Not just for tea parties, old ladies, and kids' crafts.

Doilies, that is. Doilies tend not to be taken too seriously - I mean, try pronouncing their name in a room of serious folk and see what happens - but, after seeing this picture today, I'm sold on doilies.

source: Martha.

I am absolutely making these envelope / envelope liners for something wedding related. I haven't yet decided if they'll be incorporated in our invitations, thank you's, or something else, but just know that they will be used.

I had been looking for more ways to incorporate lace - I mean, we have a "vintage map and lace themed wedding", but so far the only lace appears on my dress and our not yet existent table runners. Doilies are the perfect way to include lace in even the smallest of details.

If you're not yet convinced that doilies are the best thing ever, please partake in some more eye candy:

source: Martha.

If the envelope liners are too much, perhaps they would fit better around escort cards?

source: Once Wed.

source: Martha via Apartment Therapy.

source: Martha

A doily garland or wreath could look wonderful strung above a head table, dessert buffet, or even along and altar.

source: Martha

These luminaries would light up any tablescape beautifully. They would be so easy to make by gluing paper doilies to bags, too.

source: Martha

A doily shelf strip would spruce up any cake or cupcake stand.


What about using doilies as the backing matte for photos on display at the wedding?


and finally, this dress was inspired by doilies. Maybe including it with all the other doily inspiration would be going a little too far, but it's beautiful, no?

Check here for some great doilies for purchase. How might you include doilies into your wedding?


snowy dreams. part 2 - the ideas.

Yesterday, I shared the snowy bride and groom images that make me wish I could have a snowy wedding of my own. Here are some of the awesome ideas I would incorporate in said wedding.


Our venue has this awesome fireplace. The seating shown above is the normal set-up of the lobby - which are normally removed for a wedding so the space can act as the dance floor. If we had a winter, snowy wedding, I would be tempted to leave the seating so guests could curl up by the fire.


I love bonfires, and I love s'mores. It would be awesome to include both in a wedding. Plus, the display of all the s'mores ingredients could be adorable.



Hot chocolate this cute would make fantastic favors or a treat served at the wedding. For my Christmas party this year, I served hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps - it was delish and could make a great winter wedding signature drink.


There are so many other great ways to display or dress up wintery foods, too. Also, aren't those snowman cutouts the cutest photo booth props or set-up you've ever seen?


Look! Vintage suitcases and a sled spruce up a beautiful detail/favor table. Also, that snowman is made out of carnations. How amazing is that?


I love me some rustic log/wood details anyway, but add a little snow and they're perfection.

Snowy weddings offer an endless wellspring of inspiration. I love that our wedding will coincide with good weather, family and friends' vacation times, and blooming nature, but I really am envying those of you with winter weddings.


snowy dreams.

I would have never have imagined or considered a winter wedding before I dove into the massive amounts of wedding inspiration on the internet. Images like these easily sway, however.

all images from style me pretty.

Now, I am insanely jealous of all of you experiencing a snowy winter out there (anyone have a white Christmas? Our southern California 70ish degree one was convenient, but lacking); and I am close to second-guessing our wedding date. Julian, while still in Southern California, gets pretty steady snow in the winter, and the images of our venue in the snow are lovely.


If it weren't for the more complicated travel conditions and the fact that an outdoor ceremony wouldn't be ideal (Phoebe's wedding on Friends, anyone?), I would have jumped at the chance to have a snowy wedding.

If any of you are getting married in the winter months in a snowy location, please take beautiful winter wonderland photos like the ones above. I will be back tomorrow with some ideas and inspiration that I would have love to have incorporated if we, too, were having a snowy wedding.


Merry Day!


I'm not afraid to say it. I hope you all have a fantastic day whether you celebrate or not.

Last night, David and I celebrated with my family with a wonderful dinner, church service, hot cocoa, and It's a Wonderful Life. We then opened some great presents and are fixing breakfast. Later, we'll head to celebrate with his family with more presents, another meal, and other good things. We're so blessed, and I truly hope you're blessed today by something as well. <3


Maid for each other: The final look.

Part one.
Part two.
Part three.
Part four.

Yesterday, I finally had the chance to take my last bridesmaid to Alfred Angelo to choose her dress. I thought it was pretty funny that the dress she picked was the very one that I almost chose for her - I just wanted to get this all decided on, and I knew she would like it. It was the very first dress she tried on. She tried others, but none held a candle to how great she looked in the first.


The sash will be the same Champagne/gold color as my sister's dress will have, and I love how two dresses will have that accent color now. I'm going to encourage the other girls to accessorize in that color, but nothing is mandatory.

Since the final dress has been decided, I compiled an image to see how all the dresses look together.

personal compilation of photos from Alfred Angelo.

Don't they look great? Again, the color on the website is off - they won't look nearly that pink - but, I am otherwise loving the look. Sister BM L (the fourth dress) wants to have hers shortened so it sits just above the knee, and BM J's dress (the middle one) is really long on her, so it will be shortened to the knee as well. Thus, the dresses will all end up roughly the same length and since the color and fabric is exact, I know they'll look amazing.


Festive Dress.

My attire for my Christmas Party all started from a pair of tights. They were so shimmery and festive that I built the rest of the outfit around it. I already had the shoes, and I ran out to H&M and picked up the dress and hair flowers (the dress and flowers pictured are from different sources but are almost identical). The outfit was really fun, just Christmas-y enough, and I can use all of the elements for many great outfits to come.



On Saturday night, I threw my annual Christmas party. Over the years, this party has evolved from an excuse to celebrate the holidays with my church choir group, a large gathering with a gift exchange, a formal four course dinner party, and this year, it was a dessert potluck.

Every year, the party has been hosted by me at my parents' house. I actually have many friends who have only every been to my parents' house for my parties over the years and thus think that we always have a Christmas tree. Anyway, their house was made for parties - there's a great wet bar right in the middle of the house and tons of open space - and, since this was my last year to host a party here (one of my biggest hopes for David and my future home is space to host parties), I wanted to make the most of the space.

all photos are by me. sorry this one's so blurry.

The wet bar has been the central location for the party and has held the food every year (minus the dinner party year), but it wasn't until this year that I decided it needed some decoration of it's own.

I made the "Merry" banner out of leftover Save the Dates (what? I can't go wasting perfectly good Stardream paper, can I?), wrapping paper, and twine. It was good practice for possible wedding signage. One major thing I learned was to punch two holes in the cardstock and weave the twine through it instead of trying to tie it through one hole. Lesson learned. But, it's cute, no?

I whipped out the "Sip, Savor, Sweet" signs at the last minute. The frames are from a future wedding project, and I used the same wrapping paper as the "Merry" banner. I'm not too happy with my own handwriting, but I thought they were a nice touch and helped separate the different foods (and drinks) on the bar.

Here's the sweet sign in action. Those are just the desserts that I provided - there were many more to come from my fabulous guests.

This clever use of Scrabble pieces came from Apartment Therapy. I thought it was too cute to pass up. You can play with different phrases for different seasons and events, too!

And finally, my lovely MOH and I made my traditional pretzel rods. I make them every year for Christmas and they're quite a hit for something so simple. I just melt chocolate chips on a double boiler, dip the pretzels, and sprinkle crushed candy canes on top. They're really delish. I actually like the ones made with white chocolate chips better, but melting white chocolate is tricky, ya'll.

Here we are, the host and hostess.

I want to post about what I wore later, but I'll leave you for now with some of the wonderful, happy people who celebrated the evening with us:


It's all in the details.

I think one of my favorite parts of the weddings that are wonderfully inspiring and just overall well put-together that get showcased on blogs all the time are the seemingly unnecessary props and details.

Style Me Pretty.

Look at the table above - it holds nothing that seems to be serving a purpose necessary to a wedding (other than the bouquet - which looks like it was placed there after it was actually used), but it was photographed as one of the star details. (Granted, this photo was from a mock-wedding photo shoot, but that's beside the point) It's the little details and items used purely for show that really help tie together the elements of many lovely weddings. Now, these details don't always need to be useless - I love how we're going to be able to use our vintage cosmetic case as a guestbook, for example - but, often times some of the weddings I love most have things lying around for show. I've seen antique cameras that may not even work used a a display for a photo booth, walls of mirrors to improve the venue space, and even antique furniture brought in just to give the wedding a personalized and unique look. I am planning on bringing many items - a globe, luggage, maps, and signs - out to our venue, and sometimes it seems like a lot of work to lug a bunch of unnecessary stuff around, but then I remember how awesome these details can be and how greatly it sets apart these memorable weddings, and I know it will be well worth the hassle.

Honestly, I am almost as excited to see the detail photos from our wedding as I am about anything else.



I finally got around to asking our venue if we could use long tables to seat our guests. My lovely Maid of Honor is going to make us some table runners, and we need the table measurements to get started. The lodge got back to me saying that they could definitely do long tables, but that they have three large round tables that cannot leave the room - so, we would have to use those, too. David and I put our heads together the other night and discussed how we wanted to set up the room... we had a lot to consider:

[1] How would the three round tables fit with the long ones?
[2] Did we want a long head table with the wedding party? - would this include the three wives/fiancees of David's groomsmen? Would that make the table lopsided?
[3] We need to designate an alcohol-free zone for some guests - is this possible with long tables?
[4] If we are pushing small tables together to make long ones, how many do we need to fit all of our guests?
[5] Do we want the tables facing the same direction or more in a U-shape?
[6] etc. etc. etc.

After many rough sketches and ideas, we came up with this:

personal photo created roughly on indesign.

(The long rectangles in the center of the tables are the runners, and the little circles are where the centerpieces will be)

We decided that a long, head table in front with all of our wedding party (15 people when the wives are included) on one side would end up looking kinda goofy - especially when David and I wouldn't even be in the center since there would be three extra people on his side. Plus, a table that long with people only on one side makes conversation pretty awkward. While briefly considering a sweetheart table to avoid the large wedding party awkwardness, we decided that using the round tables up front and seating us with just our siblings would work just fine. Then, the other two round tables could seat the rest of our wedding party and our most important family members.

I like this setting better than a head table where we're clearly at the front of the room, center of attention. We will still be in front and be able to look out over all of our guests, but it helps us also be in the middle of the action instead of being so set apart.

We figured if each 5' round table seated approximately 8 people (though I think they technically fit 10), we could have three 15' rectangle tables that could fit 18-20 people each. David did some crazy math with the round tables' circumference and the other tables' areas to figure out that one... I just went along with it. Voila! We have enough seats in the house.

The only remaining sticky spot was leaving an alcohol-free zone. If we had small individual tables, we could designate a specific table where we could tell the staff to not serve any wine - problem solved. But, we couldn't expect all 20-ish people at a long table to not be drinking. We have solved this problem by seating the folks who really struggle with alcohol on the very end (by the cakes to distract them ;) ), surrounding them by other people who we know will not be drinking, and calling that end of the table alcohol-free. We can create an invisible barrier between the person who is least offended by alcohol but still won't be drinking and the rest of the table and instruct the staff accordingly.

Now, we also did some crazy measurements (David whipped out some fancy math again - this time I helped) and decided that in order for all of this to fit, the room has to be at least 33 feet wide and 30 feet long (longer if we're fitting the cake and gifts tables). Now, here's the thing... I don't actually have any idea how big the room is. I e-mailed the lodge asking if the three round tables would fit in front side by side and explained that we wanted long tables running out from there, and I'm just crossing my fingers in hopes that this is possible. I figure next time we communicate, I will tell them our measurements, ask about the exact measurements of the room, and maybe show them our picture. Gosh, I hope it works - starting all over again could get complicated!


Center of attention: part five - the end?

Parts one, two, three, and four.

Remember my centerpiece inspiration?...

personal photo from sources A, B (unknown Weddingbee reader), and C.

Well, here's my finished product:

personal photo.

You can see how it's inspired by the three above right? Honestly, I kinda feel like it's just a bunch of junk shoved into a wine bottle (which, let's be honest - that's exactly what they are), but they're pretty, right? You see how the left one is so much shorter than the middle? Well, I bought two bundles of that burgundy grassy stuff and one came in attached bunches that stood tall together (the middle one), and the other came with individual pieces that I had to stick in one by one (the left).

Here are some more views:

personal photos.

I am really pretty happy with how they turned out, but I'm worried about pieces breaking and stems drooping by the time May rolls around and we have to transport them - maybe I got a little ahead of myself making them now. I also kinda wish I had used the darker, colored wine bottles for these, but I plan on cutting those and using them as candle holders around the tablescape - I think the candle shining through the yellows, browns, and greens of the glass will look great.

I was able to make ten centerpieces with the supplies I bought, and I need at least two more. I guess when I go get more supplies, I can make sure I get the good kind of burgundy stuff, and maybe I'll go back and fix some of the weaker ones. Also, my sister tied the bows and she's not happy with them, so we may have to go back and fix those, too.

All in all, it's nice to scratch this daunting task off my list, and I think they're certainly rustic enough and will still make for a pretty tablescape, no?


That's mine!

Okay, so I recently discovered that my dress has been discontinued - at least, it no longer appears anywhere on Maggie Sottero's website, so I assume it has been discontinued. Besides a single picture from a "Maggie Bride" (which has also been removed), I have never seen any pictures of real brides wearing my dress. There are very few results for my dress in a google search, and most people I show pictures of my dress to have never seen anything like it before. I have grown content (and pretty excited) in the fact that my dress is super unique, and that there seemed to be no other brides out there with it.

And then I was browsing Style Me Pretty today and found this:
Love, you know by now that cuts mean it's not for your eyes, right?


Christmas Colors.

I've heard many brides say that once they get engaged and choose wedding colors, they begin to see those colors everywhere. Many end up decorating their homes in their wedding colors, and many others already have those colors everywhere since they naturally chose their already favorites. For us, our colors appear mostly around Christmas.

David proposed to me just a few days before Christmas last year, and the red and gold of my ring naturally reminded me of the season. The colors of our wedding were greatly inspired by my ring, so of course, our colors are very Christmas-y colors, too.

In fact, the less red, includes some purple burgundy with the antique, less bright gold combination that we've chosen for our wedding is my very favorite combination of colors and look for Christmas as well. I am beginning use primarily these colors for my Christmas decoration, and have a great feeling that Christmas will forever remind me of our wedding and this planning stage of our lives.

Anyway, I thought I would scatter some inspiration for how our wedding colors can be used for Christmas, and how awesome it would be to have a Christmas wedding using our colors (minus the blue and green and map part, of course).


I love this inspiration board. Other than the wreaths, I can't quit put my finger on what makes this more Christmas-y than our wedding, but I think that Jim Hjelm bridesmaid dress is so lovely, and the ring is enough like mine to really show how easy it is to gather Christmas-y inspiration from it.


Wouldn't these beautiful boxes double greatly as perfect favors and Christmas gifts?


And these invitations would double as lovely Christmas cards.


This elegant deep red and gold tablescape would also fit a fabulous holiday dinner and/or a stunning wedding reception.

Sigh. Looking at these pictures makes me wish we were having a Christmas wedding. Hosting my annual Christmas party is one of my favorite things to do, and it would be so fun to turn that tradition into the party of our lifetimes. I guess it's best, though, since I have so many other things to shop, bake, wrap, plan, and host around this time of year.


Stuffing Stockings.

This year for Christmas, David and I have decided to stuff and present stockings to one another instead of giving a typical gift.


we decided to do this for a number of reasons.
[1] It's fun.
[2] Smaller is/can be cheaper, right? We thought it would be a good way to save while wedding planning. (This has not necessarily been true for me so far.)
[3] It forces us to be very thoughtful and creative in order to find small enough items with a lot of meaning behind them.

I already have a few items, and now I just need to fill in some gaps... Love, you don't want to ruin the surprise by reading on.


That's a Wrap.

I've been spending a lot of time wrapping gifts at work because we offer free gift wrapping for any items purchased in the store. Since this week was finals week for my store's college, all of the students have been rushing to buy gifts before heading home for Christmas. Today, we ended up with something around a five hour wait time for wrapping. Having to get so many gifts wrapped so quickly and with pretty limited resources has reminded me that I take gift wrapping very seriously. To me, the wrapping is almost as (if no more) important than the gift. I just love pretty packages.

Since it's nearing the holidays and there are also a lot of excuses to give gifts while wedding planning, I thought I would share some of the more creative or unconventional ways I have packaged and wrapped presents in the past. Hopefully you find some useful inspiration for your own gifts.

This was a birthday gift for David one year. While it looks pretty conventional, I whipped up this ensemble without any typical wrapping supplies around. The paper is decorative scrapbooking paper from my craft collection, and I made the "ribbon" out of strips of tissue paper. I also made the card and envelope out of corresponding scrapbook paper.

This, a Christmas gift for David, is probably the most normally wrapped of the bunch, but I just loved how the velveteen bow mixed with the ribbon ended up looking.

This gift for an old roommate was a mug, and I didn't have an adequate box for it, so I put it inside a tissue box. Since the tissue box had a large hole on top where the tissues come out, I couldn't wrap it the normal way. I salvaged this polka dot tissue paper from a boutique shopping bag/packaging from a purchase, and bunched it at the top to cover the hole. I added the red ribbon and tied it in with the card.

Believe it or not, this is gift wrapping. The old roommate from above was late to a bridal shower and didn't have a gift. All of the girls I lived with and I donated some pretty awesome items to put in the basket, and we "wrapped" it by covering everything with flowers we picked around campus. Not only did the bride-to-be get the gifts inside, but she got a basket full of flowers too!

and finally, I don't have a picture of it, but for David's younger brother's last birthday, I was wrapping a gift at the very last minute at David's apartment with literally no supplies to work with. I grabbed some white butcher paper, wrapped the item, and added "ribbons" by twisting together rubber bands and wrapping them around the gift until it looked like a star/flower. The rubber bands gave the gift a more "manly" (vs. the girly look of my other gifts) appearance, and David and his brother loved it.

So, I highly recommend that you experiment with creative ways to wrap your gifts this season - it can be cost-efficient, eco friendly, and fun! What unconventional ways have you wrapped presents before?