Posts Tagged ‘Wedding’
Raychel generously offered to put together a DIY on how she made them, so please, Raychel, take it away...
Hi all you Catch My Party readers! I’m Raychel from Kush Event Planning. There is no way I can describe my excitement over being asked by Jillian to do a DIY feature for them! So here it is.
I am partial to making parties, weddings, and events very personal. What better way than displaying the guest of honor or host’s initial. First initial, last initial, even a monogram would be super cute!
I have made these letters covered in many mediums, but one of my favorites is moss. It gives such an earthy feeling. I love this look for country/homespun weddings, but if done right can work so nicely with an upscale/elegant scheme too. Even better – great for your front door to welcome SPRING! (I’m sure you’re all as ready for that as I am!)
- Cardboard letter
- Spray adhesive (this gets messy so I suggest you do this project outdoors, with newspaper, and if you have rubber gloves it wouldn’t be a bad idea to wear them)
- Moss sheets -- (I use this Super Moss it’s on a mesh mat and sometimes has a brown paper backing)
- Ribbon (optional-- if you choose to hang it you will need about a yard of ribbon depending on how you want to hang it. Otherwise you can just stand it up on a table, shelf, mantel, etc.)
Step one is a bit tricky. Figuring out how to cut and glue your moss. It varies with each letter since each one has a completely different shape. It also depends on if you want to cover both sides, or just the front. If you’re hanging it on a wall or door you really don’t need to cover the back. For the “W” (and quite a few others) I find it easiest to completely cover the front and outer sides of the letter, then cut away the excess. I started with one side and sprayed as I went while pulling the moss somewhat tight so it lays flat on the cardboard.
And if it’s an extremely windy day you might need some help holding down your newspaper.
(My son, Jackson and my niece, Sophie were perfect for the job.)
To make the corners, fold up the sides and glue. You will get a little “tail”. Just cut it off right up against the cardboard to make it flush. The moss is so forgiving that you will hardly be able to tell there is a seam there, and if you do see a seam just pick up some of the moss pieces that have fallen on your paper (or all over your clothes—but don’t worry it brushes right off) and spray a tiny bit of adhesive to cover up the seam.
Cut strips of moss to fit into spaces that are not covered and fill in gaps. You can either cut and then glue or glue and then trim along the edges.
Add ribbon. Just cut the length of ribbon you want and spray the adhesive to the tops of the back of the letter. This will take some adjusting considering the different shapes of the different letters. I planned to hang it with two ribbons with two bows and two hooks, but changed my mind and tied the two ribbon ends together to hang it by one.
Viola! You have a hanging (or not) moss covered letter! I decided last minute to add a silk flower to mine. Hope you all like it! Our door is ready for SPRING!!!
How gorgeous, Raychel, thank you. And how great would a letter like this be as part of your Easter decor!
To learn more about Raychel, visit her at Kush Event Planning.
I was talking to LA based party planner, Suzanne Carvlin, also known as Suzanne The Party Girl. She specializes in throwing parties that are a little less conventional than your typical hotel ballroom wedding with rubber chicken.
So I asked her some questions to get her expert advice on how to approach throwing a party that doesn't quite stick to the script, and here's what she said...
What are your favorite kinds of parties?
I love parties that are guest-centric and the party hosts are relaxed, greeting all of their guests to make them all feel welcome, and all are having a great time.
For weddings, I really love it when the personalities of the couple getting married shine through, and when you feel that they have put a lot of thought into their guests' experience.
Let your guests know what to expect. The best option is to let your guests know what to expect before they arrive at your party by posting information on a website or even sending out a follow-up to the invitation in the form of a newsletter. You can share things such as what the weather may be, if the party is inside or outside, where the entrance is, what food is being served, if you will have dancing, etc. Let your guests know that there will be some fun surprises, though!
Also, the flow of a party or wedding is extremely important! If your guests are left waiting for things to happen, they will be either bored or starving or both! Keep the flow moving and the food and beverages readily available. If your guests aren't left wondering when they will finally have a drink or something to eat, they will be much more relaxed and in the moment with you. Also, have a place for guests to set their coats and any gifts that they may bring with them so they aren't left lugging large items around.
It is so important to think of ways to involve your guests and to let them know that their presence is appreciated! Say hello to every guest if you are the host or guest of honor! And keep everyone happy and entertained!
Describe some of your favorite ideas to "shake things up."
Have your cocktail hour before your wedding ceremony, but make certain that you serve an array of food items with the drinks. Try two specialty cocktails and lemonade/iced tea/or other summer winter non-alcoholic beverages. A full bar can be fun, but if you do it that way, keep the pre-ceremony time to under 1/2 an hour or your guests may start to become "unwieldy."
Instead of a photo booth, try a photo backdrop with a camera that can capture more than 3-4 people. http://www.theflashdance.com/ has a great "Smile Booth." See here: http://www.theflashdance.com/index.cfm?catID=19
To really make it fun, provide costumes! You can keep it simple with feather boas, giant sunglasses and mustaches on sticks. Or, you can really go nuts with full costumes from your local party rental store. In LA, Hollywood Toys and Costumes is a great place to purchase costume items: http://www.hollywoodtoysandcostumes.com/
Not everyone loves to dance, but everyone loves to be entertained! Interactive entertainment is what guests love. Try a balloon-maker, cotton candy spinner, a cigar roller (great if you have a lounge area), or, my favorite are mobie trucks for food stations. Think "In-and-Out Truck". In LA, you can hire a mobile truck to bring you mini ice-cream sandwiches (my favorite is ,http://www.eatcoolhaus.com/, sushi, beers on tap, and more!
You can even follow many of them on Twitter to find where they are located on any day or at any time to go to an impromptu "menu tasting." http://twitter.com/COOLHAUS (mobile ice cream sandwiches that you can even put your custom writing onto), http://twitter.com/fishlips_sushi (mobile sushi), http://twitter.com/letsbefrank (mobile hot dogs), http://twitter.com/sprinklesmobile (mobile Sprinkles cupcakes).
Think of your favorite things to do when you go out and incorporate that. Consider your guests. For example, when you are invited to a wedding, do you think, "Yea! I can't wait to go!" or do you think, "Another wedding. There goes my Saturday night." Make it fun for your guests and it will be fun for you, too!
Here are some pictures from one of Suzanne's recent parties where she "shook things up."
Having a party with different gathering areas minimizes the amount of centerpieces that you need, but you can still choose an area to flood with flowers for a huge impact.
Choose different styles of music for different lounge areas. It is really affordable to hire solo musicians for a few hours.
Keep your decorations simple. These are vintage table cloths owned by the bride. Flowers were purchased at the local Floral Mart and then arranged in jelly jars.
Serve comfort food buffet style to save money on a formal dinner. Guests love food that makes them feel like they are a kid again. This buffet features amazing BBQ by Big Mista's and good ol' mac and cheese!
Save money by hiring a band that specializes in one type of music as opposed to a large entertainment group that does multiple types. You can cut your band budget in half!
(P.S. That is Billy Bob Thorton on guitar.)
What locations do you like the best for throwing unusual parties?
I love unique wedding locations. Unique locations are my specialty!
Two of my favorites are the Marvimon, downtown, and the Smogg Shoppe in Culver City (which is also eco-friendly despite the ironic name). http://www.marvimon.com/ The Smogg Shoppe ("LA's greenest oasis") is in a refurbished and beautified automotive center and has now achieved the US Green Building Council's Platinum Certification. Not to mention that it is a great location and perfectly laid out for a smashing party!
The Marvimon is another oasis of vintage beauty nestled in the hills near China Town. Many beautiful weddings have been coordinated there. My favorite is one designed by Jo Gartin of Love, Luck and Angles. http://www.loveluckandangeles.com
One location to seek out is the rooftop of the Mercury on Wilshire. http://www.themercuryla.com/23.cfm It is a new, stylish condo complex, but we rented the rooftop for our event. It has stunning, almost 360-degree-views, of the city. You can see the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Observatory, the nearby Downtown skyline, the South Bay and the ocean. It has a grass area perfect for a ceremony and a pool area for cocktails. You could cover the pool with plexiglass for your ceremony, have cocktails in the grass/patio area and your reception with dancing in the pool area again. They also have room for caterers and you can have a custom tent pitched in case of inclement weather.
Have your reception in a restaurant. The ambiance, amazing food, tables, chairs and china are already in place. I went to a wedding at Lucques on Melrose that was just amazing. The ceremony was on the outside patio and the dinner was inside and served family style with dancing back outside on the patio. It was great fun! The Foundry on Melrose, owned by chef Eric Greenspan, is another great option with wonderful food.
More favorites of mine are the locations owned by Cedd Moses, such as the Broadway Bar, Cole's Downtown (great vintage event space!), Seven Grand and the Golden Gopher. I am waiting for the perfect couple who has rocking style for a reception (or even an engagement party or rehearsal dinner) in Coles. The possibilities are endless!
Speaking of restaurants and unique locations. The Waffle on Sunset and Vine on the lowest level of the House of Blues headquarters. Chic diner fare and a patio, inside diner seating and an upstairs bar = crazy, cool, 50's-chic reception! http://www.thewaffle.us/Site/Index.html
The Art Deco Society also has links to some of the swanky-est historic places in LA, perfect for a vintage, classy and elegant affair. You would not only have a stunning location, you would be aiding in the preservation of LA's unique and storied history! http://adsla.org/links.htm
A very current and little-explored idea for weddings is something that Martha Stewart Weddings did this Summer in New York called a "pop-up" wedding. http://ritzybee.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/06/pop-goes-the-wedding.html There are so many unique locations that have been left vacant as the result of our economic downturn. You can approach the property manager and ask to have your wedding reception in one of their vacant buildings. You would probably need to do this on a shorter timeline as they would rather rent the space to a retailer, but you could haul in decorations and rentals and have your wedding in a gallery-like space that would probably never be duplicated. I would definitely suggest you seek the assistance of a wedding coordinator for this one! There are a lot of logistics to sort out, but everyone would always remember your one-of-a-kind wedding event!
What are ways that throwing a non-traditional party can help you save money?
Well, for starters, you can save money on the food. You don't need to serve a 5-course meal. You can keep your party fun and alive by serving elegant comfort food or just good food period. It doesn't need to be expensive. Think of your favorite foods to eat and serve those.
Love mac and cheese and BBQ? Go for that. Your guests will have more fun eating food that they enjoy. Also, if you have a lot of places for people to sit and eat as opposed to a formal seating plan for the entire night, guests will have the opportunity to mingle with more people. In LA, a great BBQ caterer is: http://bigmista.com/
Save money on your bar. Have 2 signature cocktails and an array of non-alcoholic drinks. That is a huge money saver! If you want, add wine and beer and include a few basics such as vodka, bourbon, and rum. Definitely have free something to drink, though. Include sodas, tea, coffee and water. No one has fun while dying of thirst.
Bands that are not formal are much cheaper! A local jazz band, bluegrass band or even a jug band will cost you around $2000-3000 or less as opposed to $5000-$10,000 for a band that can play jazz, swing and top 40. One couple whose wedding I coordinated found all of their musicians at their local Farmer's Market!
Save money on wedding favors. No one really wants a wedding favor unless it is practical. Except for your parents. And you for your keepsake box. Seriously, no one else wants a mini candle with your names on it. Sorry to break it to you. Your guests DO want a candy bar, cotton candy, make-your-own sundaes, cupcakes, funnel cakes, and all of the things that they only eat when they are at a carnival or celebrating a major holiday.
So, instead of the traditional favor, give your guests the gift of entertainment and food. Wouldn't you rather leave a party with fresh chocolate chip cookies and a mini milk, or a cheeseburger, or hot coffee in a to-go cup?
You can forgo a traditional wedding cake all together or you can have a small ceremonial cake for a topper on a cupcake tree. That will save you money on the wedding cake overall because cupcakes are apx. $2 each instead of the usual $6 per slice for wedding cake.
Instead of splurging on expensive centerpieces for every table, rent fun props from a prop shop. You could also use personal photos in frames with a few blooms on the table. Or, use live potted plants or succulents in boxes that are live and can be replanted. These are usually much less expensive than cut flowers.
Do spend money on lighting and candles, though. You need ambiance to set the mood!
How do you keep things feeling intimate and personal when throwing a big party?
Have different areas where guests can mingle and chat. If you break up a large party into 3 areas (more than that and your party energy becomes too diluted), guests can feel free to check out other things to do and meet more guests.
Have an area where guests can dance and then stage ottomans and benches around the dance floor where guests can rest their feet or watch the dancing.
Have an area for cigar smokers and whiskey drinkers. You could even throw in some card games where guests can place "bets" redeemable for tickets to a drawing.
Have a lounge for the kids with activities, games, coloring books and hire off-duty nurses or LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurses), or Certified Babysitters who know First-Aid (just in case) to watch and entertain the kids.
Think about the flow of your party and imagine yourself navigating your event in your mind. Where would you enter? Would someone greet you? How would you know where to go next? Having live people guide guests is the ultimate guest service. Navigational signs are a great option, too. You can also have frames staged throughout the event that describe what is going on in that area and what guests can do there.
Thank you Suzanne for your fabulous advice. We may steal some of your awesome ideas like the mobile ice cream sandwiches, the photo backdrop, and the "pop up" location (I love that!) for our Catch My Party launch party. Stay tuned...
I think I'm in a nostalgic mood. Today, my two-year-old daughter, pretending to be a doctor, gave me a shot, then offered me a pretend lollipop to make me feel better. Remember when all it took to make you feel better was a lollipop?
Well, I found this cool site called the Sweet Lollipop Shop that makes custom lollipops for all occasions and I thought what a great, inexpensive party favor idea. They've got birthday and holiday pops, wedding and shower pops, and lots of pops for kids, of course. Here are a few of my favorites...
I also love the flavor selections.
Orange - orange Strawberry - pink Lemon - yellow Lime - green Cherry - red Raspberry - blue/teal Cheesecake - yellow Bubblegum - pink Apple - green or red Maple - brown Blueberry - blue Watermelon - pink/red Root Beer - brown
Plus white, milk and dark chocolate.
I was just speaking to Keaton Koechli, VP of Operations at a company called Hoopnotica, which sells hula hoops and hula hoop related products for exercise, dance, and fun.
Keaton told me that for her wedding, she had her company make custom hula hoops in her wedding colors, then put them out for her friends and family to enjoy at the reception. She said it was such a hit, that even her husband's "guy" friends got into the action.
What I think is so fantastic about this idea is that it is simple and fun -- come on, who doesn't love a hula hoop? -- and yet it can add so much to a party.
I've been to so many weddings and events that are beautiful, but leave me bored at the end. And why is that? Because they all follow the same script.
So, I'm always looking for that personal touch, that playfulness, the element that says, "So what if this wedding dress cost more than I make in a year, it's getting dirty!" Those are the parties I enjoy the most, the ones that feel the most "real," and the ones that stay with me months, even years, afterward.
So if you're looking to add a spontaneous touch, and want to harken back to those good times you had on your fifth grade playground, contact Hoopnotica and they'll set you up with some awesome hoops.
Here are some pictures of Keaton's beautiful wedding by her photographer Ryan Jensen.
To see more of Keaton's wedding photos check out her party page.
Also, if you're looking for some cool entertainment for your wedding or party, Keaton said Hoopnotica performs as well, and even does a fire hoops show that is out of this world.
Again I wanted to blog about Liz Coopersmith, my friend and LA party planner, because she's leading monthly workshops in LA, called the Recession Bride's Workshop, to help brides and grooms save money while throwing their dream weddings.
So I posed her some questions to get the skinny on what really matters and what doesn't, and here's what she said...
What are the three easiest ways to save when throwing a wedding?
- Find a wedding site that costs less than $3000 to rent, control your food and liquor costs by either bringing it in yourself, or limiting either, Keep your wedding flowers simple and seasonal.
If you're on a strict budget, do you still need a?
- Gasp! Trick question! Personally, I try and make sure that I save my clients the cost of my services. Think of it this way - I know where the best deals are, where to find the vendors that are going to get you what you need and how you need it. Basically, I'm going to save you time,money and energy. If you truly don't have the money for a full-service coordinator, hiring someone (like me!) to help you find your vendors will help relieve the stress of starting out. And hiring a day-of coordinator will help you enjoy your wedding. HOWEVER, there are also some great books out there that will map out all this stuff for you. So, yes...and no.
How do you get the best deals when talking to vendors?
- Come with a budget, and ASK. 50% of your budget goes to the ceremony and reception (site rental, food and drink, etc.), the rest goes towards everything else. ASK if there is a way to get a better deal.
Any unusual wedding locations you can recommend to save money?
- Public City and State owned parks and sites. If you are in Los Angeles, http://www.lamountains.com and http://www.laparks.org are good places to start. Type in "wedding" to get results.
What is an easy DIY project that doesn't take a lot of time, nor need a lot of skill, but will cut down on cost?
- Using invitation kits. Target has some beautiful ones. Including ink, it will run you way less than $100.
What should you do if your fiance and you can't agree on a budget?
- Break it down.Try and agree on how much you're willing to spend on the ceremony and reception. Are you willing to pay $50 a person for food and drink or $90 per person, or less?
What are your favorite wedding websites for great deals?
- So many great resources! I'm on weddingwire.com, and they always have lists of promotions. There's Brokeassbride.com, 12kwedding,style me pretty, and pretty much all the blogs and sites they have listed.
What is the one thing not to skimp on when planning your wedding?
- I'd have to say photography, since it's the one thing you're going to take away at the end of the day. I would encourage couples to NOT pick a photographer based on how much they cost, because if you don't like their work, you're not going to like your pictures! Luckily, there are quite a few really good photographers that are decently priced.
Liz's next Recession Bride's Workshop will be Sunday, July 19, 2009 from 1:00 - 3:00pm in downtown Los Angeles. If you're newly engaged and live in LA, I'd highly recommend it, and you can still take advantage of the $10 "Early Bride" Discount by using the code WEDCHARMEARLY at checkout.
Thanks, Liz, for your expert advice!!
I was just talking to Liz Coopersmith, LA-based wedding coordinator at Silver Charm Events, who is also a wedding officiant and a huge sci fi fan. She's going to Comic-Con July 23rd - July 26th, and has come up with a great idea, to marry a couple on the floor of the San Diego Convention Center.
All she needs to find is an engaged couple who already has tickets to Comic-Con (since the convention is completely sold out). They'll need a marriage license, which Liz can help them get.
Then they can name the date, time, and location, invite as many people as they want, and decide whether or not to come in costume. (Liz said she'd be happy to oblige and has a Uhura costume at the ready.)
If you're interested, email Liz at email@example.com. It sounds like it's going to be a blast -- with a kind of flash mob feel -- and Liz has promised to put pictures up on Catch My Party after the festivities.
In fact, once Liz has finalized the details, I will post the info here, so if you're at Comic-Con, you can check out the joining of two souls, while rubbing shoulders with Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Wonder Woman, some Storm Troopers, and maybe a Klingon or two.
Whose family isn't awkward? I just check out the new site Awkward Family Photos and especially loved the the awkward wedding photos and awkward engagement photos. The site is only a month old, so there aren't that many pictures in these categories yet, but the ones that are there are priceless. Here are a few of my personal favorites.
How uncomfortable do these pictures make you?
I just found this site and had to post about it. It's called Once Wed and you can buy some unbelievable used dresses here, like Monique Lhuilliers, Reem Acras, and Melissa Sweets, for half the price, if not less.
Check out this Monique Lhuillier (my personal favorite).
Purchased for $4,600. Can be yours for a measly $2,200. Sure you could buy yourself a 1990 Toyota Tercel or a brand new MacBook Pro for that money, but... as a gal who loves her some wedding dresses, I think it's worth every cent.
So you've got a wedding to plan and the economy's in the toilet. It's not the end of the world. With a glue gun and a can-do spirit, a beautiful wedding is still within reach. Just check out this site.
Here you'll learn how to decorate your own cheap wedding shoes, make mason jar tissue paper centerpieces, and throw a pot luck wedding reception. While your wedding might not make it into InStyle, it will definitely keep you out of bankruptcy. And in today's economic times that's saying a lot.
A DIY party favor I like a lot -- twig pencil sets with leaf paper punch tags. Clever and eco.