Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy Monday! I am an "Ocean Girl" and grew up being a "Beach Baby" so a Nautical themed wedding is something that I would love to have myself. The next best thing, since I've been married now almost 25 years, is to plan one. So this week I've put together an outline of what you could do with your wedding if you took it Nautical!

I fell in love with these invitations from! They are clearly Nautical but completely elegant as well. These would set the theme beautifully for your guests.
You can continue the theme when your guests arrive. A basket of these gorgeous programs, or if you set one on each white seat, would give a beautiful splash of color to your ceremony space.
And speaking of the ceremony space...this flag banner would be gorgeous at the top of the aisle if you are getting married outside!
There are many ways to continue your theme. Tying your bouquet with striped ribbon and hanging a nautical charm from it would look gorgeous against your wedding gown.
You could even add the blue and white garter underneath. These are adorned with little silver anchors...and with a set of two, your groom can toss one away and you can still have one to keep!
The hottest trend for Brides right now is to use your shoes for your "something Blue"! These would look SO beautiful under your gown...just a little color peeking out as you walk down the aisle to your Groom.
And speaking of the Groom! Don't forget to use some of that bouquet ribbon to tie up his boutinierre. A perfect way to coordinate him to you. You can use a similar but different ribbon for your 'maids and his groomsman flowers as well.
Now it's time to involve your guests into the ceremony! Just place one of these ribbon flags at each seat and have your guests wave them as you come back down the aisle! It would look so the time and in your photographs!

Onto the reception! This is where you can really start to incorporate your theme into your day. This welcome wreath would be a great way to dress up your entrance. And it would be so easy to make! Just some rope, ribbon and scrapbook paper with stickers along with a wreath form is all you would need.

 Using lanterns with seashells, candles, even rope inside would really dress up your guest book table.
How about an usual guestbook? Using these bottles and scrolls would be a great way to collect all of your guests Best could open them all up after your honeymoon and then put them back until your 10th Anniversary and open them all over again! What a romantic touch for your day.
Welcome your guests with Seating Cards made from Nautical  Flags. You can coordinate each table with it's own flag and include a chart that shows what each flag means as well as which table is theirs!
Now that your guests are seated at their tables you want to keep the theme going. These little striped "flags" with the guests name upon them would be a perfect dash of color and style. 
Flowers are not needed when you go Nautical but that doesn't mean you can't have some fun centerpieces. As with the lanterns we mentioned above, jars with nautical decor inside would make for great centerpieces!
You can mix those with more mini lanterns like these from to add a little light to the tables.
Or you can add flowers and lanterns along with these great Table Number holders made from knotted rope! I simply love this idea and it would be SO easy to make yourself.
You could also fold up some paper, yup, just like when you were a kid, to make place cards or table number cards for your tables. Easy and inexpensive but so cute!
Having your reception on a boat would be the height of style for a Nautical wedding! I love how this one continues the stripes of the invitations and ribbons we featured above! Notice the dash of yellow...
You can take that dash of yellow and make it a splash of yellow instead. Add in some of the other Nautical touches and you have much more than just a blue and white color palette!
Like using these wonderful wine bottle holders from After the wedding these would look great for your own home bar! Finding the wine with the ships on the label would be a bonus but you can just use your own favorite wine and the holders would continue your theme for you.

Chair labels for the Bride and Groom are very hot this season. These, which look like they were made from beachwood and rope, would look so wonderful on the back of your chairs! Such a cute touch.
Now onto favors that do double duty. They are a cute take home for your guests and also wonderful decor for your tables like these little sailboat tealight holders or...
these wonderful ships wheel magnets from that you can sit on top of each plate or tuck into your guests napkins. What a cute way to add to your decor!
Now we have cake...ok, so it's my favorite part of a wedding! I fell in love with this beach themed cake topper! So perfect, so romantic. But I couldn't choose just one cake as my favorite so here are TWO!
This beautiful cake by Gail Watson,, just fits this theme so perfectly. It carries over the Nautical theme and uses the stripes that were featured in the invitations, flowers and table decor. But....
I simply love the use of the rope and flags in this cake by Martha Stewart at That would continue your Nautical Flag theme as well. Imagine how cute that cake topper would look on this cake!
Last but not least for your wedding day is the honeymoon getaway! How cute to decorate your getaway car with this Just Married life preserver! The perfect last touch for a perfect day.

If there is a theme that you are working on and would like a little more inspiration just leave me a comment or drop us a line over at our facebook page and I'll do a blog just for your theme!

See you next week!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Monday! This week we decided to spotlight a trend that is making its way back into favor this year. All White Weddings. Usually you will find the "accent" color is something pale like a barely there green or even just an off white or cream color. Keeping the total effect "White".

I decided not to find invitations for you to see because All White invitations are very very easy to find. From kits at Michaels to the most expensive handmade versions, these are the easiest of all invitations to locate. The only problem might be that it makes it harder to choose which one is right for you!

So I'm going to begin with some ceremony choices first instead...
This is one that I have always loved. There are much fewer "bad seats" with a ceremony in the round. Instead of gathering all of your guests in 16 rows behind the alter you get to do 4 rows all the way around the alter. This means everyone gets a better view. This is especially wonderful if you have different traditions you are observing such as a candle lighting or sand ceremony, honoring passed relatives with flowers or honoring grandparents with flowers. If you "stage" these all in different corners then each section of your guest audience get to see a special part of the ceremony and not just your backs.
And don't forget the little touches at the chairs. Adding Programs or something like these cones of white flower petals to each chair can help make your guests feel even more included in your ceremony and it makes for a charming display.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if your budget would allow something as extravagant as this alter set up of draped chiffon, flowers and chandeliers. The wonderful thing is that all of this, except the flowers, can be rented so if your budget allows and you are in love with this style then look into your local rental companies to make this dream come true.

Now onto the reception. what a wonderful, and unusual way to gather your Wedding Cards than in a silver mailbox on the entrance table. Surrounded with lots of flowers and lit from inside with an artificial candle, this makes for a sweet version of the "card basket".
If you are having your "Cocktail Hour" out on a patio or deck before your indoor reception then consider little touches like these hanging lanterns. The gardens green decor spotlights the white of the lanterns. 
You can further that white palette on the patio by adding simple flower arrangements to each table. In this situation I would use very light green accents to set off the tables and greenery of the garden to tie them all together.
Now I mentioned an indoor reception but if you live where the climate is going to be about 75 at sunset and can have an outdoor reception then I thought I'd spotlight my favorite one this year. All white on white on white this set up includes silver and white Christmas ornaments to the twinkle lights above to help bounce the light onto the tables below. Simply gorgeous!
If you are having your reception inside a home then this mantle set up might be just the added touch to help turn that home into a wedding venue! These little areas as most venues are often neglected but even just a simple flower arrangement can be that added detail that makes all the difference.
Now onto the tables. If you have family members who may be allergic to flowers then why not go "flowerless" at your reception? You can spray paint lanterns and use votives to add a little sparkle to the table.
To make these tealight holders all you need is a small bowl, some heavy duty glue like E-6000 and a string of "jewels". They sell these by small amounts at most craft stores, some fabric stores and there are several outlets online. Just run a bead of glue around the top of the glass and add the bling. You may need to hold the gem strands in place for a few moments while the glue sets up.
Another way to combat allergies but have flowers is to submerge them! Using "glow beads" like this adds to the glamour of the arrangement but also adds light to your tables!
But if you love flowers and still want them on your tables then consider using huge bouquets of Baby's Breath! Placed in all white vases and with strings of pearls or rhinestones draped between would be a gorgeous way of having flowers and helping to keep the allergens away from your family.
Ok, so no allergic people, no aversions to flowers? Then really go all out and put several white on white arrangements on each table rather than one big one! You can use containers you wouldn't normally consider, like these white gift boxes, if you put a water-tight container inside to hold the flowers and water first. You can see that they used a patterned white tablecloth along with white on white stationary to carry out the white theme while keeping texture on the tables as well! Gorgeous!
A huge trend this year is decorating the Bride and Groom chairs with their names or, in this case, their titles! Super easy to make and super easy to tie onto the back of the chairs, these banners would be adorable for any "Sweetheart Table" for the Newlyweds.
Consider mostly white venues to have your reception as well. If you do then half of your decorating is done for you! And what an elegant presentation for your

Lastly is the cake, of course! This amazing cake by my friend Jene Rylan Nato, , would be just the most perfect centerpiece for your reception! Using neutral colors to accent your cake helps it to stand out on your cake table from all the rest of the white in the room. Notice how he uses white on white to take this cake from an ordinary white wedding cake to an extraordinarily amazing and elegant work of Edible Art!

I do hope that, even if you don't go with the White Wedding idea, that you got a lot of other ideas for your own wedding! Next week we'll explore a Winter Wedding for those who are still planning for this year!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Monday and Happy 1st Birthday Parker Bright! Yup...Tory's son turned ONE! As with all of our parties, Tory went to town to make her sons 1st Birthday one to remember! They decided to have it in a movie theater so they could invite everyone they wanted to invite and not be hindered by space! Great idea!
Of course, every good party starts with an invitation! Parker's theme was Giraffes! SO cute! Tory was able to find these adorable invitations on Etsy! She had them custom designed and you would be surprised how affordable that can be from the crafty vendors on!

Now a word about having a movie theater party. Most people would think this would just be cost prohibitive but you would be surprised! We happen to have worked at this theater and know the GM at this theater so I'm sure we got some special treatment of some sort (wink) since we are almost family but when figuring out a budget for this type of big event you have to estimate between $10 and $30 per person. That includes event venue rental. This particular theater has a $200 venue fee and then it is $20 per child, minimum of 20 children, and then $10 for each person after that. This includes the rental as well as "snack packs" for some extras as you will see! So for an event of 50 people this venue would run $900 or $18 per person including the food! There are many venues where that would be the space rental only!
Outside of the auditorium was the scrolling birthday greeting to our little man! Such a great touch!
Inside we got to decorate however we chose. As with most venues you need to make sure to use adhesives that are approved by the venue manager. We posted reserved signs for the front row that included family members as well as the Birthday Boy and his special seat!
Tory made this wonderful 12 month Banner and we attached it to the back of the bottom section seats so that everyone coming into the auditorium could walk past it and get a good up close look at how much the little man had changed over the year! She attached the photos to archival scrapbook paper and then put that onto real satin ribbon so they can save this in his Time Capsule for the day he's 21 and gets to open it up!
Since this was a "digital" theater, most are becoming digital theaters, they were able to play a photo montage DVD for Tory and Nate of Parker's first year. She used a computer program to create the 10 minute montage which included background music that is important to the family. After the party she was able to make copies of this montage to hand out to special family members. It was simply wonderful. What an incredible "pre-show" before our movie!
Each of the guests were able to pick up a "giraffe" cupcake from Cat's Cakes before or during the movie as a nice little sweet snack to go with their popcorn and soda!
You can see the giraffe wrappers inside the individual clamshell containers. We provided a container of forks for those who didn't want the mess of the cupcake inside the theater or who were sharing a cupcake with a little one.
Also on the table inside the auditorium were these adorable personalized water bottles! Tory made two sizes so that even the smallest of her guests would have a little something to sip on either during the movie or later at home! 
She found these cute little personalized lollipop favors at! What was really great about these were that they arrived already assembled and ready to serve but also the candy, while flavored strawberry, were a neutral white for the party!
They were so adorable and they actually taste really really good! An affordable treat to be able to hand out to your guests!
Now here was the "Aha!" moment of the party planning. Tory wanted goodie boxes for the kids but every box she found was huge. You could fit a stuffed animal in each one. Too big for the little guests who had an average age of 18 mos! So at she found these cupcake boxes...yes, cupcake boxes! She just left the insert out of the box that would hold the cupcake sturdy and filled it with little treats like fruit snacks, bubbles, press on tattoos in the party theme and a little blue rubber ducky for their bathtub fun! Much better than a huge box filled with all sorts of penny toys that are either age inappropriate or will get lost very quickly, or candy.
We are a "book family" so we wanted something that would not just be a guest book but something that Parker could enjoy over the years that just happens to be filled with lots of loving messages from the party guests! We invited everyone to sign this Curious George and the Birthday Surprise book on ANY page. So that when reading it to Parker he would get a nice surprise as he made his way from page to page. Truly a keepsake to be treasured.
Here is the entire Lobby Party Table. The one inside the auditorium was nearly a copy of this one except it held the cupcakes, favor boxes and water bottles and this one has the favors, the Birthday Cake and the Guest Book. Decorated with another banner that Tory made herself from scrapbook paper and ribbon, this party table was crowned with this incredible theme matching banner from!
Here is a close up of the cake. Parker's very own Sugar Giraffe topped his "Smash" cake and a curious monkey decorated the "Family" cake. These were on display as a centerpiece for those who were not attending the family pizza party later that night. You can find out more about this cake and see a photo of Parker diving into that smash cake over at the Cake blog:
The Lobby Table was important because we were able to move the Auditorium Table next to it after the movie so people could easily grab extra cupcakes or waters or goodie boxes and sign in the guest book as well as mingle and catch up with the friends and family members in the lobby while the theater crew got the auditorium ready for the next show time.
Finally, here is the happy parents and thrilled Birthday Boy. It was such a fun party filled with friends and family from all over! Parker had such a good day and didn't melt down even once! Amazing good luck!

Next week I will bring you some wedding ideas but it was fun to share this big family event with you all this week!