Wedding Reception Decor

Wedding Reception Decor

When planning for your wedding reception, don’t forget the little items that will make each table a masterpiece.  Start with selecting your center pieces.  Many reception halls have the usual mirror and glass gems and hearts.  However if you are looking for a different look, place a floating candle in a cylindrical vase, add glass gems and fresh flowers.  After your reception, you can give the vases to your bridesmaids, mother, and mother-in-law as gifts.

If you have a formal reception, menu cards, place cards, and table numbers are important parts of your wedding reception decor.  Stick to a recurring theme or color to unify all of these cards.  The Magical Menu card, Place cards and Table numbers for example have a coordinated and elegant look.  You can even coordinate your wedding favors by using the same theme or color.  Favor seals and tags make it easy to unify every item on your reception tables.

Why Choose Wedding Invitations?

Why Choose Wedding Invitations?

Yellow Flowers

Hi, I’m Samantha the chief editor for  Welcome to my wedding blog.  When I was getting married, my soon to be grandmother-in-law a Carlson Craft Invitations dealer.  She introduced me to the wealth of invitations available in her catalog and I was impressed.  I ordered my invitations and was so happy with them that when she retired as a retailer, I took over for her.

Formal Menu Card

I believe in helping brides and grooms find the perfect reflection of themselves in their stationary. Wedding stationary sets the stage of your wedding for guests by reflecting your theme and style.  It is the first and last impression your guests with have of you both.  So while most brides and grooms do not have an unlimited budget, its our goal at to help you make the right impression.  We do not sacrifice quality for the sake of budget.  Your money can go farther with our invitations.

Dazzling Diamond

Many “budget” invitations offered by other sites sacrifice the quality of their paper and make you do the printing to save you money.  The result is less than stellar; basically, an invitation that looks like it was printed from an inkjet or laser printer.  At, we use high quality paper for all our invitations.  We also use thermography (raised print) to print your invitations.  However for the DIYers, you can print your own invitations on our quality paper by purchasing one of our DIY invitation kits.  Most of our invitations can be shipped to you in 24-48 hours and we also print in multiple languages.  If you have any other questions, visit our FAQs page or contact a representative.  So give us a try by ordering a sample invitation, you will be able to see and feel the quality we offer.

Borders of Calla Lilies – Ecru

Spring Wedding Inspirations

Are you uninspired for your wedding day decor? Or just overloaded with themes and ideas? If you just don’t know where to get it all pulled together, start at the beginning. Before planning your decor, make sure you have all the basics planned. These include:

  • Date
  • Place
  • Time of Day
  • Budget

Once you’ve gotten your basic planning together start to look for a theme that suits both of you. Think about what you enjoy together. Since Spring is just around the corner, get inspired by what this season means to you both. For example do you both love how nature seems to come alive again in a rush of colors? Or are you both excited by all the outdoor activities that are easier to do again like biking, and hiking?

Figure out some of your preferences and then start to infuse your decor with what you enjoy together. Keep some simplicity in your decor by not over selecting colors and styles. Try to keep to 2-3 colors and only 1 theme. Remember the time of day and the place your ceremony and reception will be held and keep your decor appropriate. Above all, stay within your set budget, this will help to eliminate some of the pressures that build up while wedding planning.

If you still can’t find some inspiration, try some of these ideas:

Let nature provide the decor with beautiful flowers and rolling hills. Contrast it with white or ecru colored china, table linens and small glass vases of local flowers. This simple garden ceremony is easy to create and won’t leave you stressed.

Get packed for adventure at a nearby camp site and make a weekend of fun. This can be Green themed or satisfy those who have cabin fever with hiking, sailing or biking. End the weekend with an outdoor wedding framed by tall trees and a celebratory picnic.

Engaging Engagement Rings

Engaging Engagement Rings


Choosing an engagement ring is difficult to do. If you are doing it alone, its even harder. So do some research before you shop. Besides figuring out how much you can afford, find out what your fiancee-to-be likes. Does she like platinum, white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold? What kind of stone does she like? Does she like vintage or newer rings? Does she like contemporary designs or eco-friendly rings. There’s alot you need to know if you are going on your own to find that special ring.

Before shopping and after you find out what her tastes are, do a little more research and become a mini expert in that style of ring.

Get the information you need on gold, platinum and silver jewelry.

Find out what you should know about diamonds by clicking here.

If your gal likes gemstones more, click here to get the 411 on gemstones, their meanings and cuts.

Check out some really beautiful vintage rings at these sites:


Sylvia’s Antique Jewelry

For contemporary rings check out these sites:

Blue Nile


And checkout these sites for ecofriendly engagement rings:

Brilliant Earth

San Diego for a Destination Wedding

Southern California, So Cal, is a great place for a destination wedding. With its sunny climate year round, beautiful scenery and variety of entertainment, San Diego is one of my favorite cities. On my recent trip to San Diego, I explored several great places for weddings and wedding photos.

Balboa Park is home to many theater houses, museums and so much more. Many local brides choose to get their wedding pictures taken before the fantastic architecture of the park. As I was walking through the park, I saw one very adventurous bride wearing her teal wedding gown getting her picture taken in the park. For those of you who are considering getting your picture taken there, I suggest that you go early to the park for your pictures. Also if you do go in the Spring, be aware that this is the rainy season for San Diego. You may need to have a back up plan in case of rain. For guests that you’ve invited for your special day, have them check out the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Timken Museum of Art. Guests wishing to see the natural history museum will need to pay for admission but this museum is well worth it and has many activities for children. The Timken features Russian iconography, American and old European masters. There is no admission fee. Parking in many places is also free.

Another great place to get married and get some fantastic pictures is at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park. This 1800 acre park is home to many animals including lions, tigers, rhinos, birds and more. Right now the park is featuring their newly born lion cubs with a special ticket price. Adults can purchase their tickets at the childrens’s price of $24 each and it includes going on the “Journey into Africa” tour. This pricing will end on March 14th 2008 so take advantage of this rate soon. This is the best animal park I have been through and offers a lot for visitors to see and do. It also is family friendly and will host weddings. Brides make sure you bring sun tan lotion, good walking shoes, and bottled water.

For anyone who is looking for a destination wedding and they want to stay in the country, San Diego is a great place to visit. So check out this city today for your destination wedding!

Great Gifts

Great Gifts

Whether you are looking for a Valentine’s Day gift, a birthday gift, a wedding gift or an attendant’s gift, these are all gifts that anybody would love to receive. Here are my picks for some great gifts for any occasion. For more gifts, click here.

frame.gif This sweet Silver Plated Heart Frame is a great gift for you to place a picture of yourself with those you love. This picture frame can be personalized. The cost is $21.90 for the frame and personalization is just $4.oo more.

grill.gif These great Grilling Tools are all you need to cook up some fun and summer memories. This set includes a spatula with bottle opener, serrated edge tongs and grilling fork. A handy carrying case with handle and strap make this a great gift for tail-gaters on the go. This grilling set is $35.90 and you can personalize the tongs of this set for $4.00 extra.

case.gif Do you know a gal who is always on the go? If so, she’ll love this Contemporary Travel Case. This case is great for keeping your jewelry and cosmetics safe as you travel with its roomy interior. The case also has a key ring for your keys. There are many different colors to choose from including some great Valentine’s Day colors hot pink, white, and apple red. Each case costs $21.90 and the silver oval shaped plate can be engraved for $4.00 more.

blankie.gif Get Cozy with this soft black Fleece Blanket. This is a must have for a romantic picnic or cuddling together by a fire. T his blanket comes with nylon straps so you can roll it up and take it with you anywhere. Each blanket costs $31.90 and can be personalized with your last name for $4.00.

pearl.jpg Make a wish with the Wish Pearl. Included in this set is an oyster containing a pearl that has been forming for 3-5 years and a pendant. Open your oyster and be the first person to see your pearl! Each pearl comes in a different color that will reveal your fortune. Each set costs $48.90.

clock.gif Keep forever in your pocket with this Pocket Watch. This watch features a push open lid, quartz movement, and a 12 inch fob chain. The cost is $65.90. The lid can be engraved with a 3 letter monogram for $4.00 extra.

candle.gif Share your love with these Love Votive candle holders. Fill these clear glass imprinted candle holders with your favorite scented candle to help set the mood. Each holder costs $5.50 each.

golf.gif You are sure to score a hole in one with these Personalized Golf Towels. Choose either a navy or white towel with a monogram or name for personalization. Each towel measures 16″ x 26″ and you can choose from 8 different colors for your thread choice. Towels cost $28.90 each.

box.gif Make an impression with this Filigree Jewelry Box. The cost is $34.90. The silver plated jewelry box can also be personalized for $4.00 more.

cuff.gif Get him ready for a special night out with these elegant silver Cuff Links. An ornate beaded design is featured on the edge of each cuff link and they can be engraved with one initial for $4.00. Each set costs $35.90.

compact.gif Show off her fashion sense with this contemporary Pink Compact. Its slim round design will fit into any size purse. Each compact costs $27.90.

Vintage Wedding Favors

Vintage Wedding Favors

If you are planning a truely vintage style wedding or if you are looking for some unique wedding favor ideas try some of these:

  1. favor-box.gif Cake boxes are small boxes that hold a piece of presliced cake or an individual cake that wedding guests in the early twentieth century would take home. You can make a cake boxes using a box like this one and decorating them with ribbon and flowers. Most cake boxes were inscribed with the initials of the newly weds.
  2. place-cards.gif Personalize your place cards by writing a personal note on the back to each of your guests, or by printing a recipe or poem.
  3. tins.gif bags.gif Give dried herbs in tins, bags, or jars with a card for how to use them as teas, or seasoning.
  4. Tie up flowers like a single rose, lily of the valley, lavender or orange blossom with sheer or satin ribbon or lace for a vintage look.

Vintage Wedding Invitations

Vintage Wedding Invitations

If you are planning a vintage style theme for your wedding, incorporate your theme into your wedding invitations. Vintage style wedding invitations are simple in design and they can vary in cost. These invitations are usually a single unfolded card, with a reception invitation and reply card. The card stock is usually ivory with a black embossed ink. Below are some examples of possible vintage style wedding invitations. To view more invitations click here.

Petite Ecru Folder $64.90 for 100 invitations


Traditional Ecru $70.90 for 100 invitations


Engraved Ecru Embossed Folder $380.00 for 100 invitations


5 Favorite Wedding Invitation Verses

A wedding invitation is your guest’s first chance to see your style and vision for your wedding. You can make a great impression upon your guests not only through the style, color and design of your invitation but also through your verse. Here are my ten favorite verses for invitations from our Carlson Craft Invitations page. You can also check out more verses we offer from Verse It by clicking here.

1. Shakespeare verse 1

Lace and flowers and vows to make,
A bride and groom and wedding cake,
One thing remains before “I do”
an invitation especially for you

2. Both parents inviting verse 12

We have experienced love . . .
in our parents, our families and friends
and now a new love in each other

3. Nature verse 4

A perfect shell is a gift from the sea
as beautiful and unique
as our love is meant to be

4. Fairytale verse 7

His love is the sunshine
that keeps me warm
To me, she’s the rainbow
after the storm
His love gave me wings
it has set me free
And wherever she is
that’s where I want to be
We invite you to be with us
as we begin our new life together

5. Hearts verse 4

Like a garden in the Spring
life is full of wonderful things.
Their eyes met and from the start
love was planted in their hearts.

What Are Wedding Invitation Seals For?

What Are Wedding Invitation Seals For?

Ok, you’re shopping for wedding invitations and you see at the bottom of your screen some other recommended products that you can buy. One of them is of course an invitation seal and you are thinking what is it for? Wedding invitation seals have several purposes.

The first purpose being to help you ensure your invitation makes it through the mail to your guests. We all love to get mail, (I think no one loves to get mail more than my husband who looks for it on Sundays), but everyone gets annoyed when an envelope arrives and it has been damaged and there is nothing in it. Wedding invitations run the risk of being damaged and losing their contents because they can come in unusual sizes and be bulky. Remember, you are sending a lot of important personal information when you mail an invitation and you want it to get to your guests. Invitation seals help to keep your envelopes sealed with all of your information inside of them.

Seals also serve a decorative purpose as well. If you have a very plain invitation, you can add some interest using invitation seals. These seals can be added onto an invitation or used on the envelope. Seals come in many shapes, sizes and colors. They are also inexpensive. So if you can’t afford that great invitation like this one.


You can create a similar effect with a less expensive invitation and an embossed seal like these.

border.gif seal.jpg

How to Choose a Wedding Invitation

If you are having difficulty choosing your wedding invitations, look no further here are some helpful hints to help you find the best invitation for your wedding day.

Stick to your budget! Wedding stationery is typically 4% of your wedding budget. For those of us who are not made of money, many places offer beautiful wedding invitations that will not break the bank. You can check out some great deals here if you are budget conscious.

Decide on your wedding’s style. This is usually reflected in your invitation especially if you are having a themed or destination wedding. Your invitation’s formality gives your guests a hint at how formal your wedding is and what it will be like. So choose something that reflects the style of your wedding.

Incorporate some of the colors for your wedding in your invitation. Many of your guests will bring their invitations because it will have the address for the ceremony and reception on it. An invitation that matches with the rest of the decor will look like it belongs in the room if it is in any photographs and it will not stick out.

Wedding Invitation Wording

Wedding Invitation Wording

When its time to order your invitations, you will need to know how to word your invitation. This can be really confusing if there are multiple parents involved in your wedding along with multiple enclosures. Keep your invitation simple and cut out the cost of postage by sending only the necessary enclosures such a RSVP with envelope. Any other information (ie. hotel and flight information for a destination wedding) can be conveyed by a wedding website. Listed below is a wording sample to help you make your own unique wording. More information can be found in Miss Manners on Painfully Proper Weddings by Judith Martin.


A general lay out of an invitation is as follows but there are many variations on this format. You can always change any of the sections to include multiple parents of the bride or add the parents of the groom after his name.

(Parents of the bride)

request the honor of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

(Bride’s name)


(Groom’s name)

on (date)

at (time)

(ceremony location)

with a reception to follow

(reception location)

Spring Wedding Flowers

Spring and early Summer are great times of year to get married because of the greater variety of flowers that are available locally. Here are some of our top choices for flowers that are beautiful and plentiful in the Spring.

Allium – Giant Allium is a purple, globe shaped flower with a long tall stalk. This flower should be placed in water 24 hours ahead of your wedding to help eliminate the onion odor these flowers naturally have.

Celosia – Available from May until September, this flower has a thick fleshy stalk with a compact head offering a burst of vibrant color.

Daffodils – These common Spring time flowers come in a variety of whites, yellows, peaches, and pinks. The bulbs can be forced to bloom and placed in containers for table decorations or cut and used in bouquets.

Gerbera Daisy – Gerbera Daisies are very vibrant large flowers that are great for use in informal weddings and they can last 2-3 weeks.

Iris – This Spring flower has long been associated with weddings because of its unusual shape and strength of color.

Lilies – Lilies are the most versatile of flowers because they can be used in corsages, arrangements, and bouquets. They also have very strong fragrances and are best combined with flowers that have no fragrance.

Lily of the Valley – These bell shaped flowers are in clusters along a single stalk and are naturally found blooming in May.

Peony – This lush and fragrant flower is usually available between May and June. Peonies are long lasting and a large flower with a diameter of about 6 inches.

Sweet pea – Most varieties of these flowers are available in the Spring and cultivated sweet peas have little to no scent.

Tulips – Naturally blooming in the Spring, Tulips come in many colors, shapes and sizes. However they need to be in water for them to last and they should not be mixed with Daffodils.

Waxflower – Available December through May, this flower is often used as a filler in bouquets.

Book Review – Wedding Planners That Really Plan.

Book Review – Wedding Planners That Really Plan.


Getting organized is one of the most important steps in planning your wedding. The best way to stay organized is to get a wedding planning book that will help you keep all of your lists and notes together. Easy Wedding Planning Plus by Elizabeth and Alex Lluch will help you to keep everything together and also gives great tips to help you. This book is organized with tabs and has pockets to hold all of the loose lists and notes. Each section gives information on ways to save money, what to look for in each vendor, and how to avoid some of the pitfalls in planning. The budgets and checklists are also helpful along with the section on how to plan your honeymoon. This is the only book you need to plan your day and keep it all together.

Capturing Your Wedding – tips for selecting a videographer

Choosing a videographer for your wedding is one of the hardest parts of wedding planning. The video of your day really shows everything that went into your planning. So its important to find a videographer who can film your day with your view. Here are some tips for finding a videographer:

  • View some of the videographer’s work. There shouldn’t be any jerkiness and the picture and sound quality should be good.
  • Look at their video equipment, is it up to date?
  • Ask for and check references from other weddings. Are these couples satisfied with their videos?
  • Ask how the videographer can personalize your video.
  • See if a wireless microphone is available for the ceremony and for interviewing your guests.
  • Make sure the videographer you interview is the videographer that will be at your ceremony. This should be in your contract.
  • Find out what is offered in each video package.
  • Make sure the videographer understands your ceremony requirements.
  • Above all, you need to like their personality and they must be professional.

Announcing Your Engagement

Now that you’re engaged its time to tell your family and friends. This is the very beginning of your wedding planning. Letting your family and friends know that you and your significant other are engaged can be nerve racking for anyone. Even the closest of families can put some pressure on you when you announce your engagement. So remember to be relaxed and honest with your family. They are your family and will love you and your fiance(e). If you find you do have trouble with your family accepting your decision, find a counselor, church minister or priest that you trust and honestly tell them what is happening. Some fresh perspective that is unbiased is always helpful.

Choosing Your Wedding Ceremony Site

One of the first things to plan for your wedding is where your ceremony will take place. This is the most important part of your planning because there are many issues to consider. The site you select will be influenced by the following;

  • Budget – Typically, the average ceremony site will cost between $100-$1000. The entire cost of the ceremony, inluding site fee, officiant’s fee and gratuity, and accessories (guest book, pen, ring bearer pillow, flower girl basket) is 5% of your overall budget.
  • Wedding Formality – Will your event be an informal garden style ceremony or will it be an evening elaborate event?
  • Season – Will you be married in warmer months or colder months? Does it rain, or snow or is it pleasant and warm this time of year? This will determine whether you can have an outdoor or indoor wedding.
  • Number of guests – It goes without saying that you will need a site that is large enough for everyone to be comfortable but make sure it is not too large. A large space with few guests will not feel as intimate as a space that is smaller.
  • Religion – Can you be married at a church or temple if you do not share the same religion? Could you be married somewhere else that will not offend your family and friends if you do not share the same religion?
  • Location – Will you marry close to home or do you want a destination wedding?

Wedding Flower Considerations

Do a little research before you go shopping for wedding flowers.  Be sure you know your budget guidelines, any rules your ceremony and reception site has for flowers, and an idea of size.  Remember bigger isn’t always better, a small to medium sized arrangement can make the same or better statement than something huge.  If you want to know what a flower may look like, you can check it out here or ask the florist.  Always be sure the flowers you choose will not stain your dress if they tend to bleed.  These tips will ensure your success in flower shopping.  

Top 10 Places to Get Married in Indiana

For those brides and grooms looking to get married in the Indiana here are my top choices:

  1. Allison Mansion at Marian college Indianapolis
  2. Amish Acres in Nappanee
  3. Avon Gardens in Avon
  4. Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington
  5. Deer Park Manor in Bloomington
  6. Easley Winery in Indianapolis
  7. French Lick Resort Casino in French Lick
  8. Garden Chapel in Greenfield
  9. Indianapolis Zoo in Indianapolis
  10. Lakeside Reflections in Jeffersonville

An Ohio Wedding

Do you think you need a lot of money to have the wedding of your dreams? Most brides are looking for ways to get married, keep costs low and have a dream wedding. If this is you, try getting married in Ohio. Ohio is one of the few states that has a wide variety of places to be married. From large cities, to lakeside, to a country wedding, Ohio really is the “Heart of it all.”When my husband and I were engaged, we had to choose where we wanted to be married. We could have married in California or Ohio. For us, our choice was to marry at the college we both attended in Ohio. Wittenberg University is set in the rolling hills between Columbus and Dayton. This college campus offered us everything we were looking for: an intimate setting with the perfect mix of history and modernism. We were married in Hollenbeck Hall (the newest campus building at the time) and held our reception at the President’s house (dating from 1860).Wittenberg’s catering and facility staff were great to work with and helped us to solve all of our planning problems with ease. Our wedding was beautiful and friends and family still talk about how much fun it was. So if you are looking for just the right place to be married try out some of the places we’ve featured in Ohio. Whatever you are looking for you will find it here.