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Just Started Planning the Man Cave

When I bought this house I was pretty sure what I want to do with the basement, although it was not obvious that Jan was going to go along. Of course money is an issue. We bought the place because it was cheap, even though it was a lot bigger than what we needed. There were three bedrooms and two full baths upstairs. The house was a split level design with an unfinished basement. We already have some of the Direct TV sports packages, but just the one that they give you when you sign up for free. It is the NFL Sunday kick off I think, at any rate it is going to be pretty awesome when the Panthers season gets started in around a month from now. It would be a lot better if Benjamin was not out for the season, but it is a really tough game . So I have just started planning the features that I really need in a well equipped Man Cave.

I Have Began to Study in Canada

I have been up at McGill University for the past month or so. I am sort of like an exchange student and the program I am in is going to last around six months in total. So far it is really nice to be me. It seems like the girls up here are fascinated by my accent. They apparently never met anyone from the Texas Hill country and they think I am some sort of cowboy. The only thing I have not liked is that my US netflix does not want to work right up here unless I jump through some hoops and use this web page that I found. If I do not I end up with the Canadian version of Netflix. Of course that has not be a huge deal to me really. I have been too busy to care that much and I really did not have to work too hard to get around the problem.

How to Find a Cheap Wedding Photographer

After all the confetti is swept up, your wedding dress is preserved and stored and you’ve sent out thank you notes, your memories and the wedding photos are all you’ll have left to remember one of the most important days in your life. While everyone wants quality photographs, budget considerations often take precedence. You don’t have to hire the most expensive photographer in town, however, to obtain photos that will make you smile each time you see them.

Instructions

  1. Look for a lesser known wedding photographer in your area. While the big names can afford to charge the most, a shutterbug who’s just getting started often charges more reasonable rates. Ask to review a portfolio to ensure that the photographer you hire does quality work.
  2. Shop around for a studio whose work you admire and book one of its associate photographers rather than the lead photographer. You can expect the studio’s stamp of quality without paying the huge price associated with the lead photographer.
  3. Compare apples to apples. While one photographer may charge less for her time, she may charge more when it comes to items like reprints, albums and frames. Obtain a price list from each of the photographers you are considering and determine an approximate total cost for each.
  4. Hire a student photographer. Contact your local college and ask the head of the photography program for recommendations of particularly talented students. Interview a couple, view their portfolios and select the one you prefer.

How to Create a Seating Chart for Your Wedding Reception

You’ve bought the dress, arranged your flowers and your RSVPs are flooding in. While it may seem tempting to just throw place cards in the air and let your guests sit at any table, it could cause friction and upset on your wedding day. You only get one chance to get it right, so it’s worth making the effort to arrange your guests properly. If done well, it will guarantee your wedding being a success with all who attend.

Instructions

  1. Familiarize yourself with the layout of the venue. Use a large piece of paper to sketch out each table, taking into account its size and how many seats it can handle. Draw in where the DJ or band will be performing, exits, disabled entrances and restrooms.
  2. Assign each table a title according to your wedding theme, or simply number each one.
  3. Gather your RSVP cards and start classifying your guests according to relationship, such as family, work colleagues, childhood friends, family friends, etc. Doing this will allow you to group people appropriately.
  4. Assign family members first, which will whittle down your seating dilemmas. Family should be seated as close to the head table as possible. Take into account any disputes among relatives and separate those people accordingly. Seat elderly family members away from loud speakers.
  5. Make sure there is an even number of men and women at each table.
  6. Seat children under 8 at the same table as their parents. If you have a group of tweens or teens, give them their own table; they may prefer that to sitting with adults.
  7. Seat singles at tables with other singles, couples and families. Avoid having a “singles table.”
  8. Assign two empty tables where vendors can eat during their breaks, or to accommodate last-minute guests who did not RSVP.
  9. Once your plan is complete, prepare a large seating diagram that shows the assignments. This should be on hand at the venue in case of any problems on the day.
  10. Write up your place cards once your plan is complete. For a personal touch, add a handwritten note inside each card, such as: “Thank you for coming such a long way to join us in our special day”. While it may take longer, your guests will appreciate your effort.
  11. Alphabetize your place cards. When you present them to your caterer, explain clearly that they are in order and should be set out this way. If any become disorganized, then the caterer can place them back in order.

Tulle Wedding Decoration Ideas

The right wedding decorations for the ceremony and reception pull everything together. Combining the right materials, colors and designs give the overall wedding a polished look and set the tone. Using tulle for your wedding decorations adds a touch of class and lends to a romantic fairytale-like setting.

Ceremony

  • Tulle can be used in the ceremony in a few ways. If there is a unity candle being lit, or another meaningful tradition, tulle may be woven around the table with strings of light or silk ribbon.
    Pew decorations will have a simple elegance when you use tulle bows with tails of tulle and ribbon. Add a small bouquet of sample flowers from the bride’s bouquet, or just use the bows alone as decoration. You can also hang swags at the end of each row of guests.
    Wrap tulle around stairway banisters and entranceways. If an arch is used, tulle can be wrapped around the arch or draped from the arch to have a dream-like effect.
    If you are having an outdoor wedding, mark the walking paths by making a delicate fence out of tulle. Rent stands and rope the tulle across the hooks. Place a battery-lit candle or flowers on top of the stands.

Reception

  • Create a beautiful ceiling canopy by draping tulle from the ceiling to hang over the dance floor or the head table.
    Plain white chairs can be dressed up with colored tulle bows that match the wedding colors. You can also make a chair wrap by pulling 4-foot long pieces of tulle around the chair and tie with a square knot. You can decorate the back with a pull bow.
    Tulle can also be strategically placed around the cake table or draped from the head table.
    Use the tulle as a runner and sprinkle confetti or rose petals around it. For a beautiful shine, scatter clear flat marbles on top of the table, surrounding the cake, unity candle, gifts or centerpiece.
    Tulle can be incorporated into the centerpieces by adding bows or wrapping the tulle around the base of a candleholder or vase.
    Use tulle as a wrap for bird seeds, bubbles and favors.

Other Considerations

  • Use white tulle for a classic, timeless look or use colored tulle to coordinate your decorations with the rest of the wedding theme. Better yet, mix some white tulle with colored tulle for a completely different look by twisting them together.
    You can create unique decorations by adding greenery, colored ribbons, flowers and bows to your tulle. For an extra special touch that adds a touch of romance, place a string of lights behind the tulle.

Safety

  • If you are using tulle near hot items, candles or other open flames, make sure the tulle is placed so that it will not catch on fire. Safety trumps decorations any time.

Preservation

  • Put your finished tulle decorations in plastic bags or containers. Do not cram them in as they smash easily. You will want them in perfect shape for your wedding day.

Ideas for Wedding Picture Poses

Wedding pictures are one way for a happy couple to hang on to memories from the day of their wedding. Though wedding photos depict the wedding party together as well as the bride and groom on their own, there are many different options. Wedding photos can capture the fun and spontaneity of the wedding, along with the solemn moments, so consider what wedding poses you might like to see.

Before the Ceremony

  • Before the wedding ceremony, take pictures of the wedding party getting ready. Get a shot of the bride and her mother adjusting the veil and the bridesmaids helping arrange the dress. Set up a shot where the groom and the groomsmen are having their boutonnieres attached to their clothes. Get pictures of the relatives arriving at the venue and of the bride being helped into the car by her father.

Group Photos

  • While pictures of the bride and the groom together are important, put together a few shots of the wedding party as well. A shot of all of the parents of the marrying couple and shots of the two mothers is a good idea. Get pictures of the bridesmaids together and pictures of the bride with each bridesmaid. You may also want shots of the groomsmen and bridesmaids in pairs or in one large group.

Reception

  • During the reception, people will be much more relaxed, so take the opportunity to take candid shots. Take pictures of people dancing together, and don’t forget to a get a few pictures of the children at the ceremony as well. You may choose to pose the children near the cake or the food and get their reactions to the elaborate desserts. Wait until the DJ plays some lively songs and get pictures of people having fun on the dance floor.

Bride and Groom Poses

  • While there is the standard bride and groom pose with the two facing the camera with their bodies turned toward each other, there are many other poses to choose from. Place the bride in a chair and place the groom behind her with his hand on her shoulder for a more classic pose, or place the bride above the groom on the stairwell, looking down upon him lovingly. For a more casual shot, place the bride in the groom’s lap, or take shots of them kissing, half-hidden behind her veil.

How to Decorate Your Wedding Cake Table for Pictures

One aspect of a wedding reception that guests look forward to is seeing your wedding cake. When you decorate the table that holds the cake, you positively impact the visual that your guests receive as well as the photographs of the wedding cake that are likely to end up in your wedding album. A photo of the wedding cake table is a staple shot for most wedding photographers. Decorate the table to enhance your the overall tone and style of your wedding.

Instructions

  1. Cover the cake table with a tablecloth. This provides a clean backdrop that adds a splash of color or texture to the photographs.
  2. Drape a table runner down the center of the table that the cake can rest on, or place a flat mirror on the table and set the cake on it. Both embellishments call further attention to the centerpiece of the table — the wedding cake.
  3. Sprinkle rose petals around the base of the cake for a romantic touch. Lay the bridesmaids’ bouquets on the tables, with the blooms pointing out and the flower stems pointing toward the cake to create a floral border.
  4. Scatter beads, gemstones and rhinestones around the cake for a touch of sparkle and glitz. Place small, flat, circular mirrors around the base of the cake for a contemporary look.
  5. Attach a strand of white Christmas lights around the edges of the table to illuminate the cake, or set electric candles around the cake to cast a soft glow on it. Refrain from using actual candles because the warmth of the flames can melt the cake’s icing.
  6. Position any other wedding items you would like to highlight in a wedding photo on or around the cake. For example, hang the bride and groom’s wedding bands from the cake topper. Place the couple’s toasting champagne flutes next to the cake. Lay the bride’s garter and bouquet next to the cake. By highlighting the cake, you can simultaneously capture photos of other important wedding elements as well.
  7. Position the cake cutting knife and serving knife next to the cake. These are often engraved and used for traditional wedding-reception events such as the bride and groom cutting the cake and feeding it to each other.

6 Out of the Box Wedding Ideas for 2016

Weddings! It seems to be the season and, if you’re anything like me, they’re all starting to look feel and sound the same. Your day shouldn’t be like everyone else’s day – especially if, like me, you’re not like everyone else! Here are some beautiful ideas to help you add a little bit of amazing to your special day!

Love Letter Bouquet: It’s a staple and it’s a tradition, but it doesn’t mean it has to be traditional or held together by staples! If you and Mr Right corresponded over the years, why not make a wonderful bouquet from your letters (or copies thereof, if you’re precious about them)? Emails, birthday, Xmas and Valentine’s Day cards work just as well!

Booze pairing: We all like to have a drink, and we like our food – especially at weddings (and especially with an open bar!). Matching the two can have gastronomic as well as conversational benefits. Some of my fav’s are the mini-taco/tequila chaser pairing, and themini-burger/beer pairing!

Tiny food: Speaking of tiny treats, are you tired of waiting 5 hours for the giant, heavy meal (usually from the buffet), only to feel stuffed and sleepy after gorging yourself? These days many couples are seeing the value of serving more of less. Not only does canapé style dining not put your guests to sleep, you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket (so to speak) with three distinct meals that may or may not be amazingand you’re allowing yourself far more creativity! This was a huge success at our wedding, and we served everyone a portion of something delicious every half hour until the dance floor opened. Celebrations were had! 

Edible Centrepieces: Flowers cost a fortune, and usually end up in the bin (or the bridesmaid’s purse). Also, there’s generally quite a lot of time between starters and mains, which leaves people snacky, and sometimes a little tipsy, too. An edible centrepiece, comprised of fruit, nuts, treats and snack can be more than visually appealing, it can be tasty, too!

Theme photos: No, I don’t mean you and the ‘maids all leaping into the air at the same time, or the happy couple lying in a field of wheat, staring (somewhat) lovingly into each others’ eyes. Let the ‘normal’ people do those – and there are enough of them. The photos you take are going to be the strongest memory you have of your day, and they deserve to be special! So, go for broke. Here are some ideas:

Hey – it’s your day, and they should be your photos!

Personal hangover kit: Listen, we all get them… and now you can get these! As personalised and individual as your wedding is, it is jam packed with pain pills, snacks, treats and water (and maybe a Renée Zellweger movie?) that will show your best friends and family just how much you appreciate them, and how much your dad appreciates the bar tab afterwards!

These are just a few of the ideas that can make your wedding just that little bit more unique, talked about and a memory people will fondly hold on to for years to come! If you’re really stuck, try a good wedding planner for some out of the ideas and direction!

How to Give a Wedding Reception Speech

Being asked to give a speech at a wedding reception is generally considered to be an honor. After all, the bride and groom wouldn’t have asked you to give a speech honoring them at their reception if they didn’t consider you a dear friend (and someone likely to say good things about them!). In order to live up to this flattering gesture of trust, you need to make sure your speech goes off without a hitch and is the best that it can be.

Instructions

  1. Write a rough outline ahead of time. Think of all of the wonderful things you could say about the bride and groom and put all of these points down on paper. Search your memory for the earliest recollections you have of the two of them, and include some more recent points, as well.
  2. Flesh out your outline into a full speech, then mercilessly edit it to keep it within 3 to 5 minutes in length. When editing, make sure you retain the most sentimental parts of the speech, as sentimentality is what a wedding reception speech is all about.
  3. Throw in a few humorous anecdotes. The speech will be more interesting to your audience if they have a few opportunities to laugh. Three to four points of humor are usually adequate in a wedding reception speech.
  4. Pause from time to time. This will give your audience time to absorb what you’re saying and reflect on pertinent points. It will also help to keep you from sounding like a robot that’s talking too fast.
  5. Rest your hands on a lectern or keep them at your sides while you speak. Waving your hands about during a speech is distracting for the audience.
  6. Look your audience members in the eye as you speak. A good rule of thumb is to move your eye contact from person to person in the audience, never retaining any one person’s gaze for longer than 3 seconds at a time.
  7. Keep a notecard of the bullet points of your speech in one hand and refer to it, if necessary. If you need to look at the card, only glance at it long enough to remember what you want to talk about, then go back to looking at your audience.

How to Dry a Wedding Bouquet

The wedding bouquet is probably the most memorable bouquet of flowers that one will ever have. That’s why so many brides want to dry their wedding bouquet so that they can enjoy it for years to come. Use the following to learn how to dry a wedding bouquet that will be a keepsake for you to cherish.

The Easiest Way to Dry a Wedding Bouquet

  1. Remove any dangling stems or leaves that wilted during all the wedding festivities.
  2. Find a location to hang your wedding bouquet that will be dark and dry. A closet is a great location as long as there’s enough room to hang the bouquet where it will not be touching anything else. Another good location to hang your wedding bouquet is a bathroom as long as it’s an extra room not being used. Hang the bouquet upside down with a sturdy ribbon or cord so that the bouquet can dry out without lights or sunlight to wash out the colors of the flowers.
  3. Leave the bouquet in the dark and dry area for at least 4 or 5 days. If you can just continue to let it hang there for a couple of weeks is even better.
  4. Spray the dried wedding bouquet lightly with a floral spray for dried flowers. This will seal and protect the dried flowers. Purchase the floral spray at a hobby or craft store in their floral department. Use unscented hairspray if you are not able to find or purchase the floral spray. Let this dry thoroughly.
  5. Place your dried wedding bouquet on a stand, under a dome or in a keepsake display box. The dried flowers in the bouquet are fragile, so you will need to handle the bouquet with care.

The More Complex Way to Dry a Wedding Bouquet

  1. Snip the stems from the wedding bouquet that wilted or became too mushy to try to keep.
  2. Take the wedding bouquet apart very carefully so that you do not damage any of the flowers. Unwrap or untie any sashes or ribbons holding the bouquet together. Take photos of the bouquet prior to taking it apart to remember how the flowers in the bouquet looked. You might want to take some notes while you are taking the bouquet apart.
  3. Place each flower separately in a variety of containers, shallow bowls or tins that are half-filled with silica gel. The purpose of the silica gel is to take the moisture out of the flower while it preserves the shape and color. The silica gel is not a gel, but rather a sandy looking substance or a granular substance. Put the containers with the flowers out of any light or moisture for at least a week.
  4. Remove the flowers from the silica gel and carefully lay them out on a counter surface. Arrange the flowers back into the wedding bouquet. This may be a bit difficult to do, so refer to your photos and notes to help you reassemble the dried wedding bouquet.
  5. Spray the dried wedding bouquet with a floral spray for dried flowers. Use unscented hairspray if you do not have the floral spray.
  6. Display or store your dried wedding bouquet how you wish.

How to Make a Wildflower Wedding Centerpiece Cheap

Weddings can be an extravagant and expensive affair. The dress, the venue, the food and the flowers can all cost you an arm and a leg. But with a little creativity you can have a beautiful, welcoming affair that everyone will enjoy. If you are having a spring wedding consider making your own centerpieces. Wildflowers provide the perfect atmosphere and can add a light, whimsical tone to the wedding.

Instructions

  1. Visit your local farmers market and begin making connections with local farmers and gardeners. You can find out which flowers are in season during your wedding months and what will be available. The grower will be able to help you decide which colors or flowers you want to work with. These types of sellers will be much cheaper than any florist. Put in a bulk order with the local gardener.
  2. Go to flea markets and thrift stores searching for beautiful old vases. You don’t need everything to match. In fact, it will appear more cohesive if none of the vases are the same. You want a relaxed vibe. If you are having trouble finding vases you can always find Mason jars at large stores like Wal-Mart.
  3. Select embellishments. You can always jazz up your centerpieces a little bit without going way over budget. Visit local craft stores and glance at feathers, beads, pearls, decorative butterflies or birds, and sparkling wire. You can incorporate some of these elements into your floral arrangements for a more fanciful look.
  4. Prep the flowers the morning of the wedding. Cutting the flowers too early could mean that they wilt or lose their petals. Arrange to have the flowers cut and picked up the morning of your wedding.
  5. Ask your friends for help. Arrange the flowers in the vases or jars. Describe how you want to use your embellishments and arrange them with the wildflowers. You can pin the decorative birds or butterflies to the sparkly wire and wrap it around the mouth of the vase, or intertwine the wire with the flowers. Make your vision come to life.
  6. Display the centerpieces on every table.

Flower Ideas for a Gold Wedding

Using the color gold at a wedding represents luxury and elegance. However, an excess of gold may appear gaudy and inappropriate. Instead of inundating your wedding with gold items, place the color in strategic places. For example, when held next to a white wedding gown, a gold wedding bouquet is sure to look brilliant. A variety of techniques can be used to create a gorgeous wedding bouquet for your gold wedding.

Flowers

  • Only one flower is naturally available in a true gold color, astrantia. The astrantia flower features an interesting shape that resembles a starburst. The bloom consists of bunches of tightly packed florets, which are held in place by an edge of petals. They have a casual, yet modern appearance and are relatively inexpensive. Astrantia blooms are slightly small with a light gold color.

    As an alternative to gold flowers, consider using yellow flowers. There are a wide variety of yellow flowers available, although you will likely want to choose blooms that most closely match your color scheme. Popular choices include daffodils, Gerbera daisies, calla lilies and roses. If there is a specific flower that you would like to use, that is not available in gold or yellow, consider using floral spray. Gold floral spray can be sprayed directly on fresh flowers, giving them a metallic gold color.

    Be careful not to overdo the gold color scheme. Instead of focusing entirely on gold, mix your gold or yellow flowers with white flowers; this should allow for an understated, yet elegant, gold wedding bouquet.

Accessories

  • A variety of gold accessories can be added to your wedding flowers to incorporate your gold theme into the bouquet, as demonstrated on Afloral’s Inspirational Bridal Boards. Curly sticks of gold Ting Ting can be easily added into your bouquet to provide color and sparkle. Ting Ting is a natural plant that has been preserved and dyed. Often covered in sparkly glitter, Ting Ting adds flair and interest to any floral arrangement. Add gold Ting Ting to a bouquet of white flowers for a simple and elegant gold bouquet. Additionally, wrap chic gold ribbon around the stems of your flowers to hold them together. Or, for added flair, wrap the stems in white or black ribbon, but secure the ribbon with a sparkly gold pin.

Considerations

  • Oftentimes, a wedding scheme will consist of two colors, rather than just one. If you are having a gold wedding, consider the second color on which you plan to focus. In many cases, gold is combined with white, black, dark brown, hunter green, navy blue or burgundy. These colors provide a subtle contrast to the color, while allowing the sparkle of gold to shine through. If you are using a second color for your wedding scheme, incorporate that color into your wedding flowers as well.

How to Make a Round Gerber Daisy Wedding Bouquet

Gerbera daisies are ideal for a wedding bouquet. Daisies are big — 3 to 5 inches across — so you don’t need many to form a bouquet. The flowers last long in bouquets, and arrangements are reasonably priced. And, they come in lots of different colors, except blue. If you have your heart set on blue as a color, use white gerbera daisies, accented with blue dyed baby’s breath, tied with blue ribbons.

Instructions

  1. Cut 1/2 inch off the bottom of the gerbera daisy stems and place in cool water for at least an hour before you start arranging. The water should come up to the bottom of the flowers if possible. Gerbera daisies have hollow stems. This gives the flowers a chance to hydrate.
  2. Wipe the large, flat leaves off with a soft cloth dipped in milk. The milk gives a shine to the leaves and cleans off any dirt or debris. Place the leaves in a separate vase with water.
  3. Remove a flower from the water. Cut the stem 12 inches long. Place the floral wire next to the stem. Hold it in place with the thumb and forefinger of your nondominant hand. Twirl the stem and wrap the wire around the stem with your dominant hand. Each turn of the wire should be about 1 to 2 inches apart. Replace in the water and continue wiring each daisy.
  4. Pick up one wired daisy in your nondominant hand. Place three more daisies around the first daisy. Hold them in your hand. The flower heads should all be at the same height. Tie the daisies together with a bit of string about 4 inches down the stem. Place five to seven daisies in a circle around the three daisies. Tie the entire group of daisies together. Place the bouquet in a vase of water.
  5. Cut the stems of the large leaves so they are long enough to form a round frame for the bouquet. Overlap the stems so the daisies are encircled by the leaves. Tie the stems around the daisy stems with string.
  6. Pick up the bouquet in your nondominant hand. Bend the stems of the three daisies around the center daisy so the flowers are facing slightly outward. Bend the stems of the outer ring of daisies so they’re facing outward just slightly more than the inner three daisies.
  7. Wrap the stems of the daisies and leaves with ribbon covering them from about 3 inches from the flower heads to within 2 inches of the stems. Secure the top and bottom of the ribbon with pearl-tipped stick pins. Angle the pins so they don’t come out the other side of the stems.

How to Decorate a Backyard for a Wedding Reception

Transform a backyard into a magical space with flowers, candles, twinkle lights and sparkling accessories, where family and friends gather for a wedding finale — the reception. Large or small, a backyard is a frugal choice for a reception, and a familiar and comfortable space for the happy couple and their guests.

Make It Magical

  • The reception may start in the afternoon and last into the night, requiring lighting to make it magical. Outdoor dusk/dawn sensors plug into outlets and turn on the lights when the sun goes down. String twinkle lights overhead in tree branches or under a patio cover to add stars to the darkening sky. Candle lanterns hanging from shepherd’s hooks or from the trees add a flickering, romantic ambiance to the landscape.

    Add rope lights for pathways, keeping guests safely out of the flowerbeds as they admire the landscape. Upward-pointing landscape lights highlight the trees and shrubs around the perimeter of the garden. Change the bulbs to green or blue to soften the lighting.

Add Scent and Color

  • Day or night, adding additional flowers and greenery to the garden brings out the beauty of a simple backyard. Tuck potted plants around the patio or under the trees. White gardenias add their sweet scent to the air, while fragrant salvias attract hummingbirds and butterflies during the day to charm your guests. A pair of potted trees placed on each side of the backyard’s entry gate and entwined with twinkle lights lead guests into the reception.

    If you are planning the reception several months in advance, plant a mixture of morning glories and moonflowers along a bare wall, on which the vines can climb to enchant guests during the day with the bright faces of the morning glories and the luminous white of moonflowers in the evening. Plant bright annual flowers in the garden’s borders to add color. If time is short, transplant annuals, such as cheerful pansies or petunias, into sparse corners of the garden.

Keep It Comfortable

  • Keep your guests comfortable with padded chairs, portable fans or propane heaters. Patio umbrellas or canopies shade guests from sun and unexpected drizzles, while a rental tent protects them from wind and rain. Colorful draperies hung around the perimeter of a patio cover provide shelter from the elements while evoking an exotic Moroccan influence. A large plush rug laid over a concrete patio softens the hard surface. Add additional lighting, such as Oriental lamps, over tables and the buffet to preserve the romantic atmosphere.

Decorate the Tables

  • Layer the reception and buffet tables with white linens overlaid with tablecloths in the wedding colors. Crisp white napkins folded into fans, laid flat on the table and anchored by wedding favors, such as jars of local honey or organic jams, keep the napkins from blowing away on a breezy day. Floral centerpieces of bright and cheerful flowers, such as gerberas or zinnias, or exotic flowers, such as gardenias, birds of paradise or orchids mixed with peacock feathers and gold-painted corkscrew willow branches, add color and height to the tables. Pillar candles or votive candles in glass candleholders add light to the tables.

Dance the Night Away

  • A portable dance floor on the grass allows your guests to dance the night away to your favorite tunes. A DJ or band can provide music ranging from classical to the latest hits. Shelter the artists with a portable canopy and add an extra heater if the night is cool. A rope light suspended from shepherd’s hooks or around the edge of the dance floor defines its edges, keeping guests from stumbling on the grass as they enter and leave the area.

How to Make Cheap Wedding Centerpieces Using Jars

You can use everyday jars to make cheap wedding centerpieces that are unique and beautiful if you follow these simple steps.

Instructions

  1. First, start collecting your jars and tell your friends and family to do the same. Your cheap wedding centerpieces will be unique and memorable if you use a variety of sizes, shapes, and heights, so save everything from mayonnaise jars to baby food jars! Glass is preferable as it looks nicer than plastic.
  2. Second, you’ll need to peel off the labels. Try a solution that’s half vinegar and half water, or purchase some product from your home improvement store – it’s usually very affordable. Spray it on the label, let it soak for several minutes, and then use a straight edge to peel off the glue.
  3. Third, you want to wrap the neck of the jar with some wide and festive ribbon or trim. Try your fabric supply store for the best choices. You want your cheap wedding centerpieces to look as professional as possible, so use ribbon that’s wide enough to cover the entire neck. Also, make sure that the length of the ribbon flows to the table.
  4. Fourth, you’ll need to fill the jars with chocolate kisses, colorful candies, or fresh flowers. Flowers are best to dress up cheap wedding centerpieces but they can be pricey, so consider using “filler” items such as baby’s breath, ferns, and other stems. If you use flowers, you should probably transport them to the reception area empty and then fill them with the water and flowers.
  5. Fifth, practice grouping your jars before your wedding. Play with the different heights and sizes to see what looks better, and make sure that you coordinate your flowers and greens between the jars so everything looks pulled together.

How to Sell Wedding Decorations

The wedding industry is composed of many different types of services and products. The Knot, a resource site for future brides, recommends that brides spend approximately 5.5 percent of their total wedding budget on decorations for the ceremony and reception. Your goal as the owner of a wedding decorations company is to be the company that brides choose for their wedding decorations needs. Secure your spot in the industry by developing a business plan and marketing your products and services in the appropriate places to your target demographic.

Instructions

  1. Create samples. Make or purchase samples of your decorations in different styles and colors. Look at wedding blogs and other websites that show wedding decorations. Select styles and colors that are attractive to prospective brides.
  2. Take pictures of your work. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your wedding decorations. Take multiple digital photographs of your decorations at different angles, zoom levels and colors.
  3. Set prices. Select price levels for your products that reflect the quality of the materials, the labor spent making the decorations and knowledge of average retail rates for said products.
  4. Create a business name. Entrepreneur, an advice site for business owners, notes that the best company names are those that reinforce the key aspects of the business. Select a name that instantly tells potential customers what you are selling. Include buzz words like “wedding,” “decorations” and “bridal.”
  5. Create a website. Hire a professional web designer to create an online store for your wedding decorations. Make the domain name your business name. If that is not available, use wedding related words for the domain name. Include photographs of the wedding decorations on the site as well as prices, contact information and a system that allows online payments.
  6. Hire a printer. Create flyers and business cards that list your company name, your services and contact information. Use high quality paper stock.
  7. Leave flyers and business cards at wedding related businesses. Talk to local owners of bridal salons, hair salons, tailor shops and other businesses that cater to brides and grooms. Gain their approval to leave flyers and business cards on the counters and bulletin boards for their clientele.
  8. Participate in bridal expos. Fill out the appropriate paperwork and pay the required fees to participate in local bridal expos. Bridal expos are large events typically held in convention centers or ballrooms that feature dozens of wedding vendors and hundreds or thousands of future brides. Every Expo, a company that hosts bridal expos, notes that a vendor can cover the costs of booth rental and more with vigorous sales during the event.

Flower Ideas for a September Wedding

September marks the transition from summer to fall in the Northern Hemisphere. As such, colors and flowers for a September wedding are sometimes the source of some anxiety, but the crossover actually allows for a celebration of personal taste. Remember to take advantage of what is in season. The list of September flowers is extensive, so consider the setting as well for additional guidance. If this is a beach wedding, for example, deep blues and purples complement the location and the season. Most importantly, trust your own taste and keep things elegant by staying minimal, selecting a few flowers and then increasing the quantity of those blooms.

Blues and Purples

  • If you are having a beach, outdoor pool or lakeside wedding, or a wedding in a wide open space with a big sky overhead, pay tribute to the blues in the setting. Since light blue is a bit cool, head for darker blues and purples that are richer and more regal. Deeper hues herald the oncoming fall season while staying true to summer, and in September, these colors abound. In this category, think of lavender hydrangeas, assorted phlox, deep blue delphinium and lisianthus in a velvety, dark purple. Statice flowers also come in beautiful shades of violet, as does trachelium and the elegant Veronica flowers. Your bouquet should not be composed exclusively of these colors. Liberally mix in whites and greens (white hydrangea and bells of Ireland, for instance) to soften the color palette.
    Add lovely delphiniums to your bouquet.

Golds and Yellows

  • For mountain weddings, or weddings in the north of the country where the leaves turn early, think about golds and yellows. These color choices are symbolic of sun and harvest. Light amber and bright yellow are cheery colors, while adding deeper oranges and brown will emphasize a warm, rustic mood. Yellow gladiolas, golden stargazer lilies, yellow roses and calla lilies are classic choices. If the wedding is in an area where fall comes late, sunflowers are appropriate, particularly for a wedding outdoors and in the country. To warm things up a tad, add Chinese lanterns to the bouquet, along with orange godetia and scarlet boronia. Greens, whites and pinks complement the yellows in the bouquet wonderfully.
    Burnished, sunset-colored lilies wink at the oncoming fall.

Reds and Oranges

  • If fall comes early, reds and oranges are favored colors. Go for shades of cranberry, russet, brick and plum. Deep red, like that of red roses, is formal and sophisticated which works especially well for indoor and evening weddings. A fete that celebrates the outdoors does best with joyful, if more humble, selections. Carmine yarrow and assorted wildflowers suit this mood well. Peonies, one of the most romantic wedding flowers, in full-bodied colors suit both indoor and outdoor weddings. Ranunculus is equally versatile, although stick to its more decadent reds, oranges and deep pinks. Bouquets made up of these pretty blooms should make use of greenery and avoid whites since the combination of white and red can be jarring.
    Opulent red peonies are gorgeous in September bouquets.

How to Make a Large Wedding Altar Flower Arrangement

When it comes to weddings, the altar flower arrangement is one of the key decorations. The flower colors and overall display can add beauty and provide an elegant centerpiece for the ceremony. Since many weddings are already expensive enough, many people wish to save money by creating their own altar flower arrangement. Following seven steps should help most people create a large and attractive arrangement without spending a fortune in the process.

Instructions

  1. Cut your florist foam so that it fits snugly into the large vase or container. Leave approximately two inches of florist foam protruding from the top of the vase. This will provide an easy means of arranging ferns and flowers later on.
  2. Fill your vase with two gallons of water so that the florist foam soaks up much of the water. Add flower preservative if you want the flowers to stay alive for a considerable time after the wedding.
  3. Place some large ferns around the outer circumference of the vase. Stabilize the ferns by placing the stems firmly into the florist foam and make the leaves face slightly downward. In general, you will want to use five or six ferns for the first layer.
  4. Place three or four additional ferns into the center of the florist foam. The leaves should be facing upward at approximately a 45-degree angle. Doing so should hide most of the florist foam and provide a backdrop for the rest of your flowers.
  5. Place 25 long stemmed flowers in random spots in the vase. In general, it’s best to use two or three different types of flowers with an appropriate color contrast. For example, you could use red roses for one flower and white lilies for the other. The exact types of flowers aren’t that important as long as they look pleasing to you.
  6. Add five to seven ribbons that match the flowers’ colors in random spots of the arrangement. This should provide some extra flair that balances out the look of the arrangement.
  7. Keep the flower arrangement in a cool location until the wedding event. Add more water if necessary.

How to Make a Manzanita Tree Wedding Centerpiece

Manzanita branches are a versatile and elegant alternative for wedding reception table centerpieces with their many twisty yet sturdy thin branches that come in several colors. Their shape is compact yet open, making them ideal for displaying small objects, such as photos, or being left bare. Manzanita branches also are ideal as centerpieces because they will not block the view of guests seated at the table and can be decorated to suit any wedding theme or style.

Instructions

  1. Cut the manzanita branches to the height you’d like the centerpieces; generally 18 to 24 inches will be ideal. Select a vase shape and size that will support the branch and anything that will be hung from it. One manzanita branch and one vase will be needed for each table.
  2. Fill the vase with gel beads and water according to the package instructions. Place the manzanita branch in the vase. Make sure the branch is secure. If it is not secure, add more beads or use a larger vase.
  3. Determine the number of photo frames to be hung from each branch. Insert photos of the bride and groom into the miniature photo frames. For each frame cut a three-inch length of satin ribbon. Make a loop and tie or attach the ribbon to the back of the frame with hot glue.
  4. Embellish the centerpiece. Spray paint the manzanita branches silver, gold or white or weave battery-operated strings of lights on to the branches.
  5. Hang the picture frames from the manzanita branches. Make sure the branch can support the weight of the frame.

Ideas for Fresh Flower Arrangements on a Wedding Cake

The wedding cake is a major part of the wedding reception and celebration. There are a wide range of wedding cake design options, among which is the use of fresh flowers on the cake. Fresh flowers are ornamental and add an elegant touch to the cake’s decor for both an informal and formal wedding reception.

Topped in Flowers

  • Wedding cakes can feature flower toppings, or fresh flowers displayed only on the top of the cake. The flowers can be arranged in any preferred way, though usually only the tops of the flowers are used, not the stems, and then placed on the top layer of cake. This fresh flower design often replaces the wedding cake topper.

Flower Petals Cake

  • To evoke a simple and romantic feeling, decorate the cake with flower petals rather than full flower blooms. Remove the petals from your desired flowers, such as roses, and make a pile of the petals. Then sprinkle the petals over the cake’s layers, allowing them to pool and fall in random patterns. If desired, a flower topper can be added to the cake or you can use only the petals as decor; the choice is yours.

Cascading Flowers

  • Cascading flower designs for the wedding cake start on the cake’s top layer with a flower topper and then feature flowers cascading or falling over the cake’s sides and down its entire length. The size of the arrangement can either lessen as it moves down the cake or you can add a second display of flowers at the bottom of the cake that matches the flowers used on top, creating a waterfall effect.

Ringed in Flowers

  • Flowers do not need to start at the cake’s top and work downward. Instead, fresh flowers can be placed around the cake in decorative rings connected by strings of pearls or frosting made to look like pearls. Alternatively, line the base of the cake with a ring of flowers and use flowers to accent each tier of the cake, forming gradually smaller rings of flowers. Top the cake with either a fresh flower topper or with any other preferred topper decoration.

Inexpensive Flowers for Weddings

Trying to throw a wedding on the cheap can be difficult, especially if you want a lot of flowers. Choosing inexpensive flowers is one way to cut costs. The easiest way to do this is to always choose flowers that are in season. That way your florist won’t have to have them shipped from another country, so the cost is cut dramatically. There are also some flowers that are inexpensive all year long.

Carnations

  • No matter what month your wedding is scheduled for, the carnation is an inexpensive flower choice. Carnations produce medium-sized blooms with several layers of petals. They come in a variety of shades, so your florist should be able to match the flowers with your wedding colors. If you want to use a more expensive flower for your bouquets, consider pairing them with some carnations to create a larger bouquet that costs less money.

Baby’s Breath

  • Baby’s breath is a common flower that is used as filler in wedding bouquets, centerpieces and other arrangements. This flower produces lots of small, white blooms on long stems. Use it in combination with another inexpensive wedding flower to create an attractive, but inexpensive, floral design. Baby’s breath is in season all year.

Chysanthemums

  • Although they are most commonly seen in the fall, chrysanthemums are actually in season year round. Most varieties produce blooms with lots of layers of petals, although the size and color depends on the variety you choose. Talk to your florist about color choices and whether you should go with a large or small chrysanthemum.

Stock

  • The stock plant produces small, colorful flowers that are often used as fillers in wedding bouquets and arrangements. The blooms look like small clusters of flowers on a single stem. Most have a yellow or green center. These flowers are available in many different colors, such as pink, yellow and white. They are also in season year round.

Peruvian Lilies

  • While lilies are often expensive wedding flowers, you can trick everyone into thinking you have lilies if you use the Peruvian lily, which is also known as the alstromeria. This flower produces lily-like flowers in white, pink, orange, purple and yellow shades, so it can suit many different wedding color schemes. These flowers are available and in season all year long.

How to Decorate a Long Table With Centerpieces for a Wedding

Decorating a long table with centerpieces for a wedding presents unique obstacles. A large centerpiece will not have the same visual impact on a long table as it will on the center of a smaller round table, so decorations should focus on creating a dramatic statement that continues down the entire table. Layering decorations with texture and color, then accenting them with several small centerpieces creates a sophisticated look with practical benefits for a wedding reception.

Instructions

  1. Cover tables with long tablecloths to build a colorful, textured base for your decorations. Table cloths do not have to be rented table linens; long lengths on fabric purchased from a craft store can be hemmed for a custom table covering. Unconventional fabrics make creative table cloths as well; rustic country wedding tables can be decorated with long pieces of burlap or unbleached cotton, while plastic table cloths at a beach or garden wedding can be upgraded when layered with swaths of ethereal tulle that billow in the breeze.
  2. Layer a runner over the center of the table to provide another level of visual interest. A runner is typically a narrow strip of fabric, roughly 6 to 8 inches smaller than the width of the table on both sides. You can layer one wedding color as the table cloth and the other as a runner, but unique materials can be spread down the center of the table as a creative runner alternative. Silk rose petals make a luscious runner when scattered down the center of a long table, while smooth, round river stones are elegant and sculptural additions to a long table at a mountain wedding. Seasonal touches are appropriate for weddings throughout the year.
  3. Accent your tablecloths and runners with flowers, candles and other romantic touches. Keep arrangements low to avoid blocking guests’ views of their table mates and the proceedings on the dance floor. Float blossoms or votive candles in shallow glass bowls filled with water for an inexpensive, elegant and guest-friendly centerpiece. Votive holders running the length of a long table fill the reception hall with light and are far easier for guests to see past than tall, ornate candelabras. If your wedding flowers incorporate tall blossoms like gladiolas, calla lilies and irises, ask your florist to design arrangements where the flowers can be laid on long tables instead of standing upright.
  4. Place centerpieces at regular intervals down the center of the table. For tables that seat eight, one medium-sized centerpiece in the center of the table is sufficient, but for tables that seat 10 or more, consider placing smaller centerpieces every three seats for a coherent look. Take a seat behind your centerpieces before the wedding begins to ensure that sight lines are not compromised by your arrangements, then adjust if necessary.

How to Market My Wedding Decor Business

Starting and running a wedding decor business can be an exciting line of work: You will be able to meet new people all the time, and you will be working with excited brides and grooms who are preparing for their big day. Marketing any new business can be a challenge, because you have to get your name out to the public and establish yourself as a reliable source in the industry. Marketing a wedding decor business, however, does not have to be costly, and the end result can be grateful customers and long-term business by word of mouth.

Instructions

  1. Design specialized business cards that you can hand out to potential clients and current customers. Basic business cards tend to be forgettable, so be sure to add something special to feature your wedding decor business: a checklist with essential decor items or a calendar with a countdown to the wedding. By making the business card useful to clients, you will also ensure that your business name stays in their sight.
  2. Accessorize sales with small gifts for customers. Small gifts can cost you very little, but they can be a reminder to customers that you appreciate their business. Adding a small flower or a sachet of bath salts to a bag of purchases can be a little extra something that customers remember about you and the way you run your business. Additionally, since your business will be focused on the romance of weddings, gifts such as these let the customer know that you remember the important details of ambiance and elegance in wedding decor.
  3. Send out a newsletter to customers. Traditional newsletters arrive by mail, but electronic newsletters are popular and certainly less costly. Compile an email list from customers and potential clients, and keep them updated–monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly–with what is going on in your business and in the world of weddings. Be sure to feature your business and any important sales or special deals that you are offering, but take the time to add other details as well: current wedding trends, popular honeymoon destinations and so forth.
  4. Create a website, or hire a website designer to create one for you. Regardless of the scope of your business–whether you work locally or provide decor for clients in other parts of the country–a website is an invaluable tool for reaching out to customers. People who are uncomfortable picking up the phone to ask questions will check websites to find out about businesses. Be sure to provide all of the essential information about the wedding décor options that you offer. Because a wedding decor business is largely visual, be sure to include an image gallery and even videos of your merchandise and how it has been used in weddings.

How to Freeze Dry a Wedding Bouquet

Don’t throw your bouquet away after the wedding, freeze dry the flowers and preserve the memory. This is not a DIY project where you put your flowers into the freezer, which will not freeze dry them, but one that requires thehelp of a professional. The freeze dry process occurs inside a machine that freezes the flowers and removes moisture simultaneously. Freeze drying takes from 21 to 40 days, depending on the amount of flowers in your bouquet. Naturally, some flowers work better than other in this process, although all flowers can be freeze dried.

Instructions

  1. Ask your florists for freeze dry specialist recommendations when you order the bridal bouquets. Emphasize that you are specifically looking for a freeze dry specialist and not a flower preservationist, which use a different method to preserve flowers. Request three different recommendations.
  2. Contact the three recommendations. Inquire about the total cost and whether there are any package deals available, such as the boutonniere included in the price of the bouquet. Ask about the process and learn if any damaged flowers are replaced or touched up. Find out which flowers are not conducive to the process, and what steps you are required to follow to begin the process. Write down all the information.
  3. Prepare the box and pre-pay shipping arrangements ahead of time. Designate a trusted friend or the florist to handle the bouquet transfer arrangements. Explain the steps he needs to follow and give him written instructions. Have the transfer box brought to the reception.
  4. Enjoy your wedding. Allow the photographer to pose you with your bridal bouquet and showcase your rings. Secure all the pictures you want with the bridal bouquet before heading to the reception.
  5. Lay the bridal bouquet on several towels inside a small cooler chest filled with three packages of liquid ice. Place the transfer box, with another set of written instructions, on the top of the closed lid. Show him where the flowers are located. Call and confirm the flowers have been transported.
  6. Contact the freeze dry company and confirm receipt of your flowers. Call them 30 days later for a progress update on the process.

How to Make Plumeria Wedding Bouquets

Plumerias are a beautiful flower for weddings, especially in the summer. You do not need a fancy florist to create your ideal bouquet. Arrange a collection of plumerias tied in silk ribbon of your desired color to carry down the aisle. It is a simple process, and you will take pride in knowing that you created your own plumeria wedding bouquet.

Instructions

  1. Pick 10 plumerias for your bouquet. Make sure they are fresh and crisp, vibrantly colored and roughly the same size.
  2. Trim the ends of the plumerias to make the stems as long as you desire, but make sure they are all evenly cut at an angle. Do a test to make sure the stems are long enough: Hold the plumerias in a bunch with both hands, as you would a bouquet, and make sure that there is at least 5 inches of flower stem below your hands.
  3. Arrange the flowers as you choose, making some lower or higher than others. Make sure to create the bouquet exactly as you want it to be for the wedding, as once you wrap it with the wire and ribbons you cannot change it.
  4. Take the flower wrapping wire (available at most craft and flower stores) and put the end of it 2 inches down from the bottom of the plumerias. Start wrapping the wire tightly around the stems, slowly working downwards. Keep wrapping until you run out of wire, then secure the end by tucking it into the last wrap. Make sure the flowers are securely bundled so none fall out or to the side.
  5. Choose the color of silk or satin ribbon you want to wrap around the stems of the plumerias. Cut the 8 ft of ribbon into 4 equal pieces of 2 ft each.
  6. Take the first piece of ribbon, and place the end of it where you first began wrapping the wire. Dab hot glue to the wire and firmly press the ribbon onto it. Let it dry. Wrap the ribbon around the wire in a downwards motion. When you get to the point where there is only 2 inches of ribbon left, dab hot glue to the ribbon and secure it, so the last 2 inches are hanging freely.
  7. Take the second piece of ribbon, and use the hot glue to secure it to the first ribbon, about 1inch below where the first ribbon was glued. Repeat Step 5 with the second, third and fourth ribbon. There should be four pieces dangling once you are done. Arrange these pieces how you desire, gluing and trimming the edges if necessary.

Wedding Centerpiece Ideas Without Flowers

Many brides are stepping away from the traditional floral centerpieces and choosing other ideas to decorate the tables at their wedding. Whether they want the centerpieces to be creative, practical or in tune with their theme, there are plenty of ideas for brides who want to think outside the flower box.

Candles

  • Candles can create a romantic atmosphere at your guests tables. A cluster of candles alone, or among other decorative items can be formal or casual. A candelabra featuring long, tapered candles compliments a formal wedding. A grouping of three tea candles in holders that are complimentary to your wedding theme makes an attractive centerpiece. The creative bride can make luminaries by stamping her and her groom’s names onto tall, white bags. Add small pebbles and a tea candle inside for a pretty, glowing effect. A few tea lights floating in a bowl of water makes a simple, yet elegant, wedding centerpiece. Whenever candles are used at a dinner table, they should be unscented so guests are not overwhelmed with smells.

Edible

  • Edible centerpieces are probably the most practical centerpieces. A centerpiece made from fresh fruit that has been cut to look like flowers is pretty and edible. Encourage the guests to eat the centerpiece, or play a game to have one person take it home. Alternately, a couple of crafty bridesmaids could be asked to make centerpieces with candy, such as lollipops and other candies tied to sticks, that are poked into a Styrofoam cone or ball and decorated with ribbon. For a spring or summer wedding, lemons and limes lined up in a tall, thin vase with a ribbon tied around it is a fresh arrangement for a wedding with a similar color scheme.

Theme

  • Use the season, theme or destination of the wedding to create a wedding centerpiece. If the wedding is at the ocean, an arrangement of seashells, sand and tea lights on a silver platter could be an extension of the theme. For a fall wedding, use seasonal vegetables coming out from a cornucopia. Tree branches with lights entwined are a pretty centerpiece for the fall. Incorporate peacock feathers or crystals into centerpieces with candles, according to the type of wedding you are having. Pussy willows in vases bring signs of spring into a April or May wedding.

Wish Tree

  • Place a small wish tree on each table. A traditional Dutch wedding custom, guests are encouraged to write their wishes for the bride and groom on a piece of paper that is then tied to the tree. The paper can be in a rectangular shape or the shape of a leaf. The tree can consist of branches placed into a vase, or can be purchased ready-made. Beads or crystals can be strung among the branches to create a sparkling effect.

How to Decorate a Dessert Buffet for Wedding Reception

A wedding dessert buffet should be beautifully decorated, just like the wedding venue. You can decorate the savory food buffet as well, but the dessert buffet really allows you to express yourself, while capturing the personality of the bride and groom. If it’s not your wedding, always have the happy couple in mind. Think about their favorite colors, the wedding theme and the number of guests. Discuss your ideas with them, so they will be just as happy with the finished result as you are.

Instructions

  1. Look at the wedding plans before you start decorating. Discuss colors, flowers and themes. Most people want a coordinated wedding and this should include the venue and buffet. Take notes of all the colors and ask for color samples if available. Make a plan once you have all the necessary information. Sketch how you envision the buffet, and make a list of what you will need to fulfill you plan.
  2. Decorate the tables. Always start with your base by laying out the tablecloths. Wedding buffets can be more formal and more lavish than standard buffets. Consider draping silk or other material to give a regal feel. If you have excess material, create a bow or a ruffle.
  3. Mark out where the dishes are going to go. Once the tablecloths are down, work out where the food is going to be positioned. Place dishes so they compliment each other. For example, alternate chocolate desserts with fruit desserts, or cluster similar looking things like cookies together.
  4. Link the platters with your chosen decorations. Once all the platters are in place, make them look like they are all part of the same display. Get your ribbons, flowers or foliage and start at one end of the buffet and work your way to the other end. Swirl the ribbons or foliage around one dish and onto the next so they look like they join. If necessary, secure the decorations with some double sided tape.
  5. Make edible decorations to help the food blend with the display. Get some Marzipan, color it according to the theme, and use a cutter to make hearts, flowers, animals or stars. Make the same thing but in different sizes and colors. Place the decorations on the display, so the buffet looks fluid and coordinated. If you’re not the chef, check and make sure it’s ok to add detail to the platters and dishes.
  6. Sprinkle leaves, petals or sparkles over the table once you have completed the display. If you plan add sparkle to the dishes make sure you have edible sparkles. If you are using flowers petals make sure they are not poisonous. Check with the bride and groom or wedding planner to make sure they are happy with the result.

How to Make Indian Wedding Flower Decorations

Indian flowers play an important role in Indian weddings. Different styles, colors and types of flowers are essential in the creation of beautiful Indian flower decorations. Roses, orchids, gerberas and marigolds are only a few of the more popular Indian flowers. Summer weddings look best in light shades of pinks, light blues and citrus colors. For fall weddings use bright and earthy tones.

Instructions

  1. Decorate the area for the traditional Indian style “asirbad,” or blessing ceremony, with lots of flowers–bright red and golden jasmine, roses and orchids. These flowers are used as anchor colors and are thrown all around the ground.
  2. Light the wedding area with Indian lanterns and candles to add ethnic character to the décor. Predominantly earthy colors are used for the Indian wedding decorations. Place white baby roses around the candles and lanterns.
  3. Stage the traditional Hindu wedding in the “mandap”–a four-pole canopy with a stage. The mandap is made of red, yellow and silver flowers and herbs. These flowers are attached to the poles and canopy using small straight pins.
  4. Place netted drapes over the wedding area, above the reception tables. Add silver colors and fresh flowers such as lilies, orchids, carnations and baby roses for decorating the nets.
  5. Decorate the garlands for the bride and groom with a variety of flower colors mixed with colorful ribbons and netted cloths. Use roses the color of the season blended with similar colors of ribbons to create beautiful neck ornaments.

How to Make Fresh Flower Wedding Bouquets

If you are trying to save money or simply want a more hands-on approach to your wedding, you can make your own bouquet of flowers, as well as the bouquets of your bridesmaids and any other guests of honor. These bouquets can be put together hours before the wedding to free the bride to prepare her hair and make-up and put on her dress. Practice in advance, with extra flowers, to become familiar with the flowers and the process.

Picking

  1. Pick your flowers from the place they are growing or pick them up from the local florist, the morning of the wedding.
  2. Place the flowers in a vase with water and put the vase in a cool location, out of the sun until you are ready to prepare the bouquets, at least a few hours before the wedding.
  3. Pull the flowers from the vase and blot them dry with a towel.

Preparing

  1. Strip the flowers of any excess foliage, thorns or other roughage. If you want greenery in your bouquet, leave a few leaves on the top, near the blooms. Use the scissors to clip off any excess greenery, instead of pulling on the stems and potentially breaking them.
  2. Pull together the flowers stems together, bunching them together into a cylinder shape in your hand. This should create a round, half-spherical shape of the blooms. Pull the middle blooms higher and the side blooms lower, to create the rounded shape in the blooms.
  3. Add any additional greenery by setting leaves’ stems or other accessories against the side of the stem cylinder, pushing the leaves up under the half-sphere of the blooms.
  4. Tie together the bouquet with a rubber band or a piece of floral tape, near the base of the blooms and the top of the stems.
  5. Cut the bottom of the stems so they are uniform and even.
  6. Place the end of the ribbon over the top of the rubber band or tape, covering it. Secure it with a pin.
  7. Wrap the ribbon around the stems, tightly, moving down the stem and covering all the tape.
  8. Fold the ribbon over the bottom or just continue wrapping, moving back up the stems, once you reach the bottom.
  9. Cut the end of the ribbon and secure it with a pin, at the top of the stems.
  10. Leave the bouquet in a cool place, in the vase until the wedding. If the bottom of the stems are exposed, you can place a wet towel at the bottom of the vase to keep the stems moist. Be careful to wet only the exposed stems, not the ribbon.
  11. Dry the stems of any water or moisture before handing to the bride or other wedding party members.

Pearl Wedding Decoration Ideas

Pearls are timelessly elegant jewels. They add a touch of sophistication to any occasion. If you are considering using pearls as a theme for your wedding, there are a number of ways they can be added to your decor. Fake or real, from the ceremony to the reception, pearls will add that special something to your wedding that will help to make it a classy and stylish affair.

Pearl-Lined Aisle Runner

  • A runner is used to line the aisle the bride will walk down. Using an aisle runner is a regal way to make your entrance to your future husband. An aisle runner that is lined with pearls, either real or fake, is not only regal, but it also adds ambiance to the wedding site.

Pearl Touches to Bouquets

  • Pearls can be added as an accent to your floral arrangements, both the bouquets that will be carried and the blooms that may decorate your ceremony and reception. They complement any flower and give the bouquet a special look. The pearls that are used in floral arrangements are typically fake, but if you do not have to adhere to a budget, you can certainly use real pearls.

Escort and Seating Cards

  • Pearls can adorn your escort and seating cards, adding a special touch to your tables. You can either make these cards yourself or you can purchase the cards at a wedding wholesale or stationary shop and a supply of fake pearls from a craft store. You can attach the pearls around the edges of the cards, or you can make a design, such as a monogram, on the card.

Added to Your Cake

  • The cake is one of the focal points of the wedding. If you are using pearls as a decorative element, you can have them adorn your cake or your cake topper. Edible pearls are made of sugar and can look so real that your guests will assume that they are.

Ceiling Decor

  • Strings of real or fake pearls can be hung from the ceiling to add a stylish look to your reception site. They can be made to look like snow falling or like stars dancing on the ceiling. They will also help to add a unique glow to your reception as the light bounces off of them.

Chair Tiebacks

  • If you are having the chairs at either your ceremony or reception draped with linen, you can use a string of pearls as a tieback. This will add an eye-catching look to your decor.

How to Make Table Runners for a Wedding Reception

Wedding table runners can use up valuable wedding budget funds. Whenever possible, it’s beneficial to create items you can make yourself instead of purchasing them ready-made. Standard table runner size is 12 inches wide and 108 inches long. Choose linen, linen blend, lace, satin or tulle fabric. The number of runners you require depends on the number of tables you will have at your wedding reception.

Instructions

  1. Cut your fabric pieces 13 inches wide and 109 inches long, to allow for hemming. This is just a bit over 3 yards in length (purchase 3 1/8 yards). Since most fabric comes in widths of 45 inches or 60 inches, you can cut more than one wedding table runner from each length (three with 45-inch wide fabric and four with 60-inch wide fabric).
  2. Fold under and press 1/4 inch on the long ends of your table runners. Fold under and press another 1/4 inch and tack the fabric down with straight pins.
  3. Sew along the inside edge of all the hems you have pressed and pinned. Remove the straight pins.
  4. Hem the short ends of your table runners using the same process. Steam press all your table runners.

How to Make a Wedding Bouquet With Silk Flowers

Wedding bouquets are an important part of the overall ambience of the wedding ceremony and portraits. The flowers add color and beauty to the gowns. You can make wedding bouquets for attendants and the bride from silk flowers. A silk bridal bouquet is a keepsake to display for years to come. Silk wedding bouquets can be made well in advance of the wedding. This can help spread the work out over a period of time. The mother of the bride or another family member can help the bride with this pre-wedding project.

Instructions

  1. Go shopping for your flowers. At the store, hold a selection of flowers in your hands, as if it’s a bouquet, to see what looks right for you. Buy one or two stems extra for each type of flower you have chosen.
  2. Put the bouquet holder in a vase on your work table. This will keep both of your hands free to work with the piece. Set the silk flowers to the side.
  3. Cut the stems of the silk flowers down to 3 or 4 inches long. Cut any foliage stems to this size also.
  4. Insert a main flower stem, such as roses, lilies, irises or carnations, into the center of the foam in the bouquet holder.
  5. Insert 4 more main flower stems at slight angles to the top, bottom, left and right of the main flower.
  6. Insert leaves around the sides of the foam where the foam meets the top of the plastic holder.
  7. Insert secondary flowers such as carnations, daisies or rosebuds into the sides of the foam near the rim of the bouquet holder, next to the leaves.
  8. Fill in the foam with stems of smaller blossoms. Check to make sure that there are no gaps in the flowers where the foam will show through.
  9. Hold your bouquet in front of a mirror to check all angles. Add more flowers or leaves to fill it out, if necessary.
  10. Insert a ribbon bow on a wired stick into the foam at the center of the bottom edge, if desired. Add a strand or wired spray of pearl beads or rhinestones to your bouquet for a stylish touch.

How to Make Bows for Wedding Bouquets

You have your silk or fresh wedding bouquets all planned. Now you want to make them more formal and finish the look with lace or ribbon bows. There are many fibers to choose from, including crisp organza, romantic lace or elegant satin. Several types and sizes of bows are appropriate for the wide variety of bouquets. You can make bows for the bride’s and attendants’ bouquets, along with the flower girl basket.

Fluffy Satin Bow

  1. Place a wired stick in your work area. Pull out 4 inches of a half-inch-wide ribbon and a thinner second ribbon in a darker color.
  2. Hold both ribbons firmly between your thumb and forefinger. Form a 1 1/2-inch loop.
  3. Twist the ribbons sharply and form a second loop on the opposite side of the first one.
  4. Pulling more ribbon, twist and form two more sets of loops, for a total of six. Keep them as evenly proportioned as possible.
  5. Place the stick next to the middle of the bow. Wrap the wire tightly around the center of the bow. Wrap any excess wire around the stick. Carefully insert the stick into the bouquet.

Wide Ribbon Bow and Cascade Ribbons

  1. Follow the Fluffy Bow instructions to make a six-loop bow with a single strand of material. Use 1 1/2- to 3-inch-wide lace, organza or satin ribbon. Trim the ends to 3 inches long.
  2. For the cascade, choose ribbons and lace from 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide. Make a small bow with 1-inch loops following the Fluffy Bow instructions. Push the wired stick into the bouquet at the bottom center just over the cascade of flowers.
  3. Cut one piece of 1/2-inch-wide ribbon. Tie a knot in the center.
  4. Cut three pieces of ribbon or lace at 20, 18 and 15 inches long.
  5. Lay the knotted ribbon horizontally on the work surface. Place the three lengths of ribbon or lace vertically across the knotted center of the ribbon.
  6. Tie the horizontal ribbon around the three ribbons to secure. Tie a second knot.
  7. Tie the cascading ribbons tightly at the top of the bouquet handle in the back.

How to Decorate a Tent for a Wedding Reception

Wedding tents can provide an outdoor alternative to traditional church weddings. They also offer shelter for outdoor ceremonies facing inclement weather, from extreme heat to high winds to rain. Decorating a barebones wedding tent, though, can be a daunting task, even when flooring and basic lighting come with the rental cost. A little creativity and a vision for your special day can make a tent wedding every bit as pleasant as one staged in a modest church or a cathedral.

Decorate a Tent for a Wedding Reception

  1. Choose the flooring for your wedding tent. Many wedding tent rental companies offer checkered dance floors, faux wood flooring or plastic flooring as options. Select a flooring that matches your wedding motif and helps guests keep their shoes and dresses clean and dry.
  2. Decide on your guest tables and chairs. Most wedding supply rental companies offer white folding chairs and standard 71-inch round tables for seating guests. Decorate the tables with tablecloths in your wedding colors and tie tulle (soft, fine silk, cotton or nylon) ribbons on the backs of every other chair in the shape of a bow facing outward.
  3. Use a tree-inspired look to create height in the reception tent and on individual tables. Take branches and remove the leaves. Spray paint the branches to match your wedding colors, or create a metallic look with gold or silver spray paint. Bundle 14- to 20-inch high branches with ribbon. Use fishing line to attach and hang plastic jewels from each bundle and seat them in pots with spray-painted peat moss or colored marbles to create interesting centerpieces. Use longer, thicker branches and do the same to create magical trees three to four feet tall in a monochrome color, potted and placed at varying heights throughout the tent.
  4. Add lighting for pictures and ambience. Speak to the wedding tent rental company about the options for main and secondary sources of lighting for photographs. Consider using plastic colored filters on the primary light sources to create ambience. String spirals of small white lights around tent poles and corners to camoflauge the tent supports. Hang electric lanterns or place luminaria throughout the tent to create more color and romantic lighting effects.
  5. Create candle-inspired warmth. Fill shallow, round glass bowls with water and place tea light candles in each with stemless whole flowers such as African daisies, plumerias or gardenias. Light the candles before the ceremony. Place the decorative glass bowls on guest and buffet tables.
  6. Introduce varying heights. Take several stools or pillars of different heights and place them around the perimeter of the wedding tent. Drape each pedestal with a soft or shiny fabric, such as satin, silk or velvet. Cut pieces of fabric with decorative scissors, ensuring the fabric can hit the floor when draped over each pedestal. Place decorations such as plants, photographs of the bride and groom growing up, or floral arrangements on each pedestal to add visual interest.
  7. Create decorations at great heights with fabric flowers. Select fabric flowers that match your wedding colors and motifs. Run a ceiling liner across the tent’s ceiling and hang or adhere fabric flowers to it.
  8. Introduce a sense of whimsy with bubbles or balloons. Use balloons in wedding colors and fill them with air from a helium tank. Ask your wedding planner about creating a balloon arch behind the wedding party’s table or elsewhere for picture-taking. Release balloons to the tent ceiling to create a festive blanketed look overhead. Rent a bubble machine to gently blow bubbles throughout the tent.

How to Make Your Own Wedding Reception Table Centerpieces

If you want to add your own personal touch to the tables at your wedding reception, consider making your own centerpieces. Wedding reception centerpieces do not need to be expensive, and a trip to your local craft store should yield any materials you need to design custom pieces. Combine vases, stones and floating candles to create your own centerpiece tailored specifically toward your wedding’s theme. Afterward, reuse your wedding centerpieces in your home, or give them away to your guest as souvenirs.

Instructions

  1. Select a vase design for your centerpieces. The top of the vase needs to be large enough to accept a floating candle. Before you buy your centerpieces, know the number of reception tables you must decorate, and purchase two or three extra vases in case one breaks.
  2. Clean the vases to ensure that they are free of dirt and debris. You do not want a piece of dirt floating around in a vase while your guests eat.
  3. Fill each vase about a quarter full with glass stones. Choose colors that match your wedding theme, or stick with clear stones.
  4. Pour water into the vases, leaving 1 inch of space at the top.
  5. Place a floating candle in each vase. Match the candles to the color of your stones, or choose candles that accent the wedding decor, such as floating flower candles.
  6. Position each centerpiece on a mirror. The mirrors can be circular or square and need to be slightly larger than the base of the vases.
  7. Place the wedding centerpieces in the center of each reception table. Sprinkle flower petals, plastic wedding rings or extra glass stones around them to add visual interest.

How to Make a Wedding Flower Arrangement for the Top of an Arbor

When planning a garden wedding, you want the setting to be as beautiful as possible. Wedding arbors provide a gorgeous centerpiece for outdoor weddings, as they give couples a unifying frame for their ceremony and photos. However, the effect can fall flat if the trellis isn’t garnished to suit the rest of the decor. Avoid this by adding a spectacular flower arrangement to the apex of the arch, wiring the flowers over the arbor to make it seem as though they are floating above you.

Instructions

  1. Select greenery to act as a base for your floral arrangement. If your wedding arbor is sizable, use greenery that will cover a large amount of space without looking fussy. Good options for this type of arbor are magnolia leaves and evergreen boughs. If you are using a small trellis, delicate greenery such as ivy is more appropriate.
  2. Measure the plateau of the arbor and arrange the greenery into a symmetrical spray slightly larger than the the measurement you took. Keep the cut edges of the branches in the center of the arrangement. The ends of the greenery should cascade naturally off the front and sides of the arch, so cut the boughs with this in mind. Wire the boughs together with the floral wire when you are happy with the greenery’s appearance, connecting all the branches to one another. Use as much wire as the spray needs to keep it secure, as it will be invisible on top of the arbor.
  3. Arrange the flowers into a spread on top of your greenery, keeping the blossoms facing out. To add height to the arrangement, wire a block of floral foam onto the greenery and stick the flower’s stems into the foam. Not only will this make the flowers more visible to your guests, but it will also allow you to create more shapes and layers with your arrangement. Secure the flowers and greenery together with the floral wire.
  4. Place the floral arrangement on top of the arbor and connect using heavy floral wire. Be thorough when attaching the two so the flowers do not blow away with the breeze. Spruce up the arrangement with versatile artificial flowers such as baby’s breath or wisteria to give it a fuller look.

How to Plan an Outdoor Wedding Reception

You’ve found the perfect man, you’ve set the perfect wedding date and you’ve even chosen your attendants, but now comes the hard part of planning the perfect wedding reception. An outdoor wedding reception is the perfect way to end your wedding celebration, but it can also be the ruin of a wedding if you don’t plan it properly.

Instructions

  1. Keep laughing and smiling, no matter what happens. An outdoor wedding reception isn’t for the faint-hearted or the worrier, but if you can remember that it isn’t how the day turns out but rather about the love that you and your future spouse share, there’s no way to ruin your day.
  2. Choose a place that means something to you as a couple, like your own backyard, a favorite park, beach or vineyard. It could even be the place where your fiancé proposed to you. If the venue means something to you, having the reception there is the perfect way to show that to your guests.
  3. Forget about the rules for a typical wedding reception. You can have a completely informal affair where you have a barbecue and a simple luncheon, or go for a formal affair with a sit down dinner. Let your reception reflect the two of you as a couple.
  4. Give the worries of the day to someone else. If you don’t have a wedding planner, have a close friend act as one for the day. Give her all the details of the wedding reception and let her be in charge. This eases your stress and allows you to have a completely worry-free, enjoyable day.
  5. Have a backup plan in case of weather issues. You don’t want to plan for your wedding reception to be rained out of for snow to fall, but you should have a plan B just in case. You can rent a backup site or simply rent a tent for everyone to sit or eat under in case of rain.
  6. Let guests know ahead of time that you’re having an outdoor reception. This allows them to plan their outfits according to the weather.
  7. Plan for parking. If your guests have to walk a great distance from the parking place to the reception site, consider hiring a horse-drawn carriage to give them a lift.

Inexpensive Flowers for Weddings

Trying to throw a wedding on the cheap can be difficult, especially if you want a lot of flowers. Choosing inexpensive flowers is one way to cut costs. The easiest way to do this is to always choose flowers that are in season. That way your florist won’t have to have them shipped from another country, so the cost is cut dramatically. There are also some flowers that are inexpensive all year long.

Carnations

  • No matter what month your wedding is scheduled for, the carnation is an inexpensive flower choice. Carnations produce medium-sized blooms with several layers of petals. They come in a variety of shades, so your florist should be able to match the flowers with your wedding colors. If you want to use a more expensive flower for your bouquets, consider pairing them with some carnations to create a larger bouquet that costs less money.

Baby’s Breath

  • Baby’s breath is a common flower that is used as filler in wedding bouquets, centerpieces and other arrangements. This flower produces lots of small, white blooms on long stems. Use it in combination with another inexpensive wedding flower to create an attractive, but inexpensive, floral design. Baby’s breath is in season all year.

Chysanthemums

  • Although they are most commonly seen in the fall, chrysanthemums are actually in season year round. Most varieties produce blooms with lots of layers of petals, although the size and color depends on the variety you choose. Talk to your florist about color choices and whether you should go with a large or small chrysanthemum.

Stock

  • The stock plant produces small, colorful flowers that are often used as fillers in wedding bouquets and arrangements. The blooms look like small clusters of flowers on a single stem. Most have a yellow or green center. These flowers are available in many different colors, such as pink, yellow and white. They are also in season year round.

Peruvian Lilies

  • While lilies are often expensive wedding flowers, you can trick everyone into thinking you have lilies if you use the Peruvian lily, which is also known as the alstromeria. This flower produces lily-like flowers in white, pink, orange, purple and yellow shades, so it can suit many different wedding color schemes. These flowers are available and in season all year long.

How to Hang Lights at a Wedding Reception

The lighting at a wedding reception helps to set the tone for the event. The type of lighting fixtures you choose, the brightness of the light and the manner in which the lighting is presented will all impact the atmosphere and overall tone of the wedding. Use your wedding theme as inspiration for choosing the lighting for the wedding. For example, a vintage-theme wedding should have vintage-style lighting and fixtures. All elements of the wedding decor, including the lights, should tie into the overall theme or feel of the wedding.

Instructions

  1. Wind strands of white Christmas lights around the edge of the ceilings, around doorways and over any arches. Use tacks or electrical tape in a color that blends with the wall to help keep the lights in place. Sparkling Christmas lights create a whimsical feel especially appropriate for a winter wedding.
  2. Wrap white Christmas lights around trees at the entrance way to the wedding venue, or throughout the space if it is an outdoor wedding.
  3. Hang paper lanterns from the ceiling of the wedding reception. For an outdoor reception, the lanterns can also be hung from the trees. Choose white lanterns for a simple and elegant look or colors that coordinate with your wedding color palette for bright bursts of color.
  4. Place candles in hanging candle holders. Substitute battery operated candles instead of candles with actual flames if you are concerned about them being a fire hazard. Hang the candle holders from ceiling rafters or from the branches of trees.
  5. Mount LED lights on the ceiling or around the border of the room, following the instructions on the light packaging, to create a sleek, modern look.

How to Plan a Small Wedding Reception On a Budget

Even if your budget is small and your wedding dreams are big, you can plan a reception that will provide a lifetime of cherished memories for the happy couple and their loved ones.

Instructions

  1. Determine how many people will be attending the reception; then you will know what size space you need to rent. It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant or country club. It can be a simple town hall, community meeting space or place of worship.
  2. Catering the reception can be expensive. Consider alternatives such as meat and cheese trays from your local grocer or fast-food restaurant. Fried chicken with mashed potatoes and rolls would work. Order your cake from the grocer as well. Cupcakes work well when small children are guests. Clear plastic plates and utensils work fine — don’t forget the wedding theme decorations at your local dollar or craft store.
  3. Decorating the hall depends on how much time and money you want to put into it. To make it a little fancier, put bows or balloons on the chairs, or cover with cloths. If using balloons, consider buying a helium balloon kit. You can purchase white paper tablecloths with plastic backing for the tables. If the hall you decide to rent does not provide tables and chairs, these can be rented. Order or create a small bouquet of silk or fresh flowers for each table in the bride’s colors. Buy or collect small plastic bowls to put nuts and mints in for each table.
  4. Putting up white or colored Christmas lights adds a nice touch. If allowed, you can staple, nail, or tape the lights to the walls. As for music, depending on the size of the room, place one or two CD players in the hall so the music isn’t overwhelming, but can be heard.
  5. Have large plastic garbage bags on hand so cleanup will be very easy. Ask the wedding party or guests if they would like to keep the flowers — then throw anything you can away.

How to Preserve a Wedding Bouquet

Your wedding bouquet is a precious memento of your special day. So keep it looking beautiful with one of several preservation methods. Flowers can be air-dried, treated with drying agents, dried in a microwave oven or pressed to preserve them. Have your drying materials ready on your wedding day because the fresher the flowers are when you dry them, the better they will look later.

Air Drying

  • Air drying is the least expensive method of preserving flowers. If the blossoms in your bridal bouquet are of equal size, hang the bouquet in a warm, dark, dry place, such as an attic or spare closet, where it will not be disturbed. If some of the flowers are larger than others or not all petals are the same thickness, then take the bouquet apart and hang the large flowers or flowers with thick petals separately from the rest to allow for better air flow. Flowers may need a few weeks to air-dry completely.

Chemical Drying

  • Drying agents, which are called desiccants, pull moisture out of flowers and other plant parts. The most common desiccants are borax, sand and silica gel. Borax can irritate the eyes, nose and lungs when used incorrectly. Sand is safe to use, and silica gel, although more costly than the other options, is simple to use and retains flower color well. Cover the bottom of a cardboard box or plastic container with your chosen desiccant, and place the bouquet on top of it. Gently sprinkle more of the desiccant over the flower petals, being careful not to crush them. After one week to 10 days, gently shake the desiccant out of the bouquet. A desiccant can be reused many times.

Microwave Drying

  • A microwave oven can be used to dry flowers quickly and effectively. Remove all metal in the bouquet. Spread a 1-inch-thick layer of silica gel in the bottom of a microwave-safe dish, place the bouquet on that silica gel and sprinkle more silica gel gently over the flower petals, covering the flowers completely. Place 1 cup of water in the microwave oven with the container of flowers. Experimenting before your wedding with the same kinds of flowers as those in your wedding bouquet will help you determine how long to dry them to ensure that you will not burn your bouquet. Some kinds of flowers may need 1 1/2 minute of drying time while others may require 2 1/2 to 3 minutes drying time in a microwave oven set to full power; the standing time afterward may range from overnight to 36 hours. The dish you used to dry flowers in silica gel should be washed thoroughly before it is used for food.

Flower Pressing

  • If maintaining the three-dimensional shape of the flowers in your bouquet is not important to you, then the flowers can be dried and pressed with a flower press or large, heavy books to preserve them. Take the bouquet apart, and remove the stems from the flowers. Place the blossoms on layers of absorbent paper, such as newsprint or the pages of a phone book, leaving sufficient space between blooms so that they will not touch when the flowers are flattened. It takes two to four weeks to dry flowers with this method, but when finished, they can be used in many ways, including to create a decorative frame for wedding photos.

Wedding Centerpiece Ideas With Orchids

Orchids, those once-rare, exotic and fragile blooms, are tougher than they look. The colorful petals and graceful stalks hold up well without wilting, and they lend themselves to a variety of wedding colors and centerpiece configurations. Even a few orchids, mixed with less expensive flowers, add an elegant touch to reception decor. Feature them, in inventive ways, as the stars of your wedding centerpieces.

Wedding-Friendly Choices

  • Some of the most suitable blooms for wedding centerpieces are also the most widely available orchids. According to American University, there are more than 25,000 different species of orchids and about 60,000 types of known orchid hybrids. Commercial growers focus on the ones most likely to sell, which has the happy side effect of lowering the cost for those orchids. “Bridal Guide” says the three most popular wedding choices are the wide-blooming “moth” orchid, or phalaenopsis, usually white; the dendrobium, which features smaller blooms clustered on stalks; and cymbidium, with its contrasting colorful throat.

Air Plants

  • Orchids are epiphytes — they draw their sustenance from the air around them. So lift the reception centerpieces high — high enough so they don’t interfere with guests’ sightlines for table conversation — and create tall, flowing pedestals of flowers in their natural element, like a waterfall of blossoms. A 2-foot tall or higher silver or crystal flute might hold a pastel explosion of hydrangeas, roses and orchids. Phalaenopsis can be trained to trail as can several types of vanda orchid hybrids. The full, rounded top of the tall display, with its varied and fragrant flowers, should spill over in trailing strands of orchids that reach halfway to the tablecloth.

Wide and Wild

  • The phalaenopsis is a regular guest at the wedding. The wide wings of the open flowers look like a giant moth in flight, so the plant acquired its popular name from its appearance. Moth orchids are showy and substantial enough for the medium-height centerpieces that are the focal points of buffet tables, sign-in tables, and some head tables that seat the bridal party. A curving strand of phalaenopsis is a spare and elegant contemporary counter to traditional flowers such as roses, stephanotis, peonies and hydrangeas. One or more stalks of creamy white blossoms can rise up from a crowded bowl or urn of mixed flowers. Individual moth orchids may be wired to low silver- or white-painted forked branches like an eclipse of moths momentarily alight.

Ground Cover

  • Keep the centerpieces on the bistro-size guest tables low to encourage conversation and remain visible in the midst of buffet snacking and table-hopping. A serene wood or copper-clad platform, mounded with tiny balls of florists’ moss, has room for a few swirling grapevine strands stuck into the moss and one or two orchids nestled low in the centerpiece. Go for color, especially if your wedding is a vibrant fall or traditional holiday affair. Tangerine and sunset-orange cattleyas are startling against the green moss, reddish-brown platform and brown curling vine. A low round glass bowl with one lady slipper, moth orchid or cattleya floating in it is anchored by clear glass pebbles in the water that reflect candlelight. The flickers of light glimmer over the gently moving orchid.

How to Become a Professional Wedding Decorator

As a wedding decorator, you will be responsible for decorating entire wedding events. Creativity is essential to wedding decorating since you must turn a client’s vision into reality. You need to be capable of seeing the potential in a particular venue and helping your client see it, too. The venue is the canvas and you are responsible for designing and styling it to suit the client’s desires. Professional wedding decorators have some flexibility in deciding how to establish themselves. Since you are offering a service, you will need to promote yourself and your services.

Get Certified

  • There are no federal licensing or certification requirements necessary to become a wedding decorator. You could choose to complete a certification course, however, to learn more about wedding and event planning. Not only will a certification help set you apart from the crowd, but courses can teach you new and innovative techniques and approaches you can apply to your wedding decorating.

Join an Association

  • You do not have to be in an association to be a wedding decorator, but membership can help boost your reputation. New wedding decorators may also benefit from the support, resources, information and networking an association offers members. A variety of organizations cater to wedding decorators, such as the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners, National Association of Wedding Professionals and the Wedding Industry Professionals Association.

Follow the Licensing Requirements

  • Wedding decorators are often self-employed, but you could also choose to work for a wedding planning company as the decorator. Although you do not need a license to be a wedding decorator, you may need a license to operate as a business owner. Even if you run the business from your home office, your city or state may require business tax registration and licensing.

Market Your Services

  • You can create a portfolio to show your work to potential clients or employers. To reach a broad range of potential clients, you can create a website displaying your information and previous events you have decorated. If you are not tech savvy or want to keep costs down, blogs are often free and do not require any web design skills. If you do not have experience and want to gain exposure, you might want to volunteer your services to decorate an event thrown by a local charity or organization.

Spread the Word

  • Word of mouth is an effective and free form of advertising for new wedding decorators. Your reputation is essential to a successful wedding decorating career. If you have any experience decorating for weddings or any other events, such as birthday parties or baby showers, share the photos and encourage others to share them as well. You can visit local bridal shops and florists to inquire about displaying your business cards. Attending bridal shows or expos also gives you the opportunity to market your services directly to future brides and other vendors.

How to Use Mirrors in a Wedding Centerpiece

Image result for wedding centerpiece

How to Use Mirrors in a Wedding Centerpiece. Using mirrors is a beautiful touch when decorating your wedding reception tables. If you are making your own wedding centerpieces, use mirrors to make your centerpieces appear larger and more dramatic. Here is how you do it.

Instructions

  1. Purchase one-foot-square mirror tiles from your local craft store or home improvement center. These affordable mirrors come in a variety of styles, including smoked glass. (See Resources below.)
  2. Place several mirrors on each table to form a base for your wedding centerpiece. You can use as many mirrors as you like. Depending on the size of the table, four mirrors usually works best, creating a 2 x 2-foot square.
  3. Put a bowl of fruit or vase of flowers in the center of the mirrors. Use colorful fruit and flowers that will reflect nicely off the mirrors.
  4. Sprinkle flower petals, glitter or confetti on the mirrors. You can stick to the color theme of the wedding or go for something neutral like gold or silver.
  5. Place a tea light on each corner of the mirror base. These candles’ reflections create a dramatic effect for an evening wedding.
  6. Use large, framed antique mirrors as a base instead of mirror squares. Place one large mirror on each table and cover the mirror with loose flowers or flower petals.

How to DJ a Wedding Reception

wedding reception timeline for djRegardless of whether you are a new or experienced DJ, a wedding reception is an event that requires a distinct and careful approach in order to satisfy the bride, groom and guests. This event is one of the most important days of the bride and groom’s lives, so there will be a lot of pressure on you as the DJ to make sure the music is special, appropriate and, most importantly, entertaining.

Instructions

  1. Meet with the bride and groom before the wedding as far in advance as possible. Ask them to list their favorite artists, as well as any singers or bands they specifically do not like. This will give you a good sense of the type of music they enjoy and are likely to be happy hearing at their wedding reception.
  2. Prepare a CD of both slow and upbeat songs you would recommend to be played during the wedding, and give it to the bride and groom. Include songs that the bride and groom are likely to be familiar with, but feel free to add less popular songs you think they might enjoy based on your previous discussion. This will showcase your flexibility, as well as your range.
  3. Create playlists of the songs that the bride and groom specially request and have them prepared well before the wedding. Make extra copies of the CDs that hold each playlist so that you will have a backup in the event of an emergency. Be sure to review each playlist with the bride and groom before the wedding to confirm that you have the right version of each song.
  4. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment to DJ the wedding reception. You will most likely need to provide your own CDs, turntables or mixers, laptop computer and other basic equipment. If the wedding reception is being held at a venue that regularly hosts this type of event, the venue will most likely provide the speaker system–but be sure to confirm this well in advance.
  5. Agree to an appropriate amount of payment for your DJ services. You should base this amount on the number of hours you will be asked to play music. Include any additional expenses for travel and overnight accommodations. Be sure to sign an agreement upfront that explains all of these fees, and allow for unexpected expenses, such as purchases of requested songs or last-minute rentals of equipment.

How to Make a Seashell Wedding Bouquet

https://wwcdn.weddingwire.com/wedding/2320001_2325000/2321717/thumbnails/400x400_1374611086003-bridal-bouquet.jpgEvery woman wants her wedding day to be unique so that her guests can remember it for years to come. If the sound of the ocean inspires you or if collecting seashells is your favorite past-time, a seashell wedding bouquet may add the perfect, creative touch to that special day.

Instructions

  1. Pick a color scheme. The great thing about seashells is that they come in a variety of colors. When combing the beach, gather a bucket full of like-colored shells to go with your theme.
  2. Cut the dowel. A dowel can be cut to any length and should be customized according to the holder’s preference. To cut, simply use a small handsaw or cutting knife and then sandpaper the edges for a smooth finish.
  3. Prepare the foam. Gently push the dowel into a foam ball until it feels secure–no more than half-way. Then remove the foam, fill the newly-formed hole with hot glue, and re-insert the dowel. Let it dry completely.
  4. Add the flowers. Apply the seashells with hot glue until the desired look is achieved.
  5. Apply some dazzle. Cultured pearls and crystals are elegant accents and can be added to shells throughout the bouquet. Also use them to hide any foam that may be showing through.
  6. Allow it to sit. In order to ensure that the shells stay in place, remember to let the bouquet dry for a bit.
  7. Wrap it up. Use a silk ribbon to wrap the dowel in and then feel free to dress it up with some organza if you like.

How to Make Budget Wedding Centerpieces

If you are planning your wedding on a budget, making your own decorations is a good way to cut costs. Making your own centerpieces for your reception tables is easy and inexpensive. Follow these simple steps to create elegant, yet budget conscious centerpieces.

Instructions

  1. Buy clear glass bowls in a variety of shapes and sizes from the dollar store. Also purchase tealight candles in bulk. Place one bowl on the center of each table and fill it with water. Float three tealights in the water.
  2. Purchase flowers from the grocery store instead of from a florist. Pick low cost flowers such as carnations.
  3. Cut the stems off the carnations and float the flowers in the bowl with the tealights.
  4. Get confetti or silk flower petals from your local craft store. Sprinkle the confetti or petals on each table to add a little color and drama to the tables.
  5. Place a disposable camera on each table with a note for your guests to take pictures at the reception, then leave the camera. This way you will get a lot of candid photos from your wedding reception, but eliminate the cost of a professional photographer.
  6. Buy inexpensive potted plants from your local gardening shop to use as another option for budget centerpieces. Tie a ribbon around each of the pots, and place one in the middle of each table. You can take the plants home or give them to guests.
  7. Use a big bowl of fruit as a centerpiece. Buy whatever fruit is on special at your local grocer. Guests can eat the fruit during the reception.
  8. Purchase inexpensive picture frames from a discount or drug store. Print pictures of the bride and groom and put one in each frame. Place a framed picture in the middle of each table with a note of thanks to the guests from the bride and groom.

How to Make Wedding Bouquets With Sunflowers

Sunflowers provide a pop of color to any wedding bouquet and work well with summer, spring or autumn weddings. They are also an affordable flower, and their size lets you use fewer flowers to create a lush bouquet for even more savings. Whether you are looking for a whimsical hand-held bouquet or an elegant cascading arrangement, sunflowers are an ideal flower choice. Start with a simple bouquet and add embellishments to make a more dramatic arrangement.

Hand-held Bouquet

  1. Remove the leaves from each sunflower. Use a knife to cut 2 inches from the stems. Hold one sunflower in your hand. Add more flowers until you have the desired fullness.
  2. Add filler flowers if desired. Use the flowers that best fit the desired style of your bouquet. Add mint and lavender sprigs for a nature-inspired bouquet. Add large green leaves to balance out the large sunflowers. Carnations, roses, mini calla lilies, daisies, gaillardia, hydrangeas or geraniums provide a color and textural contrast next to the more substantial sunflowers. Baby’s breath and sunflower buds add a romantic touch to the bouquet. Mix in brown or burgundy sunflowers next to your yellow ones for a fall bouquet. Purple and orange accents also work well in the fall. Use floral tape to attach small flowers or fillers to the sunflowers.
  3. Wrap a rubber band around the sunflowers and any filler flowers near the flower heads. Wrap another band around the flowers about 4 inches below your other rubber band. Place the stems underwater and use your knife to trim them to your desired height.
  4. Wrap your bouquet. Wrap in green floral tape to hide the stems. An alternative is to use ribbon that matches the wedding colors. Twine provides a rustic or country look. Striped ribbon contrasts nicely with the bouquet.

Cascading Bouquet

  1. Soak a slanted bouquet holder in a solution of water and flower food. Insert the stems of greenery through the sides of the bouquet holder until the sides are full of greenery. You can use a variety of greenery, such as myrtle, foxtails, ivy or craspedias, depending on the desired look.
  2. Place sunflowers in the middle and sides of the holder. Rearrange the greenery so that it frames the sunflowers. Face the sunflowers in different directions.
  3. Add any filler flowers or additional greenery. Money plant creeper, calla lilies and roses work well with a cascading bouquet.
  4. Spray a finishing spray over all the flowers and greenery. This prevents your flowers from wilting.
  5. Wrap ribbon around the bouquet holder. This will make a softer surface for the bride to carry the bouquet. Secure the ribbon in place with a pearl pin.

How to Make Floating Candle Centerpieces for a Wedding

Floating candle wedding centerpieces are simple to make, yet they can create a breathtaking scene when lit up on your reception tables. Candles are typically associated with romance, which makes them ideal for wedding decor. The candles provide low lighting and can create a romantic ambiance without costing you much time or money on your centerpieces. Take a few home to utilize in your home decor when the wedding is over to remind you of your special day, or give them to guests after the reception.

Instructions

  1. Choose your containers for the floating candles. Tall cylinder containers in varying heights are one option, or shallow bowls with wide openings are another. Taller centerpieces are typically more dramatic, though shallow centerpieces allow for easy conversation across the table and provide and intimate ambiance. Choose clear containers for the best results.
  2. Fill the bottom portion of the containers with decorative objects. Sink flowers or greenery and hold them in place with heavy stones, pebbles or sea glass. Sand and seashells are an option for a beach or beach-themed wedding. Rhinestones or faux jewels are another option that can sparkle and reflect the flickering candlelight.
  3. Add water. Fill the container with water, leaving enough room for the candles to float along the top of the water without being exposed. If the candle is higher than the edges of the container a slight breeze could blow out the flame. Color the water with a few drops of food coloring or colorful LED lights hidden in the decorative objects if you want colored water.
  4. Decorate around the main container with small votive candles or combine a few different cylinders or containers. Long tables can include a few of the floating candle centerpieces with an abundance of votive candles filling the gaps between the larger containers. Silk flower petals, seashells, pearls, beads, ivy or faux jewels and rhinestones can be sprinkled around the arrangements like confetti. Add mirrors under the candle arrangements for a dramatic look.

Late Summer Wedding Flowers

Many couples like to match their wedding flowers to the season to incorporate natural-occurring colors, as well as to save money on their florist bill. Late summer weddings can benefit from summer and fall flowers since it’s between the two seasons. Choose the flowers that best suit your personalities, the type of wedding you’re having, and the color scheme you wish to use.

Tropical Flowers

  • Summer often brings thoughts of a tropical paradise, warm beaches and gentle breezes. Incorporate that into your wedding by using tropical flowers in bright bursts of color. Birds of Paradise is a larger flower that commands attention and comes in an array of bright colors. Snapdragons are another large tropical flower that’s available in white, pinks and yellows. Another popular tropical flower choice is orchids, which come in bright colors such as orange and fuchsia.

Summer Flowers

  • Flowers that are found in abundance during the summer are typically still readily available at the end of the season. Consider alstroemerias, delphiniums, irises, lilies, calla lilies, gerberas, daisies, asters, dahlias, geraniums, Jacobs Ladder or Queen Anne’s lace. These flowers are available in an array of colors and thrive during the summer. The exact flower you choose will depend on the fullness of the bouquet you’re looking for, how strong of a scent you want the flowers to give off, and your preference in color choices.

Summer or Fall Flowers

  • Opt for flowers that thrive during the summer and fall if you’re concerned about your wedding date being too late in the summer to take advantage of summer blooms. For example, roses are available almost year round and tend to be a classic choice for weddings as they come in almost any color imaginable. Other flowers that work for summer and fall weddings are hydrangeas, mini calla lilies and sunflowers.

Colors

  • One advantage you’ve given yourself by choosing a late summer wedding date is that you can use typical summer colors or fall colors. Your flowers should ultimately complement the theme, formality, style and color scheme of your wedding. Summer wedding colors typically include bright tropical colors or soft summer pastels such as peach or pink. Fall colors are usually deeper, darker and richer shades such as yellow, burnt orange and deep reds. Mix it up by using summer flowers in fall colors or fall flowers in summer colors. Or you can combine fall and summer flowers in fall and summer colors. For example, pastel pink roses could work with burgundy and white alstroemerias. You could also, for example, pair burnt orange roses with peach-colored roses.

Other Factors

  • Use your wedding venue, the location, the usual temperature, the time of day, and the length of the wedding to help you decide which flowers will work best. If you’re getting married outside, the temperature could be a huge factor determining which flowers will survive the wedding and which ones might not. Talk to your florist and ask for pictures of bouquets they’ve done for late summer weddings with the flowers you’re considering.