Archive for the ‘reception’ Category

Why pom when you can petal? Wedding petal shades from England

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

I just learned about these shades today from Anna. (Thank you!) And my, aren’t they something? Martha, eat your heart out: Katie of June Petals is all about these tissue paper petal shades. I would love to see them strung along chairs lining the aisle, dangling in a pretty cluster above the cake, or randomly hanging to create a photo backdrop. The petals come in nine colors; each is cut & applied by hand. How can they be just $10 each? I’m still trying to figure it out. In the meantime, I think I need a pink one for the kitchen…!

Pretty as a lily gilded metal flowers: a yin-yang beauty

Monday, April 12th, 2010

When I was adding our vintage eternal bridal bouquet to the site the other day, its silk lily reminded me of these metal gold leafed lily stems I stumbled across recently. I keep returning to admire them. I always like contradiction in decoration. These, with their gilt shine and white enamel, definitely seem cool yet warm, soft yet stiff, alive yet still to me.  At a towering 3 feet high, I think they would make a striking wedding centerpiece or display dropped in a tall, simple glass vase. Then scatter some antique gold jeweled candle holders nearby…

Do couples still use guest books at their weddings?

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Absolutely. While we’ve seen all sorts of trends come & go to replace or augment the guest book experience, a traditionally beautiful guest book remains popular with even the most modern couples. What beats your parents’ & grandparents’ own penmanship to preserve their heartfelt sentiments on your wedding day?

Couples have chosen plates & platters, photo mats (later framed as a border for a wedding photo), books filled with Polaroid pictures taken on the spot, vintage typewriters stocked with loose paper, and all sorts of other ways for guests to leave their messages. But there is nothing uncreative about a bound book you can pull from the shelf to page through. Fill extra pages left unsigned after the reception by mounting guests’ cards or photos inside.

This pretty floral Great Parade guest book from Tracy Porter would sit nicely underneath our new vintage sign holders. Its 144 lined pages are made of acid-free sustainable forest paper; the print embossed on its cover shimmers with metallic highlights. There’s even a small pouch for mementos; just $24.

For pretty wedding cocktails: Hibiscus-infused fruit & floral tequila

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

I’m a big fan of port, indeed. But tequila, well, not so much. In fact, not at all. It was the packaging (okay, and the music on their ultra-pretty website), that roused me to write about blushing Rosangel, the tropical pink tequila with an Art Deco bottle. Mellowed for two months in port barrels (giving it that juicy, sunset-pink color) then “infused with the subtly sweet flavor of hand-picked Hibiscus flowers” it offers both fruit & floral notes with a hint of vanilla. It’s won awards from the San Francisco Spirits Competition and if it tastes anything close to as delicious as it looks, I best monitor my intake! I’ll keep you posted as soon as I try (likely this very evening…). This beautiful rose tequila would look even more old-fashioned served in our vintage cordial glasses for a 1930s’ look deserving of the drink. Check out their 8 signature tequila recipes and more glamour shots on the site, along with stores, bars, and restaurants that have it on the shelf. The sangria, cosmo, and pink lemonade cocktails would be fresh choices for bridal showers & summer weddings. Or, as a Rosangel article in The New York Times suggested, this brilliant concoction: muddle strawberries, add a shot of rosy Rosangel and a splash or two of sparkling wine. It feels like summer already!

Vintage wedding cake toppers you can use every day: S&P shakers

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

It seems like such a simple idea. Who wouldn’t want an every day reminder of the day she pronounced her love to the world? Well, there are lots of every day reminders, really… his cologne, his smile, the way your toes touch when you fall asleep. It’s a lifestyle, a life choice, and a wedding is just one beautiful moment in a long string of many. But I digress…

What I’ve been thinking about lately is a meaningful, tangible token from the reception, kept somewhere as ordinary & homey as the kitchen table, reached for again and again over a fine slow-cooked meal or a simple Saturday breakfast. These are it: vintage salt and pepper shakers. Settle them in on top of your wedding cake, then take them home and live with them daily.

Many, many people collect these vintage shakers relentlessly, devoting shelves & cabinets to their diminutive pairs. From intricate porcelain statement pieces to funny animal-themed caricatures of daily life, vintage salt & pepper shakers are an accessible art form in their own right.

We’ve been scouting out just the right pairs to offer on Orange & Blossom, and we’re pretty choosy. We decided to start with just a few shown here. (Actually, the blue birds are a new set with a vintage-inspired look.) But we’ve spotted loads of other tempting pairs, from flirtatious kangaroos and shy skunks to affectionate couples dressed in traditional garb from around the globe. 

Many were made in occupied Japan during World War II and beyond; most have their original cork stoppers. All are a retro blast from the past that can find an easy place close at hand.

Toasting glasses for 2, or favors for bachelorettes & bridal showers

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Tell me, do you love these as much as I do? As soon as I saw them, I had to share. From the wonderful site, French Garden House, on which I spied them: “Un Verre D’Amitie” translates to “A Glass of Friendship. Copied from etched brocante originals, the etching on these sweet glasses is surrounded by a gorgeous ornate “frame” … Folk lore has it that glasses like these were kept on the top shelf to be taken down and used only for friends who came to visit. Pass this lovely custom on, and offer a glass of refreshment with love to your friends in our Friendship Glasses.” $24/set of two.

Personally, I prefer to drink wine & cocktails out of simple, stemless glasses like these. It just feels more European & less fussy. Use them as a replacement for traditional toasting flutes, serve bellinis in them at your bridal shower, or champagne with a splash of Chambord and a few floating raspberries for your bachelorette spa day. Feeling spendy? Raise them at the end of the reception as a goodnight toast; everyone will take them home from your wedding as a meaningful favor to use for years of toasting to true love & friendship.

Pretty & organized, with a vintage feel (try one for your escort cards!)

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

How do these magazine & blog editors keep such beautiful offices with all that they do? Each time I see a behind-the-scenes peek at some brilliant woman’s office, whether from home or in a traditional office setting, it’s simply dripping with charm, style & the most adorable organizational systems on earth. Even when I was a magazine editor, my office never looked like that! Though I did have pink-and-slver Graham Brown wallpaper, sheer curtains, and a crystal chandelier in my last one, come to think of it…


These two pieces jumped off the pages of the new RSH catalog (formerly Room Service Home, a completely frustrating name change in my opinion). The first, a magnetic perpetual calendar ($79) with an antique cream finish and two big loops for hanging with the most loveliest of French ribbon you can track down.

The second, a fleur-de-lis-topped wire memo holder ($39) in an aged, gold-leaf finish. Not only will it tidy up your office to-do lists and favorite mementos, it would also do well as a reception display piece for photos & souvenirs of your love or for holding escort cards at a small, intimate wedding. Be lovely & enjoy every minute of it…

DIY wedding centerpiece idea: vintage-style glass carrier caddy

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Want to do your own wedding flowers but not exactly a master arranger? We’re always scouting new ideas and this one caught my eye the other day in Wisteria’s new catalog: a caddy of 6 glass cups in a vintage-style wire carrier. Could it be easier? They even travel well, given their low profile and balanced design; $24 each.

Other fresh ideas for a quick DIY centerpiece include Wiseria’s white-washed French Flourished Vase, a beatiful Frenchy ceramic glazed cachepot that would make an unfussy centerpiece filled with a topiary or blooming plant; $34 each. And our Orange & Blossom Pebble on the Beach Japanese Frog Vase, a chic, minimalist centerpiece with organic shape and modern style. Place just a few blooms in the vase’s traditional Japanese “frog” for easy and exact DIY centerpiece flower arranging, $28 each.

Cake with a taste from the tropics: Rum cakes from Grand Cayman

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Not everyone is into multi-tiered frosted confections. And I respect that. Not everyone has the budget for them either! And I more than respect that. Intimate weddings, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers & wedding weekend brunches…all are grand occasions to get acquainted with Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes straight from Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, B.W.I. These tropical wonders are baked fresh daily on the island, glazed by hand, then vacuum packed, ensuring a shelf life of 6 months, or indefinitely if refrigerated or frozen. Yes, fresh cake whenever you crave something sweet that tastes like vacation. The only preservative, and the secret to their scrumptiousness, is their blended 5-year-old, oak barrel-aged Tortuga Gold Rum. YUM.

Dress them up with fresh fruit, pureed fruit sauces or whipped cream for an easy, affordable traditional wedding cake alternative.  The family-owned company is big on flavor & variety: choose original golden rum cake with walnuts, chocolate, coconut, banana, pineapple, key lime, cinnamon raisin, or Blue Mountain coffee.

Every wedding cake calls for a taste test, of course, even these more non-traditional sorts. Order a party-style 33 oz. cake (serves 12-16) for just $32.50 including delivery, or a smaller 16 oz. version for $25. The current special allows you to choose two 16 oz. cakes (so you can sample two flavors) for just $37.50. I sent several as gifts over the holidays to rave reviews. I think our own address will be next!

Flavorful favors for the season, many organic & under $5

Monday, December 21st, 2009

A quick warning: Don’t visit www.foodzie.com on an empty stomach. It’s a very bad idea. This site is filled with so many tasty, hard-to-resist adventures! Browse through page upon page of small-batch, artisan, organic & homespun edibles from “small passionate food producers and growers.” I’ve put together some favorite picks for wedding favors here, but you’ll have a good time discovering your own. Many start at $4 each and support the local economy and the devoted people behind each delicious creation. (They also have hot cocoa madness, including towers of flavored marshmallows. Next week, come back for our best ideas for BIY (Bake It Yourself) edible favors for the season.


Top row, left to right: Lavender sea salt, $3.95; Two-piece truffle favor gift box made from local & organic ingredients in San Francisco, $5; French-style caramels flavored to reflect traditional Mexican hot chocolate, $6; Apple Pie MmmMarmalade from North Carolina, $5.50; Artisan Spiced Honey Creme from a multi-generational family business in Washington state, $5.50. Bottom row, left to right: Fig & Black Tea Preserves from Wisconsin (try it on a cracker or over vanilla ice cream…), $5.99; Zucchini Ginger Jam with fresh-grated Hawaiian ginger, $4; made-in-Ohio (my home state!) Chai Spiced Blonde Blondie, $4.75; ultra chocolately Chocolate Moose Cookies from Vermont; $3.99; Rich Mint Brunette Brownie with mint butter cream center; $4.75.

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