Monday, December 31, 2012

2012-2013 Post Card Competition Winner

Amanda and Jim Raudenbush

Special Thanks

~Postcard Design~
Designs By M.E.
Melinda Evans

Mandi V. Photography
Mandi Vivacqua

Blair Vineyard

Collene's Crafts and Flowers
Collene Hamm

Designing Memories Team Members on Site:
Stephanie Engle, Stacie Fetterolf, and Martha Sandoval

Thank you to Jim and Amanda 
for letting us share in their planning process and special day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2013 Bridal Shows

2013 Bridal Show Season Schedule
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Berks County
Sunday, January 13th
Reading Country Club
5311 Perkiomen Avenue
Reading, PA 19606
12noon to 4pm
Lehigh County
Tuesday, January 22nd
Days Inn and Suites
3400 Airport Road
Allentown, PA 18109
7pm to 10pm

Lancaster County
Wednesday, January 30th 
Lancaster Host
2300 Lincoln Highway East
Lancaster, PA 17602
6pm to 9pm
VIP bridal for your exclusive invite!

Schuylkill County
Sunday, February 17th
101 Progress Avenue
Pottsville, PA 17901
1pm to 5pm

Montour & Columbia County
Sunday, March 3rd
Pine Barn Inn
1 Pine Barn Pl
Danville, PA 17821
Noon to 4pm

Monday, November 26, 2012

Easy DIY Centerpiece Idea

Bubble Vase Centerpiece
Bring some glitz and glam easily to your wedding with these centerpieces!


What you will need:
~ cylindrical (tall and skinny) glass container
~ clear chunky diamond filler
~ colored small gem filler (choose your most prominent wedding color or something to accent your linens)
~ clear glass or plastic ornaments (wide enough to fit your ornament into the mouth)
~ real or fake orchids flowers (or any other small flower, but orchids work best)
~ jewelry wire (22 gauge)
~ pen or pencil
~ wire cutters
~ pitcher of water (distilled won't create tiny bubbles but tap is fine if you are in a pinch)

All of the items mentioned above can be found at your local craft store, flower shop, or wedding supply store

How to Create:
         Start with an empty cylindrical container. Drop in a small hand full of your chunky diamond filler, a few of your small gems, another small hand full of chunky diamonds, and a few of your small gems to finish it and create a subtle layered effect. The diamonds and gems should only take up a third to a half of your container.
         Now take you flower and cut it to have about an inch or less of a stem. You will need a bit of a stem to keep the flower from falling out of the ornament. Set that aside while you take the hook and top off the ornament. Cut a 10" to 12" piece of wire from the spool using wire cutters. Starting in the center of the wire, leaving both ends free, wrap the center of the wire around the ornament's neck one or twice so that it is secure with a tail of wire on each side. Wrap one tail/loose end of the wire around your pencil or pen and pull the pen or pencil out of the center to create a curl. Do the same to the other tail/loose end of the wire. Now you should have a curly piece of wire jutting from both ends. You of course can bend and sculpt the wire to create the exact look you would like. Add a few (maybe 15-20) gems to the ornament by pouring them into the opening that the wire is wrapped around.
           Fill your cylindrical glass container about three fourth of the way with water, leaving enough room at the top for your ornament to set down inside the glass container. Place your gem filled ornament into the glass container by hooking the wire curl onto the side of the glass container. Add your orchid (or other flower) to the opening of the ornament and you have completed your Bubble Vase Centerpiece!

Use different height cylindar groupings, add votive candles, or incorporate low flower mounds to add an extra wow to this centerpiece and make it your own!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Outdoor Wedding

Do you Dream of an Outdoor Wedding?

Maybe you are imagining a...
Romantic Vineyard

 ...or a Lush Garden

...or something a little more Open and Tree Lined

 ... or well the list goes on. 

No matter where you would like to host your wedding, if it is the great outdoors
 that you have in mind you will need to prepare and be ready to deal 
with mother nature's mood swings. Most brides when dreaming of an outdoor wedding location
 don't think of some very important details before and during the planning of their ceremony.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind and questions to ask yourself to keep from a wedding day disaster.

Questions to Ask Yourself
.                .               .
Do you have a Plan B? 
No bride that plans to have an outdoor wedding ceremony wants to create a plan B because they simply can't picture being married indoors. I promise it is a necessity. If mother nature has a temper tantrum pouring rain all over your wedding site you will be extremely thankful that you chose a plan B location. Or what if a hurricane roles in the week of your wedding and you have to react fast? You will be happy you came up with a plan B location in advance.

What time of year are you planning to get married? Is it a time of year that is suitable for an outdoor ceremony? 
If you are having a winter wedding a completely outdoor wedding ceremony may not be the best idea because you and your guests will likely not love shivering through your vows. If you do choose to have an outdoor wedding in winter do choose dresses for your wedding party that will suit the weather and do let your guests know what to expect so that they as well can dress properly. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you plan a summer wedding you will need to take into consideration that your guests may get hot so choose a shady location or if it is unavoidable and you must choose a sunny location provide fans and/or bottled water to your guests to combat the suns effects. 

What time of day do you want your ceremony to take place? 
This also coincides with the previous point of what time of year. It gets darker earlier in the Fall and Winter and stays lighter in the Spring and Summer months. Two good examples of a reasoning to consider this is lighting and photos. If you are planning to walk down a candle lit path in the Summer time you will have to have your ceremony take place much later in the day than if you chose to have it in the Fall season. Also, you will want to know where the sun will be at the time of day you plan to get married because you want to avoid the direct glare of the sun into your one wants squinty eyes in their photos or to feel uncomfortable during this romantic time. 

Are there noises like cars, airplanes, a train, or even church bells that will distract from your ceremony?
Be sure to visit you ceremony venue during the time slot you plan to get married to be sure there won't be any disturbances. Also, ask someone who is in charge of the space if they are aware of any other events occurring the same day in the general area and to let you know if the location has any little quirks you should know about.

There will be are outside. How will you plan to deal with them?
Swatting at pesky bugs would certainly be distracting while trying to indulge in the special moment of getting married to the love of your life, so I recommend considering these ways to keep that from happening. Having someone mist the area with bug spray about 45min. to a hour before your ceremony is a good idea if you feel bugs may be an issue. We like Off! for deep woods spray. If the venue does not allow you to use the spray you can always get the clip on version to strategically place under chairs and/ or decorative arrangements. Even citronella candles could do the job. 

How will you decorate? Consider breezy wind and melting/withering heat?
You won't want your decorations to wither, melt, or be knocked over by the wind before or during your ceremony so do take careful consideration in choosing your decor. For example...If you are using real flowers choose flowers that will withstand the weather conditions they will be met with when displayed or go with fake flowers. Us glass containers to contain the flame of any candles you decorate your space with. Also, don't use non-weighted or unpinned fabrics that will likely catch the wind and possibly knock things like candles or other decor over or create other distractions. Decorating a cupola, gazebo, arch, or surrounding trees are a great way to get a fabulous look and keep decorations safe from the elements. 

Words of Wisdom
.                .               .

~Don't forget to think about what will be in the backdrop of your ceremony pictures. For example...If you plan to get married in a rose garden that sits in between a park and a road with houses be sure to position the ceremony location where the blooms will shine in the backdrop not people walking their dogs or cars driving out of a driveway of someone's home.

~Remember your bridesmaids will have to walk through grass, rocks, dirt, or other rough outdoor terrain so be kind and let them walk with a groomsman or if for religious reasons they are walking separately take into consideration as to what shoes you ask them to wear. 

~Make it clear on the invitation or by word of mouth that you are planning an outdoor wedding. Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness to tell them.

~Bring bath towels or paper towels to soak up water off chairs just in case of a sprinkle before the ceremony...none of your guests will appreciate soggy seats.

Hire a Wedding Planner
.                .               .

At Designing Memories we are big fans of outdoor weddings and consider this type of ceremony to be one of our specialties, so if you have dreams of a beautiful outdoor wedding contact us to see how we can help make your dreams come true without all the hassle and stress. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Special Ceremonies

Your wedding ceremony will be filled with love and celebration. 
Consider adding one of these popular special ceremonies to your wedding ceremony 
to create extra special memories and mementos.

Unity Candle
        You will need one decorated pillar candle (aka the unity candle), two taper candles, and a butane lighter. You will also want holders for your candles and possibly a mirror or something to place under the set to catch any dripping wax. You can find unity candle sets that include all the necessary parts to make it easy. 
         The unity candle ceremony is meant to symbolize the joining of two families and the joining of the couple to create one life committed to each other. Typically the bride's mother and the groom's mother will light the taper candles in the beginning of the wedding ceremony and later, when prompted by the officiant, the bride and groom each take one of the lit taper candles and light the unity candle. 
          This type of special ceremony is typically utilized for wedding ceremonies being held indoors, because the flame won't be challenged by the breezy or inclimate weather. 

 Sand Ceremony
      You will need one mid-size vesicle that can be corked and at least two smaller vesicles (typically tall and cylindrical), all of which need to be capable of holding sand. You will also need sand (typically colors of your wedding) to fill your smaller vesicles.You can find sand ceremony sets that include all the necessary parts to make it easy to assemble. 
         The unity candle ceremony is meant to symbolize the joining of the couple to create one life committed to each other and often to symbolize the joining of families. Typically the bride and groom will take their smaller sand filled vesicles, when prompted by the officiant, and pour their sand together into the larger vesicle. If the couple getting married has children they will often have smaller sand filled vesicles for the children as well to include them in the ceremony. This is a great way to involve the children in the wedding ceremony and make them feel special too.
          This type of special ceremony is typically utilized for wedding ceremonies being held indoors or outdoors and is especially attractive to those having beach weddings.

Unity Cross
Unity Cross
  You will need one decorative and curvy center cross which is meant to represent the bride and one simple and strong cross which is meant to represent the groom.You can find unity cross sets that include all the necessary parts to make it easy or if you happen to know someone that is great with wood working they can create you an extra special unity cross set. 
         The unity cross ceremony is a relatively new idea and meant to symbolize the joining of the couple to create one life committed to each other and to God. The bride and groom will take their designated pieces and join them together on a small platform by attaching the small pegs or screws into three upper points of the cross (as depicted above). 
          This type of special ceremony is typically utilized for wedding ceremonies being held in a religious setting such as a church and is becoming especially common for those of a Christian background. 

Breaking the Glass
        You will need a glass and a cloth to wrap it in. You can find beautifully personalized sets online to use for this type of ceremony. 
         The glass breaking ceremony is meant to symbolize the idea that just as it would be impossible to return the glass to its original condition, the lives of the wedding couple are changed forever. It is a way to symbolize the new beginning for the couple. 
          This type of special ceremony is typically utilized for wedding ceremonies being held indoors or outdoors and is especially common for those of a Jewish background.

Dove Release
        You will need a professional to help you with this type of ceremony. A professional can provide you with the doves and the appropriate type of cage, container, or basket to contain the dove in until they are to be released. 
         A dove release is meant to symbolize the purity and faithfulness within the couple's relationship. It is also meant to symbolize the new beginning of the couples union and hopes for the blessings of a peaceful life together. In most occasions the bride and groom will release the doves together from their hands or a container, but can also be released by a professional after the couple has been announced husband and wife and begins to make their way down the aisle.
          This type of special ceremony is always utilized at wedding ceremonies being held outdoors or as the bride and groom exit an indoor location. 

Butterfly Release
      You will need a professional to help you with this type of ceremony. A professional can provide you with the butterflies in the appropriate packaging and instructions for an easy and safe release.
         Butterflies symbolize transformation, celebration, and freedom, so they can be a beautiful addition to a wedding ceremony A butterfly release symbolizes the transformation of the couple's relationship into a beautiful, committed, and long lasting marriage. Most times the bride and groom will release the butterflies together from a container during the wedding ceremony, when prompted by the officiant, or the guests will be given smaller containers or packets of butterflies to whisper a special wish for the couple to and release as the couple are announced as husband and wife.
          This type of special ceremony is always utilized at wedding ceremonies being held outdoors or as the bride and groom exit an indoor location.

        You need will long lengths of ribbon and/or cord which can be used as is or braided together for a more decorative effect. These items can be found at your local craft store or online.
         A handfasting ceremony is meant to symbolize the couple's unity and permanence of their marriage to one another.The bride and groom have their hands literally tied together by the officiant during a heartfelt blessing, after which they place the ribbons into a basket. 
          This type of special ceremony is typically utilized for wedding ceremonies being held indoors or outdoors and is especially common for those of a Celtic background.

Jumping the Broom

        You need a beautifully decorated handmade broom. The broom is often made by the mother of the bride and decorated by the bride. The items to make your broom can be found at a local craft store or online.
         Jumping the broom is done to symbolize the sweeping away of any past problems and beginning new and fresh in marriage to one another.The bride and groom literally jump over the broom in declaration of their marriage to their wedding attendees.
          This type of special ceremony is typically utilized for wedding ceremonies being held indoors or outdoors and is especially common for those of an African or European background.

Hands or Feet Washing Ceremony
        You will need a two chairs, a basin, a water filled pitcher, and a decorative hand towel to wipe your hands  or feet on at the end of the ceremony.
       The feet washing ceremony is meant to symbolize the couple's dedication to each other and desired to make each other feel cared for.In the feet washing ceremony the couple take turns washing one another's feet while declaring their love and respect. The hand washing ceremony is meant to symbolize purifying the couple's hearts and spirituality before entering into their marriage. In a hand washing ceremony the couples hands are washed by the officiant as they are blessed or on occasion by a group of guests who bless the couple with well wishing. 
          This type of special ceremony is typically utilized for wedding ceremonies being held indoors or outdoors and is especially common for those of a Jewish background.

.    .    .    .    . 

These are just a few ways to make your wedding ceremony even more of a special and personal occasion. Every culture and religion has their very own unique ways to celebrate a wedding so for more ideas research your background or ask your wedding planner for advance!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dress Your Chairs

Don't forget to dress the chairs at your wedding!
These ideas will certainly give you the wow factor you have been searching for!




If you are looking for some fantastic chair decorating resources try one of these vendors:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Winter Wedding Favor Idea

Create a Wedding Favor that Doubles as a Place Card

What You Will Need:
~Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
~Acrylic Craft Paint (optional)
~Newspaper (optional)
~4x6 Cover Stock Paper (65lb works best)
 or a professionally printed set of place cards
~Paper Cutter or X-acto Blade and Cutting Mat
~3" Round Mirrors
~Self-Adhesive Crystal Strips

How To Create:
    Begin with taking the hook off of your ornaments. If you are unable to find ornaments already available in your wedding colors you can paint them with acrylic craft paint so that they will match. If you have decided to paint them you will need to take the metal tops off of the ornaments. Once the tops are off you will be able to hold them easily while painting and use the flat neck to carefully rest them on to dry. They will likely need a coat or two and time to dry overnight (follow directions on paint bottle for drying time). Rest them on newspaper so that any drips will not ruin the surface you rest them on. If you found ornaments matching your color theme you will not need to take the metal tops off your ornaments.
    Next take your 3" mirrors and add some bling by using your self-adhesive crystal strips to line the edges. You can plug your hot glue gun in to begin heating while you attach your bling to the mirrors if your ornaments are dry. Once all your mirrors are finished you can begin gluing the ornaments onto the mirrors. Squeeze a small dot (no bigger than a dime) of glue onto the center of the mirror and immediately place an ornament (opposite side from the neck) onto the glue dot. You will not be able to move the ornament once it adheres to the mirror so line it up well with the neck of the ornament as straight as possible.
   To finish off your favor and place card in one, print your own place cards using a design you create on your computer or order them from a professional. If you are printing your own you will need to print your design onto a 4x6 cover stock paper card and cut it down to a 4x4 or 3x3 size...your printer will not likely except "odd" sizes very well so it is in most cases just easier to cut it down after they are printed. Create your design on your computer using a 4x4 or 3x3 format keeping in mind half will be blank for the back when you fold it over. When you are finished you should have  a 2x4 or 1.5x3 card when folded with one side being blank and the other with a design including each individual guest's name. Add each card to its ornament by placing a bit of glue onto the rounded metal piece that the hook usually hangs from, opening the place card so that each side of the card is on opposing sides of the metal piece, and then closing the card by applying pressure to both sides of it.
     For a little bit of an extra wow factor...fold a satin or linen napkin and place it on your charger plate and under your finished product to showcase your favor.

Monday, June 25, 2012


If you said wow when you saw these pictures you might be wondering how that look was achieved. Was it the beautiful floral arrangements or maybe the fancy linens? Although both elements certainly add to the overall look and appearance it is the lighting that makes the room glow with a romantic ambiance that will never be forgotten.


Where to get it:
You can hire a lighting specialist, utilize your local party rental center, request your DJ's lighting package, shop at your local craft store or ask your wedding planner!
What are your options:
Pin or Spot: This is a more direct lighting source. It is typically used to highlight centerpieces, your cake, or portions of the wall. Lighting like this can accent your space beautifully and give you just the right pop of color you are looking for.
Wall Wash: This is a broad lighting source that will cover large portions of the walls or ceiling in just about any color you request. Lighting like this will blanket your space in mood setting color.
Gobo: A lighting option that has gained popularity and is a fun way to personalize your wedding. Typically a monogram or pattern template of some sort is designed special for you and shines onto the dance floor or behind the head or sweetheart table. Many DJs will have a repertoire of patterns they will use on the dance floor as your guests dance.
Hanging Lanterns: Lanterns come in all sizes, shapes, and colors and glow from within by a little battery operated light. They are often used to create interest on the ceiling of a tented wedding. Since they appear to be floating along overhead they tend to create a playful fairytale effect with their glowing ambiance.
Fairy or Twinkle Lights: Fairy lights are typically LED so the can be used just about anywhere. Twinkle lights need an electrical source but pack all the same effects of the fairly lights. Both create that magical feeling you get looking into a field of fireflies on a summer night.
Submersibles: These little points of light can turn a pretty centerpiece into a stunning one. There are many ways to use them...layer them within glass pebbles, place them within a centerpiece to make it appear to glow, or submerge it into the bottom of a water filled glass container and add flowers or a floating candle. Since they are LED they are cordless so need to worry about plugging them in.You can purchase this type of lighting at your local craft store or rent it.
Candle Light: This type of  lighting is the least expensive way to give your space that romantic glow you are looking for. Votives and pillars are the best and most commonly used because they will last throughout your whole event and cast a warm inviting glow throughout the room. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hiring a DJ

What to Ask a Potential DJ Before Hiring...

*Will we be talking to the actual DJ selected for our wedding before the wedding?   

*May we meet with you in person before we sign a contract? 

*How long will you hold our date?

*How long have you been a DJ or how many weddings have you done?

*Do you perform for more than one event in a day?

*What makes you different from your competitors?

*Do you act as the “emcee” and make all of the announcements?

*What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?

*What if something happens to you and you can’t make it to the wedding?

*How many times do we meet before the wedding?

*How do you keep your music collection up-to-date?

*How involved can we be in selecting music for the event?

*When do we need to submit the music requests and event details? Can we submit a “Do Not Play” list?

*Do you take requests from the guests? 

*When do you arrive to set up for the wedding?

*What do you typically wear to the wedding?

*How much of a deposit is required to secure the date? When is the balance due?

*How much would you charge for overtime? How much do you charge for set up and tear down?

*Are you insured?

*Will you need a vendor meal?  

*What is your policy on alcohol or smoking/taking breaks?

*What kind of equipment do you use and do you bring any backup equipment?

*Do you have a wireless microphone?   

*Do you have a “light show”? Party Props?

*Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?

By asking all the right questions you will find a DJ that is a perfect fit!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Favor Tower Centerpieces

Favor tower centerpieces are a unique way to wow your guests.
 They are easy to make and a great way to save money 
without looking like you have skimped on your wedding budget.

Fill 4"x6"x6" boxes with paper shred and any sort of personalized favors you like.
Seal the boxes with a dab of hot glue or tape and wrap them like a present using decorative ribbon.
Create thank you cards instructing your guests to help themselves to part of the centerpiece when they leave.
Fold the napkins to hold each of your thank you cards as an extra special touch.
Set each of your guest tables with a tower of favors and a directional thank you card.
Add fresh flowers to the towers and scatter gems or petals for a little something extra as shown above.

Watch your guests enjoy the memory you have created for them!

Thank you to Jasmine Photography
Find boxes, shred, and other wedding decor must haves at and