One of the most talented Vermont artists we know is Jacob Albee and this week he will be hosting an open house in his new studio space at 41 Maple Street in Burlington on Friday, December 4th, from 5-9pm. I am the proud owner of a couple of Jake’s pieces (thanks to my awesome husband on our 5 year anniversary) and they are without a doubt amoung my favorite things! Check out their website and then stop by the open house to see his work up close.
Archive for November, 2009
I have always been in charge of setting our holiday table. As a child I was taught how to properly place the dishes, silverware, glassware and such. It is something that I take pride in now as I spend a lot of my time focusing on beautiful tabletop designs. There are some do’s and dont’s for holiday centerpieces and since tomorrow is Thanksgiving I thought I’d share a few quick tips.
- Consider the height of your arrangement. A low centerpiece is always a little easier to work around than a tall piece for ease of conversation as well as passing dishes around the table. It can be disappointing to bring or create a centerpiece that has to be removed from the table.
- Candles are a great addition to your tabletop display, but don’t leave them unattended. Candlewax dripping all over your tablecloth can be avoided as well as any unintentional fires!
- Incorporate food elements such as artichokes, cranberries or apples into your centerpiece. They add a nice foody-touch and can spark conversation when someone realizes those are real apples mixed in with the roses OR simply place a pillar candle in the center of a vase and surround it with fresh cranberries for an easy DIY centerpiece that is simple and clean.
To me, the perfect table setting is created by the people who gather around it. Thanksgiving is the one holiday that my entire family (well, almost all of us!) spends together and it is a highlight of my year. Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a beautiful setting!
I am known as a bit of a sweet tooth and consider myself a connoisseur of cookies (and chocolates and cakes, too!). This week I am sharing one of my absolute favorite things, Vermont Cookie Love. They make the most delicious chocolate chip and mocha chocolate chip cookies and the rest of their flavors are pretty amazing as well. These definitely fall under the category of fantastic favors and gifts, but don’t forget to try some for yourself. Dave and I often indulge in their cookies after we finish setting up a wedding. Ahhh, a sweet reward! Enjoy…and don’t blame me if you become addicted.
Planning a wedding can be a big job. For some it is just a matter of pulling together vendors to acheive a look that you’ve been dreaming of for years, but for others it can be a daunting task with endless options and questions. Oftentimes the bride is in the driver’s seat in regards to planning and the groom will step in when asked for input, but I think it is essential for both parties to be involved to some degree. A quick tip: If you ask for your partner’s opinion you just may get it! Don’t ask unless you really care.
I have had many a consultation with a couple where the groom is asked by the bride, “what do you think of these flowers”, and he quite frankly has no opinion. On the other hand I have had consultations where the groom expresses his dislike for pink rose boutonnieres or mentions that a certain flower would be nice to have in the centerpieces. Making decisions as a couple can be a way to bond over the planning details and is an opportunity to work together as a couple. You and your partner may have opinions you didn’t even know you had!
For those who are having trouble finding elements of the planning that your partner “cares about” you should consider handing over certain details so there is some ownership. Perhaps selecting the music, the photographer or the menu is something that is easier to get involved with than selecting linens, china and decor. My husband had an opinion about our napkin colors–who knew!
No matter what your style is as a couple it is so much nicer to tackle the planning together as the partners you are than to charge forward on your own. This day is about celebrating both of you. Happy planning!
Here are 5 quick day-of tips for fresh bouquets:
- Leave bouquets in water (in the florist’s box) when you are not using them for photographs prior to the ceremony. Most flowers will last reliably for about 2 hours out of water.
- An attendant should blot the stems with a towel before handing bouquet to the bride to avoid getting water drops on your dress.
- Carry your bouquet down by your hips/belly button. If you carry it much higher you start to almost hide behind the flowers. This will also be the best angle for you bouquet to be photographed!
- Display the bridal and attendants’ bouquets on your head table or sweetheart table in addition to (or instead of) a centerpiece.
- Incorporate ”something old” into your bouquet by pinning a broach to the ribbon. This is a great way to include your grandmother’s cameo or simply add a little sparkle.
Your bouquets will be the most photographed flowers on your wedding day so you want to keep them looking their best!
While “raindrops on roses” would probably fall into this category they are not exactly what you want to see on your wedding day! We have so many unique & inspired small businesses and artisans in VT that I think it’s only fair to share some of them with you. You’ll probably see some of these items suggested as fantastic favors as well. The first pick I am sharing is Solmate Socks (perhaps because it’s November and it is definitely time for some warm, cozy favorite things!). These mismatched mates are well known in VT and are just too much fun. Check them out and good luck choosing just one pair.
Aside from your location and your wedding dress your color palette will be one of the biggest decisions that defines the style of your wedding. Once you choose your colors other details about your décor will start to fall into place. Many brides know their color palette prior to their consultation with a florist, however it is not unusual to discuss color options in your initial meeting and then take a little time to refine your ideas.
For brides who are unsure, here are a few tips:
Take a look around in your everyday life and try to notice which colors you feel good around. It may be as simple as looking in your closet! Your favorite scarf or sweater could be your inspiration! In addition to looking through bridal magazines you should take note of colors you feel drawn to while you’re at work, walking down the street or looking for dresses for your bridal party. Even if they aren’t the colors your wedding party will be wearing they may be a great choice for flowers or linens. You could select a crisp palette of yellows, whites and greens or a colorful combination that also incorporates blues, reds, oranges and pinks. Remember these are the colors you will be surrounded by on your wedding day so they should suit YOU. From the table linens to the boutonnieres & corsages, the colors you choose will help determine all these important details. Keep in mind that certain flower varieties may be dictated by your color palette as well as the time of year you will be married. For example if you LOVE peonies you will probably incorporate pinks or whites in your color scheme.
Important note: Have fun with this part! The flowers and overall design scheme are elements that set the tone for the day and even if you are not sure what those colors are yet your florist/event designer will be able to help you discover what suits your taste.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to DIY:
Stick with projects that can be completed at least 2-3 weeks prior to your wedding—not in the final days or day-of! Leave the flowers, food and day-of décor to professionals or delegate to people who can handle them for you.
Respect your own limitations. Try not to take on projects that are beyond your skill level or may require time you simply don’t have.
Create simple homemade favors that you can easily do yourself. Select flower seed packets to place in personalized envelopes that read, “Let love grow”, layer hot-cocoa mix & marshmallows in a mason jar with instructions to, “Add warm milk & shake” or try a sunlight-infused vinegar with purple basil, chive blossoms or herb of your choice and bottle them for a nice marinade or salad dressing.
Place cards/escort cards are a great place to get creative because it is one of the first things your guests see at the reception. Design a seating chart on a chalk board or pin cards to a cloth-covered foam board that suits your palette/theme. Something as simple as a tray filled with dried mung beans, coffee beans, river rocks or crystals can be a nice display when place cards are nestled in them.
Personalize your table numbers to reflect your wedding theme or personality as a couple. Frame pictures of the two of you, choose names of places you’ve travelled or hiked, select your favorite song titles, or write about the group at the table (ie. “Wedding Party”, “Old friends”, “NYC”, etc.).
Below is a photo of DIY burlap runners for a rustic, elegant affair in Grand Isle.
We had a fantastic time at Shelburn Farms on Saturday and had the opportunity to meet some really great couples (and moms, too)! The Coach Barn was buzzing with brides and vendors who were taking it all in. As usual Krista Washburn and her fabulous team put together an event to remember for this year’s Wedding Affair. The Marie Antoinette theme was complete with dancers in period garb, a spa full of talented make-up artists, a decked-out lounge, delectable food & drinks and a day full of seminars with tips for brides and grooms-to-be. I was invited to conduct a seminar on “Practical Planing” which is right up my alley! The tent for the fashion show was a sight to be seen draped with fabric and pink paper peonies hung from the chandeliers. As always it was a wonderful end to a truly inspired event!
Bouquet of green hydrangea, ranunculus, roses, dahlias and freesia from our display.
This centerpiece features artichokes and kale for a foody element.
This was our sweetheart table display with roses, hydrangea, dahlias and orchids.
A sweet little centerpice of roses & flowering eucalyptus pods.
David Seaver snapped this shot for us before the brides arrived.
A warm welcome on the Coach Barn doors.
Let them eat cake! Irene was one of our neighbors.
The fashion show tent was packed and the models looked gorgeous.
The runway was SO cool!
Is it possible that I am already looking forward to next year’s show?! The New York and Cape Cod/Nantucket brides are in for a treat!
The Wedding Affair at Shelburne Farms is tomorrow, November 7th and the brides who are attending will be blown away by the creative and truly AMAZING details that Krista Washburn and the Vermont Vows crew have in store. Dave and I will have a booth so stop by and say hi if you are at the Coach Barn. I will be presenting a seminar on Practical Planning Tips at 5:30 and answering brides’ questions about planning their big day. It’s one of my favorite days of the year and I am looking forward to it! I’m off to design…