Archive for the ‘Wedding Events’ Category

may25When planning a wedding, usually the bride’s goal is to make the wedding spectacularly different from any other wedding. Memorable. Unique. Personable. Recently, I came across this video and all those adjectives immediately came to mind. How would the invite look?

Together with their parents

Jane Zoe & John Doe

request the honour of your presence
at their marriage
on Sunday, the fourth of October
two thousand ten
at six o’clock in the evening

1890 SE Street
Portland, Oregon

Wedding Music Video and Reception to follow

Check out the wedding music video of Brian and Eileen. I bow down to their video coordinator and guests. Kudos to you.


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may22When you think of the word budget, what do you think of? Cheap? Plastic? Generic? For example, when I see carnations, I gag. Well, not really, but I do think of cheap. But there are ways to rework the overused carnations and other elements such as tissue paper and doilies into easy and impressive accents. What do carnations, tissue papers and doilies have in common? They are all cheap, overworked and unappreciated. There are ways to trim the budget by using these overused and stale decoration ideas in a new and chic manner.

Carnation Overkill

Carnations are grown all over the world, including counties such as “The Iraq”, Kenya, India, Turkey and  China. Being available year round and coming in a variety of shades (about 10,000 different varieties) makes this a commonly filler flower in bouquets. If it is kept properly hydrated, it will remain fresh and fragrant for about three weeks. The key to carnations: use in bulk.


Whimsical Centerpieces: Carnations are bunched together in a vase wrapped in aspidistra leaves. Silver wire is tied to give it a modern feel.

Bed of Roses Carnations: Carnations are always better in masses. This is a great way to display your escort cards, a aisle runner or a centerpiece. Floral foam are found in a variety of shapes and sizes. This project can be made weeks in advance, just remember to follow the last step.

  • Fill a sink or large bowl with cool water, and mix with floral food, following label instructions. Submerge the foam water for 1 hour, then place on a tray.
  • Cut flower stems about 1 inch from the head. Starting from the middle of the foam, insert the cut stems into the form, clustering the blooms close together.
  • To use this arrangement as a centerpiece, set it on a tray or plate. Every 4 days, place your arrangement in a sink and water it from above; let it drain. Your arrangement should last for up to 2 weeks in a cool, humid location.

Kiss me Carnation: Pomander or “kissing ball” are an easy way to add elevation and excitement to a table urchase floral foam balls in the size of your choice (available at any floral supply store or online), flowers (sturdy flowers so they don’t get crushed) and wire.

  • To prepare the ball for hanging, wrap wire around the diameter of the ball, then wrap it again but in the opposite direction to divide the ball into quarters. Twist the ends of the wire into a small loop (you’ll slip the ribbon through this loop later to hang the ball).
  • Soak the foam in water.
  • Trim the stems of the flowers at an angle, leaving an inch or so beneath the head. Insert flowers. If the stems of your chosen flowers are strong enough, you can insert them into the ball as is. Insert the flowers in a straight line, creating a ring around the ball. Then cover each half of the ball with flowers, overlapping the petals slightly and making sure to fill in all the gaps.
  • Slip ribbon through the loop you created at the top of the ball.

Tissue Paper Tension

The gift bag stuffed with tissue paper is ever present at every birthday, wedding or any event that has presents. Tissue paper is the go-to when you are in a rush or don’t want to wrap a present. The key to tissue paper: using non-standard colors and creating texture.


Cute as a Button: With a little creativity, wrapping up favors can look cute and fresh. Pair tissue paper with parchment paper and tie ribbon. This person used personalized buttons to top each gift, a gift within a gift. Cute! Tissue paper comes in a variety of colors, patterns and textures. Find one that fits your budget and needs. Don’t forget to price compare! (Indigo Bunting)

Ring around the Paper: Similar to the bed of carnations or kissing ball, tightly packing tissue paper creates a huge impact when bunched in masses. Elizabeth’s simple directions will show you the steps in creating this gorgeous wreath you can use year round. (Elizabeth Anne Designs)

Gorgeous Garland: Need something to drape down the aisle or hang from the trees? Try this simple project that is easy to create but has a huge wow factor without being pretentious. Who would have thought they are made out of coffee filters and tissue paper. Both items are recyclable and are whisper thin, allowing light trickle through. Perfect for an outdoor garden party or indoor shower. (Pam Garrison)

  • Gather tissue paper, coffee filters, fabric and other paper materials and cut into similar sizes.
  • Tie a knot about 6 inches from the one end of the string.
  • Punch a hole in the middle of the circles or use a needle to feed the string through the whole. For each section, be sure to tie off with a knot so the paper packets are held in the same area.
  • Repeat

Dated Doilies

Doilies are reminiscent of a age gone by. Dust would collect as they were used to protect the furniture. If you reuse your grandmother’s doilies for these projects, she might get offended. The key to doilies: using them in alternative methods will break the stuffy/dusty doily stereotype.


High Flyin’ Flags: To incorporate a non-grandmaesque doily decoration, just colored doilies to create a stringed garland. This project is super easy and will bring you back to your drink in no time. Fold doilies of various sizes and colors in half. Use twine, ribbon or string and glue the doilies. Hang and drink. (Martha Stewart)

Illuminate Me: Using luminaries automatically adds romance and creates an intimate space. The candlelight really adds depth to the party. Follow these simple instructions to add doilies to the paper lanterns to create a display worth gushing about. (Martha Stewart)

Paper Runner: This project calls for cloth doilies, but paper doilies are fine as well. The openwork and spaces of the doilies allow the table cloth underneath to shine through. Adding different textures (unlike the picture) will help mix it up. Use metal chargers or burlap runners to help contrast with the traditionally feminine doilies. (Martha Stewart).

What do you think? Do you still hate carnations? Or will you give them a chance?

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may16Nicole is hosting a bridal shower for her future sister-in-law in Ohio. Damon and Jennifer’s wedding colors are green and black and the black is often featured in a damask-like floral pattern. Very chic! Nicole didn’t want to over do the green theme, but focus on Jennifer. The bride-to-be is a teacher and bringing in bits of her profession into the shower will create a unique and personalized event.

jenny shower

1) Wet Paint: Chalkboard paint is a fun way to add a touch of “class” to the shower. Using mini terra cotta pots (online, craft or Home Depot) and black chalkboard paint, you can create simple and easy name cards. Paint the entire pot and then write with chalk the name of the guests. It will act as a name card and favor. Buy a flat of flowers and potting soil to add some green to the scene. (Image Source)2) Tree of Life: To add some much needed height to the table, use dried myrtle branches and place in your chemistry beakers. One branch per vase should be enough. Too much will take away from the rest of the décor. If you don’t want to buy online, check out Michael’s for a  huge selection on dried branches and flowers. Just don’t forget their 40% coupon they have in the Sunday paper. (Nettleton Hollow; $18.50)

3) Apples to Apples: To continue the teacher theme, scatter some crisp Granny Smith Apples to tables. In between the stacked books and beaker vases. If you piled them in a glass hurricane, dress it up by add some ribbon. (Source)

4) Pop Quiz: To keep your guests occupied while you greet and direct traffic, create a quiz about the bride-to-be. As an ice-breaker, go over the answers as a group. Be sure to ask a variety of questions so a specific group of friends/family won’t be able to answer them all. (Martha Stewart)

5) Tagged: Write little quotes such as, “Countdown to Gown – 56 Day”, “Blushing Bride”, “Something Old…”, “Going to the Chapel” and place on the back of each chair. You can cut out your own tags or order from your local craft store or buy from an online store. Tie with coordinating ribbon.

6) Turn Tables: Using the white linens from the restaurant will add an uncomplicated base for building your table centerpieces. If the venue has other colors, ask for both white and the color and layer the tablecloths on top of each other.

7) Apple of His Eye: To get the look of customize printed invitations, customize on your home computer and print with your printer. These crisp and green printable invitations and matching green envelopes from Crane Co are perfect for the occasion. A personalized and editable .doc template has been provided. If you don’t want to print at home, take them to Kinko’s for a small fee. (Crane and Co; $15 for 10)

8) Takes the Cake: Order a simple butter cream cake and decorate yourself. Add a ½ inch satin ribbon to the girth of the cake. If you want to add apple slices, toss with lemon juice so they don’t turn brown.

9) You’ve Been Framed: For simple and budget friendly prizes, buy some frames in lime and black and insert black and white pictures of the couple. Add some ribbon and display the frames near the cake. (CB2; $1.95)

10) Bookworm: For a simple DIY décor project, borrow some thick books and cover with pretty wrapping paper. On the bind of each book, write important locations from their relationship (where they first met, got engaged, first date etc). Place the books in stacks down the length of the table. It was required to cover books in middle school, so if you don’t remember, try watching this video. (It is a bit slow, but it will refresh your memory).

11) Chemistry Class: Beaker-like glass vases add some height to your table. Place on the stacks of books for your centerpieces that won’t obstruct the view for the guests. (CB2; $2.95)

Nicole was also looking for some outfit options. I couldn’t just decide on one dress. With the summer lines coming out, everything looked just too cute.


1) Wrapped Up: A lovely swiss dot paired with a lightweight fabric makes for a great summer dress. (J Crew; $60)

2) Green Theme: Sticking with the green and black theme, this tank style dress with billowy skirt is a match made in heaven. (Anthropologie; $128)

3) Mary Poplins: Simple and sophisicated are two words that decribe this dress. Pleats add a bit of flair to the empire waisted skirt. (Gap; $60)

4) Ray of Sunshine: This no-fuss cotton dress is bright and cheery. The adjustable ties can be tied in the front or in the back. (Nordstrom; $118)

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apr27Once upon a time, when I was planning my own wedding, I stumbled upon Nettleton Hollow’s website. Back then, I had huge, grandiose centerpiece ideas twirling around my head. Recently, I re-discovered their website when I was perusing my old bookmarks. Remembering that Nettleton Hollow provides high quality dried flowers, branches and other botanical materials, I instantly re-fell in love. Using their supplies, you can create a unique look specific for each season. It doesn’t matter when you have your wedding or party, you can incorporate the season into the décor. If you are stuck on ideas centered on a season, here are a few DIY examples from Nettleton’s blog. It will not matter when you decide to have it, it will rock the Kasbah. Follow the links for more detailed directions.

seasonal centerpieces

1) Seasons in the Sun: Drippy hanging Amaranthus paired with natural Manzanita branches create a fresh take on the branch idea. A dab of glue and a few orchids will add a splash of color to this grand centerpiece.

2) Winter Wonderland: Hanging votives from branches just oozes with romance. When the lights are low, the candle light will dance around the room. Mitsumata Branches and Protea Repens are used in this refined and minimalist centerpiece.

3) When I Fall in Love: For a simple but high impact fall themed centerpiece, use two or three different types of dried grasses and grains. The dried grasses can represent a fruitful harvest and the wheat symbolizes prosperity and bounty. Tie a thick silky ribbon to finish this bountiful bundle.

4) Spring has Sprung: Using Sandblasted Manzanita Branches without sticking it into a base creates a height-challenged, but high impact centerpiece. For this no-hassle table decoration, orchids were loosely sprinkled around the branches on the day of the event. This is an excellent idea if you want to avoid blocking your guests’ views.

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apr14For large parties, an organized way to notify your guests the location of their seat by having name cards. There are two types of name cards. Decide which one fits your party best: 1) Escort cards: cards organized in alphabetical order in one spot and the guest grabs his/her card and move to the designated table or 2) Place cards: already placed at your guest’s seat. Here are some fresh ideas on unique name cards that won’t eat your budget.


1) Let it Rock: Smooth river rocks placed in a galvanized tub layered with wheat grass, moss or sod, can create a summery and eco-friendly feel to any setting. This is perfect for an outdoor summer party. Recruit friends and family with nice handwriting and use a metallic permanent marker. Sharpie has several color options that won’t smear. (Project Wedding)

2) Au Natural: Using dried mini wreaths will help tie in the season for a fall or winter event. If you are having an event near the holidays, using mini ornaments is also another way to incorporate the season. Be sure to stalk all the stores after the holidays/start of a new season to score seasonal items for 75% off or more. (Faye and Greer)

3) Spin me Right Round: This is an easy DIY project and anyone can do it. The pinwheel name cards are prefect for the young at heart. If you use double sided design scrapbook paper, you will have a much better result, as the paper is folded and you see both designs. (Faye and Greer)

4) Star Bright: Using a cookie cutter, cardboard star stencil or die-cuts, you can make sure all your stars look the same. Punch a hole at the top and add some ribbon for easy hanging. Use small leafy trees for displaying your cards. Once the vent is over, plant the trees in your yard for a year round reminder of the day. (Laura Hooper Calligraphy)

5) Under my Umbrella: No longer just used for tropical drinks, this little umbrellas will bring the tropics to you. Buy a box of paper drink umbrellas from Ebay, Oriental Trading Co etc or make you own. Use a flag to write the guest’s name and fold over a bit of the edge to glue.

6) Tree Hugger: By using what is available at your venue, you can save money by not buying more decor to display your cards. In addition, by incorporating the landscape you are not introducing contrasting decor items that may not fit with the natural surrounding (ie fake plastic trees in a lush outdoor forest location). (Project Wedding)

7) Sweet Treat: Ferrero Rocher is a roasted hazelnut enrobed in a creamy chocolate filling, then a crispy wafer and milk chocolate and hazelnut pieces cover the decadent morsel. Each is individually wrapped in gold foil and paper cup, so it will reduce the risk of bacteria adhering to the chocolate when you assemble and transport to the reception site. Print customized flags or cupcake picks and use toothpicks for your guests’ names. It will also add as a favor. Yum! (Teness Herman)

8) O Tannenbaum: Using dried branches placed in a coordinating pot with color coordinated ribbon is a great way to create dimension and height to a room. Hang your name cards on a piece of thin ribbon to finish the look. To keep the branch from falling, use sand or rocks for weight at the bottom of the pot, then use a block of florist foam or pour concrete to anchor the branch. Cover the foam with reindeer moss or wheat grass to finish the look. (Anne K posted in Project Wedding)

9) Apple of My Eye: The bright green Granny Smith apples with a paper leaf are a snappy way to use fresh fruit as part of the décor. If you have apples leftover from the party, you can donate them or send them with your family. An rustic apple tart is a simple and easy way to use up lots of apples. (Anne Winchenbaugh Photography)

What do you think? Have you used a creative idea in the past? Please share your thoughs by commenting below.

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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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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mar09I must have cabin fever. In Portland, it has been raining/sleeting/snowing/hailing ALL DAY. All I could think about is the warm yellow sun and the sweet smell of summer. The crisp smell of lemons and vivid yellows reminds me of all things summer. Please proceed with caution. It will make you want nice weather and BBQ season to start…NOW.

 yellow wedding

  1. Oh Blimey, Limey!: These simple card stock invitations with a stripe envelopes liner will let your guests know the party is casual but full of character. 
  2. When life hands you lemons: Duh. You make lemonade. The term cocktail hour can mean lots of $$$. To avoid the guests from loading up on expensive liquor, first offer your guests a refreshing drink during cocktail hour, then open up the bar.
  3. Just add water: For a dramatic décor option, 1) use tall glass hurricanes, 2) fill the water at several different levels, and then 3) toss lemons in.
  4. Citrus Surprise: I found this image a few weeks ago and have based this entire mood board on it. The citrus stamp is a clean way to decorate a cake.
  5. Lightweight lemon: This airy dress made of lightweight chiffon will have your bridesmaids float down the isle. This inset empire waist will flatter all body types.
  6. Bolts of lighting: Well, bolts of tulle are almost like lightning. Lay the folded tulle in the center of the table on a crisp white table cloth. This will avoid having to rent renting expensive table runners. This is a chic and updated use for tulle. No tulle bows here!
  7. Don’t tiptoe through the tulips: These intensely yellow tulips paired with classy callas make a fine pair for the bride’s bouquet. Callas are typically more expensive than tulips, so just a few will enough drama without breaking the bank.  
  8. Rain or Shine: These fun parasols are a stunning prop for your pictures. They also provide protection for whatever weather comes happens on your day. You can find them at your local craft store or at lunabazaar.com.
  9. Candy is Dandy: Wrap up these juicy lemon slices for a sweet treat for your guests. Find at your local candy store or online.
  10. A very pretty box with a bow: But there is something inside! Use these plastic favor boxes  wrapped up with thick yellow grosgrain ribbon and place at each setting. This will help complete your table look.
  11. Table turner: To carry the lemon theme through out the wedding, use lemons as name card holder. Use a ball point pin (pins with a little ball at the end) to hold the name card in place.
  12. Wine and Dine: If you do not have table service for your wedding and don’t want to use the unsightly pitchers for your guests. Use recycled wine bottles to hold your drinks. By requesting the empties from at local wine bar you can cut costs. However, drinking wine for the sake of a wedding might be a good idea…
  13. Looking an alternative to the standard boutonnière? An ornamental kale leaf makes a perfect background to the striking golden curly willow and yellow craspedia. It is finished with a crisp cotton ribbon. Dried craspedia may be easier to find, plus you can use the excess for more decoration.

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