Brenda's Wedding Blog | Fresh Ideas for Creative Weddings

wedding blog + planning guide for creative weddings | inspiration for DIY Brides

Brenda's Wedding Blog is your online resource for planning your dream elegant wedding. Helping you find the "wow" in weddings.

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Top 10 Trending Wedding Gifts for the 'Hostess with the Mostess'

With wedding season getting ready to be fully underway, it's likely you'll be looking for a wedding gift for a special bride and groom. I'm happy to welcome etiquette expert, Cheryl Seidel to the blog today as she shares her expert advice on the most unique and useful pieces that every hostess should keep on hand. Whether you're a bride that loves to entertain large crowds or prefer small intimate get together's - you will want to add a few of these fun items to your wedding registry. These pieces also make the perfect birthday, housewarming, or holiday gifts for any friends and family that love to entertain.

1. Make a bold statement with this simple, but stunning tiered server from Williams-Sonoma. The 3-Tiered Stand is crafted from rustic mango wood and stands at 24" inches tall, making it perfect for displaying fruit and cheese, cupcakes, cookies and other delicious goodies.

2. Effortlessly move the party to the living room or backyard with this Wine Bottle and Glass Caddy from Crate&Barrel. It’s crafted from beautiful sheesham wood, and would look fabulous on display in a dining room after the party.

3. Soapstone has amazing thermal properties and the Oven-to-Table Entertainment Platter from Uncommon Goods will keep food at the perfect temperature for serving. You can put the soapstone in the freezer for up to an hour and use it to serve fruit or ice cream. You can also heat it up in the oven to serve hot appetizers or dessert. You can even bake directly on the platter.

4. Serve up 7 quarts of your beverage of choice (maybe a sangria!) in this attractive, handmade Glass Beverage Dispenser from CB2.

5. There are certain occasions (i.e. backyard gatherings or ones that include children) that necessitate the use of casual, unbreakable dishes and cups. The Radiance Aqua Melamine Dinnerware and Drinkware from Bed Bath & Beyond features a trendy Moroccan tile pattern in a cool blue color- a fantastic choice for summer entertaining.

6. The Trudeau Duo Tone Floral Wine Charms from Amazon are made of silicone and adjust to fit on any stem glass. There are 12 in the set and they can stay attached to the glass in the dishwasher. Pair these sweet flowers with a bottle of wine for a fun hostess gift.

7. Set up this beautiful Wildon Home Antique Butterfly Tray Table from WayFair anywhere you need a little extra space for food or drinks. Each Tray Table is handcrafted and easy to transport and has a warm patina finish and a removable tray which can be used with or without the metal stand.

8. Fill these eye-catching glass jars with decorative fruit, plants or flowers - or, you could even stock up on your favorite candy! These Voluminous Containers from Pottery Barn come in several sizes and will add a special touch to your décor.

9. A lovely choice for a casual evening with friends is the Acacia Wood Cheese Board from Macy's that features a hidden compartment that swings out to reveal knives for slicing and spreading both soft and hard cheeses.

10. Keep the drinks chilly and the guests happy with the Artland Oasis Copper Oval Party Tub from Kohl's. This large drink station is constructed from durable metal and the stand elevates the drinks to just the right height, making it excellent for both indoor and outdoor entertaining.

If you've added any of these items to your wedding registry, you are well on your way to becoming "hostess with the mostess". Or, you’ve made a loved one very happy if you've gifted them with one of these great pieces.

About the author, Cheryl Seidel:
Seidel is the author of the Ask Cheryl blog where she helps advise readers with handy tips on how much to spend and when gift giving is appropriate. She is also the founder and President of Registry Finder, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

this post contains affiliate links

The In's and Out's of Peonies for Wedding Flowers

I'm so excited to have Maribel of EightTreeStreet {a VIP Wedding Business Club Member in my local vendor guide} joining us today to talk about one of my favorite flowers - peonies. I will now let Maribel take over in sharing all the in's and out's of the peony flower . . .

The In's and out's of peonies for wedding flowers / photo by terri baskin / florals by eighttreestreet

Peonies come in an amazing array of colors and textures, as a garden flower and as a delicate floral decor for your wedding day. You will find peonies in delicate whites, to rich corals and bright cranberry reds. They are a perennial flower that ranges from single blooms to lush large double heads with a wonderful scent and aroma.

Some Fun + Interesting Facts about Peonies:

1. Peonies are flowers that symbolize health, happiness and marriage
2. Peonies only bloom in spring {you can find them at a stem price below $10}
3. Tree peonies are slightly higher in price than regular (herbaceous) peonies.  

Woodland Flowers : Peony Wedding Bouquet by EightTreeStreet / photo by Natalie Franke Photography

For weddings, some of the popular peony varieties include: Sarah Bernhardt in a light pink, Alexander Fleming in a hot pink hue, coral charm and coral sunset which are beautiful for a spring wedding paired with mint green and peach, red charm peonies with a rich red cranberry color, and white peonies.

For DIY brides, peonies are perfect to for creating a bouquet that has a lot of impact. You don’t need more than a bloom or two to make a bouquet that pops with color and texture.  The huge flower heads with lots of petals lend themselves beautifully to wedding bouquets and centerpieces with a lavish look.

Pink and White Peony Bridesmaid Bouquet / designed by EightTreeStreet / photo by Terri Baskin Photography

Don't be surprised if your peonies arrive looking like a golf ball if you're buying peonies for your wedding from a local or online wholesale supplier. You can also keep an eye out at places like Whole Foods and your local supermarket - you may just find some beautiful peony bunches for centerpieces at pre-wedding parties or the bridal shower.

What To Do With Your Peonies for DIY Arrangements:

After you get your flowers, you will want to cut the stem at a sharp 45 degree angle and place in proper hydration, in no time the peony will open up into a large bloom. Most of the blooms average 2 to 4 inches in diameter - the perfect size for a lush look. Peonies will change in color during their vase life, and they last about five days. If you are doing a floral centerpiece for a bridal shower or a home party, consider using just one peony bloom in a small vase or mason jar. This will be the perfect floral decor for your tables and you can even group the vases together for a lush look.

Lush Pink and White Peony Wedding Bouquet / designed by EightTreeStreet / photo by Terri Baskin Photography

So . . . will you be having peonies at your wedding?

Top 5 of the Hottest Wedding Trends for 2015 - by Renowned Event Planner

A new year means there are new trends in fashion, food and . . . of course, weddings. Engagement season is between Christmas and the end of February so that's means there are a lot of new couples starting to make their wedding plans. Since wedding day plans should include some of the hottest trends, Cynthia Pesce {event planner and general manager at the award-winning Inn at New Hyde Park in Long Island, New York} joins us today with her top five 2015 weddings trends.

1. Late-night Dining

This is a trend that started to gain traction in 2014. In 2015, we think a much larger portion of weddings will feature mid night or post reception snacks. After a night of dancing and cocktails, what better than a few comfort or mini foods before your guests head home. A few examples include: sliders, bacon items, assortments of grilled cheeses and more. Also look for infused alcohol in desserts. YUM!

2. Earthy Color Schemes

Look for more browns, tans, warm grays, and greens as weddings will have more of an earthy feel to them. Many earth tones originate from clay earth pigments, such as umber, ochre, and sienna.

3. Rustic Remains Popular

Look for more greenery garden like floral arrangements as brides and grooms focus on a natural clean appeal.

4. Simple Floral Centerpieces

The floral centerpieces will be simpler and less structured. You can also say goodbye to lush colors. We will also see less florals that are in the shape of a ball, as the flowers will be staged together more naturally.

5. Wedding Dresses : New and Old Favorites

Like any fashion industry, each year brings new styles or brings back old favorites. In 2015 brides are looking at more peekaboo lace, dresses with capped sleeves, and ruffled textured dresses {like this one from BHLDN}.

The Inn at New Hyde Park is a luxury event & catering facility that specializes in weddings, private parties & corporate events. They take great pride in practicing & perfecting the art of gracious hospitality, The Inn at New Hyde Park continues its long-standing tradition by setting a new standard of extraordinary cuisine, elegance & uncompromising service. The Inn is a 4 time winner of The Knot’s ‘Best of Wedding’ award for venues and 3 time winner of Wedding Wire’s ‘Bride’s Choice’ Award. Timeless elegance and modern luxury come together to provide you and your guests with the most memorable event experience on Long Island. 

Credits: Mini Burgers from Colin Cowie Weddings, Rustic Wedding Decor Photo by Tony Spinelli Photography, Wedding Centerpiece by Eight Tree Street, Wedding Dress from BHLDN

Wedding Day Beauty Tips from Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounge
Happy Friday. Today I'm happy to welcome Brittany Spyksma, a Blushington Makeup Artist and Beauty expert, who is stopping by to share her tips for wedding day makeup.

1. Keep it simple. It's your day and you want to look like YOU. Go for a glam smokey eye but keep the rest natural and pretty. Or if you want a red lip, go for soft shadows and a subtle smudged liner. When you look back at photos from your wedding day, you want to recognize yourself!

Smoke & Mirrors Wedding Day Look from Blushington Makeup & Beauty Salon | Glam Smokey Eye with the rest remaining natural an pretty

2. Stash a little powder and lip gloss in your MOH’s clutch or groom’s pocket. Those are the two things that always need to be touched up. You're going to be running around talking to everyone but your Groom or MOH will be by your side for the entire evening. You'll want to look fresh in all your photos, not to mention all the iPhone pics your friends are snapping. 

We like Jouer Translucent powder to keep your skin looking beautiful all night.

3. WATERPROOF! Mascara and eyeliner are a must have in waterproof for your big day. If the ceremony doesn't have you tearing up, your friends and family's speeches certainly will. 

We like Stila Stay All Day Waterproof mascara and Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Smudgestick which comes in every color you could possibly want. 

Lucky Stars Wedding Day Look from Blushington Makeup & Beauty Salon | Red Lip with Soft Shadows and a Subtle Smudged Liner

4. Try a lip stain under your gloss. With all of the eating, drinking and celebrating, you don't want to risk being bare-lipped. Once you find your perfect hue, use a stain to make sure that color lasts all night then just touch-up with a gloss for a nice full pout. 

About Blushington: Blushington makeup and beauty lounge provides affordable, professional makeup applications through signature looks, as well as specialized brow, lash, tinting and waxing services. With locations in Newport Beach and West Hollywood, Blushington also sends artists directly to customers who prefer to get glam in the comfort of their own home, via their "At Home" services for the bride and bridal party.
About Brittany Spyksma: Brittany’s work has been featured in Flaunt, C Magazine, Miabella and others. She has created red carpet looks for the Golden Globes, SAG awards, Academy Awards, Grammy's and many other events. Celebrities that she’s had the pleasure of working with include: Jesse Metcalfe, Terri Seymour, Cara Santana, Pia Toscano, Dani Moz, Ashley Gearing to name a few.
Your Wedding, Your Way : an open letter to brides from Brett Birdsong Photography
I have followed Brett Birdsong Photography and his amazing photography for a long time now. When I first started blogging I remember featuring a wedding of Brett's and he then had a couple contact him to book an engagement session and their wedding after seeing his work {you can see the engagement session here}. I LOVE stories like that. Now, onto today's feature . . . Brett has written an open letter to his brides that I just had to share with you - it's about having your wedding, your way.
Throw Tradition to the Wind and Have Your Wedding, Your Way --- an open letter to brides from Brett Birdsong Photography on Brenda's Wedding Blog

Dearest you,

Just in case you need a little push in the direction of doing your own thing for your wedding, allow me to remind you that traditions can be started by anyone. They can also be completely avoided by anyone. And a lot of them, in regards to weddings, have absolutely ridiculous and outdated origins that if you Googled for a few minutes, you’d wonder why they’re still around at all.

This bride and groom chose to have their wedding their way when they walked each other down the aisle ... Your Wedding, Your Way | Photo by Brett Birdsong Photography

This bride and groom chose to have their wedding their way when they walked each other down the aisle ... Your Wedding, Your Way | Photo by Brett Birdsong Photography

All that’s technically required is that you’re legally married at the end of the day. What you do with all the time in between is completely and totally up to you.

Some of the happiest brides I’ve ever worked with have thrown tradition to the wind, ignored everyone that said the sky would fall if they dared to be different, and done their own thing. Don’t ever be afraid of that. If you want to have an all day party with a 15 minute ceremony in the middle of it, do that. If you want to hang out with each other before the wedding, do that. If you want to throw a bouquet of gift cards so everyone can participate instead of tossing flowers to the single folk, do that.

This bride and groom got wet after they married ... Your Wedding, Your Way | photo by Brett Birdsong Photography

This bride and groom got wet after they married ... Your Wedding, Your Way | photo by Brett Birdsong Photography

Your own imagination makes Pinterest look like the recycled garage sale of second hand ideas that it is. It’s your love story. Not anyone else’s.

Be yourselves. Go crazy. It really is your party.

I’m Brett Birdsong and I approve this message.

Do you have plans to have your wedding, your way? If yes, please share. I'd love to hear how you will be making your own wedding traditions.