and will be able to create and deliver it within the time frame you need. Regardless if it’s just a matter of wanting a different shape flower, a different colored ribbon, or a food allergy– speak up and ask questions, give specifics of what you’re looking for.


Two of my possible cupcake designs from my chosen baker here in Grand Rapids.

have a bollywood inspired wedding….

27th August, 2010 - Posted by Lia - 4 Comments


Over the past couple of years, Bollywood has taken society by storm. There is a Bollywood craze in North America and in countries across the world. It hit North america when the  2008 film, “ Slumdog Millionaire”  hit theatres and ever since then, it has  sparked an interest in this age-old culture. Bollywood is making its appearance everywhere in many different ways.  Fitness clubs are offering Bollywood dance classes, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine restaurants are gaining quick popularity, and the films, dance, and fashion of Bollywood is making it all over the world. 

Whimsical Bollywood Style Wedding Cake

Bollywood is noticed and cherished through many factors, one of which being the bright colors and intricate patterns on the clothing and fabrics. If you are looking to add an original twist to your wedding, or perhaps getting in touch with part of you and your family’s culture, consider going Bollywood for your wedding theme.  There are Bollywood stores and online vendors that offer you the best costumes and accessories for your wedding day.

The colors are what makes Bollywood style so fantastic. The bright and vivid colors are what defines and  creates the elaborate costumes and culture of Bollywood. Incorporating this into your wedding add originality to your special day.

A Bollywood theme can be used in every aspect of the wedding. Creating or having a brightly colored sash to put around your wedding gown, or across your shoulder will add some flair. Decorate the ceremony and reception Bollywood style by hanging tapestries or rent a tent and decorate the ceiling with the fabrics, colors, and intricate interior design of Bollywood culture.

If you are interested in incorporating the Bollywood entertainment to your wedding, look no further. Bollywood is becoming so popular there are most likely plenty of bands that play Bollywood music,  and dance companies that will come and teach your guests the dance steps. If you are looking to save money on on DJ and entertainment, make a playlist of Bollywood favorites on your iPod or CD player.

Regardless of how you incorporate the traditions and beauty of Bollywood, it is sure to be a hit.  Your wedding will leave a lasting impression as your wedding will shine, while it is celebrated in Bollwood color and flare.

If you’re in Calgary, Canada & would like a Bollywood theme to your wedding visit: Fusion Bollywood Inc

For bridal henna in the Toronto, Canada area contact the Henna Sooq: Henna Sooq