Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Personalized gift wrap

Via Martha Stewart Weddings

A pretty way to personalize and wrap your bridal party gifts. More on this here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bridesmaid dresses

Bridesmaid dresses don't have to be the same! The girls look great matched but if you're best buds have good taste then they can probably dress themselves in something fabulous. Obviously, you want the dresses to go together so give them some guidelines on length, fabric, color and pattern options.

Photo via Classic Bride

Different dresses can add color to the wedding party. 

Bonus- the girls have the option of picking out something they can afford and that they really will wear again (unless your guidelines are very precise). Also, it ensures that the girls can wear a dress that they feel comfortable wearing. An uncomfortable bridesmaid (I've been one before) isn't looking or feeling her best. 

Photo by Jose Villa
Finally, I love the idea of letting the girls choose their own dress because each girl can express her own taste and personality. Sex and the City 2 gave me the idea with these fantastic dresses that had some similar characteristics but were very different.

Also, patterns in the right palette look great too!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Photo from Country Living via Fireflies and Cotton

If you gravitate to bookshelves when you're invited into someone's house then this post is for you. Why not use books as a centerpiece? A book collection tells a lot about the owner so using them as centerpieces is a great way to personalize your reception. Decorate with old books, prettily bound books, your favorite books or books on a particular topic like love, peace, your faith, etc. or choose a theme like favorite authors, classic literature, or books with happy endings. I've seen this done many times and it always looks great!

Then consider naming tables after a brief quote from the book, the authors, the topic, famous couples in love, etc. 

You could even place your guests at a table by a topic they might enjoy and have in common. Perhaps they all enjoy cooking, fashion, wine, David Sedaris, a particular polticial view? 

You can add a lot of color and texture to your decor for free, if you already own a lot of books or at least within your budget, if you're using it as an excuse to grow your collection! And books look great with ribbons, flowers, candles and just about any decoration.

Photo from Offbeat Bride

Finally, give out personalized bookmarks or a favorite book or book plate as a favor.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A quiet moment

A quiet moment before the excitement begins. And a lovely photo op.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Photo via OnceWed
If only I could have 300 of these. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A cheerful surprise

New envelope liners from papersource. Forget wedding invitations these make me want to line every envelope I send! It's such a cheerful surprise. 

Here are my favorites:
Gold Mums.

Cherry Blossom.

Lux stripe envelope.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cartes Postales

Photo via Style, by Soul Mates Photo

Opting for a non-traditional guest book. A guest book isn't an expensive detail but it's one thing I can cut by using post cards that I already own instead. I've collected nearly 300 postcards over the last 8 years. Over 100 are from my domestic and international travels and some are just photo postcards that I found appealing. Like these: 

Original photo by William Eggleston

I've also collected post card versions of many of my favorite paintings. For example:

Chop Suey by Edward Hopper

By Johannes Vermeer

Girl with umbrella by Claude Monet

Guests will get to choose a card from a wide selection of antique, modern, kitschy, pretty, etc. cards. Then they'll be invited to write a note to the happy couple. After the wedding we'll stick them all in plastic sleeves so we can read the notes for years to come and have a nice display of postcards. It'll double as a coffee table book down the road. Perhaps we'll display them in a book like this:

Post Card book from Chronicle Books

If you're a collector of postcards and don't mind a fun and more informal guest book table then this might be preferable to the white satin guestbook. 

Photo from the

A chic country wedding

These projects from Country Living magazine could be useful in a variety of wedding themes but I think they're perfect for a simple country wedding. 

What a great use for old sewing patterns! I'm no seamstress so I'd have to hunt for old patterns at garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets and my grandmothers attic but these big paper blooms are worth it.

Display a pressed flower in an antique frame instead of a large floral centerpiece. It's lovely and oh. so. inexpensive.

Attach an old doily to a simply glass vase to jazz it up a little. 

How about this pretty handkerchief table runner? I collect beautiful handkerchiefs. I'm not sure I could bring myself to sew them together as a table runner (even if I did know how) but they would make a lovely display. 

For more ideas visit the Country Living website here

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let them eat cake.

I'm determined to have a pretty and more importantly, a tasty cake, but cakes can be very expensive. This was a little surprising because, as George Banks put it in Father of the Bride, "a cake is made of flour and water". The cake estimate is based per slice, that is, the number of guests who will partake. After some research, I've found that the key to a good and reasonably priced cake is simplicity. I'll opt for several simple tiered buttercream cakes, in different flavors. Something like this: 

Cakes are often overdone anyway. Why stick flowers, ribbon, and gaudy decoration all over a prettily iced cake anyway? But some bakers do get the details right. For example, if money were no option I would have one of these...

Photo by Debra McClinton, featured in Real Simple

All buttercream frosting:
Photo from Martha Stewart weddings

Colorful details:
Cake detail and photo from UK baker, Fancy Nancy

Here are some non-traditional cake ideas that I liked:
Photo by Martha Stewart weddings
Monogrammed chocolate torte's for the chocolate lover (perfect winter wedding cake via Snippet & Ink).

Photo by Aaron Landry
These strawberry macaroon cupcakes look delicious! Bonus points for serving something so unusual.

Photo by Martha Stewart weddings
The hearts are appropriate for a wedding theme and I certainly wouldn't mind the extra chocolate cake!

I wanted to buy a candle holder, but the store didn't have one. So I got a cake.  ~Mitch Hedberg

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just add glitter.

Who knew paper and sparkles could be this pretty?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Queen of Hearts: Do you play croquet?, Alice: Why, yes, your majesty, Queen: Well let the games begin!

If you're having an outdoor wedding how about having some lawn games set-up for guests to enjoy. This is a much less expensive alternative to a DJ and dancing but lawn games are pretty cheap so you could have both. Consider these three popular games:

Croquet. I have some friends who jazz the game up by playing the "poison death match" version of croquet. Rules can be found here.

Bocce Ball is another classic lawn game popular in Italian communities. Rules can be found here.

Cornhole is a favorite mid-western game that's easy to play and fun for spectators as well! Here are the rules from the American Cornhole Association (that's right- its that popular).

Consider printing some cards with the rules listed in case any guests need a guide. In my experience, people love these games. Add some nice weather and a cool beverage and it makes for the perfect leisurely afternoon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

J.Crew has more bridal attire...

J. Crew released their new fall line with an expanded bridal and bridesmaid selection including...

This pretty seraphina dress in cool ombre' shades.

And this lovely long chiffon skirt. Separates can be so flattering and they're often easier to wear again.

More on catering

Here is a great post via APracticalWedding about catering your own wedding. This couple, Cara and Andy shared great details including their menu, cost of the food, and things they learned. I'm so grateful to see posts from other couples who have done it and liked the results like this since we're going to attempt it. It seems crazy but it obviously can be done. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Love these...

save the dates. If I was sending them, these would be at the top of my list. 

By designer Paige Rothhaar in Columbus, Ohio. You can order here.

Speaking of Save the dates, is offering 10% off Save the dates. Wedding Paper Divas is also running a great sale on save the dates. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Inexpensive glamour

Photo by Luis Montiero

Who says balloons can't be glamorous? I recently came across these photos by Luis Montiero via Santa Barbara Chic. The key is the right color palette. Not only do they add color but they can also fill out a big space. And they're so inexpensive!

Photo by Luis Montiero

The above photos reminded me of this Dior ad for Cherie perfume:

And more specifically, great reception decor:
 Photo from Martha Stewart Weddings