Can’t Get Over the Royal Wedding?

May 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Wedding Planning

Here’s How to Bring Some Windsor Magic Back Home.

If you’re still burning with Royal Wedding fever, you’re far from alone. And if you’d like a little of that imperial glamour to spark things up your own wedding, then there’s no reason at all not to take some style hints from Britain’s It Couple. After all, as the Bishop of London famously remarked, “all weddings are royal.” Here’s how to make sure yours is exactly that!

Baby Bridesmaids
The European take on bridesmaids tends to involve pint-sized versions of our own. Is there anything cuter than a gaggle of cherubs in curls and formal dresses, tottering down the aisle? Nothing against the grown ladies we see here, but when it comes to the cutest entourage out there, we think the little girls have it.

Nature, Inside and Out
One of Kate’s special requests was to have live potted trees (and we mean trees … they were 20 feet high!) line the aisle of Westminster Abbey. This served to soften an intimidating structure, and brought a cozy “English country garden” feel to some very formal proceedings. Kate’s sisters across the water are just as crazy for tying the knot in natural settings, so if a garden or vineyard wedding is calling your name, just consider that a sign of your high-born taste.

A Demure Dress
Designers everywhere breathed a concerted sigh of relief when they saw Kate’s Grace Kelly-influenced gown. Why the excitement? The hope that brides, at last, will tire of regulation strapless. Kate’s lovely gown has the potential to create a tipping point, as interest in alternatives has been rising. Case in point? The new illusion necklines and tulle sleeves showcased in recent designs by Pronovias, Enzoani, Priscilla of Boston and my personal favorite, Claire Pettibone.

Of course, if you want the closest thing to Kate’s actual dress and not one merely dipping a toe in the same aesthetics, not to worry: you’ve doubtless heard that A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz and JS Collections (look for the “Duchess” dress) are both bringing brazen knockoffs to a department store near you.

Groom’s Cake
Brides went wild for groom’s cakes this year, and we’ll see plenty of them in 2012, too. Similarly, the groom’s cake stole the show at Kate and Wills’ wedding. Sure, the “official” cake was a tour-de-force fruitcake with 17 layers … but it was the death-by-chocolate groom’s cake (involving 35 pounds of chocolate and over 1500 cookies) that Prince William zeroed in on to satisfy his royal sweet tooth.

A Traditional Bouquet
VIPs have been known to be saddled with monstrous bouquets you can barely hold, but by royal standards, Kate’s was a modest mixture of rather unshowy blooms … and yet another homage to the humble English garden. A laid-back mixture of lily of the valley, hyacinth and Sweet William, her fragrant bouquet revealed her refinement all the more … not least when it was finally placed at the Abbey’s sacred Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

Stateside brides are increasingly on board with Kate’s enthusiasm for the traditional all-white bridal bouquet. Former worries about the bouquet blending into the gown in pics have evaporated, now that pro cameras pick up every shade and nuance, and brides are loving the traditional “bridey-ness” of all-white blooms popping against some cool green foliage.

Something Borrowed
As today’s brides strive to embed more personal meaning and DIY touches in their big day, the importance of something borrowed has loomed bigger than ever. Sure, yours might not be a 1936 Cartier “halo” tiara lent by a queen, but almost every bride can pinch something truly meaningful from a sister, friend or mother. The old bit of magic in this tradition is to get a love boost from a happily-married couple that’s gone ahead, so go for it: proudly wear your grandmother’s locket or handkerchief, your sister’s veil, your best friend’s drop earrings, or a scrap of your mother’s wedding dress that’s pinned to your slip or wrapped around your bouquet stems.

About the Author: has connected brides with the perfect favors and wedding themes since 2005. From our silk favor fans to our wide variety of personalized bridal shower and baby favors, FavorIdeas has helped thousands of brides convey this heartfelt message: “thank you for sharing in our special day.”

Top Nine DIY Wedding Favors

February 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Wedding Favors, Wedding Planning

Creating your own set of distinctive wedding favors does not mean you have to forgo quality.  The following is a creative list of inexpensive and practical do it yourself wedding favors.

1). Lottery Scratch-off Tickets. With scratch-off lotto tickets, there will be no doubt that each of your guests will use their wedding favors.  Simply place your scratch-off ticket into glassine envelopes and affix decorative personalized labels that cleverly read “Lucky in Love”.  For scratching, don’t forget to include in the envelope a penny minted in the year that you’re to be married.  A perfect DIY wedding favor for any season!

2). Forced Bulbs. Take 2 to 3 forced bulbs (eg: paperwhites, amaryllis) and place them inside a drawstring burlap bag or jute bag.  Dangle a personalized hang tag that reads “Love Blooms” from the drawstrings.  Makes great fall wedding favors or winter wedding favors!

3). Homemade Jam. Share your family recipe for sweet homemade jam by canning them into miniature glass jars.  Tie a gingham wedding ribbon around the neck of the jar.  Hang a custom label that reads your names and wedding date.

4). Chocolate Bars. Perfect for the inner-graphic designer in you.  Remove the original paper wrapper and take note of its measurements.  Based on these measurements, design a new wrapper using your favorite illustrating software.  Print your design onto colored paper.  Wrap your new design around the chocolate bars.  Use double-sided tape to secure the ends of the paper wrapper.

5). Pears.  Pears are a delicious fruit that makes a wonderful symbol of your status as the “perfect pair.”  Create a rubber stamp with your names and date and the phrase “The Perfect Pair.”  Stamp onto squares of kraft paper or light-weight butcher paper.  Wrap around each pear.  Arrange in a rustic wood crate for the guests to take home with them.

6). Homemade Chocolates. Make homemade chocolates using one of the many molds out in the market today.  Put some of these sweets in a little translucent bag.  Tie a ribbon around the neck of the bag and dangle a tag that reads “Thank You.”

7). Homemade Cookies. Using a family secret recipe, bake cookies and place them in a small baker’s box.  Wrap in red and white baker’s twine and a darling hang tag that reads “Sweet Treats.”

8). Small Bouquet of Flowers. Place small sprigs of flowers into plastic vials.  Wrap several vials together with decorative fabric and tie with a colorful ribbon.  Display all together in a wicker basket for the guests’ to help themselves.

9). Small Potted Herbs. Small pots of thyme, rosemary and basil make practical wedding favors for a spring wedding or garden theme event.  Wrap a colorful ribbon printed with your names and wedding date around the clay pot to personalize the look.