Between the rustic and refurbished to the formal and fabulous, reception chandeliers, lanterns and the like were enough to make my head spin! For serious! When you consider the range light ceiling accessories have, it’s almost impossible NOT to be in awe! Well-lit, hanging fixtures can be adorned with everything from flowers and bubbles to crystals and twinkles… making them agreeable to sleek and modern settings, as well as eccentric and outdoor scenes!
Not only that but it’s the fact that all these overhead fixtures will all provide lighting… and everyone – from photographers and reception hall coordinators to designers and professional planners – will all agree that LIGHTING is key when it comes to creating ambiance and setting / keeping a mood.
Sinead Kelly of Duluux Color wrote:
Lighting is such a subtle – yet vitally important – design tool. Good use of lighting will bring to life the most mundane design schemes. Put together with a great interior and you’ve got the perfect partnership. Picking a fantastic light fitting is just one element of the job. Where you place it, how it operates and the effect it has on its surrounding area is twice as important.
And I couldn’t agree more! Think about it… Consider two evenings. Both are EXACTLY the same. You’re enjoying a nice meal with a nice man in a nice restaurant, but one is by candlelight and the other is under the harsh florescence of flickering bulbs. One (the prior) has a warm, romantic connotation; while the other almost takes on a the beginnings of a horrow movie classic. Not(&)Good.
Hence why lighting is sooooo important for setting the scene on your big day, and when you’re setting it, consider some of these overhead exposures, shimmering chandeliers and lovely lanterns for creating (& captivating!) just the right one! Check out below and let the lighting inspiration begin:
courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) flickr.com, perfectweddingcollections.blogspot.com (inset), bellethemagazine.com, bridalguide.com, onewed.com, 1chandelierslighting.com, platinumtouchevents.blogspot.com, weddingomania.com, onewed.com, dawnephoto.com, stratfordevents.blogspot.com, artfire.com (inset), platinumtouchevents.blogspot.com, onewed.com, weddingelation.com and dawnephoto.com
The first time I ever saw custom lighting done was for my best friend, Bre’s fashion show at IU Bloomington. *Pause for a moment of fond recollection* Sigh, how I miss thee :)
Anyhoot, as it was for all design major students, Bre was responsible for creating a collection to present as a showcase for her final grade, and it was ahhhhmazing! The clothes killed it, but the set up was equally as INCREDS! Seeing “Bre” handwritten in what will surely become her famed signature in hot pink lighting? Fuhgetaboutit.
So, who knew after that day I would spend so many years never seeing it again? Until recently, that is. Nowadays, brides and grooms have started making a splash with custom lighting at their receptions! I mean, talk about a standout accessory! And even better? When using filters over lights, you get an extremely exciting look without taking a toll on your wedding day budget. Can you say, score? Big bang, little buck… it’s like the best of both wedding planning worlds :)
And don’t even get me started on the amount of possibilities that this bright lights, big city idea can create! Whether you choose to actually have lights made or simply use filters to create a personalized flare around the hall, I’m sure your guests will be nothing short of “ooh la la!” upon seeing it. Plus, the options are just as personal as the love the represent. Yet another win / win for the wedding world!
You can go big, bold and beautiful…
courtesy of keventlighting.com
Or small, sweet and sophisticated….
courtesy of stellardiscoveries.com
You could choose to feature something as long as your full names and wedding date…
courtesy of karma4me.com
Or maybe you want something a little shorter and more subtle? In that case, nothing works better than your just established marital monogram…
courtesy of thefrazzledbride.com
**Monograms are especially fun because you can really experiment with different fonts and varying sizes until you find the perfect fit :) Not to mention, monograms can make for interesting design, as well as a pop of personalized charm in your reception setting.
And speaking of interesting design, couples don’t just have to end their custom lighting kick with their names and dates. I’ve even seen where the newlyweds have also opted to light up the walls with all kinds of other faux fixtures. From chandeliers and damask patterns to florals and fabulously fallen leaves, custom lighting can really be exciting to experiment with.
courtesy of memorymakersdjs.com, bridalguide.com, hylite.com, karma4me.com and bridalguide.com
Really, you’re only limited by your imagination and local (or internet available) resources you can find. So, check in, check out and see just how amazing your names can look in lights :)
Birds are by no means strangers to the wedding market. Between love bird themed ceremonies, peacock colored accessories, fantastically feathered centerpieces, birds have made a nest in Nuptial-ville with no future plans of leaving.
And I think I know why… Bird (B-I-R-D). Bride (B-R-I-D-E). I mean, heeelllooooo!?!? Invert the i and r… add on an e, and Boom! Ha, mystery solved. Case closed.
Okay, so while I won’t be quitting my day job any time soon to get my Sherlock sleuth on, I still stand by my original assessment that birds and brides were simply meant to be! And with Spring coming into the full swing of things (or at least it better be soon — enough with the snow already!), twitter themed weddings and accessories will make an even a bigger splash than before! Because birds are equipped with sweet shapes and fabulous feathers, these wing tipped egg layers have the ability to create a variety of designs, layouts, choices and ideas that are almost infinitesimal in numbers! Look at what they do for invites alone!
courtesy of brendasweddingblog.com
Personally, I like that this trend isn’t limited by personality or type. For instance, birds can be played up to look very modern and pop art inspired for a contemporary, fashion forward bride, but they can also be played down to give off a more vintage and rustic look for a traditional, Boho-chic bride… and how many other wedding trends can be as versatile? Not many :)
During a recent interview on this year’s hottest wedding trends, Emma, founder and president of emmalinebride.com – an online resource for all things crafty and creative – birds have been all the rage for weddings for years, but their popularity will only continue to grow through 2013… perhaps topping the wedding charts for biggest trend of the year!
Emma was enthusiastic when she started providing some samples stating, “Some examples include tossing bird seed, bird cages as card holders, bird themed invitations, and bird’s nest favors (complete with blue Jordan almond ‘eggs’).
She went on to say that we should, “look for bird necklaces, particularly ones with a minimalist look (like single feather pendants or tiny sparrows), both of which are popular and make great gifts for bridesmaids and flower girls.”
Not only that but feather-inspired hair accessories – be it traditional veils, modern fasteners or otherwise – will also see a large increase in popularity in the months to come! And while I la-Louvre all these bird-themed accessories, I have to admit, my favorite of them all?? Bird-Themed Cake Toppers!! Seriously? Are these not the CUTEST things you’ve ever seen!?!?
courtesy of thesweetestoccasion.com (top), greenweddingshoes.com (middle 4) and morgannhilldesigns.blogspot.com (bottom)
Alright, ladies and gents, let’s point the pinkies outward and get classy for a moment, shall we?
<sips champagne from her Waterford crystal… and go>
While weddings have always been and will continue to be an affair for every bride and groom to plan as they see fit, there has been a definite resurgence of refinery as of recent years… and the pip pip cheerio of it all has me pleasantly surprised :) Sure, this kind of a sophisticated splendor never really went away, but one way that it’s really made an impact of late is in plated dinners at reception hall feasts.
courtesy of laynecorban.wordpress.com
Talk about decadently delightful :)
During an interview with Bridal Guide, Elizabeth Creasey of an LA based catering company, WHOA, Nelly! stated one of their current, biggest requests from Hollywood A-Listers in reference to these plated feasts is for gold silverware, suggesting a “more sophisticated” affair. Check out below for some examples of this golden boy appeal :)
courtesy of mylittleapartment.com, unitedwithlove.com and bellethemagazine.com
And if adding entree choices to your buffet free meal is an option, might I suggest you consider adding a dish that showcases either yours, his or both your cultural culinary? This is an extremely popular take for brides and grooms cross all cultures, and it adds an additional touch of sentimentality to an already beautiful occasion.
But if you’re wondering what to offer that will have mouths watering for more, why not try 2013′s go to dish wish: pork! ‘Tis true, kiddos. Apparently pork has become the go-to meat for today’s modern wedding settings. While it is one of the oldest and most commonly consumed meats all over the world, it also has the ability to be transformed into sooo many delicious dishes… so, forks up, porks up! Ha, I couldn’t resist :)
But no matter what you decide – buffet styled, plated meals, pitch in or otherwise – just be sure you make it your own :)
I have a confession, ladies and gents. That’s right. Here amongst friends, I need to admit something I’m not 100% proud of, and because everyone knows a public blog forum is the most discreet place to make an admission, I’m sure that’s where this will remain, right? Ooookkkkaaaay, here goes. I love peonies! Okay, well, that’s not the confession, but it’s important for establishing the premise of what will be noted as such :) But see, so pretty…
courtesy of Next Exit Photography
Alas, I digress. It was in my youth that my original obsession with the peony started. As I would ride my bike around the neighborhood, I was always drawn to the overgrown, bushy plant that began to bloom every spring in Mrs. Brown’s front yard. Because of the size of the plant, it would often grow outward and onto the sidewalk. It was in the moments of early summer, that my confession comes into play.
The plant – as you may have well guessed – was that of the beautiful blooming peony. Now, because the plant would sometimes end up a little on the sidewalk, I couldn’t help but run into it every now and again. So, if my bike “accidentally” (on purpose) veered toward the bush and knocked off a peony head or two, it would’ve been wrong of me NOT to take them home and enjoy them the way pretty flowers like the peony deserve to enjoyed, right? Yes? No? Maybe? Is this thing on?
*Hangs head in shame* I knew it! To you all, and most especially to you, Mrs. Brown, I am eternally sorry for my youthful thievery, but please know it was done out of love and they were appreciated to the fullest extent! <insert giant, sweet smile>
And now that I have that off my chest and more than likely worried some of you reading this – especially if Mrs. Brown ever comes across this blog, haha! – I’d like to move onto the real meat ‘n’ potatoes of the post, which is – of course! – the peony itself!
courtesy of weddingchicks.com
According to the Bridal Guide and brides the world over, the peony is the go-to flower for bouquets looking to create the most gusto! And it’s no wonder why! Comprised with deeply lobed leaves with large, bulbous and often fragrant flower blooms, the peony is available in just about every color under the sun! It’s petals – decorated in everything from reds and yellows to shades of whites and pinks – this beautimous blossom can be incorporated into every wedding color and theme there is :)
Great as a stand alone flower, paired in a bouquet of nothing but its own blooms OR accompanied by others equally as exquisite, the pretty peony is surely one standout flower that will have heads turning and breaths catching. Check out below and see what I mean for yourself :)
courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) bouquetweddingflower.com, visionsweddingboutique.com, bellethemagazine.com, etsy.com, exploredreamdiscoverblog.com (insert), countrybouquetsfloral.com, kissthegroom.com, bellethemagazine.com, bellethemagazine.com and elizabethannedesigns.com
While weddings have always been a personal and intimate celebration of one couple’s love, these days, brides and grooms have really started to focus on the “personal” side of that adage more so than anything else. As each couple begins to shape their wedding plans, most find themselves creating a one of a kind celebration that will fit them perfectly and will be filled with creative ideas and personalized touches.
This truly is something that is extremely great for the day, but sad when you consider most of the wedding day accessories couples purchase won’t ever be seen or heard from again. So, it’s important to keep the ones that will stick around as a true representation of your life and love. After all, flowers will wilt; invitations will be tossed; food will spoil; bridesmaid dresses will more than likely be donated to consignment life and even your dress may be “trashed,” but one item every couple puts out in the hopes of recording and creating memories is the quintessential <trumpets sound!> wedding guest book.
And like every other aspect of a modern day wedding, guest books are no longer just the simple turn and sign books of yore. While traditional guest books still play their part in modern day weddings, more often than not, brides and grooms will opt for guest book alternatives that will not only fulfill the traditional roll of capturing guests’ names, but will also capture the trendier roll of sentimentality and personality.
Guest book alternatives also allow your guests to get more involved with your celebration, which is a win / win for everyone! Below are some fun ways to renovate your typical guest book, while creating beautifully unique memories to last a lifetime.
The Shadow Box of Heartfelt Wishes. Both brilliant to display and easy to love, this creative art-from-the-heart-kit lets your guest be a part of a keepsake you’ll proudly showcase in your home! After each guest signs his or her name on the heart cutouts provided in the set, brides and grooms will simply instruct them to drop the heart-shaped note inside the shadow box and watch as the memories are captured and art if created. Truly a meaningful wedding keepsake, as well as fabulous DIY project for the crafty bride!
Wooden Box filled with Memories & Rustic Charm. Talk about a standout home accessory. This ultra unique guest book alternative has both the looks and the sentiment to easily be so many brides and grooms favorite wedding day keepsake. Simply asks your guests to fill out their names, well wishes, memory cards and the like, and then, gently roll them up and place them in the box. Once the wedding day is done, you’ll have all their names and sentiments stored for life!
Envelope Book of Warm Sentiments. A favorite amongst brides and grooms hoping to savor the sentiment, this unique guest book looks traditional while remaining completely trendy. Fitted with lots of tiny envelopes, this book allows your family and friends leave little note cards full of their best well wishes, memories or wisdom. Read one wish each day to savor your newly-wedded bliss, or dive right in to all of them at once. No matter what you choose to do one thing is for certain, you’ll have priceless words and memories to treasure for all your years of cheers and triumphs to come.
Nowadays, it seems as though weddings are becoming less and less about tradition and more and more about trends. Be it trends of the times, trends of the industry, or my personal favorite, trends of the bride and grooms themselves, today’s weddings are all about individualized style and customizable flare.
And why shouldn’t they be?
America is known as the melting pot of the world. With all the different races, religions, cultures and ethnicity, we – as a country – already have the ingredients for a pretty ahhh(to the)mazing, custom-made meal. AND when you pile on top of that all the different family makeups and breakdowns; we’re left with one of the most eclectic family extensions known to man… EXCITING, isn’t it!!??
***If you’re still sitting in the middle of your seat and have yet to be scooted to its edge in anticipation, then consider what this kind of cultural shock means for everyone’s wedding day celebrations… Oh yeah! Now, you’re with me!***
It’s true. One needn’t look any further than a newlywed’s nuptials to recognize just how exciting our assorted arrangement is.
Because, while the meat and potatoes of wedding days may all be the same: boy meets girl, girl greets boy, boy and girl fall in love, boy asks, girl answers, marriage follows, etc…. the side dishes for the “I do’s” couldn’t be more different!
In fact, it never ceases to amaze me that no matter how many weddings I go to – and Trust(AND)Believe, I go to A LOT – there’s always something unique and different involved with each and every single one of them.
I think that’s why I love going to them so much :) And when it came to the tailored portion of the below bride’s big day, she did a little something I like to refer to as Nailing It :)
Because while I find it heartbreaking and downright criminal for any bride to ever find herself absent a father for the father / daughter dance, this particular bride had to deal with just that. <insert heartbreak here>
And even though her papa had passed away just a few months prior, the beautiful bride (along with her brother) still came up with one heck of a tribute — for reals, it’s nothing short of spectacular.
So, grab some Kleenexes (trust me on this one) and check out below to see what I mean:
Originally posted by their photographer, Michael LaFrance, who wrote:
Andrea had a very special dance with some very close family and friends at her wedding. Her father passed away so her brother [recorded] “butterfly kisses” and she danced with with all of them during her Father and Daughter dance. it was a truly touching moment not a dry eye in the house. Her dad, Mark, died earlier in the year from pancreatic cancer. Andrea’s first dance is with Mark’s father, followed by her brother Luke, then brother Nick and finally her new father-in-law Scott.
During the month of February, I can’t help but get a little case of cabin fever. Sick of the never-ending winter weather and over eager for spring to FINALLY arrive, it seems like every year, the shortest month of the year inevitably becomes the llloooooonnnnggggeeessssttt one on record.
And I feel horrible to even be mildly annoyed with it. It is – after all – the month that harbors the holiday for lovers AND both my parent’s birthday… I know. I’m an awful daughter, haha! But alas, it’s true. I’m sick of the gray, bleak, blustering days and smudged snow edging every road!
I’m ready for a warm up and a change of scenery.
With that said, I came across this wedding trend the other day, and I couldn’t help but get even more pumped for the season just around the corner and all the promise it holds! That’s right, ladies and gents, nothing quite says “Spring has Sprung!” quite like blooming fields of flowers and mouthwatering fruits and veggies.
Florals – of course – fit hand in hand with wedding bouquets. And now, so do fruits and vegetables! Don’t roll your eyes at me… I’m serious!
I know. I know. It sounds crazy, right? But when you see how it can be put in the works, I know you’ll have no choice but to agree! Not only are the colors of V8’s finest plush and vibrant, but the texture can be equally as incredible. And did I mention the cost?? Talk about a significant slim down on the cost of the more traditional blooms! Especially if they’re seasonal, you can save more than a pretty penny of your budget by incorporating these tasteful treats into your arrangements!
On the Fruitier Side of Fun: Take for instance, the apple. Available in a variety of sizes and colors, the apple can create an ideal pop of color and is fun for a spring, summer and even fall weddings. Then, there’s the strawberry. Richly hued in deep red, petite in size and topped with its own greenery, this deliciously seeded fruit even has all the elements to be a fantastic floral :)
There’s also grapes, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, lemons and limes! All proportionately sized and brightly colored, they can add just that extra pop of delectable whimsy!
photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) blovedweddings.com, sethandkait.blogspot.com, baysidebride.com, myinspiredwedding.com, weddingsatwork.com, brendasweddingblog.com, onewed.com, etsy.com and mywedding.com
And what about the Vivacious Veggies: Hmm, where to even start? Firstly, not only are so many vegetables brilliantly colored, but their texture is a force all on their own! Sure, broccoli and cauliflower were never any child’s favorite growing up, but pair them with calla lilies and roses, and you have a killer combo of epic proportions.
Some veggie tales even come equipped with flowers! Hello!? Ever seen an artichoke in full bloom? Ahhhmazing! Heck, I could probably dedicate a whole post to the awesomeness that is the artichoke bouquet. I won’t. But I’m just saying :) Pair with carrots. Turn up the turnips and even pepper with peppers, and these textured vegetable bouquets have me sprouting all kinds of love. *Pun intended.
photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) onewed.com, blueprintaffairs.blogspot.com, abbeyhepner.com, dmagazine.com, brides.com, crosspollinationfloral.blogspot.com, weddingwindow.com, elizabethannedesigns.com and beccadilley.com
And it’s not even a trend that is secluded simply to the bouquet; any of these ideas can be intertwined into so many other aspects of the big day celebration: centerpieces, main table décor and even boutonnieres! Check it :)
photos courtesy of eastonevents.com, pinkposhphotography.blogspot.com (insert), onewed.com, mywedding.com (insert) and bridalcookie.com
Internet, today is a somber day. “Why?” you may be asking yourself. “Why so sad on this Thursday, you’re so close to the weekend?” I will tell you why…..SHARK WEEK IS ENDING, THAT’S WHY!! Sorry, I got a little emotional there….I love Shark Week. To celebrate the passing of another jaw-some Shark Week, I thought I would honor our toothy friends with some fun, unique, and inspired shark wedding decor! Check this stuff out!!
Some Fin-tastic Wedding Ideas! photos courtesy of Google Images
At the end of this blog post, see if you can guess just how many shark puns I came up with! Ok, lets dive in, shall we (that’s one, stay on your toes people)? Let’s talk food! Cupcakes are becoming a bigger and bigger splash on the wedding scene, because, lets face it, it’s way easier to hand someone a cupcake than to cut up 3 billion pieces of cake at your reception. I promise, these shark fin cupcakes are guaranteed to go over just swimmingly with your guests! I about went into a frenzy when I found out that you can eat the fin, depending on whether or not you’re a fondant lover that is. To me, the stuff tastes like what I think chum tastes like. Not a fan!! Regardless, they are the most dangerously amazing looking cupcakes I’ve seen in a while, and I love me some cupcakes! If you do decide to go with the cake though, totally catch yourself a couple of those non-threatening looking cake toppers. Tooooo coool!
The cufflinks….shut up. Coolest cufflinks going right now! That’s right grooms, every girl’s crazy ’bout a shark dressed man (good one right?!)!
On a serious(ly cool) note, the shark fin wedding favors (bottom right corner) are bars of soap made by LUSH, a nonprofit organization that makes handmade, organic cosmetics! The profits from the Shark Fin Soap actually goes to stop the shark fin trade that is responsible for killing a gross amount of sharks in our oceans, so support it up!!
Lastly (*sheds a single, silent tear*) my favorite things, something you can really…chomp into. The shark fin ice cubes!! What a perfect compliment to whatever cocktail your signature drink may be! Come on, who doesn’t want a “shark” swimming around in their drink?! I know I do! Right now! Too much yelling. Sorry. I feel those Shark Week withdraw fits coming on again. Until next time…da-dum……da-dum…..da-dum da-dum da-dum….
The answer is 11 by the way…..11 puns. Nailed it. :)
If you’re a music geek (like me!), chances are you’ve seen a few music videos in your time. Well, how would like it if you could look back on your wedding day, TRL style? Ta-da! Here ya go!
Marryokes (pronounced marry-o-key), a company out of Belfast, Ireland (no worries, they travel everywhere in the world!), have made their name on putting that MTV twist on wedding videography. I know there are a lot of fun loving couples who have filled the web with videos of their musical grooves down the aisle (I still can’t get Chris Brown’s “Forever” out of my head!), but this, my friends, is something completely different! It’s not just the bride, groom, and wedding party that get to throwdown their dance moves, and mad karaoke skills; they get all of your wedding guests in on the act too!
It may kinda seem like it would be a big production at first glance, but Marryokes husband and wife team assures the process is completely painless for every guest, and most importantly, the bride and groom! God knows you don’t need anything else to stress out about (did someone say wardrobe malfunction?).
Now, because I’ve done karaoke before (The Temptations are my fav!) my big question for Marryokes was, “Are there only a few songs that a couple can pick from?” Their response: “No way!” You get to pick, because let’s be honest, who would want to have to lip-synch a song they hate?! They do say you should pick a song you know the words to though, because the truth is we all have friends that “know the words” to songs and mumble their way through the whole thing. You know who you are! :)
With all of the pieces of the Marryokes puzzle pieced together, I think I would have to say this is one of the coolest ways to capture a wedding day I have seen in a second, but like I said, I’m a music nerd! If the music video thing isn’t really your scene, they also do a gorgeous job at giving you a straight forward wedding day video too….but who would want that when you could have this!……