the best weddings and events are edited (by the planner!)

Coco-Chanel | amanda jayne events blog

Was it Coco Chanel who said something along the lines of, before you leave the house look in the mirror and take one thing off? I assume she was talking about accessories, but I feel the same can apply to event planning, particularly weddings.

It’s so easy to get caught up in so many good ideas that you forget to edit yourself. Just like a good writer must edit his own writing, choosing words carefully, a good planner or designer must edit her own designs.

For weddings this can be particularly hard to do, especially in the age of the Pinterest bride. Pinterest has made it even easier to share photos, ideas and recipes, but it has truly revolutionized how many brides plan weddings.

Years ago, many brides were like me. As soon as I got engaged, I went to the local Barnes & Noble and triumphantly purchased a stack of bridal magazines (triumphantly because before that point I had sheepishly thumbed through them from time to time before I had a ring on my finger). And then I got them home, poured myself a glass of wine, and then read each magazine cover to cover. And I’m a tear-er – I tore out everything that looked interesting and put it in a binder, divided by category. Some women dog-ear, some use post-its, I tear out.

Pinterest was just starting to gain momentum as I was finishing up plans for my wedding but I resisted joining. By then I had made all of my decisions – what was the point of getting more ideas when I was already happy with my plans?

But for many women who do use Pinterest to plan their weddings, it can be overwhelming. There really are so many great ideas and it’s natural to want to incorporate them all.

But at the end of the day you have to edit. Ask yourself, do all of these ideas complement each other? Is anything clashing? Is it too much? If there is a theme you are using, did you take it too far? For example, remember when mustaches were really trendy? It’s fun to incorporate a trendy item in your event, but did you put it on everything?

Editing is hard to do. If you’re having trouble, prioritize. Take all of your ideas and decide which one or two do you love the most? Then use those ideas to build your design and go from there. And if you still have ideas you love but don’t get to incorporate in this event, save it for another event. Maybe the flowers you loved but didn’t go with your wedding theme might be a perfect centerpiece for a bridesmaids luncheon. It doesn’t hurt to save ideas – you never know when you might use them. Isn’t that what Pinterest is for?

Photo via Chanel


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