I’ve always considered balloons your standard, go-to birthday party decoration, but recently I’ve been seeing them used in exciting new ways. When done right, balloon decor can be very sophisticated and fresh. For example, by changing their size you can create a whole new look. Don’t you think miniature versions are darling on top of a cake?
Make a statement with metallic mylar letter balloons, tie them up with festive ribbon or streamers or fix them to a wall to create a backdrop. Balloons are also an easy way to add color and texture to your event. Go glam with clear balloons tied with gold ribbon, or sophisticated with a simple black and white design. I think the effect can be very uplifting!
Today I want to introduce myself to you. I’ve been blogging a lot here about my favorite ideas for parties and I’ve been working with a lot of our brides to finalize all sorts of details. But if you haven’t met me yet, I hope we’ll have the chance soon!
I started working with Jubilee Events last year. It was an action packed one, full of the most beautiful weddings for the most exciting couples. I had an amazing time and learned a ton-Candice and Diana are hands down two of the best teachers a girl starting out in this industry can ask for.
This year, I’m taking on my own events and I’m really looking forward to all the planning that’s ahead. To help you get to know me a little better, I thought I’d share my top five favorite things about party planning. There’s so much that goes into making an event just right that I had a hard time narrowing them down!
1. Having Fun with Desserts – There is a Julia Child quote floating around Pinterest that I love. She says, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” It’s probably pinned on half my boards because I love it so much. Dessert is the part of every event that I look forward to. But more than eating dessert, I love to design dessert displays. A well-curated arrangement of sweets can easily become the centerpiece of a party. How can you not love looking at fluffy buttercream cakes perched high on stands and rows of creamy, frosted treats? My sweet tooth is pretty big, but there are some times that I find desserts almost too good to eat…almost!
2. Seeing Good Friends Gather – Friendships are so important to me. I have friends up and down the East Coast and I try so hard to keep in touch with them all. Parties-big and small-have been my best excuse to see everyone. After all, you can’t have a party without friends. I’m always honored to have the opportunity to help others make these connections at their own parties, whether that means working on the guest list or sending out invitations. When I see distant family members and friends reunite at an event and everyone is enjoying themselves, I feel like I have done my job.
3. Kicking off Cocktail Hour – To me, the start of a party is the most important. It’s where you make your first impression on guests and set the tone for what’s to come. Cocktail hour is not just for weddings-every gathering needs an allotted time for people to arrive and get settled. This is one of the most exciting parts of any party and I love watching people discover all the fun elements of the event and what the rest of the night has in store.
4. Thinking Creatively – I’m constantly challenging myself to think differently. Whether I’m planning a party, decorating my house or just picking out an outfit, I strive to never settle for something ordinary or expected. I’m a master at repurposing items for something other than their intended use-which works out well because I never throw anything away. All the cake stands I used to hold flowers at my wedding now display jewelry and books on my shelves. I have yet to actually serve a cake on one!
5. Focusing on the Details – A party just wouldn’t be a party if it weren’t for the endless amount of details that are involved. From creating custom printed cocktail napkins to managing vendor contracts, there are a lot of little things to get done. I love seeing these elements come together-yes, even the paperwork. And I pride myself on doing them right. After all, I used to be a magazine editor so I’m used to going through things with a fine-toothed comb.
I can think of two words that adequately describe how spectacular Ali and Max’s barbeque rehearsal dinner was: Bacon centerpieces. Of course, I can think of several others to describe the event we helped plan for this genuine, sweet and utterly in love couple, but those are two of my favorites.
Having the opportunity to help Ali and Max plan their rehearsal dinner was such a treat. We love to step away from the frills and formalities of planning a wedding to work on a smaller, more intimate event. This gives us the opportunity to learn their stories and translate them into details at a special dinner for their closest family members and friends. For Ali and Max this meant a laid back barbeque at the bride’s childhood home in Darien, CT, inspired by the time they spent living in Tennessee. Ali and Max picked some of their favorite Southern elements to share with their guests: A hay bale lounge, a bourbon bar stocked with the groom’s favorite spirits, and buckets and buckets of bacon for guests to enjoy.
We are so thrilled that we were able to share this special day with Ali and Max. If you can believe it, the wedding that followed was filled with even more love and excitement and we’ll be sharing those photos with you next!
We spent a lot of time thinking about weddings, but we absolutely love an opportunity to plan one of the exciting events that takes place leading up to the big day—the bridal shower! When it comes to showers there are so many different directions you can go in. Why not plan something a little unexpected? These are our five favorite ideas for fun and refreshing summer bridal shower.
1. Wine Tasting Brunch (Photos by Alyse French Photography) Thinking about a wine-themed shower? Kick it up a notch by adding in a surprise tasting for the bride and her guests. Serve small flights of local wines, including my personal favorite, Stone Table Red from Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington. 2. Lingerie Shopping Night (Photo by Sarah Yates) Put a new spin on the traditional lingerie shower by inviting the bride to a night out at one of her favorite lingerie boutiques. Treat the guest of honor to a little something lacy, and while you’re at it pick out something for yourself! Check into Sugar Cookies in NYC and Beneath The Gown in Clinton, CT. 3. Backyard Lobster Bake (Photo via Pinterest) It’s practically a sin to live in New England and not indulge in rich, buttery seafood every chance you get! The laid back atmosphere at this shower will bring guests together and get everyone excited for wedding day festivities. 4. Retro Cocktail Party (Photo by Raw Photo Design) Who says showers must be limited to the ladies? Invite couples to a swinging cocktail party that mimics the age when skirts were fuller and Manhattans were the cocktail du jour. 5. Summer Pool Party (Photo by Aaron Pinkston) Channel your inner kid at a pool party honoring the bride-to-be. Spend the afternoon sipping frozen cocktails and working on your wedding day tan. Essentials: Extra SPF and these adorable floating flamingo drink holders!
Top Five Bridal Shower Ideas was last modified: November 27th, 2013 by Libby
We could not think of a better way to start this Wednesday off than with a peek inside the closet of the beautiful Kelley Solomon. You may know her as the creative genius behind Aquinnah Jewelry. We covet just about everything in the collection—from the modern, colorful necklaces to the delicate initial lockets. It’s no surprise that her style reaches far beyond the beautiful jewels she creates. In her own words, Kelly is a little “crunchy.” But that doesn’t mean you won’t find her decked out in pretty, feminine styles or rocking a little bit of glitter. “I love fashion,” she says. “I like to live simply, but I also really appreciate and enjoy the finer things in life too. I think I could live barefoot. As long as I could just have one little perk everyday like a beautiful handbag, a cozy cashmere sweater, or piece of gorgeous jewelry I would be very happy.”
We think Kelley’s wardrobe is full of little perks and we are happy to share a few of those today. Have a look at what’s in her closet…
Hmmm… What I can’t live without. This could end up being quite a long list. HA! Now, that I am a mom of a one-year-old daugher (named Aquinnah), and work out of my home studio at least four days a week my closet “go to’s” have changed to a bit more casual.
Shoes: Frye riding boots, TOMS woven herringbone flats, Sam Edelman ballet flats & “Petty” booties, Converse sneakers, lacy suede oxfords by 67 Collection & gold glitter ballet flats by Cole Haan. I really can’t choose one. I NEED them ALL!
Clothing: My current fav’s would have to be my…Emerald lace peplum top by Moulinette Soeurs, skinny jeans by Citizens of Humanity, I love cardigans especailly this dark orange scalloped one by Sparrow, Cream lace hem sweater by Knitted & Knotted, and almost always have to have my Mossimo white ribbed tanks from Target in reach. And, I can’t leave out my slouchy, charcoal, cable knit hat that I wear almost everyday by Goorin Bros.
Accessories: Oh god, now accessories where do I begin???
Lets start with jewelry!!! Well…of course almost all of my go to’s are AQUINNAH JEWELRY. I love to stack my accessories!!! Currently, I love to combine my locket bracelet, infinity bracelet & emerald & chain/rhinestone bracelets. I also wear either my locket, initial stamped or rip curl necklace with almost everything. I am also obsessed with a pair of gold & emerald earrings that belonged to my late sister-in-law. Those I will cherish forever and will eventually pass down to our daughter. For an everyday earring I wear my faux diamond studs by Haute Bride. And, I still stare & smile at my wedding ring and never take it off.
Now, in my opinion you’re not a real woman if you do not have a handbag addiction! If I didn’t have a child to support I would spend A LOT of money on more handbags!! I have always loved Kate Spade and Dooney & Bourke, and I will always dream about that vintage Hermes “Kelly” bag. Now that I carry a diaper bag (actually an oversized Kate Spade tote bag I converted into a diaper bag) more than a handbag I have restrained myself from endulging in any new bags. Which my husband seems to be very happy about. Ha!
Sunglasses: Definitley my Ray-Ban Wayfarer’s
I really enjoy shopping and supporting small, local boutiques, and do love to stroll the aisles of Target & Marshalls! As you would expect after seeing my jewelry line, I obviously love, and am inspired by, Anthropologie, Kate Spade and J.Crew. And, when I have time I enjoy visiting vintage or consignment shops, which also inspire a lot of my jewelry design. I wish I could live in the past, in Europe, and really soak it all in…all the fashion, all the architecture, all the life. That’s what design to me is all about…the past brought into the future.
I will splurge on staple, “must have” pieces that I need to complete my closet because I love and appreciate well made, luxury items that I know will well outlast some of the other pieces in my closet. Well made items like a perfect fitting pair of jeans, a cashmere sweater, a well tailored over coat, a pair of handmade cowboy boots or a finely crafted piece of jewelry, etc…I think it’s just like how I try to eat more organic, local foods because I know that even though I am spending a little bit more it will prolong a healthy life.
We always chat about how we have the opportunity to work with so many wonderful couples from all over the globe. Some of our couples even reside outside the country and come back home to get married. This couple, Meghan and Ben, are professional globe-trotters. Actually, if constantly traveling all over the country was a full-time job, they would be the CEOs! During our time together, Meghan and Ben were anywhere from Connecticut to New York, from Florida to Arizona and beyond, as they both serve in the military. They are also one of the most endearing, sweetest couples you will ever get the chance to know. Meghan is one of those girls that you meet and instantly become friends with because she is just downright lovely! You may have gotten a peek at their wedding on Style Me Pretty, but check out the full scoop below!
Their wedding day was infused with a few of my favorite personal details, from naming the tables after different cities that were meaningful to their relationship (and we had city names to spare!) to the cake stand they made from a tree in their own backyard. Meghan literally fell head over heels for Ben as she climbed the stairs to find a seat in their Civil Procedures class in college. Instead of a snicker for her clumsiness, he quickly jumped to pick her up. The rest is history!
The biggest of thank yous to Robert and Kathleen for capturing their gorgeous day and to our fabulous team of the industry’s finest for making it just as memorable!! Meghan and Ben, we still fall deeply in love looking at these photos and wish you two all the best!! XO
The official arrival of spring is the perfect excuse to dine alfresco! Why not host a laid back picnic in your back yard? The combination of simple and delicious foods and cozy decor will make for the perfect afternoon. Throw pillows with vintage-style picnic prints out so guests can kick back. And add unique furniture items, like this trough-style table made for keeping drinks cool, and within reach. What more do you need?