I’m really, really excited to be sharing some pictures from my most recent party today… a “Hey Girl” party for my friend Macey! A “Hey Girl” party you ask? Well, you know the Ryan Gosling meme, right? If not… you may not understand the awesomeness of this party.
Macey turned a year older this year and as she protested celebrations I asked her, “If you could have any party theme for your birthday, what would it be?” She answered, “Ryan Gosling, of course!”
Magic happened in that moment. My brain started firing on all cylinders and (thankfully) my friend Bee offered to host in her beautiful home. The rest is history… well, it is at least a week old now. If you were following along on my Instagram you might have seen a few photos from the party.
I can’t wait to share all the fun details! A Ryan Gosling party is great for a birthday party, bachelorette party, or heck… a baby shower for a baby girl! This was probably one of my favorite parties to date and nearly everything was DIY. Check back over this week and next for the following posts:
I’ll update this page with links to posts as they go live. Printables, tutorials, and a whole lotta fun to come!
In the meantime… answer me this:
I am so honored to share my “wedding” on A Well Crafted Party! I have wedding in quotes because the long and short of it is–we were already married! My husband Kevin and I (who I refer to most often on my blog as Ktams) were married right out of college (we are Illini–I-L-L!) as we both agreed it made the most sense to start out in the real world as a team, and the easiest way to do this was to tie the knot! We were technically married in June of 2010, but at that point we had no money to have the wedding we imagined. So once the official stuff was out of the way, we began planning. Just over a year from the date we planned to throw a big party to celebrate our marriage with friends and families. We felt this was a great excuse for our friends to come back together and for family to share in the fun (as when we were married originally we only allowed our parents to be present–that’s right–no siblings, grandparents, or anyone else! We just felt like it was a slippery slope!). Looking back now, I realize how many diy wedding ideas I used to make the day a success–and I am excited to share!
We picked a venue that would be a one stop shop–it was our one of our favorite spots–a Spanish tapas restaurant located near downtown Naperville, IL. Meson Sabika was a rehabbed old mansion on an expansive piece of land. We held the entire event out in their bricked patio, and left the doors open to get more drinks at the bar.
For our wedding, flowers were not a make or break discussion. I knew I wanted accents of orange and a predominantly mixed bouquet. I had also given leftover fabric I had from table cloths to the florist to wrap the bouquet. I felt like this held everything together nicely and it keep the flowers in perfect order for the whole event! The only thing I would do differently with my flowers is I would not use any pokey items–cannot tell you how many times I forgot not to smell my flowers and poked myself. Since we were throwing more of a party than a traditional wedding, I opted to get my closest girlfriends wrist corsages instead of nosegays–I had hoped this made them feel special and stand out, but it wasn’t like they had to tote obnoxious nosegays around all afternoon. My favorite items in the bouquet ended up being the big white roses and the hypericum berries–they all held up nicely throughout the day and they dried nicely.
We had our celebration well before the leaves had changed that year–I remember how warm the summer was and the second week of September just wasn’t soon enough to enjoy some natural color. Instead, I did my best to create some color! My favorite DIY of the wedding was making large pinwheel centerpieces, and it saved us a ton of money because we didn’t have to purchase fresh cut flowers! I purchased patterned scrapbook sheets, stamped them, and followed a tutorial similar to this one to make both table marker pinwheels and smaller, more graphic pinwheels, which I used as seat finders for guests. I had some extras at the end of the craft so I added them to the pitchers to encourage people to add theirs to the centerpiece for the event. To this day I’m surprised at how well the smaller pinwheels held up–I still have a few of them in my potted plants at home.
To keep everything grounded in the vase (which I purchased at IKEA and gifted to friends and family afterward), I added river stones. I knew the pitchers were going to sit on white tablecloths so my mom and I came up with the idea of using leaf-shaped placemats to easily add a burst of color. We sewed on more of the same material we were using for the cake and gift tables to cover the placemats and pull everything together (it was opaque so it added nice texture and some neat stitching for the most part).
Another DIY I was really happy with the result of was a cake stand tutorial I found from none other than Jenni–before I even knew her or A Well Crafted Party! Creepy right? I found the tut on Pinterest for the stands she did for her sister’s wedding. My mom and I put a twist on it to make more of a rustic fall look. We used hot glue, which was actually easy to remove later so that we could use the items again and again.
I have to throw a lot of credit to my mom for the little touches our celebration had. She collected a lot of rich looking silk flowers and purchased custom bows to tie everything together. She also gathered colorful mums to plant in the pots I had purchased (also from IKEA). As a gift to us, my mom had some very fun custom glassware made for us to use on the big day. They are my favorite keepsakes to date. It’s great to have someone you can trust to go to work and get some great fillers in to personalize the event.
Additionally, I DIY’d our invites. Just to start, we saved money by putting out invites only–no save-the-dates–and I did my best to find the best quality and pricing for both the envelopes and cardstock. We also did all RSVPing online, so we saved additional money in printing and postage by creating a free blogger site and a google number for those who were technology challenged. I will forewarn that envelopes can change your shipping costs DRASTICALLY. I highly suggest taking your sample envelopes to the post office and have them measured and weighed with your cardstock before you go buying/printing in bulk. We ended up over-ordering on accident (remember to count couples not attendees!), and I made use of the excess invites by cutting them up and turning them into ornaments (check out this tutorial for the base of my idea). I purchased glass balls from a craft store, charms from Etsy, and curled the strips of paper around a small pencil, then placed them in the ball.
I think the biggest thing I learned in planning my own wedding was to let it go–no I will not break into a verse of Frozen, but I will say that you need to learn to let many of the little things go by the wayside or you’ll spend your whole day not enjoying the party! Was I upset that certain things didn’t come together how I’d hoped? Yes–but by the time I was putting my dress on for the day, I had decided that people were not there for the decor or even the (AMAZING) food! They were were to celebrate with Kevin and me. This is what refocused my energy to enjoy the day and make it a memorable affair.
All professional images from this post and our celebration are by Daniel Kelleghan Photography.
A big thank you to Bee for sharing her beautiful wedding photos and Happy Anniversary! Please take a moment to hop on over to check out her awesome-sauce blog! She writes some pretty amazing recipes. Being someone who has actually tasted her cooking and have made her recipes I can give them my seal of approval!
Happy Cinco de Mayo! I am a little sad that it fell on a Monday this year. I’ll be working all day and most the night tonight. But, I’m hopeful to fit a margarita in somewhere.
I’m currently loving this printable by the Lovely Lauren if A Fabulous Fete! I saw it on her Instagram a month or so ago and fell in love. I thought it was the perfect reminder! She was kind enough to make a printable out of her work and sent it to me just in time for today! I’ve already posted it in front of my computer at work.
Get your own “Know when to give up and have a margarita printable” by Lauren of A Fabulous Fete (Only $5!)
Love Lauren’s style and want more for your Cinco de Mayo celebration? Check out these greatCinco de Mayo free printablesfor drink stirrers and flags!
Want to amp up your date night with a few free printables? I created a set of “Fallen for You” printables for a post featured on Live the Fancy Life that is live today. Jump on over to check out the printable set and keep tuned in this week for a coordinating invitation and a recipe for the figs pictured in the post.
UPDATE: Check out the recipe for Fancy Fall Figs over on Live the Fancy Life!
A few of the giveaways from giveaway week are still live. Hop on over to see what you can win! UPDATE: Giveaway Week is now over. Look forward to future giveaways!
When you like to design and throw parties and you get the chance to work with an amazing photographer… well, you jump at it, all the while trying not to look as excited as you really are. Evidently jumping up and down and giggling isn’t professional. Who knew!?
So, when Ali of Murray Photography emailed me to ask I wanted to work with her on a styled wedding photoshoot I tried my best not to over use the exclamation points. She wanted to do a more modern version of the country, farm-venue wedding. I couldn’t wait! Farms are so beautiful and whimsical. And, as much as I love burlap and mason jars (seriously, deep love), I was excited to show people that a farm wedding could be an elegant affair.
If you haven’t seen the photos yet then you NEED to jump on over to Wedding Chicks to see the featured styled shoot. Ali’s photos are gorgeous, the bride and groom are beautiful, the flowers outrageous, the paper goods perfect, and… if I do say so myself… the styling was quite spot on! Many of the images are shared in the full gallery on Wedding Chicks. I wanted to share some of my very favorites here though.
I plan on sharing some styling tips and practical ways to incorporate beautiful styling in a DIY wedding throughout the upcoming days. So, I’m going to try to not over share these gorgeous images. Again, to see the whole shebang, check out the Wedding Chicks feature (and comment!) Oh, and while you are hitting links… check out all the awesome vendors and talent below!
I’m so thrilled to see the Modern Country Wedding Styled Shoot that I worked on a few months ago featured on The Wedding Chicks today! I loved everything about working on this shoot and love the photos that Ali and Matt of Murray Photography caught of the beautiful couple and fun concept. Please go check out the post on the Wedding Chicks and comment to let us know what you loved! Pin your favorite photos! And, share with your friends.
I’ll be back later
today to share more of the beautiful images and about the shoot!
A huge thank you to all of the vendors involved with making this styled shoot happen and turn out so beautiful!
I’ve been prepping like crazy for my little guy’s second birthday party. My original idea was to just buy a ton of balls in various sizes and fill our backyard with them. The kids would have a blast!
But, as I do… I suddenly got another idea in my head that just won’t stop. Now the crafting has been put into overdrive. People have been over at my house every night this week helping to make this party idea come to life.
I’m so excited. But, I’m also kicking myself not getting the idea sooner and not STOPPING with the ideas. I know better!
Follow along on my Instagram on Saturday to see sneak peeks of the party!
I can’t even believe it… but, it almost time for us to be celebrating my son’s second birthday! It really feels like his first birthday was just a hop and a skip ago. Yet, next month my munchkin is turning two!
I’m not ready for this big day AT ALL. I seriously have been planning one party in my head for about three months and then decided to switch it up entirely two days ago. YIKES. The things I do have set in stone are the color scheme and the invitations. Just need to pop those suckers in the mail! (I received invitations free of charge from Tiny Prints to feature in my upcoming party. They are gorgeous!)
So, I’m obviously keeping it simple this year. As much as I like big crazy birthday parties… I have a two-year-old that still wakes up at night. I am not going to be able to go crazy. We’ll be having the birthday party with friends in our backyard. Our food plans are pretty simple as well— birthday cake, fruit, veggies, and popsicles (or ice cream, haven’t decided that one.)
I’ve had a thousand and one ideas for themes and fun decor ideas. But, I’ve been totally stumped on the activities. (I didn’t do so bad on his first birthday activities.) Seriously though, I can’t wrangle one two-year-old to do a structured activity. How am I supposed to wrangle several? Thankfully, I have very smart friends! I asked Twitter to give me some two-year-old party activity ideas and got this awesome response:
I then put the two-year-old party activity question up on Facebook and got some super ideas:
I’ve been a fan of The Period Store since I first saw it hit the web. SUCH a great idea— Order your monthly products and get some cool art, tea, and meds along with it. I now like the store even more after seeing this awesome “Period Party.” The whole thing was very tongue in cheek and outrageous. My favorite kind of party. I would have been laughing the whole way through!
In honor of this weekend’s Portland Bloggers’ Family Picnic I decided to make it Picnic Week here on the blog. Use the ideas gathered here to create a fun Summer time picnic at home or, if you are in Portland, bring your newly found ideas to the meet-up! I’ve already shared my favorite picnic supplies and a quick pasta salad recipe, there is so much more coming though! So, pop back in throughout the week for more picnic goodness.
photos via: BashPlease.Com featured on Design Sponge / How to Wear DIY from Adventures in Dressmaking / Butcher Paper Picnic Basics from Oh Happy Day! /Ombre Picnic Blanket from Design Love Fest / Italian Pressed Sandwiches from A Well Crafted Party / Sweet Potato Chips from A Beautiful Mess
I’m not the first, nor will I be the last, to post lots of pretty pictures and great ideas about picnics. Below is a list of some of my favorite picnic themed posts found across the internets. Can’t get enough picnic goodness? Then follow along with my Picnic Pinterest Board for more inspiration as I come across it.
Whoa! That was a lot of picnic fun… Now I’ve gotta go get to work on prepping items for the Portland Bloggers’ picnic. I have no idea WHAT I am bringing after checking out all the fun inspiration on this list one more time.
Okay, I know that Alice in Wonderland has been DONE. You know? I did it. She did it. Everyone’s done it. Though, there are about a thousand and one reasons why Alice in Wonderland makes for an awesome party theme. It is a whimsical and changeable story that lends itself to all types of parties. Kids love it and adults love it. So, when faced with whether I was going to do another Alice in Wonderland party there was little to no hesitation before I said, “SURE!” My hope is to do something different than I’ve done before and perfect for the guest of honor. There was no lack of inspiration for the shin-dig I’m throwing together. Some of my favorite Alice in Wonderland style parties include the following:
Want to see the direction I’m going with this Alice in Wonderland party? Check out my sneak peek of the party invitations!
The Oscars are this Sunday… are you celebrating? I am probably not… I have a busy, busy weekend. But, for those of you that are watching & celebrating with an Oscar Party, and need some last minute tips and ideas, check out these great posts: