Saturday, February 25, 2006

bridal shower: Candy Rose Favors

I was flipping through an old Martha Stewart Weddings magazine (Winter/Spring 1998, to be exact!) and saw this adorable idea for a favor at a bridal shower. It's a little tulle-wrapped packet of jordan almonds, peeking out from the center of a satiny ribbon rose.

The steps are pretty simple to follow, but the result is really impressive!

Supplies Needed:
* Tulle
* Jordan Almonds
* Wire (they suggest 18-gauge)
* Floral Tape
* 2.5" wide satin ribbon (will need about 1 foot for each rose)

To make one:
1) Wrap three almonds in tulle
2) Cinch the tulle with strong thread, and trim the excess
3) Pierce the tulle at the bottom with a piece of wire
4) Wrap the step (wire) in green floral tape, starting at the top, near the almonds
5) Fold one corner of the ribbon down
6) Place the almonds on the folded ribbon
7) Wrap the corner of the ribbon around the stem; hold in place with your thumb
8) With your free hand, wrap & fold the ribbon around the almonds until you settle on a pleasing shape
9) Hold the ribbon end at the bottom of the blossom & wrap in floral tape
10) Finish it off with a leaf-shaped name tag

Thursday, February 23, 2006

off topic: In Memory of Mary

This past weekend the mother of one of my husband's best friends passed away. I just returned to Chicago from the funeral and visitation in Michigan... and as these types of events tend to do, I have been doing a lot of thinking.

TODAY- make sure to hug your family & friends, make sure they know how much they mean to you. Mary was only 57 when she passed away- she went peacefully in her sleep but still too soon and it was completely unexpected. We all know that tomorrow is promised to no one, but it's so easy to forget that in the daily hustle and bustle of life. Not only was Mary an extraordinary person whom everyone adored & will miss, but you can't help but wonder how you would feel if that was your mother... As tragic as her passing was, I think we all walked away with a newfound respect for life and the gifts of each day.

We should all hope to touch as many lives and be as loved as Mary was. She was just a normal person from western Michigan, a mother of three, local elementary school principal... and yet she had over 1,200 people come to her visitation. That is a number I cannot even fathom - I thought that happened only for celebrities. People were lined up so far that the line to pay respects stretched out of the church and around the block. What an amazing legacy to the life she lived.

Sorry from the departure from my normal excited wedding banter, but had to share what's on my mind... don't forget those hugs to your loved ones!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

bachelorette parties: BOAS!

For bachelorette parties, as a general rule I am anti all things penis-decorated. I mean, chances are nobody really thinks (or cares!) that she has never seen a penis before... it's just gross and tacky and unnecessary. Some people love it, but I always cringe when I see a penis-decorated veil on a girl out at the bar... give the poor girl pictures she can show her grandmother! (OK, well at least *some* of them... ;)

That being said, there is no reason to not be flamboyant & over-the-top for your Bachelorette party, to plan one differently. I personally think a Veil at least is a must- even for those of you who don't normally like being the center of attention, think of it as practice for the wedding. Or at least a nice way to get bought drinks!

When we had my Bachelorette Party, my sister planned something that was so much fun -- she asked everyone to wear all black & she got everyone bright pink boas (mine was white). It was so much fun being out in Chicago in them- it's hard not to make a scene or to get a little crazy in a boa. Plus I loved that it was so easy for the group to find one another in the dark bars.

I asked where she got them & she said that ebay was the best boa resource (& best prices) she found. I'm helping to plan a friend's bachelorette in Vegas & we'll definately be revisiting this idea... If you DO end up doing this, I'd love to hear how it went & see pics!

i heart weddings,

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

bridal shower: The Book Stops Here!

My family has this bridal shower game we always play- my sister, cousins, and I all groan when it gets pulled out- but recently a friend asked for the info so she could play it at a shower she is hosting. So I was thinking about it- it's actually pretty cute... the groans are just because we have all played it at so many bridal & baby showers over the years. We may be sick of it, but the other guests always seem to enjoy it!

The 'game' consists of this little booklet which has a rhyme/task on each page- it's super cheesy, but always gets people laughing (or commiserating...) and gets the whole table interacting. A huge bonus is that nobody really gets put on the spot... I hate games where I feel pressure to be funny, or remember facts... this one is super simple! At the end the 'winner' gets a small prize (or I have seen the winner get the shower centerpiece to take home).

You can download a copy of the Word Document we use here. To assemble, follow these easy steps:
* Print a copy of this document - 1 for each TABLE
* Cut all pages in half horizontally so that you now have sixteen 8.5 x 5.5 pages (rather than eight 8.5 x 11)
* Optional: Make a cover for your book... this turns out nicest if you use a heavier cardstock... be creative! Entice your shower guests to play! Adding a back cover to the book (for added stability) is also nice.
* Layer all pages together... the cover on top, pages in order, and backing
* Punch 2 holes slightly in from the left-hand edge (this will become the 'spine' of the booklet)
* String some ribbon through the holes & tie in a bow

That's it! Now you have a simple ice breaker for your upcoming shower... enjoy! (And let me know how it goes!)
i heart weddings,

Sunday, February 12, 2006

gifts: "I Do" Lip Balm

I love this lip balm as a bridal shower favor or as a gift for bridesmaids... has this Champagne-flavored lip balm from Pookie - so cute! It's hard to find gifts that will actually get used, but everyone can always use an extra lip balm for their purse, car, desk... so you know this is a gift that they will definately use... and will think of your big day when they do!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

bridal beauty: i flip for flops!

Hm... not sure that title makes much sense... moving on...

Something I did at my wedding & highly reccommend is getting yourself a nice comfy pair of shoes to wear after dinner & all the main pictures have been taken. I'm one of those girls who loves beautiful shoes, but what my mind & my toes like are completely different things. Most of the time (at other people's weddings...) I'm one of those people who walks around barefoot after a certain point in the night.

Thinking that it probably wasn't appropriate for the girl in the big white dress to be barefoot, I planned ahead. I got some nice, high flip flops (similar to these ones), so that my dress wouldn't drag, but ballet flats or anything comfy would work. I was so happy I did - I could dance & mingle all night, without being unfomfortable. I think if you do the same, your toes will thank you too!

i heart weddings,

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

misc tips: Kinko's Cutting

Kinkos is both a blessing & a curse for a crafty girl like me... partially I feel like I should be able to do things better on my own, but in some cases their abilities just win me over. Case in point... I ADORE their cutting services.

Basically, for about $1 they will cut a perfectly straight, measured line in about 100 pieces of paper. Truly priceless for anyone making invitations, menus, cards, anything... for only $1!! I have a fancy paper cutter at home, but the amount of time & frustration that it would take me to cut so many pages (and I'm sure the result wouldn't be *perfect*) is so worth giving it up for that price.

Hopefully that will save you some frustration too!
i heart weddings,

Sunday, February 05, 2006

paper goodies: Picture Thank You Cards

I got the cutest Thank You card from friends Megan & Beau's wedding... I had *heard* about people doing this, but personally wasn't organized enough to pull it off. The result is super cute & super easy to do!

They made "Thank" and "You" posters before the wedding & had their picture taken with them. They just had the pictures printed & glued them on the front of a plain notcard... so simple yet so elegant & personal! (If you have your pics digital, always has good prices...)

If you're looking for an idea for your Thank You's & want to forego the usual card with your shared monogram on it (always cute, but also common...) this is a great option!

i heart weddings,

Friday, February 03, 2006

guestbooks: Adesso Polaroid Albums

Your Guestbook can be a great way to collect thoughts, well wishes, advice and/or pictures of your guests. The guestbook we used gave our guests a chance to do all of that (& anything else they could think of!), so I wanted to share the details...

We bought 2 Polaroid Albums from Adesso Albums... I am so happy with how they turned out! What's cool about these albums is that they have a space where you slide the picture in from the top or bottom of the page. If you tried to paste polaroids into a normal scrapbook, the extra thickness would make the book not close completely- here you don't have that problem, which makes the finished product look so much nicer.

We had 150 people at our wedding and having 2 books ended up being just the right size. We had 2 polaroid cameras & put a couple family friends in charge of taking pictures before dinner (during the cocktail hour). They then started putting the pictures into the album so people would see how it worked and reminded our guests to find their picture & sign by it. We got so many great comments, pictures, drawings... so much more personal than just signatures alone!

In the picture above you can see the front cover (has a space for a picture in it too... we put our invitation in the window) what the inside looks like. We also got the personalized name plates & put them on the spine, and the Slip Case holds both of our finished albums.

I know I thought it was a cute idea, but it's hard when you haven't heard a first-hand account of what the product was like, so hopefully this helps to inspire or help make the decision for some of you!

i heart weddings,

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

asking bridesmaids: You can Wear it Again!

I was just asked to be in my friend Liz's wedding... yay!

You know how there are some friends that you're just *hoping* you'll get to stand up for? (The same way you want all your bridesmaids to feel when you ask!) Of course it is always an honor, but we all have friends we are closer to, so those tend to be the weddings we're most looking forward to & will be most excited to be involved in. This is one of those- so fun!

I love how a lot of brides-to-be come up with creative & personal ways to ask their bridesmaids... boys just don't have as much fun as us. My husband was actually asked over email to be a groomsman once! Seriously.

When Liz asked, she gave me the cutest little book - 'You Can Wear It Again'. It is a celebration of some of the 'best' (aka horrible!) Bridesmaid Dresses... too funny! She even included a little note for me to let her know my favorite page so she could order it. ;) Some learnings from my readings:
* The looooved their poufy sleeves in the 80's (at least I hope it was the 80's!). That and shimmery teal... now won't that make your hips & butt look like & small?!
* Vertical stripes really are as unflattering as you hear
* Head wreaths (be it tulle, a tiara, or flowered) really should be left to the flower girl
* One can make a parasol from feathers

Definately a great pick-me-up book! Happy readings... and remember to be nice to your bridesmaids, or your wedding could end up in a book like this someday!

i heart weddings,