This and That…

I started this on The Merry Ministers website, but now I think it’s more appropriate on this website, since I include random wedding stuff (not just ceremony specific), so from now on I’ll try to share my favorite wedding bits from the internet world a little more frequently ūüėČ

I’m loving this new trend of having a frame or something to post instant pictures onto (a recent wedding I worked had bicycle frames to put pictures on because the bride and groom were avid cyclers!).

lasting memories

 

Same idea for seating cards is also great!

seating chart

I’ve seen plenty of small vases for center pieces (usually mason jars), but I really like this idea of using votive candle jars with wild flowers:

center pieces

What are your favorite ideas and trends?

 

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Getting the Gift that Gives

Do you already have everything you need for your home? ¬†Do you have a passion for giving or volunteering? ¬†Then maybe instead of doing a traditional wedding registry you should do a charitable wedding registry or charitable favors! ¬†This idea seems to be gaining popularity, so there are several websites that provide this service so you don’t have to take care of anything other than registering and picking your charity!

IMPACT favors

IMPACT Favors promotes nonprofit organizations at weddings and events by utilizing IMPACT Favor cards to ignite a ripple effect of awareness and donations.” ¬†This is a charitable favors wedding, meaning that instead of spending money on favors that possibly¬†will never be used, you purchase favor cards after making a donation to the organization of your choice ($50 for 100 cards). ¬†These favor cards are placed at each table setting, and the hope is that your guests will make donations as well! ¬†The organizations you can chose from (as of May 6, 2015) are: Angelman Syndrome Foundation, Safe Families for Children, Wish Upon A Wedding, and Pathways to Independence. ¬†There are no fees taken or added to donations.

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I Do Foundation helps engaged couples¬†celebrate generously¬†by making charity a part of their wedding. ¬†I Do Foundation has two primary goals: 1) Help couples raise donations for a charity of their choice; 2) Change the culture of the bridal industry so that charity becomes an accepted and expected part of weddings.” ¬†Like IMPACT Favors, you make a donation to a selected charity through the I Do Foundation, and I Do provides you with place cards for each table setting (you can purchase the cards through The Knot Shop starting at $19.95 or you can print them yourself with a template that is emailed to you). ¬†I Do Foundation also has selected charities in the following areas: Children, Youth, and Families, Community Development, Education, Environment, Health, and Social Justice. There is an 8% fee that is added to a guest’s donation when they make a donation online.

truffles logo

Truffles For a Cause is a way to donate AND give to your guests: you can make a donation or pay a portion per truffle, and get a favor card as well as a truffle for each guest.  You can find a list of the charities to chose from here (you can even pick two different charities).  Their pricing can be a bit tricky, as each option (DIY, DIY boxed, caramel, foil, etc.) is different and each option has three payment options: you can make your own donation in addition to the cost of the truffles, you can donate a portion of the cost of each truffle, or you can make no donation at all (which defeats the purpose, in my opinion, hehe).

Want to go beyond wedding favors?  Check out this list from Bridal Guide and see how many little details of your wedding can be reused or re-thought, from donating your flowers to a local nursing home/hospital, to involving your bridal party in a volunteer event and more!

Hopefully I’ll be able to add some more resources to this post in the future! ¬†Do you have a website that you used for your wedding? ¬†Let us know in the comments!

Winter Formal: Winter Wonderland

So every Christmas, since I was about 15 years old, I get a bunch of friends together and we make gingerbread houses, out of graham crackers. ¬†It’s always a stressful but fun event (if you haven’t done these before, getting those walls to stay up using just frosting is a bit of a challenge!), and it’s gotten more fun with the introduction of wine.

Last year was the first year that I tried to do this along with a baby (Jake was 4 months old), and I gotta admit, it just wasn’t as enjoyable, haha. ¬†Other friends have babies as well, and keeping them away from all the candy and frosting is just not really worth the satisfaction of seeing your completed gingerbread house! ¬†I’m excited to get this tradition going again once the kids get a little older and they can make gingerbread houses of their on, but for now we decided to switch to an adults only holiday dinner. ¬†So this year we had our very first Winter Formal!

I was able to book a reservation over a month in advance with Cucina Enoteca at the Irvine Spectrum, and I worked closely with their event coordinator, Ruth, to make sure I could bring all sorts of little details and decorations. ¬†I got started with centerpieces and decorations far enough in advance so I wouldn’t be freaking out the day before!

photo 1

Found these plastic reindeer at Michael’s, and I’m pretty sure I snatched up the last ones in the whole area. ¬†I went back to several stores to try to buy more and they were all gone. ¬†Glad I bought the ones I did when I did! ¬†I added a little silver spray paint and they looked great!
photo 2

I collected branches and pine cones and did a bottom layer of white spray paint, then I used spray adhesive to get some good layers of epsom salts on there, then did a final layer of glitter to give them a little glimmer.  I ended up putting the branches in two separate clear vases to have to large centerpieces, and they looked great!  I will say that these need to be done close to the event, because the epsom salts can dry out!

photo 3

I also made a photo back drop using a large baby blue cloth, and added some Christmas trees that Jeff drew out and cut out for me (Christmas trees are NOT one of my strengths), a couple gold stars, some glitterey white fabric for snow, and some snowflakes. ¬†I added some stuffing to the trees and snow to give it a little more form, and I must say, I’m pretty happy with the outcome!
chalk sign

On the day of, I packed up a few boxes with all my goodies, and thankfully had Jeff’s help to unload and carry everything over to Cucina Enoteca to get set up before everyone arrived. ¬†Above is my first attempt at some chalk art ūüėČ (credit also goes to Jeff who helped with some key elements!).

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Testing out the photo backdrop ūüôā
photo table

Cucina Enoteca provided an extra table for photo props as well as this little set up, where guests wrote out what they loved the most about Christmas on a paper ornament, then hung their ornament on one of the branch centerpieces.  During dessert, we went around and read these aloud and tried to guess who wrote each one.

cucina enoteca¬†Each plate also had a hand-picked bunch of pine needles to add a little Winter Wonderland feel ūüôā ¬†We even had a personalized menu, eek!
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I brought silver charges to add to the table set up, as well as silver candle holders, both of which really added a nice look to the table.
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I didn’t get any pictures of the food, but it was all delicious, the service was great…

girls group

And the company was quite spectacular ‚̧jeff and iMe and my #1 helper and supporter!

I had such a great time putting this event together, and from what I can tell, everyone that attended had a good time as well.  Glad our first year sans gingerbread houses went ok!

A little update here and there

So many ideas, so little time! ¬†Jeff and I have been talking constantly about all the stuff we want to do with this humble little website, and all these random & combined talents we have, but between our regular 9-5s, and a toddler that’s on the verge of running, it’s hard to do anything after bath and bed time, haha.

But here’s a sneak peak of what we hope to achieve. ¬†We’re still working hard on our photography and event planning: Jeff and I had a wedding photo shoot last month that we’ll be sharing on the blog soon, and I’ve been assisting with wedding coordination through Events by Katherine. ¬†Working with Katherine I have been able to work weddings at El Adobe in San Juan Capistrano, Center Club in Costa Mesa (with a full Irish band!), the Fairmont in Newport Beach, and Casa Romantica in San Clemente. ¬†Each of these venues had something special to offer!

Aside from these services, we want to offer event rental services for props and decor items (who wants to buy stuff they’re only going to use once?!). ¬†We are currently working on adding to our inventory, and I hope to have some unique and desirable items up on our website for your use in the next couple of months. ¬†Stay tuned!

Nature Setting DIY Wedding

Back in April I was asked by one of my best high school friends if I would assist her in coordinating a wedding (she’s a wedding coordinator over at Christine Lustig Events). ¬†It was wonderful to work along side and catch up with someone who was such a dear friend in high school, and I’m hoping to work with her again in the future!

This wedding had all sorts of DIY elements, which came together beautifully. ¬†Although I helped set up for the ceremony, I was happiest when I got to set up the tables in the reception area–including mason jars filled with a variety of small and colorful flowers, and hand made wooden table numbers.

The ceremony took place outdoors at a the stunning Oak Canyon Nature Center, in Anaheim, CA, and the reception was at Orange Hill Restaurant in Orange, CA.

jason_&_nancy_wedding_7026 jason_&_nancy_wedding_7541 jason_&_nancy_wedding_8233 jason_&_nancy_wedding_8255 jason_&_nancy_wedding_9607 jason_&_nancy_wedding_9616 jason_&_nancy_wedding_9700Photos by Hugh Forte

Transitioning.

Although we started out this website to promote our little shop that we had in an awesome vintage camper at The Camp, it’s now taking on a whole new life!

Due to various reasons, we had to close up shop early last year (2013), but we’ve recently decided to pick up our entrepreneurial spirit again. ¬†We’ve also decided to keep the name “Nuestras Manos,” since the whole reason we liked that name was because it reflected that we were doing this together (with our hands), and even though we’re transitioning to something completely different, the concept of what we want to do is still the same: use our talents and skills, combine them, and work together doing something we love!

So, the idea is to combine our talents (photography, design, planning, organizing, wood work/crafting), and offer them to people for special events. ¬†Jeff and I had a great business meeting last night, and we’re excited about the potential this has and where it can lead us. ¬†I hope you’ll follow along!