For the last few years I’ve been reading a great resource for party planning – Hostess with the Mostess – so I was tickled pink (or maybe in this case I should say plaid) that they featured the Lumberjack Party I threw earlier this year!
A few weekends ago my lovely friend Eva, who blogs at La Vie Urbane, and I threw our friend Johanna a baby shower.
Our friend, the mom-to-be, just finished getting her Nutrition degree and is a vegetarian/mostly vegan, and cooks the most delicious and unique dishes! The vegetable theme started as a joke… and it stuck!
One way to add lots of personality to your wedding day is DIY signage and printed pieces.
All you need is a creative mind and a printer! (And if you don’t have a creative mind there are loads of graphic designers looking to make some extra moolah.)
For the place settings I made my own namecards and table names. (Our tables were names after locations that were sentimental to us.)
I created a menu that was folded into the napkins by our venue. Having a menu is another way to add some graphic interest to your tablescape. (That’s a graphic design nerd sentence if I ever heard one.)
I bought a Martha Stewart punch and made scalloped edges on our menus.
We also created our own wedding Mad Libs and they were put at each place settings. I put them here in hopes of helping any lag in entrance time or meal time. We had a blast reading them after we returned from our honeymoon!
I also bought some large black pictures frames from the clearance aisle at Joann Fabrics before our wedding. (I also bought them with the intention of using them in our home post-wedding. Stretching the worthiness of the cost even more.)
Then, I made lots of “posters”, that matched our invitations and general aesthetic, and placed them around the room in key places like the favors table, the coffee bar, the namecards table, so on.
I also made lips and mustaches-on-a-stick for our photo booth! (As seen in the image above.)
I added some visual interest to the bar by creating signs for all of our Signature Drinks to encourage our guests to give our specialty drinks a shot.
(My favorite was “The Claymore”, as tasty iced coffee beverage.)
Lastly, I created these “luggage-style” tags to decorate our favors – bags of carnival kettlecorn.
While designing all these pieces took a bit of time, the result was loads of personality infused into our venue at a very low cost. Paper projects are a very easy and inexpensive way to turn a generic venue into somewhere that says “you”.
(I use this general principle at most parties that I hold – not just weddings.)
(And for any other nerdy graphic designers out there – I stuck to the fonts Market Deco and Fling.)
I am protesting the end of summer.
While grocery shopping this week the stockboys were putting out Halloween candy. HALLOWEEN candy.
Then, I get home and start going through my (shamelessly overstocked) Google Reader. Bloggers are already blogging about fall projects.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s been far too long since I’ve done a Top 9. Today my Top 9 is based on a theme for a Goodbye Summer party. 🙁 Wahh.
The theme is sunset-based, because summer should be an eternal sunset. (So poetic. I know.) Why? Well, I only get to see sunsets during the summer. Otherwise I leave work when it’s dark. Sunsets happen at the end of the day, this party it happening at the end of summer. And if you want to get real scientific, the days are starting to get short again, thus a sunset theme.
I’m nothing if not well thought-out. Either that, or I am a champion of meager excuses for a party…
1. First you’d need awesome, summery invitations like these to invite your favorite peeps over.
2. I think it would be fun to decorate my deck with some of these lovely sunset-colored mobiles from LilSproutCreation. With the goldenrod, coral and tangerine hues of this beauty, I think you could even sneak this into your fall decor.
3. I would serve this refreshingly tasty looking Creamsicle trifile by Amy Atlas. The colors are beautiful! Is there anything more classically summer than a creamsicle popsicle?
4. This beautiful necklace by Alyssa’s Gems and Jewels would adorn my neck and add instant “summer celebration” to any outfit. (How is it that I’ve never heard of Maple Turquoise before? It’s lovely.)
5. Ahhh, the quintessential summer activity. Friendship bracelets. I’d love to sit around a campfire and make some chevron bracelets like these babies by LARaised. (I think it’s hilarious that these are a “style trend” right now. I think people just want to dress like they are 12 again and call it a “trend”. Not that I am opposed. I still have one.)
6. A kitschy patchwork tablecloth with hues of goldenrod and pink, like this one from CakeforBreakfast, would help set the tone.
7. I would also serve this Taste-a-Rainbow cupcakes from Family Fun magazine.
8. A pretty orange dress, like one this from AmandaArcher, would help soften the wardrobe blow in the transition from summer to fall.
9. Lastly, I’d thank my friends for coming with these “Cheerio” cards from TheDesignConspiracy. I love the yellow printing and custom screenprinted type.
Around this time of year I am grateful to live in New England. The leaves start turning and we can still go to the beach for at least another six weeks. (Yes! I have swam in the ocean in October before!)
Three cheers for an Indian Summer!
In keeping with my August theme of wedding DIY projects, today I am sharing some of our ceremony decorations.
We got married outside and had plain white chairs. To make an impact I wanted to put these pinwheel/accordion wheels on the backs of the chairs in the back row.
I went to Michael’s and bought a pre-packaged assortment of cardstock (that just happened to be in my general color scheme) for $8. (This is definitely the most cost effective way. I believe it was 50 sheets of cardstock.)
While I did not take any in-process photos (as I did this project over a year ago – sorry!) I found a great tutorial here at: I [totally] Heart Blog
For each wheel:
1. Take 4 sheets of the same color paper and cut down to an 8×8 square (You can make these at any size. This is just what I did.)
2. Fold the square in an accordion style – about 1 inch folds. I used a metal straight edge to fold.
3. Use a hot glue gun to glue them together into one long accordion.
4. When dry, lie flat on the ground and fold around into a wheel. Glue the seam and inject the middle of the wheel with hot glue as well. You will want to hold this for a good minute to let the wheel dry.
5. I sliced a small hole in the top and looped ribbon through it to tie around the chairs.
It was a great success and made a big impact! For $15 including glue and ribbon.
The only other ceremony decor we had was some aisle runner flowers. I got the shepherd’s hooks on clearance at Joann’s and our florist did the rest!
After the wedding these were hanging in our guest room. I couldn’t part with them, so they are waiting to be hung somewhere in our new house as well!
I feel like I should be humming “Here Comes the Bride” right now… but really I walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. And I didn’t realize until this moment that they both start with “Here Comes The”.
Funny how that works!
You may remember how I posted my tissue paper pom tutorial here. BUT, I have just discovered a material to make them with!
Wait for it.
Tulle. Yes, tulle. As in 80s prom dresses.
But aren’t they fun? And so poufy!
I may have to try these out for my next party.
PS. Happy Mother’s Day to all : )
My friend Eva’s bridal shower was on Sunday and, boy-oh-boy, did we have a good time TPing some fake brides and mingling over frothy confections.
The theme was (pretty loosely) based on the bride’s favorite movie, Return to Me. You know, the one with the gorillas that you probably sobbed through. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, let me give you a brief synopsis.
The main heartthrob looses his beautiful zoologist wife in a tragic car accident. Later he falls in love with a woman, who just happened to narrowly avoid death because she finally received a heart transplant… from the heartthrob’s first wife. Are you crying yet? It is a cute movie, I promise. Throw in some adorable, old, Italian-restaurant-owning men, a red bicycle and an artistic trip to Italy and you’ve got yourself the makings of a classic Rom-Com.
Back to the shower….
We went with a black, white and red theme with damask accents. I used a red bicycle in some of the accessories to play off the movie. (Fun tangent: I used a tandem bicycle because the groom bicycled across the United States with his brother on a tandem bike a few summers ago. Cuh-razy.)
To set the mood we played the melodious tunes of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Dean Martin. The old Italian men argue who is better throughout the entire movie.
I chose this font, called Peachy Sundress, for all of our shower decor accessories. I liked the handwritten feel to warm up the modern edges of the damask. Plus, it is very cutesy. If there’s ever a place to be cutesy it’s an afternoon bridal shower on May Day.
One of my favorite things about celebrations is setting up tablescapes. You probably recognize those poms from here. I wanted to make sure the tablescape had plenty of height to make it a focal point.
As usual, I gathered up lots of accessories (*key phrase ahead* that I already owned) that were within the theme – like this metallic ampersand, a cake-topper and some red berries in a milkglass vase. A wise woman once told me “it doesn’t have to match, it just has to goooo.”
How could the shower go wrong if you have these delightful treats? I like to make name cards for the food. It’s a little silly, but makes everything feel a bit more fancy and special. It also helps it you throw in some fun descriptive words like “fresh” or “tasty” in front of them.
Or you could get really creative… “Zesty Lemonade with Fizzy Italian Blackberries”… or something like that. ; )
Setting up this tablescape is a perfect example of using things you already own and making sure your “event supply” purchases are theme-flexible. Most of the pieces I used were just black or white and very plain. The funkiness and theme comes from the fabrics, ribbons and artwork you add to the table.
We all had a great afternoon. Unfortunately I don’t have any good photos of the 1000 bunting flags that I made for the shower, but you’ve already seen those.
I will leave you with a portion of an excerpt that I read for Eva at her shower. It’s from Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.
“God risked himself on me. I will risk myself on you. And together we will learn to love, and perhaps then, and only then, understand this gravity that drew Him unto us.”
After all, love makes the world go round. Don’t you forget it.