Wedding Luminaries


My wedding is at the beginning of next month. So… I have been running around and doing the last minute meetings. At the meeting I just had with the wedding coordinator from the church, I realized we had a slight problem. Our church does not have a defined entranceway. It actually has three entrances that look quite similar. So, I had to think fast on a way to define the walkway to the entrance. I have decided on luminaries! Since it is a winter wedding in the evening I thought these would be perfect. So, now I am super excited. I thought these would be great for any winter wedding or even an evening wedding. So I decided to post the instructions. Enjoy! I hope you like the idea.


To make your own luminaries, you will need:


* Votive candles (look for long burning)
* White paper bags, lunch-sized
* Sand or kitty litter
* Long lighter (like you’d use for the grill)


Step 1
Decide where to place your luminaries. Measure the area. For closely placed luminaries, figure one for every foot. For wider spaced luminaries, place them every two feet.


Step 2
Unfold the bags, and turn the openings over 1 inch so that the bag is more stable.


Step 3
Fill each bag with 2 inches of sand. This will be around 2 cups. If you don’t have sand, you can use kitty litter. Because kitty litter is lighter than sand, you’ll use more—3 inches or 3 cups. Sand or kitty litter is vital. It keeps the luminary from blowing over and safeguards against fire.


Step 4
Place the bags outside where you would like them. When night falls, it will be time to light them.


Step 5
Nestle the candle into the sand (or kitty litter). With the long lighter, light the candle. If you don’t have a long lighter, light the candles before placing them in the bags.


Your luminaries are complete! Remember to snuff out the candles before you turn in for the night. The next morning (or if you’re a night owl), pick up the bags. If the bag is damp, carefully pick up the bag. You don’t want the bottom to fall out and sand to get all over.


A Few Tips:


  • Check with your reception hall or church to make sure luminaries are allowed or if their is any stipulations that apply to them.

  • You can glue doilies on the inside of the bag for a beautiful effect.

  • You can use a decorative hole punch to adorn the top of the bags.

  • Snow or rain in your forecast? Wrap the bottom of the luminary in a plastic bag or plastic wrap to keep it from getting wet.

  • Make sure the luminaries are far away from anything that could accidentally be set on fire.

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DIY Truffle Topiary


Here is a holiday inspired dessert option that will leave your guests screaming for more!




* 3 packages (12 ounces each) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
* 2-1/4 cups sweetened condensed milk, divided
* 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
* 1/2 to 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
* 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
* 1-1/2 pounds white confectionery coating, divided
* 1/2 cup ground almonds
* 12 inch-high Styrofoam cone
* Miniature silk roses, red, pink and white (tree pictured used approximately 60 roses)


In a microwave-safe bowl, melt one package of chocolate chips. Add 3/4 cup condensed milk; mix well. Stir in orange extract. Cover and chill for 45 minutes or until firm enough to shape. Repeat two more times with remaining chips and milk, adding peppermint extract to one portions and almond extract to the other.


Shaping truffles: Shape chilled mixture into 1-in. balls; place on three separate waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill 1-2 hours or until firm.


Melt 3/4 pound white coating in a microwave-safe bowl or double boiler. Dip orange-flavored balls in coating and return to waxed paper to harden. Melt remaining white coating and dip balls once more to thoroughly cover. Let harden.


Melt chocolate coating in a microwave-safe bowl or double boiler. Dip peppermint-flavored balls in coating and return to waxed paper to harden.


If desired, melt any remaining coating and drizzle over orange-and peppermint-flavored truffles, as shown in photo at left.


Roll the almond-flavored truffles in ground almonds.


Making the tree: Cover the Styrofoam cone with foil if desired. Using toothpicks, stick one end into each truffle and the other end into the cone, covering entire cone with as many truffles as will fit attractively. Fill gaps between truffles with silk roses.(If necessary, you can attach the rose stems to toothpicks with small pieces of floral or masking tape and insert the toothpicks into the cone.)


Yield: 44 servings, 3 per serving.


Editor’s Note: White and dark chocolate confectionery coating is found in the baking section of most grocery stores. It is sometimes labeled “almond bark” or “candy coating” and is often sold in bulk packages of 1 to 1-1/2 pounds. It is the product used for dipping chocolate. Crafter’s thoughts: —These sweets are perfect for preparing ahead—undipped, they’ll stay fresh in the freezer for several months. (Thaw in refrigerator.) —Use toothpicks to dip the candies, then poke the picks into a foam scrap so the truffles’ chocolate bottoms dry smoothly.

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Beginner’s Guide to Wedding Etiquette: 50+ Tips and Resources

After announcing your engagement, the kudos and the parties have subsided and you’re ready to get down to the business of planning your wedding. One thing you will have to think about as you order your invitations and choose your DJ is how certain traditions should guide your behavior and shape your special day. That’s because like all most rites of passage, weddings require certain etiquette. Read up for a quick Manners 101 crash course that will help you become a savvier bride.

Meeting and Introducing Family

Unless you and your intended already have a super tight-knit family and group of friends, you may be stressing over meeting your in-laws, introducing them to your parents, and how everyone will get along in the process. Here are a few tips to help make the introductions effortless.

  1. Groom’s Parents Responsibilities: According to this article, traditional etiquette decrees that it is customary for the groom’s parents to call on the bride’s parents after an engagement is announced. Stressing this point could help assure that your parents meet before the wedding and that the burden for introductions is off of you.
  2. Meeting the In-Laws with Comfort : If you haven’t met your husband-to-be’s parents, read this article with great tips on how to make it less awkward. This author suggests tips like learning about your in-laws interests before you meet to help conversation flow smoother.
  3. Emily Post : According to Emily Post, your parents should meet his parents in the spirit of friendship – no matter who initiates the conversation. She recommends that even if distance is prohibitive these introductions occur before the wedding and occur in a casual setting.
  4. Hundreds of Heads: A compilation of advice from married couples who have already gone through the initial parental introductions. One woman recommends preparing a list of topics for each set of parents to review as conversation pieces.


Yes, there are even rules about who to invite to your wedding and how to address the envelopes. Maybe not the most fun part of your wedding etiquette research, but definitely a must-know.

  1. Engagement Party Guests : Do you have to invite everyone from your engagement party to your wedding? According to this wedding expert, yes.
  2. Wording Your Invitation : Yes, we’ve already mentioned that there are even etiquette rules for wording your invitations. Find out where to use formal and informal language on all your Save the Dates and official invites.
  3. Invitations for Divorced Parents: If your parents are divorced, you may be wondering how to word your invitation to reflect all of your parents and stepparents. Crane & Co. has some tasteful suggestions on how to handle a difficult situation.
  4. Wedding Paper Divas: Wedding Paper Divas tell you everything you need to know about who to invite to your wedding and how to invite them.
  5. eInvite: Along with wording, there are certain rules to keep in mind when you are addressing the envelopes. This article covers that topic and also gives tips for creating a guest list.
  6. Wedaholic: Figuring out how to whittle your wedding list down to an acceptable number can be a difficult and stressful task. But following this advice will help you create your wedding list with ease.

Table Manners and Place Settings

Conducting yourself and your loved ones at the dinner table will be a major consideration when planning your wedding reception. Find out how to best seat your guests and how to correctly hold a knife in the process.

  1. American Table Manners : A basic primer on the rules that govern table manners in America, including what foods are acceptable to eat with your fingers.
  2. Table Manners for Guys: Is your fiancé a little unruly at the dinner table? If so, give him this primer to make sure he’ll be on his best behavior at your reception.
  3. Wikipedia : Table manners are so important they have even earned a spot on Wikipedia. This entry covers the basics in table manners in pretty much every culture, helpful if you plan to wed in Peru.
  4. eHow: A resourceful article on how to create your very own seating chart. It states that when doing this your family should always be your number one consideration.
  5. Simple Seating: Simple Seating is a no frills, free service recommended by the people at Life Hacker for its usefulness.
  6. Expert Village: A short video that covers the proper way to hold a knife continental style.
  7. Perfect Table Plan : According to this site, 51 percent of wedding guests prefer having assigned seating. Follow these tips and create a seating chart that will make your guests happy and comfortable.
  8. Documents and Designs: Create a custom seating chart to match your theme by using this service.

Financial Concerns

“Who pays for what?” This might be the most common question you and your fiancé ask when going over your wedding budget. Here are some guides that will help you split up the costs without any bickering.

  1. Who Pays for What : Confused about what your family is responsible for payment-wise and what falls under your fiancé’s purview? Then you need this terrific checklist that tells you who pays for what. Not surprisingly, the bride’s family gets the majority of the bill.
  2. Who Pays for What II : Cross-reference your wedding etiquette facts on footing the bill with this simple list from Top Wedding Links.
  3. Who Pays for What III : Another handy resource for dictating the rules of check writing complete with suggestions on how split thing up if conventional rules about payment don’t mesh with your financial plan.
  4. Transportation Costs: Having an out of town wedding that requires your guests to incur some transportation costs? Find out whether you’re expected to pay for any of it.
  5. Bridesmaids Dresses: Feeling guilty about those pricy bridesmaids dresses you’re asking your girls to wear? Then compensate with a nice gift, because according to this source bridesmaids pay their own way.
  6. Honeymoon: Before you go demanding that your parents or your husband’s parents pay for the honeymoon, read this article, which states that there are actually no set rules for who pays for honeymoon expenses.
  7. Asking the In-Laws for Help: If you and your hubby-to-be need some extra help from his parents, but they haven’t offered to pay, what can you do?


Dancing is the most fun part of your reception, so follow the simple advice below for a lively and enjoyable night.

  1. Wiki Answers: This source says every reception should begin with the wedding dance. Eventually the bride’s father will cut in with the groom then asking the bride’s mother to the floor.
  2. Buzzle: This article says that despite the traditional rules governing the first dance, the main point to remember is that dancing at a wedding is a time for everyone to let loose and have fun.
  3. Buffalo Bride: A thorough guide to wedding dance etiquette.
  4. Cape May Wedding Guide: Cape May has listed some terrific suggestions for how to pick your wedding songs, how to structure the dancing at your reception, as well as a long list of popular wedding songs for the dances that matter most.
  5. Most Popular Wedding Songs: An extensive list of song recommendations for not only your first dance, but for the processional, bouquet toss, and the cake cutting.
  6. Wedding Wire’s Picks: Wedding Wire is a fun site that provides you with a list of songs for each part of your reception and even lets you listen to the songs online. Maybe you already know what your first dance will be, but what about the last song? Wedding Wire has got you covered.


We’ve all heard about the dreaded drunken best man toasts and the bridal attendants who just couldn’t get the wording right. These tips for you and your “toasters” will help iron out the awkward bumps in the road.

  1. Wedding Toast Etiquette: Who toasts who and when? Here’s a definitive guide for all your toasting etiquette, as well as tips on how to make the toasts one of a kind.
  2. Proper Toast Etiquette: This article covers the particular timing of each person’s toast – a definite boon to helping you plan your reception to a T.
  3. Free Wedding Toasts: If your “toasters” have a case of nerves, or if you just don’t trust them to give a non-awkward speech, refer them to this site for guidance and a list of already-written speeches. While they won’t want to copy one verbatim, they could definitely use the templates for inspiration.
  4. Toast Quotes: Another great resource for your toasters — a site with touching quotes suitable for romantic occasions.
  5. Worst Wedding Toasts: Learn what your family and friends should avoid with this humorous list of the worst wedding toasts ever.


Want to skip all these rules and regulations and just get straight to the business of marriage? Then eloping might be the answer for you. But before you pack your bags, know there are even etiquette rules about running off to marry.

  1. Aisle Dash: If you want to skip the big ceremony and fancy details, you might be thinking of eloping. But still – do you have to tell anyone? Check out what this article has to say.
  2. Wedding Gazette: You may want to elope, but feel like it’s too much of a slight to the people in your life who love you most. This article will help you decide if eloping is right for you, and, if so, how to do it with grace.
  3. Utterly Fabulous Network: Being able to elope in a stress-free manner is the key to a happy wedding, according to this article. So read up on ways to handle the feelings of your loved ones who won’t be attending.
  4. Celebrating After Elopement : OK, so you’re bent and determined on eloping, but want to be able to celebrate with friends post-wedding. Find out all the etiquette rules for after parties and announcements.
  5. How to Elope : A helpful site for all your eloping needs and questions, including a detailed section on eloping etiquette.

General Tips on Wedding Etiquette

  1. Frugal Bride : If you are planning your wedding on a dime, Frugal Bride is a great resource to check in on frequently. And this handy article is a great, succinct list of the dos and don’ts to follow when planning your wedding.
  2. Top Wedding Questions: Find the answers to all of your wedding-related questions on this thorough site maintained by a wedding expert. The forums are packed with good information.
  3. Etiquette Checklist: Another resource to help clear up financial confusion and help you get stuff done on time, this article comes with a complete timeline and checklist of tasks.
  4. Pocket Idiot’s Guide: The Idiot’s Guide gives you all the wedding etiquette rules you can fit in your pocket in this compact and resourceful book.
  5. Wedding Coaches: If you feel too nervous to rely on conflicting advice and your inept instincts to navigate wedding etiquette, you can always seek the help of a professional and hire a wedding coach.
  6. Gift Etiquette: While the gift giving is not your responsibility, know what you should and shouldn’t expect out of your guests. Figuring out what people will be spending might help you create a diverse and reasonable registry.
  7. Cake Cutting: Surprisingly, even the cake cutting portion of your reception has rules and regulations. This article will tell you where to place the cake and when to cut it.
  8. Wedding Channel: The Wedding Channel is a great one-stop resource for all your wedding etiquette questions. From invites to whether or not you can ask your bridesmaids to not get a tattoo before your big day, the Wedding Channel has got you covered.
  9. Etiquette Hell: Etiquette Hell is a great, fun site that goes over all of the worst faux pas that can happen at a wedding. The site’s owner has even published a book called “Wedding Etiquette Hell: The Bride’s Bible to Avoiding Everlasting Damnation,” which focuses on the etiquette that means the most to those closest to you and not the traditional rules guiding ceremonies and receptions.

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Vibrant Make-Up

I am posting this make-up tutorial because I think it gives some really detailed information on how to achieve this look. It also shows you how to achieve a bold eye, which could be altered for a wedding. The video also shows the viewer how to apply false lashes and all the products that are used to obtain this look. I think this look would be great for a really vibrant bride. Not all about the super couture eye? No problem! I think we could choose a different color pallet and achieve a toned down version of this look that would be absolutely stunning.

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Here is a cute and inexpensive idea for a place card holder. Simply affix two peppermint candies together with a hot glue gun and then affix the name card to the back. So simple and really cute. Just remind your guests not to eat them!

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Tis The Season

As I was going through the store today I found myself humming along to a little tune. As I started paying more attention it was a Christmas song. I also noticed that all of the Halloween items are out of the way and in their place is items for the holidays. So…I decided to join the madness today and to show you a winter themed wedding. I think my favorite part of this inspiration board is the cute little save the date sweater. It is just too cute!


christams wedding

Pictures from and knot

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