Friday, February 27, 2009
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 Spoonsisters.com
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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
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
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
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.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
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 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
To make it you will need:
- Legal sized cardstock
- A ruler
- A craft knife
- 2 1/2" circle punch
- Bone folder
- Round label stickers
"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
- 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.
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
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
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!
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 (http://www.pickonus.com/ 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 http://www.orientaltrading.com/.
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.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
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!