Get Your “Spring” Fix – DIY Wedding Bouquets!

 DIY bridesmaids flowers - wildflower bouquetsMy own wild-flower-wedding floral arrangements – compliments of mother nature and my mom, aunt, and sis!
[Image by Serendipity Photography]

I’m guessing there are quite a few brides out there who would LIKE to incorporate more do-it-yourself savvy into their wedding plans, but who aren’t quite sure whether they can pull it off. Not everything comes with a tutorial. Hey – I can relate! I’m no florist. I totally took a chance at my own wedding by plucking some of the wildflowers (shhhh – this is probably frowned upon) in the surrounds our Boundary Waters Canoe Area wedding-in-the-wild! Would they droop mid-way through the day? Would we need to keep them in water? Would our ribbons hold? Would the unique blossoms start to crumble? We really didn’t know. But – we survived, and so did our bouquets!

I’ve seen some pretty cool custom bouquets over the years too – though very few were actually done by the couple or a family member. One DIY bridal bouquet that will always stand out in my memory is that of a backyard-lakeside-MN bride – who gathered her goods at the local farmer’s market (pictured below). Three words: to-die-for! Super unique, and I’ve yet to see them duplicated. Can’t get much more personalized than that – and the couple also saved some $$! (Bonus.)

brideandDIYfarmersmarketflowers-DMPDIY farmers market bouquets for a backyard lakeside MN wedding – Image by DMP!

Whether you’re adept at being crafty, or you aren’t sure where you’d even start – chances are that if we were able to make DIY bouquets work on a whim, you can do quite a bit with this handy little instructional template! Much gratitude goes out to Simply Bridal for simplifying (Did ya catch that? I couldn’t resist…) the DIY bouquet-making process! Now – go rock your one-of-a-kind bridal bouquets, chicas! How can you go wrong with the beauty of real flowers – sans the stress-beast.

DIY  Wedding Bouquet

Be sure to pass along the wedding-wisdom to friends & fam who may be planning to get wed. Many thanks!

Denise Mack photography provides unstructured, candid, natural Minnesota wedding photography in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, greater MN, Wisconsin, and beyond. Original. Meaningful. REAL. Fun!




Inspiring Women Who Play Dirty


Hey all!
As you know – I’m into all-things-authentic! While this particular post isn’t specific to weddings, I realized that maybe I don’t have to continually share only wedding-bits in order to get your creative juices flowing – hmmmm? In my quest for more loyal blog-followers, and with the recent upgrade-give-away by our friends at Slow Motion Booth, I found myself a new blog to follow! Whether you’re getting married, or already wed – you can find some fab stories, ideas, and insights on the Crafted In Carhartt blog!

For WOMEN, brides, non-brides, guys who dig women in Carhartt apparel while working with those beautiful hands, the down-home, the STRONG, the INDIVIDUAL, for the fiercely feminine, as well as ye adorable tom-boys, and DEFINITELY for the Do-It-Yourselfers out there – – – Enjoy!

Denise Mack Photography… Loving genuine art, self-expression, pure emotion, and non-conformist-anything! Serving the community as an authentic representation of such things, with truly candid & inspiring wedding documentary. Got a wedding coming up and you want to keep it Original, Meaningful, REAL, and Fun? Then drop me a line!

Bored by All the Mirror-Image Wedding-Hype?!

Hey all… Is it just me, or are so many of the wedding forums out there rather typical – and so often a mirror-image of one another? *[Kind of like wedding photography in my opinion as well!]*  This doesn’t mean these sites [or those photographers] aren’t ‘good’… It just means that they maybe aren’t quite as exciting, unique or fun!! Perhaps there just isn’t anything remarkable that stands out being shown, shared, or captured…Unconventional-and-Natural-MN-wedding-photography

Well breathe that sigh of relief – because I’ve found some less-trendy, atypical, and much more enticing wedding boards out there! Here’s the list – with a short description for what I personally like about these boards – and what you stand to gain as well… My belief is that the wedding board shouldn’t lead us to becoming wedding-bored.

#1) Let’s start with a fab-find in this regard! They encompass any and all aspects of non-traditional wedding planning – AND LIFE – which happens to mean fully-inclusive. Really anything outside of tradition – without limits – is a prime candidate for inspiration here. We’re talking weddings in the wild, weddings with a twist, weddings that are beyond personalized to the max, and weddings that cater to all human beings – such as wheel-chair-bound individuals and our friends within the GBLT Community! (I have even come to learn during my research that they share in my ‘language’ –  using terms like “kick-ass” and “non-boring”…. It must be LOVE!)
It’s none other than the outlandishly lustrous Offbeat Bride! They take the unconventional and give it a glorious spotlight – with all kinds of amazing features, tips, ideas, and shizz you probably haven’t even thought about! I personally enjoy reading about some of their Real Wedding features – and getting a glimpse into each wedding. You actually get to SEE what they did to make the celebration their own – (rather than being left with 2 or 3 teaser images). Here is one such posted, rockin’ wedding, that serves as an ideal example; I happen to really appreciate what the bride says (near the end of the post) to answer the question, “What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?” {I also clap-to how they incorporate narrative directly from the couple.}
Just when I thought they couldn’t be any more original, rebellious and fun (sound familiar?)… They also have an Offbeat Home & Life forum – for life after the wedding. Your offbeat, non-conformist, and personalized lifestyle just got even more inspired! {Swoon!}

#2) Another variety-enhanced inspiration-generating board is Emmaline Bride!  This site places their emphasis on the hand-made and truly original finds that you just can’t locate in the typical ‘wedding market’ — (at least not without tons of online searching and time!) It provides a hub to combine originality and utterly unique design, as well as many DIY tips and treasures to be made, found, and had. They seek to find those wedding day items and people who just stand out from the overly-saturated and under-varietous wedding market trends. *{One of the things I appreciate about this site – is that when they first began in 2009, THEY contacted ME – saying, “You’re exactly the kind of thing we’re looking for!”} Yay! Me too, me too! Be sure to check out my 2 Featured Weddings on their site! Jenny & Tom’s Lakeside Wooded Wisconsin Wedding    AND   Megan & Tony’s Snow-Kissed October MN Country Club Wedding   (Disclaimer – We hadn’t yet figured out proper image-sizing for this one.) Thank you Emmaline Bride! {Heart}

#3) Third place goes to another ideal resource for my nature-loving-side – and surely it will appeal to yours as well! It’s the Rustic Wedding Chic guide, and they know how to do that down-home wedding up right! If the terms “rustic wedding”, “barn-wedding”, “wooded-wedding”, “lakeside wedding”, “ranch-wedding”, “farm-wedding”, “country wedding”, or generally “outdoor wedding” come to mind – you’ve found the right site. In addition, if descriptions such as rustic-elegance, laid-back, woodsy, or vintage are part of your repertoire – you’ll find a plethora of ways to make the most of your earthly-love and bring the outdoors to the inner-most portions of your wedding day! It’s truly your top source for all things outdoors in the way of weddings. So kick up your boots and wrangle yourself a few new idears to celebrate… All their tabs are loveable! {Yeehaw Cowbride!}

#4) My final wedding resource suggestion is for a forum called Rock n Roll Bride. Although many of their acknowledgements and connections stem from or are located in the UK, it lends itself well at spotlighting couples who step outside of tradition, and the details that help them make their weddings into very personalized and meaningful celebrations. (Delish!) You can eat up a lot of this inspiration too – and get your mojo rolling for your own nuptial-nuance! Loads of fun to scroll through! (TIP: Click on the actual title of the post to see greater detail, and then scroll to the bottom to look through the full ‘gallery’ of images selected for that highlight/ post.) {Cheers!}

These forums should definitely help to get those creative juices flowing – especially for those of us who know we want something different. There are no rules. It’s YOUR day, and should be reflective of your style in every way! These boards won’t leave you feeling like you just chomped on some more cardboard cut-outs… Au contraire – ’tis Much more YUM! I hope this provides you with all kinds of new and meaningful means of fully representing on your wedding day.

Kick-Ass-Minnesota-Wedding-photography-Denise-Mack-PhotographyDenise Mack Photography – providing kick-ass candid wedding documentary services in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, greater Minnesota, Wisconsin, and beyond!
Follow the blog (upper right corner) to stay up-to-date on wedding hot-topics and cool-vibes, for those who seek maximum personalization and enjoyment of their nuptial celebration.

“Thou Shall Celebrate Individuality”


Ah, the 11th commandment….  I owned a t-shirt that stated this – until I wore it completely through – (literally – as in see-through.) But, I still follow this one to a ‘T’.


There is nothing that gets me giddier than when people just know how to BE! You know – thine own true self, truly true, really real, outside of ordinary, inside-out transparency, following one’s heart, and making no apologies for shining brightly against an often dull background. Then, when people take this and run with it – incorporating it into their every fiber, no holding back – making their wedding memories into stellar, personalized and truly meaningful soirees – I want to eat it all up with my lens and create art out of it all – frozen in time forevermore. Nom-nom! Like a delish frozen treat – – for the eyes.

In honor of some of the more memorable moments and minutiae, I’m re-living some noteworthy mentions below… Here’s hoping this sparks some creative contemplation and ignites that fire within. Now, let us celebrate individuality – together!

Jessica & Scott – A 1950’s-Inspired, MN Rockabilly Wedding – complete with classic cars, a super-hero-inspired groom’s cake, and a rockin’ swing band for all those Jitterbuggin’ hip cats and dolls


Our 1950’s Bride in her classic ride


The Groom steps into his stellar classic car following the ceremony.


Bride and Groom share a snuggle in their Pontiac


You don’t see beer-cans tailing behind the get-away vehicles very often any more!


Vintage luggage-designed wedding card holder – fabulous!


It’s not often you see Famous Dave’s catered-in for the wedding meal! Nommmm!


Super-hero-inspired groom’s cake!


Bride and Groom steal away to the photo booth for a little alone-time 😉


Fantastic swing band kept the party hoppin’


The place was filled with hip cats and dolls who really know how to jive!

Catherine and Patrick shared their home, their MN lake-front yard, and oodles of DIY vintage-inspired wedding details (too many to showcase!) for their undoubtedly personalized wedding day memories!


Still my favorite wedding-cake-topper ever! “Til death do us part!”


This couple included an additional cake-topper for each pet (2 dogs and a kitty)!


DIY wedding programs! Clever girl.


Happy Bride donning her hand-made gown inspired by Grace Kelly in “To Catch a Thief” – Her mother made this replica gown! Her flowers? DIY FARMER’s MARKET finds! NICE touch.


Bride and Groom celebrate with their pups!


Lakeside ceremony-markers for the outdoor vows!


DIY mason jar candles line the outdoor aisle.


Outdoor ceremony on the lake in Minnesota – – WOOOOT!


Bride and Groom share a smooch on their backyard swing overlooking the lake.


The wedding couple steal away on their moped – loooove it!

Nicole and Sam enjoyed a Rustic Farm Wedding in Wisconsin – featuring gardens galore, live farm animals including goats and chickens, DIY flowers from the grounds of the wedding site, and of course – the kind of fresh air offered up only by the great outdoors!


Bride and Groom enjoying a moment outside of the rustic barn


The Bride enjoys a stroll through the gardens before her outdoor wedding!


Groom and Groomsmen enjoying a pre-wedding beer!


DIY flowers from the grounds of this WI farm wedding retreat!


Love grabbing up expressions like these. Priceless! Bride amid the vine-covered arbor for the outdoor wedding ceremony.


The Bride and Groom took some time to feed the goats on their farm-wedding!


Wedding guests enjoyed feeding the goats as well!


Natural centerpieces for a rustic wedding celebration!


This was a laid-back and fun country-charm-infused wedding celebration on the farm!


Do you think they enjoyed their down-on-the-farm wedding celebration?

Lisa & Joe – an October winery-wedding in the horse stables in Minnesota’s farm country! These nuptials featured all kinds of fun frolic, including a giant game of chess, a clever personalized chair-decorating idea, and of course – pumpkins! Everywhere you turn you find lush surrounds and tons of rustic character & charm at Carlos Creek Winery – Alexandria, MN


What would a winery-wedding be without a pre-wedding glass of wine??


Love the glow, the green wall, and the mirror surrounding this beautiful wedding gown.


Abstract shot of our Groom in the horse stables at Carlos Creek Winery, Alexandria, MN


Silhouetted stolen-moment between the Bride and Groom in the horse stables.


The Bride and Groom dabble in a little game of GIANT chess – in spite of the drizzly weather!


Our Bride and Groom share a kiss on the giant chess game at Carlos Creek Winery, MN.


This couple wasn’t shy about PDA! We photogs DIG that!


The wedding couple created these fun and nostalgic chair decorations for their horse-barn-wedding at Carlos Creek Winery, MN!

weddingdayarbor- DMP

The couple’s arbor honored their deceased grandparents during the ceremony.


Too fun for an October wedding – pumpkins help celebrate their “Just Married” status!

Color dominates this wedding theme! Allie and Joe and their families are superbly fun! They celebrated their UBER-COLOR-INFUSED wedding day with pops of vibrant hues throughout!


This wedding was plum-full of vibrant and electrifying color – exemplary of the fun personalities of this family!


The Bride kicks up her feet on her Groom’s lap for a while – showing off her sparkling Steve Madden heels!


While Denise Mack Photography doesn’t emphasize “posed” photographs, some couples wish to include a few groupings. We always follow the personalities of the group, having as much fun with it as we can!


The wedding couple pours colorful sands during their outdoor ceremony on the balcony overlooking the lakes in Minneapolis’ Calhoun Beach Club!


Bridesmaids hand out brightly colored name cards to guests for reception seating.


The Bride changes into her vibrant purple tennis shoes after the ceremony!


Wedding guests reveled in the brightly-colored celebration!


No detail was without color at this wedding celebration! BRIGHT color! Yum.


Wedding guests choose cupcakes that match their colorful attire – and now their tongues!


Clever wedding-favors that emphasize color and fun!

And here is the final one I’m featuring in today’s reminiscent post – but certainly not the least of which will always hold a place in my heart as one of my favorite wooded-wedding-in-the-wild! Much like each of the couples I’ve been privy to work with over the years, Jenny and Tom and their families were entirely too much fun, and their images are certainly reflective of that. Below are just a couple of teasers… Be sure to peek at the “Featured Lakeside Wedding” Gallery on the website for many more note-worthy moments from this one! 


The wedding couple shares a kiss in boat #1 as wedding party members look on from the second pontoon.


The flower girls (including the couple’s adorable baby girl) enter in style for this lakeside outdoor wedding!

Bride and Groom share some laughs during their lakeside wedding reception-DMP

The Bride and Groom share some laughs during their WI lakeside wedding reception!

Many thanks to all my couples for allowing me the honor of sharing in these magical and marvelous memories with you and yours! Mwah!

Be sure to visit the Lakeside Wedding Featured Gallery on the website. Denise Mack Photography provides candid, kick-ass wedding photography coverage to amazing couples in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Greater Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Beyond! Contact me to have your day memorialized like no other!

FOLLOW my blog for ongoing posts featuring wedding-planning-prowess – filled with tips, resources, unique and unconventional wedding ideas, and a chance at the occasional freebie or discount when opportunity strikes! Enjoy.