Thursday, July 30, 2009

Compromising your wedding dreams, compromising your happiness?

Well, I probably should have included this post in my "Top 10 things every bride should do", so maybe this can be the bonus #11!

There is so much talk today about the recession and the need for people to cut back on costs that it's definitely permeating into the wedding industry. Everywhere you turn there are bridal magazines with DIY projects and money saving tips to help pull off your big day without breaking the bank. I am all for saving moolah and crafty DIY projects (heck, I planned my own semi-DIY wedding!), but I do feel the need to encourage couples to follow through with their vision regardless of this economic downturn.

What, you say?? Someone is telling me to ignore this crisis and plan my wedding without consideration of the repercussions to my financial well-being?

Well, yes and no. Life is full of compromises, and as you soon will learn, so are weddings. You're dealing with multiple opinions (mothers, sisters, bridesmaids, grooms) as well as limited options, and on top of that you want to do it without risking your future financial stability.

I do believe that compromises will, and should, occur throughout your planning process, but I don't believe you should completely stray from your lifelong vision just to get there. If you've always had dreams of towering romantic centerpieces in a grandiose ballroom with a 7-course plated dinner, then why on earth would you settle for a buffet at a local community centre? If your dreams of being married in small chapel and then joining your friends and family for a local back-yard barbeque reception, then why would you fly to France for an over-the-top destination wedding to please your in-laws? There are so many reasons people compromise their wedding vision, and money is only one of them. I am just saying don't let this economic downturn completely influence your wedding planning. The economy WILL recover eventually, but you will never have a chance to re-do your wedding (well, I'm staying positive here- at least to THIS person). If pictures are important to you, don't settle for a crappy, cheap photographer, because I guarantee that in 5 years, when you're sitting on your comfy little nest egg, that you'll wish you shelled out the extra dough to have some really beautiful wedding photos.

Your wedding is YOUR party. It's your one big celebration that will bring your family and friends together, and how you want to spend it is YOUR choice- I'm just asking that you don't let people talk you into completely altering this day you've been envisioning forever because of a few bumps in the road. If your idea of your perfect wedding is an intimate gathering with 10 friends, then follow through! If a big, fat, greek wedding is what gets your crank turning, then perhaps a of wedding of 10 guests is not for you. Make small compromises, like reducing your 7-course meal to 5, or alternating your tables with one luxurious centerpiece with one not-so expensive. You can still have the wedding you always dreamed of, and you don't need to blow the budget out of the water.

And on the subject of weddings and saving money, here is one small note on DIY projects: no one ever tells you how incredibly LONG these projects take to complete. If your time is valuable (if your job is in consulting or any field that requires you to put in hours to earn a salary) then you NEED to calculate your opportunity cost. If you need to take a week off work prior to the wedding to complete your DIY projects, calculate the money you are not making, and find out how much your DIY projects would cost to purchase pre-assembled or made by someone else. This, of course, does not apply to everyone, but you might find that you're PAYING to make DIY projects, not saving!

The top image was sourced from the blog post and is actually a very good, honest read from a bride planning her wedding during the recession. Although I don't like to be the one giving such advice from a professional stand-point, I definitely concur with her notions on budgeting for a wedding.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Top 10: #10 Give yourself some time before your honeymoon.

#10. Give yourself some time between your wedding and your honeymoon!

Rounding up my top ten things that every bride should do is the advice to take a fews days, a week, or even a couple of weeks of down-low time before you jet set off on your amazing honeymoon. I know, I know, it's traditional to leave a day or two after your wedding. However, after the insane amount of activities occurring before your wedding, you will be relieved to have some time to relax, enjoy some time setting up house and opening up your wedding gifts, not to mention all the extra time you will get to spend with out of town friends and family that you may not have been able to see much of before the wedding.

The anticipation leading up to the wedding day will be gone, and you'll have some time to let that same excitement and anticipation build up for your upcoming honeymoon. It will also be a great opportunity to get all of those thank you cards done, meaning you won't have to think about anything but enjoying yourself while you're away!

Monday, July 27, 2009

An example of great wedding videography

Ashley & Jamie's Same Day Edit from Anguilla from Julie Hill on Vimeo.

I mentioned videography in an earlier post, but didn't post any relevent material to really back up my firm recommendation of hiring a professional videographer to capture your wedding memories. Well, here I have it; a lovely, short and sweet clip by the amazing Elysium Productions first found on my favourite blog ever, Style Me Pretty. And if you're anything like me, you will probably shed a few tears.

I can't stress how invaluable I believe videography is and forever will be to yourself and your family. It's perhaps the most amazing gift one could have, and you only have one shot at it. Why am I so passionate about this crusade? Well, let's just say that yours truly decided that family-shot footage on a just-bought, barely-charged video recorder would suffice. Well, it didn't. Albeit it is much better than nothing at all, but the camera died before mine or my husband's speeches, we have no video of our guests and when you have one camera, you only get one angle, and one view. We love movies, so why wouldn't we have wanted our own real-life fairy tale captured artistically forever? Don't ask me, I'm still bitter myself about the oversight on my part.

If it is anywhere in your budget, make sure to hire yourself a great videographer. You'll be happy you did. And if it's not (we understand times are tough), rally up a handful of friends and family with fully-charged digital camcorders, and make sure they capture every detail of your big day. You can then send the footage to a production company to edit it and make a video for you, learn to do it yourself using programs like iMovie for Mac, or have a talented friend do the work. Another option for those who just refuse to listen to me, or their wedding day has come and gone, you can always make your photos into a slideshow, put it to music, or commentary, and burn it to a disc. Regardless, record all of your hard-work and all of your priceless emotional memories, and I promise, you'll thank me in the end!

Credit: , and

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Rustic Vintage Chic Wedding

After coming home from a venue meeting at a quaint bed and breakfast, and then drooling over the beautiful photos from the "Rustic Chic" real wedding on, I was inspired to post on rustic chic myself!

I have been seeing more and more sophisticated farmhouse style weddings in bridal magazines and wedding blogs, and it's such a nice breath of fresh air! I love that the bride and groom are able to really personalize their wedding through elements such as chalkboard signs, homemade favours, and rustic vintage decor. We're so used to seeing glitz and glamour in the wedding industry that it's nice to see a more fun and laid-back approach to wedding receptions.

One of my best friends is getting married soon, and her wedding quite simply takes the cake when it comes to defining rustic chic with a dash of vintage. A farm house ceremony followed by games of bocci served with old fashioned soda bottles and popcorn will start the day off. The reception will carry on the theme with gorgeous flower arrangements in mason jars, and favours of jam and olive-oil soap hand-made by the groom himself (where did she find this supergroom? Handmaking favours is only one of his many amazing qualities!). These are just a few of the personal touches that will make this wedding THE wedding of the year, but I don't want to spoil all of the greatness that this wedding will be.

One of my favourite features of a rustic-vintage-chic wedding is the many possibilities for reception venues. A farmhouse with classic picnic tables, a lakeside rental property, or a quaint B&B supply you with endless reception ideas. Tying this all back into my venue tour at a local B&B, you are often provided with many, many amenities that you wouldn't find elsewhere. At this specific location you get ALL of the following included in your package: 2 guest rooms, 1 honeymoon suite, a very sizable bridal room for hair/makeup, a kids-babysitting room, access to the 2.5 acres for any guests to pitch a tent for the night or to park their RV, access to set-up reception the day before, a snack and refreshments for guests after the ceremony, bring in your own liquor and bartender for cost-savings, golf cart shuttle around property, reasonably priced fully catered meal including all tables & linens (even chair covers!), a midnight snack for guests, a vintage 1960's ivory Mercede's roadster for photos, and they will even let you bring your own food in the night before for your rehearsal dinner to barbeque provided you clean everything up. There are even more little perks associated with this venue but I just can't list them all.

Ironically, the wedding I was scouting the location for isn't even a rustic-vintage-theme at all! It just definitely got the wheels turning in my head for inspiration. The bonus of such versatile venues like said B&B, however, is that you really can do just about anything!

(Photo Sources: Style Me Pretty and Project Wedding)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Introducing the new Mr. & Mrs.....Pink and Blue!

A "Tiffany" blue wedding theme is a classic, and pink, in all it's glorious shades, is perhaps the most popular wedding colour scheme of them all. What you won't see too often, however, is the two of them combined, which is why I am dedicating this post to the marriage of Pink & Blue. It's quite fitting for a wedding indeed because of the symbolic nature of the two colors (well, at least for weddings of the heterosexual kind!). But despite any symbolism here, the colour combo is just plain pretty! I definitely predict that you'll be seeing plenty more from this new "couple" in many weddings to come.

Photo sources: Top:,,, Bottom:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Some of my favourite monograms...

I really love monograms, and the fact that they are ridiculously affordable makes me love them even more. The only negative thing about monograms is that it's so darn hard to pick just one! How many brides and brides-to-be have switched their monogram more than once? I know a few! But for under $10 a pop, wedding monograms are definitely something you can afford to play around with.

Find these awesome monograms on etsy! From top to bottom: mrshubby, GoAgainstTheGrain, belletristics

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person." - Richard Bach

Big White Wedding Balloons shot by Boutwell Studio
Pink Balloon Engagement Session by Jennifer Causey
Balloons flying away Engagement Shoot by Jessica Johnston
Yellow Balloon Engagement Shoot by Erin Hearts Court

I am ridiculously obsessed with balloons. Completely and utterly in love. No, not the cheesy balloons you find floating by yards of curly ribbon at a child's birthday emblazoned with the message "Happy 9th Birthday!". No, these balloons are much less complex. These balloons, are, well, balloons. Not just balloons, but plain old balloons photographed by some of the most amazing talent out there. I love how something so juvenile, so commonplace, and so inexpensive can be made to look ethereal and whimsical.

Any fans of the incomparable blog will probably be familiar with the photos above. I guess I'm not the only one with a new little crush on inflated balls of latex. Of course I'm also over the moon for fabulous photography, so I guess that helps out too.

The last photo, you can probably tell, was taken with my iPhone of a page in a 2007 issue of Brides magazine (or I think it was Brides). I was sitting in the hair salon under the dryer and came across this photo. I love pink, and I love balloons, so it was quite a feat to resist ripping the page out of the magazine. I've been toying with the idea of doing a small photoshoot to get a professional photo for my website, and as of this moment, this photo will be my inspiration. Well, without the wedding dress and sultry facial expression of course!

(Photo source: All of the above photos, less the last one, can be found on or from the photographers listed above.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stationary love...

Western stationary is so popular right now and it's not hard to see why. The variety of fonts and sizes make this Save the Date eye-popping despite its monochromatic colour.
Such a vintage style STD! Love love love it!

Loving this Punch Card Save the Date!

I am abolutely enamoured with the new wave of invitation design. This emerging paperie is far from pretentious, and is everything a wedding should be: fun, vibrant and full of character. From funky western designs, to classic vintage motifs, these invitations are far from traditional and speak loads about the couple's personality.

(You can find these paper products on etsy from the following sellers, from top to bottom: OhSmile, Emily Ink, acbohman, shadowboxercrafts, lilribbers.)

What's in a favor...

What's cuter than a build-your-own-smores kit?
...Or vintage soda bottles...
...and potted plants with thank you notes....
...or heart shaped sparklers ...
..Or delicious cherries!

Favors, or bonbonnieres, are an increasingly popular component of today's wedding receptions. Bonbonnieres go way back to European aristocrats who bestowed small trinket boxes made of crystal, porcelain or stone, filled with sugar cubes or confections to their guests to symbolize wealth and royalty. The sugar was then replaced with coated almonds, which is still around to today in many Italian weddings.

Choosing your favors can be a fun but ardous task. Trying to find something that is unique, cost-effective, gender neutral and crosses generations can be challenging. When selecting your wedding favors, keep the following tidbits in mind. Try to tie in your favors to your theme. It will enhance your decor and pull everything together. Think old fashioned glass soda bottles for a vintage wedding, sparklers for those showcasing a firework spectacular, and mini potted plants for an earthy, nature theme. I also find that the best and most appreciated favors are either edible or practical. As cute as miniature castles and monogrammed wine glasses are, guests are often stuck without a use for it after the wedding. If you're going to spend the money to thank them for coming, it makes sense to get them something that they can use, or eat!

(Photo source:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Top 10: #9 Don't be a Bridezilla!

9. Don't be a Bridezilla...

I know, I know, it's YOUR day. But really, it's also your fiance's, and it's a very important event for your friends and family members as well. It's easy to get caught up in a Bridezilla moment and lose sight of the things that really matter, which is why it's so important to to consider other people when planning your wedding. Obviously you should look out for yourself and your big happy wedding, but just take the time to reflect on your decisions and actions before setting them in motion. In the end, your family and friends will thank you for being a thoughtful and gracious bride-to-be, and you're going to prevent endless amounts of stress and drama surrounding your wedding festivities!

(Photo source:

Once upon a time...

I'm finally back home after a week long vacay in the sunny state of California, home of the world famous Disneyland Resort. Although it's hard not to have a good time in the "Happiest Place on Earth", I found myself enjoying our annual trip more than usual as I spent more time seeking wedding inspiration than I did enjoying the rides and tempting park food.

See, I was proposed to in Disneyland right next to Sleeping Beauty's castle at Snow White's wishing well. It was the perfect spot for our engagement as our first trip together had been there, and we both loved the magical romance that fills the air (or maybe it's the vanilla scent they pump into the street to keep you craving their food?). Regardless, it was a magical moment and the perfect spot to make such a commitment to each other. A small part of me regrets not tying anything Disney related into our wedding, even if it was just a small touch that only the two of us knew about, be it a charm on a garter or something sentimental to put in my bouquet. And it was on this trip back to Disneyland this year that got me thinking of all the wonderful ways a bride could do a Disney wedding, either all out or just small references here and there.

Disney has done an amazing job turning a family amusement park into a hotspot for destination weddings. From designer Disney wedding dresses inspired by the princesses to a horse drawn "pumpkin" carriage ride, Disney has thought of mostly everything, and I'm sure with your own signature touch it could be as personal and magical a wedding could ever be.

My favourite spot for a Disney wedding would have to be the Grand Floridian Resort at Disney World in Florida. After staying there a few years before I met my husband, I was absolutely in love with the whimsical architecture, the gorgeous sandy beach and the romantic Wedding Pavilion that was just a short jaunt over a wooden pier away. It was perfect and I was convinced I had found my future wedding destination, although I had yet to find a groom! Now, when that knight in shining armor did finally come around, we decided to host our wedding close to home as most guests were local. However, I'm thinking we'll have to go there to renew our vows when the time comes!

Whether you're envisioning your princess perfect day in front of the Castle, a gothic inspired fete by the Haunted Mansion, or even an Alice in Wonderland High Tea Party, Disney and the Disney parks are full of romantic inspiration no matter where you look!

(Photo sources from top to bottom:,,, ,,

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Top 10: #8 Be picky with your guests list...

8. Be picky with your guest list.
Not all weddings are size-constrained because of budget. Many are being held in venues that have a maximum occupancy, and regardless of how much money you have to spend, if you have found the place of your dreams you may have to make concessions with your guest list.

Sure, lavish 300-400 guest receptions definitely make an impact, but do you really know all of those guests? Will you be in touch with those guests for years to come? Unless your family is monstrous, you probably don't need to invite the entire town. As I asked my husband to do with his friends list, ask yourself these questions: Is this person in my contacts on my cellphone? Have I talked to this person in the last 6 months? Have I seen this person in the last year? Do I think I will still be close to this person in upcoming years? I dont need to break down the answers to each of these questions as they are pretty self-explanatory, but hopefully you will see the value in asking yourself these.

Although etiquette mavericks across the nation will probably cringe at this advice, don't feel like you HAVE to invite dates for all of your single friends, especially if you're younger with a group of young, single friends. If most of your friends aren't in relationships, why not have them all seated together at a table so they can enjoy each other's company instead of entertaining some wedding date that no one else knows. My logic here is: if you have a limited guest list would you rather be able to invite one more friend or family family member to share your special day with you, or would you rather that spot be taken by someone you've never met before and most likely will never see again? What interest do they have in witnessing the union of two strangers? Probably none. And you never know, maybe some of your single friends will take a liking to each other and you'll be credited as a successful matchmaker!

Guest lists are always tough, but just realize that not everyone can be invited and you might need to make some slightly unfortunate but rather necessary cuts. However, if you have an unlimited budget and massive venue, then don't let me stop you! Heck, you can invite me if you like!


Let's go for a picnic!

I always love browsing wedding blogs and websites for new reception alternatives, and I can't tell you how much I absolutely love this adorable DIY purple picnic. Perfect for a casual rehearsal dinner, a small outdoor wedding, or a lovely afternoon with your bridesmaids, this picnic post is sure to please the crafty bride. With downloadable templates, source lists and instructions, constructing your own picnic boxes couldn't get much easier. Co-ordinate the colors to go along with your wedding theme and you suddenly have an interesting and out of the ordinary meal-to-go that guests will enjoy over good company and conversation. Add in some rustic picnic tables, a few bocci sets and a kite or two and you've got yourself a mighty fine afternoon.

Find this project and even more great finds and ideas on Project Wedding:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Top 10: #7 Accept that you WILL need help...

7. Accept that you WILL need help. Unless you're planning an intimate shin-dig for 30 guests, chances are you will not be able to do everything all on your own. Believe me. I tried. Without trying to be shameless plug, if you want your day to run as smoothly as possible you will need a dedicated friend or family member or a wedding co-ordinator. I pretty much did everything on my own, and I mean everything, up until 3AM the night before my wedding, and after that I let my day-of wedding planner take the reigns. I took photos of how I wanted the centerpieces set up, I drew diagrams and tables for everything you can imagine, and labeled the jars of the candy buffet so she knew which candy to put in which jar. As much as my type-A personality would have loved to have been able to do it all myself, it just wasn't feasible. I was busy getting married. Some brides will ask a friend or family member to do all the set-up and make sure the reception runs smoothly, and others would rather have someone outside of the guest list do the work so they have time to spend with all their loved ones on their big day. Either way, you will soon realize how important it is to have someone assist you on your wedding day.

To keep stress levels down, don't be afraid to delegate pre-wedding projects to your friends. Have a craft night, show them how you want the favor boxes constructed and how long each ribbon should be cut and just go for it! If you try to do it all yourself it will take you hours and hours and hours. And if you aren't able to round up helpers for your DIY projects or for addressing your invitations and so forth, most wedding planners will offer their services hourly for a reasonable rate. Whatever you choose to do, don't try to be the hero and do it all on your own. You will be so happy to have asked for help when it comes down to crunch time and it will make your wedding day that much more enjoyable!

(Photo credit:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Top 10: #6 Prepare for takeoff!

Top 10 things every bride should know...

6. Prepare for takeoff. It is likely that you will never experience another time in your life that the days and week and months will pass by so quickly. The last 6 months feel like 6 days, the hours on your wedding day seem like minutes, and the more you prepare for this time-travel the better you can fight it. In the months leading up to your wedding, complete your tasks and to-do lists early, and try and get as much done as you can before the couple weeks before your wedding. You don't want to have to make a choice between tying ribbon around your programs and getting your nails done or spending time with out of town family. If you get what you can out of the way, you can hopefully relax a bit and tend to yourself in the days leading up. And on the big day, stop for a few moments, breath, look around and take it all in. Repeat every 3o minutes. And enjoy!

Prepare to be

I apologize in advance to all the future addicts out there. What I am about to expose you to is extremely addicting and likely to awaken any dormant obsessive personality traits. If you haven't yet acquainted yourself with, then you should promptly make your web-savvy way there. Etsy, the online marketplace for all things amazing is the crafty and handmade equivalent to ebay. Not only is Etsy a hot spot for unique design and adorable finds, it's also supporting mostly female small business owners, and who doesn't want to support that?

Etsy is an amazing resource for the bride-to-be or hostess, featuring finds such as handmade garters, cake boxes, ring pillows, monograms, stationary and the like. One of my favorite parts of etsy, however, isn't even a tangible product at all. Graphic designers will often sell electronic designs which are downloadable, printable and sometimes customizeable. You purchase the file, and you print it yourself. My new obsession is with the seller Paper and Cake (, and you just HAVE to check out these printed materials for a bachelorette party! You get all of these files and more, and for only $5! The link to the Etsy store is: There are even more unbelievable finds to be had, but I do warn you that you may need to set aside a few hours because once you start Etsy-ing, you can't stop!

All photo credit:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Top 10: #5 Don't underestimate the value of photos and video

5. Don't underestimate the value of photos and video. I always find photography and videography a touchy subject for brides. Of course most brides would love to have the best of both, but are scared away by the hefty price tags associated with them. Truth is, I was too, and since I hadn't properly been exposed to the world of creative photography yet I didn't really realize what the value was. If you don't think photography is important to you, then I challenge you to check out some magnificent photography on Style Me Pretty or another real weddings blog. Most likely you'll be overcome with a wave of emotion when looking at the true artistic nature of the photographs. They truly capture the feeling of the day, and after all of the hours of hard work and all the money spent, why wouldn't you want to capture your wedding in the best light possible? Now take a look at the portfolio of a less experienced photographer, and you will probably notice a significant difference. One is art, one is a picture. Sure, many people can photoshop and edit the photograph to look more professional, but determine the style of photography you want and then go for it. If you are completely satisfied with purely portait style photographs, then you can get away with a less expensive photographer. If all your little heart desires is a wedding album worthy of being published in a magazine, with jaw-dropping artistic shots, awe-inspiring detail shots of the little things that matter to you (like the favors you worked so hard on) then you might want to prepare yourself to re-adjust your budget. The one thing I PROMISE you is that you will regret not spending enough on a photographer, but you won't regret spending more for a true artist (as long as you're not getting ripped off). Another important thing to remember with photography is to make sure you ask your photographer for ALL of your photos on a disc. If they give you the best 300-400 edited on a disc, you will still want the rest that were taken. You never know, there might be some hidden gem in there that you truly fall in love with that your photographer may have passed over. My last and final piece of advice regarding photography is to make sure you scour for photos and poses and scenes that you love online and in magazines, and give those examples to your photographer so that they know exactly what you are looking for. This is one piece of advice that I knew before my wedding, but due to time constaints and stress overload, I completely overlooked (every part of me wishes I had done this).

I promise not to drag on about videography as I did with photography, but wanted to stress the importance of hiring a videographer. Now, you don't need to hire the Spielberg of the video production world to get a worthy product, but do do do actually hire a videographer instead of asking your cousin who has never operated a camera in his life to videotape your wedding with the new camera your mom just bought at Best Buy and only charged for 2 hours (yes, this really happened). Think of the joy your kids and grandkids will have being able to watch young versions of you walking down the aisle, dancing your first dance and cutting the cake. Yes, it's great to have for you, but think of the kids! Not to mention, the day goes by SO FAST and you're sort of in a little stress-induced high that by the end of the night you're not really sure you remember everything. A video capturing all of your hard work, all of the guests feelings and emotions, and that perfect day with your new husband will end up being a pricelesskeepsake. I know this isn't number one on the list, but if you asked me the one thing I could go back and change it would be this. I really really wish I had a great video of my big day.

Bella Tip: Get business cards printed online for next to nothing with your contact info, a photo sharing site and upload instructions. Include them in the envelope with your Thank You cards and hopefully you'll get even more photos from your big day. Even the best photographers can't capture every angle (well, unless you have 20 of them), so you'd be surprised how happy you will be to have your guests photos. My favorite shot from my cake cutting at my wedding is a guest photo because I love the angle they took the photo from!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Barbie Bridal Shower "Barbie-Que"

It all started with a bride with an extreme fascination with Barbie. So extreme, in fact, that she had an entire room in her house dedicated to the iconic Mattel doll. The amazing "Barbie Room", complete with a pink chandelier, pink walls, black and white damask accent wall, framed Robert Best Barbie sketches, and a white bookcase full of Barbies, served as the inspiration for a bridal shower for an equally amazing bride-to-be.

The thirty-ish female guests were welcomed with a "wishing tree" sign in with vintage-style Barbie note cards. After jotting down some well wishes to hang from the tree, the girls were welcomed by a "Ken doll" server and offered an assortment of pink refreshments. Among the signature drinks were: Barbie-tini, Pink Sangria, Barbie Bubbly (Pink Champagne), Barbie Blush Wine, and for the non-drinkers Pink Lemonade and Pink Cream Soda. Drinks were served in either a pink martini glass or a wine glass accessorized with custom made pink Barbie shoe wine charms.

The barbeque-style dinner served up mini-burgers, mini-paninis and sushi with plenty of salads and appetizers to nibble on throughout the evening. The true indulgence of the night, however, belonged to the signature Barbie dessert table: a pink-fondant covered Barbie cake, a display of cupcakes topped with three flavors of buttercream icing in different shades of pink (french vanilla, banana and mint), pink cake pops (recipe courtesy of Bakerella), a pink chocolate fountain, and finally a pink candy buffet.

Decor for the event consisted of pink tablecloths (obviously!), Barbie busts, pink and white peony arrangements, strategically placed Barbie dolls in pink convertibles, and pink damask accent pillows for the lounge area. After opening many Barbie-esque shower gifts, along with some more traditional ones, guests made their exit and were thanked with a of set of four hand-made wine charms in Barbie gift bags.

If you'd like to view more photos from the event, check out the "Events" section of my portfolio at