Babies to Celebrate: My Little Sister :-)

Being an Event Coordinator can be tough in one respect: You have to work HARD (or at least I do) not to go over-board on things like your childrens' birthday parties, friends' showers, etc. I, like so many other people these days, am on a budget. While I would love nothing more than to throw the most outrageous parties, I still have to write the check (and explain the expense to my hubby) at the end of the day.

Well...my baby sister is expecting her first baby in March. She is the best sister a girl could ask for ... close doesn't begin to describe our relationship. Throwing her a shower was a no-brainer. But what's a girl on a budget to do?? Here is what I did. It was simple. But elegant. And oh so fun. :-)
  • Invitations - I went "green." I sent a really cute electronic invitation from Evite's new website: Postmark. If you haven't seen it yet, you should check it out.
  • Food - I opted for a brunch shower. Breakfast foods are typically less expensive than other alternatives. And it helps that my sister loves a good brunch. :-) I served french toast shooters, fruit skewers, my Mother's famous chicken salad with crackers, and pigs-in-a-blanket.
  • Beverages - Who doesn't love a good mimosa? We had them, of course. Along with orange juice for the mommies-to-be and sparkling water for anyone who preferred a non-juice alternative.
  • Flowers - It took going to four different grocery stores, but I finally found white stock (love) and white tulips. Yes, you did read that correctly. I said grocery store. I got 8 stems of stock and 20 tulips for less than $30. I used two vases and one coffee mug that I already owned.
  • Other decor - I am all about using what you already have. I own 20 beautiful wood mingling plates and 10 champagne flutes. I borrowed 10 more flutes from my sister (they didn't match mine, but they didn't need to). Throw in a few colorful napkins, some existing placemats and an old baby-blanket, and you're all set. The mingling plates allowed guests to wonder around without feeling the need to sit down. If you don't know what I'm talking about, google them. They are my go-to choice for any party I throw. Best.Buy.Ever.
  • Favors - My sister loves macaroons, so I opted to splurge on them. We didn't serve cake or any other sweet during the shower (with french toast & fruit, I thought it would be sugar over-kill), and I thought they would make a great little take-home. I threw them on top of two cake plates I already owned, and they made for another great decor piece.

Here are a couple of pictures I snapped with my iphone that day. I know they aren't the best quality, but I was busy playing hostess :-)



Happy Planning!

Fall Inspiration

Well, the fall weather has FINALLY kicked in here in Texas. It's been cool every morning this week! In honor of this season, and because the cool temps have inspired me...here are a few pictures I hope inspire you...






All of the pictures were found on Pinterest. If you haven't been properly introduced, you should be. It's a fantastic site!

Happy planning,

DIY Projects


Whether it's because you're on a budget, or simply because you are crafty, there are a ton of fun do-it-yourself projects that you could use for your wedding.

These candle-holders can be used to set your tables and are very quick and easy to make. You just need some old jars, yarn, masking tape, spray paint and fabric, as well as candles to put inside. Photo credit and tutorial found here.


These beautiful chiffon and tulle flowers can be used in your hair, on your bridesmaids' dresses, as a cake decoration, or as decor for your wedding venue. Photo credit and tutorial found here.

If you're into flowers, creating your own bouquet could be a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding. Photo credit and tutorial found here.

If you want to send your guests home with favors that you can make yourself, or even just favors for your bridal party and special guests, these bottles are a great way to show your appreciation by including personalized notes inside. Photo credit and tutorial found here.

For outdoor weddings, monogrammed luminaries are a creative way to light up the pathway with your initials or a nice message. Photo credit and tutorial found here.

If you like to sew, then you probably have most of the materials needed to make this garter for your wedding day. This could be a fun project and maybe even a stress-reliever. Photo credit and tutorial found here.

Finally, these do-it-yourself wedding fan programs are so pretty if you have the time to create them yourself. All you need besides a computer and printer are some scissors, cover stock, and some eyelets and eyelet-setter tools. Photo credit and tutorial found here.

These are just a few ways to add some personal touches to your wedding if you like to be hands-on. They are also great for keeping costs down and making space in your budget for something else. There are so many fun projects for your wedding that you could do yourself if you just get creative. If you have trouble coming up with fresh, new ideas, browsing the internet is always great for inspiration.

Zineera

Rose Petals


When it comes to rose petals at ceremonies, in my opinion, you've got to go big or don't do any at all. It is super important to express to your florist that you want to order petals on the heavy side to make sure it is long enough for your aisle. Even better, find a photo to show them how you would like the petals displayed.

If you are having an outdoor wedding, arrange with your florist to be on-site 30-45 before your ceremony start time so that she can set-out the petals. If you are getting married on a cliff, over-looking the beach, and you have noticed that it has always been super windy on prior visits...that may be a sign to fore-go the petals.

Getting married indoors you can avoid this problem all together.

Rose petals down aisles are BEAUTIFUL when done correctly, nothing bothers me more than when an aisle looks like the petals look as though they were left over from yestereday's ceremony.

Pretty rose petasl..Below


Photo Credit: Bravo Bride



Lorena Alexandria

You're Engaged!!! Now what...?

First, allow me to say CONGRATULATIONS!!!  It is so exciting to be newly engaged! And I read somewhere that 60% of American proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day. So a heartfelt welcome and congratulations to all of the newly engaged. :) Hold on to your seats - you're in for an adventure!



So the question has been popped, the ring is fitted and the news is being spread. What's the first thing you do when it comes to wedding planning? Find the perfect dress? Decide on the exact date? You're ready to get this ball rolling! Here's my advice for stress-free wedding planning, step by step:

  1. Enjoy this moment. Take a deep breath to just live in the "I'm engaged!" excitement. Don't let the pressure of wedding planning hit just yet. Enjoy the bliss, then start tackling the many decisions you'll need to make.
  2. Where will your wedding be? Talk with your fiance (*squee!!* fiance!) about where in the world you want to host the celebration of your upcoming lifelong marriage. Austin? Houston? Turks and Caicos? Disney World? We've done it all. :)
  3. Figure out a rough budget. Mainly, who's contributing what? It's a tough talk to have, but things are so much smoother once everyone is on the same page.
  4. Hire your wedding coordinator. Before you pick your venue or select a date or assign dollar amounts to each item in your wedding budget, be sure to hire your wedding planner. Don't try to go this on your own - you've never done this before. You need an expert on your side, keeping you well-advised, and the wedding planning process manageable. 
  5. Once hired, your wedding planner will help you create your detailed budget.
  6. After your budget is established, you're ready to look for your venue. It's good to have a general idea of when you'd like to get married, but avoid setting your heart on a specific date. There are few things more frustrating than to find the perfect venue for your wedding only to then find out that they no longer have your date available.
  7. Budget and venue done, you now have your date! From here, your wedding coordinator will guide you through the selection of each vendor, starting with caterer (if needed) and then photographer. You also get to do the fun stuff like dresses and showers.
  8. As you continue planning, remember the point of all of this time and money - you're planning an amazing celebration where the people who mean the most to you will get to witness and celebrate the beginning of your marriage. You have something to celebrate, don't let it become something you dread. Much joy to you. :)
Happy planning!

Five Years Ago Today

Five years ago today, I married the greatest man I've ever known (with the exception of my Daddy). Five years ago today, I married the love of my life. Five years ago today, I married the father of my children. Five years ago today, I married the person I want to share my life.



Have we endured obstacles? Absolutely. Everyone does. However, marriage is not about the amount of obstacles life throws you. It's about who you want to stand beside you when those obstacles arrive. I can not imagine walking through life with anyone else.



Five years ago today, I stood at the alter and professed my love in front of my God, my friends, and my family. And on this day, five years later, I am more in love than I was the moment I said I do. I hope that the same will ring true for all of you.


Happy Planning!

Resha

Motivational Monday

Love this:

"Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling love."
-Albert Einstein

At this very moment, I am so in love. In less than 36 hours, I will be giving birth to our first and only son. And even though I haven't yet held or met him, I am deeply in love with him. How is this possible?? Not even Albert Einstein knows. :) But right now, I'm enjoying every tingling moment of this new love and joyfully anticipating the warm, established love I'll feel for him that I already feel for my daughter, my amazing husband and the rest of my family and friends who so richly bless my life.

Love to you and yours.

Cheers! :)
jessica

Adding a Pop with Placemats

Looking for a great way to add a "pop" to your tablescape? Try placemats! Whether you choose a fun fabric option like the ones below or a pretty paper print, placemats can give your tablescape an interesting touch. For a truly personalized feel, have them custom made or monogrammed!

I found these adorable napkins on Etsy (handmadebysima). Could you imagine getting a placemat to match? And, the crafty could easily make this a DIY project.

Happy Planning, Resha

Dare to be Different

In February I attended the ISES Houston monthly meeting which featured the always sensational Sasha Souza. During her presentation, she quoted Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” I love that quote. I encourage you all to keep it in mind while planning your special day. Create a space that is all about YOU. Don’t get fixated on the ordinary. Make something extraordinary by making it your own.


This picture taken by Anne Marie Photography is a great example. I once had a couple who loved bobble-heads. They had custom bobble-heads made in their likeness and used them as cake toppers and guest favors. Why not?

Dare to be different!

Happy Planning, Resha

Floral Chandeliers

In researching ideas for my latest storyboard, I came across this fabulous pumpkin chandelier on Martha Stewart. I would love to do something similar over a cake table!

It would work for any season: just mix and match to fit your decor (flowers, fruit, candy, ribbon, pine cones, whatever your heart desires). Happy planning!

Don't be afraid to use color


I got this picture from one of the home design blogs I follow (Design Covet). I often find fabulous color combinations in home design magazines that will translate over into your wedding!

I love this picture, because I personally would not normally think of orange as a color that I like. However here mixed in with the bits of silver and turquoise blue, this tangerine color looks just fabulous!

You could do blue linens with tangerine floral and silver vases.

Happy Planning!

XOXO

Lorena

Happy Valentines Day!

from my friend Phil Beyer:

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"One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is Love." -Sophocles

"All love is sweet, given or returned." -Percy Bysshe Shelley

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." -Helen Keller

Happy Valentine's Day!! ... Today, celebrate how you will love everyone around you for the next 365 days

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Couldn't have said it better myself. :) Thanks Phil!

How to Properly Freeze Wedding Cake

Time and time again I hear clients say they don't think wedding cake freezes. However, there is good news for those of you who are uber traditional and really want to save the top layer of your cake - it does. The trick is HOW you prepare it for the freezer. Here is what I suggest (and has worked for me every time I've done it):

(a) It's all about saran wrap. You have to wrap it in almost an entire box. Wrap it over and over and over until the wrap is about 2 inches think. And no...I'm not kidding. This is, in my opinion, the only way to ensure it will stay fresh and freezer-bite free.

(b) After you have wrapped it in as much saran wrap as humanly possible, wrap it in a couple of layers of aluminum foil.

(c) Then put the cake inside a cake box (usually supplied by your baker) and stick it in the back of your freezer (if you have a deep freeze, that is even better).

About two days before your anniversary, take the cake out of the freezer and place it in your refrigerator. It should be thawed (but still cold) by your anniversary.

Bon appetit!

Resha

(photo courtesy of Stacy Cross Photography)

I think I have a girl-crush on Sasha Souza

If you know anything about wedding/event design, then you know the name Sasha Souza. As the VP and Education Chairperson of AWEC, this past year I've been working tirelessly on bringing Sasha Souza to Austin, and it's all coming to fruition this Tuesday!
Sasha will be talking about design and enhancing your wedding/event business during an extensive seminar that will include a book-signing, Q&A and a meet-and-great with Sasha. While this event is definitely geared towards wedding professionals, it IS open to the public! So if you can't get enough of looking at pictures of stunning weddings and would like to learn some design tips from one of our nation's pros, please join us! :) Here's the invitation (click image for larger view).