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Author Archive for: ‘Kendra’
I had the pleasuring of interviewing Matthew David Hopkins, creative director of Matthew David Celebrations, on his inspiration for a Valentines picnic inside. Matthew wanted to create a Valentines surprise with not only good food, but also romance. This picnic is about treating your Valentine to their favorite things in an intimate setting.
This is a great DIY project that takes planning and thought. Matthew suggests collecting elements from the home and using them in a different way. For example, instead of a blanket he used a tapestry. Create a flower arrangement with your Valentine’s favorite flower or do something unexpected like a flowering plant. (He pointed out that just because it’s Valentines Day it doesn’t have to be red roses. Which I was glad to hear someone else say, because I’m not a big fan of roses and love to receive orchids.) Make the setting cozy and romantic with pillows and candlelight. Matthew used clear trays from CB2 for the place settings to let the decor and tapestry shine.
Now of course, the food for any picnic is important. For this special occasion it’s all about the person you are entertaining. Serve their favorite meal, rather you cook or order and replate it. Have a few courses; appetizer, main course, and desert. Plate the meal on something special, and not your everyday china. Matthew’s plates are eco-friendly bamboo.
Do you love this idea so much that you are wondering how you can incorporate this into your wedding day? Well, Matthew shared a few tips for bringing this vision into your wedding activities.
- He believes this would create an elegant rehearsal dinner theme.
- Prepare guests for picnic style dining by having them dress in a relaxing way.
- Hint to a fun and relaxing dinner.
- Give each guest a tray so that that they may sit where they like.
- Have tables available if they prefer, and inviting floor areas with flowers and candles.
- Low tables with pillows are another intimate vision.
While I had the opportunity, I had to get his opinion on wedding trends and inspiration. Creating memorable and romantic settings inspires Matthew. One way he brings this into the space is by color. In 2013, he sees emerald (Pantone color of the year) will be a big influence. Darker colors are coming into fashion. He likes contrast, such as black and white, or deep tones of rich blue and champagne. You can play-up formality with contrast or add a playful aspect with less symmetry.
Matthew says, “The great thing about weddings is you can break the rules.”
When I think of a bridal brunch I envision vintage china, teacups, and embroidered napkins. This vision inspired me to create this DIY invitation with a hand-sewn flower.
- Design Template
- Artist tape (or other adhesive that will allow you to remove without damaging the paper)
Step 1: Create the printed portion of your invite leaving enough room for the design at the top.
I used an A2 (4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches) invite and had about 2 1/2 inches of free space above my text. The flower template is 2 1/4 x 2 inches.
Step 2: Print template and tape over invite where you would like the design. The template was made by creating an dashed outline of a flower I drew with a design software.
Step 3: Following the dashed outline poke small holes in the invitation. (I usually put a hole at the beginning and end of every dash, but it just depends on how long you would like each stich.) This is most tedious part, but once you do it a few times you get the hang of it and it goes faster.
Step 4: Remove the template from the invite. With your threaded needle begin with a hole on the back and begin to stitch. When you come to the end, simply tie and you have a sweet embroidered flower.
What I love about it the hand made aspect is each one can be different. You can choose a variety of colors, change the angle, and put your special touch on each.
Before the wedding planning begins, comes the engagement. Proposals take planning, too. Rings, where to ask, and did you remember the tissues? A little pre-planning will keep you calm and create beautiful memories.
American Gem Society (AGS), the country’s preeminent jewelry trade organization dedicated to consumer protection, launches the AGS Perfect Proposal Toolkit – just in time to help those planning to pop the question on Valentine’s Day. The Toolkit, available February 1-15, 2013, offers a quirky collection of tips and suggestions for planning the perfect proposal, as well as a contest to win a trip to the newlywed capital of the world, Las Vegas.
Located at americangemsociety.org/Groom2B, the online resource offers fun and unique suggestions for traditional and non-traditional proposals, recipes for romantic dinners, a list of the top mistakes to avoid when proposing, proposal trends, and even recommendations on Tweets for those who plan to propose in 140 characters or less.
The hotline, 1-855-GROOM2B (476-6622), provides recorded recommendations including tips on planning the proposal, how to select a quality diamond and what to do if things don’t go as planned.
Through a partnership with Vegas.com, The Official VEGAS Travel Site™, the Perfect Proposal Contest (www.vegas.com/perfectproposal) gives entrants the opportunity to win a three-day/two night trip to Las Vegas (airfare, hotel, show tickets and dinner,) along with a $1,000 gift certificate, valid at any of the 1,700 AGS member jewelers in the country. Ideal for those who want to get married, or, spend a weekend honeymoon in Las Vegas. Full contest rules are listed on the contest website.
“Our existing online resources provide recommendations on how to shop for the highest quality jewelry from the best jewelers in the country,” said Ruth Batson, executive director and CEO of American Gem Society. “The AGS Perfect Proposal Toolkit is a perfect fit with what our visitors look for, especially around Valentine’s Day—the busiest time of year for ring shopping and question popping!”
Who says an edible favor has to be candy or another unhealthy sweet? I have another breakfast inspired wedding favor that is also healthy. What I love about this granola bar recipe is that it has no added sugars. I make this almost weekly for a morning snack, and thought it would be easy to share with guests. During the holidays I cut them into small squares and added them to my sweets platter. (Which also, included some doughnut holes from biscuit dough.)
Cranberry and Oats Bar
recipe adapted from Anja’s Food 4 Thought
- 2 cups of rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°F.
Step 2: Line medium baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 3: Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.
Step 4: Mix wet ingredients and pour into dry ingredients and stir to combine. Let mixture soak for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Then, pour onto pan and press down evenly. Bake for 20-35 minutes. The bake time will vary on how thinly you spread the mixture, so watch carefully.
Step 6: Take out of the oven, and cut into squares.
To package for favors, I simply wrapped each square in parchment paper and tied with twine. Simple and healthy! If you prefer loose granola you can make a granola “bar.” I would love to see a bridal brunch with a buffet of granola, toppings, and yogurt for a parfait. Toppings for the buffet could include: fresh and dried fruits, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and cinnamon.
I would love to know how you are incorporating your favorite foods into your wedding activities.
I love breakfast! Over the next few weeks I will give you DIY ideas for sharing the best meal of the day with your wedding guests. This banana muffin recipe makes about 20 edible favors for a bridal shower or intimate brunch wedding.
Banana Muffin Recipe
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large bananas (mashed)
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup butter (melted)
- 1/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt set-aside.
Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter in large bowl.
Fold in flour mixture, mix until smooth. If you are adding nuts, fold in until evenly distributed. Fill lined muffin cups a little over 2/3 full. Bake large muffins for about 18- 24 minutes.
You can bake these ahead and freeze. Allow the muffins to cool and place in a freezer storage bag. A paper towel over the muffins will prevent moisture from building on the tops. (Also, make sure you get all the air out of the bag.) When you are ready to prepare the favors, let them defrost for a couple of hours. (If you decide to sneak one for yourself just pop in the microwave for about 15 seconds for a warm muffin.)
Now we are ready to dress up the muffins for your special guests.
- Muffin cupcake template <- click to download
- Decorative paper
- Double-sided tape
- Decorative Edge Scissors
- Cellophane wrap
Use a cupcake template to cut your liner from your decorative paper. I used the straight edge scissors to cut the bottom and sides, and scalloped edge scissors to trim the top.
Wrap your new liner around the muffin, and tape where the two sides meet.
Cut wrap to gather around the muffin and form a “poof” at the top. Then, secure with ribbon and this completes your custom breakfast favor.