Indian Influenced Weddings

One of the best parts of designing websites for wedding professionals is all the gorgoeus images I get to see. Lately I have found myself immersed in the culture of South Asain Weddings.

One of my photographers has one on her front page, a planner friend just completed a huge one this fall, a floral designer friend and client has one coming up in the spring. Plus I just finished a site for the grand master of the style, Anais Events.

While a full on Asian wedding may not be in the cards for everyone, they are certainly a place to find some fabulous touches to inspire your own wedding.

Please enjoy these bright,bold bursts of color in the cold, gray month of January. All images courtesy of the lovely and talented Amrit Dhillion-Bains,  Anais Event Design.

The Perfect Shabby Chic Venue

I have been working with a local venue on their marketing and I just fell in love with the look of this place. A little bit southern elegance, a little bit rustic country and a whole lot of shabby chic charm.

Kathy and her hunky fireman husband, Brian are your propietors. They look at the whole site as a part of thier love story and want to extend that same feeling to the couples that choose Front Porch Farms for their weddings.

Enjoy the view.

{Source- All images Front Porch Farms}

4 Tips for Keeping Your Wedding Decor Budget Inline

Every bride wants a beautiful backdrop for her big day. When it comes to what you can spend on your floral and decor budget, the sky is the limit.

I was chatting with friend of the Dish, event designer extraordinaire Vicki Sanders yesterday and these tips came up. They are just little things to keep in mind that will trim your decor budget without resorting to the dreaded rose bowl with a single floating candle.

Wedding centerpiece with Stargazer Lilies, coral peonies

1. Limit your seating. Huh? Look at this, unless you are serving a seated plated dinner you do not need seating for every guest. By eliminating 2 or 3 tables you are also eliminating 2 or 3 centerpieces. If you are doing mostly heavy finger foods you could use a bit of lounge furniture and some smallish cocktail tables. Smaller tables, smaller centerpieces.

2. Choose your flowers carefully. I know that you already know that if you choose in season flowers you will save, but there is more to it than that. The minute you get you heart set on a specific flower, you are setting yourself up to spend more than you need to achieve your look. Work with your floral designer to determine which flowers will achieve your look AT THE TIME OF YOUR WEDDING. Short story, a bride simply had to have coral peonies, sadly her wedding was 2 weeks before they became abundant. By using coral roses and white peonies the florist could have saved her a bundle and still gotten her color and the fluff of peonies. If you absolutely have to have a specific flower, limit it to your wedding bouquet and let the florist make suggestions for the rest of your wedding decor.

3. Rent your containers instead of buying them. Even if you are going to DIY your wedding flowers this can save you significantly. You will get higher quality containers, you won’t have to figure out what to do with them after your wedding and you won’t have spent days and days running all over town trying to find them.

4. Think about your labor cost. Your floral design teams time is not free. Every little thing adds time. A bride recently told my friend that she wanted her vases lined with lime slices. Beautiful look. When she was quoted the price to do this she just didn’t get it, so she asked how much if she bought the limes and brought them to the florist. Fail. What was expensive was the time it would take to uniformly slice a case of limes and then double vase to hold them in place in the arrangement.  What you are requesting may seem like a minor detail, but take a minute to think about the labor involved.

These tips and tricks are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the knowledge that true wedding professional bring to the table. DIY or hiring a novice may seem like a great idea at the time, but in the long run, the true pros earn their fees because of what they know.

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Tips & Tricks: Fresh Herb Centerpieces

If you are looking for something to use as centerpieces for a more laid back garden or country wedding my personal favorite is to use potted herbs. They look great, they smell great and they are more earth friendly than cut flowers.Centerpieces-herbs

If this is something you are going to DIY now is the time to get busy.Get an idea of the arrangement you want and then figure out how many plants you will need per table.

Even if your wedding isn’t for months do your shopping now.The garden centers and farmer’s markets are packed to the rafters with an amazing variety of herbs in the early spring. Grab your sweetie on the next pretty day and head on out to the biggest market or garden center in your area.Garden Center in Chicago Grand Street Gardens Look for small (2″ or3″ pots) herbs in a variety of colors, heights and textures. Thymes are nice for a low plant, sage is a pretty color with a large leaf and rosemary will add height. Chives and lavender will flower, so will chamomile. Take some time to play around with a different mix to see what you like.small pots of herbs from the garden center

If you are using clay pots, I have found the best place to get the really small ones is at the craft store. The are inexpensive and plentiful. For the most impact, get a variety of sizes and remember to get the saucers to go with them.ClayPots-main_Full

Once you get home, you can paint the pots or put them outside to weather naturally. To get a really weathered look, go head and pot your new baby herbs and then sink the pots in your garden or surround them with mulch. The clay will start to get that weathered patina that you see here. Potted herb escort cards

If you are going the galvanized pail route, check out the either the craft stores or the paint department of you local home improvement big box store for deals.

herb centerpiece with ribbon detail

Yes I do realize that you will have to take care of these plant until your wedding. You never know, you may discover that you had a green thumb all along.

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Pomander Bridal Bouquets with a Twist

I love pomander bouquets, but face it, some of them can be pretty boring. Well I found a bunch that have a twist.

Enjoy!

Great as a centerpiece for a fall wedding

Great as a centerpiece for a fall wedding

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Perfect for a casual wedding in the woods

Perfect for a casual wedding in the woods

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Modern bouquet with a touch of Whimsy

Modern bouquet with a touch of Whimsy

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Beaded accents add a light, airy feel

Beaded accents add a light, airy feel

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So much prettier than the standard carnation balls

So much prettier than the standard carnation balls

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Tassels make all the difference here

Tassels make all the difference here

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This one would be an easy DIY

This one would be an easy DIY

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I love the hanging orchids on the ribbons

I love the hanging orchids on the ribbons

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How's this for fun?

How's this for fun?

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Save On Your Centerpiece and Eat It Too!

You want beautiful centerpieces for your tables. You want a yummy cake for dessert. You need to save as much as possible to make this whole wedding thingy happen. What is a girl to do?

How about centerpiece cakes?wedding-cake-centerpieces{source}

Back in my previous life as a cake designer I would do some very elaborate centerpiece cakes that cost mucho dinero but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you do a standard size cake from a good bakery and either add simple decorating or fresh flowers or fruit you can save a bundle.Centerpice Wedding Cake{source}

Think about it, a nice little 8′ or 9″ cake will generously(compared to standard wedding size servings) serve the 6 t0 10 guests at each table. Depending on what you choose and where you buy them, you will pay from $10 to $30 each, add $5 to $10 worth of flowers or fruit. So, on the high side you are looking at $40 per table.

Let’s look at an average wedding of 120 people. Six people at a table=20 tables.

Floral centerpieces with traditional wedding cake:

20 centerpieces @ $65 each=$1300

Wedding cake for 120 @$4.50 per person=$540

Total spend=$1840

Centerpiece cakes with DIY decorating:

20 tables @$40 each=$800

Let’s see, that looks like a savings of $1040.

Maybe you use a hundred of that for a bigger cake for the head table and you are still saving a bundle.

You can do this.Centerpiec cake with gerber daisies{source}

Tips:

Look around for your cakes at traditional bakeries and upscale grocery stores or even Costco.

Use flowers or fruits that are in season. If you use fresh flowers put a doily on top of your cake to protect it from contaminants in the flowers.

Put it on a cake stand. Treat it with honor and make it LOOK like a centerpiece.

How To Save On Your Winter Wedding Décor

If you are planning a winter wedding, now is the time to be stocking up.Winter Wedding Cake If you are going to DIY your décor for your winter wedding stop thinking wedding and start thinking Christmas! Head to Home Depot or the local WalMart.

Beyond the obvious twinkle lights, look at all that yummy garland and those cheap wreaths. Green, you say? Not for long I say!  A few aisles over is white spray paint, grab that. On your way home hit the craft store for white or iridescent glitter. Paint lightly, sprinkle with glitter while wet and !Voila! snow covered evergreens. Now I bet you wished you had stocked up on the paint and glitter to work your magic on the naked branches you can just cut from your yard. Plop those in a heavy vase, add a few crystal and you have a centerpiece.winter wedding decor

While you are at the big box store, look for mulit-packs of ornaments in white and silver to tuck into the greens. Last year HD had sets of 50 assorted ornaments in white & silver for under $30. Two of those will go a long way.

Don’t forget the fake snow. Buy bunches!biosnow1year

Check the dollar store for plastic snowflakes; again buy bunches. They are something like 4 for $1 for the small ones. This one is from Home Depot and is 12″ across so it is a bit pricier, but hey, you could still get a couple to hang from the ceiling.snowflake

Don’t forget the candles. You are in luck, white is usually available in bulk.

While we are on the topic of saving serious money on your winter wedding décor, here is one you may never have thought of: baby’s breath.

Baby’s breath is unbelieveable cheap. That is why so many low price florists use it as filler. But here is the deal: used in over the top abundance, by itself it can be pretty cool. Think of it as clouds of snow! Check out these two pictures.babysbreath
winter wedding centerpiece using baby's breath

All you really need to round out your look are the odd pieces of clear glass and silver. Beg, borrow,rent or thrift shop those and you are on your way.

Winter weddings really are the easiest to DIY. I did the cake for one on new Year’s Day a few years back. The family worked with their church to get permission too use the Christmas decorations in the parish hall. The day before, they pulled every bit of red out of the room decor, took all the fresh evergreens outside and flocked them white, replaced all the red with ice blue and it was DROP DEAD gorgeous! It looked like a winter fairy land.

You can do this. Just think outside the wedding box.

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Franklin Bridal Ball

Last night was The Franklin Bridal Ball. I was there to see what was up and catch any trends I could. As you can see I was in great company. Those are two really good friends of the Dish, Vicki Sanders of Branching Out Event Florists and Ashley King-Carter creator of Ashley’s Bride Guide. Yes, we apparently all got the memo: Green is tonight’s color!

There were many beautiful things there but I was inspired by some of the tabletops and centerpieces. It seems that ‘Shiny” is in!  I’ll have more dish on the people and things for last night in the days to come. Stay tuned.