couturekeepsakes

Where Memories Are Made


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A Cinderella Wedding

One shoe really can change your life. Just ask Cinderella, or my friend, Lori. She will walk down the aisle with her Prince Charming later on today.

I made a silk flower bridal bouquet with lots of charms and sparkle befitting a princess. I also made a toss bouquet that complimented her bridal bouquet (with just a hint of sparkle on the stem). Lori provided all of the bling.

What to do for her groom? In keeping with the theme I just added a small carriage charm to his boutonniere.

My wish for them is to “Live Happily Ever After”.

 

*Questions on how to have a custom bouquet made for you? Please email me karen@couturekeepsakes.com

 

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Hanging with my Maid of Honor and Mom

This will be such a great time because of my relationship with the bride. Have you ever met someone and clicked right away? This happened with me & Stephanie. I can’t wait to get started and show little teasers here and there.
Stephanie is both beautiful inside and out. I think she will become endeared to all who work with her in this Free $30,000 wedding.

Free 2015 Wedding Giveaway

IMG_7429 Bride in pink | Maid of Honor Sarah

Wedding planning is such an emotional journey. There are high expectations and some times unforeseeable disappoints but all in all, it’s a time where memories are created. The Maid of Honor is usually along for most of these experiences and our “Free Winning Wedding Bride” was no different…she wanted her MOH to be a part of deciding how her bridal bouquet, hair piece and bridal flowers would be done.

As par of the Winning Wedding Package, Bride Stephanie Hall will be working with Karen Johnson, owner of Couture Keepsakes, do custom design her bridal bouquet. Although we can’t reveal the final decisions, we do want to share some of the highlights of the consultation.

When Couture Keepsakes conducts a meeting, they want to find out your likes, dislikes, favorite treasures, colors and a few personal traits. In doing this, owner Karen Johnson…

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$30,000 Free Wedding

On September 28th of last year Couture Keepsakes participated in a free wedding contest put on by Indy wedding Ideas. The couple was chosen at a bridal show back in February of 2014. Dozens of vendors offered their products and services to make this wedding a dream come true for the bride and groom.

Yellow & Grey Fabric Flowers

Grey & yellow fabric flowers with bits of sparkle in the centers.

I made Niki a fabric flower bouquet in yellow, grey, and white.

Niki's Bouquet

Niki’s custom fabric flower bouquet. Photo courtesy: Leigh Robison Photography

She wanted lots of sparkle, so I found some lovely rhinestone buttons for flower centers. Music is also a great love of Niki & Brandon. I must say, part of the joy of making a bouquet for a bride is searching for the things that convey her personality. I spend countless hours on the Internet,  fabric stores, and antique shops searching for things I think will work well. It’s like finding treasure when discovering a vendor who sells music-themed lace trim to put on the collar of a bouquet, or searching several antique shops when you uncover a sparkly vintage music treble clef for the stem.

 

A vintage rhinestone treble clef brooch for the stem of Niki’s bouquet.

A vintage rhinestone treble clef brooch for the stem of Niki's bouquet.

A vintage rhinestone treble clef brooch for the stem of Niki’s bouquet.

 


We all began our journey with Niki and Brandon shortly after they were announced the winners of Indy Wedding Ideas’ Free $30,000 Wedding. The date was set for March of 2015. Meetings were held. Details worked out. We were on our way to putting it all together when life threw the couple a happy curve ball. They were expecting! Niki came to find out that not only was a bundle of joy on its way, but much sooner than anyone could imagine!

Beautiful image of Niki with her bouquet. Photo courtesy: Leigh Robison Photography

Beautiful image of Niki with her bouquet.
Photo courtesy: Leigh Robison Photography

 

I love the wedding professionals here in Indy. By working together Indy Wedding Ideas was able to  shave 6 months off of the original date and give Niki & Brandon a beautiful wedding day. I’m proud of everyone who worked together during the peak of wedding season to pull this all together. Can you just imagine the logistics of  20 plus vendors trying to find a weekend day (during wedding season) for everyone to come together?

Congratulations Niki & Brandon. It’s done. It was beautiful. We can all now breathe a sigh of relief.

The blended Jones family. Photo courtesy: Leigh Robison Photography

The blended Jones family.
Photo courtesy: Leigh Robison Photography

Special thanks to Leigh Robison Photography for sharing some of her beautiful images.

 

 


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Bragging Rights

So exciting

So exciting

I won! I won! I won!!!!! Indy Wedding Ideas‘ “Best of Award” in the florist category. I know you all probably get tired of small businesses asking you to vote for them, whether it be The A list, Best Small Business Award, Best Florist, Best Caterer, blah….blah…..blah! But let me tell you that those of us who don’t have a huge budget to use for advertising this is a great way to show clients that we really do know what we are doing. To get a badge to put up on your website and social media is akin to someone saying “You can trust couturekeepsakes to do a good job. They can be trusted.”

Not only did I get a badge for my website, I also got this sweet little trophy.

One thrilled girl right here showing off her trophy.

One thrilled girl right here showing off her trophy.

My kids and husband are sick of me. I feel the need to show them again and again and again. What can I say? I am excited! I feel like I’ve won an academy award among Indianapolis wedding professionals.

 

 


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Mom’s Dress Part 3, The Big Reveal

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Photo courtesy of Photography by Sarah Crail

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Photography courtesy of Photography by Sarah Crail

Thank goodness for other kindhearted  wedding pros. I had this idea for the big reveal after I was done making a fabric bridal bouquet. My goal was to capture “that moment”, you know, the one that made all of the effort and contemplation worth all of the hours of worrying. Worrying if I lived up to what I said I could do for the bride.

I met Sarah Crail, Photography by Sarah Crail at an Indy Wedding Ideas networking meeting. I asked her if she would be interested in photographing the big reveal. She didn’t hesitate. She told me it would be an honor. What a wise decision on my part to have asked this talented photographer. You’ll see why in a moment.

God bless Katie. I knew it was going to be somewhat emotional opening the box that contained her bridal bouquet. Emotional because I transformed her mom’s wedding dress into what she would be carrying down the aisle. Emotional because her mom is no longer physically here, but she would be here in spirit and that was a big deal to all of us who participated it this adventure. Katie said yes to the photo shoot. She brought her mom’s sister with her, Aunt Laura.

Right now I am holding my breath praying I got this right

Right now I am holding my breath praying I got this right. Photo courtesy of Photography by Sarah Crail

The big moment

The big moment! Photo courtesy of Photography by Sarah Crail

It was a pretty blustery day as Pooh would say. We had planned to meet up at a local park. Preferably one with flowers, but it was just too cold & rainy. Here comes Sarah to the rescue. She contacted a local B&B, Four Sisters Inn and asked the owner if we could use the space for a couple of hours. The owner so graciously agreed. What a perfect setting! Surrounded by vintage items in a beautiful old house. The place of dreams for me.

Her eyes say it all. This right here makes it all worthwhile.

Her eyes say it all. THIS right here makes it all worthwhile. Photo courtesy of Photography by Sarah Crail

In case you were wondering, the flowers in the bouquet and boutonnieres were entirely made from her mom’s wedding dress. We also made pendants for the girls in the bridal party using lace, organza and appliques from the dress. All were beautifully sentimental, but I just had to sneak a little bit of fun into the ring bearers boutonniere.IMG_2867

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I’ve sprinkled some pictures here and there throughout this blog entry. My hope is that others will see what can be done with the old wedding dress that is hanging in the closet. If you are not going to wear it, but it has great sentimental value why not turn it into the piece that you will carry down the aisle? What better way to represent your loved one?

For the girls in the bridal party

Sweet gifts for the girls in the bridal party. Photo courtesy of Photography by Sarah

Something special for Aunt Laura

Something special for Aunt Laura

Many, many thanks to Katie who shared something so very personal with me. It was an honor and great pleasure to make this bouquet for you. I believe wholeheartedly that your mom was smiling down on you and was pleased with your sweet gesture.

And many thanks to Sarah Crail for sharing her time, talent & ingenuity with setting up this wonderful experience.

Four Sisters Inn, you made it a much more comfortable shoot. Your place is absolutely gorgeous! We enjoyed checking out all of the wonderful vintage items you have in the home. It made for a perfect backdrop. We are forever grateful.

A tribute to mom

I LOVE this image taken by Photography by Sarah Crail

Lovely shot of the stem & Katie's engagement ring.

Lovely shot of the bouquet stem and Katie’s engagement ring. Photo courtesy of Photography by Sarah Crail


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Mom’s Wedding Dress Part 2

Becky's Dress

Becky’s Dress

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 I’ve finished taking apart the dress that belonged to Katie’s mom. A true labor of love that took about 3hrs total to deconstruct, using a handy little seam ripper and lots of determination. What I ended up with was yards and yards of material, lace, and appliques.

Bits of loveliness

Bits of loveliness

 

Yards & Yards of Appliques

Yards & Yards of Appliques

Yards of material that will make up fabric flowers

Yards of material that will make up fabric flowers

I was so excited to start on the fabric flowers. First I had to iron the under slip and cut  into more manageable pieces. These would be the base of most of the flowers. Then add the layers of chiffon and lace for a softer effect. I really like the look and feel of different types of materials together. It adds so much more depth to the finished product.

These are a few of the 25-30 fabric flowers that will go into making Katie’s bridal bouquet. I popped a few pieces of Grandma’s jewelry into the centers and this made the sweetest little flowers. I made sure to send all pictures to Katie first and let her know that I would be sharing sneak peeks through social media and my blog. I didn’t want her caught off guard this time. I’m afraid the last time I posted about plans for her mom’s dress I sent the published blog to her email and she read it at work. Yikes! Not a good idea to get emotional at the office.

We only need about 27 more until the bouquet is complete.

We only need about 27 more until the bouquet is complete.

It’s going to be quite lovely when it is finished. I need to figure out how to fit as much of her mom and grandmother’s jewelry into the bouquet without it being “too much” and weighing in at 10 pounds. I am up for the challenge (insert wink). Pictures will be posted here and there, but the big reveal won’t come until after Katie’s October wedding. Feel free to follow along on my Facebook business page, Couture Keepsakes, if you want updated more often.

 

 

Grandma's beautiful brooch in the center of the 1st flower made for Katie's bouquet

Grandma’s beautiful brooch in the center of the 1st flower made for Katie’s bouquet


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Mom’s Wedding Dress

I’m amazed and excited every time I meet with a bride 2 b and she brings family items to share in a bridal order. I love listening to the stories behind each piece while I look at her face as she reminisces. I’m amazed because she trusts me to take care of her precious items and to make something that will capture the emotion she feels for her loved one(s).

Some of Grandma's jewels

Some of Grandma’s jewels

 

I met with Katie a couple of days ago. We had been emailing each other over the course of a few weeks. We even met up one time to discuss possibilities. I was late. By an hour! I take complete responsibility for that. I misunderstood and had the wrong time written down. Luckily for me Katie stuck around and waited for me. We sat down in a Starbucks discussing plans for her wedding. She told me about her mom passing away and how she had her wedding dress, but it was dated and she wasn’t going to wear it. I suggested maybe incorporating her mom’s dress somehow in her bridal bouquet. We chatted about her fiance and how his name, Maco was pronounced like taco, the colors she chose, the location, her style of dress, etc….We parted, both with ideas floating in our heads on how to pull her bouquet together and represent her mother well.

These are just some of the things going into Katie's bouquet

These are just some of the things going into Katie’s bouquet

This definitely has to make it into the bouquet

This definitely has to make it into the bouquet

 

I couldn’t have planned our last meeting any better, not only did Katie have her mom’s jewelry, she had grandma’s jewelry as well. What fun to look through it all deciding on what pieces definitely have to go into the bouquet and those we will put in if space allows. But the crowning moment was when she handed over her mom’s dress. Certainly dated, but still quite pretty. We will make fabric flowers for Katie’s bouquet, the groom’s boutonniere, and of course the father of the bride boutonniere. Not to worry the dress will not be chopped up. I promise. I have consulted a dear friend of mine, who happens to be an amazing seamstress and together we will deconstruct the dress so that I can make her flowers and Katie will be able to have several pieces of useable material left over in case she ever has something else made down the line. Who knows, perhaps a baby blanket?

So excited to peek inside!

So excited to peek inside!

Mom's dress

Mom’s dress

 

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Pretty veil

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Pretty details

Working on a bridal order is an intimate experience for me. My brides will never be just a number. They trust me with their family items. They let me in just a little bit to share in stories and memories. I picture the looks on their faces when they were telling their stories as I work on their bouquets. I want to make something that, I hope, creates a strong emotion. There is nothing better for me than making a bride cry……..happy tears of course!

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Loving the sleeves