Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lucky in Love! A St. Patty's Day Wedding

If you have an Irish heritage or you just think St. Patrick's Day would be a lucky day to have your wedding, you are probably at a loss on how to plan a classy, elegant Irish celebration that is fitting to your wedding day dreams. Well, here are some great ideas to help you make your St. Patty's Day wedding as lucky as a pot of gold.

When you are picking colors for your wedding, green may not be on the top of your list. But, when you are planning a St. Patrick's Day wedding, green is the best color to use for this theme. The plus side is that there are so many different shades of green to pick from a shamrock green to a dark, hunter green, so finding a shade that looks great on everyone in your bridal party shouldn't be a problem. You may even want to mix it up and use a bunch of different shades of green that complement each other.

When you are choosing a design for your wedding invitations, you may want to go with a Celtic knot or cross as the focal point of the design. You could also incorporate the Celtic knot or cross into the rest of your ceremony maybe in a wax seal for your programs or as the decoration for your wedding cake. You may be able to find some napkin holders that have a symbol of the knot or cross on them. However, you choose to use it, it is definitely one of those extra little details that will pull everything together.

When selecting the music for your ceremony, some traditional Irish music would be a perfect touch to your special day. Not only is Irish music romantic and beautiful, but also its instrumental ballads will add just the right touch to take your St. Patrick's Day wedding from clash to class.

When choosing the foods for your reception, don't feel like you have to go all out with the green food coloring. Why not take a different approach and serve traditional Irish dishes such as Irish Stew, Bacon and Cabbage, Dublin Coddle, Irish Bread Pudding, and Soda Bread. Of course, no Irish wedding celebration would be complete without some stout Irish Beer or green ale! 

A great idea for wedding favors would be to purchase some four-leaf clovers and give them to your guests. Another interesting twist on the "green" would be to give them small potted plants with your names and wedding date on the side or seed packets (like this fun DIY project). This is something they can take home and plant and it symbolizes your growing love for each other.

When you are decorating you could use greenery, white Christmas lights, and candles. This is sure to set the right mood for your ceremony and reception. Don't be afraid to use colors like white and yellow to help contrast the green, and to incorporate those colors into your floral arrangements. Maybe you and your groom could stand in front of a huge Celtic cross wrapped in greenery and Christmas lights while you say your vows? 

Whatever you choose, don't be afraid to get creative and do some research to pull lots of ideas from traditional Irish weddings. 

May God be with you and bless you.

May you see your children's children.

May you be poor in misfortunes
and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but

happiness from this day forward. 
~ Irish Marriage Blessing

Inspiration board credit to: Project Wedding


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

GNO Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

What’s girlfriendly about St. Patrick’s Day? Well, given that it tends to be a drinking holiday here in the U.S., not much, specifically. However, there’s nothing wrong with knocking back a few Guinness with your gal pals! If you have no plans for March 17, why not phone up a few girlfriends and meet them for a drink or invite them over for a quiet-or-not evening? I've scoured the web (mainly Pinterest, cause I'm still a Pinhead) for some other ideas to make your St. Patrick’s themed girls night just a little more special:

Green drinks (but not green beer)

Here’s a nice little illustrated blog post on Irish Beers so you can find them at your local liquor mart. And here’s a fabulous list of Irish/green cocktails to try.

Munchies that (sham)rock

Try serving this spread of green appetizers from YumSugar. Craving a blend of sweet and salty? Make a bunch of these pretzel-and-white-chocolate shamrocks for your girlfriends and watch them disappear! 

Irish I knew what to do…

Set the theme with some background music. The powerful, beautiful music of Celtic Woman makes a great backdrop for your Irish-themed celebration. A New Journey is one of their latest releases. You’ll enjoy hearing our girlfriend Siobhainn spinning some Irish tunes and chatting “round the kitchen table” with the ladies. An authentic Irish American experience! 

Plant clover with your girlfriends and you can each take home a pot of green to remind you of your fabulous friends. What better way to find a four-leaf-clover than to grow your own? 

The Luck of the Irish is for everyone on St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrate your good fortune together! Have your girlfriends complete this sentence: “I’m lucky because…”

Finally, Don’t forget to toast your girlfriends with an traditional Irish Blessing, perfect for any occasion!

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
And may they always be.

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty.

I wish you the “luck o’ the Irish” this year as you celebrate with friends. And no matter where or how you celebrate remember the old Irish adage “Before you call for one for the road be sure you know the road.” Slàinte  I hope you find the pot of gold at the end of your personal rainbow. But wherever friends gather, you’re sure to find the treasure of friendship. 

Do you have tips on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with your girlfriends? Tell me how you do it and I'll add it to my post!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Plant Like a Girl! Gardening Party

Photo via Google Image Search
Spring Glorious Spring is right around the corner—the perfect opportunity to get out of the house and into the garden! Gardening offers the opportunity to relieve stress and connect to nature while growing healthy food or nurturing beautiful blooms. Green thumb or not, here are some fun and quick ideas for gardening-themed get-togethers and activities. 

Plant a group garden. Many towns have community garden plots that can be rented. Why not rent one with your girlfriends and meet weekly to garden together? It’s a built-in weekly date and everyone can share in the harvest. Or, if one girlfriend has the space for a large garden but doesn’t want to do all the work herself, she can offer the space for the group plot.

Have a “planting bee.” Many hands make light work, so bring your hands and your garden gloves to your girlfriend’s house and help get her spring planting done. Then, load up the wheelbarrow and move on to the next girlfriend’s house, and so on until everyone’s got some spring color in her yard. Be sure to have pitchers of lemonade, iced tea, and water on hand.

Learn a little. Ask a local garden club or landscaping professional to speak at your next girls night about the best new plants for your area, how to use a rain barrel, or another topic that interests you.

Share the bounty. Donate some or all of the harvest from your group garden (above) to a food pantry or to local churches who have needy families. See Plant a Row for the Hungry for tips on how to make this happen successfully.

Seed small spaces. Apartment dwellers, don’t despair! You can still enjoy all the benefits of gardening get-togethers through container gardens or square-foot gardening. Invite the girls over to lend their labor and design skills to help fill your containers (just be sure to tempt them with tasty nibbles and libations!) If you’re a gardening novice, try P. Allen Smith’s Container Gardens: 60 Container Recipes to Accent Your Garden for “plant recipes” that tell you exactly how to create beautiful container gardens.

What about party favors? Try gifting your girlfriends with seed packets, hot pink garden gloves, small annuals or perennials to pot, or miniature rosebushes (yellow roses signify friendship). All are inexpensive choices that will remind your girlfriends, all summer long, that your friendship blooms brightly!

Do you great gardening resources I should know about? Share them in the comments!

Happy Planting!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Out of the Box Spring Wedding Trends!

Wedding trends come and go and often as the seasons. Lots of brides love to follow the trends that are out of the ordinary, and Spring weddings are the perfect way to do that. From the décor to the attire, Spring weddings aren’t just about pastel colors, lots of flowers, and formal occasions. Now, there are new ideas that will make your big day stand out from the typical Spring or Summer wedding. Below are some unique ideas that might interest you.

Photo via

Greenhouses: Greenhouses are a great place to hold a wedding ceremony. They are usually already stocked with greenery for a beautiful setting, or even if they are not, the sheer glass surroundings make for something really special and whimsical. Another plus is the practicality. It is like having an outdoor wedding but without the threat of bad weather on your wedding day. Where do you find a greenhouse to rent? Browse online or search your local florists or farmers markets.

Photo via Pinterest

Flowerless: Yes, you heard it right… a spring wedding without flowers. Many couples are opting for eco-friendly weddings these days and flowers are something they don’t feel are necessary to make for stunning wedding décor. Some great substitute ideas are greenery and/or branches decorated with twinkle lights. You can leave them in their natural form or paint them to match the scheme of your chosen colors. Recycled paper can be used to make floral-like decorations as well. Also, candles and more candles are a big trend. Candle centerpieces can be just as pretty and are far less expensive than fresh flowers.

Casual Chic: Casual chic spring weddings are exactly as they sound. Out with the formal weddings and in with casual weddings such as a backyard wedding, lakeside wedding, park wedding and more. With today’s economic times, couples are cutting down on the guest list and making spring weddings more intimate, yet keeping them chic by using some of the above ideas. Close family and friends can feel special this way, and the best thing… less stress!

Forget the colors! Gasp! No color scheme at a spring wedding? Yes, it can be done and is being done. Right down to the wedding gown, brides are choosing colored wedding dresses, mismatched bridesmaids dresses, or even keeping an all-white and ivory theme for a fabulous vintage springtime look

Don’t let traditional rules bog you down. Just keep it fun, it's YOUR day!