Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Bouquet

Wildflower rustic fun at it's best!!!

and stay tuned tomorrow... I'll be back and treating you to a little sneak peak from my wedding day!!! If you can't wait that long check out a few other hints at True&Wesson + Anna Sawin Photography in the meantime... Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

*Guest Post* by Enchanted Dream Weddings & Affairs

Today's guest post comes from a very special lady who has become a dear friend; Naomi of Enchanted Dream Weddings & Affairs.  We share a love for all things romantic & french (with a special fondness for Paris) and the gorgeous board she has created below has all the elements of cozy fall rustic-chicness but and with a slight Parisian touch.  I love it too much... thank you so so much Naomi!!

Hi, I am Naomi from Enchanted Dream Weddings and I am over the moon that Erin asked me to guest post while she is in the throes of marital bliss!

Knowing Erin's love of rustic weddings, I thought about playing up the fall theme since we are in the midst of the most colorful time of year....then I thought; why not create a board that is a bit more wintry since the colder weather is quickly approaching. Perfect! I also added elements that hinted of an early winter wedding by the sea. I have weddings like that a few times and they can be quite stunning. Cold but stunning.

The board I created has all the rustic chic elements that I think Erin would love and I hope you do, too! This board makes me want to grab a cup of hot cocoa, a warm blanket, and snuggle on the couch by the fire!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

*Guest Post* by Ruby & Willow: Wedding Paper

Today's post comes to you all the way from New Zealand from the amazing, sweet, and lovely Miss Kate of Ruby&Willow & Magnolia Rouge.  Not only is she an amazingly talented paper designer, but also one of the most fantastic & supportive people I have "met" in my wedding planning process (she is also the organizer of my virtual shower from last week - love it so much - cannot thank you enough).

Hi, I'm Kate from Ruby & Willow (and wedding blog Magnolia Rouge) and I'm so delighted to be a guest on Erin's lovely blog while she's off basking in newly wed glory!! As a stationer - or stationista as a friend recently called me - I love it when couples want their stationery to be focal point of the design of their wedding. Whilst the main focus is generally on the invitation piece itself, it's great when I get the opportunity to dress up what could otherwise be a functional map, into something that works in with the look and design of the stationery suite. These are a few samples of ones I've done recently. The best part for me is that I get to do some virtual travelling when I do them for different parts of the world :-)

I love doing fun hand drawn one's like the top right one below... but bear in mind it should fit in with the general feel of your wedding. This is perfect for a more casual outdoor wedding. Personalise it with landmarks that may mean something to you.

Another piece I love doing - save the date invitations. This is a great way to start to introduce the look and feel of your day; it's the beginning of the anticipation for your guests. You can get really creative and playful with save the dates. Put a little calender on there with the date highlighted, have a fun hand drawn sketch of you and your fiance, or use a favourite photo (perhaps from your engagement shoot) combined with some design elements that will follow on your invite.

Save the Dates can simply state the date and venue (or even just the city if venue isn't confirmed) or they can be an opportunity to provide more detailed information about accommodation and transport options, particularly if you're getting married at a busy time of year and options book up quickly.

I hope this has given you a few ideas for your stationery. Remember to choose a designer who's work you love rather than who's budget you love. Most stationers will be able to offer suggestions on how you can get the look you want within your budget. And choose something that really speaks of you as a couple. You can see more on my website, blog or Etsy shop.

Thanks for having me Erin and congratulations!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

*Guest Post* by Brancoprata: A Porto Love Session

 All the way from Porto, today's jaw-droppingly beautiful guest post is from the ever inspiring team of Sofia & Andre of Brancoprata. I am always in awe of there work and am so so excited and honored that they agreed to guest post for me with sharing this gorgeous love shoot.  Thank you so much! xo

Today we have an amazing opportunity to guest post on a very inspiring blog, that we love and read every day!  Erin and I go back a long time... twitter time, she is an amazing and very supportive person! So, when she invited us to guest post while she was "away" on her mini-moon, we immediately said yes and we begun brainstorming about it! 
We decided to post a Love Session that we've done a while ago!! ... At this point you might ask: "After all... what's a Love Session?" Well, that's easy... it's a shoot we do with the couple after the wedding... without the stress of the wedding day, André can shoot the couple in a more intimate or relaxed environment! Normally we ask our couples if they have a special place for their shoot... if they don't, we provide such a place!
This particular couple, Raquel e Tiago got married in March and wanted to go back to the place where they celebrate their union: Porto Cathedral, Sé, in a very known old part of our city!

They also wanted to stop by São Bento Train Station where they posed for some cool images!
Their main goal was to have some wedding pics on their very cool and trendy city, Porto!!

Thank you for having us Erin, me and André wish you and Dan all the happiness in the world!
Sofia and André

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

*Guest Post* by Postcards & Pretties: A Rustic Chic Inspiration Board

Good morning lovelies!!!  While I am away still basking in post-marriage bliss I am absolutely tickled pink to be bringing you this fabulous guest post by the queen of inspiration boards - Chris over at the oh-so-fabulous Postcards & Pretties (I am so honored that she is gracing my blog with some of her amazing work - still cannot believe it!). 

Hello there..I'm Chris from Postcards & Pretties and I'm so happy to guest post while Erin is out enjoying her honeymoon/mini-moon. 

My inspiration for this board was Erin's love of "rustic chic" weddings. As a daily reader I enjoy all her finds and wanted to create something that would fit into her blog nicely. 
I mixed rustic farmhouse details with hints of sparkle.  Since the board is mostly ivory and brown I selected a soft and warm muted peach to add a subtle pop of color. 
Skip traditional centerpieces and hang vintage crystal chandeliers and mix up the seating with upholstered chair and hay bail seating to create a unique lounge for guests.

{colors} hay, brown burlap, warm peach
{photos} just married parasol {kiss the groom} vintage watch faces {country living} bouquet {style me pretty} chicken coop {dandelion & grey via aruna b. photography} rustic chandelier {sunday supper} wedding cake {style me pretty} hair accessory {unknown} hay ring pillow {bragging bags} plate setting {joy thigpen}

Chris - thank you again so, so much for creating this loveliest of Rustic Chic boards - it is utter perfection!!!  

Monday, October 25, 2010

*Guest Post* by Cap Classique - Vineyard Weddings!

Happy Monday!!!  While I am celebrating my first Monday as a married lady (Aaaaah!!!) I am beyond beyond thrilled to be able to share with you this guest post from the ever-inspiring Gaby of CapClassique, one of my favorite, favorite, favoritest wedding blogs ever.  

Image from Jean-Pierre Uys/Wedding Concepts (who do gorgeous Cape wine route weddings!)

First of all, I am BEYOND excited and honoured that Erin has asked me to guest post today, since not only do I think she’s the bee’s knees, but Sparkle & Hay is one of my favourite blogs. And since she just got married at Saltwater Vineyard, I thought there was no better way to pay tribute to her than by rounding up some of my favourite winery wedding ideas. My blog, Cap Classique, is full of real weddings and inspiration from Cape Town, South Africa, and if there’s one thing we South Africans know how to pull off, it’s vineyard chic! Here are my Top 5 ideas for bringing some wine route style to your day.

1. Wine-themed décor
The easiest way to bring wine to your table (apart from actually bringing wine to your table, clearly!) is to incorporate some wine-related elements into your décor. So cork, bottles or even glasses. You’ve probably already seen cork escort cards or placeholders, but these still make a stylish statement and are so easy to DIY. You could also create a cork wreath (so cute for a church door) or as coasters or part of your centerpiece. And the good news? You have the perfect excuse to drink lots of wine!

Clockwise from top left: Sweet & simple (love that the tables were given wine variety names!) via Before the Big Day; Bride & groom via Bridal Banter; Champagne corks via Elizabeth Anne Designs; Wine corks in vases by Jagger Photography; Cork coasters (perfect favour!) from Corkey Creations; Pretty alternative placecard holder using ribbon and two corks from Corkey Creations; Cork wreath from Southern girl Rambling (find a cork wreath DIY here).

Bottles also make great décor elements (especially with striking single blooms) and are easier to clean and/or paint than you may think (just use normal spraypaint – or why not try chalkboard paint and then write table numbers on them?). You can find lovely printable table number labels here. I also love the idea of using glasses with votive candles and little lampshades on your tables.

Clockwise from top left: Bottles strapped to rods make a stunning aisle liner, via Elizabeth Anne Designs; Wine glass lampshades DIY via The Pretty Blog; Wine bottle table numbers via Elizabeth Anne Designs; Bottles painted black via Let Your Creativity Flow; Multiple bottle centrepiece via Elizabeth Anne Designs; Bottles with lilies via Chilli Pit.

2. Wine barrels
I LOVE wine barrels as part of wedding décor – they’re just so pretty. You can use them as tables either singly or in pairs with a piece of wood on top of them. Place them at either side of an aisle. Or use barrel halves to keep your drinks nice and cool.

Clockwise from top left: Barrel bar via West Aussie Wedding; Escort cards via Belissimo Vista Wedding; Barrel wine cooler via Design Sponge; Flowers and escort cards on barrels via West Aussie Wedding.

3. Wine tasting
Remember that scene in French Kiss when Kevin Kline shows Meg Ryan a box he made as a boy with little scented bottles that help her to identify and appreciate the different smells in the wine she’s drinking? (Remind yourself here.) Why not set up something similar for your guests during cocktail hour? It would be a great way to keep them amused while you get your photos taken, and will allow them to do a wine tasting without getting too caught up in technical terms and ratings.

Image from Cooper Carras

Set up a station with a series of wines (if a winery is hosting they should be happy to help with your choice) and then a set of pretty bottles with essential oils of the flavours you might find in those wines. Alternatively, you could buy a ready-made kit for this kind of tasting, such as Bacchanales or Le Nez du Vin.

Scent bottles from Inspired By This

4. Wine glass seating plan
I just came across this idea on Style Me Pretty last week and loved it (and if it’s not rustic chic, then I don’t know what is!). The bride prettied up a chicken coop and in each numbered compartment placed a set of engraved glasses which doubled as escort cards and favours for the guests. Love it!

5. Cheese cakes
Finally, if you’re going to have wine, you’ll want to have cheese, so what better way than with a gorgeous cheese cake? This is easy to make yourself using a variety of hard and softer cheeses together with fruits, preserves, drizzled honey, crackers and other cheeseboard elements – aren’t these just completely mouthwatering?

Images: Left from Cap Classique (image by Just Judy); Centre from Cap Classique (image by Just Judy); Right from Aleit Event Designers (image by Joe)

Hope you like these ideas! Congrats to Erin & Dan, and thanks again for having me on Sparkle & Hay!

Gaby xx

Images from Wedding Concepts

Sunday, October 24, 2010

*Guest Post* by Valley&Co: Family & Your Big Day

1 day married -wooohooo!!!!  I am absolutely thrilled that today's guest post is from that fabulous duo Nick & Aleah of Valley&Co.  One of my favorite features from their daily blog (among the gorgeous weddings & inspiration boards featured) are the fantastic real-life tips they provide for brides; so excited that they have decided to share one with you here; N&A - thank you SO much!

Valley & Co. Planning Tips: Bringing Your Family into Your Big Day

We are Nick & Aleah Valley of Valley & Co. and we are so excited to guest post for our dear friend Erin who is off getting married! Congratulations, Erin!Weddings are a reflection of the couple tying the knot but it's so sweet to nod to your heritage and family. This can be done in so many subtle and sweet ways:

1. If your brother is a talented guitarist, have him strum you down the aisle or play a sentimental set during cocktail hour.

2. Tie in special touches from a grandparent or parent by using a brooch, pocket watch, or handkerchief in your bouquet.

3. Ask Grandma to bake up her famous cookies for your dessert or late-night snacks! You can print up her recipe and cinch to a brown paper bag as an added treat for your guests.

4. Consider holding your bash at your family home or vacation house. This can just be so much fun, especially if it's a retreat you cherish and has been in your family for some time.

Photo from Amore Studios

5. While some brides and groom have a cousin who is a DJ or photographer or an aunt who is a florist that they want to include, don't put anyone on the spot by asking for a complimentary service. Make sure that your family and friend can enjoy your wedding day and won't be put out by providing a service. Typically if they're comfortable with lending their talents, they'll ask you what they can do.

Happy Planning and a big thank you to Erin for having us guest blog while she's tying the knot! Here's to a lifetime of happiness!

Friday, October 22, 2010

*Guest Post* by She Said Yes - A Real Wedding from Inspiration to Reality

Today's post is by a girl so fabulous I am at a loss for any other way to describe her!  Jacin, (now officially Mrs. Fitzgerald) is a fellow CT shoreline gal who literally JUST got married herself (last month) and planned her amazingly gorgeous day all the way from California.  Luckily for you and I she detailed her journey through her must-read blog She Said Yes - seriously, brides to be you MUST check this out.  Her honesty, humor, and tips cannot be missed!  Add to that she just scored herself a (much deserved) new job as the Fisherman's Wharf Wedding Planning Examiner so be sure to check her out there as well!  Without further ado... here we are all treated to a recap of this beautiful bride's own wedding!!!!

i am so honored to be doing a post for erin while she's on hiatus.  it's been so much fun getting to know her throughout this whole process and it's so funny to say it but i feel we've become friends throughout it all!  and the best part is, we got to know each other through a blog competition through, and i am so glad it brought us together (although i'm sure we would have found each other sooner than later anyways, as we are both from the same area of connecticut and even used some of the same wedding vendors!)  congrats to you erin and i can't wait to see all the little details come together, as we all know they will.  it's going to be gorgeous and YOU, little lady, will be the most beautiful bride :)

so now down to my guest post!  so exciting :)

when erin first asked me i thought - wow - a post for sparkle & hay?  talk about pressure!  but i am happy to oblige!

when i was planning my own wedding which took place almost a month ago, wow, i had SO many ideas in my head.  and with so much inspiration floating around from all the other bloggers out there and on the web and in the magazines and, and, and... it just got so overwhelming!  i had to put a stop to the madness and sit down to collect my thoughts in to one place, which is how i ended up creating an inspiration board.  for those who haven't yet done this, the inspiration board is just that - a place to take all of those pictures you've been saving, all of those ideas you've had, and tie them together in one place.  it helps you to determine your color scheme, your "little details" and really just helps you pull all of your ideas in to one place and really focus on a vision for your big day.  i created mine at but you can also make them on and even powerpoint is a great and easy method.

for my wedding, i came up with two - one for the overall theme and one for the flowers, because i was totally and completely obsessed with the flowers.  just ask my florist :)

new england shoreline wedding


as you can see, the blue canning jars and ranunculus played a huge part in both - i knew i wanted them involved somehow to keep my wedding rustic and beach chic, but elegant.

now the next thing i did was send the boards to my vendors (as appropriate).  this really helped give everyone (my photographer, venue manager and florist) an idea of my theme for the day, and made sure we were all on the same page.

fast forward to the wedding day, and taking those pieces and turning them in to reality.

i couldn't believe our venue pulled off the cake!  source
and the flowers?  spot on!  source
as for the shoes?  well, i promised my husband i'd wear them every day for the rest of my life in order to convince him that they were worth the purchase (that, or i promised i'd sell them on eBay after, hehe) :) source

for the overall color scheme we stuck with slate blue, khaki and pink - which to me gave a quintessential new england beachy feel :)  source

while we didn't end up doing the lanterns, we found the tissue paper puff balls to be just as pretty, in a light, fluffy way.  we hung them from the ceiling using light blue and white baker's twine.  (see more mason jars on the mantle!)

and the canning jars...  i could talk about these babies all day long.  this pic ties together all of my little DIY details that came together in the end  source

on top of all that, we used beach stones as our placecards, and had a gorgeous burlap runner on our guest table to showcase the pretty placecards, along with a nickel & nickel wine box for our cards and a great little vintage guestbook.

after all my rambling it really comes down to this - if you have a vision, no matter the budget, you can make it happen.  all it takes is a few pretty ideas and an inspiration board to get yourself going...

happy wedding erin !!

xo - jacin :)

Jacin  - thank you so much for all of your support and advice in our planning process - and of course, for guest posting here!  xoxo

p.s. 1 day to go!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

*Guest Post* by A Realistic Wedding - Beautiful DIY Paper & Fabric Florals

I'm soooooo excited to kick off my first full day of guest posts with one of my most favorite brides-to-be ever - Miss Claire from A Realistic Wedding (and Realistic Nutrition - a must read for all of us hoping to make our lives a bit healthier).  Always full of fantastic creative ideas, I know you will all love her floral inspired DIYs below!  Claire - thank you so much!!!  xo

Hi ya’ll! It’s Claire, from A Realistic Wedding. When Erin asked me to guest post for her as she preps for her AMAZING wedding, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Erin is such an inspiration to me, and I know she is for thousands of other brides as well. I absolutely love her rustic/vintage/DIY vibe and I cannot wait to see how she brings all of these into her big day! So please, before you read, join me in wishing Erin (@sparkleandhay) the best wedding day! (I know I’m not the only one EXCITED to see the photos!)

 I don’t know how this happened, but I’m currently on a MAJOR DIY kick. As you’ll see from my post last week, I spent the better half of Thursday and Friday morning researching fabulous and easy DIY table numbers. So to keep the ball rolling on fantastic, cheap and really easy DIY projects, I’m featuring some adorable DIY fabric and paper flowers [like the perfect pink one above!]. Although I’m obsessed with real flowers, some people don’t share my same enthusiasm. I’ve met quite a few brides who would rather have a fabric bouquet over a real one any day. They last forever and can be really cost efficient to make yourself. Even though my wedding will be covered in real flowers, I plan on making some fabric rosettes to garnish my gift bags, place settings and décor! Check out my favorite DIY floral projects below and vote. Would you replace real flowers with any of them?

Silk Flower Ring Pillow [via Martha Stewart Weddings]

This gorgeous flower is as easy as it is beautiful. I think adding a fabric flower to ring bearer’s pillows, especially, adds such a gorgeous touch to something so traditional. You can also play with the design, the color and the size to really make this project your own. You can also customize these with different fabrics for more personalization. For the tutorial, stop by Martha Stewart Weddings!

Miniature Fabric Flower Garland [via Once Wed]

This amazing DIY project was featured on one of my FAVORTE wedding blogs, Once Wed. I immediately fell in love with it and knew it had to be featured on this post. I am blown away by how easy it looks! I think these garlands would be the perfect touch to a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or fun and colorful reception. Below are the visual instructions, but if you are a word person, head on over to Once Wed for the complete tutorial. 


Ribbon Flower Bouquet [via Martha Stewart Weddings]

I’m absolutely OBSESSED with fabric bouquets. I blame this on Emici Bridal, who makes, hands down, the world’s most gorgeous fabric flower bouquets. However, for brides who are adhering to a very tight budget, making your own may be the best route. [If not, check out Emici Bridal!] Although this project is a bit more time consuming, the end result is worth it. I know a few brides who have used this tutorial and created amazing bouquets. So if you have the time, grab the supplies and start crafting!  For the step by steps, stop by Martha Stewart Weddings.

Fabric Rosettes [via 100 layer cake and Michonne]

If you know me, you know the way to my heart is through a good bottle of Chardonnay, some delicious Brie and rosettes. I am obsessed with how classic, feminine and stinkin’ adorable rosettes are. They add such a timeless feel to what they are donned on and can transform any blah décor, clothing or accessory into something magnificent. So imagine my excitement when I found this tutorial on how to make your own. This DIY project, like the bouquet, is a little more complicated, but totally worth the wait. I think these would look stunning on a ring bearer’s pillow, as boutonnieres, as place settings and in fabric bouquets! Check out the photo step by step. For the complete instructions, visit 100 layer cake! [Like you need another reason too, right?]

Crepe Paper Poppies [via Martha Stewart Weddings]

I love the idea of adding crepe paper flowers to your cake instead of real ones! This is such a great idea for those brides who have their heart set on real flowers on their cake but have allergies or are facing budgetary constraints. These add such a colorful, whimsical and unique touch to any cake. They are also easy and cheap to make. So don’t fret if you can’t have the real deal on your cake, these little poppies are just as great! Head over to Martha Stewart for the detailed how-to.

Patterned Paper Flowers [via Wedding chicks, Lawn Fawn and photographer Chenin Boutwell]

These are the perfect follower to the crepe poppies. Paper flowers can look just as beautiful as fabric and real if you do them right! I love the use of patterned paper; it really turns these into main attractions. I think these would be perfect as centerpiece bouquets or decor bouquets for the guestbook table, bar or cocktail stands! The lovely ladies of The Wedding Chicks put this lovely photo tutorial together, but be sure to check out the whole post at their site for a tutorial on making puffy paper flowers!

I don’t know about you, but these DIY projects put me in the mood to craft! 

Again - thanks so much Claire as I'm inevitably spending today running all of my last minute errands - 2 days to go!! xo