Saturday, February 27, 2010

What are your thoughts?

Recently, Martha Stewart Weddings "tweeted" the question - "Does your family do the dollar dance? Email our etiquette expert and let her know". This really got me thinking - and I'm not sure how I feel about money dances. Granted, I have only attended one wedding where there was a money dance and there has yet to be a wedding in my family where the dance takes place - but so far, I feel both for and against money dances.

For some background information, "During a "Money Dance", male guests pay for the privilege of dancing with the bride, and female guests pay for the privilege of dancing with the groom. The custom originated in Poland in the early 1900s in immigrant neighborhoods and is still celebrated at many weddings today. The money is to be used for the bride and groom's honeymoon or to give them a little extra cash with which to set up house."

How do you feel about having a money dance at your wedding? Does your family do it? What are your thoughts? I would love to hear your comments and I also set up a little poll here in the site to get a bit more insight.

The money dance - yes or no?

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The easiest thing ever

Floating Flower Centerpiece

Directions:  fill tiny fish bowls with water, insert favorite flower.

...can a centerpiece get any easier?!

Thank you Dog N Bird!
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Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Photo #15

Getting carried away.

Nadge & Joe + Isabel & Jared from The Brides Cafe

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Real Wedding: Karalee & Derek

Another gorgeous Real Wedding feature today!

Alright alright, I am a bit prejudice - I have known Karalee since 8th grade and I was privileged enough to be one of her bridesmaids - but I think you will agree with me once you drool all over Karalee's pictures!

Karalee and Derek got married this last summer in Yakima - her oldest brother hosting the tented reception at his house/property in Naches, the house in which Karalee grew up. The bridesmaids and groomsmen wore a sage green color, which was accented by black and reds throughout the reception decor.

Beautiful Karalee and her handsome groom (now husband) Derek

 In Karalee's words : "Some little girls dream about having extravagant weddings. My dream for my wedding was for it to reflect me 100%. I wanted to have a day that I could remember fondly and with happiness instead of remembering a day full of stress and anxiety. I found my dress during my first day of dress hunting in a little boutique in Bellevue. I opted out of a formal guest book, and instead had guests write their well-wishes on a card to be hung on my centerpieces at the reception. I later used pictures from the wedding and the guest's cards to create a scrapbook. We tied bundles of wheat with flowing ribbon to attach to the pews down the aisle in the church, and suspended draping fabric with fishing line in front of the church to create a dramatic look.

For the reception I changed into cowboy boots, and my groom and I arrived in a horse and carriage. The guests then could take rides through the orchards during the reception on the horse-and carriage.

I had my incredible cake-maker, Kerri's cakes, use raspberry branches, blueberries and blackberries on the cake with some pearl-inspired detail on the frosting.

We created some "pillars of light" for when the sun went down stacking japanese lanterns on sticks of bamboo stuck into the ground. The grooms father surprised us with sparklers for our big exit!

My advice to all brides-to-be: forget what everybody says, what any expectations are, and plan a wedding that represents you and your relationship with the love of your life. Oh, and do yourself a HUGE favor and hire a wedding planner!" - Karalee

Photography: Gary A Delp
Catering and planning: A Midsummer Night's Catering
Flowers: Melia's Floral
Cake: Kerri's Cakes
Hair and Makeup: Onyx Salon Spa & Boutique

Thanks Karalee!!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tea Time

Have I mentioned how much I love bridal shower tea parties?

And how much I love free printables??

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My current obsession

Want to know what I am just loving right now? Dessert tables!

Not candy buffets (although some dessert tables have candy) but dessert tables with your wedding cake and then several types of desserts surrounding!

Lets say you and your groom aren't wild about cake - and certianly not wild about cake with fondant at $3.75 a slice. So opt for a smaller, simple cake and provide lots of different homemade cakes, pies, chessecakes, and cookies (the possibilities are endless!).

I love the DIY route you can take with dessert tables too. Feature that delicious cheesecake that only your Aunt can make or get you bridesmaids together and have a baking party. Is there a special dessert recipe in your family? Pick desserts that sound delicious to you and then make (or buy) them!

(I love the couples initials on this dessert table as well as all the white cake stands!)

You can also get creative with the display and decorations surrounding your dessert table.
Here are some printable table signs (and the blank ones)- thank you Inspired Bride!

(Snapshots of the couple above the dessert table?! Such a cool idea!)

Want some ridiculously fantastic inspiration? Look no further than Amy Atlas- and make sure and read this dessert table how-to written by her as well!

Want to know what else I am obsessed with??
Making your own cake stands for these gorgeous dessert tables!!!

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Monday, February 22, 2010


Target prices meet JCrew style meets Martha Stewart crafts

"If you’re on the hunt for cute and affordable bridesmaid gift ideas, you’ve come to the right spot. Check out this darling DIY flower corsage tank top made from a $7 tank top from Target. I love the idea of tucking one of these, customized to match your wedding colors, into a little tote bag full of other little goodies for your bridesmaids. And obviously you’re going to want to make one for yourself to wear while you’re getting ready. Or, if you’re like me and you’re not currently planning a wedding, you should probably make yourself one just because you want to wear something girly and pretty. That’s a perfectly good reason if you ask me." via The Sweetest Occasion

Also, perhaps you could add the word "Bridesmaid" in cute rhinestones to the tank!

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Love for the Mini Cake

Idea: Instead of having one giant wedding cake (or birthday cake, bridal shower, or engagement party cake for that matter) how about mini cakes? Cutely wrapped and set at each persons place around the table or displayed on a cake table, ready for the grabbing. Intrigued? Check out Cake Monkey Bakery's drool inducing mini cakes!

The Raspberry Red Velvet Cake
Moist Red Velvet Cake with layers of Raspberry swirled Vanilla Frosting

The Black and White Cake
Devil’s Food Cake Layered with Tahitian Vanilla Frosting and coated in Chocolate Cake Crumbs

Chocolate Carmel Cake
Chocolate Cake with Housemade Caramel, Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Frosting and Carmelized Rice Krispies
And finally, the Vanilla Gorilla Cake
Vanilla Cake with Tahitian Vanilla Frosting and Sugar Sparkles

Unfortunately, to ship a box of 8 little cakes costs $68 (+ shipping), so I'm not vouching for their cost effectiveness - but they sure do look cool and sound delicious!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Photo #14

“There is no kiss as wonderful and magical as the first time I kissed Jon after we said our vows… I know the sun was setting over the beautiful vineyard behind us and we were surrounded by our family and friends, but my world consisted only of him… I just kept thinking “my husband… my husband… my husband!”
-Lauren (the bride pictured)

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Real Weddings : Kirsten & Andy

Yay for another Real Wedding feature!
(this one is packed with pictures!)

And let me say, I fell in love with this wedding a long time ago and have been more and more impressed with Kirsten and all her hard work ever since! She really has an incredible eye and knack for wedding design (future wedding planner? hint hint!) not to mention she is one of the sweetest girls you will ever know.

Kirsten and Andy got married in Yakima this past summer - outside in the 98 degree heat no less! Her color palate of beautiful grass green and warm chocolate brown were carried throughout so many little details. She has been wonderful enough to tell us all about her wedding in her own words AND fill us in on all her vendors who helped her make the wedding such a beautiful success.

In Kirstens words, "I wanted my wedding to be an experience. I wanted my guests to eat, drink, dance and enjoy themselves. I wanted them to walk away saying, "boy was that a party!" One of the greatest gifts I could have ever received was the gift of joy, laughter and fun I saw on all of my guest's faces! What a blessing! I desired for my event to pop! Stand out! Be something special in my hometown and show my guests a good time! I tried to take earthy tones (browns and greens-my favorites!) to a edgy level without being, well. too harsh. I wanted something unique but not too over the top. I wanted crisp lines with the organic feel of nature. I wanted clean, casual, elegance that inspired my guests!

(Check out those perfect green wedding shoes!!)

We used a great deal of greenery including green and white hydrangeas along with grape vines to line the aisle way at the Ceremony. The bouquets were filled with mini calla lilies, hydrangeas, cobra lilies, orchids, roses, dahlias and more. At the reception, we used light flowy fabric around our huge 30x60 foot tent to add softness along side of the harsh, natural lines of the curly willow that was used in centerpieces and to create the illusion of trees within the tent. We used pops of lime green and brown by hanging parasols upside down among 150+ white Chinese lanterns to add texture to an otherwise sterile tent celling and added warmth with chocolate brown linen overlays. We had TEAMS of people who loved us helping to lift, pin, place and decorate and my God Almighty, we couldn't have been more thankful for them and their hard work!

We included fun activities to our party such as a photo booth which was a total hit (and such a great gift to our guests!), gave everyone Chinese hand fans (due to the 98 degree weather!), and had a send off with the ever-so-popular sparklers, a favorite from my childhood. As a last minute touch we covered our cake with a mosquito net (i.e. something you'd get from Pottery Barn, Target or any home store to drape over your bed) for practicality reasons and it ended up making the cake SHINE! Our photographer set up a flat screen TV and played back quick-edit shots of the ceremony, bridal party, family, my husband and I, etc. from earlier in the day and gave guests a discount if they ordered copies at the reception. He had the option of printing them right there for you! I think my grandmother ordered 7 or 12 shots!
Through planning my own wedding I've learned a great deal. A few of the most important words of advice I can share with other brides are, #1) figure out what is important to you and spend you attention, time and money there. For us, it was our photographer and our (outdoor!!!) venue. If it's your dress, go for it! If it's the food, taste away. If it's the venue, well you get the point. Make your dreams come true with reason! As for the other things- just make a decision and stick to it- otherwise you can spread your thoughts and vision too thin! #2) Know, learn and LOVE that when people offer your a helping hand-they mean it! Take help willingly-don't do it all on your own or your bound to get burnt out. My mother helped me with everything! My brother's Godmother did my centerpieces and threw me a DREAMY bridal shower. My aunt did all of the girl's hair and hosted the most beautiful rehearsal dinner. My grandmother made my bridesmaid's gifts and the list goes on! Friends and family WANT to help you-this is the one time in your life when the only focus is you and your signifcant other-bask in that sun! #3) Take time for you and your soon-to-be. The process of planning your wedding should never be a stressful experience (however, it often is!). After all-this is about the life long commitment you're about to make to another person! Focus on the two of you and what it means to start YOUR life together and your event won't need much else!" -- Kirsten A. Dahlhauser

And even, a little video by Michael Fisk!

-----Kirstens Vendors-----
Reception Venue: Apple Tree Golf Course
Ceremony Venue: Yakima First Presbyterian Church
Photography: Michael Fisk Photography
Videography: Gergory Kearby
Caterers: Apple Tree Golf Course
Cake: Shirley's Cakes
Dress: I Do Bridal, Seattle WA
Tuxes: Men's Warehouse Seattle WA
Bridesmaid's Dresses: Victoria's Bridal Couture
Flowers (bouquet, corsages, boutonnieres, etc): Melia's floral
Makeup: Lisa Wolverton, Ala Mode
Hair: Lis Pedemonte, Arleen Harmon; The Blue Sage Salon
Rings: Bergeron Jewelers, Ken Flaks, family inherited (the band of my engagement ring was my mothers and we had the solitaire put on as an addition)
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn
Invitations, save the dates, ceremony programs, etc: Lindsay Merrell, Minute Man Press
Centerpeices and ceremony decor: Carol Barany, Godmother
Music: Entertainment Plus
-Tents: Just Ask Rentals
-Cocktail Tables: Party Palace
-Chinese Lanterns (parasols were purchased from
-table linens: Weavers Flowers
-Tall centerpiece vases: Melia's floral

Thanks Kirsten!!
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Who loves free stuff?

Well I certianly do!

Here is a whole bunch of free invitation downloads (10 to be exact!) from the newly launched  

And the entire selection of DIY & Templates from the Wedding Chicks

Go forth and download free wedding stuff!
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Beautiful Wedding Video

My love affair with wedding videography is growing, video by beautiful video.

This one by Edit 1 Media in Seattle, is absolutely amazing!
 (sorry, I couldn't post it right to the blog)


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