couturekeepsakes

Where Memories Are Made


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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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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