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.


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


These ditties are from Anthropologie:

Taylor Swift owns this one. Flattering on hourglass shapes and structured top is supportive.

Gorgeous dress for engagement party or rehearsal dinner. Tint is gray so will look good on people with cool skin tones.

The lack of structure causes this dress to show everything. If you've got it, flaunt it.

Boho bride

Boho bride or with a long sweater and leggings for holiday party.


Banana Republic more your style?

Great color for warm skin tones.

Classy, shimmery, feminine: perfect for a winter rehearsal dinner.

Indoor/Outdoor Nuptuals

Matthews House, Cary is a Southern mansion where an outdoor ceremony could take place on a white column stairway or under a beautiful arch or roses.  Inside is room for a sit-down dinner for 200.  Rental for Saturday, June wedding is around $3000.

Anderson Point Park, Raleigh is a rustic, historic farm and charming cottage.  Ceremony could take place in the amphitheater, which seats 200.  Tents could then accommodate guests for the reception or the cottage seats 50 for dinner.  amphitheater 2 hours + cottage 4 hours = $500.  I held my engagement party here and we really enjoyed the landscape.

Tucker House is also Raleigh Parks and Rec.  4 hours = $400.  Seats 50.

Barclay Villa, Angier is gorgeous for indoor and outdoor.  Cost is a steep 8,500, need I say more.

1705 Prime (use to be Michael Dean’s).  Often thought of for indoor weddings and voted top pick for the Knot 2010, the entry and front yard could also be used for a Southern Plantation look wedding, while still being inside Raleigh limits.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens are very popular so must book in advance!!  I know it’s beautiful for the outdoor but I’ve only seen  an indoor wedding inside the chapel, which is an amazing gothic style cathedral.  I haven’t seen alternative indoor spaces there.

Clayton Center, Clayton has a lobby/gallory for a reception site that can accomodate 350 people!  Whoa!  You can have an outdoor wedding at one of several private areas in the Portofino area.

Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill has great food and a romantic setting.  Appr 1,000-2,000 for wedding site and then appr 100-150 per guest for dinner reception.  The quintessential Triangle wedding spot.

Golf courses and country clubs galore may make good reception sites: River Ridge, Brier Creek, Johnston County, etc.

Highgrove Estate, Fuquay Varina can host up to 200 and the house + 6 acres is all yours for the event.  Outdoor and indoor spaces are beautiful.  My favorite part is the spiral staircase, such a creat photo opp.

Crenshaw Hall, Wake Forest is about $12,000 for wedding of 100 but that includes rental and catering.  Could have outdoor wedding on either the grand columned front porch or the “exquisitely hand carved” Bridal Porch.

Preston Woodall House, Benson was the venue fo rmy friends’ wedding and it was a great place.

Wreath of Wedding Wishes

Here is a very easy craft and a fun way to display your wedding cards.  Afterall, your wedding cards will be full of important advice that you’ll want to remember your first year of marriage.  They say the first year is the hardest.  I don’t know, because I’ve only been married a year.  :o)  Hang this on an interior door or wall.

You could also use this to display table number cards, photos, or favors (if the favors are a piece of paper), or Christmas cards.

Step 1. buy mini clothes pins, 14" hoop, and ribbon for bow.

Optional step. Cut ribbon to size of pin and glue on to top of pin.

glueing pins onto hoop on a plastic surface

Step 2. Use wood glue to attach pins 1" apart on hoop. Have 1/3 facing in and 2/3 facing out.


Step 3. Allow glue to dry. Then use 3 feet of ribbon to tie a bow at top of hoop.


hide candy inside a log looking favor box with green bird on top

Martha Stewart Yule Tide Favor Box

Read the how-to on Martha’s website http://www.marthastewart.com/275615/easy-christmas-crafts#/280023

Tea can be more than just a beverage; it can be your bridal shower theme.  Serve hot water and a variety of tea bags (make sure you have at least one decaffeinated variety).  Offer tea enhancers like candied ginger, lemon, honey, decorated sugar cubes,  cream and warm milk.  The menu can include small ham sandwiches, raisin scones, cinnamon cream cheese on sweet nut bread, and macaroons.  For an afternoon tea, only a spoon is required so plan your menu so that a knife and fork is not required.

Decorate with china tea cups.  Include the guests in the theme by asking them to wear hats. Finally, start a new tradition, and give the bride a special tea-cup and saucer to commemorate the event.  My friend gives a tea-cup for every life event.  I have a curio shelf full of memories now.

Want to add some punch to the party?  This Charleston Tea Punch serves 12.

1 cup brandy
lemons  (thinly sliced)
12 cup pineapple (sliced fresh)
1 cup green tea (brewed)
3/4  cup  sugar
12 cup dark rum
14 cup peach schnapps
2 cups sparkling water (chilled)
750 mls champagne (chilled)
1 Combine brandy and lemons in a large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature 24 hours.
2 Add pineapple to brandy mixture. Let stand 3 hours.
3 Combine brandy mixture, tea, and next 3 ingredients (through liqueur), stirring until sugar dissolves. Add sparkling water and Champagne, stirring gently until blended. Serve immediately.