Project Wedding: A Pantone-themed Bridal Shower

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All signage for the event was Pantone-themed

With spring — and love — in the air, it is officially the start of wedding season! As I slowly go through my photos from last year, I realize I never really shared the fab Pantone-themed bridal shower that my bridesmaids put together for me. This is a theme I really wanted to execute and knowing me, I know I wanted to have a hand in at least passing along some must-haves and working on a few DIYs.

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DIY large-scale poster backdrop

A big piece of the shower decor that I worked on was the Pantone backdrop for the dessert table. I designed and put it together on Adobe Illustrator and then printed off using Adobe Acrobat Reader with the tiling option. You can see the instructions for printing a poster at home here. This made it super affordable and easy to have a big ‘wow-factor’ backdrop without the price tag.

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Setup of the DIY perfume bar

There was a DIY perfume bar where guests could make their own little rollerball perfumes and mix their own scents. This was as simple as setting up some essential oils, a carrier oil and having the bottles and droppers ready. The guest also got a chance to name their scents by making a small label for themselves. This small activity was easy to setup and a great way to keep guests entertained. If you would like a post about this setup, just comment below!

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Pantone-themed favours and bridal shower games!

Other small details of this event were little drink tags using circle-punched paint chips and adding a Pantone-style code to each one.  Paint chips were also used to create the banner and as a photo mat for another game. It’s all about aesthetics! The best part of this was that it was an easy DIY banner with free paint chips.

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Watercolor paint guestbook

Aside from the obvious—and fun—bridal shower games, there were lots of smaller details with things such as the Pantone chip cookies and marshmallow pops, the water colour paint swatch guestbook, Pantone chip style candle favours and amazing little details in the purple being used across the board. One of my favourite things is to use wrapping paper as table runners!

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Marquee light signage for decor

I loved every bit of my Pantone-theme bridal shower. It was so exciting to see all the small details (it really is in all the details!) and the great work my girls put into it. I love how it all came together. For more inspiration and photos for bridal shower ideas, take a look below. For more wedding ideas and wedding DIYs, take a look at my Project Wedding page here.

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Pantone-themed sugar cookies

Comment on a theme you might want to see in the future. Follow me online for more on either Instagram or Facebook!

P.S. These photos are gathers from my guests so the lighting may not be consistent on all of them!

 

Project Wedding: Weddingbells Feature – A Romantic Cross-Cultural Wedding

A couple of months ago I shared on my Instagram page that I had been featured in Weddingbells Magazine. I am extremely excited to say that the full details and lots of photos by my fab photographer, Belinda Burtt are now featured on their website. A list of my amazing vendors can be found there too!

I also thought I would share the wedding highlights video below as well. Fortress Studios did one heck of a job on it!

Enjoy and be sure to ask anything below!

 

#ProjectWedding – Overview

I have finally got around to posting some photos from my wedding on the blog! I know I shared my journey throughout the year but there is a lot of I have not shared – including these photos!

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Henna Party Stage Decor

My wedding was a total of four days. Yes, a lot but its sort of the norm in my culture. The first night was the henna party while the second was the day of the ceremony – a brunch and daytime event.  After this, I had two receptions – one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Let’s just say I am glad I had some time off before heading back to work!

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Overlooking the First Day Nikkah Reception Stage with head Table in the foreground

The reason for two wedding receptions? Typically we have the first with a majority of the bride’s guests while the second is with mainly the groom’s guests. At times, these events can be merged into one but they can become really big!

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Second day Walima Stage Decor

Here’s a teaser of a mix of photos for you to enjoy. Comment below with any questions you may have and I will keep that in mind while I organize more photos for upcoming posts. These posts will be focused on each event’s details and how to save money when planning for a big wedding.

Project Wedding: Beauty for your big day(s)

Ever think of all the days of celebration prior to your actual wedding day? In my culture, we have at least three days of events min. In my particular case, I’ve got a total of five, which does not include the two engagement parties I had last year. It can all get a little exhausting leading up to it, but once those days are here, they are usually a blast!

Aside from the event logistics (think: catering, venue, music, guest list, decor… I could go on), what you’re wearing, your hair and makeup are also an added cost and another thing to think about. The easiest thing I’ve found is to opt for a sock bun if you’re going for that easy but clean, effortlessly neat look. That was my go-to hairstyle for party #2 last year because it was the easiest hair style for an engagement party that I was planning and setting up as well. A second go-to style is always just leaving it out straight or curling it with a really good curling wand. I went with my trusty 1.5″ barrel wand because it gives me the biggest curls in the fastest time. 
As for makeup, there are a lot of options but these too start dwindling down when you’re considering budget and time. My go-to is always to hit up a Sephora location for one of their make overs  – just be sure to book in advance because the slots get filled up pretty quickly! A great thing about going there is that you get a full make over and walk away with products too! Just spend the min. $50 and you’re good! Lots of other brands such as MAC Shoppers Drug Mart and the beauty counters at The Bay all have similar programs. It’s a win-win in my opinion. 
Another great option is to watch your favourites looks on YouTube and get a swing of it on your own using drugstore cosmetics brands. With all the smaller wedding events, this might be a great route to go with for saving money on wedding makeup. I recently tried some products from Revlon that I wouldn’t normally pick up and really liked the results. I absolutely love their illuminator which gives the perfect bridal glow to any look. Another fab way to add drama to any look is obviously with beautiful dramatic lashes. Alhamdulillah, I have pretty long lashes, so I like using Revlon’s new Dramatic Definition Mascara as well as the Revlon Ultra Volume Mascara because it’s perfect for women who have long lashes but just want to add a little of drama. If your lashes are shorter, it’s great to use a lengthening mascara such as the Revlon Super Length Mascara and get those babies looking fly! Lastly, I would recommend a lip stain if you’re like me and prefer lip balms instead of lipsticks. I would rather stick on a stain and top it off with some Vaseline instead of trying to maintain a lipstick all day long! I love the Colorstay Moisture Stains because you don’t need to do that two-step process, no second coat on top and very moisturizing and lightweight! they are a low maintenance lip product that’s easy to use for long hours and would be a great way to topcoat your wedding day lipstick without getting dry lips! Really, it’s an easy makeup routine for a low maintenance bride! 

 

I’ve shared some of my fave products and looks to use them for below. Let me know your take on doing your own makeup for the smaller events in your wedding. I’d love to know! 
Here are some videos from my favourite YouTube makeup channels for easy bridal looks, bridal looks with hijab and without and bridal looks for Indian and Pakistani brides as well!
Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Products for this post were provided by Revlon Canada. Opinions are my own. 

Project Wedding: Budgeting

When I said yes, got over the excitement and starting wedding planning, the first thing I put my foot down on was my budget. The best way to budget for your wedding is to be realistic and only use the money you know you have, not what you’re expecting in gifts. By ‘money you have’, I also mean money you would be expecting in income if you’re at a steady job. 

Always weigh the options of what is something you want vs. something you need. Remember that you will have to deal with a lot of compromise with parents, your partner, their family and most of all, yourself. Compromising with yourself is the hardest thing to do. There are a lot of things you want to have but you can’t have it all – it will always come down to making the decision based on your budget. You want to establish what the full budget of your event should be. 

I decided on this by asking my friends what they spent on their weddings and based my numbers on that as well as what I actually wanted to put as a hard and soft number. The hard number was my maximum and the soft is what the ideal cost would be if I could find the best deals. I started with listing down everything I needed to have while doing the research on costs. I did my research well in advance, called in venues, caterers, decorators etc. to get quotes from places I wanted to consider and copied over the average cost for those line items. I followed that with everything I wanted Make sure you put all the line items – every single one. Put the items you think you might want as well so you can have one large final number of what your cost will be. 

After all this, keep a 10% contingency for anything that might happen last minute and then remove all the things you want but can’t have. This is where it gets hard. You want to make sure you choose what needs trump others and run that list by your bridesmaids and BFFs to make sure you make the best decisions. 


As you pay your deposits, keep track under a second column of the amount that is paid, save your invoices to have a record and on the day of the wedding or after the wedding, when the rest of the money has to be paid off, you will be on track, not over budget and have your totals balance. 

I also saved money by DIY-ing a lot of things. There are some things that I have decided to just buy instead of make because the time it takes to make and the cost of purchasing tools and materials. This is the biggest advice that I can give from my end. Make sure to take the time to decide if it is cheaper to DIY something or to buy it. Compare against one another to make the best decisions – remember that your own time does not cost you anything but if you don’t have time, it does take a toll on you.

What are some other ways to keep track of your budget during your wedding planning process? I would love to know and use some tips from you guys!

Want to keep up with my wedding DIY projects? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram and like my Facebook page too!


Project Wedding: Taking it Easy

Planning a wedding takes a toll on you. Even if you ‘don’t really care’, it is still something that you are thinking about all the time.
With so much going on in my life with work, making time for my friends and family, blogging, planning a wedding a preparing to move out, I need to find time for myself! 
I love having time to myself, just me and no one else. Even if this means I’m eating out of a family-sized chips bag watching Netflix off my phone in my bed – it’s me time, and I wish I got more of it! And although I love having lazy days, I like keeping busy with something. One thing I found that really helps is having a DIY Spa Day for yourself. 
Planning out a fun in-house Spa Day is great and really cost-effective! Living in Toronto, you can end up paying a pretty penny for spa services and when you’re also managing to save for your new home, wedding and social life, it isn’t easy to justify blowing a few hundred bucks on a spa treatment. This means that the next best alternative is to save money on going to the spa is to do what you can, yourself! 
Although doing it your self means you can save money, it’s easy to end up spending a lot more than you would think. Just remember that when you’re buying things to use on yourself, it’s likely you will use it multiple times, not just once. Because of this, invest in good product that is not going to ruin your skin or be too much work to use.
My favorite routine for a spa day starts off by choosing a day you will home alone. This will mean you don’t have to rush with anything or get annoying by other people’s noise. Sleep in later than usual but not too late as that can make you even lazier. If you can, check into a hotel. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, use deal sites such as hotels.com to find a price that works within your budget. You would be surprised how cheap you can get rooms if you do the right research – good rooms too!
Use the time you’ve put aside for this day to really take care of your skin and pay some attention to it. When having your own DIY Spa Day, get a good body exfoliator, body wash and moisturizer. I love using my Clarisonic to really get into the pores and feel clean! 
Go the full 10 yards and invest in a hair mask, leave-in conditioner and follow up with a shampoo and a good all-natural Argan oil for lasting effects. 
Buy yourself some all-natural face masks – I love the ones you can get from Lush. To remove the mask, use a face towel soaked in warm water and wipe the mask away. This makes it much easier than trying to wash it away. I usually use a Bioré Strip once I remove the mask, followed by a good toner and moisturizer to finish off – I like using the 100% Pure Argan Oil Light by Josie Maran.  
Lastly, grab your favourite book or pull up your latest Netflix binge and get cozy with a coffee, tea or soup!

Project Wedding: Digital Wedding Stationery – Top Tips

When it comes to anything with paper, inks, printing, designing – you know I am in. I will be making my own wedding invitations this winter and will be doing some DIY letterpress invitations to be exact and I am so excited!

The one thing I am struggling with is the amount of invitations that I have had the need to make and send out since I got engaged. I had one for my engagement announcement, another for the party, I will need one for the save the dates and lastly, one for my bridal shower and this is all aside from the actual wedding invitation. How will I manage to make all of these? Go Digital!

I decided to go digital with a few because for some events, you can get away with that. This included my original announcement, the engagement party invitation as well as my save the dates (haven’t sent them out yet!). These were easy to create using Photoshop and some online software. The thing you want to make sure with anything you send out is that it still represents you. Digital save the dates don’t have to be boring and if you look below, I will prove it to you!

Keep these tips for digital wedding invitations in mind:

  • Test our your emails to with your bridesmaids and wedding party
  • Upload the image into the body of the message and make sure you do this on the computer you uploaded it from – don’t save a draft and send it from elsewhere! I made a big mistake of saving a draft from my home computer and sending it from another computer. It still showed the image the email body when in draft mode but ended up sending a blank email to everyone because there was no actual file on the second computer of the image. 
  • BCC everyone so that you can send it all in one shot while CCing your partner.  This makes it personalized and sent from both people while keeping your contact list private.
  • Use a good subject line. Most of my friends don’t get emails from me so I wanted to make sure the subject line did not look like spam. For a subject line for Save The Dates make sure you put the couples or your name along with what the email is for so that it doesn’t seem like spam. For Example: “Tasneem’s Bridal Shower”. This is easily recognizable and those who are invited will know this is real because they will already know their friend is getting married. 
  • Lastly, keep it fun and don’t stress over it! If you love paper like me, print off a few copies and give them out to your closest friends for memorabilia or send it via iMessage or Whatsapp to your group chats if that’s easier! 
Here are some I created for my announcement and party:

Project Wedding: Budgeting for weddings as the bridal party

Both asking your closest friends to be a part of your wedding party and accepting the proposal from a friend when it’s their turn in the hot seat is really exciting. When I am in a wedding party I get really pumped with ideas, projects, hearing all about the details, how it happened and just generally being excited for my friend. The flip-side of this is the financial commitment that comes along with accepting the position.

As a bridesmaid or maid of honour, there are tasks you have to fulfil, dresses, jewellery and shoes you have to buy, parties you have to financial contribute to and trips you have to make out for celebrations. These things all seem small but can very quickly and easily add up. It’s always good to keep this in mind when accepting the role and let your friend know of a financial situation if there is one, as quickly as possible. This will be a big help to them and let them know that you’re not just skipping out on things, rather you are unable to attend or may need a different dress due to this.

According to a TD survey released this past summer, one in five people attending weddings this year say they are not well prepared for the associated costs and expect them to be a considerable drain on their household budget.

As a bride, I am really trying hard to ensure I make being a bridesmaid the easiest process for my wedding party. I made sure to consult them on a cost for their dresses and got the wedding clothes made while shopping in Pakistan. This was a pretty great way to get the best bang for their buck and also help hem spread out the spending. The dresses were ready by the first week of November and I took half the amount of their budget before I left so that I could put that towards the purchase and also have them spend money gradually. This way, although they will end up spending the same amount of money they would have done in the past for other weddings, they are able to spread it across a span of a few months to help alleviate the costs that can funnel down from weddings. 
TD Canada Trust has shared some useful stats that can give you a little bit of perspective when it comes to planning for the financial commitment of being part of a wedding party or simply being invited to a summer full of weddings

  • TD survey shows being in a wedding party may cost more than you expect
  • TD advises how to stay in love with your budget, even with wedding-related expenses 

  • Have any advice to share when it comes to spending while in a wedding party? I would love to hear it! Alternately, I would love to hear some horror stories you ay have had during your time in a wedding party!

    Blog post: Social Media and your wedding day

    With social media playing such a big role in everyone’s life, its inevitable to sneak it’s way into every event in your wedding. Now I think there are two types of people when it comes to social media and hashtags for a wedding. First, there are people who don’t care or prefer nothing to even be online and there is nothing wrong with that, but I fall in the other category – I want everyone to share away!

    As a professional communicator who works within the social media realm, I know I will have my wedding online and on social media because that’s just what I do! I have already created a hashtag, shared it with my friends at our engagement party with signage, tacked it along all my social media plans related to my wedding and will also have it on signage at the wedding reception and on my wedding invitations. I have also downloaded the WedPics app and created a profile under the same hashtag (#TKap2016). The app is great – it lets your guests upload all their photos from the wedding so that the couple can download them all for their own memories. It also means it will not flood their own social media platforms with every single photo.

    A friend of mine had used this app this past summer and created a game for her guests to make sure they took photos of specific things during the event including photos of the bride speaking with her mom, photos with her bridesmaids, a photo of the couple laughing etc. This made it easy to get the guests to get onboard with actually uploading photos that the couple could cherish from their wedding day, from their point of view while also giving the guests something fun to do.

    I also love the idea of having creative signage with he hashtag displayed. They can be on menu cards, wedding invitations, chalkboards etc.  I’ve shared a photo of the sign I made and browsed Pinterest to share some of the ones I liked best.

    Let know what you think!

    Project Wedding: One Vase, Five ways

    I am back with another! A few weeks ago, I took the main stage at the Nikah Convention to share some fun ways to spruce up a regular old cylinder vase. I decided to make five versions of the same vase for the show but ended up with six!
    These are some fun and easy ways to get creative and make dollar store vases look more expensive.
    You can use these for showers or even wedding centrepieces for cheap. All it takes is some creativity and a few extra materials that will go a long way. Take a look at the photos below for some fun ideas. 
    I have added photos, instructions and materials needed for each kind of DIY vase at the end of the post.
    Let me know what you think and pin away to keep them handy for your next event! Get more great ideas for DIY projects on my Pinterest boards. 
    Follow me on Instagram for more fun DIY projects and on Facebook to stay in the loop! 
    Enjoy!
    For instructions

    Instructions for DIY centrepiece vases:

    • Glittered Romance. This is a very romantic vase. I simply used some Mod Podge and fine glitter from Michael’s along with a cut piece of tulle to put this look together. I used a small dome light or faux candle and topped it with the tulle for a soft effect. You can also use battery operated string lights. This vase is filled with faux ranunculus (left over flowers from the floral crown DIY) and a paper flower made from an old book. 
    • Teal + Gold. I thought this looked very Beachy/Grecian when I  finished working on it. This was quite simple but does require a longer drying time. I used a satin finish acrylic pain with a gold leafing paint for the stripe. I added another teal strip on the top to give the gol
    • Au Natural.This is a very easy, simple and natural look. If you are in a cinch, simply use the leaves (the bigger, the better) from the flowers you will be using, to line the inside of the vase up until you reach the water line. Do not let the water touch it or else the leaves will get soggy and change the colour of the water. I filled the vase with hydrangea and white carnations all from the local grocery store.
    • Romantic. This vase was featured earlier on my blog as a quick DIY of what to do with dried flowers. All I did for this one was add a bit of lace around the middle and stuck it on the vase with glue dots. The roses had already been dry so I just used a little of the gold foil paint to line the petals and give it a little dimension.
    • Glam. This vase is very chic and give a very high-end look. The candle inside was purchased from the dollar store was glittered with silver glass glitter and Mod Podge. The vase itsself was taped off with painter’s tape and sprayed (outdoors) with frost spray paint. I made sure to fill the inside of the vase with newspaper so the spray would not go inside. Follow the instructions on the can and do about 2-3 coats. Let it dry for at least ten minutes before peeling away the tape. The types of designs you can do are endless.
    • Simply Chic. This last vase is my quick, go-to. I always have a neutral ribbon on hand for last minute gift-wrapping, decor or DIY projects. Black and white stripes area always in style, so it’s great to have some on hand. Candles are also very easy and can change the atmosphere in almost any room. With this simple look of a floating candle and a black and white ribbon, no one could guess it was a last minute add on!