Bridal Registry Basics - Getting Started

I don’t know about you but setting up a bridal registry sounds like about the most fun ever!  As a newly engaged gal myself and a self-proclaimed shopaholic, I can’t imagine not enjoying compiling a list of all the things that my fiancé and I will need for our new life together. But then I realized I didn’t even know where to begin! While your bridal registry may seem like nothing more than the ultimate shopping list, there needs to be a lot of thought put into it. Before you go crazy with that scanner gun, take a moment to plan, research and get organized. Here is some advice I gathered to aide in beginning your bridal registry, advice I will surely be taking too!

Bridal registry coupleWhen to get started
Start thinking about your registry right away. This may sound a little premature but once hearing about your engagement, some friends or family may want to get you a gift right away. So to better accommodate everyone’s gift-giving strategy, register for a few items soon after your engagement. Since it may be difficult to decide on all the items for your registry this early, more items can and should be added later on. If you are having an engagement party or bridal shower, make sure to register for gifts at least one month beforehand. This gives guests enough time to shop.

What to register for
It can be an overwhelming task deciding what items to select for your registry. There are probably a lot of things you and your future spouse need to begin your lives together. So it is best to prioritize and stay organized. Before going to the store or browsing online, it may be helpful to make your own list of things you need. Go visit a friend or family member’s fully stocked kitchen/dining room/bathroom/etc. Take a look around at the necessities they have and then jot down any items you don’t yet own but would like for your own place. Having this primary list will make it easier when you visit the store or begin your online registry. Think about daily activities, chores and tasks and the items you will need to complete them. Also think about special occasion items that you may need for holidays or entertaining. Once basic items are taken care of then think of fun items or decorating pieces that will complete your living space.

Now if you and your fiancé already live together and have many of the necessary items needed for everyday living. Think about expanding your registry to include items that are tailored to your hobbies and interests. Consider camping equipment, wine chillers, electronics, or gift cards to Home Depot, Lowe's or Target.

To learn more about creating and managing your bridal registry check out the article The Ultimate Shopping List - Creating Your Bridal Registry by our blogger Mandy (Me!)

Photo Credits: Bridal registry couple

12 Days of Weddings... Two Turtle Doves

Two Turtle Doves
It's time for our second installment of this season's 12 Days of Weddings. We all know that on the second day of Christmas, the lover in the song is given two turtle doves. A turtle dove, named for the chortling sound of its call, is a soft grey and brown bird. These lovely little creatures mate for life making them a wonderful symbol of a forever love to use in your holiday wedding motif. We've taken our cue from the rustic colored feathers of this iconic bird and created a brown, caramel, and gray inspiration board for your enjoyment.
Two Turtle Doves Inspiration Board
Image Credits: Pine Bough Bouquet from Martha Stewart Weddings, Feather Boutonniere from Martha Stewart Weddings, Favor Box from Project Wedding, Feather Place Setting from Country Living, Dove Cookies from Baked Bree, Winter Table from All The Beautiful Things by Loreta, Turtle Dove Mixed Drinks from Hipster Travel Guide, Snow and Pine Wedding Cake from Style Me Pretty, Love Birds Cake Topper from MyWeddingReception

Wedding Keepsakes You’ll Love to Keep on Display

Many couples save keepsakes of their wedding to remind them of special details they hope to never forget. These items often include guest books, photo albums, toasting flutes, and serving sets. All of these are wonderful keepsakes to save from your wedding, but it is also sometimes difficult to display them in your home.

Why not take the idea of a keepsake, include those special people sharing in your day, and display these items as artwork in your home? Being able to see these items on a daily basis will be a constant reminder of that joyous day in your lives.

Guest Book Canvas
Guest Book Tree
Traditional guest books can be updated to a work of art that will be noticed for years to come. One option would be to have a canvas displayed, with inks available, where guests can leave their thumbprint and a small message on your family and friends tree.

Wedding Artist
Wedding Painting
A more attention capturing idea may be to have an artist attend your wedding ceremony and reception to capture the magic of your nuptials in a painting. The guests will be delighted to see themselves being painted into the brilliant scene of your wedding, and will be thrilled to see this timeless work of art displayed in your home in the future.

Make sure you will always remember the spectacular moments in your wedding with personalized touches, and beautiful artwork. If you are not sure where to start, do an internet search for local artists in your area. Make a few calls to discuss how these artists can enhance your wedding experience. Be sure to ask to see a portfolio of artwork the artist has done in the past to ensure that you will enjoy their style!

Photo Credits: Guest Book Tree Photos compliments of Style Me Pretty.  Wedding Artist and Painting compliments of Live Event Artist.

12 Days of Weddings...A Partridge in a Pear Tree

12 Days of Wedding Inspiration...A Partridge in a Pear Tree
It is just starting into the fall season here.  The air is crisp and the nights beckon for a warm cup of apple cider.  It's around this time of year that I begin to think of the coming holiday season and long for the sounds Bing Crosby to fill the room.  Since it is way too early to start playing Christmas music (and doing so might send people running for the nearest exit), I will just have to live vicariously through all of you. (cue sly chuckle...hee hee hee)

With that said, we are so excited to announce the start of our 12 Days of Weddings.  Leading up to Christmas, we will present to you our favorite holiday wedding ideas and inspiration for each of the twelve days of Christmas.  Come back next week to see what else we have in store for our 12 Days of Weddings and to see other great holiday ideas.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...A Partridge in a Pear Tree...
12 Days of Wedding Inspiration...A Partridge in a Pear Tree
12 Days of Wedding Inspiration...A Partridge in a Pear Tree
Image Credits: Rustic centerpiece from 2 Sisters Blog, Pear cookie via Dessert First, letterpress partridge holiday card from byvik ink, pine tree sapling favors via Nancy Gould Photography, dotted feather fascinator, pear tree from Gumpsjam wedding favors, presents from BHG, pear shaped earrings from Dalim, champagne lollipop tutorial from Martha Stewart, red chapel via flickr

Tips on Having a Spooktacular Halloween Party

Are you already thinking of fun things to do at your Halloween party this year? I know I am. Halloween is that special time of the year when you can pretend to be someone or something else. Let loose of all your inhibitions and just have some fun with you family and friends. Here are a few tips on how to add some fun and creativity to your Halloween party.

True Blood CastThemes: It is not always necessary but it is a lot of fun to have a themed Halloween party. Choose a theme like the Adam’s Family and have everyone dress up as a character from the movie or television show. My favorite theme idea this year is for the extremely popular HBO series True Blood. Again, have all of the guest dress up like characters from the show. Fill empty bottles with red wine or red punch and attach a True Blood label. Create different areas in your house, like Fangtasia and Merlotte's. Your friends and family will love it! What girl doesn’t want to be Sookie and what guy doesn’t want to be Eric. Tombstone yard
Décor: Halloween is my favorite holiday to decorate. I love all the cob webs and hanging spiders. Of course when you are having a Halloween party you should go all out. The more cob webs the better. If you are planning a theme then you should decorate based on that, but if you are having a good old fashioned scare feast then, rent the fog machine and turn on spooky music. When it comes to Halloween parties more is definitely more. Don’t forget to decorate the outside of the house as well. Give you guest the feeling of uncertainty when they are walking up the sidewalk. Weather permitting a Halloween party would be great outside as well.
Personalized Spooky Bat Recycled NapkinsFood: Now my favorite part. Serving food for a Halloween party is actually simple. You can make dishes that are simple and not scary but give them scary names. Rent a cast iron cauldron from a local party store and fill it will chili. Place the cauldron over a fire in your back yard and call it witches brew. You can also serve chicken wings, barbecue and hot & spicy will be more effective with the red sauce. Add a place card or toothpick label to the dish reading ‘Bat Wings’.  Another fun idea, slice some green olives on top of your devilish eggs and add some paprika to give them the appearance of eyeballs. Desert is the most fun. You can decorate sugar cookie cut outs to look like jack-o-lanterns or tombstones. Cupcakes can be made into spiders by adding some candy eyes and twizzler legs.  Add some fun Halloween napkins and cups to the buffet to give your guest even more to talk about.
Now you have a few short months to get your plan into action. Think scary, creative and fun. Good Luck and don’t forget to go all out.

Trick or Treat Love is Sweet - And So Are These Halloween Desserts!

Amy Atlas Halloween Dessert Table

Many people love the idea of Halloween weddings, but aren't sure how to pull it off without taking away from the I Do's. Our suggestion? Incorporate an elegant Halloween dessert table! Here are our favorite dessert ideas for a spookily styled treat buffet.

Spotlight on vintage soda bottles wrapped in black lace, meringue bone cookies, and cupcakes stenciled with a witchy silhouette. It is so chic your guests will love every macabre mouthful! 
Halloween Dessert Inspiration Board
Image Credits: Dessert Buffet designed by Amy Atlas via Hostess Blog, Specimen Viles via Honey Bee Sweeterie, Stenciled Witch Cupcakes and Pumpkin Mousse from Country Living, Bone Cookies, Stenciled Letter Cookies, Pumpkin Spice Cake, and Spider Web Cake Via Martha Stewart

Things We Love ~ Fabric Wine Bottle Wraps

Fabric wine bottle wraps
Currently trending at weddings right now are miniature wine or champagne bottles as take home favors for your guests. If you think these petite carafes are cute by themselves  just imagine how extremely adorable they will be when you dress them up a little. Another great idea from Martha Stewart Weddings are these fabulously folded fabric wine bottle wraps.

Since all your guests will be dressed up for your big day, shouldn't your favors be too. If you are giving out miniature wine bottles as favors at your wedding, consider wrapping them up in fancy fabric and tying them with an intricate Japanese fold.

Choose a fabric that matches your wedding color scheme or theme. These stylish bottle wraps can be donned with lustrous cloth for a fancy affair or casual denim for a laid back gathering. An elaborately tied Japanese-style knot at the top of your bottle adds interest and flair. 

Set these bottles at each place setting with a thank you message from the bride and groom attached to the knot. These favors can also double as seating place card holders by inserting a tag with the guest's name and table number printed on it. These fabric wraps can be appropriate for all your guests. If you won't be handing out alcohol to everyone at your event, consider wrapping up bottled water or soda bottles.

Here are the step by step instructions for creating these wow-worthy wedding favors! Enjoy!

Ideas for Lighting up your Outdoor Wedding

Martha Stewart Weddings hanging jar lanterns
If you have decided to have an outdoor wedding then you will need to consider how to light the area. Lighting is a must if your wedding is in the evening or if it will continue into the evening hours. Lighting up your wedding venue can be simple and will also add a sense of romance and beauty to any outdoor wedding. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

candle lined wedding aisle
Create a path of lights that will lead the bride to the altar. You can do this with candles placed about every 12 inches down the aisle or you can also string twinkle lights to poles that are placed in the ground. For a beach wedding, tiki torches will make a great path of light. I also love the idea of creating an archway that goes the length of the aisle. With some wooden poles, wire and string lights you can create a breath taking archway that your guests won’t soon forget.
floating votive center pieces
For the reception you will want to add candles or fireless candles to all of the tables. Add floating candles to a bowl of water that also has flowers floating in the water or you can fill the glass bowls with rocks that will accent your wedding colors or theme and then add the floating candles. If floating candles are not your thing then go with several different candle sizes placed strategically on a mirror surface. This will add elegance to any centerpiece. The candles will not only illuminate the tables but they will set the mood for your guest to sit down and enjoy there dinner.
Round Paper Lanterns
Depending on the outside venue you are using, we recommend adding lights to all of the trees in the area. White twinkle lights on all of the trees will only add to the sense of romance as well as keep the area lit up for your guests. You can also hang candles from the trees. Add tea lights to mason jars and string them into the trees around the reception area to create a sense of whimsy. Whether the reception will be under a tent or under the stars, you will still want to string lights across the dance floor and reception areas. One of our favorite ideas is adding round paper lanterns to the ceiling of your tent or hanging them across the reception area. The round paper lanterns create a subtle yet beautiful light and they came in many different colors to match your wedding theme.
The above ideas are sure to get you started in the right direction. One more tip would be to rent a generator from a local party rental. You wouldn’t want the lights to go out on your wedding guests. Good Luck.

The Allure of the White Pumpkin

Modge Podge Pumpkin via Budget Wise Home
White pumpkins are becoming increasingly more popular for fall weddings.  Maybe it's the allure of the romantic white shade that makes these adorable accessories a must-have item.  Maybe it's simply the fact that white is an easier color to match than their staple orange counterpart.  Whatever the reason, we aren't complaining.

For fall, we love the idea of choose a neutral color palette of creams and whites splashed with simple bronze accents.  To pull this look together, use any of our inspiration ideas below. White pumpkins look great when used as centerpieces, as decor for your cake/card table, and when used as guest favors or place card holders.  For a unique twist, consider hollowing out a pumpkin to use as your flower girl basket and ring bearer pillow.  You can even modge podge a white pumpkin with a pattern (shown left) for a splash of color and added interest.  (For a tutorial on this creative technique, visit  Enjoy!

White Pumpkin Fall Wedding Inspiration Board
White Pumpkin Fall Wedding Inspiration Board
White Pumpkin Fall Wedding Inspiration Board

Image Credits:  Modge Podge pumpkin tutorial via Budget Wise Home, Pumpkin patch via The Knot, Shabby chic chair via iheartshabbychic, Pumpkin serving bowl courtesy of Paper Bird, Pumpkin staircase via Delicate Creature, Mini pumpkin decor via Pinterest, Pumpkin on scale and stool via Sugar Pie Farmhouse, Pumpkin ring bearer pillow available at Bragging Bags, Pumpkin place card holder tutorial via Twig and Thistle.

Sliders and Shooters and Snackies Oh my! ~ Late Night Wedding Treats to Keep the Party Going

Mini slider burgers
Warning! This tantalizing food-filled blog post may leave you with your mouth watering and your stomach growling! We're talking wedding snacks, and lots of them! Trending right now at many weddings is the late night mini wedding snack. Receptions are running later and your guests are staying longer. Partying into the night can no doubt work up an appetite. After hours of dancing and socializing, a wedding guest can get pretty hungry. While dinner was hours ago, you and your wedding guests may need a little pick me up towards the end of the night. Consider passing out fun and casual little bites that will have your guests saying "Awww, How cute!". These mini delights will quell your guests' hunger and are sure to be a real hit!

Late night wedding snacks

From espresso shots topped with mini doughnuts to slider burgers with petite milkshakes, these treats are the perfect way to end the night. So who's hungry? You don't have to wait until your wedding reception to try out these delicacies, have a mini food party with friends and pick and choose which treats you would like to serve at your wedding!

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