Let’s be honest, all of the elements that go into a wedding day are pure magic, but it usually ends up that the reception is the real show-stopper. Centerpieces, backdrops, hanging lights, and more have all contributed to some of the most brilliant decor showcases we’ve seen in 2016, and we’re here to share the top winners with you all today! Without further ado, here are our most popular and favorite receptions of this past year (and don’t miss our top fashion, ceremonies, and bouquets of 2016 either!):
You’ve toured the venue, tasted the food, selected the entertainment and said yes to the dress – the planning + design process has been everything you dreamed it would be, but now it’s time to get to the nitty gritty logistics of it all. We’re talking about the overwhelming task of organizing your seating chart. You’re probably donning all of your hats – hostess, diplomat, maybe even matchmaker – sitting on the floor amidst pencil shavings and sticky notes, wondering where to even begin! Well invite your MOH to take part in the fun, pull out the Pinot Grig and relax knowing that it doesn’t have to be a chore. We’ve invited Morgan Miller, owner of Spreading Lovely, to help you navigate through it all! Read on for some of the most common seating chart questions answered.
Morgan ends with a great point: “Remember, it is difficult to please everyone and ultimately your guests are there to celebrate your love and show support for your marriage. So don’t overthink it!” Now who’s ready to take on this task?
Spreading Lovely is based in the Bay Area and offers Full Service Planning and Event Design. Check out her website to learn more!
Who remembers that scene in Father of the Bride where George Banks + fam are sitting around the table, whittling down their guest list amidst two heaping stacks of names, designating which first draft guests will make the cut and which will not? And who remembers George reaching a bit of a breaking point in the process? Well it certainly doesn’t have to be that way, but it’s not uncommon for couples to feel a lot of pressure in the creation of their guest list. How much of a role should traditional etiquette play? How do you make sure you don’t overcompensate for “regrets” and undercompensate for your ideal number of guests?
We invited Atlanta Wedding Planner Kristi Collins of Coco Red Events to chime in on some of the most common guest list dilemmas her couples have faced. So rest assured knowing that you’re not alone and at the end of the day, you and your fiancé will be surrounded by the most beloved people in your lives!
Huge thank you to Kristi of Coco Red Events for her sound advice!
We’re continuing our recap of the Best of 2015 by touching on receptions today! This covers all sorts of reception decor, from table settings to centerpieces to wonderful venue spaces. We had some absolute creative stunners this year, so let’s jump right in:
One of our all-time favorite wedding themes is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” There’s just something so positively romantic and whimsical about the play set in the woods that translates perfectly into wedding design. Absolutely Events, Rae Florae, and Jackie Wonders recently collaborated to bring together this stunning shoot, which includes not one but two flower girls dressed as fairies. Love!
From the shoot stylist, Angie of Absolutely Events: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the inspiration for our “Sweet Dreams” shoot, showcasing a newer property for Estate Weddings and Events. We wanted to create a look that wasn’t too “over the top” and would be realistic and relatable, while still including some of the fantasy and whimsy of Shakespeare’s great work. Our photographer, Jackie Wonders, did a fantastic job in capturing it all.
My favorite area of the property was where we designed the ceremony space for this shoot. The trees that line the courtyard and provide a natural canopy, along with the urn at the head of the space lend to a lovely setting for an intimate ceremony. Our amazing florist, Rae Florae, was able to enhance the romance of this space and the existing foliage with gorgeous Dendrobium orchids, Spanish moss, and delicate hanging votive candles. Once completed, the space provided a subtle nod to the fairy lights and the fairy hollow that may be imagined from reading parts of Shakespeare’s play.
Sugar and Scribe created whimsical treats to be highlighted in the dessert display. While all of the heart and fairy shaped truffles were fun, and while all of the sweets sparkled with “fairy dust,” I simply adored the candied fruit that the baker provided for the shoot; it was gorgeous and something truly unique. The tabletop display was set against the backdrop of a beautiful, expansive boxwood hedge wall on the property. Urns placed down the center of the estate’s gorgeous long wood tables housed a mix of roses, tulips, ferns, hydrangeas, and other vegetation. Charger plates at each place setting provided a base for a layering of mismatched china plates, napkins, and the charming place cards which had been nailed to thin wood slices.
The invitation suite, ceremony programs, and place cards all also featured details attributed to our inspiration. Moira Design Studio did an incredible job in incorporating so many elements of the play to the paper pieces; the little fairies, the silhouette of “Bottom” (the Craftsman with the head of a donkey), trees and flowers from the woods where the “dream” take place… the details and artwork put into all of the pieces were thoughtful and delightful. Our two sweet “fairy-girls” enjoyed frolicking and playing together across the expansive lawn of the property in their adorable tutus and wings. We were lucky to have such fun little girls take part in the shoot. I imagine that by the time we were wrapping-up our Sweet Dreams shoot our delightful little fairies were tucked in their beds, having their own sweet dreams.
Shoot Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Jackie Wonders / Event Design, Coordination, and China: Absolutely Events / Floral Design: Rae Florae / Venue: Tuscan Del Mar property via Estate Weddings and Events / Wedding Dresses and Jewelry: Sparrow Bridal and Dahlia Bridal / Hair: Bethany Catalfamo of Lotus Den Hair Studio / Makeup: Ann DeNicolo Makeup Artist / Fairy-girl Tutus: Lilly James Co. / Wedding Cake and Sweets: Sugar and Scribe Bakery / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Plywood Bunting: Brad of Against the Grain, via Scoutmob / Wedding Invitations and Paper Goods: Moira Design Studio / Models: Alex-Andra Nicholson, Jon Reid, Leighton Walker, and Lexie Melton
We can hardly believe it, but 2013 is already coming to a close. It seems like yesterday we were just rounding up our favorites from 2012! We want to personally thank you all for being a part of the Ruffled community – you all are the force that keeps this train going, and you’re the reason why we start each work day with a smile on our faces. We’re starting off our ‘Best of 2013’ with a focus on receptions and tablescapes, so let’s take a peek at a mix of some of our biggest hits and our own personal favorites – so much more to see in our Pinterest boards, too:
Today’s wedding shoot, a collaboration between Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay and Lindsey Shanks of A Charleston Bride, is nothing short of pure elegance. With bold strokes of gold and deep red, this styled reception in the heart of Charleston, SC has us yearning for holiday cocktails and faux fur stoles!
From Lindsey Shanks of A Charleston Bride: The idea behind this inspiration shoot was to show something nontraditional in our more traditional background in Charleston, SC. We typically see clients come in to our gorgeous town loving the old plantation homes and Spanish moss covered oak trees and while we love the softness and blush colors that so easy blend in this setting, we also love to see clients come in with bold as well. Persimmon and Gold were our color inspiration for a fresh focus. We used a multitude of local vendors that might have a sharper style than our more traditional wedding accents.
The background of the lawn at Daniel Island Club was the perfect setting so showcase the idea a wedding venue having a nontraditional feel or a juxtaposition if you design it right. The floating walls were used to create an open space and also display floral and art depictive of what could be a couple’s passion coming from a creative world. The cake was painted by a local artist, Sarah Yoder, who loved the opportunity to showcase her talent in a different project. The seating was designed using Event DRS, as well as a local design firm, Elizabeth Stewart Designs, to show that small touches of personality can go a long way.
The girls at Mac & Murphy Paper designed triangular shaped water color pieces including brushes of gold foiling for a bold feel but still grand. The table setting used a white plexi glass top for modern mixed with geometric shapes in plating and all red and bold hues of floral. The horse shoes and berries at the place setting add texture and personality and pillar candles created an elegant and warm feel. The lighting was used to pin spot the walls just as a gallery space would work and the DIY projects were bits of whimsy throughout. Our DIY projects included: Dollar store gold spheres made from Styrofoam balls and toothpicks, edible floral in ice cubes, plexi glass floating floral arrangement for coffee table, and the plywood walls covered with fabric and nail heads for depth of space. The dress was Jenny Packham from White on Daniel Island and the tuxedo donated from Charleston Tuxedo. The couple was beautifully depicted by the ever inspiring Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay Photography.
Event Location: Charleston, SC / Photographer: Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay / Event Design: Lindsey Shanks of A Charleston Bride and Kristin Hussy / Floral: Tiger Lily Weddings / Venue and Catering: Daniel Island Club / Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham via White on Daniel Island / Hair and Makeup: Charlotte Belk / Tuxedo: Charleston Tuxedo / Wedding Cake Design: Sarah Yoder / Art: Sarah Boyts Yoder at the Michael Mitchell Gallery, Nathan Durfee at Robert Lange Studios / Rentals: Event DRS and Elizabeth Stuart Design / Tent: HAUS / Paper Goods: Mac & Murphy / Special thanks to Kristen Hussey & Arielle Stratton for styling assistance, Old Road Mercantile for Plexi-glass tray, and our beautiful models Paige & Matt
As the year comes to a close in the next few days, we wanted to kick off this back-to-work week with some of our favorite receptions of 2012 — a mix of our personal faves and popular features that made this year beam with creativity. In no particular order, here are 10 wedding receptions and tablescapes of 2012:
The image below alone doesn’t even scratch the surface of how beyond amazing this wedding really is. Captured by n.barrett photography and designed by Bows and Arrows, this Dallas wedding is for sure to pin your little heart out.
We’re continuing our Best of 2011 week with a perennial favorite, the reception table! From airy and floral to rustic and slightly rugged, we’ve got something for everyone. Click on each image to see the original feature. Here are some of our favorite reception settings, in no particular order:
We have many, many more to show here in the photo gallery!
We just love, love unexpected pops of color, and this New York City wedding has plenty of them! The bride, Stephanie, is a designer for Betsey Johnson, and used her industry know-how to design her super cute reception dress. As if that weren’t enough, the bride also designed the 1920s-style invitations herself, and we’re just smitten with their Art Deco feel! Most importantly, be sure to check out all images from Belathée Photography in the gallery.
Wedding vendors (New York City, New York):
Reception Venue: BAM in Brooklyn / Wedding Photographer: Belathée Photography / Wedding dress: designed by the bride / Shoes: Pour La Victoire / Caterer: Great Performaces / Wedding flowers: Poppies and Posies
When I spotted these photos on Laura Novak‘s blog from the Terrain at Styers Event, I knew I had to share these with you. They are now doing weddings and events, much to our Pennsylvania area brides’ joy! If you haven’t heard of Terrain yet, it’s a sister company of a little store called Anthropologie, maybe you heard? It’s Urban Outfitters’ 4th brand, with a gorgeous space located in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. I’m loving the lime green striped theme with all the rustic wood details below.
We will be back on Tuesday with a gorgeous photoshoot that was done just for Ruffled! In the meantime, these links should tide you over for the holiday weekend…
Eberjey and their lovely undergarments and bathing suits are offering a 10% discount to Ruffled readers. Enter code RUFFLED during checkout.
Etsy store Tree and Kimball with their infamous doilies necklaces and earrings are offering a 10% discount. Enter code RUFFLED at checkout.
Minted is offering a 15% discount on any wedding invitation design. Enter code LAUNCH15.
Bliss! Wedding Market is offering a 5% discount on all of their DIY favors. Enter code ruffled0410.
Did you see this vintage beach engagement session?
I’m still awe-struck by this vintage tv display from this beautiful Nashville DIY wedding
It’s impossible to talk vintage trends without mentioning mismatched chairs. If you’re deciding between chivari or white foldable chairs, why not skip the cost and start collecting vintage chairs? One can even acquire old chairs for free if your wedding is still a few months away, you just have to be on the look out for chairs on the curb during furniture pick up day.
Let’s start with this real wedding I featured a few months ago, where the bride collected vintage chairs she bought from thrift stores (see more from this vintage handmade wedding).
First row: vintage handmade wedding featured here; Second row: Painted Revelry tablescape featured here designed by Momental Designs; Third row: photo by Jill Thomas, designed by Amorology Weddings, Fourth row: old mismatched chairs via Bliss Event Group; Fifth and last rows: photo by Cathy Empey designed by Grey Likes Weddings, Sixth row: Country Living; Seventh row: left, mismatched ceremony chairs via Brigadeiro de Colher; right, photo by Mike Larson Photography designed by Event styling, coordination: Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations and Canvas & Canopy
Reader Kristan is having a vintage wedding in Mexico and asked me if I had some ideas. While browsing for vintage wedding dresses on Etsy the other day, this one popped in my screen. That’s what it started my avalanche of ideas!
Vintage Mexican wedding dress from Value Vintage. The gauzy fabric must be a dream to wear. Loving the crochet details.
Our Art Deco Week had to open with a fabulous South Beach venue! The National Hotel is located in the heart of the Art Deco District and it’s across from the beach – what else would you need? You can view their menus online and get more info about weddings here. I’m swooning over the reception setup by the pool…
I’m always on the hunt for dream venues. If you know of one or had your wedding at a fabulous venue, I’d love to hear from you!
As you guys might know, this week will be dedicated entirely to Art Deco inspired weddings. Stay tuned!
This article was published in October 2007 edition of Brides and I had to share with you. Click on the image to view the entire page. Who wouldn’t love to receive chocolate as a favor?
Basic Chocolate Truffles: (makes about 50 small truffles)
For the ganache:
8 oz dark chocolate
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, warmed
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the coating:
3 oz of dark chocolate
topping of your choice
Step 1: Melt 8 oz of chocolate, stirring in a stainless steel bowl over barely simmering water
Step 2: Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cream, which has been heated but not to boiling. If the chocolate stiffens and separates, continue to whisk and add more cream. Once all the cream has been added, the ganache should be smooth and hold the lines of the whisk. Slowly whisk in the butter until incorporated.
Step 3: To create truffle spheres, scrape mixture into a small, deep bowl lined with wax paper, for squares, scrape mixture into a small square metal pan lined with wax paper. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Step 4: For spheres, dip a small melon baller into hot water, tap off excess water, scoop into the chilled ganache. For squares, dip a sharp knife into hot water, tap off excess water, slice the ganache into 1/2″ strips then cut into 1/2″ cubes. Layer between sheets of wax paper in airtight containers and chill again. (Truffles can be made three weeks ahead until this point and refrigerated).
Step 5: Melt the additional 3 oz of chocolate over simmering water, stirring. Cool for 15 minutes. Dip each truffle into the melted chocolate and coat with your choice of topping (chopped pistachios, shredded coconut, chopped almonds, coffee powder, …)
For a little over 30 bucks you can get all the vases you need for your centerpieces. All of them. Collect wine bottles from friends, family, and restaurants and you can make these:
(photo from Green Wine Bottles)
I think they would incredibly cool in groups of 3 or more. I’d love to take one home if I were a guest!
Worksheets were my best friends during my wedding planning. Here‘s a non fussy Excel spreadsheet to help you keep track of your guest list.
Here’s a simple printable worksheet you can give it to your future in laws and parents so they can write their guests’ information and give it back to you:
…and good luck!
I had these buffet markers bookmarked back when I was planning my own wedding, aren’t they perfect for a vintage, French-inspired wedding? They would look adorable as buffet markers for a dessert table.
They can be found here.
Step 1. Draw a spiral on a 4×4″ square sheet of paper
Step 2. Cut out spiral along the lines you have drawn
Step 3. Begin rolling up the spiral from the outside
Step 4. Keep on rolling until there is no more left to roll
Step 5. and you’re done!
These menu stands are vintage wire postcard holders used in a Real Wedding feature published Martha Stewart Weddings in Spring 2007. You can find them at thrift stores or places like eBay or Etsy.
I compiled a huge selection of projects and ideas back when I was planning my wedding, and now I can get to share some of the ideas with you. Here’s one I loved:
You will need:
– music sheets (you can find vintage music sheets on Ebay)
– Glue gun or double sided tape
– wax seal or metal medallion (you can find custom monogram seals here)
– hole punch (if you would like to hang them from chairs)
I bought these vintage Wedding March music sheets from Ebay for $2!
Antique mailboxes can make great cardboxes.this one below is from the 30’s and the starting bid is $5 (auction ends September 14th).
The glass mailbox above is awesome…I want one like that for myself! Auction ends September 13th, and the starting big is $9.99.
How cool are these? Here are instructions on how to make these lanterns exactly as seen below:
– Soda cans
– Tin Snips (or exacto knife)
– nails and hammer
– spray paint
– sanding paper
– permanent marker
Step One: Collect all soda and beer cans you can get. Fill the cans with water and put them in the freezer. If you have something to hold the cans as you are puncturing it, the can will dent unattractively. If you are using a drill and a workbench, you can probably forgo this step and just stabilize the jar somehow. (freezing idea from Miss Cherry Pie on Weddingbee). With a permanent marker, draw a line of where you will be cutting the top half. You can cut them to your desired height, but I recommend having them tall enough to avoid fire hazard (hello venue managers).
Step Two: Spray paint the inside of your cans in yellow. This will help the tealights shine brighter. Paint the outside in the color desired. I highly recommend doing this before making holes on the can, so the inside and outside colors don’t mix.
Step Three: With the use of star paper punch, or hole paper punch, decorate the cans as desired. You can also use nails. Et voila! You got yourself some really cute tealight holders! Just make sure you make enough holes so the light can shine through.
photos from Country Living
I just love going through them again…
(photos by Jessica Johnston)
Many of you still ask me about those infamous orange pomanders I made for my ceremony. Today I am going to share how to make them, but be warned that this is a labor of love :)
What you will need:
– 18 gauge wire
– tissue paper
– 5″ Styrofoam balls
– Hot glue
For the ribbon handle, I cut 10″” of wire, folded in half, and then I twisted around the ribbon (see picture below). I suggest using a skewer to poke a hole on the styrofoam ball before placing the wire with hot glue.
How to make the little pom poms:
I followed instructions from the Martha Stewart website
– Cut your tissue into 10×5 inches rectangles.
– Accordion fold the shorter side, approximately 3/8″ – 1/2″ per fold.
– Fold the wire over the middle and twist.
– Cut wire approximately 1/2? from edge.
– Round the corners of the tissue paper.
– Begin pulling the layers away from each other and toward the middle of the wire.
1.Cut your paper into 10×5 pieces. (approx. 2 hours with a paper cutter)
2.Cut your wire. I used 4″” pieces. (approx. 3 hours)
3. Fold your paper. Use approx. 3/8″” accordion folds. Wrap a piece of wire around the middle and twist the ends together. (approx. 13 hours)
4.Puff flowers. Gently pull apart the pieces of tissue and make it pretty.
Continuing from the last image above, I left an extra 1/2″” of wire from the pom poms in order to attach them onto the ball, seen on the picture above. I also used hot glue to secure them in place.
I used different shades of orange paper to give them more depth. I attached the pom poms tightly together, but you can use less flowers if you would like.
You can also make wreaths doing the same process! Styrofoam wreaths can also be found at any craft store.
How much paper do I need?
Each 20″x30″ sheet of tissue paper makes 6 10″x5″ strips (same measurements as in Martha Stewart website). Four strips of 10×5 makes one flower. I used about 40 (I think) for each pomander.
4 strips of 5×10= 1 flower
4 sheets 20×30=6 flowers
Each pomander, about 40 flowers = 28 sheets of paper (20×30)
10 pomanders =280 sheets
This DIY project created by Jonathan Fong Style is a gorgeous way to decorate the bar on your wedding day!
What you’ll need:
(per ice tray)
– 12 spray roses (the small ones) – Tip: spray roses can be pricey if you’re making many ice cubes. Consider using small silk flowers from the Dollar Tree.
– 12 twist ties
– 2 wooden skewers
– 1 ice tray
– Floral tape
Step 1: To keep the roses submerged in the ice trays, we have to build a framework that will weigh them down. Cut the spray roses, leaving about 2 inches of stem, and use twist ties to attach the stems to the skewers.
Step 2: Place the roses, which are attached to the skewers, upside down in their individual ice compartments of the tray.
Step 3: Tape down the skewers at the ends of the ice tray to keep everything from floating when you add water. Your ice tray should look like the one in the photo.
Step 4: Add water to the ice tray and freeze overnight.
Remember roses are edible, but many growers use pesticides on the roses, so I would avoid putting these ice cubes in drinks unless you are sure there were no chemicals used. Just use the ice to cool drinks. You can also substitute fresh roses to plastic or silk ones.