June 20, 2011

Aisle Runner: Alicia & Stephen

Hand painted aisle runner for Alicia and Stephen in 
apple green and blue (David's Bridal, horizon) 

Runners are digitally designed and then painted on your runner 
where ever you would like. This one is at the very end of the runner. 

These runners are pretty opaque and have a poly backing to 
help them hold up under foot traffic.

June 14, 2011

Co-Ed Wedding Shower: Vintage BBQ

Mae Beth & Allen's shower was this past weekend at Jim & Nick's in Birmingham. The 5 Points location has a great room for parties - also great for rehearsal dinners. I kept it simple using centerpieces down each long table. 

Using chalkboard paint, after scraping the labels off about 15 wine bottles (!), the bottles got a nice matte black coat of paint. I then applied cut out letters that included conversation starters for the tables. This one says Superior Grill, the couples favorite, low-key, restaurant. Also used were childhood nicknames, first pet names, where he proposed, first date location, etc.

I loved these little $1 frames from Michael's, customized with a little note "Love is sweet like BBQ". Everything sat on a 12" square piece of burlap. 

These galvanized pails are from IKEA. $.79 each. Customized labels matched the invitations. The flowers were from Import Flowers off Murphy Rd in Nashville. If you haven't been there, you have to go for your next event.

I also made gourmet s'mores for dessert! YUM. I'll share the recipe later this week.

Everyone had a blast. An easy, no set up, no cooking, no clean up shower is always the best. And the couple got some LOOT - I mean the gifts were insanely good, plus the bride has impeccable taste. I'm so looking forward to their wedding in October. 

June 9, 2011

Polite Southern Women (& Men) Reply to RSVP's: Courtesy of Cindy Edwards via Paula Deen

I simply could not resist re-posting this article on PaulaDeen.com (you can read the original here). If you have ever planned a wedding or party, you will become frustrated with people who do not rsvp. If you are in the midst of planning your wedding now, you will soon find out how important the courtesy of a reply to an invitation is. Cindy says it best in this article, so I'll let her be on this soapbox for now. But, I would like to pull out a quote from this article that says exactly how I feel about people who don't bother letting you know they are attending your event.

"Let’s back up for a bit and remember what we know about being polite: Quite simply, it is behavior that seeks someone else’s comfort before that of your own."

How quickly should I respond to an invitation?

by Cindy Edwards

If you have ever given a party or planned a wedding, then you truly appreciate the many hours of preparation that go into a successful occasion. Knowing how many people to expect is key to orchestrating the perfect party or event.

Let’s back up for a bit and remember what we know about being polite: Quite simply, it is behavior that seeks someone else’s comfort before that of your own.

A hostess spends many hours planning her event: setting the date, selecting the menu and finalizing her guest list. It is a special occasion for her and her guests.  Numbers are crucial to the success of her party. After all, she gave serious thought to including you and you should show respect and consideration for her by responding quickly.

Quickly means as soon as possible. Therefore, check your calendar and make arrangements in order to attend or regret promptly if you know that you will not be able to attend.

How should I reply?
Reply in the same manner that you were invited.
… your neighbor calls and invites you and your husband over for a barbeque, you may accept or regret immediately. Or, check with your spouse and call back in a day or two.  I recommend checking with the spouse first!

… you receive a beautiful invitation in the mail with a phone number and a deadline for reply, please check your schedule and reply quickly in the manner requested. The same courtesy should be extended to an invitation that lists an email address. Of course, make sure that you reply before the deadline. Keep your message or call brief, and do not feel obligated to give an excuse or explanation for a regret.

… you receive a formal invitation the requires a formal written response, follow the form or style of the invitation. If it reads:

Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Doe
request the pleasure
of your company
for cocktails and dinner
Friday, the third of June
at half past seven o’clock
234 Shadow Brook Lane
Savannah, Georgia

Note: R.S.V.P. is an abbreviation of the French phrase “respondez s’il vous plait”, which is a request for your reply. I have seen it in all caps (RSVP) and with periods (R.S.V.P.) in several different etiquette books. It may also read “the favor of a reply is requested” or “please reply”.

Simply pull out your informal note cards or your beautifully engraved half sheet stationery and pen the following response spaced in the same manner as the invitation:

Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Michael Watson
accept the kind invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Doe
for cocktails and dinner
Friday, the third of June
at half past seven o’clock
234 Shadow Brook Lane
Savannah, Georgia

If you need to regret, it would read:
Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Michael Watson
regret that they are unable to accept
the kind invitation of
Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Doe
Friday, the third of June

Note: It is not necessary to repeat the date, time and place of the event in a regret, but it is nice to repeat the specifics in an acceptance so that the host is confident that you have the correct date, time and place.

What if…
… your plans change? Inform your host as soon as possible. You should only change a yes to a no for a very good reason. Only change your response if it is unavoidable and do so as soon as you know. An illness, death or professional conflict is an appropriate excuse.

…  you have out-of-town guests or want to bring a date? Consider the invitation. If it is for you and a guest, it would be fine to notify the hostess of your guest and bring him/her to the party. However, it is just not acceptable to ask to bring someone extra. If you inform the hostess that the reason you are regretting is because you have houseguests, she may extend the invitation to your guests. But, if she is working with tight numbers, do not expect this inclusion and bow out gracefully.

… you can go, but your spouse cannot? Use your judgment. If you receive a casual invitation from your best friend inviting you and your husband to come over for dinner on Friday night and only one can make it, you should explain the conflict.  She will either ask you to come alone or she will offer to include you another time.  You just simply follow her lead. If the invitation is for a more formal or seated dinner, I would probably regret and try not to complicate the situation. 

As always, thanks for reading!

Properly yours,

Cindy Edwards embodies everything pretty, perky and proper about the South. She's a wife, mother, volunteer and freelance writer. Cindy volunteers enough hours to exhaust most by serving on the Board of Trustees for the Telfair Museums, the Savannah Book Festival Board of Directors and the University of Georgia Honors Advisory Board. She has also served on the Boards of the March of Dimes and Young Life Savannah. Cindy has been married to her college sweetheart, Dr. Joe Edwards III, for 24 years and is the proud mother of two sons: Joe IV, a junior at the University of Georgia, and Jack, a rising senior in high school. No matter how busy, Cindy always makes time for a competitive game of bridge.

June 3, 2011

Vintage Wedding Shower Invitation

This vintage wedding shower invitation is for a very dear friend of mine! It was so easy to capture her style for this upcoming shower.

It's a 9x4" invitation with lots of information on it! It's a couples shower where we are going to stock their bar and their house. The guys are supposed to bring something to stock their bar and the girls are supposed to bring something to stock their house. Should be an interesting party!

We also did a label wrap on these beautiful smokey gray No. 10 envelopes.

Looking forward to posting the vintage-casual party details soon!

June 1, 2011

Nashville Parties: 60th Birthday Party {Part 2}

Part 2 of Mary Sue's 60th birthday party! Daughter and DIY party planner, Suzanne, came to me a couple of months ago to help her create all the details of her mom's big surprise. Part of her vision included 2 display tables with pictures and messages from old friends.

You'll notice the patterned fabric on the background of this board is also what we used for the runner on the table on on the invitation.

We found the fabric first and created the bottom layer of this pretty little thing, custom to the theme.

The first display was inspired by the boxwood's at Boxwood Bistro. I found boxwood vine and balls to decorate this message display, wrapped in burlap. Each friend wrote a note to Mary Sue which was compiled in a keepsake book for her to keep.

Each scalloped card had an adjective to describe Mary Sue and hand made (sewn) flowers attached to the board -  more favors! We also framed the invitation and the recipe cards they gave as favors to the party guests - even more favors!

The other display board was wrapped in the patterned fabric. We used an old window, picked up for $5, and spray painted it to match the yellow in the theme - along with the crates that held photos in beautiful white picture frames, among the scattered boxwood and twine balls.

Mary Sue was in such a state of shock when she walked in - priceless look on her face. I love being behind the scenes to see people's reactions!