Hurricane Irene Blows Away Wedding Plans, but One Couple Proves True Love (can still) Conquer All!

Erica and Brett Weiss made the best out of poor circumstances and proved not even hurricane forces could stop their love! (photo courtesy of Michael Duva via CNN.com)

Since the dawn of local and national news programs, natural disasters and potentially fatal epidemics have been at the forefront of reporting, and it’s no wonder why.  With the general public always looking for a cause to panic – don’t lie, you know we do – it’s not unusual to see how the media can turn even the smallest molehill into a retro-grade sized mountain.

Hurricane Irene, however, is no molehill.  In fact, its estimated damage totals over $10 billion!  That’s a whole lotta cheddar for one storm, especially when you consider the amount of immeasurable damage it caused in its path.  And being the hopeful romantic I am, I couldn’t help but be concerned how the hurricane’s havoc affected all the couples planning to take the plunge during its debut.

And affect the pre-nuptial plungers, it did. 

According to theknot.com, there were over 6,031 wedding planned for August 26th through the 28th in areas affected by the invasion of Irene; several of which were located in pricey, upscale areas like Manhattan.  (We’re talking $70,000+ wedding budgets here, people!)  And with several venues closing down and wedding days being put on delay, there were a whole lot of bridal budgets being crushed by gail force winds… literally!   

And while “rain on your parade” seemed to take on a whole new level of understanding, for one couple in particular, Brett and Erica Weiss, there was still cause for celebration.  They decided not even a hurricane could stop their big day from taking place.  CNN reports that this brave, see-the-glass-half-full duo decided to turn their frowns upside down when they transformed their rehearsal dinner into their wedding day!  Dressed to the nines in a pressed tux and a well manicured dress and veil, Erica and Brett made the first steps to wedded bliss in front of the 100 family and friends still able to be in attendance, and the results were nothing short of a dream come true.

Even after natural disastrous damage and 36 hours of customer service calls and rescheduling threatened to dampen their day, the couple remained in high spirits.  Erica was even reported saying, “if rain on your wedding day is good luck, then I think we’re starting off in a pretty good place.”  (CNN.com)

Um, can you say gold star bride?  Love it, love her and love the attitude!

After all, the potential for wedding day disaster is always going to be there… probably why our wedding coordinator just kept saying, “Even though things may go wrong, at the end of the day, you’ll still be married.”  And isn’t that what’s most important?  We’re ingrained to believe that a wedding day is supposed to be our happily ever after, but when potential disaster strikes (and I mean real disaster, not your aunt decided to get drunk and ‘be somebody’ on the mic), pre-nuptial couples are often times forced to make split decisions that will completely alter over a year’s worth of planning.  I’m just glad to know that even during the most desperate of times, true love can still conquer all :)

Big kudos to Erica and Brett for braving the weather and making the best… you now have a new wedding fan in the Midwest who will be toasting to many, MANY years of happiness!

DIY Decorations for All Occasions… Made Easy!

Looking to make a real statement?  Well then, do yourself a favor and check out our DIY Video on Paper Pennant Bunting below for great ways to create a one of a kind look without a one of a kind price!

Both fun and simple, bunting is one of the industry’s latest trends to hit the scene, and we’ve made it simpler than ever for every bride to use! 

Crisp & Classic: Weddings are All Right in All White

courtesy of doveweddingphotography.com

Because so many wedding trends tend to fashion around color, it’s no wonder that this colorful topic is among the hottest in industry news.  Whether it is an unusual color combination or funky patterned table linens or even seasoned and stylized bouquets, brides everywhere have become aware of making their big day a bright and colorful occasion.

But what about the bride looking to create a cleaner look? 

Well, she might try all white!  Both simple and chic, all white weddings have a look that can be stylized both for vintage glam or modern flare.   And if an all white pallet is simply too modern for you, try accenting it with another neutral color that will compliment its crisp design, while brining in a pop of interest.  Blushes, creams and hydrangea greens all seem to do the trick.  Check out below and let the inspiration begin! 

photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) blog.weddingpaperdivas.com, doveweddingphotography.com, kaboodle.com, dreamyapartment.com, weddings-invitations.org, blogs.dexknows.com and stevekoophotography.com

Make ‘em Say ‘Aww’ with Fairy Princess Flower Girls

courtesy of australiaentertains.com.au

With Halloween vastly approaching… you heard me; we’re already half way through August for sobbin’ out loud… I’m reminded of one of my absolute most favorite things to do… and that’s play dress up!  Somehow, the little girl in me never quite grew up, and I still get overly excited when it comes to putting on my Mama’s pearls and frilly, white dress.

It’s part of the fun of being a girl!  So, just imagine how much your little flower girl will light up when you bedeck her to the nines in a fluffy tutu and matching wings on your big day!?!  Trust me when I say, she’ll be pleased as punch with sugar on top!  And with Halloween stores popping up all over the place, you’ll easily find just what you need to bibbidi bobbidi boo her into happily ever after.

And this isn’t just something you have to wait once a year for!  For brides looking to create fairy tale flower girls all year round, there are several baby boutiques and online dress shops that carry fairy couture year round!  Probably the one carrying the largest selection would be Etsy.com.  This online power house provides a third party software for men and women all over the continental U.S. to make their goods and services available to the public… and tutus are in no short supply!

In fact, there are over 38,000 currently available right now! And with so many choices, you’ll easily find the trendy tutu to fit both your mini attendant, as well as your budget!  Check out below for a sneak preview:

photos all found on Etsy.com via (from top to bottom, left to right) YourSparkleBox, sharpsissors, sharpsissors, YummyPhotoProps (inset), BellaBeanCouture, YummyPhotoProps, MeadowLion1120 and OliviaKateCouture

‘Sprinkle’ Your Bride with Love: Bridal Shower Alternatives

courtesy of news.asiantown.net

This day in age, there are all types of brides, and often times, many of those brides are second chance brides.  No matter what pomp or circumstance lead to it, there are several reasons why a first marriage maybe didn’t work out as planned, but more importantly than the reason why it didn’t is the fact that that these ladies continue to find enough faith to give it another try.  It’s these brides that I especially love… the ones who never stop believing in ‘happily ever after.’

Recently, a family friend (holler Jennifer!) got married to the man of her dreams, and even though it was her second husband, it was his first for everything; so, the sisters of said dream man wanted to spare no expense.  The dream man and Jennifer, however, had other plans in mind.  Being that they were both older and already living together AND that she already had the big, whoo-whoo celebration before, neither one felt the need to have all the hoopla a wedding can often bring.

One of the first “hoopla” items to go was the shower.  Because they already had several of your typical shower gift items under lock ‘n’ key, they didn’t find it necessary to register for a whole bunch of things they already had.  Plus, they were both already well established and struggled to combine what was already there in the first place…  But the sisters persisted and decided that if a shower was out of the question, then they wanted to throw a ‘Sprinkle’ for Jennifer instead. 

First of all, the name alone… Addddooorrrraaabbbllle… But the idea behind it???  Even cuter!  Instead of having Jennifer register at a bunch of places for gifts they didn’t need, they simply took her out to dinner at her favorite spot and showered her with well wishes, advice and sentimental gifts.  Ummm, helllooo?  Love!

And you wouldn’t even have to go out to dinner necessarily either.  You could even plan a luncheon or girls night in.  Really, the choice would be up to you!

It’s also a great idea for the non-traditional bride… or even the non-traditional groom to use.  Because Sprinkles are intended to be less formal, many couples may choose to make it a couple’s event.  This way, there’s no obligation for guests to get traditional gifts, but rather, still spend an afternoon or evening celebrating your love!  It would also work famously for older brides and grooms already living with each other, who don’t feel the need to register for new China or spatulas or couples looking to downsize what they already have.   The possibilities are literally limitless!

Cupcake Bouquets: Bringing ‘Edible Arrangements’ to a Whole New Level of Yum

When a girlfriend at work (wad up, C-rock!) sent me a link featuring a finger-licking-good cupcake bouquet, I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  I mean, c’mon!  An amazingly colored rosebud bouquet… made of cutie pie cupcakes???  Um, yes please!

While we offered several options for alternative brides looking for their fix of unconventional arranging in Flowerless, DIY Wedding Bouquets, we did not include this double duty cutie, and after seeing some of the prospects below… I can’t imagine why!  Just look at these mouth-watering treats!  Some even rival the looks of the inspired flowers themselves!  Bravo, bouquets, bravo :)

courtesy of (from top to bottom, left to right) littleruffledfeathers.blogspot.com, delishcupcakes.net, pinterest.com, brideandjoy.ie, morningglorybakes.blogspot.com via thecupcakeblog.com, delishcupcakes.net, littleruffledfeathers.blogspot.com, delishcupcakes.net, katherinesconfections.com, claudiaowen.wordpress.com and Eat My Shots

Wedding Alert: DIVA Deal for All Your Bridesmaid Beauties

This is as LEGIT as it gets, ladies.  One of our most popular bridesmaids’ gifts ever – the Personalized Zebra Flask - is our featured deal of the day.  But at 40% OFF its suggested retail, I’d say it’s more of a steal than a deal!  (Yeah, I took it there.)

Because attendant gifts are generally bought in multiples, it’s always great when a bride and groom can find amazing gifts at affordable prices.  And this personalized flask has stylish safari savings every bride will go wild about! (Pun intended.)

Click the image below to experience total savings all your bridesmaids will love!  Cheers!

Uplift your Wedding Day with Pretty Parasols

courtesy of katiedayphoto.com

The use of parasols on a wedding day is hardly a new concept.  In fact, it’s more than likely one of the oldest ones there is.  However, with the modern bride growing trendier and trendier every day, the perception of the traditional parasol has taken flight and landed somewhere near, on or around amazeballs!

Not only do these bumber-shoot (what me niece calls them) beauties look and feel fabulous in photos, but they also pull double duty in the function arena, as well!  Check out below for some inspiring ways to make your wedding soar with parasols…

Get Creative with Color.  Use parasols opposite on or complimentary to each other on the color wheel to really make a statement drenched in “ooh la la!”

courtesy of (from top to bottom) stylemepretty.com, Amanda Cremona Moorefield, riweddingguide.com, katiedayphoto.com, katiedayphoto.com, weddingbee.com and weddingwire.com

All White is All Right.  For the ladies-in-waiting looking something a little more classic, use all white parasols to create a look of crisp freshness.

courtesy of (from top to bottom) 2sistersblog.com, weddingbee.com, theknot.com and terrismithphotoblog.com

Divine Decorations.  Use these ultimate umbrellas sprinkled into your wedding decor and transform an average shindig to a whole new level of hooplah!

Courtesy of (from top to bottom) big-wedding-tiny-budget.com, Google Images, pinkfrosting.com.au, blog.hgtv.com, blog.hgtv.com and pauljohnsonphoto.com

Parasol with a Purpose.  Ideal for outdoor and destination weddings, hand these bad boys out as favors for your wedding guests to relax and enjoy in style.

courtesy of (from top to bottom) lunabazaar.com, sincerelyyoursonline.blogspot.com, perdekoop.co.za, theknot.com, snippetandink.com and apartmenttherapy.com

A Touch of Vintage Glam.  When prints and lace are added to your parasols, they become an instant rewind for all things fabulously retro!

courtesy of (from top to bottom) jamiedelaineblog.com, ruffledblog.com, herecomestheguide.com, ruffledblog.com, ruffledblog.com, amorologyweddings.com and jenstewartphotography.com

Statement Pieces… literally.  Encode and reveal your own messages for the ultimate of chic treats for your big day celebration! 

courtesy of (from top to bottom) weddingbee.com, idooriginals.com and divadecorating.com

 

Let Them Eat Cake!: Fun Wedding Cake Alternatives for a POP of Fun

courtesy of treschicbride.blogspot.com

When throwing a shower for one of my girlfriends awhile back, I came across a little recipe for “cake pops” and have been OBSESSED ever since!

Being the regular Betty Crocker (for those of you that know me, please hold in your laughter) that I am, I decided this would be an excellent choice for a festive dessert!  And if I’ve gotta be completely honest… it TOTALLY was!  (Subsequently pats self on back)  I made three kinds: Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry.

Now, while these three flavors may seem like nothing all too impressive, it’s what you can do with them that makes them so incredible!  After baking the three cake mixes in the oven (according to the box instructions), I simpled let the pans cool for about 15 minutes before crumbling each flavor into a mixing bowl and stiring in the same flavor frosting. (White w/ Vanilla, Chocolate w/ Chocolate and Strawberry w/ Strawberry.)  After which, I balled the sugary goodness into small circles and covered them with candy melt toppings.

It took a little practice, but once I got the hang of it, it was super easy… and even more delicious!  I topped the White Cake Balls with vanilla icing and yellow sprinkles; the Chocolate Cake Balls with chocolate candy melts and coconut, and the Strawberry Cake Balls with a melted white chocolate candy bar and pink candy heart sprinkles (my faves!).  I placed some on sticks, creating a gourmet sucker look and the rest I left on decorative trays for easy, sweet munching!

There are several options on how you can create your cake pops / balls, but I have yet to find one I didn’t enjoy!  Take a look below for some delicious inspiration and easy to make recipes (found below images) and start poppin’ your way to party goodness!  

Choloate and Turquoise Dream!

courtesy of karascakery.com courtesy of Google Images courtesy of bzevents.com

Pretty in Pink!

courtesy of bakersroyale.com

Citrus-y Goodness!

courtesy of bzevents.com

Wrapped with Love!

 

courtesy of etsy.com

 

Turtle-Something Surprise!

courtesy of cakebybridges.com

Cupcake Cuties!

courtesy of thehappychickadee.blogspot.com

Designed by Darlings!

courtesy of camillestyles.wordpress.com

Lined with Perfection!

courtesy of thesepeasarehollow.blogspot.com

Sweetly say “I do!”

 

courtesy of etsy.com

 

Example Recipe Guide for Reference:

  • 1 Box of Cake Mix (Choose your favorite the flavor)
  • 1 16 ounce Container of Pre-Made Frosting (Again, choose the flavor!)
  • 1 3 ounce Bar of Flavored Confectionery or Candy Melts (Choose your taste yet again! Mixing and Matching is half the fun!)

1. Prepare the cake mix according to package details, using any of the recommended pans for backing.  Once cake is baked fully, simply crumble the cake while still warm (but after 15 minutes of cooling) into a large mixing bowl, and stir in the frosting until well blended.

2. Melt your flavored confectionery or candy melt coating in a glass bowl in the microwave or a metal pot over a pan of simmering water on the stove-top, stirring occasionally until at a smooth consistency.

3.  Use a melon baller or scoop (or even just your hands!) to form small balls (use Dunkin’ Donut holes as reference) of your cake mixture.  Then, either dip the balls into the melted pan of goodness using a toothpick or simply drizzle it on top using a spoon to coat each one accordingly.  Place on waxed paper to set. 

4. Decorate accordinly.  Place on sucker sticks if desired. Refrigerate once fully cooled.

5. & ENJOY!!