Winter Wedding Bouquet Alternatives

I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving filled with good food and good company.  If you're an Xmas fanatic like me, than the minute the sun broke the horizon on Friday morning, you too were awake setting up your Christmas decorations.  Every year I try and outdo myself with new and inventive ways to decorate around the house.  This year I glued pinecones to ornament hooks and spray painted them gold to add to my rustic decor.  While setting up my poinsettia centerpieces, I couldn't help but think they would make adorable winter wedding bouquet alternatives.  Don't you think?  But of course why would I stop at just poinsettias...what would be the fun in that?  Just for you, I put together my top picks for winter wedding bouquet alternatives.  Enjoy!
1) Feather Fabulous
Feather Bouquets via Emplume
Simply chic.  What else is there to say?  Made completely of feathers with bejeweled accents, have one made in snowy white for that ice princess feel.  These lovelies are complementary of the ladies from Emplume.
2) Pinecone Rustic
Pinecone wedding bouquet via
For the rustic bride, pinecone bouquets are perfection.  Start in advance and this bouquet alternative can turn into a fun and easy DIY project.  Add wintry flair and sparkle by spray painting silver, gold, or glitter onto your bouquet.  To learn how to create your own, check out this tutorial from used to create the bouquet above.
3) The Hand Muff Bouquet
Childrens hand muffs via Etsy
Fabulous.  Winter hand muffs keep you and your bridesmaids warm and stylish.  And they will look amazing in photos.  This idea is one of my favorites because it truly captures the winter season in a unique way.  Better yet, they double as great bridesmaids gifts too.  Pair with warm and cozy slippers for the perfect gift set.  The children's hand muffs above are courtesy of Etsy and can be found here and here.
4) Bling Bling
Heirloom jeweled wedding bouquet via Etsy
Why limit all your sparkle to just your wedding dress when you can have an entire bouquet made from glittering rhinestones.  Glistening just like the snowfall.  Make entirely of gems and jewels, this bouquet will sparkle all the way down the aisle.  I especially love the rhinestone bouquet idea because it will last forever.  Truly an heirloom quality piece that can be passed down.  Heirloom jeweled bouquet courtesy of Noaki of Etsy.
5) The Pomander Snowball
Pomander Kissing Ball Bouquets
Mimic the snowball fights from your childhood with our number 5 bouquet idea...the pomander snowball bouquet.  This idea takes the traditional flower bouquet and mixes gives it a unique twist.  Have each of your bridesmaids and flower girl carry these snowballs down the aisle to capture the feeling of winter.  Pair with a traditional rose brides bouquet for the perfect complement.  Pomander snowball bouquets courtesy of Etsy and The Knot.

Happy Planning!

Tips for Personalizing Family Gifts

It is time to start making your list and checking it twice! There are less than 5 weeks to shop for all the holidays, not to mention even less time to place orders online. Luckily you can cross off several names from your list by giving a family gift. Family gifts are most appropriate for extended relatives, coworkers, and others you would like to give a simple and thoughtful gift to.  Some of my favorite family gifts are board games, baked goods, and personalized signs, frames, ornaments or boxes that have been printed with the family's name. The vintage sign shown here is a perfect example of a gift that can be hung in a family room for everyone to enjoy. 
If you are choosing to have a family name printed on a gift, there are few things you will need to consider. Ask yourself whether you are trying to convey the family's ownership over an item or make the family name plural. In the case of personalized gifts, the answer will usually be making the name plural. Here are several ways to solve the problem of pluralizing surnames for gifts or holiday cards.

  •   The basic rule of thumb is to pluralize by adding s to family names not ending in s, sh, ch, x, or z.
  • For names ending in s, sh, ch, x, or z you must add an es. This can sometimes look awkward, so it is also acceptable to simply leave the name as is.
  • Add an 's to show ownership (i.e. The Smith Family's Christmas Party)
  • If the name is plural or ends in an s already just the apostrophe. (The Sandersons' House)
  • Leave last names as is when the above rules result in awkwardness. Instead of putting The Matthewses' Home on their welcome mat, simply use The Matthews Home. You can create other phrases like The Matthews Family, Matthews Residence, Matthews Clan, etc.
  • If none of these solutions suit you, try using a single last name initial. The font will be the focus in this case, so choose wisely!
Happy Holidays!

~ Jenna

Adding a Personalized Touch to Men's Christmas Gifts

It's that time of the year ladies, when we must start thinking about Christmas gifts for our husbands, boyfriends, Dads, brothers, sons etc. No matter who the gift is for you want it to be special and from the heart. A personalized gift is a great way to give that special man in your life something that he will love!! Here are some great personalized men's gifts for Christmas 2010.

Traditional Neighborhood Pub Sign
Wall Signs: This is great gift for anyone. You can order you son's favorite football team wall sign or for you Dad or husband you can order a personalized pub sign or golf sign. There are many different options to choose from and a gift any guy would love.

Personalized NFL Team Logo Beer Koozie

 Bar Ware: You can never go wrong with personalized beer mugs or monogrammed shot glasses. Another great idea is a personalized can koozie with your special guys favorite football team. He will love the personal touch of his name or message on the koozie and he will surely use it everytime he is watching football.

Personalized Executive Golf Putter Gift SetGolf: It's hard to find a gentleman these days that doesn't enjoy a great game of golf. Whether you get him a personalized golf towel, putter set or engraved divot towel, the golfer in your life is sure to love the many options that are available for the avid golfer.

 Personalized Picture Frames in Assorted Father PoemsPicture Frames: The great thing about a personalized picture frame is that you can not only add a nice message on the frame to your loved one but you can also add a picture that is special to you. This is a great gift for your husband or boyfriends desk. Don't forget about co-workers and friends. This is also an in expensive way to add a personalized touch to an office party gift as well.

Midnight Personalized Pocket WatchUnique: The truth is there are personalized gifts for men out there for every type of guy, whether your guy loves sports or he is an outdoorsman you can find something unique for him. Adding a personalized touch to a lockback knife, a pocket watch or cigar humidor is going to make your gift special to the person you are giving it to.

Now jump on your computers or hit the streets and find that uniquely personalized gift for the special men in your life. Happy Shopping!


Tis the Season for Holiday Wedding Centerpieces

It's only November but I can already feel the Christmas season inching its way here.  Soon it will be time for the sound of crackling fires, Bing Crosby, and yummy scents of baked goodies to fill the air.  I for one can hardly wait! Time to snuggle up with a warm cup of cocoa and watch the snow fall.  This love I have for Christmas has of course always made me wish for a holiday themed wedding.  And since my wedding has already passed, I will just have to live vicariously through all of you.  So here it is.  For all you other holiday gurus out there, here are my top picks for holiday wedding centerpieces from the simplest setting to the most elaborate arrangement.

1) Wrap It Up
Holiday wrapped gift box centerpieces
One of the simplest and most inexpensive holiday centerpieces to pull off, the empty gift box!  Simply purchase your favorite holiday wrapping paper and bows to match your wedding colors and wrap away.  Use different sized boxes to create texture and visual interest and stack them along the center of your tables.  You don't even have to put anything in them.  They're just for show, after all.

2) Edible Art
Edible holiday centerpieces
Instead of creating a candy buffet, bring the buffet to your guests with edible table centerpieces.  Mini cakes, towers of holiday candy, or single serving desserts make for a mouth-watering display.  Set your goodies on short or tall displays accented by berries, holly, and other holiday accents.  Include personalized napkins next to each centerpiece printed with a note that says 'enjoy' with your names and wedding date.  Your guests won't be able to get enough of your edible art.

3) Branch Out
Ornament decorated tree branch centerpieces
Christmas wouldn't be the same without all the ornaments that decorate our Christmas trees.  For my #3 pick, use a simple tree as your centerpiece.  Either spray-paint a bare branched tree or use a pine tree as your main focal point.  Add ornaments to your tree to give your centerpiece depth and to provide guests with a favor to take home.  Clear ornaments are perfect for low light settings and will make your tables sparkle, catching the light from every angle.  Personalized ornaments are great for adding a custom touch to your guest tables and will remind guests of your special day every year.

4) Twist on the traditional
Holiday wedding centerpieces
Flowers will continue to be one of the most popular and traditional wedding centerpiece choices.  For the holidays, put your own twist on this wedding staple by creating ornament accented floral arrangements, present shaped bouquets tied with ribbon, and/or peppermint wrapped flower bouquets.  To create your peppermint bouquets, simply glue candy canes to the outside of an inexpensive vase, insert your flowers, and voila!  Present shaped flower arrangements can be a little trickier and usually turn out best when left to an expert (especially when using live flowers).  To make this centerpiece on your own, purchase square flower foam from your local craft store, fake roses, ribbon, and scissors.  Simply insert the stems of your flowers into the foam until the flowers cover it entirely.  Tie your ribbon around your present, step back, and admire your work.

Happy Planning!


Credits: Row 1: Holiday wrapped gift boxes via Row 2: Mini wedding cakes courtesy of, individual cookies on cake stand and candy tower via  Row 3: Silver tree branches with ornaments available at, personalized ornament tiles via angelellie of, beaded winter snowflake ornaments. Row 4: Candy cane flower arrangement and ornament display via, rose covered present centerpiece courtesy of party town.

DIY Conversation Starters Your Guests Will Love

Can I just say that I am simply in awe of the fabulous DIY wedding ideas that brides are coming up with these days.  Brides unite and keep the ideas coming because there is definitely power in numbers.  You will be well on your way to a fabulous wedding if these trends keep up the way they are (and believe me...they will only get better).  That being said, I had to share some of these ultra-creative guest ideas with our readers.  These 3 creative DIY wedding additions are sure to keep your guests entertained all night long and are the perfect conversation starters.

1) Pop Quiz...
Guest questionnaires about the bride and groom
Questionnaires about the bride and groom are a great way to include your guests in your wedding day and give them a way to interact with your other guests.  Include questions about you and your fiance in the form of a pop quiz, word search, crossword, table number, etc.  One couple took their "school themed wedding" to a whole new level by giving guests a pop quiz with a list of multiple choice questions (shown above left).  After the wedding, the couple mailed the graded test scores with their thank you cards.  Images courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings and

2) Photo booth guest books...
Photo booth wedding guest books
Vamp up the traditional wedding guest book by creating a photo booth scrapbook.  To pull this off, designate a friend or family member to take pictures of guests as they enter your reception and another to print the photos.  You can also have a photo booth set up with props for guests to take their own fun photo strips.  Guests can then insert their photos into your scrapbook and write special wedding wishes and words of wisdom to the bride and groom next to their photos.  Afterwards, as a special thank you, include copies of the photos in with your thank you cards.  Images courtesy of indiebride and Martha Stewart Weddings.

3) Personal Place Cards...
Personal place cards courtesy of Greg Lumley
Make your guests feel special and keep them entertained all night long by turning your place cards into personal name tags.  For each guest, create a place card/name tag using a photo that truly captures their personality.  Using some sort of image editing software (like Adobe Photoshop), insert each guest's name onto their personal photo place card.  Take your place cards to a local print shop and have them laminated.  Add a paper clip to each place card and now your guests will have a name card they can display all night long.  This ultra-creative idea will have your guests laughing and interacting with each other because they will all be curious about each persons "meaning".  While this idea will take some time and planning it is well worth the effort and will make your guests feel truly special.  This adorable idea is courtesy of the fabulous photographer Greg Lumley and his now wife Tiffany.  To learn more about their inspiration and to see more photos, visit

Happy Planning!


Indulge With Hot Chocolate Inspired Holiday Treats

During the holidays there is nothing quite like cozying up by a fire with a huge cup of hot chocolate topped with whip cream and a candy cane. It is one of those little indulgences that make cold weather worth while. For me, no holiday season is complete without it. For those who feel the same, here are a few creative ways to incorporate it this season.

Make your next winter party interesting by offering a hot chocolate bar. Here you can serve hot chocolate and coffee with a variety of toppings. Display whipped cream, cinnamon, chocolate chips, chocolate dipped spoons, and a variety of syrups for your guests to choose from. My personal favorite is a splash of rich coffee and hazelnut syrup in my hot chocolate! This idea is perfect for those who like the idea of a candy bar or ice cream buffet, but want to put a new twist on the trend. 
Loosen up your guests from holiday stress with hot chocolate inspired drinks like a hot chocolate martini served with an olive-esque chocolate drop skewered on a peppermint stick. You can also spike your traditional hot chocolate to give it some kick. Bailey's Irish Cream, Kahlua, and Crème de Menthe, are a few liquors that will mix well.
Of course you can have hot chocolate available for guests of in-home parties, but this won't work if you are heading out to a pot luck or taking a treat into your child's school Christmas party. Heaven in liquid form can get a little messy during travel. That's where the deliciously beautiful hot chocolate cupcakes by Chocswirl come in. What could be better than a warm, moist cupcake topped with chocolate ganache, melted marshmallows and cinnamon! Get creative with your toppings to make them more festive for the holidays. Stick in a mini candy cane or you could even bake them in small ceramic holiday mugs or espresso cups! Check out Chocswirl's blog for the recipe for these yummy treats. Lick The Spatula also offers a sophisticated version involving coffee and Kahlua buttercream icing (yum!). 
 Another fun way to incorporate hot chocolate into your holiday is by giving hot chocolate mix layered in clear jars or bags. These make a great craft for kids who want to participate in the gift giving. To keep the mess minimal use a baking funnel or fashion one out of paper. Make your hot chocolate recipe even more indulgent by adding a layer of chocolate chips, instant coffee, crushed candy canes, and mini marshmallows. The mix is best when  presented with tasty extras like chocolate covered spoons for stirring or a personalized mug. Make sure to add a cute tag with cooking instructions.
~ Jenna

Photo Credits: Mug in Snow courtesy of The Little Goat, Cocoa Cupcakes courtesy of Chocswirl, Cocoa Mix courtesy of

Ideas for Winter Wedding Centerpieces

The winter months will soon be here and Jack Frost will be nipping at our noses. It is time to start planning your winter wedding and thinking about winter wedding centerpieces. Winter weddings leave you with many color options. You can do the traditional red and green or silver and blue but really any color is expectable as long as you give it a little winter flair. Here are a few ideas for winter wedding centerpieces.

Flowers: Popular wedding flowers for winter weddings are roses, carnations, calla lilies, poinsettias and hydrangeas. With most of the flowers listed you can choose from a large color pallet and make beautiful flower center pieces. Red roses make the most beautiful centerpieces but can also be very expensive. Adding a few white and/or red poinsettias to your tables would be much more cost efficient and with a little ribbon or color stone accessories they can be the most gorgeous centerpieces.

Candles: Using candles of various shapes and sizes on a mirror or large plate is an excellent way to create a unique centerpiece. Candles add a sense of sophistication to any atmosphere and are also very romantic. Position your candles on your table and then you can add different color Christmas tree bulbs to the arrangement to give it a sense of whimsy and also add that winter feel.

Christmas bulbs: I love the variety available when using Christmas bulbs for centerpieces. For a winter themed wedding they would be a welcome part of any centerpiece. Just filling a glass bowl with different color Christmas bulbs can make lovely centerpieces. This is easy and economical.

Pine cones: Pine cones are also a great item to use for center pieces. You can add pine cones to your small trees, flowers or around your candles depending on what kind of centerpiece you decide to use. Placing pieces or pine branches, pine cones and holy pieces around a few small votive candles can make a dramatic and beautiful center piece that will keep your guest talking for weeks.

Pine Trees: I would love to walk into a reception hall that was completely decorated with Christmas trees. This is probably not in everyone’s budget. You can purchase small inexpensive pine tress for your tables and add decorations or simply spray them with a white coating and add twinkle lights. Adding a beaded snowflake ornament to your tree centerpieces can work as your decoration and favor. Simply add a card to each table asking your guest to take an ornament home with them and you have killed 2 birds with one stone.

No matter what centerpiece idea you come up with, just be sure to keep it unique to your winter wedding theme. Happy planning ladies!

DIY Winter Wedding Favors To Impress Your Guests

Every bride and groom dreams of a wedding reception that their guests will ooh and ahh over the minute they walk through the door.  Choosing the right wedding favor for your guests will go a long way in making this dream come true.  Your wedding favors are the time to say that heartfelt thank you to loved ones and to capture the atmosphere of your big day.  For your winter wedding favors, make your vision a reality with these unique DIY favor ideas that are sure to impress your guests.

1) Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm...
Russian tea cakes courtesy of
Nothing says from the heart more than an edible homemade treat.  Great winter treat ideas are items like hot cocoa mixes, gift wrapped cookie trays, chocolate covered peppermint sticks, or Russian tea cakes (a.k.a snowballs).  When making edible treats for guests, be sure to do your research on the ingredients included in your recipe.  Find out how long your ingredients will hold and if they will freeze well.  This way you will know how far in advance to start your baking.  It is also best to leave out any extra ingredients associated with common food allergies like peanuts.  Be sure to clearly write out your ingredients on a label for your loved ones.  Russian tea cake image courtesy of  Get the recipe here.

2) Tree Saplings
Pine tree sapling wedding favors via Nancy Gould Photography
Great for a more rustic winter wedding, tree saplings are eco-friendly and are a unique twist on the everyday wedding favor.  For winter, give your guests a pine tree sapling so they can plant it in remembrance of your special day.  Such a wonderful story for your friends and family to tell others, your loved ones will think of you as they watch their tree grow over time. Don't forget to plant one yourself and watch as your tree blossoms right along with your marriage.  Image via Nancy Gould Photography.

3) For the holidays
12 Days of Christmas Ornaments from Crate and Barrel
Holiday themed winter weddings are becoming increasingly more popular and have opened up a whole new can of adorable favor ideas.  Think ornaments, extravagantly wrapped gifts, Christmas trees, and stockings.  Be creative and play off of common holiday songs and poems like the The Twelve Days of Christmas or Favorite Things from The Sound of Music.  One great DIY holiday favor idea uses the poem The Twelve Days of Christmas.  Assign each guest table with one of the days from the poem.  At your guest place settings for that table leave them the gift for that day (ornaments are a great way to pull this off and are reusable).  For the first day/table, you would give your guests a partridge in a pear tree.  For the second day/table, leave your guests a turtle dove, etc., etc.  (If you do not have assigned seating you could always opt to use all the days of Christmas at each table instead of splitting up the days but that choice is yours).  12 Days of Christmas Ornaments courtesy of Crate and Barrel.

To see other winter favors ideas, check out our collection of winter wedding favors and as always....

Happy Planning!

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