GSS Featured Wedding :: Sepideh & Hasan’s Exquisite Persian Wedding :: Ben Sassani Photography

Happy Friday, Lovelies!!! Today’s featured wedding comes from Ben Sassani of Sassani Photography. He is a Houston, Texas based wedding photographer. Ben has been so very accommodating to GSS on this feature. Thank you!

Sepideh & Hasan were married at Westin Galleria in Houston, Texas on August 25, 2012.  Sepideh was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

For those of you who have never experienced a Persian wedding (us included):  ”The main tradition of a Persian wedding is the Persian ceremony also called the “Sofreh Aghd.”  The Sofreh Aghd consists of many items, each with a specific meaning.  You can find a link of the breakdown of each item by clicking here.”    

How did you and Hasan meet?   We met through Hasan’s best friend, Zade.  I was good friends with Zade’s girlfriend but I had not met Hasan before.  I went out just to have a good time with her, but I happened to meet Hasan and  it was love at first sight. 

 How long have you been together?  We have been together for 2 years and 4 months. 

How did Hasan propose?  Hasan set up a get together with a bunch of friends at a wine room.  Everyone was having  a good time and then Hasan was like “Hey guys lets take a group picture by the Christmas tree!” (It was December 17) As we all started to pose for the picture Hasan got down on one knee and popped the question in front of everyone.  It was a magical moment.  

What sold you on your wedding venue?  From the time I was a child, my dream wedding venue was somewhere that had a very nice view.  When planning rolled around we only checked out two places that had good views.  One was the Westin Galleria, and the other was the Petroleum Club in downtown.  Because of the Persian culture it was important for me to have somewhere that would cater the Persian food I was trying to have and unfortunately the Petroleum Club did not do so.  That was when I chose the Westin Galleria.  Not only did they have a great view it was also very spacious and fit my dream venue requirements  perfectly.  My wedding was on the 24th floor.  

Your dress is gorgeous (Seriously. To. Die. For.) , where did you get it and how did you know it was “the one”?   It was from Winnie Couture.  Originally the dress was not that extravagant.  It was a plain dress with a mermaid trail.  But I wanted something a little more detailed.  Luckily, they were able to add  the beading to the top of the  dress to make it how I wanted it to look.  The moment I wore my wedding dress I knew it was the dress I always dreamed of.  It was like a Princess dress!!!

How did you choose your wedding color palette?  I always wanted a black/white wedding with a pop of color, so the final colors were black, white, fuchsia, and green.

Do you have any advice for bride and grooms that are in the planning process?  I would advise any future bride and grooms to be very relaxed in planning.   Take your time, make sure you love everything you have, and enjoy every moment of your wedding because it is once in a lifetime. 

 What song did you dance to for your first dance? Our first dance was by Celine Dion “Because you loved me.” The song lyrics described our feelings towards each other.

What was your favorite part of your big day?  Our favorite part of the wedding was when we both finally got to see each other.  The way they planned it was they had Hasan waiting in the ceremony room with his back turned towards the door I was planning on coming through.  While he had his back turned they asked me to walk in and as soon as Hasan turned around and saw me it was like the first time all over again…so magical. 

 Vendors: 

Venue: The Westin Galleria, Houston, Texas

Dress: Winnie Couture

Cake: Edible Designs by Jessie

Floral: Darryl & Co.

Linens: Daryl & Co.

Catering: Cafe Caspian

Dj: DJ Empire

Videography: Luxe Films Houston

Stationery: Memories of Today

Event Planner: Mai Dang of Honeydew Events

Sofreh Aghd: Sofreh Chic

Hair & Makeup: Kristin Daneill  {My hair stylist was phenomenal, she gave me the exact hair style I wanted and for make up I decided to do air brush….best idea ever!! I would recommend air brushing for any bride for the future.}

Photography: Sassani Photography

Thank you so much, Ben, for sharing this amazing wedding with us! Please stop by his website and blog and show him some love! And thank you, Sepideh, for taking your time to answer our questions! We wish you and Hasan a lifetime full of love, laughter, and happiness!!! May every day be better than the last!

If you have an engagement, wedding, day after, or anniversary session that you would like featured- Please send it to us at submissions@groomsoldseparately.com. We HEART submissions!

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GSS Wedding Inspiration Board :: Orange & Black :: Halloween

Happy Monday, Lovelies!!!  We thought it would be fun to put together an Orange and Black inspiration board since it is Halloween week!  We hope this festive board helps get you in the Halloween Spirit!

Orange and Black Centerpiece:  Lyndsey Loring Design          Image Courtesy of Studio Atticus Photography

Orange and Black Flower Girl & Ring Bearer:  Image Courtesy of  Susan Jackson Photography

Orange and Black Bridal Bouquet:   Lyndsey Loring Design          Image Courtesy of  Studio Atticus Photography

Orange Boutonniere with Black Tux & Tie:  Margaret Bost Floral           Image Courtesy of Photography by Vanessa

Black Bridesmaid Dress:  Donna Ricco via Nordstrom

Orange and Black Wedding Invitation:  Emma Rose Papery            Image Courtesy of Adeline & Grace Photography

Orange Wedding Favor:  Image Courtesy of Aruna B. Photography

Orange and Black Pumpkin Escort Card Holder:   Image Courtesy of Kelly Photo & Design

Orange and Black Cupcake Wedding Cake:  Inticing Creations            Image Courtesy of Adeline & Grace Photography

Black Bridesmaids Dresses with Orange Bouquets:  My Flower Box       Image Courtesy of Artful Weddings Photography

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GSS Featured Wedding :: Nikki & Joel’s Backyard Wedding :: Rebekah Westover Photography

Happy Hump Day, Lovelies!!! We have a special treat for you today.  We have an absoultely beautiful wedding to feature today from Rebekah of Rebekah Westover Photography. Rebekah Westover Photography is a Utah based wedding photographer.  She has been so sweet and accommodating to GSS and we have really enjoyed working with her on this feature.

Nikki and Joel were married June 30, 2012 in Utah .  Nikki was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

 

How did you and Joel meet? I love it when people ask this question. Actually, no, I love it when people ask Joel this question, because I love watching his embarrassed face as he tells them that we met in an ice skating class during our first semester of college. (He’s a manly man, I promise.) 

How long have you been together? About 4 years. We were apart for a couple of years in the middle of that, but we kept in hopeful contact, and I never stopped thinking about him, so in my book it counts.

How did Joel propose? For Valentine’s Day he surprised me with plane tickets to San Diego so we could get out of snowy Utah and spend a weekend with his family. He proposed down there at one of my absolute favorite places. 

What sold you on your wedding venue? We were married in the Bountiful, Utah LDS temple, and our reception was held in my grandparents’ backyard just a few cities away from there. Both locations are absolutely beautiful, and a simple, fun, classy backyard reception just felt like “us.” Plus, my grandma has been hinting about having my reception in her backyard since I was about, you know, 12.

Your dress is gorgeous, where did you get it and how did you know it was “the one?” It took me all of three hours to find my wedding dress. I know, right? My mom and I went shopping on one random Saturday, simply to look for ideas, nothing serious. We found the dress in the second store we went to, and it was perfect. I didn’t need to keep looking. 

What was your “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue?” To be honest, considering this is one of the most classic wedding traditions in the book, I didn’t really think about it too much. I’m sure we had one of each of those things, but I didn’t really plan for any of them. 

How did you choose your wedding color palette? It was a summer wedding, so I really liked the idea of using bright, summer-y colors and flowers. I found a picture of a bouquet on Pinterest that I loved, and basically just used it as a basis for a color palette for everything else. 

What song did you dance to for your first dance? “What If I Loved You?” by Joey Gian

Do you have any advice for bride and grooms that are in the planning process? Oh, I could probably go on for pages saying little things about this or that– things to do, things to not do, things I wish I had done– but those are the things that everyone just sort of figures out, no big deal. Looking back I have to say that the one piece of advice I’m really glad I took to heart, was how much more important and exciting my marriage was going to be to me than my wedding. Don’t get me wrong, as far as I’m concerned, our wedding day was amazing, and important, and exciting…best day of my life, hands down. Everything was beautiful and perfect, and everyone who came had so much fun, which is just what we wanted. But it was a day. One day…that I spent five months planning for and, occasionally, stressing over. What’s really made that day so special has come after, because every day since then I’ve fallen more and more in love with that goofy, painfully handsome man standing next to me in all those pictures. 

What was your favorite part of your big day? The groom. :)

Vendors:

Venue:  Ceremony: Bountiful, Utah LDS temple      Reception: My grandparent’s house

Dress: Mary’s Bridal

Cake: Salt Cake City

Floral: L & Co. Floral

Linens: Specialty Linens

Catering: Utah Celebrations Catering

DJ/Band: Rich, Complete Music DJ

Videographer: Jesse Felter, Liquid Vision Films

Invitations/Wedding Stationery: Jenny Martin

Event Planner: (Day of coordinator) Carrie Parker, White Ginger Events

Thank you so much, Rebekah, for sharing this amazing engagement session with us! Please stop by her website and her blog and show her some love! And thank you, Nikki, for taking your time to answer our questions and sharing your proposal pictures with us! We wish you and Joel a lifetime full of love, laughter, and happiness!!! May every day be better than the last!

If you have an engagement, wedding, day after, or anniversary session that you would like featured- Please send it to us at submissions@groomsoldseparately.com. We HEART submissions!

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GSS Wedding Inspiration Board :: Black & White Lace

You really can’t go wrong with a classic Black and White wedding color palette.  The color combination of Black and White is so classy.  You can incorporate almost any theme into a Black and White wedding color palette.  We chose to add in a little romance and softness with some lace.  We’re absolutely adoring how this board turned out!  Oh so CHIC!

Black Lace Bridesmaid Dress:  Maggy London via Nordstrom

Black and White Lace Escort Cards:  KMPHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO

Black Lace Clutch:  Jessica McClintock

Black Lace Pumps:  Christian Louboutin

Black and White Lace Wedding Cake:  Image Courtesy of Real Simple

Black and White Lace Place Card:  Image Courtesy of  Fidelio Photography

Black and White Lace China Place Setting:  Lauren by Ralph Lauren

Black and White Lace  Bridal Bouquet:  Soiree Floral            Image Courtesy of Alison Gootee Photography

Black and White Lace Reception Decor:   Brocade Home

White Lace Wedding Dress with Black Embellished Sash:  Enzoani Bridal           Style: Diana

Black and White Boutonniere:  A Stylish Soiree         Image Courtesy of Perez Photography

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After the Wedding :: Changing Your Name :: Learn the Five Steps to Change Your Last Name

Just Married? Change Your Name in Five Simple Steps 

Once the hustle and bustle of your wedding day is over and you’ve returned from your honeymoon relaxed and ready to start your very own happily ever after, it’s time to think about what’s left to take care of now that you are officially husband and wife. For example, are you going to change your last name? Do you know what to do and what you’ll need to start? Here are the five simple steps to changing your name. 

  1. Locate your marriage license. According to TheKnot.com, the first item of business is to get your hands on your marriage license. You must have the original document or a certified copy with embossed seal. This is to show your new last name. If you weren’t given a copy, call the clerk’s office where you filed your marriage license and request a copy. Without this important document you cannot go any further in the name changing process. 
  2. Update your Social Security card. Once you’ve obtained your marriage license, you can now go to your local Social Security office to get your name on your Social Security card changed (your Social Security number will not change). Depending on where you live, you may be able to do this step online. When you go, be sure to bring along your driver’s license (which, at this point, will still have your old last name on it) and your marriage license. Whether you go into the office or fill out the form online, it should take no longer than 10 days to get your new Social Security card. 
  3. Get your driver’s license changed. Once you’ve received your new Social Security card in the mail, you’re all set to head to your local DMV to get your new driver’s license. When you go, be sure to bring your old license, your marriage license and your new social security card. The more forms of identification the better during this step. You should be able to walk out of the DMV with your new driver’s license in hand. 
  4. Change your name on your bank accounts. This is as simple as heading to your local bank with marriage certificate, new driver’s license and Social Security cards and asking them to change your name on your existing bank accounts. This is also a great time to open a joint bank account if you’d like. While at the bank, request new debit cards and updated checks. While new cards and checks may not be free, it is important that all of your financial information match your new last name. 
  5. Notify other institutions where your name is on file. Amanda Black of TheKnot.com has compiled a helpful list of some other places where you may need to update your information. Her list includes places like your employer (to change your name on their payroll), the post office, utility companies, the doctor’s office and even your online auto insurance company. Now that you’re married, your car insurance is a great place to start saving money once you’ve finished all the tasks involved in changing your name. Joint policies with your new spouse can often save a considerable amount of money. Simply request a couple of quotes for auto insurance online to see who can offer you the best policy and premiums for your newly married status. 

Changing your name may be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make once you get married. Some people forgo doing it because they think it’s a complicated and time-consuming process. While it does take some effort, with five simple steps you’ll have it taken care of in no time, giving you the rest of your life to enjoy your new life as husband and wife.

 Article written by Micah Moon

Note: Sponsored content was created and provided by Nationwide Insurance.

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GSS Wedding Inspiration Board :: Jade Green, Gold, & Peacock

Jewel tones are an excellent choice for your fall or winter wedding.  Especially when you add in the lucious, rich, and warm color of gold to your wedding palette.  Using Peacock feathers as inspiration for your wedding colors is at the tip top of the lists when it comes to trendy wedding colors.  Therefore, we decided to combine the jewel tone of Jade Green with Gold and throw in some peacock inspiration as well for good measure!  This board just oozes fun AND sophistication!

Jade Green and Gold Wedding Invitation:  Zazzle.com

Jade Green, Gold & Peacock Headband:  Sweet Grass Mill via Etsy

Jade Green, Gold & Peacock Clutch:  Clutch That via Etsy

Gold Bridesmaid Dress:  Alfred Angelo

Jade Green and Gold Placesetting:  Karen Tran

Jade Green Bridesmaid Dress:  Alfred Sung Bridals via Dessy

Gold Framed Escort Cards:  Image Courtesy of BKB Photography

White and Jade Green Feather Bridal Bouquet:  Emplume

Gold Rosette Pumps:  Pierre Dumas

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GSS Wedding Inspiration Board :: GOLD

Happy Monday, Lovelies!!!  We love the richness, elegance, and warmth that a gold color palette exudes.  Check out how gorgeous a wedding using this palette can be:

Bride with Bridesmaids:  Bridal and Bridesmaids’ Looks:  Houston Bridal Gallery           Image Courtesy of Photography by Vanessa

Gold Tablescape with White Floral Centerpiece:  Image Courtesy of Laura Negri Photography

Gold Wedding Program:  Image Courtesy of Nickel Weddings Photography

Gold Placesetting:  Party Rental Ltd.

Gold and Cream Wedding Cake:  Fancy Cakes by Lauren         Image Courtesy of Allison Davis Photography

White Bridal Bouquet:  Belle Fleur               Image Courtesy of Christian Oth Studio

Ivory Bridal Pumps:  Image Courtesy of Brandy J. Photography

Gold Wedding Invitation:  SHANTELL Designs

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GSS’s Favorite Wedding Apps

Above Image Courtesy of Franck Boutonnet

Planning a wedding can be very stressful and, at often times hard.  Lucky for today’s brides, there are a myriad of “apps” that can be used on your smartphones and tablets.  So all of your wedding planning is now at your fingertips (literally!).  All of the paperwork (think: budgets, guest lists, seating charts, etc…) can now be found in digital form within an app.  We’ve decided to sort through the masses (and we mean MASSES!) of wedding related apps out there to help you find the most helpful and relevant apps to plan, document, and have fun with your wedding!

(Note:  Most of these apps are for iPhone and iPad and are available through iTunes.  Some are available on Android devices as well.) 

My WeddingDJ – $1.99

If you’re on a tight budget and a wedding DJ isn’t high on your list of priorities- Check out the My WeddingDJ app for your iPhone.  My WeddingDJ is the best way to run music for your wedding on your iPhone or iPod Touch.  Running music on an iPod can be great, but not if the wrong song comes on or the music cuts out.  That’s why WeddingDJ helps plan out all the music you need at your wedding, using the songs and playlists you have in iTunes.  When the big day comes, you had it off to your MC, who simply needs to slide “next” for each part of your wedding. 

Wedding Snap – Free

Say goodbye to the days of placing disposable cameras on each table and hello to Wedding Snap!  This handy little app allows pictures taken through the app to be not only saved to your phone, but also sent instantly to the bride and groom’s online album.  There are three packages you can purchase: Basic Package- $99:  This package includes unlimited photo uploads during and after the wedding to and unlimited photo storage for one year to automatically receive all your wedding photos in one private album.  Original Package (which also includes the Basic Package)- $129:  Keep all your pictures organized and create unlimited albums for other occasions e.g. Bachelorette Party, Bridal Shower, Rehearsal Dinner.  Download All your Pictures with an easy Click.  Luxury Package (which also include Basic & Original Packages)- $149:  You get everything listed in the prior packages PLUS live projection of photos taken at your wedding and 250 customized information cards to inform your guests about Wedding Snap.

Wedding Scan -$2.99

Launched in June 2010, this application and companion website unify and simply the wedding registry process by closing the gap between physical store registries and online registries. After downloading the WeddingScan iPhone app and registering for a free account at WeddingScan.com, users can go to any store, whether a major department store or a small locally owned store, and scan the bar code of an item on their iPhone. The item’s information is then collected and categorized in the couple’s WeddingScan registry, both on the iPhone app and the website. This means that couples have only one registry for which to invite guests, no matter how many different stores they visited to register items.

When visiting the registry of a couple at WeddingScan.com, guests can either purchase the registered item from one of Amazon.com’s numerous and trusted vendors and retail store partners, including Target and Macy’s, or choose to buy the item later in the store it was registered.

WeddingScan was developed to give engaged couples the freedom to register on their terms, whenever they want, wherever they want, and whatever they want. With flexibility and simplicity, this easy-to-use iPhone application offers a cohesive, fully contained wedding registry in the palm of your hand.

Appy Couple – By Invitation Only

Appy Couple is a unique, online platform that makes it possible for an engaged couple to easily create their own mobile wedding app, to share with a private circle of guests, family and friends.  It’s totally cool.  A super simple, drag-and-drop interface makes it even easier than creating a wedding website—and way more fun.  Imagine getting your guests’ wedding pictures all in one place, in real-time, on the day itself and before.  Imagine giving everyone all the travel info they need to carry with them, on a device they never leave behind.  No more forgotten invitations or complex direction cards.  Imagine being able to private message your invited guests about wedding updates, get virtual champagne toasts, share your story, your inspiration for your wedding, and more.  And all in a password-protected mobile environment that coordinates beautifully with your wedding theme, style, and colors. How? Appy Couple has scores of gorgeous designs to choose from.  Right now, it’s in invitation-only beta, and it’s free forever if you use an invitation code.  You can request an invitation code by clicking here.  After that, whether you have 20 guests or 2,000, guests download the app free, from the App Store or Android Marketplace.  Worried about guests who don’t have smartphones? Don’t! They throw in a free, coordinating wedding website.

 

Wedding Countdown – Free

This app is self-explanatory.  It’s just that- a countdown to your big day.  Wedding Countdown can countdown your wedding in many different units:  Years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, heartbeats or kisses.

Brides Wedding Genius 2.0 - Free

Brides Wedding Genius 2.0 is the go-to app for brides-to-be.  Download this app and browse hundreds of dresses, jewelry selections, and honeymoon destinations.  The Digital Wedding Binder upgrade keeps everything organized and offers expert advice.

100 Best Wedding Tips – $0.99

(This is an iPad app.)  Take the stress out of planning your wedding with this app.  They’ve compiled all the best ideas available on video from wedding planners, wedding stylists, florists, and caterers.  With the best advice at your fingertips, planning your dream wedding will be a breeze!  Also, we’re unsure why they named this app 100 Best Wedding Tips when there is actually over 200 tips available in the app. 

Wedding Budget – Free

Whether it’s $1,000 or $1,000,000 most brides today have a budget when it comes to their wedding.  Keeping your wedding within budget is one of the major challenges during wedding planning.  The Wedding Budget app is an excellent tool for today’s bride and groom.  It allows them to set up their wedding budget, keep track of expenses and shows a clear view of over/under budget status.  And you can easily adjust the budget of each wedding component as planning goes along.  Don’t get stressed out on budgeting  your wedding anymore.  Get this free app and enjoy your perfect wedding!

iWedding Deluxe – $5.99

iWedding Deluxe is a little bit pricier, as far as apps go but it seems to have everything  you might possibly need all wrapped into one app.  iWedding Deluxe is the wedding planner app that will organize, guide and inspire you while keeping all the vital information at your fingertips.  It is a feature packed planner with  To Do lists, Budget Planning, Notes, Photos, recording of nearly every business detail imaginable, Guest lists, Seating Plans, Wedding Guides, Inspiration, Blogs and Twitter.  Their goal is to make iWedding Deluxe the only wedding app you will ever need!!

 

myPantone Wedding Styleboard – $4.99

(iPad app)  A perfect marriage of color and creativity – the new myPANTONE™ WEDDING Styleboard iPad™ app lets you create the perfect color styleboard for your wedding or special event and share it with those who can make your day spectacular!

myPANTONE WEDDING Styleboard is the first color styleboard application developed specifically for a mobile platform. Created by Pantone fashion color experts in conjunction with wedding style leader Dessy, myPANTONE WEDDING Styleboard helps brides-to-be choose wedding colors and accompanying apparel and accessories for a perfectly color-coordinated wedding – from inspiration to “I do.” Providing all the design features that professionals use – but with easy and intuitive functionality – myPANTONE Wedding Styleboard gives you full creative control of your wedding’s design.

myPANTONE WEDDING Styleboard comes preloaded with 200 PANTONE WEDDING™ Colors – the color language of top designers around the world. Choose from thousands of inspirational images or import your own photos for limitless creativity. Build your palette and vision just the way you like – then share your finished colors and styleboards with event planners, florists, caterers, family, friends and all the key players who can make yours a truly memorable and color-coordinated event! You can even share your styleboards on Facebook and Twitter or upload them to The Dessy Group’s online Styleboard Gallery at www.dessy.com/pantone.

Wedding Party – Free

Wedding Party is another wedding photo sharing app.  Once you have downloaded the Wedding Party app and set it up, you simply email your family and friends and invite them to download the app and register with your wedding name. After your wedding guests  have downloaded the app, they then take pictures at your wedding using their phones.  You and your guests can watch an instant timeline of all the photos.  And the best part is that the makers of the Wedding Party app have joined up with MyWedding.com so now you can stream all of your wedding pictures to your MyWedding free wedding website too!  

 

 

 

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GSS’s Things We LOVE :: Crepe Paper DIY Projects :: Part 2

Hello, Sweethearts!  This week we are back with just one more crepe paper project that we know will make your heart swoon! In case you missed last week’s post (click here to see it!), we gave you a HUGE tip regarding purchasing large rolls of crepe online for projects. We revealed Paper Mart, our link for three yard rolls of crepe paper 19” in width, and of a heavier caliber. This material is great for projects because not only is it fabulously inexpensive and easy to work with it also comes in a great variety of colors. The best part – each roll is under two dollars a piece!

This week we are making crepe paper flowers. The sky is seriously the limit with this DIY. Jen used them recently as a table runner but you can also make them super-sized for a fun and unique bridal bouquet alternative. This tutorial comes to us from the one and only, Martha Stewart.  The step by step they provide is very helpful but we encourage you to make it your own based on what you are wanting your end result to be like. Just like real flowers, these crepe paper flowers should reflect you and each one should be unique and beautiful!

Above image courtesy of Studio Castillero 

So… let’s get our DIY on!

Giant Crepe Paper Rose

Above image courtesy of Studio Castillero

Tools and Materials
Large flower template
Double-sided crepe paper
Smooth-sided pencil
Paper-covered floral wire
Floral tape
White craft glue

Large Flower How-To
1. Enlarge and print template. Use the template to trace and cut five teardrop-shaped petals and 15 heart-shaped petals from double-sided crepe paper.

2. To shape petals, cup in center; wrap left and right top edges around a pencil to curl.

3. Make a stem by wrapping three paper-covered wires together with floral tape.

4. Start building flowers by first placing teardrop petals around the stem and securing with floral tape. Place heart petals around the “bud” you have created and secure with more floral tape.

5. Trace and cut the calyx shape from green crepe paper. Wrap calyx around bottom of rose and glue in place.

6. Trace and cut out three leaf shapes from green crepe paper. Draw a bead of glue down the center of each leaf, place a paper-covered wire down, and pinch the crepe paper together over the paper-covered wire “vein” to hide it.

7. Attach the leaves to the stem by wrapping in floral tape.

8. Wrap stem with strips of green crepe paper to cover floral tape; glue in place.

There’s also a video tutorial on how to make these if you’re more of a visual learner.  Click here to see it.

Resources
Double-sided crepe paper is available at castleintheair.biz and at select Michaels stores. For store locations, please visit michaels.com. Glue and floral tape are from Martha Stewart Crafts. All other tools and materials are available at crafts stores and art-supply stores.

For more information on Morgan Levine, editorial assistant in the holiday and crafts department of Martha Stewart Living, or to purchase her flower barrettes, visit amblethroughbramble.com. For more great ideas, check out these floral-inspired crafts. Or make Morgan’s gorgeous hard flower barrettes — they’re great hair accessories.

There you have it! This DIY can be time consuming but the result is a fabulous reward! We can’t wait to see what you create using crepe paper, sunbursts and flowers are only the beginning!

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GSS Tuesday Trousseau :: Eco Friendly & Conflict Free Engagement Rings

image courtesy of Amy Karp

When it comes to choosing your symbol of eternity, the choices are endless. We recently heard about Brilliant Earth. They produce beautiful jewelry and guarantee a conflict free gem. Conflict free diamonds are guaranteed to originate from ethical and environmentally responsible sources. Conflict free diamonds are free from violence and other human rights abuses, and are produced with minimal environmental impact. They also use recycled metals for their jewelry. As part of their comprehensive commitment to environmental responsibility, Brilliant Earth uses recycled precious metals in all of their fine jewelry, guaranteeing their customers an eco-friendly jewelry product of the highest quality. They also have a high standard for packaging with purpose. All Brilliant Earth rings arrive in hand-crafted, natural Rimu wood ring boxes. Rimu wood is sourced from a sustainably harvested New Zealand forest that preserves biodiversity, soil, water, and air quality. These keepsake ring boxes showcase the Rimu’s beautiful wood grain, as well as your ring!

They also give back to the community…

Brilliant Earth is proud to dedicate 5% of our profits to communities impacted by the jewelry trade. Historically, the jewelry trade has incurred great social and environmental cost. We feel strongly that luxury goods should not promote such injustice, and that the communities that produce the products should benefit from them. Through our partnerships with established, on-the-ground efforts, we try to rectify past injustices of the jewelry trade and help communities develop the skills needed to manage their natural resources effectively.

Our overall objective is to invest in long-term community development in regions that can support a self-sustaining jewelry-based economy. To achieve this, we combine our understanding of best practices in the jewelry trade with research-based funding efforts. Through our ongoing initiatives, we’re helping shape a rewarding and self-sufficient future for families who depend on the jewelry trade.

When it comes to choosing your forever symbol of eternity…your bling, your diamond ring, your engagement ring, consider a conflict free, recycled ring. You can even create your own unique design that is beautiful and ethical inside and out. Visit Brilliant Earth for more information.

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