{Fab Friday Finds} Home OfficeCraft Room Inspiration

For Christmas this year, I’ve asked everyone for one thing: items and/or gift
cards to help me re-do my spare bedroom and turn it into a swanky new home
office/craft room. Luckily, Pinterest has been a great source for inspiration
for said room, and now I’m full of ideas of what I can do to it. Of course,
you’ll have to stay tuned to see the finished product (which will hopefully be
done some time in early 2012), but in the meantime, here’s some of my
inspiration…

**1. Hello organization!** I’m a bit type A myself, but I would kill for this level of organization in my future craft room! And because my room is fairly small like this one seen on [ Scrapbook.com](http://www.scrapbook.com/myplace/index.php?mod=galleries&u=2695 93&m=view&id=3212859&type=5&start=1&page=1), this provides some really awesome inspiration.

**2. DIY Fabric Boards.** This seemingly simple DIY project as seen on [Handmade With Joy](http://madebylova.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/what-a-wonderful-new-year/) really adds both form and function to a craft room or office!

**3. Chalkboard Wall.** Chalkboard paint might just be one of my favorite things ever, so I’m dying over this awesome chalkboard wall as seen on [Benjamin Moore](http://www.benjaminmoore.com/bmpsweb/bm/cms/ContentRendere r/ContentRendererController.jpf?np=imagerepository/public_site/article_images/ Interior/OfficeLibrary/IA_int_offc009&lang=en_US). Not only does it add some contrast in the room, but it’s totally functional for jotting down everything you need to!

**4. Build Your Own Craft Table.** Craft tables are pretty pricey, so why not build your own? This one as seen on [The Ivy Cottage](http://theivycottageblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/diy-large- work-table.html) is just 4 bookshelves and 2 hollow core doors! _I have a whole Pinterest Pinboard of great [home office inspiration](http://pinterest.com/prnicolev/home-office-ideas/) if you’d like to take a look :)_

{Fab Friday Finds} 4 DIY Gift Ideas

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, which means Christmas is not far behind.
As a DIY-lover myself _(and someone who’s always a little tight on cash)_, I’m
planning to do quite a bit of holiday gift crafting this year. After all,
homemade gifts are truly from the heart! While I of course can’t tell you what
or if I’m making any of these _(my family and friends do read this blog, ya
know)_, I still wanted to share a couple really awesome ones I’ve been seeing
online. For more, I have an entire [gift idea](http://pinterest.com/prnicolev
/gift-ideas/) Pinterest pinboard that I add to almost daily.

**1. Message Locket** — Shown on [100 Layer Cake](http://www.100layercake.com/projects/view/24/17/bridesmaid-gift/) as bridesmaid gifts, I think these message lockets would be a perfect holiday gift for any special woman in your life! There’s nothing more sentimental than wearing a message a love around your neck everyday!

**2. Chalkboard Mugs** — Found via [Pinterest](http://pinterest.com/pin/272467846175514556/) _(sorry, I don’t know the original author)_, these chalkboard mugs would be a great addition to any coffee-lover’s holiday gift basket. To create, all you need are some mugs, painters tape to cover the handle and chalkboard paint. And don’t forget to include some chalk!

**3. Apron** — Last weekend, while visiting my dad in Middle TN, I picked up a vintage 1970’s Singer sewing machine which belonged to my great grandmother. Now, I’m so excited to get sewing that I just had to include a sewing project in this post! [Stitches in Play](http://stitchesinplay.typepad.com/stitches_in_play/2010/01/apron-no- seams-exposed.html) gives an in-depth tutorial on how to make this little number. _Don’t you think it would be great to include it in a gift basket for your favorite baker?_

**4. Jewelry Organizer** — Who would have thought you could make such a gorgeous jewelry organizer from a radiator cover found at Home Depot? Good think [IHeart Organizing](http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2011/02/iheart-valentines- day-and-easy-diy.html) did! What a great gift for the jewelry lover in your life, or as an add-on gift to some great earrings. _**What other great DIY gift ideas have you come across?**_

9 Things to Do With Your Wedding Gown After Your Big Day

Many brides _(myself included)_ spend hours, days, weeks or months looking for that perfect wedding dress. And after you find it, you likely spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to purchase it and have it altered. But your wedding is only one day. What’s a bride to do with that valuable and sentimental piece of clothing after the big day is over? I’ve been wondering this myself, that’s why I polled some fellow brides and experts alike to compile this list of ways to reuse your wedding gown.

### 1. Trash the Dress.

A trash the dress session involves you and possibly your hubby, a photographer, your wedding gown and something that might just ruin it. Think water, mud, paint. The options are endless. I wrote [a post](http://theplungeproject.com/ww-question-to-trash-or-not-to-trash) back before my wedding about this option. Would you trash your dress for the sake of some really awesome photos?

### 2. Make a Christening Gown for Your Child.

Fellow bride Kristi Kovalak cut the train off her wedding dress, and her grandmother made it into a christening gown for her son. To date, 5 grandchildren (two of hers and three nieces) have been christened in the gown!

### 3. Donate It.

There are tons of great causes out there that take in used wedding dresses. When Mysti Reutlinger lost a child to SIDS, she donated her gown to the [Mary Madeline Project](http://www.marymadelineproject.org/), which turns used wedding gowns into burial gowns for infants. Event planner Caren Jeanty suggests [Brides Against Breast Cancer](http://bridesagainstbreastcancer.org/), [Bridal Garden](http://bridalgarden.org) or [Glass Slipper Project](http://www.glassslipperproject.org/). If the intrinsic motivation of donation isn’t enough, don’t forget that donating your dress generally comes with a tax write-off as well.

### 4. Re-wear the Bustier.

Bride Kristina Katsoulas’ dress was a two-piece Monique Lhuillier. While she preserved the bottom, she’s keeping the bustier in her closet to wear on her one-year anniversary with a pencil skirt and blazer! Too cool!

### 5. Use the Fabric to Decorate Your Photos.

Johanna Jacobson of [Ambientimage Photography](http://www.ambientimage.com) has many clients who choose to use the fabric from portions of their dresses and incorporate it into the covers of their wedding albums or to cover the large mat surrounding framed photos.

### 6. Create a Family Heirloom.

Bride Dana Napier took a piece of lace from her mother’s dress, put it under glass and made a pendant with it. She plans to do the same with fabric from her own dress and now is [making them for others](http://www.purdylittlethings.com/handmade-heirloom-custom-necklace- pendant.html ) as well.

### 7. Sell It.

[White Magnolia Consignment Boutique](http://whitemagnoliadress.com/2011/10/18 /selling-your-wedding-dress-consigning-vs-selling-online/) talks to brides about selling their dresses everyday. If this is your plan, you have two options — direct sale or consignment. Consignment is when you bring your dress to a store, and they sell the dress for you. When the dress sells, the store will send you the proceeds, less their consignment fee. Alternatively, you can post your dress online, on general sites such as Craigslist and eBay or on wedding dress focused sites such as [PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com](http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/) and [SellYourWeddingDress.com](http://SellYourWeddingDress.com).

### 8. Put It on Display.

I once saw this on MTV Cribs, and I vowed to do it one day when I have a large enough closet. In the show, the bride had her wedding gown on display on a mannequin in her walk-in closet. Of course, you need a pretty big closest and a mannequin similar in size to you to do it, but what girl wouldn’t love looking at her wedding gown every day as she gets ready?

### 9. Pack It & Save It.

I saved this one for last because to me, it seemed like the obvious choice. If you’re still unsure of what to do, or you don’t plan on re-using your dress for a while, the best bet is to have it cleaned and packed so the fabric stays for years to come. Let’s be honest, not too many brides wear their mother’s wedding dresses as-is _– I know I personally couldn’t handle the big poofy 80’s sleeves 😉 –_ but it is good to keep around in case your daughter wants to have it altered into something more modern or even simply wants to wrap her bouquet in some of the fabric. **What other unique ways can you re-use your wedding dress?** {Photo by [Jennie Andrews](http://jennieandrewsphoto.com)}

{Fab Friday Finds} Cake Batter Recipe Roundup

As you may or may not know, Michael and I celebrated our one year anniversary
last weekend, which means I’ve been snacking on aged wedding cake all week.
And as much as I love wedding cake, I love cake batter even more. That’s why I
decided to share a few delicious cake batter recipes from around the
internet…

**1. Cake Batter Pancakes** – Talk about a perfect birthday _(or let’s be honest, everyday)_ breakfast! Want to make these cake batter pancakes at home, head over to [How Sweet It Is](http://www.howsweeteats.com/2011/01/cake-batter-pancakes/) for the recipe.

**2. Cake Batter & Sprinkle Bark** – According to Rosie of [Sweetapolita](http://sweetapolita.com/2011/09/cake-batter-sprinkle-bark/), this delish cake batter and sprinkle bark takes only 5 minutes to make…_and just another 5 minutes to devour ;)_

**3. Cake Batter Martini** – Yes, I’m serious. Can you imagine anything more delightful? Created by Kate of [Grin and Bake It](http://grinandbakeit.com/cake-batter- martini-makeover), this drink is definitely going to become my birthday cocktail of choice!

**4. Cake Batter Truffles** – Christy of [The Girl Who Ate Everything](http://www.the-girl-who-ate- everything.com/2011/03/cake-batter-truffles.html) worked long and hard to perfect this cake batter truffle recipe, so I have to assume it must be amazing.

**5. Cake Batter Blondies** – Blondies are already at the top of my favorite deserts list. Make them cake batter flavored, and I’m totally sold! Thanks to Gracie at [Girl Meets Life](http://girlmeetslife.com/2010/12/cake-batter-blondies/) for these tasty treats! **Want to see more? Check out my [cake batter recipe](http://pinterest.com/prnicolev/cake-batter-recipes/) pinboard on Pinterest!**

{Real Wedding} Aria & Elie’s Glam Las Vegas Nuptials

![](http://theplungeproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/vegaswedding1.png)

A couple months ago, my eyes were opened to all the [wedding possibilities
available in Las Vegas](http://theplungeproject.com/getting-married-in-vegas)
_(and no, I’m not talking about the drive-thru wedding chapel)_, so I was
pretty delighted when Aria submitted her gorgeous wedding to be featured on
the Plunge Project! Aria and Elie were married back in March 2010 at the
Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, and their wedding was nothing short of
spectacular. Take a look…

Thanks, Aria and Elie for sharing your big day with us!

_Vendor Credits_ _Photography: [Jennifer
Johnson](http://www.jenniferjphotography.com/)_ _Wedding Planner: [Tory
Cooper](http://www.torylcooper.com/)_ _Venue and Catering: [Mandarin Oriental
Las Vegas](http://www.mandarinoriental.com/lasvegas/)_ _Cake: [Simple
Elegance](http://www.simpleeleganceincakedesign.com)_

9 Tips for Surviving the Stress of Engagement & Dealing with Cold Feet

Whether or not anyone wants to admit it, a couple’s engagement can
definitely be a stressful time. Sure, at the beginning, it’s all about showing
off your shiny new ring, but as the wedding gets closer, many couples start to
feel the pressure of planning the wedding and ultimately what comes after.
Problems associated with planning _(and often paying for)_ that one day can
create stress you’re not used to having, which ultimately might make you begin
to fight more frequently and start questioning the entire situation. Beyond
that stress, you’re both making a huge life change, which can cause one or
both of you to experience some doubts. **But don’t call off the wedding yet!**
You’re not the only couple feeling these feelings and experiencing these
doubts. In fact, I will wholly admit that both Michael and I thought of
calling off our engagement before we made it to the altar (something we’re
both happy we didn’t do). That’s why I decided to take my own personal
experiences, in addition to some expert advice to gather some tips on not only
surviving the engagement period, but also making it memorable (in a good way)!

### 1. Take Time to Enjoy the Engagement

As [Zlata Faerman](http://www.IHaveZlataThoughts.com), PR pro and recent bride
suggests, after you get engaged, don’t make the next 6-18 months 100% about
your wedding. After all, the wedding is just one day; your marriage is a
lifetime. Don’t let the stress of the wedding stress your relationship.
Instead, enjoy doing other things together, take weekend trips if you can, or
spend the weekend doing something you both love that doesn’t involve wedding
planning. Honestly, I wish Michael and I had taken a solid 1-2 months to enjoy
our engagement before even setting a date!

### 2. Set Aside Time to Talk

Even when you’re deep into the wedding planning process, set aside a time each
week to talk about how your relationship is going, says Professional Counselor
[Nathan Gehlert](http://www.therapydc.com/). You’ll be spending a lot of time
focusing on the wedding, and it’s important to have this time to be able to
check in with each other about your connection.

### 3. Know Stress and Doubt are Normal

Getting cold feet is incredibly normal. No matter how in love you are, there’s
a good chance one of you is going to have some symptoms of cold feet. Getting
married is a big step, and life changes greatly after the wedding day, so it’s
understandable you’re questioning your decisions. After you set the wedding
date, you might start to notice (and worry about) your differences more than
before he popped the question. Conflicts now seem worse than they did before,
but take a step back and realize that no one is perfect. Every couple fights;
it’s normal. It’s how you’re able to work through problems that matters. Don’t
call off the wedding just because life’s not perfect all the time.

### 4. Do Premarital Counseling

I wrote a blog post about [premarital counseling](http://theplungeproject.com
/premarital-counseling) back when Michael and I were planning our big day, so
this is something I highly suggest. As Professional Counselor [Nathan
Gehlert](http://www.therapydc.com/) explains, “No one ever really teaches us
about how to be in a relationship with another person, yet your marriage has
the potential to be either the biggest source of happiness or distress in your
life. A little investment in premarital counseling can go a long way in
establishing healthy relationship habits right from the start.”

### 5. Stick to Your Budget

The cost of a wedding is definitely a huge source of stress during the
engagement. That’s why it’s essential to [decide on a budget, and stick to
it](http://theplungeproject.com/nailing-down-a-budget-and-sticking-to-it)! As
[Summer Gray](http://Handbago.com), fashion writer, publicist and fellow
newlywed suggests, there are lots of do-it-yourself ways to save a few bucks,
so do your homework. The more personalized the wedding, the better! People are
there because they love you, so big or small, the only thing that matters, is
that you’re happy with the results.

### 6. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

As wedding photographer [Tiffany
Babinsack](http://www.whatwillyouremember.net/) says, “As cliché as it may
sound, it’s a solid piece of advice. Things will happen. Plans will change. At
the end of the day, it is important to be thankful for what you have and
remember why this all started – because there is a great person out there that
wants to spend the rest of their life with you!”

### 7. Take Your Fiancee’s Opinion into Consideration

I know, I know, you’ve been planning this day in your mind for your entire
life, but remember, you’re not the only one getting married. This is your
hubby-to-be’s big day too. As wedding planner [Annette
Hoegner](http://www.classictouchevents.com) notes, even if he acts like he
doesn’t care, it is nice to bounce ideas off of him and take his suggestions
when he offers them. It’s essential that he feels valued during the process!

### 8. Delegate

“Brides often dream about planning their wedding, without actually having an
understanding about the amount of time involved to coordinate, select
suppliers, review contracts, etc. As a result, it’s easy for one to become
irritable and unreasonable without really knowing it. To this end, delegate.
Perhaps hire a professional to assist with various components of the wedding,”
says event planner, [Greg Jenkins](http://www.bravoevents-online.com).

### 9. Keep In Mind What’s Important

Ultimately, be the best team you can with your husband-to-be through the time
leading up to the wedding, as [Sharon
Gilchrest](http://www.ashortguidetoahappymarriage.com), licensed marriage
& family therapist and author says. Talk often about what life will be
after the wedding and about expectations and life goals for the future. Keep
in mind that the wedding is an entry into the rest of your life, and the rest
of your life is much more important. **Being married is work. Life includes
problems. But if you put the effort into making it work, the reward is a
happy, healthy marriage. What other problems did you experience during the
engagement period? How did you make it through?** _{Image by [Five Senses
Orkney Scotland](http://www.flickr.com/photos/fivesenses/). Used under
Creative Commons.}_

You’re Engaged! Now What? 8 Things to Do First

Recently engaged? From all of us here at the Plunge Project, congrats!!! I remember the days after Michael and I got engaged…it was a whirlwind of excitement but also the time of most confusion. As one of the first of my friends to get married, I hadn’t been involved in much (_or shall I say any_) wedding planning to date, so I was a bit confused at where to begin. Being a wedding planning newby when I was going through the process, I definitely planned things a little out of order (resulting in a lot of changes after the fact), so for all you newly-engaged ladies out there, here are a few of the very first things you need to do after he pops the question.

### 1. Insure Your Ring

After you’re finished calling your parents, grandparents, siblings, best friends and whoever else is on your _”guess what? We’re engaged!”_ call list, you need to make a call to your insurance provider to get that pretty ring a policy. Generally, you’ll be able to add your shiny new bling to either your homeowners policy or renters policy (or take out a new policy if you don’t have either of those). You’ll need an appraisal in order to get it insured, which you can get at most reputable jewelry stores; in many cases, the ring should come with one when your beau buys it.

### 2. Build Your Wedding Binder

As soon as you’re ready to really get into the planning process _(after you’ve taken some time to enjoy being lovingly engaged and show off your new ring of course)_, it’s great to build yourself a wedding binder. After all, staying organized when planning your big day can be tough, and unless you’ve hired a wedding planner to plan your wedding from start to finish, one item you’re going to need is a wedding binder. How else are you going to keep track of your to do lists, inspiration, the mass amounts of vendors you’ve talked to, etc, etc.?!

**Hint:** One of the most popular posts on the Plunge Project teaches you how to [build your own wedding binder](http://theplungeproject.com/how-to-build-your-wedding-binder). There are places that sell them pre-made, but with all the free resources available to us online, there’s no reason you can’t make a great wedding planning binder yourself (_for a fraction of the cost_).

### 3. Nail Down Your Budget

The first step in planning your big day is figuring out your budget. There’s a big difference between a $50,000 wedding and a $10,000 wedding, and the important thing to keep in mind is that weddings really add up. Chat with your parents, the grooms parents and your future hubby about who’s throwing in and how much you have to work with. If you’re short, give yourselves time to save; the last thing you want to do is enter wedding bliss with a boatload of wedding debt! Your budget can really affect lots of parts of your big day — from the date _(will you have it during peak wedding season or in the slower months?)_, and even the day of the week _(did you know Fridays are a lot cheaper than Saturdays?)_, on to what vendors you choose and more. **Hint:** Check out this article on [nailing down a budget](../nailing-down-a-budget- and-sticking-to-it). It can help you figure out what percent of your budget should go where. There’s also a downloadable spreadsheet to help you give yourself a target cost for each item/vendor. That way, you’ll have an idea of how much you should be spending as you start chatting with vendors.

### 4. Set the Date …or at Least the Year and Season

The next step is deciding when your wedding will be. It’s great to start with a year and season _(in our case, it was Fall 2010)_, and then narrow it down from there as you determine when your must-have vendors are available. Plus, that gives you something to tell all your curious friends and family when they ask. **Hint:** Keep in mind that January through March are generally off- season wedding months in many parts of the country, and having your wedding during this time can often save you some big bucks.

### 5. Get Inspired

Start browsing online and in magazines to determine your vision. Ask yourself what kind of wedding you want: vintage, modern, traditional, rustic, offbeat, the list goes on… It’s completely up to you, and I’m a firm believer that with a little creativity, you can have any style of wedding you want, despite your budget. However, it’s important to figure this one out so you have as much time as possible to start turning your vision into reality.

**Hint:** We have a growing collection of wedding inspiration here at the Plunge Project that we’d love for you to take a look at! Beyond that, a few of our favorite places to get inspired are [The Knot](http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-themes.aspx), [Style Me Pretty](http://www.stylemepretty.com/) and [Ruffled Blog](http://ruffledblog.com/).

### 6. Decide on a Venue

Deciding on a venue is important to take care of early in the process. If you have a specific one in mind, its availability will likely effect the wedding date you choose. In addition, many brides have to work to match their venue with their chosen wedding theme. For example, Michael and I had our reception inside a very Victorian, early 1990′s restored train station, so a vintage theme seemed to work best. Figuring out your venue early on can really help you make other decisions. **Hint:** Need ideas on venues to look at? We have a great post here with some [tips to help you choose a venue and some interesting places to look at](http://theplungeproject.com/choosing-a-wedding-venue).

### 7. Dream in Color

****Once you have your date, visions and venue(s) situated, **work on figuring out your colors**. The easiest way to do this is to go shopping for bridesmaid dresses. (_And it doesn’t hurt to find your dress around that time too so you can make sure the bridesmaid dresses go with yours._) Really, until you have your exact shades picked out, it can be a waste of time to chat with any other vendors about anything that involves color (_such as linens, flowers, etc._). Michael and I spent hours choosing linens only to have to re-decide on all of them after picking our official colors. Save yourself the trouble and choose exact colors first. Pick out ‘maid dresses and then match everything else as closely as you can to those.

### 8. Prioritize

When planning a wedding, it’s easy to get caught up in your wedding dreams, but for budget-constrained brides, learning how to prioritize will bring you back down to reality. When Michael and I embarked on the journey of planning our dream wedding, I’ll admit that I wanted a lot. And in my defense, I truly though my $10,000 budget was a massive. _Boy, was I wrong!_ Either way, we still made our budget work for us, and I got fairly good at cutting things that didn’t quite matter and prioritizing the things that did. I think that’s really the key to savvy planning — being able to prioritize what you want and what you’re able to do without. **Hint:** I wrote a post back during my own wedding planning to [help brides like myself prioritize](http://theplungeproject.com/art-of-prioritizing) if you’d like to take a look. _**Now that you’re armed with those 8 tips and tasks, do you feel more prepared to delve deep into the wedding planning process?**_ We sure hope so! Wedding planning is an exciting, emotional and stressful time, but don’t fret. Enjoy the process and remember, although it is an important day, it’s just one day. Plan the wedding of your dreams _(within budget of course)_, but never forget why you’re doing it — to start your life with the person of your dreams! {_Ring photo by [Rose Robinson](http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosedavies/ “Link to Rose Robinson’s photostream” ). Used under Creative Commons._}

Getting Your Guests Involved: Table Trivia

We’ve all been there, you just sat through a beautiful wedding ceremony, and
now you find yourself at a table full of strangers at the reception, anxiously
awaiting the arrival of the bride and groom since they disappeared with their
photographer for what is now starting to seem like forever! Luckily, wedding
activities for guests seem to be a new and growing trend that can help pass
the time during transitional moments in your wedding schedule, break the ice
and get your guests talking to each other! If you want to add some “table
trivia” at your wedding, here are a few ideas to consider:****

### 1. He Says, She Says

Create a list of favorite quotes and sayings from the Bride and Groom. Guests
try to guess whether “he said it” or “she said it”, and circle their choice as
they move down the list.

### 2. Mad Libs

Create a story, and leave blank spaces for your guests to add adjectives,
nouns and verbs to make the story their own! For a twist on this old favorite,
change the title from “mad libs” to “guest libs” or incorporate spaces of
“wedding advice” for the happy couple.

### 3. Crossword Puzzle

Make a crossword puzzle, and incorporate words that are indicative of the
happy couple. Attach a pencil or even adhere the game board to a popsicle
stick to create a “fan” for an outdoor summer wedding.

Make sure to entice your guests with a prize. Specify whether they should drop
their completed game card in a basket for a drawing, or have them play at
their own table and the winner gets to take home the centerpiece. It’s a
simple and easy way to entertain your guests, and it will leave them
remembering your wedding as pure fun and games!

{Fab Friday Finds} 3 Party Ideas for the Men in Our Lives

Today’s my hubby’s birthday…which got me thinking about parties for guys.
It’s easy to think of fun and creative themes for bridal showers, baby
showers, women’s birthdays, holidays and kids’ parties, but what about the men
in our lives? It’s not necessarily the easiest thing to think of a great theme
for a guy’s birthday party, so I scoured the internet and found a few ideas._
Enjoy…_

**1. Las Vegas Style Casino Party** — What could be better than a Vegas-themed casino party like this 40th birthday seen on [Hostess with the Mostess](http://www.hostessblog.com/2011/02/las-vegas-style-casino-40th- birthday-party/)?! There are lots of companies that you can rent casinos games from (dealers included), and believe me when I say it makes for such a fun night — and since it’s all play money, you and your guests have nothing to lose!

**2. Beer Tasting Party** — I think
it’s safe to say that beer is usually on a lot of men’s “favorite things” list
— _right after his significant other of course ;)_. So why not incorporate
that into his big day? Courtney of
[Pizzazzerie](http://pizzazzerie.com/parties/whitmore-brewbash-beer-tasting-
party/) designed this brew bash for her beau’s birthday, and I think it
provides some great inspiration! And can you believe that cake?!

**3. Football Party** — If you’re married to a sports-living
man’s man like me, football is probably a big part of your life right now. So
how about using your man’s love of the game and incorporating it into a fun
party? Plan the event on any football Sunday and let your guy and his buds
enjoy a day of watching football (and eating and drinking of course). This
party on [Scott & Janessa’s
blog](http://scottandjanessa.blogspot.com/2011/09/uw-football-party.html)
provides some great inspiration! _**What other great guy-themed parties have
you seen?**_

{Real Wedding} Jennifer and Clayton’s Homespun Barn Wedding

Living in Tennessee, I definitely see a lot of rustic, barn weddings. However, there’s something extra that really comes with a wedding you know was a complete homespun affair like Jennifer and Clayton’s. Jennifer and Clayton were married in Roseberry, Idaho back in July of this year, and the event was as DIY as weddings get! From using lavender picked locally the weekend prior to the wedding, to doing all her own flowers, Jennifer (with the help of her mom and Eye Candy Event Design) is definitely a DIY bride. But I’ll let you see that for yourself…

I absolutely love how Jennifer and Clayton used chalkboard paint in their wedding decor; it really brings home the rustic, barn vibe.

For their guest quilt — _yes, quilt_ — they simply used plywood with chalkboard paint to mount the quilt, and then one of the bridesmaids sewed it.

Paying homage to their individual alma maters, Jennifer and Clayton incorporated two signature drinks in their reception — Longhorn Limeade (Jennifer’s a University of Texas alum) and Moscow-jito (Clayton is a University of Idaho alum).

Ashley of Eye Candy Event Design (and also one of our new contributing writers
here) created this lovely pie table that really added to the overall look of
the day!

Thank you, Jennifer and Clayton for sharing your big day with me!

_Vendor Credits_ _ Event Design: [Eye Candy Event Design](http://www.eyecandyeventdesign.com/)_ _ Food: [Big Daddy’s BBQ](http://bigdaddysbbqonline.com/site/)_ _ Entertainment: [VCI Audio Entertainment](http://vciaudio.com/)_ _ Photography: [Avalanche Photography](http://avalanchephotography.com/)_ _ Venue: [Roseberry Barn ](http://www.historicroseberry.com/roseberry.html)_