I love Chinese lanterns. They come in so many beautiful colors and sizes, and can really perk-up a reception space without spending a bundle. An accessory that used to be limited to Asian-themed décor, the Chinese lantern can be found adding pops of color at many weddings today.
However, because they are most often lined-up along the roofline of a tent interior or hung from tree branches, the look has lost a bit of its impact and flair. I still think they are fun, though, and just need a little more creativity in their use.
Here are five ideas to use lanterns in unexpected ways:
1. Ceremony Backdrop: This is a simple installation, but with great impact. Choose white or a soft color for a subtle effect, or one bright shade for real pizzazz. Watch that the lanterns don’t outshine the real stars of the day, though!
This would be perfect for a ceremony under a tent. Use the largest diameter lanterns you can find, and hang them in pairs above your aisle. Go monochromatic, or embrace the ombré
effect by using colors that shade from dark to light.
3. Pom-Pom Tent Fringe: Instead of scattering the lanterns throughout your tent, concentrate them around the perimeter, creating a fun fringe of ‘pom-poms’. A mix of sizes and colors (within your wedding palette, of course) would create a whimsical effect.
4. Head Table Highlight: Group your lantern display above the head table, adding color and glow to you and your honor party. This look could work equally well with mixed colors and sizes as something more ‘regular.’
5. Cake Table Chihuly:
If you are at all familiar with the work of famous glass artist Dale Chihuly
, you’ll immediately see where I’m going here. A densely-grouped reverse pyramid of lanterns installed directly above your cake will truly make a statement. While a variety of sizes would help this work best, you can decide if you want the statement to be bold or less-so through your color choices.
However you choose to use them, make sure to have enough. Part of what makes all these ideas work is the sheer quantity of lanterns in the design. Don’t skimp, and the impact will be sublime!
Heather, The Events Conciergetm
With the multitude of wedding magazines, websites, blogs, television and more out there today, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the choices available to you. My suggestion? Before you look at the first wedding anything, look around your home. What magazines and books do you already own? What draws you to them? What colors are on your walls, your furniture, your accessories? What kind of style - contemporary, country, classic...? Whether you have a passion for fashion, gardening, home decor, or something completely different, think about how these natural "likes" could be reflected in your wedding.
It's easy to flip through a wedding magazine, and find many, many beautiful things that you love - and you will love them - but if you haven't already determined what you love outside of wedding design, you could very easily end up with either: A) a wedding that does not reflect your genuine style, or B) a hodgepodge of ideas that get tossed together, regardless of how they coordinate.
Finally, check in with your other half. Each of you should make a list of two-three favorite colors, plus activities and hobbies. Think of things you share - perhaps you have a sport you enjoy together, a favorite shared hobby, or perhaps a special vacation spot? What is it you each adore about the other? What makes your bond unique? Answering these questions can create a firm foundation on which to create your signature wedding look. (This isn't to say you should use everything on your lists - edit accordingly. However, you just might learn that your second favorite color is the same on both your lists - an obvious place to begin a wedding palette.)
Just remember to start with who you truly are first, then layer the wedding look on top of that. You'll be thrilled with the end result!
The Event Concierge
These days couples are looking just about anywhere for neat and innovative décor ideas. Although some couples opt for a more traditional or contemporary theme, many couples are choosing to go with a “playful” approach when decorating.
A trend I am currently loving are all the DIY signs, displays and chalkboards creatively spelling out the bride and groom's names, information or locations. These are not only fun to create with your future spouse, but can look really neat after they are completed. Although many brides have a specific idea on how they want to decorate their designated area, these signs, displays and chalkboards can fit in with just about any theme.
Having a rustic, flirty, partially outdoor wedding? How about beautifully written fonts on multiple sized arrows leading guests toward designated locations. These are fun and easy to create, not to mention easy to follow!
Maybe you have a tight budget and don’t want to print up menu cards? Or you want to tell all your guests something else specific - spell it out in chalk! Chalkboards are a great way to not only save a little money, but add a bit of personality to your wedding.
However you choose to decorate your wedding, these fun and creative signs and displays will surely be a topic of discussion! Materials to complete your creations can be found in a variety of places: craft stores, specialty shops, and even antique stores! Don’t forget to get your future spouse or a few of your girlfriends to join in on the fun!
Martha said it best: “playful yet subtle, highly personalized, yet totally affordable.” Monograms are appearing on everything in weddings these days. From monogrammed invitations, stemware, and cake tiers, this craze continues to fill our hearts and make us smile, right down to the last initial.
Although monogramming has been around for years, it seems to be in places we never thought possible. One idea that has been on the rise is monogrammed cufflinks for him. Not only is it pretty easy for you to create your own cufflinks, but also have the option to have them professionally engraved in a variety of sizes and fonts.
Something for the bride perhaps? The stitching of initials on or inside of the bridal gown is a sweet and simple idea that adds a personal touch to the bridal gown.
Another lovely item that has been around for decades is a monogrammed handkerchief. These are a charming way to catch tears of joy and offer as keepsakes for family members.
Consider adding your monogram to customized labels and add them to specific pieces like neck ties, shawls, or evening gloves.
Not into these ideas? You can still make an impression on your guests by adding personalizing details to wedding treats like cookies and cupcakes. Whatever your style or theme is for the big day, adding the personal touch of monogramming is a perfect way to capture the eyes of each and every one of your guests.
A successful event has a simple formula. It must be attractive and inviting, comfortable and informative. Colors function as part of the equation. After catching your guests' attention, color provides a structured message and visual harmony to enhance the experience.
If you didn’t take an art class in high school, we’ll start by listing the three basic types of color combinations: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Red, Yellow, and Blue are the primary; Orange, Green, and Purple are the secondary. The secondary colors fit between the primary, making a six-point star. The tertiary colors result from mixing one primary color with one secondary color, and have no specific set names. An example would be yellow + green = chartreuse or lime.
Complimentary colors, colors that go best together, are opposite each other on the color wheel. So, Red pairs with Green, Yellow couples with Purple, Blue duos with Orange.
All shades of Gray work well as background colors, but what about Black and White, you ask? Black is the color of authority and power and popular because of its slimming effect. Black works well with bright jewel tones, conveying elegance, sophistication, or even mystery. White is soft and spring-like, the color for brides in Western countries. In Eastern cultures it is actually the color for mourning. Use White to signify purity, cleanliness, or make Reds, Blues and Greens look brighter.
Metallics, such as Gold and Silver, always add a special touch. Gold catches the eye lending richness and natural warmth, while Silver is glamorous and sleek. Both symbolize riches and elegance, but are best used in small amounts as accents.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can consider applying different tints of one color. This can give the impression of using several colors when using only one. Deep hues are used to convey security, while earth tones feel natural and inviting. Truthfully, people are comfortable when colors remind them of similar things. Successful design requires an awareness of colors and their meaning, but don’t be afraid to play and see how you feel!
L'Evento was recently honored to be awarded First Place in the Arts & Design District's holiday window decorating contest! We're so pleased with how the windows look this year, and we're even more pleased to be recognized for the effort and creativity. Take a look at the gallery below, or better yet, stop by to see them for yourself!
For our 1 Year Anniversary Celebration last week (photos coming soon!), I re-decorated the windows at L'Evento, with great success. Many compliments were received for the fun and lovely tissue paper pom-poms, so I decided to share the instructions for these simple decorations. They are easily adapted to different situations and styles - changes in color, size and end-cut can create a totally different effect. Prepare to experiment a little with the number of layers needed if you are working with a paper size other than indicated in the instructions.(Instructions and images from Martha Stewart Weddings.)How to make the hanging pom-pomsYou'll need tissue paper and 24-gauge white cloth-covered floral wire.1. Stack eight 20-by-30-inch sheets of tissue. Make 1 1/2-inch wide accordion folds, creasing with each fold.
2. Fold and 18-inch piece of floral wire in half, and slip over the center of folded tissue; twist. With scissors, trim ends of tissue into rounded or pointy shapes.3. Separate layer, pulling away from center one at a time.4. Tie a length of monofilament (fishing line) to floral wire for hanging.
Looking to save a little money on your event? Who isn't?
While websites like eBay and Craigslist can help you find some deals, there are a couple sites geared specifically to people planning events. You can find everything from votives and vases to gowns!Smartbride Boutique
:: "SmartBride Boutique helps today's savvy brides create the wedding day of their dreams without sacrificing designer names or fabulous style. Local brides connect to buy, sell and save on everything wedding; including: wedding dresses, bridesmaid gowns, decor, accessories and more."Used Event Stuff
:: A site founded by event designers tired of seeing perfectly good items being tossed out after an event, they created a marketplace "solely devoted to the re-sale, re-use and rental of event and wedding items." Used Event Stuff is perfect for those on a budget or looking to be more "green."
Remember, one of the best ways to save money when planning an event is to be flexible. If you get hung up on a tiny detail - like the exact variety of flower or shape of vase you must
have - you may end up spending more, just to have that "thing." And when it's all said and done, that detail may not have made one bit of difference. Trust your event professionals - they can often help guide you to the most cost-effective choices.