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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Welcome to Bridal Veil, Oregon the Post Office to Brides

You can send your invitations to the tiny Post Office in Bridal Veil, OR to be canceled. This Post Office stays open only because so many couples buy stamps and send their invitations from there. Because they appreciate the patronage of brides, they hand cancel all invitations and give you a choice of appropriate wedding cancelation stamps (doves or hearts).

DIY Cakes?

There is one easy way to have a DIY cake.  Instead of having a traditional wedding cake, go for several layers cakes displayed on tiered cake stands.  You can rent or buy these stands and put a traditional layer cake that is easy to make at home and easy to transport as well.  You can buy decorations for you cakes that make them look like you are a pro, or consider a simple easy to do yourself decoration. The cake stands shown are available on  The decorations on these cakes are available at the same site.

An Italian Wedding Cookie Dance?

Cookies, Weddings and Dancing

No Italian wedding is complete without some of those delicious cookies that the Italians are well known for. Italian Wedding Cookies are light and fluffy round cookie balls coated in white and flavored with Anise. For any of you who are not familiar with this traditional Italian flavoring, Anise is like licorice. Or you may have had Anisette liquor as an after dinner aperitif. Italian Wedding Cookies are traditionally flavored with Anise which sets them apart from all other traditional wedding cookies.

But in addition to consuming those goodies there's also the tradition of the Wedding Cookie Dance. The cookies are built up into a cake and set up in the middle of the dance floor. With the bride and groom leading the dance off, everyone dances around the cookie/cake table and takes a cookie. This traditional wedding cookie dance originated in Italy but has become increasingly popular at Italian Weddings in the United States. And the fun thing about the Italian Wedding Cookie dance is that even if you can’t dance, you can still bounce around the table and eat a cookie!

Italian Wedding Cookies are sold year round so you can buy prepackaged ones at almost any supermarket. It might take a bit of patience to build one into a cake, but if you can buy the cookies you can build the cake. At least you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen baking the cookies!

Get a Greeting From the President

Receiving a Presidential Wedding Greeting from President Barack Obama is an unique gift that will be cherished for a long time. If you are a United States citizen you can request a Presidential Wedding Greeting from Barack Obama. These greetings are memorable and will be something to treasure throughout your life. A Presidential Wedding Greeting will be sent to those who have a wedding during the Barack Obama Presidency. All requests for greetings must be submitted in writing.  Brides and grooms can fax or mail a request to the White House Greeting Office.  Your request for the Wedding Greeting should include the following information: couple's names, titles such as Mr. and Mrs., the couples complete mailing address including their zipcode, the full date of their marriage including the month, day and year of their wedding.  Faxed requests should include the same information and also the name and phone number of the sender.  Requests should be mailed to:

The White House, Room 39

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington DC 20502

If you would like to fax your request, you need to fax it to 202-395-1232.

Submit your request about your request after your wedding date.

For additional information regarding Presidential greetings, please call the National Contact Center toll-free at 1-800-FED-INFO.

Greeting are for U.S. citizens only. In most cases, greetings will be mailed from the White House approximately ten (10) days prior to the event.

Read more:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cupcake Topiary Tree

Photograph courtesy of Food Network Magazine/Taken by Tara Donne

Considering using cupcakes in lieu of cake at your wedding? Why not have them do double duty as decorations as well?  This Cupcake Topiary Tree was featured in Food Network Magazine in their May 2010 issue. 

To make your Cupcake Topiary Tree you'll need:

1 Terracotta  pot
Floral Foam
12 inch floral foam ball
12 inch dowel
Brown Paint
Pink Paint
Mini cupcake liners 24
Straight Pins

Fill the terracotta pot with floral foam, and insert a 12 inch dowel or thick stick in foam.  If you're using a dowel you'll need to paint it brown before placing it.  Paint a 12 inch floral foam ball pink and let dry.  This can take an hour, be sure it's all the way dry.  Push the ball down onto the dowel that's already been anchored into the pot.  Using straight pins and cupcake papers to plot your cupcake design, then place real cupcakes in each spot removing the pins and papers used for plotting as you go.  Attach cupcakes using 3 toothpicks poked halfway into the bottom of each cupcake and press them into the ball. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

DIY Autumn Centerpieces

This great centerpiece can be made from items you get from the grocery store or your yard! This idea and Photo courtesy of where you can find lots of great ideas if you're a diy'er.

Assortment of Walnuts, pinecones and acorns
Vases (1 small and 1 large)
Step 1 Put succulents in the small vessel filled with water.
Step 2 Place small vessel inside the large square vase.
Step 3 Fill the vase with your natural mix.
Step 4 Finish off with the ribbon.

And you're done!  Simple!

DIY Rustic Floral Designs

Interested in a rustic look for your flowers? Having an outdoor picnic reception or rehersal dinner? Try these wonderful jars with flowers shown on Easy to use, definitely lets you do you flowers yourself for next to nothing. These are unique and pretty accents for your wedding.

All photos courtesy of

Looking for Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Your Wedding?

Photo courtesy of
Why not try Lorina Sparkling Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, Orangeade, Blueberry Lemonade or French Berry?  Just put it on ice and enjoy!  If you visit their web site you'll find drink recipes both alcholic and non-alcholic.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A History of Jordan Almonds

Sugared Jordan Almonds, also known as confetti or dragees are a candy favor that is used as a wedding favor.

The origin of confetti comes from ancient Rome where births and marriages were celebrated with a form of confetti.  However up until the time of the Renaissance confetti were made from honey.  It was only with the introduction of sugar cane in the fifteenth century that modern confetti were born.  The 'modern' era confetti were real sweetmeats made from dried fruits, cinnamon, pine nuts, hazelnuts, almonds and candied fruits.  These were served at many important banquets.

The first literary reference to confetti was in Boccaccio's Decameron in the early 1350's.  The common use of it was recorded from the late middle ages to the Reanissance.  In the mid-1400's there is a reference to a wedding banquet for Lucrezia Borgi and Alfonso D'Este, son  of Ercole I, Duke of Ferrara, where more than two hundred and sixty pounds of confetti were consumed.  (My stomach aches just thinking about it!)

In the 18th and 19th centuries the use of confetti spread throughout Italy.  And the first modern confetti factories were begun in the region of Abruzzo, which has remained the confetti capital ever since.  In 1783 it became known as the confetti capital due to the skill of a single family according to a simple recipe that remains unchanged today. 

Photo courtesy of DIY Bride

Many modern brides still give confetti as wedding favors, some electing to make their own, others purchasing them from one of the many companies that sell pre-made wedding favors.

Renting a Tent for Your Wedding

All Photos courtesy of

Many brides-to-be have to deal with renting a tent.  Most outdoor weddings need to have a contingency plan for bad weather and a tent is ideal if the area you are using is not attached to a restaurant or building where you can move the wedding in case of rain. 

In order to determine the size tent you need talk to the tent rental staff.  Ask for diagrams of the tent with table set up.  This will give you a good idea how many people you can comfortably fit in a tent.  Also keep in mind that if you are cooking outdoors you need a seperate cooking tent. 

You need a minimum of ten feet around the perimeter of your tents.  Other factors to consider are power lines, tree branches, eave lines, and other obstructions overhead that may prevent safe tent installation.  Be sure your tent rental specialist knows the exact layout where you want the tent. 

Tents are usually installed one to two days prior to the wedding. However there may be times due to heavy scheduling that a tent may be installed earlier. Tent pickup is usually the next business day following your wedding.  There is no cut and dried time for installation or pickup, and the renting company try to be flexible to meet their your needs. 

There are a variety of different types of tents as well as accessories that go with them.  Some extras are lighting, dance floors or and flooring, walkways, sides, french doors, heaters, air conditioners, and fancy tent designs or custom tenting.  Custom tents may be in a variety of colors or have lavish designs on both the outside and inside. 

The key to being happy with your tent is communication with the tent specialists you are working with.

Father Daughter Dance

One important decision you'll need to make is what song to dance with your father.  Every bride and her dad need to give some careful consideration to this choice.  Below are some suggestions.  ITunes or Amazon will let you listen part of the song before you buy it in case you're not familiar with it. 

Loudon Wainwright's "Daughter"

10,000 Manaics "How You've Grown"

Ben Folds' "Still Fighting It"

Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter"

Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" (hear it)

The Temptations' "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch"
Ray Charles' "Ain't That Love"

The Bellamy Brothers' "Let Your Love Flow"

Neil Young's "Here For You"

Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely"

James Taylor's "You've Got A Friend"

Voltaire's "Goodnight Demonslayer"

Natalie Merchant's "Kind And Generous"

Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al"

Any version of "You Are My Sunshine," particularly the Johnny Cash version

Putting Together a 'Day Of' Emergency Kit

Every bride dreads all those little tiny things that can go wrong that she forgot! The list below would be a great bridal shower gift from a considerate maid of honor.

The Kit Should Contain:

Nail File
Dental Floss
Shout Wipes
Fabric Tape
Band-Aid Blister Block (a roll on blister barrier which prevents blisters)
Strap Tamers (these attach to your shoulder seams so straps stay in place and out of sight all night.
Expert's Choice Shoe Stretch (a spray that softens the leather to make shoes more comfortable, you cannot use this on non-leather shoes!)
Hollywood Behind the Seams (shields to prevent underarm stains)
Extra Deodorant (a tiny sample size)
Mighty Mendit (good for any fabric rips, torn hems, etc.)
Extra stockings.
Panty liners.
Tiny sewing kit.

I'm sure you'll all have dozens of more suggestions but these make a good start. 

Making Your Own Gown

Making your own wedding gown or having a family member make it can be a way to either save money and/or make your wedding even more of a family affair. While there are not as many home sewers now as in previous years, there are still patterns out there. You can find patterns at or  You can also find a tailor or seamstress who can design one just for you.  What better way to have a truly unique wedding. 

Photos courtesy of Vogue and

McCalls offers patterns that are not as complex as Vogue and may be easier for the home sewer.

Photos courtesy of McCalls and

Photo courtesy of

Confetti, and not the kind you throw!

If you were planning on getting some favor boxes and putting Jordan almonds in them, why not consider this option. They're called 'confetti almond favors' and they're typically used in Italian weddings, but would work in almost any setting. You buy ribbon known as 'coccarde' and fill it with almonds, then make it into a flower. Decorate the top, add some ribbon to personalize it, and you're in business! It takes a little time but once you're used to what you're doing they go pretty quickly. You'll need the ribbon (cost - $35), almonds (cost - $8.99 lb), Personalized ribbon (cost - $44 for 100), silk/organza flower (cost - $20). The total cost per favor? $1.30! I used some pearl accents too but you don't have too and it was more work so it may not be for you. The total cost came to $1.50 with the pearl accents. You can either provide a loop of ribbon so the confetti can be hung up or let it lie flat. I've included some pictures of both DIY confetti and some that are premade, all are available from

(Photo courtesy of

This very elegant Loop Edge Satin Coccarde Roll (above) will help you to design your very own Bomboniere (very easy to assemble just place an almond in each petal pocket and pull the strings at the end to create your flower) to present to your guests. Choose a color to suit your color scheme and then choose embellishments to enhance your confetti flower. Each roll contains 500 petals to help you create 95 - 100 confetti flowers. Embellish with porcelain flowers, paper flowers, organza and silk flowers, organza calla lilli flowers etc. Other roles of conccarde make different number of favors so read before you order!

Other DIY confetti:

Here are a few ready-made confetti to inspire you, also courtesy of

If you're looking for your confetti to do double duty, use them as a centerpiece for a table. The confetti used to make this are $3.50 each, You'd need about fifty or fifty-five for this centerpiece. You could also make a wreath with them.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pretty Appetizer for Your Wedding

These beautiful colorful appetizers are easy to make fast and compliment many picnic menus.  This recipe is for 100 servings, just cut it in half for smaller crowds, double for larger. 

Prosciutto Date Rollups  (For 100)

100 slices of prosciutto, sliced lengthwise
40 T real cream cheese (if you want to lower calories, use half regular, half lite, don't use no fat)
60 T Danish blue cheese
200 dates
100 almond halves
100 basil leaves, cut in half
100 mint leaves, cut in half
20 pinch salt
20 pinch pepper
40 tablespoons olive oil


Combine the cheeses in a bowl. Then add the almonds, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir until well-mixed.
Pit each date (or buy pitted dates). Place one date on the end of each halved slice of prosciutto. Add a spoonful of the cheese mixture and some basil and mint to each prosciutto slice.

Starting at the end of the prosciutto with the date, tightly roll up the slices.

Serve standing on end.

These beauties will disappear faster than you make them!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nothing Would Make a Better Wedding Favor than ...

Amaretti di Saronno.  The story that goes with them makes them a perfect wedding cookie.
                           (Photo and Information courtesy of

"According to the Amaretti di Saronno legend, almost three centuries ago, the Cardinal of Milan unexpectedly visited the town of Saronno in Italy. To honor him, two young lovers, Giuseppe and Osolina, quickly baked up a mixture of sugar, apricot kernels and egg whites, creating crisp, airy cookies with an unusual bittersweet flavor which they wrapped in pairs to symbolize their love.

The Cardinal was delighted and blessed the young couple, who married and lived happily ever after. Since 1718 this ancient and secret recipe has been preserved by the Lazzaroni family. Unwrap a legend and begin your own happy ending.

Each box contains 15 pairs (each cookie is paired with another and then wrapped in colorful paper) of Amaretti di Saronno cookies (7.5 oz. net wt.). Order enough to offer a pair of cookies to each guest and box and tie with a bow. Add a copy of the legend on the tag. Everyone loves these quintessential Italian cookies. You can purchase them at or many other specialty stores.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bubbles, confetti, sparklers, bird seed, rice?

If your venue won't let you throw any of those they may be happier with these lavendar buds.  Toss on your path, for a wonderful fragrance as you walk down the aisle... Remember fragrances evoke memories like nothing else. Use lavender in your wedding and your guests, forevermore, will think of your wedding and smile anytime they smell lavender!  Seal in glassine envelopes.   Both buds and envelopes available at

Carry It On Kits! Great for Shower Gifts!

Before you fly the friendly skies, stop by for your favorite beauty products in TSA-approved sizes.  Everything for you and the man in your life to make travel easy.  Also a great way to try new products without buying full size products.  Great for the honeymooners.  Perfect as a shower gift for the happy couples honeymoon.  Above is a the Ted Gibson Travel Essentials kit that features: Daily Cleanse Shampoo, Daily Nourish Conditioner, Beautiful Hold Hair Spray, and  3 Hairsheet Styling Sheets. 

To add a touch of glimmer to your hair and glamour to your look, this kit includes the best-selling Silky Dirt Shine & Define Crème, Shimmer Silky Dirt in Soft Pink and Shimmer Silky Dirt in Golden Glow. All three formulas are non-greasy and create supermodel shine with a smooth lasting finish. Now you can have definition, texture and light control with a hint of shimmer. The Limited Edition dirty & flirty! set includes:
1.7 oz Silky Dirt Shine & Define Crème, 1.7 oz Shimmer Silky Dirt in Soft Pink and 1.7 oz Shimmer Silky Dirt in Golden Glow.
This Kit contains:
Body- Archipelago Botanicals Milk Body Wash and Oat lotion-great combination for clean and hydrated skin with an amazingly fresh clean scent. Hair- Philip B Avocado & Peppermint Shampoo and Light Weight (Classic ) Conditioner-perfect duo for great volume. Hair Styling- Jonathan Thickening Foam-REALLY THICKENS HAIR!!! Hair Styling- Blow Out Hair Spray-Great hold without a sticky film-you can still get your fingers thru your hair! Face- Ole Henriksen Walnut Scrub-great for removing dull skin and leaving skin soft, supple. Lips- Dr. Hauschka Lip Balm-my lips have never been softer. Perfect for plane travel!!!

Make your blow out last while you are on the go with the essential Blow to Go Travel Kit. Kit includes: Blow Up Shampoo, Blow Up Conditioner, Heat is On Dry Styling Mist, and Blow Up Thickening Mist. Each product is formulated with a pure protein blend and the complete kit is 100% air travel compliant

Like Vintage? If You're Looking for a Vintage Wedding Gown...

If you're looking for a vintage wedding gown, look no farther!  Go to  They have a variety of gowns from different eras sure to please a bride no matter what time period she's looking for. 
Miss Betsy
Priscilla of Boston "Miss Betsy". Old stock, never worn. Some discoloring to outer layer due to age and storage, but blends in nicely. The flared lace sleeves are exquisite with seed pearls scattered throughout. Illusion lace with bateau neckline. Skirt is made of a stiffer organza in a tea-stained hue that gives it a wonderful antique patina.    Price: $595.00

Bonny Bride
Vintage White Wedding Gown
The delicate detailing of ivory appliques and a fitted shirred waist will highlight a bride's beauty. Buttons up the back with an organdy rose at the base of the buttons (this could easily be removed). This dress was originally purchased from The Brides Shop at Gimbels, California and worn for a June wedding (see cleaning tag) for a bride named Bonnie.  Price: $895.00

1950's Ball Gown
Vintage Hollywood glamour at its best. This stunning white ball gown has a fitted shirred waist and a large bow in back below the zipper. this dress fits snuggly against the bust, with an outer layer of fabric that stands out a bit. Labeled a Mike Benet Formal, size 8. Pictured with a crinoline, not included.
Beauty Marks: Hidden underneath the large back bow is a small blue spot. This dress has not been cleaned yet, so there are some marks along the hem where it hit the floor.  Price: $950.00

Country Club Vintage Style Gown
This illusion neckline gown is so 1950's, and yet it is a modern dress. Created out of a creamy silk with covered buttons and trimmed cuffs, the details delight a fan of classic style. Pictured with a crinoline, not included. Price: $375.00
Simone Edwardian Wedding Dress
Breath-taking is the only way to describe this beauty. The embroidered dots and fine lace are just part of the exquisite detail that make this dress perfect. This dress just feels special. The age, the craftsmanship, the tea-stained color. It looks rich and lovely.
Vintage Monique Lhuillier

Modern designer dress by Monique Lhuillier with 1930's appeal. This seductive bias cut silk will keep all eyes on you. "Iman" style, size 10. Beauty Marks: This dress came to us with the designer label and original price tag detached. This slinky siren could use a dry-cleaning to brighten up the fabric (it was most likely a sample dress). Price: $650.00

Sophia Titanic Era Gown

Pure white cotton lace. Perhaps a satin ribbon about the waist? Envision yourself playing croquet or badmitten under the branches of a blossoming cherry tree. Tea anyone? Oh the romantic daydreams never end...(pictured with a silk slip, not included)
Beauty Marks: Exceptional condition, but I must mention one thing...underarm stains are a pet peeve of mine and they have no business showing up on wedding gowns! This dress has the faintest tinge on both arms, but fortunately it is not visible unless the fabric is bunched up into a ball--the netted nature of the fabric allows the coloring to appear pure white, throughout the dress. If worn with a slip which has white sleeves, then the spots may be noticeable. That said, I would not hesitate, myself, to wear this gown on my special day.
Price: $750.00