30 September, 2009

Fall Inspiration

Loving this! I found this in the Pottery Barn Party Planning Section of my last catalog. I love the PB, I really do. Just imagine this table in shades of yellow and deep orange. Squee! I love fall and I love Harvest Parties. My favorite part about this setting, is that besides the flowers, these are all things you'd likely have around your house. I know I have an inordinate amount of decorative glass sitting around. Enjoy!

Inspiration {Sept. 30}

As as September ends and we tumble headlong into fall, I thought this dreamy photo might stimulate the hearts and minds of my lovely fall brides. Love. this.

Ceremony Setting By Preston Bailey, photo taken from banquet event dot com

28 September, 2009

Tips for Hosting the Perfect Halloween Party!

It's getting to be that time of year again, when ghouls, ghosts and goblins run amok in the streets! What better way to celebrate than with a swanky, chic party! That's what I'm doing and I thought I'd share with you some of my tips and tricks.

1. Send out Invitations. Send your invites at least two weeks in advance of the party. This gives people time to clear their schedules and gear up. Be sure your invites are clear. Make sure to include directions, costume policies and time frames. I feel as though I've been talking about ours incessantly, but if you'd like an example, you can find one here.

2. Have a Plan B. This is especially important for outdoor parties. Fall is notorious for being finicky and you don't want to get caught in inclement weather.

3. Get Lots of Pictures! Take pictures as your guests first arrive. Have a couple disposable cameras available for guests to capture your party through their eyes. Consider taking Polaroids and giving them to your guests as they leave. It makes for a cute, classy reminder of the fun!

4. Don't Underestimate Scary Food. Try giving goodies a scary makeover. Some of my favorites include; blood-like punch and candies dressed up like eyeballs. A friend of mine made little cake fingers with red velvet cake. Just don't agonize over the menu. It will take some of the fun out of the process. Try a mixture of new things and your signature dishes.

5. Decorate with Friends. Have a couple of your closest friends over early to help with the decorations. It's a big time saver and it's fun to get a bunch of creative minds working together. If you're working against the clock, set a kitchen timer to help keep you focused. Also, try making as much of the decor as you can. Handmade touches make the party unmistakably yours. It's also a great way to save a little green.

6. Try a Signature Drink. A fun drink with a festive name is a great way to keep party costs down. Turn your favorite cocktails into mysterious concoctions with custom labels that say things like, "Poison", Witches' Brew" and "XXX". Get creative with your glass ware, too. Test tubes and the racks that hold 'em are usually fairly inexpensive and always a great addition to the playful atmosphere.

7. Have Fun! Commit to your theme if you have one and go all out! Hosting in a pair or group? Think of a creative group costume and build it together. It will build excitement for the party and afford you an extra excuse to get together with your besties. Scheming, after all is best done with good friends! Need some ideas to get you started? Characters from Clue, The Addams Family, Sesame Street, ABBA, Sin City, just about any 80's movie ever, Family Guy..etc.

Well, there you have it. I hope this helps you to have a truly wonderful Halloween Extravaganza (I don't get to use that word nearly enough in my everyday life!)

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Halloween Central

26 September, 2009

{Adventures In Cupcaking}

Hey everyone.

We all know how I feel about cupcakes. For those of you that don't, I'll let you in on the secret. I LOVE them! Making them, decorating them, presenting them, everything. Below are some pictures from my recent foray into cupcakes. These I made for a work party to welcome the new intern class. They seemed to be a big hit...only one left at the end of the gathering. I can't help but be a tiny bit proud and dare I say smug about it. Here you go!

Vanilla/Lavender and Chili Chocolate with Lemon. Yum! I've always been a big fan of Chocolate and Chili. Vanilla and Lavender just sort of happened. Another favorite flavor combo of mine. I was really very happy with the way the frosting turned out. I love making my own frosting and I was really happy with this.

A little menu list I made and some little placards. I forgot to bring the ones I had previously made with me to work, so I had to whip these up at my desk, 10 minutes before I had to take the cakes down to the picnic...I think it came out rather nicely.

A look at the cakes all together. I really ended up liking the peach and yellow frosting....these little cakes were easy to make and a big hit with the co-workers. A little fun on our 5th Floor oasis.

Inspiration for September 26

Photo: Redhotbrides.com

Luxe Life: Adam and Laura

Hey all, here are some pictures from a wedding The Hubbs' and I attended this summer. I hate that it has taken so long for me to get these pictures up here, but I have had the busiest summer of my life! Whew! But, now that it is coming reluctantly to a close, I feel I can release these and chat about them effectively.

Adam and Laura have been friends with The Hubbs for years and a couple for even longer. I had the pleasure of meeting them at a party they were hosting. I really have enjoyed getting to know them over the last couple years.

The cute couple opted for a semi-formal affair at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. I got so excited about the place (that and the lighting at the reception took a toll on my photo quality) that I forgot to take a lot of pictures of aspects of the reception. Had I designed this wedding, I would have more detail...

The approach! I was in love with this place from the start. Look at the wonderful little house at the end of the road.

The Pavilion! I am such a big fan of this place. Of course, I am a big fan of anything shiny! I was not expecting this at all. A very stylish surprise.

The cutest flower girl ever! Ever. She was enthralled with the Bride and Groom in all their finery. I remember being that age and wanting to be part of the action. On a critique-y note, I am not always a fan of these big, tulle princess gowns for little ones, but this one was done very nicely. The length definitely added a little formality to the dress and her overall look! What a little doll!

The happy couple getting a few last minute directions. I was surprised this all went as well as it did without a Day-Of Coordinator. I really recommend it, Brides. The last thing you want to be doing is giving/getting directions when you could be off enjoying the day. P.S. LOVING the dress. Such a beautiful neckline. The pearls were such a simple yet elegant touch to an already gorgeous Bride!

The table. I like the napkin fans...I usually don't like fancy napkin sculptures, but these are cute and add a lot of pizazz to the table. I really like the use of foliage instead of traditional flowers. A really good example of creating style on a budget.

The cake! A very distinct choice with the pillars. I'm loving the sugar flower spirals. Cute cute cute!

Well, there you have it. I have sooo many more, but these were some of the highlights. I also wish I could've gotten my hands on the professional shots for this one. Overall, this was one dreamy outdoor wedding!

The photos shown do not represent Darling Events design.

25 September, 2009

A Little Update for your Friday Afternoon!

Hey there! Sorry about the silence, I've been knee deep in the planning pool. Here is the final draft of the invites for the cocktail party I'm hosting in October. Inspired by horror movie posters of the 50's and 60's, I think these little darlings will be a perfect introduction to the atmosphere of the party. I'm rather proud of them! Another big thank you to Allison C. Beilke for her help with these. They are exactly what I wanted.

Loving them! They're going to go in the Waste Not "Beet" A7 envelopes. I'll think they'll be super cute when paired with the custom envelope liners I'm working on. Squee! They're off to the printer Saturday morning and hopefully I'll have them in the mail October 1st.

Now I'm working on little serving skewers and title cards for the hors d' oeuvres. Pictures as the project progresses.

A note about wording: Address the who, what, when, where, why of your party up front. I wanted to be cutesy, but I needed people to know they'd be fed, celebrating The Hubbs' b-day and that costumes were encouraged.

21 September, 2009

Inspiration on a Gloomy Day (Sept 21)

Okay, wow. Look at that dress. Even if it isn't your style, I'm sure we can all appreciate the work it took to bring it together. For me, this is a real masterpiece.

Today, I'd like you all to think about this: What can I do to make this tradition of a wedding uniquely ours? How can we make our mark on every aspect of this wonderful celebration? What have we already done and how can we maximize it?

This week is going to be about personal touches and how to achieve them without breaking the bank.

Photo credit: offbeatbride dot com and Our Punk Rock Wedding

17 September, 2009

Planning My Tushie Off!

Hey there, everybody. I just realized I haven't blogged in a few days. Boo me. I have just been up to my bottom in planning. I'm working on a super fab Halloween party with a campy-chic B Horror movie theme. It's also a birthday party for The Hubbs. It's coming together beautifully.

Here's the first draft of the invites. I love them! My friend Allison did them. You'll remember her from designing the banner for this blog and for Holy Matrimony!. She also designed our entire wedding suite from save the dates to escort cards. 17 pieces in all. She's brilliant and here is the post I did about her. You can check out her Etsy shop here and her website here. What do you think!
All the copy needs to be dropped in (hence the unclear half sentences), but that's why its a first draft. The envelopes are shown in "Beet" and come from Paper Source. I love this store! I really wish we had one here in MKE. *sigh* Enjoy! I'll get pictures up of the final draft when the copy is in.

Thanks, Allison!

The design belongs to Allison. No copying or stealing...I don't want to see this end up anywhere. Thanks!

13 September, 2009

Inspiration for Sept. 13

This picture comes to me from The Knot. Love. This. However, I think I would have played around with dimension and levels a bit more, but that's just me. It's an incredible tablescape, I must say! Wow. This make me think of winter wonderlands or midsummer night's dreams. I wonder...

12 September, 2009

Oscar De La Renta Spring 2010

Ok, so it was really difficult to choose three looks from this collection. I loved it all. Seriously. De La Renta really knocked it out with this collection. Here are my top three.

This is, to me, the sort of dress little girls dream about. Look at the detail on the skirt! Incredible! I have seen a lot of this type of embellishment but I haven't seen it done better. I'm also a huge fan of the no veil headpiece. It's such a wonderful alternative for the traditional veil and blusher. From head to toe, this look is one huge Do.

Love, love LOVE this! Again with the stunning empire waist line! The dreamy, creamy pink is crazy beautiful. With the lace overlay it's simply perfection.

Ah, my favorite... So different! So chic! I see this in a number of perfect situations. Perhaps a reception costume change (of which I am a HUGE fan, by the way). This reminds me of one of those amazing suits you see in movies of the late 50's and very early 60's. The embellishment on the collar and on the waistline is just to die for! The above the knee length is perfect. Smart and chic with just the right touch of sex appeal. I love.

I know I said three, but it's my blog. And I think I want a bonus...here you go!

Hello, Nurse! I am in love with this dress. The way that the bodice while edgy and cool blends seamlessly into that amazing skirt- Insanity! There isn't a thing I don't love about this dress. Well, except the price tag, but it's the price we pay for perfection, no? Meow!

Photos from brides.com

11 September, 2009

Daily {Dose of} Inspiration

My friend is contemplating a carnival wedding next fall and I am overflowing with ideas. Carnival themed weddings can be so chic and wonderful I can't even stand it! This poster gets me all inspired and ready to turn this puppy out! Here it is...

By the by, stay tuned for a Carnival Themed Inspiration Board....I have sooo many ideas, it will be hard to harness them all.

Photo credit: allposters.com


Well, September is underway and today I am feeling a little fall-ish and Halloween-y and I chose today's inspiration based on that. Enjoy!

This reminds me, I'd better get planning...

Photo Credit: Country Living dot com

St. Pucchi Spring 2010

Well hello, everyone. I thought I'd start out with a bang! Here are a few dresses from the Spring 2010 collection at St Pucchi. This is one of my absolute favorite designers of all time. The detail and embellishments are to die for. But, enough of me, lets see some dresses!

Beautiful! I think this is a classic example of St. Pucchi's mastery of design. Look at the detail on that dress! Mercy! The shape is incredible. I'm a big fan of daring necklines on wedding dresses and this one is spot on!

I chose this one because of the interesting combination of silver and white. I love the bolero paired with the classically elegant white dress. Note the subtle detail on the bodice. Swoon!

Love. This. Dress. This was one of the first I saw of this line and its a 10 for me. Although this really isn't a style for everybody type, it's everything I look for in a spring dress. It's light and breezy style would be perfect for an outdoor affair in a botanical garden. Not a fan of the out of doors? I find the crystal embellishments at the bust and in the center of some of the flower detail to be perfect for a swanky, chic indoor wedding. I'm seeing art galleries, champagne bars, and museums. Love is in the air indeed!

This is about the sweetest little number I've seen in awhile. It's so romantic and airy. I'm a sucker for a well done empire waist. Again with the stunning detail! I love, I swoon. I'm also pleased at the absence of a train. While I love them (my dress had a four footer), I just think Spring is the time to have fun in a comfortable, knockout dress. For me, this is it.

And because I can't help it, I thought I'd throw in a glimpse of the dress that got me hooked on St Pucchi in the first place. A dress I can blame for my obsession. My favorite dress of all time, number 9624!
Oh. My. Blog. I die! Every time I see this dress, I love it even more. It's perfection. The lace! The neckline! The skirt! All of it's working!

All photos from Brides.com

10 September, 2009

A Little Inspiration

I stumbled across this picture while cultivating ideas for a party I'm hosting in a month or so. Wow. The Golden Age of Hollywood has been one of the constant inspirations in my life. Stunning. And her shoes?! I die!

I know it's silly to get wrapped up in nostalgia, but oh, how I used to wish I could be her. My No. 2 favorite movie of all time is "A Song Is Born" (1948). Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo and just about every musical star in America at that time including Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong. My Mom and I used to watch AMC (American Movie Classics) all the time when I was younger and my daydreams used to be full of beautiful women in long flowing dresses, handsome men (Cary Grant, anyone?!), "dressing" for dinner and big band music (Benny Goodman and the Andrews Sisters are two of my favorites).

This photo brought it all back to me now. *Sigh*

I think I'll make "A Little Inspiration" a daily happening...but maybe without all my blathering. I might also have a bonus one for today. I'm feeling inspired.

Fashion's Elite Hit the Street

Well, it's that time of year again. The time of year when the fashionable, fierce fashion elite hit the streets to see and be seen. I'm talking about NYC Fashion Week. I'll be there, in the front row (in spirit, at least).

What does all this mean for Holy Matrimony, you ask? This week, in the spirit of all things fabulous, I will be featuring Spring 2010 collections by some of my favorite designers including: Carolina Herrera, Badgley Mischka, Oscar De La Renta, Vera Wang and many more.

We'll also take a look at accessories. What's hot and what's not (although I don't necessarily believe in blindly chasing trends, some things are sooo very over and the truth must be told).

So hang onto your taffeta, we have a great week ahead of us!

Photo: Courtesy of msn.com. The dress? Rubin Singer Fall 2008. Meow!

09 September, 2009

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Hello, lovelies!

I hope you've all been well. I am back in the saddle, so to speak, and couldn't be happier! Have I got news for you, and how.

Stay tuned for highlights from my recent trip to the Big Apple (aka Honeymoon-a-go-go), new party planning tips and tricks, as well as what I like to call the "Parties in a Pinch"series.

And away we go!