Thursday, September 30, 2010

Free (Or Fairly Cheap) Parking

Although winter is right around the corner and outdoor weddings are not the best choice... it is a good idea to set dates for 2011 spring, summer and fall weddings (or 2012). There are so many national and city parks in every state! These parks are gorgeous for ceremonies and even can have a reception space. In DC there are some great places where you can see the sites and still have a beautiful park view! Depending on you location the park may be free or very cheap to rent out for the ceremony and/or reception. Although there are some parks that may not be suitable for a wedding, some parks are perfect.
Of course everyone knows about central park in NYC, but it is truly beautiful and has many great places for a wedding ceremony! Central park does run some fees for using it, but if you live in NY or Jersey this may be the perfect choice for your wedding. In Washington, DC you have the National Mall, Constitution Gardens, George Washington Memorial, and other memorial parks ( This places are also amazing for engagement photos! Also... a wedding on the tidal basin near the Jefferson memorial in late March or early April would be amazing with the cherry blossoms! When you think of parks you may not think of the beach, but there are some great beaches that are covered by the National Parks or may just be a public beach. Like I have said a million times it is always important to look into all your venue options, you may just be surprised at what you find!

There are so many options around your area so look at different parks and memorial parks. There are also some great national houses and places that are frequently used for weddings! I love the idea of having more than one engagement picture shoot. In DC why not go to the memorials, a park, and a local location you love? With a good planner and vision you can make any place a beautiful wedding location.

Photos Courtesy of:  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Color of the Week: Lilac

I am loving this fall weather...besides the rain... but I love being able to wear a light sweater and flip flops. I also love the fall colors! Leaves are already beginning to fall from the trees in an array of greens, yellows, oranges and browns. Yet for a fall wedding you don have to try and fit your colors into this scheme. I am in love with lilac this fall and winter season! It is so amazing in the softness of the purple but the boldness of it as well. There are also great flowers that have a similar purple hues, especially lilacs! Lilac, or any similar purple hue, can be a great primary or secondary color at a wedding or event. I love the lilac color with  soft greens and yellows in a vase or paired with white flowers to make the purple stand out. The purple color can be paired with bright green and blues for a spring or summer wedding as well! Or pinks with an accent of brown! The color pairs great with white, black, silver and gold, so any chairs or accessory's will look great against the lilac background.  
I made a collage of some of the great pictures I found using lilac. Hope I inspired some to use the color in their next event or wedding... or just incorporate it into their homes and lives.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Candy is Dandy

As promised I am letting you all know about another favorite reception food idea at weddings and any event. This one I have loved for a long time and even seen it done at some weddings, but article reiterated my love...for CANDY! Can't think of a great guest favor? A Candy Bar is a great, easy, cheap and cute way to keep every guest satisfied. Just provide your guests with cute bag or boxes that have your wedding date or something about the wedding on them and have the guests fill them up with their favorite candy. You can have as many or as little variety due to your budget and want. Most caterers will supply you with jars and/or scoops for the candy. You can also find great jars and use ribbon in your wedding colors to tie around the jars. Make cute signs with each candy name and a sign telling your guests what to do. I also love this idea for a child's birthday party or even a corporate event... everyone goes giddy over candy!

Make the experience as if your guests are walking into a candy store where they can pick whatever they want! Find some great penny candy like pop rocks, candy rocks, button candy, Swedish fish, candy necklaces, etc. You can add in some of your favorite candy as well... like I love raisinets, sour patch kids and hot tamales. Plus, always have some of the classic candy choices: M&M's, skittles, starbursts. It is also a great way to incorporate some cultural candy if you or your fiance are from another country.

A lot of this candy can be bought in bulk and at wholesale prices. Plus, having some candy left over is NEVER a bad thing. You can always give the candy to other families in the neighborhood or donate it to a local troop or teacher. Or eat it all yourself : )

** Look at craft stores and online for bags. This is a great opportunity to save some money and just purchase personalized stickers and cheap candy bags and do yourself. Candy bags can be paper or plastic, but choose what you like and is easiest to fit your budget!

Pictures from: (Ashley’s Bride Guide,, Amy Atlas Old Fashion Candy Bar, Hannah Elaine Photography)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lets Take a Flight

You got to love Mondays... here in DC it is muggy and rainy and gross outside. Made me want to stay home in my PJ's, watch a movie and crack open a beer or bottle of wine. Unfortunately, I got up and made my way to the train and got into work. Thankfully though I get great newsletter emails from many different wedding sites and received one that just tickled me pink. had a great story on new wedding food ideas and I could not resist but to read it. I love almost all of them and will share more and more of my thoughts and what I have seen in the coming days. I chose to pick one of the most interesting and best ideas I saw.
Beer and/or Wine Flights!! Oh my I am in love with this idea. Weather you have an open bar or not this is still a great way to incorporate your love of beer and/or wine into the meal and have your guests experience great food and wine/beer pairings. You can do either beer and wine or chose one for all your guests or have everyone get to do both! If you do both but are having your guests choose one, have your guests choose which flight they want when sending in their food choices so that you know how much you need to buy alcohol wise. I think doing both but having your guests choose one is the most money efficient and fun, since your guests are not stuck to one thing if they do not like it. I also love that if you are having some kids or underage people at your wedding to get some great flavored sodas and juices to have them experience it as well. They won't really understand the food pairing part, but what a great way to keep kids involved and interested during the meal and not felt left out. You could also have this choice for people who maybe are not drinkers so that they as well do not felt left out.

The wine/beer is served in smaller tastings, not a whole glass but enough for a couple sips, allowing guests to get the tasting experience. You can work with your planner/caterer or by yourself to pair different wines and beers (and soda/juice) with different foods. This is easiest if you have maybe 3, 4 or 5 courses...anything more than that and it may be overwhelming. You can do a soup or appetizer courses, regardless of if you already served apps, salad course, main meal course (or 2 if you want), and a dessert course. I think chocolate and beer/wine pair great together, so the chocolate course can be something small or even just a small bark of chocolate you buy from the store for the guests. With each course pair what you like and what is said to fit with the food selection. With beers, go with some great micro brews or local beers, and with wines as well choose wines you like and try and get some local wines into the mix.

If you and your fiance are like me and my boyfriend we love trying new beers and wines and pairing foods with them. We also have friends who love it as well, or at least the beer and wine drinking part. This is great for guests to be involved in the meal and you can print out cards that say what beer and wine go with what dish. With local wines and brewery's, call them and tell them what you are doing, they may be able to get you a discount or something special since you are featuring them at your wedding. It never hurts to call and ask and most places are super nice! This is also a great thing for both you and your fiance to do together during the planning process and should be relaxing and fun... go to wine festivals or beer festivals or look into visiting winery's/brewery's to find some great drinks and see how they recommend pairing.

I hope someone puts this into their wedding... I already know I will when it happens!

(if you are subscribed to the story is called "15 Creative Menu Ideas").

Friday, September 24, 2010

Destination of the Week: Paris, France

photo property of Studio Cabrelli

Known as the city of lights, Paris, France is one of the most romantic cities in the world. I personally have never been to Paris, let alone Europe, but I have always wanted to go. I love the old buildings and the culture of Paris that it makes a great place for a wedding or a honeymoon. Paris is picture perfect and has so many great places to get married or stay. The first one that comes to my mind is the Eiffel Tower, a picturesque metal statue standing over the city. Just think about having your wedding photos with that as the background. For art and history buffs there is a ton to do in Paris with Notre-Dame and the Louvre, plus many other museums to visit! PLUS there is amazing food in Paris from the pasta and pizza to the gelato you cannot go wrong. Like most locations there are great companies in Paris and many hotels/venues may offer the help of a planner. It is smart, like always, to research and talk to people who work over in Paris. Also, check on information about actually getting married in France and make sure you fill out any forms that are necessary.

If the city is not your seen there are great chateau's littered across the countryside of France. This is great for a romantic and more down to earth reception.  I also love France in general for a honeymoon as well. There are so many great places to visit and you are so close to many other countries and locations to visit. I recommend planning out where and what you want to go see and taking the train around, which is the main means of transportation.

I LOVE that there is also the Seine River in Paris and you can take boat cruises for your reception where you get the see the whole view of Paris while riding around. If you don't know I do enjoy a boat cruise! I love this idea because you get to show all your guests this great romantic city all at one time.

Like all destination weddings, you may have to cut down the invite list and think long and hard about how much you want to spend. If you want to save money... probably not the best idea, but great for a honeymoon since there are many things to do and see. Paris is the city of lights and romance, what a great place for a wedding or honeymoon to romance the love of your life. I also just love looking at all the amazing pictures of Paris and dreaming about my future trip there!

This is a great site for reading up about having a wedding in Paris and what needs to be done...

Here are just some more amazing pictures I found... Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Did the Fridge Say to the Magnet? Stick It To Me

So there is a little refrigerator humor for everyone today! Sorry I am not humorous enough to come up with a catchy title... but regardless this is a great product for you to use in many different occasions. Magnet announcements/save the dates! These have become popular and will continue to be popular, but I cannot get enough of them. These great magnets can cost as little or as much as you want and can be customized as much as you want as well. Most people put wedding or birthday/party announcements/invitations/save the dates on the fridge anyways, why not make it easier for them to remember your important date. Many places allow you to use a photo of the couple (engagement photos) or birthday boy/girl or expecting mother...I just keep on thinking of new ways to use the magnets!

Film Strip Magnet
I love this idea along with more fancy announcement or something else in writing with more information. People love getting magnets as well (or at least I do) because I love hanging pictures up on the fridge or anything else important. Like I said you can make them as expensive or inexpensive as you want! Do a little research and look at many different wedding company sites to compare prices and designs you like the best. You may also be able to find a place around you that does announcement/save the date magnets to have them customized just the way you want it.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE using these magnets as birthday invites or any other invite for any other occasion! They are super adorable as a baby shower invite or wedding shower invite as well since it is an easy way to remember the date and there are so many creative and fun designs you can do with those themes. Maybe I have gone off the deep end with the magnet announcement idea but I think this is so cute and really cheap compared to some invites you may get. It also doubles as a party gift! 

Here are some great sites to find the announcement/save the date magnets! (look around the site great things)
The Knot has a great selection...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DIY Guest Book

So as I was wondering the Internet over these past sick days I found a great idea for a guest book. Unfortunately I cannot remember where I saw the idea... but kudos to whoever thought of this. It is a calender guest book where guests sign their name and a note on their birthday or wedding anniversary. You then get to take the calender home and have every one of your guests important dates so you never forget. I think this is a cute and cheap guest book idea.

So to do this yourself...
1) Go to the craft store, Staples, look online at different calenders. I like ones that have cute pictures so that your guests can also write on the pictures is necessary. You will want to find a calender that has large enough spaces to write in
2) Get sharpies for your guests to write with
3) Make a sign, or have whoever is making you signs make one, explaining to your guests what to do with the calender
4) Wait until your big day and set it out on the table for guests to use

It is that simple to do and cheap compared to some of these guests book you can find at the store to buy. Calenders are great because there are some many different themes and colors that you can really choose one that fits with your wedding theme. You can also make one at home on the computer and print it out on nicer paper as well to have it even more customized. A way to customize it even more is to go to CVS or a place similar and use your own pictures to make a calender.

This idea is super easy and different than a traditional guest book. It is also super helpful when you start getting older and try and remember peoples important dates.

There are so many variations that you can do with this idea... I saw a great calender scrapbook that was homemade and had cute pictures of a family. This could easily be done for a wedding, especially if you like scrapbooking.  Do something that you like to do and incorporate that into the calender.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Room With a View

On Tuesday, I worked an event at 101 Constitution Ave. in Washington, D.C. I have worked at this venue before and am just amazed by the view the rooftop terrace has. In D.C., and probably many other large cities, there are rooftop spaces for rent. I love being able to see a town from above and see sites you normally would not see anywhere else. Most place that have a rooftop view allow outside vendors and usually just rent the space out without dealing with tons of specifics. Depending on the place this may not be true, so always double check with a place. Washington, D.C. has a great skyline and great monuments to see from above. Places like Chicago, New York, Philly, San Diego, L.A., Miami, etc. would be great to have a rooftop corporate party or wedding.

I especially love using the rooftop terrace and view when having a corporate event. I believe it allows people who work in the area and live around the area to see a skyline not typically seen on a commute home. A corporate party with international or non-residence guests allows you to show off your city with pride and give them a view they will never forget. It is also great for a wedding, especially if it is a city you have lived in forever or grown up in. You will see the city in a whole new light, and a great skyline makes for great pictures.

If you are scared of heights, a rooftop terrace might not be for you, but otherwise it is a great way to still have a more formal reception or party while being outside and enjoying a sunset. A word of warning... these rooftop parties can become a little hectic if there is a large storm or if it is super super hot. The heat can be solved with lots of fans, but a storm will push everything inside. Talk to the venue and see if there is an area that the party can be moved if a storm hits.

There are so many options when it comes to choosing a venue. Make sure the venue has all the element you want in your event/wedding and that you can choose certain aspects yourself. Always visit a venue to see it in person if you like what it looks like in pictures (some pictures can make a place look really great when it is not). And always love whatever you choose to do...

Here is so venues with Terraces:
Washington DC: ; ;

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Color of the Week: Cerulean

This color is amazing! I was browsing online stores looking for a dress to wear to a friends wedding and saw this color. Thanks to J Crew for having an amazing array of colors and the cutest dress ever...purchasing it later tonight! It was called Hazel blue... but with a wikipedia search of colors I found this similar hue and the name cerulean. Found out the name comes from the caelulum meaning "heaven, sky". This amazing dark blue yet still light blue fits perfectly with any season, epically summer and winter, and the heaven sky meaning of the color as well.

If you have seen a theme, this color will go great with any yellow or orange hue! I also love it with pink and white. I really enjoy using the blue as the main color and having some other bright colors as accent and floral colors. This blue could also be an accent color to many different main colors. I love this color by itself not just for a wedding or event but around the house as well and in clothes.

I love this color in the house as an accent and in jewelry as well... Look at some of the amazing things I found! I love the idea of using the blue vase with pink flowers in it for the centerpiece, especially this amazing round vase. This has to be one of my all time favorite colors! It is bright, yet still subtle enough.

After doing a little more research on the color found some amazing birds with cerulean in the name. They are gorgeous... goes to show you have wonderful colorful life really is...

Find some of the amazing items:

Monday, September 13, 2010


This weekend I worked a wine festival near where I live and it is amazing to see how many people LOVE LOVE LOVE wine. It got me to thinking about how beautiful winery's are, and how great they would be for a wedding. I am not a huge fan of the hotel weddings, but this is a great alternative to a traditional wedding venue. You can easily have both the ceremony and reception at the location, especially an outdoor ceremony! Most winery's even ones closer to a city still have a countryside backdrop. Here where I live in Northern VA, there are a ton of winery's all within an hour of the district. a Winery may not be as readily available in all areas of the country, but do some research you never know when you may find one.

The great part about having your wedding at a winery is then drinking their wine! I love white wine and could drink it for days so any place where wine is that abundant would send me to heaven. Most places have a reception area already (if they are a bigger winery) and have wedding day plans already set. Smaller winery's may have not done as many events, but still worth a shot. Like any other venue, make sure you ask all the appropriate questions and see if you can bring in outside vendors such as catering and wedding coordination. Some winery's have great restaurants there, and may be able to provide great food and drinks. Most places have great bed and breakfast's around, while some still have a larger hotel. Look for the area and type that is best for you. If you are looking for that countryside feel with a little more to it, a winery may be the best fit.

Winerys are great from spring all the way until the fall, and maybe even in the winter depending on the location. Any colors will go with a winery backdrop, since wines themselves are multi-toned in many ways. Find a wine you love drinking and check out their winery... try and find a local winery to make it easier. Go to local wine festivals and get brochurs about the different winerys. This way you can taste their wine and get information about them without visiting the winery.

Even if you are not the wine fanatic, a winery wedding may be perfect still. There are many pros and cons to any venue, and again like I say every time do what you want to do and love your choice. A winery allows for an amazing backdrop and fun activities if you go a day early/day later such as wine tasting and grape stomping (again, depending on winery). Most winery's have skilled event/wedding planners and know how to work with a wedding party. Just don't become a WINE-ZILLA and drink too much wine before, during or after the wedding... OK after is perfectly fine!

Check out these sites for more information:

Thanks to: My Simple Details, Boston Avenue Photo Co. and Chateau Morrisette for pictures

Friday, September 10, 2010

Forget Me Not

I was feeling inspired by my college sorority and started thinking about flowers. My sorority's flowers are the Lily of the Valley and the Forget Me Not. Both are delicate and simple, while being fragrant and sustainable. Inspired by the last color of the week, a golden orange, I chose the Forget Me Not as the flower of the week. It fits perfectly with the new blue/yellow color combination that is popular thi season, and probably will be for seasons to come. The flower is a delicate blue/purple with a yellow center. The petals can also come in a white or pink version with the same yellow center (which allows for a lot of versatility). They are an excellent companion flower to any bunch or can stand alone. I love these flowers, delicate and beautiful with such vibrant colors. They compliment many wedding/event color combinations such as anything pink, white, purple. Looking more up about the flower, there are 50 different species in the genre, which allows for many different choices when it comes to the flower.

Forget-Me-Not Seed Boxes
The flower's meaning is "remember me". I love this for a wedding because you should want all your guests to remember the evening and you as a couple. This is also a great flower to use in vase if someone close has died and you are remembering them at your wedding.

I also love as a wedding favor to give people a seed packet of Forget Me Not's. It is a cheap and eco-friendly gift that will have people remembering you forever. Use them in your wedding or just get some seeds to plant by your house and enjoy these beautiful flowers.

Just as a side note... how cute are these forget me not cupcakes! I love cupcakes in any form, but with a beatiful flower on top, who would not be able to eat that!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

In My Red High Heels

I am a shoe girl... I love all different kinds of shoes and love finding amazing colors and styles. I love this recent trend to wear crazy colored shoes or funky shoes with your wedding dress, even if just for pictures or the reception. I have seen many people dye white shoes the same color as the brides maid dresses and show them off for the camera and friends. This idea is great, but I love when brides show their own personal style with a shoe. If you have a crazy colored pair or ones you love at home wear those to show people who you really are.
I know, I know, most people want things color coordinated and cohesively flowing, but mix it up! They are shoes for goodness sakes and not everyone will see them unless you have a shorter dress or choose to yourself.
I have become a fan of brides changing into different shoes, and dresses, for the reception. If you want everything to match in pictures and flow, the reception is the time to mix it up a little. Find a pair of sandals or strapy shoes that speak to you and wear them. Also, find something you are comfortable walking and dancing in. So many people choose a shoe because it looks great (I am a victim of that) but for your bug day make sure they are comfortable.
On the non-wedding side of things... if you are hosting or going to an event. Find shoes that scream you! especially as a hostess, you want people to look at you and saw wow she looks great and so does her event (or his). Choosing a shoe that is a little loud, yet still styled for the event is the perfect way to spice things up without wearing revealing clothes or a style not fit for the event. My personal favorite is always a great bright red heel. I own three pairs of red heels all in different shades. It brings out the best with natural colors and goes with most other colors as well. Find a shoe that matches the color scheme of your event ( I know I said no crazy matching, but it is a classic way to go).

Whatever the occasion, wear a shoe that represents you and is still comfortable enough to stand and walk in for hours. Too many times I get shoes that I know are uncomfortable and I never wear them out! Also, get dr.scholls for your heels they work wonders! You don't want to be the one taking your cute shoes off or not walking around because your feet hurt!

Embrace your style and of course, love whatever you choose to do!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Riding the Waves

Here in Washington, D.C. the weather was beautiful and it was the perfect Labor Day weekend for a wedding. Sunny with a few fluffy white clouds, but still in the high 70's. I myself enjoyed the weekend on a boat and walking around National Harbor in Maryland. While there, I realized how amazing a wedding on a boat (or at least really close to the water) would be. Although a boat wedding seems expensive it could still be reasonably priced and you could still have your reception on land or vice verse (ceremony on land, reception on a boat). if you don't want to have the ceremony or wedding on a boat, think about having the rehearsal dinner on a boat cruise or taking your engagement photos on a boat where you can share those amazing views with everyone.

I have personally never been to a wedding on a boat, but I know that they do have them in many cities where there is a river or lake surrounding the city or skyline. You do have to look into what the company offers in terms of allowing outside vendors, food, entertainment and price. Most places provide many things for the wedding so that you do not have to worry about it and also allow you to still make important decisions. Research does need to be done, like with any wedding or event.

If you have an aversion to water... please do not have a wedding on a boat! If you love being outside and on the water like I do, it is a great option to look at when choosing venues. You normally get to see some great sites and skylines and still pay around the same price. You do need to have a back-up plan in case of really bad weather, like any outdoor wedding, but most boats have dining etc. indoors so it can still work out.

There are so many options if you do not want to be on a boat like doing something at a hotel on a harbor or right on the beach. Do what you like and where you feel most comfortable. Take into consideration all your options and definitely look at pricing and other options that company's give you.

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!

Pictures from: and (Love on a Boat Post)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Destination of the Week: Italian Islands

The Italian Islands are an amazing extension of Italy and allow you to have that tropical island feel while still having the rustic Italy feel. There are 6 different islands: the 2 major islands are Sicily and Sardinia, and the minor islands are Ischia, Capri, Procida, Elba, Tremiti and Aeolian islands.

Italian Island weddings have many options from castles to hotels. There is so much history surrounding the country that it is easy to make anything work from old school to modern. Amazing old buildings and gorgeous views who would not want to take a trip to the Italian Islands?

It is affordable to find venues and vendors in the area as well and use them instead of trying to fly people over from the US. If you know anything about Italian food, most caterers will have full flavored, amazing pastas and desserts.

You are still able to travel throughout the main country of Italy and throughout Europe if wanted. Make your honeymoon in the surrounding areas and countries to save money on more airline tickets.

Make sure you check the requirements necessary to get a US wedding certificate in a foreign land.

Thanks to these sites for the pictures: