Friday, November 23, 2012

8 Great Christmas Party Theme Ideas

Dinner parties are okay, but why not try something a little different with your Christmas party this year? Here are great Christmas party themes you can pull of without a huge fuss.


The Cookie Swap: 
Everyone bakes their favorite Christmas goodies and brings them to the party in individual packages to share. Include a recipe with your gifts so that everyone can add their favorites to their recipe book.

The Ugly Sweater Party
This one doesn't need a lot of explaining. The goal is to wear the ugliest holiday sweater you can find. We think there should be prizes for the worst dressed -- with extra bonus points going to those who knit their own ugly sweathers!

The Karaoke Party 
What's more fun than karaoke? Christmas karaoke of course! If you have a shy bunch, a cocktail or two might be in order to kick things off.

The White Elephant Gift Exchange 
These are by far some of the funniest and most entertaining parties we've ever been to. If you need help with the rules for a white elephant exchange, check out rules and variations here.

The Holiday Costume Party 
Like the ugly sweater party, only with costumes. Award prizes to the best, worst, and most creative costumes.

Tree-Trimming Party
This is a great idea for new homeowners, set up a tree and ask everyone to bring or make an ornament to help you decorate. In return for their help, feed your guests lots of yummy treats.

The Gift Wrap Party
This is a great one for people who dread gift wrapping -- turn it into a party! Ask everyone to bring their gifts, wrapping paper and tools and make a fun day of it with holiday treats and festive music.

The Everything Party 
So not everybody celebrates Christmas? No problem. Have a holiday party where everyone pitches in a favorite dish, game or activity that represents the holiday they celebrate. Play dreidel, sing Christmas carols, bring a kinara and, most importantly, have fun!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Roundup: Holiday Entertaining Tips

Vintage Christmas Paper from Pinwhirls.com
If you're looking for tips and tricks to make your holiday entertaining a breeze, you're in luck. We've rounded up some of the best holiday entertaining tips the pros have to offer.


10 Holiday Entertaining Tips from Clinton Kelly

Clinton Kelly, host of the popular show "What Not to Wear" offers some great tips for planning your Christmas or New Year's celebration. He suggests that readers "think outside the dinner table" and plan for guests to be very hungry and thirsty! Also, he reminds us all that one of the biggest mistakes we can make is blocking the view (and the conversation!) with an oversized centerpiece.

Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes 

Martha Stewart offers some absolutely delicious fall appetizers to share with your guest (or take with you) this Thanksgiving. From Winter Squash Dip to Baked Brie with Pecans, there are plenty of dishes on Martha's appetizer list that might just steal the turkey's thunder this year.

12 Tips for Holiday Entertaining Success

Sandra Lee offers advice for holiday decorating that you might not have thought of before. For example, she recommends renting fancy dinnerware rather than buying. We think that's a great idea for those who want to create a super special party or get-together but don't have the money (or storage) for all that extra dinnerware.

7 Tips for Easy Holiday Entertaining

Let's face it, the holiday parties are as much about the food as they are about spending time with the people you love. Eating Well has some great tips for preparing healthy cocktails and appetizers that won't send all of your guests reeling toward a food coma before the evening has even gotten started. Don't miss the related recipes section featuring Vegetable Satay and Pomegranate Cosmos.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012: Party Ideas for Families and Friends


Stumped on what to do for your Thanksgiving party this year? Time is running out, but luckily we've found some great ideas from around the internet to help you find your party planning inspiration.

Thanksgiving Party Ideas for Kids

Kids make passing on your thanksgiving traditions a must. If you're look for some fun and entertaining party ideas for the younger crowd, you can't go wrong with these tips from Family Fun. You can find instructions for fun crafts and recipe ideas too!

Party Ideas for Thanksgiving

The Holiday Spot offers some great ideas for prepping your home for the perfect Thanksgiving party. We guarantee you'll find some new ideas on this page, from the crazy hat party to the collection party. There are also some great ideas here for showing your friends and family how thankful you are to have them in your life.

Thanksgiving Menus, Recipes and Turkey Help

Rachel Ray has pretty much everything covered on her Thanksgiving page. Whether you need help getting the turkey reader or planning your party menu, you're sure to get all of your questions answered here. This is a great site for those planning a very traditional thanksgiving celebration.

Host a Food Drive at Your Home

Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to give back to those who might need a little help this holiday season. Turn your typical Thanksgiving party or family gather into a food drive for your local food back. As everyone that's coming to bring a non-perishable food item (or two or twenty!) to take to the food bank.

Thanksgiving Games

Finally, if your looking for some ideas to keep kids and adults entertained, you'll want to check out Divine Dinner Party's "Thanksgiving Party Games: Thanksgiving Fun for Kids & Adults, Too".

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Easy Thanksgiving Entertaining


Entertaining at Thanksgiving is always special, but if you don't plan ahead it can also be a stressful time. Below are some of our favorite tips for easier Thanksgiving entertaining. If you have tips or suggestions to share, please add them in the comments!

  1. Ask for help. Just because you're the hostess doesn't mean you have to do everything on your own. Ask for friends and family to pitch in with different parts of the celebration. This can include menu planning, shopping, decorating, cooking and cleaning.

  2. Shop early. Once you've planned the meal, you should start shopping early. You can use grocery apps to prepare a list of the items you'll need and pick them up all at once or over several different trips. Shopping early also means you have time to hunt for the best deals.

  3. Cook ahead. While you might like the tradition of cooking the turkey on Thanksgiving Day, you could easily make side dishes and desserts the day before. You can also get a lot of the prep work out of the way by pre-measuring dry goods or cleaning and chopping fruits and veggies.

  4. Make plans for the kiddos. Don't have enough high chairs? Need a children's table for all of those nieces and nephews? Make sure you figure out the logistics ahead of schedule and borrow or ask guests to bring any items you don't already have in your home.

  5. Invite your guests early. If you don't invite your friends and family early you might find that someone else was planning to host the main event or that your guests made plans to celebrate Thanksgiving elsewhere. So, if you haven't done it already, send your invites or start making those phone calls.
By planning ahead and asking others to pitch in this Thanksgiving you can spend more time enjoying the company of your friends and family at the holidays!

Photo credit: alex27

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Resources for Creating the Perfect Fall Centerpiece


We've rounded up a great list of resources to help you find and create the perfect fall centerpiece for your table. Whether you're decorating for a formal Halloween gathering or a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends, we're sure you'll find the perfect centerpieces from our list of decorating resources.

Fall Centerpiece Resources

  1. Glittering Fall Table Setting and Centerpiece Ideas: HGTV's designer Erinn Valencich gives readers tips for fall entertaining. Her more formal table setting ideas are gorgeous and perfect for a formal Thanksgiving dinner or a fall dinner party.

  2. 5 Easy Fall Centerpiece Ideas: Woman's Day has some great decorating tips too. These finds are less formal, but every bit as charming. Incorporate paper pumpkins, fallen acorns, books, candles, pumpkins and more into a home-warming centerpiece for your fall table.

  3. Rustic and Contemporary Centerpiece Ideas: This how-to article from Martha Stewart shows you how to make elegant table centerpieces for a rustic or a modern look. The best part is that you can use them with everyday items from your backyard garden including, vegetables, herbs, gourds, and fruits.

  4. Fall Wedding Centerpieces: Brides.com has some stunning ideas for fall centerpieces for your wedding reception that include everything from colorful dahlias and willow branches to pumpkins and hydrangeas. There's even a simple but beautiful centerpiece made of nothing but wheat stalks and hand-tied ribbon.

  5. Fall Centerpiece Idea and Centerpiece Wednesday: The Style Sisters have some truly unique ideas for decorating your fall table. They even have a new take on the pinwheels we love so much. They've used book pages to create them, and they're adorable. There are lots more fall table ideas to browse while you're visiting the blog too.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Dinner Party Tips and Ideas


Fall is the perfect time to host a dinner party. As the evenings get cooler, it's nice to entertain indoors where things are warm and cozy. Here are some tips and ideas to inspire your next fall dinner party.

Bring the Outdoors In

A fall table setting can be brilliant and vivid when you incorporate pumpkins, gourds, and seasonal fruits and veggies into your arrangements. Autumn leaves are another way to bring striking colors to everything from your home decor to your centerpiece. Accents of twine or burlap work well with more rustic themes, while gold and ruby accents can dress things up a little.

Decorate or Carve Pumpkins

In lieu of those ghoulish jack-o-lanterns, go for more elegant pumpkin decorating ideas. We've seen some beautifully painted pumpkins as well as more intricate carvings that are simply stunning. You might want to browse some of Country Living's examples for out-of-the-box ideas.

Incorporate Harvest Foods in Your Menu

Pumpkin, squash, pears and apples are some obvious choices for seasonal dishes. But if you're looking for more ideas, we recommended checking out your local farmer's market for local harvest favorites. If you have your own garden, even better! For recipe ideas, click over to these great fall recipes from Taste of Home.

Don't Forget the Drinks

Mulled cider and cocoa are the perfect thing to take the chill off. Have some waiting for your guests when they arrive--perhaps with hors d'oeuvres--so that guests can mingle and snack while waiting for others to arrive to the dinner party.

Do you have fall dinner party tips to share? We want to hear them!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween Party Planning for Kids


Halloween really is a great holiday for kids. I mean, what child doesn't love dressing up as a favorite superhero, a scary monster, or a beloved story character? Even better, it's actually acceptable to go door-to-door and beg the neighbors for candy.

But did you know it's possible to have even more Halloween fun with a party? Plus, when you host a halloween party your kids can wear that awesome costume for more than just a few hours on October 31.

We've got some tips for planning a halloween party--whether you're inviting a few close friends or the entire neighborhood.

We're skipping the obvious advice to get the good candy, because that's a given.

Plan Age-Appropriate Activities

Your middle schooler and your kindergartner aren't going to want to play the same games, but there's no rule that says you can't set up separate activities for different ages. Spoonful.com has lots of great printables and games for Halloween if you're looking for inspiration.

Hold a Costume Contest

Reward kids for their creativity and dedication to dressing up! The costume contest can be fun for everyone, and you can award as many or as few prizes as you want. To make sure more kids go home with prizes, just add additional categories. You can have winners for the scariest costume, the cutest costume, the most original costume, and on and on. Prizes don't have to be huge or break the bank. We recommend coloring or activity books for the younger children or a even king size candy bar. Yum!

Hayrides

Hayrides aren't feasible at every party, but if you've got the opportunity to run one? Jump on it! Safety is always the priority though, so check the local weather and make sure younger children have adult supervision during the trip. If you're really into Halloween and want your hayride to be over-the-top, invite others to set up haunted stations along the route.

What do your kids love best about Halloween parties?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Party Planning for Grown Ups

When it comes to Halloween, kids don't get to have all the fun. We've got some tips to help you plan a fun and memorable Halloween party, whether you intend to invite friends, family, or coworkers.

Pick a Theme

You might think that Halloween is a party theme in and of itself, but you could really be missing out. Some of the best parties we've attended have been Halloween parties with and additional costume theme. All those invited to the party must show up in a costume that's related to the theme. Here are some theme ideas:
  • Famous couples
  • Fictional characters
  • 70s TV shows
  • Monsters
  • Famous villains
Plan Games

When it comes to party games, a Halloween favorite is the costume contest, but there are lots of other games you can play. You could try pumpkin decorating, Halloween themed Pictionary, or a scary movie trivia contest to keep things festive. Games are also good icebreakers if your guests aren't already acquainted.

Go Big with Halloween Decorations

If ever there were a time to go a little over the top with your party decor, Halloween is it! For some really extravagant Halloween decorations, check out the extreme decor in this article from TrendHunter.

What do you do to celebrate Halloween?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Top 5 Children's Birthday Party Tips


Most parents celebrate their children's birthdays with a party. From small family parties to elaborate celebrations, birthday parties can be lots of fun for everyone. They can be just as much fun to plan. Here are some tips for making your child's next birthday party the best one so far.

Let the Child Call Some of the Shots

Of course, kids love eating cake and opening presents, but many of them enjoy planning the event too. Unless you're planning a surprise party, you can ask your child to help select the theme, the party decorations, the invitations, the cake and the activities. It'll make the party a truly special event.

Keep the Guest List Manageable

If you're holding the party in your home, it's a good idea NOT to invite your child's entire 2nd grade class. Other venues can handle such a crowd, but for a home party you might want to stick to inviting family and/or some of the child's closest friends from school.

Plan Activities

It's a fact of life that kids get bored easily. Plan activities for the kids to keep them occupied, and remember to set a pick-up time for parents if kids are being dropped off for the birthday party. We're a big fan of games, and you can find a ton of helpful game ideas at MomsWhoThink.com.

Have a Back-Up Plan

If you're planning an outdoor party, it's especially important to have a Plan B for the day's events. Activity books and indoor games will be a must. You might also want to plan a few more activities that you think you'll get to. It's better to have planned activities you don't get to than to discover your games all ended more quickly than you anticipated and you're struggling to fill the leftover time.

Are you a kids' party planning wizard? What tips and trips do you recommend?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Party Planning Secrets

Pulling off a stress-free party usually means planning ahead and staying organized. But how, exactly, does a hostess manage all of that? With these party planning secrets, of course!

Use Lists

Photo Courtesy of Pinwhirls Customer Kathleen L.
Lists aren't just for shopping. Use multiple lists to manage your party through every step of the planning phase, and manage that with a master list. It might sound like overkill, but the bigger the party the more likely you are to forget something. Here are the kinds of lists you'll need:
  • Master list for party planning chores and to-dos
  • Shopping list for all of your party decor and supplies
  • Invitation list
  • RSVP list
  • Gift & thank you list (used at birthday parties and bridal, wedding, or baby showers)
Offer DIY Drinks & Buffets

Skipping the bartender means guests can get those cocktails and soft drinks just the way they like them. Of course, it also means that guests can get those cocktails just the way they like them!  Plus buffets simplify meal service and make it easier for guests with dietary restrictions to create the perfect party menu for one.

Create a Kid-Friendly Space

If your event is family friendly, one of the best things you can do to keep the adults sane is offer a fun activity space for the kids. Simple crafts, coloring books, and other age-friendly games can entertain the kiddos and encourage them to socialize at the party.

Give Yourself Time

Save a little time an hour or two before the party to collect yourself and take a few deep breaths. If you're worked up into a frenzy as guests are arriving, it'll show -- and chances are you won't enjoy the event as much.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Origins of Four More Wedding Traditions

In an earlier post, we covered some of the origins of popular wedding traditions including why brides wear white wedding gowns, why brides look for something "old, new, borrowed, and blue" and the history of the wedding bouquet.

Photo courtesy of Kristen W.
But there are many more wedding traditions and plenty of interesting stories to explain them. So we're going to cover a few more of the most popular traditions in the United States.

Tossing the Garter and Bouquet

According to a Mental Floss article, the origins of this story are pretty creepy and involve wedding guests helping the bride and groom make things "official" by tearing and pawing at the bride's dress. In time, the bouquet and garter were tossed as distractions to help the bride escape the crowd unnoticed.

Giving Away the Bride

That same Mental Floss article explains why fathers give away brides. You might not like it, but the story behind this wedding tradition is that "fathers once used their daughters as currency to a) pay off a debt to a wealthier land owner, b) symbolize a sacrificial, monetary peace offering to an opposing tribe or c) buy their way into a higher social strata."

The Wedding Cake

Smithsonian.com tells us that wedding cake has a long history. In ancient Rome the grooms smashed barley cake over the bride’s head. (We're not sure if that's better or worse than cake in the face!) Also, in medieval England unmarried wedding guests might take home a slice of cake to "tuck under their pillow."

Saving the wedding cake, according to CNN Living, was less about commemorating the one-year wedding anniversary and more about frugality. According to the article, "It used to be assumed that when there was a wedding, a christening would follow shortly. So, rather than bake two cakes for the occasions, they'd just bake one big one and save a part of it to be eaten at a later date when the squealing bundle of joy arrived."

What is your favorite wedding tradition? Do you know how it got started?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Planning a Family Reunion


We don't always think of family reunions as parties, but that's exactly what they can be if you plan them right. Here are a few tips to make your next reunion more festive and less stressful.

Pick a Theme
Instead of the same old family reunion year after year, give the event a theme. Luaus, costume parties, and pool parties are lots of fun. If your reunion is an annual event, make it a challenge to see how long you can go without repeating a theme.

Assign Committees
You can split up responsibilities by age groups or by families to make sure everyone has something fun to do. For example, you could put grandchildren in charge of picking out games and activities, aunts can be in charge of menu planning, uncles can be in charge of setup and grandparents can choose the venue and organize booking the shelter house, pool, cabin, or hall.

Send Reminders
Send out traditional invitations or e-vites so people can put the reunion on their calendars. If your family is spread out over several states, planning ahead is essential. Include all the important information including where and when the reunion will be held. If you're divvying up jobs, put a reminder on the cards so people know which aspects of planning they are responsible for.

Remember the Photos
Don't forget the cameras! You might want to plan ahead to have a professional photographer take a large group photo as well as take family and individual portraits. When you do this, sitting fees can be divided up among all the families. If having a professional photographer isn't feasible, be sure you pack your own digital camera.

What tips do you have for planning a fun family reunion?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tips for Choosing Wedding Jewelry

Photo courtesy of Heather M and
photographer, 
www.catwilborne.com/
We've already talked a lot about weddings -- from picking the right bouquet to selecting the right destination, but there's so much more that goes into wedding planning.

What the bride will wear is a huge consideration. The dress has to be perfect and fit the bride's budget after all. But sometimes it's the small details that truly make the bride radiant. That's why today we're talking wedding jewelry. Here are a few tips to help you pick the best pieces.

Take Heirloom Pieces With You

If you're going with traditional wedding jewelry and heirloom pieces, select them and bring them with you as you plan the rest of your wardrobe around them. Not all dresses and necklaces will work together, so if you want to wear your grandmother's teardrop necklace with your gown, you have to make sure the neckline of your gown accommodates your choices.

Don't Be Afraid of Costume Pieces

Costume jewelry works well for many brides, if you know what to look for. It can also save you a fortune -- particularly if you are looking for bold, chunky necklaces or earrings that really stand out. Just remember that synthetic gemstones are a lot more forgiving than cheap or poorly plated metals. The last thing a bride needs is a necklace that turns her neck green!

Keep it Simple

Sometimes it's tempting to overdo it with the jewelry. Remember that accessories still take a back seat to your overall appearance. Look for items that compliment your style without making you look overdecorated and gaudy. Gowns with intricate designs and lots of lace typically call for less ornate jewelry.

Don't Forget the Bridesmaids

If you want a coordinated look, work with your bridesmaids to select pieces that flatter everyone and coordinate well with the bridesmaids' dresses. This doesn't necessarily mean that every woman should wear the same earring and the same necklace. Consistent style doesn't have to mean everyone has to be dressed exactly alike. Individuality is important too.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Origin of Wedding Traditions

Photos courtesy of Krystal G. and draperphotography.com.
Have you ever wondered just how our wedding traditions got started? Why do women wear white dresses. Why do guests throw rice? And why do couples save wedding cake for their one year anniversary? Read on to learn about the origins of some of our most popular wedding traditions in America.

The White Wedding Gown

In "The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions"Jenn Grabenstetter explains that women used to simply wear their best outfit to their wedding just to convince her future husband that her family was wealthy. It wasn't until Queen Victoria came along wearing a pale wedding dress that white caught on. Apparently every girl dreamed of looking like a queen on her wedding day.

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

Hollee Actman Becker explains the tradition of the bride wearing something old, new, borrowed and blue in her piece for The Knot titled, "Wedding Customs: Tracking Tradition." These items are supposed to by symbolic:

  • Old = Continuity
  • New = Optimism
  • Borrowed = Happiness
  • Blue = Love and Fidelity.

Keep the Bride and Groom Separate Before the Ceremony

In that same article, Becker explains why some brides insist that the groom not see them before the ceremony. Apparently this tradition originated from the superstition that it if the groom saw the bride before the wedding she would not be "pure and new" and it would mean bad luck for the couple.

The Wedding Bouquet

If you've ever wondered why the bride carries a bouquet, Rebecca Fairley Raney has the answer over at How Stuff Works in her article, "10 Wedding Traditions with Surprising Origins." Raney explains that this tradition likely got started around the time of the Plauge when people believed herbs would help them survive.

What is your favorite wedding tradition? Do you know how it got started?


Brides: Learn how you can save 10% on wedding items from Pinwhirls.com!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bow Tie or Bow?





Although I haven't officially announced it on this blog, my hubby and I are expecting our 2nd little one in mid-December.  Our first, Gabriel - Gabe for short, was born in April of 2010 so he's just a little over 2.  For Gabe, we didn't learn his gender ahead of his birth.  We {okay mostly myself - my hubby really sort of wanted to know} wanted it to be a total surprise when he/she arrived.  This go around, I decided to be nice and let the hubby get his way, but only if I could make it special by hosting a gender reveal party for our families - and ourselves - we didn't even want to know until the day of the party - which happened to be 2 weeks after the ultrasound (the torture!). Roger isn't from Indiana so all of his family is out of town, so we decided to mail his close family gender reveal cookies - they would bite into the center of the cookie and the color would reveal the gender.  His parents also planned on joining us on PlayStation video chat the day of the party - they were to bite into their cookies at the same time we bit into our cupcakes.
...
So, to have everything come together so that neither Roger/I found out the gender ahead of the party, we hired a local baker to bake both the cookies and the cupcakes. She got to take a peek at the gender card (which the ultrasound tech slid into a sealed envelope) before we knew. But, to make a long story short there was a snafu with the cookies. The baker baked them too thin and when I went to package them to ship, I accidentally saw the color and thus learned the sex.  Huge disappointment - was in a minor depression all day while I awaited hubby getting home from work. Although he really wanted to wait until the day of the party, I told him that there was no way that I could hold onto the secret from him for 5 days.  So, he and Gabe split one of my freshly baked replacement cookies (which were oatmeal and super thick so no one would find out the gender on accident).




The theme of the party was - Bow Tie or Bow? Soon we will Know! On the day of the party, we requested that everyone wear blue if they thought it was a boy and red if they thought it was a girl. (A few were perplexed as to why I didn't select baby blue and baby pink for the colors - to put it simply - I'm just tired of those traditional colors for babies so I wanted a more fun and unique color combination.)
...
When guests arrived, we had them vote on the gender by putting a hash mark on the huge chalkboard that sits above our buffet.




The baker did an awesome job on the bow and bow tie cupcakes.  Although I hate complaining to vendors, I did let her know about the cookie snafu, so I think she went out of her way to make sure the cupcakes were perfect.  Cupcakes were red velvet with cream cheese icing (our favorite). Nom.



Upon arriving, guests were also able to pin on a bow tie if they thought it was a boy ...




or, they could pin or clip on a bow if they guessed it was a girl. Many wore both including my parents - they didn't want to play favorites.




We decorated the food area with red and blue decor accents including pennants.



For the food, I kept it simple. I originally wanted everything to either be bow/bow tie themed or aqua blue or red, but the foods just became too limiting (there aren't many aqua colored foods!). So, since it was a lunch time reveal we served simple sandwiches (chicken salad, shrimp salad and turkey and Swiss roll-ups), bow tie Italian Pasta Salad, Fruit Salad with Granola, and an assortment of chips. Instead of eating off traditional paper plates, guests ate off of red deli baskets (the kind you get at diners, drive-ins, and cute hamburger joints). For drinks, I did a build your own flavored lemonade buffet where guests could add fresh strawberries, blueberries or raspberries to their lemonade.



After lunch and mingling, we did the gender reveal.  Above is my son with his cupcake. The photo makes it looks as if he's behaving with his cupcake.  So, not true - by this point he'd already torn off the fondant topper (I quickly put it back on for a quick photo) and within about 30 seconds of this photo he was covered in cupcake icing and crumbs. Now for reveal time ...




It's a boy!




So, the majority of our guests/family got the gender correct. :)
...
Gabe is so going to love having a little brother. I'm sure they'll grow up being best buddies!
...
To view many more photos of the party, including the gender reveal cookies, just click here.
...
Products {I created most of the items to keep it on a budget}.
Gender Reveal Invites: Pinwhirls
Gender Reveal Cookie Cards: Pinwhirls
Cupcake Wrappers: Pinwhirls
Pennants: Pinwhirls
Mini Pennants: Pinwhirls
Food Label Tents: Pinwhirls
Bow Ties: I made these as well using this blog as a guide. Although I glued all of mine and did not sew. I also glued onto simple pin backs.
Bows: I made these too. Just tied a simple bow and glued half of them onto pin backs and half onto hair clips.
Ribbon for Bow Ties and Bows: Jo Ann Fabrics
Red Deli Baskets with Deli Paper: I originally bought some at Jo Anns, but they did not have enough. I found them at Gordon Food Service for much cheaper.
Red Polka Dot Napkins: Wal Mart
Aqua Blue Polka Dot Napkins: Target
Shrimp Salad, Chicken Salad, and Chicken Rollers, Croissants, and Pretzel Rolls: Costco
Fruit Salad: Recipe - I added a ton more fruit than noted in recipe including raspberries, blueberries, fresh peaches, grapes. All from Costco.
Homemade Granola: Recipe
Italian Bow Tie Pasta Salad: Recipe

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

Photo Courtesy BlissandWhimsy.com
Pinwhirls Courtesy Pinwhirls.com
Destination weddings are fun, memorable, and come with a built-in honeymoon. But they require a little extra planning, especially if you want the wedding to be accessible to family members and other guests. Here are some tips to planning the perfect destination wedding:

Plan Ahead 

Make sure you send out save the date cards well in advance of the wedding. Your guests will need time to make arrangements for a wedding that is held outside of the U.S. In some cases, your guests may need time to get passports, schedule vacation time from work, and buy airfare and lodging. Most importantly, give advanced notice of your big day gives you and your guests the opportunity to budget for trip.

Look for Discounts

This goes back to planning ahead. In order to get the best rates on accommodations and services, you need to allow yourself enough time to shop around. Search for discounts, and get the skinny of wedding packages. Some resorts offer weddings free of charge as long as you book your honeymoon for a minimum number of nights.

Consider a Wedding Planner

Destination wedding planners specialize in planning weddings where legalities, communications, and cultural issues might present a problem. They take care of the details, and the extra money you spend on the wedding planner could save you thousands in headaches. Look for a wedding planner that is an expert in your preferred wedding location.

Chill Out

The whole point of a destination wedding is to enjoy the exotic beauty of foreign place. Don't let your desire to control the event rob you of the joy of your event. As others have pointed out before, many destination weddings run on "island time," and you have to be ready to go with the flow.

Did you have a destination wedding? Where did you go and would you recommend it to others?

Brides: Learn how you can save 10% on wedding items from Pinwhirls.com!

Monday, August 13, 2012

5 Places to Get Wedding Theme Help

Photo Courtesy of Kristen W.
If you're trying to plan a wedding and can't even settle on theme theme, relax and take a deep breath. We've compiled a list of resources that can give you a little help and inspiration and coordinate everything from invitations to place cards. Check out these great sites for planning a wedding:

10 Great Wedding Themes from TLC. From fairy tale weddings to the a swanky urban wedding, TLC has some unique ideas that can help you plan a wedding that's traditional or trendy or anything in between.

Wedding Style from the Knot. The Knot is a fantastic site, and this link takes you directly to some breathtaking photos of some gorgeous weddings. They've got something for everyone: offbeat weddings, rustic wedding, beach weddings and more.

Unique Wedding Ideas and Inspirations from Beau Coup. The inspirational ideas on beau coup site are great too. Check out the "Themes & Style" section if you are particularly interested in outdoor, beach or destination wedding themes.

Rustic Country Wedding Ideas from Martha Stewart. Martha's wedding ideas are always timelessly elegant. If a rustic wedding theme is what you're after, don't miss this photo album on her rustic wedding ideas page.

Fall Weddings from Weddings.com. Fall us upon is, and it's a gorgeous time to get married. From pumpkin themes to avoiding the pitfalls of fall planning, this site is another must see packed with helpful articles and gorgeous photo galleries.

There are plenty of resources to help you find the perfect theme for your wedding. Don't forget that Pinterest is a great resource, and you can also check out the Pinwhirls photo gallery on Flickr to see beautiful photos submitted by our customers.

Have you already chosen a wedding theme? What ideas or websites have inspired you?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 Ways to Take Better Party Photos

From birthday parties to wedding anniversaries, the best way to preserve your party memories is to take pictures! Some of our customers have submitted some fantastic photos of events featuring custom Pinwhirls, many taken by some very talented professional photographers. However, if your party is less formal, or you just don't have the budget, we've got some tips to help you get better party photos.

Photo Courtesy of Beth B.
When you're finished, you can browse the Pinwhirls Flickr photo stream for inspiration.

5 Tips for Better Party Photos

  1. Try to get a group shot. Getting everyone together at the same time can be difficult, so plan accordingly. You'll want to try for the group shot toward the beginning of the party, as some people may leave the party early.

  2. Don't try to pose people. Candid shots are more fun, so unless you're trying to get everyone to make a silly face, we recommend just going with the flow. Take pictures of people when they don't suspect it, and you're bound to get some of the best shots of the night.

  3. Know the party schedule. More formal affairs like anniversary parties might adhere to a schedule of events. Get the itinerary for the party so you don't miss any of the photo-worthy moments.

  4. Be creative. Move around the room to get different shots from different perspectives. Don't just set up the camera in a corner and ask people to say "cheese." (Although a camera booth is still a great idea!) Stand on chairs. Sit on the floor. See what happens when you take photos from a number of different angles.

  5. Remember that zoom is your friend. By zooming in and out you can have some fun with photos. Plus the zoom feature can help you get around camera shyness with some of the guests. If you don't have to stick the camera right in front of them, the pictures will look more natural.
Do you hire a photographer or take your own photos for birthdays and other events?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to Master the Art of Mingling at a Party



It's one thing to throw a party, and another thing to attend a party. For some introverted partygoers and for individuals who find themselves trying to fit in with a new social crowd, a little refresher on party etiquette can be a lifesaver.

For other more extroverted participants, a little restraint might be called for. So here's what to do after you get the party invitation and accept your invitation to the event.

Mingling & Socializing: Party Etiquette
  • Don't get too hung up on yourself. When you care about other people, the conversation tends to flow pretty naturally. So concentrate on asking questions that help you get to know the other people at the party.
  • Move around the room. Even if you're engaged in a conversation, it's okay to excuse yourself and move around the room. It's good to meet new people. If you're intimidated by groups or crowds, seek out people standing by themselves. They'll be glad you approached and introduced yourself.
  • Be a good listener. Your interest in what other people have to say makes you likable. If you have a tendency to let your mouth motor on, make a conscious effort to give others an opportunity to join the conversations. A good way to accomplish this is by pausing after you speak. The longer you pause, the more likely someone else will jump in to the conversation.
  • Stay positive. There's a reason they call them party poopers. Negativity really doesn't have any place at a party, and your mood can sour the mood for a whole lot of people. Focus on the positive things you have to say, and never ever talk badly about the party, the food, the host, or the guests.
  • Introduce the people you know. It's okay to play hostess at the party. When you introduce to people that don't know each other yet, mention something they may have in common. This can kickstart a new conversation and also give you a polite way to exit the conversation without leaving someone standing alone.
What do you love or hate about mingling and socializing at parties?


Photo credit: <a href="http://mrg.bz/vcVeXE">imelenchon</a>

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cocktail Party Tips


Cocktail parties are generally pretty classy gatherings. They're the perfect event when you're hosting the boss and colleagues during the evening, but they're also fun for receptions or for entertaining a group of close friends.

The formula for a cocktail party is pretty simple. Guests are served snacks and finger foods and a variety of alcoholic beverages. For obvious reasons, a cocktail party invitation will not include children. Most parties last about 2 or 3 hours and start anywhere from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tips for Hosting a Great Cocktail Party

1. The job of hostess is very important. You'll be expected to introduce friends and colleagues that may not know each other, and generally make sure that the conversation continues throughout the party. Of course, it will also be your job to make sure the food and drinks are replenished as necessary.

2. Don't forget the designated drivers. It probably goes without saying, but designated drivers are a must at any party where alcoholic beverages are served. It's probably a good idea to put a little reminder on your party invitations. Something simple like, "Don't forget to bring a DD!"

3. Plan the menu ahead. You should probably plan for 3-4 drinks for each guest you invite to the cocktail party. The food menu you should fairly simple and include snacks and appetizer dishes that are easy to eat while walking around and mingling.

4. Entertainment ideas. Cocktail parties can be budget-friendly affairs. A live band isn't necessary, because your guests will spend the majority of their time chatting with each other. For a little ambiance, you might want to play some light jazz or instrumental music in the background.

5. Go for simple but elegant party decor. No need to overdo the decorations a cocktail party. Some simple, elegant linens and nice glassware will do the trick. Finishing touches could include fresh flower arrangements and candlelight.

Cocktail parties are very easy to plan and can be a great way to introduce your friends and colleagues. What are some of your cocktail party planning tips?

Photo credit: turbidity

Friday, July 13, 2012

Heather & Chris: Fun & Fabulous Pinwheel Wedding



Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of working with Heather on her upcoming May wedding.  I could tell via our email chats that her wedding was going to be a fun and fablous affair filled with lots of clever handcreated touches.

Chris and Heather were married on May 27, 2012 in Bristow, Virginia at The Bristow Manor Golf Club. This was a "redo" wedding for them as they were married the first time on April 6, 2010, before her husband was deployed to Iraq. They didn't have a chance to have all our family there for that wedding, so this one was very special for them. The weather was beautiful, the day was perfect and the memories will be forever!


Loved her color combinations of turquoise and coral.



She even went the diy pinwheel route on some of her items - such as the above pinwheel cupcake toppers. How cute are they paired with our coordinating cupcake wrappers?



More photos can be viewed here!

Thanks, Chris and Heather for allowing us to share photos of your big day on our blog.  Also, a big thanks to their photographer for allowing us to share her beautiful work:http://catwilborne.com/blog/.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

6 Fun Water Games for Your Next Pool Party


Photo credit: beglib from morguefile.com

There's no better way to celebrate summer birthdays than with a pool party! Whether you're lucky enough to have a pool in your own backyard, or you're meeting party guests at the local pool water games are always a hit. (Always play it safe in the pool and make sure children are supervised at all times.)

Pool Party Games

Noodle Jousting Tournament: In this game, two players at a time to sit on rafts with foam noodles. Each player tries to knock the other player in the water by jousting with the noodle. The person left standing takes on the next player, and the person still on the raft at the end of all the rounds is the winner. Set up a tournament bracket for serious fun.

T-Shirt Races: Divide the swimmers in two teams and provide an oversized T-shirt for each team. Swimmers must swim the length of the pool in the T-shirt and then hand it off to the next teammate in a relay-style race. This game is best for more advanced swimmers.

Scavenger Hunt: Place items that sink and float in the pool. Call out items to be found and the person who collects the most at the end of the game wins! To make it difficult, use riddles instead of calling out the item names. Use only one of each item, or a limited number of items to keep the game challenging.

Ping Pong Plunge: With a magic marker, write a different number on ping pong balls and then toss them all into the pool. The object is to be the one who collects the most ping pong balls with the highest value.

Marco Polo: This one is an old favorite. A version of tag for the water, Marco Polo is played by choosing someone to be "it." That person must close his or her eyes or be blindfolded while calling out "Marco." The rest of the players must reply "Polo." If the first player tags someone, they become "it" and the game continues as before.

Volleyball: If you have a pool net and a volleyball, this one is a lot of fun. But you can also play by roping off the pool and using a plain old beach ball.

What are some of your favorite water games?

We have some great summer themed papers for creating your pool party invites, banners and decorations. Visit our shop at Pinwhirls.com!


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Office Party Planning Tips


We spend a lot of time at work and, consequently, we spend a lot of time with our coworkers. Lots of businesses like to offer their employees a chance to relax and shoot the breeze from time to time while also celebrating employees' accomplishments and other milestones. To this end, small businesses and corporations everywhere instituted the Party Planning Committee.

But what if you're new to party planning, or you've been doing it for a while and need some inspiration to shake up the workplace a little? Well, we've got a few tips to help you plan an office party that's a hit--whether it's for a promotion, a birthday, a holiday celebration or whatever!

Name the Big Event

Every party deserves a great name. It's a way to add a touch of humor or personality to the event, which will in turn generate more positive reactions and higher attendance. For example, instead of inviting employees to the "Don's Plumbing Christmas Party," send out invitations to the "Don's Plumbing Holiday Disco Extravaganza." Well, a disco might not be a draw for your event, but you get what we're driving at.

Pick the Right Date

If you're hosting a small office party during business hours, we recommend setting the date for a Friday afternoon. Fridays are just more festive, but they're also a little slower work-wise in a lot of companies. If you're planning an off-site event, you won't have much choice but to choose an evening or weekend. Do your employees a favor and host a party on a Friday or Saturday night if you're planning to serve any adult beverages.

Serve a Variety of Finger Foods

In most cases, the less stuffy the event, the more employees will enjoy it. Instead of a sit-down menu, go for a variety of appetizers and finger foods that guests can munch on as they mingle. The less structured the event, the better the party atmosphere. (Note: Your best bet is to offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian options to make sure there's a little something for everyone.)

Remember that office parties don't have to be a drag. Make sure everyone is included, and ask for suggestions if your party planning committee needs ideas that will be fun for the entire company.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Slumber Party Tips


So your daughter wants to have a slumber party for her next birthday. Now what?

If you're going to host a slumber party, you might be a little anxious--but never fear! There are a few things that will help you get through the night unscathed. Here's what to do:

Set a Guest Limit and Stick to It

Your best bet is to keep the guest list to eight or fewer. You might need to whittle the list down to six or less if space is limited in your home. Remember: all those sleeping bags are going to have to fit somewhere! Send out your invitations and include a contact information sheet with your RSVP. Everyone will feel better knowing that parents can be easily reached -- just in case.

Set Arrival and Departure Times

Make it clear when the party starts and ends, and ask parents to bring the children after they've had an evening meal. You'll likely be serving cake or other treats, but preparing dinner for an army of your child's friends might be a little too much to ask--especially with all the party decorating and planning you'll have to do. Keep breakfast the next morning simple with individual serving cereal boxes, fruits, and a choice of water, juice or milk. It's a good idea to ask parents to pick their children up by noon.


Schedule Activities

Whether you play birthday games, outdoor games, or do movies and popcorn, it's a good idea to give structure to the evening for the kids. Let them know what they can expect, and you'll help calm any worries or anxiety that first-time sleepover guests will have about being away from home overnight.

Set a Bed Time

A half-hour before it's time for bed, dim the lights and start a quiet time for the partygoers to wind down. Some of the children will probably be a little chatty, even after lights out, but you shouldn't have any reason to stress about it. It is a party after all.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tips for Hosting Brunch

Hosting a brunch is a great idea for a party or gathering. They're perfect for celebrating wedding showers, baby showers, holidays and more. However, if you've never planned a brunch before, you might have a difficult time planning and organizing. Here are some tips to help you pull it off:

Go for the Brunch Buffet

Serving food buffet style is ideal, because it allows you to serve the food quickly without worrying about juggling different courses. Plus, with the right tools, you can keep food at temperature so that everyone get their warm food warm and their cold food cold.

Go for a Diverse Menu

The brunch buffet also gives you the opportunity to create a diverse menu that accommodates a variety of diets. Got guests with food allergies or diabetes? Serving vegetarians? At a brunch buffet, everyone can pick and choose their ideal brunch meal. Here are some great brunch favorites:

  • Egg and meat casseroles (or an omelette station if you want to kick it up a notch)
  • Quiches
  • French toast, breakfast bars, pastries, pancakes
  • Fruit and/or vegetable salad
  • Bacon and/or sausage
  • Cheeses, jams, jellies
  • Bagels and cereals (especially great for kids)
  • Coffee, tea, orange juice, milk, hot cocoa
Make the Food Easy to Eat

You can plan a sit-down style brunch buffet if you have plenty of table seating for your guests. However, you can also enjoy a great buffet as guests walk around and mingle. To accomplish this, your menu should include bite-sized options that don't require utensils. Mini quiches, bagels, and pre-cut pastries work perfectly.


How to Arrange the Brunch Buffet Table
Plan your table before you start piling on the food. In general, keep your main course or entree items together, and consider using separate tables for dessert items. Use yet another table for coffee and other drinks. When serving a large crowd, allow your guests to fill their plates from both sides of the table. Finally, don't forget the party decorations for the buffet table. Adding decorative elements to the serving tables with make your brunch buffet more festive.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Eco-Friendly Party Tips


Everywhere you turn, people are working hard to go green and reduce waste. There are plenty of ways you can encourage green party planning too! These eco-friendly party tips aren't just good for the planet, but they can also rescue your party planning budget.

Use Cloth Napkins and Real Dishes

You can cut way back on the amount of waste you produce at your party by using real linens and dishes. By eliminating the paper plates and napkins from the equation, you can also create a more elegant party atmosphere for your guests.

Buy Recycled Products

We know that sometimes real linens and dishes just aren't feasible. If paper plates and napkins and plastic utensils are a must, look for brands that contain recycled content.  Recycle any products you can and store leftover items for future use. Look for party invitations that can be recycled, printed on recycle papers, or that have been printed with earth-friendly inks.

Store & Reuse Party Decor

You can store party favors and decorations for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and more just as you would decorations for the holidays. When you do this, you have the opportunity to turn ordinary party decor into family heirlooms -- just like your favorite Christmas ornament or Halloween wreath. You might also want to create a community party chest where you and family and friends join forces in creating a huge stash of party favorites.

Make Your Party Favors Eco-Friendly

It's always a fun idea to send your guests home with party favors. Instead of disposable toys and trinkets, offer them something that can be used over and over. Glass jars can be filled with treats or snacks and decorated to fit with your party decor and reused for drinking glasses, dessert mix jars and more once your guests take them home.

Do have tips or suggestions for planning a more eco-friendly party? Share them in the comments!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

How to Plan a Family Game Night

Family game nights aren't just fun, they're a good way to reconnect as a family. With the hectic pace of life and work today, taking the time out to spend time together with your family is a good way to take time out and relax.

Favorite Board Games

The following board games are great for family night. If you are in need of some games to get things started and are on a tight budget, check out the local Goodwill or other thrift store for sweet deals on games. (Just make sure everything you need to play is still in the box!)


  • Pictionary
  • Charades
  • Clue
  • Scrabble
  • Card games
  • Cranium
  • Scattergories


Game Stations

If you are blessed enough to have extended family close by, you might want to make family game night a big bash once or twice a year—or even once a month. With different game stations, you can accommodate all age levels.

Fair Play

Remember that couples and close friends always have an advantage in game play. It's best to separate any groups of players that might have an unfair advantage. Of course, is if it's every family member for himself, this won't be a problem.

Game Night Necessities

Some games require paper, pens and other consumable materials. Make sure you stock up on these items in advance of game night. Ask for a volunteer scorekeeper to tally points, but keep a close eye on the scorekeeper's math!

Finally, don't forget the food. Game night is much more fun with snacks to get your munchy fix. Non-greasy finger foods are easy to eat while playing, and they won't get your game pieces covered in grime. Some of our favorites include: fresh whole fruits, nuts, unbuttered popcorn, pretzels, and raisins.

What's your favorite family game night board game?

Photo credit: idesign-er

Monday, May 21, 2012

Progressive Dinner Party Tips & Suggestions


If you're tired of the same old cookouts and dinner parties, you might want to try hosting a progressive dinner party with your friends.

What is a progressive dinner party?

At a progressive dinner, several different friends plan and host an entire meal. Each course of the meal is served at a different participant's house, and all the partygoers move from home to home during until the even concludes.

Progressive dinner parties can be a lot of fun, plus they break down party planning activities so everyone shares a little bit of the responsibilities for the party. You can include as many different courses as you like, but here are some suggested courses:

  • hors d'oeuvres 
  • cocktails
  • appetizers
  • soups
  • salads
  • entree or main course
  • desserts
  • after dinner drinks
Tips for Planning a Progressive Dinner

Four to five stops works best. Unless you're planning to go all-out, four to five different stops will be enough to fill up your evening. Remember that the more stops you add, the later your dinner party will last. 

Plan enough time for each stop. Each course will require a different amount of time to complete, but you can generally plan 45 to 90 minutes at each home for the different dinner courses. Don't forget to calculate travel time between homes.

Consider making it a monthly event. A monthly progressive dinner is great for groups of friends that want to keep in touch on a regular basis. With larger groups it's also a great way to divvy up the entertaining costs and prepping responsibilities.

Try a themed dinner. Try coordinating with all hosts to plan a themed menu. You could try themes by inspired by country's cuisine, a holiday, or even a movie. The possibilities are endless!

Have you ever hosted a progressive dinner? What tips do you have for first-timers?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How to Give a Wedding Toast

Pinwhirls Pinwheel Wedding: Photo Courtesy Customer Emily O.
Whether you'll be giving a toast at the rehearsal dinner or the wedding reception, it's important to avoid those cringe-worthy speeches you always see in bad wedding comedies. The whole point of the wedding toast is to honor the bride and groom.

How to Give a Wedding Toast

Try these tips, and you should be able to deliver lovely and short speech while avoiding any awkward or embarrassing moments.

  1. Celebrate the couple. You might think that sharing jokes from the past is a great way to entertain the crowd, but it's too easy to stray into dangerous territory. Humor makes for a great toast. Youthful indiscretions you shared with the groom in high school or college, however? Those are not fodder for a wedding toast. Go for short anecdotes about fun times you shared with the couple while they were dating.

  2. Don't deliver your toast toasted. Aside from the difficulty you may have with slurred words after a few too many glasses of champagne, giving a speech under the influence is never advisable. Saying the wrong thing at a wedding toast can ruin friendships for a life time. If you plan to indulge, wait until after the speech is done.

  3. Keep it short and sweet. The toast is not an opportunity for you to steal the spotlight or take over the celebration. A good rule of thumb is two or three minutes for a toast. Anything over five minutes is usually considered unnecessarily long.

  4. Remember the other guests at the wedding. The wedding toast is not your opportunity to establish yourself as the couple's favorite. Don't go there.

  5. Get help from friends and family. Friends and family of the bride and groom are usually full of great stories that can become a part of your wedding toast. If nerves have got the better of you, ask for some help. You can also run ideas by other guests if you're not confident about the toast you have prepared.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Casual Party Planning Checklist

The easiest way to plan a party without a hitch is to use a checklist. While this checklist is a little to basic to get you through something like a wedding, it is great for smaller and more informal parties. You can use it for all kinds of events from graduations and birthday parties to wedding showers and baby showers.

Casual Party Planning Checklist

One Month Before the Party
  • Create your guest list.
  • Mail invitations or send e-vites.
  • Choose a theme and select whatever party decorations, music, and games you might need; then start shopping for any items you'll need.
  • Plan your party menu and hire a caterer, if you'll be using one.
Two to Three Weeks Before the Party
  • Purchase disposable tablecloths, plates, and plastic utensils or launder linens and dishes for a more elegant party.
  • Purchase non-perishable food items on your list.
  • Prepare any items on the menu that can be frozen ahead of time.
One Week Before the Party
  • Clean the house. 
  • Remove clutter to create more space for guests.
  • Rearrange or remove any furniture that you want to protect.
  • Let neighbors know about the party if you expect it will affect parking on your street.
One to Two Days Before the Party
  • Decorate indoor party areas or outdoor areas that are covered.
  • Buy perishable food items.
The Day of the Party
  • Finish cooking last-minute menu items.
  • Prepare a place for coats.
  • Set out any food that doesn't spoil 1-2 hours before guests arrive; wait to set out any food that may spoil quickly.
Using a checklist will help you stay organized and get your party off without any snags. Are there any items you would add to this checklist? Tell us in the comments!

Monday, April 30, 2012

5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Colors

When planning for your wedding, it's normal to want everything to be absolutely perfect from the location to colors to the family and friends gathered around you to help you celebrate your big day. If you haven't decided on a color palette yet, here are six great tips to help you choose your wedding colors.

Customer Photo Courtesy Tracy M.
Picking the Perfect Wedding Colors

1. Take in the Scenery. Your wedding location is one of the first places you should look for inspiration. After all, if the colors you choose don't coordinate with your surroundings, you're likely to be disappointed. Lime green and orange probably won't look that great in a church with teal and purple accents.

2. Start with One Color. Stop worrying about color combinations, if the task is overwhelming. Think about one dominant wedding color that you want to use. Once you've found your main color, then move on to picking one or two accent colors.

3. Consider Your Flower Options. It can be extremely difficult to color match intense hues with traditional flowers. Make sure your color options can be reproduced by mother nature if you insist of real floral bouquets. If you're up for a new spin--pardon the pun--on wedding flowers, consider Pinwhirls bouquets and pinwheels that look great in any color combinations.

4. Carry Swatches. Once you've picked your wedding colors, get them on swatches and carry them with you in your planner or purse. You'll never know when you'll stumble across something and wonder if it matches your colors. This method makes takes the guesswork out of finding decorations, stationery, apparel and accessories that coordinate perfectly with your wedding color theme.

5. Use Color Effectively. When it's time to decorate, make sure your colors are noticeable. Using elements of color repetitively in every aspect of your wedding and reception will create a dramatic scene as well as give a sense of continuity and flow to the entire day.

Planning a wedding is a big deal, and with so many colors to choose from it's no wonder brides find it difficult to settle on their favorite palette.

We want to hear from you! What colors did you go with for your wedding, and how did you choose them?