Monday, April 27, 2009

Sundance Jewels

Have you seen Sundance Catalog? I eagerly await it's arrival, specifically for their amazing jewelry selection. So many gorgeous pieces, many that make perfect bridesmaid gifts. Truthfully, if I had known about this place before my own big day, I would have gone crazy with accessory purchases. 
Take a look at my current faves:
{Water Drops Earrings, $48 right here. }
{Lyrical Ruby Earrings, $120 here. }
{ Peruvian Pear Earrings, $58.00 right here. }

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lindsey + Brandon

I recently finished up some Save the Date cards for the cutest bride! Lindsey and Brandon will be tying the knot in the fall, and the bride-to-be wanted to incorporate some rustic charm with a monogram that was designed by a close friend.
In addition to some beautiful, swirly typography, Lindsey is working with a beautiful palate of greens and browns. Here's a sampling of the Save the Date card:
A few tips for any bride considering sending out Save the Dates:
• Plan on sending Save the Dates anywhere from 6-9 months in advance. Allot more time if you are having a destination wedding. Guests will need to book flights and hotels and schedule vacation days well in advance.
• Consider creating a wedding website and listing it on your Save the Date cards. (I omitted Lindsey & Brandon's to respect their privacy on this blog). There are loads of free site builders available, and if you want something super duper, consider ordering a custom site from my pal, Ryan Brannen
A wedding website is a great way to share important information with guests. In addition to the obvious, (photos, ceremony and reception information) a wedding website is a sneaky, yet acceptable way of sharing your registry information. You'll also want to list hotel information, directions or a general area map, as well as fun things to do for out-of-town guests.
• Unlike Wedding Invitations, Save the Dates can be more light hearted or casual. You may take this opportunity to do something to show your silly side, which is entirely OK. Many brides also use the Save the Date as a starting point to establish the look of the entire wedding. Also OK. 
While Save the Date cards are by no means necessary to send, they do serve a purpose. And they are a perfect excuse to start early on your wedding stationery, which is always a winning argument in my book.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lovely Ruffles

My mom would likely freak out if she knew I was writing about pretty ruffles. Because I am, ahem, NOT that girl. But lately I'm all about unstructured ruffly goodness that looks more sculptural than frou-frou. Take a look:
{J. Crew Tulle cascade wedding gown, $1,500 right here }
{Ruffle Pillow in Pink and Smoke from Pier 1 Imports. }
{ Satin-faced silk organza tablecloth, David Stark Design and Production }
PS - have you taken a peek at David Stark's blog? Eye candy times infinity. Plus one.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Baby Brody

It's always exciting when one of my brides has a baby. Even more so when she calls me to do her Birth Announcements! This little guy is Farrah and Andy's new little bundle of joy, and boy is he cute! These announcements were printed on textured linen stock, which gives them an ultra sophisticated look. In addition to having the return addresses printed on the envelopes, I can provide full service options - including printing the recipient addresses, applying postage and sending them out on your behalf. I don't have kids yet, but I know new mom's tend to be a bit frazzled and exhausted. Having someone take care of the announcements from start to finish is definitely a stress reliever and I'm happy to provide this service. If you want more information, just shoot me an email: info{at}
My full line of Kelly Ashworth Design Photo Birth Announcements can be found right here. Lots of fun styles, with options to customize with your own photo, colors and text. 
Welcome, baby Brody!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Birds & The Bees Baby Shower

I recently had the opportunity to design another display table at Bright Event Gallery, which is always an exciting endeavor. I am endlessly grateful to the Bright Girls for allowing me to bring my tablescape dreams to life.
With the assistance of some other fab Bright vendors, we created a baby shower vignette that revolved around 'The Birds and the Bees'. Vibrant citrus colors, a combination of modern and traditional elements and lots of economical choices helped to make this design a success.
Take a look:
Love the gorgeous shimmery linen from Tri Rentals' specialty line. It's even prettier up close. And check out the hot green dress and suit in the background. The dress is from Twirl (are you reading their blog? Loads of great tips, ladies. I'm going to hire Keri as my own personal Spanx shopper) and the suit is courtesy of Mr. Formal. This is the beauty of a Bright Event Gallery display table - not only will they show you great ideas for table dressing, they'll also provide some stellar ideas on how to dress yourself!
Notice the fun citrus-y hanging lanterns? Walmart, people! Cheap chic. They look fantastic hanging from the ceiling or they'd be great bunched together on a buffet table.
Carnations are back! Not only are they incredibly affordable, look how cool they look in monochromatic bunches. The Flower Studio designed these gorgeous groupings with just the right dose of green grass. 
I found this fabulous paisley scrapbook paper at Michael's and created a mat for the table name. Then popped it all in this IKEA frame
Favor bags hung from the back of each chair. 
I still can't get over these cupcakes from Julia Baker Confections. Amazingly cute, not to mention scrumptious. If you're throwing a shower and want to save $$ on favors, just serve these cupcakes for dessert. Your guests will swoon, guaranteed.
Menu cards designed and assembled by yours truly. 
Cute porcelain bird salt and pepper shakers from Pier 1 add a fun sculptural element and reinforces the theme without hitting you over the head.
Another great Pier 1 find, and on clearance no less! These dainty glasses complemented some of the more modern elements on the table. And who doesn't love a fancy straw?
To complete the look, I took the leftover scrapbook paper and created some belly bands for the napkins that doubled as place cards. 
Special thanks to Jennifer Bowen for these fantastic photos. Have you seen her work? She's AMAZING! I was lucky enough to have her contribute some baby images for my new line of Birth Announcements. She rocks. Call her. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Music for your First Dance

When planning our wedding, one of the aspects I enjoyed most was selecting a song for our first dance. My husband and I love to have a few glasses of wine and search for songs on iTunes, (Warning: imbibing whilst searching for music may result in inadvertent Will Smith downloads) so for us choosing music was great fun.

However, I know for some brides this can be a difficult task. Many couples may already have a "song", but you need to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is it appropriate? If your song includes lyrics about having intercourse, I would say to move on and find something else. Immediately.
2. How long or short is the song? Do a test and dance to the song at home. If it's over in 30 seconds, or if after 4 minutes you're still dancing, keep looking.
3. Does the DJ have the song? This may sound stupid, but I actually ran into this at my own wedding. Because I was planning from Arizona for a wedding in Michigan, I did not have the chance to meet many of my vendors until the actual wedding day. I filled out the DJ's questionnaire and promptly returned it to him, assuming that all was well and my selections were available. Wrong. My DJ phoned the night of our rehearsal dinner to say that he didn't have the song for our first dance, and we'd either have to select something else or bring him a disc. I realize now that my choice in DJ was probably not the best, but it's worth mentioning so you don't run into the same thing at the last minute.
If you're still stumped, a sure fire way to find a great song is to look to The Standards. Standards, or music from the Great American Songbook, include music written between the 1920's and '60's and is most often associated with Jazz, Broadway and Hollywood musicals. If you go to Amazon and search for "standards", you'll find a slew of options. You can also search for the songwriters themselves, including Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart to name a few. You'll likely recognize the songs instantly. I'm listing some of my personal favorites here:
Songs for Swingin' Lovers! $13.99 right here.
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook, Vol. 2, $14.98 right here.
The Original Great American Songbook, $13.98 right  here.
So grab your favorite adult beverage and enjoy! But please avoid any selections from "Big Willie Style". I assume that goes without saying, but you just never know.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Go Green!!!

I'm posting this dress not because it is extremely stylish (which it is) but more so because of its lovely shade of green. Much like the green worn by the Michigan State University Spartans. If you haven't heard, they'll be playing in the NCAA Championship game this evening. If I were in Detroit to witness the spectacle, I'd like to think I'd fit right in wearing this gorgeous green number from JCrew's wedding collection. But then I'd realize it's a basketball game, not a wedding. So if you are in a wedding or attending a wedding, consider this lovely shade. Going green has never been more gorgeous. GO STATE!!!!
{ Silk chiffon Juliet dress, $180 right here. }

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The B List Dilemma

One of the most contentious issues brides will face when planning their wedding is, without a doubt, putting together a guest list. Everyone will have a list of people they absolutely MUST invite...until you realize your intimate garden ceremony has just ballooned into a 400 person gala because your future mother-in-law just had to invite her book club, co-workers and orthodontist.

Many brides try to solve this problem by creating what they call an "A" and "B" list. The basic theory is that you send out invitations to your A-listers and as the responses come in and people respond in the negative, you're good to send out an invitation to someone on your "B" list. This way you can still plan to invite loads of people and everyone is happy, right? 
Unless you are a meticulous planner and have lots of time on your hands, please think twice before treading down this unpredictable path. I do anything I can to encourage my clients to stick with one list. For several reasons:
• You risk hurt feelings by doing a standby list. Guests who receive an invitation two weeks before the big day will likely know they weren't at the forefront of your mind when you drew up your guest list. Don't make them feel as though they've been picked last in gym class. 
• You will go slightly insane trying to keep track of who has responded from the "A" list and who is next to get an invitation on your "B" list. It's taxing enough with just one list, trust me.
• It might be painful, but sticking with one list will save you money in the long run. You can expect anywhere from 10 to 20% of invited guests to send regrets (more for destination weddings) anyway, so consider combining your "A" and "B" lists. Do the math, does your final head count still look manageable?
• If time management isn't one of your strong suits, consider this bit of advice from ettiquette guru Anna Post: "If you must send out invitations in two stages, be discreet – guests must not ever know they weren't your first choice. Mail the first set a minimum of three months before the wedding, and give those guests at least four weeks to reply. Make sure the second set also has at least four weeks to RSVP; this could push your timetable considerably, so plan carefully." 
You will spend an inordinate amount of time planning your special day. Eliminating the "B" list dilemma can make the process much easier to manage. And you'll save money on Excedrin. Win win.