friday favorites – best event ideas of the week

This week’s Friday Favorites has it all – children’s party themes, adult party favors, and a perennial favorite – the unique wedding cake. Let’s jump in!

#5 – Tilted bouquets

angled floral arrangement at the Grammys Foundation Concert

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holiday party favor ideas

holiday party favor ideas

If you are in the midst of planning a holiday party of any kind, you might be worried about favors. First of all, I would think about whether you need favors at all. Holiday parties were one casualty of the economy tanking – some companies eliminated them altogether, while others scaled them down to a shadow of their former selves. If your company (or association, group, etc.) is running low on funds for the holiday party, eliminating the favors might be a good idea. Most likely your employees (or volunteers, or guests, etc.) won’t even miss them.

If you still want to proceed with a favor, consider your budget. If this is a work holiday party and the guests are employees, any money spent on lavish favors could be perceived as money that could have been given directly to the employee as a bonus – so tread carefully. If you do want to spend a lot, make sure you select something that your guests would truly appreciate, such as gift cards (which is basically like giving cash). Consider several gift options – such as a bottle of wine or a fancy cheese basket – that way people can select the item they want more.

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friday favorites – best events of the week

Welcome to week four of Friday Favorites! Believe it or not, there’s no alternative wedding cake this week….

#5 – Custom Yankee Candles

customized Yankee Candle wedding and event favors

Candles are a pretty popular wedding and event favor, but you can step it up a notch by personalizing it, either by a custom label or a custom photo label! You can put your face on a candle! If that appeals to you, there is more information here. For most products there is a three piece minimum to order. This could be fun for baby showers, bridal showers, bridesmaid gifts, or anything really. What a fun idea!

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michael & melissa’s georgia garden wedding

mike & melissa's georgia garden wedding

Michael and Melissa were married in Decatur, Georgia on September 28, 2013, near where they both grew up. The fall wedding was full of personal details. Since the bride and groom both live in Washington, DC, they relied on their friends and family to help, and the result was a wedding that was sweet, poignant, and full of personal details. The ceremony was held at the same church where the groom’s parents were married. The reception venue, the Cator Woolford Gardens in Atlanta, was a beautiful backdrop for the start of this couple’s married life.

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incorporate apples into weddings, events and entertaining

apple bouquet

Despite 90 degree heat, I went apple picking this weekend, as we do almost every fall. And judging by my Facebook feed, everyone else was apple picking as well. While apples don’t get quite the same attention as pumpkins do, they are just as reminiscent of fall as their orange counterparts. In honor of the fact that I have 17 pounds of apples to figure out how to use in the next week or so, here are some ideas on how to incorporate apples into your events – whether you are planning a fall dinner party, a fall wedding, or a full-blown Oktoberfest extravaganza.

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mike & bethany’s cape cod beach wedding

mike & bethany's cape cod beach wedding | amanda jayne events blog

Mike and Bethany were married over Memorial Day weekend in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where the bride grew up. While the wedding itself wasn’t on the beach, the venue was a short drive from the sun and sand, and the couple took advantage of the location for photos and also incorporated lots of beach details into the décor – which proves that you can have a beach wedding without subjecting your guests to sand in their shoes! Growing up next to the ocean, Bethany wanted to include as many reminders of the sea in their wedding as possible. They chose the perfect location – both the ceremony and the reception were held at the Captain Linnell House, a mansion dating back to 1840, which was built by Captain Ebeneezer Linnell for his bride, and is full of small details that hint at its nautical past.

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pumpkin week – fall wedding inspiration

pumpkin wedding ideas | amanda jayne events blog

For day two of pumpkin week, I wanted to look at some sophisticated ways to incorporate pumpkins into a fall wedding – it’s not just for Halloween nuptials! I will avoid discussing centerpieces, since I hit that yesterday. But there are plenty of other ways to have pumpkins make an appearance – from live pumpkins serving as décor, to a pumpkin design that can be featured in your printed stationery. Grab that pumpkin spice latte (I had my first of the season yesterday!) and enjoy:

You can set the pumpkin harvest theme before your guests arrive by incorporating pumpkins into your invitation design. I think these are really sweet – it’s fall without bashing you over the head. I also like that the color is muted – some brides may not like the bright orange often associated with pumpkins.  These are available from Etsy seller Essentialimages:

pumpkin wedding invitations

Also for pumpkin stationery, you can add pumpkins to your escort cards or table numbers, such as this pumpkin design suite. I like this one because the white pumpkin is subtle and reminds me of a certain famous pumpkin from Cinderella – what a fun, subtle way to pay homage to THAT fairy tale wedding without going full-blown Disney princess! Available from CharonelDesigns:

pumpkin wedding stationery

For ceremony décor, I love the idea of lining the aisle with pumpkins, especially for an outdoor wedding (although I’ve seen it work indoors as well!). If you want to go a bit more rustic with the harvest theme, you can use bales of hay as well (a la the first photo). Photo via

pumpkin wedding ceremony decor

I love mini-pumpkins (actually gourds) and I think they would make a fun escort card. You could really make this your own with the way you attach the escort card – I love the idea of an elegantly printed card tied to the mini-pumpkin with twine – both sophisticated and rustic! Photo via Event Now:

mini-pumpkin wedding escort card

For wedding décor – for the ceremony or the reception – there are plenty of ways to utilize carved or decorated pumpkins. There is the Mr & Mrs Pumpkins, such as below, or pumpkins carved with the wedding date. I’ve even seen silhouette pumpkins! You can do this with real or artificial pumpkins. These are artificial ones from Etsy seller purpleinkgraphics:

carved pumpkin wedding decor

I also love these stylized “Love is Sweet” pumpkins – you could do this with any phrase or quote. These particular ones would look amazing on the cake table or next to a dessert buffet. Photo via Want That Wedding:

pumpkin wedding decor - love is sweet

Table numbers are another way to use pumpkins. You can paint, stencil or even carve the numbers onto the pumpkins. I really like the way this one is paired with a tall floral centerpiece. Photo via Whimsy Decor:

pumpkin wedding table numbers

But I think this one is really unexpected – the white pumpkin (you can get this effect by painting as well) with the table number tied to it. Again, you can complement the motifs of your event through the font and materials you choose here. I love this! Photo via Janet Howard Studio:

wedding pumpkin table number

I’m not a huge fan of actual pumpkins as favors unless you think your guests would love that (and I prefer favors that people actually use!), but you can still use the pumpkin theme with favor boxes, such as these. Available via Etsy seller alittlemorerosie:

wedding pumpkin favor box

I also love these gift tags. They don’t exactly have a pumpkin on them (sorry, I’m cheating!) but they definitely fit with the theme. These would be lovely on a bottle of apple cider or pumpkin ale. Available via Etsy seller 33PaperLane:

fall wedding favor gift tags

Finally – if you ARE going to incorporate pumpkins into your wedding, don’t forget to get this photo! Photo via Koru Wedding Style – by the way, I got my wedding invitations from Koru Kate’s wedding shoppe and I highly recommend her if you are getting married in the NYC/NJ area!

wedding pumpkin ring photo

Phew! I bet that’s more pumpkin than you thought possible! Of course, you would want to pick and choose what worked best for you – you don’t want pumpkin overload! Editing down is always important!

Stay tuned for the rest of Pumpkin Week: