Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Introducing Ask BB Jean!

Now available is our complimentary service Ask BB Jean: a totally free resource to ask any boggling wedding questions that you want figured out for your fete!

While looking up Q&A's on other wedding sites might help a bit, we're ready and excited to offer you a personalized answer to your personalized question-no two weddings are the same so forgo the one-size-fits-all answers and let us try to help! From wedding etiquette to logistics to crazy and random, we'll do what we can to figure it out!

Have a question you want answered? Either give us a call 360-820-0306 or send us an email!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Friendlier Flowers + Favors

Flower favors have to be one of my most favorite things to do at weddings for a few reasons: They can serve as your centerpiece or another decor element, they act as favors, they are live plants which are good for your home and they don't get thrown into the garbage like candy favors do once all of the chocolate has been scarfed :)

Clustering a group of flowers together on the table makes for a pretty, garden-like centerpiece. Martha Stewart Weddings recommends a little sign with them that say "Pick one" so guests know to claim one when the night is through.

Putting flowers on a silver tray or in silver vases instantly ups the glam factor. These purple hyacinths are striking and add a lot of vibrant color to your space. Again, just make sure guests are informed that one is for them. Another idea is to place a small potted bloom at each guests' space with their name on it: favor, namecard and decor piece all in one.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Freebie Friday!

I can't believe it's Friday already! How exciting!

Well here it is, our first giveaway of the month! This month is a 6x9 bridal scrapbook featuring paper, stickers and other goodies for you to document that amazing bridal shower or bachelorette party!

Want it? Leave me a comment telling me your best piece of wedding advice you have or have received. Winner will be chosen at random next Friday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to look for Budget Friendly Vendors

I found this post on BeSpoke-A White Box Blog. It's great advice when you inquire about vendor services. Read on:

When a bride visits our studio or calls THE WHITE LINE asking for an “affordable” photographer, “budget-friendly” venue, or “reasonably-priced” DJ, I never know what to say. Actually, I do know what to say, but I’m sure it’s not the answer the bride is looking for.

I’m sure brides use these words because they are afraid to use actual numbers (as previously discussed in this post), but I am not a mind-reader. I wouldn’t dare guess your budget based on how you talk, the clothes you’re wearing, or the size of the ring on your finger. I have no idea what is reasonable or affordable for you because I don’t know your budget!Brides, please don’t email vendors asking for such services. You must understand that what seems unreasonable to you might be very reasonable for someone else. No bride – even she who has millions to spend – wants a vendor whose pricing is unreasonable in her mind.

If you have $20,000 to spend on your wedding, you may think $5,000 for wedding planning services is “overpriced” (25% of my budget!), when in fact it could be the deal of the century considering the level of service offered.

If the cost of services quoted to you is more than you can afford, that doesn’t mean the services are overpriced. If you find yourself in this situation, simply say, “Thank you for your time, but unfortunately that is more than my budget allows. Do you offer anything in the $____ range?”

If you’d rather avoid the above conversation, be candid about your budget constraints from the start. When emailing a potential cake designer, for example, include a line that says, “I have a budget of $1,200 for 200 guests. Do you offer any cakes in that price range?” Not only will your vendors appreciate it, you’ll save yourself a lot of time.

Vendor Spotlight: Flying Bird Botanicals

I was so pleased to find Flying Bird Botanicals on Etsy! Located in Bellingham, WA Flying Bird offers organic and handcrafted products. Though they offer a good variety of products for every day use in the home (Bites, Stings, Burns & Ouchies soothing spray, after shave, teas, etc) my favorite products were those made for moms and their baby birds :) And yes, I know this blog focuses on weddings BUT let me remind you of a song that most of us used to sing: "first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes . . ." you get the idea ;)

Flying Bird offers plenty of products for a pleasant pregnancy and healing along with organic and soothing items for baby-perfect for shower gifts or for moms to treat themselves. Start with some Mama Rub for the mom-to-be, to help keep her skin soft and supple.

Or get her the pregnancy tea-a tea blend of herbs and spices that promotes a healthy body and pregnancy. There's also a sitz bath blend to help soothe and heal.

After baby arrives, there are other items like Baby Bird Bottom Spray to soothe baby's skin, or Head-to-Toe bath wash. Flying Bird even has a tea made to comfort your baby (they recommend steeping the tea, dipping a washcloth in it and placing it in the fridge to cool. Then let you baby suck on it to ease pain from incoming teeth)

You can get individual items or purchase gift sets (complete with a fair trade basket!). Regardless of what items you choose, you can feel good about your purchase because it's local (for us in NW WA), organic, all natural and truly the best items you can get for yourself and your family. The products combine all naturaly ingredients to create no-nonsense remedies that are, according to Flying Bird Botanicals, "Pure, therapeutic indulgence"!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Friendlier Flowers

Flowers can be one of the biggest expenses at your wedding, which is kind of sad considering they only get one day to show their stuff and die a few days later.

Give you flowers a longer life and have them serve a few extra functions by opting for potted blooms rather then cut. To make this work for you, find flowers that match your event and pair them in a beautiful pot.

Clustered blooms add some visual interest as well as keep your costs affordable. By pairing more affordable flowers with exotic, you still get a beautiful look without blowing your budget.
This centerpiece is made of pink hyacinths which smell good and make a grand statement when placed in a silver vase. At the end of the evening, have each bridesmaid, or mothers of the bride and groom take the centerpieces home as a gift. Or opt for different blooms on each table-after the wedding they become the start to the garden in your new home and will give you new blooms year after year.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Eco Ideas: Here's a bright idea!

Or more literally, not so bright idea. Going green is all about baby steps-little changes that make a big impact. Do your part by flipping the switch. On March 28, from 8:30-9:30 pm, leave the lights off (and the tv, and the computer, you get the idea) and spend one hour saving energy. In 2008, more then 50 MILLION volunteers did this and this year, Earth Hour coordinators are hoping to hit the 1 billion mark.

Not sure what to do in the dark? Perhaps spending a little time with the one you love would appeal. Candles and a few glasses of wine are still accessible when the lights are out. ;) Or bust out the flashlight and retell scary stories with friends (yup, just like when you were a kid). Bonus points to you if you have a wood burning fireplace and you use it to make s'mores. Or take a moonlit walk. It's up to you!

For more information, visit www.earthhour.org

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday: Bridesmaid Gowns

I found this little tidbit of infomation on CNN's website. It comes from an article written by Jennifer Thompson regarding the origins of wedding traditions. It's perfect for anyone wondering what the point of matchy bridesmaids' gowns were. The cute photo above? It's from People Magazine's 10 worst bridesmaid gowns-this one was #2 (yes, there was actually a gown worse then those shown above!). Enjoy!

Ladies -- believe it or not -- the concept of the bridesmaid's gown was not invented to inflict painful dowdiness upon the bride's friends and female relatives thus making the bride look hotter by comparison.

Historically, that dress you'll never wear again was actually selected with the purpose of tricking the eye of evil spirits and jealous ex-lovers (spicy!). Brides' faithful attendants were instructed to wear a dress similar to that of the bride so that during their group stroll to the church it would be hard for any ill-willed spirits or former boy-toys to spot the bride and curse/kidnap/throw rocks at her. (Ditto for the boys in matching penguin suits, saving the
groom from a similar fate.)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

DIY: Silk-Flower Ring Pillow

This lovely ring bearer's pillow comes straight from the Martha Stewart Weddings site. Because this is a DIY project, it gives you the flexibility to create the pillow to match your event beautifully. The technique used to create the flower on the pillow can also be used to make the flower girl's bouquet making your little duo perfectly matched. And because you wouldn't need real flowers, both become strong enough to withstand anything little girls and boys can throw at them.


Crisp fabric is recommended for this project. The Martha Stewart team utilized taffeta, silk dupion, and shantung for the pillow shown above. To beging this project you will need to cut out straight sided ovals with scalloped shears. Recommended oval measurements are 4"x 8" for this pillow. You will need to cut a minimum of 9 petals of this size to achieve the look of the pillow above.

For the Pillow:

Create a 6" ring pillow in fabric of your choice. Stuff it to desired thickness and finish the seam to enclose the stuffing.

For the Flower:

1. Gather the center of one petal and hold it firmly.

2. Gather the center of a second petal and lay it on the first at an angle; continue holding the center gathers in place.

3. Repeat with a third petal, positioning the stacked petals so they make a complete rosette with no gaps. (If you want a fuller effect, make the rosette with up to 5 petals.) Wrap floral wire tightly around petals at the center, and twist underneath to secure. Excess wire becomes a stem.

4. Make 2 more rosettes (for a showier flower like the bouquets, make 4 total).

5. Stack rosettes, slipping each wire stem between the petals of the rosettes beneath.

6. Twist stems together; cover with floral tape. Fluff petals. For the ring pillow, cut stem short, sew flower into place through wires at center, and tie on a ribbon, threading it through wire on top.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Need a Little Inspiration?

Join me and other local wedding designers and florists for Semiahmoo's Wedding Open House! The event will have venues at Semiahmoo staged for weddings offering you plenty of inspiration for your own big day. You will also get the opportunity to meet the designers and Semiahmoo staff, taste plenty of treats from Semiahmoo's catering menus and have a fabulous time! Admission is free-For more information, please visit the Semiahmoo website.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Vendor Spotlight: Snap Sisters

Still looking for wedding photography? Here's another local company that may have just what you're looking for!

SNAPsisters is a two sister photography team based out of Whatcom County and servicing Western Washington. They currently offer affordable wedding photography rates that include two photographers with a lot of energy and an obvious joy at being able to capture your day.

Here's a little more info from the SNAPsisters themselves: Wendi and Jodi created a fun new photography business called theSNAPsisters and we've been taking pictures from Lynden to Seattle, WA. We are passionate about photography, and are always looking for creative and fun new ideas. If you select theSNAPsisters to take your pictures, you can count on laughter and fun. We do our best to make this a great experience and to capture those beautiful moments. We offer three great packages. Each one includes a DVD of all your edited images.

Check out their website for more information: http://www.thesnapsisters.com/

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Organic Bridal Beauty

No bride is complete on her wedding day without adding a little something extra into her makeup routine-whether you want to go natural or glamourous, cosmetics play a big part into giving a bride that gorgeous glow. And if you aren't pick into packing harsh chemicals and preservatives on your skin, check out these companies! They offer amazing spa-quality cosmetics and skin care that will leave you and the planet and little healthier

Ecco Bella offeres a full range of cosmetics and skin care. Not all are preservative free- check the label-but non are tested on animals and all use all natural ingredients. http://www.eccobella.com/

Eminence is all about high quality skin care: made in small batches by hand with spa quality all natural ingredients! They're also unveiling their new biodynamic line of skin care. For those who aren' familiar with the term "biodynamic"-it's a more difficult rating to get then "certified organic" and is the ultimate good-for-you and good-for-planet certification! http://www.eminenceorganics.com/

When it comes to greener makeup, Australia has it going on! Most of the top organic cosmetic companies I could find were based out of Australia. NVEY is one company that I really liked that carries plenty of makeup goodies to make any blushing bride look flawless! And they're also certified organic! http://www.econveybeauty.com/

Other companies to consider:

Burt's Bees-www.burtsbees.com

Kiss My Face-www.kissmyface.com

Annmarie Borlind-www.borlind.com

Nature Girl-www.nature-girl.com

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Small Wedding Packages Now Available!

We're now offering Small Wedding Packages for groups of ten or less and for groups of 25 or less! They include all of the necessities for a beautiful and intimate wedding for one low price. All you need to do is show up with your marriage license, and then relax and enjoy your day!

For up to ten guests, you will receive:
  • A planning session for the big day
  • An indoor or outdoor location for your ceremony and reception
  • Up to 3 hours for your ceremony and reception
  • An officiant
  • Ceremony and reception music
  • A custom music playlist
  • 9-inch wedding cake decorated with buttercream flowers
  • 1 hr of professional photography
  • A collection of 20 photos
  • Fresh flower bouquet and boutonniere for the bride and groom
  • Champagne or sparkling cider toast for the bride, groom and their guests
  • A light hors o'deuvres buffet
  • Linens, buffet plates, cake plates and flatware
  • A two night mini-moon for the bride and groom at the Fairhaven Village Inn
  • Complimentary champagne, flutes and basket of goodies in your hotel room
  • 10 wedding announcements to send friends and family

For up to twenty-five guests, include everything above and inlcude a larger cake and a bouquet and boutonniere for a maid of honor and best man.

Check out our website for additional information!

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Schedule

I'm all about getting and staying organized so now the blog has an official posting schedule! Tune in on your favorite day for updates and ideas for your next fete. And beginning this month, we'll be starting our Freebie Friday once each month chock full of goodies and giveaways!

Monday: Eco Ideas-Green gifts, wedding and event ideas, and local resources. Proving you can have a gorgeously green soiree!

Tuesday: Vendor Spotlight-Featuring vendors and companies that make planning your event creative and beautiful! (Vendors: care to be featured? Send me an email!)

Wednesday: Party Inspiration-New ideas, tips and trends

Thursday: Event Planning How-to-DIY info for putting it all together

Friday: Features & Freebies-Real events, random fun and plenty of giveaways!

Eco-Friendly Wedding Gowns

Trying to find an eco friendly wedding gown? For some brides that I work with, they're trying to be eco-conscious with their wedding without looking eco-conscious and the words "hemp" and "bamboo" were not there first thoughts when they envisioned their wedding dress. Well, there's more then one way to get that earth friendly gown (and not all of those ways involve hemp-a few do, but not all). Here are a few of my favorite resources when you want your white gown to also be green!

Olivia Luca
Olivia Luca is a dream for brides. Their website is quite literally a design studio where you pick and choose the features you want for your gown. The design sketch below is my creation and I was pleasantly surprised when they let me choose my fabric from about 12 different options, as well as color. I got a truly custom made, one-of-a-kind gown that's gorgeous, earth friendly, and only around $1400.00. Best of all, take a look at their website and their blog for photos of other wedding gowns they've created: they're lovely and you'd never even know that hemp was involved with a few ;)
Threadhead Creations
Threadhead is another custom wedding gown shop. Their style looks more earthy and organic at times, however they offer off-the-rack gowns if you're short on time, and with most gowns under $1000, they're a budget-friendly option as well. They can also custom create your gown as well, so if you have something specific in mind, know that they can make it come to life for you

Bravo Bride
Still not finding a gown that suits your style? Or determined to have a designer gown but aren't sure how to make that fit with the word "eco"? Consider purchasing a used wedding gown from Bravo Bride (or eBay, or Craigslist or your favorite listing site). Used gowns are (virtually) new, by purchasing one they're being reused-that's where "eco" comes in, and you can save some serious money. The gown below is currently being featured. It's a Vera Wang gown originally purchased for $4000 and being sold on Bravo Bride for only $995. That's right, you could wear Vera (or Maggie Soterro or Monique Lhullier) for under a grand. Prices vary by the seller and there are plenty of styles to choose from. Take a peak, you might be surprised!

Greener Gifting: Pinkerton Totes

If you're looking for greener gift options, always look for something that can be reused. In this case, I LOVE these totes from Pinkerton Design. Not only have they been made out of recycled paper and plastic, but they make a perfect gifting vessel if you have more to give (i.e. forgo the gift wrap and place any additional items inside the bag, tie off the handles with some ribbon and VOILA!). After the party, these versatile bags become the perfect companion when you need an extra hand.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

How Much Alcohol to Serve at Your Soiree

I'm recycling a post from the old blog for a few of my brides that have been asking for some basic bar service info:

The sky is the limit when it comes to your bar at your event. It’s perfectly acceptable to serve a full bar, or limited array of cocktails, keeping things simple with beer or wine, maybe only having a champagne toast or nixing the alcohol all together. Because of the variance in what you can offer at your drink station, it can get difficult to determine what to purchase and how much. This post is here to help you sort out some of those questions and make it a little easier for you to throw your bash!

The Basics

  • Average out about 2 drinks per guest per hour
  • One bottle of Champagne fills 6 glasses
  • One bottle of wine fills 5 glasses
  • One liter of alcohol can make 18 drinks
  • A case of wine has 12 bottles of wine
  • A case of beer has 24 cans or bottles
  • A standard keg equals about 6 3/4 cases of beer or 165 12 oz. servings or 124 16 oz. (pint) servings
  • One 740 ml bottle of alcohol equals 3/4 of a liter


The samples below are based on what an average crowd of 100 will drink during a 4 hour reception. Adjust more or less depending on your specific guest list and their preferences.

The Full Bar
This list of alcohol comes from the Wedding Channel website:

  • Beer-2 cases
  • White Wine-1 1/2 cases
  • Red Wine-1 case
  • Champage-1 1/2 cases
  • Vodka-6 liters
  • Gin-3 liters
  • Sweet Vermouth-2 bottles
  • Dry Vermouth-2 bottles
  • Scotch-3 liters
  • Bourbon-2 liters
  • Whiskey-2 liters
  • Rum-2 liters
  • Tequila-1 liter
  • Assorted Mixers: Grenadine, pineapple, orange and cranberry juices, Sprite/7up, Coke/Pepsi, club soda, peach nectar, etc.

Beer and Wine Bar

  • Red Wine-3 cases
  • White Wine-5 cases
  • Beer-5 cases

Beer, Wine and Champagne/Signature Cocktail

  • Red Wine-2 1/2 cases
  • White Wine-3 1/2 cases
  • Beer-3 cases
  • Champagne-2 cases or 8 liters of alcohol type used in signature cocktail

Don’t forget the Non-Drinkers!
Some people don’t drink and that’s ok! Don’t make them feel like their only option at your event is water while everyone else indulges in expensive wines and cocktails. Offering assorted juices and sodas will give them options and make them feel like the special guest they are! My favorite takes on these are offering sodas and juices in bottles (Izze sparkling juices are at the top of my faves list). A more elegant look and a little more class-guests should also have the option of drinking from the bottle or being given a glass (for more formal events).

Cutting Costs
Alcohol is expensive and no doubt and it can be hard to integrate it into your event if your budget is tight. So before you go running for the “cash bar” or “no host bar” options (which goes way against the Emily Post wedding etiquette rules) consider getting creative.

  • Champagne cocktails: No one will notice that you chose a more cost effective champagne when you blend it with mixers. Bellini’s, Blue Poms and Mimosas are delicious and more cost effective then cocktails mixed with hard liquor.
  • Pre-mixed cocktails: Every time I’ve been to a party (or hosted a party) with sangria, it has been a huge hit! It’s perfect for summer weddings or holiday parties (mix with cranberry juice!) and you can control the servings a little easier. Plus, when it comes to sangria, the cheaper the wine you purchase for it, the better! You can also pre-mix champagne punches or other cocktails and have them in a pitcher ready at the drink table. A great option if your affair is more casual and you won’t have a bartender.
  • Return policy?: Find out if the retailer you purchase your alcohol, beer and wine from has a return policy for unopened bottles or cases. Keep your receipt and any goods not used, you can take back. Perfect if you feel you need to buy a bit extra “just in case”!
  • Affordably Elegant: Having a full bar from start to finish at your fete can be expensive! Cut the time your bar is open in half by passing glasses of champagne for cocktail hour. This limits guests to drinking only what is passed rather then giving them full bar access right away. Combine this with a paired wine during dinner and guests will feel like they are pampered while you save money on drinks! Liven up the party by opening the bar during the dancing-you can do a full bar or keep things affordable by offering beer and wine only for the rest of the evening.
  • Cut out the champagne toast and let people toast you with the drink of their choice.

Safety First

Please play it safe when you serve alcohol at your parties!! Encourage guests to carpool, offer guest shuttle services if you’re hosting an out of town event near the hotel (or better yet, have your event at the hotel where everyone is staying!) offer cab #’s in your programs, HIRE A GOOD BARTENDER who will know how to mix drinks appropriately and cut people off when necessary and consider having your last call for drinks an hour before it officially ends so people can have time to sober up. Keeping your guests safe is essential to having a fun and successful event.