Category Archives: engagement party

Monday’s Finding: My Real Engagement Party

Well, they say good things come to those who wait. Last night my keyboard port decided to die and I’ve been waiting for the new one to come home with Mr. Wondermous. So, as dinner comes  to those of us on Mountain Time and I have a hungry boy to feed, my narrative is going to be a bit short.

Mr. Wondermous and me decided to keep the Dia de los Muertos theme going for our engagement party. We had a blast at our local Latino market finding new and (for me) beloved foods and treats to share with our guests. It was a great night full of family and friends.


Photos by Eric Murphy, Piscean Dreams Photography.
Catching a moment before guests arrive.


Photos by Eric Murphy, Piscean Dreams Photography (paper flowers and skull mask photos by me).
Our mantel ofrenda, papel picado (strung across the ceiling), and skull butterflies (the wings are from a butterfly garland I made for my mom’s memorial service.


Photos by Eric Murphy, Piscean Dreams Photography.
Feeling the love and laughter of the evening.


Photos by Eric Murphy, Piscean Dreams Photography (candy pic, sign pic by me).
Sweet table full of some of our favorite Latino candies and Tres Leches cupcakes I made for guests (along with Mexican Chocolate). We thought we’d include a small pic or two from our engagement session. I was really excited about the roll of skull ductape and Mr. Wondermous apparently loved him some wafer cookies.


Photos by Eric Murphy, Piscean Dreams Photography.
My kiddo doing air guitar, his “girlfriend,” Erin, Baby Daddy hamming it up with our friend Kyle and goofing my kiddo’s best buddy, me and my beautiful kitty, and my good friend Tana Marie and me…”We’re getting married bitches!”


Photos by me and pic of my mom’s ofrenda by Eric Murphy, Piscean Dreams Photography.
My mom’s special ofrenda with one of Papery Nook’s beautiful luminaries Sara created for my mom’s memorial.


Photos by Eric Murphy, Piscean Dreams Photography.
With friends and family.


Photos by Eric Murphy, Piscean Dreams Photography (photo of zombie sugar skull, and novios by me).
Remaining decor. I love my Day of the Dead Tree (ornaments and garland made by me) and my vintage velvet sombreros.

Well, I’m off to feed my kiddo. I hope you all have a great night!

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Monday’s Finding: DIY: Creating a fabulous candy buffet and sweets table

How was your weekend all? I didn’t get the jump on spring cleaning like I’d planned, but I did get lots of much needed rest. My kiddo had his first sleepover at his best buddy’s house and it was a great success. Much love and thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Buddy for taking great care of my munchkin. He had a blast!

Speaking of my munchkin, he is very hip to the whole candy/sweets buffet thing. Mr. Wondermous and me had a Mexican sweets themed bar at our Dia de los Muertos themed engagement party and kiddo wants to make sure we have one at mine and Mr. Wondermous’ wedding. We’re giving it some thought as to how we can make it fit in to our Jane Austen inspired English Garden theme. Here’s a pic of the Mexican candy bar we put together for our engagement party:

Photo by Eric Murphy of Piscean Dreams Photography. Buffet and printables designed by moi.

If you are considering a sweets table or candy buffet, there are many businesses popping up that specialize in creating them. If you have the budget for a pro, go for it! They have the resources to help you find some of those hard to find nostalgic candies, already have a variety of display items, free up the time it would take for you or a relative/friend to set up, as well as create a magnificent display for your event. Here’s a sample of my personal faves created by pros:

Flatbed Bar: By Heather of WhipperBerry blog: http://www.austinweddingblog.com/2010/10/vintage-dessert-table-truck.html#

Sweets Bars

But what do you do when the budget isn’t there for a sweets table pro? Well, my first suggestion is to utilize the books and blogs of sweets table pro Amy Atlas:
http://amyatlas.com/
http://blog.amyatlas.com/
Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas
My other favorite source for sweets table inspiration, is the blog, Hostess With the Mostess. Jenn Sbranti features great sweets table inspiration from many of the industry’s pros. Both of these talented ladies provide oodles of inspiration and printables (many are free) to help you on your way to creating a DIY sweets table or candy buffet sure to wow your guests. Finally, don’t forget about Martha Stewart’s Martha Stewart Weddings. A search for sweets tables produced 60 hits full of sweets table goodness, including this feature on sweets tables from real weddings: Dessert Tables From Real Weddings.

Next, determine your theme and color scheme. Think in terms of colors (pick at least two) and steer clear of overused themes often available in party ware. Here is a great example of a great theme and color palette for a fabulous baby shower where the mother was expecting in December. I love the use of the advent bunting!

Designed by: Laure of Sweet Girly Mommy and Jelena, founder of Baby S Event. Source: http://blowoutparty.com/blog/2010/12/fabulous-christmas-themed-baby-shower/

Once you’ve determined which direction you are headed in terms of theme and color, it’s time to source your sweets and candy. Refrain from going from grocery store to grocery store or to expensive mall candy shops to fill up your candy jars. There are great sources for candy right at your fingertips via the good ol’ Internet. My go to site is Candy Warehouse. I’m all about efficiency and quality and you’ll definitely find that with Candy Warehouse’s Candy Buffet Builder where you pick your colors or occasion and are then provided with candy recommendations based on your info. Another great site is Chic Candy Buffet. In addition, party stores like Party City are becoming hip to the sweets table trend and are carrying color coordinated candy.

How much candy and/or treats will you need? A sweets table is designed to be a treat, not the main event. The standard is 2-3 ounces of candy per person. So, using that number purchase your candy accordingly and make sure that your bags, favor boxes, etc. only hold about 3 ounces. As for other sweet delights, 1 – 2 per person should be plenty. Here are some examples of my Candy Warehouse search for purple and pink candy:

Pink and Purple Candy

If you are doing a candy and sweets combo or just sweets, think of using your cake as a central part of your display. Find a cool cake stand with which to showcase it on. If you are serving cupcakes or cake pops, there are some great display options on sites like Etsy as well as your local restaurant supply store and cake decorating sections of your local party store. Consider what you and your fiance’s, birthday boy or girl, honoree, etc. favorite cookies, cake, and pies are. Will you feature full size desserts or minis? Will you make them from scratch or purchase from a store or bakery?

Finally, search for glass containers, silver bowls, wooden bowls, cupcake tree, cake stand, etc. to create your display. I have noticed places like Target carrying a wider variety of clear glass showy containers and dessert display items in their home section as well as places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. In addition, there is Sav On Crafts, for their affordable apothecary jars, candy bowls, cake stands, etc. and one of my go to sources for just about everything event and wedding related. My favorite source: thrift stores. You can find some amazing containers and platters, especially for a vintage or shabby chic themed event. Use boxes under a table cover for creating variation in height and more interest in your display. Consider adding a few theme related props like bunting, ceramic figures, paper cut outs, flowers, etc. Have fun with it and be sure to practice setting it up before the big event. When you get it like you want it, take a picture for reference so that you aren’t rushing around trying to remember what your ultimate display looked like.

Have fun with creating your sugar laden masterpiece and enjoy the smiles of your guests as they fill their bags or boxes from your table with wonder. This is one party and wedding trend that’s here to stay! I leave you with some great DIY sweets tables to inspire confidence and creativity when creating your very own sweets table.

DIY sweets tables

Tips or Trends Tuesday: Tip: I’m Engaged! Wediquette

From the moment you got engaged, you went immediately to Facebook and Twitter to share your news with the masses. You changed your relationship status on Facebook in less than an hour and wrote a note to let folks know all of the details of your proposal. Then, you tweeted via Instagram a pic of your beautiful engagement ring. Hold the phone! Or, in this case, hold the keyboard!

Before shouting from the rooftops, take a step back and think of who you have or have not notified about your changed status. How would your parents or bestie feel about hearing the joyous news in an impersonal status message? Methinks it would be a bit disheartening for them and in all honesty, a bit hurtful too. Such news requires the personal touch. If your parents and loved ones are close by, see if you can stop by to give them the happy news. If not, pick up the phone and tell them with your own voice. On this occasion, texts, tweets, or status updates will not do!

Once those closest to you are informed, then announce it to the rest of the world. Tweet away! Create a wedding website. For a taste of nostalgia, send out formal engagement announcements if you’d like. Never, ever, ever, announce such momentous news in any sort of digital or online method until all of the parents, siblings, closest friends, etc. have had that personal visit or phone call. Weddings are a time when emotions are heightened and even what may seem like a little oversight can become a source of strife. Believe me, such an impersonal announcement can rock the boat and put you in a very awkward position.

If you are recently engaged, I wish you the best and much happiness!

Below is a board of a few of my favorite engagement announcement ideas:
Origami announcement, Candyland electronic announcement (a very cool online announcement that chronicles the events leading up to the engagement of the couple, heart cake: fun way to announce an engagement at a family event or party, tying the knot card, fingerprint hearts, stick figure announcement (by http://jfphotography.deviantart.com), have custom wraps done for Hershey bars and bring them to a family/friend event, have your photographer snap a shot of you and your fiancee with signs: “I put a ring on it” and “I said Yes!”, put together or commission a comic strip or book of your lives together leading up to your engagement.

Engagment Announcements

Monday’s Finding: For the Love of Burlap

I have a confession to make, I’ve had a love for burlap since I was a kid and that it’s trending in the wedding world makes me all giddy and stuff. I search for amazing burlap DIYs, beautiful burlap tablescapes, burlap favors, burlap bouquets, etc. It’s become an obsession and one only need check out my Pinterest board, “My Wedding Inspiration” to see it. Speaking of Pinterest, if you are on it, please follow me and I will follow you back.

Anyhoo, today’s Monday’s Finding is all about my love of burlap. Here are some beautiful ways to incorporate this great fabric and it’s variety of textures in to your decor be it a wedding or another social event.

Monday's Finding- Burlap

Theme Thursday- My Dia de los Muertos Engagement/Birthday Party pt. 2

Here is my inspiration board for the party. I want bright colors, a community ofrenda (each person brings something for it), and if people want they can wear calavera makeup (I might have someone there to do it). After the board for the party are other boards I have done in the past with a similar theme.

Copper Charger | Decorative Accessories
$129 – bassettfurniture.com

Calla leaf jewelry
torontolife.com

Red Devil Sugar Skull
autumnpress.com

Rodrigvitz Style:
rodrigvitzstyle.typepad.com

Big Fat Indian Wedding: Flower Decoration
thebigfatindianwedding.blogspot.com

Parties by Kristen
partiesbykristen.blogspot.com

Holiday Bread
mexibread.com

Wedding Inspirations: Aqua, Gray, Yellow
weddinginspirationblog.blogspot.com

Tarantula Azul
chilledmagazine.com

Theme Thursday- My Dia de los Muertos Engagement/Birthday Party pt. 1

For today’s Theme Thursday, I thought I would share with you what the theme for my engagement party (also my birthday) will be. Growing up in San Diego was such a blast and one of my favorite things other than the ocean is Dia de los Muertos. Dia de los Muertos (in English: Day of the Dead) is a holiday that if you aren’t familiar with it can seem a little odd. You see, in the Mexican culture, death is not something to be feared, but considered to be a part of life. Every year from October 31st – November 3rd we are reminded to celebrate our ancestors and deceased loved ones. For those who celebrate it, an ofrenda (altar) is typically set up in a family’s home that honors their beloved dead. Bright colors are used to express the joy of knowing that our deceased loved ones come to visit us during this time of year. It is not a somber celebration of death, but a celebration of joy, knowing that we will see our dead ones again.

Many of you know that my mother passed away on March 30th. I was very close to her and she was much more than my mother, she was my best friend, my confidante, and my heart. Losing her has really thrown my whole engagement and thoughts surrounding it in to a tail spin. There are many times where I just sit and cry, get angry (especially with the Mother’s Day commercials), and have struggled when I think about the best way to honor her. My fiance and I have held off for an engagement party so that we can have time to grieve and move on from a place of such sadness. My mother loved Dia de los Muertos and my birthday is in October (my mom always went all out with birthdays), so we thought a fitting tribute would be to celebrate our engagement with a colorful Dia de los Muertos theme.

Today I want to share with those who are experiencing the loss of a loved one, a different way in which to handle death and the feelings of loss. It’s appropriate to mourn for a significant period and those feelings will never go away totally and completely. However, I would ask that you maybe consider taking a little bit of the Dia de los Muertos spirit with you to remind you (and me) that in death we can look to the happiness we had with those we loved and celebrate it.

First we have an Etsy treasury I created from items we are getting for our celebration. My dress will be in the style picture, but instead of a check pattern, it will be accented with sugar skull fabric. My favorite has to be the papel picado made by Amy Mujer (she was featured in Bride’s magazine a month or two ago).

‘Engagement Party Stuff’ by ravengrrl

This is just a list of things I want for my engagement/birthday party not meant to be artistic.


Frida’s Flowers…

$12.00

Day of the Dead Wed…

$48.00

Day of the Dead Sug…

$30.00

Miss Skeleton Butte…

$36.00

Vintage Skeleton Wi…

$12.00

Rockabilly checkere…

$120.00

Day of the Dead- Al…

$9.00

Black and Red Skull…

$4.00

TILL DEATH Custom C…

$23.00

Day of the Dead – M…

$20.00

Paint it Yourself S…

$4.50

Old fashioned Hallo…

$2.00

PDF (.pdf) Original…

$4.00

Your Pick… 20 pom…

$66.00

Blank Greeting Card…

$5.00

Color Me Happy Set …

$1.59

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

Stay tuned for part two later on today.

Theme Thursday: Hobbit

With the first installment of the The Hobbit due to begin filming at the end of the month, this Tolkien fan thought it would be fun to put together and inspiration board based on the book and the aesthetic of Hobbiton present in the Lord of the Rings films. This theme can be used for everything from a housewarming party to a wedding. My personal favorite of this set is the little terrariums in the apothecary jars.