Black Tie Elegance: Inspiration to Reality

A black and white wedding color scheme is one of the most versatile color themes to put together.  You can go glam with damask patterns, sparkle, and pops of pink or create a modern look by choosing elements that are classic and mixing them with clean lines and less ornate pieces.  To make a more modern and classic look come to life, here's a table setting to inspire you and all the little details you'll need to pull it off.

Black Tie Elegance Inspiration to Reality

The Inspiration - Modern and Elegant Black and White Wedding Reception Table Setting

Black Tie Elegance Inspiration to Reality

After creating a base of table linens/runners, choose a centerpiece that's clean and crisp.  Different varieties of white flowers will keep your look fresh while still adding visual interest.

1/2. Help guests find their seats with ease with round table numbers that can be seen from a distance.  The circular shape will tie in the classic lines of a modern look.  Carry this theme from start to finish, by placing the numbers in round table number holders.

3/4/5.  Tall pillar candles are a great way to add ambience and warmth to your table settings.  Keep your black and white color scheme by setting candles in glass cylinders filled with expanding water beads.

Black Tie Elegance Inspiration to Reality

6. Add a subtle ornate decorative element to your each guest place setting by presenting escort cards on filigree favor cards, shown here in black to offset the white cup and saucer sets that sit next to them.

7.  The contemporary swirl pattern of these cup and saucer favors pulls in a modern element while still keeping a classy feel.  Set the cup and saucers at each plate for guests to enjoy.

8.  To create an eye-catching effect, the sparkle of these diamond ring napkin holders adds a Tiffany's feel to your classic palette and will catch the light from every angle  (giving guests another accent to ooh and ahh over....).  Add the napkin holders to black linen napkins to really make each guest place setting pop.

Black Tie Elegance Inspiration to Reality

9/10. Add a hint of whimsy to your tables with adorable black and white bride and groom candy bags.  A great way to say thank you to guests, fill the bags with black and white colored candies to carry your color palette one step further.  Add matching bride and groom favor tags to complete the look.

11. To match those adorable engagement ring inspired napkin holders, diamond shaped candle holders will add more sparkle....and you can never have enough sparkle.

12.  Don't forget the finishing touches.  Adorable heart shaped interlocking salt and pepper shakers are a must come dinner time and match your palette.

Too add the final elements to your look, add plates/chargers, glassware to each guest place setting, silverware, and your look will truly be complete.  You can even hang a Victorian style chandelier over each table to give your look a Breakfast at Tiffany's feel.

Happy Planning!


Dressing Up a Black Tie Affair


Put a fresh spin on your black and white color scheme with an adorable Tux and Gown themed wedding, engagement party, or shower. This look is a little bit retro and a little bit cute with a clean and simple color palette that adds a little class. For a formal wedding it is probably most suitable to pick and choose just a few of these elements to accent your event here and there. For casual weddings or bridal showers, you could extend the theme to every aspect of the decor to create a really fun look. This would be best for a couple who doesn't take themselves too seriously. 
Play up this theme with black and white accents in other areas. The Tux and Gown items can be paired with white guest towels or napkins printed in black with the words "Mr. and Mrs."  Miniature bow ties could be made easily out of fabric or paper for napkin rings. Use tulle or lace as accents as well. This will give the impression of a wedding dress or veil around candles, centerpeices, and chair covers. This is a look that is meant to be fun! Creative use of the tux or gown in unexpected places, such as salt and pepper shakers or on sugar cookies, is sure to bring a smile to your guests faces. Click here for more inspiration!


Fall Wedding Flowers Ideas

The fall wedding season is best known for its rich colors. Golden yellow, orange, and deep red are just some of the choices. Bold colored flowers such as Gerber daisies, roses and calla lilies are just some of the great fall flowers that you can choose from when planning your wedding.

If you are getting married this fall and want to get to know your flower choices, here is some help to get you started:

Gerber Daisies: Perfect for dramatic and contemporary bouquets, the Gerber Daisy is one of the most popular choices for autumn wedding flowers. With its wide variety of over a hundred colors to choose from, it will not be difficult to decorate your wedding with this wonderful bloom.

Hydrangea: Another popular flower for the fall is the hydrangea, which has full blooms. Available in an incredible range of shades, hydrangea can also be easily "tipped" with an aerosol by a florist to deepen or control the shade. Hydrangeas are also very economical.

Roses: The rose is not often thought of for fall but is a great flower for adding deep burgundy, red, orange and yellow to your bouquets or centerpieces.

Chrysanthemums: These flowers are available all year round but they actually grow during the season of fall. Chrysanthemums, which come in a variety of sizes and colors, can be used as fillers for floral arrangements on table centerpieces, wedding arches and for the bouquets.

Calla Lily: The Calla lily is not only the elegant flower choice but it also offers an incredible range of colors. If you are looking for burnt orange and beautiful reds, the calla lily is the flower for you.

Finally, autumn offers an opportunity to experiment with creative and woodsy bouquet choices. Don’t be afraid to add other elements of fall into you bouquets, such as leaves, wheat, pine cones and berries!


Garden Party Themed Favors

Summer is the time of year everyone looks forward to and garden themed parties are popping up all over the place. There are endless possibilities for how you can put together a beautiful garden theme bridal shower with the help of mother nature.

Make the most out of the beautiful weather and host your event outdoors surrounded by colorful and fragrant flowers. Place folding hand fans at each plate setting for guests to enjoy a refreshing breeze. Decorate each table with potted flowers, floral design garden trowels, seed packets or any outdoor themed favor. Your guests will love celebrating in the refreshing outdoors and treasure each momento while tending their beautiful garden at home.


Falling For a Lovebirds Theme - Inspiration to Reality

Since I am a hopeless romantic, a love bird wedding theme is one of my personal favorites.  Love doves have long been a symbol of romance, fidelity, and love.  Once a dove finds its mate, they've bonded forever and their love lasts a lifetime.  Perfectly fitting for wedding themes, don't you think?

Making a lovebird theme come to life at your wedding is easy to do.  With just a few nature inspired elements, you too can turn your inspiration into a reality.

Falling For a Lovebirds Theme - Inspiration to Reality

1. Go simple with centerpieces - Stray for the normal floral arrangements and infuse these nature inspired wooden evergreen trees.  After your ceremony, encourage guests to take the centerpieces home as a keepsake from you special day.  Tip: Add visual interest by weighting cedar plants in glass votives with decorative rocks.

2. Set the tone of your love bird theme as soon as guests walk into your reception by assigning table numbers on these adorable love bird table numbers.

3.  So guests can easily see your table numbers, display them on tall table number holders.  Featuring a classic round silhouette.  The small compact design of these holders make them ideal for small spaces.

4. Frosted glass candle holders are one of the simplest ways to add warmth, ambience, and romance to your guest tables. The bonus leaf shape cutout design will cast around your reception hall also adding an element of nature.

5. Matching love bird tags, used here as place cards, will complement your love bird theme perfectly...and your adorable table numbers.  By keeping your design consistent through your stationery, your look ties together seamlessly without being overwhelming.

6. To hold those adorable place cards, lovebird card holders are a must.  So cute, your guests will love taking these home as favors, too!

7. & 8. To complement your nature infused table decor, wooden willow tree leaves and maple leaves will add dimension and a pop of color.  Tip: For the perfect finishing touch on your reception, tie natural grasses around your guest napkins for an easy and affordable napkin holder idea.

Happy Planning!


15 DIY Steps - 12 Months Before Your Wedding Day

It takes approximately a year to plan a wedding and there are 15 basic steps you should start with 12 months before your special day.
  1. Announce your engagement
  2. Set your wedding date    
  3. Create a budget and keep a folder for receipts
  4. Create your guest list
  5. Start brainstorming ideas and themes
  6. Reserve your Ceremony location
  7. Book an Officiate
  8. Make reservations for your Reception area
  9. Book a Photographer and/or Videographer
  10. Book a Caterer, Florist and Music (Band, DJ, etc.)
  11. Look for a Wedding gown and Tux, schedule time for alterations and fittings
  12. Register for gifts
  13. Select and call the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
  14. Agree on a date to order bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s tuxes
  15. Choose a destination for your Honeymoon (Apply for Passports)
If you do not plan to hire a Wedding Planner, you can delegate certain tasks to a friend or family member who you both agree would be the best person to handle finding a photographer, florist, or who might know a really great caterer. Planning a wedding can get hectic so don't forget to take time out and have fun too.


Something old, something new, something vintage inspired...

Whether you call it vintage, shabby chic, rustic, french bohemian, or country, the theme draws inspiration from the same place - real life with a touch of whimsy and a strong dose of nostalgia. Styles like these remind everyone of a more innocent and playful time in our lives when we were playing dress up in grandma's attic and catching fire flies in mason jars.
The great thing about this effect is that it is so easy to create! Thrift stores, attics, garage sales, and junk yards (yes, I did say junk yards) are just begging to be picked through to find the perfect something old to be your something new!  Mason jars, various mismatched wine glasses, vases, and toasting flutes can be found in abundance at these places for next to nothing. Also, never underestimate what can be found for free in some of the above mentioned places. Of course it takes a little work to clean it up and make it fabulous, but that is part of the fun!
You can play up this theme by incorporating vintage accessories in your wedding as well. Cute vintage inspired flasks and engraved compacts with an old hollywood look would be great gifts for the wedding party. Lacey flower girl baskets and accessory sets also fit right in. Check out the pictures below for more inspiration!

Photo Credit:
Vintage Inspired Flask, Flower Girl Basket, Round Compact, and Ivory Favor Boxes - All other images courtesy of Green Wedding Shoes Blog.

Have fun!

~ Jenna

Easy Ideas for Edible and Fun Fall Wedding Favors

Fall isn’t that far away and for brides who are planning fall weddings it’s time to start thinking favors. Here are a few easy, edible and fun fall wedding favor ideas.

4 x 4 Personalized Green Granny Smith Apple BoxesCaramel or Candy Apples:

For this fun favor I would make both candy and caramel apples to give your guest a variety. This would be great project for getting a group of your girlfriends or bridesmaids together. Crack open a bottle of wine and spend the evening making beautiful apple treats for all of your guest. The apples can be displayed nicely using apple favor boxes that can be personalized with your names and wedding date.

Candy :

Another creative and money saving idea is making chocolate candy leaves. The molds can usually be found very easily at any craft store with directions on how to make the chocolate candies. Maple candies are also a nice fall treat. Look for a recipe on line and place a few candies in either a fall favor bag or a beautiful fall leaf favor box.

Fall Leaf Cookie Cutter Favors
Fall Leaf Cookies :

Cookies are a fabulous fall wedding favor. To incorporate the fall theme make the cookies in the shape of maple leaves. If you are not much of a baker, use a store bought sugar cookie dough. You can either make or buy red, orange and green icing to match your cookies with your fall color wedding theme. The cookies, like the candies can be placed in a small favor bag and tied with ribbon. You could even give each one of your guest there own leaf shaped cookie cutter as a favor.

Any of the above ideas would be a creative and economical fall favor for your wedding. Edible wedding favors are becoming more and more popular. Set up a candy and cookie buffet and use all three ideas. Your guest will love it!


Vintage Sweet Shoppe Inspiration Board

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Cones
Don't you wish we could all go back to the days of old-fashioned ice cream parlors and soda fountains?  Back when life was simple and the hardest decision you had to make was what flavor of ice cream to have.

Well, while I wander off and continue to have visions of ice cream cones and trips to the water hole, I hope you enjoy this vintage inspiration board I've put together in honor of past days.  Combining the light and airy shades of my three favorite flavors of sherbet ice cream; orange, raspberry, and grape.  What flavors would you put together? ~ Allie

The Palette

Vintage Sweet Shoppe Inspiration Board
Vintage Sweet Shoppe Inspiration Board
Vintage Sweet Shoppe Inspiration Board
Row 1: Bridesmaids dresses via Martha Stewart Weddings. Row 2: Mason Jars from Emerald Weddings, letterpress invitation by Starshaped Press of Row 3: Wine barrels via Jason and Anna Photography, purple bouquet from Martha Stewart Weddings.  Row 4: Bride and groom courtesy of Jason and Anna Photography.  Row 5: Flower bouquet and vintage bird seed favor via, photography by dandelionandgrey.  Row 6: Hanging dresses courtesy of Jason and Anna Photography

Delicious DIY Summer Favor - The Watermelon Cookie

Just in time for summer weddings, these adorable DIY watermelon cookies are compliments of the ultra-creative and talented Meaghan from the decorated cookie.  How adorable.  These would be perfect for a backyard wedding or summer bash, don't you think?  I can already picture them sitting at each guest place setting; right next to a nice cold pitcher of pink lemonade.  Such a conversation starter and almost too cute to eat....almost.

DIY Watermelon Cookies from The Decorated Cookie

DIY Watermelon Cookies from The Decorated Cookie

What you'll need:
3 inch (or larger) circle cookie cutter
sharp knife
frosting food coloring
5 disposable, 12" decorating bags
5 couplers
5 decorating tips (1 of size #5, 2 of size #4, 2 of size #3)
5 rubber bands
squeeze bottle or spoon

To pull it off, just gather up a couple friends and family members and start baking!  I bet these could even be refrigerated for a few days ahead of time so you aren't scrambling at the last minute to finish your favors.  Read the full how-to here and enjoy.

Happy Planning!


Damask Wedding Favors

One of the hottest trends this year for wedding themes and favors is damask designs. When I think of damask designs I think vintage, classy and sophisticated which is exactly what todays brides are looking for.

Add a modern twist to this classical favorite design by accenting your reception tables and decor with a vibrant color such as blue, green, yellow, red, purple or fuchsia. There is a wide variety of damask themed wedding favors to choose from. Family and friends are going to love taking a special momento home with them as a treasured keepsake for sharing in your special day.


Not-So-Distant Destination Weddings

Want a Destination Wedding? Look no further than your own backyard! Well, okay, maybe a few miles down the road at least! Either way, it is definitely possible to bring your wedding closer to home and still feel like it has taken place in an amazing and unique location.
If you have your heart set on a beach wedding and are not lucky enough to live in a coastal state, it is most likely that there is some sort of sand surrounded body of water nearby. A lake can be just as beautiful and seem almost as vast as the ocean. The picture above, for example, is compliments of  the Lake House Inn on Lake Erie, Ohio. Consider renting a lake house to combine lodging and venue costs. This way you can have your ceremony overlooking the water and then invite guests to your outdoor reception at the lake house. This would work best if your wedding was small and you enjoyed a casual atmosphere. A bonfire and s'mores on the beach would be the perfect ending to your day!
State Parks are another great place to find beautiful locations for weddings. Some even offer wedding packages that include lodging and photographers. If you are a nature lover this would be the venue for you! If you and your guests are adventurous, one unique idea is to invite them to spend a few nights camping, canoeing, and exploring the park. Finish the mini-adventure with a beautiful ceremony and a big bash to follow! Even the fussiest bride could make this work by finding local salons and designating dressing areas ahead of time. The National Park Service can help you find your state's parks.
Other options for a not-so-distant destination wedding are local bed and breakfasts, small wineries, local farms, and favorite local landmarks or historic sites. Some of these places may not advertise their space for weddings, but remember that it never hurts to ask! They may say no, but they may also be pleasantly surprised and grateful for the business.
Finding a closer destination site may also make the ceremony that much more special. It may already be a place that is close to your heart. Also it will be that much easier to revisit on your anniversary!

Bon Voyage!

~ Jenna

Fall Themed Weddings

It may seem to soon to think about falling leaves and the smell of crisp fall air but not if you're planning a fall themed wedding now is the perfect time to start making your plans.

Fall themed weddings are my favorite of all weddings. I love the colors of fall, such as green, orange, red and brown. Mix in some gold, copper and bronze to add drama.

Fall is also the perfect time of the year for an outdoor wedding, when it is not too hot or too cold. A fall outdoor wedding or outdoor reception can utilize all the wonderful natural things about the fall, like pumpkins, gourds, straw, corn stalks, apple cider etc.

You can make beautiful table centerpieces just by using the natural items that are available in the fall. Hollow out pumpkins or gourds to hold beautiful fall flowers such as daisies, sunflowers or mums. Add fall fruit to your center pieces such as apples, cranberries or pears.

When you’re thinking menu, think comfort food. Turkey, red potatoes, cornbread dressing and all the fixings are perfect for your fall themed wedding. For a beverage serve hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks.

Fall wedding favors can be homemade like fudge, candy apples, honey or jam. Another idea would be a candy buffet of all your favorite Halloween candies.

The ideas are endless and some much fun. Be creative and happy planning!


Graduation Party Gift Ideas

It’s that time of year when graduation ceremonies are being held to honor and acknowledge those who have completed their high school or college education. This is a huge accomplishment for them and they deserve this day of recognition. Graduations parties have became increasingly popular within the past few decades and why not? It’s a memorable occasion and what better way to celebrate than with family and close friends.

If you’ve received a graduation party invitation you probably need gift ideas. Jewelry is a traditional gift that will last forever. A bracelet, necklace, charm or picture frame would make a wonderful gift for a girl. If you are shopping for a guy, he might like a watch, wallet, money clip or keychain. Or put together a scrapbook with photos and memorabilia of all their accomplishments throughout school, they are sure to love and treasure it for a lifetime. One gift you can’t go wrong with even though you may feel it is a little impersonal, is money or gift card. It will come in handy whether the graduate is going off to college or joining the work force. What ever gift you decide to give is going to be appreciated as you celebrate the end of one milestone and the beginning of another.

Congratulations to all 2010 Graduates!


Fairly Fabulous

Summer is just around the corner and in our neck of the woods this means everyone is looking forward to the county fairs. Not only are they innocent entertainment for people of all ages, they are also like a slice of apple pie. As nostalgic and American as they come. In honor of this, I thought I would suggest bringing a little bit of that fair atmosphere into your outdoor wedding reception.
Some people are into the all-out theme receptions. For you, I say take this list of ideas and run (or potato sack race-hop) with them! For others who prefer to tone it down, consider incorporating only a few.
  • Cotton Candy and/or Popcorn Machines
  • Kissing Booths - which may be a cute substitute for a dollar dance!
  • Photo Booths or a caricature artist!
  • Hay bails covered in  cloth and secured with rope or ribbon to use as bench-like seating.
  • Classic games such as a ball toss at a pyramid of glass bottles. I would advise against the "guess your weight/age" booths. This may not go over well with future in-laws.) These games would not even necessarily have to be working booths, but merely set up as part of the decor to give the impression of a fair.
  • Fair Food! In the midwest this means funnel cakes, fresh doughnuts, caramel apples, and elephant ears. You could also have homemade ice cream and fresh baked pies set up as a mock baking contest. Or if you know some family members that want to contribute, you could actually have a baking contest.
  • Drinks served in old fashioned soda bottles.
  • Balloons, giant lollipops, and really the possibilities are endless!
These are just a few ideas. Choose what you love most about an old fashioned summer fair. One ambitious couple even rented a Ferris Wheel! Check out more photos from their carnival wedding here.

Of course this theme lends itself to a more casual, outdoor wedding reception or party. That doesn't mean your event can't look well-put together. Choose colors and materials carefully to present a polished look.

As always, have fun and be creative!


Photo Credit: Ferris Wheel Kiss - Edited version of an original photo by Glamour

An Eco-Friendly, Do-It-Yourself Wedding

Fall Leaf Plantable Flower Seed Place Cards - Set of 12
The push for eco-friendly initiatives is everywhere, and this earth-loving mentality has spread to 2010’s wedding trends! Many brides are choosing to go eco-friendly while planning their wedding events. Purchasing a secondhand wedding gown, growing (and making) your own flower centerpieces, using recycled paper products for your invitations, and serving organic food at your reception are all ways to promote your environmentally savvy ingenuity.

When planning wedding favors there are several eco-friendly choises, from plantable flower seed placecards to eco-friendly note pads and pencil favors. Give Guests A Favor That Keeps the Wedding Spirit Going. The entire point of a wedding favor is to give your guests something that evokes a memory of your wedding celebration. Why not make the favor match the theme? Giving unique wedding favors such as seed packets allows them to create a growing memory of your special event. Seed packets are quickly becoming one of the more trendy wedding favors on the market, exactly because of their lovely finished product.

Some brides also decide to make wedding decorations themselves to save money – sew your own tablecloths from ‘green’ fabric or serve cocktails and drinks in recycled glassware. You could even have a donation bucket for an environmental cause of your choice, asking guests to chip in as part of your wedding gift.


The Cricut for Cakes!

Yes! You heard right.  The famous Cricut has released a machine specially designed for cutting intricate cake and cupcake decorations guessed it, the Cricut Cake.

If you are a scrapbooking fanatic like myself, then you've heard of the Cricut.  If not, here's a quick recap.  The Cricut machine is a DIYer's dream come true, introduced years back by the people at Provo Craft.  Their machine will cut intricate scrapbooking patterns out of paper at the press of a button.  Giving precious time back to scrapbookers and taking away the calluses.  Now, the Cricut designers have carried this genius idea over to the baking world.  How does it work?

All you have to do to knock out beautiful designs is load a thin sheet of gumpaste into the machine, select your design, and press cut.  Voila!  Great for novice bakers who are still working towards becoming the baking artist they dream about.  While some may argue that the machine takes the artist out of the creation and that it is technically cheating, I say potatoes, patatoes.  Whatever works for you.  Check out some of these inspirational photos to see the Cricket Cake in action.

Cake Creation by The Cricut Cake

Cookie Creation by The Cricut Cake

Cupcake Creation by The Cricut Cake

Cake Creation by The Cricut Cake

Cookie Creation by The Cricut Cake

Cake Creation by The Cricut Cake
How much you ask?  Well, while the Cricut Cake is a steep $400 bucks, if you love to bake and are apt to making gourmet treats, then this machine is the perfect investment for you.  To learn more, visit

Happy Planning!

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