A Thousand Threads

Category: DIY

6 Simple Rules for Planning a Destination Wedding

jose villa

When I tell people that my wedding is on the other side of the country, the first question they always ask is, “How the !!?# did you plan from here?” And I’m not gonna say it was easy, but here are a few things I did that made the process of planning from afar a whole lot easier…

1 // Get a coordinator. Oh my lord get a coordinator. You don’t have to go all the way, you can just get a day of, but having someone on the ground will make a world of difference. A coordinator can answer questions and provide recommendations for anything from the most kickass band to the place you want to have your dress steamed when you get into town.  Most importantly, just knowing you have that person backing you up will relieve a boatload of stress.

2 // Research, research, research. If you can, use yelp. And scour the vendor guides of your favorite blogs like a crazy person. I’m telling you, I can still rattle off who is and is not included in Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book… and whether they also appear on Green Wedding Shoes and Once Wed.  It’s a sickness.

If you’re going overseas use a reputable guide that you trust, like Frommers or Lonely Planet. We depended on these heavily on these for our honeymoon.

3 // Check out the average wedding cost where you’re headed… is it the highest in the country? The lowest? The truth might not change your mind, but it’s a good thing to know going in.

4 // Use Skype.  There is literally nothing better for planning from out of town.  You can still meet every one of your vendors face to face.

5 // If you can, take one trip there before the wedding. Hopefully you already know enough about the venue so that you don’t need to go early on in planning (if you don’t, I really recommend two trips. Don’t book a venue sight unseen… you never know what little surprises might pop up, and you don’t want to discover them after it’s too late).

On your main trip, try your food, cake, meet with your coordinator and officiant and, if you have time, get your engagement shots taken. Rentals, lights, and little details are easy to book from afar.

6 // Relax. This is a destination wedding, and I imagine that one of the reasons you chose this whole deal is that the place is beautiful… right? So here’s the thing. That beautiful place? It counts as big fat chunk of your decor. You might not be able to carry or ship quite as many little details as you’d like, but even with the most minimal personalization, your location will shine – and I’m pretty sure it will beat a 50′ long crepe paper garland any day of the week.

Trust that your wedding will be beautiful and special and yours.

And if there is any little piece of you that doubts me, watch this.

Photo: Jose Villa

Currently Obsessing Over

This napkin set, featuring correspondence written by the likes of Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson, would be the perfect addition to any registry.

Or maybe even an idea for a fun wedding day DIY?

Photos: Rylee Hitchner via Once Wed

Floral Inspiration: Ranunculus

Native to Asia and celebrated for its bright beauty, the ranunculus is available in nearly every color, from white to pink, red, yellow, and orange.  Often considered as a cost-effective alternative to the rose and the peony, the lush, multipetaled bloom is actually a relative of the buttercup — that little flower you might have picked and held close to your chin as a child — and stands just as well on its own as it does as an accent.

Season: Late fall to early spring.

Meaning: You are radiant with charm, attractive.

Pros: The sturdy stem and hardy flower of the ranunculus make it a popular choice for wedding arrangements.  Once cut, ranunculus can last up to a week, making it an ideal pick for both bouquets and centerpieces.

Ranunculus comes in many colors, and is pretty in bouquets at all levels of openness, from a tight bloom to a fully open flower.

Cons: Because there is only one flower on each stem, and the flowers tend to be small, many stems will be needed in each bouquet.  Unless, that is, you use the ranunculus as an accent flower.

The ranunculus can be wire-wrapped, but prefers to be in water and may begin to droop by the end of the night without it.

Photo: Once Wed

Floral Inspiration: Poppies

Of all the temptation one suffers through planning a wedding, I’ve managed to resist, well, a little.

I love flowers more than I can say.  So believe me, my decision to DIY is not for lack of respect for incredible women like Kate and Kelly — whose bouquets I would gladly give my right arm for.  But a girl has to pinch a penny here and there… and flowers are one thing I’ve decided my limited crafting skills might allow.  So, research wonk that I am, I’ve set off to learn as much as I possibly can about the flowers I might be able to use.  And, along the way, I thought I might share a little of the information I learn.

Starting with one of my very favorites… poppies.


Poppies are a part of the Papaveracea family, which contains around 200 species, 120 of which are named “poppy.”  There are many different species, including the famous corn poppy and the bright orange California poppy.

The extremely diverse flower can grow almost anywhere, from Iceland to California, on sand dunes and mountains, and comes in many colors including red, orange, pink, white, yellow, and blue.

Season: Poppies are most commonly available in the spring and summer, and are grown both commercially and in gardens throughout the US.

Meaning: Poppies are often associated with sleep, but they also stand for imagination.

Pros: Poppies are available in many colors and are a standout showpiece in any bouquet.  They can be used in small and large arrangements alike (even as a single stem) and pair well with many other flowers.

Cons: Unfortunately, poppies are also very delicate.  They don’t last long once cut, a few days tops, and may be tough to ship in good shape.  If you decide to go with poppies, you should arrange them just before use and keep them in water as long as possible.

Tip: Hand tie your bouquet so that the ends can be kept in water right up to the last moment.

Photos: Jen Huang, Charley Star, Jose Villa

Baby’s Breath

With a little help from my flower-savvy aunt, I think we’ve decided to DIY our flowers… so I’m on a mission to gather as much information and as many ideas as I can, and one thing I’m really loving is baby’s breath.

Photo by Elizabeth Messina via Ritzy Bee.

DIYing our flowers makes a lot of sense.  Mark and I spend a lot of time outdoors and I tend to be a little crunchy as it is, so it really wouldn’t be right for us to have anything that looks too manufactured… we want a natural look, and I think that’s something we can get on our own.

Of course, there are a million amazing florists who could also get that look for us.  What we’re really talking about here is money, and in my opinion, flowers are a great place to find savings.  If you’re like us and want a really natural look, not only can you probably get that look on your own, your flowers will be that much more personal because you did them yourself.  DIY projects can be really rewarding that way.

(… and speaking of money, baby’s breath is super cheap.)

Baby’s Breath Poms / Chair Decor / Bouquet / Bouquet and Books / Burlap Cone

Ultimately, I’d like to add some color in as well.  Mark would like to incorporate snapdragons and I love sweet peas.  I would also like for our flowers to be as local and in season as possible (and I have no idea if that applies to either snapdragons or sweet peas… or baby’s breath ack!).

Lots to learn!  But I really do like those big masses of baby’s breath.

DIY CD Cover

It was my dad’s birthday recently, and (since we’re planning a wedding and all) we’re a little short on money… but not at all short on time or love! So I decided to DIY my music-obsessed father a mixed tape… er, CD. Mark found these really great CDs that look just like an old 45 and I couldn’t have been more excited to use them!

Then I took a little trip to the craft store and picked a few things out for the cover. It might not be quite as rock ‘n’ roll as my father (that’s him below) but I still think it’s pretty cool.

This would make a great favor… in fact I think something similar might make an appearance in my guest totes. Click through for the full DIY.

Read the rest of this entry »

Handmade Favors

Grits for Two

It’s the little details that always get me.  You can really tell that a couple poured their hearts into their wedding when the little details seem to represent who they are.

These days, many of us (Mark and I included) have developed an entire life together before we ever say, “I do,” so it is particularly special to be able to share a little piece of what might normally only be ours, on our wedding day.  One great way to do that is through favors.  Maybe you love to garden, or can your own vegetables… maybe you have an amazing collection of family recipes between the two of you that you want to share… maybe you just love jam.  Whatever it is, there is something so special about a handmade favor.

Limoncello / Rosemary Salt and Clementine Sugar / DIY Succulents

I’ve decided to leave my favor decision to the very end… feeling like it’s sort of the “icing on the cake” (bad, sorry) of what I hope will be a great wedding, but there are so many ideas out there… I’m having fun dreaming up what might be the perfect little gift for our guests!

DIY Soaps / Recipe Favors

I want to be sure that our choice is a true representation of us… even if that just means it’s likely to be food.  If there is one thing that Mark and I manage to prove every time we’re together… it is that we love to eat.

I’ve really been wanting to get into canning lately, so maybe I’ll stumble upon a great idea there… I’ve also considered these amazing little creations, since marshmallows are pretty much my favorite thing ever… and the same goes for caramel and Mark, but you never know what we might come up with in the end!  I’m trying to remember to pace myself.

… we do still have well over a year.

A Little Inspiration: Amber, Blue, and Red

Krystal Mann / SB Childs Photography / Edyta Szyszlo Photography / DIY Paper Rosettes / Table Setting via Dreamy Whites

Threads of Love

I had to make sure this pretty little photo shoot by Bunch Studio, posted on Style Me Pretty yesterday, made it onto the blog.  Not only is it adorable — with all its crafty charm (I love the yarn streamers!!) — it also pulls its inspiration from the same quote that inspired the name of my blog!

“Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.  That is what makes a marriage last more than passion or even sex!”
~ Simone Signoret

Venue: Petit Ermitage / Photography: William Kim Photography / Designer + Florals: Bunch Studio / Planner + Stylist: Erica Espana / Paper Goods: Pitbulls and Posies / Rentals: PowWow Vintage Rentals / Cake: IBI Cake / Beauty: Kelly Zhang / Gown: Winnie Couture / Models: Todd Hughlett + Lindsey Nelson

A Little Inspiration: A Rustic Pop of Color

I feel like most rustic inspiration lacks color, and I understand the urge.  I love the simple look of a barn wedding in natural wood tones.  But what about a pop of color?  Is that allowed?  And how much color is too much color, for any type of event?  I’ve been playing with that idea for a while now.

Jill Thomas via Style Me Pretty / Invitations by Be True Designs via 100 Layer Cake. / DIY Fabric Chandeliers via Luna and Chloe Weddings / Sweet Caroline Photo via Style Me Pretty / Aaron Delesie via Style Me Pretty / Harwell Photography via Style Me Pretty / DIY Coffee Filter Garland via Pam Garrison / Field Photo by Edyta Photography / Sweet Caroline Photo via Style Me Pretty