Where Memories Are Made

Leave a comment

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


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Feel free to check out my other work at Continue reading

Leave a comment

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…

View original post 76 more words

Leave a comment

$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.



Leave a comment

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.



1 Comment

Mom’s Dress Part 3, The Big Reveal


Photo courtesy of Photography by Sarah Crail


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


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


Mom’s Wedding Dress Part 2

Becky's Dress

Becky’s Dress


 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


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



Pretty veil


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!


Loving the sleeves


Leave a comment

Technically Challenged

       I took a Google class a few weeks ago. I listened and tried to apply what I have learned even though my head was absolutely spinning with so much information. As someone who grew up way before personal computers were in everyone’s home, this part of business has been challenging to say the least.



25th Wedding Anniversary Boutonniere


Google Plus, Google Voice, Google Drive and finally a Google business email. Grrrrrrrr…..Google business email has me about ready to set my hair on fire and run through the streets screaming. I cannot get it to work correctly. It bounces back to me every time. It will send out just not receive. It’s probably an easy fix to someone who knows what they are doing. Most likely someone who did not know the pleasure of a computer taking up a whole room. That’s right kiddos, there was a time when computers were huge and took up an entire room (I probably just dated myself more than I wanted to).


     How in the world do companies expect people like me to make use of their products when they are not “user/no clue about technology/I’m too old to learn new” friendly? Some of you are probably snickering right now because it’s most likely a simple thing to fix the flipping email issue that I have. Something about “MX Files” and my domain…..blah…blah…blah! I am frustrated and clueless. Ask me to make a bouquet, boutonniere, or hair piece I’ve got you covered. Ask me to fix computer/Internet issues I’m going to look at you like you have a big booger hanging from your nose.


Fabric Flower Boutonniere


Guess it’s time to bite the bullet and call Google. Hopefully it will be someone who actually speaks English as their first language who answers the phone, or I could swallow my pride and beg one of my industry friends to help and hope I don’t hear their snickering, or see them shaking their head as they push a couple of buttons and get me up and running. It takes a village, city, or maybe the world of Google to raise this business.


Sea Shells & Turquoise Corsage

Leave a comment

Task Master of Fly by the Seat of your Pants

I admit that I am a bit of both a task master and a fly by the seat of your pants kind of girl. I’m the type to get all of my tax info together in January, but wait until April 14th to file! On the other hand, when I am working on a bridal order I will start gathering and putting together as soon as I talk to a bride and get an idea in which direction she is headed. Often times that’s a mistake because by the time we meet for our consultation she has changed her mind. Sigh…….wish I could tame both ends of my tendencies.

Johanna Goodyear photograph

Photo by Johanna Goodyear…..Dreamstime Stock Photo


I’ve tried making lists. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than crossing something off of my list. But, and it’s a big but too….I then have dozens of lists all over the house. I leave them here and there just so I can feel accomplished when finally putting a slash through that big, daunting chore. Doesn’t translate to a neat and tidy house though.

Julie Bush photograph

Photo by Julie Bush…..Dreamstime stock photo


However, I am obsessive about making bouquets and hair pieces. I see beautiful buttons, or fabrics and I am done for! What if someone were to want a navy, satin fabric bouquet with sparkly rhinestone buttons? Doesn’t matter that a bride hasn’t ordered it yet. I’ve heard or imagined that one will contact me very soon with such a vision. This explains the dozens upon dozens of yards of material I have stored in my 5’x7′ work area. It also explains the hundreds and hundreds of beautiful buttons I have stored away as well, or finished projects with no buyer.


     “Etsy!” “Ebay!” That’s what my brain screams at me when I think of all of the finished items taking up space, but then the other part…..the wait till the 14th to complete your taxes says, “I’ll do that tomorrow”. Grrrrrrrrrrrr……see what I mean? I am like the Linkin Park song, Given Up….”I am my own worst enemy…”


Stepping Outside your Comfort Zone

Networking, something you embrace with gusto, or something you absolutely dread? Personally I love it….I really do.  There are times when I feel out of place if I do not see a familiar face, but most of the time I meet a couple of friendly people who genuinely seem interested in what I do.


I belong to two networking groups here in Indianapolis, Indy Wedding Ideas and Perfect Wedding Guide. Both are wonderful, both offer different aspects of networking.

This is why you hire a professional to get the good shots. Sorry you can't really see the beautiful stained glass at Crowne Plaza Historic Union Station

This is why you hire a professional to get the good shots. Sorry you can’t really see the beautiful stained glass at Crowne Plaza Historic Union Station

This is a BEAUTIFUL venue with stained glass throughout.

This is a BEAUTIFUL venue with stained glass throughout.


When I first entered the world of  wedding pros I wasn’t sure what to do, or how to approach marketing my products. Luckily I am a Facebook addict and I came across Indy Wedding Ideas. I found out that there is a monthly networking meeting available the 4th Wednesday of every month. I was nervous as all get out taking that first step. What would these people think of me? Would they take me serious?  Right away I was greeted with a smile and an offer to sit at a table with  a photographer, DJ, and a Mary Kay consultant. They did take me serious. They were interested in what I did. They didn’t make fun that I only had a Vistaprint website at the time, or that I didn’t know what a tagline was.


Since that time of stepping out of my comfort zone I have joined another networking group, attended numerous open houses, eaten at venues that I will probably never be able to afford, gotten invaluable business advice, participated in photo shoots (goodness, that has made my respect for photographers skyrocket. I totally view them as artists), and made some great friends. And by friends, I mean true “Let’s hang out at your house,  go out to dinner, spend a girl’s day out” kind of friends.

Grins and Giggles photo

Wonderful/Goofy friends that I have made during my networking meetings.


My advice….step out, embrace that you are nervous and may feel out of place but realize that your best business connection/mentor/best friend might be right under your nose. Oh & as a side note: you get to eat awesome food at some pretty terrific venues.

Lettuce salad Crowne Plaza

Delicious lettuce salad served at the Perfect Wedding Guide networking meeting