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Archive for the ‘Themes’ Category

An outdoor affair, love in the air.  What better theme for a garden reception than blue birds.  These save the date cards can double as an invite for a less formal soiree.  Seersucker suits for the men and seersucker table runners for the sweetheart, cake, and gift table at $25 a piece.  Shepherd’s hooks line driveways or aisles with blue hydrangea balls.  Blueberry Hill cupcakes serve as a visual point of interest and a sweet treat.  For a day time wedding, hang bird cages with yellow flowers in trees rather than lights and use a bird-cage as a place to keep guests’ cards.  Accent your tent with paper laterns in blue, white and an accent color.  Yellow looks great outdoors for a pop of color or lime green keeps the pallet in tune with the plants and sky of your venue a la Mother Nature.

 

Blue flower ball

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When it comes to DIY centerpieces as the bride, you have to weigh two factors.  What do you value more: time with family and friends or time arranging centerpieces?  Here are some further questions to ask yourself.  1) How far ahead of time can it be created assembled?  2) How much time do I have to create between now and the wedding?  3) How much time the day before the wedding will I have to assemble and arrange?  4) How much help do I have?  5) Would I use any pieces again?  6) Are fresh flowers important to me? 7) How much money am I willing to spend?  8) How far ahead of time can I be in my reception site?  9) Does my vendor (florist, caterer, host site) offer set-up help, linens, glassware, votives, or candles?

The farther ahead of time a centerpiece can be created and/or assembled, the less stressful your wedding week will be.  I am totally a DIYourselfer, but I was unpleasantly surprised how much time fresh flowers take to assemble and arrange.  Plus, the day before is the earliest I suggest doing them.  Afterall, it’s a lot of money to spend for them not to look their best.  After weighing all options, here’s my advice for each of the following winter centerpieces.

Let’s Get it Started . . . Now!

If you want to do it now, and forget about it later, think about all glass and mirrors.  No one looks prettier than in candle-light.  The warm glow softens the face like a Glamour Shot.  See what your venue offers first, then hit The Dollar Tree.  They have  glass holders and mirrors in the candle aisle for a $1 a piece.  And, if you’re a true DIYourselfer, you will use the glass and mirrors again.  I use them under every candle in my house to reflect the glow.  I also use them as tiny serving trays under salt and pepper shakers, toothpick holders, and candy dishes.  For more of a nostalgic feel, check out antique stores, flea markets, and yard sales.  I buy every framed mirror that seems salvageable.  Then I use painters tape and newspaper to cover the glass and spray paint all the frames the wedding color, or gold, or ivory. 

Grouping all of these candles under an antique framed mirror would take it from engagement party to wedding centerpiece.

Roses are a Girl’s BF

If you insist on DIY fresh roses,  I don’t blame you. Nothing says classy like fresh flower centerpieces, but please enlist some help.  For a wedding of 100 people, we ordered 2 boxes of white roses from Cost-Co.  The afternoon before the wedding, we poured champagne and had a de-thorning party.  It took 4 girls 3 hours to prep  and arrange the roses. 

For prep, we 1) removed the thorns with knife or just pick off with your fingers,  and 2) remove the bottom 3/4 of leaves (or whatever will be in water) and any browning, wilting, or bruised petals.  3) Cut the bottom of the stem to desired length at an angle and 4) IMMEDIATELY immerse stem in water.  (You can even cut the stem at an angle while the stem is under water by having a doggie-type water bowl at your station). 

For a modern, elegant look, just use the roses.  Start with the biggest, prettiest rose from the dozen, and then circle around that rose chosing from next biggest, prettiest, until all twelve are encircled.  Place in tall, cylinder vase.  When buying your vase, realize that the size of the opening is going to determine how many flowers it takes to fill it.  The smaller the opening, the cheaper the arrangement.  You could use floral wire or waterproof tape to achieve a modern look in the “wrong” vase.

For more drama, lace or weave the greenery and arrange roses an inch apart.  Greenery not only fills your vase for less money, but adds to visual interest but adding texture.  Mistletoe or seeded eucalyptus are perfect winter fillers for roses, and for even more budget=friendly, only use roses on every other table because these are breathtaking stand alone. 

eucalyptus leaves and buds

Seeded eucalyptus is a beautiful texture to add to white roses for a winter wedding

Breathtaking Purity

You’re like Subway, you want it fresh, but it doesn’t have to be high-maintenance.  Nothing says “wedding”, like the simple elegance of a pure Baby’s Breath arrangement.  It appears on the table as a soft snowfall.  Use it in different height vases with white candles as your centerpiece.  You can have fresh and do it ahead of time.  It’s perfect for your winter wedding.  Ask your reception venue what they offer in terms of mirrors, vases, and candles.  You may only have to buy the baby’s breath (next to nothing, so get a lot!).  If you do have to purchase vases, you can monogram the one at the sweetheart table for a personalized look, but I would keep the rest unadorned b/c you can use them again for a friend’s wedding or your  baby shower (upcoming or before the wedding, whatever).  Check the cost difference of renting vs. buying.  You can find clear glass and mirrors at the dollar store for only a $1 a piece, so if they ask more than that, forget it.  Use your excess baby’s breath to frame your cake table, gift table, DJ table, etc.

very tall white vase with baby's breath shaped in a topiary ball

Baby's breath speaks for itself. Use clear or white vases. Branches add DIY drama. http://ruffledblog.com/white-lace-clouds/

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If during summer, serve old fashion soda.Want to have a hoot at your rehearsal dinner? Host a Hoedown in your backyard!Cut wildflowers or buy bouquets from your local farmer's market.

Arrange in 3 different size containers: mason jars, root beer bottles, and anything with an antique look.

Paper decorations are an inexpensive way to create theme.

If during harvest, serve warm apple cider.

If children are invited, make a Barnyard out of cardboard boxes and stack hay bales for them to climb on.

Nothing says fall like making S'Mores around a fire. Use hay bales for Hoedown-approved seating.

And for a hollerin' good time, hire a square dance caller to bring out the inner-Cowboy in everyone. These hats from the costume section of Target helped us get in the mood too.

Instead of cooking dinner yourself, you'll have WAY too much to do, have a local BBQ cater. It actually ended up being cheaper for me to cater.

Add roasted pumpkin seeds to trail mix and set about the party for people to munch on

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Carmel Apples

Get your girls together and tell each of them to bring their favorite flurrie topping.  Do your shopping as close to the favor making day as possible so apples are fresh.  Buy firm apples (Granny Smiths work well) 1 apple per wedding guest (obviously), 3 ounces caramel candies per apple, and one wooden candy stick per apple (popsicle sticks work fine).  After apples set you will need one cellophane bag and about 25″ ribbon per apple.  Before the gals arrive, set up stations, each with a large freezer bag, wooden spoon, 2 greased aluminum pie pans, cardstock tags (divide number of wedding guests by number of girls coming), and a marker.  Wash and dry apples.

As the gals arrive, have them choose a station and write their topping-of-choice on the tags provided at her station.  They should write neatly as this will be presented to wedding guests.  Each guest will then fill her baggie with her topping-of-choice, zip it shut pressing out all of the air, double-check to make sure it’s closed, and beat it like crazy with the wooden spoon until crushed, and finally layer crumbs in one pan.  This creates an array of caramel apple selections for your favors.

As guests are crushing, you melt candy caramel in the microwave.  (About 2.5 minutes per 12 ounce bag).  Take each group of stations melted caramel.  While the caramel is hot, they dunk the apple and then twirl in topping.  They then will set the apples on the empty aluminum pan to set.  For a video demonstration, check out http://www.ehow.com/video_4006_make-caramel-apples.html.

After apples set, put in cellophane bag with stick coming out of opening.  Then put tag on ribbon and tie a two loop bow around the stick.  You can order personalized ribbon to make your favors extra special.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

The best part of this DIY favor is that you can make it ahead of time and store.  Plus it’s budget friendly.

2 cups ground cinnamon
1 cup ground ginger
5 tbsp ground cloves
2 tbsp ground nutmeg

Funnel above into cute jars and tie personalized ribbon with a tag that says “Love is the Spice of Life” on one side and Pumpkin Pie Spice on the other.

I’ve Fallen For Candy

Add orange, red and yellow food coloring seperately to white chocolate and pour in leaf molds.  Place candies in cellophane bags and write “Fallen For You” on the tag.

Or create a candy bar of orange, red, yellow, and brown candy.  Go to Goodwill and buy different size glass bowls and containers to display candy.  Clear plastic tongs and scoops can be found at party supply stores.  Clear plastic keeps the focus on the beautiful fall colors and is easier to handle than glass utensils.

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White pumpkin set a top a silver urn. Ivy draped asymetrically.

Cinderella-esk

orange flowers in shape of pumpkin, leaves and stem added to top. sitting on white cake stand.
Perfect for a fall-themed wedding.
mums and daisies inserted into pumpkins
Any color would work with this centerpiece idea.

Better Homes and Gardens had one really elegant pumpkin centerpiece and 2 more whimsical, fun centerpieces appropriate for a fall wedding.

Check out more at http://www.bhg.com/decorating/seasonal/fall/fabulous-fall-centerpieces/?ssdmh=dm17.541100&esrc=nw100d11_6_d2_091711&email=3159964041#page=1

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Summer on the farm is by far the best place to be in June: moderate weather, sweet smelling breezes, and vibrant sunsets.  If you grew up on a farm like I did, nothing could make your father more proud than having the ceremony in your own back yard.  If you don’t have a red barn to use as your backdrop, the sprouting of agri-tourism has turned many old-fashioned farms into charming bed and breakfast inns.  Here’s a couple tips to keep your wedding country classy and not, as we say, “hick.”

The dress: ivory lace strapless, belted straight to floor, no train (it’d just get dirty).  Check out Priscilla of Boston Vineyard Collection http://www.priscillaofboston.com/Designer-Bridal-Gowns?&f5=VY&f2=all

The flowers: daisies, wildflowers, and greenery

The shoes: ballet flats

The groom: seersucker suit

The centerpieces: mason jars filled with flowers

Color options:

Pink     If you dream of a pink wedding, use the bouquet idea above.  Guys will look great in either gray or tan seersucker.  Use clear mason jars and accent with green to keep the wedding appropriate for the rural outdoor setting.

Blue     If your primary color is sky blue use the blue tinted glass jars filled with wildflowers, daisies and yellow roses. Try gray seer sucker suits, if you don’t want to look too matchy with blue. Use a red barn as a backdrop for pictures.  The primary trio of colors from the dresses, flowers and backdrop will be pleasing to the eye.

Yellow      If your primary color is sunshine yellow, look for carnival glass or sandwhich glass to use in your centerpieces.  Both have a yellow tint and will add an antique feel.  A bouquet of one kind of daisies is classic. Beige or gray seer sucker suits. Use a red barn or a wildflower patch as a backdrop for pictures.

Red      Accent your red wedding with drops of blue.  The Americana theme can be completed with blue seer sucker suits on the guys, blue tinted mason jars filled with white daisies, serve strawberries on your cake, and include red and white gingham as a motif.  Find an old red bicycle to use as a prop for pictures.  Check out Lytle Photo http://www.imageryforlife.com/ for other nostalgic prop ideas.  For a more modern, fresh feel, keep the accent blue a robin’s egg shade or turquoise.

Favors: Guest can take home a mason jar filled with homemade jam or candy.
And since you are out in the country, end the night with a fireworks display or more simply, sparklers.

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white fondant with black designMy cousin’s wedding this Saturday was fun and modern with a black and white theme. The simplicity of the black and white kept the scene focused on fun and not formality, especially when she added just the right amount = a small amount, of hot pink and lime green. Too much pink and green would have made the wedding feel more like a Sweet Sixteen birthday party. Instead most of the decor was white: chair covers, table cloths, linens, and lights. So as not to camouflage the bride, most tables had black cloths, which also made for a party atmosphere, as well as black bows on the chairs.
white chair cover with black bow

And most of the wedding party was in black. The bridesmaids wore black dresses and carried small bouquets of hot pink roses and lime green hypericum berries, while the men wore black tuxedos and cummerbunds with lime green ties and cymbidium orchids. Added bonus, a black cocktail dress for the mother-of-the bride was not only an easy, affordable find, but she’ll be able to wear it again and again. That’s right, don’t be afraid of wearing black to a wedding anymore. It’s not only trendy, it’s practical.

A bride could easily get lost amongst all the black and white, but that is ok for a girl who doesn’t enjoy being the center-of-attention. She still caught every one’s eye as she sparkled in a white beaded gown with a large bouquet filled with white roses, hot pink roses, lime green hypericum berries, and cymbidium orchids. Her bouquet brought the entire wedding party’s ensembles together.

white round table cloth with 12 inch wide damask runner over center

Simple, modern, and elegant

Adding a deeper level to the black and white theme, my cousin used damask on the invitations, programs, table runners, cake and flower girls’ dresses.  The Damask created a fresh, trendy yet elegant vibe, perfect for a dinner/dance reception.

flower girl black and white dress

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