Thursday, June 30, 2011

{Bright Idea Thursday} Signature Drinks

Having an open bar can be costly to your budget!! If you choose some signature drinks for your big day you could save some $$$ Here are a few ways to save, some nice ideas for presentation, a couple recipes, as well as, two Etsy shops to buy personalized accessories for your drinks that won't break the bank! 

5 Ways to Minimize Your Reception and Catering Budget Offer Cocktail Flight Samples During the First Hour from
Here is 1 of those 5 ways-While you're getting your pictures snapped after the ceremony, have your serving staff prepare "flights" or small samples from your cocktail menu to try. Whether it's five microbrews, a trio of cocktails, or even a few different wine varieties, this allows your guests to taste-test each one and then settle of a specific beverage that they like. This should cut down on your costs (since most stores or outlets will let you return opened bottles or cases) AND make that post-wedding hour fly by for your friends as they learn more about each drink on the menu.

10 Easy Ways to Save on Wedding Catering Costs from Nadia Digilov of Celebrating in Style. One idea is to close the open bar an hour earlier.  Begin serving coffee and tea approximately one hour before you party will end.  This will save you money, give closure to the party and give guests a chance to "sober up."

From Budget Wedding Woman’s Day Specials:
For an informal wedding consider a brunch with signature drinks. It can be classy, unique with style. 
You could save 40%-50% of what a dinner could cost. 
Or consider 3-5pm cake and champagne or signature cocktails maybe Sunday afternoon

I always look forward to Jacin's Mason Jar Sunday on her blog Lovely Little Details because she comes up with so many great ideas! Be sure to check out her blog and these others...

Grab a jar and make it your own! Have your guests write their names on their mason jars so they know which drink belongs to them.  Or you can also make them using pink lemonade… in mason jars! Pretty + perfect for girly bridal showers. Love the fabric ribbon tied around the top. If you are having a fall wedding consider a nice leaf tag.
If you plan to have a country style wedding these 2 ideas are very casual and fun. Having non alcoholic options mixed in with signature drinks is a nice option for the D.D. Designated Drivers, non-drinkers, and underage guests. Or if you have access to an old truck, why not have your drink station on the truck bed!

Are you having a nautical wedding near the ocean? Instead of having a truck, have a BOAT! You could borrow a boat or Rent a boat. One-of-a-kind details are the key to a smashing DIY wedding. Carrie + Alan turned a row boat into a drink cooler at their coastal Maine wedding. Clever, practical and incorporated their location/theme so perfectly. Photography by JAGstudios.

If you are planning a romantic, elegant, classic bridal shower or wedding these beautiful drink tables are for you! Strawberry spiked punch with sugar coated glasses. Infused water: Lemon- and-cucumber-infused water, strawberry lemonade, and lime-and-mint-infused water were set out for guests to drink as refreshment from the warm summer heat. I also loved this infused water set up with the twine and simple drink labels.
Perfect idea for a bridal shower party, informal wedding brunch, cake and champagne wedding, or your cocktail hour- Champagne cocktail with raspberries

2 ounces dry gin
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
Pink Champagne
2 raspberries
Shake hard the first three ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and strain into two chilled Champagne flutes. Top each with Champagne and drop a raspberry into each flute.

½ ounce of pineapple gomme syrup
½ ounce of Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
Dom Ruinart Brut Champagne or your favorite Sparkling Wine
One fresh raspberry
In a cocktail shaker, mix the pineapple syrup and the raspberry liqueur until well blended. Pour into a Champagne flute, then top off the glass with Champagne. Garnish with the raspberry.


Their Paper Straws will add the perfect touch to any Party Table, Candy Buffet, Wedding, Birthday, Baby Shower, graduation, holiday, everyday celebrations, and the list goes on….!! Plus these straws are EARTH FRIENDLY….bio-degradable and compost in 3 months making them the Friendliest Straws on Earth. Made in the USA of FDA-approved ink. So Retro and Fun…!!! and yes...they are drinking straws and do not get soggy! Plus check out their personalized drink flags! 

These beribboned drink stirrers are perfect for your next wedding or party! They would also work wonderfully for festively decorating food (sliders, perhaps?). The stirrers measure approximately 5 inches tall and are food-safe. Ribbon colors are completely customizable! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wedding budget under $5K

Our 2nd anniversary is NEXT WEEK, July 2nd and it will be very special since my husband and I were miles apart for our 1st wedding anniversary. If you were able to read my previous post about our intimate wedding you would know that Chris was serving in Iraq for the Army. Our love withstood the long distance relationship and here we are embarking on our big day! It's amazing to think about what we both have been through in the past two years. Chris is now out of the Army and now working for JCB!! For those of you just getting married I have some advice: communicate, give each other alone time, have date nights, learn to compromise and share. 

Since I'm in the sharing mood I thought I would share with you how my husband and I were able to plan a wedding under $5K. Also check out this other great blog about planning a wedding under $10K at

As a wedding planner, graphic designer, and crafty person I was able to do most of my wedding details myself but doing a DIY wedding is not for everyone. I made all of my invitations, programs, guest favors, and flowers by myself, which took a good amount of time. We only had about 30 people who were able to attend, but I did mail out invitations to friends and family after our wedding to inform them of our event. It is nice to announce your wedding afterward, if your wedding was more of an elopement like ours. It is also nice to have friends or family who are in the wedding industry who can take your pictures and do your make up!! The important part about having friends or family offer to help for your wedding is to be able to communicate to them about what you want. Don't feel to shy to speak your opinion because it is still your day. Great words of wisdom from Kelly Hood of Boho Weddings in Sheffield, England who is another TWIPS member, "Weddings should be about you as a couple, don’t have the wedding your sister or your best friend had, have the wedding YOU want -do things your way!! Create the wedding you want, not the wedding you’re told to have"!

You're probably thinking, "why is she divulging all this private information especially since she is a wedding planner"??!! The reason is because not every wedding has to be $10K+ So with that said I would also like to remind you that if you do plan to have a wedding that is over $5K or $10k+ and need to hire someone to help you plan, design or coordinate - a wedding planner should only be up to 10% of your total wedding budget.
Homecoming October  2010
It would be nice to have a little comment section here of other people's advice on love, marriage, weddings, anniversaries, or budgets. So share away!! 
Here is an informal itemized list of our wedding budget and don't forget to read my intimate wedding post:

photographer 450+
album and prints 414
sugar flowers 7.47
cake 159.86
dress 64.19
purse & veil 171.20
flip flops 7.50
spanx 38.52
dress alterations 40
toasting flutes 68
cake servers 33.99
hair 102
chirs shirt, etc 70.78
square permit & cop 280
J.P. 180
Moon River room reservation 150
candles 20.65
gifts 129.43
engagement ring:re-size heirloom 145
dinner 500+
wedding bands Layla 588.50
wedding bands Chris 422.65
hotel 216.43
ribbon, bubbles 13
nails 64
invitations 100
fans 38.64
flowers 23.49


Thursday, June 23, 2011

{Bright Idea Thursday} Plaid-Checkers-Gingham-Stripes

What is the difference between plaid, gingham and checkered? 
And what is a Tartan?
Well, we must refer to Wikipedia on this one : )

  •  Plaid (pattern) is also used as a synonym for tartan or, in the USA, any checked cloth pattern.

  •  Gingham is a medium-weight balanced plain-woven fabric made from dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarn.[1] The name originates from an adjective in the Malay language, ging-gang, meaning striped.[2]

  •  A check is a pattern consisting of crossed horizontal and vertical bands in two or more colors in woven cloth.

  •  Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours.

  •  Pin stripes are a pattern of very thin stripes running in parallel found in cloth.

I love the idea of combing stripes with checkers, but you have to make sure not to go overboard with all the patterns. Plus you should stick with a color scheme: Black and white is very popular. Also navy or green are good choices. Make sure if you choose one color, that you keep it monochromatic (Monochromatic colors are all the colors (tints, tones, and shades) of a single hue) or if you choose two colors, that they go well together.

I've put together a few collages of different ideas and styles. You could go for a retro look, classic, or preppy depending on which style fits you the best.

Choosing your style invitations is a very important decision since it sets the stage for your wedding. If you going for a formal event consider this nice plaid design. Or if you are planning a whimsical informal event check out this wonderful company Tear Drop Weddings.

What should you wear for your rehearsal dinner? These are a few fun ideas:

Now the fun part choosing your wedding details!
For an informal wedding during the daytime consider:
Laura Plouzek's Etsy shop of bow ties that are smartly re-purposed from unloved clothing. Ties feature adjustable bands and are freestyle (self-tying), allowing the anything-but-ordinary-man to impress with his bow tying skills.  
Or choose a two toned striped tie with a plaid shirt:

 Maybe you fancy navy?
The Knot Georgia Fall/Winter 2011 magazine

Now off to your honeymoon and relax in the sun!
For the Timeless: Black and White Mens Swim Trunks 
The most important rule of summer fashion: don't get complicated. And the simplest way to swim is in black and white — checkers, stripes, polka dots, solids, whatever.
But how could I resist this adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel!!
Having your pet as the ring bearer is a fun idea, but not for everyone. You must have a well trained dog for this task. This shirt collar features a double rounded corner and closes at the front with a snap button.The ribbon bow tie is attached to a fully adjustable elastic band. Wear over the pet's neck and hide it underneath the collar fold just as the humans do : ) This collar is meant for the pet fashionistas. Black Checkered Ribbon Bow Tie White Shirt Collar by furkidscloset.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{Organic Wednesday} 48,000 trees must be cut down

Did you know: 2.3 Million couples are wed every year, and the average number of guests at a wedding is about 178 people. This means approx. 409 million wedding invitations are sent every year! A tree produces 8,500 pieces of paper. So if everyone sent a paper invitation, about 48,000 trees must be cut down every year, to make all the invitations. Check out my Green page for updated information about some great eco-friendly vendors.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

{Bright Idea Thursday} Button Button - Who’s Got the Button?

I love collecting buttons! 
Whenever you buy clothes and there is a little bag attached with spare buttons I always keep them and add to my collection. You can never have too many buttons!!! Here are some great wedding ideas that use buttons in unique ways.

One of my favorite blogs to follow is Bow Ties & Bliss and they did this adorable blog post back in 2010.
So I had to give credit to their lovely ideas. 
They are also a fellow TWIPS member!
second row: 3 ,4, 5. Jackie Wonders 6. Ruffled
One of my favorite types of art is collage. You can create collages out of recycled buttons, magazines, newspapers, cards, wrapping paper, etc. So whenever I get the creative spark to make something it's usually a collage. They definitely required a lot of patience and fine motor skills! This little collage was made for the Hospice Savannah 5" X 7" Art Show

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Birds, They're Like, So Hot Right Now!

Ever since Paris Hilton coined the phrase, "like, they're so hot" my friend and I have had an inside joke about birds and how "so hot they are right now". But on a serious note, the bird theme style is still very popular and seems to be everywhere! Even in my home I have pillows from Pier 1 Imports and SCAD's Working Class Studio that have birds on them. There are so many great ideas of how to incorporate birds into your baby or bridal shower like in image 3 by making adorable bird tags and attaching them to your Rice Krispie treat pops or cupcakes like in image 4 with the robins blue M&Ms. Or you could have a wedding at a Botanical Garden and create a bird theme for your tables and centerpieces. If you go onto and type "birds" you will come up with 208,956 items and over 6,000 in weddings including the cake toppers in image 6!! I could create a collage with many more bird inspired ideas, but these 7 were the ones that caught my eye. I mean come on, in image 1 the "love birds" words are covered in bird seed, how cool is that!? Even Zooey Deschanel loves birds and had beautifully crafted letterpress invitations made for her wedding with birds on them. Although in the movie Failure to Launch I always laugh when I think about Zooey's character, Kit who almost bought a large gun to shoot a mockingbird that keeps her up all night. Such a funny movie! So, if you are planning a baby or bridal shower, wedding, or special event and you need help creating your bird theme, give me a ring. I CAN HELP!! : ) I'm obsessed with Srabble, Birds, and Button themes. Well anything retro, vintage, or rustic chic with a contemporary flair.

Monday, June 13, 2011

{DIY} Guest Book Idea

DIY Guest Book Idea I created in my backyard. Granted, I am not a professional photographer, but you get the gist of it. The flowers I arranged are craspedias (billy buttons), white freesia, and yellow daisies from Carlstedt's wholesale distributor in Savannah. The lace used is an heirloom from my great grandmother.

Instead of having a traditional guest book, have guests sign postcards from where your wedding is located. Put postcard stamps and address them prior to the wedding, then guests can write well wishes or advice during the reception. The cards are to be mailed the next day by a friend of the couple or your wedding planner, so that the newlyweds will return from their honeymoon to a brimming mailbox.

I used my dad's old cigar boxes for the postcards to be presented in. One box for the postcards that are ready to be written on and the other for guests to put when they are finished. My mom is an avid Scrabble player so I had some original Scrabble pieces handy to create the "WRITE US" rack. I'm thinking about doing a post next about a Scrabble theme wedding since it is definitely a popular trend right now!

Once you come home from your honeymoon, sort through all your wedding gifts, enjoy looking at your images from the wedding and honeymoon, and pick up your mail from the post office, you can begin this simple project of creating a binder ring book of all your postcards.

Simple Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Materials you'll need:
  • a variety of postcards from where your wedding will be (if it is a destination wedding you should be able to find a good selection at their visitor center).
  • whole puncher
  • binder ring (depending on how many guests attend your wedding you may have to buy a bigger size ring)
  • Archival, fade proof, non bleeding, waterproof marker ( I prefer the American Crafts Memory Marker with the two tips that can be purchased at most scrapbooking stores)
  • ribbon of your choice
  • scissors
2. Punch holes in the exact same corner of each postcard (I used the first one as my guide for all the others and chose the bottom right since it wouldn't interfere with the postcard image description or the guests notes)

3. Open up the binder clip, put all the post cards on, then close the clip

4. Cut short pieces of your ribbon and double knot them around the binder clip. (I like to alternate with two different ribbons to make it a little more interesting)
Viola! You now have a simple book filled with all the love of your friends and family, that will remind you of your wonderful wedding day!

(As a side note and for fun - just as I was finishing up, my cat Ty decided he wanted to be a model, more like beat the heat and find some shade under my table. I don't know why he likes to go out in the Georgia summer heat!)
*inspired by

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Honoring a loved one who has passed away.

Leaving an empty seat with a flower is just one way of honoring a loved one who has passed away.
When a parent or relative passes away before your wedding, it’s important to find a special way of remembering them without ruining the joyous tone of your big day!

For my wedding our reverend said something really nice during our ceremony, “Many of their deceased relatives and friends are with us in spirit. Mindful of them, of family and friends who cannot be present this day, and of all our families and friends, we rejoice in the love that __ + __ celebrate this day.” Also during the speeches at the reception I lit a candle in memory of my dad and all those who could not be with us. It’s ok to cry too!

Need some suggestions? Rev. Dawn has you covered! Ask the Rev:
"My grandfather recently passed away and I would like to find a way to honor him at my wedding ceremony. Do you have any advice or suggestions?"

"Honoring those who have passed can certainly be a vital and moving component of your ceremony, and there are infinite ways to honor those you love. I always recommend including a specific section in the ceremony simply mentioning, acknowledging, and thanking those who have passed who are closest to you and your fiancé. To specifically honor your grandfather, consider also including one of the following:

1. Lighting a candle in his honor: This can be done before the service even starts and can remain lit throughout (for an indoor ceremony, anyhow), perhaps with a brief explanation in your program of its purpose. Or, the officiant can say a few words in honor of your grandfather as the candle is lit at specific point during the ceremony
2. Saving an empty seat in the front row for your grandfather: You may also consider putting an offering of a flower on his seat.
3. Doing a reading in his honor: Do you know your grandfather’s favorite author or spiritual passage? Do you perhaps have a poem that always makes you think of the moments you spent together? Perhaps you, one of your parents, or another grandchild could read one of these in his honor.
4. Creating an altar in his honor: You could have a small table or an intricate altar set up in the ceremonial area with a candle, a photograph of your grandfather and perhaps a few small reminders of him adorning it."


3 wedding themed movies are coming out at 1 time!

It's definitely wedding season! Especially since THREE wedding themed movies are coming out at ONE time!! All have mixed reviews. Let me know what you thought of them???

Jumping the Broom is a 2011 American comedy film directed by Salim Akil and produced by Tracey E. EdmondsElizabeth HunterT.D. JakesGlendon Palmer, and Curtis Wallace. The film stars Angela Bassett (Notorious, Meet The Browns), Paula Patton (Precious, Deja Vu), Laz Alonso (Just Wright, Avatar), Mike Epps (The Hangover, Resident Evil: Extinction), Loretta Devine (Death at a Funeral, Grey’s Anatomy), Meagan Good (Stomp The Yard), Julie Bowen (Modern Family) and more!
The plot is about two families who live on opposite sides of the social circle and have to get together for a marriage in the town of Chilmarkon the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, where two members from both families will be wed.

The title of the film is derived from the African American tradition of bride and groom jumping over a ceremonial broom after being married. In some African-American communities, marrying couples will end their ceremony by jumping over a broomstick, either together or separately. This practice dates back at least to the 19th century and has enjoyed a 20th century revival largely due to the miniseries Roots.
This is a ceremony dating back to the 1600s and derived from Africa. Dating back to slave days, jumping the broom together has been part of weddings for couples who want to honor that tradition. It also has roots in the Celtic culture and including but not limited to Welsh, Celtics, Druids, and Gypsies and some aboriginal or shamanistic cultures.

Some couples choose to incorporate it into traditional and non-traditional ceremonies. Broom jumping is a brief ceremony usually within the wedding ceremony toward the end. The jumping of the broom is symbolic of binding a couple in marriage and also can be used to symbolize fertility and prosperity of the couple.
The "Jumping the Broom" is a ceremony in which the bride and groom, either at the ceremony or at the reception, signify their entrance into a new life and their creation of a new family by symbolically "sweeping away" their former single lives, former problems and concerns, and jumping over the broom to enter upon a new adventure as wife and husband.

The broom has both symbolic and spiritual importance in the African culture. The ritual itself was created by our ancestors during slavery. Because slaves could not legally marry, they created their own rituals to honor their unions. Some say broom jumping comes from an African tribal marriage ritual of placing sticks on the ground representing the couple's new home.


The romantic comedy Something Borrowed based on Emily Giffin's book everyone will get to see whether the movie lives up to the chick-lit original.
Friendships are tested and secrets come to the surface when terminally single Rachel falls for Dex, her best friend Darcy's fiancé. Something Borrowed tells the story of Rachel, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. Rachel has always been the consummate good girl---until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy, throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiancé.....

Hilary Swank and Molly Smith of 2S Films team up with Edward Burns and Aaron Lubin to produce Something Borrowed and Something Blue.Director: Luke Greenfield Writers: Jennie Snyder (screenplay), Emily Giffin (novel) Stars: Ginnifer GoodwinKate Hudson and Colin Egglesfield
For those who want more details check out this great blog! or Emily Giffin's Website


Bridesmaids is an upcoming 2011 American comedy directed by Paul Feig and produced by Judd ApatowBarry Mendel, and Clayton Townsend. The plot centers on Annie (Kristen Wiig) and her experiences as a Maid of Honor in Lillian's (Maya Rudolph) wedding.
Bridesmaids was produced by Apatow Productions and will be released by Universal Pictures on May 13, 2011. This will be the final film appearance of Jill Clayburgh, whose death from leukemia in November 2010 occurred before the film was released.
Lillian (Maya Rudolph) and Annie (Kristen Wiig) are best friends. When Annie finds out about Lilian's engagement, she is asked to be the maid of honor. She accepts and is happy until she finds out about all the things the maid of honor has to do. All hell breaks loose when they travel to Vegas for the party that none of them will forget.

Chic Wedding Accessories

Are you a bride looking for those perfect finishing touches? In need of unique, yet trendy, gifts for bridesmaids or moms? I have partnered with Stella & Dot Jewelry to help you create your combination of beautiful and decorative pieces. Stella & Dot is known for their quality and every changing styles right off the runway.

Not only are these great accessories for you, but they also make perfect mother’s gifts! Or see how Stella & Dot can complete the look for your wedding day! They also carry some beautiful, more dainty jewelry that is perfect for every day wear or would be a great bridesmaids gift for your favorite girls! There are many more fabulous pieces online! Check them out online now.

One of the many reasons I love Stella & Dot is because of their charity. Through the sale of the Stella & Dot Foundation bracelets and through the generosity of your direct donations, we will support ACCION USA, buildOn and Girls Incorporated, which in turn support our own foundation's mission to create positive change for women. All net proceeds of the Foundation Bracelets will go to these charities. To find out more about these charities go to: Stella & Dot Foundation