Creative Wedding Centerpieces

Calla LiliesThough they won’t be the center of attention, the decorations that adorn the center of the guests’ tables at a wedding deserve quite a bit of careful contemplation. Wedding centerpieces can be extremely elaborate or subtle and simple. Flowers, candles, and mirrors offer popular options for wedding centerpieces, but your only limitations are your imagination and your budget.

Traditional wedding centerpieces often revolve around floral arrangements, although the modern era welcomes inventive and contemporary styles.

Unleash your creativity and open your mind to new and memorable ideas for unique wedding centerpieces. Some of the most elegant, unusual and unforgettable decorative touches can exist even within a strict budget.

Popular “convertible” items to mix and match for clever and creative wedding centerpieces:
– Candles
– Glass bubble bowls
– Glass dishes/shallow bowls
– Ivy
– Mirrors
– Floating candles
– Foliage/flora

Gather some of the above-mentioned decorations or use your imagination and come up with a creative centerpiece of your own. Often the reception hall may have standard wedding centerpieces available onsite, though they will be more than willing to accommodate your special requests or often, they will credit you for the centerpieces if you opt to create your own. If you are having your wedding reception at a private location, such as your home, a fire hall, park, or other non-commercial location, consider crafting your own wedding centerpieces. Below some ideas are listed for a traditional centerpiece design.

For a traditional, classic and sedate feel for the wedding centerpiece décor, consider:
1. Glass bubble bowls with ivy and a white or colored pillar candle
2. Floral arrangement in a handmade ceramic pot or planter
3. Etched or stained glass vases with a single, long-stemmed flower
4. Mirror with a candle sitting upon it – a sculpted design or a standard pillar candle
5. A small basket of various colored wildflowers to accent the wedding’s color scheme

If thoughts of generic pillar candles and flowers are not your idea of an ideal wedding centerpiece, perhaps you need to spruce things up a bit. Listed below are a few ideas for simple yet stylish wedding centerpieces.

For a simple yet classy wedding centerpiece, try:
1. Shallow glass dish with floating candles and river rocks or marbles
2. Glass bowl with floating candles and petals
3. Small metal pail with seashells, flowers, floating candles, etc.
4. Hand-painted flowerpots with flowers or hand-poured candles inside
5. Small basket of flowers with love poem scrolls

When nature, the great outdoors and the simple pleasures of life are important to you, let them come out for the celebration. Let it be known at each table how much you and your sweetheart enjoy the beauty and wonder of nature and a relaxing moment to revel in peace and serenity. Select a centerpiece based on your own enjoyment of life’s simple gifts. Listed below are some examples that might be helpful to a garden or country themed wedding.

 

For a garden or country wedding theme or an old-fashioned wedding centerpiece style, consider:
1. Painted birdhouses, color coordinated to match the wedding’s color scheme
2. Dainty teapots or teacups and saucers – you can even place a floating candle inside the cups!
3. Hand-painted or stained wooden clocks
4. Small basket of flowers, herbs, etc.
5. Snow globes – you can get these custom-made or learn how to make them yourself!
6. Christmas ornament – get the traditional glass ball ornament personalized for your special occasion. Do it yourself with a paint-pen to save some money if you wish.

If none of the aforementioned centerpiece ideas knock your socks off, start thinking of the types of centerpieces that guests will talk about for years to come. Think unusual, creative and outrageous and see what you come up with…listed below are a few ideas.

For a contemporary wedding centerpiece, try:
1. Lucky Bamboo plants, to share the luck of the newlyweds to their special guests
2. Bonsai trees
3. Candy jar with Hershey’s™ Hugs and Kisses from the new Mr. and Mrs.
4. Glass bubble bowl with a colorful beta fish (or other type of fish) and pretty stones or glass marbles to match – add floating petals and place a mirror below the bowl for a special effect.
5. Mini mailboxes or wishing wells with notepaper and pens for the guests to leave hints and advice for the newly weds!

Countless themes and color schemes are available for brides and grooms to blend into their weddings, and the freedom to select the perfect centerpiece adds an element of creative control to the planning process. No matter what your budget, creative designs and decorative fashions can be easily prepared and displayed with a little bit of time and careful crafting. Use your imagination and look through wedding magazines to decide upon the perfect wedding centerpiece for your wedding.

Dating 101: Tips on Flirting

Love on the Beach

Contrary to popular belief, flirting isn’t all about batting your eyelashes and flipping your hair over your shoulder. To truly express your interest playfully to a potential dating partner, your best bet is to relax and be yourself. If you are shy, flirting may not come naturally, but with a little practice, you can be a smooth and natural flirt. Here are some tips on dating and flirting techniques that can help you get close to a new love interest.

The Basics of Flirting
Flirting can be fun but it can also give people the wrong idea. Even if you have the very best intentions, flirting can get you into trouble with the wrong people. It is very important to use discretion when flirting so you don’t lead someone on, making them believe you’re interested when you’re really not.

Depending on your comfort levels, there are many flirting techniques that you can try. Body language, strong eye contact, and coy or playful remarks are just a few. Read on for some more specific examples of how you can flirt with someone you like.

   

Body Language and its Universal Dictionary
One of the most popular and commonly used flirting techniques is simple and innocent body contact. Gently touch your love interest on the hand or arm as you laugh or animatedly tell them something. This can be especially moving if you whisper and make eye contact while lightly touching their arm.

If you happen to be on a date, flirting may come a bit easier. It’s a great move for guys to casually slip their arm around a girl during a movie, or for girls to jump during the scary part of a flick and grab the guy’s hand or arm. Holding hands is a huge, telltale sign that romantic interest is there. A subtle yet riveting flirting technique in response to handholding is a gentle caress by your thumb on the other person’s hand.

Lock Eyes and Watch Sparks Fly
Truth be told, there’s nothing like really good eye contact when it comes to flirting. When passion runs deep, a single gaze from the one you like can make you feel like the only person in the room, even if there are dozens of other people around. Catch your love interest’s eye and try holding his or her gaze for as long as you can muster. Lengthened eye contact is like foreplay and can lead to even greater moments of flirting as you spend more time together.

Whether you know it or not, your eyes have a language of their own. The manner in which you look at someone or something can speak volumes for what you’re thinking. From rolling your eyes to zoning in on a particular physical feature, using eye contact as a flirting technique tends to be highly successful for many people. In fact, it is one of the very first things that drew me to my husband! We’ve had incredible eye contact from the start and our flirting with each other has only grown ever since.

Know Your Boundaries, and Keep Them
Sometimes it is hard to tell if someone likes you back, especially if your intended partner is timid or shy. As you begin flirting with someone, try to watch for physical cues and listen for verbal cues to see if your interest is reciprocated. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t distinguish whether you’ve met your match or not. Even if things don’t work out, you still get to practice flirting and getting to know new people.

As you practice flirting with people, always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t flirt with strangers in strange places. If you meet someone new at a bar or other public place, make sure you put your own safety before your desire to get to know someone new. For your safety, consider asking for their phone number or giving them yours rather than going somewhere alone with someone you’ve just met.

As you enhance your flirting ability and skills, you may find yourself more willing to try new flirting techniques or to attempt more intense actions. If you aren’t getting a positive reaction to your flirting after a couple attempts, it may be a good time to throw on the brakes and tone down the intensity. For example, if you’ve been sending verbal cues or strong eye contact to a girl or guy without response, don’t take things to the next step with a touch on the arm or leg. Sometimes coming on too strong can scare away a potential love interest before you even get to know each other!

Once you do have a steady significant other, make a conscious effort to focus all your flirting techniques on your partner!

Here Are Eight Basic Flirting Tips to Try…


32 Wedding Gifts from the Bride to Her Groom

As you select special gifts for your maid of honor, bridesmaids, flower girl, and parents, don’t forget about that most special someone on your list! Show your husband-to-be how much you care with a special gift from you, his cherished bride.

Watch

In many circles, it is common for the bride and groom to exchange gifts on their wedding day. Gifts are often swapped prior to the actual ceremony, either at the rehearsal dinner or by way of a messenger on the wedding day. Other times, brides and grooms may exchange gifts sometime throughout their wedding day, or even at the close of the evening when the two find themselves alone at last.

Any gift of jewelry or something like a handkerchief can become a precious part of your wedding day. Your groom can tuck a hanky boasting a personal message from you into his pocket, or he could surely wear a watch, necklace, cufflinks, or other piece of jewelry on the big day.

Think about the message and sentiment you are hoping to achieve, and that, along with the cost, should guide your decision.

On a Budget

· Bottle of your favorite wine and a love letter

· Customized calendar with pictures of the two of you

· Handcrafted blanket or afghan

· Mixed CD of your favorite songs and a love note

· Money clip

· Personalized hanky

· Photo album or scrapbook containing many of your favorite photos and some he hasn’t yet seen

· Photo frame

· Poetry book

· Soft and fuzzy bathrobe you sewed yourself

Safe and Traditional Picks

· A necklace or bracelet if he wears jewelry

· A new watch

· Cufflinks

· Gift basket of all his favorite things

· Men’s jewelry / keepsake box

· New leather wallet, inscribed if you wish

· Something to use on your honeymoon, like brand name sunglasses or fun outdoor equipment

More Gifts…


Dating Strategies 101: Playing Hard to Get

Like preferences in food, drinks, clothing, music and just about everything else, preferences in relationship style vary widely from person to person and couple to couple. While some like a casual, non-exclusive relationship from time to time, others may thrive only in a secure, committed relationship environment. Emotional “baggage” from previous romances and our individual personalities shape our dating preferences throughout our lives, and often the direction the relationship takes is dependent on one’s significant other as well.

In any dating situation, no matter how old or new, playing a little bit hard to get can often increase the excitement and the level of desire in a relationship. Before you put your strategy into action, though, you must learn the proper balance involved. It is very important to gauge your partner’s level of interest so you don’t push him or her away. Read on for some tips in entry-level playing hard to get!

When testing the dating pool waters to see if any fish are worth reeling in, one must remember that the chase itself is nearly as important as the end result. Rushing into things sometimes puts on too much pressure, even in the perfect relationship. Taking too much of a nonchalant, lackadaisical attitude toward the relationship can also cause irreparable damage, making your mate to feel devalued and less important than he or she truly is.

In budding relationships, sometimes taking a little time to get to know each other is the perfect transition into an exclusive partnership. While mothers and friends may urge you to “play the field,” you may not immediately see the value in their words.

Consider this – if you take your time getting into a new relationship and take good care to be certain it is the best one for you, that is so much better than rushing into the first relationship that comes along without a second thought. If you think you might benefit from dragging out your singledom just a teeny bit longer, do what you can to keep your new flame interested and hungry for more! Sometimes just an ounce of resistance initially is ultimately worth a pound of perfection.

The key to playing hard to get is simple. Give your new love interest enough to keep him or her wanting more, but always preserve a little mystery about you. Express your interest in your new guy or doll, but be careful not to throw yourself at him or her. Make time to see each other, but not every day. Make plans to get together, but let some time lapse from your last date to the actual planning of your next one.

Finally…


Creative Wedding Gifts to Give, Favors to Receive

Every time I turn around it seems as if someone else I know is getting married! My original plan — to handcraft a blanket for each couple — is fast becoming a ridiculous impossibility as I learn of more and more friends on the road to marriage.

Cousins, best friends, classmates, colleagues, and teammates — what type of gift is appropriate when it comes down to your own relationship with the bride and/or groom getting married?

Handmade gifts carry a special meaning and significance while also bearing personal sentiment. If time is not an issue in determining your gift for the couple, consider your talents. Are you an exceptional woodworker? Create and stain a curio cabinet, shadowbox, bench, small stool or another useful item that the couple could enjoy in their new home together. Etch a personal message or their names and wedding date somewhere in the wood, along with your initials or signature as a reminder of how much you care!

If your handicraft lies more on the domestic side, consider crocheting, knitting or cross stitching a blanket/throw or a set of matching pillows. Another clever idea: Embroider a set of bath towels, hand towels and wash clothes with their initials or last name to produce a useful and meaningful gift.

If crafts aren’t exactly up your alley, use your creative mind to put together a themed gift basket… a “relaxation” basket could include some aromatherapy candles, bubble bath, musical selections, a bottle of wine, etc. You could do the same for a romantic dinner theme, a vacation get-away theme, and countless other specially-tailored gifts. Your imagination is your only limitation!

Unforgettable Wedding Trinkets and Treasures…


How to Best Capture Wedding Memories

Whether you’ve been dreaming about your wedding for as long as you can remember, or its advent has taken you completely by surprise, it is an extraordinary day that you will remember for a lifetime! Celebrate your special union with memories of your past, promises of the present and dreams of your future together.
Half the fun of your wedding day is capturing the wonderful memories of the priceless moment in time, but the other half involves reliving the cherished memories times you and your spouse-to-be have shared.

Share Your Blissful Memories

Showcase your love for each other by decorating a table with photos, albums and memorabilia from the various unforgettable times you have spent together. Vacations you have taken, special events and outings you have attended, and basically any fun times and activities you have shared could be displayed in the form of sporting or musical event tickets, a stuffed animal, or countless other small tokens of your lives together. (Reception halls will be very happy to help you set up such a display table.)

Capture the Memories of the Moment

On the individual tables where your guests will be seated, put disposable cameras so you will receive plenty of photographs of your guests and their dates. You can also be a little more original and distribute a special decorative notebook for your guests to sign, to leave personal messages, inside jokes, old memories and best wishes. Better yet, get a “his” and a “hers” notebook, and one for the both of you together. Going through the pages and reading each message will be something for you and your other half to do together one relaxing day after your honeymoon, or whenever!

Take a Walk Down Memory Lane

For a more sentimental approach (or in addition to the previous ideas), compose a slideshow containing pictures of you and your sweetheart growing up until you get to the present. (If you would rather be surprised with the outcome, perhaps your mom or your bridesmaids would compile it.)

Group pictures of you both growing up separately on the same slides – for example, try to put corresponding photos together-your baby photos, first days of school, and so forth – whatever you can get your hands on! The more similarities, the better, but be careful as you grow into your teenage years. This is your day as bride and groom, so avoid including former flames if you comprise prom photos and so forth.

As the slides progress through the baby photos, young childhood, middle childhood, teenage years, and so forth, coordinate appropriate music to fit with those themed slides. You can easily do this through Microsoft PowerPoint’s slideshow functions, or custom create a CD with proper timing to your slides.

Finally, conclude with your grand finale of photos when the two of you met, and progress through the present. This sentimental display will serve as an adorable and emotional keepsake for years to come. Doubtless you will need a few boxes of tissues for your moms and very dear friends!

Tips for Planning an Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddingOutdoor weddings add the elements of adventure and nature to your special wedding moment. The quality and composition of your photos will be completely different, perhaps boasting radiant reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn, or the gorgeous pinks, purples, and blues of spring flowers.

Review the following considerations as you begin the fun planning phase for your outdoor wedding!

Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! Here are some tips to make planning your outdoor wedding a pure breeze!

Consider the seasons.

Do you prefer a wild explosion of color, like springtime wildflowers? Are you more enamored of the brilliant fall foliage? Decide what kind of backdrop you’d prefer for your photographs, video, and general wedding memories.

Contemplate the scenery.

Many people dream of a picturesque wedding ceremony and reception celebration on the beach, in the countryside, near a waterfall, or in another lovely locale. Put your head together with your significant other and decide which romantic outdoor venue best suits your relationship.

Choose your dates wisely.

Avoid rainy season if possible, but realize that Mother Nature can change her mind at any give time.

Decide on the level of formality.

Will every minute detail of your special day be extravagant, or are you willing to cut a few corners for costs’ sake?

Decide on the level of formality.
Will every minute detail of your special day be extravagant and elegant? Do you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere? Once you figure out your preferences in formality, you can decide on the style of service.

If your event will be especially posh, you may want to reserve caterers and a professional wait staff to care for you and your guests. If you want an outdoor wedding but can’t afford a huge financial setback, you can enjoy a picnic style celebration outside with a buffet-style spread.

Have a backup plan, and plan ahead.

Set up some canopy tents, just in case the heavens do open up. Even if the sunny weather holds out, the tents will provide a comfortable shelter from the warm rays.

Play up nature.

Add a tranquil fountain to help set a peaceful mood, or consider setting up some bamboo torches for an evening celebration. Bring more floral arrangements into the gathering area to give off a fragrant aroma. Consider the existing elements of nature at the site, and find ways to enhance the natural beauty.