decor

#TipTuesday: Interior Design Tips For Newlyweds

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When you get married building your first home together as a couple is important. But furniture negotiation and conflicting styles can lead to meltdowns and drama. It’s not always as simple as deciding which sofa to buy. You’re blending two different styles, preferences, and previous lives (old furniture) under one roof. A common question that arises is -- how to do you pull it all together in a stress-free way while letting your voice be heard? DC based interior designer Danielle A. Gray of Gray Livin’ has compiled a list of tips for maintaining your sanity and love for each other while decorating your new home.

Take Inventory. Let’s face it. We all hate parting with our treasured belongings. Whether it’s the grungy arm chair from your first apartment or your massive collection of snow globes, each person walking into a marriage owns something that is valuable to them. Unless you’re moving into a mansion, you may not have enough space to store everything you both own. Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of can be a daunting process. The best solution in this case is to meet in the middle -- choose a number that you both agree on that represents the number of items of sentimental value that you each get to keep. Everything else gets trashed, donated, or sold on Craigslist. For example, if your number is three, then you each get to bring a total of three personal items with you to your new home. The number of items you keep can be determined by how much storage space you have. Additionally, some couples like to limit the “keep” list to one box per person. Either way, taking inventory and coming up with a purging plan right off the bat eliminates clutter and frees up space for new items that you can purchase as a couple.

The Big Compromise. Ladies, I hate to break it to you but he’s going to want to have a large television in the family room. Don’t fight it, let him have it. That means you get to have something you want like the floral wallpaper in the master bathroom. Give and take is the key to blending styles and preferences. Know when to put your foot down and when to bend a little.

Pick a Style. What do you do when your spouse’s style doesn’t match yours? You envisioned a contemporary space with clean lines and neutral colors while your mate prefers bold colors and a clunky leather sofa. The first step is to settle on a neutral color for the walls. Whites and grays are great neutrals to consider. Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray, Snow White, and Vintage Pewter are my favorites. Next, select an accent color for pop. Sprinkle the accent color in your artwork, throw pillows, or rug. If your mate only prefers neutrals only, add depth to the room with a mix of textures like a glass table, shiny metal accents, faux fur fabrics and varying wood tones. In terms of furniture, a Chesterfield sofa like this one from Restoration Hardware tastefully combines both masculine and feminine elements. The classic design is sturdy enough for lounging and watching sports while the tufted detail and curved lines add a touch of elegance to a room. You can also find similar versions available at any price point.

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Divide the Workload. Most women want free reign for designing the house but don’t really care about the backyard. Most men to do so make him the King of the backyard. While the wife is busy selecting paint colors and fabrics, the husband can focus his attention on planting trees, routine yard work, and his beloved BBQ equipment.

Designate Personal Space. From time to time you may find yourself needing a breather from your love muffin. This isn’t because you dislike them, but a little “me” time or solitude is great for self-reflection, prayer, meditation, time-outs or relaxation. This can take place in a designated area of your home like the man cave in the basement. For the ladies, large walk-in closets and spa bathrooms have doubled as our lady caves. Spare bedrooms also make good neutral zones. Stake out your zone and claim it.

Hire A Designer. When in doubt, hire a pro! A good designer is skilled at creating gender neutral spaces and helping couples discover a design aesthetic that suits their lifestyle. Be sure to visit Gray Livin’ online to learn more about my services and to book a design consultation.

Source:Danielle Gray graylivin.com

 

Save Big on Your DC Area Wedding with these Great Tips!

There is so much to do when planning your wedding and so many facets of planning that can be overwhelming to anyone. Here are some tips for how being flexible can help you to save money on your wedding. Budget

The first step in the process is to determine your budget. Without a defined budget, the planning can become a little chaotic. As a standard guide, food and drink will be approximately 45 percent of your budget; the venue will be approximately 20 percent; floral and décor approximately 15 percent; photography approximately 10 percent; and so forth. Statistics for the wedding industry indicate that the average wedding cost in the Washington DC is around $37,500. Be realistic and wise with your budget, and do not go into debt to have a wedding; invest in what you can actually afford.

Also keep in mind these eleven unexpected wedding costs.

1 – Gratuity  If your wedding vendors do an outstanding job, you can and should feel free to tip them. With around 40 different vendors (Yes, 40!) all contributing to your wedding, tips can add up! Be sure to read our post about tipping wedding vendors in the Washington DC area. This post has more information about how much to tip and who you should tip in the DC area.

2 – Rain Plans Let’s face it, the weather in the Washington DC area is unpredictable. (As I’m writing this I’m looking out my window at nearly a foot of snow in downtown Washington DC!) If you are having any part of your wedding outside, you should have an indoor or alternative option. Sometimes  ”plan b” options include wedding-day rentals like a tent, heaters, and additional space – these things cost money. In most cases, you’ll need to reserve the items or at the very least put a deposit down to hold them.

3 – Albums There are all types of ways to compile and cherish your wedding photographs. Many photographers charge an additional fee to design and produce a wedding album. Be sure to ask about it in advance, if that is something you might want after your wedding. Also, think about albums for others in your family like parents and grandparents.

4 – Gifts It is true that you will be getting the bulk of the gifts on your wedding day. However, there are some gifts that you might be giving. There are not set prices for these types of gifts, but certainly something you’ll want to budget for. It is very nice to give a gift to everyone in your wedding party and your wedding ceremony participants. You might also want to think about gifts for each other. Gifts are also nice for friends and family members who helped with the wedding. Other gifts include wedding favors and welcome bags for your guests.

5 – Dress Alterations In addition to the cost of your wedding dress, you will most likely need to have alternations done. Wedding dress alterations include hemming it so that it doesn’t drag on the ground and fixing the sleeves and straps. Alternations will ensure that your dress fits you perfectly, like a glove!

6 – Extra Guests The more guests you add to your list, the more money it will cost. Adding a few extra guests can really add up, especially in the Washington DC area. More guests means more food, more staff to serve the food, more linens, more centerpieces, more drinks, more escort cards, more drinks and more, more, more! Just as by cutting 10 guests from your guest list, you can save some money, you can contribute to budget over-runs just by adding 10 guests. (Be sure to read my list of 5 ways to save money on a DC area wedding!)

7 – Postage The design and production of wedding invitations are one cost, and the cost to mail them out to your guests is an additional cost. If you are doing a typical invitation suite, you’ll need two stamps per set: One for the invitation and one for the RSVP card. A USPS first class stamp is currently $0.49 and for two stamps for 200 invitations that is $196. However, most wedding invitations are too heavy for a first class stamp and sometimes the envelop is an odd shape, so these stamps will cost more. Be sure to factor in postage to your final invitation costs.

8 – Hotel Rooms for Yourself You will need a place to stay for your wedding and if you aren’t staying at home, that means a hotel. You might need the hotel room for a few nights throughout the weekend. Hotel rooms in the Washington DC area aren’t cheap and hotels do book up during peak tourist season, so planning advance for this is key. Think about where you want to stay during your wedding weekend and then factor in hotel rooms for yourself into your overall budget. (For more on hotels, be sure to read our post on hotel room blocks for weddings in the Washington DC area.)

9 – Vendor Needs There are a few little things that you might need to pay for your vendors such as parking and meals. Your vendors will be working a long day for you, and you’ll need to feed them. Your caterer should take care of feeding them, but the meals can cost anywhere from $15 to $60 per person. You might also be on the hook to pay for the parking for your wedding vendors, including your vendors like hair and make up artists and entertainment. These are typical costs, but maybe not costs you were expecting. These is probably the last things you want to deal with at the end of the night, so just ask about it in advance so you can be prepared.

10 – Taxes For all things, you’ll have to pay taxes. For big-ticket wedding items like your venue, food and beverage, the taxes can be quite a bit of money. Taxes in Washington DC are up to 10%, so if you are on a super tight budget you might save some money with a wedding in Maryland and Virginia where the taxes are 4-5%. Be very aware of initial proposals that don’t include taxes. You will be charged taxes in the end, but sometimes the first few proposals don’t include tax to make the overall cost look lower.

11 – Last Minute Items It is the week or two before your wedding and this is the time that you are paying for rush shipping to ensure that everything arrives on time. Or, even worse, this is the time that you are panicking and adding things onto your wedding day. This can be little things like your wedding garter or jewelry or craft supplies to complete any DIY projects you are working on. It can even be the last minute “I think I want a wedding video!” Either way, do your best to think of everything you’ll need for your wedding in advance to avoid last minute scrambling and extra costs.

 

Now that we have established guidelines for the budget process, let’s discuss five avenues in which you can save money on your wedding day by focusing on timing and flexibility.

The Venue

To reduce cost in the venue area of your wedding, be flexible with your date in regards to the time of year and day of the week. Most venues have peak periods when the negotiation for cost will be very minimal, so ask your venue coordinator what are the non-peak periods in which the cost of hosting an event will fit into your budget. Most non-peak periods in the DC area are in the winter months. Scheduling your wedding during a non-peak time could reduce the cost anywhere from 15-20 percent.

If you are flexible on the day of the week, you can save money as well. Traditional weddings occur on Saturdays (the most popular day). However, if you are open to a non-traditional day, consider hosting your wedding on a Wednesday through Sunday. The savings for a weekday wedding range from anywhere from 20-40 percent a huge savings!

When speaking with your venue coordinator, acknowledge your budget in the beginning of the conversation, and ask how and where you can save so that hosting your wedding at their location fits within your established budget.

Here are a list of some reasonably priced local venues to keep in mind.

The Mount Vernon Inn in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Jefferson Patterson Park in St. Leonard, Maryland.

Oxon Hill Manor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

The Bolger Conference Center in Potomac, Maryland

The Middleburg Community Center in Middleburg, VA.

Washington Navy Yard Catering and Conference Center

The Feast

To save money by considering time and flexibility, think non-traditional when it comes to your wedding meal. The traditional wedding reception is the standard evening dinner that contains a beef, chicken, or a fish entrée, preceded with the traditional hors d’oeuvre selections. Now think, non-traditional.

Consider hosting a brunch-style reception starting around late morning or early afternoon. The style of service for brunch receptions can either be served, buffet, or interactive stations (omelet station, waffle station, potato bar). The excitement around the brunch is that your guests that commonly attend events or weddings, have the opportunity to taste something different and have fun with some of their favorite breakfast treats.

Brunch receptions that I have hosted in the Washington DC area average around $85 to $100 per person versus a dinner reception around $175 to $200 per person. If you are flexible with the time of day for your reception, you can ultimately save, save, save!

Drinks

Your beverage selection is another route to consider cost reducing alternatives on your special day. One suggestion is to limit your beverage selection from a full bar to just wine and beer. To add a little spice to your selection, create two specialty cocktails from one type of alcohol.

Another suggestion is to eliminate alcoholic beverages from the bar completely and have mocktails. There are many flavorful and interesting mocktails. Have your venue or caterer be creative with various types of punches, teas and lemonades.

If you are hiring an outside caterer, an option is to purchase the alcohol yourself from a beverage company in which you can return bottles/cases that have not been opened. You can save as much as 50 percent by purchasing the alcohol yourself rather than having the caterer to purchase the alcohol for you. This method only works with an outside caterer. Unfortunately, you would not be able to purchase alcohol yourself when hosting your wedding at a hotel or a venue that does its own catering.

Floral Décor

To help preserve your financial resources during your wedding, you can also focus on timing and flexibility with your floral selection. Time is significant when selecting flowers. Select flowers that are in season year round, such as baby’s breath, calla lilies and roses. For example, although orchids are in season year round, phalaenopsis orchids are more expensive than dendrodium orchids. It is the same scenario with hydrangeas; your typical white or blue hydrangea is less expensive than a purple or pink hydrangea.

When discussing flowers with your floral designer, inquire with them about what is in season and how you can achieve the same look that is cost effective for you by being flexible with your flower selection.

Be flexible with your floral design style as well. You may want tall floral arrangements on every table, however, to reduce cost consider alternating high and low centerpieces for your tables. You can also alternate floral centerpieces with non-floral centerpieces like trio of cylinder vases with floating candles. Implementing some of these options can save anywhere from 10-20 percent off of your floral budget. Be sure to work closely with your floral designer and be open to alternative design concepts

If you are flexible with considering alternatives and flexible with time, you can plan the perfect wedding with the perfect budget!

Source: United with Love (Unitedwithlove.com)

You're Invited: Alexandria's Destination Bridal Showcase

Get ready Virginia brides! This Sunday is Alexandria's Destination Fall Bridal Showcase! Come checkout a variety of local vendors. Click here for ticket information.

 

Favored Friday Vendor Spotlight: Davinci Florist

divinciDaVinci Florist specialize in creating floral and event designs for weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s, corporate events, and any other event that requires unique and beautiful décor. For more than a decade, they have been one of the premiere floral and event design companies in the Washington D.C area.  Their services aren't just limited to flowers, they also provide lighting and furniture rental. Our favored team has worked with the company on a number of events. Check out some pictures below! Helen wedding 6  divinci room divinci table2010-01-02-19.47.13 AMAZING-CENTERPIECE-WASHINGTON-DC 262114_452473284799379_861225217_n  

Source: Davinciflorist.com

Recap: Chrysis Showcase

   

This past Wednesday, Chrysis Entertainment hosted a Vendor Showcase in Washington D.C. The event took place at The Loft on 600F. The Loft at 600 F is a versatile space, available for whatever your event needs may be. The light-filled, modern space can be set in various layouts ranging from a comfy lounge to a formal conference table or from a engaging lecture to an inviting happy hour. Drinks were catered by Mixology. Mixology caters private parties, weddings, corporate events, and birthdays. Their available staff includes Bartenders, Banquet Servers, Buffet Servers, Wait Staff, Party Assistants and Coat Check Attendants. The frozen Pina Colada I had from them was delicious! The showcase decor was designed by N4 Weddings. The Chrysis Entertainments band got the party started its jazzy music complete with a live saxophone player!

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Source: theloftat600f.com

 

Great Cake Decor

rainbow heart cake This rainbow heart cake is too cute! The original design (above) was created by the fabulous cake designer, Erin of Wild Orchid Baking.I am so excited to report that Erin just published a book because she has so many amazing cake designs (be sure to check out her super popular Facebook page!) Her book, Great Cake Decorating is filled with instructions and ideas for fabulous cakes. I have never tried using fondant but with her book, I definitely feel much more equipped to give it a go! Erin starts with the basics and explains all of the best tools to have on hand for making beautiful cakes. She then gets into more specific designs, tips and tricks!

Great Cake Decorating Cover

Here are a few of my favorite cakes from the book…

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AlphabetCakePg.100

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…and one that isn’t in the book, but is part of one her cake decorating classes on Craftsy!

wild orchid baking co black white gold cake

Darling, right? 

What do you think? Are you ready to give cake decorating a try? This book will definitely help you get started!

Source: thetomkatstudio.com

A Picture Perfect Graduation Party!

future-graduation-party Inspired by nostalgic moments & the promises of a bright future, Do Driver of Piggy Bank Parties styled this creative “Picture Your Future” Graduation Party with Polaroid & photo album decor! The adorable “yearbook” party favors and “Sweet Memories” photo garland are such great graduation party ideas… they get an A+!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Cute Polaroid inspired banner + tissue “graduation tassel” garland – “Yearbook” favor boxes filled with the graduate’s favorite chocolate treats – “Sweet Memories” photo banner and graduation “photo album” guestbook – Varsity letter brownies & Chalkboard inspired printables

 

graduation-party-ideas graduation-party-drinks sliders slide-bar hamburger-toppings veggie-fries graduation-party-yearbook-favors

 

Graduation is often a time of reflection when photo albums and yearbooks from the past are reminisced over while dreams of what the future holds are ever present. This graduation party design was inspired by the magical Polaroid photographs of yesteryear and the slides you’d see projected on the white wall of your grandparents’ basement!

#TipTuesday: A Perfect Southern Style Country Wedding: The Essentials

Cowboy boots? Check. Hanging mason jars? Check. Country barn with all the trimmings? Absolutely. Here's our guide to the essential bits and pieces you'll need for your country chic wedding. The country-themed wedding is by far one of the most novel-wedding aesthetics. It's down-to-earth, its simplicity is elegant and it is usually held in the great outdoors; what is there not to like? An outdoor country wedding is the perfect summer setting for a blooming romance.

Open woodland spaces and rustic barnyards can host an entire evening of drinking and dancing as the lovebirds usher in the latest chapter in their lives cloaked by warm summer evening air. To be sure that your country wedding goes off without a hitch, here are a few of the most important considerations that you should take when planning the wedding.

This is merely a suggested framework for your event, and you should expound, improvise and elaborate as much as you can until it fits your taste perfectly.

Location

The most important consideration for any wedding is going to be the location of both the service and the reception. Some people have to reserve a venue for their nuptials almost a year in advance, which sometimes postpones a wedding for longer than many couples would like. Being the country boy and girl however, you know that resourcefulness is one of your greatest qualities. You don't need to exchange your vows in a swanky venue. Your wedding is validated by the love of your family, friends and spouse-to-be. You want your wedding to simultaneously illustrate your lofty affections and your down-to-earth roots.

Barn wedding ceremony

Image courtesy of http://www.robholley.net

An outdoor location for one or both of your wedding events is going to be a high priority. This means that weather considerations are very important, since you don't want your guests shivering in their seats and cursing your ill-advised winter wonderland wedding. Once you've decided on a date, you need to find an area that can host your estimated party attendance and give them room to roam about while enjoying the conversation and delicacies that will be had at your reception.

Barns are the ultimate symbolism for a country lifestyle, so if you can find a preserved one ready for such an occasion as a wedding, it will really boost the overall effectiveness of your country theme. For a daytime service in particular, slivers of sunlight peeking through the old barnyard walls and falling on the wedding couple can be romantic and, quite frankly, exciting for all of your guests to see. The bottom line is that your location is going to function as the canvas for your dream country wedding, so make sure that it will be something that will look good when accented with country-style decoration.

southern themed weddings

Image courtesy of http://www.carpenteroak.com

Attire

If you've been thinking about having a country wedding, chances are that you've already thought about walking down the aisle in your favorite pair of boots. This is a wonderful idea since boots are obligatory country footwear. Cowboy boots are the most iconic element of western culture heritage and they can't be neglected if you are taking a comprehensive approach to country-style nuptials. Although the bride will most likely still be wearing white, she doesn't have to adhere to tradition when it comes to her footwear. In fact, a straightforward pair of neutral Justin Boots may be the best way to bridge the gap between a white wedding gown and an earthy rustic wonderland. Bridesmaids can follow suit, or they can wear a brown slouch variation to complement their colorful bridesmaids' dresses. You should also decide whether or not you would enforce a dress code. An entire wedding party that participates in your down-south festivities can only enhance what will already be a pretty fabulous event. Let everyone know in the invitations if western-oriented styles of dress are suggested or encouraged.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Seating

Fortunately for you, a cowboy country wedding theme doesn't require that you have consistency in terms of furniture. Instead, the outdoor country wedding should be reminiscent of the days when a rural community would come together and the growing crowd of locals would have to improvise seating when they needed a rest from the activity. You're obviously excited to spend your reception dancing the night away with all of your loved ones, but the older invitees will want you to have ample seating at your event. One of the most ingenious ideas for seating that has been used is covering hay bales with burlap or lightly colored sheets secured by twine or thin rope. Hay bales are essentially building blocks that can be stacked and scattered in any way that you think would look best or be most convenient. They offer that quintessential country touch while still providing you with flexibility. A single bale can seat multiple guests like a farmhouse love seat, and they can be scattered throughout the reception space for easy access to everyone in attendance.

country themed wedding

Image courtesy of http://www.indulgy.com

At the dinner tables wooden seating is a must, so don't worry about deploying an army of folding aluminum chairs to accommodate everyone. A hodgepodge of mismatched wooden seating, maybe even a bench or two gives your dining setting a lot of character, while adding to the underlying casualness of the event. It can also make your seating arrangement pop against the background, and can reflect the diversity of the newly-combined families coming together in celebration of a single event. Abundant seating should be an important consideration, so any surface that is relatively comfortable and thematically consistent can be used to help your guests take a load off. In fact, if you can somehow acquire a rusty old pickup, just pop down the tailgate to open up seating for about half a dozen of your guests: it will create conversation and be a prime picture location for the entire evening.

country wedding venues

Image courtesy of http://www.homemydesign.com

Decor

The part of your country wedding that will really distinguish you from others is going to be how you decorate the landscape. If you wanted, you could go with the 'southern social elite' vibe, but the creative, more accessible 'rustic romance' approach will be much more interesting to your invitees and less alienating to your casual guests. The rustic aesthetic is really a beautiful juxtaposition between the antiquated southern lifestyle and modern-day country living. Your decoration will need to reflect the resourcefulness of the simple country folk, but be highlighted by the traditional trimmings of a romantic wedding. On paper this might sound odd, but anything that rusts or rots could make for some very rich thematic decoration for your wedding background. Think of how great the scenery would look with the occasional cartwheel leaning against a hay bale or a wheelbarrow used as a cooler.

country wedding decorations

Image courtesy of http://www.etsy.com

Table centerpieces are a great opportunity to really seize the country theme and make for an almost anachronistic dining experience. Old milk or cream cans can be used to contain a daisy arrangement at the center of each guest table. Smaller hors d'oeuvres stations around the area?s perimeter might be made of upright wine barrels with a single baby?s breath bouquet sitting in a polished aluminium soup can. Nametags or table assignments can be hanging from horseshoes or etched on circular wood slabs. The country wedding is all about taking easy-to-access items and refurbishing them for a simply elegant wedding event.

Country wedding decoration ideas

Image courtesy of http://www.robholley.net

One other suggestion would be to buy a ton of mason jars. Mason jars are the most versatile country wedding accessory, as they can be used for fancy drinks, floral arrangements, they can hold candles, or be used as gift containers. You can even hang them from a barn ceiling as decoration. When it comes to country weddings, you can never have too many mason jars.

country wedding accesories

Image courtesy of http://www.etsy.com

Themed weddings are becoming increasingly prominent in our culture, and reasonably so. Couples are not willing to spend their big day (and their money) going through the motions the way that their parents, and their grandparents probably did in the past. People today want their wedding day to be expressions of the unique personalities that are being united in marriage, and they want their guests to have a genuine impression of who they really are. Themed weddings allow couples to impart a statement about their romantic story on the people whom they share their big day with.

The key to a southern-themed wedding is to relax. After months (and maybe years) of planning, this is going to be the evening where everyone unwinds and enjoys the company of an enthusiastic couple taking their first steps on a lifelong journey together. Whether they?re on hay bales or rocking chairs, your guests will share in your excitement as they marvel at the wonderful wedding that they are now a part of. Use these suggestions to help you create the perfect country styled wedding.

Source: weddzilla.com

#ThrowbackThursday Fergie & Josh Duhmel

Fergie and Josh Duhamel tied the knot at the Church Estate Vineyard in Malibu, California. Fergie called it “magical” and “ethereal,” while Josh said it “incorporated both our personalities.“Lots of nature was important to Josh,” Mindy Weiss says. “I knew I could bling it up for Fergie.” fergie and josh wedding

The entire wedding party — including the bride and groom — was outfitted in dresses and tuxes from Dolce and Gabbana. Fergie wore a fitted, white ruched, corseted wedding gown with a mesh tulle overlay, spaghetti straps and a long train, all custom-made for the occasion. I love the back of her dress!

fergie and josh wedding

fergie and josh wedding

375 guests in attendance enjoyed a massive 150 pound cake at their $1 million wedding. Following an after-dinner slide show, Josh presented to Fergie a segment he produced of 40 of the couple’s friends and family lip synching and dancing to her signature hit, “Fergalicious.” – What a cute idea!

Ellen Black, of Lehr and Black, the company that designed the couple’s wedding stationary, tells People.com, “Fergie loves bling and has a love for unicorns and Josh loves nature. The artwork had leaves and hidden details like a unicorn and the invites were decorated with crystals. There’s a current trend for celebrities to give out the invitation as a gift at the end of the wedding. That way, they can avoid the invitation being revealed before the wedding and can keep all the details a secret.”

The couple also gave their guests a unique treat by including a specially designed caricature of themselves with the invite. Black adds, “Josh has a love for art and viewed it as giving away of piece of art.”

fergie and josh wedding

Fergie‘s and Josh Duhamel‘s matrimonial diamonds were designed by Brazilian jeweler H. Stern. The jeweler designed the engagement ring, wedding bands and some wedding party accessories.

Fergie’s engagement ring is a customized Stars ring that features a round, 4-carat brilliant-cut diamond set in a stunning band with colors ranging from white to cognac. The singer also received a matching, narrow wedding band. Both rings were made of H. Stern’s 18 K Noble Gold. Josh’s wedding band was created at Fergie’s direction, featuring organic lines and asymmetric edges. Each band also has a special engraved personal message by the bride and groom.

Source: http://greenweddingshoes.com/

Wedding Wednesday - All White Wedding Inspiration!

Hello Bride! (And Groom) Today we are clearing the color palette and going all white. Here is some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing. Click the items at the bottom of the post to find out where you can purchase pieces to achieve this fab look! Black-and-white-Rhode-Island-wedding-8

 

Transform your wedding dinner with these whimsical paper lanterns. Lightning is everything ladies!

pearl vase flowers

Using pearls instead of water in your floral centerpieces adds an elegant touch to the decor of your reception.

White-and-silver-wedding-theme_elegant-outdoor-wedding-ceremony

If you're having an outdoor ceremony, you might want to consider offering guests folding fans to keep cool.

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Source: Koyalwholesale.com 

 

Tip Tuesday: 20 TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS

centerpiece

There are (literally!) thousands of types of flowers, and infinite combinations of colors and arrangements that you can create with them. So how do you narrow it down to the perfect blooms for your wedding? Start with these basic, must-know tips.

First, Know Your Budget

Have a good idea of what you're ready to spend on flowers before getting your heart set on specific blooms or arrangements. The cost of wedding flowers ranges widely (typically between $2,000 and $6,000) depending on the types of flowers you choose, how delicate those flowers are and, of course, how many arrangements you'll need and how elaborate they'll be. So set your budget, then look for inspiration -- not vice versa.

Then, Spend Wisely

Focus your flower budget on the areas of your wedding that will be in the spotlight. Your bouquet, a signature element at the ceremony (like the huppah or pedestal arrangements) and reception centerpieces should top your list of priorities. Use leftover cash on the extras like decor for the cake table, guest book table and cocktail hour.

Visit a Flower Shop...

There's more to wedding flowers than roses and peonies, so don't miss out on the blooms you didn't even know existed. (Some lesser-known types not to miss: craspedia, proteas, scabiosa and gloriosa lilies.) Find out what's out there in person by taking a walk through the biggest nursery or flower depot near you. Ideally, you'll go exactly one year before your wedding date so you'll see what colors and flowers are in season and will be readily available to you.

...Then Home Depot (Seriously!)

For color inspiration, visit the paint aisle of the local hardware store. Pick up a few swatches that you love and bring them to your meeting with your florist to get each of your creative juices flowing. Other good sources of color: Visit a fabric store, which can drum up ideas for both color and texture, or simply take a look around your apartment to see what colors you loved enough to choose for your home.

Prioritize, Then Plan

Think about how important flowers are to you in the grand scheme of your wedding. If the answer is "very!" then consider planning elements of the day around your dream flowers. For example, if you know you want lots of peonies, pick a date in late spring (when they're in season) and a classic venue to complement them.

Complement What You Love

Speaking of prioritizing, your wedding flowers should enhance whatever element of the day you want to emphasize most. Are you big on food? Plan to have centerpieces that fit in with the dishes on the table, like low, long centerpieces in wooden containers. Want your wedding party to be the stars of the show? Spend extra effort planning individualized bouquets and boutonnieres for them.

Look to Your Dress

As one of the first major purchases you're bound to make, your dress can inspire the style of your entire wedding and your flowers -- especially your bouquet. Choose a floral design that will photograph well with your gown. If you buy a sleek, sheath dress, a simple bouquet of calla lilies and similar arrangements will accent it well, while a loose, just-picked bunch of wildflowers looks great with a romantic, lacy gown. Also something to take into consideration: your height! If you're petite, ask for a smaller bouquet that won't overwhelm your frame.

Complement Your Venue

Once you book your reception site, choose flowers that will look like they belong there (wild, rustic flowers might look odd in a formal ballroom, while glam arrangements decked out with crystals might not fit with a garden venue). Take into consideration the height of the ceilings (high rafters call for taller centerpieces, which might look cramped in a space with low ceilings). If your florist isn't familiar with the venue, plan a site visit so you both know what you're working with.

Think in Seasons

Don't make decisions about flowers or colors before knowing what blooms are available for your wedding date. Spring and summer have the biggest selection of flower types and colors, while you'll be more restricted in fall and winter. Peonies, cherry blossoms, ranunculus, lilacs and anemones are popular blooms that have limited peak seasons. Some top flowers that are available year-round: roses, calla lilies, hydrangeas and cymbidium orchids.

Pick a Personality

Still stumped about your flower style? Rummage through your closet. Who's your favorite fashion designer? If it's Kate Spade, maybe your flowers will be monochromatic, but bold and bright. If your drawers are filled with J. Crew, a preppy, streamlined look might be for you. Consider putting together an inspiration board of a few things you love -- a photo of your favorite dress, a vintage postcard and a swatch of fabric, for example -- to show your florist your style.

Don't Expect Exact Colors

You might be able to find table linens in that perfect shade of pink, but flowers are a different story. Color-matching with a natural living thing like a flower can be frustrating, if not impossible -- flower colors vary vastly, even if they came from the same plant! Instead, think in terms of color families (think: light greens or pale pinks) rather than precise shades picked out of a Pantone book (like cerulean blue or lavender).

Go Classic for Your Ceremony...

Your ceremony flowers -- the bouquets, boutonnieres and those at the actual site of your vows -- will probably be the most photographed flowers of the day. Keep your ceremony arrangements on the clean and classic side so your pictures will stand the test of time.

...But Creative for Your Reception

For the party, there's much more room for creativity (that's right -- your ceremony and reception flowers don't have to match). If you're itching to experiment with funky colors or unusual arrangements, the reception centerpieces and other decor are the place to do it.

Mind Mother Nature

For an outdoor wedding, your flowers will probably be delivered and installed several hours before the event starts, meaning they might be sitting in the sun. Not all flowers can withstand heat or wind, so work with your florist to choose flowers that'll stay fresh for your venue. The same goes for boutonnieres and fresh flowers for your hair.

Envision Your Tables

When planning your centerpieces, visualize what else will be on the dinner tables. Don't let candles and favors upstage your tall, glam centerpieces. On the other hand, a minimalist arrangement might look too spare if there aren't other accents nearby.

Don't Forget About Your Guests

Don't let your flowers get in the way (literally) of your guests' having a good time. Be sure that centerpieces aren't so large that they'll block conversation across the table. If you opt for tall arrangements, display them in thin vases or clear glass containers so guests can see each other.

Think About Flower Alternatives

Nonbotanical decor can be gorgeous, especially for your reception. For a vintage wedding, a pile of old, meaningful books can make a great centerpiece (not to mention conversation piece) or arrangements of colorful veggies might be just the thing for a barn setting.

Personalize It

Making your wedding flowers extra meaningful can be as simple as adding your grandmother's brooch to your bouquet or carrying the same flowers down the aisle that your mom did -- or it can be as complex as using a photo of your family's home garden to inspire your entire floral vision.

Trust Your Florist

We've heard it over and over: The happiest brides are the ones who picked a florist they loved, then let them do their thing. Most likely, your expert has experience from hundreds of weddings and knows those little secrets about everything from choosing your flowers to last-minute adjustments. So trust her instincts as well as your own.

Show Them Off

After your flowers are set, make sure to show them in their best possible light. Plan for lighting that will enhance their beauty, like pink pin spots to highlight fuchsia centerpieces or amber room lighting to complement romantic all-white flowers. And choose simple, not-too-busy linens that will enhance your flowers, not detract attention from them.

Source:http://weddings.weddingchannel.com/wedding-planning-ideas/wedding-flowers/slideshows/tips-for-choosing-your-wedding-flowers.aspx

Wedding Wednesday Inspiration: Diamond Blue Decor!

Diamond Blue is a unique, vibrant color, characterized by class and elegance. Take advantage of that and dazzle your guests with our wide variety of diamond blue decor! Look to inspire readers with blue items like satin chair sasheschevron table runners and round table covers and more.satin chair sashtable cloth
Table runner
blue cake blue ring Diamond blue decore
Your cake is an important part of your wedding and decor so choose wisely. Keep it simple and elegant with a solid blue cake. Add a little flair with a large white bow! Whether you decide to go with an eternity blue and transparent diamond wedding band, whether with a solitaire blue diamond wedding ring paved with white diamond stone accents, the final look is going to be absolutely amazing. Not only brides can opt for a beautiful and outstanding wedding ring with blue diamonds but a modern groom too! It all depends on the setting you choose for the blue diamond/diamonds. For guys, perhaps a scatter or a flush set type of blue diamond wedding band can make a more suitable selection. Hang blue paper lantern from the ceiling and create an enchanting atmosphere for your guests!
Source: koyalwholesale.com

Source:http://weddingandrings.com/wedding-rings-with-blue-diamonds/

 

Wedding Wednesday Chalk Inspired Wedding Trends!

Anyone planning on bringing in some chalk details for their day

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love the idea of incorporating chalk details in your wedding – such a modern + whimsical accent for your day! This super pretty shoot styled by Vintage My Wedding + photographed by Love Is A Big Deal is full of lots of ideas to bring this artistic trend into your wedding. I think it would look perfect for a loft or warehouse venue, right? Love the idea of using placemats instead of guest cards! A chalkboard backdrop allows for lots of fun options! From photo booth backdrops to leaving sweet messages to your dessert table backdrop, the options are endless!

Source: http://greenweddingshoes.com/chalk-inspired-wedding-ideas/

#TipTuesday 10 Tips for the Perfect Outdoor Wedding

If you've decided to have an outdoor wedding, congratulations! Outdoor weddings are romantic and beautiful. However, they aren't as easy as they may look. Outdoor weddings come with additional caveats and pitfalls, but if you follow these tips, you'll be sure to shine on your wedding day.

1. Make your guests comfortable Think about what the weather will likely be at the time of day and month of the year of your outdoor wedding. Sunny and hot? Don't leave your guests uncomfortably melting – have your ushers give guests ice-cold bottles of water as they are seated. Consider printing your wedding program on a fan so that guests may cool themselves. Don't forget to have plenty of sunscreen on hand as well. For a very warm location, look into renting large electric fans (don't forget a generator) and/or a tent to shade the suns rays. If it will be cold and damp, make sure you tell guests that so they can wear extra layers. A simple xeroxed insert will do. You might want to have lap blankets on hand, or rent portable heaters.

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2. Have a backup plan What will you do if it rains? The ideal outdoor wedding location has an indoor location waiting just in case. Many brides and grooms opt to have their ceremony outside and reception inside. In a pinch, the tables can be scooted to the back of the room during the ceremony. A tent is another option, but only for light to moderate rain storms. A heavy rain will soak the ground underneath, leaving guests with soggy and muddy shoes. Make sure any tent you rent is sturdy so it won't flip over, and that it has thick and weighted sides.

tent 23. Plan for Wind Many outdoor weddings suffer from windy conditions. Avoid light fabrics like chiffons and china silks in your dress and the bridesmaid dresses. Tell your hairstylist that you'll be having an outdoor wedding so she/he can plan a style that won't leave you looking like Cousin It! Men in the wedding party should use pomade or other styling product. Again, tell your guests in a printed insert so that they can plan accordingly. And of course, make sure your tent will stand up to gusting winds or find an indoor backup plan.

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4. Can everybody hear? When you picture your dream wedding at the beach, you're probably not hearing the roaring of the waves, the rushing wind, or the local kids running and screaming around you. Look into renting a sound system with clip mikes for the bride, groom and officiant. Your DJ or band may be able to easily arrange this for you.

speaker5. Decorations One of the bonuses of an outdoor wedding is the natural beauty around you, lessening your need to decorate. But you still need to do some work. Visit the site a week before your wedding to make sure the grass is mown, the ground raked, and the flowers have bloomed. If your wedding is at a public park, you may want to ask the groomsmen or friends to do this the morning of your ceremony. If it's been an especially cold season, you may need to supplement the flowers with some potted bulbs from a florist. Other decorations you may want to consider include an arch or trellis to focus the ceremony and frame the bride and groom as they say their vows; strings of lights or lanterns in the trees; luminarias; torches; or farolitas.

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6. Make things tasty outside Does your caterer have experience planning an outdoor wedding menu? Make sure they're planning things that will keep well outdoors in the heat. Avoid things like mayonnaise salads or dishes which must be served cold.

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7. Don't leave your guests parched Since alcohol is dehydrating, consider serving a variety of lemonades, teas and punches. Be sure to have plenty of ice and water around as well. For a fancy cocktail, why not serve a classic mint julep or a mojito? The mint will refresh and cool your guests.

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8. Those pesky flying things Be sure to put out citronella candles or a bug zapper so that your guests won't spend the whole ceremony swatting at the air.

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9. Here comes the sun Consider timing your outdoor wedding for sunset where your guests will see you take your vows surrounded by the warm glow of the sun. Those having a daytime outdoor wedding should orient the ceremony so that the sun will be on guests' backs rather than in their eyes.

sunset10.Permits Don't forget to contact your city parks department or other local government to get a permit for an outdoor wedding. Be sure to ask about rules concerning trash removal, candle or torch lighting, and pre-wedding photography.

This is sBOOtacular! Stylish Party Goods

holloween

Halloween is right around the corner, are you ready to host your scary soiree in style? Carla David has everything you need including invitations, straws, stickers, bags, and wrappers. Any subtle details you can think of is available to you! Check out a few of the products after the break.

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Order before Sept. 30th and receive 15% off of your spooky invitations. Happy Shopping!

 

Instant Show Stopper, #DIY Hand Glittered Paper Lantern

glitter paper lanterns Wow all of your guests at your next big event with showstopping #DIY Glittered Paper Lanterns. So easy even a caveman could do it! : )

Materials:

  • Paper Lanterns
  • Glitter in the color of your choice
  • Glue Spray

Directions:

1. Cover the place where you will work with paper so you can reuse the glitter that will not stick on the ball again.

2. Cover the ball with the glue and immediately pour glitter on it.

3. When the first layer is dry, do another one to cover all the parts that are still appearing.

4. When you finish spray glue in the entire surface one more time to fix the glitter well.

 

Source: http://www.socreativethings.com/creative-paper-lantern-decorations/

Worst Wedding Cakes

badcake Typically when you go to the wedding, the cake is a huge part of the reception. Now only for a tasty treat, but also to add to the decor. Brides and Grooms spend a lot of time and money to pick the perfect cake for them. I have seen some not so pretty cakes in my time, but NONE compare to the cakes in this list put together by likes.com. Check out a few of the worst of the worst after the break.

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 This cake would be perfect at a Holloween Party, at a wedding it's just creepy!

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Did Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Blackberry or Christain Louboutin pay for the wedding? If not, dont do it! lol This would be more appropriate at a bridal shower, if done correctly.

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I feel like Momma Dee would get this cake for Lil Scrappy's wedding lol. This is so ghetto and gross. If that money is real, bills carry a lot of bacteria and now its on my cake slice?! No thanks...but I will take a few dollars so I can get some real dessert somewhere else! lol

To see the full gallery of bad cakes click here!

 

Real {Ethiopian} Wedding: Solomon & His Bride's Authentic Portland

Ethiopian Wedding Decor - Portland 3 One of the most impressive aspects of this wedding was the size and supportive nature of the grooms party and brides party. They marched as a collective whole with Solomon as he went to deliver flowers to his bride to be and see her for the first time at this authentic Ethiopian wedding.

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Family, friends, and elders gather around the living room awaiting to greet the couple at this Authentic Portland Ethiopian Wedding.

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In case you missed breakfast or cant eat from wedding jitters, Ethiopian culture can help you with a goorsha, which I refer to as a handful of food and love. Its customary for the family to feed the groom before he meets his bride.

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Its Ethiopian tradition for the couple to walk past everyone after the first look and are welcomed with cheers and well wishes from all guests. In many cases be prepared for singing, clapping, and sometimes the sound of musical instruments like a drum.

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When having a "so called" Ethnic Wedding its nice to have authentic symbolic items and wedding favors to showcase and educate wedding guests which are from a different county or have a different ethnic background.

Ethiopian Wedding Decor - Portland

I'm in love with these bright colors and infusing special cultural traditions in weddings. Authentic Ethiopian gift and food baskets, called messobs were presented to the wedding couple before the ceremony. You will find these in most Ethiopian homes which are used as decor, storage, etc.

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Its always great seeing how much a family comes together for a wedding. The women are all in the kitchen cooking and the men are running around taking care of vendors like transportation, venue, etc. More and more I see the younger generation seeking professional wedding planners like myself to take the stress away from the family so they can really take part and enjoy the full day or week of wedding festivities. Authentic Ethiopian food was in abundance at this Ethiopian wedding. All prepared by friends and family for the 600+ guests.

That's a lot of cooking! I bet the bride and groom were very thankful.

Photo credit: Evrim Iconz Photography

5 Easter DIY Party Ideas

Easter Brunch Chair Ties

 Easter Chair Decor

Step 1 Cut short pieces of flowers from bushes.

Step 2 Gather several flowers to create small bouquet

Step 3 Tie flowers together with piece of ribbon.

Step 4 Layer colored ribbon and burlap ribbon together and tie around chair backs.

Step 5 Slip flower bundle into tie.

Bell Jar with Nest Centerpiece

Bell Jar with Nest Centerpiece

Step 1 Cut moss the size of the charger plate.

Step 2 Glue in place.

Step 3 Glue some reindeer moss into nest, add eggs.

Step 4 Glue nest in center of plate, add twigs and sprig of floral.

Step 5 Add bell jar

Easter Brunch Place Cards

Easter Brunch Place Cards

Step 1 Whitewash pots with white paint (fill brush with paint and wipe almost dry on paper towel) and dry.

Step 2 Fill each pot with dry foam, then cover with reindeer moss.

Step 3 Put branch into pot.

Step 4 Use flower heads from small floral bush and hot glue to branch as shown.

Step 5 Add name written or printed on paper and wrap around branch for name placement.

Step 6 Glue few small flower heads into reindeer moss in pot.

Easter Table Centerpiece

Easter Table Centerpiece

Step 1 Use white acrylic paint to paint dots, swirls, rickrack lines on pots. Let dry.

Step 2 Cut stem from bunny pick and insert into each pot, as shown.

Easter Godiva Chocolate Egg Favors

Godiva Eggs

 

Step 1 Only GODIVA could make Easter eggs as delectable as this. Shop Online or Create an Assortment at a Boutique.

Step 2 My favorite are the Truffle Crème Egg Assortment which includes: chocolate ganache and marshmallow mousse in a milk chocolate shell, milk chocolate ganache and dark chocolate mousse in a dark chocolate shell, raspberry ganache and dark chocolate mousse in a dark chocolate shell, and caramel ganache and hazelnut mousse in a milk chocolate shell.

Step 3 For best results, place on tray or plate, as shown and enjoy quickly.

Hope you enjoy these easy #DIY tips to plan a festive Easter Brunch to celebrate the holiday with family gatherings, spring parties & delicious gifts to share!

Yodit Signature

Breakfast at Tiffany's Themed Bridal Shower

vanna

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog about the Breakfast at Tiffany's decor I (I = myself and 3 other girls lol) made for a Bridal Shower I co-hosted. We finally had the shower last week and it turned out AMAZING! The Bride loved the decor and had a lot of fun. Below are a few pictures from the event.

 

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The Shower was a brunch, so we served bagels, muffins, danishes, cheese and crackers, cake pops, cookies, cupcakes, etc...

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The Cake pops were made by Save Room Desserts. They looked and tasted amazing!

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Along with the Tiffany's boxes we printed out Audrey Hepburn quotes, framed them and placed them all on the tables.

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The Keepsake box was handcrafted for the bride.

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All the decor was handmade. Although it took awhile we had a great time making everything and everything looked great!