Thursday, January 12, 2012

Alternative Ring Bearer Pillow

If you're like me, you don't want the typical store bought ring bearer pillow. But, if you're also like me, then you're trying to find something unique--on a budget. $30-$40 for a pillow is ridiculous just because it has a colored ribbon around it, or was made with patterned satin instead of white. I'm sorry--but it is. I was lucky enough that my talented momma made mine custom, and I love it!

If you're looking for some unique ideas, here are a few that might catch your eye.

Source: The Knot
You must be a member to view

This would be perfect if the couple shares a favorite book
Source: Marth Stewart
Source: Project Wedding

This could easily be made, and customized for your colors. Mine only concern is with the rough edges on the twigs. I wonder if they would snag a tux or dress.
Source: Etsystatic

Use a family bible and tie the wedding rings to the bible's ribbon page marker. I just love this idea.
Source: Wedding Bee

This company makes these little plates to hold your rooms. It would be a cute item to display after the wedding, also.
Source: Paloma's Nest

Source: Etsy

Source: Etsy

Many dollar stores sell these kinds of bales in the fall. Look for a deal!
Source: Etsy

A Twist on the Typical Pillow:

These are made from Kermit Mums with pearls as accents.
Source: Francoise Weeks

Source: One Thrifty Girl

Use a delicate lace sewn into a square with a matching ribbon. It would be a nice touch to use lace cut off during alterations if there's enough. 

Source: Etsy

If you plan to make your own, try to find a unique way to create it. Doilies, lace, a family handkerchief, flowers, ruffles and ribbon are great additions that can add to the atmosphere you're creating with your theme and color scheme.

Here are some great resources to help you DIY the additions:
Alisa Burke- She has a tutorial on ribbon rosettes.
TipNut- This site has tutorials for every kind of ribbon flower
Chatelaine- How to tie the perfect bow
Craftiness is Not Optional- Tutorials on felt flowers 
(The layered flower can be made with other materials)

Good Luck! Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Favorite 7

I think this may have been one of the first photos that I saved, oh-so-long ago! I just love the thought of bringing the outdoors in.
This centerpiece could be done large scale or small. Here they have very unique branches in rather large clusters, but I can imagine small branches out of the yard in a $1 vase from the Dollar Tree sitting in the middle of a table, surrounded by votives.

If you are wanting something more abstract, ask around for trees with unique branches.

For a winter party, spray paint the branches white or silver, cover with glue and sprinkle with epsom sale, rock salt and glitter. Ornaments and snowflakes dripping from the branches would sure set the mood.

If your party is more elegant, drape strands of faux crystals from red, silver, white or black branches.

Glue matching flowers onto the branches, or sprinkle artificial leaves onto them.

Experiment with different vases/urns and vase fillers.  If using glass vases, try glass beads, dirt/moss, faux snow, or rocks.

It's good to add multiple heights in centerpieces for dimension and eye-appeal. Try pairing this centerpiece with a low one made from a slab of branch or tree trunk topped with candles, pinecones, acorns, ribbon, etc. Another low centerpiece idea is to use a long chunk of branch laying on the table surrounded with candles (or with holes drilled in the top for the candles to sit in).

This could be used for a party or shower that have themes like birds-nesting, enchanted forest, camping-outdoors, or for any season party.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Favorite 6

This favorite comes from P is for Party's blog and it was for a first birthday set around "It's a Wonderful Life." I just love the simplicity of these centerpieces. The host used vases and coches for the adult table centerpieces but wanted something less fragile for the kid tables. 
I love the color scheme of this specific design, but can't you imagine them in silver and blue, gold and red, green and brown.... or any of your favorite Christmas package color combinations! I love the little touch of artificial snow she added. These are so beautiful on their own, but I can picture them grouped with glowing candles, vases filled with ornaments, an abundance of fake snow mounded around them, and little sprigs of greenery. What a beautiful idea for a Christmas dinner or a winter wedding!

Switching gears--- This idea could be used for any type of party. I had a friend use this same concept with a stack of 3 gifts (one wrapped in polka dot paper) paired with polka dot decorations and gerbera daisies at a baby shower.

Imagine them wrapped in brightly colored paper with a big bow at the top for a kid's birthday party, paired with balloons and streamers for a true "Birthday Party Theme."

Tiffany blue boxes trimmed in white would make a perfect bridal shower decoration.

For a more feminine look, a small bundle of flowers could be anchored to the top instead of a bow.

Wrap single boxes of varying sizes in coordinating papers and cluster them as the centerpiece. Wrap small, single boxes indentically and group them in a fancy centerpiece to serve as decoration, but also as favors when you fill them with your party's parting gift.

A shower filled with these centerpieces could be topped off with a matching cake.

My favorite part of this whole idea: the price! Who doesn't have gift boxes and wrapping paper lying around?!?! Again--- if you know this will be your theme for a future party, how great would it be to get all your supplies 50% off after Christmas! You could just pick up the boxes if the paper wouldn't match your theme, or a roll of silver or gold can be paired with most colors to add a little 'something.' Planning, planning, planning!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Favorite 5

This one has been around so long, I forgot about it! I guess i'm cheating a little bit-- it's not just one picture, but they all go with a theme!

First of all--let me just say that I L-O-V-E the drinking glasses with the kitchen utensils standing in them. I can even see this as an invitation design with 3 utensils in 3 glasses across the top. That would really set the theme, wouldn't it!

If at a bridal shower--here are a few thoughts: the utensils/glasses could be the hostess's gift to the bride OR they could be used as prizes. The winner could take utensils or the set of glasses. I would probably purchase glasses from Dollar Tree or the cheap section of Wal-Mart if they were prizes, but I would buy nice utensils. No one wants flimsy plastic utensils. If buying cheap glasses, you can use etching cream and stencils to design the glass, or paint simple stripes/designs. I think I would put a matching dishtowel under the glasses to help "anchor" the centerpiece design.

The dishtowel cake would make a great main centerpiece for a shower, and could also be a gift to the bride. If you know that someone is making one, ask them to bring it early for you to use, but make sure they get acknowledgement during the shower, and it would be a good idea if it matches in color.

Other centerpieces could be kitchen items as vases--- coffee pots, pitchers, nice looking cans without labels...use your imagination. I've even seen blenders and toasters with flowers coming out of them! I'm even picturing a small crockpot filled with flowers as a huge centerpiece!Use your resources-- yard sales, friends, second-hand stores, but be careful of what you're buying. You still want them to look nice!

Another idea is to ask each guest to bring a recipe: their favorite, one for the slow-cooker, one that can freeze, or a family recipe to start the bride's collection.

As far as I'm concerned, this doesn't just have to be a bridal shower design as suggested, but also for a child's cooking themed party. With cooking and food as a theme, there are several directions you could go: pizza/italian, baking, or just utensils/kitchen items. Need help for more ideas? Contact me.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Favorite 4

Another oldie-but goodie hiding in my files is from a kiddo's 2nd birthday party. If you check out the source, you will see that the hostess covered just about every inch of detail that a person could think of, but I might just have a few money saving suggestions up my sleeve. 

This is a party that I would start planning and buying for very, very early. If I was going to do it in the spring/early summer, I would start looking for good buys in the fall before.

I know that Dollar Tree starts putting out their bags of bugs and other buggy things around Valentine's Day/Easter. They also have out stuffed caterpillars that could be nice for the little guys/gals. Plastic bugs could be buried in a sand box for a "Dig for Bugs" activity.

If you don't have mason jars, start collecting pickle/relish jars. Ask friends and family to help collect!

The blogger told that she got the green grass mats here. That's already a pretty cheap purchase, I think!

Also, I know that Dollar Tree carries the bug catching nets and boxes for $1 a piece (of course!)---Great party favors for each child.

Halloween always has spiders that you grab 50% or more off after the holiday. (Again, plan early to allow more time for deals. Trying to find spiders out of season is difficult.) Speaking of Halloween--- stores always carry wings and antennae for bumblebees and lady bugs. These could be great favors for a girl's party.

I see in the blog that one of the activities was the game "Cooties." That is always a "Black Friday" deal at Wal-Mart for $3-5.

If age appropriate, kids love to watch the move "A Bug's Life."

For paper cutouts, a cricut machine would be great, but if you don't already have one--- ask a teacher friend to use the die-cut machine at school to cut butterflies, lady bugs, and other insects.

During the summer time, all stores have "luau/summer" sections that have trays and platters in the shape of palm leaves, much like what she used. This would be another 50% deal to grab. You could also get green posterboard and cut out big leaves to lay on the tables.

Serve dirt pudding with gummy worms!

As always, check Oriental Trading. They have everything for party favors!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Favorite 3

As I said in my "What I would have done differently" post, there are some things that I would change about our wedding. One additional thing is our cake. I had it to do over again, I would have an all white cake much like this one:
Is that not breathtaking! I just love it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Favorite 2

This is a new favorite-- no blowing the dust off of this one! I recently saw this on Pinterest (my new love affair) and! I've seen a lot of the DIY baby onesie shower ideas, but usually they have markers, paint, and other 'not-so-me' types of supplies. This one is adorable. It looks as if they kept the guest list small. My immediate thought was to do this with my mom, sister, aunts and close cousins on a lazy afternoon. The guests were provided with material scraps and fabric glue, but I think sewing them on would be nice, too. In the basket, I think I see pictures of designs, so they might have even had suggestions for the guests that couldn't think of anything. By providing the scraps, the ones were kept in a similar 'theme' of color and design, and of course the clothespins to hang them matched as well. I just love this idea!


Thursday, January 5, 2012


I have so many 'favorites' hiding in my files and I want to start sharing them. They might be cakes, centerpieces, placecard ideas, dresses, could be anything. Not sure how often I'll dig one out and blow the dust off, but I want to share them.

Favorite #1) Easy lace centerpiece

How beautiful is that! I could see this being the centerpiece for wedding with blush, lilac, gold, peach, powder blue, or even red as it's accent color, but also at a birthday party for an older woman. I even just pictured a little girl's first birthday party done in pearls, flowers and lace and the little girl has a giant peony headband on.
This could be done so cheaply! Those vases are $1 or less at many dollar-type stores. Pearls can be found at many yard sales and second-hand stores--- OR try painting mardi-gras beads with spray paint. Hello! CHEAPER! :) (If you know me, you know I'm all about a bargain and good-buy idea!)  If you're willing to do some work to hunt and DIY, this is a gorgeous centerpiece done on a budget. The lace is where I start to see the price increasing, so I have a few ideas:
1) buy cheap lace curtains, runners, tablecloths from dollar-type stores or second-hand
2) make one like this:

They used doilies stitched together to make one large runner. Genius! Again, buy these second hand. I'm also sure that many moms, aunts, grandmas have these things lying around. **Idea** I think it'd be beautiful if the bride and groom's table runner was made from doilies with sentimental value. If so, I would stitch in a way that it could be cut apart again later if needed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2,500 Pageviews

Wow! I started this blog late one night with a dream in mind... but I didn't make it go live for quite some time for fear of failure. I updated, tweeked, edited, changed and wrote for months before I finally pinned a few things to Pinterest. Within just a matter of weeks of 3 things being pinned, I hit the 2,500 pageview mark. I cannot believe it. Although I haven't booked any party planning events from the pageviews, I don't care in the slightest. I am so grateful that others are getting use out of the thoughts running through my head and the hours I've spent looking for ideas and reading about party planning. Thank you for the hits and keep them coming!

Happy Planning!
Krista at Sweet T Events

Choosing a Theme

When trying to decide on a theme, I suggest keeping a few things in mind.

-In addition to the guest of honor's likes/dislikes, think about the venue where you will holding the event. Will they allow walls/ceilings to be decorating? Are you holding it in your house with limited space? Does your yard have the 'just perfect area' for that candy land castle you're imagining?

-Also, think about what resources you have to help you save money. What collections, toys, and decorations do you already have---or have access to? Don't be afraid to ask to borrow some things from friends or family!

-How many people are you inviting? If your child is only inviting one or two friends over for the night, a party with an elaborate theme with games and activities won't have nearly the excitement as an afternoon party with many friends and family members. Also, think about the ages of the guests. This sometimes make planning the most difficult.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Beverage Calculations

If you're like me, you never know how much to buy for a party. has an article about calculating beverages that I found helpful.
  • On the average, expect guests to drink 2 drinks or servings of a nonalcoholic beverage the first hour and 1 each hour thereafter. Remember, people drink more when the weather is warm.
  • If you plan to serve bar drinks, you should allow 1 1/2 ounces of liquor for each drink. That means you'll get about 16 drinks from each 750-milliliter bottle (fifth) of liquor. Allow about a quart of mixer -- carbonated water, tonic water, or ginger ale -- for every 3 persons.
  • When serving wine, plan on one 750-milliliter bottle for every two guests (one bottle for every 3 to 4 guests if the wine will be served only during a meal). If you prefer to buy the large 1.5-liter bottle of wine, it will serve 4 guests (6 to 8 guests if served only during a meal).
  • When ordering beer for a party, allow about 12 ounces per guest for every half hour to hour. For a large crowd, you might want to buy a keg.
  • Always have some nonalcoholic beverages on hand. Besides having juices, bottled water, lemonade, soda and/or iced tea, consider nonalcoholic wines and beers.
  • If you're uncertain about how much to buy, ask your beverage store if you can return any unopened bottles. If you entertain frequently, you may want to plan ahead and shop in quantity.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Planning our Wedding--- What I would have done differently

Our wedding day was beautiful, don't get me wrong...but I think all brides can agree on the fact that there are always some things that you might have done differently if were to do it all over again.  These are just a few things to think about if you're in the midst of wedding planning.

1) I would have either had a wedding dress of lighter weight or a second dress for the reception. I was so hot and tired during our reception that I think if I would have seen a pair of scissors, I would have cut a great deal of my dress off. Our wedding day was nearly 100 degrees with a heat advisory, and although we had an indoor ceremony and reception, I was still very hot.

2) Speaking of heat--- the heat and lack of food in my system made me very sick. I had always heard of brides 'forgetting to eat' and thought "How is that possible?"  Well... I did that very thing. We were so busy with everything that I didn't eat real food for 3 days before the wedding. The lack of nutrition mixed with the heat made me very sick that evening. So...remember to eat!

3) I would have asked for more help. I took on way too many DIY projects and stressful decisions that made the last week pretty tough. We had a death in the family with the services 2 days before the wedding, so our minds were stressed before the wedding festivities ever began.

4) I would have hired a videographer. Plain.and.simple

5) My husband wishes that we would have had the meal served to our guests before we got to the reception. We spent a lot of time doing pictures so it was a lengthy time that our guests waited.

6) We would have seen each other before the wedding. We wanted to stick with tradition and wait for the first looks to be in front of our family and friends, but I wish we would have made it more intimate. Plus, we spent 1/3 of our budget on pictures and I felt so horrible by the time we got around to the pictures of he and I that I'm not as happy with them as I think I could have been.

Money Saving Tips for a Wedding

Here are some money saving tips I found most useful:

- Sign up at stores to be a part of their mailing list. Stores such as Michael's Craft Store sends out coupons a couple of times a month and they can be worth as much as 50% off one item. Sometimes, the coupons are 10%-20% off for your entire purchase--including clearance items. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed to print them and USE them! (that's my biggest problem--I feel like I'm cheating someone by USING a coupon, but that's why they're there!)

-Use silk flowers! So much money (and time and stress) can be saved by using silk flowers. Table arrangements and bouquets can be arranged so far ahead of time when silk flowers are used, not to mention that they don't cost nearly as much!

- Take your time. If you're having a long engagement and have time to, then take your time and shop around. Many stores and dress shops have BIG sales a few times a year. Shop around, get some ideas of what you're wanting, but take your time when it comes to purchasing. Also, your taste and ideas will change, so think choices through and don't buy items for the first idea you have. You will most likely change your mind.

- Buy gradually. For items you most likely won't change your mind about (such as the guest book, unity candle, aisle runner, and so on), buy gradually. Put some cash back and when you're out (and have a coupon) pick up something you still need.

- Keep your eyes open for a deal at yard sales! Look for things you can use and store-- flowers, decorations, cake topper, candles, and so on.

- Find a seamstress. Ask around for the name of a seamstress in your area to make your bridesmaid dresses. A lot of seamstresses will make a dress for less than $50!

-Pick a top priority, splurge on it, and save money in other places. For most couples, they splurge on either the photos/video, decorations, venues, the dress or the food. In my case, we splurged on the photographers and saved money on the dinner because we used a family friend that gave us a deal. I also bought a reasonably priced dress, bought all my small stuff on clearance or with a coupon, and didn't buy a lot of personalized or detailed items. Pick one passion...and save on the other stuff!

- Do your own looking and shopping around. Don't just book a vendor because someone you know used them. Do some looking around--- the internet can be your best friend! As previously stated, if you have the time to shop around, do it. Spend a day or two doing some searches for photographers, DJs, venues and so on. Try to find vendors that aren't the ones you hear about often. You'd be surprised at the amount of talent out that that's not well known!

- Downsize your wedding cake. By eliminating a layer or two or your fancy cake and making up for it in a sheet cake, you can save a little bit of money. Most guests will never see the cake being cut once the bride and groom step away and go about their business, so who cares if the slice of cake a guest eats come from the layered cake or from a sheet cake that's rolled out? No one. Save yourself some money!

- Buy books of the Forever stamps in advance. It may not save you much money each time the price of postage goes up, but every bit you can save will help!

- Look into DIY projects. Making a bouquet probably isn't as difficult as you may think. Also, you can learn to make your own pew bows, how to decorate your own unity candle, or how to create your own flower girl baskets. Again, the internet is your friend! Search for instructional videos or "how-to" pages.

- Rethink those decisions. Do you really need a limo? Do your guests really need that fancy dinner? Do you really need that couture gown? Do you need that expensive wedding video, or can a family member just film it? Do you really need those expensive wedding invitations? Just take a moment to step back and rethink some of the ideas you've had. Are they really that important? Will you still think it's important in five or ten years?

And last, but not least-
- Stay focused on the marriage you're creating, not on the wedding. The wedding lasts only one day, but your marriage lasts for the rest of your lives. Take time to talk about things besides the wedding and its plans.