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


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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

Bits and Bobbles

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     Do you ever connect with a stranger right away? Feel like you have known them for more than just a few minutes? Sometimes this happens with me and my brides. I call them my brides because that’s how I affectionately feel about them while we are working together.

     Chasity and I had been chatting back and forth by email. She found me through an online bridal source, . We met once at Panera, where I showed her different styles of bridal bouquets that I can make. We chatted about her family, her groom( Shane), her fur baby (Zeke), her job, and the wedding. She showed me pictures of the venue and her gorgeous wedding gown. I also got to meet her friend, Kristi. It was one of those meetings where you connect and feel like you’ve known each other for a long while. We laughed, joked, and before I realized it almost 2 hours had gone by! That’s when you know it’s going to be a good fit.

     Last night we met again and I was handed lots of little treasures; buttons, a Japanese coin, a best friend’s ring, brooches, a pearl necklace, and a few other items.  All have meaning. All are treasured. Everyone jumped right in with offerings for her button bouquet. Grandmas, mom, future mother in law, and old friends just to name a few. What fun, what heartbreak, to hear of how some of these bits were acquired. Unfortunately some of the people these items represent are no longer with us. Chasity wanted to make sure Grandma and Melissa were well represented. I’m not afraid to admit I teared up once or twice hearing her stories of loss, but what a great tribute to these well-loved women. I am excited to incorporate most, if not all these bits in her bouquet.

     Chasity is having a bit of a non traditional wedding. She has some fantastic ideas to make the day one her guests will not likely forget. I  won’t share much about her plans (trust me, they are unique!) until after her September wedding. Hopefully she will send me pictures to share. Until then, I will show you how her bouquet is coming together over the next few weeks. Here is a picture of the lovelies I get to work with.

Treasured bits

Treasured bits

Just the Right Touch

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     My favorite part of making a keepsake item is when a bride brings to me a piece of jewelry or fabric that she wants added to her bouquet. I recently finished an order for Katie. Katie is the sweetest young lady and I was touched by all of the different things she wanted to add to her bridal order.

   The first thing given to me was her dad’s newborn necklace. Yep, the very necklace he wore home from the hospital. I couldn’t get over how tiny it was, the beads spelling out her maiden name of Turk. After many discussions we decided that it should hold a place of honor wrapped around the top of her flower stems. Seems a very fitting place to be, don’t you think?

    Next came great grandma’s tiara. It was old and quite fragile, but still beautiful. It was determined that great grandma herself had probably made it. Since it was weak in a few places and was coming apart I decided to re-wire some of the tiny pearl beads. We would have them weave in and out of Katie’s bouquet. There were plenty of pearls left over to save for her sister, Miranda when her time comes.

     There were several charms that contained pictures of Katie when she was a tiny baby and others when she was a toddler. Those went into two grandmother’s corsages, mom’s corsage and dad’s boutonniere. Many brooches were used to personalize the wedding bouquet and the Maid of Honors bouquet, as well as her hairpiece.

     All in all this was the most sentimental bridal order I have made to date. It was my absolute pleasure to share in the stories behind each and every piece. My hope is that there are many happy tears on Katie’s special day and a lifetime of happiness between her and her new husband.

Just the right touch

Daddy’s newborn necklace