Archive for July 2012

Bridesmaids Gift Ideas: Private yoga session

Bridesmaids Gift Ideas: Private yoga session

When I happened upon this bridal shoot by Andrea Lee Photography and Erin of Red Sole Events, I knew I had to share it with you.  If you’re looking for unique bridesmaids gift ideas or a fun, relaxing way to start off your wedding day, a private yoga session and tea party is a fabulous way to do it.  With your closest friends at your side, you get to spend the morning of your wedding releasing all the stress of planning.  By the end of your session, you’ll feel rejuvenated.  Your mind and body will be present in the day, ready to fully experience the joy as you marry the man of your dreams.  So, before the hair and make-up begin, why not treat yourself and your bridesmaids to a nice tea party and yoga session, and zen out!

Erin Daniels Holme of Red Sole Events and Andrea Cook of Andrea Lee Photography, both out of Dallas, Texas, envisioned the perfect wedding day bridal yoga session and tea brunch. Breath, release stress, enjoy the moment, and stretch your body by attending a private yoga flow class with your bridesmaids. Let the instructor know what level yogis your group consists of, and move through simple, intermediate and difficult poses, as demonstrated by models from Allen Yoga Center and Vertical Fitness, Dallas.

Ask the instructor to read for the group some passages that invoke thoughts of love and happiness. Finish your yoga session with fresh brewed tea and keep your body clean by eating healthy finger sandwiches. Finish off your bridal get together with hair and make-up and by having your friends help you into your gown!

Wedding Vendors in Texas:

Photographer: Andrea Lee Photography / Floral Designer: Red Sole Events / Bride’s Dress: Gowns Of Grace / Calligraphy: The Butler’s Pantry Calligraphy / Venue : Allen Yoga Center / Caterer: Eden Restaurant & Pastries / Model: Stephanie Brinlee (JBS Supplies) / Model: Lisa Willis (Lisa Willis Yoga) / Model: Kim McCarter / Model: Jessica Harris (Moxie Mischief) / Model: Christian Kramer (Allen Yoga Center) / Makeup Artist: AW Wedding Hair and Makeup

4 Top-Rated Yoga Studios in Portland, Oregon:

Zen Weddings: Simple, natural designs

Zen Weddings: Simple, natural designs

Why Zen Weddings?

Zen weddings reflect a love of simplicity and natural elements.  They’re bound to be peaceful celebrations in which you are able to live in the moment.  When you choose to have a Zen wedding, you are able to let go of the stress and embrace the philosophies of Zen Buddhism.  Not only will you feel more peaceful while you plan, but your wedding design will reflect a beautiful, modern, uncluttered look.

This couple served sushi on their wedding day.  Each guest received a rock inscribed with their name as a place card and a “gingko tree to be” party favor.

Planning a Zen Wedding:

While planning your Zen wedding, slow down.  Focus on one task at a time.  Consider what’s important and examine your commitments.  Leave space between tasks or appointments.  It’s all about figuring out what’s really important to you.  When you do less, you can do it well.

Check back tomorrow for a zen-inspired idea to pamper your bridal party.

Designing Zen Weddings:

In Zen philosophy, there are seven aesthetic principles for achieving Wabi (transient and stark beauty)-Sabi (the beauty of natural patina and aging).  In essence, they refer to a mindful approach to everyday life and the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.  Think of a bud, rather than a flower in full bloom.

The Seven Principles for Design:

Kanso (簡素) Simplicity or elimination of clutter. Things are expressed in a plain, simple, natural manner. Don’t think in terms of decoration but in terms of clarity achieved through omission of the non-essential.

Fukinsei (不均整) Asymmetry or irregularity. Nature itself is full of beauty and harmonious relationships that are asymmetrical yet balanced. This is a dynamic beauty that attracts and engages. Design in odds, not evens (i.e. 3 candles, not 4).

Shibui/Shibumi (渋味) Beautiful by being understated, or by being precisely what it was meant to be and not elaborated upon. Simple and elegant without being flashy.

Shizen (自然) Naturalness. Absence of pretense or artificiality, full creative intent unforced. It’s bare wood, unpolished stone and flowers from the backyard.

Yugen (幽玄) Suggestion rather than revelation. Imply more by not showing the whole. Show more by showing less.

Datsuzoku (脱俗) Freedom from habit or formula. Escape from daily routine or the ordinary. Unworldly. Transcending the conventional. Some say freedom from worldly attachments.

Seijaku (静寂) Tranquility or an energized calm, stillness, solitude.

Design Inspiration for Zen Weddings:

Finding the right location for your Zen-inspired wedding is important.  It could be anywhere, but the Lan Su Chinese Garden here in Portland is a popular location for wedding ceremonies and receptions.  This photo was taken by Portland photographer, Jessica Hill.

Very clean and simple.  Loving the natural look of stone and texture of unopened artichokes!

Wood and bamboo provide a simple, natural look to these wedding invitations and salad server wedding party favors.

Unfurling cherry blossoms and tea kettles filled with a few budding flower sprigs make great floral accents.

Hanging origami cranes make gorgeous seating cards.  You could also use take out boxes that do double-duty as place cards and party favors.  Just write guests’ names on the boxes and fill them with yummy treats for guests to take home.

Sand art is a fun idea for wedding centerpieces.  They’re simple and elegant.  If you wanted to provide your guests with a little entertainment, you could encourage them to draw their own designs during the reception.

On Wednesday, check back for a lesson on how to make your own bamboo party favors.

Win Wedding & Engagement Rings from Ben Bridge!

Win Wedding & Engagement Rings from Ben Bridge!

Ready to tie the knot but have an awfully lonely ring finger?  The mobile “hunt” for a diamond ring is coming soon!  On August 4th, Ben Bridge Jeweler is coming to the rescue by hosting a real-world, mobile-phone-driven scavenger hunt for a $15,000 ArtCarved diamond ring!  Winners will be announced at Portland’s On Deck Sports Bar & Grill following the event, where participants will share laughs, beers and (cross your fingers) a proposal!  Runners-up will receive a pair of Tissot watches and everyone who participates will go home with a swag bag provided by Ben Bridge.

Why drive to all the Portland jewelry stores in search of the perfect wedding and engagement rings when all you have to do is let your fingers do the walking?  Ben Bridge Jeweler is the first Portland jeweler to partner with the Google-backed mobile gaming company, SCVNGR.  By developing a location-based game accessible via mobile phone, Ben Bridge Jeweler is giving couples the ability to solve challenges from their cell phones at locations all over the city to earn points for the chance to win a $15,000 ArtCarved diamond ring.

To sign up, couples are required to submit their love stories at, so ACT NOW!  The grand prize diamond wedding and engagement ring set is currently on display at Ben Bridge Jeweler along with details of how to play.  Ben Bridge Jeweler has locations in Downtown Portland at 5th & Yamhill, Washington Square Mall, Lloyd Center and Clackamas Town Center.

Check out this video on How-to-Play from SCVNGR on Vimeo.

What To Do With Wedding Cards

What To Do With Wedding Cards

Do you ever find yourself wondering what to do with all the cards you receive?  Do most of them end up shoved in a box, the back of a drawer or in the recycling?  If all the cards say “Happy Birthday!” and nothing more, that’s understandable, but what if they’re your wedding cards and people you care about have left heartfelt messages in them?  These words of wisdom, advice, love and support are valuable and worth keeping.  While your wedding is only one day, your marriage is a journey over a lifetime.  Whether you think you need it or not, sometimes it’s good to remind yourselves why you entered into a marriage together and how you want to nurture that relationship.  Compiling your wedding cards into a book or time capsule are two great ways to do this.  They make it easy to hold onto those memories and they’re pretty to look at!  Check out these tutorials on how to save your wedding cards.

Accordion Envelope Books:

Tutorial brought to you by Whimsy Love.


-glue stick
-razor blade
-scrap papers

{Step 1}

The first thing you’ll want to do is put glue on the flap of all but 1 envelope and glue them to the front side of each other.  The flap of the first envelope will not be glued.  It will become the front cover of your book.

{Step 2}

After they’re all glued, you’ll fold them, accordion style, back-n-forth to form a book.  (See above.)

{Step 3}

Place an envelope flap on some pretty scrapbook paper and trace around the flap onto the paper.  Cut it out using regular scissors, then use decorative scissors to give the side nearest the envelope fold a decorative edge.  Glue the finished piece of scrapbook paper onto the flap of the first envelop in your book.  This is your book’s cover.

{Step 4}

Open your book all the way and measure the very last envelope to find the center point on both sides.   Cut a small slice through the envelope on each side just large enough for your ribbon to slide through.  You’ll have to reach inside your envelope to slice the side where the bottom of the last envelope lays.  It’s easier this way.

Now slide your ribbon through both slots.  When your book is closed, your ribbon will tie everything closed nicely.


Ring Album:

You can find the (very) complete details for this tutorial on how to turn your wedding cards into a ring album at Something Turquoise, but here’s the Cliff Notes version.  Cut out 2 cardboard pieces slightly larger than your biggest card, decorate them however you please, punch holes in the corners of the covers and cards, then slide a ring through the holes to bind it all together!


Paint Can Time Capsule:

You can purchase new paint cans at your local home improvement store and decorate them using scrapbook paper, stickers, paint or whatever you want.  Inside, you place any wedding cards with important messages, a copy of your wedding invitation, save the date, programs, dried boutonniere, or any other mementos you’d like.  Put the lid on and save it for your 1st, 5th or whatever anniversary you want!

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2014 Event will be located at: Portland Center Stage at the Armory