Our Semi-Rustic DIY Seating Chart

We love a good seating chart. And if you're looking for an easy way to trim your budget, try our low-cost semi-rustic DIY wine tag version. Why semi-rustic? Because with some gold paint and/or sparkly wine charms, you can dress up this wooden frame and chicken wire as much as you like. We think it's the perfect balance—ideal for elegant barnyard or garden chic receptions. Plus, drink tags are always a great idea. 

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Here's how we did it:

1. Source (or construct) the frame.

Any old frame will work, but if you can't snag a free one, build one to your liking or buy a cheap, ready-made frame from any craft store, and locate some chicken wire. Staple the chicken wire to the back of the frame, slap on some paint (we used a sample jar: $3), and voilà—you've got the base for your chart. 

 

2. Transfer the type. 

Unless you're a calligrapher or have some decent lettering skills, you might want to use the old pencil transfer method. That's what we did.

  • Print out your messaging in a type you like (note: we recommend using a free one or paying the pocket change for rights).
  • Next, rub the back of the paper with a pencil.
  • Place the paper on the frame and start tracing.
  • Fill in the letters with the paint of your choice. We chose Liquid Leaf ($5 for .75 fl oz). 

 

3. Buy the charms. 

We found these simple 30mm silver hoops on Amazon for a ridiculously low price: 100 for $2.88.

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4. Buy the tags.

We loved these delicate eyelet labels from Recollections, and got 50 for $3.99.

 

5.  Grab a good paint pen and start labeling. 

We like the Sakura Pen-Touch pens in fine point. They usually sell for $5 or less.

 

6. Hang those beauties! 

Not only have you saved a few bucks, you've created an eye-catching accessory, and provided your guests with a practical keepsake. 

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5 Cake Designers You Should Follow on Instagram

"A cake, Franck, is made of flour and water." - George Banks, Father of the Bride

Au contraire, George Banks—it's really so much more. The cake and/or dessert station is often the center of your wedding, and each little adornment and ingredient sets the tone for what your guests will experience. Do you want something with classic lines? Something simple but elegant? Traditional? A colorful drip cake? A macaroon tower? A cake bite station? 

That's where the professionals come in. We love what these five cake designers bring to the table—unbridled creativity, compassion for the couples they serve, and a fierce commitment to delivering unforgettable treats. 

Check out how their personal process guides their work, and then follow their beautiful designs on Instagram! 

WildChild Cakes | @wildchildcakes | Queensland, Australia

"It's all about communication and making a connection with your couples. Weddings can be a crazy stressful time and it's my job to remind the couple that their day is unique and special and should reflect them! Take a chance and try something bold with your wedding day, 'cause it only happens once!" - Kendra Groves, Owner

Baked In Nashville | @bakedinnashville | Nashville, TN

"At Baked in Nashville, we love dreaming with couples during our tasting consultations and our expert pastry chefs are thrilled to bring their ideas to life. The wedding cake should be memorable, not only for its design, but for its flavor as well. That is why we encourage couples to be creative with their flavor profiles along with the design concepts." - Tiffany Riches, Owner

Photography: Austin Gros, SheHeWe, Caley Newberry, Maile Lani

LiMa - Cakes by Sona | @lima.cakes | Toronto

"It takes a conversation over some delicious cake to get to know my couples better and understand the story they want to tell on their wedding day. I then conceptualize a custom and exclusive design for their special day—a cake with details as unique as the couple itself—tailored to their event. My clients choose to work with me because of my unusual and uncommon designs, so they come to me already expecting something different and unique." - Sona Karapetyan, Owner

EllenJAY Stylish Events + Sweets | @ellenjayevents | Mobile, AL

"At ellenJAY, we ease our brides and grooms into wedding cake and dessert table planning by providing a tasting experience that marries our modern design sensibility with southern hospitality. Once the couple enters our charming Mobile, Alabama cottage, we guide them towards selecting our specialities while still providing them with the unique sweet experience they are seeking." - Lauren Kapeluck and Jennifer Christ, Owners

The Sweetest Thing Cakes | @sweetest_thing_cakes | Greater Toronto

“The initial consultation is so important. I often ask the clients to set aside a few hours, so that we can sit down and really get to know each other. At that point, I will listen to all the ideas the bride and groom have, and I sketch their ideas right then and there. This way they can see their custom cake come to life. It’s always such an amazing experience when I turn the book around and they see their cake for the first time. Very often, the idea they come in with does change, as I am sketching and they are looking around at different cakes in my studio. We take bits and pieces from different inspirations and put it all together to create a custom center piece that is made just for them." - Cristina Maciel, Owner

Photography: Pear Studios, Dave Abreu, Luminous WeddingsGio Photo Imaging 

5 Floral Designers You Should Follow on Instagram

5 Floral Designers You Should Follow on Instagram

Choosing exactly which stems you want to include in your wedding can be extremely time-consuming, stressful, and downright difficult. Seasons, budgets, venue, and setup all have to be considered. But never fear. That's where these five amazing floral designers can lend a hand.

Experience Austin with Batch

What if you could treat your guests to custom curated gift boxes containing locally made goods while not breaking the bank? In Nashville and Austin, you absolutely can. 

Enter Batch.

As Nashville residents, we're spoiled with the Batch storefront. But recently, we got the opportunity to partner with Batch Austin to create a killer Batch-elorette box for one lucky bridal party to win! If you're planning a 2017 bachelorette weekend in Austin, enter today

We caught up with Batch Austin City Director, Courtney Bianchi about how Batch Austin got its start, where it's going, and what you can expect to see in the future from this unique, community-supportive company. 

How did Batch USA get its start and what prompted the launch of the Austin branch?

Batch was established in 2013 when three friends—Sam Davidson, Stephen Moseley and Rob Williams— wanted to make it easier to discover and share the cool stuff made in Nashville. After a busy holiday season fulfilling orders from corporate clients in Nashville, Batch expanded to Austin in January of 2015. Austin has an array of local purveyors and exceptional products to share, plus there is a strong local community and desire to support local. It was a natural fit for Batch.

Living all over the U.S. and even overseas, I have seen my fair share of awesome cities but none have compared to Austin, TX. From the abundant brunch options, local goodies, breakfast taco selections, and the best festivals, there is never a shortage of fun. This is the first city that I found to not only offer remarkable local products, but a community that supports small businesses. More than any other town I’ve lived in.

How do you find local vendors? Do they approach you or is it mostly the other way around, and what’s the vetting process like?

Batch is all about connecting you to the local purveyor. Not only do we want to share their product but we always want to tell their story. In each box, we include a custom card sharing information about each local business. I’m always sourcing and researching on Instagram, reading local publications like Austin Monthly, Edible Austin and Tribeza, to find the best small batch, locally made goods that scream Austin, TX. We also receive inquires from local makers which we love!

Customers can buy individual products or create their own batch from your website’s marketplace. But, for you, what makes the perfect Batch? What kind of balance do you look for when creating your go-to gift and/or custom sets?

I love snacks, so my perfect batch always has a treat or two like Coover Caramels or Bourbon Bomb Chocolate Chip Cookies (includes bourbon!). I also love pieces I can add to my home like the Shop Skyline Austin Skyline Tea Towel or Benjamin Soap’s Woodberry Candle—the scent makes me feel like I’m in the Anthropology store which makes my heart happy.

Describe your favorite Batch you’ve ever curated.

I worked with HomeAway over the holidays last year to create a custom batch box for their clients. They wanted the boxes themed around the color of a candy cane. I had so much fun sourcing local product that fit the theme—like red and white Cornucopia Popcorn, Srsly Chocolate peppermint & dark chocolate blend, Barton Table peppermint chocolate sauce, to name a few.

They also personalized the box with a red HomeAway stamp and a custom sticker with a note from the CEO. I also love creating custom boxes around any theme. "Welcome to Austin" amenity bags or batches are another favorite. Working with a bride to share a taste of Austin with her guests is so much fun!

The Batch Concierge seems like a great way to customize without going overboard for events like bachelorette and wedding weekends. How does that work?

You’re so right. It’s a great way to customize a box around your preference and budget. How it works: you contact either Austin or Nashville via phone or email. If in Austin, you speak with me. I learn more about your event, your vision, products you love, and your budget, and then create a box around that. Batch is all about sharing handmade handpicked happiness and we want the process to be fun and simple.

The company has grown so much since it first opened. What’s next for Batch USA and, specifically, Batch Austin?

We’ve received so much love from the Austin community and we are so grateful for the warm welcome. We are fortunate to partner with awesome purveyors who have exceptional products and are wonderful to work with. Our next steps are to continue to grow those relationships and consistently create remarkable batches while providing exceptional customer service to our clients. We are also in the works to curate a retail space—similar to the one in Nashville, but that mirrors Austin. We are so excited for what the future holds!

5 Savings Tips from Wedding Salon

5 Savings Tips from Wedding Salon

Tatiana Byron Marx, creator of 4PM Events and Wedding Salon (a luxury bridal showcase), has penned epic celebrations for celebrities like Sean “Diddy” Combs, Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie, and Mary J. Blige. But even though she’s a master of sophistication and glamour, Marx believes in smart budgets, whether you’re planning a reception for 30 people or 500.

The Etsy Gift Guide for Couples

Is there anything better than a bottle of wine or a gift card? Not many things, we'll give you that. But personalized, handmade gifts from Etsy that keep the love flowing from the big day can't be topped. Plus, you're helping out an independent artisan. All the feels.

Real Ceremonies: Nina and Jamie

Real Ceremonies: Nina and Jamie

When you land a job on a show like The Great British Bake Off, what more could you ask for? How about love? That's what happened to Nina and Jamie—these two London-based creatives met behind the scenes on the popular BBC series, fell for each other, and proceeded to have a DIY wedding fit for TV.