Escort Cards

Escort cards are a necessary evil if you are having a sit down dinner or brunch reception. How boring is it to just set them out on a table. They take up an absurd amount of space that is left empty as soon as the seating begins leaving you with a big ‘design hole’ in your beautifully laid out décor. ~Sigh~


Instead, why not have a bit of fun with them and use them as a major design element.Birch Log Escort Cards  Michelle Rago

Michelle Rago

Beach theme Escort Cards  Gray PhotographyGray Photography, Courtesy of

Michelle Rago Seashell escort cardsMichelle Rago, from her blog

Bluebird Escort Cards

Courtesy, Snippets & Ink

Chalkboard Seating Chart

An industry insider aside…

If you are having escort cards, please have them arranged alphabetically for your planner. I have seen way too many planners get them on the day of the wedding in a great jumbled lump. They then have to take at least an hour at the last minute to sort them all out; taking valuable time away from getting the rest of your reception details in perfect place. At the very least, if you must, get them to your planner well in advance so they can get them sorted out before the last minute. I’m talking like a week here folks; if you think you are busy the week before your wedding just imagine how busy they are. Or you could forget the whole thing and just make a seating chart!

Just sayin’…

Courtesy, Snippets & Ink>>>>>

DIY Candle Centerpieces: What You Need to Know

As I ran through the stats for the Dish I see that some of the most popular posts have been on DYI Centerpieces and Candle Centerpieces. I thought it might be helpful to do a Need to Know column on candle centerpieces for all my crafty DIY brides.

•    Use masses of candles, not just one or two
•    Use heat resistant containers. If you are not sure, do a mock up and leave them burning for 4 – 5 hours. You don’t want them shattering from the heat at your wedding.
•    Use a charger or tray under your arrangement. If you aren’t using containers be sure to set something under your candles. Rental companies have a hissy fit (rightly so) when you return their linens with candle wax all over them. In fact, most will charge you to replace the linen or remove the wax.
•    Bring lots of helpers. All that glass gets heavy and is time consuming to set up, especially if you are filling them with water.
•    Add bright shiny accents. This is what is going to reflect the candle light and multiply the effect.
•    Remember not to throw away your packing. All that glass will have to be repacked at the end of the night and taken home.
•    Vary the heights and widths.
•    Stick to all one color and one accent color. The look comes from the flame and the shiny touches.
•    If you are going to surround them with rose petals or something similar, don’t underestimate how much you will need. You want a massed effect.
•    Be aware of the drafts in your room. You never know. If you think I am kidding, check out this post from a while back. In retrospect it was pretty funny.

Candles are a beautiful addition to a wedding. They add a warm ambiance and everyone look so much more fabulous in candlelight, don’t ya think?

Shabby Chic: Getting the Look for Your Wedding

I am seeing a resurgence of the shabby chic look for weddings and also a heck of a lot of stuff just being called shabby chic. If you really want that look for your wedding, you first have to understand what is and is not shabby chic.

To me, shabby chic is the look of a vintage English country manor.  A setting full of beautiful stately bits that have been collected over generations and washed by time and use to a lovely softness. There is a randomness that can’t be endlessly repeated on each table.
Unlike the sharp crisp lines we have been seeing in the contemporary looks, shabby chic has a soft, cozy wiltedness to it. There aren’t any sharp color contrasts, just lovely pastel blendings. The silver is old odds and ends with tarnish still lodged deep in the crevices. All the pieces are high quality but worn.

Shabby chic isn’t about a collection of brand new mason jars with daisies shoved in them. That’s country and a design style in its own right, but not shabby chic. Rather, think along the lines of random teapots, sugar bowls , water glasses and flea market vases to hold garden variety flowers for your centerpieces. For flowers think peonies, garden roses, ranunculus and Queen Anne’s lace with wisps of ivy trailing out. Think randomly.

Take a look at some of the images I gathered. See if you can see the thread I am trying to explain.

Here all the chandeliers are different, so are the containers for the flowers

These lovely vintage perfume bottles hold simple garden flowers, the blue plate behind them is a very soft shade of robins egg.

This bouquet is loose, casual and airy. Again the colors are muted.

Bridal Bouquet with pink and white peonies and garden roses

This sign is weathered and old looking but the the font is wonderfully ornate. It looks as if it could have hung outside a paris shop 100 years ago.

How to Find the Perfect Color Palette for Your Wedding

Why on Perfect Palette of course. Just found this lovely blog thanks to Follow Friday on Twitter.

I love colors and color combinations. I also know that it is one of the things that brides will design their entire wedding weekend around* so they have a hard time deciding.

What I love about Perfect Palette is that you can search for inspiration boards by color. For instance, pick Light Pink and you will get 27 different color combinations with light pink, each with their own inspiration board.

This is the one that caught my eye.

*(Not the best idea, how about ”Feeling you want to evoke”)

Effective Event Lighting

One of the most powerful ways to change the look of a room or create ambience for your wedding is with the effective use of lighting.
You can use lighting to wash the walls with color or project a pattern. You can use up light to define a space or use pin spots to highlight your centerpieces and cake. Then of course the use of a monogrammed gobo on the dance floor is always beautiful.

Soft Pink Lit Walls

Soft Pink Lit Walls

Pin Spots Light up A Garden Wedding

Pin Spots Light up A Garden Wedding

Patterns Wash the Walls. Pin Spot on Cake

Patterns Wash the Walls. Pin Spot on Cake

You can expect custom lighting to cost in the neighborhood of 5 to 10% of your budget. That may seem like a lot but there aren’t many other things that will give the power to transform a space the way great lighting can.
Click through the images to see the sources.

Tented Weddings

Having your wedding in a tent in your parent’s backyard has long been a tradition in Great Britain; but in the states tents are thought of as a Plan B for bad weather. Bah humbug. I think tented weddings are some of the most beautiful you will ever see.

Tented Wedding Brunch

Tented Wedding Brunch

Using a tent you create the environment from the ground up. You aren’t stuck with ugly carpet in the wrong color or walls so ugly you want to hide them. Take a look at some of the tented weddings I found on Carnival Marquees Hire website. Yes, they are in the UK but don’t let that stop you. There are plenty of tent suppliers in the US. Check with your local rental firms or better yet your event planner/designer. The really top notch companies ship all over the country.

Tented Wedding with Dramatic Lighting

Tented Wedding with Dramatic Lighting

It won’t necessarily be less expensive than hiring a hotel or country club since you do have to bring in literally everything from the floor to the ceiling. It may, however make for a great excuse to limit your guest list which does help the budget. “Oh we just could not imagine having our wedding anywhere but in the yard I grew up in. Sadly that does restrict the number of guests the location will hold.” HeeHee. Now you don’t have to invite that obnoxious receptionist at work or you Aunt’s extended family. Tres cool

Just look at how gorgeous your site will look as your guests arrive.

Wedding Reception Tent Lights Up The Night

Wedding Reception Tent Lights Up The Night

Feather Bouquet

This gorgeous bouquet was all dressed up for the holidays without a touch of red.

Feather and Crystal Bouquet

Feather and Crystal Bouquet

A few weeks ago Friend of the Dish, Vicki Sanders of Branching Out Event Florists did the décor for this wintery wedding in a vintage downtown Nashville manse. The ball room was decked out in shades of white taken to dramatic heights with feathers and all things sparkly. From the white calla lily bouquet with crystal centers and an explosion of white feathers to the lighted feather centerpieces the look was elegent and edgy at the same time.

Feather and Candle Wedding Decor

Feather and Candle Wedding Decor

Mantle Decor for December Wedding

Mantle Decor for December Wedding

One of the great things about doing weddings is seeing how happy you have made that one young lady on such a special day. The two conical trees flanking the fireplace belonged to the venue and were originally on the mantle. Well the bride just hated, I mean really hated them. Until she saw where we had moved them and how we had garnished them liberally with cream colored roses. After the ceremony we went back and added white ostrich plume to them.

NO Open Flames

What to do if you can’t use candles?

Everyone looks better in candle light. The room seems to sparkle as the light dances on faces and walls. Sadly, more and more venues are going to a “No open flames” policy. What is a girl to do?

There are some alternatives. Tops on the list is lighting. Bathe the walls in soft gold or peach uplights. These two pretty examples come from Romance Lighting.

Warm Peach Event Lighting for a Wedding

Warm Peach Event Lighting for a Wedding

Pretty Lighting for a Wedding Ceremony

Pretty Lighting for a Wedding Ceremony

Still have a desire for gorgeous candelabrum? Well it will look pretty stupid without candles. How about this…

Candleabra as Flower Centerpiece for Wedding

Candelabra as Flower Centerpiece for Wedding

Add some sparkles and they will pick up the lighting, especially if you have your lighting team add pin spots on your centerpieces. It will end up giving you the feeling of flickering light.

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