Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Monday! Today we bring you some great ideas for an "In the Woods" Wedding. The color palette is one of neutrals, mainly creams and beige with hints of shell pink and green. The overall effect is simple but elegant.
First up is the invitation. These wonderful invitations from Wood and Grain have pop-ups on the front! Of course you could DIY this style by just using clip art and foregoing the pop-ups. 
 As cold as it is right now it's hard to envision an outdoor wedding but at the end of April when even those places that get snow have finally seen it melt off and the weather has warmed up, an outdoor wedding is definitely the way to go for this theme.
 Baby's Breath is one of those "filler" flowers that is largely forgotten but it is the perfect flower for this theme. Used in this boutonniere it's the perfect size flower for this mini bouquet.
 Add a few white or cream roses to a huge bunch of Baby's Breath and you have a beautiful and cost effective bouquet for you and your girls!

Lace is the word this season. Add the newest trend of "illusion" lace, which is when you have a strapless dress with a lace overlay, and you have a really gorgeous dress that will enhance your beauty on your big day.
Another trend this season is using baby photos or photos of the two of you growing up in your wedding plan. Dollar store frames with coordinating ribbon on the chairs or pews are a wonderful way to line your ceremony aisle. This is also a great way to show off those fun engagement photos as well!
 Whenever you choose a neutral or all white palette for your wedding make sure your venue is part of your decorations. This gorgeous courtyard is all the decoration you need so you can tone down your table decorations and keep it a lot more simple. Invest a bit more in an ornate setting and then you save in the cost of decorating it.
If you have a plain venue, in design or color or both, you can easily dress it up. Chiffon and tulle are both inexpensive fabrics that you can drape from a center point in the room to add a level of romance to your room. Add twinkle lights and, even in the daylight, it's magical. By the way...the day after Christmas is the time to stock up on these lights and get them for almost nothing!
Dressing up your tables can be as simple as adding gold doilies or fabric under the plates and using more ornate flatware. It is little details like this that make the theme come together.
I'm not a huge fan of guest books. In my experience they tend to be put in a tote somewhere and never looked at again. I love the idea of having your monogram cut for you and then having your guests sign it before you seal it with varnish. Hang this somewhere in your new home and you have a focal point and conversation starter out for everyone to see.
 A quick word about paper lanterns. These are inexpensive and have a big impact when displayed properly. I have noticed, recently, that people are using these but spacing them out too far in order to save their budget. It would be better to take that dozen lanterns and group them over the cake table or food table or even the sweetheart table than to try to space those same 12 lanterns over the entire room. So keep them no more than a foot apart and you will have the impact you are hoping for in the end.
Another touch I love this year are the cut out votives. You can get the tin versions of these for about $25 each or you can make your own version using cut out paper and clear candle vases. In fact, Michael's Craft Stores has the paper already premade so all you have to do is cut the paper to size and wrap the vase. Easy and inexpensive but with wonderful impact!
 Not everyone has a huge flower budget. This doesn't mean you can't have gorgeous centerpieces on your tables. In fact, this theme works SO perfectly with these inexpensive centerpieces that you would be right on target with them! Just pick your clear containers, line with river rock (about $3 per huge bag at Home Depot), drop in the single bloom of your choice ($3 to $7 per bloom on average), fill with water and top with a floating candle. Gorgeous!
 One of my absolutely favorite trends this year is the "food bar". This can translate into a beautiful cake table filled with gorgeous desserts, including a small "cutting cake" for you and your groom. You can fit a variety of tastes onto one table making all of your guests very happy. Little touches like the frame on the fabric wall behind the desserts and the frames on the table, which can hold everything from your favorite love quotes or your monogram, add a romantic and personal touch to this corner of your reception.
Cake pops are all the rage but not a favorite of mine. This is a nice combo of that idea. These little cheesecakes on a stick are a cute way of making a personal sized dessert that will WOW your guests.
And don't forget to match your favors to your outdoor theme. These adorable little bird seed favors are something your guests can hang on their own tree and get the reward of watching the birds enjoy it the week after the wedding. This one gives back to nature. Lovely.

Next week I'll be bringing you a wedding plan FILLED with color! See you then!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Monday! With the Holidays upon us I thought I'd bring up some birthday party ideas for those "Holiday" babies. My dad was one of those and we tried our best each year to make his party have nothing to do with Christmas and everything to do with him. 

Along with that we are a "Disney" family and our own grandson is pretty enamoured with Jake and the Neverland Pirates right now. Of course the fact that his Poppa wears an eyepatch 24/7 means we are a "Pirate" family to begin with! Today we are going to talk about a kids party but that doesn't mean that a Pirate Party is JUST for kids. In fact, our first invitation could easily be used for a grown up Pirate Party...hey that could be FUN!
 This would be a super easy DIY invite to make! Just use a map, any map, and cut it into 10x7 strips. Apply that to dark cardstock with scrapbook adhesive then fold into half. Now you have the inside of your 5x7 invitation! Just print out the wording on your computer and use scrapbook adhesive to the front of the map. Fold it over and add stickers to the outside or maybe just another strip of map as a "ribbon" to wrap the invitation closed. Top that with a pirate sticker and there is your invite!
 Of course there are TONS of printable pirate invitations out there. These from are easy and affordable. And they have lots of coordinating paper goods like favor bag toppers too!
One really really easy way to decorate the tables, the walls, even the doorway is these 3x5 Jolly Roger flags. They are inexpensive and go a long way to making your party look very "Pirate" very quickly!

Playing dress up is the fun of a Pirate Party. You can purchase Pirate Hats or just use bandanas. Coordinate that with a vest, an eyepatch, and a bandana "belt" and you have a costume for you and your little one! 

 Probably would be great to have Dad standing at the doorway waving another Jolly Roger but if you can't talk him into that then just criss cross two of them over the doorway for a grand entrance!
 There are tons of ways you can go for the tables so I picked out a few I really like that would be super easy to do. This table LOOKS complicated but, in fact, it's just a black tablecloth covered with some fish net, a runner of checked cloth, pirate mugs, some treasure favors and red plates and napkins made from polka dot fabric that have eyepatches for napkin rings! Easy!
 Not everyone has a treasure box hanging around but there are plenty of the cardboard versions you can buy easily at the party store or online. You may even be able to find a pinata treasure chest that you can hang up later for a game to play with the kids! What I love about this table, other than the banner which I love, is that they used a fish net covered apple crate as a stand to show off the photo of the Birthday Boy!
 Balloons are always a hit with kids and these are really easy decor that doesn't cost much to add to your indoor or outdoor party. If you are using these outdoors just tie them to the corners of the chairs so they float up but not free. 
 I have to admit to being a fan. We buy a lot of our party starters from them and then build our kids parties around that set up. They have several really great items to go with Jake and the Neverland Pirates that can be used to punch up your party like these great treasure chest party favor sets! Along with their plates, cups, and other decorations you would have very little work to do in order to have a great party!

 Now, onto games! Instead of Pin the Tail on the Donkey how about Pin the Flag on the Treasure instead? You can buy or easily make a 3x5 treasure map and hang it up on the wall or fence and then just use little post it flags or pirate stickers with the kids name written on them for them to stick to the map.
 Another fun game is a Treasure Hunt. I found SO many great clues and ideas online that it would be easy to put one together. For very small children keep the clues under 6 but for other children make a full dozen! Have them start at one spot to get their first clue and then tell them to work with each other to figure out where to go next. At the end of the hunt have your little bags of favors for them to take home. Since they worked together they ALL get a bag of treasure!
Being a Disney family and having our own Pirate look-a-like in the family you know we have had Pirate Parties in the past. This was our son Jack's 7th Birthday party cake. The kids loved the figures and coins that they got to take home and keep. My son loved the fact that the treasure chest cake was chocolate and the "beach" was vanilla cake. The "sand" is just cookie crumbs.
But we have had the grown up version of this party as well. The Mickey, the center medallion and the keys on the plate are all from Disneyland. The coins and cask are all edible. The cask is cake, of course, covered in hand painted fondant. The Mickey on top is actually a photo holder so I just made a banner out of fondant to go where the frame would normally slide into place. The perfect topper for our own "Pirate" on his birthday.

Hope you were inspired enough to consider a Pirate Party in your future. Don't forget that they make Girl versions of this theme too! So whether you have a boy or girl, little or big, you can fit this birthday theme to whatever they like!

See you next week!


Monday, November 5, 2012

 Happy Monday and Happy November! Welcome to the month where the Fall Leaves make you catch your breath and where pumpkins become a sign of Fall and not just Halloween. This week we have heard of three engagements that are beginning to think of a Fall Wedding for next year so we figured we might give you a party plan to help you along.
 First up are the invitations. There are SO many styles out there to choose from that go from playful cartoon versions of Fall to the ultra elegant swirls of copper and gold of Fall. We fell in love with these from that fall somewhere in the middle of those two ends of the spectrum.
 There are many ways you can decorate your aisle but on a crisp Fall day these lanterns would surely set the mood for a cozy yet elegant affair. I love the use of the paper lanterns hanging from the tree branches that help give a Fall splash of color. Whether this is your aisle or the walk way leading up to your Church or venue, this would be a lovely way to greet your guests.
 One of the fun parts of having a Fall Wedding is the choice of flowers. There is so much variety in what you can use! Yes, if you are a huge fan of roses there are a multitude of choices there too in hues of orange, yellow, red, and yes, even browns.
 We loved the way they used the pumpkin and even a touch of carving to set off the ceremony space for this wedding. 
 But you don't have to stop with just one gourd or fruit for Fall. There are several choices out there from pumpkins to apples and even pomegranates. Just cut a little slit into the top of the fruit and tuck in the seating card for your guests.
 Here is another use of fruit for your escort cards but what I love here is the centerpiece. Tin containers are everywhere these days and this tall one makes for the perfect "tree" over the escort card table. Just fill it up with filler flowers that branch out for this effect.
 Pumpkins can be used to set off the tables for centerpieces as well. Just hollow the center out and then line with a clear container filled with your water and flowers. Or hollow out the little mini pumpkins and place tea lights in them to add a bit more color and light to your tables.
 If you don't want to go with the pumpkins there are easy ways to add the Fall color without using the fruit. Here Washi tape is just taped around these plain votive holders to give them a little style and color.
 And how beautiful they would look with these wrought iron centerpieces. With a Fall Wedding bringing the outside in is a perfect way to get that feeling you want. A little rustic and yet, very very elegant.
 And since it is Fall make use of those leaves you find all over the place. Fill your clear centerpieces with them and then top those with flowers or scatter them carefully about on your tables. If you don't want them near the food then just scatter them on the escort card or guest book tables and then use the silk variety for the actual tables.
 You can transfer that leaf motif to your seating cards and favors as well. Martha Stewart has a template for these favor wraps. You end up with a strip of paper that has half a leaf on one end and one half on the other end that then tuck inside each other to make the favor tag.
 One of my favorite Fall favors is maple syrup. Not only do they come in the leaf motif but they taste amazing and will remind your guests of how beautiful your Fall Wedding was when they were there. A true taste of Fall.

You can even keep your leaf motif when it comes to the cake. This amazing chocolate fondant covered cake from Wild Cakes has lots of hand painted sugar leaves cascading down from top to bottom. What a stunning way to keep your theme, and what a delicious centerpiece for your Wedding Day!

We hope you enjoyed these Fall Wedding ideas and hope they gave you some good ones for your special day! Next week we will be talking Disney! See you then!