Tips and Inspiration
March 31st, 2014
It’s Spring! And that can only mean one thing (no, not yard work, although there is that too). Ladies and gentleman, it is my honor to present the Pantone Color of the Year 2014:
January 4th, 2014
August 20th, 2013
I’ve had several requests to write a post about a widely-dreaded aspect of weddings- the toasts. Toasting is such a beautiful tradition that has unfortunately acquired a bad rap based of what we see in movies and our own experiences. It seems they are always too long, too short, or too embarrassing. So here are a few pointers on giving the perfect toast at a wedding or at any event.
A couple of rules:
Keep it short- Your toast should not be longer than five minutes, and not shorter than one minute. Longer than five is perceived as droning on and shorter than one is perceived as insincere and unprepared.
Keep it sweet- Avoid embarrassing stories or any comments that would put the bride, the groom, or their families in a bad light. Believe it or not, guests are embarrassed listening to your drunken college days stories. Instead, save those for the bachelor/bachelorette party
Keep it sincere- As you’re preparing, think about what the bride or groom means to you, the aspects of their character that you most admire, and a couple of reasons you’re happy that they are marrying the person they are marrying. A short story of your friendship or the moment when he/she told you that they met their spouse provides special insight into the love that the guests are witnessing at the wedding. These sentiments complete the picture of love for the guests and brings the celebration full circle.
And of course, raise your glass at the end and toast the bride and groom (you would be surprised how many people forget this icing on the proverbial cake!)
April 25th, 2013
Emerald has been dubbed “Pantone Color of the Year” by the color gods! Endulge yourselves, people. This is a color that is absolutely stunning on every skin tone.
Mix it in with your wedding palette.
Live in it.
January 28th, 2013
We are in the midst of the engagement party season and soon going into the invitation mail-out season for weddings! I thought this would be a good time to address the frequent frustration of collecting RSVPs for your party and wedding. Here are a few thoughts…
From the hosts perspective:
If you’ve ever thrown a party or shower for someone, you know how important it is to know how many guests will be attending. There is the cost for food, drinks (including alcohol), and rentals. In addition, there is the consideration of venue which is affected by how many people are expected to attend. When guests do not RSVP by the RSVP date, the host then has to contact all of the guests to collect missing RSVPs at a time when the details for the event are coming together. For example, cakes are being ordered – what size of cake will you need to order? Food and alcohol are being purchased and prepared – how much food and drink will you need to purchase? Rental orders are being finalized – can you get away with not having a whole extra table, thereby saving a little bit of money?
This can be mentally, financially, and emotionally taxing on the person throwing the party, and honestly, it compels them to not want to throw parties in the future.
From the guest of honor’s perspective:
If you’ve had a party thrown in your honor, or planned your own wedding, how great does it feel when the host calls you up and needs the phone numbers of 75% of your guests who haven’t RSVPed for your shower yet? Or what does it feel like when you have to track down RSVPs for 60 of your 100 invited guests for your wedding? In addition to the major emotional downer, there are also the same (and more) financial aspects to take into account with missing RSVPs.
I cannot tell you how many brides I’ve had to console over this issue and it’s heart breaking every time. So here are “Ashlee’s Rules For RSVPing”!
1. When you receive the invitation, check your calendar immediately, discuss the plans with those you need to discuss it with, and RSVP right away. If you can’t stop what you’re doing right then, put a reminder in your phone to handle the RSVP as soon as possible.
2. RSVP regardless of whether you can go or not. A non-RSVP is NOT the same as a NO RSVP for the host.
3. If you RSVP Yes to an event, go to the event! Yes, there are exceptions to this. We all understand that life happens. But if you must cancel at the last minute, communicate that with the host as soon as possible.
The only exception to these rules may be bulk invites that we all receive on Facebook. You know, the happy hour in CA that you’ve been invited to despite the fact that you live in CO
August 28th, 2012
It’s almost Fall which means Fall wedding season is upon us. Personally, Fall is my favorite season for weddings. The colors, the weather, and the general energetic vibe that surrounds this time of year is perfect for exchanging vows.
Add some of that energy and edge into your wedding makeup! Here’s some inspiration.
Strong Sultry – Contour with peaches and red-browns, define the eyes on top and bottom with steel gray or pewter. Dust the cheeks with a peachy-pink (you have to show up in pictures!) and gloss up those lips with a touch of neutral color.
More hair, less face- Dress up your hair with a stunning hair piece or edgy veil. Then balance out your look with soft, neutral makeup and glossy lips.
Winged liner against a neutral eye and lip- need I say more?
March 16th, 2012
I will probably receive some nasty e-mails for this post, but so be it.
Let’s talk baby showers. In world of social media and the trend of branding every major event (I love this trend, BTW!), baby showers have embarked on a new era, thank God. Here are two lists of my *personal* and *professional* opinions on the DOs and DO NOTs of baby showers for the 21st century. Give these things some thought. Open your mind. Expand your maternal horizons.
1. Display a diaper cake. Cake is for eating. Diapers are not.
2. Scatter faux plastic diaper pins across and table and call it confetti. In fact, avoid faux plastic diaper pins in general (you know the ones I’m talking about…blue for boys, pink for girls, which leads me to #3).
3. Plan a baby shower based on “blue everything for boy” and “pink everything for girl”. This may come as a surprise, but colors are not exclusively and necessarily gender-driven. There are soooooo many other colors in the world. Expand your outlook on this. Don’t feel confined by gender when planning a baby shower!
4. Play the “measure the belly game”. When has it ever been okay to measure the midsection of a woman? I get it…she has a baby bump. But honestly, the expectant mother already feels huge! No need to rub it in and embarrass her further. This one needs to go to the baby shower graveyard.
5. Force guests to sniff diapers that have melted candy bars in them. For the love of all that is good and Holy, this also needs to go to the baby shower graveyard.
For more from this ah. mazing. baby shower, check out On To Baby
1. Glam it up a little. Surround your expecting friend with beautiful flowers, candle light, beautiful linens, fun patterns and other elements that reflect her personality.
2. Serve a “mocktail”- a non alcoholic version of the mother’s favorite cocktail. Or, dare I say it, serve wine *GASP* She and her baby will not die from a few sips. She’ll thank you, I promise
3. Work in items that repurpose well. Onsies, etched glasses, baskets full of baby items (or other storage pieces *that she has registered for* She registered for a reason. Do not deviate if you don’t have specific and first hand knowledge that there is something else she wants/needs that is not on her registry)
4. Brand the shower. Make friends with a graphic designer or go online to Paper Divas or Etsy to get well-branded items for each element of the shower. This will take you far in life. Branding is the new standard for any and every party. Do this often.
5. Set up a dessert bar. Yes, in addition to a cake (or in lou of) add other sweet treats. Half the reason that guests come to showers is to have a piece (or five) of cake. Or maybe that’s just me…hmm.
February 27th, 2012
People, check out these ADORABLE “breakfast” cupcakes! Mya Bella Cupcakes outdid themselves on this one: white cupcake with pieces of maple BACON in the cake, maple frosting, and an “egg” made from gum paste, finished with a piece of sugared maple bacon. Magically delicious! These would be perfect for a brunch wedding reception or even a bridal shower brunch!