Tuesday, July 31, 2012

{engagement party: jeff+ katie}

{the newly engaged couple- get Katie's cute dress here!}

Jeff and Katie are some of our closest friends and as soon as they got engaged, a few of their close friends along with Chris and I started brainstorming ideas for an engagement party.  Jeff and Katie are a very fun and light-hearted couple.  They love to have a good time and we knew they would want their engagement party to have a relaxed and fun vibe.  After Kay and I choose some general inspiration, we went to work on all the little details for their celebration while Chris worked out the food and drink.

 {floral arrangements by Chelsea of Hello Gem}

 {paper drink flags for the whiskey punch}

 {the drink set up for the evening in addition to the normal wine and beer selections was centered around champagne and a big batch of Gold Rush Whiskey Punch which was based off of this cocktail recipe}

 {to keep with the fun vibe of the party, we created a DIY slider bar for the guests to snack on throughout the evening. We hired Stephanie Ha to cook up sliders and veggie sliders to be garnished by the guests from an array of different toppings and garnishes.}

{We created the large slider bar menu with some Jeff & Katie inspired menu suggestions such as "The Deloitte Burger" named for the work place the two met during a college internship. Those who needed a little inspiration for their burger could reference the suggestions on the board.  Some of the favorite toppings of the night turned out to be (unsurprisingly) the bacon, truffle aioli, and sauteed mushrooms.}

 {my slider topped with avocado & truffle aioli for the win}

{dessert table set up adorned with festive confetti system}

 {how adorable are the cookies on the left provided by the bride-to-be's mother!?! 
snickerdoodle cupcakes on the right were made following this recipe.}

 {by far the most fun part of this party was the temporary tattoo set up!  Since both Jeff & Katie's last names start with a C, I thought it would be hilarious to design a little play on the classic Chanel logo along with their upcoming wedding month to be used as a temporary tattoo for guests to indulge in.  Kay & I were able to print these directly onto temporary tattoo paper and then cut them out for the guests to apply.}

{a few of the guests showing off their temp tats!}

I absolutely loved this party- engagement parties are quickly becoming my new favorite reason for celebration.  I cannot wait for Jeff & Katie's big day next year and this party was a fabulous way to kick off the array of wedding related activities that are to come in the next year. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

{friday cocktail: a goodbye toast to LA}

Instead of my regular Friday cocktail post, I want to propose a simple champagne toast (perched on moving boxes in a plastic champagne cup no less) in honor of the city I have grown to love...

It was 4 years ago that Chris and I moved into an old 3 bedroom home in Silverlake along with some good friends and almost 2 years ago we moved into our loft.  I moved down here from San Francisco and was convinced I would hate living in Los Angeles, but as it turns out it, I was very very wrong.  People can say a lot of negative things about LA such as it is superficial or too money and celebrity focused, but I think LA (like many cities) can become what you make of it.  Surrounded by many of our good friends, I think we truly made the best of LA and I will miss our time here dearly.  It was in these past 4 years in LA that we made countless new friendships, threw some amazing parties, started this blog, got married, and just generally lived a good portion of our 20s to the fullest.  

So here's to the city and the people that have given us so many good memories...


Thursday, July 26, 2012

{DIY triangle fringe garland}

In case you missed it last week on Green Wedding Shoes, head over there right now to get the full tutorial on how to make the fringed triangle garland we hung over our dance floor at the wedding.  This garland is basically the same process as the photobooth backdrop.

Right now we are currently living in moving box world (looks something like this) as we prepare to move to Chicago on Saturday morning.  We will be driving a moving truck along with these good friends for four days so posting might be a little light next week.  As soon as we are up and running at our new place I promise to share all the details!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

{sequins & bow ties party recap}

The weekend before last, we hosted our "sequins & bow ties" themed going away party.  I absolutely loved this theme from the very beginning and was so excited to see what our friends would wear.  Who doesnt want an excuse to break out some sequins?!?!  We started this party later in the evening and served all our favorite party snacks like our burnt habanero crema salsa and sausage bites (both of which are always picked clean by the night's end) along with some new additions like a gourmet popcorn spread.  For drinks, we kept it simple with everyone's favorite whiskey punch recipe and various champagne cocktail supplies along with the usual selections of wine and beer.

In lieu of a photobooth, we picked up 10 packs of Fuji Instax film and let all of guests capture the night as well as display the shots on our kitchen chalkboard.  Nothing can really replace a photobooth in my heart, but this set up came really close especially since guests could check out all the snapshots up on the board as the night progressed.

Although I did not take as many photos as I normally do since I was trying to spend time saying our goodbyes, I was able to capture some of the little details from the party including all the party food and decor to share with you along with some instagram shots near the bottom...

{champagne cocktail supplies}

{glitzy bar set up}

{simple snacks sprinkled around the loft}

{all the savory party staples: burnt habanero crema, bacon wrapped dates & sausage bites}

{gourment popcorn bar including parmesan seaweed popcorn, funfetti popcorn & sriracha
 lime popcorn (the hands down favorite of the evening)}

{red velvet whoopie pies- same ones we served at our housewarming party for the loft so it seemed fitting to pick them up for our going away bash}

{so much sparkle!}

{all the instax shots from the evening}

{easy and inexpensive decor for the deck: alternating metallic gold and white fringe drape}

This party was an amazing send off and a great way to get in some quality time with our closest friends while forcing them to dress up!  We are truly lucky to have had the new and old friends we were surrounded with in our 4 years in LA and I can't wait to see what Chicago holds for us!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{DIY "printed" wedding signs}

One thing that was on my project list for the wedding from the very beginning was to create a very large sign for the bar menu.  There is always a mad rush on the bar as soon as cocktail hour begins, but guests usually can't see the bar menu choices until they get to very front where they can finally read them on a small sign.  We decided the way to alleviate this issue would be to make a huge stained wood sandwich board sign and then paint all menu choices in white paint.  The second we painted the first letter onto the sign, we found it was looking incredibly messy with the paint lines seeping into the grain of the wood.  After a little brainstorming, we figured we could print all the letters onto white cardstock and then glue them to the wood signs.  This method worked so incredibly well that we decided to make more than just the bar sign- adding in a sign for croquet, restrooms, parking and the photobooth all using only two 4' by 8' plywood boards!

You can even buy the signs from our wedding here & here.

See below for step by step instructions.

what you need:

  • plywood for signs - we used two 4' by 8' pieces of plywood which yielded two 3 ' by 4' sandwich board signs and two 2' by 4' flat signs
  • wood stain 
  • two hinges per sandwich board sign
  • cardstock
  • spray adhesive
  • exacto knife
  • scissors
  • painters tape
  • level
  1. cut all wood to size, stain and assemble sandwich boards using two hinges for each sandwich board set.
  2. write or type up exactly what you want your signs to say before printing letters so that you dont forget any letters or words.
  3. now you will print out your actual letters for the signs. First you need to select your font, I highly recommend an all caps font that is relatively thick. "Bebas" (available for download here) is what we used. As a reference, for our large signs we did about two letters per page and for the bar choices we made the letters about 2.5 inches tall.
  4. In order to cut the letters, we typed them up in a light grey color and then mirrored them before printing- you can follow this tutorial for mirroring the letters in Microsoft word.  Once they are printed you can follow the outline of the light grey in order to cut out the letter and the "front" of the paper will remain white. 
  5. Using painters tape and a level create a line as a guide for your letters. The painters tape guides will help you from having uneven text lines- especially if you are doing a sign with a lot of text like our bar sign.
  6. Before attaching your letters, lay them out in order so that you can get a good sense for your spacing and to save you from forgetting or searching for letters in the middle of your project.
  7. Coat the back of each letter with spray adhesive and firmly attach to the wood along your painters tape guide. 
  8. Since this is cardstock not paint, it does have the ability to get dirty or rip so if you do not plan on using your signs right away, I recommend wrapping them in saran wrap to protect the letters.

 {sandwich board assembled}

 {mirrored letters ready to be cut- grey on the back & solid white on the front}

 {use an exacto knife to cut out the centers of letters}

Monday, July 23, 2012

{DIY fringed tissue "sweets" banner}

Our entire wedding took place outdoors which meant that our only option for hanging things was suspending it between palm trees or building backdrops (like this or this).  For the dessert table, we decided rather than build another backdrop, we would add all the interest to the front of the table with a statement sign.  I choose to make a huge "sweets" sign using foam core and fringed tissue after seeing this party a while back. Other than picking which direction to go with this project I actually cant take any credit because my amazing bridesmaids crafted this a few months before the wedding when we all got together for a wedding related craft session.

what you need:

  • tissue paper in various colors (at least three different colors will give you a good variation in the design)
  • box cutter or exacto knife
  • fringe scissors (not necessary but will make your life significantly easier)
  • glue runner or double sided tape
  • foam core boards (one per letter)
  • ribbon
  1. trace letters on foam core- my sweets banner was about as tall as the table so we used one piece of foam core per letter. You will not need to worry about being neat with the pen marks of the tracing since you will be covering them later
  2. cut letters out using a box cutter or exacto knife
  3. cut out fringed tissue pieces by cutting strips of tissue about an inch wide then fringe the entire length of your strips making sure to leave about 1/4 inch at the top un-fringed. 
  4. starting at the bottom of your letter place your first color of tissue strip down.  Cut pieces from your long strips of fringed tissue so that they are long enough to hang off the edge of the letter a little bit. 
  5. Secure each layer of fringe with a strip of glue runner or double stick tape.  
  6. Place the next layer of fringed tissue over the last overlapping the previous layer by about 1/2 inch.  
  7. Continue placing and securing layers.  Once you have covered the entire letter you can go back and trim the edges of fringe strips off. 
  8. Hot glue the finished foam core letters to a piece of ribbon to use for hanging. 

 {foam core letters}

 {tracing remnants}

 {placing first layer of fringe at bottom of letter}

 {strip of glue for each layer of fringe}

Friday, July 20, 2012

{our wedding: the paper goods + favors}

One of the things we put the most thought and effort into for the wedding was designing and making our own paper goods.  With some light skills in Illustrator and lots of troubleshooting with our printer, we were able to make a whole host of personalized paper goods for almost every aspect of the wedding  (check out the past posts detailing our DIY save-the-dates here and wedding invitations here).  For items we couldn't print ourselves, we turned to ForYourParty.com and Columbia Printing in downtown LA.   See the list at the bottom of this post for the sources of each of the paper goods.  Here are a few of my favorites:

{cocktail napkins at the bar with a romantic quote}

{tonal wedding date coasters in the whiskey area & custom guest towels in the bathrooms}

{the menu at each guest's seat outlining the family style dinner and dessert for the evening}

Initially we had not planned on having wedding favors to give to our guests because I always feel like favors cost too much money to end up being littered and forgotten on the dinner tables at the end of the night.  About a month before the wedding, I was writing one of the Friday cocktail posts and it occurred to me that some of our favorite cocktail recipes would actually make a great wedding favor.  We picked out five of our favorite recipes (we had to leave out an Old Fashioned because the text was too long) including Maiden's Blush, The Business, Blood Sugar Sex Magic, Ward 8 and a Champagne cocktail.  We then worked with For Your Party to create a custom letter pressed coaster for each recipe and packaged them as a set of five along with a thank you note for each guest.  These favors also doubled as the escort cards to lead guest to their assigned seats.

 {favor assembly line}

Paper Goods Source List:

custom quote napkins, crest guest towels, tonal name/date coasters, cocktail recipe coasters: For Your Party
wedding invites, directions card, favor thank you notes, menus, and programs: designed by me printed at Columbia Printers
custom crest fans: Monica Cook on Etsy
address labels, matchboxes, envelope liners, drink flags: DIY by Natalie

If you would like help designing paper goods for your wedding or event please contact me through my Etsy shop here.