Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hostess Gifts

I've been reading a book on the history of weddings and the reasons for some of the traditional wedding traditions is very interesting! For instance, ever wonder why its called a "shower"? In the late nineteenth century, a bride would invite her closest friends and relatives over for some stress relief the night before her wedding. Everyone would bring small token gifts that would be placed in an upside-down umbrella. This would then be raised and turned over the bride, and the gifts would "shower" down on her for luck.

Whenever a shower is thrown in your honor, it is appropriate to bring a hostess gift as a thank you for the event. I recently had a bride ask me for some help in this area. My favorite go-to place for hostess gifts is Nell Hills. First opened in Atchison, KS, this store - and its owner Mary Carol Garrity - are amazing! In the past two years or so she opened a shop in Briarcliff making it much more accessible, and now she has started an online shop much to her fans' excitement!

You can find lots of creative hostess gifts here that won't break the bank. Plus, they usually have multiple pieces of each item so if you have multiple people hosting the shower, you can still get them something very nice but you can get them all the same thing rather than trying to pick something out for each individual. Here are a few of my favorites with ways to put a creative spin on the gift:

If the shower is a brunch shower or luncheon, get a bag of coffee - such as the Breakfast Blend from KC's Roasterie - and affix a coffee scoop with some pretty ribbon to the bag. This one can be found at Nell Hills for only $5!

I love these bottles which are $51 for the set of three. If there were multiple people hosting your shower you could split of the three and give one to each person. For a personal touch you could infuse some olive oil with basil or rosemary and fill the bottles. As an accompaniment, give each person a little bag of delicious bread from Farm to Market in Downtown Overland Park.

This basket from Nell Hills is filled with 3, 10" glass milk bottles. The whole set is only $12! To personalize, fill each vase with a different grouping of flowers. Not only will this look pretty, but it will show the hostess just how this gift can be used as not everyone might infer that this is a vase!

Finally, I love these black serving trays. They are $52.25 for the set which is on the more expensive side, but you could break up the set for two gifts or if there is only one hostess or couple, this would be appropriate. For a personalized touch, you could stencil the host's monogram into the middle.

If none of these options - or variations of the above - seem to fit your host or hosts, a gift certificate to a restaurant is always a no-fail gift. Or in my case, a bottle of wine!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Future home of Bella Bridesmaid

For those of you who don't know yet we are opening Bella Bridesmaid this October in Brookside! We will be located at 6205 Oak, which is currently Dalton's Interiors. We will post before and after pictures as the demo and build out begin in September. We have a ways to go from Interiors to Bridesmaid Dresses as you can see.

Our store front:

Front room for Bella Bridesmaid:

Back room for Soirée:

We are really excited for the opening in October. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wedding Logos

A recent trend in weddings has been the use of a monogram. Or you may have heard it called a logo. The word logo has been used more than not as this stamp is more of a branding on your big day than a formal monogram. Brides are using this logo from save the dates and all the way through to lighted images projected onto their dance floors. I've even seen it jeweled onto the bottom of the bride's shoes so when she kneels at the altar all her guests get a little surprise! You may not need to go that far, but logos are a nice way to keep cohesiveness from the introduction of your wedding style all the way through to the big day and are perfect for all DIY projects.

Some traditional ways to incorporate your logo:
- Save the Dates
- Invitations
- Wedding Programs
- Menu Cards
- Favor Packaging
- On floral vases

Some non-traditional ideas:
- Shower Thank You cards
- Wax stamp/closure on the outside of your invitations
- Custom postage stamps
- Pew ends
- Embroidered on the inside of the Bride's dress or Groom's tie
- Paper chargers
- Icing design on cookies to accompany your cake
- Inside floral wreaths

To get your personalized logo, ask your invitation creator to design a custom monogram for you. Or, there are tons of online resources. Try online papier Betsy White (they did the logo above):
Her black and white logos are $50 and her one-color logos are $75. You get a .pdf of the logo and can use it as many times as you'd like. Or try I Do Originals:
For only $10 you can select any 3 logos or for $15 you can get 5! Pre-ready monograms are customized with your info and wedding colors. Or they also have custom designs options as well. If you have any online resources that are your favorite, please let us know!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Coming Soon to Brookside!

More to come on this a little later but we'll be opening in Brookside in October!

Monday, July 13, 2009

We've Joined the Blog World!

Since I collectively spend about two hours a day reading other blogs of wedding professionals, event designers, friends and just plain interesting people, I thought maybe it would be a more productive use of my time if I spend a portion of that time creating our own blog! So here it is - the new Soirée blog. Danielle and I are going to do our best to keep up with updating this as we've got lots of new stuff on the horizon. However between a baby, a new store and a busy wedding season in full swing (plus attempting to also have lives), we can promise it won't be daily!

For our first post I thought I'd share some photos with you all of some past weddings. This is just a random sampling of the past year. Enjoy!