Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fabulous Silk Sashes with a Heart

I have run across something that has captured my heart in a way that rarely happens.

This was first pointed out to me by Danielle on her blog Oh Happy! Go on take a minute to read her write up. All of us involved in weddings whether the bride or the professional are blessed in so many ways and yet sometimes we struggle finding a way to give back. Well here you go…

Rebecca at The White Aisle travels extensively during her slow months. On a recent trip to Cambodia she became involved with a project to help the young women, children really, that have been sold into the sex trade. Some of these girls had been sold by their parents as young as five, FIVE! The simple economics of life in Cambodia have kept them enslaved. Even if they were free to leave the brothels they are dependant on them as their sole source of food and shelter. Danielle writes” The most powerful way to make an impact on these childrens' futures is to give them an alternative way to become self-sufficient. Rebecca is teaming up with an organization in Phnom Penh- which offers children the ability to come to their vocational training facilities to work during the day. Additionally, all workers are encouraged to sleep at the neighboring housing. Over time, this method has proved to be rather successful in generating independent and reformed women ready to re-enter "normal" society.”

So where do you come in? Take a look at the beautiful silk accessories in the images above. Rebecca has worked with these girls to help them create gorgeous sashes, ring pillows and fabric flowers using the native Khmer silks from their region. She will begin offering these December 1 on her site The White Aisle with ALL profits going back to the project. The more this grows the more children can be rescued. So far 23 girls have been able to leave the sex trade completely and move on to independent rewarding lives.

To all my friends out there: I sincerely hope that this has touched you as much as it has me. Look around you, look at your flower girl and tell me this isn’t a most worthy cause.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Finding Inspiration III

I thought that I would leave you with some inspiration for the long holiday weekend. The images above are all from my favorite floral designer, Vicki Sanders. She and her team at Branching Out are quickly becoming the most innovative and sought after event designers/florist in the South. Yes that is her on the bottom row.

A while back I clued you in on a wonderful rental company that I always seek out when I am in need of inspiration, Fabu. I also gave Sarah a whack of the pencil for not having a great website so I didn’t have to fight the traffic to get to her shop. Well great news, Sarah’s website now has an extensive catalog of fabulous thing that you can peruse to your hearts content. Not only that, but she has opened a new show room for the event rental side of her business to make viewing easier. Incidentally, if you like Sarah’s taste as much as I do you should check out her gift shop. With the holidays just around the corner I know I’ll be there at least a few times to find the perfect little gifts for everyone on my list.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

DIY Invitations

If you are a regular reader of the Dish then you already know my philosophy on DIY projects for your wedding. I think they are a great idea as long as you do them in moderation. DIY is a great way to add a very personal touch to a very personal event. Where the trouble starts is when brides bite off more than they can chew and end up more stressed than necessary or they go bridezilla and turn everyone around them into indentured servants. So the key is to pick one project you love and give it your full attention and leave the rest to the pros.

Today’s project is invitations. Here is the breakdown of the national averages spent on the paper wardrobe according to

  • Bridal shower invitations: $138
  • Wedding invitations and response cards: $455
  • Personal stationery: $187
  • Save the Date cards: $196
  • Thank-you notes: $127

That is a sweet little chunk of change and because it can all be done well in advance of the big day, unlike flowers or food, it makes it a perfect place to put your DIY skills. That is if you have any graphic skills, or at least it used to require that.

To the rescue comes and their free dowloadable wedding templates. How cool is that? There are already several available and plans to add more designs on a regular basis. In addition to the basic invitation each design suite includes the following elements:
Save the Date Card
Wedding Invitation
Wedding Party Card
Reception Card
Response Card
Program Cover
Placecards/Escort Cards
Table Card

The templates are all ready to edit and print on your home computer. How easy is that?

Now take all that cash you saved and put it towards something that is a lot harder to DIY, like say flowers.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Round-up

Here are just some of the wonderful things I have found on the blogs this week.

First up this from Ariel over at Offbeat Brides. Some really cool, taffeta free wedding websites and matching invitations from Nearlyweds.

How to write a thank you note from Style Me Pretty.

What really makes a bespoke invitation from Oh Happy Blog

Filigree cupcake wrappers courtesy of Something Old Something New

Finally this from Miss Peppermint over at Wedding Bee on just one of the more unusual pitfalls of DIY

That’s it for this weekend as I am off to paint, decorate and the universe willing, move into my new office. Wish me luck.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Monogamy as a Marketing Campaign

I’m just not sure where I stand on this. Hearts on Fire which according to their press is the pre-eminent consumer brand in the luxury jewelry diamond business is using monogamy to help brand their product. I kind of had it in my head that was already associated with wedding rings, didn’t you?

Their new campaign “Monogamy100” is being released for print, radio and TV. You can view the ads on their new website. Here is just one little blurb I pulled out of it.

“As The World’s Most Perfectly Cut Diamond®, a Hearts On Fire diamond is an enduring declaration of your commitment to a relationship that is deep, rich and meaningful. One that goes beyond conventional definitions. One that exceeds conventional expectations of love and monogamy. And one that deserves a diamond beyond conventional beauty.”

This quote makes me wonder if they are trying to convince me that if I get a better diamond I will get a better grade of monogamy. HUH?

I’m thinking emerald or sapphire at this point.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gorgeous Flower Ideas for Your Wedding

There is a goldmine of flower ideas out there if you just know where to look. Rather than trolling through the same old galleries that you have looked at before here are a couple of new and wonderful site I have run across recently.

Wedding Flower Ideas. This on from the UK is just chock-a-block full of great ideas for anywhere you could possible want flowers from the ceremony to the cake to a really big collection of bouquets. I hope you have an hour or two to invest.

Asiel Design This company out of California is both a design service and floral company. Wait until you see their portfolio. Their site describe Linnea Asiel as what you would imagine if Pablo Picasso and Tim Burton had a love child. That pretty much sums her style up. Be warned, the opening page has music and I could not find any way to turn it off; so if you are at work (no, not you) hit mute before you open it.

The Flower Expert Once you have found all these beautiful flowers you may want to know just what they mean. This handy online flower encyclopedia will have the answer for you. Again, I hope you have a few hours to invest because this is another site that I could wander around on for a while.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Guest Book Alternatives

I helped work a lovely wedding this weekend. Lovely bride, lovely venue, beautiful décor, kickin’ lounge area, everything was lovely except the plain boring unloved guest book that went unnoticed. One of the most intimate and personal memories you will have from your wedding is the memory of those you cared enough about to ask to join in your celebration. So celebrate them already!

Rather than a plain boring guest book that will most likely go completely unnoticed and probably lost in a year do something different that you will keep out and alive for years to come. Here a just a few ideas for fun and interesting guest book alternatives.

Photo Mat. Yes I know it has been done to death but I still see them left off to the side at receptions and barely written on. How about you have it brought out and announced during the toasts to let your guests know that their presence means enough to you that you want to remember it always.

Wedding Quilt. This is for the bride that is an avid seamstress or has one in the family. Have a stack of quilting squares and a fabric marker for guests to sign. After the wedding have the signatures embroidered over and then have the squares make into a quilt. Yes it is a huge project but also a family heirloom.

Wishing Tree. Have the guests write a note of their best wishes on a decorated hang tag (so very Martha) and tie them to an arrangement of tree branches for all to enjoy. After the wedding you can add them to your scrapbook. If you are having a fall wedding use paper leaves instead of hang tags and make a collage out of them to frame for your wall.

Christmas Ornaments. Provide Christmas balls and markers for your guests to sign and place on a tree. It will start your ornament collection and each year as you decorate your tree you will relieve the memories.

Unglazed Pottery. I know you have seen the platters that you have your guests sign, well take that a step further. Go to one of those paint your own pottery studios and pick out a platter or other serving piece that really suits your style. Add a nice underglaze then have your guests sign it. Take it back to the shop and have it fired for a truly one of a kind memory saver.

Guest book for life. Instead of a small traditional guest book either hand craft a large scrap book or personalize a ready made one like this one from Jam Papers with your names or monogram and use it for every party or dinner you host through out your married life. Be sure to get one you can add pages to as it fill up. Include menus for each event and you will have a recorded history of all your entertaining. Too cool for the uber-hostesses among us.

Be creative and think outside of the box and you may just end up with a guest book that you will enjoy for all the years to come

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Monday, November 12, 2007

World Heaviest Wedding Gown

In another installment of the “What Planet Are These People Living On” thread I bring you this from the UK courtesy of Bridal Wave. (Is it just me or does this stuff always come from the UK?)

At 425 pounds, this is thought to be the heaviest wedding gown on record. My question is why would you? According to the original story in The Daily Mail the dress had 30 layers of fabric, a 60ft train and 30,000 crystals. Created by Nico's Dressmakers, in Liverpool, England it tipped that other scale at just over $31,000.! Again I ask, on what planet are these people living?

The diminutive 16 year old bride topped out at 5’3” and according to published reports spent most of her reception seated due the weight of this monstrosity. Because of the weight of the train it reportedly took 10 of her friends to PUSH her up the aisle.

Ok, why? Why not get a gown you could actually move in? How I would love to see the video of this. You devotees of YouTube please keep your eyes peeled and let me know if it turns up. I want to see them push this up the aisle.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Fun in a Hyper-organized Wedding

Back in September I posted the first installment in the saga of the Michigan wedding that friend of the Dish Courtney Hammons had the pleasure of participating in as a bridesmaid rather than the highly qualified wedding planner that she is. Well I finally wrangled the rest of the story out of her.

Let’s see if you find bits of this as funny as I do. The commentary at the end is purely my own; sometime an outsider sees thing a little differently. At least there weren’t any bomb scares at the wedding. Read Part I here and Part II here

Wedding Day – Sept 15th

7:30am and my mom is knocking on my hotel room door – I am being told that it is time to go get ready for a 5pm ceremony. Seriously what is wrong with this picture?1 So out I go in my powder blue sweat suit (that matches my mom, sister and all the other bridesmaids!!!)2 Once at the house of the parent’s of the bride the fun begins! I guess when you are doing hair and make-up on 18 people you got to start some time.3 Mom is first so that she can go back to the hotel and take care of my niece. It’s amazing that even when she get’s her hair done it looks just like she did it. Mom is back to the hotel with my sister and I settle in for a day of lounging around. By 1pm everyone is done with hair and make-up and we begin the task of getting everyone dressed. All the dresses are hung alphabetically (did I tell you we had to ship our dresses ahead of time)4 Some dresses are to big and others are to small but in the end everyone is in their dress and ready to help the bride put on her one of a kind bridal gown. She looks gorgeous and is so happy to be marrying my brother. The flowers arrive and I all can say is please consider the size and weight when choosing bouquets! The bride’s bouquet came in at 10lbs can you imagine that for the next 10 hours.5 Pictures went without incident at the house and once everyone was loaded into the 2 limos and the Bentley off to the ceremony. A beautiful ceremony it was but the pictures afterwards took FOREVER! Not only were we a hour late to the reception we somehow managed to miss the sunset shot. Now let me take a moment and explain the reception one room was for dinner and the other room was for the band and dancing. So we have everyone enter the dancing room for announcements, first dance (which the band did not know!!) and the father daughter dance. We than move everyone (250 plus people) to the dinner room and than towards the end of dinner we ask everyone back to the dancing room for the Horah and the mother son dance! Anyone else see some challenges here!6 Well that’s it! After a year of planning, parties and excitement it was all over in a matter of 8 hours! Off to Belize went the bride and groom. And back to Tennessee came my husband and me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Do you have any idea how exhausted everyone is going to be by the end of this day? Sure the bride and groom are off to sleep it off in Belize but the rest of the world has to get back to their real lives.
  2. Please, please tell me they did not have “Bridesmaid” embroidered across the butt. Please.
  3. Ok if you subtract the two mothers and the bride that leaves 15 attendants. What! you asked your entire sorority to be brides maids???
  4. I don’t even know where to start. Hung alphabetically? OK then, that takes being organized to a new level. Add to that the “ship our dresses ahead of time” thing, which was so the mother could install identical bustles and you are bordering on obsessive. Can some one explain to me how long of a train a bridesmaids gown has to have to require that it be bustled?
  5. Piece of cake. You only thought that the reason a bride must spend the year before their wedding lifting weights was to tone their arms, it’s really so they can lug around 10 pounds of flowers in addition to the weight of their dress. Never forget that it’s not just a wedding – it’s a marathon. Train, train ,train!!!
  6. This is the one that cracks me up. I can only picture this crowd of 250 rising as a single unit and shuffling from room to room, sitting in unison and then repeating again and again. Reminds me a very well dressed, multicolored giant amoeba.

I am glad that Courtney survived with her marvelous sense of humor in tact.

I want to hear your tales of wedding excess, leave them in the comment section so we can all share in the joy.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I’m In Love….

With my new necklace/tiara/headband!

You didn’t think that I could go to three different markets and not come home without buying a little something for myself did you??

This time I had to order the piece I wanted and yesterday it arrived. If you read Wedding Dish then you know that I just love the beautiful things that Mandy Grennan at Tigerlilly designs. This year I decided to treat myself to one of her pieces, the gorgeous 20 strand gold and Swarovski crystal piece above.

What I love about the tiaras from Tigerlilly is that they are convertible. Do you see that little chain at the back? It is detachable, transforming it from a tiara/headband to a lovely necklace that you can wear anywhere. I mean come on, you may love your tiara but just how often are you going to be able to wear it after your wedding? Some of the tiaras in the collection come with a chain and others have to be sent back to Mandy to be retrofitted most all are convertible. I say that is a win/win; stunning tiara for your wedding/lasting memory that you can wear for the rest of your life. Score!

Thanks Mandy.

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