June 27, 2013

Romantic DIY Peony Wedding Arrangement

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The amazing scent and large size of the peony, makes it a stunning flower for bridal bouquets and other wedding arrangements. This beautiful flower is in bloom from late spring to mid summer. Blooms measure anywhere between 2.5" to 5," which means that you do not need many of them to create a dramatic effect. They are available in shades of white, blush, light pink, white with red accents, dark red, hot pink and bright fuchsia.

6 pink peony stems
6 white peony stems
Queen Ann's Lace stems
7 Hostas leaves
Vase or other container
Cold Water

1. Fill your vase or container with cold water.

2. Trim the leaves off of your stems and only keep the leaves that will be above your water line.

3. Add the hostas to your container, spreading them out evening with the leaves facing upward.

4. Start adding the peonies into the container. I like alternating between the two colours and working my way around the container.

5. After you have placed all of your blooms, add the queen anne's lace as your filler.

Tips: Remember to trim your flowers to the height of your container. Check your water level and add fresh cold water each day to get the longest time possible from your arrangement. After a couple days you can recut the stems and thin out faded blooms if you like.

Peonies are easy to work with, you can place them on you guest sign-in-table or as centrepieces. Combining opened and closed blooms is a great way to get more out of the arrangement and creates more interest and texture.

A great alternative to a large arrangement is creating several small arrangements. You can place these smaller arrangement on their own or with several other arrangements.

Two years ago I planted this amazing flower in my garden and this year I was fortunate to have some blooms. I wish I could say that the blooms I used in this DIY arrangement were from my own garden, but I have to credit my two neighbours for being so generous with their stunning blooms. When not in season, peonies can be sourced online or from a local florist.

June 21, 2013

Defining Your Wedding Style

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Congratulations on your engagement! Many of us have done at bit of daydreaming about our wedding day. Some of us may even have the entire day visualized. However, if you are not sure where to start or perhaps you have no ideas on what you will like your day to look like, a great place to start is by defining your wedding style.

Your wedding day should be a reflection of both you and your partner, and your journey as a couple. Think through your overall wedding style by indentifying things you love, things that reflect your personalities, and what best describes you as a couple.

It is important to draw upon things you love; however, you also want to ensure that there is consistency in what you choose. You will also want to think of things that reflect your personality and how best they can be presented. Every couple has their unique story and your wedding day is a great place to share with friends and family your special journey.

Bringing all of the elements together can be a struggle, but with some planning you can have a wedding that reflect your personalities and translate into an event that is beautiful and uniquely representative of you as a couple.

Your Experience
When you think through your prior experiences it can help you decide what type of event you will like and the type of experience you will like your guest to have. Perhaps you have experienced a wedding from the perspective of a guest or you have helped a friend or family member with their wedding.

Use this experience and think about the weddings you have attended; what are some of the things you remember most fondly? What did you like or dislike about them? What would you have done differently? How will you describe your favourite weddings, casual or elegant? Did you enjoy the music or food? What did you think about the venue?

Finding Inspiration
Once you have identified the "feel" of the wedding you will like to have, you will want to look for inspiration. Books, magazines, movies and the Internet are all great places to find ideas. You should also consider looking at fashion and home d├ęcor magazines, where you can find the latest trends in fashion and colours. There are lots of websites dedicated to the topic of weddings and there are plenty of great inspiration and planning tools available

The amazing images available on the Internet can be overwhelming. However, a great way to narrow things down is to focus your attention to what colors, textures and objects you find appealing. At this phase of your planning, just knowing what you like will make all of the difference.

You can use sites such as Pinterest to create inspiration board(s). You can share your board(s) with members of your wedding party or with those involved in the planning of your wedding. When meeting with bridal vendors, your inspiration board(s) can also be a very valuable tool to give them an idea of what you envision for your wedding day.

Exploring Color
Take a look at the ideas you have collected for your wedding day and come up with a colour palette. I recommend using three to five colours; however, there is no rules on how many colours you can use. This will give you a colour palette to work from when you are selecting your flowers, table linens and other decorative elements. If you are drawn to a very vibrant colour you can offset it by incorporating some neutral tones. If you are having difficulty identifying or narrowing down your colours, I suggest picking three images that you really connect with and sample the colours from them. There are lots of great online tools that will help you generate colour palettes from images. You can also use programs such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to create great colour swatches from your favourite images.

A wedding style is what describes the look and feel of your wedding. When you start to look at the collection of images and ideas you have gathered, you will begin to recognize a trend in the things you like. This in essence will be you defining your wedding style.

June 7, 2013

DIY Lily of the Valley Bouquet


Lily of the Valley is also known as "Our Lad's tears," "May lily" and by several other names. The Lily of the Valley has broad, spear-like foliage and fragrant little white bell-shaped flowers. While it’s a popular garden perennial, the Lily of the Valley has seen increasing popularity as a cut flower, especially in wedding bouquets. They are in season from April to July depending on where you live. In Ontario they start to fade by the end of May. However, they are available to purchase throughout the year. They have been very popular since Victorian days, and are a symbol of love and peace.

The Lily of the Valley has much significance in mythology, legends and religious beliefs. It is a popular flower for weddings and may be considered by some to be an expensive choice of flowers to use throughout your wedding decor. They have been featured in royal bridal bouquets at the wedding of Grace Kelley and at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. They have also been a national flower and an official flower of various countries and organizations. Like many other flowers and plants, they are also considered highly poisonous and should not be eaten.

These delicate looking flowers are stunning all on their own or as an accent flower throughout a bouquet of other flowers. They have a beautiful scent and can also be used in other wedding arrangements. I have put together a small bouquet with Lily of the Valley flowers from my garden. A bouquet like the one I made is great as a small bouquet; however, if you will like a fuller more robust bouquet I suggest using more stems or adding other flowers to the bouquet.

55 stems of Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley leaves
78 inch (2 m) length of ⅝ inch (1.6 cm) satin ribbon
Elastic band

1. Start by collecting the stems in your hand and follow by adding the greenery (I used eight leaves) around the outside of the flowers. Arrange the flowers in your hand to suite your own liking.

2. Use the elastic band to secure the arrangement and cut the ends of the stems in a straight line, leaving approx. 3 inches past the length of your handgrip.

3. Cut a 42" (106.7 cm) length of satin ribbon and wrap it around the stems, starting at the bottom and working your way upward to the base of the flowers. Tie the ribbon in a knot at the base of the flowers and cut the ends at an angle.

4. Tie the remaining length of satin ribbon in a bow at the base of the flowers and cut the ends at an angle.

You're finished!

You may come across suggestions that you need to wire the stems, which is a process in which each flower is stabilized with a thin florist wire so that they do not droop. This process makes for a more structured bouquet. If this is what you have in mind I suggest you visit your local florist and discuss the bouquet you will like.

*Remember to keep your bouquet watered by placing it in just enough water to cover the stems, without wetting your ribbon.

Source: Satin Ribbon: Mokuba, 416-504-5358

June 1, 2013

Welcome to Crafted Spaces Weddings

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Crafted Spaces Weddings has been created as an online wedding resource, to provide creative wedding-planning tips, inspiration and DIY projects. We also offer couples comprehensive wedding planning and coordinating services in the Greater Toronto Area, Barrie and surrounding areas.

I helped plan my first wedding when I was in my late teens and ever since I have loved helping couples plan their special day. I started planning weddings in Toronto and subsequently for two years in the Caribbean. I have always enjoyed the process of bringing the day together and being part of such a joyous occasion in peoples lives.

Planning a wedding can be a stressful task, but it does not have to be. With some know-how and a little creativity, ideas can come to life and treasured memories can be made. A great place to start is by deciding what you want your day to look and feel like. What are some of the elements that you will like to have, and what memories you want to make?

If you are a creative couple who just got engaged and you are looking for assistance navigating through the various aspects of planning your wedding, then I hope you will visit Crafted Spaces Weddings again and contact us for more details about our services. If you have decided to plan your own wedding, I hope that this site will be a helpful planning resource.

Happy planning!

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Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby | Editor-in-Chief and Founder
Yvette-Michelle is a bridal consultant and wedding coordinator in Greater Toronto, Barrie, and surrounding areas. With over twenty years of experience, crafty know-how, and a flare for style, she provides her clients with expert advice and the help they need to transform their creative wedding dreams into reality.