Meghan + Stephan | Lakeside Inn | Lakeside, Michigan | Day-of-Coordination

Continuing with our recap of weddings and projects, today I’d like to take you on a short trip to Michigan for Meghan and Stephan’s cozy lakeside celebration!

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We met these two at the Indie Wed show waaaaay back in the winter of 2012, which makes sense because their wedding was in the fall of 2012, which means, yes, I’ve been holding onto their stories and photos for a year and a half without sharing. Sorry. I hope you’ll agree it was worth the wait.

Meghan and Stephan rented out the quaint Lakeside Inn for a weekend of celebration. (Note: if one of your priorities is spending quality time with all of your guests, hosting them all for a cozy long weekend is a sure way to make that happen!)

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They planned an outdoor ceremony on the grounds behind the Inn, with the reception following inside. Unfortunately mother nature had other plans, and after setting up the chairs, taking down the chairs, and setting them up again, we had to make the call to move the whole party indoors due to rain.

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BUT. It wasn’t so bad, because we ended up staging the ceremony in front of the Inn’s lovely stone fireplace. With candles lining the aisle and their lovingly handmade details featured behind them, it was one of the warmest and most romantic settings you could dream up for a wedding.

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One of my favorite parts of this wedding was the inclusion of a few traditions from Stephan’s Ukrainian heritage. During the ceremony, there was a part similar to a handfasting, during which the officiant wrapped their hands in a traditional cloth, beautifully embroidered by Stephan’s mother. They took a walk three times around the altar to signify that marriage is a never-ending journey. At the start of the reception, they had some private moments with each other and their immediate families, where they broke a traditional korovai bread and shared it together.

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Custom spilled over onto the dance floor with a few traditional Ukrainian songs and dances. These two had one of the most rockin’ dance parties I have ever seen! Virtually every guest was on the dance floor, and most of them stayed there all night long.

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I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier couple or nicer friends and family to spend a weekend in the woods with. Congratulations Meghan and Stephan!

VENDORS
Venue: Lakeside Inn
Catering: Cravings Catering
Officiant: Rev. Carol Munroe Mosley
Photographer: Amanda Megan Miller Photography (follow the link for more photos!)
Florist: Asrai Garden
Cake: Bit of Swiss Bakery
DJ: Rachel of Toast and Jam DJs

All photos were taken by Amanda Megan Miller Photography and are reposted here the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are not available for reproduction, redistribution, or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Hayley | Custom 1950s-Style Wedding Dress

Concept

Hayley came to us in search of a full-skirted, fifties-style knee-length dress, and we pretty quickly settle on idea of a structured dress in silk dupioni with a shelf bust in glossy silk charmeuse.

Concept sketch for Hayley's 1950s-style wedding dress

Concept sketch for Hayley’s 1950s-style wedding dress

Work-in-Progress & Challenges

This was our first time making a shelf bust, and we really had a learning curve on it. The charmeuse was fussy and didn’t like to be pleated. We went through a good bit of trial and error to get it just right. Other than that, it was a fairly straightforward garment. Silk dupioni is a dream to work with, and we found a lovely lightweight silk to line it with too!

Final version of the bust shelf! Photo © Crafty Broads

Final version of the bust shelf! Photo © Crafty Broads

Finished Garment

Hayley decided on a gorgeous color for her dress – somewhere in between gold an ivory. The difference in texture between the dupioni (main body of the dress) and the charmeuse (in the ruched bust section) creates a striking contrast, even though the two fabrics are the same color.

Doesn’t Hayley look stunning? We absolutely loved how her dress turned out! Congratulations Hayley and Scott!

Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are used with permission. They are not available for reposting or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Two New Wedding Planning Services from Crafty Broads

Wedding season is upon us once again, and this year we are pleased to roll out some brand new services! Without further ado, here’s what we’ve cooked up for you:

Wedding Planning 101

Did you recently get engaged, and have no idea where to start when it comes to wedding planning? Stop stressing out, and come get the basics figured out with us. In this 2-hour workshop, we will help you determine your wedding priorities and create your wedding mission statement; establish an overall wedding budget and get a handle on typical wedding costs; and get started planning a celebration that truly reflects the two of you! Couples will take away their own planning binder, including Crafty Broads’ wedding to do list, sample wedding budgets and timelines, and our list of the best wedding vendors in town.

Day-of-Coordination (DOC) Bootcamp

No room in your budget for a professional day-of-coordinator? Get all your wedding ducks in a row with our DOC Bootcamp! At this session, we’ll go over your plans and contracts, and provide you with the organizational documents we personally use for each wedding we coordinate. We’ll make sure you’ve the right amount of time for each part of the big day, and identify places where you may need additional help. We’ll also train your volunteer day-of-coordinator on how to run your wedding smoothly, including dealing with the most common situations that arise at weddings. Bring all your questions, and we’ll give you our secrets!

Please see our website for details and current pricing.

Pet Peeves: Why is Plus-Sized Clothing so Damn Ugly?

A while back, some lovely people helped us open up our shop, and we offered some perks in return. One of them was a chance to tell us about their pet peeve related to mass-produced clothing. Today’s pet peeve comes from Deb.

The Pet Peeve

Deb asks a question I know many of us have pondered: Why is plus-sized clothing so damn ugly?

Need I explain? I think we’ve all seen so-called “clothing” that bears more resemblance to a tent or a blanket fort than something anyone would want to wear.

Why It Exists

If you ask me (and I suppose, you did), the answer is nothing more than laziness on the part of designers and manufacturers. In order for a garment to “fit”, according to the industry, it needs to be large enough to not be too tight in any one spot on the body. A small-sized lady doesn’t have a lot of fat, so when smaller sizes are designed, they are basically accommodating average-sized bones and not much else. A larger lady, on the other hand, has non-bony curves! Some of us have most of it in our boobs; some around our bellies; some on our hips and in our thighs… which makes it harder work for those clothing creators. Because if it’s the right shape for someone with a well-endowed bosom and an average waist, it will be way too big around the bustline of another lady of the same “size” (we should talk about arbitrary sizing bullshit another day) who happens to carry most of her weight below the belt. So to make sure it “fits” everyone in a particular “size” (if only you all could see how I am rolling my eyes as I type this), they design it to be big enough to not be tight in any area of a person wearing the size, no matter how their fat is distributed. And so, we have baggy, tent-like, “fits” everyone but flatters no one plus-size fashion.

What Can You Do About It?

Much like our previous conundrum, other than create a riot of some kind demanding change from the apparel industry, I’m not sure what we can do to get this problem to stop existing. I would personally like to see clothing designers (for all sizes!) start designing for SHAPES instead of sizes. For example, you wouldn’t be a size 18; you’d be a size 18: pear or apple or triangle or hourglass or whatever. And within each size, they’d have the pattern for different shapes. That would be super awesome. (To do this at Crafty Broads one day would make me unbelievably happy.)

For now, though, you can look critically at the things you try on, and evaluate whether the style is more or less flattering on you before you buy it because it “fits”. You can also have just about any garment tailored to fit you better (don’t forget to budget for this when shopping) or you can learn to alter things on your own. 

Questions? Rants? Speak up in the comments!

Pet Peeves: That Gap in the Back of Your Waistband

A long, LONG time ago… (we all know by now that I am terrible at keeping up with writing things on this here blog, don’t we?) some fabulous people contributed their hard-earned funds to help us open up our shop, and we offered some perks in return. One of them was a chance to tell us about their pet peeve related to mass-produced clothing. So today, we’re hearing from Trisha (who is shaving her head for St. Baldrick’s this year, go give some money to fund cancer research if you can!)

The Pet Peeve

So here is what Trisha wants to know: What is up with the gap in the back of all the waistbands?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there’s a good chance everyone reading this knows exactly what Trisha is talking about. I know I do. In case you don’t, here’s what happens: You go shopping for some pants. Or a skirt, it happens there too. You try on a pair. It seems like it would fit your waist perfectly, if only you could get it over your hips… which is not ever gonna happen. So you pick the next size larger. Sweet! It fits your hips perfectly! But now that you’ve got them zipped up, there is a huge gap at the center back. But you buy them anyway, because what choice do you have? And you wear them, and right after you pull them out of the dryer they are fabulous for about 5 minutes and then you find yourself with a terrible case of plumber’s crack. What’s worse is that you may even find you can successfully take them on and off without unzipping or even unbuttoning. This does not bode well for keeping your ass covered.

Why It Exists

The reason for this gap, along with numerous other fit issues, is the way mass-produced garments are designed. For each design, they have what is called a fit model. This is a person who’s job it is to have the garment tested on them. They do this in just one size (6, generally, I believe) and of course the keyword is model – which means they are likely to be tall and skinny and generally not too curvy. And that is the key problem for this issue. A not-so-curvy person doesn’t have a big difference in her waist vs. hip measurements; but most of us have a sizable increase from waist to hip. So when they take that fairly un-curvy pattern and then make it into other sizes (called “grading”), it doesn’t get curvier… it just gets proportionally wider. This is a mistake, if you ask me. (And everyone else who isn’t shaped like a tree trunk.)

What Can You Do About It?

WELL. Somehow we should all band together and demand that designers and clothing manufacturers start considering the bodies of actual people when they come up with these things. But given the likelihood of that happening, let’s talk practical solutions:

  1. Have them altered. Honestly, this is kind of your only option. You can learn how to do it yourself (it’s pretty easy) or you can have it done professionally. It should take someone who knows what they’re doing about an hour, and shouldn’t be terribly expensive. Ask your local tailor and then factor in the cost when you’re picking out your next pair.
  2. Custom jeans! Made from scratch to your measurements. Obviously, this is a more costly option… but it may be worth it, especially if your jeans get a lot of wear. Most mass-produced versions have stretch in them, even if they aren’t marketed that way, and the elastic wears out really fast, much faster than strong, sturdy denim. Perhaps you’ve noticed how they seem to get holes much faster than they did 15 years ago, before stretch denim existed? With a custom pair, you can request non-stretch denim, reinforcement in the areas that you personally wear through the fastest, and as a bonus, they will also be hemmed the right length.

Questions? Rants? Speak up in the comments!

THANK YOU!


Today we’d like to thank everyone who helped support our recent Indiegogo campaign to fund our new shop. Whether you gave us $5, $150, or simply shared the link with your friends, it all added up to $2,500 — which is AMAZING.

Crafty Broads Indiegogo Campaign

We’d especially like to thank the people who were generous enough to give their hard-earned cash to us. Fifty people contributed; and some of them chose the perk where we thank them publicly on this here blog. So, in no particular order, a special thanks goes out to:

Alyssa was the very first person to donate to our campaign, and I promised her I would think of a special perk. So here it is:
Alyssa is SHAVING HER HEAD to raise funds for children’s cancer research. That is a totally way better cause than our shop, and you can help her reach her fundraising goal of $1,500 by donating right here.

Sharon Savage
Sarah Ewing
Beatriz Ruiz
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…and the other 45 people who did not choose a public thank you as their perk. We are truly grateful to each and every one of you!

Stay tuned next week for some other perk-winnings — three of our backers opted to have their biggest pet peeve about mass-produced apparel discussed right here, so we’ll have posts explaining why these horrible things exist and what you can do about them. (Besides having us make all your clothes, obviously.)

We’ll also be updating you here with photos and progress on turning that empty storefront into a cozy home for Crafty Broads. Our priority projects are a privacy wall for the fitting area; better lighting so we can see what we’re doing; and a permanent closet solution to replace the rolling garment rack we have right now. If there’s cash left after that stuff, we’d love to get a nice big cutting table, additional storage for the office and workroom, and some sturdier tables for our sewing machines.

Oh, and if you’ve got any old wooden windows laying around? We’ve got the perfect spot for them.

Launch Our New Shop!

Hello Everyone!

If you’ve been keeping us with us on Facebook, you know that we have rented out a little storefront and are moving Crafty Broads out of our home and into a real shop! Very exciting!!

Well… we need your help! We have the space, but we are in need of equipment and furniture – such as work tables for our sewing machines, hanging racks for garments, office supplies, etc. So we set up an Indiegogo campaign to help launch the shop. We are offering some great perks to our contributors, and we hope we can count on you to support us with $25, $75, or more. If you don’t have cash to spare, please consider promoting our campaign to your friends or on your Facebook or Twitter account. You can find all the details here:

Launch the Crafty Broads Shop!

Crafty Broad Shop!

This is it – the Crafty Broads Shop!

Kinzie + Donnie’s Do-It-Together Wedding at The Art Theatre – Champaign, IL

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I first met Kinzie through A Practical Wedding and we became fast friends. I think I speak for both of us when I say I feel like we’ve been friends for decades already, even though that’s hardly the case. We have a lot in common, primarily a love of cooking and eating good food and belting show tunes at the top of our lungs in the car. When I met Donnie, it was easy to see they are a perfect match. I was truly honored to be part of their wedding day last May. (Yes, I am officially more than a year behind on blogging the work we have done…)

Kinzie and Donnie planned a wedding that was so very them: focused on their (delightful) families and friends, without neglecting artistic details. Let me show and tell some of my favorite parts!

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Since movies have played a key role in their relationship and they got married n a movie theater, they decided to embrace that theme – the ceremony began with a video they shot, starring themselves and their cats, which included the message to silence cell phones. They served popcorn in the lobby and made a movie poster for the feature film – their wedding – which was hung outside the entrance. The theater even announced their wedding with a custom marquee.

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They had one of the most touching ceremonies I’ve had the privilege to witness, officiated by a dear friend, with live music from another and a video reading of That Yucky Love Thing. The ceremony was slightly derailed when, overcome with emotion, Kinzie flung her arms around Donnie and kissed him before the prescribed time. In case you were wondering, this is the best kind of derailment a ceremony can take!

In what is a truly awesome feat, they fed nearly 200 people a delicious vegetarian meal prepared by… those delightful friends and family members I mentioned earlier. The crack catering team, headed by Kinzie’s Grandma Iris and Noo, a longtime friend and neighbor, put together salads, stews, and the most amazing guacamole I have ever tasted. Delicious soups were procured from their local Food Co-op. They easily rivaled the best caterers I have worked with, both on taste and teamwork. If only they were going into business, I would tell all my clients to hire them. =)

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They topped the dining tables with butcher paper, and left crayons and scissors so guests of all ages could create some artwork to leave behind for them. Simple centerpieces were made with farmers’ market flowers and empty wine bottles. The custom labels, designed by Donnie’s sister, feature an animated version of the two of them.

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For their cake, they served a homemade angel food cake – the same kind that Kinzie’s grandmother had at her wedding. The tablecloth beneath it was sewn by her great-grandmother. I really love it when couples choose to carry on traditions like this. Whether or not you adhere to the something-old-something-new thing, it is special to have bits of your family history with you as you mark the occasion.

Instead of a traditional guestbook, guests stamped a fingerprint and signed their names onto a tree (hand-painted by Kinzie!) to form leaves in shades of green. I have to say, this may be my favorite option in the current trend of not-your-parents’ guestbooks. I’m a big fan of something you can display prominently in your home to remind you of all the love and support your marriage has.

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They proved that a great iPod playlist can keep the dance floor rocking all night long – this crowd actually booed the last song, and did not want to leave!

And finally, they are just so in love with each other than you can’t help but be swept up in it when you’re around them.

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Kinzie, Donnie – I really mean it when I say I am so happy I was invited to your celebration, and I know you have many, many years of love and laughter ahead!!

VENDORS
Ceremony Venue: The Art Theater
Reception Venue: McKinley Foundation
Photography: Wasabi Photography
Soups: Common Ground Food Co-op
Everything else – food, decorations, flowers, music – was done by Kinzie, Donnie, and their incredible community of friends and family!

All photos were taken by Wasabi Photography and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cake Cutting

Cutting our (homemade) wedding cake – July 5, 201

Three years ago, we got married. It wasn’t legally binding, and if it had been, it would not have been recognized in the state where we live nor by the federal government. (But we ate cake anyway!)

Two weeks after that, we made it legal with a visit to the Cambridge, Massachusetts courthouse – where the first same-sex wedding in the United States took place in 2004. In Boston’s Public Garden, a real Justice of the Peace from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts certified our marriage. (And then we ate a swanky, delectable French dinner.)

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Getting legally married in Boston Public Garden.

Two years and four days ago, the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act went into effect, and we celebrated our first anniversary with an upgrade from legally unrelated people to members of a Civil Union.

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First Anniversary at the Pier

This year, we are celebrating our anniversary as federally-recognized spouses, thanks to the repeal of DOMA. Illinois is on the brink of becoming the 14th state to allow same-sex marriage (keep your fingers crossed this fall), and there are some cases making their way towards the Supreme Court that could result in marriage equality nationwide. That is a damn long way to come in three short years.

And we promise, when it happens, we will be throwing one kickass party.

For the time being, though, we’re eating Turkish breakfast, hitting the beach where we got married, grilling some burgers, and celebrating what we’ve got right now.

Third Anniversary at the Pier.

Third Anniversary at the Pier.

Crafty Broads goes to Europe!

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As you may be aware, we have been wanting to go on a real honeymoon since we got married almost three years ago, and we’ve had our eyes on Spain. And with airfare to Europe being so expensive, we didn’t to spend all that money (and time) on flights just to stay for the week or so we could afford to take off work. So we hatched a little plan to extend our honeymoon into a working vacation by coordinating some weddings in Europe while we were there. We put it out there on a couple blogs, crossed our fingers, and held out a vague hope that it might actually happen.

Well, we couldn’t possibly be more excited to announce that we will be coordinating Kim and Tomi’s wedding in Switzerland next summer!! The lovely house and breathtaking view pictured throughout this post is where the wedding will be held. And it will include a pig roast! Did we get lucky or what?

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We would love to stay and explore a bit longer, so if you are getting married anywhere in Europe* next year, we would be thrilled to come organize your wedding and celebrate with you! Without further ado, here are the specifics.

The Crafty Broads’ 2014 EUROPE TRAVEL SPECIAL:

  • No travel fee for airfare to Europe!*
  • Day-of-Coordination**, which seems to be known as Wedding Day Management in some parts of Europe. See below for full details.
  • Both Cindy and Julia to coordinate – in other words, two wedding planners for the price of one.
  • Unlimited hands-on help with last-minute details or anything else for the entire week leading up to the wedding, at no extra charge. We can help with arranging floral centerpieces, crafting decorations, minor clothing alterations, etc.
  • We are accepting bookings for August and September 2014 weddings, and will extend into July/October if we fill up those dates. Please book by September 30th, 2013 to take advantage of this offer.

Ok, sounds great, but how much will it really cost us?
We are giving you two options for pricing this deal:

Flat rate. $2500 (about $1875€) including all travel – to your city, around your city, lodging, and food.

Regular fee + local travel. $1250-$1500 (950€-1125€) coordination fee and you provide local transportation from the rail station and around your town, lodging, and food for us for the week. We are open to guest rooms and home cooking and whatever other low-cost travel options you can think of!

To get started, please email info AT craftybroads DOT com!

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*Europe is defined by us as the UK plus anywhere we can get on the Eurail Global pass: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (includes Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

**Day-of-Coordination (Wedding Day Management) includes:
Beginning when you book us, you will have unlimited access to us via phone, Skype, and email. About six weeks prior to the wedding, we will meet to discuss your celebration in extensive detail and create a wedding day timeline. After the meeting, we will become the main point of contact for each of your vendors (suppliers). We will review their contracts, confirm the details of their services, and ensure that they are up to speed on the wedding day timeline and all of your plans. We will also put together several handy organizational documents detailing the timeline, items needed for decor, contact information for pertinent parties, and an assortment of other things. We will be available for your rehearsal, if you have one, to guide you and your family members, wedding party, etc. through the ceremony. On your wedding day, we will take care of whatever needs to be done – typically this is setting out decorations, place cards, and the like; keeping everyone to the wedding day schedule, handing out final payments to your suppliers, assisting you and your guests with anything they might need, and cleaning everything up at the end of the night. We will come equipped with an emergency kit so we can handle any situation that may arise over the course of the day.

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Photos courtesy of http://trotte-iselisberg.ch