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Archive for the ‘Decoration’ Category

The coolest wedding signs since wedding signs were invented

In Decoration, DIY on July 28, 2009 at 11:33 pm
Courtesy of Ritzybee

Handpainted sign on wood - Courtesy of Ritzybee

Signs cost nothing but a lick of paint and a little bit of effort. Go crazy on signs, signage and anything vaguely arrow shaped to create drama and intrigue at your wedding. It’s a fact found in all good Wedding Encyclopaedias – cool signs at weddings = cool photos = cool memories of your wedding. See below for undisputable proof:

A boxing round card style cake cutting sign? That's so good I'm going to faint. On purpose.

A boxing round card style cake cutting sign? That's so good I'm going to faint. On purpose.

Get your bridesmaids to hold up signs letting guests know what stage of the wedding you’re at.

Utter brilliance. No need for cheesy grins when a sign explains your situation.

Utter brilliance. No need for cheesy grins when a sign explains your situation.

Whether on weathered wood or hanging from a tree or even both wedding signage looks best when it’s DIY.

A wooden sign? Hanging from a tree? Whats not to like?

A wooden sign? Hanging from a tree? What's not to like?

A wedding sign with personality - a rare thing.

A wedding sign with personality - a rare thing.

A classic wedding sign. No one would complain about this one.

A classic wedding sign. No one would complain about this one.

And a more controversial wedding sign.

And a more controversial wedding sign.

Distract them with details

In Decoration, Photography, Uncategorized on May 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Wedding guests are a little like small children who ignore their birthday present and spend hours playing with the cardboard box it came in – their interest is often not in what you’d expect. It’s the little, often inexpensive things that are remembered. You spend thousands on an expensive venue, and then people just remember that sweet thing you did with the hat clips or the seating plan board. Damn them. Unless, of course, you’re flat broke, have a cheap venue, cheap dress and cheap eats, in which case you’ll be happy they’re so easily pleased.

Here’s five ways to distract them with details:

1. Crazy table naming – do something special with your table names. Be it giant numbers, the names of your favourite films or, perhaps, all the places you had your best shags (“So daughter, why is our table called The Back of The Nissan Micra?”)

Giant table numbers

Giant table numbers

2. Giant balloons.

Giant white balloons fade any bouquet into paltry insignificance.

Giant white balloons fade any bouquet into paltry insignificance.

3. Chinese paper lanterns – each guest lets their off at the end of the evening. Watch them float away over the countryside (and hopefully not land in a tree, start a fire and land you in the dock on arson charges).

Fly me to the moon

Fly me to the moon

4. Windmills, masks and fake moustaches. All are amusing when discovered at table settings, after a couple of glasses of bubbly. Then again, most things are amusing after a couple of glasses of bubbly.

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5. Guest-generated photography. Disposable cameras on tables or a photo booth will create equal amounts of genius and terrible shots as well as the occasion rude photo of genitalia.

6. Sparklers – Even adults go gooey-eyed over sparklers

Vases to outshine your flowers

In Decoration, Flowers on May 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm

The cost of wedding flowers is an outrage. It’s a science fact. Luckily though, you can make up for any paucity of flowers, dodgy DIY centrepieces or lack of floral complexity by  the clever use of containers. Here’s the Credit Crunch Bride’s guide to vases to outshine your flowers:

1. The single stem vase. Elegant AND built for those with a very tight flower budget? This is as good as a baby without the childbirth.

Put single tall blooms in single stem vases for maximum dramatic effect

Put single tall blooms in single stem vases for maximum dramatic effect

2. Apothecary bottles a.k.a chemist’s bottles. These are perfect for the shabby chic look. For proper collectibles go here or here, otherwise you can pick them up on eBay for about a pound a pop.

Apothecary bottles

Apothecary bottles

3. Vintage bottles – Perfume bottles, old coca cola bottles, whatever the junk shop offers really.

4. Teapots. If you’re hesitating over doing that Alice in Wonderland theme, this could be the tipping point.

Teapots give flair to any floral arrangement, not matter how messy

Teapots give flair to any floral arrangement, not matter how messy

5. Jam jars. No country wedding is complete without wild flowers in jam jars.

6. Tin cans wrapped in pretty paper. An ultra low budget option for the baked bean eating bride.

7. Tureens and silver cups.Not necessarily cheap, but certainly cool.

No rose can look average in a silver goblet.

No rose can look average in a silver goblet.

8. Mismatching vintage vases. See Style Me Pretty’s eBay finds.

Lighting your way to a chic wedding venue

In Decoration on April 23, 2009 at 6:00 am

It’s the interior designer’s most famous secret – you can turn any interior into a haven of chic with some decent mood lighting. Turn even the most grim of village halls into welcoming place with some clever lighting. Here’s how:

1. Sack off overhead lighting. It makes everyone look ugly and no one wants to feel like they’re in a Topshop changing room.

2. Fairy lights work wonders. Make your own DIY flower fairy lights here.

Cherry blossom fairy lights could replace flowers at tables for evening weddings

Cherry blossom fairy lights could replace flowers at tables for evening weddings

3. Tea lights are cheap as chips and far less calorific. Hang them in jam jars outside for a higgedly piggedly country knees-up effect.

Cute AND wind-proof? Whatever next.

Cute AND wind-proof? Whatever next.

If wind is an issue, you could even go for LED fairy lights and make pretty covers for them, like this.

Make your own tea light covers (involves putting glued thread in the microwave)

Make your own tea light covers (involves putting glued thread in the microwave)

4. Church candles at every table create a feeling of opulence. Find them at online bulk discount stores like Candles on the web, Covent Garden Candles or for the Americans, Barn Loft Candles, though watch out you get decent ones not spluttery ones with wicks which burn too fast. Read the Independent article on church candles here.

Pillar candles at different heights. And a birdcage. It's lighting nirvana.

Pillar candles at different heights. And a birdcage. It's lighting nirvana.

5. Paper lanterns create soft, warm lighting, and are financially-friendly, easy to put up and even easier to take down afterwards.

Pack the ceiling with paper lanterns for a many mooned feel.

Pack the ceiling with paper lanterns for a many mooned feel.

6. Sparklers are a perfect end-of-the-night treat and create cutelicious photos.

One, two, three, aaaaaaaaaaaah.

Ribbons and bows (the recessionista’s secret weapon)

In Decoration, Ribbon on April 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Dupioni silk ribbon in Mica from Beau-coup

For the financially challenged bride, there are many things you can’t splurge on – the dress, the venue, the number of guests, the booze, the flowers. Luckily there is one thing that you can go crazy on, really splurge right ahead on, and comparatively not totally blow your budget. Yes, ribbons. You can fill your wedding with the most exotic, luxurious of ribbons. Add a swathe of Dupioni silk ribbon here and a loop of extra wide satin ribbon there for an atmosphere of outrageous opulence. Here’s where you can put ribbon to use at your wedding:

Big up the stripy ribbon

Big up the stripy ribbon

1. Wrapping your bouquet Huge draped bows of fine silk will add class to even the most amateurish of home-made bouquets.

2. Tied on invitations, placenames, signage or wedding favours.

3. Embellishing your dress

Embellish a plain wedding dress with a ribbon sash

Crazify a plain wedding dress with a ribbon sash

4. Tied in flower girls’ hair or even your own.

Velvet ribbon in hair

Velvet ribbon in hair

5. Round chair covers and wedding cake. Get some nice fat Grosgrain ribbon from CarnMeal.

6. Tied to tin cans

Ribbons on tin cans

Ribbons on tin cans

7. Instead of a ring cushion

Tie your ring to a ribbon

Tie your ring to a ribbon

Online Ribbon Suppliers in the UK: The Ribbon Company, Serendipity, Eden wedding design, Sheer Finesse, Ribbon Designs CarnMeal and Nostalgia Ribbon.

Stateside: Beau-coup and JKM Ribbons

Another recession-defying wedding theme: Alice in Wonderland

In cake, Decoration, Dresses, Readings, Themes on March 24, 2009 at 11:51 pm
Alice in Wonderland: the perfect Credit Crunch wedding theme

Alice in Wonderland: the perfect Credit Crunch wedding theme

So, here’s the secret. If your wedding isn’t being planned by The World’s Leading Wedding Planner with a diploma in Co-ordinating Colours, and is rather more of the budget variety, the Alice in Wonderland theme could be for you. It excuses all sorts of ridiculous randomness, wonky home-made cakes, mismatching decorations and strange behaviour. In fact, it encourages it.

Courtesy of Bridalcheek

Courtesy of Bridalcheek

Here’s a few requirements to keep the Cheshire cat grinning and the Mad Hatter sipping:

1. Croquet.

Croquet with flamingoes as mallets and hedgehogs as balls

Croquet with flamingoes as mallets and hedgehogs as balls

2. Wonky wedding cake. Get a friend to make one and encourage her to wonk it up.

3. Top hats. The more ridiculous and ill-fitting the better.

4. Eat me, drink me signs. These can be adapted for any situation throughout your venue. Drive me, follow me, avoid me, wee inside me etc.

5. Ornate tea cups for your very own Mad Hatter’s tea party. Indeed, add a tea party flavour to your canapes with tiny sandwiches and mini scones.

6. Whimsical nonsense such as stopped clocks.

Ushers with stripey socks: a must for all serious Lewis Carroll fans.

Ushers with stripey socks: a must for all serious Lewis Carroll fans.

7. Nonsensical readings such as:

The Bat
Lewis Carroll

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly
Like a tea-tray in the sky.

By Style Me Pretty

By Style Me Pretty

8. Hallucinogenic drugs. Then you can have all the experiences dear Alice had.

Anne Hathaway as the Alice in Wonderland brides muse

Anne Hathaway as the Alice in Wonderland bride's muse

9. Roses. No need to paint them red. That’s officially When A Theme Goes Too Far.

10. Playing Cards as favours. If you do favours, which I don’t. Though if you do, that’s fine too.

Alternative button holes (boutonnieres)

In Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm
Found on Thoughtful Day

Found on Thoughtful Day

If you can’t afford to spend on the big things, at least make the little things brilliant. So, you may have a reception in a draughty cowshed, but at least the ushers’ buttonholes (or boutonnieres) will be fabulous. Michelle Ragu made these beauties.

The autumnal button hole

The autumnal button hole

Make your own fabric boutonierres here:

From Once Wed

From Once Wed

From Once Wed

From Once Wed

And finally, LaLaLaurie from Etsy has some mad aunt inspired boutonnieres, full of buttons, feathers and birds.

Would look a treat on your most butch of ushers

Would look a treat on your most butch of ushers

Button holes which are a little less girly

Button holes that are a little less girly

Finding a boutonniere which isn’t effeminate can be an arduous task. A shell boutonniere is all very well for a beach wedding, and yes, silk boutonnieres will last forever, but they’re not exactly manly. What about a neatly folded pocket square? They set all the chaps suits off, are useful for wiping away tears and might even be used again. Learn how to fold one beautifully here.

The silk pocket handkerchief, perfect for an English gent.

The silk pocket handkerchief, perfect for an English gent.

Supermarket wedding flowers

In Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 24, 2009 at 1:07 pm

You know it makes sense. If a supermarket stocks them, they’ll be cheap and hardy. Here’s some ideas for those who wish to embrace Tesco’s Finest:

1. Re-doing a mixed bunch. Buy one of those mixed bunches from Asda, bin the excess foliage, remove any clashing colours, cut the stems to length, secure with wire, wrap in ribbon, bang in a few pearl headed pins, and wham bam thank you ma’am – Bouquet a la Supermarche.

Before

Before

After

After

2. Now for table displays, mums and daisies are easily available and work wonders if you’re looks for a sunny yellow theme.

Making the sun shine at Sainsbury's

Making the sun shine at Sainsbury's

3. Meanwhile a mix of irises, statis and carnations kicks ass if you’re doing a blue or lilac theme. There’s a guide to supermarket wedding flowers at Real Simple.

4. Pink carnations, a.k.a Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite are as ever, a winner. Mix them up with copious filler flowers.

Mix carnations up with lavender

Mix up your carnations

How to do a carnation display, according to Martha Stewart:

Hide distracting sepals and stems by clustering the blossoms into a tight dome. Soak five blocks of floral foam in water until saturated. Line up three of the blocks in a shallow bowl. Center another block on top of those three. Cut the remaining foam block in half, crossways, and place half on either side of the stack. Trim each carnation stem to two or three inches. Working your way from bottom to top, stick each carnation’s stem into the top foam block. When you’re finished, trim or rearrange flowers to fill out the dome and fix “bald” spot.

5. Tiny vases – This is a bit like the small plate principle when you’re dieting, except this is more of a floral diet. Even a tulip can look grand and imposing in a miniature vase.

From Toast and Tables

From Toast and Tables

6. No fear. It’s scary doing it yourself, but then so is ending up in years of pointless debt because of an outrageous floristry bill.

Watch this florists’s video on pros and cons of supermarket flowers – she says the quality is fine, the prices great, it’s just the arrangements that can be a little.. well.. common. However, with a bit of DIY rearrangment you’ll have flowers fit for a lady.

Other posts you might like:

The totally cheapest bridal bouquets ever – Part 2

The terribly cheap carnation bridal bouquet

The Totally Cheapest Ever Bridal Bouquets: Part 2

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 23, 2009 at 11:41 am

After the enthusiasm for The Totally Cheapest Bridal Bouquets Ever, it seems time to release Part 2. Ladies, put those floral worries aside, here’s some alternatives to the classic bridal bouquet:

1. The dried flower bouquet – it’ll never wilt and you can put it together yourself weeks before. Imagine the aroma of lavender wafting down the aisle.

Californian based Lavender Fanatic

Californian based Lavender Fanatic

2. The origami bouquet – if you are blessed with endless patience, this could be a route for you.

A solution for brides who don't have jobs

A solution for brides who don't have jobs

3. The Wire Bouquet – This one’s more for the rock chick bride. Make it barbed wire if you’re really alternative.

wire bouquet for the 'hard as nails' bride

wire bouquet for the 'hard as nails' bride

4. The Etsy bouquet – there’s always an alternative version of a bouquet on Etsy, which is an online marketplace for independent designers. Try The Storque for recent creations.

$105 for 24 silk roses, each with real branches

5. Balloons as your bouquet. Flower girls with miniature balloons? Whats not to like?

A bouquet of balloons

A bouquet of balloons

6. A fan. Blushing brides with fans are sexy, it’s a science fact.

7. Peacock feathers. A single one, or a fan of them.

The terribly cheap carnation bridal bouquet

In Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 22, 2009 at 10:06 am
Carnations can be delicate and elegant

Carnations can be delicate and elegant

The carnation is the recession-friendly flower. It symbolises love to your guests and a less badly dented wallet to you. They come in all the colours of the rainbow, are hardy and last days. Some say they are the flowers of petrol station forecourts. Some, like Charlotte in Sex in the City, call them ‘filler flowers’. Not I.

The power of a single colour. Kaboom.

The power of a single colour. Kaboom.

In single colours they have impact.

Two tone bouquet

Two tone bouquet

In two similar-but-different shades, they look as complex and interesting as George Clooney.

So many styles. Not sure about purple though, because purple is for crazies.

So many styles. Not sure about purple though, because purple is for crazies.

For glamour on an Audrey Hepburn level, add a brooch.

The monochrome bouquet

The monochrome bouquet

Martha Stewart shows you how to make a black tie carnation bouquet, with ingenious, but somewhat fiddly ribbon flowers…

Ribbon Flower How-To
For each flower, cut a 9 1/4-inch length of 1-inch-wide satin ribbon.

1. Measure 1/2 inch from one end; mark lightly in pencil. From there, mark 1 1/2-inch intervals five times (for five petals).

2. With matching thread, hand-stitch semicircles from mark to mark.

3. Pull thread to gather; knot.

4. Sew ribbon ends together, right sides facing, to make flower; snip off extra ribbon. For stem, stitch flower to looped and twisted end of white floral wire.