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Can't decide on the perfect favor for your summer wedding or shower? Send your guests home with some homemade lemonade favors!
Using your favorite lemonade recipe, make large batches of homemade lemonade, then use these pretty Italian bottles to package. We affixed a custom label but all these classic bottles need is a ribbon and they are set.
-Favorite Lemonade Recipe Made in Bulk
-Italian Bottles (from Ikea: $3/each)
-Custom Labels or a Ribbon
Adding a few small, sumptuous details to your table will make your event feel luxurious, even if you aren't spending a fortune! For a bit of sparkle, we wrapped regular, glass votives in small pieces of silk fabric. The result is gorgeous and textured, and once lit, the light bounces of the silk in a really pretty way. Silk is available in an array of gorgeous hues so take a trip to the fabric store and be inspired! silk is pretty expensive but you will only need about a yard or two so the total cost per votive is around 75 cents.
You will need:
Silk Fabric (about 1 yard per 20 votives) We used two colors.
Double stick tape
1. Wrap a piece of fabric around one candle to see approximately how much you will need per candle. Cut a piece out to size and then use that as a pattern for the rest of the pieces.
2. When cutting the silk, make a small cut in the fabric and then tear the fabric. The raw, frayed edges add a great texture.
3. Make sure the top of the fabric is just below the glass rim of the votive.
4.. Secure on the candle with a piece of double stick tape.
Style the candles in two different colors, in mass or as an accent with floral centerpieces. As always with candles, have your caterer or helper light them right before the event and don't leave them in an unattended room.
We adore weddings with a beachy vibe, and wanted to create a table setting with a stripped-down, simplified version of this super-popular theme. The result? A relaxed, romantic table with one-of-a-kind accents that's easy to put together!
Lots of white is the norm for beach wedding themed decor, so we stuck with a basic white, floor-length cloth for our table covering and used white napkins. We cut blue and off-white ticking stripe fabric into a long table runner, which breaks up the white and compliments the rest of our look.
Next, we wanted to bring in some natural elements. We made a centerpiece vase from pieces of reclaimed driftwood, which adds a lovely texture to the table. Inside the container we inserted a small container or water, and filled it with casual, floppy flowers in white, pale blue, and pale green.
Name cards were hand written and tied with simple twine around white starfish. These can be placed at each guest's spot at the table, or set out in a tray for guests to take when they first walk in.
A pair of found oars are an interesting prop to use for holding candles, and are a great conversation piece. We used clear bell jars to cover piles of found shells, and tied small stacks of nautical books together to create interesting little vignettes -- perfect to display on the gift table, next to your guestbook, or on the bar.
After the bride and groom make their happy departure, let the guests mingle and roast marshmallows. If your venue does not have firepits, you could also use little gas camp stoves on every table.
1. Hershey's Chocolate Bars
2. Graham Crackers
4. Wire Hangers
5. Cellophane Bags in 3 Sizes
6. Adhesive Paper and Cardstock
7. Labels and Instructions design (downloadable pdfs right here and here.)
8. Kraft Box with Lid 4.75" x 6" x 2.5"
12. Wire Cutter
STEP 1: Remove the marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers from their original packaging and put them in cellophane bags. Here we put six graham cracker squares in a 4" x 6" bag, Three chocolate squares in a 5" x 3" bag, and about 10 marshmallows in a 5.5" x 8" bag.
STEP 2: With the wire cutters, cut off the head of the hanger and then bend the hanger in fourths so it fits the length of the box. Secure it with ribbon.
STEP 3: Print out the labels on adhesive paper and instructions on cardstock and cut them out. Fold up the instructions.
STEP 4: Lining the box with a piece of tissue, assemble the marshmallows, crackers, chocolate, instructions and hanger in the box.
STEP 5: Adhere the label to the box lid and voila! A S'mores Kit!
A trip to your local garden center can yield the easiest centerpiece ever! Potted containers full of annuals are colorful and long-lasting, and they're budget-friendly to boot. This potted petunia was purchased for under $20, and absolutely pops on our table.
We wrapped its plastic pot with nubby burlap and tied a piece of white cheesecloth around it as an accent. The table number was taped to a wooden skewer and stuck in the center of the plant. Voila! A completely no-fuss, yet stunning alternative to a traditional flower arrangement, and a great take-away for your guests.
To finish off the look for our table, we used the same burlap fabric as wraps for simple glass votives. We made napkins out of complimentary fabric, wrapped our silverware inside, and tied cheesecloth around each one.
In keeping with our garden-inspired theme, we filled tiny paper bags with seeds as favors for guests. (Make sure to include information on the seed type and planting instructions with each one.) We labeled each bag with guest names and used miniature clothespins to attach them to a string.
Images courtesy: Mary Swenson
If cake or cupcakes just aren't your thing, consider a table of homemade tarts for your shower, party or reception. These bite size treats are a delicious alternative to cake. Plus, they look pretty all lined up on a table! Tarts are easy to make and the shells can be baked up to a month before hand, making them ideal for a homemade wedding.
Here's what you will need:
1 recipe for tart shells. We like this one!
1 recipe for lemon curd. We used this one.
Tart shells in different shapes and sizes. Available at kitchen shops.
Fresh berries. We used a mix of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
Bake and cook the tart shells. You can store these for about one month in the freezer so that the day of, the tarts just need to be filled with the custard and topped with berries. Make the lemon curd and let it cool. Wash berries. Fill the tarts with lemon curd and top with berries.
Line the tarts up all in a row on a table, add dessert plates, and a sign!
Images courtesy: Chelsea Fuss
These crocheted heart cake toppers are a lovely way to bring a bit of handcrafted charm to your wedding! They are easy to assemble and will give you a timeless look of vintage elegance to top off your wedding day.
Crocheted dollie (purchased at local craft store), kitchen skewers cut to size, glue, water, a mixing bowl and spoon & scissors.
Step 1: Cut out a heart shape in each dollie by folding them in half and cutting 1/2 heart shape through both layers.
Step 2: In a mixing bowl, stir together two parts water to one part school glue.
Step 3: Drench the entire crocheted heart into the bowl, making sure it gets completely saturated.
Step 4: Lay out the wet shaped dollie on wax paper or a kitchen pan to dry, allow at least 24 hours dry time to ensure the crocheted heart has been hardened by the glue.
Step 5: Using a dab of glue, secure the kitchen skewer to the back of the dollie to finish the crocheted heart cake topper. Voila! You have a gorgeous homemade accessory for your event.
Photography credits: Carly Taylor
If you are looking for a cool way to create an everlasting guest book, then put out some wine bottles, labels and let your guests write down their well wishes! Begin a wine cellar by collecting bottles -- each marked with sentiments that will warm your heart when remembered.
1. Bottles of wine you will enjoy drinking for years to come
2. A label template
3. A pen
4. Double sided tape and 8 x 10 full sheet paper
1) In the months leading up to your wedding, collect many different types of wine (for non-drinkers, you could easily adjust this idea to include fancy bottles of soda or exotic juices). To comfortably fit a sincere greeting, I suggest one bottle of wine for every four guests to write on.
2) Print out the template for the wine labels onto 8x10 full sheet paper, one per bottle. Feel free to add text on these design labels if you know how to use photo shop or another editing program, or leave blank as shown in photos.
3) To remove current wine label, simply soak in lukewarm water overnight and scrub with a kitchen sponge.
4) Dry thoroughly and add the new labels to the bottles using double sided tape to temporarily attach them.
5) Set out with pens and allow your guests to create a unique and memorable guest book.
6) Using double sided tape to attach the labels ensures that they will be easy to remove at a later date. When you have opened the bottle, save the label for future remembrance.
P.S. As an added touch, carefully remove each label before drinking the bottle and save alongside the cork. Compile them to create a grand personalized art piece filled with well wishes and toasts for your marriage!
Designing & styling: Victoria Hudgins
Images: Carly Taylor
Whether you're anti-flower or are just looking for a very non-traditional way to decorate your guest tables, using air plants may be right up your alley.
These little plants are inexpensive (ours cost under $5 each) and couldn't be easier to work with! Air plants take all of their nutrients and water through their leaves (as opposed to their roots), which makes the need for them to be planted in a container with dirt unnecessary - so you can get quite creative with presentation!
They are fabulous displayed on their own, as we have done here, or even paired with other flowers. The end result is a little bit exotic, a little bit modern, and a lot sophisticated.
Stick them inside clear vases or under glass cloches for an super minimalist look, or clustered along a tray for a low centerpiece. Mixing them with other natural elements, like shells and rocks, adds another layer of texture and visual interest.
The size of these plants makes them ideal for place settings or as favors. We filled tiny containers with moss, wrapped them with fabric and twine, and inserted a plant inside each one. Or, simply lay a single plant on top of a plate with a name tag and you've got a completely unique place setting.
If your guests will be taking home the plants as favors, be sure to include a little note with care instructions. They need need watering at least twice a week via a good submersion in a sink or bucket, and then set aside to dry. They also do best in bright light, so setting them no more than 10 feet away from a window is ideal.
Enjoy working with these one-of-a-kind plants -- the possibilities are endless!
Idea/Images: Mary Swenson
A special cake can just add a sweet touch to your event or shower. If hydrangeas are your favorite flower, you are in luck because Amanda from i am baker has created this stunning cake!
The sweet details:
Amanda actually started by baking a simple white cake with lemon curd filling and lemon frosting. She used two 8 inch pans and then carved around the edges to create a bouquet shape. She also suggests using a round pyrex bowl to create a similar shape.
She then covered the cake with buttercream frosting and let it chill.
For the flowers, she used the remaining buttercream frosting and added food coloring. A #104 tip with the small edge out creates the petals.
Her buttercream frosting:
2 cups shortening
8 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla extract
6 fluid ounces heavy cream
In a large bowl, cream shortening with mixer until fluffy. Add confectioners sugar (2 cups at a time) until well blended. If the frosting gets to thick at any time you can add some of your heavy cream. Add salt, vanilla, and heavy cream and blend until combined, then blend on high until frosting is light and fluffy. If you need to add additional cream you can (up to 2 tablespoons).
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup butter softened
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
In large bowl beat confectioner's sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and lemon juice until smooth. Add milk as needed, combine until ingredients are fully incorporated and light and fluffy.
Lemon Curd Filling:
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup white sugar 4 egg yolks, beaten
In medium saucepan, mix together lemon juice and cornstarch until smooth. Add butter and sugar and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Stir constantly for one minute. In small bowl use a whisk to beat egg yolks until smooth. Add in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture to the egg yolks (this is tempering the eggs). Now pour the egg mixture back into the sauce pan, whisking rapidly until fully combined.
Reduce heat to low and stir constantly until reach desired thickness. Don't let it come to a boil again (takes about five minutes). Refrigerate for at least two hours.
Make sure its cool before adding to cake. Its a good idea to make this ahead of time so your cake assembly can be easier!
Images: i am baker