a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Centerpiece Sneak Peek June 23, 2009

So far I only have one picture of one of three types of centerpieces that we had at our wedding (thanks to my fellow teachers!) but I couldn’t resist a sneak peek. I can’t even begin to say how much fun I had working with Dee and Amanda at Petals & Leaves. I’m sure that I’ll continue to rave about their work when I get the detail shots from our photographer, but for now I’ll just say that I went to them with all sorts of crazy ideas (because that’s what happens when you’ve been reading wedding blogs for a year right?) and not only were they supportive and enthusiastic but they took my thoughts to the next level. This custom designed screen you see behind us with damask elements and orchids strung through it began as a vague thought about a “screen of flowers.” It turned out so well, even though we ended up inside instead of outside. In fact, I think it juxtaposed even better with the classic vintage appeal of Derby Court, giving it that modern twist we were going for.


And here is the shot of centerpiece one: a tall hurricane vase turned upside down with uplighting from the bottom, moss, flowers, green apples, and metallic curly willow spraying out of the top. I was blown away when I saw them! They were the one type of tall centerpieces we had, and they definitely added dimension and visual interest in such a huge room. Plus since the vases were thin and clear, people could still have conversations through them which was one of our main priorities. I’ll add pictures of the rest of their fabulous floral details as soon as I have them!



Buying in Bulk January 25, 2009

I’m not going to lie, when Drew casually mentioned that he wanted us to get a Costco membership I had a brief moment of panic. I stumbled over myself trying to give excuse after excuse (they won’t have enought organic food, how will we possibly store an 80 pound box of toilet paper etc) but my real problem was that a long time ago I filed Costco away in the “only if and when we have kids” segment of my brain. Still, I let Drew drag me along one Sunday afternoon to check it out. I was reasonably sure we wouldn’t find anything, and leave sans membership, with our early 20’s independent pride intact. Of couse I was wrong.

I won’t bore you with tales of all the fabulous organic items we found, the way cheaper energy efficient lightbulbs, or the eco-friendly showerhead we got totally excited about, because this is a wedding blog after all. And after one trip, my mind was already spinning with possibilities

Since we’re having an outdoor rehearsal dinner, I started eyeing up all the pre-prepared catering trays. You could easily cater a whole party or reception pretty economically, with food and booze, all from Costco. Their turkey wraps are pretty delicious, actually. And while we’re on the subject of food, you can definitely save money by filling up welcome bags with snacks and candy you bought in bulk.

Who knew Costco had wedding invitations? They have every type of wedding stationary imaginable, and some of it is dirt cheap. You could also make use of their Photolab to print thank you postcards or create a book of your wedding photos.

Or you could do like this bride, and order flowers from Costco which she says are cheaper than wholesale. I would trust her too, her wedding was so fresh, modern and gorgeous I’ll probably write up a whole feature about it later this week. If you can’t wait, go here to check out the rest of the pictures, they are amazing!


Drive-by Inspiration May 6, 2008

I love that my commute to and from work takes me right by the museum where we’ll be getting married in close to a year. That is, if we can make it that long before heading to judge’s chambers 🙂 I always try to drive as slowly as I can without endangering other drivers, craning my neck to get a good view of the sculpture garden where the ceremony will be. It was a little bare during winter, but now it is fully in bloom and absolutely gorgeous. There are two small trees that I think we’ll use in lieu of an altar or archway and I’m thinking of decorating them with strands of hanging orchids, similar to this picture. The site is already so beautiful we won’t need much else. Since we’re planning a dusk ceremony I might also use some of those paper bag luminaries. If you had an outdoor wedding how did you decorate?


Weekends of Weddings April 28, 2008

Even my vacations are wedding filled! I’m back for a brief jaunt in Ohio before heading up to Canada this week for our best man’s wedding. We’re staying in a quaint inn with jacuzzi tubs and couple’s massages, smack in the middle of wine country. Sounds pretty good, eh?

This last weekend Drew and I spent at our alma mater. The guys golfed and the girls (2 recently married, 3 getting married within the next year) shopped and had long chats about…you guessed it. Not to mention we’ll be attending 3 other weddings just this summer. So closing in on one year to our wedding, I’m being bombarded from all angles and fortunately I couldn’t be loving it more. I’ve heard that the wedding doldrums or stress always take over eventually, but so far so good!

One of the hot topics this weekend was flowers. Flowers are obviously synonymous with weddings and even though I’m a big proponent of using other elements (branches, candles, water etc) flowers definitely do up the prettiness factor. We’ve already splurged on the location and the photographer so we were brainstorming ways to not be too ridiculous with the decor. Of course I immediately fell in love with orchids (expensive), especially cybidium orchids (even more expensive) which might be somewhat of a hurdle. But I think I still may be able to get the best of both worlds, and one way could be using expensive flowers in sparing but striking arrangements like this fishbowl idea. I think I would choose a differently shaped container, but the mix of simple lines and textures is chic and cheap. More details to come!


Reinventing the Rose II April 20, 2008

As promised, here is a follow-up on less conventional ways to use the most conventional wedding flower.  I love  the idea of incorporating roses in prints, whether on your invitations or your bridesmaid dresses. I’m also a fan of centerpieces that put a different emphasis on roses, such as the stems or just the bloom in an unusual container. And while the the concept of a rose bouquet is very typical, the color and texture of this one are so lovely I had to include it!

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Reinventing the Rose April 15, 2008

Although I think roses are beautiful they tend to be a little overused in the wedding world, so I love seeing them used in fresh and imaginative ways. This centerpiece by Mocha Rose in Pittsburgh is stunning: it manages to be simple, architectural, and glamorous all at the same time. Depending on the style of your wedding I might lost the dangling crystals, but they also do add a certain antique flair. Overall I think the tall vase really makes the look, and has the advantage of being conversation friendly since it keeps the flowers above the heads of your guests. Function and fashion all at once! Take a peek at the Mocha Rose website and blog for more floral eye candy.

Also keep an eye out for a sequel to this post as I continue to look for innovative ways to use roses in my spare time (which coincidentally is becoming increasingly rare, but fortunately I’m one of those people who loves being busy). Share the love if you’ve seen any good examples!


Confession and Inspiration March 26, 2008


Ok, I admit it. I was watching The Hills last night. I don’t have an excuse, other than it was shot in Paris and I will usually stop on any show that has beauty shots of that city. Shockingly, however, something more came out of the episode than me just really wanting to pack my bags and hole up on the Champs-Elysées. It was only a split second image, but I was really inspired by these whimsical flower arrangements at Le Grand Hotel (I apologize for the bad quality of the image by the way, I had to do some technical blundering to find it for you). What an original yet simple way to liven up centerpieces with something as cheap as food coloring! I was already considering using green orchids in water for my reception, but having them in chartreuse water would definitely punch up the overall effect. There are lots of other variations on this look that would be killer as well.  You could substitute candles for flowers, jars or fishbowls for vases, and experiment with different materials like rocks or grass. So far I haven’t been able to find a lot of examples online which leads me believe this look hasn’t been made popular yet. This way you have a fresh slate to create your own exclusive design (and to validate the fact that I watched and enjoyed a trashy reality show).


Flowers for all Seasons March 18, 2008

I love monochromatic bouquets, which is what I was searching for when I stumbled on this pretty sweet site called 1,000 Petals. Not exactly what I was looking for, but cool nonetheless! My favorite feature is that you can search their designs by season, and a lot of their work has a cool Asian flair to it. My favorite section was Autumn, especially these photos of a bold green and orange color scheme. Not something that sounds great on paper, but it looks really fresh and vibrant the way they’ve put the colors together. They have lots of other great floral and decor inspiration if you’re in need of a distraction at work or just for fun!