Monthly Archives: March 2010

wedding cake inspiration we love

Happy Monday! I hope this cake-spiration will ease your Monday-blues. A few of my very favorites from my archives.

This one is so intricate and beautiful without being over the top. Black and white is always classy:


The only thing better than cake is cake with cookies attached to it. I think this is a great idea for a DIY bride/hostess who wants to make their own cake. Frost it in butter cream and then use that as glue to attach cookies on it. Oreos for a black and white theme? Animal cookies for a baby shower? I mean, really, the possibilities are endless. And delicious.

Another cake that I think could be made at home. I love the whimsical flags, perhaps to match your bunting?


Modern and simple for the pilot or the travelers.


I love this cake inspired by a Mexican fiesta. With the colors poms on top and the sombreros and donkeys. You know only a pretty awesome couple would have donkeys on their wedding cake.

Now I am hungry. Shoot!

*I collected these images pre-blog. Please let me know if they are yours so I can credit you!

lions + tigers + babies, oh my baby shower

This sweet, sweet baby shower took place in Omaha, Nebraska at a private residence in November of 2009. The parents-to-be were waiting until their little one arrived to find out if it was a girl or a boy so the color palette was orange, yellow and green so it would be fantastically gender neutral. They decided to use animals for the nursery so I jumped on board with that for the invitations!

I got craft paper cards and envelopes and a big pack of animal-themed scrapbook paper along with a giraffe stamp and some ribbon to create these. I just used some green, orange and yellow paper that was part of the paper pack to stamp and emboss the giraffe on, rounded the corners and used colorful brads to attach them to the front of the invite so it would have some motion. When it was all done, I tied a variety of yellow, green and orange striped and polka-dotted ribbons to close it at the side.

baby shower 5

I used the animal-printed papers for the envelope liners, behind the return address labels and address labels and as a strip of fabulous behind the informational part inside. I printed all of this out and glued away. The pack of paper had paper adorned with sheep, ducks, buffalo, penguins, alligators and lions…so stinkin’ cute and everyone’s invite had at least two different prints on it somewhere.

I also created a little mini-envelope for the inside that had information on a “Letters to the Little One” book that was going to be put together for Amy as a surprise. I used scraps of the green, orange and yellow paper and little buttons I had already.

I really loved making these and I think everyone liked receiving them in the mail. Isn’t snail mail such a wonderful thing?

I used more of the paper pack to make the sign for the front door to reference the invitation so people would know that they had found the right place! (Don’t worry I put it up looking nicer and evened out the letters before guests showed up. I was so worried I would forget to get a picture of everything!)

baby shower 7

As a last minute thing, I whipped up some name tags because I had just gotten a xyron machine that I wanted to try out and used some giraffe printed paper from the same pack to back them. Easy peasy.

baby shower 3
Flowers are expensive right? So I made some paper flowers, used mason jars and ribbon to create candle holders, put dried peas in the bottom, found a few cheap frames at the thrift store which I painted and framed some of the scrapbook paper in (seriously, i used this one pack of paper for almost every single project.)

baby shower 1
The other table had the same components but instead of the oranges in bowls I whipped up a quick diaper cake. I actually wasn’t going to do this because sometimes I think they can be a little cheesy, but I was gifted a half a box of diapers and I didn’t want to just hand it over like that. Each layer got a ribbon in a different color/pattern and I topped it off with an awesome floppy lion I found. He just looked so dang cute lounging on the top.

baby shower 2

A friend of Amy’s (mom-to-be) carved this stroller out of a watermelon and I made skewers for fruit kabobs that had little animal flags on top. This actually turned out to be the biggest pain of any of my projects. I originally wanted circles, but didn’t have a circle punch, so that failed quickly. Then I realized that it was really hard to get them to match up exactly (my type-A personality shining through). So I redid them a third time, flipping the image in InDesign so that I cut two out together, folded them over the skewer and they looked perfect! Third time is the charm, (or maybe it was three strikes and skewer flags would be out.)


Using more of the paper I made paper cones to hold “goldfish” and “puppy chow.” Get it? I know, SO clever. To make them stand I cut a piece of styrofooam to be a little smaller than the shape of the pan. Then I stuck lollipop sticks in the foam to hold the cones up (leave a hole [or snip the end] of the paper cone so that it just barely slides down the lollipop stick) and cover the styrofoam and bottom of the cone with dried peas. Cutting the foam smaller than the pan is essential if you are using a see-through pan like I did so that you can get peas around all of the sides as well. Fill with your favorite treat and the crowd will go wild. Promise.

baby shower 4

I wanted to make sure there wasn’t 1,000 glasses to wash at the end of the party. You know how you set your glass down and then you walk away and when you get thirsty again you cannot for the life of you figure out what you did with it? Well champagne deserves champagne flutes and everyone was getting one chance. I made these tags for each glass so guests would be able to keep tabs on it. If you have an RSVP list beforehand it’s easy to do, otherwise I would forget it–if you miss someone and they don’t get an adorable bird tag they might cry. I would.

little birdies for bubbly!

Chocolate cupcakescoconut cupcakes and pumpkin cupcakes were turned into rattles with lollipop sticks, ribbon bows and gumdrops. And lemon bars were included as they are one of Amy’s favorites. The coconut and pumpkin cupcakes got RAVE reviews. Go bake them. Now. 

We had lots of drinks to choose from. Champagne was the only alcoholic choice, because it was 10:00 am, and it was Sunday and the guest of honor was with child and therefore not drinking. But pairing it with carafes of juice: orange, mango and peach make it a perfect Sunday morning drink. Amy does LOVE lemonades and fruit juices of all kinds so we had sparkling lemonade, citrus water (it looks so pretty!) and blueberry limeade as well. Behold:

baby shower 6

I found a recipe for Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade, pretty much ignored it and made Blueberry Limeade instead. It was delicious. It’s also kind of a pain in the behind to make, but I promise it’s worth it! Here’s the gist, feel free to edit to your tastes.

Blueberry Limeade – serves 6 (or me)
• 1/2-3/4 cup sugar (i like it tart, add more for sweet)
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lime peel
• 1 cup fresh lime juice (MUST be fresh, please.)
• 1 liter (or whatever will fit in the rest of the pitcher) chilled water
• Ice cubes
• 1 bag frozen blueberries, no sugar added please, just the fruit!(or your favorite berry)
• Lime slices & fresh blueberries to garnish

Combine blueberries, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and berries thaw. Increase heat and boil 3 minutes. Strain blueberry mixture into bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer. Mix lime peel into blueberry syrup in bowl. Chill until cold.(Do this ahead of time, it’ll keep for a few days at least.)
Stir blueberry syrup, lime juice, and water in large pitcher to blend. Pour over glasses with ice cubes and add garnish with fresh blueberries and lemon wheels. Devour. Thank me later.

When guests left they all received a bag of vanilla animal cookies to take with them! I bought a giant container of animal cookies at Costco and put them individual zip-top bags (if you do this you can make them weeks ahead of time and they’ll still be fresh). The white bags were from Party City and I used the giraffe stamp that I used on the invitations to stamp each bag. I painted each one with thinned out paint so it wouldn’t totally cover the stamp (watercolor would be great but I didn’t have any at the time) and then, because I am completely insane and was annoyed that the paint faded the stamp ink, I traced each stamp with colored pencil to make it stand out more. I cut green tag shapes from leftover paper in the invitation paper pack, stamped and embossed each one with a “thanks” stamp and then strung it on a ribbon that I tied in bows on top of each bag. Boo-ya.

If nothing else I hope you have learned just how far one pack of scrapbook paper for $19.99 can go! Congrats Amy & Brian, what a lucky little monkey your baby will be!

Amy’s Vendors

Venue: Private Residence
Invitations: AE style
Favors: AE style
Decor & Styling: AE style

UPDATE: Julia Diane arrived on January 1st, 2010. Welcome to the world, baby girl!



*All photos in the post except for Ms. Julia’s photo (taken my Mom) were taken by me. They are terrible, I realize this. This is an excellent example of why you should hire a professional. Please. Hire a professional

anticipation events style

I got invited to attend an event at Willow Creek Church in Barrington this past weekend. Three times a year they host “Once Upon a Wedding” and invite couples who have reserved a date to get married at the church or who are thinking about getting married there to attend. They pull out all of the decorations they have available and have their volunteer wedding coordinators there to answer questions and show them around. I made a few things to give to the couples to go along with my business cards. I think they are great. I hope you do to.

(a little “brochure” that has information on all of the packages AE offers)
(i made stickers for the bottom of a bunch of hershey’s kisses and then tied them up in bags)

(the whole pile of happy little goodies waiting to be taken to their new homes)

These could easily be turned into awesome wedding programs and favors I think! Want me to make them for you? I am hoping 2010 will bring more “AE style” clients and I’ll get to do boat-loads of crafting!

*all photographs are personal and all items made by AE style

chicago wedding at salvage one

Laura and Dan got married in October at Salvage One in Chicago. If you have never been there before, you should check it out. They describe themselves best, so I’m not going to mess it up: “We save architectural elements from the wrecking ball. We work to preserve and pass on our history. We have been helping our customers breathe new life into salvaged materials for nearly 30 years. We aim to take salvage further by working with you to add creativity and style to your space. Our store is over 60,000 square feet full of materials and design ideas on four floors. We have a full work shop to do custom work, and a yard full of garden and landscaping ideas.” But it’s also a wicked-cool place to have your wedding, but you better have a little bad-ass in you.


Like I said, pretty awesome, right?

Laura and Dan met through Laura’s sister via Beloit College in Wisconsin (random side note: this was random because I lived in Beloit when I was a wee little one. I went to Happy Face Preschool. Most people have never heard of Beloit- which is my point.)

salvage one 1

The ceremony was inside because it was pretty cold out, but the backdrop for it is amazing.

salvage one 3

Laura and Dan planned a fun surprise that even their families didn’t know about! They hired a bluegrass band to play during the ceremony and cocktail hour. It was so fun and everyone loved it! 

Another thing that is really cool about Salvage One is that dinner is served on the second floor and the tables and chairs used are all items that are for sale at the store. It means that each table is different, some seat four and some seat 12 people, and each table has a unique set of chairs at it. It makes seating a little more complicated because if they sell one of the tables the day before your wedding, you have to re-work the seating, but you get all the chairs and tables with the rental fee and they don’t need linens as they are beautiful on their own. Check out their tables:

salvage one 2

They had bright pink, purple and gold fabric that Laura’s sister brought back from Japan and her mom made into table runners. She also stocked up at the after Christmas sale at Pier One and got all of the stuff for her centerpieces and a bunch of Christmas ornaments that we used in the centerpieces and as favors for their guests.

I love how unique their wedding was. Amazing French food, a tango for their first dance, a completely unique setting, Christmas decorations that were totally re-purposed for a wedding and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake surprise for the groom. Go Team Zeewagen!

*I like to give credit where credit is due: all pictures courtesy of Lizz via Orange 2 Photography

Laura + Dan’s Vendors
Ceremony & Reception: Salvage One
Reception decor: Laura, with help from Pier One
Catering: Cook au Vin
Photography: Orange2Photo
Videography: Loudbyte Cinematography
Cake: Sweet P Sweets
Groom’s Cake: Dairy Queen
DJ: Style Matters
Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Basically Bluegrass
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events

lake wedding at byron colby barn

Julia and Dave got married at the Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake in September. It rained so hard the night of the rehearsal that it took me three hours to drive from the city to the rehearsal at Dave’s parents house in Crystal Lake. It was not looking good for their outdoor ceremony at the barn.

Let me pause this recap for a moment to just say that Julia is likely one of the craftiest brides I have ever met.

day of wedding coordinator chicago

These two made SO MANY things for their wedding, even I (who considers myself pretty crafty) was in shock. Yes she made the escort cards, relabeled the water bottles, made the luminaries, made votive holders to be hung from ribbon around the barn, covered books for the centerpieces, thrifted silver pieces for the centerpieces, made the table numbers and made the favors and packaging. BUT, my friends, (this is a big ol’ BUT) she also: made the glorious flower wall backdrop for the ceremony, made the invitations, programs and menus, made all of the boutonnieres, sewed table runners for all of the tables, sewed chair covers for all. of. the. chairs. (there were 100), arranged all of the flowers for the centerpieces and bouquets. I am exhausted just typing all of that and I know there were other things that I can’t find the finger strength to type. She puts crafters like me to shame. SHAME. End pause.

This wedding was such a team effort. The morning of the wedding so many of their family members were at the site with me setting up: Dave and his Dad put up the AMAZING flower wall that Julia made. Aunts tied chair cover ribbons. Grandpa laid runners out and arranged centerpieces. Julia’s brothers lit candles. The list goes on. Needless to say, I think (hope!) Julia felt good about leaving all of her hard work in many capable hands.

They had an adorable first look and took some photos with Kim from Bowtie Photography:

day of wedding coordinator chicago

Guests were greeted with the much lauded “Dave loves Julia” and “Julia loves Dave” water bottles, and lemon and lime slices. 

day of wedding coordinator chicago

Julia’s brothers had the honor of walking Julia down the aisle…

day of wedding coordinator chicago

…where they said their “I dos” in front of the fabulous flowers.

day of wedding coordinator chicago

Inside the barn for dinner, guests found their table by finding the book that matched the one on their escort card. (Dave and Julia met in the library, you see.)

day of wedding coordinator chicago

The tables looked amazing (go Grandpa, go!.) Take note of those table runners and chair covers while you remember that she.made.them. Again with the emphasis.  After the wedding I tried to convince Julia she needs to start a side business doing flower arrangements (before I get engaged please?):

day of wedding coordinator chicago

They danced their first dance, and then much fun was had:

day of wedding coordinator chicagoday of wedding coordinator chicago

Le sigh. I don’t think I have to say anything more.

Except! if you love Julia and want to see more of their wedding check out her wedding blog The Eventual Wedding and her current blog Ordinary Saturdays.

*all pictures in this post courtesy of the lovely Kim at bowtie photography

Julia + Dave’s Vendors:

Ceremony & Reception: Byron Colby Barn
Reception decor: Julia
Catering: Marvela’s Catering Services
Photography & Photo Booth: Kim at Bowtie Photography
Florist: Julia
Cake: Lovin Oven Cakery
DJ: Kristin with Toast & Jam
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events