9 Tips for Surviving the First Year of Marriage

It’s no secret that newlyweds like Michael and I, and many of you, are up
against some scary odds when it comes to making a marriage last. With the
divorce rate hovering around 50%, it’s important for us all to keep in mind
that marriage is work, and it takes some serious effort to make a marriage
last.

Before getting engaged, Michael and I lived together for a year
(half of which we owned our own home for), so we thought we knew exactly what
we were getting into when we decided to tie the knot. We assumed that we would
just get engaged, take a trip down the aisle and then just live the rest of
our lives in marital bliss; okay, we didn’t think it’d be _that_ perfect, but
you get the picture. Like many couples, we assumed the early stages of
marriage would be the easiest and the best, and that the real work part of
marriage would come later. What they don’t tell you is that the beginning is
often the hardest. And because the first year of marriage is when you set the
groundwork for “forever”, I decided to poll some experts to gather some tips
on not only surviving the first year of marriage, but also making it great.

### 1. Have realistic expectations, and see things for what they are.

We all know this by now, but life isn’t perfect. You’re partner is not
perfect, and neither are you, so [Dr. Joseph Shrand](http://www.drshrand.com/)
suggests that having realistic expectations for your marriage and a clear
picture of your marriage are key. He says, “Be able to distinguish between
external forces such as jobs and money, relatives and other friends, and the
integrity of your relationship. Just becuase you feel stress does not mean the
marriage is bad. In fact, your marriage can help share the stress, instead of
add distress.”

### 2. Communicate.

This is an obvious one, isn’t it? Yet, it can often be so hard! As [Dr.
Stephen Jones](http://www.studyskills2u.com/) told me, “Effective
communication starts with letting your spouse know what you want. Don’t expect
your wife/husband to be a mind reader.”

### 3. Be open and honest.

“You need to be upfront and honest with your spouse about everything,” says
[Catharine Han](http://www.dreamweddingwisconsin.com), a bridal consultant and
happy wife. As she mentions, if you didn’t talk about things like chores,
children and finances before you got married, it is important to discuss these
immediately. If you haven’t already, share your entire financial situation
with your spouse — bank accounts, credit cards, student loans, etc.

### 4. Show both respect and appreciation.

Author [Julie Orlov](http://www.julieorlov.com/) notes that it’s important to,
“say “thank you” and show appreciation for the little things. Make requests of
each other, not demands.”

### 5. Choose your battles.

So I know I said communication is important. However, [Dr. Mark
Sharp](http://www.aiki-relationships.com) says it’s also important to choose
your battles. “Figure out when to talk about things about your spouse that
bother you and when to let them slide. Not talking about ongoing nagging
issues can lead to resentment and disconnection, while complaining about every
little thing tends to create a negative tone for the relationship. A good rule
of thumb: if you are going to remember and be bothered by it tomorrow, bring
it up; if not, let it go,” he says.

### 6. Fight with the intent only to solve problems.

So you’re in a fight, now what? As [Dr. Jean
Greaves](http://www.talentsmart.com) explains, “It’s probably safe to assume
that we’ve all had conversations where we could use a fix-it. A simple
discussion breaks into a disagreement or gets stuck going around in circles.
In these broken conversations, past mistakes may get brought to the surface,
regretful comments are made, and blame is present. No matter who said what, or
who “started it,” it’s time to refocus and fix it. Someone needs to step back,
quickly assess the situation and begin repairing the conversation with a fix-
it.” “To do this, you need to let go of blame and focus on the repair. Do you
want to be right, or do you want a resolution? Fix-it statements are like a
breath of fresh air, are neutral in tone, and find common ground. Looking at
both sides will help you figure out where the interaction broke down, and
which “fix-it” statement is needed to begin the repairs. A “fix-it” statement
can be as simple as saying ‘this is hard,’ or asking how the person is
feeling. Most conversations can benefit from a fix-it.” “This strategy will
help you maintain open lines of communication when you’re upset, and with
conscious effort and practice, you will be able to fix your broken
conversations before they become damaged beyond repair.”

### 7. Date.

As [Dr. Tina B. Tessina](http://www.tinatessina.com) explains, “It’s easy to
feel romantic when you live separately and date each other, because every
moment spent together is special. From the moment you begin to live together,
such romantic moments are no longer automatic. Instead, much of your time
together is spent on more mundane things: doing laundry, washing dishes,
paying bills or going to work. Although this can be new, exciting and fun at
first, as soon as the initial newness of living together wears off, such
everyday things cease to feel exciting and romantic, and you may find yourself
feeling worried that your partner no longer cares as much or is as excited to
be with you.” To solve the problem, dating is key.

### 8. Have sex, and don’t be afraid to switch things up a bit.

As JP Dunbar, president and CEO of [The L Bar](http://www.thel-bar.com/) says,
“Setting the stage for a romantic bath, a long ride down a country road, or a
kinky evening alone will help to electrify [your] bedroom bond.”
“Communicating one another’s sexual needs and not forgetting the importance of
a passionate kiss will help keep the sexual relationship thriving. Sex is not
only enjoyable, but it is healthy. Research shows that sex not only relieves
stress, but also improves immunity and burns calories. So, buy a new thong,
piece of lingerie, or adult novelty toy and enjoy. The purchase would be a
small investment that you can reuse time and time again,” she suggests.

### 9. Keep your independence.

After you’re married, it’s understandable to feel like you want to spend lots
of time with your new spouse, but as life coach [Karen
McMahon](http://WWW.KARENMCMAHON.COM) stresses, “Don’t take two being joined
as one too literally. Have enough independence in your life that you always
have something to share with your new honey. Go out with friends, keep
hobbies. If you are joined at the hip, it will backfire after the flame
simmers down.” **What other tips do you have for surviving the first year of
marriage and laying the groundwork for a successful life together?** Share
them here! _[Image via [We Heart It](http://weheartit.com/entry/11100342)]_

DIY Guest Project: Frugal Upholstered Headboard

_The following home DIY project is a guest blog post provided by Martin and
Katie from the [Our Everyday Earth Green
Blog](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/ “Our Everyday Earth Green Blog” ).
__Our Everyday Earth is a green blog with a difference. Martin and Katie are a
regular family living in Texas writing about going green, recycling,
composting, green education and other family friendly green tips. Be sure to
check them out! _ _ __When Martin reached out to me, I immediately fell in
love with the project. I’ve always wanted an upholstered headboard, but I
really never thought I could do it on my own. So Martin, thanks for proving me
wrong. _ _Enjoy…_ _*** _ The project started as a weekend idea inspired by
several online tutorials of how to create an upholstered headboard, and it
grew into a bigger project with a reclaimed wooden bed frame and some
reorganizing of the surrounding furniture! The original metal framed bed is
shown below, with some closeup shots of the cracked framework. The metal frame
was uncomfortable to sit up against, and we had tried multiple times to fix
the cracked metal but it kept on breaking in the same location.

Katie and I set out in
separate directions; she went to the fabric store and I went to the home
improvement store! I bought a large piece of 1/2 inch thick plywood for about
$20, I bought the type which is only finished smooth on one side — this cut
the cost down slightly. Katie bought some wonderful fabric, some quilt batting
material and two pieces of 2 inch thick upholstery foam.

I cut out the headboard shape
with a jigsaw (wish I had video’d that part), and below you can see my mad
scientist template with dimensions… ![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/scan0001.jpg) As you can see, our king size bed was
considerably wider than the template (77 inches wide versus 52 inches wide).
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/Plywood_Headboard.jpg) We laid the plywood headboard
shape onto the 2 inch foam and marked around it with a permanent marker and
then used a bread knife to cut the foam to shape.
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/Headboard_and_Foam.jpg)
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/TheCutFoam.jpg)
We used Loctite spray adhesive to glue the foam to the plywood headboard. You
should be able to find an equivalent at the local hardware store. Word of
caution, only use these spray adhesives in a well ventilated area, and always
wear a breathing mask. ![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/TheHeadboardWithBatting.jpg) Fixing the quilt batting
to the foam and plywood headboard was easy, we just stretched the quilt
batting over the back of the headboard and stapled it with a staple gun every
couple of inches. The quilt batting was easy to stretch and the final product
was very smooth. ![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/TheBattingApplied.jpg) We cut the excess batting off
with scissors, and it was ready for the actual final upholstery fabric to be
applied. This final stage was trickier. The fabric we used was fairly heavy
weight and it took a lot of stretching and stapling to get it looking smooth
over the headboard. We were very pleased with the finished headboard though
and couldn’t wait to get the new bed assembled!
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/TheFabricApplied.jpg) As mentioned previously, the new
bed frame was made using reclaimed barn wood which we had stored in the loft
above our garage. We cleaned it up with some soap and water, let it dry and
then assembled a basic frame. I used some large 5/16 inch diameter 2 inch
length bolts with washers and captive type nuts to secure the new wooden frame
to the old metal base. You can see the assembled bed frame below.
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/ReclaimedWoodFrame.jpg) I used flat head bolts on the
foot of the bed for a better visual finish.
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/ReclaimedWoodBedFrame.jpg) Now that the frame was
assembled and tightened up, we were finally ready to start putting the bed
back together; we added the box springs first.
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/BoxSpringsAssembled.jpg)
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/TestFitofHeadboard.jpg) After performing a quick test
fit of the headboard to make sure the frame and headboard looked correct, I
moved on to the final positioning of the headboard. I quickly realized that
the massive headboard was not going to be easy to hold with one hand and then
screw into place with the other! My solution was to use an artists easel to
prop up the headboard, it worked great and the adjustable easel allowed me to
position the headboard at the exact desired height.
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/UsinganEasel.jpg) ![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com
/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/ThePositionedHeadboard.jpg) Once we were happy
with the vertical and horizontal positioning of the headboard, I fixed it in
place with wood screws to the reclaimed wood frame. Finally the bed was
starting to pull together! ![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/TheFixedHeadboard.jpg)
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/TheMattressBackinPlace.jpg)
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/TheFinishedMasterBedMakeover.jpg)
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/TheNewHeadboard.jpg)
![](http://www.oureverydayearth.com/wp-
content/uploads/2011/03/TheFinishedReclaimedWoodBed.jpg)

## Our DIY Master Bed Project Summary:

We spent just under $300 on materials, the upholstery fabric and foam were the
most expensive coming in at just over $200! The rest of the materials were
either very cheap, or completely free (reclaimed wood). Materials and tools:

* 1/2 inch thick plywood from Lowes
* A jigsaw for cutting the headboard shape
* 2 inch thick upholstery foam
* Loctite spray adhesive
* Standard quilt batting
* Fabric of your choice (be bold!)
* Bread Knife (for cutting foam)
* Scissors
* Staple Gun (and lots of staples!)
* 8 x 5/16 inch dia, 2 inch length bolts for mounting the wooden frame to the base
* 8 washers and 8 nuts
* Lots of patience!
So there you have it, a frugal DIY master bed makeover with an upholstered
headboard and reclaimed wood bed frame! We hope you enjoyed this project and
would love to hear your feedback.

DIY “Tears of Joy” Tissue Packets

It’s inevitable: people are
going to cry at your wedding. _You_ might even cry at your wedding, so you
might as well be prepared by providing tissues for your guests. Of course, you
could just put out tissue boxes, OR you could get creative and make these
adorable “tears of joy” tissue packets! They’re easy to make and super cute. I
actually got the idea from a fellow bride that I met online: Sandy of event
rental company [Simply Sandy](http://simplysandy.weebly.com/) _(stay tuned for
a Meet My Vendors post coming soon)_.

**To create this cute and easy DIY project,** I started with Martha Stewart Eyelet Confetti Pouches _(just a few dollars for a pack of 20 from Walmart)_ and some tissues. Then, I opened each pouch, threw out the confetti _(you could also save it to use it somewhere else in your wedding)_, and folded two tissues to fit in each pouch. When all the packets were stuffed, I printed a sheet of “Tears of Joy” tags, cut them using a scrapbooking hole punch from Jo-Ann, and pasted them on pink and brown cardstock before using double-stick tape to stick each “label” to each packet. For display purposes, I also printed a cute little sign to explain the packets at the ceremony and put all the packets in a basket._ Ta da! _Easy, cute and very useful for such an emotional day! I even caught Michael with a few in his jacket pocket 😉

_[First & last photos by [Jennie Andrews Photography](http://jennieandrewsphoto.com)]_

The Wine & Love Letter Box

We got a lot of great feedback about our wedding day, but one little detail of our ceremony that got quite a few really positive reactions was the wine and love letter box ritual. This was one ritual I had never heard of before our officiant mentioned it. However, as soon as she explained it to Michael and I, we were sold. **Here’s how it works: **Prior to the wedding, you gather a strong wooden wine box, a bottle of wine and two glasses. Then, also before the ceremony, you both sit down separately and write love notes to each other, explaining your feelings on the eve of your wedding day. Each letter then gets sealed in its own envelope. You do not read your beau’s letter. Then, at some point during the ceremony, your officiant explains the process, and the two of you seal the box by taking turns hammering in one nail at a time _(what other excuse do you have to use a hammer during your wedding?!) _until the box is closed.

You don’t open the box until your 10th anniversary _(or really whatever anniversary you choose)_, UNLESS you hit a rough patch in your marriage before then. Either way, on the day that you open the box, you both read the letters and drink the wine, remembering how you both felt just days before your wedding day. _Cute, right?_ Our wine box currently makes a great mantel decoration. Not to mention, it’ll help Michael remember our anniversary 😉

**Updated 8/27/11: **I actually just discovered Wants and Wishes actually sells an entire [Love Letter Ceremony Box Set](http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm ?b=236598&u=440921&m=27222&urllink=&afftrack=), so be sure to check it out if you don’t want to create your own 🙂 _[Photos by [Jennie Andrews Photography](http://jennieandrewsphoto.com)]_

See My Venue: L&N Train Station

_The “Meet My Vendors” series is my attempt to help other East Tennessee
brides choose wedding vendors. This series presents my dead honest reviews of
the people who made my big day possible. _ Okay, okay…so you can’t really
“meet” a venue, but I guess I should have thought of that before I named this
series 😉 Built in 1905, L&N Station served as a passenger train station
until 1968 before being renovated for the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville. It
currently serves as office and event rental space. And for me, the L&N was
my perfect all-in-one wedding venue!

The building was beautifully restored and still looks much like I would imagine it did in the early 1990’s. Everything about it is so vintage and so elegant. According to [Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%26N_Station_%28Knoxville%29), Knoxville’s L&N Station was considered by some to be the “finest” along the L&N’s entire Cincinnati–Atlanta line…and one step inside will show you why people would say that. All the little details of the building are immaculate — from the stained glass, to the chandeliers, to the floor tile. The L&N was my dream venue…

Michael and I were married on the Station’s
back veranda, overlooking World’s Fair Park. It was a pretty cool fall day,
but because the veranda is pretty enclosed, it really didn’t feel that cold —
_maybe that was my adrenaline though ;)_ And the fall colors of the park made
for an amazing backdrop of our ceremony…

Can I also mention the architecture of the building made for some of my absolute favorite photos?!

To book an event at L&N Station, contact the [Foundry](http://www.foundonfair.com/landnstation.htm). However, you better act fast. Word on the street is that the L&N is becoming a magnet high school in the fall and will only host events for another few months (which honestly makes me want to cry). Although, I guess I could send my kids there one day 😉 _[Photos by [Jennie Andrews Photography](http://jennieandrewsphoto.com/)]_

DIY Picture Frame Escort Card Display

_Ok, so this post originally appeared on the blog the month prior to my
wedding, but now that wedding photos are back, I’ve decided to re-vamp this
post to show the complete project, as my initial post just showed the frame —
not the full escort card display. Enjoy! _ One thing I knew all along in my
wedding planning was that I did not want the traditional escort card display
with a bunch of folded cards on a table. I knew I wanted [something a little
unique](http://theplungeproject.com/non-traditional-escort-card-displays) that
I could turn into a fun DIY project for myself, and this was the result…

This was actually a pretty easy project. Here’s what you’ll need:

* Large picture frame (or a few depending on how many escort cards you need to fit)
* Spray paint (unless the frame is already in your desired color)
* Foam core
* Batting (I just used the cheapest, polyester one they had)
* Fabric
* Stapler
* Push pins
* Escort cards (I used gift tags that I embellished with lace)
First, I spray painted all 3 of my frames gold, along with my push pins, as
they didn’t sell gold ones at the store that I went to. After everything was
dry, I started to assemble my display like this…

1. Cut the foam core so that it fits into the frame. If the frame came with a cardboard back, you can use this as a measuring tool.
2. Cut a piece of batting so that it fits around the foam core. I made mine about an inch or 2 longer on each side.
3. Staple the batting to the foam core, making sure it fits very tightly around it.
4. Cut your fabric the same way you did the batting — about an inch or 2 longer on each side.
5. Staple your fabric to the foam core, pulling each side tightly to ensure a snug fit.
6. Take your finished piece of foam core and place it into the frame. It should fit snugly. Use the tabs that normally hold the picture in place to hold your foam core.
7. Pin your escort cards to the display.

And there you have it!** How are you doing your escort card display?** _[First & last photos credited to [Jennie Andrews Photography](http://jennieandrewsphoto.com)]_** **

Holiday Gift DIY Link Love

Ever since my wedding, I’ve become a DIY queen. I seriously love it! Not only
does it enable me to [save some much needed cash](http://theplungeproject.com
/gift-giving-on-a-budget) during a normally costly holiday season, but it also
allows me to add my own touch to everything I create. I have yet to blog my
own DIY gifts _(because I don’t want to spoil the surprise for those receiving
them)_, but here are a few really awesome DIY gift ideas I’ve found around the
internet…

**Link Love:**

1. [Lark & Lola](http://larkandlola.blogspot.com/2008/12/pretty-calendar-project.html)
2. [Delish](http://www.delish.com/entertaining-ideas/holidays/christmas/delicious-homemade-holiday-gifts)
3. [Instructables](http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-unique-tile-picture-for-less-than-3/)
4. [Delish](http://www.delish.com/entertaining-ideas/holidays/christmas/delicious-homemade-holiday-gifts)
5. [Blonde Designs](http://blonde-designs.squarespace.com/blonde-designs-blog/2009/11/5/holiday-gift-crafts.html)

What to Include in Your Ceremony Program

If you follow me on Facebook — _if not, [you should](http://www.facebook.com/PlungeProject) ; )_ — you may have seen me transform my kitchen into a full-scale wedding program print shop for these past few weeks. And let me just say, wedding programs were by far one of my most tedious DIY projects! From determining what information to put inside, to designing them, to printing and assembling all 150, this was definitely the most time-consuming project I completed for the wedding. But all in all, I’m happy with the end result. Doing your own programs is an easy way to cut out some costs. But if you’re planning to do this, you need to know what to put inside. Of course, your wedding should be unique to you and your beau, but there are a few key items you need to include to guide your guests through the ceremony:

1. Cover Page
2. The Bridal Party
3. Order of the Ceremony
4. Thank You Notes
5. A List Honoring the Deceased
But of course, I’ll delve a little deeper and use my own ceremony program as
an example… **Cover Page:** This generally has the bride & groom’s
names, the date of the wedding and the city/state in which it’s taking place.
If you have a wedding monogram, the cover is a really great place to put it.
_(Don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day to enter to [win a custom
monogram decal](http://theplungeproject.com/giveaway-monogram-decal-from-
ten23designs) from Ten23 Designs!)_ **Page 1: The Bridal Party –** This page
tells your guests who will be walking down the aisle and how you’re related to
them. Here’s the order I did mine in…

* Officiant
* Parents of the Bride
* Parents of the Groom
* Maid of Honor – Also include relation. For instance, my MOH is a friend, so next to her name says “Friend of the Bride”.
* Best Man – Include relation.
* Bridesmaids – Again, include relation next to each bridesmaid’s name.
* Groomsmen – Same thing.
* Flower Girl
* Ring Bearer
* Grandparents of the Bride — Here, I put only living grandparents that would be walking down the aisle. There’s an “In Memory” page later in my program to honor the deceased.
* Grandparents of the Groom — Same thing.
* Readers
**Page 2: Ceremony **– This is where you guide your guests through the events of the ceremony. If there is music at any point, it’s good to include the song title as well. The same goes for readings. Here is the order of events in my program:

* Prelude
* Special Seating
* Processional
* Bridal Processional
* Welcome and Opening Remarks
* Presentation of the Bride
* Words on Love and Marriage
* Reading
* Vows and Exchange of Rings
* Wine and Love Letter Box Ritual
* Charge
* Pronouncement
* Presentation of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Denton
* Recessional
**Inside Back Cover: Thanks & Memories — **This can be 2 pages or one, depending on the length. In our program, this is the inside back cover and includes little thank you notes to our guests, attendants and parents, followed by a list of those that “We Lovingly Remember”. I’ve also seen people include their new address together on this last page, but since Michael and I are not moving, we didn’t do this. **But of course, your ceremony program doesn’t need to follow the same format as mine.** This is just meant to be a guide, because figuring out all this stuff can be hard! Next week, I’ll share the full DIY project and explain how I assembled my programs. Stay tuned!

DIY Cake Stands

_And the [DIY](http://theplungeproject.com/tag/diy) continues…_ This
weekend, I finished up one of the projects I was really excited about — my
DIY cake stands!

I originally saw this idea
mentioned on [Pizzazzerie](http://www.pizzazzerie.com/parties/labor-day-party-
inspiration/) and have been pretty smitten with the idea ever since. After
all, I’ve swooned over [Rosanna cake stands](http://theplungeproject.com
/daily-delight-rosanna), but I really just couldn’t bring myself to spend all
that money. Instead, these past few weeks I’ve been hunting for supplies and
assembling these beauties. All in all, three cake stands cost me about $50
total to create. And _(in theory)_, they were pretty easy to make and
assemble.

> [SIDE NOTE: First try through, I did coat number 1 in matte finish spray
paint, but coat 2 in glossy finish. Bad call. Coat number 2 cracked as soon as
it dried, and I then had to use paint stripper — which is a super intense
chemical — and remove all the paint and start over. Needless to say, this
project was a little more time-consuming than I planned. Choose your spray
paint wisely.]

But yeah, easy to assemble ; ) **If you’re thinking of making your own
gorgeous little cake stands, here’s how I did it…** First, I started with a
few key supplies:

* Candle stick holders — I found mine at HomeGoods and Ross for $6-9 a piece.
* Plates — The large one is from HomeGoods ($15) and the smaller ones were from Walmart ($1.50/each). I also happened to see plates at the Dollar Tree after the fact that would have worked.
* Spray paint
* Gorilla Glue
* Gloves — I hear Gorilla Glue is a nightmare if you get it on your skin.
* Heavy book(s)

Then, I began to assemble like so…

1. I took the candle stick holders outside and spray painted them. Because the ones I chose had lots of ridges, I flipped them over half-way through to make sure I got the paint in all the cracks. Be sure to cover the surface you’re painting on!

2. Once dry, I brought the candle stick holders back inside to glue them to my plates. Following the instructions on the Gorilla Glue packaging, I affixed the candle stick holders and the plates, put heavy books on top to hold it tight, and let it sit for a few hours.

3. Because of my first spray paint mishap, I waited a full week to do the final step — adding another coat of spray paint, this time to the whole stand. I placed the cake stands face down (spray paint is not food-friendly) and painted the candle stick holders and the bottom of the plates, thus making it look like one nearly seamless piece. Because the edges of my larger, square plate came up a bit in some areas (guess that’s why it was at HomeGoods), I then used fine sandpaper to sand any paint that went too far onto the top of the plate.

And voila! Cake stands! Now I just can’t wait to put these beauties on my
dessert tables. The larger stand is for Michael’s 3-tiered rice crispy treat
groom’s cake, and the 2 smaller stands are for some delicious Italian cookies
that my grandmother is bringing down from Jersey!

And once the wedding is over, I’m going to re-spray paint these babies red so
they match my kitchen! Gotta love items you can recycle!

Vintage Barn Wedding

I always love when I come across a couple who has chosen a creative venue for their wedding, and am a fan of those who look beyond the banquet hall. Beyond that, I’m a sucker for rustic, homespun affairs, so it’s pretty clear why I’m a fan of [this wedding](http://www.stylemepretty.com/2010/01/07/barn-wedding- with-vintage-charm/) that I found on Style Me Pretty. Melissa and Ryan’s wedding was held at the [Dana Powers Barn](http://www.danapowershouse.com/) in Nipomo, California this past December, and it’s full of DIY goodness. Take a peek…

[![](http://theplungeproject.com/wp- content/uploads/2010/06/barnwedding.png)](http://theplungeproject.com/wp- content/uploads/2010/06/barnwedding.png) Head over to [SMP](http://www.stylemepretty.com/2010/01/07/barn-wedding-with-vintage- charm/) for the full story! _*Photography by [Ken Keinow](http://www.kenkienow.com/)._