Idea of the Week

Idea of the Week
Purses and Clutches by Ikestaedt

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Engagement Rings :-)

I escaped to New Jersey this weekend (for my grandmother's 80th birthday party) and what else is there to do but go shopping at the mall. I was walking around with my girlfriend and we inevitably ended up browsing in a few of the jewelry stores. It got me to thinking about engagement rings. These rings are straight from the pages of The Knot and you can search for them to find more details (and about a million more styles). But these caught my eye and I wanted to share them: This is my favorite, the one that I would walk around with on my hand! It is a Tacori design, with a round cut center stone and pave diamonds around the center stone and on the band.
Tacori platinum and diamond eternity engagement ring
Tacori ring that is modern yet classic: emerald cut center stone with Cadillac cut side stones. To me the center looks like it is shining like an icicle.
Tacori round brilliant cut center stone with pave diamond accents. I love that the setting for the center stone and the pave accents make this ring sort of look like a flower.

Ritani platinum carved, semi-mount ring. I love the fine detailing on this ring, it makes it classic but truly stand out.
Ritani platinum solitaire ring with princess center cut stone. The pave diamonds just below the setting make it look very modern. The coordinating wedding band has a very sleek appearance.
Ritani: round brilliant center stone. I love the crossed accents on this band. I think that I would look for a wedding band with accents that match a bit more. To me this just looks like it would match a sleek silhouette wedding dress with a cross around the bust in rhinestones!
Ritani with another round brilliant center cut stone. The pave accents on the band almost look like little flowers. I like the diamonds on the wedding band (what can I say, I like more bling). The pave diamonds around the base of the center stone make the ring stand out.
Ritani round cut center stone with baguette side stones. I think that the baguette cut really makes the hand look long and lean.

Hearts on Fire Lady Di solitaire ring. I love that this looks like something fit for a Princess of Wales. Though it loosely resembles a snowflake, I think that this is a cute you rarely see in an engagement ring.
Hearts on Fire truly bridal leaf dream cut center stone. From this angle it has a great graphic quality to it.
Kirk Kara designed this setting to have accents of round cut sapphires and pave diamonds. Including the sapphire stones in engagement rings is actually a tradition started in the Victorian era. This ring would certainly count for your something blue!
Mark Patterson round cut center stone with pear shaped side stones. I love the antique feel of this ring. It is good for someone with smaller hands who needs skinny band, but still wants the glamour of a larger center stone.

Mark Schneider Design: this unique band features 48 pave diamonds with a four-prong setting.

A. Jaffe round center cut diamonds with fancy bullet side diamonds. This thicker band gives it a little more of a modern look.
Mark Sepkus created this unique ring. The rose gold band holds round cut diamonds in a modern pattern. If you are the anti-bride looking for an engagement ring that doesn't look like an engagement ring, this is great option. You can also get the band in yellow or white gold.

Diamond Ideals asscher cut center with diamond ideals in the shank. I love the flatness of the band!
Diamond Ideals stardust engagement ring with asscher cut center placed in a box setting. This looks like an antique treasure box waiting to be opened.
Hearts on Fire 4-prong solitaire. This is a great classic and perfect to transcend any time, era or sense of style. The round brilliant cut diamond fits in at any party, with any outfit, on any hand. Widen the band to change the look if you desire.
Happy ring shopping!

Bird & Banner Hand-Crafted Invitations

Bird and Banner was started by Erin & Nicole in Philadelphia when they were brides-to-be. Now they help you create interesting and unique expressions for your wedding stationary (or really any celebration or blank note card). See some of the examples of their creative work below.

Real maple wood cards in a hydrangea blue sleeve for a wedding in Vermont. A great way to show your guests that your ceremony with be elegant, yet unique.

This wedding used custom silhouettes of the bride and groom on wedding stationary, favors, and as you see below - even the cake topper!

The RSVP cards were each place in hand-stitched pouches, conveying the coziness of this wedding.

They created a custom invitation that showed how the groom had traveled for 5 years on the Chinatown bus from Washington, DC to New York City to see his future bride.

A fantastic idea for a more casual wedding. The save the date was printed onto a lobster bib for a Cape Cod wedding. If this is a little too informal for your reception, perhaps use it as an invite to the rehearsal dinner or welcome party (great photos will be made from this!).

Invitations were printed on silk handkerchiefs to embody the French Flea market theme of the wedding. They also printed on the backs of old postcards, each unique.

Custom hand-stitched note card! This would even be a great DIY project for those of you who can thread a needle :-)

Highlighting the cultural traditions of the couple, this save the date came with tissue paper and instructions on how to create a traditional Mexican paper flower. I LOVE this idea - it is interactive, unique, and shows guests to expect unique cultural additions to your wedding. You might even put a note in the save the date, asking everyone to show their love by wearing their paper flower to the ceremony! Or have paper flower corsages for everyone when they arrive. Tie the decor into your wedding reception too with larger paper flowers!

Friday, March 28, 2008

The New Look

You may have noticed that I like a lot of different styles and I constantly like to be inspired by new looks and ideas. So I decided to change the look of the blog. I'm not 100% convinced that this will stay - I'd love to hear your thoughts. The plan is to update and overhaul the entire site within the next year (for your viewing pleasure).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sweet & Simple Spring Arrangement

My colleague made this arrangement a few days ago to help our office celebrate Spring (we don't have windows, so we do what we can). As gorgeous as it looks in a vase, while she was creating it we realized that it would be the perfect bouquet, tied off with some buttery yellow ribbon. The arrangement includes daffodils, fluffy white peonies, fragrant white lilac and a wildflower variety with a golden center that we found at the flower market.

Working with a flower professional will really help you take your bouquets and arrangements to the next level. Watching my colleague gather these flowers strewn about the floral warehouse was amazing. Professional who work with flowers have such vision and knowledge about the products they work with. From a million variety of flowers they can create billions of beautiful mixtures.

Don't be afraid to go to a green market, wholesale flower market, or even just your local floral shop to look at the variety of flowers in stock. If you have more than a year to plan, it is helpful to see what will be in season during your wedding. Take a look at what calls out to you. Talk to people about how each flower holds up. (Remember, you will be dragging your bouquet around for hours and he will be hugging everyone he's known since kindergarten - your flowers have to be durable as well as beautiful.) If food will be very important to your reception, make sure that fragrant blossoms on the table won't interfere with the eating experience. Ask about something new, something different (like our wild flowers above), or how hard it is to get something exotic. Be green conscious - ask where the flowers come from and how they are grown. Consider if having a bouquet of locally grown flowers would not be more meaningful than having pink peonies flown in during the winter?

Aren't familiar with flowers or can't decide which to choose? Grab a different bouquet each week and live with them. See which flowers you respond to. What bouquets light up your morning before you leave for work. You are the bride-to-be, so make sure to buy yourself flowers!

Flowers by Wendy Hubbert, Fourth Wall Events

Monday, March 24, 2008

Have Your Cake (and Like Eating it Too)

What are you paying for your guests to eat - $65, $85, $105, $150 a person to eat. You have to be able to have your cake/filet/tofu and like eating it too. Foodie or not, you probably understand that it isn't just about slapping the food down on a plate and serving it to your guests (or maybe that's what you like, if so, feel free to skip this :-) Eating can engage more than just your taste buds.

A tasting is the most important thing when hiring a caterer (in addition to getting along with your contact). But you should also review photos of their presentation techniques. You don't have to have a Pablo Picasso or a Jackson Pollock, but find a caterer who can jazz up your cocktail hour or buffet with their own creative interpretation of your theme.

I love these hot dog lollipops from Elegant Affairs. (I had the pleasure of eating them). The presentation was great: a Lucite tray with each "lollipop" on a tall Lucite stick).

I happened to miss these, but they look fantastic. This tray looks like (and very well may be) a simple votive holder that you can buy in a variety of styles. Instead of candles, fill it with your hors d'oeuvres. (Again from Elegant Affairs.)

2Taste Catering served these gazpacho shooters with a test tube of vodka. Cold soup shooter, in a variety of containers and tastes, can be a very refreshing hors d'oeuvre for a summer wedding.

I love these mini crudites. The tray is what really stands out in this picture along side the modern square dishes. You can create a tray out of anything (picture frames of the two of you, music books, travel magazines, anything), tying it into your theme or highlighting quirky parts of your personalities. (Elegant Affairs)

I LOVE the presentation of this dessert. It takes a simple pudding or mousse with berries to a whole new level. Be careful if you will have an older (or slightly less-sophisticated crowd), you don't want to serve food that will scare away your guests. In the end, taste matters, and your guests can't enjoy it if they don't know how to eat it. (Shiraz NYC)

This elegant tray highlights the perfect seaside wedding. Shells and elegant starfish sit on the bottom layer of this tray. You may even what to use elements in the tray to emphasize the ingredients in the dish. (Shiraz NYC)

These miniature sandwiches are stunning held in wire picture holders! This is ingenious! (Creative Edge Parties)

Decor and More - Tabletops and Other Touches

I know, I know. This week I can't get enough of tabletop pictures! Now is heavy bridal planning season, and what better to help you decide what you like, you love or you hate, than inspiration pictures!

I love this picture because black and deep gray are colors that no one thinks to use for weddings. Why not turn the traditionally-shunned color into a fantastically elegant affair? Luxurious black/gray linens pop with touches of Kelly green (one of this seasons hottest trends).

Black and white with a pop of red is a way to keep things trendy yet traditional, with a bit of sizzle. This arrangement is kept creative and fun with a few suspended roses inside the clear glass vase. You'd be surprised at the amount of black rentals you can find now.

I love the long tables. They allow you to get creative with centerpieces. They actually keep conversation flowing as people are closer together and fully facing one another. Custom linens can become a bit tricky, but with the right venue, this look is totally worth the effort.

I love this dramatic table, though I recommend using this type of arrangement on a display table rather than a dining table. Again, not a fan of the ottomans (oy my back), but I love the colors and intricate detail of the fabrics. These colors together can sometimes border Easter-y, however they look authentic and elegant here.

I love square tables! It is not something that you normally see outside of the large metropolitan areas. Rectangular tables can seat more and still mix up the look of your reception. Here table runner are criss-crossed. No matter the size of your table, try draping a table runner down the center, and then draping a runner across the table in a perpendicular manner, creating a place mat for two facing guests. Notice here that they not only use chargers, but large leaves as chargers and part of the centerpieces!

Deep red is not usually a color that you think of for weddings. For the right season (and the right couple) this color will create all of the rights kinds of drama. See how interesting pieces can be used to bring together the color scheme (including this urn "lamp"). One intense red gobo helps to create a back drop on an otherwise bland wall.

I love the surprise of these tables with center square of Lucite. You can include an LED (light-emitting-diode) light underneath each table. As the night progresses, courses change, you cut the cake, anything, you can change the colors underneath each table by wireless remote!

The intricate detail on these gorgeous orange linens really makes the table. The string of flowers at each corner lifts the linens just slightly to creating elegant draping, but also is an unexpected way to blend the top linen with the bottom linen.

This may not seem like a wedding picture to you, but I LOVE this idea. Here you see a table fit for an event in the Southwest or an event highlighting the culture of either the bride or groom (or both). Custom chair covers were created out of traditional blankets - something that could be translated to fit any wedding.

This chair looks like a bridesmaids dress. Accented with a beautiful "corsage," the flowing material is elegantly draped. (This is a great way to use extra fabric, or to avoid having to rent standard chair covers).

Find more details on these table tops at Wild Flower Linens or BizBash

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Magnificent Napkins

The perfect way to add detail to your reception table is with a napkin accent. Each little detail is a welcome for your guests, a special reminder that you think each and every one of them is special.

I encourage you to look at interesting way to dress your napkins. Different folds, pins or antique jewelry, ribbon, and more. If you can, avoid putting favors on the table (arrange them later as guests are leaving) in lieu of a small napkin detail. See some examples below, but don't be afraid to get creative with your own!

If you can't incorporate a bold pattern into your table linens, try using it as an accent in your napkins. You may even think to use it on napkins as well as chair pads or toppers. Here a brightly colored brocade pattern (from Wild Flower Linens is accented with an orchid).

A fantastic fold that is simple to execute and looks elegant. When using a charger with another plate, wrap a silk or lamour napkin under the plate, accent with a napkin ring. This ring can look like anything to match your decor! Secure a menu card underneath or place in a matching frame at the head of each place setting.

This is a fantastic napkin decoration and favor! A small bouquet of daisies sits at each place setting. Simple cotton striped napkins are folded into a square pattern. You can also use menu cards in this arrangement, but be sure that all vases are dry before placing them. Tie a ribbon with a simple card around each vase if you wish to have place cards.

Having a destination wedding or want to highlight one of your cultures? Use traditional accents at each place setting. Here a bird woven from grasses is elegantly poised on a linen napkin tucked underneath an appetizer plate.

For this Moroccan-inspired table, the brightly-hued napkin compliments the jeweled charge plate. The tropical blossom sits on top of a bright, beaded pin. All of the colors work together because they are jewel-tones.

I love the elegance of this napkin. It would be hard to execute for each setting but the flowing folds and the simple bloom look amazing. Definitely try to replicate this look for a 1920s elegance theme. (I would be wary of the jewels on the table though, will never stay that way!)

Again, another simply elegant napkin setting. This silk or lamour napkin is delicately rolled, secured with an orchid (wired around the napkin) and fluffed at the edges.

This napkin is arranged on the plate and accented with a vintage pin. You can also use antique jewelry on menu cards or the backs of chairs. Pins serve a functional purpose for outdoor wedding where wind may be a problem.
What do you do once the guests have been seated and napkins begin to go into service? Alert your caterer that you will be having napkin decorations (they may have already helped to set them in place). Let them know if you wish for servers to collect the remnants after serving the first course, or if you intend for the decor to be a gift to the guests. Trust me - it is worth the first look!