Adding a Punch of Color to Your Wedding

Adding a punch of color to your wedding is a hot trend in 2010. Although white has long been the predominant color for brides, brighter dashes of color have become increasingly popular in recent years. Brides love the idea of using color to add a unique style to their weddings. A pop of color here and there is also a fantastic way to make your wedding attire feel custom.

Put some color into your hair. Headbands are a popular item among the 2010 brides and they can easily be customized. A simple fabric headband can be adorned with colorful crystals or can easily be wrapped in brightly colored ribbon. For a bit more pizzazz, add a brightly colored flower in your hair or several different color flowers. You could also add a brightly colored feather or flower onto you veil.

You may wish to consider a colorful accessory right on your wedding gown. A vintage inspired brooch can be pinned to the waist of a wedding dress for a dash of color and flair. A fabric or ribbon sash can be wrapped around the waist of a simple gown to quickly and easily transform it with color.

When you are thinking about wedding accessories, of course your shoes will be important. Even the most traditional bride can have fun with a pair of bright red pumps peeking out from her conservative white wedding gown. Colorful shoes are also a fabulous accent for short hemlines that have recently become so popular. Your accessories are a fantastic place to express your individuality and style, so have fun adding colorful accents that will make your bridal ensemble one-of-a-kind.

Carrie

Father's Day Gift Ideas


Father’s Day is a special day created for sons and daughters to express their love, appreciation and gratitude for their Dad or any special Father figure that has had a positive influence in their lives.

Gone are the days of purchasing unusual ties and grilling aprons, Dad’s today like receiving electronic gadgets, home improvement gift cards, a dinner or sporting event outing. A personalized gift such as a wallet, money clip, or pocket watch are classic ideas as a way to express your love and appreciation for all your Dad has done for you. He is sure to carry it with him wherever he goes and brag about the thoughtful Father’s Day gift from you.

Renee’

To my Dad, I love you!
They say that from the instant he lays eyes on her, a father adores his daughter. Whoever she grows up to be, she is always to him that little girl in pigtails. She makes him feel like Christmas. In exchange, he makes a secret promise not to see the awkwardness of her teenage years, the mistakes she makes or the secrets she keeps. - Unknown Author

Bright Ideas for Candle Centerpieces

Candles are a classic way to bring charm and romance to your wedding or event. You can go the simple route and plop down a candle in the middle of the table, but there are so many ways to be creative when using candles on your big day. Here are some ways to light up your event.

One of my favorite ideas is using long neck vintage glass bottles for candle holders. These can be found at garage sales and thrift stores or in your own kitchen (after you have used all of the wine for "cooking" of course.) Tall tapered candles can then be stuck into the mouth of the bottle. This looks the most authentic when the candle has burned for a little while and the wax has been allowed to drip down the bottle. If you do not like the idea of letting the wax drip, you can purchase wine bottle stoppers that actually have candle holders on them. These are adorably called "wine bottle-abras." Don't be too concerned with finding a ton of matching bottles for your candle holders. Variation in the height and glass color will only create a more interesting and eye-pleasing arrangement.

If you like the idea of using wine bottles for your candle holders, you may also enjoy using wine glasses. Here you can, once again, go for simple and elegant by placing a single small votive candle in the glass. For more customized looks add flower petals, sand and sea shells, shiny stones, or virtually anything that fits your wedding theme to the bottom of the glass and set the candle on top.  You can also cover the glass with an adorable wine-glass lamp shade. These can be purchased, but can also be homemade. For the do-it-yourselfers out there, Casasugar.com has great instructions on how to make these fun shades.

Lastly, if you are having an outdoor or evening event, paper bag luminaries can create a pleasant glow to light pathways or accent any area you would like to draw attention to. For example; the perimeter of an outdoor dance floor or on the floor along the front of the bridal party's table. Flame resistant bags can be purchased for this purpose, but any white or light colored paper bag can be used.  Personalized paper bags would look great backlit with a flameless LED candle. Just add a little sand or rice to keep the bags weighted.


~ Jenna

Photocredit clockwise from top left:  1. Vintage bottle candle holders from Design Shrine 2. Colored glass bottles from Shamrock Affiliations 3. Paper bag luminaries from Bridal Buds 4. DIY Wine Glass Lamp Shades from Casa Sugar.

Get Inspired! Pretty Peacock Inspiration Board

Peacock feather from flickr.com
There is something about seeing a peacock fan its magnificent feathers that just draws me in.  It's like I get sucked into this sort of wonderland and can't look away.  Before I know it, I find myself staring in awe and amazement.  Peacocks are truly one of the most beautiful of God's creations and have thus inspired me to create a wedding palette in celebration of their majestic colors.  I bring you cobalt blue with emerald and lime green.  Heeeello fabulous.  Happy Planning! ~ Allie


Cobalt Blue and Green Wedding Inspiration Board
Top: Peacock image from Flickr, bridesmaids dresses via theknot.com.
Middle: Green hydrangeas wedding bouquet courtesy of Blooms by Martha Andrews, blue and green satin slipper shoes via Kate Kelly Photography, blue dahlia ring from Floria of etsy.com, diamond and sapphire engagement ring courtesy of Kate Kelly Photography.
Bottom: Letterpress invitation from Bella Figura, groomsmen photo op courtesy of Our Labor of Love, white satin wedding shoes courtesy of Ryan Phillips Photography, peacock feather headpiece from Piper Riley Designs via etsy.com.

Choosing the Correct Favor Boxes for Your Wedding Favors

3 1/2 x 2 Large Bow Top Favor Boxes in Assorted Colors
If you want all the details to be just right on your wedding day consider using favor boxes for your wedding favors. Instead of just putting favors on the tables for the reception you can put them in beautiful favor boxes. Wedding favors are always very appealing when they come in adorable packaging. Here are some things that you need to consider when choosing favor boxes for your wedding guests.

-How big are the tables for the reception? How are the tables decorated? You need to take these two things into account because you do not want to get wedding favor boxes that are too large for the tables. Plus you want the boxes to look right on the tables.

Lime Green Filigree Floral Favor Boxes with Ribbon-You need to know what favors you will actually be putting into the wedding favor boxes so that they will fit appropriately. Make sure that you measure the favors so that they will fit into the boxes nicely.

- Decide what color of boxes you would like. Favor boxes can come in several different color options. This is the fun part. Pick colors that will coordinate well with your wedding colors and other decorations. Favor boxes when placed correctly can also be a part of the table décor.

To get some ideas for the wedding favor boxes you should shop around on the internet. There are great photos and ideas of how to incorporate the favor boxes onto your wedding tables. Talk to your friends and family to see what they suggest. They will be guests at your wedding after all, so why not have them help you choose the perfect wedding favors and boxes for your special day? They may have ideas that you never thought of.


Carrie

Wedding Tip: Insure Your Wedding Rings

Everyone knows that diamonds are a girl’s best friend and every bride will treasure her engagement ring and wedding band for the rest of her life. That’s why it’s so important to have the rings insured.

We’ve all heard stories of people being robbed while on vacation both inside and outside of the country. Tourists and vacationers are easy targets because criminals assume we have money and valuables. Whether it’s a face-to-face robbery or a staff member at your resort stealing from your room, it happens.

Along with insuring your rings consider buying a fake diamond ring if you frequently travel outside the United States. To the naked eye, it’s hard to tell the difference between cubic zirconium, moissanite (lab created diamond), and swarovski crystal, which are all great substitutes for diamonds and can be purchased inexpensively.

Establish the value of your rings by having them appraised by a certified jeweler. Check your homeowners or renters insurance policy which will most likely include coverage for a limited amount of jewelry. The limit of coverage applies to all jewelry you own, so be sure to consider the value of all your jewelry before deciding if that is enough coverage. Compare rates before you insure your ring with your local jeweler or a jewelry insurance specialist. Places like Jewelers Mutual will offer an online quote, so you can compare costs and coverage. Insurance will never replace the sentimental value of your wedding ring, but it can give you some peace of mind and protect your investment.

Renee'

Memorable Memorial Days

Memorial Day is just around the corner.  It is time to start firing up the grills and preparing for a group of people to trample your backyard! An abundance of awesome food and cold drinks is an unspoken must. There should be no plate or cup left unfilled. Aside from these elements, here are some ways to create a truly memorable outdoor party.

Give guests something that they can use at the party, but also take home as a memento. For outdoor parties these things can be reusable plastic cups personalized with a family name, design, or event date. Line with a plastic bag and fill with peanuts, candy, or drink mixes. That way guests can remove the goodies inside and use the cup for the party.  You can also place personalized matchbooks on the tables for guests to light candles later in the night and then take home with them. These are just a few examples. Use what you know about your guests to gear the party favors toward things that they are interested in.

Give your guests something to do. If the day is a hot one set out inexpensive squirt guns or a tub full of water balloons and let the "kids" have at it. Slip and slides (a.k.a a large sheet of plastic and a water hose) are also fun for kids or adults. (Though alcohol may be required for the second group.) If your party lasts into the evening a bonfire is easy entertainment when marshmallows are provided. If you have access to a lap top and can rent a projector, hang a white sheet on the side of the house or garage and make your own "drive-in movie."  Another favorite past time for summer parties that last late into the night is a card game. You can even send guests home with a deck of personalized playing cards.

Create a carefree, easy going, atmosphere. Part of why we love outdoor parties is the ability to get messy and let go of the stress we normally carry around with us. You can do this by providing entertainment, as mentioned above. Don't bring out your heirloom tablecloths or fine china. Stick to plastic or disposable plates and cups.  This will help guests feel at ease as well. You can also provide conversation starters cleverly blended into the party supplies. Styrofoam cups or paper napkins with funny quotes are a great way to do this. You could even go one step further and attach labels to the bottom of plates or cups that are printed with silly conversation topics or fun questions to ask the closest person.
It is these  fun and  personal touches that will make the day and night amazing.

Have fun!

~Jenna



Photo credit: Watermelon from liveearth.org

Get Inspired! Cornflower Blue and Yellow Inspiration Board

Hopefully you all had a beautifully, sunshine filled weekend.  Spring is definitely in the air and I can't help but get that warm and fuzzy feeling from the anticipation of fresh flowers and good weather.  If you live in our neighborhood, than you're still waiting for the warm air to hit, but one can still dream of days to come.  Till then enjoy this fresh spring inspired wedding inspiration board created from a palette of cool cornflower blue, refreshing daffodil, and golden marigold.  Happy Planning! ~ Allie




Cornflower Blue and Yellow Wedding Inspiration Board
Top: Blue dress from Florahenri, blue and white gingham wrapped bottles from Martha Stewart, blue and gold wedding bouquet from The Green Vase photography by Troy House.
Middle: Chinese lantern photo from SWS, image of blue pinstripe suit and yellow daffodils courtesy of Ryan Phillips Photography
Bottom: Blue ribbon from cornflowerblue.com, calligraphy by Betsy Dunlap Calligraphy, lemon mason jars from SWS, yellow dress from Florahenri.

Monogram Intial Cake Toppers - The Hottest Trends in Wedding Cakes

 Silver Monogram Initial Cake Picks with Crystal Accent
Monogram cake toppers are one of the hottest and newest wedding trends. Many brides today are adding a monogram to there invitations, napkins, placecards and frankly anything they can. Now brides are adding that same classic flair to their wedding cakes as well. Beautiful monogram intial cake toppers are a great way to keep the mongram theme throughout the entire wedding, not to mention that it is a stunning addition to any cake.

Gold Numbered Cake Topper Picks
Monogram initial cake toppers don't have to match the theme of your wedding, they are for anyone. These cake toppers come in a large variety of letters and numbers. They are also available in different styles. Choose the numbers 5-0 in gold  for your parents or grandparents 50th Anniversary party or 1-6 for a sweet 16 party. The initials DAD would be perfect for your Dad's birthday or a Father's Day cake. The combination of letters and numbers are endless. Get creative and have fun!

Carrie

Birthday Party Favors

Lordy lordy look who’s turning 40 has to be the most popular and widely used verse in birthday cards and invitations alike. With 40 comes a confidence that you may not have had before. No longer a kid, you have plenty of life's experiences under your belt. You may find that you don't care as much about what other people think and that you don't sweat the small stuff as much as you used to. So, go on and embrace 40! It only comes around once!


Whether you’re planning a surprise birthday for a friend or relative, or you’re taking charge of your own birthday bash, the sky’s the limit with endless possible themes to make it a momentous occasion everyone will still be talking about when you’re turning 50.

Have a Party of the Decades where guests dress from any of their favorite past 4 decades. Each family member can make up posters of what happened in the 70's, 80's, 90's and 00's then add in a few facts of the birthday boy or girl for a fun filled trivia game covering those decades. Do a little research and make popular food and décor to represent each decade. Have collages of various items displayed for those who've witnessed the birth of the personal computer, the compact disc, the DVD, cell phone, and SUV. It takes very little research and it's a fun kind of retrospective for a 40th birthday party bash. Give away some fun favors like photo albums, key chains, or small gifts that reflect a particular decade and sure to put a smile on each guest’s face.

Renee’

Serving Up Style with Personalized Drink Coasters

Serve up a little piece of style at your wedding reception with custom printed pulpboard drink coasters.

Personalized Pulpboard Drink Coasters

We love these coasters because they are not like the flimsy paper coasters that you sometimes see.  These babies are thick, they don't bend, and they have a cardboard feel to them.  Technically they are considered disposable but we would have to disagree.  If they don't get damaged, then there is no reason that they can't get used over and over again.

Such a great way to add a custom touch to your bar area, have a funny phrase, your monogram, the name of your bar, a special message for guests, or your names and wedding date stamped on the top.  The possibilities are endless.  To learn more, check out these personalized drink coasters and let your creative juices flow.

Happy Planning!

Allie

Deciding on Serving Alcohol at you Wedding Reception?

Toasting the bride and groom with a glass of champagne has been a long standing tradition for many decades. When planning your wedding reception, decide early on if you are going to serve alcohol to your guests. It is just as proper to serve alcohol as it is to not serve it; after all, it’s your special day.


Having a dry reception can save you a lot of money. Serving non-alcoholic champagne, sparkling cider, or fruit punch filled in champagne glasses so your guests can toast the new bride and groom. The toast is a requirement the alcohol is not. Have a themed non-alcoholic drink such as flavored tea or Shirley Temples your guests are sure to enjoy.

If you decide alcohol is a must at your reception, verify with your caterer if they will provide and serve alcohol for you and how much it will cost. Determine the type of bar you would like and what your budget will allow. A beer and wine reception bar typically includes red and white wine, light and regular beer, soft drinks and non-alcoholic punch. You can also reserve special bottles of champagne for the toasting to the new bride and groom. Don't be shy about asking your guests to drink responsibly!


You can be very creative with whatever you decide and rest assured your family and friends will have the best time sharing this momentous occasion with you.
Renee'

Pearls Make the Best Gift for a Bride or her Bridesmaids

Adults Pearl Necklace, Earring, and Bracelet Set
Since ancient times, the pearl has been a symbol of unblemished perfection. It is the oldest known gem, and for centuries it was considered the most valuable. The gift of pearls is an ideal wedding gift because they symbolize purity and innocence.

Pearls, according to Indian mythology, were dewdrops from heaven that fell into the sea. They were caught by shellfish under the first rays of the rising sun, during a period of full moon. During the Crusades, gallant knights returning from the Holly Lands would bestow pearls to their fair maidens for their wedding day. From Queen Elizabeth I to our modern Queen Elizabeth II, the tradition of wearing pearls on the wedding day has continued. At the beginning of the 20th century, pearls were as much a nuptial gem in the United States as diamonds are today.

The tradition of bestowing pearls upon the bride continues. Often the father of the bride or the groom gives the gift of pearls. Many brides also give their bridesmaids pearl necklaces, bracelets or earrings too. Giving your bridesmaid the gift of pearls is the classic gift that can be worn for years to come. Pearls never go out of style.

Carrie

Photo Booth Fun

Who doesn't love the look of black and white photo strips? There is just something about that curtained off compartment that brings out the fun side in anyone. If you are planning a wedding or event, I'm sure you have come across the Photo Booth Trend that is sweeping across the special event scene. It is just too adorable not to discuss, just on the off chance someone has yet to view some of the wacky photos produced by giddy guests and crazy props. 
There are a couple ways to pull this off. If you have the money, but little manpower, the easiest thing to do is to rent a photo booth. Places like  http://www.rentphotobooths.com/ can bring the booth to you. All you have to do is provide the guests... and possibly the alcohol. These photo booths can produce the vintage looking photo strips we all love or the more modern photo collages we have come to expect when we come across a photo booth at a mall or amusement park.

(image courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com)

If you have more imagination, but less of a budget, you can set up your own photo booth. It can either be manned by a friend and a good digital camera on a tripod, or by your fabulous wedding photographer. Backdrops can be as simple as a brick or solid painted wall. You can also provide a few different backdrops in the form of patterned sheets (crisply pressed, of course).
A great way to encourage guests to take a fun photo is to provide a prop box and hand out favor bags with an assortment of props inside. Some of the most popular props are  mustaches and lips on sticks in the style of traditional masquerade masks. These props can be found at numerous places, including MaroDesigns on Etsy.com. They can also be easily made by the more crafty brides and party planners. Other fun props are oversized frames, huge sunglasses, and wigs. This would be a good time to head to a local consignment shop or ask friends to donate their old halloween costumes for the night. Chalkboards and dry erase boards allow guests to write funny or heart felt messages to you in their photo.
These photos will be your favorites of the day. They will capture your friends and family as you know, love, and tolerate them. If you keep the digital file of the photos you can also have them printed and sent to guests as Thank You's for as little as $0.30 a print at local photo centers.

Happy Memory Making!

Jenna

Wedding Color Matching 101

I'm sure most of you remember (or at least slightly recall) color theory and the color wheel from grade school.  Now that it's time to put that knowledge towards picking your wedding colors, you may be trying to feverishly recollect what it was Mrs. Ames from 5th grade said about ROY-G-BIV.  Don't fret.  With this short color matching 101, you'll learn how to find you perfect wedding day palette in just a few quick steps.

The Color Wheel
A circle of color.  This is what we know today to be a traditional color wheel.  It is made of 3 main colors (or primary colors as they are also known); red, yellow, and blue.  All other colors are just mixes of those three main colors.  But how do you figure out what complements what?  First you must become familiar with these 3 types of color schemes:

1) Monochromatic: One of the easiest color schemes to get right.  Monochromatic palettes are shades (darks) and tints (lights) of the same color.  Example: Different colors of blue.  This palette is considered by most to have a relaxing and soothing effect.

2) Analogous: These colors are side-by-side on the color wheel and are considered pleasing to the eye.  This color scheme is a great opportunity to use one main color with multiple accent colors.  Example: Yellow paired with yellow-green and green or Blue paired with bluish-violet and violet.

3) Complementary: These colors are directly opposite each other on the color wheel and give off an energetic and dramatic feel.  Example: Blue with orange or Purple with yellow.  To be sure your palette isn't overwhelming, consider using one of the colors as an accent.  One example of this would be navy blue and cobalt blue accented by pops of yellow or orange.

Bride looking at different color swatches
When on the hunt for the perfect wedding day color palette, do your research.  Visit your local paint store and your local cosmetic store.  Paint swatches are free and are already put together in a monochromatic palette.  (If this is the type of color scheme you are going for then your work is already done for you.)  Eyeshadow sets are another great resource for seeing how certain colors go together and are also already paired in complementary color schemes.  A great website to help in the hunt for the perfect palette is allmyinvites.com.  Their color tool lets you mix your own colors and immediately shows you what colors will work best together.  Check it out here.  Once you've decided on a color scheme, look for pictures and inspirational photos that include the colors you are using.  Set your photos next to each other to create a collage.  Creating your own collage is the final step in finalizing your wedding day colors and will really help you see how your wedding vision will play out on your big day.

Happy Planning!

Allie
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