Sunday, April 24, 2011

Artsy Fartsy

 So, with Mother's Day coming up I wanted to do something special for my mother in law and I decided that I was going to create an art piece. I wanted a giant white canvas board, pictures of her four children as well as family in general and I wanted to Spell of LOVE with 2 hearts on the side. Each letter would be only devoted to one child and then the 2 hearts on either side of LOVE have pictures of the family together.

 Starting out, with the giant white canvas board and working out the positioning and sizing of letters. Which lend to me having to rethink my idea. To make everything fit with my original idea the letters would be smaller and then I wouldn't be able to fit as many photos of each the kids as I may have liked. So, I decided to make the letter bigger and make little hearts of the family photos around the letters.

 Even with the BIGGER letters I wasn't able to fit ALL the photos I had printed out, so I selected the pictures of everyone through the ages and the ones that fir their personality the best. 

 So I REALLY loved the board this way and normally I would have probably just kept it like that. However, it was VERY important that I involve photos of the siblings together,and all that jazz.

The Final Product = )

Saturday, January 22, 2011

No Time For Bad Hair

Ladies... Your wedding is not the day to experiment with crazy hairstyles or to be trendy. These pictures, will last forever. What you wear and how you look, is what you, your husband and guests will remember you like on your wedding day. So... as in most cases when planning your wedding you don't want to look back and say " what was I thinking?!" and you sure don't want your guests to think the same thing.

How To Make Sure You Have a Great Hair Day...

1. Look through magazines, sites, etc and pick a few styles you like, then set up an appt. with your hairstylist a month or so before the wedding and test these styles out.

2. Don't Be Boring.. But Also Don't Be Over The Top.

3. Avoid Prom Hair

4. Avoid Trendy Hair - Trends are great to incorporate in some aspects of your wedding, however remember when Big Hair and Puffy Sleeves when the Trend in the 80's? Yea, most brides regret these trends on the wedding day.

5. Stick to Timeless, Elegant and Classy

6. Don't just pick any Hair Stylist, make sure they can do up-do's and do them well, but can also handle doing the Bridal party.

Hair Style Ideas
I found most my hairstyles on , Which is one of my favorite Wedding magazines by the way.

 This Hairstyle Exudes Hollywood Glamour and isn't a simple boring half up - half down style.

 The style is intricate and sleek, photos wise the front will be cute and simple, and in the back you will have people gasp at the beautiful intricate detail.

 Perfect for the low maintenance bride, who wants a half up - half down look. You won't have the boring half up - half down style with some curls. This Do has volume and romanticism, that takes your look to a whole new level.

Another Do for a low maintenance bride.. a little more of the safe side, but you won't look back and regret it. It is sleek and elegant.

A little more risky style, but definitely eye catching. You can substitute the feathers for a flower or another accessory.


This Elegant Side Pony, won't disappoint. 

For the brides with shorter hair, this style exudes Vintage Hollywood Glam

Messy Yet Put Together

Princess anyone? Timeless look for sure.

Hair Style's You WILL Regret

I have seen variations of this style and it can look cute. However on your wedding day people are going to come up and say "you look great" and then you'll  turn around and they will go.. ""

 Did Someone Poop on Her Head?

The Bangs, The Curls, The Band.. is she a Bride or a flower girl?!

Fake Fake Fake. Just NO.

 Whoever styled this lady obviously doesn't know how to make a teased messy look.. This is just looks like she woke up and pulled her hair in a low pony without looking in a mirror.

REALLY Do The Rest need Explaining, they are all bad and regrettable hairstyles.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Spectacular Venues Across The US - West Coast Edition, Part 1

Where you have your wedding is kind of important. Why? Because, to most guests the venue you sets the tone to how fun, unique and elegant your wedding is going to be. (not always the case) but if you have your wedding at the standard hotel, people are expecting a standard wedding. Granted yes, some hotels are gorgeous and will knock your socks off, but many are very generic. The problem is most couples think that the more unique and elegant places all cost a fortune, and some do; but with a little research you can find beautiful venues, for less. Which is one of the reasons why I wrote this blog, meaning low  budget doesn't have to equal a wedding at your local YMCA. Unless that is what you want. Also, most brides want to pick a place that there friends won't pick or haven't picked for there weddings, as well as a venue that will wow your guests, and make them say "remember when so and so had there wedding at ... that was so cool!". Plus, think of how amazing your pictures will look! Now, if you are a bride who doesn't care if your wedding is generic, doesn't care what her guests think, then you don't have to listen to my suggestions and also, almost any venue with a great event planner can decorate it took look great.

So what makes a venue right for you?
- Does it fit your theme?
- Is the price in your price range?
- Think of the Pros and Cons?-Do they let you bring outside caterers and vendors in? Do they do packages?etc.
- And most importantly do YOU love it?

Here is a LONG list of  dreamy venues all over the United States. Varying in prices and listed with the pros and the cons. Since, there are 50 states that would be either 50 separate blogs or a crazy long blog. So, I have decided to split it up into regions and then divide it up that way.

West Coast - Part 1
Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington

Hawaii is the perfect destination for the ultimate tropical beach wedding in the states.

Aston Papakea Resort - Lahaina, HI (Maui)

The Resort site didn't really give much detail as to its weddings so, the info I got on this venue is purely of off what  I found on However, I have spent time in this area of Hawaii and can tell you the location is fabulous! You are near plenty of hotels, as well as the resorts on accommodations, there are plenty of activities to do for all ages; you are close to the beach, shopping and a golf course.
Price: $
Max # of Guests: 100
Pros: Has a ceremony site, Allows outside caterers, Parking, Accomadations, Outdoors, Handicap Accessible
Cons: No Kosher Options (which I guess can change if you bring in your own vendor),No Valet and Limited Space.

Kauai Beach Resort - Lihue, HI (Kauai)
Photo Cred.: PDJ Photos

Little information was found on this resort as well, the site provides limited info. on how it handles its Special Occasions, from what I could tell though, they offer wedding packages and menu options. I think this place is perfect if you want the more romantic, intimate, beach wedding.
 Price: $
Max # of Guests: 400+
Pros: Has both elegant indoor reception halls, as well as outdoor options, it also is a hotel beach resort so it has Accomadations for guests.
Cons: Welp, I'm not sure.. since there is little info on this venue. If you have had your event here feel free to fill us in  
 Haiku Gardens- Kaneohe, HI (Oahu)

Photo Cred:
The Haiku Gardens are the perfect blend oh Tahitian- Hawaiian Tradition. If you go and look at the photos your breath will actually be taken away. The seclusion of this venue is like no other. I also liked that they have a very helping wedding site, and seem to have very helpful wedding planners as well. With your choice between pre - built packages or a "make it yourself" package; you can even have Monarch Butterflies released during your ceremony! Also, this venue is home to a restaurant called Haleiwa Joe's Seafood Grill. 
Price: $$
Max # Of Guests: 300 
Pros:  Several Choices of Sites (Indoor and Outdoor), Parking , Handicap Accessible, Room  for a large number of guests. 
Cons: No Kosher options, No Outside vendors, No over night accommodations,  and No Valet Parking. 

Oasis World Estates - Honolulu, HI (Oahu)

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 I feel this place is perfect for the couple, who want the Hawaiian beach wedding, with a modern twist to it.  The Oasis World Estates are a private estates, so basically it is like your own exclusive resort and spa.
Price: $$$
Max # of Guests:  200
Pros: Allows outside vendors, Has kosher options, Over night accommodations, Valet parking, Wheel Chair Accessible
Cons: So Far.. I Don't See Any!

Best Bridals Hawaii - Honolulu, HI (Oahu)

Photo Cred.:
I really adore this location. I adore it for it's quaint, uniqueness. It almost reminds me of a chapel that was built near an our sugar cane plantation. This exudes the simple, laid back style of Hawaii. Best Bridals Hawaii offers several sites similar to the pictured. Although I am pretty sure they really just specialize in Ceremonies and not the receptions.
Price: $$$
Max # of Guests: 100
Pros: Parking, Handicap Accessible, Unique
Cons: No Outside Vendors, No Overnight Accommodations, No Valet Parking, and Limited number of guests.

Haiku Mill  - Haiku, HI (Maui)
Photo Cred.:

Most venues bring with them something special and different then others, at least the truly memorable ones do; However, Haiku Mill has taken this to a whole new level. Originally a sugar mill in 1857 the site was renovated to become an events venue. if you were to choose this site, I guarantee it would be unforgettable to you and your guests.
Max # of Guests: 150
Pros: Parking, Overnight Accommodations,  Unique, Intimate 
Cons: No outside vendors, No Valet, No Kosher,  and Its not  Handicap Accessible 

**Honorable Mention: The Fairmont, Orchid - Kohala Coast, HI (The Big Island)**

Kona Village Resort - Kohala Coast, HI (The Big Island)
Photo Cred,:
The only thing I found really great about this venue was it was the only place I noticed that allows for both reception and ceremony to be held on the beach.  Besides that it has the stand Hawaii Resort feel, as well as the standard resort package wedding.
Price: $$$$
Max # of Guests: 100
Pros: On the beach reception and ceremony, Several site options, Parking and Over Night accommodations. 
Cons: No valet, No outside vendors, No Kosher, Limited amount of guests, and It is not handicap accessible.

The last frontier, if you are more of the adventure kind and prefer thinks a little more chillier, but with unforgettable views..then Alaska is the place for you.

Alyeska Resort - Gridwood, Alaska
Photo Cred.:
Well if you want the frontier snow lodge feel Alyeska is your place. The resort in perched in the mountains and contains glorious scenic views, where you can have as your back drop for your wedding, or if its too chilly for that you can get married in the rustic non - denominational chapel. On top of that you can have your choice of 6 pretty and individualized reception halls.
Price: $$
Max # of Guests: 250
Pros: Valet Parking, Overnight accommodations, Kosher option,  Handicap Accessible, breathtaking views, choice of indoors or outdoors.
Cons: No Outside Caterers Allowed.

Juneau Alaska's Pearson's Pond Luxury B&B Inn and Adventure Spa -Juneau, Alaska

Photo Cred.:
I don't know what to say about this Inn, besides that it would definitely be unforgettable. Although, I have a feeling you should be prepared to handle most the planning. If the websites any indication of how out of touch they are out there in Juneau. On the bright side, it did get nominated in 2008 as Top 10 Most Romantic Inns. And to be quite honest, I am teetering on whether or not I should have this up here, cause it does borderline on maybe tacky and really out of the way for guests. However, done properly the natural beauty of the land speak for themselves, which is why I picked this in the first place.
Price: $$
Max # of Guests: 50
Pros: Allows outside vendors, Parking, Overnight accommodations, crazy beautiful views.
Cons: No Valet, In Very Remote area and Not handicap accessible 

Majestic Valley Lodge - Sutton, Alaska
Photo Cred.:
If you are looking for a a rustic in the fields of a valley feel in Alaska then this is your place. They offer several ceremony and reception sites to choose from, and plenty of planning options.
Price: $$
Max # of Guests: 200
Pros: Stellar views, Parking and Overnight accommodations.  
Cons: No outside catering, No Kosher, No Handicap Accessible 

 Preston Community Center - Preston, WA

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Don't let  the name fool you, this venue is perfect for the couple on a budget. You want a rustic lodge feel? You want the mountains  and outdoorsy atmosphere? This place has it! 
Max # of Guests: 150
Pros: Outside vendors allowed,  Parking Available, Affordable,  Handicap Accessible.
Cons: No Valet, No Overnight accommodations.

Blue Ribbon Cooking:Culinary Center - Seattle, WA
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If you are having a nautical theme wedding, then what a better place to have your wedding then here? What is also great is that they don't believe in the typical packaged deal, they believe in making your wedding unique and completely what the couple wants.
Price: $$
Max # of Guests: 200
Pros: Flexible, Parking, Handicap Accesible
Cons: No Outside Vendors( food is a culinary center,so you should be good), and No overnight accommodations.

Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA

Photo Cred.:
What a nifty idea to have your wedding at the zoo, the atmosphere is taken up to a whole new level . Whats great is that they offer SO many different indoor and outdoor site options. You make think it is risky to have your wedding at a zoo and your guests may think that as well, but you can make the affair really elegant and if you pick a site near one of the animal enclosures, you and guests will be entertained and create moments you won't forget. Also, look up Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma,WA. 
Price: $$
Max # of Guests: 400+
Pros: Unique, Fun, Parking and Handicap accessible.
Cons: No outside vendors and No overnight accommodations.

The Pickering Barn - Issaquah,WA

Photo Cred.:

The giant red barn built in the 1800s is classic and cute. The are 2 reception barns for you to choose from, as well as plenty of out door space and what is nice is you rent the whole location meaning there isnt going to be another wedding being held at your venue. (Which is normal for smaller venues of this kind) However, that means you gets access to both barns. So,  you can have your ceremony outside under the gazebo, your reception in the Hay barn and maybe an area set up for kids to play or a cocktail hour in the Diary barn.
Price: $$
Max # of Guests: 400
Pros: Exclusivity, Allows outdoor vendors, parking and Handicap Accesible
Cons: No overnight accommodations

The Space Needle - Seattle, WA
Photo Cred.:

I am sure you have heard many stories of couples getting engaged at the Space Needle, but how many couples have you heard of getting married there? The Space Needle is argueably Seattle's most well known monument; if not Washingtons So, why not get married there? Most venues are unique for different reasons and this one is definitely up there. (no pun intended)  The inside isn't much to look at, but that can always be fixed with an amazing event planner and decorations. Having your wedding here would definitely set a high standard for other guests weddings. I would say this venue would be a perfect fit for the couple who like to shock, or if into more modern era buildings. Plus, you cant beat the 360 view of Seattle.
Max # of Guests: 300
Pros: Shocking, Unique, Valet Parking,  and Handicap Accessible.
Cons: No Outside Vendors, No Kosher, and No overnight accommodations.

Town of Port Gamble - Port Gamble,WA

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This is quaint little cape-cod style town off of Hood Canal. Although the intimate chapel is darling what caught my eye for this venue was the reception hall, that almost reminded me of a boat house and then had giant french doors that opened out onto a patio.

Range: $$ 
Max # of Guests: 250
Pros: Overnight accommodations, parking, handicap accessible, Indoor and Outdoor space, and Kosher options available.
Cons: No outside vendors.

The Lake Union Cafe - Seattle,WA

Photo Cred.:

The architecture of the Lake Union Cafe takes you right back to the the 20's and 30's, especially with its Art Deco touches. The venue is warm and intimate while being playful and glamorous. 
Price: $$
Max # of Guests: 350
Pros: Parking, Different and Handicap accessible.
Cons: No Overnight accommodations, No Outside Vendors, No Kosher options and No outside sites.

Hidden Meadows - Snohomish, WA

Photo Cred.:
Hidden Meadows is perfect for the person who wants the secluded, romantic, rustic wedding. What is nifty is that they offer, a Brides Room and a Groom's room, so the couples can get ready at the venue; as well as the bridal party. 

Price: $$
Max # of Guests: 400
Pros: Valet Parking, and Extremely handicap accessible.
Cons: No outside vendors, No kosher, and No overnight accommodations.

Arctic Club Hotel - Seattle,WA
Photo Cred.:
The photo shown to your right is a picture of this hotels historic Northern Lights room built in 1916. This is a historical gem, the ceiling is the crown jewel and will have guests jaws dropping when they walk in. From what I saw, the staff at the hotel is more then willing to help you out, however they do have strict limitations on times your event can be held; as well as for how long (but that is typical of most hotels venues). On the plus side, they provide complimentary accommodations for the bride and groom.
Price: $$$ 
Max # of Guests: 350
Pros: Valet Parking, Historic, Overnight accommodations, Kosher options, Handicap accessible
Cons: No Outside Vendors and no outdoor site options. 

 Kensington Gardens - Gig Harbor, WA

Photo Cred.:
 Kensington Gardens boast a beautiful English Gardens as well as a English style manor. They have a very helpful staff that will set up your big day and they offer both indoor and outdoor options for your reception and ceremony. They also, have dressing rooms for your bridal party which is a nice touch and they have smaller rooms, which you can use as you see fit..or not at all.
Price: $$$
Max # of Guests: 140
Pros: Valet Parking, Kosher Options, different from the more historical and rustic buildings we have been seeing, and Handicap Accessible.
Cons: No outside vendors and No overnight accommodations.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just Because You Are On A Budget...

Doesn't mean you have to have a cheap and tacky event. I have gone to a few events, that have made me question, the persons taste. I usually give people the benefit of the doubt and say that there event turned out that way cause they had a low budget, not because they have bad taste. The point is you can still have an elegant event on a low budget. I have been to plenty of events that were on a low budget but you would never be able to tell.

Here are a few Budget Saving Tips that will make any Event Better.

-Know Your Audience.
Are you throwing a Wedding or a Childs Birthday Party?  This helps in knowing how cheap you can go in the decorations. Obviously for a kids party, you can go to any local party store buy all the cliche party decorations and no one will complain. HOWEVER if you are throwing a Wedding, Engagement Party or Baby Shower, you want to skip the traditional party store decorations as much as possible.

-Know What You Can and Cannot Cut Out
Do You Need A Cater? NO, have someone cook the meals themselves or have a potluck.
Do You Need Flowers? Maybe, Fresh Flowers always look better then fake, but if you want flowers and can't afford real one go with the fake ones.
Do You Need Decorations? If your party has a theme or high importance to it then YES. Also, make sure they are COHESIVE. Nothing is more tacky then random out of place decorations.
Do You Need Tables and Linens? YES, most places will give you Tables, Linens, Chairs and Plates in a package. However if you have enough tables, you can just use those and if your event isn't a wedding, no one will complain, using paper and plastic plates and utensils. So all you need is, Linens and Chairs. If you don't have tables, rent bigger tables, that way you can have less tables and linens as well as centerpieces, which cut your costs.
Do You Need Favors? Honestly, NO. They are nice, but most people end up forgetting them and they cost you more money then they are really worth.
Do You Need Invites? Well Yes, word of mouth or online invite doesn't really cut it for the nicer events. Do you have to spend a lot of money on them? No. You can definitely make nice DIY's. Or some places sell
pre-made blank invites and then you can print them out on your computer yourself.

-Cut Your Guest List
Only invite the people you absolutely WANT and NEED to have there. Meaning the co-worker who you have talked to a few times at the water cooler... CUT, The second cousin who you only see at the family re-union every 5 years..CUT, your parents friends who come over for drinks every once in awhile..CUT. Remember you don't have to invite every person who you once, met or worked with and if you want to get a little scrooge-y then No Kids under 10 and No Plus Ones. This May Ruffle a few feathers, but if you explain you are on a budget, most people will understand.. and if they don't... then CUT. ha Just Kidding.. well Kind of, you are on a budget after all. ; )

-Location, Location, Location
Depending on the event your location can be a huge deal, but you don't want to go broke. Unique Locations, like parks,zoos,vineyards and aquariums are usually cheaper and will save you on decor since they provide a lot of it's own ambiance. If you have enough room, hosting the event at someones home is always nice, but make sure you have enough room, nothing ruins a party like a loud, stuffy, crowded room. Peoples backyards work too, especially for Birthdays,baby showers and even engagement parties. However, for the most part I would stay away from backyard weddings. Unless, the backyard is big and really beautiful. Another money saver is off peak months and days. Summer is a peak time for events so generally prices are higher this time. As well having events on Fridays and Saturdays.

These are all things that can make an event on a budget, seem pristine and elegant, but I have to stress one more thing... Decorations are a huge part of an event. One thing that can make an event bomb is horrible decorations, especially when they do not mesh well together. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Exception

These are Cakes That Don't Exactly follow the Perfect Wedding Cake Rules But That Definitely Turned Out AMAZING

Truli Confectionery Arts

Cakes By Stef!; Northern NJ
Michelle Doll Cakes; Brooklyn,NY

Patti Cakes Inc.; Moyock, NC

Carlo's Bakery; Hoboken, NJ (TLC's The Cake Boss)

Mark Joseph Cakes

Take The Cake; Chicago
Cakegirls; Chicago,IL
Jan Kish - Le Petit Fluer


Made In Heaven Cakes LLC

The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel; Washington DC
Incredible Endings; Florence, KY
Deseret Designs; Vidalia, LA
Confections on the Coast; Santa Rosa Beach
Jamacia's Cakes; West Los Angeles

Omni Bedford Springs  Resort & Spa
What Were They Thinking?!