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Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

1. Have a budget.  A budget will force you to prioritize.  If having a great photographer is important to you, but your cake doesn’t matter, then spend your money accordingly.  It will help you plan ahead without going overboard.  Everything seems important in the moment and advertisers play on our emotions to make us feel like we deserve it all on this day.  We DO deserve a special day, but no one deserves to be in debt.

2.  When you were a girl, you may have dreamed about your husband, your dress, your flowers, but did you ever dream about your calendar date?  Didn’t think so.  A venue on a Friday night can be $1,000 less than Saturday.  Any month but June can also be less, and not just for your venue.  Other vendors follow the rule of supply and demand.  Since demand is up in June, florists, bakers, and photographers may charge more also.

3.  Location, location, location.  Besides the day of week and month of your wedding, you can also save money by choosing the right location.  If you can find a venue that allows you to choose your own vendors, you will be able to save money.  Try nonprofit venues, such as churches, parks, and museums.  You’ll save money and feel better that at least the money you are spending will be going to a good cause.

4.  Think about the time of day you want your wedding.  It would be poor taste to have a 6 pm wedding and not serve dinner, but a 2 pm wedding could serve light hor dourves and be splendid.  Also, a cocktail hour would not be necessary for an afternoon affair.

5.  Try cupcakes instead of cake.  Not only are they adorable and trendy, cupcakes are $2 a piece compared to a tiered cake that can be up to $10 a slice.  Want that traditional cutting of the cake ceremony?  I found that Food Lion offered simple yet beautiful wedding cakes that you could use as the top layer.  They only come in buttercream not fondant, but really, buttercream tastes better anyway. 

6.  Wedding dresses are only worn once.  You can wear a Vera Wang gown that costs $9,000 or a Vera Wang gown that has been worn once for $900.  http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/dresses/by-designer/Vera-Wang-wedding-dresses.html

7.  Ask the photographer if you are able to buy the CD of all images.  For me, buying the CD and printing my own images was cheaper than ordering an album and prints.

8. Flowers can be ordered from on-line florists who work in bulk to save you money.  The choices are limited, and you must designate a volunteer to be in charge of delivery, but they are a way to save money.  Here is the package I like for a wedding party of 6.  http://www.fiftyflowers.com/product/collections/Alluring-Peruvian-Lily-Wedding-Flowers-Box-~-20-Package-_24214.htm

9.  I do recommend hiring a professional DJ.  A DJ provides atmosphere music and entertainment but furthermore acts as MC of the event and helps everything run smoothly.

Overall, just remember that money does not buy happiness and that your wedding is about a covenant between your spouse, yourself, and God.  It is not about spending money to impress other people.

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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.

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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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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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