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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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Your invitation is the first impression of your wedding.  It sets the tone and communicates more than just the who, what, when, and where of the event.  It communicates the style and the formality.  If you expect your guests to wear suits and cocktail dresses, then you cannot send flat copy paper invitations.  On the other hand, if you expect your guests to arrive in flip flops, you can’t send handmade paper with pearlized envelopes, calligraphy and tassels.  Just as choosing the right dress for the right occasion involves choosing appropriate fabric, you must consider the material used as well as the construction of the piece.  The sturdier, more ornate, shinier, more customized parts of the invitation, the more formal the affair.  The flimsier, the simpler, and generic, the more casual the event.  You can have beautiful in either style.  My point is just that the style of your invitation must match the style of your wedding.  Also, guests may use your invitation colors to personalize your gift, so use your wedding colors and make sure you like your wedding colors.

And, PLEASE do not mention gifts in your invitation.  It is against proper etiquette.  Where you are registered can be placed in the shower invitation because you and your parents are not hosting the shower.  Also because it is a removed hostess, and because the point of a shower is to rain down gifts upon the bride, it is acceptable for showers in most circles.  But it is never acceptable for the wedding.  It makes it seem as though you are only inviting them for the gift and not as honored guests of your most special day.

There are plenty of DIY kits available.  Check to see that your printer is compatible and buy a few extra than you actually need for mistakes.  Plan for plenty of time as printers and software seem to work great when it’s not important and seem to stop working correctly when you really need them to.  I would suggest plan on 3 hours to set-up and print for 50 invitations.   As for design, use the eyedropper tool on InDesign or Photoshop to select a color from a picture, such as a picture of your bridesmaids dresses, and voila, your custom color comes to your invitation.  Use dark color font on light color paper for easiest legibility.  Use up to 3 fonts and up to 3 colors but I suggest no more.

Include an RSVP card with self addressed  prestamped envelope in your DIY invitations.  The post office could use your support and it’s so fun to collect the cards over the following weeks.  You can create custom stamps with your photo.  Send your invitations at least 6 weeks in advance and allow 2 weeks before requesting your RSVP back.  People travel or must make arrangements to attend your wedding.  I received one invitation on my return from vacation and the deadline for the RSVP had already passed.  That’s just annoying.  The cards will also help you keep track of your attending guest list.

If your event is casual and all of your guests have e-mail, consider using Paperless Post.  The website has formal and classy casual invitations sent in virtual envelopes.  Very pretty and very green.  Check out paperlesspost.com to peruse their collection.  You must pay for each “coin”, but prices are very reasonable considering the cost of the paper option.  Plus, Paperless Post allows you to keep track of RSVP’s right on the site.

paperless invite that has virtual sheen


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Charlotte's Cameron Village February 23 5-7

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The variety of flavors and colors means you can personalize for your taste and wedding colors.

Heregehty Patisserie in Raleigh on Glenwood inside the beltline and A Southern Season in Chapel Hill are 2 of the few places in the triangle to get fresh macaroons. At miette.com you can order a box of 6 vanilla or chocolate Parisian macarons. Their lavender and lemon shortbread cookies caught my eye too.  If you’re handy in the kitchen, you can make them yourself, and freeze for up to 3 months.  Check out this recipe http://www.dimasharif.com/2011/05/macaroons.html.

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Orchids placed between branches

Silver spray painted branches in very tall glass table top vase

My very good friend Alicia planned these for her spectacular wedding.  Several of you are looking for DIY tree centerpieces pictures, well here you go.  You’re welcome.

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Love Bird Feathers

Feather Wreath

Feathers are hot right now.  If you’re a trendy bride, you’re wondering how  you can incorporate them into your wedding without regret when looking at your ceremony pictures in 20 years.  The answer: Decor.  Instead of using them in your hair or jewelry, which may leave you with regret later, use them in your decor, which will reflect your trendy side, the times, and the romance of you two love birds.

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A printed or patterned fabric dress does not scream bridesmaid to me, but isn’t that what budget-conscious bridesmaids are screaming?  No more dresses that I can’t wear again! In this case, it’s a do.  With so many awesome cocktail dresses in holiday colors galore, why not mix it up even more and have different colors, different patterns, different sillouettes, but all coordinated with your wedding colors.  Photos will look more natural but still aesthetic.

The Blues Sisters

Carmen Marc Valvo’s peacock frock, ML Abstract floral, J. Crew navy cap sleeve, and Jones NY make a cool quartet.




J. Crew



Seeing red this holiday season?


Banana Republic


Ann Klein


White House Black Market


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