At Home Engagement Party

2 years ago this today, hubby and I celebrated our engagement by throwing a fabulous party with our closest family and friends. Traditionally, Indian engagement ceremonies can be large gathering (almost as big as a wedding!!). However, hubby and I opted for an intimate party instead.

We decided the best location would be his parents home. It’s a charming open concept one-story home that  was perfect for this special occasion.

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Chairs were covered with white chair covers and plum satin sashes. This was an extremely cost effective way to transform  plain black chairs into elegant seats for all our guests.

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The fireplace was the focal point for the entire party.

This area was later used as our backdrop for group pictures with the guests.

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We used beautiful aubergine vases from Z-Gallerie to display the large arrangements from a local florist.

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Since it was a brunch time affair, we had a coffee bar for the guests. I used olive oil dispensers for the creams and sugars. (As you can tell from my previous posts, we use these dispensers A LOT.)

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One of our signature details for any party: Bright, colored napkins.

Just mix solid with prints and you have a great way to add pops of color without breaking the bank.

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I come from a family of bakers, so when my cousins brought dessert, they did not disappoint! Check out all the fabulousness! The spread included oreo truffles, chai cupcakes, lemon bars, chocolate covered strawberries, dessert pizza and much more!

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 The lace wrapped labels were used on the dessert table. This was an easy DIY project.

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 All the desserts were displayed on a set of opulent treasures gold cake stands.

Not only were we full of delicious food, but our hearts were full from all the love that was showered on us by our family and friends 🙂

xoxo-  Fify

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DIY Hydrangea Wedding Bouquets

Anyone going through the wedding planning process knows that weddings are EXPENSIVE! One wedding project for any DIY bride is making Hydrangea wedding bouquets. We did this for my wedding and with a little research and some happy helpers, we successfully made beautiful and more importantly AFFORDABLE Hydrangea bouquets.

Another great thing about DIY’ing is that you can always learn from your experience so you can do better the next time!

A few lessons learned from my wedding:

1. Hydrangeas need A LOT OF WATER.  One bouquet slipped out of the water and wilted before the ceremony.

2. Start wrapping the outer ribbon from the bottom and work your way up. Other wise the pins will visible from the bottom.

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A few of the bouquets. Beautiful..but you can definitely notice the pins on the bottom.

For Christy’s wedding (you may remember her from the rustic bridal shower we blogged about a few weeks ago), I volunteered to make bouquets for her bridal party of 10. I tried my best to take pictures throughout the entire process, but we all know I’m not the best at that. I was able to take pictures of the important parts, so hopefully this will help you to make your own bouquets!

 For both weddings, I ordered White Hydrangeas from Sam’s Club. I ordered them for delivery on Thursday for a Saturday morning wedding. I received a shipping confirmation once they were shipped and they were delivered via Fed Ex Thursday morning. I would HIGHLY recommend having them delivered 2 days before your event. They will arrive dehydrated and will need some time to reach their full bloom.

And here is where I SHOULD insert a picture of how they arrived. Instead, a description will have to do. The hydrangeas will arrive in a long floral box. Each bloom will have a plastic sleeve around it. The stem will also have a small plastic bag with water attached to the bottom. Each box will come with more detailed care instructions, but basically, after removing the plastic bag on the end, we cut the bottom of each stem at an angle under running water. We then removed the protective sleeve from the stems and all the blooms were placed in a large bucket (we used 5 gallon buckets from the hardware store) filled with cool water mixed with flower food. Tarp and old cardboard boxes were used to protect the wood floors just in case there was any spillage.

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Here are the blooms in buckets as soon as they arrived. Not looking too pretty.

After the hydrangeas are in the water, you get to sit back and relax for the next 24 hours. (At least you get to relax about the flowers..because we all know weddings tend to be stressful). This will give the hydrangeas enough time to drink up the water and rehydrate. They drink A LOT of water, so check the water level every few hours to make sure you don’t run low.

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Here are the blooms after being in water for few hours. Already starting to perk up.

(We also ordered lavender roses to make boutonnieres and small arrangements for the rehearsal dinner. Blog post on DIY Boutonnieres coming soon!)

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The next morning..Much better!

Friday afternoon, we started the assembly process of the bouquets. They needed to be transported to the venue while in water and we didn’t want to take the chance of water ruining the ribbon. We decided to do half the assembly at home and the rest the morning of the wedding. I DO NOT, I repeat, I DO NOT recommend for a bride to do this the morning of her wedding. Please don’t do that to yourself..find a friend or family member that is willing to do this part. This should not be your worry the morning of your wedding. Okay, my rant is over..back to bouquets.

 The first step to assembly is to gather your supplies.

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 Floral Scissors, Ribbon, Floral Tape, Flower food and Pins.

We decided 3 blooms were the perfect size for the bouquet. We took 3 stems and wrapped them tightly with the green floral tape. We measured about 2 fists length to determine how much of the stem to wrap. As soon as that was done, we placed them back in the water immediately. DO NOT cut the stems to bouquet length at this point. We kept the stems long so they would fit in the buckets without damaging the blooms. We changed the water, added more flower food and let these beauties sit over night to stay hydrated and full.

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The morning of the wedding, we then transported all the bouquets to the wedding venue to complete the assembly. At this point, we (hubby wrapped while I photographed) wrapped the stem covered in green floral tape with ivory ribbon. We started from the bottom and worked our way up.

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Once the ribbon reached the top, we placed 2-3 pins to hold the ribbon in place. The pins were pointed downward into the stem to secure the ribbon without sticking out of the stem.

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 And you are done! Easy, right?

To make sure these were in water as long as humanly possible, we took the ribbon wrapped bouquets to the bridal room in the buckets. When the bridesmaids were all dressed and ready to walk out to take pre-ceremony pictures, hubby hand cut the stems of each bouquet with floral shears and handed them out.

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Still waiting on the professional pictures, but here are a few of the girls with their bouquets! I LOVE how they turned out!

The one thing I will have to say is that these things wilt QUICKLY without water. The flowers were handed out at 9:45am and by the end of the reception at 2:45pm, some were already looking pretty bad. In hindsight, it would have been a good idea to have small vases for the bridal party to place their bouquets in during the ceremony. But like I said, that’s the best part of DIY’ing..you can always learn a lesson for the next time!

These bouquets could have easily cost $80 EACH. But spending $70 in flowers and some additional costs for ribbon and other supplies, we were able to make 10 fabulous Hydrangea bouquets! Good luck to all the DIY brides!

                                                                                                                                                                                      – xoxo, Fify

Superhero Birthday Party!!

When I heard my sister-in-law was planning to rent out a local water park for my nephew’s 3rd birthday, I just KNEW I had to be there to celebrate with him. Hubby and I booked our tickets to Southern Illinois and were ready to enjoy a relaxing poolside party. Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans in mind – the forecast for the weekend was rain, rain and more rain. We entered PANIC MODE. With 60 people invited to this party and 3 days to go, we had to come up with a backup plan and fast. After a lot of phone calls to local venues and community centers, we came across a local gym that was available for the party.

First lets start with a few before pictures:

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It wasn’t exactly what we had in mind but rain or shine, this kid was going to have a fabulous party. His mom and I warped into extreme party planners and with some creativity, a few moon bounces and A LOT of balloons (almost 400), we were able to transform the gym into an amazing super hero soiree.

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The party was super hero themed. All the kiddos were asked to trade in their swim suits for the favorite super hero attire.  Since the birthday boy loves Spider-Man and Batman, the color scheme was blue, red and black with yellow accents. We decided that a large center table with a mix of giant balloons and balloon bouquets would be a perfect focal point.

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 Giant moon bounce obstacle courses were strategically placed in the back corners to cover the un-finished walls

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The birthday boy got a special seat at the head of the table with a giant gold 3 balloon.

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At the main table, each kid was welcomed with their own superhero cape (thank you dollar tree!) and a goodie bag with all sorts of superhero treats

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Hubby and I decided to bring some of our southern style to the Midwest with a spiderman pinata.  Even though it was an adventure bringing that on a plane all the way from Texas, it was worth it! The kids absolutely loved this!

IMG_9667The dessert table featured a custom made batman themed cake. Not only did it look awesome, but it tasted soooo good! Sis-in-law purchased a galvanized tub for sodas, water and juice boxes for the kids.

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As an extra treat, we had a popcorn bar on the dessert table. We were able to display the popcorn cartons on a 3-tiered galvanized stand (one of my FAVORITE new purchases).

panoIt may not have been the pool party we expected, but I can guarantee that the kiddos had a fabulous time at this fabulous superhero soiree! Hopefully we can avoid the rain next year  =)

                                                                                                                                                                             xoxo- Fify