Life is a special occasion

Wedding Band Engraving 101

You're mine sucker is exactly what I think of as a phrase for a wedding band. That's what I think of however not necessarily what I would want. But someone did because it was listed on E-Weddingbands list of their favorite wedding band engravings. My husband took it upon himself to engrave his own wedding band. His clever phrase is do not remove. I would have liked something like a perfect fit or Greg & Lauren forever or my heart is yours. Something simple and sweet. If you're stuck on stupid trying to come up with a sweet phrase, check out E-Weddingbands.

Photo courtesy of Engagement Rings

Live Event Painting

The name says it all. An artist is commissioned to attend your special event and literally capture the moment: live. This is an ultra chic way to incorporate a glamorous element into your event. Plus, walk away with a one of a kind, piece of artwork to forever remember your special event.

Photo courtesy of Timree

DIY Photo Sharing Kiosk

How many pictures will be taken by the guests at your next event or your wedding wedding? Probably hundreds to thousands. Wouldn't you like to have them? Of course you would. Well, good luck getting them! Okay, okay, okay- maybe your family and friends represent the one percent who will actually send all the shots they snapped at your event BUT most likely they will forget. Not maliciously of course; I'm no stranger to forgetting to send pictures. 

What to do - what to do - what to do? You could rent a Kedai for $499. A very nifty device, which also comes with a high definition monitor for immediate viewing pleasure. All you do it order the machine, Kedai sends it. Simple; a little pricey but simple.

Or, how about making your own photo sharing kiosk? Sounds more difficult than it is. All you need are three things: a laptop, a card reader and a family or friend appointed computer guard. Yup, that's it. Make sure to inform your guests about the download station, or else you wont get any pictures. If you have a DJ, they will be able to make announcements throughout the night. If not, set the station up by the exit and ask the computer guard to remind the departing guests. Then enjoy ALL your event pictures...for F-R-E-E!

Wedding Monogram: 1

Wedding monogram for Claire and Marvin

Do you love this monogram? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this monogram, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

Seasons 52

Where is the perfect place to celebrate your next special event? Seasons 52 of course! Seasons 52 is the perfect place to host your bridal events or any special dinner. Whether it's your engagement party, bridal shower or rehearsal dinner, an intimate 40th birthday party, anniversary or a romantic dinner for two, Seasons 52 will make it unforgettable.

They have private and semi-private space available, award-winning cuisine, impeccable service and valet parking. For more details visit their website and enter "The Knot" in the special requests box. Or, phone Field Sales Manager Beth McNulty at (561) 302-3369 today!

Seasons 52 is located in Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens and Ft. Lauderdale. If you are a Knot members you will receive a complimentary champagne toast for your event if you call before June 30, 2009.*

* Food and beverage minimums apply.

DIY Event Centerpieces: J-E-L-L-O

I've been doing some research for inexpensive yet chic centerpieces for a few of my upcoming events. I think I hit the nail on the head. Rachel Ray had a posting on jello centerpieces, and maybe I've been burning the candle at both ends lately but I think they look tres cool! Evette Rios, one of Rachel's go-to design gurus who I am now going to do a little research on, concocted this idea and really elevated the translucent dessert to art. Here are the simple directions:


  • Combine six boxes of Jell-O powder with half the amount of water specified.
  • Chill the mix in a glass vase for half an hour
  • Push flowers into the semi-firm gelatin.
  • Design your own — in any color!

Jello is about as inexpensive as it comes, and is available in a million colors. Fruit, flowers are just a few interesting items that could be submerged. Can't wait to try this out!

DIY: Invitations

DIY projects are money savers. If you have the time and want to put in the effort, there is nothing more rewarding than doing it yourself! Doesn't everyone want to save money? I am always searching the Internet for cyberspace treasures. It will take me a long time to list all of my finds but posted below are links to a few resources for those brides- (and grooms) -to-be who are going to tackle their invitations on their own...

  • Xpedx

  • This list will be updated so keep checking back!

    My 2 cents: CHECK THE SALES! Yes, certain companies and brands and invitations may be out of your price range but don't count them out quite yet. Check back in and see if what you liked went on sale, or is being discontinued, or something else you never even thought of. Why...because you never know!!! Also, inspiration...HELLO!!!!

    PS: Do you have cyberspace treasures? Or worse, cyberspace trash? Send your thoughts this way! After all, hindsight is 20 could make a huge difference in someone else's event!

    Affordable Event Decor

    Who says event decoration needs to be expensive? Walmart doesn't. They offer a very affordable, and very adorable, Martha Stewart collection.  There are a lot of items to choose from but the two that jumped out at me were the set of 3 eyelet-pattern lanterns or a 6 piece lantern polka dot lantern set, both sell for under $12!  They would perfect to spruce up a birthday party, baby shower, wedding, dinner or cocktail party...

    TOTW: Tipping Etiquette

    Oh, I know, this is a delicate subject. So, I'll write straight forward, like a parent teaching their child. Yes. Yes, you should tip. And you should plan for tips and gratuities in your budget.

    Think about this, when you dine in a restaurant you tip a waiter, bartender, valet attendant, maybe even coat check, hostess or piano player. You tip them because they are working hard for you to have a great dining experience. Well, this idea holds true for special events too; probably even more so! Special event professionals work over time to make sure every single detail of your dream is brought to fruition.

    The big question: how much and to whom? Well, you should tip the vendors you're working with, of course: wedding coordinator(s), photographer, caterer, entertainers, hair stylist, make-up artist, etc. A good rule of thumb is if any one of your vendors went beyond your expectations and provided you with extra special service you should compensate them extra. Pretty straight forward.

    Now don't get me wrong, this does not necessarily mean you have to shell out a ton of extra cash! Money is customary but certainly not mandatory, especially with money being tight for just about everyone right now. Be creative and bake your vendors a batch of your favorite cookies, write them a handwritten note or pick up a case of wine to divvy up amongst the vendors. But no mater what, do something to show your appreciation!

    A lot of vendors in the special event industry go above and way beyond what is asked of them all to ensure your event is a smashing success. Sometimes you may not even notice when a vendor has gone the extra mile. There is always a lot of behind the scene occurrences clients are not privy to, which is a good thing. Sooooo, if and when a vendor does go above and beyond for you, it means they've put forth extra energy and donated their time for your event. Now come on, how many times in life does this happen? I'm from New York where most people don't even hold the elevator when you scream "HOLD THE DOOR", and that doesn't cost them one cent! 

    BUT WAIT... you don't want to double tip. Read your contracts because sometimes gratuities are automatically included in the final bill. Also, check with your venue to find out about tipping policies because sometimes employees are not allowed to accept tips.

    With ALL of this being written, remember, tips are not mandatory. It is difficult to give an exact amount for each type of vendor because each situation is unique. Base tips on the total amount of time you've spent with your vendors during the planning process and take into consideration if someone went beyond your expectations and provided you with extra special service. Did I use above and beyond enough in this post, or what?

    Current Music: Super Junior

    It's not a secret to anyone who knows me that I like pop music. There really is not one single type of music that I don't like, and I love to find new things. Today, I came across Super Junior, a boy band from Seoul, South Korea. The group has thirteen members making them the largest boy band in the world. I don't know much about this group but I am totally into this one song, Sorry Sorry, and the video for it is awesome!  The song is infectious, energetic and would add some zing to the right event. Enjoy!

    Photo courtesy of

    Raspberry Filling

    Knowing how to whip up a raspberry filling is a must! This recipe is a chic and delicious way to bring some pizazz to a ton of dishes: baked brie, use this as a dipping sauce, for cake or pastry filling. Honestly, there are a zillion ways to use raspberry filling and it is easy to make. You tell me some creative uses!

    What You'll Need:
    1 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
    1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup sugar

    Place the raspberries and lemon juice in a small sauce pan and bring berries to a boil. Strain the mixture through a sieve, pushing the mixture with a spoon or spatula to separate the seeds. Discard the seeds and return the mixture to the sauce pan and put over medium heat. Add the sugar and cornstarch to the mixture and whisk. The cornstarch will cause the filling to thicken. Once the mixture is well combined and thickened, remove from heat. If you are using this as cake filling, it must cool completely before it is spread onto a cake.

    Photo courtesy of D K Images

    DIY Marshmallow Fondant Cake Part 3

    Photo credit Liz Denmark Photography

    This is the third and final chapter in my DIY marshmallow fondant cake tutorial. When I reported last, all I had left to do was bake the real cake, frost it, cover it in fondant, apply the polka dots and add some real flowers. I like my use of "all I had left" as if it was just a little task like putting on some lip gloss, grabbing my purse and running out the door! Ha ha ha. This part took a little bit longer than anticipated; partly because I only bought one 6" pan when I should have bought two; partly because artistically applying polka dots is difficult for a perfectionist; and partly because I was exhausted. With that being said, I think the cake turned out fabulous.

    Here are the rest of my instructions...

    1. I used a boxed cake mix and store bought frosting, and I am glad of this! Or else, I would have been totally behind the eight ball whipping up buttercream frosting and mixing cake mix. I'll work on perfecting those areas later but the lemon cake and lemon frosting was a hit, EASY to work with and took no time to put together. As I baked my cakes in the oven, I made my own raspberry filling to use in the cake. Figured it went well with lemon cake, and is refreshing for a spring bar-b-q menu.

    2. I took the same steps to cover the actual cake layers with fondant as I did to cover the dummy layer. This is another area where I ran into a little glitch. I used a 9 x 1 1/2 inch round cake pan for the middle tier, and a 6 x 2 inch round for the top tier. The extra half inch makes a difference. A HUGE difference. Be that as it may, I trimmed the top of the cakes to make them flat, spread my raspberry filling in between layers, frosted and covered the middle and top layer in the marshmallow fondant, trimmed the excess fondant off, smoothed the fondant out, stacked the layers on top of each other, wrapped them in ribbon and completed the cake!

    3. At this point it was about one in the morning and I just forgot to take pictures. But I dyed my extra fondant using Wilton icing colors. I tried to match the colors from the invitation, which is tricky to say the least. I made an orange, fuchsia, yellow and lavender dough for the polka dots. Using Wilton round cut outs, I cut different size shapes from the different colored fondants and glued them onto the cake by lightly brushing one side with water. The bigger circles covered the corners where I tragically butchered the fondant, and the smaller circles covered any other blemishes. Next time I decide to use polka dots, I'll sketch out a pattern rather than deciding on the spot where to place them on the cake. My poor brain just doesn't function well under that type of pressure! A plan helps to make it perfect!

    4. The last part of my tutorial is adding fresh flowers to the cake, which was done day of. My husband picked up a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store, and the colors he picked complimented the cake perfectly. Big kiss to my awesome husband!!! I cut the flowers and stuck 'em in my cake. They helped to really cover up anything that looked weird in the fondant. Then I poked the birthday candle in the center of the top tier and voila!
    Photo credit Liz Denmark Photography
    More on the amazing photography of Liz Denmark to come!!!

    Like I said before, for my first time making a cake like this, I think it turned out fabulous! Were there bet. But the more you do something the better you become at it. So, I look forward to making more cakes and watching them improve!!! DIY marshmallow fondant cake was a huge success!

    DIY Chandelier

    This DIY project will add rustic charm to an event on a realistic budget. Natural Home Magazine, I have NO CLUE how I ended up on this site, posted the adorable project which utilizes used baby food jars, twisted wire, repurposed barrel hoops and some rusty chain. If your venue allows candles, this chandelier will be a special detail that wont not go unnoticed.

    Tie wire (about 40 yards)
    15 to 18 baby-food jars
    15 to 18 votive or tealight candles
    2 barrel hoops
    6 eyehook bolts (black or rusty, if possible)
    12 nuts to match the bolts
    About 9 feet of lightweight chain (dark or rusty, if possible)
    Large S-hook

    Wire cutters
    Needle-nose pliers
    Jigsaw with metal-cutting blade for barrel hoops (if needed)

    1. Measure and cut two 24-inch lengths of tie wire. Make a loop in the center of each wire. Place one loop over the neck of a baby food jar and tighten slightly. Then put the other loop over the neck in the opposite direction. Cinch down.

    2. Pulling the loops tightly, twist the end wires around each other to secure the wire on the jar neck. Using needle-nose pliers, tighten loops.

    3. Bend the lower wire on each side up so it shoots straight up from the jar. This wire should measure about 8 inches; cut if necessary. Bend the other two wires out horizontally from the jar. Cut these to be about 5 inches long.

    4. Grab the tip of the vertical wire and curl it outward to form a spiral. The finished spiral should be about 1 inch across and have about three twists.

    5. Spiral the shorter, horizontal wires to about the same size as the ones above, but curl them inward this time.

    6. Repeat the spirals on the two remaining wires to make a symmetrical holder. You could stop here and use this wire-topped jar as the votive holder
    shown above. To make the chandelier, repeat with all baby-food jars.

    To create chandelier:

    7. Cut a 20-inch piece of wire and make a loose loop in its center. Loop it over the two top spirals as shown.

    8. With the pliers, make three tight twists at the loop’s neck. Create an oval about 3 inches long. Twist to close the oval, then make 12 to 14 twists in the two wires to create a 3-inch twisted section.

    9. Use the pliers to bend the twisted portion down as shown. Leave a few inches of wire beyond the twists. Bend the remaining wire ends into 90-degree angles. Cut each end so that about 1 inch of wire extends beyond the bend. Make a small hook on the end of each wire. The hooks should face forward. They clasp onto the wire loop to lock the candle-holder to the hoop of the chandelier. Repeat steps 7 to 10 with all votives.

    10. Clamp the overlapping ends of the metal hoop to your work surface and drill a hole through both layers.

    11. Thread a nut onto the neck of the eyehook bolt, then push the bolt through the hole. With a wrench, fasten the second nut on the end of the bolt to sandwich together the two layers of hoop.

    12. Measure the circumference of your hoop. Drill holes in the hoop at 1⁄3 intervals and affix an eyehook bolt at each position. The chains attach to these bolts. Repeat with second hoop.

    13. Insert a link through the bolt’s eye to attach the chain to the bottom hoop.

    14. To attach the top hoop, thread the bolt’s head through the chain’s link.

    15. All three chains meet at the top in an S-hook from which the chandelier hangs.

    16. To complete chandelier, first hang your hoop structure where you like it. Then attach votives evenly—we hung six on the top hoop and 12 on the bottom. To attach votives, wrap the bent, twisted section of wire over barrel hoop and clasp wire ends to underside of hoop.

    Set up

    The chandelier’s simple structural base is made with two hoops; the top hoop has a smaller diameter than the bottom one. Three pieces of 36-inch chain connect them. The three lengths of chain join at the top in an S-hook from which the chandelier hangs.

    We made this chandelier using two steel hoops from a decrepit oak half-barrel planter that had weathered many Colorado winters. You will likely need to cut one or both hoops down to size using a jigsaw fitted with a metal blade. The diameter of one hoop should measure 17 inches and the other 24 inches; add an extra 4 inches so the metal ends overlap at the joint.

    DIY Marshmallow Fondant Cake Part 2

    Here is the second part of my DIY marshmallow fondant cake that covers making a dummy layer and covering it with fondant. This is my first experience working with fondant, dummy layers, multi layered cakes, and baking cakes in general. For the most part, this has been a very easy process. There were a few snafus here and there but nothing that would have forced me to abort my project!
    1. Cut and place styrofoam blocks in the shape and size needed for the dummy layers.
    2. Wrap the layer tightly in saran wrap.
    3. Frost over the saran wrap.

    4. A few suggestions I read: once the layer has been frosted, place the layer in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. This allows the frosting to harden and will make applying the fondant easier and with less bubbles; after the frosting has hardened, smooth the surface with a paper towel, which will also help when applying the fondant.
    5. When you are ready to apply the fondant to the cake, place it on the platter which it will be served from.
    6. Now, to the dough! Sprinkle corn starch on the counter top, put the dough on the corn starch, take your rolling pin and start to roll out the dough. This is a bit of a work out at first, but it gets easier and easier as the dough becomes more pliable.
    7. Roll the dough out to the size needed for your cake. I need 28 inches because the cake is 12 inches and there are four 4 inch sides. This is my first issue. Do not forget to keep sprinkling corn starch on the counter or the fondant will stick and tear. Also, throughout the rolling process, lift the fondant as you are rolling it out and slide your hand below the fondant to make sure it has not become stuck anywhere. Be mindful of your finger nails when doing this because they can snag the fondant.
    8. To transfer the fondant I placed it over a large cutting board, carried it to the cake, and then gently placed it on the cake. This is another issue. I have a rectangular cake and smoothing out the corners was very difficult. I am sure there is a proper method to this, which I will have to research and learn. For now, I am going to cover my beat up corners with ribbon, flowers and polka dots.
    9. I forgot to take a picture of the fondant rolled out on the counter top, and since there is only one of me, it was impossible for me to take a picture of the transfer but this is a picture of the dummy layer covered in the marshmallow fondant and wrapped with a ribbon. I smoothed out the fondant with a Wilton smoother, trimmed the excess fondant with a pizza cutter, and I think it looks pretty good. All that's left to do is bake the real cake, frost, cover in fondant, apply the polka dots, add some flowers and this DIY will be completed.