Dressing Vases

When I started wedding planning, I had all these dreams of making my own tablecloths, napkins, bridesmaid dresses, fabric draping, and centerpieces!  A lack of sewing skills caused the fabric-related DIYs to fall away, but I was still determined to add a homemade touch to the centerpieces.

So I went and bought 50 vases, all of which have been sitting in my basement, waiting to be personalized and Hannah-fied.  And here’s what I plan to do with them!

wtreasured petal alicia-12

As you know, there is a special place in my heart for the work of the Treasured Petal.  And one of Kristin’s trademarks is the vellum-wrapped candle!  (Okay, it’s actually a vellum-wrapped vase, but there are candles inside!)  The first time I saw it, I knew it would be my very first DIY wedding project.

wtreasuredpetal lanterns

Looks pretty doable, right?  I adore flowers, so I would want a mix of florals and candles on each table.  Above is a beautiful example and a quirky mix of papers.

In closer detail

This last version is my favorite—simple, elegant, and personal.  The text looks fabulous, and just imagine having all of your favorite passages and poems in the room with you on your wedding day!  I’ve bookmarked pages from my favorite books to wrap around the vases, but I’m still on the search for many more.

So there it is—my soon-to-be first DIY!  Of course, I still feel like the wedding is so far away that I don’t need to start anytime soon.  (I imagine I’ll regret those words in a few months…)

What motivated you to start working on your wedding projects?  Did you start way in advance, or put it off until the last few months?

November 10, 2009. Decor, Lighting. Leave a comment.

Paint It All Citrus!

I just realized that I’ve neglected to give credit to the brains behind our color scheme.  Back when Adam and I were first engaged, we had our hearts set on a blue-hued celebration.  As I do with all things wedding-related (and life-related), I asked my mom for her opinion.  She is a woman of grace and good taste, and I always take her suggestions to heart.  She encouraged me to pick colors that make me feel happy and celebratory!  After a day of thinking happy thoughts, I suggested a new color palette to Mr. Parfait: the pink, orange, and yellow that you now see all over my blog!  The bright, citrus colors definitely make me feel like celebrating.  And wouldn’t you know…he loved it!  Thanks, Mom! 🙂

Since then, I’ve wondered where to include our colors.  A few basics come to mind: the bridesmaids’ dresses, flowers, and paper items will feature pink, orange, and yellow.  Where else would we need them?  Of course, Martha Stewart came through with a whole slew of unique ideas for incorporating citrus colors throughout a celebration!

pink

Cutest straws ever?

I love the beverage jars!  I’ve been trying to decide if we should have signature drinks and what they should be.  It would be sweet if they were bubbly, citrus drinks that matched our colors!  We don’t have plans for decorating the cocktail room yet.  We could serve and display the drinks in there to add a bit of color!

orange

Multi-colored, multi-leveled centerpieces

Most flower-less centerpieces seem like they’re missing something to me, but this collection of candles looks full and bright.  I would place the boxes below on each napkin to add color to the table.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what I’d put in these adorable boxes!  Our favor possibilities include pashminas, frisbees, and blankets.  Not exactly snack-sized items.

yellow

Adorable favors

 How are you incorporating your colors in your celebration?

October 2, 2009. Lighting. Leave a comment.

Hide and Seek Day, the Bubbly Way

From what I’ve seen on the wedding blogs, paper lanterns are oh-so-trendalicious.  I can see the appeal.  They’re relatively cheap; they don’t take much effort to set up and break down; and they’re like giant, colorful bubbles floating around an otherwise formal setting!

This week, I’m brainstorming ways to brighten up our dark ballroom.  I’m leaning toward the fabric and uplighting ideas mentioned earlier, because they would actually mask parts of the room.  However, paper lanterns do serve the purpose of drawing attention away from dark areas.  The picture below has dark tables and chairs, but the globes bring color and cheer into the space!

Bright and cheery paper lanterns

Bright and cheery paper lanterns

Lights can be inserted in the paper spheres, as shown by several online tutorials.  I love how the lanterns below surround the dance floor.  I could see this in our ballroom, even though it’s indoors, with all-white or warm golden lights.  And wouldn’t the first dance pictures be magical with these shining lanterns surrounding us?  Mmmm, globe-y, glowy goodness…

Lanterns for the dance floor

Lanterns for the dance floor

Pink and orange paper lanterns

Pink and orange paper lanterns

For lanterns that would last a lifetime, view the example below.  I would purchase these and reuse them around the deck or patio of our future home.  Add a few lounge chairs, colorful throws, and beaded pillows for a sweet space to relax outdoors!  Okay, I’m getting carried away, but just look at these gorgeous things and try not to get inspired:

Colorful lanterns

Colorful lanterns

Picture 1: Details Details
Picture 2: Unknown
Picture 3:  Here Comes the Blog
Picture 4:  Love and Splendor

August 12, 2009. Decor, Lighting. Leave a comment.

Hide and Seek Day, the Uplighting Way

Adam and I are fans of the uplight.  We’re such big fans that we’re thinking about buying, not renting, them for the wedding and reusing them in our future home!  We’re gonna need a pretty classy home for these babies. 🙂  I tried to find examples of uplighting without fabric draping, so we can see how it looks against bare walls.  These examples highlight beautiful architecture, but they also do the job we need them for: drawing attention away from the dark areas of the room.

Pink uplighting

Soft pink uplighting

Pink and yellow

Yellow and bright pink lights

Purplish pink

Purplish pink

Since our colors are pink, yellow, and orange, I tried to find examples in these shades.  My least favorite, as I anticipated, is orange.  No matter how pretty the place and decor, it still reminds me of Halloween.

Orange lights

Orange lights--I love the flowers on the napkins

The above pictures are from Details Details.  The picture below is from Love and Splendor.  We never planned to incorporate the following color, but we both agree that it looks amazing in every example we’ve seen so far:

Purplish blue

Purplish blue

The blue room looks slick, but my favorite is the top picture.  The soft pink isn’t overwhelming, and it looks the most romantic.  I’ll have to ask Adam to choose his favorite.  What’s yours?

August 11, 2009. Decor, Lighting. 2 comments.

Hide and Seek Day, the Fabric Way

I have a slight issue with the walls of our most-likely venue.  Their ballroom is handsome, but it’s much too dark for the bright, cheery wedding I’ve always imagined.  Happy citrus colors against all-white walls, tables, and chairs?  Not gonna happen here.  As a quick reminder, here’s what the space looks like:

Handsome, but not entirely our style

Handsome, but not entirely our style

Because of the deep, dark walls and decor of Signature Events, I’ve been doing a ton of brainstorming on how to brighten up the place!  I don’t want to hide everything in the room, but I do think it would look worlds better with our colors if we did a little covering up.  I’m really excited to share my ideas here, because when I talk about them in person, it ends up being a lot of words and hand motions but no real communication of ideas. 😛

First up: Fabric draping!  Not the frilly or window-curtain-y kind.  Something classy, perhaps made modern with some uplighting.  Here are some pictures that inspired me:

Light fabric all around

Light fabric all around

Draping accented with soft pink uplights

Draping accented with soft pink uplights

The above pictures are from Details Details.  The walls are heavy on fabric, but they’re broken up by the gorgeous lighting.  I do want to reveal some of the details of  the room.  One way to do it is with smaller panels, like below:

A simple way to incorporate color

A simple way to incorporate color

I would space out the panels to show off the dark wood on the walls.  Adam’s not a fan of the colored fabric, so we’d probably use white with colored lighting.

A close-up of the cute hanging globes

And just 'cause they're cute, a close-up of the hanging globes

The two pictures above are from a guest blogger on Weddingbee.  What do you think of my first idea for hiding, while still revealing, parts of our ballroom?  Any suggestions of things you’ve seen and liked at special event spaces?

August 10, 2009. Decor, Lighting, Venue. 1 comment.

Venue Day: Let’s Get Local

Who wouldn’t love to host a wedding in their hometown?  I would happily walk, bike, or take a 5 minute drive home after the ceremony and reception.  After checking out some venues in surrounding towns, I wanted to find some options in our hometown: Naperville!

The first Naperville venue we visited was Hotel Arista.  We loved their dedication to being a sustainable hotel and the glossy new ballroom.

Hotel Arista in Naperville

Hotel Arista in Naperville

 The prices were too steep for us, and we guessed that the price tag had to do with the all-local and organic menu.  If that’s the top priority for a couple, I’d highly recommend Hotel Arista–it’s really beautiful and new, and the staff made us feel very welcome.  Up next, I did some research on a restaurant across the street from the Hotel:

Riva in Naperville

Riva in Naperville

Another teacher at school told me that her son is hosting his wedding reception at Riva in Naperville.  Riva is also very classy and contemporary.  Although it’s in town, this developing area was out of the way for us.  We actually had to take a highway to get there!

I’m wishing and hoping for a venue in downtown Naperville with in-house catering and room for 200 people and a dance floor……so far, no luck.  Now I’m looking into country clubs and golf clubs in residential areas.  I’ll be checking them out tomorrow and this coming week.  There must be a hidden gem someplace in town!

June 20, 2009. Lighting, Venue. Leave a comment.

Venue Day: Choosing Online

Adam and I started our search for the perfect venue online.  We searched for museums, lofts, theaters, and other unique places to host a wedding reception.  Amazingly, we have almost the exact same tastes.  We like clean, modern spaces that are bare enough to personalize…which is why the River East Arts Center jumped out to us as the clear front-runner in the race to become our venue.  I mean, honestly, take a look at these pictures!

The space, undecorated.

The space, undecorated.

The space, with blue uplighting and unfussy fabric draping.

The space, with blue uplighting and unfussy fabric draping.

The space as we would set it up, but with different colors.

The space as we would set it up, but with different colors.

The space, looking as sultry as walls and floors can be.

The space, looking as sultry as walls and floors can look.

Be still, my panting, drooling heart.

Sadly, we ruled this place out pretty quickly.  Our vendors will be in the suburbs, and it would be a hassle to get everything into the city.  The venue fee plus a Chicago caterer would most likely surpass our entire wedding budget.  Adam and I can look at venue pictures all day, but when it comes to looking for caterers, we have no patience at all.  So our next thought was….let’s find a place that has in-house catering!  Our search words switched from “museums” and “lofts” to “banquet halls” and “restuarants.”  Let’s see what we discovered next!

June 16, 2009. Decor, Lighting, Venue. Leave a comment.

Day to Night Light

An evening wedding, as Adam and I have planned, requires some source of light. And what illumines the shades of dusk more gracefully than candlelight?

I love the warm, golden glow of the ceremony location below. The aisle is lined with petals and tall, non-hazardous-looking candles. 😉

The lighting draws eyes to the altar.

Lighting draws the eye to the altar.

The following candlelit reception has the same warmth. I looove this photo:

Twinkle twinkle

Twinkle twinkle

If we can’t have open flames at the ceremony or reception, we could work in a candlelit photo session.  A lovely example:

Sighhhh

Sighhhh

These settings are more formal than what we have planned for our wedding.  But I love these pictures so much……plans can change, right?

Photo sources: Everyday Bride, Ben Chrisman Photography, and Jessica Johnston Photography.

June 2, 2009. Decor, Lighting. Leave a comment.

Daylight

When perusing wedding photos, there’s one thing that always stands out to me:

Great lighting.

I’m talking about dark, dramatic rooms with warm candlelight, moody uplighting, and soft shadows everywhere.  The colors and intensity of light make a huge difference in what a room looks like.

I love this color for lighting:

Soft blue lights

Soft blue lights

Candles along with the same color lights

Oodles of candles along with the same color lights

I’m not into white wedding details (besides the dress), but I think all-white florals and details would look stunning with the right lighting!

Pictures from Michael Schuhmann and Exceptional Events.

June 1, 2009. Decor, Lighting. Leave a comment.

Hottie-Day

And I’m not just talking about my fiance ;D

I love HOT colors…namely, hot pink!  It makes me feel happy and bright whenever I see it, and super-saucy whenever I wear it.

I always wanted bright pink at my wedding but originally got a veto from Adam.  Then I started suggesting a cheery, citrus-y color palette: grapefruit pink, lemon yellow, and orange.  To my delight, he loved it!

Just to be clear, there are no pastels allowed.  Only super-bright, HOT pinks, yellows, and oranges.  Is it just me, or do these colors just feel happy together??

An inspiration board to get us started!

An inspiration board to get us started!

A pretty and bright arrangement!

A pretty and bright arrangement!

The colors in a darker, more intimate setting

The colors in a darker, more intimate setting

Sources:  Fine Stationery and A Treasured Petal

Le sigh, I love it all!  Could these be the colors to end all my color-palette-searching?  We’ll just have to wait and see!

April 10, 2009. Decor, Flowers, Lighting. Leave a comment.

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