My entertaining style is all about creating a beautiful and thoughtful event but all while keeping things as simple as possible. When I was in middle school, I was addicted to two day time TV shows (I used to record them on VHS every day to watch them when I got home. Sad? Maybe. But totally true). They were Martha Stewart and Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee. Martha was all about details and making things perfect and pretty, while Sandra was all about starting with store bought and elevating it a little to make it impressive and “your own.” My style is definitely a combo of these! So, if you’re looking for pretty (but simple) engagement party ideas, this post is for you! The four parts to the perfect engagement party are: Desserts, appetizers, a themed cocktail, and a couple of thoughtful details. Desserts When it comes to creating beautiful desserts for any party, my secret is to start with store bought. Yep, head to the grocery store or local bakery. You can then dress up these pre-packaged good and re-plate them and no one will know the difference. Plus, you’ll save yourself time and stress if baking isn’t your thing. I picked up this chocolate cake and these eclairs from my local grocery store. Then, I simply put them on a serving platter and added some fresh flowers (also from the grocery store). These blooms are not edible so you would just remove them before eating. If you’e worried about it, you can always pick up some edible flowers. I made this “congrats” cake topper using my new Cricut Explorer Air Machine which totally dressed up the cake. It only took a few minutes to make this vinyl decal that I added to a piece of crafting wood I had. I loved how it turned out! Don’t the desserts look pretty? And there was no baking required! Appetizers Another engagement party idea I love is to serve one appetizer that guests can eat while holding a cocktail. If you want to serve two to offer variety, go for it. But don’t do more than that. This simple appetizer took me a few minutes to put together but looked gorgeous on a plate. Just skewer: watermelon, basil, feta cheese, and a blackberry. Such a unique flavor combo! Themed Cocktail Every great party needs a themed cocktail. I created this “love punch” which would be so fun at an engagement party. The grapefruit gave it the perfect peachy-pink color which was so pretty. I think I’m in love with this grapefruit cocktail actually. (Grab the recipe, here.) Isn’t just so perfect? And it tasted delicious! Thoughtful Details Like the cake topper above, I used my Cricut machine to make a couple more thoughtful details for the party. I made these vinyl heart decals for my punch glasses, and also a decal that said “love punch” that I added to a acrylic sign holder which I placed next to the punch bowl. The glasses might be my favorite element! You can let guests take them home as a party favor. Or, if you want to keep them, remove the decal before washing. They come off very easily and leave no residue on your glass. I also love how the white heart pops from the color of the punch when the glasses are filled. If you’re looking for engagement party ideas that look great but won’t cost a fortune (or require you to turn into Martha Stewart), these ideas are perfect. Start with store bought, dress things up, and add a few details, and you’re ready to entertain! Be sure to check back next week, I’ll show you how to create these thoughtful details. I’ll show you the step-by-step one how I used my Cricut to make the vinyl decals.You can also browse the Cricut Design Space–there are so many great projects to make!
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Whether you’re looking for some romantic wedding inspiration, scouting Temecula wedding venues, or just simply love looking at pretty pictures, this post is for you.
Remember that romantic bridal shower I hosted? Well, here was the bride on her big day! I have been telling you I’m going to post this wedding since 2012. THREE years later and I’m finally sharing these photos. Why has it taken me so long? Honestly because there were just sooooo many gorgeous photos I felt overwhelmed and couldn’t decide which to share! Problems, I know.
In fact, I procrastinated so long that this darling couple (who also happen to by my brother and sister-in-law!) have been married for three years, and I’ve already posted about their baby shower (GAWH) and my niece will be ONE next month. Wow, we’re all out of order over here. Sooooo without much more, I’ll jump into the pics (because that’s what you really want to see)!
We made these DIY rustic signs that led guests to the venue which was a private estate winery in Temecula, CA. If you’re looking for Temecula wedding venues, there are just so many great ones to choose from. Take a day (or two) and visit/experience them all! My handy husband cut the signs and I stained them and then painted on the names. (more…)
I’ve been quiet lately, but certainly not bored. My plate has been more than full … sort of like a buffet exploded on my lap, actually. I apologize for the lack of posts — though you seem to have kept occupied reading about summer cocktails, circus parties (an oldie but goodie) and how to make tissue paper pom poms — so that’s good :).
Here’s a few snapshots on what’s been keeping my busy and a little sneak peek at one very gorgeous wedding.
FLOWERS. They occupied my life for 3 straight days. Non-stop. My air conditioner that was set at 50 degrees can testify (dreading that bill!). I played wedding florist (first time for everything, huh?) and it was no small feat. With 150 guests and a large venue… we had a TON of flowers. Just picture, 11 bouquets as a starting point. Boy, I’m glad that’s over!
DIY galore. Painting, staining, building, crafting, gluing …. pretty much up until it was time to get hair and makeup done. Oh, did I mention I was the Matron of Honor? Wedding planner, florist, Matron of Honor, and Sister-in-Law to the beautiful bride … yep, told you I was busy :).
FUEL. This is how I survived. Between all of those roles above, I was still playing the usual: mom, wife, cook and also keeping together my full time day job.
It was WAY worth it though. This stunning couple are the best Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law one over-worked gal can ask for. They deserved a perfect day!
I had so many wonderful vendors help me pull this day off… I can’t wait to show you all the pictures!
And that pic of the rings? It almost killed me. Yep, heart attack. I kept it on the inside though because a frantic sister/Matron of Honor/wedding planner is the LAST thing a happy bride needs to see on her wedding day. Can you guess what happened after this photo was taken? Go ahead, guess.
More, regular posts coming next week (I promise). Thanks for hanging in there with me. I’m going to relax and get rid of my wedding hangover this weekend and then … I’ll be baaaaaack!
This romantic bridal shower is girly and simple. Hope you like it!
When coming up with the over all look and feel of this special shower, I started with the romantic wedding color palette and added a little more “girly” with the addition of gold sparkles and a touch of romantic lace. Overall, I think it had a nice romantic, girly, yet sophisticated feel. Take a look! (Oh and if you want to skip to the wedding, here it is.)
Simple place settings and centerpieces lined the table set for thirty.
The center of the table was lined with flowers that just played nicely to that romantic vibe. Blooms were gathered in milk glass vases. Nothing too fancy, just soft shades of pink and white flowers. At each setting was a “He said/She said” questioneer and a tiny pink pencil. Guests filled out their cards (a fun conversation starter) and later, the bride read and answered the questions aloud.
(To make the pale pink pencils, I purchase a box of golf pencils from the office supply store and just painted them pink the week before.)
Also the favors were aside each plate — a “adult” flavored lollipop. The flavors were Ginger (totally refreshing) and Champagne and Roses.
The flowers were amazing. Gerber Daisies, A wide variety of roses, ranunculus & hydrangeas — all locally grown. Bonus — they smelled divine! If you’re planning a romantic bridal shower, flowers are a must!
This hutch worked as our beverage station. Guests enjoyed drinks and appetizers before lunch was served.
The Make your own Mimosa station was a hit.
The gorgeous desserts complimented the shower so perfectly. These dessert designers (I can’t think of a more fitting name to call them) matched this theme to-a- T!
The ribbon and lace backdrop was by far my favorite element. So simple to make and yet so dramatic.
Raspberry and Salted Caramel Macarons from Sparkles Macarons, Cheesecake bites and lemonade cupcakes adorned with fondant fabric flowers from Edible Details (all were almost too gorgeous to eat).
The sugar cookies from Better Bit of Butter were a show-stopper. OH. MY. And they tasted just as good as they looked. They matched the look and feel of the shower so perfectly, I couldn’t have imagined them up to be more perfect.
The darling mini wedding cakes were from The Marshmallow Studio and they are … yep…. marshmallows! They were such a unique addition to the dessert table (thanks Alejandra!). And here’s the blushing bride (who happens to be my lovely sister-in-law). :)
A few last pics of the shower. It was such an amazing day. I’m really proud of how it turned out and VERY honored to have hosted such a lovely day for a very special bride.
I hope these photos help inspire your next event, thanks for reading everyone! xoxoxo.
Be sure to see how the wedding turned up. This Temecula Wedding venue was the prefect backdrop for this Hostess to stretch her creative wings!
If you’re a bride (not a bride, but know one? Let her know about this post!), you’ll want to read on. One of my favorite invitation and stationery go-to’s, Minted is sharing four lovely, new wedding invitations with us today. Even better, they have given me a GREAT prize to giveaway — $250 gift card to Minted! So, if you need save the dates, wedding invitations, or thank younotes for your big day … this is for you.
Check out 4 of their newest designs:
Love Story ::Sophisticated buntings created from the pages of a classic love story, set the mood for a romantic event. [see it here]
Chalkboard ::This wedding invitation has plenty of character with a textured background and hand drawn elements. [see it here]
Column Rule ::Clean and modern type highlights the names stars of the day, the bride and groom. [see it here]
In the park ::A sweet invitation to announce an outdoor wedding venue. Features woodgrain and floral embellishments. [see it here]
Do you have a favorite? (I do, but I don’t want to sway you)
Now for the fun part, your chance to win $250 towards your next Minted order!
Follow these 2 simple steps to enter:
1. Pin your favorite invitation from above to one of your own personal Pinterest boards.
2. Come back here and leave a link to your pin in a comment (grab the url in your browser bar). This will count as your official entry.
It’s been a few years since I’ve planned a wedding and I have to tell you, it feels wonderful to be at it again. There is nothing better than helping a bride create that perfect day where she will be surrounded by all the people and pretty things she loves. This bride is extra special since she is my sister-in-law (YAY!). Here’s a little peek at what we’ve been working on:
The colors the bride has chosen are in the family of ivory, champagne and a light blush pink. Doesn’t this palette just beam with romance?
The save the dates were AMAZINGLY perfect. From the colors to the photo to the romantic detail in the hand-drawn frame, oh my goodness. They were perfect! The couple had a STUNNING engagement session with Tracy Dodson Photography (check out all of their engagement photos here). The save the dates were costumed designed by my go-to gal, Kori of Paper and Pigtails. I love how she paired the modern bold outside frame with the delicate (hand-drawn!) romantic inside frame. Simply stunning.
While at my favorite farmers’ market this weekend, I picked up some gorgeous blooms from my favorite flower grower (Alfredo of Hidalgo Flowers) for a little eye candy to have at my desk this week. This couple, upcoming wedding, and color palette just make me so happy I want to be surrounded by all things wedding lately!