Monday, March 31, 2008

Pretty Bouquets

Lately it's been pretty gloomy outside so I decided to post some bouquets up to brighten up the day! I LOVE this bouquet- a total inspiration for my own wedding. Ranunculus with olives, olive leaves & the black & white ribbon make it all so Ascot!
This is definitely one of my fave bouquets from Martha- these cascading garden roses make it so fresh and traditional, yet exciting.
This branch small bouquet is so elegant yet simple from Hello Darling Florists in Chicago.

The cheery, tropical colours drew me to this bouquet also from Hello Darling.
This is a lovely bold and punchy bouquet by Stems Chicago.
Don't over-do the "bling" on your bouquet. What about a nice simple cuff of pearl beads like this bouquet of orchids from Fetes Des Fleurs?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Keeping Kids Occupied at Weddings

Inviting kids to your next big event? Keeping kids occupied so adults can enjoy the party can be tricky, unless you put together a clever kit like this! (Components from Garnish).
Some items you might want to put in your kids kits- crayons, colouring pads, small toys, etc. For my own wedding, i'm planning on hand-illustrating a story book for the kids attending. Another cute idea from Garnish- a homemade playdoh kit complete with little cookie cutters! (below).Some other important things to consider when inviting kids:
- Consider designating a kids table or kids room (check with your venue)
- Ask parents whether they prefer their kids to be seated with them if you do have a kids room or table.
- Consider hiring a trustworthy babysitter to watch over the children in attendance. Nicole hired a magician to entertain the children attending her wedding.

Party & Shower Ideas Inspired By Packaging

For all those who are crafty, you'll definitely love Garnish's concept. They sell empty packaging (boxes, containers, etc), ready for you to put together kits, like this adorable smores kit above. How cute would this be to give as a host gift?
Some Baking Activity Ideas for Parties you could do with this type of packaging:
Baby Shower Idea: Bake bread or buns to celebrate a "bun in the oven". Have boxes ready so guests can take their baked bread home. If you dont know the sex of your baby yet, have pink and blue ribbons ready to tie their box, for guests to help guess.
Birthday Party: Bake mini birthday cakes together, and prepare icing so guests can decorate their own. Or bake pies (like below) and have personal cake boxes to take their baked goods home. You can also pre-print labels with the date and the birthday girl or boy's name.
Wedding Shower Cookie Idea:
Have a basic cookie dough recipe ready, and divide the cookies into small batches for each guest. Have an array of different ingredients ready for guests to experiment. Some ideas might be: chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, m&m's, coconut, lemon rind, nuts, rosemary, mint, etc. Bake the cookies and have each guest write down their ingredients on a tag. You can exchange cookies and even vote on the best cookie. Have empty jars ( you can get great ones at IKEA) or boxes for packaging.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Apple Cake Recipe

A couple nights ago I continued on my quest to come up with a recipe for the lightest, fluffiest cake, and this is the best i've done (so far). It is a very quick cake to bake and would be an excellent cake for casual tea!

Melissa's Apple Cake Recipe:
1 apple, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 Cup granulated Sugar
1 Stick of Butter (room temp)
2 eggs (room temp)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven 350°C. I used my toaster oven!
1) Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time.
2) Sift all purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Combine slowly into butter mixture, alternating with milk. Careful not to overbeat.
3) Add 1/4 cup - 1/3 cup sour cream to the mixture, and mix lightly.
4) In a non-stick cake pan, lay apples in concentric circles. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
5) Using a spatula, fluff up the batter. It should feel light and fluffy. Pour the batter on top of apples and bake for about 30 minutes until batter has been cooked thoroughly.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Invitation To Be Creative

Everyone in the business knows Grapevine Invitations as the pioneer in innovative "couture" invitations, but I couldn't help but share my favourites as my fiancé and I are assembling our own. My all time favourite- the etched plexiglass invitation for a wedding at Cipriani, NY.
Goodbye envelopes, hello hat boxes! I love the variety of texture in this invitation and how it comes in a round hat box.
These tin "envelopes" are so elegant and streamlined. I love how the invitation was die cut to fit snugly in the box.
I love how they carried the look of the invitation through other details in the event. The compass favours are such a great idea!
Instead of having all your invitation components separate, why not create a booklet? You can include a short story of how you met, and other details or events leading up to your wedding.
I've blogged about boxed invitations before (something i've adapted for my own wedding invitation). Check out this gorgeous box lined with "peat moss", filled with "woodsy" type components.

Lastly, they've put together a sample of logos they've done. Like a logo designed for any company, it should set the pace for any communication you'll have to your guest in paper and details.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Applying Your Wedding Theme

Darcy Miller (the editor of Martha Stewart Weddings) has finally posted some pictures up of her own wedding on the Martha Stewart website. There is no single event that has inspired me the way this wedding has. I admire the way the same look and feeling was articulated throughout the wedding, the utter sophistication and delicious details. The inspiration for her wedding colours- the trademark Fauchon bakery cake box. The cake says it all!
One of my favourite details was the petit fours, all of which bore the French patisserie feel, arranged in immaculate rows on silk covered boxes outlined with seam binding. They also had loaves of handmade Poulaine bread flown in from Paris, and hand-blown sugar "glass" fruits.My dream hors d'oeuvres! Included on this plate: hand cut potato chips with tuna tartare and caviar. The food was catered by the venue, Four Seasons New York. An unforgettable favourite- hand rolled white & dark chocolate cones with mini scoops of sorbet, served on a cloud of cotton candy.Signature hand calligraphed items such as invitations and fortune papers proved that elegance is best achieved with simplicity.
Lastly, the Vera Wang dress that has nearly inspired my whole wedding. Hand pleated ruffles in chiffon and silk duchesse satin give this dress such gorgeous and lush texture.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Get it in Writing

The most important advice for anyone paying for a service of any kind: get the details and get it in writing. While a verbal agreement may seem as good as a handshake between you and your vendor, i've seen far too many cases where vendors have taken advantage of clients in the worst way. Never assume that your nice "mom's friend from work" will honour her word, and it is in your relationship's best interest that you put it in writing, to let both parties know exactly what is expected. Here are some examples of details you might want to include:

Photographer- Hours of coverage, number of assistants provided, any additional transportation costs. Cost and exact number of prints received, specifications of any albums he/she is including in the package. Are CD's of digital copies included? If so, are you allowed to reprint those (some photographers will only allow you to reprint with their permission).

Florists- All flowers, rentals (vases, linens, chairs, draping, lighting, etc.) they're responsible for. Set up and clean up fees, transportation fees, additional labour fees. Does it include samples of bouquets and/or centerpieces? Is there a site inspection included? When are rentals expected back?

Musicians/Entertainment- Time, date. How many musicians, instruments are included? If you booked a particular talent based on a demo (ie: singer), make sure this singer's name is included on the contract. Additional travel time. Also detail how much it is per hour if they run overtime.

Finally, have copies of all your vendor contracts and leave them with the General Manager. Make sure you indicate all the payment details, leaving checks or cash with someone responsible. The last thing you should be thinking about is if you've paid off the DJ!