Archive for the ‘Wedding Inspiration’ Category

I’ve been thinking lately about certain elements of our wedding that might up the ante for our guests and might not cost too much. We are having an open bar at our reception; our caterer does not negotiate any other way, except to perhaps skip the bar altogether. While we were visiting, our wedding coordinator was unable to give us a tour of the facility, and so the owner gave us the grand tour himself.

Later, my father went out of his way to compliment the owner on the beauty of the facility and his business skills. My father, a dynamite businessman himself, enjoys going out of his way to do these things. “Thank you,” the owner said, and then instructed the coordinator to add an ice sculpture and a martini bar– normally two extras that the caterer can provide at the expense of the couple– as his gift to us! To which I say, way to go, Dad!

Had this not been the case, I probably wouldn’t have considered a signature cocktail as an option for our wedding. We’re Irish, and like our beer. But, since it was gifted to us… well, that’s another story entirely! A few cute names, some signage, and green-colored drinks, and we’re good to go. And… sorry, but did I mention that it’s free?

Here are some options for frou-frou signature cocktails–


This gimlet was featured in this month’s edition of Martha Stewart Weddings, and I kind of love it. It’s so cute and summery feeling! Granted, I’ll be honest here and tell you that I have no idea what a gimlet is– what kind of alcohol does it use? Those look like mint leaves, right? Any ideas?

Speaking of mint leaves, a Mojito is another great green option. While The Knot tends to overwhelm me, they have some great (color coordinated!) signature cocktails, including this mojito!

Mojito   What You Need   Handful of mint leaves 3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice 3/4 oz. simple syrup* 1 1/2 oz. light rum Club soda Lime wedge, for garnish    How to Make It   Muddle mint leaves in lime juice and simple syrup. Add ice...

Thank you, Carly Roney, for including the recipe:


What You Need

  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup*
  • 1 1/2 oz. light rum
  • Club soda
  • Lime wedge, for garnish

How to Make It

  • Muddle mint leaves in lime juice and simple syrup.
  • Add ice and rum and shake briefly.
  • Pour ingredients into highball glass.
  • Top off with club soda.
  • Garnish with lime wedge.
  • *Dissolve 2 cups sugar into 1 cup boiling water. Let cool. Refrigerate any leftovers.


Also on The Knot, I found another adorable summer-y drink, the Key Lime Pie. 

Key Lime Pie    What You Need   Lime juice Crumbled graham crackers for rim 1 1/2 oz. KeKe Beach Key lime cream liqueur 1 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka Squeeze of fresh lime 1 1/2 oz. half-and-half    How to Make It   Saturate rim of a martini g...I’m very intrigued by these crushed graham crackers…

What You Need

  • Lime juice
  • Crumbled graham crackers for rim
  • 1 1/2 oz. KeKe Beach Key lime cream liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka
  • Squeeze of fresh lime
  • 1 1/2 oz. half-and-half

How to Make It

  • Saturate rim of a martini glass with lime juice.
  • Dip upside down into graham cracker crumbs.
  • Pour liqueur, vodka, and squeeze of lime into a shaker.
  • Shake and strain into a martini glass.
  • Add half-and-half.


Of course, if you’re thinking about green cocktails, the first thing that pops into your mind, as it did mine, is an Appletini. Well, maybe not the first thing, but it sure is up there. The Knot provided another recipe for this drink.

Appletini    What You Need   2.5 oz. sour apple liqueur 2 oz. vodka Sour mix and triple sec to taste Apple wedge, for garnish    How to Make It   Shake and strain ingredients except apple wedge into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a...I really like the color of this one, too. Also, the woman’s hand featured in this picture is very nicely manicured. Well done, woman in black dress, well done.


What You Need

  • 2.5 oz. sour apple liqueur
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • Sour mix and triple sec to taste
  • Apple wedge, for garnish

How to Make It

  • Shake and strain ingredients except apple wedge into a chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish with apple wedge.

This is probably one of the most feasible drinks to make, since it was a martini bar that the owner of the site gave us, not a catch-all cocktail confection. Also, remember how I was planning on having apples in vases at the bar? Could be way cute! What if I could do the Appletini and the Key Lime Pie to go with the bar decor of apples and limes?

Oh, goodness. I need to be reeled in. Love the enthusiasm, though.

What do you think? Do you have a signature cocktail? And how did you name them?


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Yesterday evening, my sister and I drove an hour to the airport. We stopped at our favorite sushi place for dinner, where she scolded me for drinking root beer with my sushi. Then, we got on a plane and flew home to spend the Easter holiday with our family. Before jumping on the jetplane, we stopped at Hudson News or Borders-to-go or something like that, and got magazines for the flight. For the past two and a half years, I’ve picked up a wedding magazine. They’re just my favorites, engaged or not. Yesterday evening, I did the same as usual, picking up a copy of Inside Weddings, spring 2009.

Rach and I sat at our gate. Before opening up the magazine, I popped into Starbucks to grab a cup of coffee, since I hadn’t slept much the night before. I had a lovely time talking with the Barrista– from the way she handed my my change and my latte, I realized that she was from Ethiopia, which I love so deeply, having visited last winter. We talked about Ethiopia for a little while, and had a really pleasant time. Unbeknownst to me, my entrails were about to be turned into mush.

Back at the gate, I flipped open my magazine. Rachel sat on her computer. All was calm and quiet with the world. And then I saw it. And had a heart attack.

Featured in this issue of Inside Weddings  was over-the-top wedding after over-the-top wedding. I’m talking multi-million dollar affairs. Fourteen bridesmaids in one, seventeen bridesmaids in another. HUGE chuppas upon covered in flowers. Centerpieces made of roses shaped into swans. Two Monique Luhlier dresses for one event.

One bride and groom rented the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. You know the one– it’s where they host The Oscars. This same couple had a gospel choir, hired professional dancers to pose as stunt doubles for their first dance.

I thought I was going to die.

My latte sat forgotten at my feet.

Once I reminded myself to breathe– inhale, exhale, repeat– and was able to stick my eyes back into my head, I started to get really angry. I mean really angry. My sister, meanwhile, had leaned over my shoulder to look at the weddings in question, and exclaimed, “I want my wedding to look like that!” And I got angrier.

I should blame it on the wedding industry, which I knowingly take part in and enjoy thoroughly. But I just don’t think that’s it. No vendor that I have ever spoken to has suggested that Brandon and I order centerpieces made out of swan-roses, or get a Sylvia Weinstock cake flown in from New York. It just hasn’t happened.

There’s just something about being bigger and better, keeping up with the Joneses and all that, that absolutely incensces me about those weddings. It’s not that they depreciate the value of our wedding– nothing can really do that. But they do set up so many expectations that I cannot (and don’t want to) live up to– no one can.

So, I’ve decided I need to work on anger management. Which I think means… no more wedding magzines. I LOVE Martha Stewart Weddings, and with my lovely subscription, I will still read with voracity. Sure, I’ll read the blogs I love. And maybe, once in awhile, I’ll pick up a magazine at Borders– not to buy, just to peruse. What I don’t want is to see another wedding at the Kodak Theater. This isn’t a production, it’s a wedding. And if magazines and real weddings are going to take my mind away from the sentimentality and turn it into one big show, then c’est la vie.

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I spend more time than I should procrastinating online. Partly because I don’t want to do work. Partly because my mind is occupied by mostly wedding related things. And partly because I have no self-control.

One thing I enjoy doing, beyond looking at my Registry at a near-obsessed level, is checking out the spring line of dresses to find a Rehearsal Dinner dress. My favorites include Bluefly, Nordstom, and, of course, Anthropologie. I thought that I’d found the dress I wanted to wear at Anthro. I was a little wary of wearing a green dress- isn’t that a little campy? Wearing theme colors to the rehearsal dinner?

I tried it on in the store a few weeks ago and loved it, but was turned off by the color. Though I love it, I felt a bit too matchy-matchy. I kept coming back to it though, because I was a bit tired of not finding a dress I liked at any other store.

Here she is!


In this picture, it looks more blue-green. But in the store, trust me, it’s green. No doubt about it. It’s very cute– I love the sash, and the material is shantung with a chiffon overlay. While investigating online, I fell in love with these yellow shoes, by Nina, from Zappos. Yes, yellow shoes. Don’t ask me why, but I just love the idea of yellow shoes. Imagine them, with the dress above, and a sunflower in my hair.


Now, if the dress were actually the color that it appears above, I think it would be very cute. But, considering the color is a very bold green, I think I would look like a crayon. I love the shoes nonetheless; they’re also cute in brown, so I think I might just buy them.

Anyway, that to say, it’s back to the drawing board on the rehearsal dinner dress. This one is a great backup, but I’m just not sold as of yet. I’m pretty picky about the dresses I wear– they have to be just the right fit. The dress from Anthro happened to be just the right fit– just not the right color.

Where do you shop for dresses? Any rehearsal dinner must-haves? How do you feel about wearing white to the rehearsal?

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One thing that I’ve been waffling about is a Sweetheart Table. I can’t decide about it. I’d loved the idea initially, instead of a long head table with mostly vacated seats– let’s face it, the wedding party never sits down, anyway. But, a few months ago, this idea was called into question– a bridal publication (I can’t remember which) pooh-poohed the Sweetheart Table, saying, “Isn’t that what the honeymoon is for?”

I did a bit of research for this post, visiting some major wedding industry publications as consultants. The Knot seems to think that a Sweetheart Table is romantic, but Martha  (my lover) has this to say: “The traditional “sweetheart” table-for-two can make a couple feel isolated and self-conscious.”

So I have to ask: am I doing something wrong?

I’d never seen a Sweetheart Table until fairly recently. I’d thought it was a new, breakaway trend and that I was being a free-thinking, modern bride! Turns out, Martha says it’s traditional! So, what do you think? Are Brandon and I isolating guests by enjoying our meal by ourselves? (I have a tendency to think a Sweetheart Table would improve our chances of actually eating, though I’m not holding out much hope.) Or, are we enjoying a romantic night together, while avoiding the politics of seating? What do you think?

And, before you make a judgment, please see the following inspiration photos for the Sweetheart Table:



And I’ll plop my own bouquet right in the center. Just to remind you– it looks like this (clearly, I have a thing for callas):


Imagine how absolutely lovely a Sweetheart Table could look! I love the potential decor… but is that a good enough reason? Comment with your opinion!

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I’m pretty excited right now! Our ring bearer is a little boy I nanny for, named Ciaran.He dressed as a monkey for Halloween (I found the costume!) and, before he could talk, he would beat his arms on his itty bitty chest like a monkey, and say “Ooo Ooo!” It’s probably the cutest thing in the world. Forgive me for gushing, but I love this kid. Of course, when it came to be Christmastime, the natural gift-of-choice was his very first Curious George book, and now, he’s obsessed. I mean obsessed. I bought him a big ol’ collection, and since then, his parents have bought another compilation and a few smaller books, as well. He has lots of monkey toys– a stuffed George toy, and two other monkeys, named Harlow and Lowell.

He’ll be two just before our wedding, though, and I’m a bit terrified that he’ll be a little temperamental about getting down the aisle. If he doesn’t, that’s fine– we won’t make him wear a tux or anything; that’s a lot with only a 50% chance that he’ll deliver on the day-of. BUT, while trolling around on Etsy, I did find this adorable fabric at fabricsupplies shop that I think I’ll use to make his ring pillow!


How adorable is that?! We’re not using blue in the wedding, but really, I just can’t pass up the adorable monkeys!! We’ll send it home with him and his parents, since his room will soon be decked-out in a jungle scene.

I also found this one from MyHeartAndSew


I like ths colors of this one better, but I’ve developed a deep aversion to palm trees after going through a period of obsession in middle school. And, is it too much if I use this fabric from WinterWindDesigns for the underside?


OK. Yes, maybe that’s too much. But, as my friends would say, “We like the enthusiasm!” I was thinking of a circular pillow with a cute little button in the middle. And so, I found these at SewingRabbit‘s shop:

il_430xn_59178713One of these might look cute smack-dab in the middle, dontcha think? Lots of cute ideas for my favorite little boy– I’m OK with not matching, or a bit of corniness, if that makes Ciaran happy… and more likely to walk down the aisle!

You can just call me the Pacifier.

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Well, you’ve seen the bouquet, you’ve seen the church flowers. Here’s what I’m thinking for our reception. To jog your memory, our beautiful reception venue looks like this:

Photo by Cindy Patrick

Photo by Cindy Patrick

 So, we’re thinking about flowers like these for our reception space. We’re going to alternate high and low arrangements, with more low than high. Theme flowers, like I mentioned before, are going to be white calla lillies, hydrangeas, and white roses. Here’s what’s inspired me:





I really love the vibrant green of the stems. The top two have way more calla lillies than I can probably afford, as they’re pretty expensive. But I thought this was a nice way to incorporate the fresh green of the rest of our decor, and also keep it natural and muted. I love the Thai leaves that are incorporated as well– they add a really nice element of greenery that I’m very attracted to.

For our low arrangements, something like this–





I love the hydrangeas– not many blossoms are needed to make a full, lush arrangement! And, again, they’re a nice, muted tone, but still can be a wow when clumped together. There won’t be any callas in the small arrangements, only the large ones.

And, I’m thinking of hatching another DIY project. I cannot imagine that children will appreciate flowers– I just don’t think they will. Perhaps at the kids tables, I’ll use buckets filled with crayons, coloring books and candy as a centerpiece, instead of cluttering the table with them, which I was going to give out anyway. Is that tacky? I’ll make sure they’re toward the interior, instead of a very photo-visible exterior table.

So, what do you think? With an estimate of 22 tables, how many high and how many low?

Do you have signature flowers for your event?

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Well, I’ve posted on Bridesmaids dresses, the reception and the ceremony locations. I’ve not posted about my dress, for it will remain a lock-stock-and-barrel secret until my wedding day. However, here’s what I’ve been thinking about floral design.

My florist, Janene of In Full Bloom, specializes in “intensely personal flowers.” She’s so great to work with, and I really enjoyed my time with her this winter. I won’t post bouquet options for myself, because as I came to think about my own bridal bouquet, there was truly no other option than white calla lillies. Beautiful, classy, a bit modern, but in traditional white. So chic. I also love the sharp contrast of the green stems– I think that will seperate the white of the flowers from the white of my dress.


For the bridesmaid’s bouquets, I have a special surprise in store. Also, when talking with my friend, Melissa, on the phone the other evening, she exclaimed, “I found your blog!” This brought on a few mixed emotions– surprise, for one– and also regret that I can’t share all of the surprises I have in store for them. However, here’s a few pictures that have inspired me for their bouquets.

What’s not a surprise is that they will all be all-white bouquets. I love the simplicity of white-on-white that my bouquet will have; I was having a hard time, however, finding an appropriate shade of green to accompany their dresses. So, it’s white flowers for us all!



I posted earlier about my flower girl, Paloma, and the pomander I’d like for her to carry. That idea is still my primary option, and will also be in the works as a DIY project.



I can make one of those, right? Power to the people! The question is– green or brown ribbon? I’m thinking brown. Thoughts?

Next up: Church flowers (another DIY project) and Centerpieces.

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