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oct30Together, Bake it Pretty and Inspired Bride created a table full of candy for the eyes and tummy. I can vouch for Bake it Pretty’s selection and quality, as I’ve used their products for most of my parties (cupcake frosting tip, cake pop sticks, sprinkles, cupcake wrappers…oh the list goes on and on). Find all the delicious details (and recipes) for recreating this spectacular table of sweets.

Maddy, from Inspired Bride, use a simple color palette of ice blues and whites to avoid taking the focus away from the display. Check out Maddy’s tips and easy directions to inspire your next dessert buffet.

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apr06Hello! How are you doing? While on the island, it was an unspoken rule on the island that you must greet everyone before starting a conversation. I absolutely loved this! If only somehow I could bring this back to the mainland. Haha! Anyway, onto the details!

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1) Design wise, my main focus was on the reception. Since the group was small (14 guests), we were able to do one intimate rectangular table. The table runners (turquoise) and cotton napkins (lime green) were ordered from Table Cloths Factory.They were the most affordable in the colors I wanted. Tealights were placed down the center of the runner along the length of the table. Since the ceremony was just before sunset, most of the reception would be in the dark. By providing mood lighting with the tealights and the warmness of the candle light worked well with the cool Caribbean night.

2) I choose the napkins to be a different color than the runners, so you had the pop of color. Since we did not ordering additional flowers for the reception, the green napkins were part of the design. The name cards were created in PowerPoint, then cut individually and glued to a blue cardstock. For cake table banner, this process was the same, but an additional green circle was added behind the blue cardstock. Although, it was not pictured here, a little sweet with a personalized “O” for the couples’ last name was added to the top of each napkin.

3) Again being budget friendly, we did not rent chairs or rent/buy chair covers. By using what is available and ordering chair sashes (which are cheaper than chair covers), it really dressed up a simple plastic chair. The chair sash was also from Table Cloths Factory (in turquoise).

4)The Tissue Poms strike back! I’ve said in one of my earlier posts that I love these poms. To save time, I used the poms from the bridal shower, “depuffed” 40 of them and packed them in my carry on. The night before (after the rehearsal dinner), I enlisted the group to “puff” them out. I was quite pleased with the results. In addition, the restaurant wanted us to leave them (Yay!! No tear down) for another party. The roof of the recption area was pretty high. By using the poms, they brought the roof closer to the party. Thus, creating a more personal space.

Reviews: Being on an island that is 9 miles by 3 miles, we were limited in some of our options. Everything has to be shipped to the island, making costs on everyday items expensive. We did what we could with our budget and try to expand the dollar by bring most of our décor with us on the plane.

Overall, the wedding was a complete success. The ceremony was personal, funny and moving in all the right moments. At the end of the ceremony, a lovely song dedicated to the couple was sung by the group, in perfect harmony with the breeze. The food all week was beyond amazing. Fresh seafood is my favorite!! Most importantly, all the persons involved were unbelievably kind and helpful in assisting me in my endeavors.

And the Mother of the Groom has a surprise song for the Bride and Groom. The musical talent sang “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and an impromptu jam session started. *Notice the name cards on the ukulele players. Cute!

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Beach: Trunk Bay was the gorgeous beach where the ceremony was held. I did not obtain the evening/event permit, but the Mother of the groom did. There is a small fee to use the beach after the beach closes. This worked out well, as the day users had to leave at 4:30 pm, thus, making the beach empty and open for all of our festivities. The beach was very clean and had covered pavilions which were used for pictures while the rain came down.

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Cake: St John Cakes was our cake vendor. They weren’t responsive at the beginning, due to an email problem. However, it was confirmed we would use their services, but then their fax machine didn’t work. They said they would not bring the cake (although it was already paid for) until the contract was given to them. We finally coordinated a PHYSICAL time/place to meet up with them to give them a contract. I am not sure if that is the way the island does it, but it was stressful when we were having trouble contacting them while on the island. In the end, the Chocolate Ganache with Madagascar vanilla filling and frosting was delicious. Cake decorations were from another vendor.

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Cake Decorations: I found a cute little vendor, Through the Woods, on Etsy. If you do not know about Etsy, shame on you! It is a fabulous way to find homemade arts, crafts and goods for reasonable prices. It is a good way to support up and coming artists, local artists (search local Etsy) and incorporate a bit of style into any event. I ordered the cupcake medallions (sweet favor on top of each napkin), cake topper and the fondant circles. I was very pleased with all items. My only concern for future orders is the packing/shipping of the medallions (all other items were perfect). These fragile will sweets were jumbled a bit, but packing them in foil or something that cushions the bumping postal ride will help loosing some of the lovely little dots.

P1010055bridesmaids and reception table centerpieces: mini green hydrangeas, cymbidium orchids and hypericum berries

Flowers: Ali from East End Flower Shop in St Thomas, was an absolute doll. She was able to ease my worries about the flowers. As much as I love destination weddings, I prefer to see things in person, especially flowers. Through our many email conversations, I was able to convey the look I wanted. Her local flower expertise was very useful when choosing flowers in season that flowers that fit our color and budget. I highly recommend this little shop on St Thomas.

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Bride’s bouquet: white Casablanca lilies and white roses

Reception: The reception was held at the Fish Trap Restaurant in St John. Lisa and her husband are the owners of the Fish Trap and Lisa was my main contact. She is so fabulous! She was able to provide everything I needed at a moment’s notice. I am so grateful for her help and assistance. She knew what to expect for a party and made sure our group had their every request fulfilled. Not to mention, but most importantly, the food. O.M.G. The food was amaaaazing. It was an open menu, so the guests were able to order anything off of their extensive and very fresh and local menu. Just like Pavlov’s dogs, my mouth still waters at the thought of my dinner.

Music: We use a speaker system for iPods and use an iPod preloaded with all our favorite songs. It was loud enough to have background music for dinner and music for a bit of dancing.

Villa: Everyone stayed at Chateau Margot, a private villa in the mountains of St John. It was a fabulous place to stay, however I would have preferred a option that was closer to town, as taxis and driving got to be bothersome.

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That is it, mon! Hope you enjoyed the whirlwind review.

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apr05On March 25, 2009, my husband and I were in paradise. We were surrounded by picture perfect blue water and our toes were mingling with silky white sand. I was extremely lucky that my bride and groom were laid back and did not care what I did. As long as it had the following elements: kept it under a certain budget, incorporated blue and green colors and everyone was barefoot on the beach for the ceremony. All of my projects are from the heart, but this set up shop in a special nook, as I was her Matron of Honor. This 15 month process was a labor of love and my sweet Jessica was getting married to her perfect match in St John USVI. Here are some non-pro pictures of my favorite details.

 

Attire Details

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1) The bride’s “something borrowed” was one of the bridesmaid’s earrings and the “something old” was the pearl necklace.

 

2) The bride wore an empire waist dress from Tread, a dress line in NYC. The silk chiffon was a perfect match for the light and airy location. It was ordered from The English Department, a cute boutique in downtown Portland, Oregon.

 

3) The groom wore a crisp white collared shirt made by Calvin Klein and knee length khaki shorts.

 

4) The bridesmaids wore a simple strapless cotton dress from J Crew. I love that it had pockets!

 

Ceremony :: Trunk Bay, St John, USVI

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1) A couple of the bridesmaids’ gold braided sandals from Old Navy were left on the nearby rocks.

 

2) The kiss! After the each of the 14 guests spoke a few words, recited a poem or lyrics from a song, the couple exchanged their personalized vows.

 

3) The scene for the ceremony was gorgeous enough. I didn’t want to obstruct from the grand view, so fresh cut palms were used in creating the ceremony aisle and circle.

 

4) Ukuleles and a bass made up the components of the ceremony music. The father and mother of the groom (middle and right) played and sang the couple’s favorite song, “Three Little Birds” as the processional song and recessional song. They were also the ordained ministers and conducted the intimate ceremony.

 

5) The newlyweds taking their first walk as husband and wife. As you can see the clouds brewing in the background, the warm rains of St John sprinkled down a few moments later.

 

That is all for now. More to come!!!

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mar20I won’t be posting next week, as I am committed to making sure every detail is in place. Once things are triple confirmed, I will be watching an intimate ceremony of two souls coming together. Then celebrating with the bride and groom by dancing to the couples’ favorite reggae songs and enjoying a a fruity drink on the beach in the Virgin Islands. However, I promise to have a “Real Wedding” of Jess & John very soon! Bon voyage! Until then, here is a sneak peak of two DIY projects I’ve been working on (Cake Table Banner and Rehearsal Dinner Menu Cards).

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feb15Jessica & John are getting married in St John, USVI in March. I created a mood board to help organize the elements of a bridal shower and created a simple menu for a luncheon and shower on a budget. See below for more details!


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1. To set the tone of the shower, use simple tropical shower invitations. Embossed invites can be ordered online or DIY. I prefer DIY, because it is cheaper, easy to do, and you have the customized look without paying the price.

2. Faux coral or shells can be found a your local craft store. Don’t forget to check craigslist.org or freecycle.org

3. A neutral colored table runner or a runner made of natural fibers will set the stage. Run the table cloth in the middle of your buffet table and place the pineapples down the runner. Most table runners have an edge that hangs off, depending on your preference, you can have 6-10 inches on each side. To figure out the length to buy, measure your table then had 12-20 inches.

4. Glass beverage containers are a great way to serve beverages. You can fill and forget. You can dress up the container by using some ribbon and a tag to label the type of beverage. This beverage container is made form recycled glass. Not only does it look good, but it is good for the environment.

5. A specialty drink or punch is another way to tie in the theme with the menu. Deep Blue Sea can be made an alcoholic beverage or as a non-alcoholic beverage, just substitute the vodka for 7-Up, ginger ale or club soda and substitute the Blue Curacao liqueur for blue food coloring or 1 pack of Kool-aid mix. Oo, that sounds natural.

6. In my opinion, the cake is usually glue that holds the bridal shower together. If you don’t have the budget to spend on a custom cake, you can still get the custom look without busting the bank. Using Wilton brand fondant packs (found at your local decorating store or craft store) and a from scratch cake from Ina Garten, you can create a beautiful custom cake. Or you can use the butter cream frosting Ina provides and use her tip about smoothing out the frosting with a flexible spatula and hot water.

Another option is ordering a small 8inch custom cake and making cupcakes to supplement the cake. The cupcakes will provide the finishing touch to your bridal shower.

7. Fresh pineapple is a simple and cheap way to decorate the buffet table. When picking out pineapple at the market, look for these things:

  1. Bright green leaves (brown leaves=too ripe),
  2. The eyes (the roundish circles on the pineapple) should be symmetrical.
  3. No soft spots, a firm pineapple is best.
  4. Smell the pineapple, is it sweet? Strong? All great qualities for a fresh, ripe pineapple

8. Paper lanterns and tissue poms are a fabulous way to dress up a space. I love using these poms for everything. You can say, “I’ve gone pom crazy”. Both come in a variety of colors, so you are find the perfect shade for your next party.

9. Since the shower is in March, it will be a perfect time to find those green flowers (just in time for St Patrick’s Day). Take advantage of those green fleurs! The green Kermit mums, spider mums, parrot tulips or green roses are beautiful and you don’t need a lot to make a statement. Check your local farmer’s market (yay spring!), Trader Joe, Costco or grocery store to find flowers within your budget.

10. Candles always set the mood. Floating candles can be used to off set the cost of fresh flowers. Gather several glass vases at various heights and fill with water. Place floating tea lights and light. Remember to do it about 15 minutes prior to guests arrive. On the package, it should say it burning life. Look for ones that have at least 3 hours.

11. Flip flops in coordinating wedding colors can be used a favors or prizes. At $2.50 (when you buy 2 or more), it is a great way to keep in budget and theme.

12. Using candy in the shower’s colors, you can easily punch up the space with pops of color. Fill bowls with blue & green M&Ms, rock candy and place around the room. Guests can enjoy sweet treats throughout the shower. If you don’t want to order online, head to your local mall and see if they have a candy shop. Watch for your sweet tooth!

MENU

Crudités Tray: baby carrots, sugar snap peas, baby bell peppers/sliced bell peppers
Vegetable Wraps 
Spinach Salad w/ Jicama
Tropical Fruit Kebabs with Lime Cream
Coconut Cupcakes

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