NYC-inspired modern wedding dresses

Martha Stewart Weddings ran a beautiful editorial of modern wedding dresses inspired by various locations and landmarks in New York City. Each one captures the personality of the place perfectly. No doubt, any modern bride can identify with at least one of these looks and use it to inspire her wedding day.

To see the rest of the dresses, check out the full story on Martha Stewart Weddings.

by Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built

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DIY: How to make polka dot wrapping paper

Some of the best gift wrapping is not on shelves; it’s waiting to be made! This simple DIY is a chinch to make and cute as a button. I’ve been looking everywhere for polka dot gift wrap and couldn’t find it anywhere so I had to make it myself. I just got some one dollar kraft paper from the dollar store and got to work!

Materials: kraft paper, pencil with a good eraser, white stamp pad (it’s kinda hard to find in stores so I’d recommend ordering online like <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Amazon)

Step 1: Dip your pencil eraser into the stamp pad. Really cover it with the ink.

Step 2: Dip it onto the wrapping paper.

Step 3: If you want to make it super geometrical, use a ruler to space them out, but I just eyeballed it.

That’s it!

Photos and DIY by Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House that Lars Built. You can buy the paper flowers on her Etsy shop.

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What does it mean? Conor and Erin

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 Erin Jane Riley and her husband, Conor. Erin is a graphic designer and blogger of Jane Reaction who just moved to Texas from the North Shore of Hawaii. She just opened up a wonderful letterpress stationery line called Fox and Anchor Paper. Welcome Jane!

Conor and I were married on a Thursday morning in front of our immediate family members and a couple of really close friends. It was very private and intimate and was the ceremony we had envisioned for ourselves from the moment we got engaged. In Mormon ceremonies the couple traditionally says, “Yes” to taking the other as their eternal companion instead of “I do.” I really wanted Conor to know that I was excited to be his forever so I said “YYYEEESSS” a little louder than I had planned (louder than I practiced in front of my bathroom mirror that’s for sure). It took everyone off guard including myself and to this day he still teases me about how enthusiastic I was!
Following the ceremony we had a somewhat larger but still relatively small dinner in my parents backyard. It was important to us that everything be sourced locally and by friends or family where possible. My sister sewed the ring pillow and placed it in a hallowed out book for us. My friends from my favorite restaurant catered and served the food. A friend of my mothers made the cake (and it was more delicious than any other wedding cake I have ever had)! My favorite cousin officiated and made announcements and queued toasts. My best friend from high school did my hair. My mom made her famous homemade jam for favors. I designed the invitations myself… it goes on. We tried to make sure all of the little details included someone we loved. The day was special and stress free because we knew all of those people loved us and were so happy for us to be happy together.

One of my grandmothers had recently passed away and because of declining health my other grandmother was not able to be in attendance. Those women had been really important to me throughout my entire life so it was really sad not to have them there. It was important to us to really include Conor’s Grandmother and honor her as the matriarch of the family. She was so excited and willing to help in any way that she could. She loves to embroider pillows and dish towels for gifts so we asked her if she would like to embroider the napkins for our wedding dinner. She was ecstatic! My mom cut and hemmed all of the cloth and then Ione (that’s Conor’s sweet grandma) hand stitched every napkin with a flower or our initials. It was such a sweet little accent and is now one of my most treasured keepsakes.
Thank you so much Jane! Be sure to check out her blog, Jane Reaction and her paper shop, Fox and Anchor
by Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built
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What does it mean? Elizabeth and David

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 Elizabeth Stirling White and her husband, Dave.  Elizabeth is the blogger of  David and Elizabeth and has an Etsy shop selling adorable pillows. They live in Australia.

I loved that our Wedding Day was a reflection of something we worked on together, our love and our story, and the people we cherish the most.

We wanted as many of the details as possible to reflect our journey together and us, this included the invites, the table decorations, the music we listened to and the words we spoke to each other. With creativity as such a big part of my identity, pouring all that I could into the day was a little like a reflection of my love for Dave.

As work has taken us to live away from our families, we did lots of the preparations together. I quickly worked out Dave had a strength in cutting things out, so would utilize this, as I sewed together invitations, bunting and napkins. It was great that when the day was all set up, we would stand back and look at what we had achieved together.

When Dave and I were dating, he went on a 6-week holiday to Canada (we’re Australian, so its a mighty long way, away) with his family. When he returned, amongst the presents was a beautiful snow globe from Montreal of a deer, you can wind it so it plays, ‘You’ve got a friend in me.’ This was the start of him bringing me back a snow globe whenever he traveled for work or with family. By the time we got married, the collection was around 30, so this became a bit of a theme throughout our day. I drew a picture of Dave and I in a snow globe, and this picture was on the front of our invitations, on the order of service, on the cake bags, and screen-printed on the napkins we made.

We wanted the day to reflect our story and not be like any other wedding. The ceremony was held on my parents farm, atop a hill where they’re soon to build a house. We love that it’s a place we go back to, and will always be special to us. We said traditional vows, but also wrote our own letter to one another, which we read as well.

The reception was in an old tin hall, nearby the farm, which had a barn like feel. We cleaned it up and laid out three long tables for our guests. Family dinners at home are one of our favourite things in the world. A wedding that felt like a great big family dinner (followed by lots of dancing) was one of the most important elements to us.

Having great photographers was one of the best decisions we made. Even still we pour through these photos remembering the details and special moments that we’ll always cherish about the day.

Thank you Elizabeth and David for participating on “What does it mean”. If you’d like to share your story, please write to Brittany at

by Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built 

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