"Favor"ite Ideas

The most oft-asked question from brides and grooms is "what do you think of wedding favors?" Hmmmm...how to answer. Of all the details that go into planning a wedding, ironically, I think choosing favors can be one of the hardest decisions to make. I've witnessed couples wrack their brains over the perfect gift for their guests.


My advice is to think practically when choosing a favor. When scouring the internets for the elusive unique favor, put yourself in your guest's seat and consider what you would like to take home and use. Better yet, think what you'd like to nibble right there at table number twelve. I always encourage my brides and grooms to give edible favors when possible. Why? Well, from the planner's birds-eye view, when I am clearing table at the end of a wedding, I either see lots of favors left unopened, or I see lots of favor boxes opened and the goodies are always missing. Ninety-nine percent of the time when a favor is edible, it is consumed before the evening is half-way through! On the other hand, when a single votive holder or other such gift is left for guests, at the end of the evening I end up packing those back up for the bride and groom to take back home. Sad, but true.

Another great idea that I'm seeing more often: In lieu of a favor, the bride and groom make a donation to their favorite charity in honor of their wedding day and their guests. AWESOME. This gift is truly a gift. If you choose this route, you can tastefully denote your "wedding favors" in either the program or on the menu card or on the guests seating assignment.


Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!!


image via Williams-Sonoma website

Not your Mother's Photobooth

While I can't take credit for this brilliant idea, I have been pitching the idea of what I call the "un-photobooth" all year long. I love the addition of a photobooth to a wedding; guests have a great time creating their "shot," while the bride and groom benefit from unexpected poses and spontaneous groupings of all their wonderful guests.

photo by Bec from Carson Hall Photography via ruffledblog

On the downside, old-fashioned photobooths, which require delivery, setup and often an attendant or two to operate throughout the event can sometimes be pricey when budgets are tight. This is where DIY booths come in. Set out cameras and film (old polaroid cameras are a fun option), a few fun props, perhaps a piece of fabric or beautiful curtain panel to act as a backdrop if your venue's natural surroundings aren't the look you're looking for, and, voila!, photobooth at a fraction of the cost!

Photo by You Look Nice Today via ruffledblog

In terms of props, try feather boas and funky hats, or continue the theme of your wedding by adding items that reflect the overall look of your day, such as vintage glasses or handheld chalkboards as they've done in the photos above. You'll have fun, spontaneous photos of your special day to enjoy for years to come!

Vintage Wedding Idea: Retro Cabana

photo via Absolutely Beautiful Things


Vintage Wedding Idea: This fabulous vintage glider turned retro cabana, urns of tall swaying grasses, surrounded by gigantic urns of pink peonies, green hydrangea, and sweet little black-eyed anemones; apothecary jars filled with pink lemonade and southern iced tea; waiters in white tie, twinkling lights and paper lanterns, and guitar duo playing in the background. Wouldn't that be a great setting for a late summer wedding?
It also looks like a great place for a nap!


Bridal Jewelry

While surfing around the internet recently looking at bridal jewelry, I came across Adorn Brides, a website that allows you to rent actual diamond jewelry for your big day. While I'm a fan of the equally beautiful faux jewels that are now widely available, this site did catch my eye - and why not? What girl doesn't like diamonds?! Enjoy perusing the baubles!
photo from Adorn Brides website

Autumn and Kent - Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Two years ago today I had the great pleasure of helping my good friend Autumn and her (now) husband Kent with their beautiful wedding in San Diego. The location was the stunning Mt. Woodson Castle near San Diego. It was obvious that these two have such strong family ties, and the party was a blast! Autumn, an former professional dancer, led the dancing well into the night. Kent and his friends tore up the dance floor as well, and everyone left the evening talking about what a wonderful day it had been.
Thank you both for letting me be a part of your special day!
Photos courtesy of Sean Capshaw, Resolusean Photography


Welcome to my blog! I actually started blogging about a year ago on another blogsite, but this one is brand new! As time goes on, I'll slowly re-post entries from the old blog to the new. It is my intent to post stories about weddings and other events, as well as tips and ideas for your wedding or event. I hope you find my blog both entertaining and informative.
So, enjoy, and I hope you'll visit again...and often!


happy anniversary keren and jeffrey!

I have so many beautiful photos from past weddings that it seems a shame not to include them simply because I'm just now beginning to blog. So in an effort to be all-inclusive, you may see posts about weddings past...
The first one happens to be on the anniversary of past clients Keren and Jeffrey. Both performing artists, K&J had a collective wonderful eye for detail, and chose the exciting Cooper Design Building for both their wedding and reception.

If you're not familiar with this space, think blank white canvas with tons of windows and natural light. The space is huge, but with the help of event designer Brian Worley, hundreds of yards of filmy white fabric, and lots of pipe and drape the space was transformed and designed to open up as a surprise reveals as guests moved through the evening.
As guests entered the space, they came upon black-aproned wait staff passing glasses of cold bubbly and a very elegant ceremony space with huge white paper lanterns (these lanterns have to be 5 times larger than any I've ever seen) and sun streaming through the windows. Following a beautifully touching ceremony, white curtains were moved aside to reveal a long bar, tons of candles, and beautiful manzanita trees dressed with crystals, from which dangled the guests escort cards.
As dinner began, the curtains were moved again to reveal a very chic downtown-vibe dinner scene, featuring wheatgrass centerpieces and tables named after K&J's favorite albums (K is a singer-songwriter). Additionally, the ceremony location had been turned over to a dance floor, and colorful uplighting set the mood for the party.

Following dinner, the couple's first dance was preceded by a surprise performance by Keren, singing a beautiful song she had written for Jeffrey. It truly was an enchanted evening, and I was so fortunate to help K&J turn their dream into reality.

photos courtesy of Suzanne Mapes Photography