Creative, unique wedding registry ideas

via Design Aglow

So, maybe you already have full kitchen cupboards at your house, are particular about your personal aesthetic and/or would like to support independent, small businesses and crafty creatives instead of large department stores. Perhaps you would prefer to add to a holiday or home renovation fund, add some quirky experiences to your wedding gift wish list or ask your guests to donate to charity instead of a more traditional registry option.

I have done some work hunting out some really unique gift registries for the couple who don’t necessarily want to spend the day in a department store with a scanner!

♦ Check out this couple’s wedding registry – Diptyque candles, Japanese washi paper tape or a Diana instant camera yes PLEASE!  After their wedding they created their own wedding registry website called Mercy Registry, where you can add anything, from any shop. That is too good.

Not sure I could go past an Etsy wedding registry – I hope to be selling on there myself in the next couple of months and think it would be the bestest to be able to sell my jewellery for someone to gift a bride!

♦ From the Owl is a gorgeous, special wedding registry which I could pore over for a long time. I want everything! You can even get a Doppio bike (check this one out – yum!)

Honeyfund is a great registry for couples wanting to travel. The thing I love about this is that you can actually select certain experiences in the place you are honeymooning/travelling to and ask people to gift those.

♦ If you have everything your heart desires and want to ask guests to donate to charity, Karma Currency and Oxfam Unwrapped are excellent choices.

I also found a couple of quite designer focused Australian wedding registries – try the Wedding List Co for some more mainstream brands (Kate Spade, Marimekko, Florence Broadhurst among many many others) or the Melbourne Wedding Registry for classy, hi-tech kitchen and home appliances.

Don’t forget to take pictures of you both using and experiencing the lovely pressies and send to the person who gifted – such a nice touch!

Beverages and blooms

via Oh the Lovely Things 

How could you not love this magical combination – effervescent, candy coloured tipples flirting with the jewel colours of ranunculus, poppies, peonies and roses.

Photo credits: top flowers by Natalie of nbarrett photography via Ruffled, jug of cocktail by Annabella Charles via Wedding Chicks, middle flowers by Mint & Sage via Fiore Fresco, jars by Katie Quinn Davies via What Katie Ate

Photo credits: clockwise from top left – 1: Mowie Kay via Everything Fab, 2:  Matt Miller via Ruffled, 3: A Cup of Mai, 4: Taylor Lord via Ruffled

Photo credits: top via Kate Spade NY, bottom right LCBO, bottom left Pepper of Peppernix Photography  via Ella Bella

Oh gosh, so much pink! I think I have a problem.

Of course, I am not going to tease you with these lusciously concocted drinks and not provide you with some recipes!

Apple, ginger & cranberry vodka cocktail {mason jars in wooden tray}

1 cup cloudy apple juice
1 cup cranberry juice
50 ml vodka
Ginger ale
Ice

Place apple juice, cranberry juice and vodka into the jug of an electric blender & whisk until light pink & frothy. Pour into a serving jug, top with one cup of ginger ale and a good handful of ice.

Raspberry beer cocktail {jar with straw}

1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
4 bottles of corona (12oz) beer, chilled
1 container frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate, thawed or pink lemonade (**Leah’s note – I would make home made lemonade rather than use concentrate, but that would make an easy option)
1/2 cup good quality vodka
Garnish: lemon slices, or raspberries

In a large container stir together the beer, lemonade or lemonade concentrate and vodka. Serve over ice and garnish with raspberries.

And because not everyone partakes in alcoholic beverages, here is the recipe for the pink passion lemonade, the light pink drink served in glasses on the tray above. Actually, I reckon this would be amazing as the base for the raspberry beer cocktail recipe instead of the concentrate. Just my two cents!

Pink Passion Lemonade

4 lemons, juice only
4 passion fruit, juice only
3 cups water
3/4 unrefined sugar
2-3 drops natural pink food colouring

Mix together and serve with ice.

Any of the drinks above would be awesome with a popsicle dunked in it too, just perfect for a summer wedding! Yum. Can you tell it was 30 degrees here in Melbourne today? I’m amped.

via Lauryn Galloway

Banning overwhelm instalment two – DIY (magic or madness?)

Photography credits: Ladder by Abby Jiu Photography via Style Me Pretty, Rose in bottle by Tori and Sal

Over the past few years, there has been such a proliferation in the amount of blogs, magazines, websites and books which deal with/promote/espouse crafty, unique, DIY weddings. There are lots of different reasons why people invest a lot of time in ‘doing it yourself’, but I think the main ones are being able to express yourself creatively and add an individual touch to your day, save money and/or you genuinely enjoy crafting and making things yourself.

Now, I LOVE me a crafty wedding! I adore all the lovely, visual, creative jazz you have license to create for – luxe centre pieces, individualised invites, twinkly lights and personalised detailing. That makes sense, I do have a blog which is mainly about weddings after all, and I love dreaming up creative projects and crafting. In saying that, I am known for over extending myself, perfectionism and working a little too hard. In other words, being a little bit nutty!

As well as wedding day beauty, I want to promote and value non-wankery (if there is such a word?), realness and sanity on A Cast of Two. It concerns me at times that weddings can be so competitive, as in, who is able to express the most creativity or echo their personal style in every little detail of the day.

Check out this vid as an example of some of the cringe factor that weddings can bring out in people!

In fact, I know that it is becoming more and more common for people these days to strive to create a wedding that is ‘blog worthy’, so it gets picked up and featured. I think it is more important to aim for a beautiful balance, designing a day which takes place in beautiful surroundings and makes you feel super lovely, but focuses on the things that really matter – your loved ones, the food and bev, music and most importantly, ensuring that you are your partner have an amazingly special day which just tickles you pink, without the headaches.

I know that a major trap excitable brides fall in to (and oh god can I see this happening to me!) is that they set out with the grand intention of having a crafty, indie wedding but realise that everyday life can get in the way of creating 200 origami cranes, 100 personalised favours, detailed bunting and sourcing gorgeous vintage finds for the guest book table. I could go on, yes I could! It is so easy to end up stressed and overwhelmed, rather than basking in the exciting glow of planning such a special event which already has so many different components to take into consideration.

Or, maybe the thought of a moustache on a stick makes you cringe, or you are just not the kind of couple who want to bop around holding up signs with something cute written on them, and that is ok too, despite what Pinterest is telling you!

Here are my thoughts on how to inject some thoughtful, creative crafting and DIY into your wedding, without losing the hair you want to be so luscious and plentiful on your big day!

Keep your crafting and DIY reflective of who you are as a couple. Just because something is fashionable in the wedding world doesn’t mean you have to have that as a feature in your wedding. Go with what you love and are naturally drawn to, and this will keep you feeling connected to the day and what it is really about – a celebration of your love and impending marriage.

Set a budget for the parts of your wedding that you choose to do yourself. If you don’t, it will easily spiral out of control once the craft store pixies lures you into their magical cave.

Don’t be a masochist or control freak! Get your friends involved and have a craft day – put on some snacks and drinkies and go nuts.

If crafting doesn’t come naturally to you, think of some ways you can add a creative touch without actually physically making anything. You can use paper lanterns, beautifully coloured glass bottles, arrangements of pretty things on trays, scatter delightful and unique items on a table top and so on and so on and so on.

If limited time is a factor, focus on creating large, eye catching pieces such rather than worrying about smaller details. This is where a beautiful, dramatic ceremony backdrop, effective suspended floral or lighting, cool collages, a sweet photo booth area and larger scale table settings come into it, as just some of the many ideas you can conjure up.

Photo credit: Laura Kaufmann via 52 Flea

Use the venue space you have chosen wisely. If there is an arch way, hang prettiness from it, or if there is an unsightly corner or area, cover it with lanterns, balloons or textile goodness.

I could go on for a long time, but for the sake of the word count in this post, my last words of wisdom are that unless you are a makeup artist, don’t DIY your makeup! You will have so much more fun relaxing while someone else does it for you, and will hopefully be able to get in a cheeky little glass of something bubbly and nerve calmy while it is happening.

Photo Credit: Steven Michael Photo via 100 Layer Cake

I will leave you with some links to some seriously awesome DIY tutorials, plucked from the plethora of online DIY ideas you can find with the click of your mouse. Go and craft to your heart’s content, but remember, a calm bride to be is nicest for everyone involved (especially the groom!).

A stunning ceremony backdrop

Make your own beautiful flower crown…and another lovely option for you here

Beautiful feather boutonnieres

A mecca of DIY wedding craft ideas from the goddesses at A Practical Wedding

Photo credit: Top EE Photography via Ruffled Blog, bottom via A Beautiful Mess

Making ideas into real things!

Photo by Neal

Welcome to A Cast of Two!

I have just read an article which I think will allow me to launch into starting my blog, after putting it off for far too long. The term ‘allow’ is probably a strange one to use in this context, as you would think that I am allowed to start a blog whenever I want, right?

The thing stopping me, is of course, fear. Isn’t that always the thing that stops us from doing something we want to do?

Skellie poses the question “have you ever spent so much time trying to do things like the experts do, to get everything right, that you found you ended up achieving nothing at all?”, and for me, the answer is yes – a resounding yes. I am constantly dreaming and planning, and am brimming with creativity and ideas, but I let my perfectionism and my fear get in the way.

So instead of spending hours upon hours researching and studying blogging technicals such as creating a super attractive blog, ways to generate traffic, monetising, and so on, I am going to challenge myself and jump right on in. I will figure out as I go!

Recently, it became clear to me that skills I have and take for granted, are helpful to others. I am super (almost freakishly) organised, love a good list, and can work with all the small details without losing sight of the bigger picture. I feel that this is a space where I can have an outlet for my passion for creative, quirky, unique and fun weddings. That will be the focus of A Cast of Two. Also, I love scouring the internet for beautiful imagery, gorgeous fashion, information on awesome, inspiring and intelligent people, and cool art and design. A mish mash of things that make me, and hopefully you, happy!

Thanks for joining me on this project!

I leave my first ever blog post (eek, exciting words!) with a message from one of my favourite lady entrepreneurs and general powerhouse Danielle LaPorte. She nails it. Here is to the excitement, hope, challenge, fun and rewards I hope blogging will bring!

The biggest threat to your creativity…
… is the fear that it’s already been done, said, created.
(So why bother?)
Say it, do it, make it anyway —
but tell YOUR story along the way.
The story of how you came to know what you know.
The story of what you want to know more of.
The story of why you do what you do.
The story of how you came to care.
And that’s how you create what’s never been created before.