If love could be expressed in color, it would undoubtedly be some combination of pale pink and bright red. Together they represent a spectrum of romantic feelings -- from tender to passionate, bashful to brazen. It's no wonder valentines often come in these hues. The pair has a physical chemistry as well: Studies show that gazing at pink has a calming effect, while red causes the heart to race. In other words, the two work in exquisite harmony. Add a white or green accent if you choose. Either way, you've got a look that's neither too sweet nor too sassy. Like you and your groom -- a great match.
At this shower, bright sugar poppies are planted atop a cake iced in blush-colored buttercream by Sylvia Weinstock. The linen runner, napkins, and grosgrain ribbon play up the scheme. Stand by Frances Palmer Pottery.
The Long and Short of It
Hemline is just one factor, along with style and material, to consider when choosing bridesmaids' attire. But the bottom line? You want something gorgeous that your attendants will feel gorgeous in. These frocks fit the bill. Each befits a different type of event. A cotton dress with a sweetheart neckline is ideal for a garden party, and a long silk gown with a floral bustle suits a formal affair. Image 2, from left: J. Crew, Thread Design, Simple Silhouettes, and Jenny Yoo Collection. Flower by Dulken & Derrick.
Illustrate Your Point
Elegant botanicals and whimsical drawings dress up this lively suite by Milkfed Press. Image 3, clockwise from top left: an embossed linen guest book (the company will use any silk or linen you choose); letterpress reply card; envelope with vintage stamps; illustrated map; letterpress paper coasters and wooden stir stick (the latter printed by ForYourParty.com); letterpress wooden table number; and letterpress invitation. Calligraphy by Dana Cochran.
A Rose Is Not Just a Rose...
...when crafted from vibrant, crinkly crepe paper or arranged, along with pure white poppies, in a can covered with elegant origami paper. Here, crepe-paper blooms are strung on ribbon garland and tied to treat-filled takeout boxes with wide silk ribbon. Each favor rests on a vellum place card. Calligraphy by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls. Flowers by Naomi deManana.
All Tied Up
Pale, ethereal bouquets and boutonnieres are even prettier when accentuated with sumptuous ribbonan easy, inexpensive flourish. Image 5, clockwise from left: glossy moire and floral jacquard bind a bridal bouquet of garden roses, ranunculus, poppies, peonies, and sweetpea; bright grosgrain trims a ranunculus bloom; thin grosgrain layered over a vintage French-print fabric fetters a bridesmaid's posy featuring the wedding's principal blooms, along with delphinium; vintage gathered ribbon graces a single garden rose. Flowers by Naomi deManana.
Every one of these envelopes has a silver -- make that colorful or patterned -- lining. We used an array of wrapping and other lightweight decorative papers in mod, floral, polka-dot, and toile prints for the chic inserts. They're a breeze to create and can be used to jazz up even formal invitations. Add attractive vintage stamps and a handsomely scripted address for a look that's charming inside and out. Calligraphy by Bernard Maisner.
Making Crepe-Paper Flowers
Use crepe-paper streamers to create the blooms. If making a garland, stop at step 5, and tie flowers to lengths of thin silk ribbon.
1. Cut streamer to about 35 inches long.
2. Fold end in about 1/2 inch; pinch at base. Wrap about 1 inch of streamer around center, and fold back, pinching at base.
3. Fold forward again and repeat, working around flower until you're left with about a 3-inch-long tail.
4. Fold tail in half lengthwise.
5. Wrap tail tightly around base; pinch.
6. Tie wide ribbon around takeout box; knot at top. Thread another piece of ribbon beneath ribbon on box. Lay flower on top; tie a bow around its base.
7. Neaten bow, and fluff flower.
Lining an Envelope
Choose paper the same weight as copier paper or lighter. You'll need a spare envelope for a template.
1. Unfold spare envelope. Using a ruler and pencil, draw lines about 1/2 inch from edges of flap (just inside glue strip), sides, and about 1/16 inch above bottom fold.
2. Cut out template using a ruler and utility knife.
3. Lay template on stack of paper (you can cut through up to 5 sheets at once); cut around it.
4. Slip liner into envelope and center.
5. Holding liner and envelope in place, fold flap over and crease.
6. Lift envelope flap, and apply glue to back of liner flap with glue stick.
7. Fold envelope flap back down, smoothing to adhere to liner.