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Style Trend: Manzanita Branches & Wishing Trees

9 May

Wishing trees have become a popular feature of event decor for baby showers and weddings.  Have you ever wondered where the tradition of wishing trees came from?  Some say that it is a Dutch tradition, but we have seen many styles of wishing trees from various cultures for many different reasons aside from weddings. For example, we found that as part of a Lam Tsuen tradition, Wish-makers write their wishes on red paper “josses,” which are offerings dedicated to Chinese deities.

No matter where the tradition comes from, it is a beautiful sight to see a tree filled with thoughts and well-wishes dedicated to your new life as husband and wife!  With so many fun ways to decorate and make it your own, a wishing tree can be a great focal point for your event.  A word of advice is to leave instructions for your guests, so that they know that you would like them to write on the cards and hang it on the tree. 

Whether you are using manzanita branches, or a living tree you should be able to find relatively inexpensive ways to decorate it.  Although if you plan to use crystals, you may want to opt to rent the strings of crystals rather than buying them yourself (they can get pricey!)

We found these photos inspiring!


Manzanita Branches can be painted to match your decor, and you can use them as centerpieces as well.

Many Decor & Event Staging vendors will have wishing trees available to rent, but if you would like to make one yourself here is what you will need.  Most of the materials can be found at your local craft store, or for large amounts of manzanita branches check out this website: Blooms and Branches.  They also have moss, curly willow, votive candles, vases, birch branches & centerpiece kits.

– Large manzanita branch or several small branches, which can be painted to match your decor.  If you are having a more      natural style theme, you won’t need to paint the branches because they are a nice deep red color on their own.
– Paint for the branches
– Glitter, if you would like the tree to really shine!
– Strands of Crystals, (or create your own with fishing wire & crystals or beads.)
– Add flowers or greenery depending on your theme.
– Vase, try to find a sturdy vase with a wide base so that it is less likely to tip over.

Okay now you have created your own wishing tree!

For some great aisle decor ideas, check out this great website Koyal Wholesale.  They have some couture designs for walking down the aisle!

Sources:

Lam Tsuen Tradition ( http://www.com.cuhk.edu.hk/varsity/0003/culture2.htm)
http://www.herecomesthebride.com
http://www.theoaks.com
http://www.cupidsarrow.com

Girls Just Want To Have Fun!

5 May

That’s right girls just want to have fun, and wear pretty dresses of course! So what is better than one beautiful dress on your big day? Two Dresses! Lady Gaga is not the only one allowed to make wardrobe changes, so we say go for it!

Wedding dresses are beautiful bottom line.  However, they are not very comfortable for the most part, so opting for a cocktail dress may save you some unnecessary agony.  Choosing a cocktail dress to change into, shows a little more personality, adds more photo op’s, and you will most likely be able to move a little more freely on the dance floor.

Cocktail dresses can be any style you want, and any color you want!  If cocktail dresses aren’t for you, consider looking at these next dresses as options for your bridesmaids.  It is great for bridesmaids when they get to wear a dress for your wedding that they can wear again!




Creating Your Wedding Playlist

30 Apr

Have you hired a DJ, live band, string quartet, or orchestra for your wedding? Or maybe are you going to take charge of your own music for your event by using CD’s or your Ipod.  Either way, you should still try to get a play-list together to make sure you have songs picked out for some of the highlights of your wedding.  What kind of music have you always dreamed of hearing as you walk down the aisle?

Are you looking for a DJ who will also serve as an MC for your wedding? This person will essentially be the voice of your wedding, as he or she will be keeping the event flowing and announcing your entrance, first dance, cake cutting etc. A good DJ has finesse, and can get all of your guests onto the dance floor, and keep the party going.  Take the opportunity to meet potential DJ companies to ensure that you feel comfortable with their level of professionalism. Don’t be shy about what your expectations are, and determine what equipment is included such as a cordless microphone, lighting effects etc.  Last, make sure your wedding venue has accessible power outlets for the DJ to set up their equipment.

Next, take the opportunity to define your personalities, and set a tone for your event  by choosing great music.  First, make sure you know the basics of wedding ceremony music. TheKnot.com has a great article about wedding music, so we have provided an excerpt here for you. “The most basic wedding ceremony music setup involves a minimum of three types of songs: preludes, processionals, and recessionals. Prelude music is light, ambient music that sets the mood while guests are being seated and waiting for the ceremony to begin. It usually begins when the doors open, or as early as 45 minutes prior to but no later than 20 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony.

Next is the processional, which accompanies the entry of the extended wedding party– family, bridal party, and bride. The same song can be used for each, but we love the idea of changing to another song when the bride enters to add drama and highlight her entrance. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the recessional plays. As the name implies, this music accompanies you as you recess (that is, make your exit) and is traditionally bright and lively — a reflection of your joy. ” (TheKnot.com)

There are tons of resources for lists of traditional, contemporary and modern wedding music, and these are a few we found to be really helpful.
www.TheKnot.com
www.WeddingWire.com
www.Weddingvendors.com
www.Projectwedding.com
www.Ourweddingsongs.com

If you plan on using some of the more traditional wedding processional songs such as (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen by Edvard Grieg, or one of the many versions of “The Wedding March,”) a piece of advice is to listen to the song using YouTube, so that you can hear the song first.

A handful of great classical/traditional songs:

Romance ( Op. 44, No. 1) Anton Rubenstein
Vocalise – Sergei Rachmaninoff
The Maestro –  Composed by Hans Zimmer
Bridal Procession – Edvard Grieg
All I Ask Of You – Phantom of the Opera, (Piano)
Canon in D – J Pachelbel
Ave Maria – (There are several beautiful instrumental versions)

Here is a list of some recommended songs, from many different genres.

Marry Me – Train
This Year’s Love – David Gray
I Do – Colbie Caillat
Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s
Your Guardian Angel – Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Time of My Life – David Cook
Lucky – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Better Together – Jack Johnson
She’s Everything – Brad Paisley
Why Wait – Rascal Flatts
Are you Gonna Kiss Me or Not – Thompson Square
Mama’s Song – Carrie Underwood
Only You Can Love Me This Way – Keith Urban
Wishn and Hopin – Dusty Springfield
Fly Me To The Moon – Frank Sinatra
I loved Her First – Heartland (Great Father Daughter Dance Song)
The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
Spend My Life With You – Eric Benet
I Do – Boys II Men
L-O-V-E – Nat Cole King
I Cant Help Falling In Love – Elvis
That’s what makes it a love song – Miranda Lambert
Better Half – Keith Urban
Oh Love – Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood
Our Love is Here To Stay – Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald Versions
I Could Not Ask For More – Edward McCain
Sail Away – David Gray
The Only Exception – Paramore
Forever – Chris Brown
Wedding Bells – Coldplay (This song is not yet released, but has an anticipated release date of late 2011)

Don’t forget to check out our Vendor Directory, to find great DJ’s and other Entertainment.

Mark Your Calendars

26 Apr

The Palms Pavilion in Chico will be having an open house at their beautiful venue, on May 10th, 2011.  The admission is free, and as if that wasn’t exciting enough, each couple will each receive a free engagement photo!  If you have never visited The Palms, check out all of these great amenities included in their wedding package.

AMENITIES:
•   Luxuriously furnished, private bride and groom dressing rooms •   Fully equipped catering kitchen • Air-conditioned and fully lighted pavilion space, accommodating up to 300 guests •   Built-in beverage service bar •   Portable stage with overhead lighting •   Parking spaces for 250 automobiles •   Multiple ceremony spaces throughout the landscaped gardens •   Tiki torches light up evening celebrations •   Koi ponds and fountains provide water features.

Enjoy h’orderves and champagne, while you take in the scenery and  mingle with other engaged couples.  WeDo Designs is the on-site wedding designer, and Rabina Khan along with her team are sure to wow you with their elegant designs and modern innovations to wedding decor.   Many brides watch shows like Platinum Weddings, or My Fair Wedding with David Tutera and feel like those weddings are just a fairytale. Let us assure you that with the right vendors, you can have the Platinum Wedding you have dreamed of without breaking the bank! Check out WeDo Designs, for picture galleries, pricing and available services.


So mark you calendars, and make sure to attend this great Open House at The Palms Pavilion.  May 10th, 2011 from 4 to 7pm.

The Palms Pavilion is located at 2947 Nord Avenue, Chico CA 95973

For more information contact:

Rabina Khan, WeDo Designs
(530) 566 – 7603
2947 Nord Ave
Chico, CA 95973

Hire a Professional Beverage Service/Bartender

23 Apr

Even if you are having a “dry” wedding, your guests will still be thirsty.  Hiring a professional bartender or beverage service helps to make sure that you and your guests can enjoy the evening without having to pour your own drinks! Catering companies often supply water, tea, or lemonade but when it comes to champagne or cocktail drinks you are on your own.  With a professional bartender you can rest assured that your guests will be taken care of.

Make a statement, and treat your guests with signature cocktail drinks made special for your wedding. You will need to check with your wedding venue to ensure they allow outside alcohol for your event.  You can create signature drinks that match your theme, or plan around the season of your wedding.  White Russians for winter weddings and blended margarita’s or mojitos for the warmer months.

For our DIY brides out there, look for sales and deals on alcohol and drink mixes and stock up on supplies such as straws, cocktail napkins, stiring sticks etc. Stirrings.com offers printable labels for your stirring sticks, which you can personalize with your monogram, intials or wedding date etc. Another way to keep your budget in check, is to only serve alcohol during the cocktail hour (which may also help keep your guests from getting over indulged.) Have a friend or relative that knows a thing or two about making drinks? Don’t be afraid to ask them to help out if you aren’t planning on hiring a bartender.

For local professional bartenders and beverage services check out our directory. Below are some cocktail drink recipe ideas, and keep in mind there are endless options out there. Use the recipes for bridal showers, bachelorette parties as well.  If you have a smart phone you can also download free cocktail recipe apps!

White Russian  
1 1/4 Vodka
1 1/4 Cofee Licquer
1 1/4 Heavy Cream
Directions: Stir together in a pitcher, then pour into ice filled glasses.

Cosmopolitan
(serves one)
1 oz vodka
1/2 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Rose’s sweetened lime juice
1/2 oz Cranberry juice
Lime Wedge
Directions: Shake liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice, Place lime wedge on the rim of  Martini glass. Pour mix into the glass & Enjoy

Lemon Drop (Shots)
1 Shot Absolut Citron
1 Slice Lemon
1 tsp Sugar
Directions: Place sugar on lemon, take the shot and then bite down on the lemon!

Mojito                                                                                        
2-3 oz of Light rum
Juice of 1 lime (1 oz)
2 tsp Sugar
2-4 Mint Sprigs
Soda water
Directions: Mix the mint and sugar with a splash of soda water in a mixing lass, until sugar is dissolved.  Squeeze the lime into the glass, add the rum and shake with ice. Top off with soda water, garnish with ming sprig and serve.

Real Northern California Weddings

21 Apr

Veronica & Daniel
Chico, CA
10.10.10

With all of the planning leading up to my wedding day in October, I had begun to get overwhelmed with all of the details. Eventually, I let myself stop stressing and try to enjoy everything that was happening. I knew my vendors had everything under control so it was time for me to just be a Bride!

Initially I had wanted to hire a wedding coordinator, but I had confidence that I could handle organizing the details myself, and although there were a few rough patches I must say everything went rather smooth!  (Believe me when I say I was far from a DIY Bride)

My theme was black and white damask, with an accent of red. (Oh and of course some bling)  When I booked WeDo Designs, I knew that the owner, Rabina Khan really understood my vision and from samples of her work I knew she would be able to exceed my expectations.

The wedding venue was The Card Center in Chico, which offers an outdoor area for the ceremony as well as indoor reception area with a patio for the cocktail hour.   The Card Center staff provided me with a floor plan of the reception area, and we were able to work on the layout
and plan out how the tables and chairs would be set up.  We also decided we would use floor to ceiling fabric, and up-lighting to really transform the room. See the before and after photos below.

When I met Lisa Hunter of Lisa’s Flor Décor, I was hooked on her artistic creations with flowers and centerpieces. I had so many different pictures of designs I liked, but she was able to choose designs and flowers that were cohesive with my wedding theme. She made sure that the centerpieces were an appropriate height for the room and really accomplished what I had asked of her. I loved that she was willing to mix things up and play with different heights and centerpiece ideas.
When it came to the altar, Lisa brought my vision to life and I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out.

I really loved our aisle, and Lisa’s Flor Decor made a beautiful Monogrammed “E” covered in Roses.

Speaking of flowers, every bride dreams of walking down the aisle holding her beautiful bouquet! I loved the mix of flowers used in the my bouquet, and the Gerbera Daisy’s had a dark center which matched the bridesmaid dresses.

I wore a Casa Blanca wedding gown and the Bridesmaids wore Black Alfred Angelo gowns with Red Accents.

Daniel wore a black Tuxedo with a White Vest, and the Groomsmen wore Black Tuxedos with Red Accents from Mens Wearhouse.

What is a wedding celebration without appetizers and a delicious dinnner? Leslie with Shelly’s Creative Catering really brought her A game to the wedding and not only was the food amazing but she was also great at keeping the festivities on schedule. The cocktail hour consisted of an open bar, fruits, cheese and crackers, and veggies, followed by a tri-tip and chicken buffet dinner.

Christy, with Christy’s Creations created a cake that tasted amazing and fit perfectly into our theme. It was a three-tierd white cake with fondant.

The photo-booth was a blast, and the photos served as our wedding favors. Chico Photo and Video brought the booth to the reception, provided props and also a cd of the photos for us to be able to see all of the pictures. Having the props really added to the fun, and since there was no limit on how many pictures we could take I think the kids at the wedding probably went in the booth over 20 times!


Tracy with Tracy Lynn Photography captured some great shots, and really made us feel comfortable in front of the camera. She knew I wasn’t a picture person so she really had a challenge on her hands!

Cheers!

Planning your wedding on a Budget? Do it yourself!

19 Apr

Our lovely Featured Bride Melissa gave us some great tips for lowering your wedding costs by Doing some things yourself!

DIY Tips:
(ways to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars)

  • Buy invitation kits online or at a store like Michael’s or Bed Bath and Beyond and print them yourself.
  • Use your photographers pictures from the engagement session to make your own Save the dates. Print them somewhere like Walgreens or Walmart
  • Buy your linens online for cheaper than renting them through a company
  • Find a venue location that is pretty all by itself and save on extra decorating expenses and time you would spend to make your own decor
  • Order your flowers from Raley’s or Safeway and put them all together yourself one to two days before the wedding
  • Have a friend or relative cook your meal and save tons on catering costs
  • Make your own centerpieces. Go online and look up wedding centerpieces and find what you like. Then recreate it. Stores like Michaels, Joann’s, Ross, TJ Maxx, and Home Goods sell glass vases and products needed to create wonderful centerpieces. (Use their coupons Michael’s and Joann’s are always having 40 to 50% off one regular priced item or 20% off entire purchase)
  • Meet with many vendors to compare prices to find the best fit for your money

Say Cheese!

13 Apr

There are many ways to capture the memories and kodak moments of your big day. From the professional photos or videos taken by your photographer, to candid snapshots taken by your guests.  A photobooth gives you a combination of the two, because the photos are taken with a professional camera and it is just plain fun!

Photobooth companies often supply props and costume pieces that allow the guests to take as many playful pictures as they want.  You can have your names and date or monogram printed onto the photo strips so that they become a keepsake for you and for your guests.  Give your guests the option to keep half of the photo strip and place the other half into your scrapbook where they can write a personalized note to you.  Keep in mind that in most cases you will get a cd with all of the pictures on it for you to enjoy, and make extra prints if necessary.

So in between the father daughter dance and your bouquet toss just throw on a cowboy hat and some oversized sunglasses and have a unique photo with your friends and family forever!

Check out these examples of Photobooth Fun, and don’t forget to checkout our directory to find local photo booth rentals.
 

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