Good Things from Real Weddings
Compotes of glistening fruit, which adorned the tables at Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell's elegant reception, are easy-to-make centerpieces.
To get the look, dip the fruit (pears and grapes also work well) in beaten egg whites, coat in coarse white sugar (supplyvillage.com), and leave the lemons on a bed of sugar to dry. Then, pile them in a footed dish with lemon leaves. As a finishing touch, make complementary table numbers by gluing Miyuki transparent yellow "Delicas" beads onto folded card stock (artbeads.com).
For bride Elizabeth Gottfried's wedding to Stephane Colling, she asked her baker to model a cake after her Oscar de la Renta dress. The resulting fondant masterpiece received the same oohs and aahs as her satin frock.
Consider immortalizing an attribute of your own dress -- be it a rosette or reimagined sash.
Madeleines were at the heart of Annie Sullivan and Oliver Cobb's Parisian-style dessert bar, but the couple went above and beyond laying them out on a platter.
Make their pineapple-shaped presentation your own by covering a foam form in rolled fondant and attaching the shell-shaped sponge cakes with thin wooden skewers.
Michelle Levinson and Devon Fagel showed us how putting a fern motif on repeat can create a cohesive look.
This lush clutch of ferns (here with parrot tulips) is a winner for two reasons: It's inexpensive, and it works for weddings year-round. Bound with two creamy ribbons, the rich textures and colors provide a refreshing alternative to hothouse blooms.
Hyman Hendler & Sons grosgrain ribbon; Mokuba New York 38mm silk taffeta ribbon (212-869-8900).
Ivory Celtic Linens handkerchiefs were embroidered by Penn & Fletcher and given as gifts to mothers and grandmas.
Parchment packets customized with a Stampworx2000 stamp were filled with pistachios and passed around to guests before the ceremony.
Mossy Escort-Card Display
Calligraphed seating cards with the same stamped fern sprout from moss that was planted in a stone urn.
Personalized Chocolate Bars
Canned Custom Favors
A boxful of goodies, like the ones at Melissa McElhatton and Sam Davis Jr.'s fete, looks as great as it tastes when you match the sugary finds to your palette.
Jewelry box and tissue paper from Paper Mart; Indian hand-swirled marbled paper from Creative Papers Online; French satin ribbon from Midori; Taffy from Mehlenbacher's; Rock candy from Groovy Candies; Raspberry candy sticks from 4greatcandy.com.
Gifts That Grow
Crafty bride Eunice Moyle set the scene at right by hanging colorful, handmade pom-poms from the tent’s ceiling.
To make your own, simply dunk large, inexpensive coffee filters in a dye-filled bucket. Then toss the colored filters in your dryer for a few minutes for a textured look, or let them air-dry for a more ruffled effect. Stack 12 together, and connect the layers by pulling a needle and thread through the center. Use your fingers to fluff up the edges, and then string them on fishing line with a needle.
Joanne Duong and Luke Bartels announced their new status on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall by unfurling one very special flag. With canvas, paint, and a wooden rod, you can do the same!
Bride Courtney Bowers walked down the aisle with hubby-to-be Jose Sepulveda's name stitched inside her dress. Follow suit by having a calligraphed satin bow sewn to your gown's interior hem.
Instead of only one signature cocktail, offer two: your fave, and his. That's exactly what Jennifer Garrido and Joshua Duthie did at their backyard reception. Set out signs that let guests know which is which, and let them pick their preference.
Fabric Escort Display
Don't underestimate the thrill of the hunt. Jennifer Hoverson and Ray Jahnke pointed guests in the right direction by attaching fabric swatches to card stock and having them look for the coordinating napkins to find their tables.
Flagged Seating Display
Guests just want to have fun. Haylee Ann Rothschild and Franklin L. Shipman III had friends locate their spots by matching their flags to the ones tucked into table napkins.
Surprise with Sea Shells
Simple can be stunning, and this spread is proof. A collection of shimmery pink sand and shells held the place cards at Lindsay Mock and Reed Galen's Harbour Island, Bahamas, ceremony.
You can't take a theme too far. Kimberly von Koontz and Joncy Bennett's upstate New York affair had a Sherwood Forest feeling, so they pinned a seating scroll to a tree, a la Robin Hood.
An Exhilarating Exit
Nothing says "celebrate" like confetti! Follow the lead of Jeanette Fisher and Nicholas Dovas, who were feted with tiny Creatology pom-poms (michaels.com for stores). We also like Party City’s "Festive Party" dot confetti for its vast array of colors. Pour them into ClearBags glassine envelopes (clearbags.com), and have the small parcels passed out as everyone is leaving your I do's.