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  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    Welcome to the second installment of Sam & Sarah's wedding series! If you haven't read the first segment, make sure you hop on over to meet the gals, read their proposal stories, and get a feel for their wedding visions. This week, these lovely ladies are discussing getting started with the wedding planning process, sharing how much they've progressed and what tips they've picked up along the way. As a reminder, Sam is getting married in October, while Sarah is tying the knot in March, so their progress correlates with how much time they have left to plan. Read on for their updates and firsthand advice!

    1. How are you staying organized? Do you have a notebook? An Excel chart? A wedding planner?

    Sam: I have a 16-tab Google spreadsheet that includes date availability, guest list, predicted RSVPs, budget, deposit and payment dates, venues, photographers, and vendors, in addition to a separate Google calendar (shared with my fiance and mom) that includes all of our appointments, payment dates and other wedding plans. I have a special "wedding" label in my inbox so I can easily see all my wedding emails, and I've made sure that I've saved my vendors as contacts in my phone and grouped them into a wedding group. I also have my Pinterest boards and a secret dress board for inspiration.

    In addition to all of my online planning tools, I have my favorite Rifle Paper Co notepad and Post-Its with daily task lists. Crossing them off makes me feel great! Physical lists are a great way to keep track of what you've done, because as you progress with your plans, it gets more and more difficult to remember what you've done. Lastly, I have a coordinator - not a wedding planner. Her role is more logistical and comes in around the last month and on the day of. I felt I didn’t need a planner and am happy I chose to do it on my own.

    Sarah: My mom gifted me a wedding planning binder that helps me stay organized. It has tabs that include everything from the reception venue to photography, and everything in between! It is extremely helpful to have it all organized in one place. I keep everything from sample invitations, to copies of contracts and receipts in it. I also have a reception venue coordinator who has been a huge help! She will assist me up until the wedding, as well as the day of. I have a wedding Pinterest board, as well as a moodboard, where I display pictures of my potential dress, bridesmaid dresses, sample bouquets, and color palettes. I am a very visual person, so it helps to be able to see how everything will look together as I continue to come up with ideas.

    2. What have you planned so far?

    Sam: At this moment, I have the venue, photographer, dress, caterer, florist, videographer, pastor, maids and men, hair & makeup gal, and a 99% finalized guest list.

    Sarah: I have booked the church I will get married in, as well as the reception venue and photographer. I have a preliminary guest list compiled, and have asked my bridesmaids as well as my matron of honor!

    3. What's next on the list?

    Sam: Designing the invites, booking the DJ, working on the day before/day of timeline schedule, booking a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests, and planning the wedding shower & bachelorette with my best friend and maid of honor, Ariel.

    Sarah: Next on my list is purchasing my dress and the bridesmaid dresses, and deciding on a florist and videographer.

    4. How are you feeling? Any tips?

    Sam: I am feeling really great! Organization (read: OCD) is my middle name, so I am on top of everything. I am loosely going by The Knot’s timeline, but I am knocking out things as quickly as I can. I could really use a massage or facial though. That would be nice.

    Here are the tips I’ve given my plethora of recently engaged friends:
    -- Scour the Blogs: Begin with Style Me Pretty -- you can search the gallery by categories, tags, colors, style, or season. Next comes Green Wedding Shoes, Grey Likes, Once Wed, Ruffled, 100 Layer Cake, Rustic Wedding Chic, Snippet & Ink.
    ** I looked through a ton of posts and if you find a venue you like - search "(venue name) Style Me Pretty" and more likely than not, a couple of real weddings at that venue will come up through the blog, so you can see it without having to visit a bazillion places.

    -- Utilize Wedding Wire: It's not a wedding blog, but it's extremely useful when looking for venues. It compiles information that is presented in a consistent format, so it's easy to compare multiple venues.

    -- Pin Pin Pin: If you haven't yet, create a Pinterest board and pin as much as you can. A lot of vendors will ask for your board to see what you're liking, so if you already have what's in your mind on your boards, it's super helpful. Maybe even make a new account that you only use for wedding planning and make each board specific, with topics like dresses (keep that one secret!), flowers, and specific photo shots so you can send that exact board to each vendor. This is wedding planning of the 21st century - gone are the days of magazine tear-outs.

    --  Sign Up: Make an account on The Knot! It's so much help, as they are a wedding authority with tons of resources and a great timeline to follow with options to customize it.

    -- Buy This Book: It was lent to me by my friend's mom and it is the wedding planning Bible. It has advice for every situation! I am really not kidding - buy it.

    Sarah: I'm feeling really happy and excited! I have some major things checked off my list, so that is a great feeling. I would suggest either getting a binder or utilizing some other organizational tool to keep track of everything. For wedding inspiration, I love blogs such as Green Wedding Shoes, The Lane, Bash Please, and 100 Layer Cake to name a few. I would recommend making an account on The Knot as well. They have a lot of resources and great templates for your personal wedding website!

    Where are you in the wedding planning process? Make sure to check back in two weeks for the next installment of the series. And if you still haven't seen the girls' first post, wander on over to for some truly adorable proposal stories!

    xo,
    Ruche


  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    If you’re a lover of inspiring quotes and witty sayings, you’ll certainly fall in love with artist Emily McDowell’s hand-lettered cards and illustrations!  We’ve featured work from this Southern Californian artist before as a part of our Sunday quote series, and can be found browsing her Etsy store in search of the cutest birthday and holiday cards. This talented gal recently sent us a hand-drawn print of our motto, "Live Beautifully," which we can't wait to display in the office for daily motivation!

    If you’re looking for a fun gift or want to decorate your space, take a break to browse through Emily’s shop and giggle at her spot-on cultural commentary. You're sure to love her just as much as we do!

    xo,
    Ruche


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  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    If you browsed our new bridal lookbook, From This Day Forward, you probably spied these enchanting leaf garlands. We loved the project so much, we thought we’d share the DIY with our Ruchettes! To learn how to create your own leaf garlands in time for a spring party or Easter brunch, follow our step-by-step tutorial.

    Materials:
    Vellum paper (green)
    Needle + thread (green)
    Scissors
    Pencil
    Leaf shape stencil (optional)

    Directions:
    1. Print out or draw a leaf stencil and trace it onto the vellum paper.

    2. Carefully cut out the leaves. It helps to add a couple of extra blank sheets underneath the stenciled sheet; that way you can cut multiple leaves at a time!

    3. Next you'll need to thread a needle with about 2 feet of thread. Make sure to double up on the thread for durability. Take a stack of leaves and puncture one end with the needle.

    *Note: Try not to make the hole too big or else the leaves will start sliding out of place. If that happens, you can use tape to help secure them.

    4. Pull the leaves through the needle and distribute them along the strand of thread. Continue adding more leaves. Once you're done, cut and tie the other end of the strand into a knot.

    5. If you wish, connect multiple strands of garlands together to create even longer garlands. Use tape to attach the garlands to a wall or ceiling and then you're done!

    We can’t wait to use this DIY to decorate our homes for get-togethers this season! Will you be giving this project a try?

    xo,
    Ruche

    Have a DIY project that you are interested in sharing? We'd love to see it! Send your instructions and unedited photos to blog@shopruche.com for a chance to join our Ruche Blogger Family and become published.


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  • Monday, April 7, 2014

    Just in time for spring, our newest lookbook, Must Be Magic, has our imaginations captivated with enchanting prints and watercolor hues. This vision of whimsical elements, met with an abundance of rich colors, will transform our wardrobes into a truly magical array of ethereal ensembles. With a little help from saturated blossoms and cascading pleats, our Must Be Magic lookbook has us dreaming of sunny days spent admiring botanical gardens and wandering through our favorite downtown spots. We can’t wait to indulge in the delicate lace, classic silhouettes, and vivid prints that we’ve been picturing for this spring season.

    Now is the perfect time to shed the layers and dark hues of winter in favor of swirling pastels and pretty patterns. Join us in creating a little springtime magic!

    xo,
    Ruche


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  • Sunday, April 6, 2014

    Print via Etsy Store, Angel StarForever

    We believe that living beautifully requires a gratitude for all of life's gifts. From the small moment of sipping coffee in a cafe to the natural wonder of the solar system, there are so many incredible things around us to appreciate each day! May you notice and enjoy the blessings that come your way, and encourage others to do the same through your thankful disposition.

    xo,
    Ruche