Sneak Peek at My Costa Rica Trip and Photo Shoot

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A teaser of what’s to come from our ‘Destination I Do’ photo shoot in Costa Rica.

Hey Y’all,

I’ve been so busy with work I haven’t had a chance to post any snapshots from my trip to Costa Rica here, although you may have already seen some on my social channels.

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 5.46.47 PM

As I said in my initial post about this trip, the people that I had the opportunity to travel and work with on this job were a real ‘dream team’. Our photographer, Laura Grier from Beautiful Day Photography, posted a collection of her snapshots (mostly us having a great time, a few of the design process and photo shoot) and you can check them out, here: http://beautifuldayphotography.com/2014/05/four-seasons-in-guanacaste-costa-rica-fam-trip/

As you can see from the photo gallery, we had a blast together. The photo shoot turned out even better than we expected, but it will have to remain under wraps until the the special issue of Destination I Do magazine comes out. I’ll be sure to keep you posted! Have a fantastic weekend, everybody!
-Brian

Top 10: Easy Holiday Decorating Ideas

easy-holiday-decor-tipsHey Ya’ll,

This time of year, I get asked the same question by just about everyone I know: “What are the easiest ways to decorate for the holidays that will make an impact, are easy to put up and take down, and won’t break the bank?” So, in an effort to help ya’ll do just that, I put together a list of my Top 10 holiday decorating tips!

Target

1) While shopping at Target the other day, I discovered these collapsible 5′ tinsel trees! They are a quick and easy solution for adding a burst of holiday spirit anywhere in your home, office, dorm or apartment. Were talking, Instant assembly and simple storage. This fun pop-up tree is a perfect holiday accent. They come in gold, red, silver, hot pink, apple green and turquoise… just pop up a few of them and your space will be instantly festive!

2) Everyone has empty boxes around the house, pick up some holiday wrapping paper at a discount store (or use left over scraps from last year), build the boxes (moving boxes, shoe boxes, all different sizes) wrap them up, tie on the perfect bow, stack them high and let everyone wonder what is inside! It’s a great way to decorate on a budget.

3) Nothing screams, “HOLIDAYS!” more than Poinsettias. This past weekend, I picked up some 10″ pots with huge potted poinsettias at Costco and Home Depot had the smaller pots for a whopping 99 cents.  Just like the wrapped presents, place them strategically around the house. The hardest part of this decoration is remembering to water them!!!

4) Everyone always has a few left over ornaments, so find a couple glass bowls or a few apothecary jars and fill them with whatever is left over, or even pick up a few additional ornaments at a discount store and create a stunning centerpiece or the perfect mantle display. If you really want to get fancy, add a candle or two to the mix!

5) Like a poinsettia, pine cones also make people think of the holidays. Cut some choice branches off from the bottom of your tree or the back that will face the wall, line them up down the center of the table, on the mantle or on a buffet, then, add some pine cones into the mix and if you can, add some white string lights as well to make this a truly bright idea!

Image/Tutorial via Real Simple

6) This tip is as easy as 1, 2, 3… all you’ll need is a hot glue gun, some Nilla Wafers,  various size tree shaped Styrofoam cones, paper, and some powered sugar! Wrap the cone in white construction paper (this will keep the hot glue from melting the cone) then start gluing the Nilla Wafers to the tree form, carefully stacking them on top of each other to make branches. Finally, dust the wafers with some powered sugar and you have just created a winter wonderland that can be used as a centerpiece or on your mantle!

7) I always say the first place to shop when you’re decorating is around your own house!  Candles are the perfect accessory that help to illuminate your house and nothing is more beautiful the natural candle light. Here are a few helpful tutorials for decorating with candles or making your own!

8) Target has a HUGE selection of Christmas stockings starting as low as $1.00. I recommend picking up a few and then decorating them with your handy glue gun and inexpensive craft store decorations, left over fabric, or even household items. Here’s a tutorial for making stockings at home. Once your done, hang them by your chimney with care or anywhere else around the house that is in need of a pop of holiday color!

9) During the holidays we are given a free pass to eat, drink, and be merry; so why not use food as decoration by putting it on display for everyone to enjoy with more than just the sense of taste, but also the sense of sight, touch and smell.  This idea makes the gingerbread house edible and clean up a breeze!

Image via CB2.com

10) One of my mom’s best holiday decorating tricks is switching out the pillows around the living room year after year, with some fun holiday pillows that she stores inside the coffee table during the year.  She packs away the accent pillows for Christmas and it is quick, easy and they are reusable year after year! Here’s two more cute holiday pillows:

Image via Target.com

Image via Pier1.com

More of My YOU-nique Wedding Tips Featured by Wedding Bells Magazine!

Hey Ya’ll,

I hope you all had a great weekend. Today, I’m sharing another one of my sure fire ways to create a unique wedding celebration. Click here, to read all of my best tips as featured by Wedding Bells now. For the next tip in the series, read on…

In my first post we covered Tip 1: The Venue. Today, I’m skipping ahead to #10, because it should actually be #1…

10. The Dress
Say it with me, “It all starts with the dress.”  Whenever I start working with a bride, I ask her what her dress style is. I think it’s important to incorporate elements of the dress into the wedding.

Image via hertfordshire-wedding.com

A good place to incorporate your dress’s personality (and hopefully your own!) into your wedding is usually with the centerpieces, invitations, or even the cake.

Knowing the dress helps me also understand what type of bride I’m working with. I can tell if I’m going to design a princess-style wedding…

Image via citified.blogspot.com

Or a chic and modern one:

Image via theknot.com

So, when you’re looking for ways to infuse your wedding with your own YOU-nique personality, remember that everything radiates from the dress! Think about who you are and don’t be afraid to make a bold statement on your wedding day. As long as your fashion choices are authentic to your personality and taste, you’ll love like the stunning bride you always dreamed of being as a little girl! Happy shopping!
-Brian

Friday Favorites: Wildflower Linen Giveaway!!!!

Image Credit: Gene Higa

Hey Ya’ll,

Today’s Friday Favorite is one of my biggest sources of design inspiration as an event planner and one of the leading designers and producers of specialty table linens and chair covers for event rentals in the world: Wildflower Linen.

Founder Youngsong Martin, formerly a nationally known fashion designer and marketer of high-style women’s apparel, launched Wildflower Linen in 2001. I personally had the pleasure of working with her for the first time while hosting the show “Shedding for the Wedding”.

Image from “Shedding for the Wedding” via Pam Scott Photography – http://www.pamelascott.net

Her full-service rental company has since redefined the special-event linen industry in terms of style, glamor and customer care, while becoming a prestigious provider to clients nationwide and abroad, for functions of all sizes, budgets and occasions.

Image Credit: Gene Higa http://www.genehiga.com

As an event planner and designer, I often log onto the Wildflower Linen website to see what is new for the season, or what they have to offer and find inspiration there.

Image Credit: Bauman Photography – http://www.baumanphotographers.com

Linen is a great place to make a statement when designing an event because tables often take up a large portion of a venue and this allows you to incorporate color, patterns and really create a unique space.

Wildflower Linen’s gorgeous line of rental table linens and chair covers has not only dressed the tables of high-end events like the ones that I have helped produce over the years, they’ve also been featured on the big screen in Hollywood blockbusters like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part”, as the exclusive linens of Edward and Bella’s wedding!

Image Credit: Line 8 Photography – http://www.line8.net

Now, I don’t know if any of you consider yourselves “Twi-hards”, but even if you’ve never seen the popular vampire flicks, you have to admit that’s pretty cool!

Wildflower Linen also recently launched their new line of accessories, some of which were inspired by “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” series. The new line features specialty items like table runners, decorative pillow cushions, napkin rings and candle collections including the “Kristy Rice for Wildflower Linen” Collection. And today, they are giving away a chic table runner to one of my lucky readers!!! See below for an example of their table runners, and to find out how to enter…

To enter for a chance to WIN a Wildflower Linen designer table runner (90″L x 18″W):

1. ‘LIKE’ Wildflower Linen on Facebook HERE.

2. Leave a comment below this post, letting me know why your table needs sprucing up with one of Wildflower’s lovely runners.

One lucky winner will be randomly selected from the comment section below by next Friday, July 27, 2012 at 9AM PST. Be sure to check back then to see if you’re our lucky winner!!!

Image Credit: Gene Higa – http://www.genehiga.com

In the meantime, I highly recommend Wildflower Linens to anyone looking to add the utmost in style and elegance to a function’s tabletops, place settings, and chairs–and now, even your home!
-Brian

Find them on the web at: www.wildflowerlinens.com & www.wildflowerlinens.com/blog
Follow them at: www.facebook.com/wildflowerlinen & www.twitter.com/wildflowerlinen
***Giveaway limited to U.S. residents only.***