Decorating Style

I pretty much know what my interior design style is, considering I swoon every time I'm in Pier One, Pottery Barn, or Cost Plus. And this fun quiz I found via In this instance, hit the nail on the head.

Try it out and let me know what 'style' you got--I'm curious to know what other results there are.


Bachelorette Party: Princess Bride

I recently threw my good friend a bachelorette party. She's the type of girl who loves fairy tale endings and Disney princesses. And since one of the best, classic love stories of all time is the Princess Bride, I thought it would be a perfect theme for her party.

Unfortunately, when shopping for decor, it was really difficult to find anything other than plastic ding-dongs, lewd shirts and tacky favors. In addition, I was on a very small budget. So, like the DIY girl that I am, I took matters into my own hands.

Although it was a princess theme, I didn't want anything to feel adolescent. I chose hot pink and black lace as the theme. I knew it was possible to pull off a flirtatious vibe without actually making my friend play games with random guys and/or pin the you-know-what on the naked dude. I spray painted white doilies black to incorporate a lace-like feel to the decor.

We ran into the restaurant and decorated the table before she got there.

Since I live in a different city from her, I made these tissue paper bouquets to decorate the hotel room and table at the restaurant.

Her cute "princess bride" shirt, hot pink boa and bachelorette tiara. She looked so cute!

As the girls arrived in the hotel suite (our meeting place), I snapped a polaroid of them and had them sign a photo book and add their advice for the bride-to-be.

And a tiara cookie for a favor.
I wish I would've gotten better pics, but you know how bachelorette parties can be
(I almost lost my camera!)

Color-wheel fun {even better}

I recently posted about a color wheel from Brides.com to help you choose your wedding colors. Yesterday, on the Blue Orchid blog, Liene included this site in her post. The color wheel featured is waaaayyy better than the one on Brides.com. Check it out--watch it though, or you'll be on there an hour before you know it. I love the above color combo.

DIY Friday: easy wedding ceremony programs

If you don't have a ton of help and you want to do your own ceremony programs, here's an easy project. This is for a folded, multi-page program. You can whip these babys out in no time. I chose black and white, but of course, you can do these in any color. I got the graphics from Briar Press {free} and used Microsoft Digital Image Standard (which came with my computer) to make the image.

What you'll need:

1. paper cutter
2. paper scorer or bone folder
3. ribbon
4. scissors
5. corner rounder puncher
6. your printed programs


1. I printed these on starded 8.5x11 paper, but I wanted them cut down to a 4x6 program. I trimed these to the desired size.
2. I used a paper scorer to score in the middle for a clean fold.
3. For the inside of the ceremony, I printed the information and again trimmed and scored the sheet.

4. I used the corner-rounder punch on each corner.
5. I tied a ribbon around both pages and voila.

For the above programs, I used a really great twine I found at Ikea.

Let me know if you want these templates.


Funny wedding moment.

I thought about this today and had to share.
I'm not screaming in the above pic, I swear...I'm lmao. Here's the story.

I was SO ready for my wedding. I was extremely laid-back on the big day, no cold feet, no sweaty palms...nada. My cake showed up in the wrong color*--whatever. My caterer was late--whatever**. I was the epitome of easy, breezy. My friends kept asking, "Are you nervous?" I'd reply, "Not at all." And I wasn't.

I had an outdoor ceremony. My handsome fiance and the pastor were under a gazebo. Behind the guests was a building that had curved stairs going up either side and a pretty balcony above. I was going to make my entrance down one of the staircases and the bridesmaids were going to go down the opposite staircase where the groomsmen would be waiting for them. I sneaked up the staircase, with my girls in tow. I had a few minutes to stand there, while the music was being changed. I took a peek down below and saw Matt's face. It was then that I felt the enormity of what I was about to do and the fact that my life as I knew it, would never be the same. I turned to my friend, E (who is a crazy-fun actress) and she saw the tears in my eyes. She said, "Dana! You're ok! Dana! Don't mess up your make-up!" Then, I kid you not, she busted out in her best operatic voice the lyrics of a famous Nine Inch Nails song. I'm going to f$*& you like an animal. I'm going to feel you from the inside! Just then, the other girls all stood up tall and clasped their arms in front of them like choir girls and joined in. I'm going to f$*& you like an animal. I'm going to feel you from the inside! Where in the world did she think of that song to sing to me at that minute?! And how did my other friends know to join in? I don't know, but there's nothing that can snap you back into reality like laughing your butt off. Thank God for great girl friends (I later found out that some of the guests heard this and wondered with the heck was going on).

*No matter how many times you confirm, delivery mistakes can happen. Had I hired a DOC, this cake switching would have been fixed immediately. But because nobody saw the cake until the delivery men left...it was too late (at least I thought so--I was like, no need to make a fuss. Whatever. It's cake. Eat it.)

**Make sure that in your vendor contracts, you have a clause which stipulates what time they need to arrive. If they don't honor that clause, you should have some of your money refunded, or not have to pay a percentage.

I'm it again!

Lots o' tags recently. Melissa tagged me to tell you all some more random facts about me. You are getting to know a lot about me lately!

Here are the rules:

Step 1: respond and rework—answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.
Step 2: tag—eight other un-tagged people

p.s. I typed this list out Tues night, but thought I'd post today....
1. Make a list of things you can see without getting up: vase of lilies, cell phone, glass of water, about 10 books, pencil
2.What were you like when you were five? gosh--i don't remember (!)
3. What are you wearing now? fingerless gloves (if you care to know why you can read this post here), sweater, jeans, hair in a bun--didn't leave the house today. Too cold outside.
4.What color is your bedroom? light pinkish beige...our house is in neutrals. we hope to sell it soon.
5. What’s the last thing you read/are currently reading? the power of now by eckhart tolle, why is god laughing by deepak chopra and the story of edgar sawtelle by David Wroblewski...i like to read two or three books at a time. i'm weird that way. or maybe it's an attention problem, or multi-tasking to the extreme...
6.Do you nap a lot? never
7.What’s your current obsession/addiction? accessories {always}, this blog, wine, and getting my biz started
8.What was the last thing you said aloud? I love you--to my mom
9.What websites do you always visit when you go online? my, my, my, too many-- this will bore you
10.What was the last thing you bought? groceries..i know, boring
11.What are you listening to right now? american idol
12.If you could have any super power, what would it be? flying, for sho'!
13.What is your favorite weather, and why? sunny and warm--love the sunshine, hate the cold
14.What time do you usually get up? 7:00-8:00ish
15.What is your most challenging goal right now? starting my biz.
16.Say something to the person who tagged you: melissa, I'm so glad we found each other!! I love my blog friends!
17.If you could have a house–totally paid for, fully furnished–anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? the italian mediterranean
18.Favorite vacation spot? anywhere with a beach--jamaica and thailand are my favs
19.What is your favorite children’s book? anything by shel silverstein
20. Name one thing you just can’t resist no matter how bad it is for you: I have amazing will power, but wine---wine is my Achilles heel
21.If you could meet anyone famous - dead or alive - who would it be? dali lama
22.If you could have any job in the world , what would it be? I'm about to do it!! Having my own wedding design biz...

Now I tag:

My new hommies!


Wedding Dot
Think Happy Thoughts
My Little Black Book

My old hommies!

Jenny Lee
That engaged girl

Did I ever tell you...

that I am obsessed with accessories? I found these when browsing and thought I'd share.

{Classic Designs}

I really want this one...

{Smitten XOXO}


Volunteering recap.

My first full day volunteering was better than I could have hoped for. Everyone that works there (paid positions) is so nice and grateful to have the help. The other volunteers are just as welcoming. This of course, is a huge bonus.

I suppose I've always known that there's this part of me that likes to feel helpful. It's sort of that 'need to be needed' part of me. I put that in quotes because that's what my enneagram says about my personality. The enneagram also calls me 'a romantic'. Well, big duh to that one. I can 'romance' the idea of anything. If you haven't heard of the enneagram, I encourage you to check it out--it's been the most amazing personality profiling I've ever come across, and I've come across a lot of them (I was a psych minor). I digress....

The volunteer coordinator wanted me to shadow her today in the men's closet. It's been especially busy lately--big surprise, with the economy and all. When the men walked in (we help 2 at a time or so), they hardly would look at me in the eye and sort of seemed downtrodden. Almost every single man didn't know where to begin with their sizing and basically let me take the reigns. Which was fun for me--I got to put all their outfits together. It was amazing to see the transformation when the men left. They were so appreciative, looked me in the eye and I could see the badge of pride back on their faces. I once read somewhere that a man's ego is directly correlated to his work. I don't know if that's entirely true, but I know it must not be easy for some of them to be the position in which they have to take 'handouts'. Most of the clothes we gave away today (they get 3 outfits each) were brand-new (a lot of Kenneth Cole stuff...I even came across a Dior coat)! When they walk out of the office, with new clothes in which they look good and can be proud of, they had a new confidence. Just think about how many times you've had an interview and didn't know what to wear. I have been known to buy new interview clothes based on the job I'm going for...and I do it because I know it will give me that internal extra edge when I interview. It made my heart happy to know that these men now have that little boost when job interviewing.

I can't wait to work with the women next time.

Colin Cowie seaside wedding...

Who wouldn't kill to be a guest at a C.C. affair, let alone be the bride and groom?!

See more of this Los Cabos wedding here.

Another resolution to cross off my list {yea!}.

[image from here]

Another one of my resolutions this year was to finally find a place to volunteer. And I did! It was difficult for me to find a place that didn't want a year commitment and like, three days a week. I'm all for helping out, but I don't quite have the availability to work a part-time job-which a lot of places expected.

I found a great site called Metro Volunteers and it lists different organizations that need help, which is how I found Denver Works. It's a great foundation that helps low-income people find jobs. They teach resume and interview skills, as well as outfitting them will great interview outfits. That's where I come in. I will be working in the 'closet' helping put outfits together for the job-seekers. You'd be amazed at how wonderful the clothing is to choose from. Recently the Men's Warehouse donated $40k worth of brand-new clothing.

Sometimes it just takes the kindness of an organization like this to really help someone get on their feet, especially in an economy like this.

Today is my first day--I'll let you know how it goes.


Date night.

[image: Tim Walker]

Although we're still newlyweds, one of my marital fears is that someday we might lose our spark. We have such great chemistry, so my fear may be unfounded, but this seems to happen to a lot of married couples. In order to prevent this (and to get in a helpful habit for the day when a baby may come) Matt and I have decided to declare Tuesdays as 'date night'.

One of my girlfriends, 'M' told me that this is how her brother and his wife keep their relationship exciting. Wife is a lawyer and brother has an equally demanding job and they have a baby. 'M' told me they have an envious marriage...but they decided from day one to always put the other first and to make time for each other. Hence, date night.

So, Tuesday it is. No phone calls. No television. Just him. Just me. I'm looking forward to it and think it will be fun to think of new ways to spend our night.

I am SO interested to hear about the ways that you keep the romance and passion in your relationship. Do tell!

[image: eyespy photography]

Please take your seat.

Cute and creative ways to let your guests know it's time to sit.

[images, clockwise: the knot, martha, martha, the knot, martha, martha]

When you walk into a reception and see unusual or creative seating cards, you know you're in for a treat. Have you seen any that have really knocked your socks off?


Real Wedding: Amy and Kevin

I met Amy through the wonderful world of blogging. She recently moved to Grand Junction, Colorado but she and her husband, Kevin got married in Lakewood--which is the suburb of Denver where I live. I recently did a purple flower inspiration board and thought it would be fun to show a wedding with the color purple in action.

I asked Amy to share some details about the day.

Date: June 14, 2008

Location: We got married June 14, 2008--St Jude Catholic Church in Lakewood and Terrace Gardens at Dove Valley.

Music: Affinity for Music--Tom and Melissa are the best.

Dress: Casablanca from Amanda's Bridal. I worked with Sherry, I call her my dress fairy godmother--she is actually the one that picked it out and encouraged me to try it on and when my mom wanted me to try on dresses I didn't like--she pointed out that they made my hips look big or something else so my mom would agree! Flowers: Hillside Consultants.

Flowers: Dawn with Hillside Consultants--she is amazing, I didn't really know much about flowers I just knew I wanted purple and had a budget and she worked her magic. She is wonderful.

Cake topper: I found in a catalog and my Grandmother gave it to me as a Christmas gift(foundations is the company I think.) It has my favorite bible verses engraved on it (Love is patient, love is kind...) Which was also a reading at our mass done by my Aunt/Godmother--who is one of the biggest influences in my life.

Bridesmaid Dresses: Davids Bridal--my sister and best friend actually found them and loved them on our first dress searching trip. Tracy's mom made their sashes out of extra fabric from my dress so it all tied together.

Photographer: Jackie Green of Jacqueline's Photography--she is amazing. Expensive but amazing, she thought of everything and got so many wonderful pictures. She went to all out locations at the times of day that we would be there to find the bets light and shots.

Favorite moment of the day (beside the kiss): Favorite moment: hard to pick one but my sister and brother in law made a slide show of both of us that I didn't know about until the reception so it was a wonderful surprise. My dad and I also broke into the Chicken Dance during our father daughter dance which was a blast!

Thank you so much, Amy for letting us take a peek at your wedding!


Color-wheel fun.

If you are in the beginning stages of planning your wedding and aren't sure what color combo you want to incorporate in the decor, you may want to try the color studio from brides.com.

It can also be handy for home redecorating...


Appreciation #4: perfume.

This was a hand-me-down from my mom who decided she didn't want it. I have gotten more compliments on this perfume than I have from any other. Even more than my Prada. I think I may have found my new signature scent. Thanks, mom!
What's your sig. scent?


I'm 'it'. Honest.

I've been tagged by Miss Jessie from A Match Made In Heaven, to tell you 10 random facts about me. Here goes...

1. I'm an only child to a single mother--and I love it. My mom and dad divorced when I was a baby and she and I are as close as can be. I do sometimes wish that I had a bigger family, but do enjoy the simplicity of my own.
2. I would love to have a ranch someday. I was a 4-H kid and love horses. Because I am a big city girl at heart, it may be a surprise to hear that I love pigs, horses, goats and sheep. I don't know what it is about farm animals...
3. I go off and on living a vegetarian lifestyle. I really like meat, but the whole eating an animal thing bothers me at times.
4. I'm really bad at math. Taking the GMAT almost killed me...
5. I can organize anything. I really don't like clutter and if there's a faster, more efficient way to do something, I will figure it out. Except when it comes to my car; it's always a mess.
6. I'm competitive. With myself. I never feel like I'm doing 'it' well enough. Whatever 'it' may be, I always try to find a way to do it better than I already am. {Hence my changing this blog layout all the time. P.S. I am not a techie--anyone out there want to help me get a blog makeover?}
7. I love making new friends. There's always room in my life for more love.
8. I meditate. I try to do this every day. And I read a lot of spiritual books.
9. I can't live without sunshine. I need the sun like a ranch needs farm animals. heehaw.
10. I would like to have a book published someday. Topic? Not sure, yet. But I have some ideas...

I'm tagging five more with this one:
Globetrotting Bride--If you love travelling like I do, you should check her out.
Jenny.Rae.Loves:--She did a great job on her flowers for her wedding. Go see her pics.
Kiss My Cheek--Amber interviewed for a new job. Wish her luck.
Vineyard Vogue--She's new to me (so great chance to know some randomies about her)
Westside Bride--Loved her post today. I'm a make-up junkie. Shoot-- maybe that should've been on the random facts above?! oh well. :)

Blogging Bootcamp: no fatigues necessary.

In lieu of a DIY project today, I would like to post a little something about the Winter 2009 Blogging Bootcamp I had the pleasure of attending this past Wednesday in Phoenix, AZ. Liene Stevens, CEO of Blue Orchid Designs and The Smart Planner, offered this class as a means to share her expertise to wedding professionals. She is considered a huge success in the bridal blogosphere (her blog has found its way to just about every country in the world) and as a planner.

I took this workshop because I will be starting a wedding planning business {very} soon and would like to incorporate a professional blog linked to my business website. As I've mentioned before, I'm pretty new to blogging and created Once A Bride for the same reasons most of you started your blog, being that of a creative outlet. Also, I started writing to 'get my foot in the door' and to introduce myself to other bloggers/brides before I get my business off the ground. I post personal aspects of my life on Once A Bride, along with fun finds I see on other sites and blogs but I was curious to get Liene's outlook on how her purely professional blog has worked so well for her (you won't see tons of images or hear about her date the night before).

On a personal note, I believe Liene is a class-act. She works hard to raise the standard for the wedding planning industry and is not afraid to share her ideas and expertise. There are so many professionals out there who won't help other pros or newbies for fear of giving away their 'secrets'. It takes a strong, confident woman--someone who really cares about her field and others, to take the time to teach other professionals how to find success.

The class was six hours and it flew by. I left armed with some great information that I will be sure to use in the future, as well as some fresh ideas for future posts. I also had the chance to meet some really nice people--always a bonus.

{I am in the last row, third from the right}

I want to thank Bella Ink Designs for kindly sending all of us off with some great stationery!!

[All images courtesy of Eyes 2 See, via The Smart Planner.]

A+ Wedding

Has anyone see this wedding from the knot? The couple met in fourth grade-how cute is that?

Attention was paid to every detail! Love the chalk board photo-op.

Favors of personalized pencils and a journal. And an old-school style cafeteria tray for the buffet.

The invitation suite came in a Manila envelope. The map looks like it could have been made in geometry class.

Matt and I met in 8th grade...Did you meet your sweetie in school?

Did I miss anything?

I love to post inspired ideas and photos from other blogs and the web. I try my best to give credit where it's due, but if I miss something, please let me know. And, if you want something taken down, I can do that. No problemo.