Month: July 2012

Bridesmaids Gift Ideas: Private yoga session

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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

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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!

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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

DIY wedding ideas General tip Uncategorized

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!

Something Blue: Old shirt patch and more ideas

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Something Blue: Old shirt patch and more ideas

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in your shoe.”  Last week, we touched on the last item included in this traditional wedding rhyme – a sixpence or penny.  Today, we’re bringing a little something blue your way.  Choosing to incorporate something blue in your wedding is supposed to represent faithfulness and loyalty, but also love, good fortune and fidelity depending on where you look.  This symbolism dates back to biblical times when blue represented purity and constancy.  Brides often choose to wear a blue garter to keep with this tradition, but there are so many different ways to incorporate something blue into your wedding day.  The hue or shade of blue you choose can vary just as widely, so it’s easy to find the color that’s right for you and the rest of your wedding colors.

Today’s inspiration comes from the idea of using a piece of an old dress shirt belonging to the father of the bride as your something blue.  In the image below, the bride cut a heart shape out of the shirt’s fabric and sewed it onto her wedding dress.  Not only is this a great way to include a patch of something blue, but it’s a wonderful way to pay homage to your dad on your wedding day.  Since I thought this was such a sweet idea, I wanted to play off it by including a few other details to match the lovely gray-blue heart.  From head to toe, here are some of my latest favorites:

Something Blue Hairpins

Something Blue Heart Patch for a Wedding Dress

Something Blue Bridal Clutch

Something Blue Cluster Bracelet


Something Blue Crinolin or Petticoat

Something Blue Shoe Messages from the Bridal Party


Custom Wedding Hangers

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Custom Wedding Hangers

Details are everything in a wedding.  There are so many of them!  I needed a notebook to keep track of all the details for my wedding.  If you’re not already completely overwhelmed by your list of details, consider adding personalized wedding hangers to your pile of bridal accessories.  Every photographer takes a million pictures of your dress.  If you’re going to hang it in the window, over the door or from a tree, why not make the hanger holding the dress add to the image rather than detract from it?  Luckily, you can find these fun wedding hangers right here in town from a Portland-based seller on Etsy, Your Bridal.  Here are a few examples of their work at $20 per hanger:

Do-It-Yourself Wedding Hangers:

Want to try your hand at a little wire bending of your own?  Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to make your own custom wedding hangers brought to you by fellow wedding planners, Chris and Michelle:


  • Wooden hanger.  Target has a 5-pack for $3.99.
  • 12 gauge floral wire.  A craft store like Michael’s should have some.  Buy more than you think you’ll need, because you’ll probably need the practice!  If you want colored wire, check out the jewelry section.
  • Craft glue.
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Dremel or drill (use a 5/64″ bit or something similar)
  • Pen or marker

Step 1:


Start to shape the letters.  Try not to make the letters too big.  Use the pliers to help shape the letters and tighten the loops.  Make sure you leave enough wire on either side of the name to make sure you can get the name centered on the hanger.

Step 2:


Determine where you want to attach the name on the hanger and make a mark.  Clip any extra wire off to make it centered.  Use the dremel/drill to drill a hole where you’ll put the wire in.  If the hanger starts to smoke, go slowly!  You might need to start by drilling straight into the hanger to get the hole started, and then drill in at an angle.  Don’t drill all the way through.  The hole should be just big enough for the wire to fit securely in the hanger.

Step 3:


After drilling the hole, make sure the wire fits securely into the hole.  Put a little glue on the ends of the wire and insert them into the hanger.  Let it dry overnight.
Wedding Hairstyles: Bun mohawk

Beauty DIY wedding ideas

Wedding Hairstyles: Bun mohawk

I found this unique twist on an updo and thought it was worth sharing.  If you’re looking for wedding hairstyles for medium to long hair, try this one out!  The trick is getting the right amount of hair for each bun, shaping them how you want and tucking away any flyaways.  For how-to instructions on the particular style in the photo, you can buy the $9.95 ebook, “30 Days of Twist and Pin Hairstyles” by Hair Romance.  It looks like there are tons of great wedding hairstyles in the book.  I would definitely check it out.  If you’re feeling frugal, I also found a video tutorial on how to make a bun mohawk, which looks similar to the twist and pin hairstyle in the photo.  The demonstrator is great at walking you through the steps and she also gives you tips for making the hairstyle more formal, retro, Hawaiian or feisty rock and roll.


Wedding Desserts: The Candy Buffet

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Wedding Desserts: The Candy Buffet

The Candy Buffet has what it takes to satisfy the taste buds of Portland area brides and grooms!  They were recently named the winner of Oregon Bride Magazine‘s 2012 Best Wedding Desserts in Portland.  With their beautifully presented tables full of candy, cupcakes and other wedding desserts, it’s no wonder why they received the winning votes.  YUM!  If you love sweets, but need to cater to special diets on your wedding day, just ask about their sugar free, gluten free and vegan desserts.

Here’s what one customer had to say about The Candy Buffet:

As soon as we started planning our wedding we knew we wanted mini cupcakes!!!!! Liz at The Candy Buffet was recommended to us by a friend and we instantly knew we were in the right hands!! She had so many flavors to chose from and baked us a beautiful box of samples to help us chose the flavors we wanted for our big day! She created the most beautiful dessert table I have ever seen!!! We had many tiers of cupcakes, each at different levels and dripping with stunning crystals that matched the chandeliers of our ballroom perfectly!!! Our guests couldn’t wait to dive into these tiny treats, but not before the bride and groom!! The mini cupcakes were a perfect idea and it was so fun to see our guests chosing their favorite flavor (I think the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting mini cakes, which was the groom’s favorite, won the prize)… Our cupcakes were baked the day before our wedding and were so fluffy and fresh tasting!!! They were hands down one of the sweetest touches of our big day!!!! We would recommend The Candy Buffet to anyone who wants something different for their wedding day….

While The Candy Buffet has a pro stylist to help you with the aesthetics of your dessert table, here are a few tips brought to you by Project Wedding to make sure your wedding desserts look their best:

  • Stick to a color scheme that matches your wedding color palette.
  • Create depth and height in your display.  It’s easy to achieve by placing boxes under the table linen.  Don’t be afraid to use a few props like books, old crates or old suitcases, too.
  • Take advantage of your centerpieces.  Make sure to have an extra dedicated to your dessert table that coordinates with the other centerpieces on your reception tables.
  • Add some trimmings.  Good linens, ribbons and paper can add a nice touch to your overall display.
  • Less is more.  Don’t go overboard and clutter your table!
  • Consider the location of your dessert table.  Will it have a nice backdrop?  Can people access it from all sides?
  • Check the weather.  Make sure you won’t have a messy, melted puddle of dessert!  Avoid candies that easily melt if necessary.
  • Play with your food!  Bundle large lollipops together like a bouquet of flowers or skewer some marshmallows to simulate kabobs.
  • Consider your containers carefully and be creative.  You can use more than just jars.  Vases, small rustic pails, wicker baskets, cake stands, flat platters and other serving ware can make a great impact.
  • Don’t forget to include small plastic cups, napkins, plates or other items for guests to pile their sweet treats on.  If your candy buffet doubles as party favors, be sure to provide little bags or boxes for guests.

From fun and whimsical to chic and elegant, whatever the occasion, the possibilities are endless!  If you’re interested in having The Candy Buffet cater and design a dessert or candy buffet table for your wedding day, call them at 360.521.6938 or send them an email at  You can also check them out on their Facebook page.