Tomorrow is the BIG Day for my brother and Melanie...and I couldn't be more excited for them! Here are just a few of my favourite photos of my favourite people from Melanie's Bridal Shower!
I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my favourite details from my sister in law to be's Bridal Shower that my mom and I threw for her, since her and my brother David are getting married this Saturday!!!!
I cannot believe how fast this year has gone and that their big day is almost here! I love my brother so much, he is one of my best friends and I am so thrilled for him and Melanie and their exciting future that lies ahead. A week after their wedding they will be moving to Hawaii for a year as my brother begins his first year in residency as a doctor. We are all so proud of him, I am especially sad that he will be so far away.
Anyways...here are some of my favourite details from Mel's Bridal Shower...I will be sharing some of my favourite "people" photos too!
Hope you love these photos as much as I do!
Some liquers and a croquembouche on the receiving table...
A mini cheese & wine bar..a little treat before our big Italian lunch.
The Bomboniere...Lush Bath Bombs..these were a major hit and smelled amazing!
Bridal Gown Cookies
The receiving table and one of the guest tables...
Some yummy treats!
Home made Italian Cookies
The Head Table
Home made Italian Peaches
The Gorgeous Cake
We had a bright and beautiful Spring Day!
Kate Spade Grand Prize
If you have been following FLM for a while than you know how much I love event planning. Recently, my mom and I planned, organized and threw a gorgeous bridal shower for my sister in law to be.
Planning an event for someone else can be a little more difficult then planning one for yourself. You want the event to reflect and represent that person and their likes. The first thing that I decided on with Melanie's shower was the theme. I wanted her shower to be completely different from their wedding, and I also wanted to incorporate details and elements that really reflected her.
I actually decided on her invitation first, I knew that I wanted to add floral elements. but yet keep it vintage and elegant. Hence my theme- vintage elegance. Lace, florals, neutrals and gold tones were the palette for the stunning shower. I really revolved everything around the invitation and integrated the stationary into the menus, the seating chart, table names and thank you tags. I am so happy that I decided to do that as everything just looked so fabulous and came together so beautifully. So when you first start your planning, really focus on the theme and what you want the overall look and feel to be!
Stay tuned for some more tips and photos from Melanie's stunning shower!
Photography: Lori Studios
One of the most popular questions and emails that I receive from readers is: What should I wear to an event- I have no idea what looks nice or what's appropriate?!
With wedding season upon us, I thought I would share with you some ideas/tips on what to wear to Engagement parties, Bridal Showers & Weddings!
#1 ."It's always better to be overdressed than underdressed"!
This is always my #1 piece of fashion advice that I always follow- I can thank my mom for this advice. I love to dress up, and when I go to an event I would always prefer to be the dressiest person in the room than the most underdressed. There is nothing worse than feeling as though you're underdressed when you're at an event. Especially since sometimes people may not be sure what type of an event or how glamorous it will be. Don't wear jeans to any events. I know I shouldn't have to remind you, but believe me, I had someone wear jeans to my bridal shower and it was very noticeable and wasn't appropriate for the type of event.
#2 .Don't wear black.
I love black, my closet contains plenty of black pieces and staples of my wardrobe. But, please don't wear black to spring/summer events. It's classic, but its also so ordinary and also can be so boring. There are so many fabulous pastels, brights and prints out right now. For some people I know that's your comfort zone. Step out of it and switch up your look!
#3. Don't wear white.
This is really more specifically for the wedding. I should also state, don't wear white, cream, beige or any of those shades as all of them photograph almost the exact same as white does. This is an old school rule, but one that I believe that we should follow. It is after all the bride's day, right?!
#4. Have a backup plan.
My sister in law to be's Bridal Shower was a couple of weeks ago. I asked all of the bridesmaid's to select a pastel colour dress (any colour they'd like) to wear to the shower. I have quite a few dresses, and my mom most recently added some more to my collection. I had two dresses that I narrowed it down to, both were equally beautiful. I made my decision based on comfort level. The one I selected was the more comfortable of the two and I knew that day I would be very busy, as I planned, organized and MC'd the shower...and I have a baby. I was super happy with my dress choice (my shoes were a whole other story).
I hope my advice and tips help the next time you're trying to decide what to wear!
This past Sunday was a beautiful October day for our baby girl’s Baptism. We decided to keep her celebration very small and with family only. Charleston’s god parents were my cousin Rebecca and my brother in law Kevin. As Catholics, Baptism is celebrated with the entire parish. The parish that we belong to has been my parish for my whole life. I was baptized, made my first communion, was confirmed, had my grade 8 graduation and I was married there. My son was baptized there and on Sunday so was my daughter.
I have always been a very traditional person. Traditions, heirlooms and legacies are all things that are so important to me. For the mass, my daughter wore the same baptismal gown that I wore 32 years ago. I wore the gown, my brother David wore the gown, my son did and so did my daughter. Pretty amazing right?! She looked so beautiful and was great throughout the Baptism. Once we got to the restaurant, I changed her into this little dress. She wore it for 10 minutes before having a poop explosion in it and then ended up wearing a plain white onesie for the rest of the day (haha).
After the mass, our family headed to a Restaurant where we had dinner in their private dining room. When I had started planning Charleston’s Baptism reception, I knew that I wanted to have fabulous food and of course some feminine details in the décor. I started with finding the perfect centerpieces. One can never go wrong with fresh flowers and hydrangeas are one of my favourites. These beautiful light pink mason jars were so pretty and will definitely be used again. Sandra at Finish Me Pretty was amazing and did such a fabulous job!
My friend and also a fellow teacher Elisa has been making my son’s cakes for the past three years. I had sent her like 10 photos (sorry Elisa) and explained what I wanted the cake to look like. She went above my expectations, and with my vision and her talent, she created the most gorgeous cake for my baby girl. Not only was it stunning, but it also tasted delicious. If you live in the GTA, contact Elisa. She’s super talented and so lovely! The beautiful cookies and gold glitter donuts were a huge hit! If youre looking for something like them, here is where I got them! The ladies at Sweet Celebrations were great too!
Lastly, I was trying to decide what to give as the bomboniere. I have been and always will be a firm believer in giving something that people will actually use. How many of you have a bunch of random white platters that you never use or don’t go with what you have?! So, I decided to go with an Italian red wine…who doesn’t love wine?!
Her special day was a successful one, she was baptized, surrounded by family and we had a great reception after with amazing food, drink, deserts and love!
Would you believe that my son refused to take any photos with me, my husband and my daughter?! The only people he would take photos with were his older cousins and my flower girls from my wedding, Mia and Alexa. Who can blame him, they’re too cute!
I am a detail gal. My bridal shower was in a magazine because of all of the time my mom and I spent on details. Details in my opinion make an event, but they also are the most time consuming. Most people don’t want to spend all of the necessary time it takes to have an event full with detail. Believe me, I understand this, but if you want a fabulous event you have to spend the time on details (or find someone to do it for you).
Details from the stationary, to the bomboniere (favours), to the centerpieces and décor, all of it matters and creates the overall ‘look’ you are going for. Each event that I planned I had a ‘look’ that I wanted to create, whether that be rustic, vintage, classic or a combination I had a strong sense of what I was going for. A lot of people struggle with ‘picturing’ how something looks and that can be difficult. My advice is to start with one item, whether that be colour (pink), material (lace) or theme (fashion) and go from there. Details are the key to taking an event to another level.
Be original. For me, this is something that I strive to do for every one of my events. I also think it’s important because you don’t want to try and replicate someone else’s ideas and events, there’s no creativity or fun in doing that! Your event should reflect who you are as a person. Have fun with the creative aspect of event planning. Some people gather ideas from others, Pinterest or the internet- especially if you have difficulty knowing what you want. I get a lot of my own inspiration from home décor. There is a certain look that I really love, clean, classic, modern yet rustic and elegant. With that, I base my ideas from materials and colours that I love. So next time you plan an event, think of what you want you overall look to be. Your event should represent you or whoever the event is for, not someone else. Have fun and be creative!! This post is picture heavy- it was difficult to pick just a few!
Champagne as bomboniere (favours) at our wedding with clean tags and elegant black ribbon.
This was our seating chart at our wedding. This isn't a frame, it was a mirror that I bought and we (my invitation lady) placed on the mirror and I thought it went with our vintage themed pink and gold wedding.
These pretty little boxes were my bomboniere (favour) from my fashion themed Bridal Shower. There were compacts inside, the perfect edition to any woman's purse. These took a long time to do..thanks to my beautiful mother (she is just like Martha Stewart) she did them all!
Just some details to add to my Fashion Theme.
Wedding Dress Shaped cookies!
Pink & Gold mini cupcakes that went with our colour scheme- they were delicious too.
Vintage golden frames that had MRS. & MRS. They were placed in front of my husband and I at our wedding!
My stunning cake that went perfectly with my fashion themed bridal shower.
These gorgeous silver boxes were filled with homemade Italian cookies and other sweet treats. I made all of the labels that read "Tara's Bridal Shower- Love Is Sweet".
Our candy bar at our wedding that showcased a variety of different candy jars & yummy candies.
Loved our Martini Bar Iced Luge! It was a big hit with our guests.
My fashion themed Bridal Shower had these fashionably dressed jewellery trees adorned with a Swarovski bracelet. One lady from each table got to take these home!
My cookies, cupcakes & cake were all made by my talented friend Holly. Check out her website- she's amazing!!
Photos are something you’ll have forever. How many times have you heard that? I couldn’t agree more. I am someone who loves a good photo. And I am willing to pay for it. I believe that when you have an event or an important event in your life, then you need a fantastic photographer or at the least someone who has a great camera. When my husband and I got engaged, one of the first things I did was look to find an amazing photographer. It was our wedding after all.
I think hiring a photographer depends on a couple of things. First, do you have the funds in your budget to spend money on one? How important is it to you? And what type of an event is it, formal or informal?
If you’re event is at a hall or somewhere formal, hire a photographer. Don’t cheap out on that. There is nothing worse then having this exceptional event with subpar photos that look like some random starting snapping them with their iPhone 4. If you’re having a party in your backyard, then I wouldn’t suggest hiring a photographer. Find someone who has a great camera and knows how to use it.
Spend a lot of time researching photographers. And research what their specialty is; weddings, babies or lifestyle. If you’re going to hire one, hire a fabulous one. I have seen many wedding photos that are just OK because couples don’t want to spend the time or money on a good one. Searching for a photographer can be difficult because there are so many. Before we got married I spent sooo much time searching, researching and meeting with wedding photographers. There were many that I liked, that did a good job, but for me just weren’t it.
I wanted to love their photos and be obsessed with all of their work. And for me that was difficult because I have very high standards and expectations when it comes to everything in my life. Perfectionist would be an understatement.
Finally my search ended when I fell in love with our Wedding Photographers. I loved a lot of things about them- they were married, friendly, professional and most importantly their work was outstanding! They had the look I had always been searching for, a mix of vintage, modern and classic with an editorial vibe. They weren’t cheap, far from it actually but I couldn’t be more thrilled with how our wedding photos turned out.
When our son was born, we hired photographers who specialized in baby, children and family photography. We were so thrilled with how our son’s newborn photos. I have had so many people use them after they saw our photos. They do amazing work too!
For my Bridal Shower, I hired Lori, she specializes in weddings and lifestyle. She, like me pays attention to details, and all of her photos really reflect the style of photography that I love. Not to mention, she is one of the sweetest and cutest people that I have met in the process. She also took maternity photos when I was pregnant with my son. She does lifestyle photos, families, engagements and weddings and I will continue to use and recommend Lori to everyone and anyone I know. Her work speaks for itself.
Spend money on a great photographer if it’s in your budget. If you want amazing photos you will have to spend the cash. It’s so worth it! Stay tuned for Tip #4 Next Tuesday!
One of our engagement photos, I was thrilled with how they turned out.
Lori snapped some photos of me and my husband at my bridal shower.
One of our wedding photos- I will do an entire post on wedding photos soon because I am obsessed with how they all turned out.
Love this photo of me in front of my friend's old Ford. The yellow colour really stands out!
A detail photo of my ring & perfume from my Fashion themed Bridal Shower.
Love this maternity photo that Lori took, so vintage looking.
My Bridal Shower Head Table.
A maternity photo of me and my husband. I love the black & white.
My precious baby boy at just 6 days old.
My baby boy's 1st Birthday cake smash!
Before your guests even arrive at your event, without knowing it you have already indicated what type of event they will be attending. I’m sure you’re wondering how that’s possible. The answer is stationary. I know that a lot of people are of the mind set that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on stationary and that’s fine, I understand that people have different budgets and I have seen some pretty nice DIY invitations as well.
In my opinion, the invitations that you send to the guests set the tone for your entire event. When a guest receives your invitation in the mail, they are greeted with an envelope enclosed with an invitation to your event. Keep in mind that all of this is dependent upon the type of event, a less formal event would maybe have less formal invitation and likewise with a formal event. Who am I kidding? !I am a formal invitation girl no matter the event, but again that’s personal preference.
Some suggestions I have...Mailing labels instead of handwriting, more than just a white envelope, if it’s white let be really good quality paper. A beautiful stamp based on the time of the year or even the colour or theme of the event (details) and then the invitation. The quality of paper is also important, cheap paper like a fake designer handbag will be spotted instantly.
Although I love the bells and whistles of stationary, one pet peeve I have is a tacky invitation. Wondering what makes an invitation tacky? That’s easy! Too many different fonts, a variety of font sizes, colours, bold or italic… and that’s just the font! Having too many words on an invitation can make an invitation look very busy, to the point of being unsure who the event is for and where it is. Of course there are formalities with some invitations like weddings and certain things must be on the invite, but try and keep it clean and concise.
Graphics. Don’t get crazy with graphics either. Focus on what your theme is and not putting as many flowers on an invitation as you can. It takes away from the invitation looking clean and most importantly classy. If you want to jazz up your invite, add a crystal, don’t go crazy with the BeDazzler. When it comes to stationary, less is more and will set the tone for an elegant affair- unless of course you’re going to the circus then go nuts! No pun intended.
Stay tuned forTip #3 next week!
My son's First Birthday Invitation. We went for a chalkboard style, since it's for a child's birthday party, and of course a beautiful picture of my little man makes it more personal.
These were my menu's for my Bridal Shower. They were actually a DIY and turned out beautifully.
My Bridal Shower Invitation was classic and chic. My fashion theme was evident with the High Heel graphic and a little bling on the bottom added a feminine touch.
Menus for our Wedding were easy to read and classy.
Our wedding invitation was elegant with the gold, black and blush colours and the monogram gave it a regal element that I loved!
I have briefly mentioned my slight obsession for Event Planning, and when I say slight, I mean full on all consuming obsession. To the point, where I am sitting here writing this post thinking of the next event I can plan (nerdy I know), my husband makes fun of me all of the time. I have had a lot of experience and success in planning events: my bridal shower, our wedding, my baby shower, my son's baptism, my mom's 50th Birthday, my Zia and Zio's 50th Wedding Anniversary, my son's first Birthday and a friend's wedding.
I often get asked for my thoughts, opinions and ideas when others are planning their own events and I love helping. For each of my events that I planned, I spent many hours thinking, researching, organizing and planning on how to make each one of them fabulous and different. I am not claiming to be a professional, but I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist and planning an event is no exception. Here is tip #1!!
TIP #1: Food & Drink are Most Important
When people go to an event, the first thing they discuss afterwards is how good or bad the food and drink was-at least I do, maybe it's because I'm Italian?! Either way, people want to go to a party or event and have a variety of food and drink choices and quality food and drink at that. Of course food selection would vary depending on time of day, daytime vs. nighttime, brunch, lunch or dinner etc. Another factor would be season, fall, winter, spring and summer, straying away from giving guests menu items that are out of season is a must and focusing on seasonable fruits and vegetables are essential.
Make sure to have tasted or eaten at any of the places where you hold an event before you even decide to do so, if you don't like the food, will your guests? My recommendation is to never cheap out in the food & drink department, you should sacrifice a decor item (if need be) to have top-notch food. No one wants to go to an event that looks stunning but lacks in the food & drink department. Just like in fashion, "it's always better to be overdressed then underdressed", the same goes with food, it's better to always have more food than less, you don't want your guests to be hungry... EVER. Below are some food & drink photos from my events and some reasons why I selected each of them. Stay tuned for Tip #2 next week!!
An Anti-Pasto plate at my late spring bridal shower. Canteloupe & Watermelon are good options for this time of the year. If your event is in the fall or winter months, maybe substitute the melon for something else, more meat, olives, vegetables.
A punch fountain offers a non-alcoholic alternative for non-drinkers and kids...and it looks pretty too!!
Buffet Style Serving is always appropriate at an outdoor 1st Birthday Party, this wasn't all of the food either...we had enough for my entire neighbourhood. No harm in that- everyone get's to take leftovers.
Homemade Italian Cookies are always a sweet treat at a Bridal Shower..and really any other time.
Chicken a la Pietro (chicken stuffed with roasted red peppers & bocconcini cheese) Parisian potatoes and a vegetable bundle for a daytime formal Bridal Shower. Chicken is a nice choice for a formal sit down lunch.
Beverage dispensers with Iced Tea, Lemonade, Spiked Punch and Cucumber water are refreshing for a scorching summer Baby Shower and provide a vintage look (which was the theme).
Cheese stuffed ravioli with a rose sauce. For your guests who have food restrictions or allergies make sure to have an alternative (most venues do) but make sure to have them at a home event also.
If I wasn't a teacher, I would be in Fashion somehow or I would be an event planner. Event planning is a passion that I didn't know I had until I got engaged. I've always loved home decor and anything aesthetically beautiful. My husband and I got engaged in June 2011, and little did I know a new passion for Event Planning would emerge! My mom Sylvia and I planned my beautiful Bridal Shower, my wedding, my baby shower, my son's Baptism and his first Birthday Party. I have also planned my mom's 50th Birthday Party and a good friend's wedding. My Bridal Shower was featured in Bridal Guide- check it out, http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/showers-parties/fashion-themed-bridal-shower .Here are some of my favourite photos from my events.
Each Guest Table at my Bridal Shower had a jewellery tree with a Swarovski Bracelet. The lady who's Birthday was closest to our wedding date won both.
Jaxson's 1st Birthday Cake.
My Backyard Baby Shower.
Royal Blue, Silver and White for a baby boy's Baptism.
Mason jars and Beverage Dispensers give a fresh and Vintage vibe for a July Birthday.