Friday, February 27, 2009

Worst Case Scenario

If you're going to forgo the event coordinator for your wedding, purchase a little "insurance" for yourself. The Worst Case Scenario Handbook offers a wedding edition complete with step-by-step instructions for how to survive even the worst situations.
Here's the full synopsis from Spoonsisters: "Lose your ring? Wedding bouquet make you sneeze? Band not show up? Months of precision planning can go awry in the time it takes to split a seam or drop a cake. Here’s an indispensable guide to help the bride and groom, and everyone else, survive the nuptials. Learn how to charm nightmare in-laws, survive the bachelor party, stop a disastrous toast, conceal wedding day blemishes, and make an emergency ring out of a gum wrapper. Appendix includes useful checklists and creative solutions to wedding disasters. Don’t let the bride and groom get married without it!"

Available at

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mmm marshmallows!

So, it's been one of those dreary rainy weeks thus far that has turned itself into snow. SNOW. I'm not really a fan of snow, but I'm totally down with snuggling under a quilt with hot chocolate and a book. And the only thing that would make that scenario better is plopping a few homemade marshmallows into my cup. Seriously, life is just better with homemade marshmallows.

I found this recipe at Cooking for Engineers and heading to their site will give you the ultimate step by step (with pictures) guide on how to make these. If you don't need pics, simply continue reading.

You will need:
3 tbsp. gelatin
1/2 c. water
2 c. suggar
2/3 c. corn syrup
1/4 c. of more water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Powdered Sugar

Soak the gelatin in the 1/2 c. of water for 10 minutes. Place the sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 c. water into a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the mixture reaches 250 degrees (hard ball stage for all of you candy makers). Start mixing the gelatin mixture slowly. While mixing slowly add in the sugar and corn syrup mixture. Once combined, increase the speed of your mixer to medium/high and add in the salt (take care at this step, the sugar is HOT so avoiding splattering any on yourself will guarantee a positive experience here). When it fluffs, increase the speed to high and continue mixing 8-12 minutes, or until marshmallow stops fluffing. Add in the vanilla extra and mix until thoroughly combined. Dump marshmallow into a powdered sugar covered pan and let sit uncovered overnight. The next day, turn out the mix onto a powdered surface and cut into squares. Dust each square in powdered sugar. Devour.

The perk to these sweet little gems is that they can last up to two weeks in an airtight container. So the hot chocolate goodness can continue. Or use them to make some AMAZING rice crispy squares.

For brides planning any winter weddings, these made an adorable favor handed out to guests when paired with a tin of gourmet hot chocolate!

Monday, February 23, 2009

When even the details on the garter matter

I stumbled across the Garter Lady Etsy Shop online the other day and looked over some of the bautiful garters she creates. On a few of them I was truly blown away. The intricate details, the designs and the quality were all lovely and there are plenty of styles to accommodate even the most discerning bride.
This silk rose number was my favorite. I like being feminine but I'm not an overly foo-foo girl so I'm all about elegant simplicity. I found out while reading through some info, that the Garter Lady puts a blue petal on the back of each of her garters that she creates so you'll not only have a fancy little item for your groom to find at your reception, but you'll satisfy the "something blue" element as well ;) The garters she sells are comparable to other market prices for the simpler garters and then go up when you add in more details (like the corset garter below). If you're wondering whether the cost is worth it for the more costly garters, consider it to be the perfect heirloom piece to your wedding torusseau giving you something to treasure and eventually pass down.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tickets to Paradise Compliments of Erin

I came across these amazing invites online and the bride was kind enough to let me share them :) According to Erin's blog, she isn't terribly crafty but made them herself (could have fooled me! They are awesome!) and considering how custom and detailed they look, they came to only a little over $3 each. For a couple that enjoys travelling and is having a destination wedding in Hawaii next week, their stationery is the perfect compliment and offers guests an amazing and fun sneak peak at the festivities ahead!

The invitation's "inner envelope" is really a ticket jacket made to mimic those at the airport and inside, ticket invitations and travel information in a fun modern meets retro design that is only emphasized more when you see the very cool RSVPs.
Erin purchased vintage style Hawaii postcards online and had the print shop add the RSVP information on the back.

And to add the details, Erin added custom stamps to the outer envelope featuring a photo from either her parents' wedding or her fiance's parents' wedding.

Vendors Erin used:
Belgate Printing-Bellevue, WA
Scoring Board from More Then Ink-
Custom Stamps from
Outer Envelopes (not shown, outer envelopes featured a cloud pattern) from Office Depot
Ideas and Inspiration from the Hawaii message board on
Thanks for sharing Erin and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I wish you and your fiance all the best!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing you lots of love and lots to love this Valentine's Day!
XO from
BB Jean Events

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tipping How-To

I posted some info on tipping on my previous blog site, but many of my new brides have been asking so I'm adding the highlights of it again.

Tipping is not a requirement. But if you receive great service from your vendor, it's always appreciated. Keep in mind that some vendors include tips and gratuity with you services. Check your contract to be certain. Vendors that this is most common include caterers and limousine companies (and bartenders if you've hired one from a catering company). For other vendors, tipping as follows is customary:

  • Limousine drivers OR Banquet managers OR caterers: 15-20% of the total food or service bill if it hasn't already been included in your bill
  • Bartenders: 15% of the total cost of their services. if it hasn't already been included in your bill
  • Salons: 15-20% of the total bill
  • Valet or coatcheck attendants: $1 per guest-it's customary to place a sign near these attendants to inform guests that the gratuity has already been covered by the wedding hosts
  • Delivery truck drivers: $5-$10 per employee
  • Musicians: $25-$50 each
  • DJ's: 10-15% of services

When it comes to photographers, wedding coordinators, videographers, florists or bakers, tipping is not a service requirement, however it is perfectly acceptable to provide gratuity or a gift along with a thank you note if you appreciated their services. Perhaps you needed a last minute floral arrangement and your florist made it happen, your photographer climbed up the side of a building to get that perfect shot that you insisted on having, or maybe your coordinator managed your day perfectly or provided details or services beyond their contract.

Please include a thank you note with your gratuity: most vendors work hard to make your day as close to perfect as possible and a little thank you is always appreciated.

Top photo: Wedding Tipping Set by Mindy Weiss. Available online.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome your guests

Welcome baskets and goodies seem to only be increasing in popularity but times are tough and not every bride has the money to put an elaborate basket together for her guests. My tip is to keep things simple. You can still put thoughtful touches in your guests' hotel rooms without spending tons of money doing it.

  • Bedtime snack: Prepare little boxes or baskets of milk and cookies. Order the cookies from your favorite local bakery and get small cartons or bottles of milk. Ask the hotel to keep the milk cold and to deliver the goods in the evening when guests arrive.
  • Rise and shine: If the hotel your guests are in has a coffee maker, provide local coffee or tea and a pair of mugs
  • Fun in the sun: If you're in a warmer climate, provide a cute bag of sunscreen packets, bug repellant packets and flipflops
I also love this cute doorhanger idea from Martha Stewart. It's an easy way to welcome guests right when they check in with little details of your wedding weekend.
To make it you will need:
  • Legal sized cardstock
  • A ruler
  • A craft knife
  • 2 1/2" circle punch
  • Bone folder
  • Round label stickers

Martha's How-To:

"Print the word 'welcome' (or have your calligrapher script it) twice across the top of a legal-size sheet of card stock. With a ruler and craft knife, cut the card stock in half lengthwise; punch a hole in the bottom of each piece with a 2 1/2-inch circle punch. With a bone folder, crease each card-stock strip 4 inches from the top, and fold to form a pocket. Fasten sides with round label stickers."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Last Minute Date Ideas

Still mulling over what to do for your sweetie on Valentine's Day? With only a few days left, we're offering up some easy and affordable date ideas to give you a little inspiration!

  • Make a gourmet dinner for two, at home. Valentine's Day is best when shared so put together a tasty menu, grab the goods and spend a leisurely afternoon preparing your feast.

  • Set up a scavenger hunt. Write down things you like to do/eat/see and go urban exploring with your partner through the city trying to find your favorite things. If you can enlist the help of a friend, end your hunt at home and have wine and glowing candles at the ready.

  • Create your own drive-in: Get a few of your favorite movies (the more romantic the better, it's Valentine's Day afterall!), set up a pile of pillows and blankets in your living room, popup some Jiffy Pop and enjoy.
  • Go bowling! And to make things a little more fun, place a little wager. Whoever gets the highest score gets . . .

  • Pack up a picnic. If it's sunny out, pick an outdoor spot with an amazing view and bundle up! If it's chilly in your region, pack a thermos of hot chocolate, hot gourmet soup and bread, and other tasty treats that will fight off the chill. Then when lunch is done, snuggle under a blanket and enjoy the view and your company.

  • Go wine tasting by finding a tasting room in your region. Learn about the different qualities of regional wines and at the end of the afternoon, bring your favorite bottle home to have with dinner (double points if you get some tasty cheeses to go along with it!)

  • Wine tasting: the at-home-version. Go online for instructions on how to host your own wine tasting for two! Pick out a few bottles of what you'd like to try, prepare your own cheese plate and challenge your partner to finding all of the different flavor notes in the wine you've selected.

  • Create a fondue night for two. Make cheese fondues for breads, fruit, and meats and follow that up with a chocolate fondue complete with strawberries, marshmallows and other goodies.

  • Take a hike or just play outside. Try finding new trails or head up to the mountains and go sledding together or find a park and make like 6-year-olds by playing on the playground.

  • Still trying to put together a night out but need to keep it affordable? Opt for cocktails and appetizers during happy hour instead. Then hit up a comedy show or dancing at a club. Cap off the night with dessert (to-go dessert perhaps) at your favorite restaurant.

Eco-friendly spin:

Just about any of these date ideas (or special evenings out) can be made eco-friendly. It's all in the choices we make. Looking for a bottle of wine? As your wine retailer if they offer biodynamic wines, choose to bring real plates and silverware along on your picnic, buy organic strawberries, chocolates and cheeses. Purchase beeswax and soy based candles (need incentive? some retailers offer soy based candles that turn into massage oil when heated) and keep the lights off (save energy+more romantice in candleglow!)

If you're still considering those dozen red roses go better by finding a retailer that offers organic or rainforest alliance flowers. Go best by offering your sweetie a potted flowering plant that will last indefinately with proper care.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Goodies in your Own Backyard

Well not literally, but Bellingham has some tasty treats if you know where to find them. Before you go to the grocery store and purchase a box of Russell Stover's for your valentine, check out these local vendors first!

Chocolate Necessities: Located on the Guide (take a right on Horton Rd and look for the awning with their name on the left) and at the Public Market on Cornwall, Chocolate Necessities offers up a full array of tasty treats. From truffles to barks they have everything your chocoholic lover might want for Valentine's Day. If you're also considering making your own goodies (like chocolate dipped strawberries or lava cakes) they have those chocolates available as well and let me tell you, getting good chocolate for your treats can make all the difference!

The Spice Hut: I was making a "chocolate basket" for a client and stopped here on a whim hoping they had hot chocolate mixes (like GOOD hot chocolate mixes). They didn't but they did have chocolate teas! That's right, CHOCOLATE tea! I made a cringing face at first but the guy who helped me said that with a little cream and sugar in your cup, it will taste like dessert. And after I smelled a few of them, I was certain he was right! It was heaven! And aside from the chocolate tea, they had over 170+ others to satisfy anyone's tastebuds and love of tea! Check them out on West Kellogg (near WCC)

Paper Dreams: I love Paper Dreams in Fairhaven! They offer fun cards and gifts for an occasion. They also offer up homemade fudge in a variety of flavors! They can literally be a one-stop-shop for your next occasion! If you are getting fudge, I would recommend getting a little for yourself as well! It's too good not to get any for you!!

Mt. Bakery: Offering fresh treats and sweets daily, there is bound to be something here that anyone will love! The offer creme brulees, chocolate mousses and tarts galore and even have individual sized desserts so you and your sweetie and each get your favorite! Find them on W Champion St downtown.

La Vie En Rose French Bakery: I have a tender spot in my heart for this place since we got our wedding cake here. And like Mt Bakery, they offer a plethora of Europpean inspired goodies to tempt your tastebuds. Location on Holly St, downtown, you can smell the tastiness when you walk inside.

Grace Cafe: Grafe is a more casual bakery/coffee shop located off of Sunset. But don't be fooled by their pies. Their pies are amazing and there are plenty to choose from! Buy by the slice or the whole pie, it's a good investment either way! Perfect warmed up wtih a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fun Fetes: Hollywood Movie Party

With the Academy Awards right around the corner it only seems fitting to inspire my readers with ideas on hosting their own Hollywood-inspired evening. And whether you like the Oscars or not, getting glammed up with your friends and walking the red carpet is outlandishly fun and I highly recommend putting yourself in any situation that would involve the two at least once a year.

To make a glamourous movie party that even the stars would be proud of, it surprisingly doesn't take a lot of money-just a little bit of creativity!

The menu:
Go glam by serving drinks in glassware. Nothing makes my husband wanna sing like Frank Sinatra then holding a martini glass in his hand. Going to stores like IKEA and Target will ensure that you can find a decent set for around $10. And what to put in them? Below is a picture of the appropriately named Red Carpet Fizz. It's a pomegranate orange masterpiece complete with champagne. The recipe, straight from the official website of the oscars, is available here.

For nibbles and noshes make things fun but elegant by serving mini corndogs on fun skewers ( has a great variety of bamboo skewers and picks!), salmon puffed pastries, and of course popcorn served in vintage-style red and white striped bags. Popcorn bags are available at

For dessert, you can go upscale and decadent by offering chocolate lava cakes or chocolate dipped strawberries. Or keep things simple by serving popular movie candies in a large bowl (so guests can chose their favorite). For serving, consider anything gold. These gold chargers come in a pack of ten for only $19.99 at target and will offer you plenty of surface space for plating your treats.

For other decor ideas, offer your guests red pillows to sit on-an especially good idea if your home is lacking seating. A cozy pile of red carpet inspired pillows can be just as inviting as a sofa and is a great way to add some splashes of color! Have your entry marked out with your very own red carpet and offer guests a photobooth. Having a setup as simple as a red sheet on the wall with a cool chair and a poloroid camera counts and is a fun way for guests to feel like stars and capture memories of the evening.
Want things to do at your event? offers game ideas to share with your party guests. From movie trivia, to Oscar Bingo, there's sure to be something that will appeal to everyone and keep the party going, in between awards or films.

I hope those ideas offer you a direction of where you want your next movie night to go! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In Case of Emergency . . .

Ah, the wonderful world of weddings where truly anything (and I mean ANYTHING) can happen. That's where having a fun wedding day survival kit can be a good investment. It should include all the "what-if" essentials so that you and your bridal party look sharp, can stay comfortable, and can be prepared for whatever life throws at you that day. If you're a bride already working with me, you can rest assured that I have my own mondo kit that will be with me that day. If not, you can always choose to purchase a kit (the one pictured below is available at Target for $50-although it's missing some important pieces it'll cover the basics). Or make your own.
Here's a list of basic items that you should include. Starred items should be kept in a bridesmaid's purse to be carried throughout the day:
- For your hair: Brush or comb*, hair bands, hairpins*, bobby pins*, hairspray* and hairdryer
- For your teeth: toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss* and mints
- Extra Makeup: concealer*, translucent powder*, mascara*, eye liner, fake eyelash glue, lipstick*, makin blotting papers (if it's hot out)* and lip gloss*
- Nail care items: nail clippers, clear polish, emery board*
- Toiletries: deodorant, perfume, ibuprofen, aspirin, small first aid kit, bandaids, antacid, contact lens solution and case (and extra set of contacts if you wear disposables), eye drops, insect repellant, lotion, an extra dose of any medications you or your bridal party might be taking, lotion, smelling salts, moist towelettes, sunsreen, tampons and/or pads, tissues or handkerchief*, cotton balls, cotton swabs, baby powder, an extra washcloth and hand towel
-For your attire: Static cling spray, extra corsage/boutonniere pins, extra earring backs, iron, lint brush, extra pair of new undies, shoe polish, extra panty hose and dress socks, spot remover, wrinkle remover spray, white chalk and a sewing kit that includes needles, black, white and gray threads, scissors, hem tape, safety pins, buttons and straight pins
-Just because they're good to have: Extra toss garter, an extra pair of shoes, a disposable camera, cash (I would reccommend a variety of change such as quarters and dimes, a few $1 dollar bills and a few $5 bills-because you just never know!)*, duct tape, a list of family/bridal party phone numbers*, vendor and taxi phone numbers*, extra sets of directions to your venue(s), a flashlight, a notepad and pens, umbrella, bottled water and non-perishable snacks (ganola bars for example)

A fun twist on this idea (whether you make your own or buy one) is to replensh any items you use from the kit after the wedding and pass it on to the next girlfriend to get hitched. It's a fun tradition you can start among friends and a way to help your friends on their own special day!