Wedding Flowers; Have a Blooming Good Wedding


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Choosing the Perfect Florist - Flowers bring life and happiness to a wedding, so finding the perfect florist is crucial to the overall beauty of the day. If the designated day is during the busy summer season or near any major holiday your search for the right florist might take longer (a lot longer!) If you stop into the local florist around Mother’s Day, prom or before a wedding you will see just how hectic their schedules can be. Searching for a florist should be one of the earliest stages of wedding planning and this article will show you how to find the right florist.

To start your research, call florists in the vicinity and inquire whether you need to make an appointment to discuss your wedding needs. Most establishments like to have a sit-down meeting with brides to go over their services and pricing. Before making an appointment, make sure the florist is not booked for your wedding date.

You’d be surprised how much time is wasted because brides go through the trouble of research and deciding on the right florist, and then find out the designer is booked on their wedding day. It happens, people, it happens.

Flower Power: Questions for the Florist - Will the florist set up the flowers at the church as well as the reception? Will they deliver elsewhere should the prewedding photographs be offsite? What is the extra fee, if any, for that? These are just three important questions to ask. Make sure the florist is aware of your potential wedding and reception locations and that there are no issues with distance. If so, you need to know upfront before you invest more time with negotiations.

Additional questions to ask include:
Is anything other than flowers included in the service (some florists include altar bows or runners as a courtesy.)

How soon prior to the wedding and/or reception will set up begin?

What is the deposit required? Will a deposit secure the date? When is the remaining balance due? Ask to see samples of their work, specifically photographs from recent weddings.

What is their specialty? What makes them different from other floral shops? Some florists may stare back at you blankly, some may give you their history (we’ve been in business since mammoths walked the earth) while others will give an answer (we guarantee our work; if you don’t like it we’ll fix it; our tulip bulbs are flown fresh from Holland; our work has been used in magazine spreads no other local florist can say that, etc.)

Will they work with the style or your dress and the theme of the wedding?
(Bring a photograph of your wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses. Also bring clippings of any flowers or arrangements you like.)

How many hours prior to the wedding will they arrange the flowers?

If your prewedding photographs are not at the wedding location, will the shop deliver the flowers so they bride and bridesmaids’ have them for photographs?

Home Grown Wedding Flowers - Okay, so maybe you’re not going to use a florist. Maybe you have a green thumb and will make your own bouquet. Flowers for a wedding party of 12, plus a few pew decorations can easily cost $500 and up, preparing your own flowers for the wedding can save you 50% or more!

Floral arranging is not easy, that is why designers make the big bucks as they say. It takes education (yes, there are classes on the subject) a knowledge of flowers, textures and contrasts, plus you need a creative eye. Yes, it takes more than pretty flowers to make a pretty wedding bouquet as many do-it-yourselfers have found out the hard way. Fortunately, the trend with today’s weddings is elegance and simplicity. Peruse floral Web sites or bridal magazines for arrangement ideas and read as many books as you can on arranging to get inspired!

To start you can use either silk flowers, special ordered flowers from the florist, or homegrown flowers. Another option is to contact a local farmer, or scout out deals at your local farmer’s market. If you are a bride with allergies, consider making paper roses. You can find instructions on how to make these by searching online.

Exactly how many flowers do you need? Bouquets will be needed for the bride and each of the bridesmaids. The bride should also have a toss bouquet. The groom and groomsmen (unless military) will each wear a boutonniere as will the ushers, father-of-the-bride, father-of-the-groom, the ring bearer, any male reading or helping out and any other male you choose such as a grandfather or godfather. Corsages are worn by the mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom, flower girl, guest book attendant (if female), any female helping at the wedding and any female you would like to honor with a corsage such as a grandmother or godmother. You will also supply flowers for the altar and any pew decorations. Remember, if you plan to get married around a religious holiday, chances are the altar will already have flowers, which saves you money.
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Great Gift Baskets, Gifts and Gift Ideas That Say Summer, Breeze Through Summer With Free Shipping

a-picnic-cooler-on-wheelSummer is a spectacular time for gift-giving with its bounty of blooms and outdoor parties and picnics. Whether you are shopping for a summer birthday, wedding or special event, summertime calls for some sizzling seasonal faire. The following article offers some great gift ideas with summertime appeal.

While it’s usually commonplace to bring a gift of this or that for your host or hostess, consider a fresh fruit basket to bring to the next barbeque or backyard party. If it’s a fourth of July party, consider a decorative tray of fruit designed like the American flag. Fruit can also be a great garnish to other gifts. For example, pair a set of strawberry clad dishes with a bowl of what else? Fresh strawberries!

Plants are another traditional gift that shouts summer. A pleasant summery housewarming gift might be a large watering can containing a fern or some trailing ivy. Any decorative planter filled with your plant of choice makes a wonderful all-purpose gift. A wonderful gift basket idea for a gardening enthusiast would be to buy a large terra cotta planter and fill it with new gardening gloves, a new gardening book, seed packets, bulbs, a small decorative container, small statuary like a bunny or frog and a small garden implement or two.

Since summer is a hot season, consider gifts with a cooling effect. An iced tea maker with a supply of peach and raspberry teas makes an excellent summer gift. Consider filling a new ice bucket with ice tongs, ice treats or even a gift certificate to the local ice cream parlor. Likewise, a homemade ice cream maker and recipe book makes a great summertime gift. Other cool gifts might include a hammock, turbo fan, snow-cone maker, beach passes, etc…

As many people like to spend plenty of their summer outdoors, patio furniture or accents make fine gifts during the summer as well. A new patio umbrella, glider, new cushions, canvas folding chairs, bench, plant stand are items to consider. Other great accent gifts might include a tabletop fountain, wind chimes, a gazing ball, grill implements, grilling cookbook, outdoor lanterns, set of colorful plastic bowls, a decorative glass pitcher (filled with lemons and limes), food nets, colorful placemats and plastic dinnerware for patio dining, decorative baskets filled with fresh herbs and dried fragrant plants like lavender, etc…

As summer is also the perfect time for leisure and relaxation, always consider the gift of a new book—Caribbean Island cuisine or new mystery set in the steamy tropics. Beach gear is an appropriate summer gift—a badminton set, beach umbrella, beach bag, beach blanket, cooler stuffed with flip-flops, paperback book, beach towel are all delightful hot weather accompaniments.

Other terrific summertime gifts include: tickets to a summer blockbuster, designer sunglasses, picnic basket, iced tea glasses and stirrers, sun dress, wide brim hats, colorful tablecloths, salad bowls, tickets to a water park, camping items, summer sporting gear, vases, yard ornaments, garden props and so much more! You can also try to choose gifts in summer colors like ocean blue, bright yellows, pinks, peaches and especially white.

If you are giving a gift that does not have especial summertime appeal, consider a small accent gift to go along with it that is more seasonal in nature. Items like colored sand bottles, palm-size sand castles, water-colored glass pebbles, single blooms in a bud vase, even a bookmark of pressed flowers can add just a hint of summer style to make your gift all the more memorable.

Giving gifts with summertime appeal makes the season all the more enjoyable for your recipient. Some items may only be available seasonally so they shop early for the greatest selection.
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Themed Gifts Have More Punch. Throughout the year we all have gift giving occasions arise.

pc-happy-birthday-cookie-hatBelow are a few theme gift ideas; Wedding or Housing Warming Gift basket - A Bakery Basket Brunch Basket, Basket of Romance, Baby Shower Gifts - Boo-Boo Basket, New Mom Pamper Basket, Hungry Tummy Basket, Baby Bedtime Gift Basket, Graduation Gifts and College Care Packages.

Summer Trip Gift - Another variation of this might be to purchase a piece of nice luggage and fill with trip supplies or a gift certificate to a favorite clothing store to buy clothes for the excursion.

People appreciate theme gift baskets and gifts. They show the honoree that real time and thought went into the present, and all the items will be useful. Themed baskets are also great for a group or team of people to give. Have fun putting your next special gift together for that special someone. Many graduates go on a summer trip to commemorate their success. Parents often pay for the accommodations, but so much more goes into preparing for a trip. Graduates headed to a beach or resort would use a beach bad filled with supplies—beach towel, lotions, a good book, great music. Or, try a beach cooler filled with drinks and snacks ready to ice down. Here’s a different spin on the money tree.

College Students are always in the need of a meal since classes and work schedules don’t always jive. For the high school graduate on their way to college, stuff a waste paper basket with dorm needs. Toiletry supplies like toothpaste, washcloths, towel, soap, work well. Or, fill a storage tub with bedding like sheets, blanket, pillows, and pillowcases.

New Baby Gifts - Think good night’s sleep as you shop for this one. Try filling the basket with a bedtime story, bedtime music, a special blanket, a soft stuffed animal, and even some soothing bedtime lotion. Fill a basket to the brim with assorted jars of baby food and juices. Add a couple of feeding bowls, spoons, and bibs.

New Mom Gifts - Find a variety of pampering gifts for the new mom like a great magazine or book, a bath pillow, new slippers, lotions, healthy snacks, etc. Tuck in all the needed supplies for each of the common baby ailments. A soft, soothing blanket, a cool summer top, diaper rash cream, teething gel, pain reliever, oral electrolyte juice, lotion and snuggle toy.

Romantic Gift Baskets - Send chocolate kisses, two wine glasses and two candlesticks. Fill in with scented candles, a bottle of sparkling cider, music cd for romance and chocolates.

Weddings, babies, graduations, birthdays, holidays—it’s enough to tax the brain of even the most creative gift giver.

Wedding Shower Planning, Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

A happy couple you know is getting married and it’s up to you to come up with some wedding shower ideas. Don’t panic, it’s not that hard! The first thing to consider is what type of shower will it be? Do you want to host the same old traditional wedding shower, or do you want an event that will be remembered as the shower of the year?

Traditional wedding showers with traditional wedding shower ideas are nice. Everyone has them. You send pretty invitations, guest bring traditional wedding gifts and you play games like scrambled words and the memory game. Then you eat cake and go home.

Why not plan a theme shower that will be the talk of the town for weeks to come! In fact, wedding showers don’t have to be just for females anymore. Jack and Jill showers are coed and include everyone. These wedding showers are casual and can be held in the afternoon as a barbeque, or in the evening as a cocktail party.

Themes can be incorporated such as A Honeymoon Party, where guests bring gifts related to travel and decorations represent the couples’ destination for their honeymoon. A Barbecue theme may include gifts such as outdoor cooking accessories and so on.

If you want to keep it girls only, there are still dozens of wedding shower ideas that are fun and exciting. How about a spa & beauty shower theme? Candles, bath products and lotions are great gift ideas for this theme. One popular game for this type of shower is smell the herbs. Place 10 different types of herbs in 10 different Styrofoam cups. Cover each cup with aluminum foil and poke a small hole in the middle of the foil. Pass the cups around and let each guest smell the herbs. Whoever guesses the most wins. A small scented candle makes a great prize. A similar game is played with scented candles.

Another fun wedding shower idea is a Japanese Tea Bridal Shower. Invitations may be decorated with Japanese letters or brush paintings. Decorate the room with dragons and Buddha’s. Red and black decorations should be incorporated. Light incense and play Asian music to set the mood. If you are really into the theme you may serve Sushi, but have an alternate dish also. Green tea is also on the menu. Japanese teacups make a great shower favor. Gift ideas include exotic teas, China, candles and holders and Oriental music as well as Zen items.

Whatever direction you decide to go, traditional or theme, planning is key to your success. Don’t wait until the last minute. First decide your budget. Next organize your guest list and allow enough time for guests to receive invitations and RSVP if necessary. A wedding shower is normally held about 8 weeks before the wedding.

If you are having a theme shower you may want to match the location to the theme. If that is not possible, decorations and music may be used to set the mood. Every wedding shower has a least one game to break the ice, and prizes are a must.

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Buying the Perfect Gift for Your Work-Out Buddies

un-a-deluxe-spa-gift-setBuying gifts for your work-out buddies can be tricky. While you may spend a lot of time together, your conversations tend to revolve around exercise and diet and whatever you can chat about between sets.

So how do you go about choosing a thoughtful gift?

First, review your last few workouts and consider your conversations and routines. Think in details. Is anyone habitually rushed? Or discouraged? Perhaps someone is using hand-me downs that aren't exactly right for the job? Any of these small nuggets of information can help you can choose a perfect gift for your friends.

For example, you can look for a gift that improves her work-out in a small way. Gadgets or accessories, like an upgraded pedometer, designer sweat bands, or a unique water bottle, are gifts that she might not buy for herself but you know she'd appreciate using.

If one of your work-out buddies has plateaued with her weight loss or put on a few unwanted pounds, you might try a funny or inspiration gift. Daily calendars and desk plaques with humourous and inspiring messages can add a touch of encouragement that could help motivate her to the next work-out.

Another idea is to consider what goes on after the work-out. If you know one of your buddies has to rush to the showers the minute she is through, you could gather a goodie bag of bath and body products.  A "to-go" bag filled with scented shower creme, a bath sponge and body
lotion would be considerate way to help her get out of the gym feeling refreshed and pretty.

So the next time you are working out - look for the details.

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