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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let’s learn about flowers: peony edition


I have a secret. I don’t know that much about flowers. I know more than a lot of people (namely men) but for an event planner, my knowledge is really lacking. But while I love and appreciate flowers, I can’t always tell specific varieties apart.

When I was at The Special Event a few weeks ago, I sat in a fabulous session on creating floral arrangements presented by the ladies of Fifty Flowers, which is a great online resource for wholesale florals. I had heard of Fifty Flowers but had never used them. What a great resource – in addition to fabulous prices, they have lots of information about each flower they offer, including when they are available, when to order them in time for your event, and how to care for them. I highly recommend Fifty Flowers, even just for browsing!

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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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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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i’m obsessed with floating candle centerpieces

If you know me, or know my work, you probably know that I’m obsessed with floating candle centerpieces.   I even have a Pinterest board devoted entirely to the subject.

Photo via  Wedding Star


There is just something about them that is classic yet a little edgy – (could that be the potential fire hazard?  I joke!) and I find myself gravitating to them a lot these days.  That’s not to say I always use them at events I design – and I definitely don’t use them in my own home decor. I feel like that would be a little weird (but no judgement if you’re reading this by floating candlelight in your living room!).

They do have their pros and cons. Pros: Beautiful. They can be low cost – you can sink a lot of different things, not just flowers. For the holidays, sunken pine cones topped with a floating candle are an affordable alternative to floral arrangements.

This was a test run I did for an arrangement for a holiday party - for the event I used fewer pinecones so they floated more

This was a test run I did for an arrangement for a holiday party – for the event I used fewer pinecones so they floated more

You can sink a single stem of a more expensive bloom, like a lily, thus getting more bang for your buck.

Photo via  Wedding to Be  - this link includes instructions on how to DIY this arrangement


Even baby’s breath – a very affordable option – looks great while submerged.

Photo via  Wedding Bee

The gerber daisies I used on this arrangement for the America’s Future Foundation gala were a nice hardy stem that doesn’t cost too much but stands up well floating in water (next to a candle or two).

Photo via   America's Future Foundation

Cons:   They can be high-maintenance. Sometimes the candles move where you don’t want them to go. Sometimes the candles tip over – due to an air vent run amok or a rowdy (or bored) guest.   Sometimes the items you submerge start to disintegrate, or otherwise can’t hold up to being submerged for so long.

I’ve learned that you just need to test whatever you want to try and test it for a few hours. Keep checking on it to see how it does – and to test how long those floating candles really burn.

I’ve probably put more thought into floating candle centerpieces than most, but I think there are a beautiful, cost-effective option for a wedding or special event.

What do you think? Will you be floating candles in your punch bowl at your next party?


Photo credits:  Photo 1 – Photo via Wedding Star  | Photo 3 – Photo via Wedding to Be – this link includes instructions on how to DIY this arrangement |  Photo 4 – Photo via Wedding Bee |  Photo 5 – Photo via  America’s Future Foundation