Homemade Spa Treatment

epsom-salt-detox-bath

So your big day is coming up and you used most of your budget already? No problem! You don’t have to go to a fancy spa to get pampered before your wedding, you can do it right at home with your bridesmaids. I would recommend gathering the materials and preparing the following concoctions prior to the day you wish to use them, just to save time, unless the directions specifically say to prepare and use while fresh.

exfoliating scrub

Homemade Exfoliating Sugar Scrub by Foxy Whole Foodie

To make about 1, 1/2 cups you will need the following: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup slightly melted coconut oil, and your favorite essential oil.

You can use all salt or all sugar but you may find that sugar dissolves more by itself. Add the sugar and salt to a container that you can seal, maybe an old exfoliating scrub container. Melt the coconut oil in a bowl for about 5-8 seconds and gently stir; it will melt at 75 degrees. Add the melted coconut oil to the sugar and salt mixture, and stir until it seems fully mixed. Finally, stir in about 15 drops of your favorite essential oil to give the scrub the desired scent.

deep-hair-conditioner

Natural Deep Hair Conditioner by Petit Elefant

You will need: 1 shower cap, 1 avocado, 2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil), 2 tablespoons water, and 2 tablespoons whipped heavy cream.

The recipe calls for olive oil, but I much prefer to use coconut oil as a substitute whenever I see a recipe that calls for olive oil. Combine all of the ingredients and comb it through your hair. Put on the shower cap and wait for about 20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. You may want to shampoo your hair afterwards as it will probably smell like avocado.

facial steam

Facial Steam by The Mountain Rose Blog

You will need: 1/8 cup organic Green Sencha Leaf Tea, 1/4 cup dried organic Lemon Balm, 1-2 tablespoons dried organic Peppermint

The ingredients may take a little longer to find because they are organic but this facial steam will moisturize, relax muscles, plump wrinkles, eliminate toxins and dirt, and increase circulation. Place the three ingredients into a large glass, or ceramic, bowl. Boil water, pour it into the bowl and immediately cover it with a towel. The hot water will cause oils to be released from the ingredients and you do not want them to escape into the air. Let that steep, or sit, for about 5 minutes. Place the bowl so that you can comfortably lean over it with your face over the bowl. Remove the towel, place your face over the bowl, and recover the bowl plus your head with a towel so that the steam doesn’t escape. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for about 10 minutes, and you should feel refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated!

epsom-salt-detox-bath

Detoxifying Bath Soak

I mentioned to my grandmother one day that I had been looking for a good detoxifying bath recipe that didn’t have too many ingredients and she gave me this recipe. You will need: 1 cup Epsom Salt, 1 cup baking soda

Fill your bathtub with as much hot water as you can handle, remember it will seem extra hot when you first get in but your body will adjust. As the tub is filling, pour the Epsom salt and baking soda slowly near the faucet. I usually swirl the water around with my hand a little to make sure it spreads to the other side of the tub, too. Once the bath is full, get in and soak for 40 minutes. You will sweat! I repeat, you will sweat! It may feel a little uncomfortable depending on how hot the water is but try to last the full 40 minutes if you can (if you can’t, its ok; I got out after 30 minutes the first time I tried this). Drink plenty of water during and after this bath. I buy the Epsom Salt that has eucalyptus in it for added benefits and a pleasant smell. You can use ginger root shavings or an essential oil to create the aroma you prefer.

body butter

DIY Body Butter by Bes Skincare

You will need: 1 cup Coconut Oil, 1 tsp Vitamin E oil, your favorite essential oil

You can easily buy a body butter from stores like Bath and Body or Victoria’s Secret, but if you want a cheaper, more organic lotion then making your own is the way to go. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix on high for at least 5 minutes or until it is creamy and whipped. Put the mixture into a clean glass jar with a lid you can seal, and store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

-Nikki

Continue Reading

The Perfect Wedding Arch

From the classic look to a completely innovative idea; who knew there were so many choices for a wedding arch these days?  Creativity seems to be key when it comes to weddings and I had no idea there were so many options for wedding arches.  Hopefully, if you have been debating about what kind of arch to get married under, these ideas will help you out!

c10e7aceedba27b6273cf71c0a1cfb74-1

These doors with a small chandelier are a great twist to a rustic/antique wedding theme.  The different textures and colors of the doors would look great in pictures and would add a little something extra to the wedding aisle.

a3cec2de5d8605ed83e4f936619e5dba

For a beach wedding you can piece together shells to assemble a breathtaking arch.  This could be a great DIY project and will save a few extra bucks too!

f5c0df36886ba03f3a6b7db6ae5b72e6

This simple piece of fabric draped over the tree branches is beautiful for a wedding arch.  You could even spice it up with colored or printed fabric to add more color to the backdrop.

All of these arches are great because they are fairly simple and cost efficient.  Some of these you can even do yourself which could be a fun project for you and you’re bridesmaids or maybe even you and you’re soon to be husband.  Hopefully these ideas will help spark you’re creative juices and assist you in planning out how you would like you’re wedding arch to be!

 

 

Continue Reading

There’s An App For That!

Wedding App

Technology is so integrated in our lives today that you can almost plan your own wedding solely from your phone (the iPhone will probably have the most options for you). Some people say it is a horrible thing to be so dependent on our phones, but to the budget-conscious bride these apps can be life savers!

Fun Wedding ($1.99 on iTunes)

Wedding App

This app allows you to access 19 different music charts updated frequently from actual song requests through the DJ Intelligence request system at wedding receptions around the world. It also includes the top songs for the bride and groom, bride and father, groom and mother, bridal party, bouquet, garter and introduction.

Appy Couple (Free on iTunes)

Wedding App

Appy Couple will help you keep all of your guest and bridal party updated and informed. The app is free to download but a one-time fee of $28 and a request to plan your wedding are required through appycouple.com for their services. Once planned, you give your guests your wedding log-in information and they can access directions, RSVP, hotel and flight info, and upload pictures throughout your wedding. For those without a smart phone, the same template is also available on your wedding’s website.

iWed Planner (Free on iTunes)

Wedding App

This app will do everything from send you reminders about events and payments, to helping you manage your budget. You can create a to-do list, shop on sale items at the wedding store, search wedding vendors, create a countdown, manage RSVPs, and create and update seating charts.

Brides Wedding Genius (Free on iTunes)

Wedding App

This app is like the Pinterest for just weddings. You can browse gowns, rings, and honeymoon destinations. Find something you like? Brides Wedding Genius will help you locate it in a store near you (in the U.S. only). You can also access expert tips and advice as well as send reminders and tasks to your friends and family.

Wedding Budget (Free on iTunes)

Wedding App

This app is totally concentrated on your budget. It gives you pie graphs and charts for every category; flowers, cake, reception dinner, etc.

Wedding Scan ($2.99 on iTunes)

Wedding App

This app will let you register for any item at any store. If there is no barcode to scan it will let you take a picture of the item and add your own description. Your registry becomes available in the app and on the website for all of your invited guests to view.

Continue Reading

Wedding Fruit Fun!

pail

For the fun and quirky couple, incorporating fruit into your wedding is a fantastic idea! Below are some interesting and new ideas that will be sure to add some uniqueness to your wedding.

Fruity Drinks

The Texas Hill Country can get pretty hot at times. Having an outdoor ceremony? Help your guests cool down with fruity and fresh drinks! The combinations of fruits are limitless when concocting perfect drink mixes. Experiment with different mixes of fruit to complement ice cold water beforehand to find the perfect taste! For a crisp, clean taste mix citrus fruits like lemons, limes, cucumbers, etc. Mint is also ideal to add to raspberries or blueberries to add a right amount of crispness! For more fruity drinks, play with different amounts of orange, strawberries, pineapple, etc. As far as cups are concerned, use recycled mason jars and pair with a colorful straw!

Cocktail Hour

Stray from the normal meatball, sushi, or mini egg roll cocktail hour food and have sweet decadent fruit instead! Fried bananas are absolutely delicious and are small enough to handle with a drink in hand. Drizzle hot chocolate over the fried banana to take the sweetness to the next level. A treat the guests are sure to love are frozen bananas! Peel and insert Popsicle sticks into the bananas and freeze over night! These are not only healthy but super delicious. Frozen bananas are great by themselves but brides can choose to add chocolate, nuts, coconut, etc.

 

Apples are another excellent choice for cocktail hour. Carmel, candied, and chocolate covered apples can be messy and hard to deal with at a formal event. Try mini apples instead! Speak with your caterer to get these must have treats! Another cute idea is apple-like cupcakes. To make red frosting, add a couple of drops of red food dye to light colored frosting. Mold a stem and leaf from fondant.

Add a splash of color to your cocktail hour! For the children in attendance at the wedding, have an assortment of Fizz soda drinks! These fruit flavored sodas add a pop of color and give the children a fun little treat. Have the assortment on a table and complement the table with extra fruit!

Escort Cards

A bride could possibly choose any fruit to use as her seating cards. For a fall wedding have a mini pumpkin patch replica! Use tiny pumpkins as the actual seating card. Attach a complementary colored tag with the guests seating information. Adorn the table with leafy vines and a mini white picket fence around the table. Have a sign that says ” Groom (‘s name) and Bride(‘s name)’s Pumpkin Patch”. For spring weddings, use apples, pears, etc with a colorful tag on the stem for a fresh, clean escort card!

Wedding Centerpieces

A great idea for a country chic wedding is to use metal pails and fill them with fruit! Add ribbon or lace around the bottom of the pail or tie bows on the handle. Contrast the hard, metal pail with soft frilly dollies or flowers!

To spice up wedding centerpiece vases fill them with fruit! Not only will this give your wedding an easy, fresh look but will also give your reception a nice fragrance as well! Lemons are an excellent choice for a spring wedding, apples would look great for a fall one. Most fruit have natural, pretty colors to choose from!

A newer centerpiece that incorporates fruit, is ice blocks filled with fruit! Directions for this DIY wedding project can be found online. This takes the crisp, freshness look of fruit to the next level!

Finally, fruit fresh or fake can be added as complementary props to table centerpieces. Use fruit that are similar in color to the bride’s wedding colors. Apples, pumpkins, gourds, plums, etc are ideal for the fall. Lemons, limes, oranges, pineapples, etc best suit spring weddings.

Statement Pieces

Brides nowadays look for ideas or ways to set their wedding apart from others. A great way to do so with fruit is to have a statement piece! Caterers have come up with amazing ideas for statement pieces for weddings. For example, ice sculptures of  swans or the couples initials have been used at weddings, have an ice sculpted fruit holder for dessert! Guests will be sure to be amazed at the extravagance of the sculpture and your fruit will keep fresh and ripe!

Caterers have also found a way to make actual fruit sculptures! We have seen palm tree shaped fruit sculptures at recent bridal expos. These statement pieces are excellent decor and add to the yummy dessert at the end of the reception!

Wedding Favor

A yummy idea for a wedding favors that will sure to be used are fresh, organic fruit! Find a local farm to supply the fruit. Guests will be sure to love the yummy treat and you will be able to help sustain a local business!

Lea Cabezas

 

 

Continue Reading

Aisle Decor

b2

The first impression of a wedding is the look and feel of the wedding ceremony. It is also the moment when the bride and groom reunite to exchange their vows after a time of separation. Clearly, the aisle and alter have to exude elegance!

Light it Up

For wedding ceremonies after dark, lighting up the aisle and alter is not only practical but can also give the ceremony a very special feel. Lanterns are perfect for aisle lighting, they can be used in a variety of dofferent ways. Some examples include placing them on the actual ground and hanging lanterns from miniature trees or planted hooks. Spotlights are ideal for alter lighting. Utilize those once a year white Christmas lights and tie pieces of tulle or burlap near each tiny bulb to create a fuzzier light and outline the alter.

Flowers

These are the most commonly used decor for wedding ceremonies. Of course brides can choose to have small bouquets tied to the outside of pews or chairs with ribbon or other types of fabric. To set your flower usage apart, use recycled mason jars instead! Using recycled items in any case is a small environmental win, but using these jars give a western chic look that is also low cost! This decor can fit into any DIY or budget wedding! Other ideas for flowers decor include metal pails, hanging bouquets from a planted hook with ribbon etc. Use more fragrant flora like lavender that will give a nice, serene, and calming smell that wedding guests will be sure to love!

Nautical

For seaside wedding ceremonies there are tons of props that brides can choose from! Lifesaver tubes are a must. Alternate hanging lifesavers from ceremony chairs and add accents of neutral colored flowers to keep the red in the tube as a focal point. Starfish are also an easy prop to adhere to chairs or pews. Sailing flags are great to string along the chairs. Even cuter? Spell out the couples last name using sailing flags! Other decorations include, sea shells, fishnet, and anchors.

 Covered Aisle

This is an excellent way to add an air of drama and elegance to a blank or open wedding ceremony site. To make this a possibility an event designer or architect would have to create and build the infrastructure to drape the fabric from. Chandeliers, flower arrangements and extra lighting should also be used to highlight the depth of the draped fabric.

Other Props

Vintage picture frames are an excellent and out of the box wedding ceremony prop. Use pictures of the couple, the couples family, or pictures of loved ones that have passed. Empty picture frames can be used as well to represent the pictures the bride and groom have yet to take. Tissue balls are ideal for DIY and budget weddings. These inexpensive props look great, are easy to match, and are easy to dispose of! Balloons would also qualify as an ideal candidate for budget wedding decor. Although the nation is currently undergoing a helium shortage, grocery stores like HEB and their Bloom department are currently selling helium balloons. Over sized balloons add a pop of color and an effortlessly chic look.

Lea Cabezas

 

Continue Reading

Brides Against Breast Cancer

ribbon

If repurposing your wedding gown isn’t exactly your style then maybe donating it to a fabulous cause is for you! Brides Against Breast Cancer is a non-profit organization based in Florida that accepts donated new and used wedding dresses. The dresses that they receive are then discounted as much as 75% and offered to brides-to-be who have been impacted by cancer. Through generous donations, BABC is capable of  providing beautiful dream dresses to brides affected by cancer without putting more stress on their wallet.

Even if you don’t have a dress to donate to this great cause, you can give a monetary donation which will go toward programs that provide information and resources to benefit cancer patients and their families.

For those of you who are brides battling cancer or know someone who is, there’s an upcoming event in Houston on July 27-28. If you’re interested you should register in advance!

 

By: Sabrina Read

Continue Reading

Cute and Fun Glass!

Rubber bands

Cute, fun, and fresh decorations are always a must-have at weddings, try spicing up some plain glass vases or drinking glasses! These affordable and easy projects will add fun to your wedding without adding on more big expenses!

Simply wrap different size rubber bands around any chosen glass vase then cover with white or opaque spray paint. Once the paint has thoroughly dried, remove the rubber bands. Classy and elegant vases in a snap!

Write a cute phrase, name, or design on a vase with a hot glue gun. After the glue has hardened, use any color of spray paint to completely cover the vase. Now, you have personalized vases to decorate your wedding!

A fun way for your guests to personalize and keep track of their drinking glass is with chalk! First wrap the stem of the glass with painter’s masking tape then use chalk board spray paint to create the writing area. Once the paint has dried, remove the tape and you now have cute and functional chalk board glasses for your guests!

By: Sabrina Read

Continue Reading

Ottomans!!!

ottomans

Nothing is more perfect to me when you are having an outdoor Hill Country Wedding then having a seating area around the dance floor. An amazing way to have a sleek fun seating area is to get ottomans. Ottomans allow places for people to sit but it also can bring in pops of your wedding colors aroun the dance floor. Always remember to get fun pillows to place on the ottomans this not only looks amazing in pictures but it also makes for a super comfy seating area!!! Happy Planning!!!!

Kayleigh Ziegenbein

Certified Wedding Planner

Continue Reading

11 Must Ask Venue Questions!!!

wedding venue

1. How many hours does the cost include? If you go over the designated amount of hours what is the overtime charge?

2. Is catering done in house? Or is there a list of preferred caterers?

3. Can caterers use the kitchen? And at what cost? (if there is a kitchen)

4. How many guests TOTAL can fit in the venue, what is the capacity?

5. Is a dance floor included?

6. Is audio equipment included?

7. Are there any minimums?

8. Will other people be allowed on site besides my wedding party? Is there other weddings going on that day?

9. Is there any noise restrictions? What time is music allowed to go till?

10. Do you require the bride and groom to obtain there own insurance?

11. Are there any vendor surcharges? (these would include the venue charging a certain percentage of the bill from the other vendors)

Continue Reading

Signature Drinks!

drinks

Something that I always find fun and relatively inexpensive to do to leave your stamp on your wedding is a signature drink. Signature drinks can be made with the particular type of alcohol that you are known to drink, this is always something fun to do. If you are very focused on your color scheme you could always ask a mixologist or look online for recipes with a drink that matches your colors. What is fun is you can always name the drink after you or even after the theme of your wedding. Always remember to check with your venue on their alcohol policy but have fun with this idea and serve your guests a drink that they will always remember!

Continue Reading