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Posts Tagged ‘handmade’

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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Step 1. Buy ribbon

Step 2. Cut a 2 inch ring out of cardboard. I used 18 inch as outer rim. You can also buy a straw or foam circle from craft stores to use.

Step 3. Cut ribbon into 16″-18″ strips. Test one ribbon to make sure this will work for your ring.

Step 4. Tie ribbon into double knots placing knots in different sections of the ring.

Step 5 – add a big bow

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