MTV Looking for Couples Getting Married!

I received the following email from MTV :


And MTV wants a front row seat
on your special day!

If you are already engaged and between the ages of 18-22, then MTV wants to hear from you!

MTV’s popular documentary series, Engaged & Underage, wants to tell your love story – the excitement of the engagement, the ups and downs of the planning, the fun along the way, and, of course, THE BIG DAY!!! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity…

You and your future spouse should both appear to be between the ages of 18 and 22. Best case scenario: you're getting married in 2008 or January 2009.



Tell us when and where you are getting married and why this is important to you. Include your name, phone number, email address and a digital photo of you and your future spouse, if possible.

Upcoming Events for Planners (Midwest)

Some interesting and educational events for planners are happening this month:

MPI-CAC 2008 Women's Leadership Conference
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 :: Chicago, IL :: 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
The 2008 Women’s Leadership Conference: “Winning the Race!” Key Success Strategies for Today’s Career Woman is a one-day conference of educational programming that emphasizes women’s leadership, and a celebration of diversity stretching across all industries.

4th Annual Pharmaceutical Meeting Planners' Summit
November 17, 2008 to November 18, 2008 :: The Heldrich, New Brunswick, NJ
More info:

ISES Indiana Education Conference
November 19, 2008 :: Horizon Convention Center, Muncie, IN :: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
More info:


Great Resource

In my opinion, the MPI Bookstore is the best in the industry. I am a regular customer and highly recommend it for both new and experienced planners. It is also "the" source for getting your CMP study materials.

Check it out and fill up your bookshelf with the best books in the industry!


Spotlight Indy: Westwood Paper Company

Home Sweet Home Indy!
My new initiative is to focus on the growing and evolving Indianapolis events market. Therefore, often {if not weekly} I hope to put a spotlight on an Indianapolis vendor. My first profile is of Westwood Paper Company - owned by the fabulous Jill Sowder.

I find it appropriate to start my spotlight series with a high-end paper company due to my love of fine papers and the art of letterpress. Jill shares my taste and passion for paper, design and great fonts! Her store is beautiful and her product choices are the best of the industry. And, Jill herself is a guru! I was grateful for the hour I spent with Jill getting to know her and her store. I will certainly be a regular... and look forward to working with Jill and her team.

About: Westwood is a retail boutique located in Carmel, IN. They are specialists in designing invitations, announcements and personal stationery.
Paper Products: Boatman Gellar, Envelopments, Julie Holcomb, Prentiss Douthit, Real Card Studio, Snow & Graham, Waste Not Paper, Midori Ribbon, Truly Mom.
Gifts: Fabulous monogram gifts, stamps, planners, frames, seasonal items, calendars & more.
My pick: Custom wine and water bottle labels. Perfect for any event!
Where: online at :: in-person at 20 Executive Drive, Carmel, IN.


Rustic Candlesticks

"A pair of marvelous candlesticks transforms any table"
-Carolyne Roehm
The tablescape above is styled by Carolyne Roehm for an autumn lunch. The candlesticks complete the rustic, autumnal look and give great texture and complexity to the setting.
(Picture Source: House Beautiful, November 2008)

Ballard Design offers the following antler candlesticks. Set of 2 Antler Candlesticks
Largest: 12"H x 9"W x 8"D :: Purchase at


Inspiration Board: Autumn Wedding

I love this time of year: the great weather, the change of the leaves, hot apple cider, pumpkins and lazy Sundays! Saturdays in the fall, however, are full of weddings as September and October are two of the most popular wedding months. In addition, October is also the busiest and most popular time for corporate events (more on that in another post!).

Here are a few fall wedding tips:
Autumn colors: Oranges, ochres, reds, browns, champagne, rich yellows, peaches, plums, golds and copper - and in 2008, the trend is to add navy!

Autumn flowers: Roses, orchids, gardenias, mums and dahlias. Enhancements: berries in rich shades.

Decor enhancements/ideas: Use treated bark and leaves (appropriately - see photos below); adorn entry ways with with lighted foliate (either real or silk); embrace textures for your linens, paper products, ribbons, and centerpieces.

Credits: Preston Bailey; Carolyne Roehm {green ribbon with multicolor picot edge with candied oranges;} Martha Stewart Weddings; Ultimate Bride (Chicago); {sweet peas, roses - nosegay shape}; Martha Stewart Weddings; Dauphine Press Damask Journal.

Engage '08: The Encore

More info at I truly wish I could go but I am too pregnant to fly! This fabulous, high-end wedding symposium features the who's-who of the wedding industry: Preston Bailey, Marcy Blum, Rebecca Grinnals, Susan Moynihan, Simon T. Bailey, Liene Stevens, Kathryn Arce and Christine Boulton.
I am definitely there next year!


Art of the Table

This February, I am excited to be exhibiting at the Art of the Table at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. I already putting together an inspiration board - with color schemes and designs in mind! I look forward to seeing the work of my competition (and new friends!).

More info:

Stay on the home page to see the slideshow of past table designs!


Certifications and Education

One of the most common questions I get asked is "How did I become an event and meeting planner?" Well, my answer is long, but some great advice is to reach out and or join the many professional societies for event professionals. Here is a rundown:
(Source: Successful Meeting Magazine, July 09, 2008, Corrie Dosh)

CMP – Certified Meeting Professional The Convention Industry Council awards this designation based on professional experience and a written examination. Considered the foremost certification program of today's meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry, the CMP program recognizes individuals who have achieved the industry's highest standard of professionalism. CMPs must be recertified every five years.To apply:

CMM – Certification in Meeting Management This designation offered by Meeting Professionals International began in Europe. As the first university co-developed professional designation (with the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University), the program blends a traditional educational framework with a hands-on, interactive setting. CMM candidates take part in an intensive four-step process that includes pre-residency, residency, examination, and post-residency components. Pre-residency involves active participation in an MPI learning group using online technology and a variety of reading assignments; residency includes a four-and-a-half-day full-immersion course and examination; and finally, there is a post-residency business project.To apply:

CAE – Certified Association Executive The American Society of Association Executives awards this certification to designate association professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of association management. The program, founded in 1960, comprises a written test and 75 hours of broad-based qualifying professional development within the past five years.To apply:

CEM – Certified Exposition Manager The International Association of Exhibitions & Events offers the designation to those who complete a nine-part program within three years. The program is composed of seven mandatory courses and two courses chosen from five available electives. Advanced-level courses are also available for CEMs to continue their professional education and obtain recertification.To apply:

CITE – Certified Incentive Travel Executive The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives awards this designation to those who demonstrate their extensive knowledge of the industry and achieve its highest standard of excellence. To be approved, applicants must complete six steps within a year, including a three-hour exam, an original research paper, and earning 100 qualifying experience points.To apply:

CSEP – Certified Special Events Professional The International Special Events Society awards this based on education, performance, experience, and service to the industry. It reflects a commitment to professional conduct and ethics. To earn the designation, applicants must pass a written examination and earn 35 professional industry points.To apply:

Check out these other certifications available for those in the meetings industry:
American Hotel and Lodging Association ( Certified Hospitality Sales Professional (CHSP), Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Hospitality Supervisor (CHS), Certified Lodging Manager (CLM), Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE), Master Hotel Supplier (MHS),
Association of Destination Management Executives ( Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP); Accredited Destination Management Company (ADMC)
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International ( Certified in Hospitality Sales Competencies (CHSC); Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive (CHME)
National Association of Catering Executives ( Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE)
National Speakers Association ( Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)
PMPN Meetings With Impact ( Certified Medical Meeting Manager (CMMM)
Trade Show Exhibitors Association ( Certified Manager of Exhibits (CME)


Just in time for Harvest Celebrations...

Gourmet websites that carry exotic ingredients are an important vendor to keep in your "back pocket." They can supply fruits, plants and vegetables that can add the wow-factor to a centerpiece, buffet or decor set. For instance, if you're having a desert oasis theme, where can you find cactus pads? Here are 2 websites to add to your favorites:


Photo credit: Friedas; Idea Source: Real Simple


Stellar Tips...

Event Planners know we must learn from each others' wins and losses. collected a ton of tips from meeting and event planners as part of its Stellar Tip Contest. Check out the entire list at:

One of the most common submissions had to do with emergency/SOS kits for planners. In my opinion, different events require different emergency kits. I wouldn't pack the same kit for a formal wedding that I would for a small pharmaceutical dinner! What would a physician do with double-sided tape!

That said, I am working on a post that details my emergency kit components for the various event types. More to come!


A Beautiful Wedding Video

Love the song... love Portia's dress... love the table setting... love the flowers. Check out the newly released wedding video of Ellen and Portia:


Etsy for your wedding... and events

I love I could get lost on that site for hours! I find it the best marketplace for finding anything custom. I'd use these talented vendors for social and corporate events too!

-and more!


Tablecards by Cheer Up Cherup:


Greening your Events

I previously mentioned the presentation by Greg Christian that I attended at BizBash Chicago. I'd like to share further learnings that I hope are as profound for you as they were for me.

Here are some notations on how Greg makes his events/kitchen green:
  • zero-waste kitchen
  • cooking oils > biofuels
  • increase % of organic and local ingredients
  • sustainable seafood
  • fair-trade tea and coffee
  • free employee meal(s)
Greg urges event planners to put "green" questions/requirements into our RFPs. I think this is such a fantastic idea. It forces the hotels/convention centers to go green and think about their footprint. Here are some starting points:
  • Specify that a certain percentage of food must be local and/or organic
  • Specify use of "green" alcohol - at least beer and wine
  • Ensure hotel recycles
  • Ask that extra food be donated to a local shelter
Additionally, you can get specific. For example, Fiji Water is the most sustainable bottled water brand in the world - ask for it. (Although filtered water is preferred, we all know that it is not always well-received by event guests.)

Here are some additional sources to learn more:
"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
— from the World Commission on Environment and Development’s(the Brundtland Commission) report
Our Common Future (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).


Importance of Food Presentation

My ridiculously talented friend, Jen Jaax, is entering the world of food styling. Her newest photos are below. Don't you want to dive right into the "Raspberry Fool?"

As Jen says, you eat with your eyes - and she is certainly right! Food presentation is such an important detail - especially in professional event planning. Simply put, you want your guests to want to eat! Beyond taste testing, make sure you review the presentation skills of your caterer - whether its a buffet or seated meal. Don't be afraid to dive into the details and give specifics of how you want food presented... and think outside the box to use unusual serving platters and enhancements.

I must also give Jen a shout-out for her work in recipe development for Smithfield Foods. The program offers free weekly menu planners to Smithfield website subscribers. Daily emails provide well-balanced, easy to prepare meals and corresponding grocery lists. And, you know if Paula Deen is the spokewoman, the recipes are delish! Visit for more info.


BizBash Chicago

I was lucky to be able to attend the 1st annual BizBash Conference in Chicago last week. I have some amazing learnings to share this coming week including one that really will make you expand your "going green" event knowledge. Greg Christian, who is a well-known Chicago caterer (for Harpo Studios and others), presented a dynamic, educational presentation about how event planners can easily make events "green" by including specifics in the RFP process (brilliant!) and doing a little extra research. It was fantastic! More to come...

Here is a link to the BizBash Editorial on the event:


Cloud 9...

It's not a secret that I adore cupcakes... I find them to be delightful, whimsical and, well, delicious! I am so thankful that my new house is right near an Indianapolis gem - The Flying Cupcake. Talk about being on Cloud 9! I picked up 2 for dessert tonight (no, not both for me!) and can't wait to try their famous Red Velvet Elvis.

In Charlotte, I also lived near a cupcake paradise... called Polka Dot Bake Shop it was also delish! Perhaps my subconscious is steering me towards living near these specialty bakeries!

Here are the aforementioned bakeries links - but if you're not in Indy or Charlotte, make sure to find a cupcake bakery near you!

Lastly, I managed to find even bigger fans of the cupcake: the ladies of the blog "The Cupcake Takes the Cake": such a fun read and a sure way to find the best cupcakes in your city!


Fabulous Find...

These are so fabulous and cool! Cupcake flags! The perfect personalization for any event: baby shower, bridal shower or wedding. Check them out at


Those hot summer nights...

My apologies that I have not posted lately. It's been a busy time transitioning my personal and professional life from North Carolina to Indiana! I am looking forward to building my business in the Indianapolis area over the next few months.

However, let's not forget the good news: SUMMER IS HERE! My favorite summer events are ones at home with friends and family - gathering for good food, cold drinks and late nights on the porch by candlelight. One of my favorite designs for a backyard soiree is vintage chic using fun, bright colors... I've used items from Anthropologie for my inspiration board below showcasing this style.

Anthropologie is a fantastic place to buy inexpensive, high-impact tablewares for any event - including the most formal gatherings. Check there for fun items to enhance tables, buffets, chairs and lighting.


Spring Cleaning!

I have a lot going on - new city, new move, new company/website launch and a baby on the way! But I've long been an exceptionally organized person (perhaps to a fault!) but my lists, color coordinated folders, highlighters, and post-it notes are what make my life and business run smoothly - even in crazy times like these!

This weekend I am having a huge yard sale with some friends. While diving head first into some old (but still organized!) files, I decided I wanted a chic look for my new office space in Indy. That's where comes to the rescue - they are an online resource of chic and sophisticted home and office products. Now there's a great reason to get started on that organization project - shopping at See Jane Work! Check them out!


Peekaboo Pumpkin

Peekaboo Pumpkin has been around for a while - I first heard of them when they appeared in Daily Candy a number of years ago and I have used them for a few baby showers since. Then today I received an email from the company and thought I'd share the site with all of you. I find their favors and favor tags to be adorable additions to any party.

After reviewing their new designs for announcements and stationery, I think they've only gotten better with time! Personally, I think children's stationery should look playful and fun - an accomplished task by Peekaboo Pumpkin!


Small Packages for Good Things

Karen Smallbone is a fabulous boutique favor company in Canada. Her ideas and items have appeared all over the Web and publications. I find her handmade favors to be a fun and refreshing departure from traditional event favors. Her custom labels are a great idea for a wedding, sweet sixteen, or baby shower. Website:


Get Carded

I just love these Kate Spade place cards from Break the ice for your dinner guests as they take their seats at the table. These place cards tie the elegant tradition of pre-arranged seating with a tongue-in-cheek humor to get them talking. Or, use it as an excuse to play matchmaker by placing the "please chat with the person next to you" card in front of the evening's best catch. Set includes three each of four place card designs ("playing footsie is encouraged", "please have a second helping", "please chat with the person next to you," and "save room for dessert" ) in crane’s kid finish fluorescent white.


Happy Easter

Inspiration for your Easter table. I love the robin's egg blue with accents of petal pink, white and spring green. The smart mixture of patterns (gingham, strips, solids) and texture (glass, porcelain, linen) ensure a luxurious look.

All images from Carolyne Roehm.

A fabulous Easter Feast from Rachael Ray:

French Onion Crostini - Sugar Snap Peas with Frizzled Mushrooms - Rosemary-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Roasted Fennel and Red Onion - Lemon-Berry Trifle - Prosecco-Berry Sparkler


Rustic Chic

Michelle Rago is a guru and I am a big fan. I find her to be an inspiration to me and many others in the industry. I thought of Michelle today and specifically of a wedding she styled in Vermont. Her use of theme and material is perfect and not over-whelming.

The reason this outdoor, rustic wedding popped into my head was because I was working with a very fun and fabulous bride today who is having her own rustic chic wedding at The Fearrington House near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We styled a fabulous Dauphine Press invitation on Crane Lettra paper with espresso ink, a champagne colored pocketfold, espresso satin belly band and gold leaf tag accent. The invitation is comleted by a foliate design in opposing corners and a small acorn between the ceremony and reception information. I can't wait to see the result - and the accompanying accessories! The layout will be similar to the sample below:


Palm Beach Pink and Green

As aforementioned in my last post, I was recently in the Palm Beach, Florida area. I love that area and wanted to use it as inspiration for one more post. Pink and green are colors synonymous with Palm Beach. So, I thought I would use the Palm Beach landmark, the Breakers, and the "official" colors of the city for a Pink and Green Wedding Inspiration Board.

I must give a special note to the fabulous bridesmaid dress model. That's my sister {and bridesmaid} Meg at my wedding!

Photo Credits: Top(L-R): My sister Meg!;;

Second Row (L-R); The Breakers.

Bottom (L-R); Dauphine Press; Monique Lhuillier.



I’m down in sunny Palm Beach Florida for the week. Being here makes me want to plan a fabulous soiree at the Breakers. Luckily, I will have that opportunity this July!

The Sunny South also makes me want to dust off my clubs and hit the tees. Yep, I’m a lady golfer – and one that used to have a talent for the game only to find that if you don’t nurture talent, it disappears. So I’m a terrible golfer with a great shot every here and there. It’s a good thing I don’t have to participate in the golf events I plan!

Golf events are a favorite of corporations, associations and bride & grooms alike. It provides the host(s) with a captive audience in a fun, relaxed environment.

However, planning a golf event is no easy task. And it is an important skill to master since golfing is almost always on the itinerary for high-impact, off-site events. Golf events have many moving parts: clubs, carts, teams, trophies, gifts, transportation, refreshments and strict time parameters.

Here are some hints:

  1. Utilize the on-site planner. Many times golf courses will have a staff member to help with the planning and execution of your event.
  2. Identify the maximum number of players that can be accommodated. Once that number is reached, close registration to avoid disaster on-site. Don’t forget your staff that will be playing (hopefully within each pairing) as that will affect total guest count.
  3. Develop a time line and event agenda. Include transportation, warm-ups and preparations, and refreshment time.
  4. Review the facilities and offerings of the venue and understand how they will impact your event: locker rooms, meeting facilities, rentals, carts, maintenance schedule, catering and sales.
  5. Develop a realistic budget
  6. Select tournament format: Scramble or Best Ball are the most popular
  7. Add contests and prizes
  8. Invite guests (make sure to ask about rentals; left or right-handed clubs needed; handicap, etc)
  9. Make pairings/teams


Meeting of the Minds

Meetings Media released their Meetings Trends for 2008. I found the following to be most notable:

· It seems that of the men that are in the event/meetings profession, most of them are independent planners while a majority of women are either corporate- or association-based.
· In 2008, most event budgets either stayed the same or increased.
{Note: To me, that illustrates that the corporation, association or client sees the importance of events within their overall brand strategy. }
· I thought it interesting to see the vast difference in the placement of the importance of the attrition policy and guest room technology for Association planners versus Independent planners.
{Note: I have an extreme dislike for attrition charges and have been known to scare some hotel sales executives!}
Read all about 2008 Meeting Trends:

Which brings me to introduce you to one of my favorite Meeting Planning websites: Meetings Focus {}. I first came in contact with them through their great meetings and events magazine. Also check out their Best of List: {Note: I always get asked my favorite event venue. My absolute favorite both personally and professionally is the Wynn Las Vegas.}

Meetings Focus, along with mPoint, has a very useful and extensive database for venues and city-specific contacts. {Note: Its been know that I tend to became slightly addicted to and their online system when I need a multi-city RFP – its fabulous!}


Event Rentals

Event Planners work collaboratively with Event Rental Companies everyday. They supply our events with everything from crystal chandeliers to white tents to state-of-the-art projection screens.

For example, a great Event Rental Company can help transform a simple hotel ballroom into a South Pacific Celebration! Below are some snapshots from a client appreciation event for Misys Healthcare Systems. The venue was the Reno Hilton and we worked with vendors to transform the room into a beach oasis. The event was complete with totem poles, tiki torches, robo-surfing, henna tattoos, tiki bars, beach bands, and more!

But, the magic and wonder that rentals can bring to an event are not just a resource for professional planners. Whether you are planning a small affair or a large event, I definitely recommend stopping by a fabulous event rental company. Many of them only have minimums if you require delivery. Here are some suggestions on how you could use them:
Small dinner: plates, linens, wine glasses, candelabras, extra seating and tables, etc.
Wedding: tent, round tables and/or buffets, cutlery, linens, serving items, lighting, etc.
Large events: seating, lighting, theme d├ęcor, games, pipe and drape, etc.

Here is a snapshot of a Hospitality Suite using rentals at the Wynn in Las Vegas (one of my favorite venues). It was truly a gorgeous set.

Some of the top in the Event Rental Companies are:


Font Envy

Since working at Salutations, I have become enamored with font. I’ve had the privilege of working with the best stationers and feel the proper use of font is one of the (if not the) most important part of a invitation design decision.

However, I am guessing that you are wondering how one could be so passionate about a typeface? Well, the right font can transform the entire impression given by an invitation, announcement, menu, mailer, or business communication. A font can turn a simple piece of paper from modern to traditional.

So, I hope you’re inspired and will give the fonts in your life some thought. My two favorite font sites are:



And, my favorite fonts are:

Source:; Top (L-R) Burgues; Feel; Bottom: Wesley.

And, since I always like to include a little snippet of background on my posts, here’s some fun facts about the five of the most popular fonts:*

Bodoni: Giambattista Bodoni’s namesake font, often found in women’s magazines, came into fashion at the end of the 1700s and enjoyed a resurgence in the early 1900s.

Caslon: Designed by Englishmen William Caslon in the mid-1700s, this robust serif typeface appears in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Garamond: French type designer Claude Garamond created this typeface almost 500 years ago. It appears everywhere – from Apple’s text copy to ads for Abercrombie & Fitch.

Helvetica: Last year’s documentary Helvetica celebrated the 50th anniversary of this minimalist sans serif typeface, designed by Eduard Hoffmann and Max Miedinger for a Swiss type foundry.

Time New Roman: Commissioned by the Times of London in 1931, this tight, readable serif typeface is a popular choice for book text. All personal computers come equipped with this font.

*Real Simple, March 2008.


Green and Gorgeous!

Not to discredit Kermit, but it’s getting easier to be green these days. Organic foods, environmentally friendly paper, and eco-friendly flowers are all ways to ensure your next gathering is green. The quality and selection of green products has expanded and ensure you do not sacrifice style to be environmentally conscious. (Personal note: I am a huge fan of local Farmers Markets!)

Here are some ideas of how to throw an ecologically sound event:

Location, Location, Location:
-Consider an outdoor area such as a park or your own backyard that gives your event a natural sensibility
-Pick a unique local spot--like an art gallery, nonprofit space, organic restaurant or farm, or a botanical garden -For a wedding, have the ceremony and reception at the same location to avoid having your guests drive between the two. If you must use shuttles, use buses that run on biodiesel fuel.

Get the Word Out:
-Buy 100% PCW recycled invitations that are processed without chlorine and printed with vegetable or soy-based ink(s).
-Use tree-free paper made out of hemp, banana stalks, bamboo, kenaf, or organic cotton

Setting the Scene:
-Use real glasses, flatware and tableware. If you must use disposable, use biodegradable dishes and flatware made from cornstarch, sugar cane, or tropical leaves.
-Find a florist that uses flowers from local and/or organic farms or find a grower are your local farmers market and hire them to create bouquets and table arrangements. Don’t have one in your area? Check out:
-Decorate with branches, dried grasses, grains, greens, berries, or live plants
-Use potted plants (perhaps use in place of cut flowers for centerpieces) that can be given as gifts or enjoyed in your home.
-Use beeswax or soy-based candles

Organic Fare: Design a seasonal, organic menu and use organic wines and beer

Look the Part:
-Wear a vintage outfit
-Pick clothes made from hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton or silk (check out
-Borrow from a friend or ensure you purchase something you will wear again.
-If you’re a one-time wearer, make sure to donate your clothing after the event.

Photo credits: Top (L-R):;;; Middle:; Bottom (L-R):;;


Color Inspiration: Red

Red has become synonymous with February so I put together an inspiration board using the crimson hue. Red is a favorite color of mine... as it serves as my company name, a tribute to my coloring and an oft-used moniker. Red is often used in events during the holidays, but I find it to be a stunning color for fall as well as a great accent color for other times of year. Pair it with chocolate brown, navy, black, ivory, gold, oranges/hot pinks and shades/half tones.

But, before I display an Event & Entertaining Inspiration Board (below), let's learn more about the color: *

Love and War: Red is hot. It's a strong color that conjures up a range of seemingly conflicting emotions from passionate love to violence and warfare. Red is associated with Cupid but also the Devil.

Nature of Red: A stimulant, red is the hottest of the warm colors. Studies show that red can have a physical effect, increasing the rate of respiration and raising blood pressure. The expression seeing red indicates anger and may stem not only from the stimulus of the color but from the natural flush (redness) of the cheeks, a physical reaction to anger, increased blood pressure, or physical exertion.

Culture of Red: Red is power, hence the red power tie for business people and the red carpet for celebrities and VIPs (very important people). In some cultures, red denotes purity, joy, and celebration. Red is the color of happiness and prosperity in China and may be used to attract good luck.

Red is often the color worn by brides in the East while it is the color of mourning in South Africa. And, the red Ruby is the traditional 40th wedding anniversary gift.

Red Words: These words are synonymous with red or represent various shades of the color: Scarlet, crimson, vermillion, carmine, maroon, burgundy, ruby, rose, madder, rouge, brick, blood red, blush, cinnabar, russet, rust, Venetian red, flame, Indian red.

Photo credits: Top (L-R): BT Elements, French Martini w/ Raspberry Chambord, JCrew; Bottom (L-R): Governor's Ball; Red Velvet Sweets Tray.

*Red Color Meaning Information above provided by Jacci Howard Bear on


Real Simple

Real Simple is one of my favorite magazines. The clean lines, reader-friendly layout and useful tips have me waiting by my mailbox each month.

My favorite tip? Using a clothespin to clamp the nail while you hammer it into the wall (thus eliminating the inevitable injury of your fingertips). When I read that, it was a huge aha moment and I was forever indebted to the Editors of Real Simple.

Now, the magazine that helps us make life easier is expanding to guide us through our events. Real Simple has released Real Simple Weddings and I have found the ideas, once again, to be useful and full of aha moments for the planner ~ regardless of the type of event. So, grab one or steal a glance while at the bookstore ~ even if you're not a bride. 160 pages; $12.95


Letterpress Stationery

For my inaugural post, I thought sharing photos and inspired ideas from my favorite letterpress stationers would be an accurate reflection of my style and current passion.

Letterpress stationery, one of the oldest forms of printing, has recently made a comeback within the wedding industry but there is also wonderful designs for baby announcements, holiday cards, business correspondance and all of life's celebrations.

Why letterpress?* Letterpress is a method of printing which uses the raised surface of a relief plate to print an image or text. The image area on the relief plate is slightly higher than the rest of the plate surface, this allows the raised surface to be inked and then pressed against the paper creating an image in reverse. Only one color is printed at a time.

The beauty of letterpress is that the text or image printed is slightly indented into the paper, making the definition sharper and with a lovely tactile quality that cannot be achieved with other printing techniques. *(Source:

Here is my inspiration board for letterpress:

Photo credits: First row (L-R): Dauphine Press; Elum. Second row (L-R) The Happy Envelope, Elum

Letterpress allows for intricate design elements such as beautiful damasks (a personal favorite) and fonts. My business cards (below) are letterpress. Printed and designed by the talented ladies of Dauphine Press (