Friday, February 25, 2011

Spicy Candied Bacon Favors - Not for the weak hearted

Alternative Favor for your Shower or Party:

Did you drool when you saw this?  I've been on a diet my entire adult life (I think) and I know the idea of salty smoky bacon turned into a sweet treat makes my mouth water.  Yum!!!  I found this receipe on and it sounds like the perfect snack for a bridal shower or engagement party.  I am staying away from the wedding day because of the DIY factor.  No one wants soggy bacon (due to day before prep) and bacon odors should never mix with wedding day attire.


                 Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

  1. 1 Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. 2 Mix the chili powder and brown sugar in a shallow bowl.
  3. 3 Fit a sheet of parchment paper onto a jelly-roll pan.
  4. 4 Bury each slice of bacon in the chili and sugar mixture; rub both sides to assure the mixture adheres.
  5. 5 Lay the bacon strips on the prepared pan.
  6. 6 The bacon strips may be left flat or twisted two or three times by holding each end to make a candied "stick".
  7. 7 Bake for 30 minutes without turning.
  8. 8 Always transfer candied bacon using tongs; the hot sugar can easily burn your fingers.

  1. Read more:

I think this would be best served broken into one inch pieces and served (don't forget the plastic bag) in paper or fabric cones tied with ribbon to coordinate with wedding colors and/or themes.  Raffia or brown paper would be nice for a rustic feel.

For DIY instructions to make your own paper cones:

Don't feel like making them:  BUY THEM HERE:
REGULAR SIZE Fancy Style Petal Cone Candy Cone Confetti Cone Wedding Favor - For Weddings, Parties, Birthdays, and Showers

Don't forget to scour for your favorite paper goods shop.  It is very likely that they are willing and able to create these for you in any style you like.
A personal favorite shop of mine is GreyDogDesigns.  A go to source for invitations and neat fingerprint trees.

Good eating and we will work out after the party!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rock and Roll Wedding Invitations for 2011
Rock Themed Weddings

We (the Offbeat Etsy Weddings Team) recently had the pleasure of becoming a partner with Cynthia of  She will be keeping and eye on our members' items for potential features and we will just continue to love her great work :)  Squeeee!  She has a fabulous blog inspired by her not so traditional invitations/stationary and tees/apparel.   She realized that there are very few ready made invites on the market today that cater to a funky individual feel. fits that niche very well with bright colors, interesting designs and non cookie cutter ideals.  Her blog is like her product line.  Unique!

When you stop by the About section of it is like reading the mission statement of We Love Offbeat Etsy Weddings (this is a match made in heaven):
Rock and Roll Grungy Heart (Pink) Save the Date postcard

Poptastic Bride is a blog for fresh ideas, inspirations for unique wedding themes and accessories, and tips and tricks for the contemporary bride who does not want a cookie-cutter wedding. I believe that every bride has a right to have the wedding of her dreams and if she chooses to wear sneakers, feed her guests Popsicles and cotton candy, or play loud, alternative music at their ceremony, well that’s perfectly fine.

Words from Cynthia:

What I love about the blog is that through it, I get to meet so many wonderful people - brides who agree with my philosophy and talented independent artists who are struggling to get the word about their creative efforts out. I encourage anyone to submit through a link on my site and if I love and see a fresh, unique element to their work (or their wedding, if it's a couple submitting photos), I'm always happy to feature it. 

So stop by and see if you enjoy it as much as we do!

Thank you to Cynthia for joining the Anti cookie cutter band wagon with us!!!!


Advice and Planning Offbeat Etsy Weddings

Planning your wedding?
My first advice would be involve your friends in your wedding planning.
Get a wishlist of products and ideas you like and think you want.
Go to your local library and grab some wedding books for ideas.
This will give you a vast supply of ideas new and old for you.

A day planner is exactly what you need to plan your special day.

Funky planning ideas for your offbeat wedding
Mustaches on sticks! I really love this idea. All I see if fun here.

I am in love with these pomegranate wedding soap. Personalized for your day

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wedding Bouquet Rollergirl Style

Rollergirl Bouquet from Floricultcha
Amy (Floricultcha) offers brides a non-floral, funky, funny and unique bouquet alternative.  She uses vintage, retro items, ribbons and other embellishments to create one of a kind sculptural wedding bouquets meant for weddings that seek to represent the couple instead of the industry.  Amy is very well educated in sculpture and horticulture and uses this knowledge to create wedding flowers that are considered "art".  She has also worked with live flowers for weddings and often uses that experience when working on new designs.  Amy lives just outside of Boston with a husband that encourages her to fill their home with the wonderful oddities that make her happy.  Her interests have never been mainstream but she appreciates the symbolism behind her flowers and truly hopes that they become cherished heirlooms.  
I asked Amy to tell me why she is unique and what made her feel passion for these non-traditional creations.  This was her fabulous response:
I love seeing all the different themes that are being incorporated into contemporary weddings.  It inspires me to brainstorm non-traditional ideas for bouquets. It's wonderful that the white wedding no longer dominates the world of weddings or that even if a bride chooses a traditional white gown there are more options for adding personal touches. There are additional styles that reflect what they really like or who they really are, rather than trying to fit into to the mainstream. That is like trying to squeeze into a gown that doesn't fit. There are so many different couples and different attitudes about marriage and what it represents.  I also think folks involved in helping with alternative weddings begin to embrace these changes and often find that the changes are more genuine and indicative of the couples' lifestyle or what brought them together in the first place. -Amy-

I couldn't agree more!

To quote Amy, "Who can resist unicorns, rainbows, roller skates, disco balls and hot pink hot pants?".  Me either Amy!  Rollergirl Rocks!!!!!

Wanted Rollergirl searching for your perfect Rollergirl wedding flowers:

The Rollergirl Bouquet sells for $225.00  See Floricultcha for more details and other interesting wedding flower alternatives.

If you are a fellow wedding vendor and wish to be featured on this blog please contact me or convo Swankunderpinnings via

Krissy Cartwright
Make Believe'N Wedding Alternatives LLC

Monday, February 21, 2011

Eco Love - Think Vintage

So, you’re engaged. Congrats. You and your partner have decided to have an eco friendly wedding without sacrificing your offbeat style. Think vintage, the ultimate recycling. I know you’re thinking that you don’t want to look old fashioned but modern hip and dripping with stylish originality. And why not!
If you are lucky enough to find a garment that fits and is not damaged then you have scored. Most likely it will need something. Maybe something needs to be removed or added or maybe it is damaged. Perhaps it just doesn’t fit. My advice is to re fashion.
In the hands of a skilled artisan magic can happen. When looking for a seamstress be sure and leave yourself some time to interview prospects. You will be working closely with this person and the chemistry needs to be right. On your first meeting bring all the pictures and pieces of things that you have collected. My favorite clients are the ones who show up with truckloads of stuff. They know what they want and my job is to help them get there. Don’t worry that there seems to be no unifying concept, bring it all.

You are probably wondering how to find this person. Word of mouth is usually your best bet. Ask at local vintage shops since they often have access to people who do repair work for them.
There are many wonderful designer/makers online that may have a style that meshes with your own.Often they are available for custom work or just tweaking a design they are already offering.


Make sure you ask or read about their policies. You will probably be required to make a non-refundable down payment to start work. I know this can feel a little scary. Do your research. There are many sites with good resource info. Here is a good starting place

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lianna and Darwin - Engagement Photos

I'm shooting my friends wedding in April so last week we went to take some engagment photos. Lianna, the bride-to-be, is a glam girl and loves vintage but she and her groom wanted offbeat backgrounds for the photos. However, Lianna's mom wanted some traditional backgrounds for the grandma's. I decided on Irwindale and Duarte, California. Irwindale has a lot of industry and Duarte is a great suburb with a lovely trail full of trees and a little bridge! Both parties, the couple and the granny's, were happy with the results!!
Here are a few of our offbeat and traditional photos for you to see what you prefer.

These wonderful pinwheels are so fun and whimsical. They were courtesy of Kellee from Rule42 on Etsy.
She has ready made pinwheels and also takes custom orders!
Click on her shop name or one of these photos to check out these great offbeat wedding pinwheels!

Near the bridge where we took photos was this electronic-gadet-guy shop. Two guys own it and moved their original shop in Pasadena here. They allowed us to take photos in the store and before exiting I just had to get them in a photo to remember their kindness!

This next one is taken at a trucking yard. We drove in off the main street and were able to get a few great shots before we were kicked out by the security guard!

And lastly this was some sort of 'fencing' guarding who knows what but I was charmed immediately when I saw it so we pulled over and jumped out of the car. As I photographed the kids there was no shortage of whistles and cat calls from passing cars!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Who's the Boss?

Wow. Maybe I live a little too close to Jersey, but these cufflinks just rocked my world a little today.

Original cufflinks from Nostaliclinks

After all, doesn't the groom deserve at least that little space at the end of his shirt sleeves to stake his claim, after all that girlie (let's be honest, ladies, I don't care how fresh and offbeat you are...) so-often-bride-centered 'he-just-wants-to-get-on-with-the-party' wedding planning...

Nostalgic Links has captured in these little man-ccessories an amazing humor that my ramblings can't even begin to do justice. So go ahead and hop on over to her shop and see all she has 'in store.'

Offbeat bride hair accessories

The following pictures of bridal hair accessories I found on etsy.
I am in love with these head pieces and becoming inspired by these fabulous pieces.
From dramatic hats to feminine flower feather pieces.
Gothic Valentine Dramatic black and red mini Pillbox Hat with Veil
by orderabandon on etsy

Baby blue feather fascinator BELLDANDY design - Made of guinea hen feather and satin flowers - CHOOSE headband, comb, elastic band, or hair clip. This clip is by Castlememories on etsy

Gothic Tiara by EJPcreations on etsy
Be it adventure, romance, or just on the prowl this tiara is the perfect accent for any hair do. Made out of small ornate clock hands it adds just a little of Gothic, Neo-Victorian sparkle to any outfit. This is the hair accessory that will bring excitement and adventure to you. A tiara with echos of the past encased in it's clock hand peaks.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Resources for an Eco-friendly Wedding

Whether you are you are just starting to plan or hoping to offset your destination wedding carbon footprint with a eco-friendly honeymoon, there are a million ways to go green with your wedding. Here is a quick list of a few fashionably eco-chic sites and blogs to inspire!

This site offers a wonderful planning guide for an eco-wedding A to Z!

A wonderfully elegant and inspiring place to shop for favors, decor and invitations.

Get your FREE Eco-chic wedding planner here!

If you are wondering about where to go for eco-friendly flowers - look no further!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Organize Your Offbeat Wedding

Custom Wedding PLanner

Organization is the key to a great wedding no matter your style. No matter whether you are going all out and getting a wedding planner or are on a budget, being organized will make or break your day. With some great tips, a little know how, and some FAB Etsy finds any engaged person can organize the Offbeat Wedding of their dreams.

ladiesandgentlemen Chalk Piggy Bank

Know your budget.  Don't fight it; embrace it. Working within your means is something to be proud of and a goal you can achieve. There are so many websites and books out there for the budget wedding you will have no trouble getting what you want for less. When I got married my father gave me a small budget and I was never more proud then when I could tell him I stayed below my budget and gave him money back.

The 'I Will Get It Done Soon' NotePad

Make a list of what needs to be done. Don't know what to do?  Buy an wedding planner notebook; it's the best investment you could make! Separate the list into what you and your partner can do, add a separate category for thing to get help with. Have that list ready for when friends and family say, "What can I do to help?"  Let them help; it will make them feel like they are part of your happy day.

Mini Chalkboard Calendar

Finding fun ways to keep on track with your day to day activities will help you not feel overwhelmed. Find places to add fun organizers like this mini chalkboard calender that can go anywhere. Don't have a fancy phone with the latest gadgety apps?  Then try using online reminder systems like or that will send you a reminder through your email. Remember to use your social media to keep your wedding party up to date on important events.

Large Herringbone Wine Cork Bulletin Board

Last try "Storybooking" your ideas, make all your ideas into a fun college that you can look at and add to or change as you need to. This fun cork board would be great to have a central place to post all the parts that will come together to make your Offbeat Wedding Dreams come true. When all is done you will have a great graphic reminder of your day.

by Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard

Friday, February 4, 2011

Did Someone Say CHOCOLATE???

I've attended my fair share of weddings and always looked forward to what kind of cake will be served!
This is a concern for me since I think nothing less than chocolate should be served. Of course, this is very
narrow minded on my part, but if it's not chocolate....I'm not interested.
I can love you to death as a friend, cousin or even sister....but I want something chocolate at your wedding.

With that in mind I have created the most perfect, offbeat dessert selection for the next wedding I'm invited to. Or perhaps, for your offbeat wedding you would like try this out.

What else....but a chocolate bar! Candy bars have become quite popular the last few years but I have yet to see an all chocolate bar. I'll dream about it until I do!!

Calabasas Candy Co offers some amazing red chocolate hearts drizzled with white chocolate!!

And check out these Raw Organic Rose Petal chocolates from Earth Alchemy!!

Here is a Nautical Assortment of Seashells from Sweet Leslie 540 for your beach wedding!

And for true chocolate lovers like myself, we could blindly find the chocolate, but for a bit of whimsy you could add a chocolate sign like this one from Signs By Diane!

All of these wonderful treasures are sold on Etsy and if you click on the photo or shop name it will take you to more information about each product.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Being an offbeat lovin' Groom

What does being an offbeat lovin' groom mean? What are your options? What is your part in the grand theme of your wedding day? What does offbeat mean anyway?

At home you may call yourself a gamer, history buff, science nerd, whatever. In the wedding world, we call that offbeat. And we celebrate it!

A few of the ways that YOU can celebrate your offbeat-ness on the big day are boutonnieres, the grooms cake, your vows, your outfit and even your ring.

So take a moment to think about how you would like to express your quirky inner self and run it by your offbeat lovin' fiance!

I'm sure your other half will appreciate the help with ideas and inspiration!

Oh and leave us a comment to tell us about your inspiration!

(click on any of the pictures to see more from that shop!)

What Inspires You?

You’ve already said yes and hopefully set a date. Now – what does your wedding look like? Dress, d├ęcor, invites, location, etc.

Phew! Seems like a daunting task but all you need is that first step. Pick one aspect to focus on and the rest will follow!

Having a goal is the first step to successful completion. I find that vision boards can be extraordinarily helpful in the layout of an idea. Magazines have layout books, Designers have colour boards and now you will have your vision board.

What is a vision board? It’s the place where we will put all the pictures of what inspires you.

First step is to gather images, fabrics, etc. of what is pleasing or exciting.

Second step is go through your collected pile and arrange them onto a surface – poster board, cork board, wall, etc.

Third step is to stand back and take a look at what you created.

(Personally, I like cork boards as it allows me the versatility to change out images.)

So now you have an idea of what to do...look around, see what makes you excited!

Can you really talk all day about that grey chiffon? Add it to the board. Ancient ruins make your heart sing? Tack an image to the board. Chocolate rum mousse makes your mouth water? ...add it to the board!

These boards can be all encompassing or simply about one aspect of your wedding. About your dress, your destination, your look - whatever it is you need help with!

So I'll leave you with some items of beauty that inspire me...Now go create something new!

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

So what inspires you? We want to know!

Send us your stories and any images that thrill you. Whether it's sipping champagne in Doc Martens at the museum wedding reception or wing suiting while reciting your vows - we want to hear it.

Your inspiration could be the domino for someone else...

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