Category Archives: Wedding DIY

New: Silk Wedding Huppah Canopy at Sew Jewish

silk huppah canopy
In addition to the huppahs available to rent at Huppahs.com, I’m excited to let you know that we are now offering huppah canopies for sale through our sister site, Sew Jewish.

These silk canopies are dyeable, which means that you can dye them, use silk paint on them, applique, embroider, stencil — use lots of different techniques to make them personal and unique.

Find all the details at Sew Jewish: Silk Huppah Canopy.

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This new shipment of silk is going to become an exciting new offering at Huppahs.com

silk chuppah

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September 2, 2016 · 1:01 pm

Drop Veils – A Classic Is New Again

Sew JewishThe drop veil. A classic. Expresses many moods, depending on the length. Pair it with a tiara or a garland of wildflowers. Or wear it on its own. It’s easy to make your own, tailored to fit you and your style. Find instructions in Sew Jewish, available on Amazon.com.







Make your own drop veil. It’s one of 18 projects in Sew Jewish, available on Amazon.com.

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How to Make Your Own Huppah and More Jewish Sewing Projects

SJ Paperback Etsy Featured ImageCheck it out: Instructions for making your own version of Huppahs.com’s most popular huppah style, Simplicity, can be found in the book Sew Jewish: The 18 Projects You Need for Jewish Holidays, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations and Home. The book is by the designer behind Huppahs.com. Find it on Amazon.com.

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Sew Jewish Weddings

Featured Image -- 7999

Are you thinking about making your own huppah? Or sewing your own veil? You’ll find instructions for these Jewish DIY wedding classics, as well as 16 other essential Jewish sewing projects, in the new PDF book Sew Jewish: The 18 Projects You Need for Jewish Holidays, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations and Home by Huppahs.com founder, Maria Bywater.

Get it in the SewJewish shop on Etsy!

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Make a Rainbow Cupcake in a Jar

Cake and mason jars — two wedding staples that come together to create a lot of fun. You can find recipes for different flavors of jar cupcakes around, but Sarah Jill offers one of the most colorful and simple versions. Six-ounce mason jars would yield a nice serving size for a backyard wedding. Thanks, Sarah Jill!

sarah.jill.

  •  one box of ready-to-bake cake mix (or your own cupcake mix)
  • a few old jars
  • a variety of food colouring
  • squirty cream
  • rainbow sprinkles

preheat oven to 350 degrees. thoroughly wash and dry the inside of each jar. spray the inside of each jar thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. set aside.

scoop about 1/2 cups of cake batter into five small bowls. it doesn’t have to be perfect, don’t panic if you get a little more of less of one color than another.  tint each bowl of cake batter with the food colouring until very vibrant.

spoon about 3 tablespoons of the purple batter into the bottom of each jar.  spoon equal amounts of turquoise batter, then green, yellow, and pink.  place the jars in a shallow baking dish, add about 1/4inch in water in the baking dish. place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.

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3 Garland Wedding Decorations to Make – Wedding DIY

garland_car
Winter weddings lend themselves to garland decorations — their lush swags of fresh greenery and flowers brighten the winter landscape. This week FiftyFlowers is showcasing a trio of DIY garland decorations, including one from yours truly and our own Huppahs.com:

Wedding DIY table garland

(Photos: Getaway Car: Creative Director: Joy Thigpen; Styling: Ginny Au; Floral Design: Rosegolden Flowers; Photography: Odalys Mendez | Table Trim: Photography: Jason Weil for Huppahs.com | Floral Garland: Stylist and Video Instructor: Leanne Kesler)

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Our New Favorite DIY Wedding Project: Ribbon Favor Bags


Here’s a DIY wedding project that packs a big punch. Favor bags made from fabric ribbon beat out plain organza bags hands down, and they’re easy to whip up. When you incorporate them into your table setting, they double as decorations for your tablescape. And, OK, we’re extra partial to this fab idea because it comes from our new sister site, Sew Jewish. Get the instructions.

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Shabby Chic/Bohemian Wedding Dress Pattern

Source: Colette Patterns (colettepatterns.com)

Source: Colette Patterns (colettepatterns.com)

Picture this dress in eyelet lace for a casual but chic backyard wedding. Shabby chic or bohemian feel, especially. The design is called Laurel, and the sewing pattern is the newest release from Sarai Mitnick at Colette Patterns.

And great news: The sewing level is “Beginner.” You can order a paper version of the pattern or download it.

(Photo: Colette Patterns. Thanks for sharing Sarai and Kenn!)

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DIY wedding dress in Kate Middleton style from Butterick Patterns

Kate Middleton Wedding Dress Pattern
DIY brides and Kate Middleton fans: Butterick Patterns has released a pattern for a Kate Middleton-inspired wedding dress. The design features the high lace collar, tight bodice, and pleated skirt we know and love from the Duchess of Cambridge’s royal wedding.

Sizes: Misses 6-20
Difficulty Rating: Advanced
Pattern Number: B5731

Pippa Middleton inspired bridesmaid dress pattern from Butterick.

Pippa Middleton inspired bridesmaid dress pattern from Butterick.

And yes, Butterick also offers a Pippa Middleton-inspired bridesmaid dress pattern in sizes 6-22. Difficulty rating: Average.

Photo credit: http://butterick.mccall.com

Thank you, Butterick!

Wedding DIY wedding gown pattern

Grace Kelly-esque pattern from Vogue.

ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT:

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Reader Question: How Do I Attach 2 Tallits Together to Make a Wedding Huppah?

Question: We are thinking of making a huppah canopy by combining the groom’s father’s tallit and his grandfather’s tallit. Do you have any recommendations for how we might do this?

Answer: The idea of making a wedding huppah canopy from more than one tallit, or prayer shawl, is a definite trend. At Huppahs.com we’re getting variations on this question more and more often.

Jewish couples have been marrying under huppah canopies made from tallits for centuries (Quick point: The Hebrew language plural for “tallit”, also spelled “tallith” would be “tallithim ” or “tallisim”. However, I’m using tallit as an English language word, so I’m using the plural “tallits”). Through the ages, the bride and groom stood under the groom’s tallit, in keeping with the symbolism of the huppah as the couple’s physical home and their shared spiritual space.

Many of our clients use our huppah poles with their own tallits or a tallit of a family member to create a very personal huppah.

Today, the idea of combining the tallits of more than one person is seen as a way to honor people who are special to the bride and groom and to represent the presence of these people in the couples’ lives.

As a huppah and tallit designer, I can recommend a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Compatible Lengths: Make sure the two tallits you want to attach together are the same length.
  2. Final Canopy Size: Every fabric canopy will drape in the middle. The larger the canopy, the more the drape. You’ll want to make sure that the size of the combined tallits isn’t so large that it drapes too low in the middle. Also, the larger the canopy, the more it will weigh, and heavier canopies pull more on the huppah poles. Be sure to use poles that are strong enough to handle the weight of the combined tallits without bending. For Huppahs.com’s poles, we recommend a canopy size that is no larger than 60″x80″ (1.5mx2m). That size yields a nice drape, and the poles are easy to hold.
  3. Tallit Age: If you are using an older tallit, such as a grandfather’s tallit, look it over carefully to make sure the fabric isn’t frail or threadbare. Stitching two prayer shawls together will make small holes in the tallits, and when the canopy hangs the huppah poles, the weight of the tallits will pull at the fabric along the seam. Make sure the tallits are strong enough to hold up well to this kind of treatment.
  4. Religious Nature of a Tallit: Keep in mind the religious role of the tallit. Wearing a tallit for prayer isn’t just a tradition, it’s a practice rooted in religious obligations laid out in the Torah. The Biblical and spiritual power of the tallit lies in its shape, with four corners, and the ritually knotted strings on the corners. Sewing two prayer shawls together changes this physical structure. It reduces the tallit to a symbol, rather than a garment that, when worn with the intention to fulfill a religious commandment, can raise prayer to a higher level of spirituality. And although sewing tallits together can create a huppah canopy with great emotional meaning, my recommendation as a huppah and tallit designer is to use only one tallit for your huppah, to ensure you are preserving the tallit’s religious and spiritual power.

Given these practical and spiritual considerations, my recommendation in most cases is to use only one tallit for a huppah canopy and honor additional special people in other ways. Here are some options:

  1. Ask them to hold a huppah pole.
  2. Ask them to recite one of the seven blessings during the ceremony.
  3. Acknowledge them during a speech or toast at the reception.

Update: Here’s another option for using two tallits that doesn’t involve sewing them together: Attach one tallit to the huppah poles, and lay the second tallit on top of the first. You would want to make sure that the fabric of the first tallit is strong enough so that it won’t rip at the point of the tallit where you tie it to the poles, especially since the fabric will be carrying the weight of two tallits.

This would be a way to combine two tallits without sewing them, and it would be a way to include a second tallit that is older and frail or too delicate to sew or carry weight.

This idea comes from a Huppahs.com client who wanted to use a grandfather’s tallit that was too frail to be tied to the poles. His solution was to start with a Simplicity Huppah and lay his grandfather’s tallit on top of it. A great idea.

Do you have any other suggestions for honoring special people on your wedding day? Please share them in the comment section.

Jewish wedding New York park ivory silk chuppahRELATED:
Real Jewish Wedding: Natalie + Richard Wed Under an Ivory Silk Huppah in a New York City Park

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Winter Wedding Hors d’Oeuvres Recipe: Latkes for a Crowd

Latkes are great dish to serve for a winter wedding, not just weddings at Hanukkah, because they are so satisfying on a cold day. You can serve them as an appetizer or with the entree as a tasty, creative alternative to baked potato or rice.

One year I had the pleasure of making latkes for a large group of American military service members. It was during Hanukkah in one of the four years I lived in Kuwait. This was between the Gulf Wars. My husband was the U.S. Defense Department’s designated lay leader for the Jewish service people who cycled through the country, which means that I was responsible for making holiday meals and parties for the Jewish service people in my home. It was a great time, we met a lot of really great people, and I hope they’re all now safe at home enjoying the country they’ve served.

On this particular Hanukkah evening, I was rushing to get ready for a crowd of service people who were coming for a party. I was in the middle of preparing the latke batter when they called on their way over to say that instead of the seven people that were expected, they were 16 people. I would need more latkes.

I started throwing all kinds of things into the bowl to bulk up the latke mix: more potatoes, more onions, more eggs, a couple boxes of dried latke mix that family had sent from the States, ricotta cheese, sour cream, and I’m not sure what else, maybe even some cream cheese. Of course, they were amazing, but because I didn’t keep track of exactly what went in them, I would never know how to reproduce them.

It’s OK that I don’t remember, because I want to give you a non-dairy latke that you can serve with any wedding meal, including meals that include meat. And I want to give you a version that is easy to prepare and can be made a day or two before the wedding. The recipe below is adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd: Recipes with a Vegetarian Emphasis for 24 or More, a book that I relied on heavily when serving large crowds in Kuwait. I raised the flavor profile a bit to create a more refined, wedding-worthy dish by adding sautéed leeks and a non-dairy sour cream with chives to serve on the side. Yum.

Recipe: Latkes for a Crowd (Parve)

Serves 24 (2 latkes per person)

Latke Ingredients

  • 4 ½ lbs. potatoes
  • 4 lbs. onions
  • 2 cups chopped leeks
  • 24 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups bread crumbs or matza meal
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

“Sour Cream” with Chives Ingredients

  • 2 pints (4 cups) non-dairy sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives

Latke Instructions

  1. Chop the leeks and sautée over medium heat for 3 minutes until just translucent. Remove them from the heat and put them aside.
  2. Grate the potatoes coarsely with a food processor or hand-held grater.
  3. Put the potatoes into a colander and squeeze them to eliminate excess water.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  5. Grate the onions and drain them in a colander. Squeeze out the excess water.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the eggs.
  7. Add the potatoes, onions, leeks, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs or matzo meal. Mix well.
  8. Pour ¼ cup of oil into the bottom of four half-size insert pans (12½” x 10¼” x 2″) and place them in the hot oven for 5 minutes.
  9. Pour the batter into the hot pans. Spread the oil smoothly across the top of the batter with a spatula.
  10. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until crusty and golden.
  11. While still hot, cut each pan into 12 latke squares.

“Sour Cream” with Chives Instructions

Make the sour cream the same day you intend to serve it. In a medium bowl mix the chopped chives into the non-dairy sour cream.

To Serve

  • If your serve the latkes pre-plated, put two latkes on each plate and two tablespoons of “sour cream” next to the latkes.
  • If you are using a buffet, serve the “sour cream” in a bowl next to the latkes.

Make Ahead Options

You can make the latkes a day before the wedding. Cover them with foil and keep refrigerated. Reheat in 350º oven for 10-12 minutes.

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Wedding Music Budget Advice: A Little Live Music Makes a Big Impact

Are you weighing the pros and cons of live music versus a DJ for your wedding? Are you considering a custom iPod music mix for the cocktail hour or dance party, like I wrote about in my previous post? Recorded music can really stretch your music budget, but few details elevate the atmosphere of an event more than live music, so if you don’t have live music for the dinner reception and dancing, try to find room in the budget to add an element of live music during the ceremony, and the cocktail hour, too, if you can swing it.

If you’re planning a Jewish wedding with a bride’s reception or you’re planning to sign the ketubah in front of all your guests, consider having live music during those events also. For my own wedding, we hired musicians to play klezmer music while escorting the groom from the ketubah signing to the bride’s reception for the veiling. It was a lot of fun and really ramped up the party’s energy as we prepared for the ceremony under the huppah.

You could go with a small trio or quartet, but even a single instrument playing during your procession can heighten the emotional intensity of the moment, taking your breath away and tugging at your guests’ tears.

Find musicians on wedding planning websites, the music departments of a local college, or through friends’ recommendations.

The musical world offers so many instruments, you are sure to find one that matches and enhances the feel of your wedding. Here are some options:

  • Cello
  • Harp
  • Flute
  • Guitar
  • Piano

Am I missing your favorite?

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Wedding DIY: Shabby Chic Burlap Banner

wedding diy shabby chic burlap bannerFor those shabby chic wedding self-stylists out there — and I know there are a lot of you — take a look at this easy DIY burlap banner project posted by Megan White, one half of the event planning duo Social Graces, based in Springfield, Missouri. The project appears on the company’s website, eventsbysocialgraces.com.

The demonstration banner reads “A-i-d-e-n” for a baby shower, but you could just as well write out “J-u-s-t-M-a-r-r-i-e-d” or “J-e-n-&-M-i-k-e”. “I-A-m-M-y-B-e-l-o-v-e-d-‘-s-A-n-d-M-y-B-e-l-o-v-e-d-I-s-M-i-n-e” would probably not be practical. Project details…

Photo Source: Megan White, eventsbysocialgraces.com

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Tablescape of Wine Bottle Candle Holders

wine bottle candle holder tablescape

A tablescape of wine bottle candle holders. Great for evening weddings in the approaching cooler seasons. Plenty of other folks seem to have been inspired by this image; I traced it back through more than a half-dozen blogs and websites to its origin on This Is Glamorous (http://citified.blogspot.com). The photo is by Tom Mannion.

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Summer Bliss Wedding Punch Recipe

watermelon wedding punchYou’re going to love this cool, tasty wedding punch. We developed it to celebrate the recent launch of our Facebook page, and we’re pleased to share it with you here. The punch features refreshing watermelon and Watershed Gin from Catoctin Creek, a new award-winning artisanal distillery in Virginia whose liquors are both organic and kosher.

Want to know how to get our lush garland look for your own wedding table? Check out How to Decorate a Table with Garland.

Ingredients for Summer Bliss Wedding Punch

Makes 56 four oz servings

Instructions

Cut the watermelon in half and scoop out the fruit into very large bowl. Use an immersion blender to liquidate the fruit. Strain through a cheese cloth. You will end up with about 42 oz of watermelon juice. Combine all the ingredients. Add the seltzer and ice to the punch bowl just before serving.

wedding bar kosher beerVISIT:

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Wedding DIY: How to Decorate a Table with Garland

Garland wedding decorations

Let me refine the title of this article: it should be “How to Decorate a Table with Garland WITHOUT Putting Holes in Your Table or Your Tablecloth.” The conventional method of attaching garland to a table requires sticking pins into the table through the tablecloth. Not ideal, especially when the table and tablecloth are your own.

To style our wedding punch photo shoot we avoided putting holes in our cloth and table by attaching the beautiful Ruscus garland with tablecloth clamps.

The key is to use heavy duty metal clamps rather than the plastic versions. Use pieces of florist wire to attach the greenery to the clamps.

how to decorate a table with garland

how to attach garland to table

And here’s the recipe for that tasty watermelon punch.

Photo: Jason Weil; Rockville, Maryland
Garland: FiftyFlowers.com

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How to Decorate Your Huppah #6: Wrap Garland Around the Poles

Huppah garland wrapped around poles
One in a series of posts on how to decorate your huppah…

This is another huppah decorating option that works especially well for outdoor weddings. If you are using a huppah or poles from Huppahs.com, attach the garland to the screw at the top of the pole with florist wire. Anchor it to the bottom of the pole with florist tape.

To create a balanced look, always start at the top of the poles and wind the greenery or flowers around all of the poles the same number of times.

Consider carefully the direction in which you wrap the garland or the overall effect could end up looking unbalanced and a bit wonky. The easiest approach is to wrap all the pieces of garland in the same direction — clockwise or counter-clockwise — around the poles.

Alternatively, as in the illustration above, start at the top of the poles and wrap the garland on the two left poles in a clockwise direction, and wrap the garland on the right poles counter-clockwise. In this way, the viewer’s eyes are drawn up and away from the center of the huppah space, creating a light and open feeling under the huppah.

Related posts:

More new wedding planning posts…

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How to Decorate Your Huppah #5: Hang Ribbons from Poles

Huppah decorated with ribbonsOne in a series of posts on how to decorate your huppah…

Add color and movement to your huppah with long ribbons that catch the breeze. Ribbons make simple and inexpensive wedding decorations.

You can keep the look simple with one color, or combine ribbons in all the colors of your wedding to draw the huppah into the rest of your wedding décor.

To create the best effect, ribbons should hang down one-half to two-thirds the length of the huppah poles. And rather than matching up the ends of the ribbons, vary their lengths by a half inch or so to encourage them to move independently of each other.

Hoffman Huppah RibbonsTake a look at the joyous combination of ribbon colors that Barbara Hoffman of Maryland chose for her daughter’s Simplicity Huppah earlier this month. Each pole was tied with three ribbons chosen from a palette of orange, baby blue, ivory, pink, white, and apple green.

Here’s another decorative option that works well in combination with ribbons: Scatter Flower Petals on the Ground

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How tall should the huppah (chuppah) poles be?

Huppah poles and huppah bearersWhat size huppah (chuppah) poles should you use?

In most cases, the best height for huppah poles is 8 feet. That gives you lots of space under the canopy, and this size works for most conventional hotels and wedding venues and for ceremonies held outside. The poles in the photo at left are 8 feet tall.

However, some small spaces require 7-foot poles, such as many inns, private homes, and cruise ship spaces. Huppahs.com has rented huppah poles for ceremonies in all of these types of venues.

Your contact at the venue or your wedding planner will be able to tell you the height of the ceiling in your ceremony space.

See 8-foot and 7-foot huppah poles for rent…

Simplicity Huppah TinyALSO SEE:

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How to Decorate Your Huppah #4: Scatter Flower Petals on the Ground

Huppah with flower petals
One in a series of posts on how to decorate your huppah…

If your wedding ceremony is outside, scattering flower petals on the ground under the huppah evokes a sense of natural beauty that is easy and inexpensive to achieve.

If you are getting married outside in the spring, you might be lucky enough to have nature spread a carpet of blossoms across your wedding space. If not, spread your own petals on the ground in the huppah space and maybe even in the aisle leading to the huppah. You can scatter the petals before the ceremony or incorporate it into the procession. Scattering flower petals is a great role to give one or two young bridesmaids or flower girls.

Natalie and Richard show how they used this technique, along with ribbons and tassels, for their real-life wedding.
Jewish wedding New York park ivory silk chuppah

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