Unique Party Planning Perfection

I'm one of those people who loves organizing parties & events, but fears the actual menu-planning process of the whole thing. FEARS it. I'm actually not a half-bad cook when I know what I'm doing; where I falter is at the stage when I'm coming up with a menu. Not only do I struggle with guesstimating how much food I'll need for my guests (a true perfectionist, I always overcompensate and buy too much, blowing oodles of money on food that ultimately goes to waste. My mother would plotz ...), but I am clueless about "timing". You know -- what to do first, when to turn that on etc. etc.

If you're on this site, there's a good chance you'll be hosting a wedding-related event at your home in the next little while. Whether its a bridal shower for your girlfriend, a welcome-back soiree after your destination wedding or even your very first house party as a "real" married couple, menu-planning is in your near future, oh yes! If only we all had the money to hire party planners like the celebrites do .... but wait! We do! And it's extremely affordable AND it doesn't matter where in the world you're located! Intrigued? Read on ...

I recently stumbled across a fab website that I thought I would share with you, as it sure had me tickled pink. Party Designers is a web-based party planning company run by the lovely Andrea Worsley (see pic at left ... isn't she adorable?). Click on the link, fill out the questionnaire, and for the price of $25 receive a fully-personalized menu complete with shopping list and prep tips (including timing -- hallelujah!). For an additional $13 you can also receive wine pairings specific to your menu.

The truly unique thing about Party Designers? Menus sent to you are not, repeat NOT taken from and created by a computer database. Instead, an actual honest-to-goodness planner reviews your questionnaire answers and designs a menu around your specific needs. Fabulous enough for ya?

I love love love this idea, love love love that its a local company (what up Calgary! Woot woot!) and will be using Party Designer's services for my upcoming holiday party. I also love that company founder Andrea has recently started a blog of her own at ... check it out for cooking tips, recipies and more!

*all pictures courtesy of Party Designers*


Breakfast Show Vendor List

This past Wednesday I was lucky enough to make an appearance on the Calgary Breakfast Show . Susanne Fox and I chatted about Epiphany Designs, the success of this little bloggie, and then I gave my "Top 5 Tips" to make a wedding unique. I'll do my best to get a copy of the clip up here somehow -- until then, just imagine me doing my best not to look terrified in the beginning, and then talking Susanne's ear off after that (a shrinking violet I am not, as Husband so often likes to point out)

Anyways, if you happened to catch the segment then you may be looking for a list of the vendors I mentioned. And here they are, just to help you out!

Photobook Companies

Flowers (fresh, silk, or fresh-and-silk combo)

p.s. I LOVE La Coquette! Weren't those bouquets delicious? *sigh* I sense a flower design post coming up real soon .... here's a non-pro pic incase you missed them:
The Photobooth Company

Everything else was courtesy of my company Epiphany Designs, so if you want to know where to get those super-cute programs, table numbers or anything else, just drop me a line.

Preview for my next post: Planning an informal at-home reception? Or just want to know how to host a killer cocktail party? Stay tuned for my next post in a few days .. have I got a neat idea for you!


More Etsy Goodies

I love Etsy. You must know that by now.

Feathered Swarovki Crystal Rhinestone Clutch --

Custom Family Name Frame --

Gemstone Tree Caketopper --

Damask Garter --

Wedding Ring for Husband-to-Be --

SO many more I could have posted ... seriously.

*all photos have been linked back to their original credited owner*


Fabulous Foto Find & More

Some of you may know by now that photographers are a hobby of mine. Not photographY, but photographERS. Long before I was even engaged to Husband I was scouring the internet for fabulous photographers around the globe ... simply because I LOVE looking at beautiful photos. Even better? I LOVE stumbling across up-and-comers.

This hobby has come in handy on more than one occasion, and it serves me well even now with my invitation company (my clients often ask for recomendations on vendors within various price ranges, seeing as I'm usually with them so early in the planning process).

And to be honest --- I'm a photo shoot whore. Some gals love their Manolos, I love me a fab photo. Its a sickness, I know.

Given my penchant for photo shoots, I've had the idea lately of getting one done with my little sister to give to our parents as a Christmas gift (oh, how the memory of years of sisterly-bickering and fighting will melt away in my parents' hearts upon beholding a gorgeous photo of their two darlings!). And who should coincidentally come into my life around this same time? Christina at Francesfoto.

Christina is an up-and-coming Calgary photographer with an amazing eye. Her savvy style is photojournalistic and candid, and she seems to have a talent for capturing raw emotion through her images. I was enthralled by her wedding photos, and am in utter adoration of her baby and child images (so sweet).

Little Sis and I have decided to go ahead with our photo shoot, so I will of course be posting images once I've got some. However, I love passing along great fabulous finds, and thought ya'll should know about this one!

For Calgary brides looking for something fresh in the market -- FrancesFoto currently has reduced fees for the 2008/2009 wedding season; the fee includes an online slide show, digital negatives, engagement session and professional coffee table album to boot.

Love it!

Quick update: I promised to post a few pics of my sister-in-law's fall winery wedding, and here they are!
Summerhill Winery, British Columbia
Husband & I outside the pyramid in which the wine is aged

*top 4 images courtesy of francesfoto*
*remaining images courtesy of Epiphany Designs 2008*


Back from the dead 2

Wow, no posts for almost five months, and then two posts in two days? I need to get my priorities straight ...

JUST noticed that the incredible Darcy Miller, editorial director at Martha Stewart Weddings, listed I Love Weddings as one of a small number of recommended wedding blogs over at The Bride's Guide on September 16th. Talk about an honour!

Kind regards for the recommendation, Darcy, and please keep up the good work!

Back from the dead

My goodness, taking a short break can sure get out-of-hand! I've been on a self-imposed exile from blogging for a number of months now, allowing me the chance to focus all of my energy on Epiphany Designs and my day job as a special needs teacher.

Quite honestly, I needed the break. I could see my blog posts dwindling the last half-of the year and recognized that it was time to allow a little more free-time for myself. Unfortunately that did not happen (even on my summer holiday break from teaching!) as my little invitation company is resoundingly taking off . Yay! The past few months at Epiphany Designs have been spent working with new clients, seeing my first ad in print in a bridal magazine, and even being featured in a full-page article in my former college's alumni magazine (see page 23 for the on-line version).

I also had the honour of designing the invitations for BOTH of my sibling-in-laws (thats a word, right?). Both are getting married at destination weddings, and Jamie & I are ridiculously excited to attend!

My sister-in-law Lindsay and her fiance Barclay
Kelowna, Bristish Columbia

My brother-in-law Justin and his fiancee, Tracy (who I am also a bridesmaid for!)
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Stay tuned for pictures of both weddings once they happen!

I also did a design this summer for a client of mine that I loved the look of so much I "borrowed" for my own Big Day coming up:
Yes, you read right ... the big 3-0 is just around the corner. As Jamie likes to remind me, I'm entering cougar territory for sure!

Thats about it for now. I'm back, I'll be doing my best to blog regularily again, and hopefully those of you who emailed wondering where I was are resting easier at night!

*all images copyright Epiphany Designs 2008. Please do not use without permission*

Bridesmaid Gift Alert!

Damn Starbucks and their fancy-schmancy website -- I am unable to figure out how to get a pic to post of this super-cute bridesmaid gift idea! Now I must only use the magical power of the written word to persuade you ....

The maven of all coffee houses is now offering personalized Starbucks cards. As in, cards you can customize with images and messages exactly as you want. LOVE IT! What a great idea to slip into your bridesmaid gift packages. There are a variety of options to choose from, and the idea of having something actually written from you on the card is super-neat.

Since I can't post photos from the site, or show you the adorable card I made up for my pretend bridesmaid Nancy, well, you'll just have to check out the site yourself.


As an addition, I just wanted to let you all know that I've recently re-begun posting on my other blog, Divapreneurs (it fell by the wayside for, oh, a little over a year). If you've ever wondered what its like to run a fledgling invitation company or, heck, are desperate to receive business advice from someone totally not qualified to give it, then feel free to check it out!