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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wedding Trends

In this post, I will discuss new wedding trends and other special elements that can really make a wedding stand out. Weddings are becoming more and more non-traditional as brides are tending to deviate from what is considered to be the "norm". I am going to share with you some wedding trends I feel can add originality and overall elegance to a wedding.

Wedding Cake

Cupcakes are the new wedding cake. A lot of brides are choosing cupcake tiers in lieu of the traditional wedding cake. This new trend is becoming popular amongst brides who aren't afraid to step out of the box. Cupcake tiers can be displayed in several different ways and can easily coordinate with the color and theme of a wedding.

As you can see, a miniature cake can be added to the top of the tier so that the couple can freeze eat on their one year anniversary. Check out my dear friend, Dr. Yakini's, article she wrote about this growing wedding trend on her online webzine. In the article she points out a few cons of replacing a wedding cake with this whimsical display of sugary confection.

Candy Buffet
Displaying a candy buffet table at your reception is another wedding trend that adds a whimsical effect to the room. Candy buffets are always a huge hit at weddings because it can be used to coordinate with the wedding colors and can double as favors. There are several different ways to display a candy buffet.

Bags can be placed on the candy buffet table for your guests to scoop candy into and take home with them. You can personalize the outside of the bags by adding customized labels. You can find bulk candy from places like Candy Warehouse and the Bulk Candy Store.


While it is not a necessity, giving your guests favors is a nice way of thanking your guests for attending your wedding. Favors can put a nice dent in your budget because you have to provide one for each guest. Therefore, it is a good idea to use elements in your wedding that can serve two purposes. The aforementioned candy buffet serves a dual purpose because it can double as favors for your guests. Place card holders can also double as favors.

These cute little bubble vases have prongs where you can display place cards directing your guests to their assigned tables (that's if you choose to have a seating chart). At the end of the night, they can go home with your guests.

Here is another cute place card holder idea found on The Knot which can double as favors.

A couple on one of my favorite wedding sites, Weddingbee really took an original and charitable approach to wedding favors. Instead of handing out favors guests could take home with them, they gave their guests four charity tokens, worth a dollar each, to donate to three different charities.

Guests were given the option to divide their charity tokens amongst the three charities or they could choose to donate all of their tokens to one cause. There were three glass bowls set out on a table at the reception, each representing one of the different charities. Guests were given instructions to drop their charity tokens in the bowl of their choice. When I first saw this, I thought this was such a neat idea. Couples spend so much money on their wedding, but in this case, part of the money spent was going to be donated to a good cause. For more details and information on how you can also implement this at your wedding, check out former Weddingbee blogger, affectionately known to her readers as "Mrs. Lovebug's" post with step-by-step instructions here

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Photo booths are becoming ever so popular at weddings

Wedding photo booths add a sense of nostalgia to your wedding reception. Your guests will have a ball playing around in the photo booth. Most photo booth rental companies include unlimited photos in their rental packages and some even provide you with a scrapbook where all of your guests photos can be placed and later used as a keepsake for your wedding. You and your husband/wife will have fun looking back at all the silly poses and funny faces of your guests.

There was a caricature artist at a wedding I planned back in May. Each of the guests were able to take turns and get a caricature drawing done of themselves at the reception. This was a huge hit as well. I don't think the caricature artist got a break the entire time. Guests were anxiously lined up awaiting their turn.

Guest Book
Many brides are doing away with the traditional guest book. Photo frame guest books are being used at a lot of weddings

The bride and groom can display a picture of themselves (such as a professional engagement picture) in the middle of the frames and have their guests sign around the outside of the frame. This, too, can double as a memorable keepsake.

Guest book platters are also be used to replace the typical "sign-in" guest books. This can also be taken home and used as a keepsake.

Martini Luges

Martini Ice Luges are ideal for weddings. It is also a cost effective way to serve complimentary alcohol to your guests because you can have a signature martini being poured down the martini luge all night. Guests can just walk up and hold their glass underneath the spout while the bartender pours the liquor down the luge into a martini glass. Some couples choose to have 2 to 3 different martini luges so that guests can have different flavor choices.

Professional Lighting

Hiring a professional lighting specialist can add a romantic ambience to your reception. You can select lighting to match your wedding colors. Professional lighting really creates a "Wow" factor when your guests enter the room.

*Photo taken from Exquisite Weddings
Isn't that lighting gorgeous?

Ceiling Draping

Ceiling draping can add a touch of romantic elegance to your reception room. It can really transform a room. Ceiling draping is also commonly used in wedding tents when utilizing an outdoor space for the reception.

There are so many trendy wedding ideas, that I can't possibly cover them all in one post. Perhaps, I'll come back with some other ideas in a "Part 2" segment. I hope you enjoyed Part 1's segment and saw some ideas and trends that were new to you. Until next time...


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Featured!

I am pleased to announce that my last post, "Decoratiing With Scrapbook Paper" is being featured on a very good friend of mine's website. Dr. Yakini is a clinical psychologist in the New York City area. She is also a freelance lifestyle writer and Editor of the Girly Home Webzine which is an online web magazine geared towards women. The Girly Home Webzine touches on fashion, relationships, finances, and beauty & wellness to name a few.

Yakini enjoyed the ideas I shared in my Scrapbook Paper post so much, that she wanted to feature it on her site. How cool is that?! Check out my feature article here. While you're over there, be sure to check out the rest of her website for beauty tips, lessons on proper etiquette, yummy southern recipes and many, many more!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Decorating With Scrapbook Paper

Decorating with scrapbook paper is a quick and easy way to dress up a table setting for those last minute "get-togethers". It is also inexpensive and perfect when decorating on a budget. Scrapbook paper can be used as placemats, table runners, napkin rings and to cover vases.

Jenn from Hostess With The Mostess uses scrapbooking paper in a lot of her party theme designs.

In the above picture, Jenn uses a 12" sheet of scrapbook paper as a placemat.

Here she uses 1"-2" strips of scrapbook paper as napkin rings. Jenn also uses it to cover cylinder shaped vases for floral centerpieces. You can also use rhinestone stickers and other embellishments to decorate your scrapbook paper designs.

Scrapbook paper can be found at American Crafts, Luxe Designs as well as any craft store like Michael's.

Scrapbook paper can also be used to decorate around the house.

The above wall art can easily be created by using 12x12 inch Styrofoam Brand Foam Squares and covering it with scrapbook paper of your choice. At less than $5/sq, this is a really inexpensive way to transform a room in your house. They can be found at any craft store.

The Styrofoam Brand Foam also comes in 3" cubes that can be also be wrapped in scrapbook paper and used as vases.

As you can see, scrapbook paper can be used in a variety of ways. So head on over to your nearest craft store and stock up on loads of scrapbook paper. This way, when you have to entertain guests at the last minute, you will already have something at home to work with. The good thing about scrapbook paper is that it comes in hundreds of colors and designs. You can even use a particular scrapbook paper design as inspiration for a color scheme. Use it to decorate your entire event around.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Love for Chandeliers

I absolutely love chandeliers. Chandeliers come in various colors, different sizes , and can add character to any room or space. They are no longer only being used as an ornament over the dining room table, chandeliers can now be found in living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and even used to decorate an event or party space.

These bright colored chandeliers from Incidence in Paris each make a bold statement without saying a word:

This French black glass chandelier from Black Orchid Interiors in the U.K. has a Vintage Glam feel to it.

This chandelier from Lamps Plus sets off a romantic, vintage charm:

This Water Fall styled pink mini chandelier from Kingdom Lighting is the perfect addition to a little girl's room or nursery:

This Spectrum chandelier from Urban Outfitters is a personal fave of mine and is only $36!

This would go SO well in my dining room to compliment this painting I have hanging up:

But unfortunately, my apartment has a track lighting system in the dining area:

And....well, I really can't do anything with that, lol!

And last but not least, some chandeliers come with lamp shades like this one from Murano Glass

The lamp shades on this chandelier add a modern, contemporary flair to it.

Chandelier use doesn't have to be restricted to inside the home. They can be used to decorate an event space. Chandeliers illuminate a room and can serve as a beautiful focal point. While some can be priced pretty high, they come in various price ranges to suit just about any budget. The key is to shop around and you are guaranteed to find one that suits your budget. There are multiple styles of chandeliers that can easily coordinate with any theme whether it be French, Vintage Glam, Modern, Romantic, Colorful, etc, etc. So, the next time you are planning an event and looking for that one added touch that will create a "wow" factor, consider hanging a chandelier.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Reason to Celebrate

Birthdays, Anniversaries, New Baby, Just Because...these are all happy occasions that are cause for people to throw a big party or celebration. How about inviting all of your closest friends and family out to celebrate earning your Master's degree? Well, that's exactly what Susann did last night. Earning your Master's degree is a BIG accomplishment and definitely something worth celebrating. I teamed up with my good friend, Arnisca Wilson, owner of Li Se' Catering & Events, and came up with decorating ideas for the event. Together, Arnisca and I gathered our thoughts and ideas and put our creative minds to work.

The color scheme we used was Red, Black, and Silver. The event room was very "drab" to say the least. It's one of those spaces where a lot of work has to be put into it to actually transform it into something beautiful. Unfortunately, we weren't working with a large enough budget to completely transform the entire room. But, we made do with what we had, and in my opinion, it came out nice. Let me know what you think:

We used Blumebox centerpieces on the tables. Thanks so much to Michelle with Lemiga Events for coming through at the last minute with the Blumeboxes

We decorated the outside of the Blumebox with a black satin ribbon and a red, shimmery, sheer ribbon on top of that. We also made custom drink menus and sat them on each of the tables. Here are a couple of close ups of some of the different menus:

Each of the menus were decorated differently and added a nice "personal" touch to each of the tables. Special thanks goes out to Cindy, the bartender, for putting together these menus for us at the last minute. Arnisca and I were running behind schedule and Cindy came in and got right to work. Had it not been for her assistance, we probably would not have been able to display these cute little menus on the tables. So "thanks" again to Cindy, "You Rock!"

We even set up a "head table" in the back for Susann and her family to sit:

They ended up not sitting there because they were too busy mingling with all of the guests and having fun on the dance floor. They were definitely not the type of people to be secluded at a different table away from their guests. What were we thinking? Lol! That was alright because the table added a nice touch to the room.

Complimentary alcohol was flowing all night. Cindy did an awesome job behind the bar. She was friendly to everyone that came up to the bar. She was just a fun person to be around. And...she even showed me her "Thug Passion" tattoo on her lower back (No, seriously! She REALLY has one, lol!) in honor of her favorite rapper TuPac Shakur.

Here she is, having fun with her Martini shaker, lol!

Cindy was very attentive to everyone's drink requests and made sure she gave them exactly what they asked for and even added her own little special touch at times.

Susann's guests were a fun bunch of people. They really knew how to party.

Here is Susann (turquoise shirt) and her guests doing the "Cupid Shuffle"

And a party isn't a party without a Soul Train line!

Here is the "Guest of Honor" going down the Soul Train line.

A lot of people "let loose" on the dance floor going down the Soul Train line, lol!
*Please excuse the blurriness of the pictures, the smoke is coming from the DJ booth. He let loose this smoke on the dance floor to give the room a "smokey" effect

A guest doing the "Robot" down the line.

Susann and her friend CJ going down the Soul Train line together as they both had something in common to celebrate. CJ also earned her Master's degree and graduated with Susann. Congrats to both of you ladies!

And this guy just couldn't resist going down the Soul Train line a second time and I couldn't resist snapping another picture of him, lol!

Fun times indeed!

And here is a picture of the DJ, DJ Triple M, who was responsible for everyone dancing and having a good time.

He played all the hot tunes and provided a nice mixture of music that everyone could enjoy. He even took it back to the "Old School" with some of the most popular R&B hits from way back in the day. From Frankie Beverly and Maze to some early Michael Jackson (when he was black, lol!)everyone was reminiscing and just having a good time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Barack The Vote!

With the 2008 Presidential Election around the corner, I'm sure many people have been throwing Debate Parties. If you are planning to host an Election 2008 Viewing Party in your home on November 4th, here are a few planning tips and decorating ideas:

A Patriotic/4th of July theme can be used for an Election Party

Patriotic Bunting Borders can be used to decorate edges of tables or as borders on the walls.

Other Patriotic decor that can be used are Red, White, and Blue streamers, Patriotic Confetti, and balloons.

Who to Invite:

If you are a Barack Obama supporter, make sure all of your guests are, too. This is to avoid any confrontations or heated political debates. Also, if guests are allowed to bring someone along with them, ask them to make sure their guests are also Barack Obama supporters.

Breaking the Ice

If you are inviting a diverse group of people, then chances are everyone might not be acquainted with one another. How about playing a game to "break the ice" amongst your guests prior to the start of the debate?

This Election Topics 2008 game from Plum Party is a great conversation starter.

What to serve?

Finger foods like hors d'oeuvre's and snacks are probably the easiest to serve at your Election 2008 Viewing Party.

You can also play off of the "patriotic" theme of the event by serving drinks and other treats in patriotic colors.

These Red, White, and Blue Cocktail Shooters are perfect for the occasion.
All you need is:

1 part grenadine

1 part peach schnappes

1 part blue curacao

Layer in this way:
1) Grenadine
2) Peach schnapps
3) Blue curacao
i.e. 1) on bottom

Or these Blue Yankee Doodles and Red Patriotic Punches:

Yankee Doodle
- 1 part UV Blue Raspberry-flavored vodka
- 2 parts sour
- 1 part tonic

Pour vodka, sour and tonic into a rocks glass over ice. Stir and serve.

Patriotic Punch
- 1 part UV Red Cherry-flavored vodka
- 3 parts lemonade

Pour the ingredients into a rocks glass over ice. Stir and serve.

Sweeten things up a bit and serve these Obama'08 Cupcakes from Mrs Beasley's:

Or these Obama'08 Cookies, also from Mrs Beasley's:

*Mrs Beasley's also sells these 2008 Election cupcakes and cookies for the Republican candidates. They can be found here

Or try these easy-to-make cupcakes:

And last but not least, try these Campaign Button Cookies

Encourage guests to wear Barack Obama gear or other Democratic paraphernalia.
Here are some cute t-shirts and hoodies from

I LOVE the colors in this tee being rocked by America's favorite Top Model, Eva Pigford.

This one is for all of my Old School Hip Hop heads and Run DMC fans. It also comes in Men's sizes as well.

In anticipation of cooler weather come November, you can also Barack the Vote in a hoodie. (*side note: Ladies, isn't that model a nice piece of eye candy?)

If you are welcoming children to your event then they too can "Barack" their vote. Well not really since they can not legally vote, but they can show their support in this cool gear

Even your favorite pooch can participate in all the fun

How cute is this Doggy Tee? And furthermore, how adorable is that little doggy?

And why not invite the "Guest of Honor" to your event?

You can purchase this life-sized, 6'2" cut-out of Barack Obama at

And that, my friends, should be enough to get you started on planning your Election 2008 Viewing Party. Feel free to email me pictures of your event and I will post them on my site after the election.