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A Blog for the Discerning Bride

Archive for July, 2011

Great Find: Make it Yours!
categories: favor and gift ideas, for your ceremony, Wedding Inspiration

I adore fun, clever and pretty things. Who doesn’t, right? Today we explore 3 ways to build wedding fever with customized products that everyone can have fun with.

I have been using Meeble Mail for about a month now and am shamelessly smitten. I was lost in Email Stationery Heaven for a good hour over at Meeble Mail’s site and I am pretty sure you will be too. The concept is super clever and simple: anyone who has web-based email (yahoo, gmail, hotmail, AOL) can purchase a custom stationery design for a mere $4.99 per year. Go to their site where they have a multitude of design options, create your own stationery, add the bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar and voila! You are ready to send emails in style. YOUR style. Here’s a sample of a brand new wedding design that is customized with a monogram:

And since I cannot contain my love for this product, here’s one of my own stationery designs

 As far as I’m concerned, this is a perfect wedding party/best friend/MOB gift. It’s low cost and you can purchase gift certificates too! Best of all, there are so many designs to choose from everyone will find something that suits their style; you will see some big name designers featured at Meeble Mail such as Trina Turk, Lela Rose and Hammocks and High Tea. Have fun emailing…

Another beautiful and elegant way to add a personal touch to your wedding  is with Lisa Leonard Designs– she makes bouquet charms, hand-stamped tokens,  hand-stamped forks and more.

What I especially like about the forks is that they are something you can use on your anniversary or simply for every single meal for the rest of your happily married life!

And finally, for the most welcome and practical gift of all: money! But why give a standard gift card when you can customize a VISA gift card at Gift Card Lab? These make  perfect wedding party gifts (customize the cards with a wedding party pic), thank you’s (give parents a thank you gift card with a picture from the wedding on it- they will LOVE this) or as a tip for your wedding vendors who went above and beyond to make your day fabulous. Here are just a few samples of customized cards:

Gift Card Lab CEO Dave Jones shares his “3 Tips for Giving Cash Tastefully”:

1. Use Photographs- Take your gift to the next level by including photographs with the cash or giftcard. Photographs bring meaning to the gift and communicate that you put thought into a gift above and beyond writing a check. CardLab allows you to add a photo of you and/or the bride and groom to a giftcard.

2. Personalize- Give a gift that truly means something through personalization. Gift CardLab allows wedding attendees to personalize a giftcard, leaving the bride and groom with both cash and a gift that means so much more.

3. Pair the cash with something else– Come up with a creative way to present the cash outside of the typical “card and cash” combo. Affix it to a bottle of wine or stick a check inside of an “Advice for Newlyweds” book.

As a wedding guest, you can purchase a gift card that is wedding themed since most likely you won’t have their images to use before their wedding. If you still want to customize a gift card for the bride and groom, how about using a picture of the couple’s honeymoon destination or your own wedding picture?

I am loving these ways to make wedding gift giving personal- hope you are too!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Real Wedding: Lyndsey and Hugh
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, real weddings, Scottsdale Weddings, Wedding Inspiration

One of the ironies of my life is that for as I much as I love photography, I am not fabulous in pictures. I’m a little awkward, I don’t have a huge range of acceptable facial expressions, and I’m rarely at- ease. I tell you this because when I look at Lyndsey and Hugh’s pictures, they seem like the polar opposite of me. They are so comfortable and easily show their love for each other. I just love how happy they are!

See what I mean? Let’s take a look at Lyndsey and Hugh’s pretty day:


Lyndsey tells us: Hugh LOVES interesting ties, so we purchased ties for all the men. Since he’s a Second Lieutenant in the Army, he also wore Army cufflinks; we were not having a military wedding but I wanted him to have something Army with him that night.


We were traditional and waited until the ceremony to see each other; walking down the aisle towards him and seeing each other for the first time is something I will never forget! I could not stop smiling the entire time and when I saw the way Hugh was looking at me it made me smile even bigger. We had a quick ceremony, only about 15 minutes (we wanted to get to the party!), and when Chaplain Oxendine pronounced us husband and wife I have never been happier, it was the most amazing few seconds of my life.



I love photobooth photos of the bride and groom- they are in party mode and photographers usually get some cool shots of them in the booth together, Here’s what Lyndsey says about the booth: We had a photobooth that printed out two strips of pictures, one for the guest to keep and one for the guest to put in a memory book with a note from them for us to keep. We used this in lieu of a guest book and had such a great time reading all the comments the next day. The photobooth was on the patio outside the ballroom all night and had a constant line. 

Lyndsey shares some of her favorite moments: My Maid of Honor gave the best speech and was the only person who made me cry that day; when I heard her list the reasons why she knew Hugh and I were meant for each other (including the fact that he is the only man who could love my 5 pound yorkie-poo almost as much as I do) I could not help but tear up. Then we hit the dance floor; dancing with all of our friends and family was one of the highlights of the evening for both of us. There were so many people that we loved and loved us all in one room and being able to spend that time with them was amazing!

Here’s my post-wedding Q and A with the couple:

KG: Looking back, what was the smartest planning decision you made?

Lyndsey: The smartest decision I made was the fact that I found vendors I truly trusted and that shared my vision. Knowing that all my vendors would come through and I could trust them to do their jobs and do them well made my life so much easier! The day of the wedding I did not stress over the details because I knew that they would handle everything!

KG: Did you and Hugh go on a Honeymoon?

Lyndsey: Yes, we spent 8 nights in Costa Rica! We actually waited about a month before we left because of our schedules, and I am so glad that we waited. We had the opportunity to relax after the wedding and it also gave us something to look forward to. I feel like we spent so much time looking forward to the wedding that I was a little sad when the night was done, but knowing something else exciting was coming was great! While in Costa Rica we relaxed at the beach, at a ton of great food, went zip lining, white water rafting, horse back riding, hiking through the rain forest and so much more! It was the most amazing trip!

KG: Now that your day has come and gone, what advice would you give brides- to- be?

Lyndsey: The biggest piece of advice is not to worry about things the day of. Trust your vendors and the planning you have put into it and then just let go. If something goes wrong, and chances are something will, relax and know that you are probably the only one who realizes that small detail is not what it should have been. Also, before you start planning put together a detailed budget and guest list, you really can not plan the other details without knowing those things. Know what is important to you and what you are willing to spend more money on, for us it was the venue/food/beverage and the photography/videography and I was willing to not spend as much money in other areas to make sure I had the best possible vendors in those areas and I knew specifically what the dollar amount was because of the budget I put together before I started planning.

Lyndsey and Hugh, Congratulations again and Thank You for sharing your day with us!

Lyndsey and Hugh’s Real Wedding Team:

Ceremony and Reception Site: Troon North Golf Club

Florist: Butterfly Petals

Photographer: Sandra Tenuto

Videographer: Serendipity Videography

Cake: La Dolce Pesca

Bridal Gown Store: Alfred Angelo

Bridesmaids Dresses: White House Black Market

Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse

Entertainment: Ray the DJ

Ceremony Musicians: Allegro Quartet

Photobooth: A2Z Photobooth

Make-up Artist: Steven Paul Salon, Naomi Cadena

Hair Stylist: Steven Paul Salon, Kandi Palmer

Officiant: Army Chaplain Frankie Oxendine

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals (formerly Tri Rentals)

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Wedding Sweets- The No Cake Approach
categories: cakes and sweets, reception ideas, trends in catering, Wedding Inspiration

As a huge proponent of sugar at weddings (and let’s face it, everyone needs a little pick me up after all- day wedding stuff)  I seem to be a magnet for luscious goodies. Today I share with you some cake alternatives that are as beautiful as they are tasty.

First, we have whoopie pies-  a traditional New England treat that originated in the 1930’s. These pies have been making a steady comeback as sugar fans are looking for new treats with trendy flavors such as this Salted Caramel Whoopie Pie from Pin-Up Pastries

(Image Courtesy of: Sara Strom Photography, Whoopie Pie: Pin-Up Pastries)

In keeping with the pie theme, I came across these pies from a wedding where I gather the couple wanted their guests to feel the love

 (Images Courtesy of: Something Blue Photography, Pies: Village Bakehouse)

You could also do individual pies like these cuties

(Image Courtesy of: BQ Photography)

The opposite of a homemade pie is the ultra-glam bon bon. These glittery orbs from Bedazzle My Bon Bons can be made in any color and are super sparkly

(Image: Hollye Schumacher Photography, Bon Bons: Bedazzle My Bon Bons)

I love the idea of coordinating your sweets to the wedding decor and design; these candy apples graced a huge sweets table at a red and black Vintage Glam Hollywood wedding reception. I think they are the perfect choice!

(Image Courtesy of: Hollye Schumacher Photography, Apples: The Phoenician Resort)

These also look luscious!

(Image Courtesy of: Something Blue Photography)

How about homemade Peanut Butter Cups? Yum…

(Image Courtesy of: Something Blue Photography)

Of course cake pops are always pretty, delicious and portable  

(Image Courtesy of: Sara Strom Photography, Cake Pops: Pin-Up Pastries)

Cake Shooters are a grown up take on Push Up Pops; I love how they are self-contained- no plate necessary!

(Image: Hollye Schumacher Photography, Cake Shooters: Sprinkles Custom Cakes, Stationery:  The Event Essentials)

Petit Fours are the perfect size bite- small enough to have a few!

(Image: Hollye Schumacher Photography, Petit Fours: Honey Moon Sweets

Anything that looks this good just has to be eaten


(Images Courtesy of: Amanda Rockafellow Photography, Sweets: Passion Pastry)


(Image Courtesy of Amanda Rockafellow Photography, Eau Claires: Annette Hartman Catering )

And you do not have to convince me partake in a creme brulee trio

(Image Courtesy of: Cosey Photography, Creme Brulee Trio: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa)

Here’s another good idea: a custom sign for your sweets table…how cute!

   (Image Courtesy of: Lyn Sims Photography

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Real Wedding: Tiffani and Justin, Part 2
categories: bridal fashions, cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, photography, real weddings, reception ideas, Wedding Inspiration

Welcome to Part 2 of Tiffani and Justin’s Real Wedding! In Part 1, we were treated to Hollye Schumacher’s California wedding photos and Harrison Hurwitz’s Arizona wedding photos. That’s right, the couple had 2 weddings and 2 photographers (for the Arizona wedding)! Part 2 of Tiffani and Justin’s Real Wedding features photographer Hollye Schumacher’s  stunning Arizona wedding images…







The Cocktail Hour was decorated in all gold and white- love the use of feathers here

3 ice luges were used for the juice bar- so fun!

The mostly red and black reception decor is super dramatic and the crystal touches keep it from being too dark

The Dessert Station was supremely decadent- red candy apples, caramel corn, cheese cake bites and more made this THE place to be


(Images Courtesy of Hollye Schumacher Photography)

Justin and Tiffani, thank you so much for sharing your day with us and CONGRATULATIONS!

Did you miss Part 1 of Tiffani and Justin’s Real Wedding?

Tiffani and Justin’s Real Wedding Team:

 Ceremony and Reception Site: The Phoenician Resort  (California Wedding: La Valencia Hotel)

Wedding Coordinator: Some Like it Classic Wedding and Event Design

Photographers: Hollye Schumacher, Harrison Hurwitz

Videographer: East Valley Productions

Florist: Angelic Grove

Cake: Julia Baker

Sweets: The Phoenician Resort

Bridal Gown Store: M Bride

Stationery: Paper Crazy

Band: The Hamptons

Linens: Wildflower Linens, Southwick Linens

Make-up Artist: Sarah SanMarco

Hair Stylist: Andy Biggs

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals



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Real Wedding: Tiffani and Justin, Part 1
categories: cakes and sweets, destination weddings and honeymoons, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, for your ceremony, photography, real weddings, reception ideas, Wedding Inspiration

When you hire a wedding photographer, you want him/her to be the best your money can get. If you are going to splurge at all, naturally this is one of the areas to do it so when I saw that Tiffani and Justin hired TWO fabulous photographers, my mind tilted a bit. I mean, to have Hollye Schumacher and Harrison Hurwitz document your day is a pretty big deal. Now one more tidbit for you that might send you over the edge: they had 2 weddings! One in California, one in Arizona.

We start with Tiffani and Justin’s California wedding and Hollye Schumacher’s pics (I made her chose only a few and it was really hard for her!).


(Images Courtesy of Hollye Schumacher Photography)

Super pretty, right? Ok, so here is the amazing Arizona wedding, images from Harrison Hurwitz (Hollye’s are in the Part 2 post). Tiffani and Justin wanted an old Hollywood glam feel so Harrison was definitely the guy to call on. His style is classic and filmy (in fact, he primarily shoots film so the result is a very stylized look that I love).

The floral and cake are AMAZING!!!! Julia Baker is a master at drama and her cake actually tastes good, which is a requirement in my good cake book; the flowers from Angelic Grove are just beyond…



(Images Courtesy of Harrison Hurwitz Photography)

Go to Part 2 of Tiffani and Justin’s Real Wedding to see Hollye Schumacher’s take on the day- it’s cool to see another photgrapher’s style and of course it’s just as gorgeous!

Coordinator Amina Michelle, owner of Some Like it Classic Wedding and Event Design,  shares some of the over-the-top details from Tiffani and Justin’s day:

  • Tiffani planned the wedding while Justin was still away on his mission!
  •  The bride wanted to use the colors white, black, red and gold. She chose only white at the ceremony, only gold and white at the cocktail hour and primarily black and red at the reception. So dramtic!
  • Custom fringed chandeliers hung from the ceilings
  • The Hampton’s 10 piece band played  “At Last” for the couple’s first dance
  • The head table was a huge 35 person table adorned with linens chosen personally by the bride
  • The bars were custom built by Angelic Grove featuring custom tufted wraps
  • Guests could indulge in a juice bar that featured 3 ice luges
  • The grand dessert bar featured caramel red apples, cotton candy cups, chocolate covered strawberries, cheese cake bites, caramel corn and other pastries
  • The room changed to a red hue when the dancing began and custom monogrammed water bottles were available
  • The bride and groom’s exit was accompanied by a saxophonist

Tiffani and Justin’s Real Wedding Team:

Ceremony and Reception Site: The Phoenician Resort (California Wedding: La Valencia Hotel)

Wedding Coordinator: Some Like it Classic Wedding and Event Design

Photographer: Hollye Schumacher, Harrison Hurwitz

Videographer: East Valley Productions

Florist: Angelic Grove

Cake: Julia Baker

Sweets: The Phoenician Resort

Bridal Gown Store: M Bride

Stationery: Paper Crazy

Band: The Hamptons

Linens: Wildflower Linens, Southwick Linens

Make-up Artist: Sarah SanMarco

Hair Stylist: Andy Biggs

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals



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Wedding Inspiration: Budget-Friendly Wedding Decor Options from IKEA
categories: favor and gift ideas, reception ideas, Tips and Advice, Trends, Wedding Inspiration

I have a secret that I just can’t keep to myself any longer. I know for a fact that many wedding planners, event designers, prop artists and engaged folk flock to IKEA for event decor items. Sorry to call everyone out and share the news, but sharing is good!

IKEA is known for their smart designs, eco-friendly thinking, and most importantly, insanely reasonable prices. Savvy shoppers know that IKEA is the go-to place for all things home so naturally I was intrigued when they recently hosted a Wedding Event in Tempe. Experts shared design ideas, new decor options and smart tips and trends for newlyweds.  Today, I get to share some of their designs with you.

Here are the 3 settings the design experts showcased as table options for your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or even reception:

The total to create the “Black Tie” table is about $163 and that includes the entire set of glassware, plateware and napkins which is more than you need to set the one table so it definitely fits into the “budget friendly” category. The bonus is that whomever purchases these items is able to reuse them so nothing goes in the trash! If you are a newlywed, by creating this table (or  those that follow), you have cleverly decorated your event tables AND started your plateware, flatware, wine glass and decor collections for your new home!


The total for the elegant and beachy “Tiffany Blue” table is $183.  Again, look at how every item on the table can be used in your new place after the wedding! I personally love the blue bowls and the centerpiece. Also, if you are having a Candy Bar at your reception for guests to dig into, IKEA is clearly the place to purchase the candy vessels needed to hold the candy. I use jars like the one above to decorate during the holidays- candy corn makes a great filler at Halloween, small ornament balls or even old-fashioned striped candy is pretty at Christmas- you get the idea! 

The “Rustic Charm” table speaks to me since I am always drawn to browns and earthy colors.  I also love that the total to make this table happen is only $150!  If you want more color, you can always have your florist add pops of color with fresh flowers.

Want proof that these table are on- trend for weddings and fashion in general? Look at Pantone’s Fall 2011 Color Chart below- quarry, cedar, bamboo and orchid hush are used in IKEA’s Wedding Event tables:

Clearly, IKEA is a place to consider for your decor needs, whether for your wedding events or your new home and I hope you are inspired to make your next event beautiful, no matter what your budget!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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