The Subtle-sleeved bride

There’s something really unique and refreshing about a bride in sleeves. Reem Acra’s new collection has a number of sleeve options that are perfect for a little garnish to the dress and not to much that they take away from the silhouette.

left dress  |  middle dress  |  right dress

by Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built 

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Colorful cakes

Why limit your cake options to one? Take a cue from these inspiration images and go with a few. Whether you ombre your cake in several tones of the same color or add a topping onto a solid color cake. Or even go full rainbow with bite-size bites.

pink cake  |  rainbow bites  |  mint cake 

by Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built 

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DIY: How to make a holiday leaf crown


You can pay hundreds of dollars to pay for a gold wreath or you can pick some greenery from your garden do this super easy DIY yourself. It’s the perfect dash of gold to your wedding ensemble. It’s part Roman, part angel and all beautiful.

You will need: wire thin enough to shape easily to the head, wire cutters, greenery clipped from the garden, gold spray paint, straw floral tape

Step 1: Spray paint your leaves at least 24 hours before you intend on making the crown.

Step 2: Measure the wire against your model and cut it to the right length, leaving about 3 extra inches.

Step 3: Form the wire into a circle and wrap the extra inches around to secure it.

Step 4: Break the leaves into 2 1/2″ segments.

Step 5: Take your first segment and floral tape it against the wire.

Step 6: Take the next segment of leaves and overlap it with the previous segment and floral tape it onto the wire.

Step 7: Repeat until you get to the end and overlap it with the beginning.

Voila! That’s it. You’re done! So easy, right?!

photography by Amanda Thomsen, dress by Elefteria, cropped jacket by F.N.92

project by Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built 

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What does it mean? Emily and Michael

What does it mean?” is a continuing series where we ask a blogger how they brought meaning into their wedding. Today we are honored to hear from Emily Westbrooks and her husband, Michael.  Emily is the blogger of From China Village.

“When Michael and I got married in 2008, I don’t think I fully realized how much it would end up meaning to us that we tried to create a mix of my American traditions and Michael’s Irish culture at our wedding. Only hours after our wedding, we decided to move to Dublin, where Michael was raised, and four years later we’re still here! In retrospect, our wedding was kind of our send off, so I’m now especially glad we got the chance to celebrate with hints of the culture I now live with every day!

Michael and I met at Colby College during our senior year. Colby has special meaning in my family – it’s where my parents met, where my father now works, and even where my high school graduation was held! For most of the planning period, Michael was living in Spain, where he played professional basketball. When the basketball season was over, Michael returned to Maine and joined the planning process a few months before the wedding. I was surprised he had so many opinions after I was the sole decision maker for so long! In the end, though, it made up the perfect blend of both of us.

Michael insisted that we have traditional Irish-style speeches during dinner. Not American toasts, but full 5-10 minute speeches from both our fathers, the best man and maid of honor, and the groom. Having never attended an Irish wedding, I was nervous that they’d be too long, but those speeches are some of my best memories of the wedding. Everyone put so much thought and care into their words as they welcomed new people into their families. And the speeches allowed some of our guests to take part in another (slightly tacky but fun!) Irish tradition – betting on how long they’ll last!

We were also blessed to have Michael’s youth leaders, a couple who now do ministry work in Houston, marry us in the college chapel. I come from a Catholic family and Michael’s family is made up of a few different forms of Protestant, so it was important to us that the ceremony was respectful of both sides. Of course, they went above and beyond and gave us a beautiful ceremony, full of words of love and prayer that took all my worries away.

Finally, one of the most special pieces of our wedding was that my grandmother made my dress. She had made my mother’s and aunt’s dresses for their weddings, so I always had it in the back of my mind that I would love for her to make mine. I will always remember our afternoons together spent measuring, pinning and tucking.

Overall, we remember our day fondly and often!”

Thanks Emily and Michael!

by Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built

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