Jessica Zimlich

7 Tips To DIY Wedding Floral Arrangements
by Jessica Zimlich

Before we dive in, it's important to know that creating your own wedding floral arrangements is different than creating your own bouquets for your wedding day. I think the latter of the two requires a bit more skill (but that's not to say it can't be done!) and for today's purposes, we will be discovering tips that will help you create the best floral arrangements to be used as centerpieces at your reception or statement pieces during your ceremony.

Let's get started, shall we?

1. Tips to cut costs

To save on cost, use flowers that are in season. Making friends with the local florist often times means they can get you in contact with their wholesaler (which will also save you money in the long run), but if that's not an option, picking your florals based on what's widely available at that time is your best bet.

 

2. Prepare your flowers

Always strip any foliage that will be sitting in the water. This keeps the flowers fresh for as long as possible (which is a must if you're creating your floral arrangements a few days out, and you should, because no one wants to be doing that the day of!) as it eliminates the amount of bacteria that could contaminate the water the flowers will be sitting in.

 

3. Get the right supplies

Make sure the sheers you are using to cut your stems are clean and sharp. If they aren't, you risk crushing the stems which will prevent the flowers from staying alive as long as possible - those dingy kitchen scissors of yours probably aren't the best thing to be using, a pair of sheers is well worth the investment! Also, always err on the side of caution and cut less than you think you should from the stem. You can always take more off, but if you snip them too short, there's no going back.  A good trick to measuring the height of the flowers is to move the vase to the edge of the table and hold up the flower so that it dangles below the edge and you can get an idea of what it would look like in the vase at various heights.

 

4. Build your bouquet

Start with your greens first and build a nest of sorts that will support the larger statement flowers. You will want these pieces to be longer than the flowers you will be using to create this effect.

 

5. Organize your arrangement

Build a network of stems by crossing them (weaving a web) in the vase. In a pinch, you can use scotch tape and crisscross it over the top of your vase. This trick would also work wonders for those of you lacking in patience department or even those who are pressed for time. Don't be afraid if your arrangement starts taking the asymmetrical route (like the one pictured below).

 

6. Finishing touches

Fluff the flowers after you're done arranging to add volume. As you are creating your wedding floral arrangements, they tend to get smashed down and lose some of their shape - this gives them life!

 

7. A word on tulips...

Tulips keep growing (who knew?!) so if you're using them in your arrangement, they may need to be trimmed every few days so they don't look like they're trying to steal the show on your big day.

Do you plan to DIY any of the florals for your big day? 

Jessica Zimlich
Jessica Zimlich

Jess Zimlich is a Kansas City based lifestyle blogger at 26 and Not Counting where you can expect to see a heavy emphasis on personal experience and life adventures. When she isn't working on her fitness, you will most likely find her enjoying brunch (mimosas included!), catching up with her best friends or flipping the pages of her latest read - she's old school like that. She isn't engaged, yet, but she looks forward to the day when she can put that Pinterest Wedding Board to work!

9 old fashioned wedding traditions to break on the big day
by Jessica Zimlich

Wedding traditions, they are aplenty, no? I think it's high time for these unwritten wedding rules to be broken and I'm here to tell you that if a particular wedding tradition doesn't fit your style, you don't have to do it! Your wedding day is just that, yours. I'm a firm believer that you will appreciate the day more knowing that every detail was a true reflection of you and your partner.

With that being said, I'm giving you the OK on nine wedding traditions to break, listed below!

Tradition #1: You must have a wedding book attendant

Nearly every wedding book attendant I've ever come across has mentioned that they felt like they were being given that position simply because the bride and groom didn't want them to feel left out. The reality is, most of them would rather be able to kick back, relax and enjoy the show!

Come to think of it, do you really think you are going to read through the names of all the people who attended your wedding years down the road? With technology progressing the way it is and wedding hashtags becoming all the rage, my guess is no. Wedding books are just an extra expense that could be allocated toward something else that is important to you - hello, photographer!

Tradition #2: The bride and the groom must shove cake in each other's face

All I see is a big huge mess and a waste of cake. Anyone who knows me knows that the latter situation would be considered a tragedy! Sharing the first bite together is a much safer route and it leaves you free to eat the cake you paid good money for.

Tradition #3: You have to be married by a religious authority figure

Times are a changing and if you want a family member or close friend to marry you, go right ahead! I personally think it makes the ceremony that must sweeter and adds a personal touch you wouldn't otherwise get from someone you don't know on that level.

Tradition #4: Your wedding reception playlist has to include the chicken dance and the electric slide

Photo by  Raquel Reis

Photo by Raquel Reis

You don't listen to those songs any other day of the week, why would you feel pressured to on your wedding day? Play the music that makes you happy and I can assure you, your guests won't be watching from the sidelines!

Tradition #5: You have to register for "typical" wedding gifts, such as home goods

Photo by  Molly Zaidman

Photo by Molly Zaidman

This probably won't come as a surprise to you, but a lot of couples choose to live together well before they get married or even engaged for that matter. Do you know what that means? They're most likely set in the kitchen department and can't bear the thought of adding another set of towels to their collection. Weddings are expensive and gifts are meant to be indulgent. Register for things you truly want and need!

I, for one, don't think there is anything more disappointing than knowing the gift you plucked off the registry is going to sit unused or worse off, returned. I would much rather contribute a unique wedding gift that truly brings joy to the new couple - such as a contribution to their honeymoon or that killer handbag the bride has had her eye on, but hasn't purchased because of wedding expenses.

Tradition #6: You must have the same number of bridesmaids and groomsmen

Unless you're a stickler for symmetry, this is one of the most common ways new brides are breaking old traditions. You want only the best of the best standing by you on your big day and if that looks like five bridesmaids and four groomsmen, so be it.

Tradition #7: You have to have a bouquet/garter toss

Photo by  Coco Tran

Photo by Coco Tran

If the idea of your husband crawling on his hands and knees to take your garter off with his teeth gives you anxiety, you aren't alone. I think this is one of those traditions that everyone would appreciate doing away with - isn't that right, Grandma and Grandpa? If this isn't really your thing, you won't be hurting your guests' feelings.

Tradition #8: Your guest must send you off before the reception is over

Why not have an all-nighter wedding partying with your closest friends and family members? You two lovebirds have the rest of your lives together, but this night only happens once and you don't want to miss a thing!

Tradition #9: You must send out RSVP cards with invitations

Allowing your guests to RSVP online is not only cost effective, but it's also hassle free for both parties! Your guests don't have to worry about misplacing the card and you don't have to worry about tallying them up as they come in. Sounds like a win-win if you ask me.

What wedding traditions are you planning to skip on the big day? I'd love to hear!

Jessica Zimlich
Jessica Zimlich

Jess Zimlich is a Kansas City based lifestyle blogger at 26 and Not Counting where you can expect to see a heavy emphasis on personal experience and life adventures. When she isn't working on her fitness, you will most likely find her enjoying brunch (mimosas included!), catching up with her best friends or flipping the pages of her latest read - she's old school like that. She isn't engaged, yet, but she looks forward to the day when she can put that Pinterest Wedding Board to work!

5 Unique Wedding Bar Setups That Say, "It's time to party!"
by Jessica Zimlich

If I had to guess, I'd say one of the top expectations that wedding goers have is the opportunity to have a good time, right? A night filled with celebration, dancing and the perfect excuse to let loose with good people!

I rounded up a few unique wedding bar setups to help you get ready for the after party of the year, also known as: your wedding reception!

Photo by  The Melideos

Photo by The Melideos

MAKE IT PERSONAL

Ditch the pricey bartender and set up a few mini kegs of your own! Allowing your guests to serve themselves an ice cold brew straight from the tap adds an element of fun that wouldn't otherwise be there with a bartender. Know someone who brews their own beer? Even better!

Tip: This setup would be best for outdoor venues where you don't get into those tricky liquor laws.

BOOZY BOAT

A boatload of beer, in the most literal sense. Who's the genius who thought this one up?! Once again, with this self-serve bar setup you avoid the need for an actual bartender - which can save you some serious cash in the long run. Not to mention the fact that it would serve as a great Instagram photo-op, get your wedding hashtag ready!

BUILD YOUR OWN BAR

For those of you who are looking to go the traditional route, but want to add a little pizzazz to your bar setup, building one of your own with a few barrels and a piece of wood really ups the ante! Just add your florals, any drinking mixing necessities, booze and other assorted beverages and you're good to go!

Photo by  Colin Cowie

Photo by Colin Cowie

TIME TO TOAST!

Champagne is always a good idea and I can't think of the better time to serve up the bubbly than on your wedding day! Whether you set up a champagne bar to accompany the typical setup and use it strictly for a group toast, or stick with simplicity and opt for an all bubbly bar at your after party, I can assure you it will be a hit.

BARS AREN'T JUST FOR BOOZE

And last but not least, the coffee bar. Perfect for those of you who don't partake in alcoholic beverages, but not to be overlooked by those who do! Like the champagne bar, a coffee bar setup would also be a great addition to a traditional bar as well - especially for those wedding guests who are more than likely staying up past their bedtime for such a special occasion. I'm looking at you, Grandpa!

Which bar setup is your favorite?

Jessica Zimlich
Jessica Zimlich

Jess Zimlich is a Kansas City based lifestyle blogger at 26 and Not Counting where you can expect to see a heavy emphasis on personal experience and life adventures. When she isn't working on her fitness, you will most likely find her enjoying brunch (mimosas included!), catching up with her best friends or flipping the pages of her latest read - she's old school like that. She isn't engaged, yet, but she looks forward to the day when she can put that Pinterest Wedding Board to work!

Wedding hairstyle tips: how to find your perfect bridal hair
by Jessica Zimlich

So, you're engaged to be married, congrats! At this point you may be stuck between trying to plan for peonies on a baby's breath budget and fighting tooth and nail for your dream venue during the thick of the wedding season, but don't let your wedding hairstyle add to the long list of stressors.

We're here to help! We got wedding hairstyle tips from Jordan Zimlich, an updo guru at Skyline Downtown Salon, to find out how she helps her clients nail a look fit for walking down the aisle.

Choosing a style should be a fun, flexible experience that your knowledgeable stylist is ready to walk you through - let's get right to it! Below are some key items to remember when deciding on a style for the day you say "I do."

 

Play up your natural-born features

Work with your stylist to find a look suitable for your personal style and face shape. For example, leaving hair around face that extends below the chin can elongate an a already long face, so opting for a style that features a shorter swept bang can soften long angular shapes. If your cheekbones or dimples are defining features, sweeping hair off your face to showcase some of your best attributes may be a great option for you.

Photo by  Sarah Bradshaw

 

Add some oomph

Your stylist can discuss with you ways to distribute volume and texture throughout different areas of the style to flatter your face and create a lasting style for all of the day's festivities.

 

Keeping it classic is always a good idea

Choose a style that is composed of classic lines, and timeless texture and color. While an updo with maxed out volume, a focal braid or ombre colored hair hanging in loose waves may be beautiful, trendy styles may date your wedding day photos ten years down the line. If you love a current trend, talk to your stylist about how to incorporate or alter the style to create a timeless look. Perhaps a subtly woven braided texture throughout your bun will be more suitable than placing a braid front and center through your bangs.

 

Do your homework

If you're uncertain of how to describe the looks and styles that appeal to you, gather photos and reference eras that you love. Keep in mind that hair color will play a factor in how a style looks. Dimensional blondes often embody a look of texture and multi tonal shine when put up in a bun, a brunette wearing the same style may look more sleek and smooth. When looking at photos, try to check out styles in your color range.

 

For best results, keep an open mind

Be open to adjusting what you have in mind for your bridal hairstyle. Having your hairstyle customized to work with your dress, the weather, your face shape, daily style and more is not only important but invaluable.

 

Practice and perfect

Talk to your stylist about things you love, hate and would be open to during your trial run, which should take place about a month before the big day.

 

With these tips under your (garter) belt, you'll be sure to land a look that you love almost as much as your beau! Happy planning!

Jessica Zimlich
Jessica Zimlich

Jess Zimlich is a Kansas City based lifestyle blogger at 26 and Not Counting where you can expect to see a heavy emphasis on personal experience and life adventures. When she isn't working on her fitness, you will most likely find her enjoying brunch (mimosas included!), catching up with her best friends or flipping the pages of her latest read - she's old school like that. She isn't engaged, yet, but she looks forward to the day when she can put that Pinterest Wedding Board to work!

5 DIY wedding ceremony backdrop ideas that wow
by Jessica Zimlich

Photo by  Alyssa Maloof

Photo by Alyssa Maloof

I’m sure you all know by now that the actual ‘I dos’ are more important than the photo album or the photo invitations you and your partner choose. The main focal point should be the bride and groom and the wedding ceremony backdrop coming in close second. Whether your big day is happening indoors or outside, these DIY wedding ceremony backdrop ideas will be sure to wow your guests and make for gorgeous photographs, too! Gather your gal pals, enlist the help of your husband-to-be and get down to business! When all is said and done, you can claim the bragging rights for your handy work when anyone asks where you got that amazing set up - and trust me, they will ask.

1. Colorful streamer backdrop

Photo by  Fresh In Love

Photo by Fresh In Love

For the bride-to-be who isn’t afraid of a little (or a lot) of color on her wedding day, the DIY Streamer Backdrop makes for a vibrant, memorable setting and some brilliant photo ops.

Difficulty rating: 2 (on a scale of 1-5, with 5 meant for those who consider themselves DIY masters).

Photo by  Sonya Khegay

Photo by Sonya Khegay

 

2. White wax paper backdrop

Photo by  Allie Rae Photo

If color isn’t exactly your thing, this DIY Wax Paper Backdrop will lend a hand in adding some oomph to your muted color palette, while creating a frame for the dynamic duo (that’s you two!). Who knew deli sheets could look so elegant?

Difficulty rating: 4, due to the fact that it’s time consuming in nature.

Photo by  Gabriel Boone

Photo by Gabriel Boone

 

3. Hanging floral backdrop

Photo by  Allison Andres

Flower children, unite. A DIY Floral Backdrop is not only budget-friendly, but it lands on the easier side of the difficulty spectrum, which gets bonus points in my book. Take note that purchasing the pricier wedding arch will actually save you time in the long run.

Difficulty rating: 2

Photo by  Mint Photography
Photo by  Docuvitae

Photo by Docuvitae

 

4. Coffee filter backdrop

A customizable DIY Coffee Filter Backdrop, meaning you can dye them whatever color your little heart desires. Not only is this backdrop subtle, but it’s trendy (in the best way possible, of course).

Difficulty rating: 3, again, time consuming, but 900 coffee filters will do that to ya.

 

5. Flower pergola backdrop

If you’re going for a soft, boho wedding vibe, this DIY Floral Pergola Backdrop fits the bill. Once again, this is customizable, as you can switch up the flowers with your wedding pick.

Difficulty rating: 3

Are you planning on creating a DIY wedding ceremony backdrop of your own for your wedding day? Which one is your favorite?

Jessica Zimlich

Jessica Zimlich

Jess Zimlich is a Kansas City based lifestyle blogger at 26 and Not Counting where you can expect to see a heavy emphasis on personal experience and life adventures. When she isn't working on her fitness, you will most likely find her enjoying brunch (mimosas included!), catching up with her best friends or flipping the pages of her latest read - she's old school like that. She isn't engaged, yet, but she looks forward to the day when she can put that Pinterest Wedding Board to work!