Thursday, November 29, 2007

Make It Your Own

Okay dear readers, now is the time for a design tidbit from yours truly. One question a lot of my clients ask is how to infuse their personality into the celebration, be it a wedding, birthday party or baby shower. I say personalize it! Whether you choose a custom designed logo or your initials and the date, personalization helps the look of an event feel pulled together and cohesive. Think of it as branding for your special day. When you think of Coca Cola, Mercedes Benz or even Starbucks, a certain graphic image comes to mind. That's branding, people. But as with all things, moderation is key. Pick a few key items to emboss such as the ceremony programs, cake topper, menus and favor boxes. Don't bother with napkins, that may be a bit of overkill, plus napkins will certainly end up in the trash. We can find better use of those budget resources.

One of my favorite companies is Event Blossom. They have such a large inventory plus they carry items you won't find at every party which is even better. Here are a few of my favorites:

These diamond paperweights in varying sizes bring a bit of glitz and glamour to your event. Definitely a girl's best friend!

Love is in the air with these satin and rhinestone Love boxes. These are perfect for truffles or cookies beside each place setting. Be sure to line them with wax paper so guests can use them later as gift boxes. Pretty and practical!

What I like most about these cd covers is the little pocket to tuck in a thank you note or poem. Another opportunity to add a personal touch that your guests are sure to remember.

Until next time!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Shopper's Paradise

Tomorrow is Black Friday and the official start of the holiday shopping season. There are sure to be great deals for everyone on your Christmas list. Also for those of you in the midst of wedding planning, this is the optimal time to shop for the members of your wedding party. Be sure to get out early to beat the crowds. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dressing The Table 101

Once again it's that time of year, when family and friends come together to express their gratitude for a myriad of things. Whatever you're grateful for this Thanksgiving, make sure your loved ones gather around a festively stylish table.

First up: Simply Pearfect. There is something to be said for keeping things simple. A clean white dinner plate, linen napkin and a perfect pear doing double duty as both a place card and dessert. Who knew setting the table could be so easy? No muss, no fuss.

Building on the pear setting, you could turn things up a notch by adding a linen runner down the center of the table and bowls filled with walnuts and more pears. Have the kids get in on the act by making cut-outs of their favorite leaves. Small pumpkins and candles round out the table top.

For those whose tastes lean towards more formal settings, this table is absolute perfection. The table is dressed with a gold linen tablecloth and a tonal embroidered runner. Oak leaf printed china is accentuated by an ivory napkin folded in a cone shape, secured with gold ribbon and oak leaf sprigs. Once again the theme is carried over with printed place cards and mini cornucopias. Notice how the understated silverware doesn't compete with but enhances the overall design? Your mother would be proud.

Fashionistas know metallics are very big this season. Bring a bit of the runway to your table this year. Cornflower blue sets off the golden pumpkins, while black enamel cutlery anchors this tablescape nicely.

We can't forget the kids! These tables are sure to keep the little ones entertained thru dinner. Simple white dinner plates topped with mini pilgrim ships, which the little artistes can construct themselves. A larger ship filled with nuts completes the look.

Tom the Turkey takes center stage with this table. Large sheets of construction paper can be cut to fit the table at your local craft store, just be sure to have the dimensions handy. Have the kids cut fringe along the edges like moccasins. To make this table truly interactive (and engage those with a short attention span) be sure to have crayons within reach.

And what would Thanksgiving be without a festive cocktail? The Cranberry Fizz is a definite crowd pleaser.

1 ounce Charbay ruby red grapefruit vodka
2 ounces Champagne
1 ounce cranberry juice
1 ounce black currant juice
Chill vodka, Champagne, and juices, then mix in a champagne glass. Garnish with 4 or 5 cranberries. As always, please remember to sip responsibly!

Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Channeling My Inner Carrie Bradshaw

I have been asked by the publisher of Virginia Bride Magazine to be their newest columnist on wedding and planning trends. As you can imagine I am ultra excited about and very grateful for this new opportunity! The Fall edition is on stands now and the new issue will be available starting in February. Cosmopolitans, anyone?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cake and Wine: A Perfect Pair

Nothing speaks to the warmth of an autumn wedding like wine. Whether it's a crisp chardonnay or a robust cabernet sauvignon, the varieties are endless and you're sure to find something for every palate. If you're having a cocktail reception, pair your favorite with a sumptuous bite of something savory. Or if you're serving a full-on meal, have your caterer construct a plate of cheeses (both hard and soft) and fruit to accompany the after dinner libations.

While we're on the subject of food and wine, let's talk about fall fare. At this time of the year, the air chills a bit and we welcome the warming comfort of more substantial food. Imagine being a guest at a wedding on a brisk October evening, the temperature has dropped enough to warrant a heavy wrap, the ceremony is over and you're headed to the cocktail portion of the evening. As you enter the room, a member of the waitstaff offers you a shot glass filled with the perfect sip of warm creamy tomato soup. Talk about hitting the spot! Now if there were bite-sized grilled cheese sandwiches, you'd be in heaven.

Should your wedding be held in a vineyard, think of surprising guests with grilled warm duck quesadillas accompanied by mango salsa and merlot.

Notice how the clean white plates set off the food's coloring? The beauty of the wine is enhanced by embellishment-free glasses. Remember, presentation is KEY!

I must admit, I am a dessert kind of girl with a serious sweet tooth. (I definitely get it from my grandfather. I'd happily forgo dinner for the perfect slice of carrot cake with pineapple, walnuts AND raisins and the richest cream cheese frosting known to man.) To carry on with the vineyard theme, this cake is the perfect offering for such a setting. Look at the attention to detail. I can only imagine how long it took to create that lattice work, not to mention those grapes.
(cake by Have Your Cake)

I also love the simplicity of this white cake with tonal scroll work. The mini calla lilies and tea roses bring the wedding's colors into play.
(photo courtesy of Tina)
You almost hate to cut these works of art but one of the best parts of the evening is eating a great slice of cake!

When it's time for you and your new hubby to make an exit, these cones of petals should do just the trick. Let's keep it eco-friendly and use recycled paper, please.
(photo courtesy of Wedding Day Art)

For a parting gift your guests are sure to love, Carafe Winemakers in Chesapeake ( couples the opportunity to make their own wine. Be sure to choose a package that includes your choice of wine, bottles and corks, personalized labels, coordinated wrapping and processing fees and taxes. Be sure to book your reservations at least 6 months in advance.

Cheers to your lovely autumn inspired wedding!
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