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Look who fell down the rabbit hole and stumbled across these super fab Wonderland inspired wedding ideas on Brides.com today. My sister is OBSESSED with all things Alice, and there is something pretty magical about taking the whimsy out of Wonderland and applying all that eccentric design inspiration to your very special day.

Forgo flowers and carry a bouquet of brooches instead. With an eccentric Wonderland wedding there’s nothing traditional about it, so make it as fun as you can with a flower bouquet substitute like this one by fantasyfloraldesigns.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Opt in on whimsy on the invitation front too with these dreamlike invitations abcdesigns.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Channel you’re inner Mad Hatter, and forgo matchy-matchy on your tables, and instead use a little bit of everything from  flea market finds to your grandma’s china cabinet for that super zany look.

Photo courtesy of Brides.com

Stay with those mis-matched colors when it comes to the cake, and pick something that’s totally out there, like this one from The Cake Girls.

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

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So The Knot has some super fab wedding cakes up to gawk at… check out some of my favorites below!

Clean lines, preppy monogram and lemons! Love. And this particular monogram is PERFECT for my bestie and her hubs-to-be. Love.

I love this one too. So different, yet beautiful, southern and somehow traditional. Which I sort of love.

There’s something really beautiful, still, about all white.

And something so simple, elegant and fresh.

I LOVE THIS! A friend of mine stumbled upon these amazing cookie-cutters from Williams-Sonoma, via the amazingly adorable Creature Comforts blog,  and passed them along to share.Also be sure and check-out the video on the WS website to get your very own tutorial. We love these, and at $19.95- it’s a totally affordable kitchen addition. A super sweet favor for guests at bridal showers, or engagement parties. Love.

Ross Mantle for the New York Times

I’m your classic Irish/Italian mutt. Kitchen traditions a mile long.

Ham on Easter, Seven different kinds of fish on Christmas Eve, Lasagna on Christmas day, Pizza frite, and lupines at the summer church bazaar and cookies, lots and lots of cookies at every single party you will ever attend.

Especially weddings.

It just went with the territory.

Wedding cake, yes.  But cookies… cookies for days at every wedding I ever attended growing up.

I was wrong. It’s not just us.

According to The New York Times, and my own first hand sources, the mammoth cookie tables aren’t just for the Italians. Over the years, Pittsburgh has made a name for itself as the cookie table capital.

Who knew?

With sometimes weeks of preparation, the bride’s family bakes thousands of cookies for the wedding, creating a tradition based more on your neighborhood, than your last name  Read more here.

What better way to celebrate an engagement than with cupcakes and champagne? Seriously. When our friend KO recently came in to work sporting a whole lot more sparkle on her left hand, we declared a cupcake celebration. So we decided on a little Sweet Revenge.

First… check out that sparkle…

KO's new Sparkle

Serious sparkle right?

Sweet Revenge is an adorable cupcake “bar” in NYC’s West Village.

Sweet Revenge NYC- Carmine St.

Not only do they have some of the most amazing cupcakes in town, they have a whole list of wine and beer pairings so you know exactly what drink goes best with the Malaysian Coconut or Crimson & Cream cupcake.

Let me say this. These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever tasted. Hands down.

I had the Fleur De Sel, which, is not listed on their online menu, because it’s just that amazing, and it’s special.  Imagine pure chocolate, and salted caramel heaven in your mouth. It’s like San Fran’s Bi-Rite Creamery’s famous salted caramel ice cream flavor on crack in petite cake form. Amazing.

So of course, almost all of us ordered that. KV ordered the Crimson and Cream, which is raspberry red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, and surprise raspberries inside. She was gracious enough to share, and it was deliciously perfect with her raspberry bellini.

We HAD to have drinks with our cupcakes, after all it was a celebration!

Cheers to KO!

Cupcake and Bling...

Wine & Beer pairings at Sweet Revenge

Definitely worth checking out. Congratulations again KO!

So Brides.com today has this stellar piece up about Peacock inspired wedding ideas. And you KNOW I love me some feathers. Just remember… don’t go overboard. Integrate the colors into the wedding with subtle actual peacock elements. Otherwise it’ll just look like a complete and total mess… trust me.

First… this cake is to DIE for. Seriously AMAZING. $520- serves 40 by Mark Joseph Cakes

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

Then there’s the flowers…

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

And the bridesmaid dresses…

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

Photo by John Aquino- Brides.com

There are loads more fun and beautiful peacock inspirations to choose from at Brides.com. In addition, head over to your my never fail… Etsy… like these below.

Peacock Ring Pillow $28 from Busy Buttons- Etsy

Peacock Ring Pillow $28 from Busy Buttons- Etsy

Peacock Feather Boutonniere $15 Ruby Feather- Etsy

Peacock Feather Boutonniere $15 Ruby Feather- Etsy

HOLLY Peacock Fascinator $19 The Sleepy Albatross- Etsy

HOLLY Peacock Fascinator $19 The Sleepy Albatross- Etsy

 

Photo Courtesy of Hostess With The Mostess Blog

Photo Courtesy of Hostess With The Mostess Blog

Just in time for Derby Day ladies… The Kentucky Derby is Saturday and if you haven’t already planned your Derby Day party, you best get a move on.  Break out those big hats, pinch your mint plants back and get ready for the most exciting 3 minutes in sports history… the Run for the Roses!  OK that was a little dramatic. But still… exciting!  I love horse racing… and big hats. I grew up going to the track in Saratoga in the summers with my family, so in some ways it’s in my blood I suppose.

If you can’t make it to the actual derby, here’s a wonderful recipe for Mint Julep Cupcakes from one of my favorite daily blogs Hostess with the Mostess!  The recipe is adapted from Cooking & Booking and was first discovered via YumSugar but we trust anything that comes from HWTM. LOVE IT! 

The full recipe from HWTM is below- but check out their blog for more derby day inspired ideas!

MINT JULEP CUPCAKES
{adapted from Cooking and Booking}

Ingredients:

Cupcakes
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bourbon (or whiskey)
1/2 cup Creme de Menthe

Icing
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mint extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
milk

*****

Directions:

Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350º F, and grease or line 30 cupcake cups.

Combine salt, baking powder, and 1 3/4 cups of the flour. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the milk and liquors to the batter, then the rest of the flour (1 cup). Mix as little as possible, just until the batter comes together. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool.

Icing
Combine the powdered sugar, salt, extracts and melted butter and beat until creamy. Gradually add milk until the texture is right for piping. When the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe or spread the icing on top. Garnish with cake sparkles or sprinkles, a straw (trimmed to size), and mint leaves.

 

Flour Seeds Custom Cupcake Mixes- The Perfect Favor!

Flour Seeds Custom Cupcake Mixes- The Perfect Favor!

We have a winner….Drum roll please……

Laura F. is the winner of our Flour Seeds Custom Cupcake Favor Giveaway from the Gourmet Gift Co.! This $50 gift certificate is good toward a custom order with Flour Seed Gourmet Gift Co.

Laura please email your contact information to weddingbellesonline@gmail.com and we will get you your gc! 

A BIG THANK YOU to the fabulous the Gourmet Gift Co. for this wonderful offer! Don’t forget to check out their products for your next Champagne & Cupcakes shower!

Keep an eye out for upcoming contests and giveaways from more fantastic retailers!

 

CUSTOM FAVORS: Flour Seeds Gourmet Baking Mixes

CUSTOM FAVORS: Flour Seeds Gourmet Baking Mixes

 

 You all know how obsessed I am with cupcakes… well this is the perfect favor for your cupcake themed bridal shower, or wedding reception. I’m a big fan of giving away favors that people can actually enjoy instead of trinkety nonsense  they’re going to throw away. So what better favor than food. Seriously.

These adorably packaged favors from the  Gourmet Gift Co., are gourmet baking mixes in beautiful customized boxes for your guests to enjoy! The cupcake mixes come in four tasty flavors including vanilla, chocolate, champagne and red velvet. YUM! Each mix is made with Nielsen-Massey Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla and NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS OR PRESERVATIVES!  Wooo! Plus their amazing frosting recipes are available right on their website so your guests can replicate Flour Seeds incredible frosting right at home!

All you have to do is combine the ingredients from your own kitchen, bake and enjoy! Easy! You can personalize the label with a variety of colors to match your theme and add your own custom text. I so love this. Plus, the Gourmet Gift Co. is a Style Me Pretty Little Black Book member, so you know they’re good people. She doesn’t let just anyone in there you know.

Now here’s the best part… The Gourmet Gift Co. is giving away a $50 gift certificate toward a custom order.
This is the perfect addition to your champagne and cupcakes shower! 

All you have to do is tell us why you love cupcakes, and you can do it in THREE PLACES!
Comment here, send us a message on Twitter or post on our Facebook wall

We’ll pick a winner at random and announce a winner next Wednesday April 29th.

Be sure to check out The Gourmet Gift Co.’s founder, Tawnya Zebrowski’s blog Stylish Giving for more stylishly fun and easy DIY favor ideas!

HOORAY for Cupcakes and THANK YOU to The Gourmet Gift Co. for this incredible offer!

Ok ladies… so plenty of you have tried and succeeded OR tried and failed miserably at planning the perfect afternoon bridal shower. I’m all about the success factor here and making sure you reach it. The last thing you want is a crazy bridezilla in your face screaming about the misery and failure that was her shower. (P.S. BRIDES- REALLY bad form to do this. Don’t. Be grateful. It suits you better.)

Now, I like to cook. I don’t always have time, but I really do enjoy it. In fact one of my resolutions this year was to make something new – from a cookbook presumably – every week. I’ve stuck to this resolution more so than any other I’ve ever made. I wonder why…

So in times of panicked planning I turn to my dear friends at The Humble Gourmand for help. A team of brilliant foodies is behind the gourmet curtain of this D.C. based monthly publication. And trust me… they do not disappoint.

So… today… we talk bridal shower menus that will blow your guests away and won’t keep you holed up in the kitchen for days at a time. Who has time for that?

Keep it light, you don’t want to weigh your guests down in the middle of the day. They will after all… have to leave you and your band of bridesmaids to go prepare dinner for their own family at some point., so avoid the food coma.

AFTERNOON BRIDAL SHOWER MENU:

Starters…

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Gougères (Fancy way of saying French Cheese Puffs)


Entree…

Roasted Lemon Chicken

Roasted Lemon Chicken with…

 

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Orzo Salad with Bell Peppers

 

Dessert…

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Photo Courtesy of The Humble Gourmand

Grovestand Lemon Cupcakes

Opt for a champagne punch (champagne with a scoop of sherbet) served in champagne glasses to guests. Perfection. If you want to kick it up a notch…  
Humble Gourmand has a whole post devoted to Cocktailing 101.  My favorite… The Mojito… heavy on the mint.
Serve in oversized pitchers (You can get them cheap at Crate & Barrel or Plum Party) on each table, or in tall glases garnished with what else… mint!

Mojito
(a la The Humble Gourmand)

3 ounces white rum
3 ounces sour mix, as prepared above
8 to 10 spearmint leaves
Splash club soda
Small lime wedge
Sprig of mint

Put the mint leaves and the lime wedge in a shaker. Muddle until the mint is nicely broken up and the lime wedge’s juices are smashed into the bottom of the shaker.

Fill the glass you plan to serve the mojito in with ice as a measuring device. Pour the ice into the shaker. Add the rum and sour mix. Shake vigorously.

Pour into your serving glass and top with a splash of soda. Add the sprig of mint for garnish.

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