September 25, 2013

“My sister-in-law Katie, married her love, Chris. The day was perfect and quaint with less than 10 family members as guests. Their elopement was planned within a few short weeks and came together more beautifully than I could have imagined. Their decision to elope was easy; Katie has never been interested in a large wedding, and our father’s health was extremely important to both Katie & Chris…


…Our father was diagnosed with colon cancer and had recently completed his first round of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. With surgery right around the corner, Katie & Chris decided July 3rd was the perfect time to tie the knot, as our father would also be performing the ceremony. I’ve never seen Katie happier, and I thank God for the beautiful weather on a surprisingly cool day…


..I have to admit, I was thrilled that Katie & Chris let me have complete creative freedom over the design of the day. Of course, I employed Kristin from Rak-Desings to decorate and style the beautiful affair and I am so grateful to her for donating her family’s gorgeous land for the ceremony! I also asked Emily, from Emmy-Ray, to create the breathtaking florals that fit just right. Thanks to both Emily & Kristin for helping me make the day gorgeous!” – Cassandra Castaneda Photography


photography: Cassandra Castaneda Photography // event styling: Rak Designs // florals: Emmy-rae

August 26, 2013

“From the very beginning of getting ready to the sparkler exit, the air to Amber and Steven’s big day had a wonderfully laid back and intimate feel. Their ceremony was one of the sweetest I have ever photographed, the messages they wrote and read to each other were so heart felt and everyone there could feel the love these two have for one another. There were so many special little touches weaved throughout their day that made for a great celebration.” – Stephanie W. Photography

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The bride actually ordered all the flowers from Sam’s Club and made her bouquets, arrangements and centerpieces herself ~ we love that!!!


“It’s tough to say… it was all beautiful and so romantic. I guess I would have to say our exit down the isle. We played “The Good Life” by Kanye West – it was perfect…


..Yes, we DIY-ed a few different things. My mother actually made all our delicious cakes from scratch! We made our centerpieces from cut up wood from my parents land back in Indiana and drilled holes to put the candles and flowers inside. We made all the other centerpieces from scratch as well which included the bamboo jars. We even ordered all of our flowers from Sam’s Club and made our own bouquets and flower arrangements at guest tables and cake table!


Once your day arrives, do your absolutely best to enjoy it!  Don’t worry about all the the things you have been planning for the past 365 days or so! Just go with it!” – Amber, the bride


photography: Stephanie W. Photography // venue: The White Room, Florida // cakes: the brides mother // dress: BCBG Max Arzia // hair: Angie Byrd // officiant: Karen Roumillat // tux and men’s attire: Men’s Warehouse – Calvin Klein // Invitations:

August 22, 2013

Isn’t this bouquet beautifully earthy!?! This year we have seen a lot of white and green combinations and this is one of my favorites. I absolutely LOVE succulents… I have more than 10 varieties growing in my garden. When adding succulent trimmings like these to your wedding bouquet, you can actually keep and plant them after the wedding for a special, long lasting memento! They also make such masculine boutonnieres!


BOUQUET // The blooms in this beautiful bouquet are available year round!!! Succulents can be ordered from a wholesale florist or easily cut from a growing plant in your garden!


CARE // Hydrangea is a very thirsty flower and should be kept in water right until the ceremony and should be put into water and displayed at the reception. It also benefits from a water spritz. Each of the succulents will need to be hand wired into the bouquet. Be sure to tuck the flowers deep into the bouquet to have support for the weight.


LONG LASTING MEMENTO // The succulents in this bouquet and the boutonnieres can be kept and planted after the wedding for a long lasting memento! The easiest way to achieve this is to remove the succulents from the bouquet and simply stick into soil, either potted or the ground. They will grow roots after a few weeks and an occasional watering will benefit the plant but be sure not to let the base sit in standing water. Too much water will cause the succulents to lose their petals.


RECIPE  // 10 stems white mini calla lilies // 2 stems white hydrangea  // 6 stems white vendela roses  // touches of succulents, can easily be cut from blooming plants


BOUTONNIERES // Succulents make the perfect boutonniere! They have a modern and masculine feel while lasting outside of water for weeks. Be sure to select the smaller succulents to avoid the boutonniere from being too heavy. They can be by themselves, or used as an accent for a more traditional calla lily boutonniere.


amazing photography by: Studio 11 Weddings // gorgeous florals by: Floral Designs by Jacqueline Ahne // styling by: Jen | Something Turquoise // dress: Ralph Lauren, Jen’s wedding dress!

August 1, 2013

“Jordan & Justin’s wedding was such a memorable day for us! They are a sweet couple who have been together since they were 17. The month they were married they celebrated not only their marriage, but also Jordan becoming a Doctor. Jordan & Justin took the time to add so many personal details to their wedding day that it was truly a photographers dream capturing it all!” – MattnNat Photographers

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I am obsessed with Jordan’s gorgeous dress!!! It fit’s her beautifully and she had the lace straps created and sewn just for her!!! This is such a pretty picture of her and her stunning accessories…


“My favorite wedding memory was definitely the first look. After our wedding photographers suggested the idea we thought about how great it would be to just spend a few minutes together before the ceremony. Afterwards most couples spend time talking with family and friends and of course dancing so to have those few moments together in the quiet of the woods was so special to us. I also enjoyed being able to see Justin’s reaction when he saw me for the first time up close. That moment and the pictures that capture the moment are truly priceless…


..My wonderful parents and I DIY’d almost everything for the wedding. For the invitations we used cards and pockets paper with a pocket fold and envelope and we designed, printed and cut all the inserts. We did the same for every paper product including menus, programs, place cards and the seating chart. We bought a specialty pressed paper from a local store, which was incorporated into all of the paper products. We also made tags for our favors. Other DIY projects included the table decorations. For the candles, we bought inexpensive glassware and used a glue to make the glass appear frosted; other candles were decorated with bark ribbon. For the cocktail tables and the ceremony aisle decorations we wrapped galvanized buckets with bark ribbon and our florist filled them. All of the table numbers and the Mr and Mrs sign on the sweetheart table were made from wooden letters/numbers from the craft store and were spray-painted. We had wooden signs for the cake, guestbook, bar, specialty drink, a here comes the bride sign and a welcome sign all made by my father.  He also made a series of frames with pictures of close family members who had passed. He stained the wood to look like barn wood and I painted the white lettering on all the signs. My father also made our ceremony table and our cake box the same way. He even made our ring box and I filled it with moss and tied the rings down with ribbon. Our family friend handmade the wooden vase that we used for our ceremony, which now sits in our living room with our original wedding rose. We also use our ceremony table as a side table in our hallway. These items are so special to us and we love that we were able to incorporate them into our home. Aside from these sentimental items that we display and use, I was able to sell the rest on Craigslist!


..My something old borrowed and blue was a family heirloom ring from my mother’s side. It is still in its original setting from the late 1800’s. This was my great-great grandmothers engagement ring and we still have the original box. After having the setting checked I wore the ring on my pinky finger during the wedding. My shoes were new, and sequined blue!


..My advice to all my friends planning their upcoming weddings is to pick a photographer that you are comfortable with and that you know will give you the type of pictures you want. Everyone will tell you how fast the whole day flies by and what you really have left besides the memories are the photographs or videos so it’s SO important to know what to expect and to be comfortable on the day of the wedding so you have the best pictures possible. Remember, as a bride or groom you are only seeing one perspective of your wedding. It was so fun to look through pictures and watch the video and see all of our friends having fun and actually watch our ceremony from the viewer’s perspective. I would also tell upcoming brides in the planning process not to let others influence you or your fiancés decisions too much. Once you agree on something, just have it your way. This is your wedding and you should have things how you want them. Justin’s piece of advice is not to stress about the small stuff. Things don’t always go perfectly on the day of the wedding but it’s better to just let go and not worry about the small things. You are getting married to your best friend and no matter what; it will be the happiest day of your life!” – Jordan, the bride


photography: MattnNat Photographers (Matt and Natalie Thomas) // venue: Riverdale Manor, Lancaster PA // paper supplies: Cards and Pockets // florals: Splints and Daisies // ceremony guitarist: Luke Abruzzo from GigMasters // DJ: DJ Freez (Ray Rowe) // videographer: Black Tie Video // cake: House of Clarendon // dress: Robin Jillian (Lily’s Bridal, Arbutus MD) // bridesmaid dresses made by the brides seamstress Diane Blakley – she also made the straps that were added to the brides strapless dress! Columbia, MD // guy’s attire: Men’s Warehouse // hair: Lauren Ward, of Ooh la lal Salon // makeup: Jennifer Tanko

June 28, 2013

I was lucky enough to have spent last week in NYC, attending ALT Summit, meeting fabulous people and enjoying the city. Martha Stewart hosted the event and so of course I was in heaven! We spent the morning having breakfast and crafting projects from her latest book, Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts For Kids – sounds funny that we were making ‘kids’ crafts but it was so much fun! My favorite project ended up being the cross-stitch portraits… you can check out the one I made of myself here. Inspired by that craft, today I am sharing how to cross-stitch your table numbers… and maybe even a bridal portrait too!!!



  • graph paper
  • Aida cloth (cross-stitch cloth)
  • embroidery floss and needle
  • embroidery hoops
  • colored pencils
  • scissors


Cross-stitching is incredibly easy, all you do is make an ‘X’ over and over! Cross-stitch is done on a special type of fabric called ‘aida cloth‘ which is an open, even-weaved fabric that lends perfectly to stitching. It’s available in many different sizes (and colors!), the smaller the number the larger the weave, meaning the larger each ‘X’ will be.


Using an embroidery hoop makes stitching easy to hold and see, plus it’s the perfect way to display each of the table numbers. The hoop is made of two pieces – the outer ring which is adjustable and the inner ring. Place the cloth over the inner ring, then place the outer ring on top of the cloth and press them both together. Using the tension knob on top, tighten the outer ring to hold the fabric snug.


Now this is the fun part! Using graph paper, you literally get to draw you own number – it can look how ever you want! Trace first or eyeball your way through.. each square will represent one ‘X’ stitch. Since the ‘X’ on the aida cloth will be significantly smaller than each graph paper square, draw your number about three times larger than you actually want it. If you are concerned with size, simply count the squares.


Embroidery floss comes with six strands wrapped into one. For most cross-stitch patterns you only sew with 2 or 3 strands at a time – so you will need to separate them before you begin. Start with about 18″ of floss. Then start sewing your pattern! You can begin wherever you feel comfortable, at the top, side or bottom of your design.


If sewing individual stitches you can just make a regular ‘X’, but if you have a whole row of the same color to do – start with just one stitch / / / / / and then work your way back across the row to finish the ‘X’s.


Cross-stitching is not a quick project but it’s very relaxing!


Once you are finished with your number, you can cut the excess fabric away from the hoop and give the knob a little tighten. ***if you are preparing these months in advance, before you cut the fabric you can glue the fabric to the hoop. This will ensure that during the time leading up to your wedding the hoop won’t loosen and the fabric won’t slide out.


The best part about this project is that you get to design your own font! You can have whatever you like… in any color that you can imagine! There are seriously hundreds of colors of embroidery floss to choose from. Below I decided to do an ombre…


I started at the bottom with the darkest shade and worked my way up!


Wouldn’t these be perfect for a nautical wedding!?!


If you are looking for a little something different… you can always outline your numbers instead of actually cross-stitching them!


This takes hardly any time at all!


Spray paint the embroidery hoop as an added touch! …this one is metallic gold!


I couldn’t help myself… I just HAD to cross-stitch a bride and groom!!! Simply draw you and your groom on graph paper and start stitching!

Below is the ‘family portrait‘ craft featured in the new Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids… I don’t have kids but I am definitely holding onto this gorgeous book for when I do!


How cute would this be sitting at the head table, hanging out by the guest book or leaning on the cake table… it would be darling pretty much anywhere at your wedding!



As with all our DIY tutorials, if you create one of our projects please send us a picture or a trackback – We Love Seeing Your Creativity! If you use Instagram or Twitter please use the hashtag #SomethingTurquoiseDIY. Happy Crafting!

something turquoise DIY

Photography: Studio 11 Weddings // DIY tutorial by: Jen | Something Turquoise // Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids Book: Editors at Martha Stewart // all supplies (embroidery floss, hoops, needles and Aida cloth) purchased at: Michaels // free graph paper: // wedding dress: Nordstrom // nail polish: OPI, Fly – and Morgan Taylor in Glitter & Gold