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Posts Tagged ‘champagne’

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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A New Year’s Wedding

What says New Years better than champagne?  So use it everywhere: champagne bridesmaids’ dresses, champagne sash on your dress, personalized flutes as favors, bubbles instead of birdseed, champagne looking bottles filled with bubble bath in the welcome bags, strawberries on the cake or chocolate coated on the tables.

So what champagne is best to serve? IF you’re looking for quality try this blog  http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/2010/12/champagne-tips-holiday-buys-brad-baker/

IF you’re looking for dazzle, try MArtha Stewart’s Champagne Tower!

Are you looking for a simple but stunning idea for your reception? Try a glamorous Champagne tower. Aisha Thompson (Veuve Clicquot brand manager) and John Wyatt (Tentation Potel and Chabot event director) share tips on how to recreate one for your event.

Champagne Tower How-To
1. Start with a firm, solid base for your tower (a separate table is best, with spillage tray at the base or underneath to catch any overflow.)

2. Always use coupe Champagne glasses (retro rounded saucer cups), not flutes. All of the coupe glasses in the tower should be identical. Most party rental places will have coupe glasses on hand for weddings.

3. The tower is essentially made up of successively smaller layers of squares. For example, if the bottom layer is 10 glasses by 10 glasses, the layer above that would be nine by nine, the layer above that eight by eight, and so on.

4. Make sure each glass touches the surrounding glasses. When done right, you’ll see a diamond-shaped gap between each glass.

5. When building the next layer, center the stem of the glass over the diamond openings that were created by the layer below. Gingerly fill in the layer with glasses.

6. Repeat this assembly process until there is a single coupe glass on top.

7. Once fully assembled, begin slowly pouring Champagne from the the top glass and it will trickle downward. Larger-size Champagne bottles or magnums work best here.

8. If you’re using the tower for decorative purposes only, assemble and fill with Champagne before the celebration. Then have trays filled with fresh Champagne at the base or passed to your guests.  Read more at Marthastewartweddings.com: How To Build a Champagne Tower

Other ideas include using clock faces on your invitations, kisses (for midnight) can be the Hershey’s variety, and resolutions during the ceremony.

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