Author Archives: kogorman

3 Ways to Add DIY Charm to Your Rustic Wedding

 Love Notes Table Runner

With vintage sheet music and lace, you can create inexpensive table runners that will add a gorgeous touch to your reception décor. The faded paper, musical notes, and ornate lace are an eclectic mix that enhances any DIY wedding design.

love notes table runner

Supply List:
• Vintage sheet music
• Lace with a straight border
• Glue stick
• Hot glue gun
• Scissors

love notes table runner

Step one: Measure the table you are creating the table runner for. Calculate the number of sheet music pages and the length of lace you will need, making certain to add several extra inches so that the lace will overlap the sheet music on all four corners of the runner.

Step two: Using a glue stick, add glue to the torn edge of one of the sheet music pages and secure the other sheet so that they overlap, covering the torn edge. Smooth the glued edge. Continue by gluing new sheets to cover the torn edges. All torn edges should overlap on the inside seam of the table runner with the clean edges as the border. Repeat these steps until the table runner is as long as you’d like it to be.

love note table runner

Step four: Using a pair of scissors, make a clean diagonal cut into one corner of the lace. Trim the sharp edge to make a nice scalloped edge. Add a dot of glue to the two cut corners and overlap them. Repeat this process for all four corners to finish the lace edging.

love note table runner

Special Note: Spread the love and gift these table runners to your bridal party to use in their own homes.

Next: Lucky Horseshoe Table Numbers ►

Lucky Horseshoe Table Numbers

These unique table numbers are absolutely perfect for a farmhouse wedding! Full of country charm, they will set the design for each table and add a rustic chic touch to your wedding décor.

diy lucky horseshoe table numbers

Supply List
• Old or rusty horseshoes
• Cedar wood (several planks, enough to back all of your horseshoes)
• Miter saw
• Rusty tin craft nails
• Wire cutters
• Rusty tin craft wire (18 or 22 gauge thickness)
• Needle nose pliers
• Hammer
• Wood burning torch

diy lucky horseshoe table numbers

Step one: Measure each of your horseshoes. Have your local hardware store cut your wood to size, or cut the wood yourself using a miter saw.

diy lucky horseshoe table numbers

Step two: Secure a horseshoe to each cedar wood piece using your rusty nails. Before you nail the horseshoe in place, make sure it is nice and centered.

diy lucky horseshoe table numbers

Step three: To make each actual number, you will need to cut four 4 to 8-inch lengths of wire. Keep in mind that your wire length will vary depending on the number you are creating; an “8” will take more wire than a “1.”

diy lucky horseshoe table numbers

Step four: Wrap the four lengths of wire together to make one twisted group; use the needle nose pliers if necessary.

diy lucky horseshoe table numbers

Step five: Bend the wire into the shape of the number you are creating.

diy lucky horseshoe table numbers

Step six: Curl the ends of each number, as this is where your nails will go through to secure it to the wood.

diy lucky horseshoe table numbers

Step seven: Hammer the numbers to the wood pieces, using the rusty nails. Use as many nails as needed to ensure the number is securely in place.

diy lucky horseshoe table numbers

Step eight: Scorch the edges of your table numbers with your wood torch to give it a rustic appearance. Make certain to follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines!

diy lucky horseshoe table numbers

Next: Rag Balls ►

Rag Balls

These colorful rag balls make the most delightful decorations for a wedding ceremony! Instead of fresh flowers that can be costly, hang these rag balls from shepherd’s hooks lining the wedding aisle; they will bring texture, color, and balance to an open area.

diy rustic wedding rag balls

Supply List
• Scissors
• 4 yards assorted fabric
• Hot glue gun
• Twelve 6-inch Styrofoam balls

diy rustic wedding rag balls

Step one: Cut your fabric into 16-inch squares. Using your scissors, cut a small slit at each end. Rip the fabric so it has a torn finish on all four sides. Make several small slits about 1 inch apart at the top of the fabric squares.

diy rustic wedding rag balls

Step two: Rip the cut slits into long pieces.

diy rustic wedding rag balls

Step three: Using one of the strips of ripped fabric, make it into a loop with the print facing outwards. Glue into place. This will be the handle for your rag ball.

diy rustic wedding rag balls

Step four: Place a dot of glue on the back side of one of your strips of ripped fabric, and glue it onto the Styrofoam ball. Wrap the fabric around the ball and glue the other end onto the ball. Continue these steps until the Styrofoam ball is completely covered.

diy rustic wedding rag balls

45 Emotional Grooms’ Reactions

Although "first look" photo sessions are growing in popularity, plenty of couples still choose to save that special moment for the walk down the aisle. Judging from these photos, it's easy to see why! From adoring gazes to emotional breakdowns, here are our favorite reactions from grooms seeing their brides for the first time during the wedding ceremony.

By: 
Kristen Klein

The Tough Money Talks You Must Have Before Marriage

By: 
Holly Kylen

pink walletDon't Dodge the Debt

Make sure all the financial skeletons come out of the closet before the big day — discuss school loans, credit card debts and other prior obligations (child support or private loans). As uncomfortable as this topic might seem, you don’t want any unexpected surprises when it comes to debt obligations. Your debt — and your partner’s — impacts not just your collective bottom line, but also your ability to jointly make financial com- mitments, like buying a first home.

Take Financial Inventory

Now is the time to have a heart-to-heart with your future spouse about his financial past, present and future. Talk about retirement and other savings, whether you have wills that need to be updated and work benefits such as retirement accounts, health and life insurance and disability benefits. Explore whether you can save money by going on each other’s health insurance after marriage and consider whether you may need disability insurance to protect your paycheck if one of you becomes disabled and can’t work. Also ensure you are both contributing enough to your workplace retirement plans to take advantage of the employer match.

Play Detective

Take notice of whether your future spouse spends money frivolously, frugally or somewhere in between. Dinners out, expensive vacations and buying the latest “it” item can reveal a careless approach to money. On the other hand, your partner might be frugal, ordering the cheapest item on the menu or splitting the bills down to the penny. Turn the microscope on yourself as well to identify your money personality. Tuning into these clues can help you set realistic expectations for yourself and your partner.

Create a Support Network

Your financial inventory should also include financial professionals who can support you as a couple in working toward achieving your financial and retirement goals. If you already work with an accountant, attorney and/or financial advisor, make sure your partner also establishes a relationship with them — and vice versa. If neither you nor your spouse has ever consulted with a financial advisor, now is the perfect time to find one together.

Look Ahead to the Retirement Horizon

Growing old might seem like it is years away, but planning for retirement doesn’t happen overnight. If you and your fiancé are already saving for retirement through an employer-sponsored retirement plan or individual retirement account (IRA), you are off to a great start. If not, you may want to consider getting started saving for retirement and set up automatic deductions from your checking account or paycheck directly into a retirement account. This is also an opportunity to talk about your collective budget and make sure retirement savings is a shared priority.

Think About 'Til Death Do Us Part

It may be in the marriage vows, but “death” is not something any bride wants to consider before marriage. That said, marriage is a major event that entails joining you for life with someone else. Protect each other through life insurance and update your beneficiary information on financial and retirement accounts.

Establish Your Roles

You don’t have to figure this out right away, but start to talk about how the two of you are going to divide household finances. Perhaps you pay the monthly bills and day-to-day expenses, while your spouse handles the insurance and retirement savings, or vice versa. Figure out each other’s strengths and natural abilities and play to those in how you divide up the financial responsibilities. 

Be Each Other's Biggest Cheerleader

Make sure you are each other’s biggest support when it comes to making financial decisions. Confide in each other and offer constructive advice. If the financial inventory uncovers debts or other financial challenges, figure out how to tackle the issues together as a team. Don’t forget to celebrate your successes, too. Promotions, raises and reaching financial and retirement goals are milestones that deserve recognition.

Holly Kylen is an ING Retirement Coach and financial advisor at ING Financial Partners, where she developed a Retirement Planning for Women seminar. She also serves on ING’s Women’s Advisory Network Board.

David Tutera Reveals: The Highs and Lows of Planning a Wedding

By: 
David Tutera

wedding reception centerpieceLet the wedding planning begin! This should be one of the most enjoyable and creative processes you will ever experience. Yet many couples tell me they get so overwhelmed they feel as if they’ve taken on a second job they’ve had no training for. As for me, I started at 14, learning the craft of floral design while working at my grandfather’s flower shop. That’s where my journey began. I truly believe I was bound to create parties. Here, some of the planning aspects I love most — and least. Get the more difficult wedding elements under control and the rest should fall into place.

The Pros (What I Love):

Setting the vision: Getting a chance to dive in and understand what a couple is looking for and the style of the event they want to create is the all-important first step to a beautiful event. My television work makes it seem as though a super-specific theme for your wedding is mandatory, but please trust me when I say it is not. Themes are only great when it makes sense to the bride and groom. However, I do love when a couple knows the types of looks, colors, feelings and moods they want for their wedding. Ask yourself: What are your favorite...colors... historic eras...flowers....seasons? The answers to these questions will help you better envision the overall look of your wedding.

Flowers and décor: I love meeting with vendors and seeing the details come alive in all areas from invitations to flowers, colors and lighting. Invitations, for example, truly set the tone of the overall celebration to come. And flowers make the event literally come to life. A bride without a bouquet or a table without a centerpiece isn’t, to me, a wedding. Soft colors, bold colors or combinations of both work to create an overall style or even evoke a period in time. These visual components can be the most pleasurable parts of wedding planning.

Food and drink: It’s great to use food to tell the story of your culture and background, but take care not to get on the full-on foodie bandwagon when planning your wedding, incorporating too many exotic ingredients. When it comes to beverages, specialty drinks have been a major trend; newer are specialty bars featuring whiskey, champagne and/or wine. Any of these options can make your wedding more unique.

The element of surprise: I love the opportunity to make special moments happen: perhaps a dance that no one knew about or changing up the timeline. I always say that something different should happen every 30 minutes. This allows guests to become interactive participants vs. inactive participants following the same old routine (ceremony to cocktails to dinner) and results in something special. This is what I will always love about doing weddings.

The Cons (What I Don't Love)

Who's invited?: Determining the guest list can be a tough task, as can deciding the seating arrangements: who should sit next to whom. Once this gets set, the sailing will become much smoother, I promise! 

Too many cooks: You do not want a committee of opinions. Pick a few supportive friends and family members (three at the most) and trust in them to guide you and support you. The key word is support.

Travel logistics: Coordinating travel details for all your wedding guests can be mind-numbing, not to mention time-consuming. Instead of being the point person for travel questions, I suggest finding a good travel agent ahead of time (especially if you’re having a destination wedding!) who can handle these issues. It will be worth it if it means you now have time you would have otherwise lost to focus on the other important details of your day.

Details, details: Picking the perfect songs for your processional, recessional,first dance and all of your important formalities (e.g., toasts) can be challenging, since these elements require a final, set- in-stone decision — you want to make sure everything is exactly as you want it. These all-important nitty-gritty details can be a chore, but they are essential to get right.

Oversharing (especially on social media): One of my ground rules: Don’t forget that some parts of your wed- ding should surprise your guests, so don’t spill too many details ahead of time! 

Photo Credit: Michael Segal Photography

David Tutera Reveals: The Highs and Lows of Planning a Wedding

By: 
David Tutera

wedding reception centerpieceLet the wedding planning begin! This should be one of the most enjoyable and creative processes you will ever experience. Yet many couples tell me they get so overwhelmed they feel as if they’ve taken on a second job they’ve had no training for. As for me, I started at 14, learning the craft of floral design while working at my grandfather’s flower shop. That’s where my journey began. I truly believe I was bound to create parties. Here, some of the planning aspects I love most — and least. Get the more difficult wedding elements under control and the rest should fall into place.

The Pros (What I Love):

Setting the vision: Getting a chance to dive in and understand what a couple is looking for and the style of the event they want to create is the all-important first step to a beautiful event. My television work makes it seem as though a super-specific theme for your wedding is mandatory, but please trust me when I say it is not. Themes are only great when it makes sense to the bride and groom. However, I do love when a couple knows the types of looks, colors, feelings and moods they want for their wedding. Ask yourself: What are your favorite...colors... historic eras...flowers....seasons? The answers to these questions will help you better envision the overall look of your wedding.

Flowers and décor: I love meeting with vendors and seeing the details come alive in all areas from invitations to flowers, colors and lighting. Invitations, for example, truly set the tone of the overall celebration to come. And flowers make the event literally come to life. A bride without a bouquet or a table without a centerpiece isn’t, to me, a wedding. Soft colors, bold colors or combinations of both work to create an overall style or even evoke a period in time. These visual components can be the most pleasurable parts of wedding planning.

Food and drink: It’s great to use food to tell the story of your culture and background, but take care not to get on the full-on foodie bandwagon when planning your wedding, incorporating too many exotic ingredients. When it comes to beverages, specialty drinks have been a major trend; newer are specialty bars featuring whiskey, champagne and/or wine. Any of these options can make your wedding more unique.

The element of surprise: I love the opportunity to make special moments happen: perhaps a dance that no one knew about or changing up the timeline. I always say that something different should happen every 30 minutes. This allows guests to become interactive participants vs. inactive participants following the same old routine (ceremony to cocktails to dinner) and results in something special. This is what I will always love about doing weddings.

The Cons (What I Don't Love)

Who's invited?: Determining the guest list can be a tough task, as can deciding the seating arrangements: who should sit next to whom. Once this gets set, the sailing will become much smoother, I promise! 

Too many cooks: You do not want a committee of opinions. Pick a few supportive friends and family members (three at the most) and trust in them to guide you and support you. The key word is support.

Travel logistics: Coordinating travel details for all your wedding guests can be mind-numbing, not to mention time-consuming. Instead of being the point person for travel questions, I suggest finding a good travel agent ahead of time (especially if you’re having a destination wedding!) who can handle these issues. It will be worth it if it means you now have time you would have otherwise lost to focus on the other important details of your day.

Details, details: Picking the perfect songs for your processional, recessional,first dance and all of your important formalities (e.g., toasts) can be challenging, since these elements require a final, set- in-stone decision — you want to make sure everything is exactly as you want it. These all-important nitty-gritty details can be a chore, but they are essential to get right.

Oversharing (especially on social media): One of my ground rules: Don’t forget that some parts of your wed- ding should surprise your guests, so don’t spill too many details ahead of time! 

Photo Credit: Michael Segal Photography