Make Your Outdoor Space Gorgeous ~ Just in Time for Fall

We’re *inspired,* y’all ~ this is the first weekend of college football widowhood (shopping), we’ve had some chilly mornings even in the Southland in the past couple of weeks (though it’s hot as Hades today), and we just generally have visions of a more gorgeous, functional outdoor space in place of our toddlerific screened porch.  Since we’ve probably got another year (two) before *we* can reasonably give up the ToddlerContainmentArea known as our screened porch, we invite you to daydream along with us and, if you are in a better position to redecorate, be sure to tell us how you made your dreams a reality.

There’s no better place to start than with some photographs that give us space envy.

Of all the images that inspire us, this one might be the one that we love the most. From the stacked stone fireplace and flexible, neutral seating to the lanterns scattered about and the pops of color (hello, snazzy garden stool-as-end-table!), we could definitely sit a spell in this outdoor living room.


If this isn’t the mother of all sliding glass doors, we don’t know who/what is. It’s impractical in our climate, but gracious we could live wherever this room is. A puzzle lamp could totally bring the funk over the dining room table, and we heart the bright outdoor chairs in this relaxed combination indoor-to-outdoor space.


We don’t sell any of this stuff, and we’re really not sure how one would create such a thing, but this wall of succulents ~ well, it’s divine. Love.


If you’re renovating as well as redecorating, we want to be sure you know that this amazing tile exists. Again, just gorg. Kind of brings a Mediterranean or even quasi-Moroccan vibe to this chic outdoor living space. We could totally see a pair of hanging lanterns (this one, or maybe this one?) ~ and one or two more coordinating candle holders on that coffee table, btw.  And don’t forget the fab garden stool!


And finally, proving that some people with toddlers are a little more fabulous than, ahem, others, this lovely courtyard is rocking the light strings, and even letting them coexist with a “baby fwing” (very popular at our house right now) and a gated play area.


Whatever weather the end of August is bringing to your neck of the woods, fall is coming, and we plan to be ready to enjoy the opportunity to sit outside and enjoy it.  On furniture.  Y’all.  In a year (two).  Now show us how you’ve transformed *your* outdoors into something great.  (Extra cool points for before-and-after shots, btw.)



Throwing a Pretty Party ~ Pink Accessories for a Picture Perfect Pink Party

Whether your tastes run more toward Pinkalicious or Fancy Nancy, Shabby Chic Vintage or Blinged Out Bedazzled, one of the most versatile party themes is a favorite color that you can build decor, food, and favors around.  For impact on a budget, choose table dressing, balloons, paper lanterns, and a few other key (large) pieces to set the tone, and then supplement with some swanky details like paper straws and chic little favor bags.  If you’re into repurposing your party stash and have a little bigger budget, we love it when mamas choose a splurge piece or two, like a chandelier or a bead curtain, use it as a party prop or backdrop, and then incorporate it into a bedroom or play space when the party’s over.

So whether your upcoming soiree is a five-year-old’s birthday party or a breast cancer fighting celebration, you can’t go wrong with a pink theme and lots of pops in shades from cotton candy to fuchsia.  (And if pink isn’t your thing, click your favorite color to see lots of options in *your* preferred hue.)

This Shabby Chic Party with styling and photography by Louise Sanders shows exactly how alluring a table set almost entirely in pink can be.  Sweet, romantic, and classic.

pink party decor

Image by Louise Sanders

So without further adieu, here’s a sampling of our favorite pink pieces ~ just waiting to make their new home in your little (or big) girl’s next party (room?).  For a great deal, select a Room-in-a-Box kit and then think outside the box ~ use the pieces as party props-to-be-turned-room-decor once the party’s over.  Provide scrapbooking paper, washi glitter tape, and pink rhinestone stickers as a combo craft + favor that is sure to delight the bling-loving crowd.  Or just go crazy with paper party straws, favor bags, and pale pink lanterns for a to-die-for vintage party.

pink party decor available at

We can’t wait to see what *your* next over-the-top party looks like.  Be sure to show us photographs of your results (pro or DIY) for a chance to win store credit and a feature on our blog.

Our Top Five Wedding Trend Predictions for 2015

We’ve been reading the tea leaves [orders] and talking to the spirits [wedding planners], and we can’t wait for the New Year to share our predictions for 2015′s top wedding trends.  Whether you’ve got a rock and a date or are planning to start *planning* (a Pinterest board between friends doesn’t count, right?) as soon as he pops the question, it’s never to early to divine the most *divine* looks for next year’s chic-est weddings.

1.  Wedding Dresses ~ The Lace and The Lines Are Key

We’re seeing lots of naked lace, open backs with lace embellishments, halter tops with to-die-for mantillas, and generally stunning dress lines to flatter every figure.  (We can’t help but be a little thrilled that the strapless dress ~ still a staple but not always easy to wear ~ is getting some comp. from her elegant sisters.)  Check out the 2015 collection from Pronovias, one of our favorite design houses, here.

Source:  Pronovias

Source: Pronovias

2.  Rose Gold

This metal has been around since forever, with flattering warm tones that fall somewhere between yellow gold and copper.  It roared into jewelry stores in 2014, and it’s taking over the engagement and wedding sections as we speak.  We don’t always love metal trends ~ no one wants her engagement ring to scream “2014!” from her finger ~ but in this case rose gold is a time tested metal that’s getting some well deserved popularity.  It flatters lots of skin tones, sets of a great diamond beautifully, and will be just as gorgeous at your silver wedding anniversary as it is at your paper one.  (Sorry, y’all ~ the first year is paper… or a clock…  and come to think of it, a rose gold watch would look pretty sweet with that rock.)  For the uninitiated, the full guide to traditional anniversary gifts is here.)

3.  Tall (fabulous) centerpieces

We’ve been seeing over-the-top (literally) centerpieces at celebrity and luxury weddings for some time, but we think that they’ll make their way into “regular” weddings in 2015.  Towering centerpieces using candelabras and florals (often dripping with crystal strandspendants, and suspended candle holders to bring the height down without obscuring your dinner partners) are an effective way to achieve maximum impact from a limited number of pieces, and in any case we never argue against dramatic wedding reception decor.  If your budget is limited (and really, everyone’s budget is limited), we suggest creating the splashiest centerpieces that you can afford on a few tables and filling the rest with more modest ones for the most Wow! for the price.

We love the way that the suspended glass globes and the tabletop mercury votives work together to create layers of candlelight.  A luxury look that you can absolutely get on a budget.  Place card holders are another place to make each guest feel special without breaking the bank.

details with bling at Colin Cowie Wedding

Source: Colin Cowie Weddings

Wondering how the ever fabulous Colin Cowie achieves such height  in centerpieces like these?  All you need is a riser kit and some bling.

tall centerpieces at a luxury wedding

Source: Colin Cowie Weddings

4.  Speaking of ~ 2015 will be a year for bling, bling, and more bling

We kind of love the rustic/traditional/vintage/bespoke feel that we’ve been seeing, but we expect more weddings to head in the direction of sparkle for 2015.  We’re seeing a spike in metallics, beads, jewels, and pearls as embellishments for everything from place settings to centerpieces to cake tables.  Add a metallic table cloth and mercury votives all around, and you have all the shimmering, sparkling decor that you need for a cutting edge event.  And as you might imagine, we’re not complaining.  Bling makes the world go ’round, y’all.

5.  Original wedding decor

Whether couples are choosing sentimental locations or top shelf destinations, we’re seeing more and more people incorporating statement decor pieces into their weddings.  We’re predicting that marrying symbolism and design impact in objects like paper lanterns, tissue poms, and bird cages will continue apace in 2015.

We can’t wait to see our newsfeed light up as engagement season gets into full swing, and our surest prediction is that 2015 will be full of celebrations of lasting love.  As always, we’d love to see your pictures ~ from engagement ring snaps to perfect wedding photographs.


How To: Using Magnets for Quick, Easy, Versatile Bling-stallation

We are lucky to be in a biz that feeds our fascination (obsession?) with pretty pictures, but once in a while we have to share the behind-the-scenes tips and tricks that make those pretty pics a reality. And more importantly, that make gorgeous installations of beads, crystals, and even hanging columns possible in the short set-up windows that are typical in event planning. Whether you need a few small pieces to change up the look of your staple centerpieces, the ability to bling out a chandelier on a tight schedule, or even a no fuss way to hang a bead column or curtain, we have the key to making this particular magic happen: magnets.

Specifically, we’ll take you behind the scenes of ShopWildThings event decor pictures, where you’ll find a selection of carefully vetted, thoroughly tested, high quality magnets that can hold bead strands, bead curtains, and many other gorgeous decor pieces securely without leaving marks or messes. Whether you are drawing attention away from a drop ceiling (and its secretly fantastic metal strips) or suspending large columns above a cavernous commercial space, we’ll show you the right magnet for the job — and how to use it.

Because behind every pretty picture like this one:

Image Courtesy of the University of San Diego

Image Courtesy of the University of San Diego

There are shiny little workhorses holding up everything from beaded crystal columns to shimmering fabric swags:

Graphic 2

For the heavier objects, we use heavy duty magnet hooks ~ each one supporting up to 64 pounds.  These are great for aluminum chain curtains, crystal ceiling drapes, long bead curtains, and other decor pieces that pack a little heft.

If your pieces are lighter, we offer 41 pound magnet hooks and 23 pound magnet hooks that are sufficient for most jobs.  (We suggest purchasing an assortment for the best combination of value and flexibility and the best results with a variety of projects.)  If you want to see how to easy it is to hang a bead curtain using a set of two hooks, check out this short video for a quick how-to.

As great as hook magnets are, they are overkill for many detail situations ~ everything from centerpieces to chandeliers can easily be bedazzled thoroughly using ball magnets and barrel magnets.  These ingenious little cousins of our hook magnets are great for adding extra bling in the form of crystal bead strands and pendants to staple metal pieces (chandeliers, candelabras, etc.).  These magnets are one of those behind-the-scenes worker bee products that professional planners use to customize the key pieces for each event while getting the best value out of staple decor items.

Clueless about where to start?  This video tutorial will show you just how easy it is to add bead strands to metal objects using our ball magnets and barrel magnets.

(Hint:  Be sure that your candelabras, chandeliers, and the like are made of metal and are magnetic, of course!  You can test them with a magnet right off your frig to be sure.)

Whether you’ve got a doorway (with a metal frame) that needs a bead curtain or an entire ballroom that needs some extra sparkle, our magnets are the ultimate handy helpers when you need a no fuss, no muss solution that installs quickly.  If you have questions about these products, compatibility, or how to use anything that we sell, don’t hesitate to call us at 928.855.6075.

heavy duty hook magnet for mounting bead curtains and even decor

ball magnet for mounting bead strands and other event decor

barrel magnet for event decor

Neutral Lighting Ideas Add Ambience, Elegance

One of the most versatile tools that we’ve found to transform a so-so event venue into an elegant one is subtle event lighting.  A cost-effective solution for even the most ho hum interior, layers of light will transport your evening affair to the next level of elegance ~ on a budget.  By layering light in soft, neutral colors, you can create a twinkling paradise ~ whether the bones of your space are delightful, or not.

lanterns, candles, votives, and LED string lights for weddings and events

Whether you choose paper lanterns with LED lights, metal lanterns with candles or tea lights, strings of LED lights, or candles (flameless or real), these can’t-miss solutions will transform your wedding or event into a romantic setting without wallet damage. Kind of like this:

budget lighting solutions for wedding

It’s Time to Think Fall, Y’all | Budget Friendly Solutions to Your Fall Wedding Design Dilemmas

As hot as it is outside today (and every day, it seems), we’re in the throes of fall wedding season at ShopWildThings, as October brides and planners order the finishing touches for gorgeous autumn nuptials.  We love a rustic chic wedding in any season, but somehow fall seems especially well suited to this aesthetic, and we can’t help but ooh and aah over fall wedding details that combine all things vintage, antique, rustic…  you get the idea.  There’s not much that’s prettier than an authentically rustic wedding in the country, and Wedding Chicks recently featured this one that does the details (and the location) especially well.

We love the way that the wedding decor complements this picturesque barn, playing off the weathered wood with textures like burlap and lace, and subtly highlighting the reception setting with strings of party lights.

Image Source:  Hetler Photography

Image Source: Hetler Photography

Accenting barrels and tables with a combination of lace and burlap/jute weaves the rustic chic theme through the event’s spaces without breaking the bank.  We love the use of grain stalks and mums ~ both hardy and readily available in much of the country ~ to adorn the rough hewn benches and to line the aisle.  Tie everything together with twine (or ribbon or pearls), and you’ve got a budget friendly, finished florals that are just pitch perfect in a country setting.

Image Source:  Hetler Photography

Image Source: Hetler Photography

Branches lashed together with twine make a delightful seating chart station, and these adorable chalkboard tags could easily serve as both seat markers and wedding favors.  (Planners’ Tip:  Single items that serve dual functions are one of the best ways to maximize your budget without sacrificing style.)

Image Source:  Hetler Photography

Image Source: Hetler Photography

Mismatched vintage chairs are a delightful touch in this intimate reception, and a lace runner accents the table beautifully.  Adding jute, votives, and lanterns, this bride has created a long, low centerpiece composed of reusable items that will look just as lovely on her holiday table for years to come as they do on her big day.  We could easily see some linen chair sashes incorporated to finish the look.

Image Source:  Hetler Photography

Image Source: Hetler Photography

This table closeup shows the lanterns in the centerpiece off well ~ another look at a versatile piece that will transition to the newlyweds’ home perfectly.  (We love a sentimental piece that can go from the reception to the couple’s first home without looking like it belongs more in one than in the other.)  Flameless candles are another flexible accent that the new Mr. & Mrs. can use again and again at home without worrying about safety or cost.

Image Source:  Hetler Photography

Image Source: Hetler Photography

We’re suckers (ha) for the dessert table/candy bar concept, and when it combines fresh doughnuts, candied apples, muffins, and popcorn…  Hand us an adorable colored bag and get out of our way.  (We could easily see some chalkboard signs in this setting, too ~ guests love to know exactly what flavors you’ve included in your fall buffet.)

Image Source:  Hetler Photography

Image Source: Hetler Photography

These doughnut “cake” pops cry out for paper straws, perhaps in the wedding colors, and we can’t think of a nicer way to embellish a glass of milk than with a perfectly formed munchkin.  This is a drink table that we can support completely ~ right down to the pretty lace runner and the cinnamon sticks.

Image Source:  Hetler Photography

Image Source: Hetler Photography

Whether summer heat means 80 or 108 in your neck of the woods, we hope that you’ve enjoyed this little detour into the next season’s bounty of fresh wedding ideas.  If you’re wondering how best to incorporate budget friendly, reusable wedding decor into your own big day or into your supply of staple event decor items, give us a shout via email or phone 928.855.6075.  We have an enthusiastic, experienced team that can offer you plenty of expertise on the most cost effective way to decorate for your big day, whether you’re a planner or a DIY diva.

Five Things Your Guests Won’t Tell You About Your Wedding


As the traditional month-long apex of the national wedding season kicks off next weekend, we thought we’d bring you some last-minute hints gathered throughout our careers as behind-the-scenes observers (June bugs on the wall, if you will) at countless weddings in venues from fields to mansions, with overtones from pious to party, among folks from simple to fan-cee.  These are the things we’ve heard over and over again, from guests (and vendors), and we’d like to share them with you as you put the finishing touches on what we’re sure will be a supremely joyous and memorable day for you and your families.

1.  The first impressions of each of the big events of the day are the defining memories that we have of the parts of your wedding day that you control.  (We also remember touching emotional moments and crazy drunk people, but those are out of your control, so our advice is not to worry about them.)

But the experience that we have as we enter your church/garden/field ceremony location, the moment that we see you in your dress as you walk down the aisle, the feeling of entering the reception venue and seeing it set up ~ those snapshots will stick with us, and you can stamp your events indelibly in our minds by maximizing the effect of those key vignettes.  (That’s why professional event designers focus such attention on the “wow” factor ~ because we won’t inspect every single centerpiece, but we’ll notice a handful of focal points at each stage of the event.

Seriously, when you walk into this room, do you notice what every single centerpiece looks like?  No.  It’s a breathtaking room.  Period.

Source:  Colin Cowie Celebrations

Source: Colin Cowie Celebrations

2.  We care a lot about our own physical comfort.  Sounds selfish, doesn’t it?  When you’ve spent months planning this day to celebrate the beginning of a new family, the commitment that you’re making to another person, etc.?  Well, we care about those things, too.  A lot, actually.  But if you’re planning a summer wedding and it’s not entirely climate controlled, we could use something to cool ourselves a bit as we await the big event.  A fan, a parasol, a bottle of (cold) water ~ these things we’ll appreciate a LOT.  Otherwise, we will look like this guy and fanning ourselves with whatever’s available, and it really affects the atmosphere that you’re trying to create.


3.  Embarrassingly, this kind of goes along with #2 and how your day is in fact at least some about us, to us.  We are so pleased and excited to share in your wedding day with you.  We know that the glow of wedded bliss (and possibly the extreme measures in place to keep your dress where it belongs) take the edge off of your own baser bodily needs on this whirlwind of a day.  But we are hungry, and possibly thirsty, by the time that we get to the reception.  If there’s a gap between the ceremony and the meal, something to munch on and a little something to drink are all we need to go with the amazing company and the sense of anticipation that we have as we wait to see you and your wedding party introduced.  Please, please feed us.   A little.  Buffet style is fine.  Or passed trays are lovely, too ~ assuming that the waiters aren’t high school track stars in their off hours (we’ve seen it, y’all).

4.  No one is above the reception timeline, and it’s got to be someone’s job to enforce it.  That someone should not be you, dear bride, and hopefully not your mother, either.  (You’re almost certainly not wearing a watch, and your mama has already got plenty to manage.)  If you possibly can, hire someone who is experienced at making the trains run on time.  Germans and teachers tend to be quite good at rounding up herds of people for formal pictures, and at managing the timelines, if it’s too late to hire someone with lots and lots of experience to handle this unsung hero’s job.  (Skip the art and music teachers, since we’re being honest.  This person has to be someone who cares about punctuality and doesn’t mind stepping on a toe or two.)  We’ve seen receptions derailed by timeline disasters from hours of pictures to longwinded “toasts” (epic spoken word poetry?) to DJs with no sense of event timing.  Avoid having this happen at (to) your day by delegating the timeline to a pro, or at least to a (slightly bossy and organized) friend.

May we suggest someone like this pleasant looking, time oriented woman?  (We tried search terms such as “cracking the whip” and “punctual teacher” to find an appropriate image, and we found that those things don’t mean the same thing to us as they do to photographers.  Ahem.  Also, those images are more expensive to license.)


And finally…

We don’t really want to be the ones to tell you this last one, but someone has to.  If you’re getting married this weekend, um, the post is over, we got tired at #4, and thanks so much for reading.  If you’ve got a final fitting yet to do and/or an understanding seamstress and a credit card, keep reading, and remember that we really do love you.

5.  If you are getting married in a strapless dress, you very likely have “chicken wings.”  Unless you are borderline *too* skinny.  Yes, you’ve seen strapless dresses everywhere on every body type from maxi dresses to actual wedding dresses.  But honey, unless you looooove your arms from the front and the back, puh-lease keep reading.  At your final fitting, have your seamstress/alterations guru check for “chicken wings” ~ that’s basically back fat that spills up and over the top if your dress is too tight in the back.  It’s like a back facing muffin top for your girls.  It doesn’t mean that *you* are fat ~ it means that strapless dresses have to be “tight” to “stay on,” and that creates a little ripple above the top edge of your dress.  But don’t worry, we have some solutions:  Talk to your seamstress about ways to minimize the “chicken wings,” first and foremost.  (Corsetting, special bras, and even altering the line of the dress back may work.)  Also, consider a shrug, bolero, and even a mantilla (for pictures but not for the reception), especially if you’re close to your big day.

Here is a tiny little picture because we feel a little bad posting one at all and as you can see this woman is very lovely in size and still she has chicken wings in a strapless dress.  Easily fixed with a little lacy coverup.  Which we happen to know that she found because when we Google “back fat wedding dress,” we like to follow the whole story to find out how things turned out, and she solved the problem beautifully.  All because she knew to look and addressed the “issue.”  And that’s why we’re telling you.  You’re welcome.

back fat

So there you have it, y’all.  Five “situations” that your guests won’t mention but will remember, that you can fix quite easily even a week or so out from Your Big Day.  Happy planning, June Bugs!

Filling The Air with the Greatest of Ease | Crystal Columns and Other Large Event Decor Items Tranform Even the Most Famous + Photographed Event Venues

If your midsummer nights’ dreams consist of fairytale weddings set in luxurious venues, we have some inspiration that will make your next event match your sweetest overnight musings.  Colin Cowie is truly the master of tasteful elegance, and he excels at transforming even the most recognizable, fantastic hotels into highly personalized settings for his couples’ celebrations.  Let’s take a look at some of the imaginative ways that he uses massive amounts of vertical space to enhance the effect of even the world’s most exclusive venues.  (Hint:  Think luxurious lighting, suspended bling, and fabulously frothy feathers.)

The Plaza New York is one of the most storied and exclusive event venues in the country, and no one is better suited to the task of transforming it than Colin Cowie  – aided by crystal columns and tiers of candlelight.

Image walking down an aisle lit by layers of candles, as your intended watches from a dais embellished with crystal columns.  Actually, you don’t have to imagine:  Just check out the effect that Colin Cowie achieved.

Want to see the ceremony space up close?  Custom chaise lounges, generous florals, dramatic lighting, and square crystal columns compliment the gilded walls perfectly for a completely memorable ceremony space.  These crystal columns can be ordered in custom lengths to accentuate the structure of any classic or modern event space, and they’re a great way to enhance the dramatic effect of high ceilings.

Using some of the same key elements ~ candlelight and square crystal columns ~ Colin Cowie ties the ceremony and reception areas together beautifully.  Adding to the already stunning architecture of the room, these pieces set the stage for a grand affair.

A closeup of the crystal columns shows the way that color can be added with event lighting — one of the things we love about these columns is how versatile they are, taking on the color that you select.  For event planners, they are the ultimate in reusable large scale event decor.  (We love the gorgeous custom design with the couple’s initials, too.  Such a bold, timeless touch.  We Southerners can’t help but think that the monogram would look pretty swanky on pillows and towels, too.)

Cipriani 42nd Street is another timeless venue, and the likelihood is that most fabulous New Yorkers have been there before.  With the pressure on to produce a unique look in a storied space, Colin Cowie dials it up from memorable to utterly unbelievable.  Crystal columns light up a faux night sky, and metallic palms anchor both ends of a decidedly Broadway-worthy stage.

We’re suckers for candlelight and ostrich feathers.  Besides being stunning ways to fill giant venues effectively, they’re extremely cost effective, as they’re 100% reusable.  Hello, jaws dropping *and* happy planet.

This off-to-the-side view of the bar shows how well integrated the entire event’s decor is.  The effect of the event lighting is clear on the left side of this image.  And we kinda think you can’t go wrong with ostrich feathers in a bar.

Maybe our favorite thing in the entire Colin Cowie Cipriani Extravaganza are these live decor elements.  Talk about a way to fill a large space dramatically and effectively.  Could there be a more 42nd Street-ish design element than live models draped in beads and chandeliers?  We truly heart N.Y.  (And C.C.)

Whether you’re working on your breakthrough event at an A-list venue, experimenting with portfolio work that will launch you into the stratosphere of event planning, or building a set of strategies to fill big spaces on a budget without looking like corners were sliced and diced, we think that large decor items are staples that every planner should stockpile due to their versatility, value, and overall wow factor.  Crystal columns and ostrich feathers are some of the most flexible, impactful, and all around stunning pieces that we carry.  Throw in some candle light and a chandelier or ten, and you have an event to remember even for the most jaded VIP guests.   Whether this is your first or your 101st wedding or event, we’d love to talk to you about how our stunning decor staples can transform your venues while yielding fantastic value for your clients.

Our Favorite Finds: Treat Bags and Paper Straws Add Color + Style To Favors and More

Whether you’re planning an old fashioned candy store dessert table for a baby shower or a thoroughly vintage wedding in a rustic setting, we haven’t found very many accessories that pack this much punch for this little price.  We’ve recently found paper strawstreat bags, and kraft bags in a glorious variety of prints and colors, and we grabbed them as fast as we could to add to our party planning staples.  We love the visual impact that these bold colors and prints bring to a celebration, and we know that your guests will be delighted to walk away from your event with a favor embellished with one of these pretty pieces.

Having walked away from, forgotten, and otherwise not used lots of party and wedding favors over the years, we have become big fans of edible favors.  These adorable cake pops with paper straw sticks make a pretty display and a cost effective treat for each of your guests on their way out the door.

Image Source Unknown

Image Source Unknown

Double duty favors are another favorite of ours ~ and these custom etched Mason jars are one of the best we’ve seen.  Your guests can sip sweet tea (or something a bit stronger) from their own wedding favor all evening, and then take the Mason jar home as a memento.  The details in this shot do make us swoon ~ color coordinating the drink, pineapple slices, and paper straws?  Brilliant.

(Hint:  Etching glass like these Mason jars is truly a doable DIY project.  Here’s a good tutorial that will get you started.   Etching cream is available at craft stores and on Amazon.  Just design your stencil and go.)

Image Source:  Lev Stephen Ludwig

Image Source:  Stephen Ludwig

These buckeye balls are another delicious spin on a wedding favor.  Wouldn’t paper straws make great handles for these sweet treats?  And maybe a little Washi tape if you wanted to bring the bling.

Image Source:  The Paper Antler

Image Source: The Paper Antler

Cherry Nehi sodas ~ in custom koozies with burlap tied paper straws ~ are simply one of the best executed wedding favors we’ve seen.  Love the colors, the simplicity, and what we’re 100% sure was a meaningful, memorable wedding favor for each guest.

For a child’s birthday theme that really takes it to the next level, this barbershop candy table is tough to challenge.  We love the imaginative theme, the paper crafts, and of course the use of paper straws and kraft bags (as well as the way that the same prints are carried through the whole tablescape).

Image Source:  Chic Cheap Nursery

Image Source: Chic Cheap Nursery and 2 Girl Phototique

You can see how much color the kraft goody bags add to this barbershop themed party, too ~ they begin as a wall of coordinating colors and end making each child happy (with zero cleanup ~ our kind of crowd pleaser).  The custom labels are pretty darned adorable, too!

We’re kind of in love with the whole paper straws in chocolate milk bottles idea.  Such a sweet riff on vintage elements, and no doubt very popular with the three foot set.

Image Source:  Chic Cheap Nursery

Image Source: Chic Cheap Nursery

Another adorable drink idea ~ and a great way to make mama-to-be-friendly drinks more festive:  Paper straws and washi tape make everything fancy.  These cute drinks work at a shower for a baby boy or for a gender surprise shower.  Switch the colors, and you can announce the arrival or a baby girl.

Image Source:  Chic Cheap Nursery

Image Source: Chic Cheap Nursery

Speaking of little girl showers, what sweet baby girl’s party could look prettier than this one?  We love the milk glasses and paper straws, the handmade hearts, and the delicate baby pink mini cupcakes.  Throw in some sugar cookies in coordinating treat bags, and you’ll have the perfect party favor.

Image Source:  Vitalic Photography

Image Source: Vitalic Photo

You can be entirely practical and love paper straws, treat bags, and kraft bags for their functionality, or you can just drink in the pretty and be satisfied.

Or if, like us, you prefer your favors and treats to be both gorgeous and useful, you just can’t go wrong with these colorful, coordinating additions to your party planning toolkit.

Have great images of your own original creations using our paper straws, treat bags, kraft bags, and other products?  We’d love to show you a little love right here on our design blog.  We’re always looking for inspiration shots!

5 Helpful Ways to Tell Your Guests Where To Go, What To Do, and How To Act | Using Chalkboard Signs at Your Wedding

One of our favorite planners, Diana of Diana Marie Events, recently posted this article about the mistakes that brides make, and we couldn’t help but give a little “amen” to the last one ~ neglecting the guest experience.  WE know that it’s never a bride’s goal to forget her guests’ experience ~ it’s just hard to see the event with fresh eyes, as your guests do, when you’ve been knee (elbow?) deep in details for the last six months (years).

But never fear, we’re here with some tactful, helpful, and simple ways to make your guests’ experience more comfortable, and thus make your wedding memorable in all of the right ways.

The first thing is to guide your guests through the big events of the day, and their locations.  Remember what it was like to be lost when you transitioned to a new school or job?  It’s no fun, especially if it feels like everyone but you knows exactly where to go.

If you’re getting married in a spot that’s familiar to you but not to all of your guests ~ and that can mean anywhere from a little country church to a pastoral field in the country ~ a little signage goes a long way toward letting your guests know which way to the ceremony, how to get from the ceremony to the reception, where the guest book/photo booth/bar are, etc.  And they look pretty darned adorable, too.


If you prefer 100% DIY signs, we say go for it.  Vintage picture frames, painted burlap, painted slate ~ your imagination is the limit for awesome, personalized signs that helpfully guide guests from key event to key event throughout the day.  And you can hang any of them outdoors on shepherd’s hooks for a polished look that won’t break the bank.

Once you’ve laid a path through the main moments of your big day, you’ve got a great start on ensuring that your guests feel welcome and cared for throughout your wedding and reception.  To conquer one of the biggest bottlenecks of the reception, a well laid out seating plan is a major arrow in your quiver of wedding planning weapons.  We love this adorable idea that combines chalkboard tags to serve as favors and seating assignments. (We could kind of 100% support the use of heart shaped tags, too.)

With special diets and food allergies as prevalent as they are now, our planners are always looking for tasteful ways to let guests know which dishes will suit them best, and which to avoid.  These small chalkboard signs let you tell your guests exactly what they need to know, and they look pretty sitting atop your carefully planned table.  Your guests will really appreciate your looking out for them so that they don’t have to ask the staff to help them figure out what they can gnosh on at your nuptials.  And they’re great for simple labels, too ~ let your guests know to claim their Mason jar, share the name of your signature wedding cocktail, or point out the pens for your signature mat.

Honestly, we’d be suckers for cake pops (get it ~ suckers, har har) anyway, but we really like knowing that we’re doing things correctly.  And a little sign is our friend when you’re introducing us to a new (delightful) favor at your wedding.  We’ll remember the fun of making our pop and the taste of our custom creation ~ not an awkward moment in front of the table trying to figure out what in the world to do.

Whether you’re planning for 10 or for 1000, there’s no doubt that your guests will enjoy your wedding more knowing just what to do throughout your big day.  These little signs fit right into your decor plan, customized with colored chalk (or chalk paint) and ready to announce your intentions for each stage of the day.