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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Favors (13)


To Favor or Not?

Some people have really strong feelings about wedding favors.

Waste of money is one shared thought about them. I guess that’s the main complaint, right? Trying to think what the other cons might be. Time sucker?

I personally think they are a sweet gesture. I think we all know how I feel about certain favors though….anything that’s a permanent keepsake with YOUR name and  wedding date on it? No one wants something like that except maybe your mom. If it has some actual use, then maybe.

Example of such favor? My cousin (and MOH) is an English professor, PhD student and has an obsession with books. Her mother is an artist. For her favors, my aunt painted a landscape of their wedding location (The Rock at Morro Bay) and copied it into an image, which they made into laminated bookmarks. It’s a pretty little bookmark that I occasionally use (I have a tendency to lose them, so use them sparingly), and more importantly, it made sense to the bride/groom and has an alternate use.

Here are some things you should consider regarding favors:

  • Location. I can’t tell you how many Unfake Brides put their favors in a location where guests completely missed them. Think it through. The best location is right in front of their faces, like at the table where they sit.
  • Size. No one wants to lug around a giant jar of jam, particularly women with tiny little clutches. Men won’t care. If a high number of your guests are traveling to attend your wedding? Think of a gift that can be thrown into a suitcase and make it through security.
  • Cost. Food is cheap. It’ VERY DIYable, even if you are a crafting jack-ass, all hooves and no thumbs, even you can pull off a bag of candy and a sweet note of thanks.
  • If you don’t have a small notion of thanks, please make sure you thank everyone for coming, either en masse, or individually. It’s just the polite thing to do.

Here are some easy DIY favors I found that sparked this post! It was on this splendid blog called Such Pretty Things.

The Thirty-Something Bride via Such Pretty Things4

The Thirty-Something Bride via Such Pretty Things5 The Thirty-Something Bride via Such Pretty Things6

Rock Candy can be purchased pretty cheap. Clear bags here, ribbon and flowers at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Ben Franklin, wherever. Hot glue and a tie a ribbon and you’re set.

The Thirty-Something Bride via Such Pretty Things1 The Thirty-Something Bride via Such Pretty Things2


Lindt truffles wrapped in crepe paper tied with ribbon. Easy. Fast. Cheap.

What kind of favor are you planning to do? What did you do? Was it fast? Easy? Cheap? Meaningful? What was the best favor you ever got? What was the worst?

My fave: Truffles from a small Chicago chocolatier that I personally loved – as did the bride!

The worst: A heart shaped bottle stopper. I like it well enough, don’t get me wrong. It’s cute and it works. However, it means NOTHING to me regarding the bride and groom. I wish it did.

Do tell.


{DIY Favors} Cheesecake in a Jar!

So one of the most popular posts here on T30SB is DIY Cake in a Jar. Funny thing is, I’ve never made them! Irony at work.

So when I was flipping through the January issue of Martha Stewart Living and saw this:


I was pretty sure I needed to give it a shot. I mean, I gotta at least TRY to walk the DIY talk, right? My first concern? I‘ve never made a cheesecake in my life. Not in a jar or a pan, so this was definitely a new road for me. And guess what? I don’t even really like cheesecake. It’s the very last thing I’m going to order on the dessert menu. Why? It’s just so heavy and so sweet. So we’ll see how all this goes, right?

I had some canning jars on hand as well as all the recipe ingredients, so totally just needed to give it a go. I didn’t have the exact ingredients on hand, but every DIY project involves a bit of “winging it.”

Do you like the clever coordination of ingredients? Well, I left out the sugar and preserves. Lucky thing there’s a list of them too! I used low fat sour cream and low fat cream cheese because that’s what was in my fridge.
Mini Cheesecake Jars by Martha Stewart modified slightly by T30SB.

  • For the Cheesecake
    • 8 ounces low fat cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 3 eggs, room temperature
    • 4 ounces fat free sour cream (1/2 cup)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon fruit preserves or jam (about a small jar of preserves).
  • For the Graham Topping
    • 1/2 cup finely ground graham crackers (from 4 crackers)
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Get your jars set up in a deep pan. I had two large ones and four small, but you’ll want the small ones. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Make the cheesecakes: Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes more. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Raise speed to medium. Add sour cream, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat for 3 minutes.

batterDivide batter among the jars, filling each two-thirds full. I knew trying to spoon batter in the jars would be a giant-ass mess, so I put the batter into this pitcher thing. It was a good idea.



Transfer jars to a deep baking dish; add enough boiling water to dish to reach halfway up the sides of the jars. Cover dish with foil; cut 8 slits into top to vent. Please note my perfect pan covered in perfect tinfoil. NOT.

The recipe says to bake until set in the center, about 25 minutes. It took my oven more like 31 minutes. I won’t tell you how I made a mess putting the giant pan filled with water and jars of cheesecake batter back in the oven. Let’s just say that it could have been much, much worse and there was only one dead cheesecake soldier from the snafu.

Let cool. Refrigerate overnight to set.

Meanwhile, make the graham topping. I used my Cuisinart mini food processor which is one of the most used appliances in my kitchen. They aren’t too expensive ($40) and you can get them cheaper using a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath & Beyond (you’ll get 20% off and $5 off coupons in the mail if you register with them, look through wedding magazines as well as daily mailers). You can also get them SUPER cheap at Costco.



Stir together graham-cracker crumbs and butter. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10 minutes. Just pop the crumbs in the oven on the bottom rack beneath the cooking cheesecakes. Let cool.

Since the cheesecakes need to set overnight, just put on the lids and stick them in the fridge. Keep the graham crumbs in an airtight container, but not in the fridge.

cup1The original recipe says to top each cheesecake with 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons preserves. Like I’ve got time for that, Martha. Make it about 2 scoops with a regular spoon and cover the cheesecake top with a pretty layer. Divide graham topping among jars. For me, the best thing about cheesecake is the crust, so I was heavy handed with the “crust” part of this.


So of course I had to make it look all pretty. I just took one of the many vintage lace doilies I have laying around and tied it to the top with some vintage lace. HOW CUTE, RIGHT?


But the real test? How does is taste? I took one of the larger jars that didn’t look quite as pretty as the short ones for a taste test.


I have to say, not bad. I’m not sure if the consistency is perfect Martha-esque cheesecake consistency, but it’s good. In fact, I think because I used low fat cream cheese and low fat sour cream, it wasn’t nearly as heavy or sweet as regular cheesecake.

OK, but you want to know the skinny? I would pass on these as wedding favors if you had to make 30 or more. Making 6 was pretty easy, but it’s not like you can bake lots of these all at once, what with the water filled baking dish and all. They’ll keep in the fridge for a while if you want to do them in steps. But what about the wedding day? You gotta take them out of refrigeration, transport them and how long will they sit out before your guests get to them? Who wants tepid cheesecake? Ew. Not me. Room temperature dairy stuffs definitely skeeves me out. And if you took them from refrigeration direct to guest, then your jar’s gonna get all foggy and shit. Nah, I’d pass.

However, that being said, I think this is a fantastic dinner party option. I’m going to guess this is MUCH easier than baking a REAL cheesecake. Make it the night before, scoop the toppings on before your guests arrive and everyone has their own mini cheesecake! Everyone wants their own individual cake. It makes you feel special.

Yes, it does.


{Sponsored Post!} The Last Detail

As a DIY-heavy bride myself, I‘m always a little hesitant when folks contact me about featuring favors and decorations and such that can be purchased on-line.

And that’s just dumb.

The reality is, not all of us are creative. Not all of us own hot glue guns, paper cutters or have a rainbow of cardstock supply at our fingertips. Not all of us care about DIY. Not all of us have the time, inclination or desire. Are you that kind of bride? It’s OK if you are because there is help. The Last Detail is a super-swank, on-line shopping experience that can make your wedding planning a smidge easier.

And if you are a DIY kind of bride? You know there’s always a project that goes a little, um, shall we say awry? If you find yourself in a pinch, you’ll like this post too! 

SO anyway, I really like the variety of products The Last Detail offers, from the wedding favours to table décor to bunting, signage and more. My personal favorites are the pretty little heart cut-out bunting and super-sweet dessert picks. The 20 picks have a range of quirky messages such as 'little fancies', 'dainty delights', 'take your pick', and 'pretty sweet'. Cute, no?

Clip_6 Clip_7

They have a nice selection of wedding guest books too, if you’d like to go the traditional route. However, I’m liking this alternate “Wishing Tree” option (though I do wish we’d all stop calling it a “Wishing Tree” – it just sounds lame to me).

Clip_4 Clip_5

Super-cute butterflies, right?

The other thing I like about this site is how it’s set up. You can shop by “range” (like a theme: Vintage Floral, The Black Collection) to save yourself some effort or you can browse products by color. Anything that saves a planning bride some time is key, no?

Lastly, they’ve got a cool “Ideas & Inspirations” section that helps you with coming up with a theme, or color direction. Now, don’t scoff at that. Having a direction helps with your planning, whether it be a motif, a color or even a location. The hard part is simply choosing! So go check out The Last Detail, you’ll be happy you did!

And don't forget! Today is the LAST DAY to enter win the Melissa Sweet Pre-Love Wedding Gown!


See What’s Blooming with BloemBox!

So I saw BloemBox in the temporary exhibits in Atlanta and thought their presentation was just super-sweet, so I had to share! My brain was screaming at me: FAVORS! BRIDAL SHOWER! BABY SHOWER! CUTE! Sometimes it’s difficult to speak/think when my head is so freakin’ loud, but the folks at BloemBox didn’t seem to mind me gushing over their cute little boxes of seed love. Not one bit. They were super-duper friendly. Check it out:


I think we’ve all seen little seed favors before, but look how totally adorable this presentation is! I love the little Lucite stands! You could hang these from little wish trees as favors too! The boxed goodies come with a single silk blossom on top of each box. Inside you’ll find one 15' biodegradable, plantable tissue paper seed ribbon that grows into the blossom shown on top of each box! 


The smallest size are the little tins on the right and came as shown and filled with seeds of the corresponding flower on top. They come packaged as a set of 6 for $39. There are countless floral and even veggies to choose from! Oh, and even edible flowers, which I think is super cool! The slightly larger box that comes with the seed ribbon is $99 for a set of 6.



 BloemBox also offers large bulb kits, boxed sachets, organic seed mats, perennials, herbs and so much more! The color combinations are endless!


To top it all off, they offer personalized tags for any of their product offerings! You can get up o 9 sets (54 tags) for $35. Each additional set of 6 is $1.20 after that. And how nice was it for the man to hold this sign for me?

So check out BloemBox now! You can totally order right on their website. How convenient is that? Love it.

*This is not a sponsored post. This is just a product I think it cool and want to share.


Wedding Favors, Revisited.

*For the boys who read this blog? This is kind of an extra-girly post. You might want to pass on this one.

The last time I posted about wedding favors I stressed the edible kind. I am a big believer in favors that are instantly consumable. We all have our reasons. Me? I could care less about the wedding date after the fact, so a little reminder is something I don’t need. I hate chotsky crap, so no, I do not want a crystal clock engraved with your new initials. Lame.

At Marie’s wedding, after the averted dress crisis, we all finally settled into the lovely space for dinner and I immediately went for the favor. I was starving. Maybe the stress of sewing into a Monique Lhuillier dress made me hungry, who knows? All I know is that I ripped into that edible favor like I hadn’t eaten in ten years. I have no idea what it tasted like, just that I no longer felt faint. The Candyman asked me to put his edible favor into my purse for safe keeping. I’m all, “WHAT?!?” and he’s all, “I might be hungry later.” That was the last thought I’d given to his edible favor.

That is, until Saturday night.

I woke up Saturday morning to the lovely gift of fertility. And womanhood. And whatever else you want to fucking call it. The Candyman refers to it as “Moon Time.” I refer to it as "Hell." I swear to God, I thought these things were supposed to get less intense the older you get. I call total bullshit on that. Anyway, Saturday we had plans. We had Costco plans. I would not, could not let Moon Time interfere with my need for a  jumbo bag of coffee nor 240 zip lock bags. I dosed myself with Pamprin, an extra Mobic and some Tylenol, just for good measure. By the time we made it home several hours later, I needed the couch, a lobotomy and was praying for an immaculate hysterectomy.

What I really wanted was chocolate. Badly. We had some chocolate Skinny Cows in the freezer, but that just wasn’t going to cut it so I didn’t waste my time. I ate some left-over Candyman birthday cake, but that was German chocolate cake with pecan/coconut frosting and that totally did NOT satisfy the need. I wanted dark, hard, real chocolate and there was none (NONE!) in the house. So to placate myself, I decided to take some more Pamprin and a Cyclobenzaprine (by the way, all of these are prescription meds that I’m allowed to be in possession of), take a bath and go to bed. At like 9:30pm. On a Saturday night. Nice.

So I drag my bloated, crampy, irritable self upstairs and I go to grab some comfy post-bath night clothes and out from in-between two shirts falls The Candyman’s favor from Marie’s wedding.

Did I not describe the favor? No? Very simply, chocolate cover pretzels decorated as the bride and groom. See:


Abby Jiu Photography

Now, Marie’s wedding was at the end of April. It’s June. This happy little Bride and Groom Pretzel were simply tucked away between two t-shirts that I didn’t wear in D.C. They got put away in the closet, unnoticed, until the time when they were needed the most. The MOST. Of course I fucking ate them. I was desperate Moon Time Woman. Sheesh. After the bath, I wrote an email to Marie. I included the following list regarding her favors:

1. That little cellophane wrapper kept those suckers fresh!
2. Damn straight I ate month old weddings favors.
3. I hadn't noticed at the wedding, but Pretzel Bride had on purple fucking shoes. Like yours. Genius.
4. Pretzel Groom was definitely the better tasting of the two, but I appreciated the little sparkly sugar on Pretzel Bride.
5. I ate them both in the tub and I swear, I feel better.

She replied with the following response:

I love you.

And that is why, my dear, sweet brides, you must have edible wedding favors. You just never know when they might save a girlfriend from a self-hysterectomy or totally insanity.

I’m just sayin’.

And aren’t the little purple Pretzel Bride shoes the cutest? Here’s a sneak peek of the real shoes from the wedding! Alexander McQueen purple heart-shaped peep-toes??? I die.


Abby Jiu Photography

Her Unfake Wedding feature is not too far away! Stay tuned!

And does anyone else need full-fledged chocolate anything during Moon Time?