Thursday, April 30, 2009

Forget the bouquets- grab a bag!

I'm a big fan of the amazing DIY Bride website, which features fun, creative projects that help you personalize your wedding - and save money while you're at it! I was really excited to find The DIY Bride: 40 Fun Projects for Your Ultimate One-of-a-Kind Wedding at my wonderful local library the other day. I had to check out the book and found some fantastic projects that I was pretty much drooling over.

One of my favorites was the "Buds & Blossoms Bridal Bag," pictured here. It's a
beautiful alternative to the traditional bouquet. Not only is it really pretty, but it can save you a bunch of money! The book says that, while a traditional bridal bouquet can run up to $200, this floral bag will cost you about $50 to make (or less, depending on the flowers you use).

It's made by using floral foam as a base, which is cut into the shape of a purse. You add fresh flowers and a ribbon strap, and voila! - you have a lovely flower "bag!" What's great is that the bag has a flat base, so you can put it down anywhere. Very practical.

I think this idea would also be great for the bridesmaids' bouquets. You can use less expensive flowers and have beautiful bags for each attendant. Also, if the bridesmaids place their bags in the middle of their table, they would end up making a pretty table decoration.
This project just keeps getting better!

I'm thinking about doing a variation of this project as a decoration for my mom's 80th birthday party coming up in June. Maybe a topiary of fresh flowers for each table? Hmm.... I'm going to have to give this some thought.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I recently came across a fun blog, Planning Pirate Weddings. As the name suggests, it's all about planning a pirate-themed wedding. I love it!

As quoted by Nick Hoffman on his blog,
"Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."

I've been pretty good, haven't I?
But there's no high seas adventure in sight for me yet. Sigh...

I guess my fascination with pirate-y stuff explains why I always dress as a pirate for Halloween (although I do on occasion stray into the realm of the gypsy queen- my costume is very versatile).

A colleague of mine officiated a pirate wedding here in Chicago last summer and it was very cool! I saw some of the photos and it looked like the couple had all the details. The guests came decked out in pirate garb; even the wedding cake fit the theme - it was a big treasure chest. I have been jealous ever since.

So, by now you've probably guessed that I love theme weddings. I'm still hoping to get a call from a couple wanting a Halloween costume party wedding!

In the meantime, are you planning a theme wedding? Have you attended a fun theme wedding?

Feel free to leave a comment and share your story. And if you are planning a pirate-themed affair, be sure to visit Planning a Pirate Wedding!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't Divorce Happily Married Couples!

A huge thank you to The Mad Gay Wedding blog for this video. It brought me to tears.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

P.S. - Check out The Mad Gay Wedding blog for great reading - he has lots of fun ideas - not to mention that he's having a Disneyland wedding!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wedding Cake created by.... Twinkies?

Twinkies. Don't lie - you know you love them.

But did you know that you could have your favorite snack cake as your Wedding Cake?? See, some dreams do come true!

The Hostess website offers recipes for the Ribbons and Bows wedding cake, pictured here. C'mon it's kinda cute, isn't it?

There are also recipes for other cakes at the Hostess site, including the "Mr. and Mrs. Twinkie Tiered Twinkie Cake," on top of which sit the just-a-little-too-perky Mr. and Mrs. Twinkie. I can't' decide if they're cute or scary.

However, the best by far is the creation I found at FabulousFoods. The website offers a recipe for this lovely pink and green Twinkie cake.

Admit it, you know it's pretty.

And since it's made of Twinkies, it will be delicious - and will probably never get stale!

Mmm mmmm. That's Hostess Goodness!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wedding Music Round-Up

"What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong - that was the song for our first dance when I was married in 1993. It still makes me smile every time I hear it.

But, it wasn't our original plan. We were going to have "I Think I Love You" by the Partridge Family as our first dance. We even practiced dancing to it. There's still a small part of me that regrets not using that song.

We also liked Poi Dog Pondering's "Be the One."
I loved the lyrics:
"on the strength of your words,
my heart is carried by
a hundred birds.....
take me....
say that you'll be the one."

Ultimately, that song was just too darn hard to dance to.

I've given this topic a great deal of thought over the past few days (thanks to my BFF, M, for the idea). I have to wonder - what would we pick if we had to do it now?

Stevie Wonder's "You are the Sunshine of my Life" is a favorite.

We also love "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel. But does that just bring back way too many memories of the movie "Say Anything?" You know, the scene with John Cusack and the huge boom box? Ooh, I'm getting goose-bumps! Okay, maybe that's just me.

What about a recessional song? Does everyone pick the traditional wedding march?

Nope! I recently married a wonderful, fun, funky couple who had Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life" as their recessional song. They were an exuberant, expressive bride and groom and they picked an upbeat, jubilant song - and it was absolutely perfect!

So now the moment of truth. If you could do it all over again, what would you pick as your song? Would you go with Classical? Country? Rock? How about Classic Rock?

If you're going to be getting married and you've picked your perfect song - what is it? Is it for the ceremony or the reception?

Leave a comment and share your wedding song stories!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Butterfly weddings

Now that spring is upon us, my thoughts have turned to butterflies. As I'm dreaming about sweet little butterflies flitting about in my yard, I'm tossing around the idea of planting a butterfly garden.

But reality sets in as I remember that I'm a lousy (and easily distracted) gardener. Sigh.... Oh well.

But, I am quite good at thinking about gardens and butterflies and all things spring! Which ultimately led me down the path to ... butterfly weddings.

I found a great article at Favor Idea entitled, "On Wings of Love - A Butterfly Wedding Primer." It covers everything from table decorations to flower girl accessories, to the pros & cons of a live butterfly release.

If you read the article, be sure to scroll all the way down to the comments section - there are several with excellent suggestions.

While I was looking for other interesting butterfly-related stuff, I found the butterfly wedding gown pictured above. I LOVE IT!!! I'm not sure exactly what's going on with the back of the flower girl's dress (wings, perhaps?), but I think the wedding dress is fabulous!

Let's hear it for Spring! (YAY!!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Here Comes the..... Dog?

So, are friends calling you crazy for wanting your dog in your wedding? Don't listen! Lots of couples have included pets in weddings, especially dogs. Apparently Jennifer Hudson is planning on having her three dogs, Oscar, Grammy, and Dream Girl, play a role in her ceremony. Even Adam Sandler had his dogs, Meatball and Matzoh, at his wedding.

Hey, if they can do it, so can you! The website Wedaholic has a comprehensive post about pets at weddings you'll want to check out. The article has great advice, such as determining what role is best for your pet - ring bearer? escort? flower dog??

I say anything goes - except maybe waiter. Dogs tend to gobble up the hors d'oeuvres before serving them to the guests. That could be a problem....

So, has anyone else experienced pets at a wedding? And remember, watching Tiger's antics on the first episode of the Brady Bunch doesn't count!

Feel free to leave a comment to share your story!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who's Afriad of the Big Bad Bride?

I just discovered the fabulous website Bridezilla, which was named one of the Top 100 Wedding Blogs to Follow in 2009 by

The blog offers great advice and some pretty darn funny articles. I laughed out loud when I read You Might Be a Bridezilla If..., which offers "21 Signs You're a Bridezilla."

Some of my favorites:

6.) You were banned from having your wedding in a church because you suggested they replace a sacred statue with a life-size portrait of you.

9.) You held an open casting call for "rosy-cheeked flower girls with prior wedding experience." Your sniffling niece with the underbite just won't do.

13.) Your cake is an exact replica of yourself.

17.) Your veil is hand-spun from real angel hair.

Click here to read the whole list - and be prepared to giggle!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wedding dress resource

I came across Once Wed, a website that allows brides to buy (or sell!) wedding dresses. Most of the dresses are used, but many are brand new and have never been worn. A great way to get a good deal!

This got me to wondering..... how do most brides feel about the idea of wearing a pre-owned gown? Leave a comment if you'd like to share your

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gifts for wedding guests

At the website Style Me Pretty, I found these wonderful goodie bags that you can make yourself.

The idea is that the couple makes a donation to a charity, in honor of their wedding guests (an idea I really love!). The guests receive these lovely DIY Goodie bags with a little treat (such as home-made brownies) and a note explaining the donation.

In these photos, the outside of the bag has a keepsake card with a poem selected by the couple. It would be a nice touch to include a poem or reading from your wedding ceremony.

Style Me Pretty (for "the style-obsessed bride") has tons of neat DIY wedding projects.

I think these are fantastic - they can save you money, but they also add a nice personal touch. Check out the website for more projects and unique ideas.

So, I really like this Goodie Bag idea. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gay Marriage Legalized in Vermont!

As reported by Andrew Sullivan this afternoon, Vermont has legalized gay marriage!

To read the post click here.

HOORAY! Way to go, Vermont!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Green wedding bands

GreenKarat is a business that sells jewelry made with recycled gold and other recycled precious metals. Not only is the company dedicated to "ecological responsibility," it also produces gorgeous wedding bands. There were several rings that I fell in love with! Here are some examples with their eloquent descriptions:

For the nature lover...
Seasons: "Robert Frost wrote of budding Spring growth: “Nature’s first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold”. But her last green is also gold, is it not? And what better ambassador for those magnificent stages of seasonal change than the maple leaf.

Our lives and our love will surely have seasons, too. May they all be as delightful and welcome as those which unfold around us."

For your inner science geek....
Intimate Bond: "We are largely made of and by proteins, and proteins are made from long chains of small molecules called amino acids. The link between one amino acid and the next is sometimes referred to as a Peptide Bond. That’s a very fundamental joining of nature; a tie we find symbolic of love's intimate bond.

These exquisitely detailed rings offer a stylized representation of the molecular structure which bears encrypted messages saying either 'Eternal' (top ring) or 'Peace' (bottom ring)."

For the wine connoisseur....
Vinea : "Some of the nicest gifts we receive are from the vines native to our area. Some are among the earliest bloomers in the spring. Others will in summer grace the shells of dead trees deep in the woods. Like our partners in love, they appreciate receiving support, but seldom become a burden.

Hand carved in two different styles: Embossed design on the top ring; Recessed design on the bottom ring."

For my fellow English majors out there....
Gatsby Redux : "Named for Fitzgerald’s ‘Great Gatsby’, this bridal set is defined by more than just its luxuriously indulgent retro style. The fictional Gatsby’s unfortunate trials also endow our peace of mind, as the story causes us each to pause and say a silent ‘thanks’ for the grounded values our own partners bring to our relationship.

Note the exquisite engraving detail on these rings. Although antique in appearance, the environmentally and socially responsible set is comprised of recycled metal, with a created diamond; both decidedly updated ideas. And combining the best of both worlds, the diamond sports a brilliant modern cut, undoubtedly prettier than the diamond Daisy wore."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cupcakes + Contest = Check it out!!

Okay, everyone knows I love cupcakes. But, if you love them too, then this is the contest you have been waiting for! Intimate Weddings is sponsoring a giveaway in which the winner (lucky dog!) will receive a $100 gift certificate to Gourmet Gift Company for gourmet custom label cupcake mix wedding/shower favors.

The best part? The cupcake mixes available include chocolate cupcake mix, champagne cupcake mix (I'm drooling) and even red velvet cupcake mix (now my heart is racing).

The contest ends on April 20th. Click here for the details of the giveaway!

Friday, April 3, 2009

What's in a name? Flowers, sunsets, birds.....

Yesterday, the kids and I made our regular visit to Cultures Week at Oakton Community College. The annual event features multicultural discussions, presentations and performances - all open to the public. And free!

We enjoyed the Cultural Sampling, where we tried tastes of different foods from around the world. Our favorites wound up being from Russia. Charlie and I really liked the beet salad, while Lili devoured her sample (and her brother's) of the halvah, a sweet made with sesame paste.

Even though we enjoyed the food, the highlight of our day was seeing Aloha Brush Art in action. Mervin Papa, the talented artist, was amazing to watch. He "illuminated" names for people, creating island-themed letters in various forms, such as flowers, fish, parrots, and flamingos. The kids and I watched him working, awed by his skill and the beauty of his artwork.

His table was very popular, and he was constantly surrounded by on-lookers, and conversing with people as he worked. As we watched, I couldn't help thinking that this would be so cool at a wedding! (What can I say, all roads lead to weddings for me.) When I chatted with Merv, he confirmed that he does weddings. Wouldn't it be fun to have him creating his artwork with guests' names?

Well, that got me thinking - his artwork would also be a wonderful keepsake for a couple. They could have their names & wedding date made into a one-of-a-kind piece that they could enjoy forever. This artwork would also be a great gift for members of the bridal party. The possibilities are endless.

So, as I chatted a bit with Merv and snapped some pictures, I realized that there were so many people in line ahead of us. Even though the kids begged to stay, we had to get to their piano lessons.Charlie & Lili were disappointed, but they still had fun watching.

Maybe if I write their names with stick figures they'd be satisfied? No, I guess not.

In any case, check out Aloha Brush Art for unique gifts and amazing entertainment for your event.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Green Wedding Gowns

Simply Dazzling Events, a New York event planning company with a fantastic blog, recently featured a unique eco-friendly wedding gown. The Chameleon Wedding Gown, created by Isadora Clothing, is made from organic cotton, bamboo and spandex jersey.

What's really cool about this dress is that it can be worn in many ways, depending on how you wrap and tie it. It can go from short-sleeved to strapless, with a bunch of changes in between.

The dress can be found (and purchased!) at Isadora Clothing's Etsy shop.

If you're into recycling, you can "re-imagine" your wedding dress after the Big Day. Just dye it, hem it, and wear it for many more years.

What a great idea!!!