Thursday, October 30, 2014

Virtual Engagement Party: DIY Wedding Sparklers & Free Printable Tags

This post is part of our Virtual Engagement Party. These items were sent to ABOAB for review. All other items were purchased by ABOAB and were not compensated.

I brought six boxes of sparklers to our wedding. I so badly wanted to have a sparkler send off. If I'm being completely honest, that's the exact reason we picked the photographer we did. I was looking through their books, loved their shots, but then saw a sparkler send off. I was the only photographer of all the expos that had one in their books. I figured if they could do that, they could do anything.

At our wedding, the videographer asked if we were doing any sort of special goodbye and I mentioned the sparklers. But by the end of the night, the only people who knew about it was the videographer, the photographers, and myself. It wasn't possible to try and round up people and pull them from the dance floor just so I could get one shot. And I didn't want a lasting memory from my wedding to be when I pulled people away from the band and made it all about me.

Which is was, in a sense. But these people traveled a dozen hours and took days off from work to come to our wedding. I wanted them to have only amazing memories.

What I should have done, if I thought about it then, was to make labels and have the sparklers in a jar where everyone saw them as they walked in. They could do them during the evening or realize that they were for the end of the night. Don't make my mistake. Instead, follow my tutorial to DIY this for yourself.

What You'll Need:

  • Wedding sparklers (the ones in my tutorial are the heart-shaped sparklers from
  • Paper cutter
  • Spakler tags

What You'll Do:

Cut the tags.

Fold the tag in half, but don't crease it. Stab the sparkler's point through. Arrange them in a jar (I added tissue paper and stabbed mine in there so they stayed).

Then, just be sure to spread the word that there will be a sparkler send off. And remind them to remove the paper tag before lighting the sparklers because you definitely don't need a fire.

In case you want to use my Taylor Swift-inspired tags, you can save the file below to your computer. It's formatted to print on a typical 8.5x11 sheet of paper and has dielines so it will be easy to cut. Just right-click the image and save as. I know it looks a little funny, but trust me, it will work just fine.

Now, onto the sparklers themselves ...

Look how super cute they actually are lit up. They will stay lit for 50 seconds, which is a good amount of time for a sparkler.

The sparklers took a little while to light, so if you use them, you definitely want a few people to be the lighters because 50 seconds is a long time, but not long enough for an entire wedding.

I actually finally lit one of the #20 gold sparklers, which are long sticks that stay lit for up to two minutes.

I actually stuck them in the ground to make an "aisle" so to speak, right by this gorgeous pond by our house. I like them and just stood like it was a July 4th wedding.

And yes, I took a sparkler selfie. That's what happens when you have an office of one. It actually was really nice to just go and do sparklers by myself. They were all lit for me. And that made up for me missing them at our wedding.

You need to douse these in water after they are done, which was the second reason that the pond was a perfect backdrop for these. I wanted you to take a good look at the sparkler all the way to the right. That's the one I used to light the others. Look at what an angle it's at. The others, they're bent too but not as much as the one I was holding. I didn't swirl it around to make circles or other designs, just leaned over to light the others.

So, if you are planning on making an aisle of sorts, make sure they are far enough apart that your dress doesn't catch fire because one decided to lean. And if you are asking your guests to hold these so you can walk through, be sure to make sure someone lines your guests up far apart from each other. You don't want to get set on fire on your wedding day.

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Be sure to enter for a chance to win these sparklers on our Virtual Engagement Party giveaways page.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Head over to, then comment and let me know the item you think would like most at your wedding.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Delicious Date Night Ideas (And how you can register for them) #TargetWedding

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

When you're wedding planning, it's so hard to think about going out on dates. You're so in love and planning a ceremony and reception that will marry you to this person who you're in love with. You want to go on dates with them.

But any spare money you have is imaginary. Your paycheck is going towards wedding things, like flowers and save the dates and makeup trials. You can't spend $50 on a dinner out when that $50 means the difference between having your programs printed on the nice paper.

But that doesn't mean you can't have a romantic date night at home. We spent many a nights cooking a meal and having coffee parties and movie nights at home when we were saving for our wedding.

When you're creating your registry, this is stuff to take into consideration. You don't have to be like everyone else and register for towels and bed sheets. You can register for items you need that will turn into date night items.

One of my favorite fall date night at home recipes is Cheddar Potato Soup. It's absolutely amazing, and super easy to make in the Crock-Pot® Programmable Slow Cooker (which you can add onto your .Target Wedding registry).

What You'll Need:

5 cloves garlic
32oz. chicken broth
6 potatoes
1 onion
1/2 stick butter
2.5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pint (1 cup) half & half
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons green onions
sour cream

What's You'll Do:

Peel and chop your potatoes.
Chop one onion.
Chop five cloves of garlic.
Combine the garlic, chicken broth, potatoes, onion, butter, salt, and pepper. Cook in the slow cooker for 7 hours on low and 1 hour on high.
After 8 hours of cooking, mash the potatoes.
Add the half & half, cheese, and green onions.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a pinch of green onions

You can serve in something like the EV Holiday Large Serve Bowl - Snowflakes, and its super cute and festive. And cheap. And easy.

See, when you're wedding planning, all you really want is easy. You don't have time to slave over the oven when you have invitations to stuff and address. So the slow cooker makes this so much easier.

I have a few other fall recipes for the slow cooker that are easy too: tortilla soup, sloppy Joe's, apple pie cake (which actually came out a lot better than I expected). My mom has a bunch of slow cooker recipes too that she loves. Ask your mom. She might have a few in her recipe book too.

And, instead of going out for dessert (one of my favorite things to do, honestly), you can bake something in the KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer. Now, that's something we actually added to our registry but no one bought us. We did get the blender we wanted, so after our delicious date night dinners, we usually have either coffee or a milkshake, which is super easy to make in a blender. I'd make cookies if we had the stand mixer, and we could have those for dessert. My cousin actually made amazing cookies for Christmas last year with the mixer she received, so I would add that to your registry (and hope it appears at your shower).

You could do a classic date night of dinner and a movie by watching a DVD after dessert. DVD's are really expensive right now, but you could also register for those. Heck, if you're really pinching pennies but want to have a cozy soup at-home date night, you could even register for potatoes. Target has a full grocery section so there's nothing stopping you from registering for ingredients to cook. Sure, I've never seen potatoes on a registry before, but I registered for an owl mug I really wanted. Just one mug. I never saw anyone register for anything less than a pair before, but I only wanted one. My friend bought it for me, so I'm sure someone will purchase potatoes for you.

If you need to buy your own potatoes, or anything else Target sells, we are giving away a $25 Target gift card to one lucky US resident who is 18 or older. Just enter below. This giveaway starts now and ends at 11:59pm EST on November 6. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BRIDAL BABBLE: What is your favorite delicious date night idea?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Virtual Engagement Party: Scarves And Headband From

This post is part of our Virtual Engagement Party. These items were sent to ABOAB for review.

At Bridal Babble last week, we were chatting about fall weddings and I asked if anyone changed up their attire for a fall wedding. See, they're colder than a summer wedding, but a long dress with long sleeves just isn't something I own. Personally, I just wear whatever I want and hope that Pete will lend me his suit jacket if I start to get cold.

But now, has given me a much better option. I received the black pocket knit scarf for review and it's seriously the best thing I've gotten in a long time. It's so brilliant and functional, I have no idea why I didn't own one when I lived in New York.

The items arrived in this super cute purple felt bag, which just made me feel like i was getting something special. These weren't just items thrown in a manila envelope. These were sent to me in care. And, since I decided I'm buying these knit scarves for pretty much everyone on my Christmas list, I'm super stoked. I don't have to wrap them. They will just arrive in these pretty felt bags.

Which is perfect if you're planning on using them as bridal party gifts. See, the Wednesday before our Saturday wedding, my mom and I were driving around town, trying to hunt down white bags that I had seen at the dollar store but hadn't seen enough of. We needed nine and found six, so we were four short. The last thing I wanted to be doing the day before the wedding activities started (because yes, we had four days worth of wedding) was look for bags. If I had gotten my 'maids items from, I wouldn't have to worry about packaging.

Inside was the aforementioned knit scarf and the Orchid Stretchy Headband. Believe it or not, I was more excited about the headband. The girl on the brand's website has multiple ways that she has styled this headband to look incredibly adorable. She looks boho; she looks gym ready; she sorta looks like a pirate in one, but a super trendy pirate.

I tried this on, and I had many looks too: Rambo, samuri, girl who has no idea how to wear a headband. So that's why there isn't a single photo of me with this headband on. I'm blaming the fact that I just cut a foot off my hair so it's a crazy length right now.

Even though I can't pull it off right now, I really still love it. It's so cute to give your bridesmaids for a fall wedding. I'm imagining a cool, outdoor rehearsal the day before wedding and all your 'maid wearing these so their ears don't freeze. So cute.

I did, however, take a photo with my new best friend, the knit scarf.

This is the photo you get when your only coworker is a cat who doesn't have opposable thumbs.
The scarf is so soft. It's not scratchy or itchy. It's just super soft. It wraps around your neck and the sides come down, like a typical scarf. But, there are pockets and the end so you can just stick your hands in them. It's brilliant, really.

Now, work with me for a minute.

Picture this outdoor wedding (the one you had used the headbands at the rehearsal of). For the ceremony, you can have all your 'maids in cute, light colored dresses and then this black scarf. It also comes in red and pink so you can play with those colors too. I just think it would be beautiful and much nicer than a fuzzy muff. Those things take away from the bridesmaids dresses always. This would definitely compliment them ... and would be something your 'maids would use later on too. also has a bunch of other items you can buy, pashminas (which are such a common bridesmaid gift idea), gloves, hats, and more. But, don't lose site of the scarves. Right now, in the site's biggest sale ever, all scarves are $10. Sounds like time to buy some bridal gifts.

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Be sure to enter for a chance to win these items on our Virtual Engagement Party giveaways page.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Head over to, then comment and let me know the item you think would make the best bridesmaid gift idea.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Virtual Engagement Party: Bridal Gifts From Hallmark

This post is part of our Virtual Engagement Party. These items were sent to ABOAB for review.

When you get married, there's such typical stuff you expect to receive, even if you don't put it on your registry. Things like a recipe book, a picture album, and mugs.

I actually didn't get the first two at any point during my engagement ... but Hallmark so kindly send them to me after the wedding, so I'm set. I guess Hallmark didn't get the memo that I can't cook.

Hallmark sent over the: Snippets & Stories Recipe Binder; the Bachelorette Party Or Bridal Shower Instant Scrapbook; and a pair of His/Hers mugs.
The recipe binder is gorgeous.

It's sturdy enough to stand, which actually shocked me. It's such a necessary part of a recipe organizer. You can just prop it up and read the recipe.

I had a bunch on hand that weren't organized, so I just slid them in the appropriate pages. Yes, appropriate. There are tabs on the dividers, which tell you what section you're in (like appetizers or entrees). Each section has pages to add recipes. You can pull out each page, glue or tape a recipe card down, and slide in back into plastic. Which is absolutely necessary because if something pops and splatters, you can just wipe it down. I would suggest doing that instead of trying to hand write the recipes since all the pages are dark.

The binder clasps open so if you need more pages than another, you can just move them around. And in the back, there's a huge pocket for loose recipes in case you run out of pages.

What's really cute is that pages all have chalkboard-type drawings on them. Chalkboard is super in right now, making this perfect for any upcoming showers you're going to. If you do want to grab this for a shower, just check with the bride's mom or maid of honor first. See, many shower invitations will actually come with a recipe card in them. Each guest sends them back to the maid of honor and she'll assemble a book of them for the bride to get her started in the kitchen.

No one did this for me. I think they knew I was helpless and that Pete is the cook of this family.

What I am good at, though, is scrapbooking. I actually really like it, so I love the Bachelorette Party Or Bridal Shower Instant Scrapbook. It's a soft cover album with a beautiful "before the bug I do" on the front in a pretty pink. And yes, there's a little bling because, well, this is all happening because of a little bling.

The pages already come with other sheets of scrapbook paper cut already (you would do this with scissors if you had to do it on your own). It also comes with items like ribbon on the page. That's why it's an "instant" scrapbook. The majority of the work is already done for you.

What was great for me is the bachelorette party invitation that my maid of honor made fit perfectly into the book. It's already glittery and has a jewel on it, so it doesn't need any other embellishments. But if I wanted to, I could have added them.

There are pages of stickers that come with the book, though. There are many that are done up with glitter and written on, and then there are blank ones in case you want to add any of your own inside jokes.

Again, this is stuff you would do if you were putting together a scrapbook yourself, but this makes it so much easier. And if you actually receive this as a gift during your wedding planning, you don't really have time to cut paper and ribbon and add glitter to cut outs. You have just enough time to print photos and assemble souvenirs you picked up at your parties, and put together a great book (that didn't take up a ton of time).

And finally, at the end of this post (and the end of our night recently), we had a coffee party. It's something that Pete and I do together a few times a week. It's nice to just take a break and hang out together. And what fun it was to do this with brand new mugs.

In case you were wondering, yes, we did make sure to use the correct mugs for each other (they say, "His better half" and "Her better half" and that's just adorable). I absolutely love the designs on them too. Black and white is so classy. They are square mugs, which made us both a little confused about how to drink out of them at first. We went with the corners, in case you were wondering. But, we had an entire conversation about them, and that made me laugh. See, times like our coffee parties, they're time for us to connect. They're not time for us to sit and play on our phones or text people. It's time for us to sit and talk. And these mugs helped us do that -- even if a huge portion of our talk was about the mugs themselves.

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Be sure to enter for a chance to win the recipe organizer on our Virtual Engagement Party giveaways page.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Which of these items would you like best?
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