Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to be a Good Southern Wedding Host {Guest Blogger}

Today we have guest bloggers Raquel Miranda Hinson and Beth Blose Wilson from Mahaffey Tent and Party Rentals discussing etiquette! Enjoy and visit Mahaffey Tent and Party Rentals blog: Enchanting Events for more tips!

How to be a Good Southern Wedding Host!

Being a gracious host is a big part of planning a wedding. Though it is your day, the people whom you chose to invite are your guests and should be thought of during the planning and on the day of your wedding.

Information is Power
It’s important to be as informative as possible when telling your guests about your upcoming nuptials. Save the Date cards, invitations and wedding websites are the best ways to inform your guests as a collective. Websites such as
The Knot offer free hosting for wedding websites where you can provide guests with information on hotels, things to do in your city, driving directions, specific attire concerns and more. If your location is new or particularly obscure, a direction card on how to get there should also be included in your invitations. Most importantly, your invitations should indicate the formality of the ceremony and reception and should be sent out within 6-8 weeks of your wedding date.

Thank You Notes
Today, it’s not uncommon for a couple to have multiple wedding showers prior to getting married. Promptness in sending out thank you notes is greatly appreciated by everyone and it will save you for doing them all at once post-wedding. Designate one person per shower to write down who gave you what to insure personalized thank you cards and they should be in the mail within 10 days of your shower. Don’t forget, send a thank you note to the people who threw you the shower, even if they don’t give you a gift. As for guests who bring gifts to the ceremony, those thank you cards should be received two weeks after you return from the honeymoon.

Food for Thought
Receptions come in all shapes and sizes these days, particularly when it comes to food. The time of your ceremony generally indicates what type of food will be served- if your reception is at dinner time, it’s time to feed your guests dinner. Afternoon or very late evening receptions, however, have more flexibility. If you decide to serve a full meal, be mindful of your guests. If you’re a die-hard vegan, ask the caterers for a vegan plate for you but otherwise, plan your menu for the masses. Particularly in the south, most guests won’t understand what a non-dairy dinner entails and will likely leave your reception hungry and confused.

Drinks Are On the House
Imagine if a friend or family member invited you over for a gathering of any kind and then asked that you pay them for your glass of wine. Having a cash bar at a wedding is essentially the same concept. Of course, not everyone wants to or can afford an open bar of every drink imaginable but there are creative options to keep everyone happy. If it’s a conservative reception or a need to cut costs, just serve everyone a glass of champagne for a toast. Another option is to eliminate liquor and simply serve wine and beer; having one white wine, one red wine and your favorite brew is a completely appropriate way to celebrate at your reception without breaking the bank.

Keep these little things in mind and also that, while it’s a day for you and your new spouse, it’s also polite and expected to remember the guests with whom you’ve decided to celebrate this amazing occasion.

Jelly Shots {A classy version of the Jell-O Shot}

What are Jelly Shots you ask? Jelly Shots are classic cocktails translated into gelatin form, i.e. a grown-up, classy version of the Jell-O Shot! The hallmarks of a Jelly Shot include: a flavor true to the cocktail inspiration and a free-spirited jiggly form that makes them a delight to devour. These are perfect for any party, wedding or event. They are not only tasty, but also little pieces of art!

If you do serve these at an event where children will be present, make sure you have someone at the station where the Jelly Shots are being served, or have them passed around by someone to ensure that the kids don’t get their hands on them. It’s probably a good idea to have some Jello gigglers for the kiddos, so they feel like they have something fun and yummy too!

{Bramble Jelly Shots}

{Mandarin Cosmo Jelly Shot garnished with a small wedge of mandarin orange}

{Root Beer Barrel Jelly Shots, Popsicle-style with a tiny wooden handle}

To get the recipes for these Jelly Shots, visit Tastespotting.com


BHDLN: Anthropologie Weddings {Dresses & Gowns}

The fabulous, eclectic, whimsical store we know as Anthropologie is about to bring something great to Memphis and brides all over the Midsouth, BHLDN {aka Anthropologie Weddings.} Their vision is to help every bride create an event that reflects her own unique perspective. Their gowns will have an heirloom feel to offer brides that classic, vintage look. And it doesn’t stop there, they will also have artisanal hair adornments, lingerie, footwear and yes, something for bridesmaids as well!

The store with all of these wedding treasures will be coming this summer in the Saddle Creek area. We are so excited that Memphis will have something like this for brides to use and enjoy as they plan the day of their dreams! We expect to see many brides in Anthropologies Wedding attire very soon, but until then, here’s peak of some of the gowns and dresses we just might see!

We will be back later this week to show some of the oh so fabulous decor, accessories and eye candy BHDLN~ Anthropolige Weddings will be offering.

Stay tuned . . .

{photos via BHLDN.com}

Vera Wang Fine Papers

While she is mostly known for her stunning wedding gowns, Vera Wang is doing so much more these days. She has her own luggage, clothing, jewelry, shoes, tabletops, eyewear, fragrance, mattresses, flowers, bedding and fine papers. I knew of her clothing, shoes, bedding and accessories of course, but I did not realize the extent of her fine paper collection, until I received a box full of goodies from my mother, which included some beautiful Vera Wang Stationary!

This got me interested and I had to see her fine papers collection! Her collection combines traditional and modern with beautiful colors, and bold, unique designs and textures. Stationary is a very personal thing and when you send someone a letter, what you send it on says something about you, and your style. Just like when sending out wedding invitations, this sets the tone and feel for how your wedding will be and is the first glimpse to family and friends of what to expect on your big day! Vera Wang Fine Papers are classic, unique and the perfect choice when simply sending a letter to an old friend, birth announcements, or wedding invitations. Whatever the occasion may be, Vera Wang Fine Papers is the perfect choice.

China Patterns & How to Choose the Perfect Set

Picking a china pattern is something brides have been doing for quite a long time. It is an important task and something a bride should put some thought into since she will probably being using it for many years to come.

1. The china you select should be a reflection of you as a couple, your peronality, and style.

2. Think about how you decorate your home or how you see yourself decorating your home. If you are into modern, clean lines when it comes to furniture and decorating, then think about that when it comes to choosing a pattern.

3. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns! It’s often fun to take a striped dish and mix it with another set. This ads character and makes for a fabulous dinner table!

4. Don’t take many people with you when it’s time to select. Go with your fiance and do this together, as a couple. Too many opinions can make it hard when choosing the china you really want!

5. While you do want to think about the future when it comes to picking a pattern, don’t let that keep you from picking what really speaks to you. You want to choose something that you love and enjoy using, even if it’s not everyday! If something speaks to you, then go for it!

{China photos from Dillard’s}

There is no right or wrong when picking out your china, because it’s just that . . . it’s yours! However, you do want to think about picking something you can use year around, that can be used throughout all the seasons (that way you can use it more often.) For example, if you pick something with a pastel blue, you may only use it for Easter or dinners during the Spring and Summer months rather than using it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You also want to ask yourself, “Will I like this pattern 20 years from now?” I have heard many women say today that they wish they had picked something else, something more classic and versatile. Classic doesn’t mean boring, but is something to consider when picking fine china!

Pretty In Pink

Today we are sharing some pretty, pink inspiration. These beautiful photos are from the wedding of Trey and Tiffany Tassin. The photos were taken by the talented Erin Moulden Photography, a husband and wife team out of Arkansas. The flowers were by Little Black Dress Brigade floral design and event planning, also out of Little Rock.

The combinations of delicate pink and white flowers were used in the bouquets, flower arrangements, decorations and adorned their beautiful wedding cake. The lovely shades of pink perfectly complimented each other, making for a romantic wedding and event!

To see more photos by Erin Moulden Photography, visit their Facebook page and website, at ErinMoulden.com

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mason Jars

The Mason Jar, also known as “Ball Jar” was invented in 1858 by John Mason. The original purpose of the mason jar was to be used for preserving and storing food. They are still used for that very purpose today, but have also become quite popular for weddings as well. Many brides have been using mason jars to incorporate a little southern flair into their big day.

They can be used in so many ways! They can be a decoration with candles or flower arrangements inside, on tables, as aisle markers, as table numbers, filled with some treats/favors for the guests, and of course they can be used to serve food and drinks.

Mason jars can be used in both formal and casual settings. Adding some beautiful floral centerpieces can make them more formal, while placing a single stem or votive candle can make it more casual. They can also be used as glasses for your guests to drink from. You can serve Southern favorites like lemonade or sweet tea or even a signature, Southern cocktail.

If you are interested in finding, vintage mason jars for your wedding or event, check local antique shops in your area or you can also find them on Etsy.

Bridal Jewelry Trend: Rose Gold

Scott Mikolay’s Aragon collection is a perfect fit for the upcoming trend in Rose Gold wedding bands and bridal jewelry. His use of diamonds and Rose Gold makes for a romantic gift or wonderful piece when tying the knot. His pieces have been worn by celebrities such as Whitney Port, Rob Thomas, Lo Bosworth, Jessica Lowndes, Brittany Show and many others.

Sensitive to a modern woman’s lifestyle, Scott Mikolay has created streamlined statement jewelry that is easily worn and displayed. Each piece is striking, powerful, and distinctive.

To view more exquisite pieces by Scott Mikolay, visit scottmikolay.com and check him out on Facebook for photos and updates on his collections and the celebs who wear them!

Personalized Wedding Puzzles {by Bella Puzzles}

Today we are excited to share something with all of you that would not only make an adorable gift, but also a great keepsake and fun alternative to the traditional guestbook. Bella Puzzles makes traditional wooden puzzles for your wedding! It can be a photo wedding puzzle custom made with various shapes and words.

The wood wedding puzzle can also be custom made with shapes for your guests to write messages on and serve as your guest book. Your wedding guests will have fun leaving their messages on the puzzle pieces and even putting the pieces together as they mingle. Instead of having a guest book that you tuck away, how about a puzzle that you can enjoy for years to come? It would be a great keepsake to pass down to your family! I can see it now, your children come to visit for the holidays, along with the grandchildren. That would be the perfect time to have your wedding puzzle out! Let your kids and grandkids have fun putting the puzzle pieces together, while also reading the wishes from friends and family from your wedding day!

All puzzles are custom made with personalized words, shapes, figures, names and dates. Production time is 14 weeks.

To find out more about Bella Puzzles, visit them at etsy.com/shop/BellaPuzzlesToo and on Facebook.

There Will Be LIGHT {Q&A with Lighting Specialist: Radiant Designs Inc.}

Lighting has become a huge part of weddings and events today. Whether it is an indoor or outdoor wedding or event, having the right lighting can make all the difference in the world. It enhances the decor and sets the perfect mood which your guests will remember forever!

Today we are excited to share the lighting Q&A we did with Jim from Radiant Designs in Little Rock. Radiant Designs has been doing event lighting for over 25 years and they are pros when it comes to visual design!


Q: What are some trends we will be seeing with Lighting in 2011 for Weddings?

A: We have noticed couples wanting to include lighting designs as an integral part of their special day. Lighting has gone from being a luxury item to a necessity.

Q: When Brides come to you and are interested in Lighting for their Wedding/Reception, how do you work with her to figure out what type of lighting is best for her big day?

A: At Radiant Designs, our procedure is to ask lots of questions first. Like colors, theme, location, times of day and mood. All these factors play a big part of what we will come up with for a lighting design proposal. When we have the big picture then we will propose some ideas. You see, when a bride comes to us, we are not just selling her a lighting package, we are providing a design service. Much like we design a large special event, concert or show. We custom design the lighting for her. For example, we recently lit a wedding for a couple getting married during Mardi-Gras week. They wanted to work in some aspects of Mardi-Gras into their reception. In addition, the location was a 1930’s era hotel lobby and ballroom with lots of wood Art-Deco fixtures that the bride wanted to accentuate. Her colors were purple complimented with orange. We lit the wood fixtures in soft, warm earthy ambers, the columns and drapery were lit in purple, the common areas and dance floor bathed in dark amber with lavender lights. It was a very inviting and cozy atmosphere. The food buffet was accented with natural color swivelier spotlights. The cake was lit with natural color wash.

Q: Does color of linens and the venue itself play a factor in the type of lighting you suggest?

A: Absolutely! The Brides colors, linens and d├ęcor are her personal touch! The lighting design needs to perform in a supporting role for her theme. We design the lighting to match and compliment. As far as a venue is concerned, the colors of the room and ambient lighting play a great part in what lighting treatment we apply. Radiant Designs has been called upon for situations where we literally transformed four cinderblock walls into a fantasy palace. We lit the walks in the theme color and then applied patterned lighting of a complimentary color to give a wallpaper effect. This was topped off by projecting the couples monogrammed initials projected onto the wall behind the cake! It was fantastic!

Q: What are some of the most popular colors/designs of lighting you are seeing brides choose these days?

A: We have created environments with virtually every color you can think of. Some of the more recent popular colors are, lavender, teal and blue. A projected monogram of the couples names or initials is a very popular lighting effect that is very impactful yet relatively inexpensive. We used them on walls, dance floors, fireplace mantels and even on the sides of buildings! Another popular effect is to wallpaper the walls with a soft organic patter projection. This also works well as an indirect light source for your guest tables.

Q: What would you tell a Bride who is on the fence about Lighting for her wedding?

A: I would say be thoughtful about your total presentation. Hire a wedding planner and lighting designer you trust. Ask to see examples of their work. See that lighting can transform any venue into the dream environment that you’ll remember forever!

To find out more about Radiant Designs, visit their website at radiantdesigns.us and visit their Facebook page!

Coffee & Dessert Reception

Recently I saw the most adorable idea on another blog, called Swanky Tables. It was a Coffee & Dessert Reception!! How cute is that? Not only is it so cute, but it’s a unique idea, as well as cozy and intimate. Plus, who doesn’t love desserts??? This could also be a great idea for a shower!! We would like to thank Swanky Tables for allowing us to share this post and “sweet” idea!!

To see the full post visit our official blog HERE.

{The following is by Annette from Swanky Tables}

“I had the great opportunity to work on this Coffee Shop Reception Shoot coordinated by Lisa Martin of Studio del Fiore. I LOVE coffee and I was super excited to be part of the shoot.”

“LOVE the burlap and bronze accents on the invitation by 1st Comes Love.”

“Gorgeous floral bouquet and centerpiece by Studio del Fiore. Love the books!”

“A coffee cozy favor and a personalized burlap bag of the couple’s favorite coffee beans.”

“Sweets and Coffee, what could be better!”

“The BEST coffee shop, Portland’s Case Study Coffee!”

The Fabulous Vendors:
Floral Design: Studio del Fiore
Invitation Design: 1st Comes Love


Thank you again to Swanky Tables for allowing us to share this “sweet” idea!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Into GREEN {4} Real Wedding Details

For our last March Into GREEN post, we are sharing some beautiful green inspiration and photos by Christen Jones Photography. The wedding of Megan and Sam Moss was full of many green accents and beautifully thought out details. They also incorporated their last name “Moss” into the decor! Their beautiful wedding and reception took place in Oxford, Mississippi and they now reside in Plano, Texas.

To see more photos from the Moss wedding, visit Christen Jones Facebook page and the Christen Jones Photography Blog.

If you would like to submit photos of your wedding and all the little details, send us an e-mail with a 200 word description about the details/decor of your big day, along with 2-5 images. You can send it to blog@southernbride.com!

Have a Party . . . A Henna Party

Recently, we did a Q&A with Beth Hendrickson of New World Henna! Beth is very talented ICNHA.org certified natural henna/mehndi artist. She is available for all occasions including bridal, pregnant bellies, parties, fairs, festivals and individual appointments. She also makes her very own paste fresh and all of her work is freehand. So next time you are thinking of throwing a party, but are looking to do something fun and unique, have a Henna Party!

To find out more about how to have a Henna Party and what all is involved, check out our Q&A with Beth! You can also visit her Facebook page to see beautiful images of her work, as well as her website: newworldhenna.com

{photo by McLellan Style}

What makes a Henna Party different from any other party?

Henna parties are special because it is a chance for you and your friends to do something very unique- it’s not every party that you get the opportunity to get “tatted up” as they say. Of course, henna body art isn’t the same thing as a real tattoo, but it’s a fun way adorn yourself for a couple of weeks at least.

How does the henna application process happen at a Henna Party?

I pass around copies of the design book to let the guests choose a design. I explain that the henna goes onto the skin in paste form and that it takes 30 minutes to dry but must be left on for anywhere from 4-16 hours in order to get a nice dark mahogany stain. I explain that it is okay for the paste to begin falling off on its own before the 4 hours is up and that after the 4 hours is up, they can scrape the rest of the paste off or rinse it with lemon or lime juice to get the remaining paste off. I am sure to tell them that the stain starts off a light color and gets dark by day 3 and then fades from that point over the next 2-3 weeks. Then I start on my first client and continue until everyone who wants a henna design gets one.

What occasions are most popular for Henna parties?

Birthday parties, holiday parties, wedding receptions, sorority parties and bachelorette parties are very popular, but I have also done baby showers (momma’s belly can get hennaed too!), fun parties, sales parties, grand opening parties and just plain ole party parties. I can do henna parties for pretty much any age group, however I prefer not to henna children who are 6 years old or under because their skin is so delicate and may not be able to hand the pure essential oils in the paste, such as tea tree, eucalyptis, etc.

Are there a certain number of guests that’s best for this kind of party? For example, does it work better to have a small or large group?

Really any size group is fine; however with smaller parties we can accommodate larger, more detailed designs. But obviously, if there are upwards of 100 guests or more, I bring more artists with me and we have an assortment of smaller designs to choose from to make sure we can service everyone who wants a henna design. We can usually accommodate any size party.

What are the rates like for a Henna party?

I charge $80 per hour, per artist. I also round down to the nearest 15 minute mark (so the rate is essentially $20 per every quarter of an hour). So for example, if finish with the last client at 1 hr and 55 minutes after I started, I would charge$140. If the party was large, say around 100 guests, and I had brought an additional artist, it would be doubled- $280 total.

How long should the Henna last after the party?

The henna stain starts off a light orange or light brown color and darkens to a deep brown or mahogany color on the 3rd day, then gradually fades over the following 2-3 weeks. It’s usually completely faded by the end of week 3.

What type of clothing would you suggest the guests wear?

It depends on where on your body you want the body art to go. The henna paste will need dry for about 30-45 minutes and will need to be exposed for at least 4 hours, so you will want to dress accordingly depending on where on your body you are getting the design. For hands and arms, wear a short sleeve shirt or a long sleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up. If you want it on say your upper back, a tank top or a tube top would be great. If on your legs or feet, shorts or rolled up pants and flip-flops or flats are great. I try to steer folks away from getting henna on any bendy parts of the body, like the wrist or neck, because it is too difficult to move around normally without smudging the henna paste and ruining the design while it is trying to dry.

What are some other fun ways to make a Henna party festive?

A great way to make a henna party fun is to have an Indian or Moroccan themed party. You can serve ethnic food, wear ethnic clothing, and play ethnic music. I even worked a Moroccan themed baby shower once that had a belly dancer hired to teach a little belly dance class to the ladies. I got in on the belly-dancing action as well and it was so much fun. Alcoholic beverages at a henna party can be a tiny bit tricky though. You want to make sure that you get your henna done well before you start drinking so that it has time to dry- at least a good 45 minutes just to make sure. I’ve noticed a direct correlation between the number of drinks people have had and the number of henna designs that get smudged and have to be redone. It can be a challenge to say the least.

Tell us a little bit about a Henna party you have done and what made it so fun?

My absolute favorite henna party was at my very first Indian “mehendi party”. “Mehendi” or “mehndi” is the Indian term for henna. Indian weddings have several events spread over 3-4 days and it is typical to have a mehendi party for the family and guests on the day before the actual wedding ceremony. Typically the bride has already been adorned the day previous and gets to enjoy the party as well. During my first mehendi party for my first Indian bride ever, I was working fast and furiously, trying to make sure that I could service everyone. Then all of the sudden, a famous and poignant Bollywood song about a bride getting her mehndi came on over the PA system and everyone broke out into what seemed like a synchronized Bollywood dance- everyone young and old began dancing and singing together in their brightly colored sarees and sherwanis- it was just fantastic. Plus it made me feel a little special since I was the one doing the mehndi for everyone. I think I cried just a tiny little bit because it was so beautiful.