Sunday, March 29, 2009

Black + Yellow Invites :: Dolce Press

This black + yellow invite set from Dolce Press is perfect for the bride looking to add a taste of Pittsburgh to her wedding. I mean, how cute is this reply card with the little characters for meal selections?! Totally original and very cute in my opinion! I found Dolce Press via Twitter and am sure glad I did...they specialize in letterpress stationery, a very hot trend in weddings right now! Check out their website to view all of the amazing items that they offer.

Photo courtesy of Dolce Press :: Fifth Avenue Invitation Set

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Stylish Wedding Ideas :: Estilo Weddings

I recently stumbled upon Estilo Weddings, an online store specializing in creative + stylish wedding merchandise. After a bit of browsing, I fell in love with so many of the items that they offer. You can find everything from ring pillows (pictured above) to favors, and even cupcake wrappers. Be sure to check out their collection of eco-friendly wedding items as well!

Photo courtesy of Estilo Weddings :: Dusty Pink Ring Pillow :: $59.95

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jo-Ann Fabrics 50% off Coupon

Use this coupon online at Jo-Ann Fabrics to receive 50% off any one regular-priced item. Check out their expanded wedding collection here....a must see for any DIY bride!

New Venue :: The Mansion at Maple Heights

Incase you haven't heard, there is an amazing new venue here in the Pittsburgh area. The venue is called The Mansion at Maple Heights and is located near the Shadyside/Squirrel Hill area. Pictured above is an example of how one room in the mansion can be decorated. I have yet to visit the mansion in person, but have a tour scheduled in the near future. After I visit, I'll be sharing more pictures and information about the mansion in our 'Venue Spotlight' blog series. In the mean time, you can check out their website here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

DIY Ribbon Vases

Found this creative idea for DIY ribbon vases from Martha Stewart Weddings. These vases are easy to make and would be the perfect project for a bridal shower or outdoor wedding.

"Bring varied, commonplace cylinder vases into beautiful harmony with an easy ribbon treatment. Choose ribbons in various widths and colors that match your palette, in satin, grosgrain, or both. Cut the ribbons 1/2 inch longer than the circumference of the vase. Wrap around vase, side by side or layered, using double-sided tape to secure."

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings.

DIY Wedding Cake

I recently found this great 'how-to' video on making your own wedding cake from one of my daily blog reads, The Wedding Cabaret. As soon as I saw it, I realized I had to share it with our readers as well!

This 'how-to' video is about 10 minutes long, and is packed full with helpful tips on how to make your own wedding cake. This is a great idea for the DIY bride, or for the bride looking to save some $$. Enjoy!

Video courtesy of YouTube - REALMEALS.TV: DIY Wedding Cake

Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Aid Wedding Favors

Ok, cute are these bandages from Creative Bride?! An adhesive bandage is an essential item for your wedding day, so why not carry them in style? Include these with your bridesmaid gifts and carry a pack with you in your clutch. You never know when an unexpected blister will appear from those adorable Jimmy Choo's! For tips on how to keep your feet "happy" on your wedding day, check out our blog post here.

Photo courtesy of Creative Bride :: "Hugs & Kisses from Mr. & Mrs." Bandages :: $2.29

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring!

Well, we made it through another winter up here in Pittsburgh! Wedding season is now officially upon us...birds are chirping, children are outside playing, and the sun is shining. Enjoy the day, and happy spring! :)

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Creative Custom Cardboxes

If you're looking for a unique + personalized cardbox to display at your reception, then you will definitely want to check out Creative Custom Cardboxes. Most of my brides know by now, that I am a big advocate of personalizing wedding day design + decor elements...and yes, that includes your cardbox! Quite a few of my past brides have opted to hand make their cardbox and they've turned out absolutely divine! However, if you don't have the free time to do so yourself, you may want to consider talking with Marni Gold (the brain behind these cardboxes) about what you envision your cardbox looking like. She'd be happy to customize a cardbox for you and then ship it directly to your front door! Check out her website and blog for more information and head on over to Budget Bride's Blog for a chance to win one of these adorable cardboxes!

Photo courtesy of Creative Custom Cardboxes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Formal Table Setting Guide :: Emily Post

Most brides will never even have to worry with setting a formal place setting at their reception; however, I wanted to share this table setting guide from The Emily Post Institute in the event that you and your husband-to-be plan to use that new china you registered for and entertain guests after the wedding. Therefore, if you're unsure on how to set a formal place setting, now you'll know! :)

"The one rule for a formal table is for everything to be geometrically spaced: the centerpiece at the exact center; the place settings at equal distances; and the utensils balanced. Beyond these placements, you can vary flower arrangements and decorations as you like.

The placement of utensils is guided by the menu, the idea being that you use utensils in an “outside in” order. For the illustrated place setting here, the order of the menu is:

Appetizer: Shellfish
First Course: Soup or fruit
Fish Course

A. Service Plate: This large plate, also called a charger, serves as an underplate for the plate holding the first course, which will be brought to the table. When the first course is cleared, the service plate remains until the plate holding the entrée is served, at which point the two plates are exchanged. The charger may serve as the underplate for several courses which precede the entrée.

B. Butter plate: The small butter plate is placed above the forks at the left of the place setting.

C. Dinner fork: The largest of the forks, also called the place fork, it is placed on the left of the plate. Other smaller forks for other courses are arranged to the left or right of the dinner fork, according to when they will be used.

D. Fish fork: If there is a fish course, this small fork is placed farthest to the left of the dinner fork because it is the first fork used.

E. Salad fork: If salad is served after the entrée, the small salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the forks would be arranged (left to right): salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork.

F. Dinner knife: The large dinner knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate.

G. Fish knife: The specially shaped fish knife goes to the right of the dinner knife.

H. Salad knife: (Note: there is no salad knife in the illustration.) If used, according to the above menu, it would be placed to the left of the dinner knife, next to the dinner plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the knives would be arranged (left to right):dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife.

I. Soup spoon or fruit spoon: If soup or fruit is served as a first course, then the accompanying spoon goes to the right of the knives.

J. Oyster fork: If shellfish are to be served, the oyster fork is set to the right of the spoons. Note: It is the only fork ever placed on the right of the plate.

K. Butter knife: This small spreader is paced diagonally on top of the butter plate, handle on the right and blade down.

L. Glasses: These can number up to five and are placed so that the smaller ones are in front. The water goblet (la) is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right goes a champagne flute (lb); In front of these are placed a red (lc) and/or white (ld) wine glass and a sherry glass (le)

M. Napkin: The napkin is placed on top of the charger (if one is used) or in the space for the plate.

In general:

Knife blades are always placed with the cutting edge toward the plate.

No more than three of any implement is ever placed on the table, except when an oyster fork is used in addition to three other forks. If more than three courses are served before dessert, then the utensil for the fourth course is brought in with the food; likewise the salad fork and knife may be brought in when the salad course is served.

Dessert spoons and forks are brought in on the dessert plate just before dessert is served."

Content and photo courtesy of The Emily Post Institute.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Etsy Find: Wedding Direction Signs

I've always been a huge fan of Etsy, but lately I think I have a small obsession with it! I absolutely adore these hand painted wedding direction signs for outdoor weddings. Not only are these signs cute + creative, but also very helpful when your guests are making their way through your venue. The seller, Funkifolkart also makes personalized direction signs that include bride + groom names along with wedding dates. Check out all of her items for sale, here.

Photo courtesy of Etsy :: Wedding Direction Sign :: $29.99

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Library Member on Elizabeth Anne Designs

This afternoon while I was browsing through one of my favorite blogs, Elizabeth Anne Designs, I realized that we had been added as a Library Member. We are thrilled to be listed as a vendor in the EAD Library! If you are unfamiliar with Elizabeth Anne Designs, make sure to check out their blog, as it is filled with some of the best wedding inspiration you will find online, hands down!

Postage Increase Effective May 11th

Effective May 11, 2009, the price of mailing a standard 1oz. envelope via First-Class mail will increase from 42 cents to 44 cents. In addition, the price of mailing a 2oz. envelope will increase from 59 cents to 61 cents. The 2oz. mailing category is what most wedding invitations fall into. To accommodate the heavier weight of an invitation, the USPS is issuing a 61 cent 3-tier wedding cake stamp, which can be seen here.

With that being said, never try to "guess" your postage amount for your wedding invitation. Always take a completely packaged invitation to the post office to be weighed for an accurate postage amount.

One final note, please pay close attention to this increase if your RSVP date falls around May 11th. When attaching postage to your RSVP envelopes, do not take any chances - place a "Forever Stamp" on each envelope to cover yourself. This way, you will be certain to receive all of your RSVP's.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Planning Workshops Coming to Pittsburgh

I frequently get asked planning related questions from brides all over the country, mostly from blog readers who don't have planners, but just want a little advice here and there. So, after putting some thought into these questions that brides are asking, I've decided to expand Simply Perfect Weddings and host a series of workshops for brides-to-be here in the Pittsburgh area. Given our current economic state, we understand that wallets are tight these days, and let’s face it, hiring a wedding planner is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing! Workshops will be open to any bride that is feeling overwhelmed and has no idea of where to begin in the wedding planning process!

The workshops will be approximately 2 hours in length (held monthly) and will focus on the beginning stages of wedding planning. The workshop will include a variety of topics including:
  • The planning timeline
  • Organization
  • Budget
  • Vendor selection (including local recommendations)
  • Choosing a color scheme
  • Etiquette
  • And more!

At the end of the workshop there will be an open 'Q & A' session that will allow brides to "pick our brains" on a variety of topics. We are currently finalizing all of the details, including dates & locations; however, the purpose of this blog is to gain an insight on how many brides would be interested in this type of service. If this is something you would be interested in, please feel free to comment below or email me directly at:

We would love to hear from you and are welcome to any suggestions that you may have regarding these workshops!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Etsy Find: Thank You Signs

So, I'm sure many of you have seen the popular "thank you signs" that couples pose with in a photo and then print on their thank you notes after the wedding. Well, last night one of my summer brides was asking me how she can get one of these for her wedding. We talked about making one, but then soon realized that it's probably way more trouble than it's worth. So, this afternoon I found this adorable thank you sign on Etsy for only $14.00. Not bad for a hand written calligraphy sign that is sure to put a smile on your guests' faces when they open up their thank you note!

Photo courtesy of Etsy :: 'Thank You' Calligraphy 14' x 18' Sign :: $14.00

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ask the Planner: Help with choosing the right size limousine

Our second question in our "Ask the Planner" series comes from a friend of mine in North Carolina regarding the size of limousine she should reserve for her wedding day. I felt the need to feature her question as I feel that it's a common question that many brides often ponder in this stage of the planning. Here is her question and my response:

Question: "I have a bridal party (including my fiance and I) of 10 and have no idea what size limousine to reserve. Can you help me out with some advice?"

Answer: I'm so glad you thought to ask what size limo you should be getting! So many people think that if they have 10 people in their party, that they should reserve a 10-passenger limo and be done with it. That is actually not the case at all. A 10-passenger limo is not made to hold 10 adults...deceiving, isn't it? While a 10-passenger limo may be alright if you're trying to save money on a bachelorette party for 10 girls, it's not alright for a wedding. One major thing to account for is the bride's gown...I typically tell my brides to allocate two seats for the bride, and to think about the size of the people in your bridal party. Is your soon-to-be husband an ex-college football player or basketball star? What about his groomsmen? You don't want to have everyone sitting on top of one another dressed in gowns and me, it's not fun on an 80 degree day in the middle of summer! I typically like to add an additional 2-4 seats depending upon your bridal the very least, a 12-passenger limo would suffice; however, a 14 passenger is what I would recommend for a 10 person bridal party.

If you have a specific question you would like us to answer & feature on our blog, email me at the following address:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Is it spring yet?!

As I was looking for some flower inspiration for a bride this morning, I stumbled upon this gorgeous pink + green bouquet that just reminds me of spring. This hand-tied bouquet includes peonies, roses, ranunculus, and hydrangeas for the perfect balance of spring time color!

Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Family Established Signs

One of my awesome fall '09 brides recently told me about this adorable family established sign that she ordered from Custom Doodles, and I immediately knew I had to blog about these! I mean, how perfect are these wooden signs for a newly married couple coming home from their honeymoon?! Choose from a variety of colors and fonts and hang your family established sign over your front door! Custom Doodles offers a wide range of products ranging from seasonal/holiday signs to picture frames. Check out their website to see all of the products that they offer.

Photo courtesy of Custom Doodles :: Sample 2 Family Est. Sign :: $25.00 + shipping