I'm over the moon by the team at Casa de Perrin for this woodland inspired wedding reception and stylized shoot who believe "a certain magic that takes place across a dining table, with good friends and good wine, becomes infinitely more magical when decorated in 24K gold flatware and drop-dead heirloom treasures." They reached into their considerable inventory and under a canopy of leafy green trees and onto rented white farm tables, laid out lovely Le Melange China, Gold Collection Flatware and vintage purple and green wine goblets. Champagne was served courtesy of ONE HOPE Wines (a company that generously donates half their profits to charity) and in a cozy, candlelit corner a small dessert table features a delicious apple tart, vanilla spice cake with candied lemons, homemade preserve thumbprint cookies, and fresh berry scones.
Chocolate pinwheel cookies - always a favorite for potlucks, luncheons, bridal showers and celebrations because they are deceptively easy to make, taste delicious, and always look professionally made. Don't be intimated thinking they won't come out perfect. I've made them for birthdays and banquets and almost every single cookie looks just lovely. Here's a step by step tutorial on how to make pinwheel cookies - a recipe that makes a beautiful large batch using powdered cocoa instead of semisweet chocolate. For best results, make sure you wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Make entertaining so much easier by making the cookie dough weeks in advance. Slice, bake and serve!
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
1. Cream the butter or margarine with the sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
2. Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler or in a bowl in a microwave oven. Stir until smooth. Let cool.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir well.
4. Divide the dough in half. To one half add the melted chocolate and stir until well combined.
5. On waxed paper roll out each half of the dough into 12x10 inch rectangle. Brush one layer with milk and place the other layer on top. Peel off waxed paper and roll up like a jelly roll. Chill dough thoroughly.
6. Slice cookies thinly and bake in a preheated 375 degrees oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
Rustic aisle wedding decorations - a warm and inviting welcome they for all those good neighbors, best friends and loving family members who dressed up and sat down to celebrate this cherished day. They won't be disappointed. Tall glass candles or Mason jars, however well-placed along the aisle, may not be the best idea where small children are involved, but they do lend themselves to the sweet and sacred atmosphere that every rustic wedding ceremony deserves. Moss, berries and sweet green succulents make this outdoor celebration simple yet sensational.
Eco-friendly wedding favors - are they harder to find, more complicated to make, more expensive to buy? The answer to all three is no. Here are my five personal favorite ideas for a wholesome, healthy, more earth-loving thank you gift.
Gourmet organic chocolates, nuts or locally grown foods. Here in Virginia, peanuts are our specialty. A small burlap bag of gourmet peanuts, still in their shells, tied with twine and an attractive homemade tag will be welcomed by all - especially those from out of state.
A small plant or succulent. Hens and Chicks are those adorable little green rosettes you can place in the ground, a planter or even in an old tin can. They'll grow anywhere as long as the soil is light, the sun is bright and they don't get too much water.
Reusable cloth tote bags. The craft store, the fabric store and all the grocery stores carry reusable tote bags for just a dollar or two. Joanne's Fabrics carry the most beautiful line of reusable totes I've ever seen. Everyone's using them - they're cute and convenient. And our landfills need a break from plastic bags.
Soy or beeswax candles. Soy wax is made from the oil of soybeans and is completely renewable. While the global reserves of oil shrink and the price of paraffin rises, the only limit to soy is how much we choose to grow. A well-made soy candle will burn cleanly and slowly and makes an environmentally friendly little gift.
A small charitable donation in each guest's name. Here at home I've been helping Union Mission Ministries, a charity that has been clothing and feeding the homeless for over 100 years. They welcome a donation of $1.98 to provide a hot meal to one hungry man, woman or child. Your guests will be grateful that you thought of them with such a thoughtful and well-needed charitable gift.
Personalized bridesmaid hangers - made of natural hardwood and laser engraved with your choice of six classic font styles. Each hanger measures 17 inches and has slanted arms and a notched shoulder design that is gentle on delicate fabrics while keeping them secure. Expect to pay about $10 each for your bridesmaid's name only and about $14 for name, title and wedding date. These engraved bridesmaid hangers make cherished keepsakes as well as wonderful pre-wedding photo props. Before you purchase keep in mind - the minimum shipping cost, even for one hanger, is $10.
Pastel tea party cookies - a delicious dozen that includes 3 lace flowers, 3 tea cups and 3 small round accent cookies. If pale pink, yellow and green don't match your color scheme, they can be customized to suit your needs. Each cookie is made with real butter, eggs and Madagascar vanilla (rich, intensely flavored extract imported from Madagascar used by professional bakers and ice cream makers). Each buttery tea party themed cookie is topped with royal icing, whipped up into billowy peaks and carefully applied to create designs that harden and shine. For an additional charge of $0.50 per cookie, you can also choose from chocolate, chocolate chip, brown sugar, or gingerbread.
This romantic bridal tea party created by La Boheme Events and charmingly photographed by Ashley Sawtelle, welcomes warmer weather with fresh spring flowers, vintage floral teacups, tasty fruit tarts, and sparkling limonello tea. I found this exquisite tea party style shoot at 100 Layer Cake - no doubt one of the loveliest wedding blogs you'll ever see. Photographed at Denver Botanic Gardens, this pastel inspired party, including vintage sideboard and pale weathered hutch could be set up in a park, a patio or even your own backyard.