Monthly Archives: October 2011

Adventures in DIY: Stocking Pumpkin Design

Stocking Pumpkin via Greeneyed Monster

Happy Halloween, Philly readers! While watching the Today Show this morning (the hosts decided to relive the Royal Wedding!), I happened to catch a segment about creative pumpkin designs that don’t involve carving. I really liked so many of the ideas, which were presented by Southern Living Magazine; however, because it’s so easy and effortlessly chic, the stocking pumpkin is my favorite. Pick a pumpkin (even white works well!) and grab a pair of patterned stockings or tights, ribbon, and scissors – the directions are below.

Stocking Pumpkin Steps:

* You can also choose to paint your pumpkin’s stem black. If you want to paint it, make sure to paint the stem first and let it dry before continuing. 

  1. Cut one of the feet off of your stockings (if your pumpkin is larger be sure to cut off more than you need.)
  2. Starting at the bottom of your pumpkin, pull the toe-stocking portion up and over.
  3. Tie the ends of the stocking together around the pumpkin’s stem with ribbon.

Stocking Pumpkin via Pinterest

By grouping several stocking covered pumpkins together with candles and flowers, you can create DIY fall-themed centerpieces to use throughout your wedding’s tables. With the awesome fall colors on display in the Philadelphia area, pumpkins make a great addition to your décor right up to Thanksgiving.

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Journal to the Alter: Options!

As promised in yesterday’s post, I’m back with a few of my favorite blog and journal options from around the web. Up first: blog options!

If you are thinking about starting a blog in order to keep track of all of the loveliness that happens to you in between your proposal and the day you walk down the aisle, there are a couple different options to consider. It’s really all about personal preference and what you feel you will be able to use and possibly share with the most ease.

  1. WordPress: I just have to jump in because clearly I’m a fan! When I first started my blog I could not decide which platform I wanted to use, and I actually created two before making my final choice. However, I love my choice because it’s super easy to create a new post, upload additional photos and videos, and publish what you’ve created. Overall, it’s a winner!
  2. Blogger
  3. Typepad
  4. Tumblr

While blogging really is fun, simple, and possibly faster, I love the idea of journaling. There’s just something about handwritten posts that is so endearing. Some of my favorite journals from around the web are below (the first was inspired by a post from the blog Peach and Pearl).

Note books by Carrot and Stick Press; $6

"'This day I will marry my friend...' Journal" by Quotes and Notes; $35

"Bursting Flowers Journal" by Sweet Life Paper; $10

"Vintage Print Journal" by Jennifer Halbleib; $25

"Mudlark Giardino Journal" by Papyrus; $14.95

I’m loving all of the fun colors and patterns of these journals! Of course you can also find more journal options at office supply stores as well as stationary shops, Barnes & Noble, and Target.

Whether you choose to blog or journal, make sure to choose what’s right for you and…HAVE FUN!

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Brides Night Out Philadelphia

Philly brides, an accouncement was made today about an upcoming event and it’s sure to liven your step and brighten your day – at the same time. Yes, it’s that good.

Brides Magazine announced that they are hosting Brides Night Out Philadelphia at the Hyatt at the Bellevue TONIGHT from 6:30-8:30. At the event you will be able to be inspired for your wedding by tasting cake and sipping cocktails while you receive advice from the experts. Cake + cocktails + advice = must attend. Oh, and there’s also going to be makeovers & manicures, news about the latest gown trends, and honeymoon destination ideas.

I hope you’re not busy! Be sure to hop online and send an e-mail to BNO_Philadelphia@condenast.com to RSVP and contact your girlfriends – your night is planned.

*photo courtesy Brides.com

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Journal or Blog to the Alter: 5 Reasons Why Brides Should Start Writing

"Wooden Wedding Notebook" by Quotes and Notes

Your wedding: it’s one of those days when you really, really want to remember all of the details. However, what about all of the hours you pour into searching for photos that inspire you and that night that when you and your bridesmaids just couldn’t stop laughing?

Most every detail – those moments when you are so heading in the direction of bridezilla, included – you will want to look back on at some point. Unfortunately, you just can’t plan a wedding, run your life, and remember everything you thought was unforgettable at the time, too. Brides, meet journaling and blogging!

Pick your favorite color, find a fun pattern, and grab a pen. Below are my top five reasons why you should start writing a journal or start a blog even if you have never kept one before.

  1. You will want to remember: Even though you may think you will remember exactly what made you laugh hysterically or the precise order of events during your engagement session with your photographer, you probably won’t (unfortunately). You’ll remember the times with the most detail, but you won’t want to forget the how or the why either. Sometimes the small details are the ones that pull together the best moments in the larger picture.
  2. It mattered then: Having a bridezilla type of day are you? It happens and in that moment that detail really matters. We all have bad days and everyone says or does things that they wish they could take back – if only it was possible. Even if you’re frustrated, annoyed, or just plain mad – write it down if for no other reason than to try to never say or do that thing again. Sometimes it helps to just see it on paper.
  3. Short, sweet, and to-the-point (or not): What you write doesn’t have to be long or maybe it does. Sometimes a sentence is all it takes. However, there are also those days that are so awesome for so many reasons that you can’t even begin to explain why. Rambling will explain it better than wondering down the line what happened on that day that made you smile.
  4. Photos, e-mails, and notes: Facebook and blogs are not for writing alone, and sometimes a picture just says it better. Add your favorite photos along with e-mails and notes to the pages of your journal or post them on your blog.
  5. Making Lists: You’re planning a wedding with a ton of details. Even if you’ve never been one to make lists before, you may just become best friends with the practice. A book with a ton of paper will encourage you to make list after list so you can try not to forget the flowers you decided on at noon yesterday.

Feeling inspired to journal or blog to the alter? I hope so. And don’t forget about guest posts. They are also a fun way to get another person’s perspective on everything that is happening, including your groom’s! Be sure to check back tomorrow for a couple photos of some of my favorite journals (like the one pictured above) as well as blogging sites to look into.  And remember…

"Keep Calm and Write On" by Keep Calm Shop

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Philly’s Best Wedding Planner: A Q&A with Proud to Plan’s Erin Proud

After you experience all of the joys of getting engaged, there is always a moment – it’s the feeling of “now what?” that washes over you. There are so many large and small details associated with planning and executing your wedding day, and quite frankly, help may just be essential. If you are from the Philadelphia area, meet event planner Erin Proud.

Erin graduated from the University of Delaware, where she majored in Hotel & Restaurant Management and learned that she could have a career as an event planner. Throw many years spent working as a corporate planner and times planning her own wedding and those of Philadelphia area couples into the mix, and you can fast forward to the present. Now Erin is the owner of Proud to Plan, an event planning company specializing in weddings. She not only helps Philadelphia couples choose all of the details of their weddings, but Erin can personalize them too with her own line of stationary, which she designs with the help of her creative husband.

Below in today’s Q & A, Erin talks about her Philadelphia wedding favorites from locations and vendors to how to incorporate the area’s seasons and potential for a destination wedding into your day (and everything in between!). So, relax for a couple minutes and let Erin – a featured event planner on Style Me Pretty, number one planner on Philly’s Hot List, and upstate Delaware’s Best Wedding Planner – help you plan your wedding day (or weekend). 

Going to the Chapel: From venues and locations to florists, DJ’s, cakes, and food – why is the Philadelphia area perfect for a wedding? Who do you think are some of the best vendors and why?

Erin Proud: Philadelphia is the perfect setting for a wedding because there are so many options available!  You can have a city wedding, estate wedding, waterfront wedding or country wedding…all within a 30 minute drive!  There are so many talented professionals in the Philadelphia wedding industry!  The list of my favorites is so long and I’m afraid of leaving people out, but my favorite photographer is Jennifer Childress– she’s extremely talented but her personality is the best!  She’s a firecracker and keeps her clients (and other wedding pros) in stitches all night!  My favorite DJ’s are Synergetic Sound and Lighting.  Working with them is always a pleasure- they are professional, anti-cheesy, and are the best beat-mixers out there!  Plus, I love that they offer lighting and draping, too.  My clients are always looking for something that makes their weddings stand out from the rest, and Synergetic does a great job of creating a lighting design that wows guests as they enter the room.  If my clients want a band, I send them directly to Jellyroll– Kurt and his crew are INCREDIBLE and so much fun to work with.  I’m also a HUGE advocate for hiring a videographer, and Blossom Productions is my absolute favorite.  Their films are so full of beauty and emotion…I end up crying every time I watch one!  When it comes to florals, my go-to girl is Brittany from Petals Lane.  Hands down, she blows my clients away every single time.  If my clients are looking for an Officiant, I tell them to call Andy Mahaney, the Wedding Pastor.  His ceremonies are always a personal reflection of the couple and he fills it with lots of funny touches and sweet words the bride & groom have shared about each other.  When it comes to making the bride look her best, I recommend Cheekadee for makeup and Meghan Cahill for hair.  They are my beauty dream team!

GTTC: What are some of your favorite hidden gems in and around the Philadelphia area? Why?

EP: The Arts Ballroom is brand new and a stunning venue right in the thick of center city.  Plus, Starr catering does an amazing job with the food!  I also love Stotesbury Mansion- you’d never know by walking past that inside is an amazing ballroom and 3 stories of rooms full of history and charm.  Out in the suburbs, I love Appleford Estate.  It’s an enchanting spot perfect for elegant and rustic weddings.  Just over the line in Delaware is Archmere Academy, and their space is so unique and the outdoor patio is gorgeous.

GTTC: What are some of your go to ways for couples to incorporate Philadelphia’s varied seasons (and weather!) into their wedding day?

EP: The Philly area has definitely got four very distinct seasons! Spring couples can take advantage of springtime blooms at one of the many venues that offer garden settings for ceremonies, like Cairnwood Estate or Winterthur Musuem & Gardens.  Summer couples can take the destination wedding approach and have a jersey shore wedding, on the beach, complete with fun boardwalk touches at the reception!  Beautiful fall colors create the perfect color palette for Autumn couples -using local produce in your wedding décor (like apples from Linvilla Orchards!) is a unique way to incorporate those rich tones.  Winter weddings can be a great chance to create a cozy ambiance through lighting and sparkle, but just remember the weather can be horrendous, so be sure to invest in wedding insurance!

GTTC: Philadelphia can be a great location for a destination wedding. How can a couple turn their wedding day into a weekend full of Philly fun?

EP: There are lots of options for couples that want to make a weekend out of their Philly wedding.  They could offer guided bus tours, scavenger hunts around the city, revolutionary ghost tours of Old City, Duck Boat rides, visits to Reading Terminal Market.  Wineries in Chadds Ford offer many tasting events on the weekends.  They could even do day trips to the Jersey Shore, New York City or Washington DC.  Philly is the perfect spot- right in the middle of everything!

GTTC: Are you seeing any new wedding trends emerging in this area?

EP: Since the economy still hasn’t fully rebounded, couples are still trying to find creative ways to cut costs.  The result is weddings that are very stylized, very crafty, very personal.  Couples are taking the time to really think through every detail and consider if it’s something they can DIY or something they choose to purchase or rent.  It’s a great task for them to focus on as a “team” and because there’s so much love involved in creating the day, the touches seem to shine that much more.

GTTC: Do you have a story about a wedding you planned for a couple and loved from start to finish? What were some of your favorite details?

EP: It’s so hard to choose just one, we have had some really spectacular events and fantastic clients!

Usually it starts with the other wedding professionals involved, and the location where the wedding will be held.  So, basically, if I’m spending a day of celebration at a beautiful location with all of the people I like most, then it’s always a memorable one!

I also love really excited couples- the ones that are brimming with ideas and are receptive to unique details.  I know that they have worked really hard at bringing ideas to life, so I love that audible gasp we hear when they see the reception room for the first time.  I love hearing guests talking about how amazing everything is and I love hearing that it was the best wedding they have ever attended.  It makes me really happy to know we had a hand in making someone’s dreams become a reality.

With her eye for details and her ever growing list of favorite Philly vendors, I’m sure it won’t take long for Erin and Proud to Plan to be known throughout the country for their wedding planning excellence.

If you would like to contact Erin and the Proud to Plan team, be sure to check out her website. In order to stay updated on all that Proud to Plan has to offer, like them on Facebook (they already have 3,000 fans!), follow them on Twitter, or be sure to visit their blog

*photo courtesy Erin Proud

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A Typewriter Infused Wedding (Part Two)

After Saturday’s engagement story, part two has arrived! Because Amanda’s engagement is so unique (scroll and a graphic!), I love the idea of continuing the meaningful typewriter trend into other aspects of her wedding. If you happen to have a typewriter like Amanda (call yourself lucky, first), or if you’re wondering how to incorporate some aspects of one into your day, read on for a couple of my favorite typewriter inspired ideas.

Vintage Typewriter Inspired Invitation by Erinspired Creative

Vintage Typewriter Inspired Invitations by Erinspired Creative

"Vintage Shabby Chic Custom Wedding Program" by Papel Lindo Design

"Table Number Sign (Typewriter)" by Interprintations

"Vintage Typewriter Kraft Bags" by LostBridgeDesigns

1.)  All things printed: From invitations and ceremony programs to table markers and candy bags, these items bring the typewriter font to life. If you are based near Philly, like Going to the Chapel and Amanda and Chris, be sure to check out Erinspired Creative (Erin’s invitations are pictured above!) and Two Paperdolls. According to Nicole from Two Paperdolls, there are a couple of specific fonts that they can use for the typewriter look.

"Personalized Jewelry Ring - Typewriter Font" by Punky Bunny Designs

"Typewriter Key Cufflinks" by Haute Keys

2.)  The little details: Sometimes it’s all in the little details. The rings make a sweet small token for your bridesmaids, while the cufflinks can be a unique personalized item for your new husband’s groomsmen.

photo courtesy Mac.RJ

3.)  The guest book: With a typewriter and paper, your guests can write personalized messages to you both. Messages sometimes seem more heartfelt when they have an organic feel, and typewriters won’t allow guests to erase or use exclamation points. After your reception, you can place all of the messages into an album to save and read throughout the years. If you have a relative or family friend who has a typewriter, this would be a great way to carry over “something borrowed” into your reception. If not, try EtsyEbay, or an office supply store, and paper is available online or at your local stationary store. This happens to be my favorite way for your typewriter to shine at your wedding.

Obviously, you may not want to go overboard with your typewriter wedding love. However, by using one or a few of these ideas, your wedding (and Amanda and Chris’s!) is sure to have a lot of meaning, mixed with some fun, and a whole lot of vintage flare.

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Amanda & Chris: A Typewriter Infused Engagement (Part One)

I love when an engagement has that one element that can be woven throughout an entire wedding. It’s something small, yet oh-so-meaningful to a couple. Because it’s meaningful, not to mention really creative, guests just can’t help but love that element too. Well, today I have an engagement story that has one of those elements.

Meet New Jersey based couple Amanda Sandlin and Chris Schoonover. The couple met through a mutual friend, who Amanda knew from working at a greenhouse close to her college’s campus. After dating for 10 months and celebrating a graduation and first jobs, Chris proposed to Amanda with the help of a typewriter, scroll, and graphic. Amanda puts everything into context below as she shares her pretty sweet engagement story.

It was July 4, and Chris was helping me move into my apartment in Jersey City. We unpacked all my boxes, shelves, and futon, and there was a mysterious box that he carried in last. He told me it was a “house-warming gift.” I didn’t really question it, but I somewhat expected a typewriter. I’d been wanting one for a long time.

After getting my room set up, we noticed that I had access to a fire escape leading up to the roof. He suggested that we climb up and watch the sun set. After I hopped out of the window and started to climb the ladder, I noticed he grabbed the mysterious box. After we got up to the roof, we noticed an old chimney that had been filled. He told me to sit down, and he placed the box in front of me and told me to open it.

As I lifted the cover, there it was — a glorious, vintage Royal typewriter, with a note typed in the scroll:

“Amanda, will you marry me? Oh, by the way, this is Chris. So… yeah.” He also drew a little graphic, I’m guessing in case I froze in shock, of a hand, a ring, and then a hand with the ring on the ring finger.

I turned around, and he was there on his knee, the ring in hand. He repeated, “Will you marry me, Amanda?”

Speechless, a little scared, and so thrilled, I said “Well yeah, DUH!!!!!!!!!!”

At the mention of a typewriter, I already loved this proposal. However, after hearing everything else, I am completely sold. How can Amanda and Chris weave Amanda’s typewriter throughout their wedding? Well, you’ll just have come back next week. Part two will be up on Monday!

*all photos courtesy Amanda Sandlin

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