Monday, August 31, 2009

Wedding Favors
Kayla & Matthew Fall Wedding

Kayla and Matthew would like to send their guests home with bottles of the couple's favorite wine from White Oak Vineyards. They created their own labels for the bottles from Windsor Vineyards online label creator.

White Oak Vineyards
15065 NE White Oak Drive
Cambridge, IA 50046

Windsor Vineyards
9600 Bell Road
Windsor, CA 95492

Here's the actual look of the personalized wine bottles:

Next up, dress up Kayla & Matthew wedding party and enjoy the celebrations!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fall-inspired Wedding Cake
Kayla & Matthew Fall Wedding

Kayla and Matthew always wanted an unconventional wedding. With that, there is no exception for their wedding cake too!

They especially attracted by two cakes we found online.
First, a fall-inspired cake designed by Pink Cake Box. Thanks to Anne, the pastry chef and founder of Pink Cake Box (established in 2005).

Pink Cake Box Cake

This cake is highlighted with pumpkins, deep burnt orange and red fall leaves, and light brown branches curving along each tier. A "Just Married" wood sign on top of the 2nd tier tops off the autumn feel. The flavors include white cake with alternating layers of oreos and cream and peanut butter filling, and red velvet cake with lemon cream cheese.

Their wedding cake prices start at $5.00/serving for round buttercream cakes and $6.00/serving for round rolled fondant. Prices range up to $15/serving depending on detail work and design of the cake.

Don't stop here...if you are just like my wedding couple who fell in love with their cakes. Visit Pink Cake Box wedding cake gallery for more wedding cake inspirations.

Pink Cake Box
18 E Main Street, Suite 101
Denville, NJ 07834
Phone: 973.998.4445

Since the couple is going to hold the wedding in their hometown, West Des Moines, we found them a local bakery - Glorious Desserts, LLC.

Glorious Desserts is a small business found by Gloria Olson, she is the cake designer. Her cakes have been featured in American Cake Decorating, International Cake Exploration Magazine, Mailbox News, Chicago Sun Times, Des Moines Register, Des Moines Business Record, Honolulu Advertiser, The Californian, Clarion-Ledger, Reno Gazette Journal, USA Today, KKCI 8, WHOTV 13, and WOI 5.

Glorious Desserts has done a similar cake as the one we found from Pink Cake Box. By looking at so many wedding cakes they have done in the past, I am sure Glorious Desserts will be able to create an unconventional festive fall wedding cake for Kayla and Matthew. Can't wait to discuss further with its owner, Ms. Olson!

Their wedding cake prices start at $3.60/serving for buttercream and $4.50/serving for fondant. Pricing is based on the shape of the cake, color, type of icing and complexity of design.

One is not enough and you want more of their cakes? Visit their wedding cake gallery!

Glorious Desserts, LLC
Phone: 515.279.4944

Now that we have talked about the wedding cake, what's next?
Shall we move on to wedding favors before we start with the wedding party attire?
Stay tune.

Friday, August 28, 2009

First Signature Drinks as Husband & Wife
Signature Cocktails/Mocktails
Kayla & Matthew Fall Wedding

Kayla and Matthew visited Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) and instantly fell in love with two signature drinks featured in its website. They are Autumn Punch and Sparkling Cranberry Rose - fit into their fall wedding perfectly. A mixture (wine) in both drinks can be altered to cater for younger wedding attendants, where we can substitute wine with ginger ale soft drink (most children love ginger ale, including my 12-year old cousin ^.*).

Here are the recipes from BHG.

Autumn Punch
Fresh-sliced plums garnish a blend of apple-cranberry juice and sweet white wine*.
*For younger attendants, we will substitute white wine with ginger ale. So they can enjoy the party with their special drink too!

Sparkling Cranberry Rose
A fizzy blend of sugar cubes, cranberry juice, and rose wine* makes a delightful pre-dinner cocktail.
*For younger attendants, we will substitute rose wine with ginger ale.

If you have the budget to go for personalized napkins, why not?
We found this personalized party accessories website - - Launched in June 2004 by Sari. You will be the "napkins designer" to design your very own custom-made napkins - *like I did for Kayla and Matthew* see below...

Kayla and Matthew personalized napkins from

Thinking of cake - make it unexpected one!
Stay tune for our next posting.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Dress up" the Reception Hall
Kayla & Matthew Fall Wedding

Here's the exact mood inside the banquet hall (left picture) and the table setting color combo (right) we found from The Knot Real Weddings that matched Kayla and Matthew's Fall Wedding Reception. They are going to use wooden garden-style chairs, red linens, pure white dinnerware, orange napkins and lanterns to dress up their fall-inspired wedding theme.

How about the centerpieces?
Kayla and Matthew's fall centerpieces were inspired by Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) holiday decortations series.

There are three major centerpieces for alternate tables in the hall:
1. Display different shapes of white gourds on tiny pedestals as miniature sculptures. DIY? Where to find those tiny pedestals? Cut from old table legs and balusters (good suggestion from BHG)!
2. Arrange 4 orange gourds and 6 red dahlia blossoms symmetrically in a flat tray like the one in picture below. Floating gourds and dahlias will be nice too! Remember to show off your inner creativity to make your wedding day a memorable one!
3. Fill an assortment of glasses with water and float mini pumpkins, gourds and mum (chrysanthemum) inside.

Wow...I really like the idea of having "floating" centerpieces, instead of the conventional floral decors!

Now, let's complete the look of each table with a mini chalkboard as table numbers. Be sure everyone finds the right place to sit in and enjoy the rest of the evening!

Image from: Maria McBride
Celebration Designs for Holidays and Every Day

Are you ready? We are going to explore Kayla and Matthew's first signature drinks as husband and wife in our next posting!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Grand Entrance - Guests Signing Table - Escort Cards Setting
Kayla & Matthew Fall Wedding

We drape the reception entrance with flowy cheesecloth and tie the drape with rustic grapevines and orange/red hypericum berries. Grapevines wreaths will be hung on each door and on top of the grand entrance. The idea inspired by Tricia and Jon's wedding in Cuba, MO.

Furthermore, we will place pumpkin lanterns we bought from Ballard Designs at both sides of the entrance to keep the fall festive mood throughout the wedding.

Kayla and Matthew wanted a wishing tree and family photo-display at their guests signing table.

I personally think it is a good idea to bring in wedding shots from family members (image from Sweet Life Photography). It is so lovely and it fits the
something old and something borrowed elements from wedding tradition.

Unlike traditional signing book, Kayla and Matthew decided to have a wishing tree with wishes from all their invited guests. They plan to frame the wishing tree and display it at their new home as a good luck charm (blessed by all their family members and friends) for their family. Isn't it sweet?

A fun and inexpensive way to display wedding guests' escort cards.
The idea inspired by one of The Knot real weddings - Ali and Elliot's indoor wedding in Calistoga, CA.

In Kayla and Matthew's wedding, we will change the setting to incorporate the fall decor which inspired by the fall display prepared by members at Garden Patch Farms. Fall decor including pumpkins, gourds, haystacks, and pots of mums. Then escort cards will be hung from the wooden ladders borrowed from the vineyard owner. Oh...I just love this!

That's not all...we have more to come.
Stay tune for Kayla & Matthew's centerpieces for reception, signature drinks, wedding cake, candy bar (maybe?!), and wedding favor!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lights up the path!
Kayla & Matthew Fall Wedding

To lead Kayla and Matthew's guests from their outdoor ceremony to reception hall, we decided to place pumpkin candle holders with curved monograms and hang Chinese lanterns accented with matching ribbons on shepherd hooks along the path. It is an inexpensive and yet festive way to brighten up the path!

DIY Pumpkin Candle Holders
The couple will have their family members and friends to run a DIY project on the day before their wedding day (before/after the rehearsal dinner). This is a great ice-breaking idea for family members and friends from both sides who do not know each other well yet.

Here, we have DIY steps directed by David Fisher at (with images):

Here's the effect when the day glows dark!

Let the inner you to be creative
Stay tune for Kayla and Matthew's touching and sensational reception grand entrance decor, guests signing table decor, and escort cards display coming up next!

Ceremony Decor
Kayla & Matthew Fall Wedding

My wedding couple. Kayla and Matthew would like to exchange their vows under the TREE, which is perfect for a fall outdoor wedding! We found a big oak tree in White Oak Vineyards Iowa. Instead of customary seating, our seats at the ceremony site are inspired by haystacks. Haystacks can be easily found at any vineyard/farm/orchard/ranch. To incorporate my wedding couple's theme color into wedding elements, we decided to place colorful cloths on top of each haystack. We will have orange, red, and green cloths on each haystack.

Shall we dress up our giant oak tree? We shall!
Let's bring in Chinese round lanterns in different sizes and colors; and hang them on the tree. The lanterns create romantic touch to the wedding. What else? Oh yes, not to forget to add a personal touch by creating a white monogram board and hang it in front of the oak tree. This is lovely and picture-perfect for their wedding ceremony.

To complete the romantic wedding ceremony at vineyard, we will create a wooden wedding sign board with the couple's names and wedding date.

~ Romance ~

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kayla & Matthew Fall Wedding

For Kayla and Matthew's* wedding save-the-date cards, invitations, reception cards, escort cards, and thank-you cards, we choose Rustic Romance Collection designed by Tallu-lah for Wedding Paper Divas. With the country vineyard that is full of elegance and charm, we ensure that the couple's guests will be drowned in the mood for magic and merlot.

Save-the-date cards, Invitations, Reception cards, Escort cards, & Thank-you cards

On the other hand, we get them simple wedding programs and menu cards for them instead. Even it is different from their wedding invitations, the wedding programs and menu cards are still in accord with their theme color (Orange).

Wedding Programs

Menu Cards
Wedding Paper Divas

Kayla and Matthew's ceremony and reception decors are next (tomorrow, 8/24/09).
Stay tune !

*For a more personal approach, we made up a plan for our imaginary couple who will be walking down the aisle in October 20th, 2010.
Ceremony & Reception Venue
Kayla & Matthew Fall Wedding

Fall...season of the year with warm and bold colors. Orange, yellow, red, burgundy, brown, and other rich harvesting colors. You would love your wedding details that come with interesting texture and rich in colors.

First, think of a place where you and your fiance may exchange vows in front of the natural scene of harvesting season - giving an earthy touch to your wedding. There are a few options where you can choose from, depending on you and your fiance's lifestyle and preference.

What kind of setting appealing to both of you the most? What ambience you want to incorporate into your wedding? Is it an intimate or formal event?
  • If your family has a farm/orchard available for your wedding date, why not having an intimate family and friends gathering in this private estate? If you have out-of-town guests, you can even organize a day trip at the orchard for the current fruits picking season before your wedding day. That is a good ice-breaking idea for family members and friends from both bride's and groom's sides who might not know each other.
  • Secondly, what about a private backyard celebration at your grandparents' house? I am sure they will be very happy to have you there and that could be the something old and something borrowed for your wedding.
  • Finally, if you and your fiance are wine lover, the first choice you will think of is the vineyard wedding. Never worried of running out of good wines for your celebration!
Vineyard wedding sounds interesting.
Let us draft a festive vineyard wedding for Kayla and Matthew* from West Des Moines, IA! Today is 8/23/09. It is about 14 months away from their wedding day. Perfect timing for the planning!

Wedding date: October 20, 2010
Ceremony and Reception: White Oak Vineyards Iowa
Theme colors: Orange, Red, & Green
Number of guests: 150


White Oak Vineyards Iowa (WOVI)

WOVI is located 15 minutes from Des Moines and Ames; and 20 minutes from the west side of Des Moines. Nestled in the White Oak Creek Valley and surrounded by acres of vines, their winery provides a unique setting for Kayla and Matthew's special day. It has a banquet facility that holds 300 people and a tasting room that will hold around 75 people. Either room would work for ceremony and reception. Besides that, they also have a gazebo on the grounds that is available for outdoor weddings.

Congratulations on your engagement, Kayla and Matthew*!
I look forward to planning your fall wedding!
More wedding details coming up next, stay tune.

*For a more personal approach, we made up a plan for our imaginary couple who will be walking down the aisle in October 20th, 2010.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Your Mad Men '60s Style Wedding

New found!
Besides, my Julie & Julia inspired wedding... has another idea on retro style wedding which inspired by AMC's hit drama! They introduced 10 ways to incorporate the retro style from "Mad Men" into your wedding day.

  1. Birdcage Veil - give you a vintage look
  2. Gloves
  3. Retro Hairdo - wavy cascading hairstyle
  4. Gown with Sleeves
  5. Stylish Hat for the Groom
  6. Pear Necklace
  7. '60s Bridesmaid Dress
  8. '60s Cocktail Drinks
  9. Hot Red Lip Color
  10. Antique Bridal Car - snag a retro ride on your big day!

Happy Planning!

Sources & Photo Credits:
1. Accessories Features,,
2. Mad Men Gallery, Amctv,
3. Mad Men Drama Gallery, Internet Movie Database,

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Birthday Gift to Myself

A simple, and yet meaningful piece to add on another colorful page/story in my life!
Happy 23rd!

*** Birthday wishes ***

~ Become the most sought-after Wedding Planner ~
~ Happy, HAPPY, Happy Family ~
~ Friendship Forever ~

~ Thank you everyone who makes an effort to paint your love in my story ~

I love and cherish...
my dad, mom, fiance, aunts, uncles, sisters, brother-in-law, cousins, and all my friends^.
Love you !

^The list will go on forever, you know who you are *.^

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fashion Show
The Everything Bridal Show by Hy-Vee, Inc.

What to expect on the Fashion Runway?

Here is the list of all participating wedding formal attire vendors:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Everything Bridal Show
By Hy-Vee, Inc.

~ To every bride-to-be in Central Iowa ~
Do not
miss out one of Central Iowa's largest wedding shows!

  • Bridal seminars
  • Latest bridal fashion show (LIVE)
  • Participating vendors showcasing their wedding planning services you need
  • Fabulous prizes and giveaways from selected vendors
  • On top of that, brides and grooms may enter to win one of four worth $1000 cash prizes away!
  • Plus, admission to the event is FREE!

Host: Hy-Vee, Inc.

Venue: Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des Moines

Date: September 13, 2009 (Sunday)

Time: 10am - 3pm

click here for show details

Stay tune for more on Hy-Vee The Everthing Bridal Show.

Happy Planning!

Le Chateau Satin Bubble Bridesmaid Dress
Available at eBay

Hi everyone!
I have recently attended my friend's wedding as her bridesmaid and now I would like to sell the dress to girls who love the dress as much as I do.

It is now available in eBay! Click here.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

1960s-inspired Bachelorette Party Attire

Having a 1960s wedding theme as inspired by the movie "Julie & Julia"?
Why not incorporate 1960s fashion into your Bachelorette Party and have fun with your girls?

No matter a pencil skirt or an A-line skirt...remember to wear a special headpiece/fascinator or the popular pillbox hat. It is enough to make a statement to the 1960s fashion.

I found an online business,, that sells vintage formal dresses that you and your guests may dress up like 1960s ladies.


A lovely 1960's day dress in white cotton with green and pink dogwood print.
- Cuffed cap sleeves - Matching tie belt -

A nice 1960's evening dress in a bold flocked floral.
- A square front and back neckline - 13" side seam slit -


A pretty 1960's cocktail dress in white lace over taupe acetate all topped with taupe chiffon.
- Sleeveless - Draped neckline - Pencil skirt - Short rear center seam slit - Matching belt -


A simple, pretty 1960's cocktail dress in black velveteen with crocheted trim at the arms and neckline.
- Sleeveless - Back buttons - Bow at waist - 4" rear center seam slit -

A classic 1960's cocktail dress in orangey red lace and acetate.
- Short sleeved lace bodice - Bow at waist - Rear center seam vent -


A wonderful late 1950's/early 1960's cocktail dress in tan nylon chiffon with orange and brown flocking.
- Sleeveless - High neck - "V" back neckline - Waistband -


A charming 1960's cocktail dress in shimmering gold lace.
- Sleeveless - Bateau neckline with "V" back - Gold lame waist band with bow -


A feminine 1960's cocktail dress in pink chiffon.
- Sleeveless - Round neck and scooped back with a lovely drape -


Here's my suggestion for the bride ~

A two tones prom gown on your 60s Bachelorette Party!

I am sure you will be the most outstanding bride!

Enjoy your special moments with the girls!

Shopping list:

1. Vintage Formal Dresses by, Vintage Clothing,
2. Pearl Necklace, Pure Pearls,
3. Stuart Weitzman Piccerelli Leather Heels, Gotham City Online,
4. Cocktail Hat with Veil and Feathers, Sarah McAlister,
5. Cocktail Pillbox Hat,