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So as much as I love and find it necessary to be surrounded in flowers… sometimes they are the first to go in the great wedding budget cut. It’s true. Flowers can be one of the more expensive things in your plan, and people have different feelings about this. You know my feelings. I worked in a flower shop for two years when I was 16 and can’t seem to shake the petals from my hair. I love them. And for me, they’re up there with food, and music as VIP wedding “big bucks” items. BUT, it’s different for everyone, AND it’s absolutely possible to maintain a beautiful wedding sans enormous blooms with simple elegant elements. Here’s how…


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This is one of my favorite rules, and if you are a regular Wedding Belles reader, you know that I talk about this often. You can maintain a really beautiful look at your wedding by using uniform flowers… lots and lots of them. Daisy’s, mums, carnations and tulips look AMAZING in large bunches. Simple and sophisticated.



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Especially if you’re planning a wedding that incorporates natural elements, using branches instead of flowers can be a very sleek and modern centerpiece substitute for mounds of fluffy petals. Incorporating other details like ribbon, hang tags, and even food can give your centerpieces a modern look for less. Just don’t go overboard.



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Candles are a great way to light your party, and your guests faces for photographs. Ambiance is very important, and creating different lighting schemes can changes the theme and style of your event. Substituting high candlesticks with lower votives along with small floral elements can add a unique style to your table. I have something similar to this on my dining room table now. Crate & Barrel, CB2, and Anthropologie have beautiful and really inexpensive faux glass candlesticks with beautiful embellishment. Add bright candlesticks, a dash of floral color and you’re done!



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Showcase  your favors in beautifully packaged boxes as table centerpieces. Fill them with assorted candies, handmade soaps and stacked elegantly on white cake stands. 



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Nix the typical centerpice vases and head to your local flea market in search of found objects to incorporate into your wedding style. Use mismatched shapes and style to create a whimsical look on each table with simple florals.


Etsy Seller Two Inspire You $55

Etsy Seller Two Inspire You $55


Turning a wreath on it’s back and filling the inside with high candlesticks or hurricane lamps with lighting is another way to make a smaller affair seem more intimate. Choose the wreathe carefully, and make sure your elements go together. 

I’m really not a cynic. In fact most of my friends would probably describe me as a romantic in denial, since anytime anyone tells me that I’m romantic I look at them sideways roll my eyes and smirk, spitting “Oh please,” through my teeth. Ok, so I really liked Sleepless in Seattle and when Rosie O’Donnell tells Meg Ryan her problem is that she wants her life to be a movie, yes, that’s me. HOWEVER… the universal symbol for romance I can certainly do without. In fact I’m launching an anti-heart campaign right here… right now.

Hearts are so gross. Unless you are 7 years-old, or it’s a cold day in February, hearts are not ok. Really they should not ever enter into any decorating or end up as centerpieces or favors or anything else you attempt to bestow on someone else. Really, I’m not kidding.

I had a friend in high school who was dating this terrible girl. He actually told me that he thought we could be friends if only we’d go shopping together. I declined and offered to settle for making fun of her behind her back. That’s what you do in high school right?
Anyway, he made me go shopping with him to help him pick out a birthday gift for her. We ended up at JCPenney’s or the BonTon, someplace in a mall with a limited jewlery selection and a price range 16 year-old boys could afford. Fine. I picked out pretty little turquoise dangles…. we left with a terrible silver pair of heart shaped studs that needed a nice polish before they went into the blue velvet box. Gross. She wore them every freakin’ day until she cheated on him and they broke up. Slut. Again, hearts are ugly.

I was shoping for bags online today and came across what I thought was a very cute little bag at L.L. Bean. Then I zoomed in on this cute little bag and realized it looked like this.

Ruined. I’m sorry, I just don’t like them. Most heart shaped jewelery, as I discovered in high school and maintain today, is ugly. It doesn’t matter if it’s from Tiffany’s either. Also, gross on bags, clothes, shoes or anything else you’re planning on wearing out in public. Boyfriends, husbands, brothers just don’t do it. Even heart shaped diamonds… not my favorite, and who doesn’t love a diamond. Don’t ruin that beautiful symbol of your love by lopping off the top and making it look like a cherry ring pop.

I’m willing to make exceptions in one area…food. As a cookie, lollipop or cupcake shape, hearts are fine. The decorations are what matter. Like these are cute.

These are from Beau-Coup, but there are really great bakeries all over the country that do this kind of thing.

But, things like this: Not O.K.

“Oh why thank you for coming to my shower…here’s a bag of hearts to take with you.” What the hell are you supposed to do with a bag of hearts seriously. Come on. I give you a blender and I get a bag of hearts… no, no.

Ick. I’m all for personalized coasters, but why do they have to be hearts? I get it. You’re in love. I know. I just shelled got all dressed up and sat through a full Catholic mass… and had to pay a dollar to dance with the groom, and I get coasters? I’d rather have white chocolate almonds in netting.

And what the hell? Hearts aren’t even shaped that way! I did a science project on it… again… in 5th grade, and the heart is not shaped like a box of Russell Stover Chocolates. Though you can often get to a woman’s heart using Russel Stover Chocolates… well you’re actually probably better off with extra dark Godiva, but I digress.

Hearts remind me of cheap best friend key chains (You know the ones that looked like lightening had struck straight down the center), Runts (yes, the candy) and The Babysitters Club, (Dawn or Stacy…one of the blond ones… she used to dot her “i’s” with a heart. Every single one).

Hearts are really truly reserved for little girls, chocolate boxes and valentines. Abandon them 11 months out of the year. February… go nuts.

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June 2020