3 Things to DIY Instead of Buy for Your Wedding

Weddings are a time of fun and creativity. But, as all brides know, these come at a cost. Oftentimes buying your wedding decor already made is significantly more expensive than when you do it yourself. The advantages to DIY’ing your wedding are more than just saving money. By making some of your wedding decor, you are able to bring your wedding vision to life exactly how you want it. Here are 3 things to DIY instead of buy for your wedding.

Mason Jar and Twine Flower Holders1. Mason Jar Flower Holders

These are super cheap and super easy to make. All you need are enough mason jars to go on the ends of every other row of chairs down the aisle, some twine, water, and the flower(s) of your choice. Simply wrap and tie the twine around the top of the jar, creating a secure handle that you can hang on the chairs. Then, fill the jars with a little bit of water and put some of your favorite flowers inside. Baby’s breath, lavender, and small daisies all look great and provide a simple elegance to your aisle decor.

Lavender and Tulle Chairbacks2. Lavender and Tulle Chairbacks

Depending on your taste, you may want to add some extra pizzazz to your reception chairs. Renting chair sashes can get very expensive very quickly. Instead, buy several yards of tulle and wrap it around the chairbacks. Secure the tulle with a ribbon of your choice and then add a sprig of lavender in the tie for some added detail. You could add any flower to the knot or, for a more simple and elegant look, you can add no flower and leave the ribbon plain.

Framed Blackboard Wedding Program3. Framed Blackboard Wedding Program

Having individual programs printed for each guest for your wedding is costly. Also, you will almost always end up with extras and, sadly, most guest will throw the program away by the end of the night. Save yourself some money and make one large program to put on display for your guests to look at. Go to an antique store or second shop (like Goodwill) and purchase an inexpensive framed mirror. Paint over the mirrored glass with black chalkboard paint and then write out the program in a pretty script. After the wedding, you can erase the program and reuse the sign in your home as a decoration.

How to Pick Your Perfect Bouquet

With all the decisions that you have to make for your wedding, the bouquets that you and your bridesmaids carry can seem like just another choice to make. However, you want to make sure that you take time and consideration when choosing your flowers because they will become an integral feature in your wedding photos and will reflect both your personal taste and the aesthetic of your wedding. Here are some tips that will help you pick the perfect bouquet for your special day.

tt1. Find some inspiration photos

Almost every bride today has at least one Pinterest board for her wedding day. Pinterest is great because it gives you access to TONS of real wedding photos, including wedding bouquets. Find some photos of bouquets that you like and bring them to your florist to discuss how she can achieve that certain look while still staying within your budget. Visit Che’ne Rouge’s Pinterest account to see photos of gorgeous bouquets that have been created by our in-house florist, Gail, from A Perfect Wedding Floral Design.

576426_388854257831769_764633950_n2. Bring your bridesmaid dresses’ swatches

If you are not sure where to start in your search for the perfect flowers for your bouquets, bring a fabric swatch from the bridesmaid dresses to show your florist. They will know which flowers can be used that are either of the same or similar color or can point you in the direction of flowers that will compliment it.

3. Consider your dress

Is your dress an elaborate ball gown? A simple sheath? Or somewhere in the middle? Considering the shape, formality, and elegance of your dress will help point you in the direction of the right bouquet style. Your bouquet should ultimately be equal to the dress in levels of grandeur and sophistication.

il_340x270.425413528_oqzp4. Aim for flowers that are in season

Sticking with primarily local, in season flowers will not only save your florist time in finding them to put your bouquets together but will also save you money. These flowers will be the freshest possible and therefore last longer through the night. Talk to your florist or do an internet search to find out what flowers are blooming in the season of your wedding day and the geographic region of your wedding location.

5. Build your bouquet around your body type

Smaller brides will be easily overshadowed by massive, cascading bouquets. Larger bouquets allow fuller figured brides to project grace. Having a bouquet that is proportional to your figure will photograph better and make you appear more flattering. Also, make sure that the bouquet is not too heavy or cumbersome and hard to carry.

Unusual and Unique Ways to Propose

Making the decision to propose is not easy. Not only do you have to worry about finding the right ring and timing, but how you actually pop the question can be extremely nerve racking. Most girls already have an idea about how they want to be proposed too. This puts pressure on their significant others to live up to expectations. Here are several unusually unique and adorable ways to propose:

And for the literary. 1. Write a journal: Buy the journal pictured to the left or create your own special journal. Write out the reasons you want to be married, a poem, song, letter, whatever works best with your relationship and then let her read it. At the end, be prepared to pull out the ring!

And remember: You can always ask for a little help.2. Use a pet: Sometimes there is nothing more special than involving those closest to you in the proposal. For some this may be friends or family. For others, it is a furry friend! Put the ring on your pet’s collar, have them walk around with a sign, get creative!

With a baseball.3. Have a theme: Maybe you are the type of couple that really loves baseball or Harry Potter. Pick something from your mutual passions and put the ring in it for the proposal. You can hollow out the leather around the baseball and fit the ring inside (pictured left) or you can buy a snitch locket (pictured right) and make the proposal magical. These are just two suggestions; you can use an object from any of your shared favorites.

4. Soar to new heights: Consider buying tickets for the two of you to go on a plane ride over the city one night. Many small airports offer these sorts of adventures. While you are in the air, drop down on one knee and pop the question. This is a more adventurous proposal but it also symbolizes how being with each other makes you both feel that you are on top of the world!

5. Customize!: Does she have a favorite candy or ice cream? Many companies will custom make products with the question “Will you marry me?” on them so you can use them in your proposal. Ben & Jerry’s (pictured left) has done this and M&M’s allow you to custom order what you want the small candies to say!

Wedding Cake Flavor Ideas

31592_503154069719438_1813216052_nWhether you’re going to have a friend or family member create your wedding cake masterpiece or you are working with a cake baker, your  wedding cake design isn’t just about how the cake looks. From traditional vanilla or chocolate to tropical or trendy, the cake flavor ideas below are sure to inspire the most important aspect of your cake: what’s inside! These ideas are just suggestions; your cake baker or friends/family are  likely to have ideas of their own. Feel free to mix and match flavors to create your own unique wedding cake experience!

Chocolate Chocolate mousse Chocolate buttercream or fondant
Vanilla sponge cake Pastry cream and raspberry jam Marzipan
Bittersweet chocolate Vanilla bean buttercream Salted chocolate ganache
Carrot Cream cheese frosting Cream cheese frosting and walnuts or coconut
Lemon pound cake Lemon curd and raspberries Vanilla or lemon buttercream or fondant
Coconut Passion fruit curd Coconut rum buttercream with toasted coconut flakes
Banana walnut Chocolate ganache Chocolate fondant or chocolate buttercream
Almond Cherry preserves Vanilla bean buttercream or fondant
Red velvet Cream cheese frosting or chocolate ganache Cream cheese frosting or chocolate ganache
Devil’s food cake Coconut pecan buttercream Dark chocolate ganache
Chocolate mint Crème de menthe chocolate mousse Dark chocolate ganache or buttercream
Champagne Strawberry buttercream Champagne buttercream or fondant
Chocolate Salted caramel Caramel buttercream or chocolate ganache
Spice cake Apple butter Cinnamon buttercream
Chocolate Nutella or peanut butter cream cheese frosting Chocolate ganache with hazelnuts or peanuts
Banana Peanut butter cream cheese frosting Cream cheese frosting
Lemon Raspberry buttercream or vanilla pastry cream with raspberry jam Vanilla buttercream or fondant
Chocolate cinnamon Salted chocolate ganache with almonds Chocolate cinnamon buttercream or mousse
Funfetti (vanilla with sprinkles) Vanilla buttercream Vanilla buttercream with sprinkles or fondant
Dark chocolate Passion fruit curd Chocolate buttercream, mousse, or salted ganache
Lemon poppy seed Lemon curd or lemon buttercream Lemon buttercream or fondant
Apple spice Brown sugar cream cheese frosting or salted caramel Brown sugar cream cheese frosting or caramel buttercream

Still looking for a baker to create your beautiful and delicious wedding cake? Che’ne Rouge is so proud to work with G&W Catering; they consistently make our couple’s wedding cake dreams become reality with their gorgeous decorations and delicious flavors. Contact G&W Catering today, visit their “About” section on our Vendor page, and like them on Facebook to receive more information.

Tips for Including Pets in Your Wedding

If you or your family have a pet, then you know how pets can be an extremely important part of the family. In some cases, they can seem like additional children! If this is the type of relationship that you have with your or your family’s pet, then it is only natural that you would want to include them on your wedding day! If you’re considering inviting your furry, feathery or scaly friend, here are a couple of things to think about.

1. Environment/ Location

Before making plans about having your pet attend your ceremony or reception, you need to ask your venue whether or not pets are allowed.Ask for permission in writing so there are no issues on the day. It’s also important to ensure there’s enough space for your pet to eat, drink and go to the bathroom without disrupting the day’s events. Find a guest or member of your family that will be okay with being responsible for the pet, whether that is for bathroom breaks or making sure s/he is returned home safely after the ceremony or reception.

2. Guests

Even though this is your dream wedding day, you still must consider the comfort of your guests. Will majority of your guests feel comfortable with an animal at the wedding? Consider family and friends with allergies or young children. We recommend announcing your pet’s involvement on the invitation so loved ones have the opportunity to ask questions and prepare for the day.

jiachristopherengagement3. The Role Your Pet Will Play

Will your pet walk down the aisle, be by your side during the ceremony or pose for photos? Consider their personality before deciding whether they will be a good “Best Dog”, “flower feline” or feathered ring bearer. If they’re hyperactive with no appreciation for expensive outfits, perhaps including them in an engagement photo shoot or as part of a creative save-the-date is a good alternative. Make sure to let your photographer know of your plans so they can help you get creative!

Your pet may be well-behaved under normal circumstances, but a large crowd, loud noises, and an unfamiliar environment could produce an unexpected reaction. Practice runs are important, and it’s best to be prepared for the possibility of a bark or meow mid-vow!

4. Comfort

The outfit options are endless (and adorable!), but make sure you take your pet’s measurements and purchase the right size costume so that they are comfortable on wedding day. Conducting a “fitting” prior to the wedding is also a good idea – there’s nothing worse than your pet trying to wriggle out of their outfit as they make their way down the aisle!



22 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

CR-79Finding the right photographer for your wedding is crucial. They will be in charge of capturing all of your special moments and preserving your memories. It is so important that you ask all the right questions when choosing the person that will take on this responsibility. Here are 22 questions that you must ask before booking!

  1. What is your preferred style of photography? Traditional, natural light, artistic, illustrative?
  2. How many weddings have you shot in your career?
  3. Will my wedding be your only event on my wedding day?
  4. Have you ever taken photos for a wedding at my venue?
  5. Do you work from a shot list? If the answer is yes, ask to see the list to see what photos they plan to take. If the answer is no, ask if you can provide a specific shot list for them.
  6. Can I request that certain images are taken at the wedding?
  7. How many hours are included in your package? Wedding photography usually starts about 2 hours before the ceremony and lasts until the bride and groom are sent off.
  8. How much does an additional hour of photography coverage cost?
  9. Do you bring a second photographer?
  10. How many images can I expect to see from my wedding? Photographers typically take anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 photos at weddings. However, brides usually only see anywhere from 150 to 400 photos.
  11. Do you have a limit to the number of images you will edit? This answer should always be “no.”
  12. How long does it take before I get to see the proofs from my wedding?
  13. Do I receive a disc of images or do I have to order all of my photos through you?
  14. How much do prints cost?
  15. Is an album included in your packages?
  16. Will you use my images in any advertising?
  17. What do you wear when you come to weddings to shoot?
  18. Will you be the one to actually shoot my wedding or will it be a different photographer?
  19. What is your plan if you are ill or there is an emergency and you cannot photograph my wedding?
  20. How much is the deposit?
  21. When is the balance due?
  22. What is your cancellation policy?

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

Coffee filter flowers are not only super easy to make, they are a fun, creative way to add some homemade elements to your wedding day or bridal shower decor. You can purchase a box of 250+ coffee filters for less than $2.00, making this craft perfect for any budget. You only need a few materials and the instructions below and you will have a fun afternoon of crafting at your fingertips!

Materials You Need:

  • Several coffee filters (each flower will use 6)
  • Food coloring and a few shallow bowls for dying
  • Green pipe cleaners
  • Hot glue gun
  • Floral or masking tape
  • Stapler


The first step is to dye the coffee filters. Use the shallow bowls and fill then with water and then add the food coloring one drop at a time. Experiment with the colors. You can make them as dark or pastel as you like. Once you get the color the way that you want it, just dunk several of the coffee filters into the colored water and let them soak. You can dye more than one filter at a time, just make sure that the pile of filters soaks thoroughly. Once they are soaked to a color of your liking, squeeze the extra liquid out and separate the filters on a cooling rack. If you are not patient enough to let them air dry, you can put them in the microwave or in the oven on a low temperature to make them dry faster.

coffee-filter-flowersHere is an example. To get the peach tones, start with 2 cups of water and 1 drop of red food coloring. Then, add yellow and pink and experiment to get the exact color that you want. Mixing different tones and colors of filters in each flower will give a natural look.



Time to make the flowers!

  1. Take 3 filters and fold them into quarters. Cut scallops around the edges to add dimension. Repeat this with 3 more filters. Remember that each flower uses a total of 6.
  2. Stack all 6 of the filters in the order that you want the colors to show. Now, scrunch the bottom up as shown in the top left photo below.coffee filters 1
  3. Take the pipe cleaner and staple it with about 1.5 inches poking up above the stapler. (see photo above)
  4. Wrap the pipe cleaner around the bottom of the flower to help stabilize it.
  5. Open up the flower as much as you can. It won’t lay flat but you’ll need to know where the center is.
  6. Take the top layer and scrunch it up tight, squeezing the bottom of your flower (see below).coffee filters 2
  7. Continue scrunching each layer one at a time.
  8. As shown in the bottom right photo, start wrapping the bottom of the flower with about 18 inches of floral tape. Tack with a bit of hot glue if you need it.
  9. Wrap the pipe cleaner about 2 inches down with the floral tape, just enough for stability.
  10. Choose your favorite flowers and make a bouquet by bundling them together.
  11. Take one of the pipe cleaners and wrap tightly going up the stems to hold the top of your bouquet.
  12. Now take another pipe cleaner and continue wrapping until you get to the bottom of your stems.

Coffee Filter Flower Tutorial by Easy Handmade Recipes


And DONE! Your flowers are created and you can continue making more beautiful bouquets!






Great DIY Wedding Hair Ideas

Aside from you actual wedding day, there are numerous wedding related events that you will want to look your best for without breaking your budget. Between all the wedding showers, parties, and celebrations, hiring someone to style your hair for each event is impractical. Below are two Hollywood inspired hairstyles that are really simple to recreate on your own. All you need are a couple of tools and these easy instructions.

Side Bun

This is a great traditional style with a twist. It is great in photos from all angles.



  1. Start with dry hair and divide it into small sections about two fingers wide. Curl each section with a 1-2 inch barrel curling iron.
  2. Mist each curl with hair spray then run a paddle brush through your hair to break up the curls.
  3. Sweep your hair to the left and divide it into three sections. Twist the first two sections together and roll and pull into a lose bun. Wrap the last section around the bun and pin into place.
  4. Spritz with frizz control spray to get rid of flyaways and to give your hair extra hold for the evening. For extra style, add a headband or a couple ofdecorative bobby pins.

Imperfect Ponytail

Messy and imperfect hairstyles are HOT now. You don’t have to worry about lumps and bumps or your hair looking slightly messy because that is the trend.



  1. Apply a dollup of styling mousse on your palms and evenly spread it through towel-dried hair to both tame frizz and boost shine.
  2. For added volume, flip your hair upside down and spritz the roots of your hair with a texturizing spray.
  3. Loosely braid your hair and let it air-dry to create a very natural, wavy texture. Undo the braid and break up the waves by running your fingers through your hair. Gently tease the crown for height.
  4. Pull a section of hair from each side of your face to the back of your head. Allow one section of hair to overlap the other and secure it by pinning into place. Continue this all the way down the back until all of your hair is pinned into a ponytail shape. Pull out strands to frame your face for a soft, feminine look.
  5. Finish this messy look by misting a thin coast of hair spray in an even, all-around motion throughtout your hair to ensure that the style stays in place.


What to Wear to a Wedding

It’s that time of year again… No, I’m not talking about Spring and flowers. It’s WEDDING SEASON! Whether you or someone you know will be attending a wedding sometime soon, you all know that figuring out what to wear to a wedding can be very difficult. There are so many different types of ceremonies and levels of formality that finding an appropriate outfit can be tough. However, this just got much easier.

Choosing a fabulous outfit to wear to a wedding is based on a few key factors – the formality of the wedding you’re attending, the venue of the wedding and reception, the time of year it’s being hosted (spring versus fall), and even time of day (daytime versus evening). Featured in this 2014 Spring / Summer wedding style guide are six example outfits that are appropriate for different types of weddings held during this time of year.

Informal Weddings:

Vince Camuto Lace Sheath Dress1. A Country Club

Traditionally, weddings and receptions held at country clubs are conservative, preppy, and very classic. It is most appropriate to wear a feminine dress that is figure-flattering but more on the modest side. In addition to finding the right silhouette, opting for delicate fabrics like lace or eyelet are always a good idea. When you are choosing what to wear to a country club wedding, envision an outfit that the character “Charlotte” from the television show ‘Sex & The City’ would wear or use the picture to left as an example. Pastel colors are always great but classic navy or black is always appropriate.


crown & ivy™ Watercolors Fit n' Flare Printed Dress

2. A Garden Wedding

A wedding hosted in a garden setting has all the right elements to make the ceremony romantic, relaxed, and whimsical. Inspired by nature, a floral print dress is a fantastic option for a garden wedding. Since the weather in most locations during spring and summer months is generally warmer, it’s best to choose a dress that’s constructed out of a lightweight, breathable material. In addition, opting for sleeveless and short in length will keep you cool and breezy throughout the course of the day. Bring a pashmina wrap or cardigan sweater, just in case the weather changes and it gets a bit cooler throughout the afternoon or early evening. As an example, the featured floral print Crown & Ivy dress from Belk is both a playful and pretty outfit to wear to a wedding in a garden.

Formal Weddings

1. A Wedding in the City

A city wedding is known for sophistication, elegance, and modernness. Generally held at trendy restaurants or contemporary venues (such as an art gallery or museum), weddings hosted in a city setting are usually on the formal side. It doesn’t necessarily require you to wear an evening gown; however, the expectation is that you’ll dress up more than usual. Therefore, an embellished or jewel-encrusted cocktail dress is a fabulous option to wear to a city wedding. As an example, this stunning AQUA dress with open back and sequin skirt would be a fantastic choice for a city wedding. Pair with some sexy stilettos and a chic clutch purse and you’re set to go.


Betsy & Adam One Shoulder Stretch Velvet Gown2. A Hotel Ballroom

Known for it’s grandeur, glamour, and over-the-top spectacles, a wedding held at a hotel ballroom is the epitome of a big, formal wedding. At this type of wedding (which is usually hosted during the evening), it’s expected to wear an evening gown. You can even wear a ball gown, if the wedding invitation specifies black-tie attire. Dramatic necklines (like open-backed dresses) and intricate details (like crystal-embellishments or hand-stitched embroidery) are things to look for in a dress that’s suitable for a wedding at a hotel ballroom. As an example, this one shoulder, beaded, open back gown from Belk is a perfect choice to wear to a formal wedding held in a hotel ballroom. Pair with elegant pumps, a minaudière clutch, and tasteful jewelry.

Make No Mistake When Choosing Your Cake

Selecting your wedding cake has so many different components. From shapes, size, fillings, toppers, flavors, and icing options, the entire process can be extremely overwhelming. No need to worry though! Here is a step-by-step guide to make the process fun and stress free.

1. Think about the style

There are no set guidelines for how your cake should or should not look. It can be as simple, traditional, or crazy as you want it to be. Some factors may influence the style of your cake; these may be your venue, the season you are getting married in, and, of course, your personal sense of style. The key point here is, it is important to have an idea of what look you are striving for in your cake before you meet with your cake baker.

2. Learn the cake lingo

Shape: refers to the literally shape of the cake tiers. Round is more traditional, square brings a more modern feel, and petal shapes are playful. You can even mix and match shapes in your tiers for something truly unique.

Frosting: this is the yummy, creamy stuff that separates your cake layers and goes all over the outside of the cake. It comes in many flavors with some of the most popular being buttercream (light, made from butter and sugar, easy to color, stays soft), and fondant (corn syrup, gelatin, shortening, and sugar, it is draped over the cake for a smooth finish, it is great for decorating).

Filling: these can enhance the flavor of your cake. Most cake bakers will offer fewer cake flavor options in the hopes that you will pair it with a filling. Fillings come in a variety of flavors from raspberry to Bavarian cream. If you decide to choose a filling, keep the season in mind. Heavier combinations such as chocolate cake with mocha filling are perfect for winter while lighter options such as sponge cake with fruit filling are more appropriate for warmer weather.

Decorations: these include all the extra details that make your cake gorgeous. There are endless options from fresh flowers, ribbon, lace, fondant flowers, patterns, ruffles, and so much more. Gum paste is commonly used to make fake flowers. Cornelli makes elaborate lace patterns. Pulled sugar is shiny, boiled sugar that is pulled to make fake flowers and bows.

3. Set your budget

Cakes range in price based on the flavor, filling, and frosting you choose. The more “fake” decorations you use (flowers and lace made from sugar, etc) add cost to your cake. If you want flowers, consider using real instead of fake to save baking costs.

4. Find a baker

Finding your cake baker should be handled with care. You want a top cake baker that is within your budget. Start your search online, read reviews, and ask around. Your venue may have a preferred cake baker that you can use or your caterer may know someone. At Che’ne Rouge, our most popular wedding package, La Grande Fare, includes your wedding cake already so the hassle of searching for a cake baker is taken care of.

5. Set up your cake tasting

Schedule your cake tasting and taste as many samples as you can. Your cake can be both beautiful and taste delicious. Feel free to stray from chocolate and vanilla when tasting your cake samples. Sometimes, bakers best cakes are ones that seem a little non-traditional to us.

6. Sign a contract

After you decide on your cake baker, sign a contract and pay your deposit. Make sure the small details are hammered out at this time like who will be baking your cake and how far in advance it will be made prior to your wedding day. The description of the cake you ordered should be detailed so you get exactly what you want. Also, check to make sure that they will be delivering your cake or will require someone to pick it up.

7. Choose your cake display

Your venue should have a special table in mind for your cake. Make sure that you find out what they will provide like a cake stand, cake cutting utensils, etc. Something that can be very important is the cake topper. You do not have to choose anything for the top but if you do, go ahead and decide at this time so it coordinates with your decor. Popular now are monograms, flowers, and the traditional bride and groom statues.

8. Enjoy on wedding day

Your cake has arrived, it has been cut, now it’s time to enjoy! Savor your slice. You put a lot of hard work into choosing each detail of your cake. Don’t forget to treasure the top tier. Save it in the freezer and then enjoy it on your first anniversary. Let your caterer know you will be saving it so they can wrap it up and store it in an air tight container. After a year in the freezer, though, your cake may not taste as good. Instead, enjoy it on your one month anniversary and then consider ordering a new cake for your one year anniversary in the same flavor as your wedding cake.