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versatile bridesmaid dresses with flair

Monica Zibutis, a fabulous photographer in our area, recently posted the wedding of Beth & Joel, and while there were a lot of things to love about this beautiful wedding, the thing that really grabbed me were the bridesmaids dresses! I, like many people, have been told each and every time I donned a bridesmaid dress, “Oh, you can definitely wear it again!” And I really don’t think anyone was intentionally lying to me—I’ve worn some beautiful ‘maids dresses, but I have never, not even once, worn any of them again. There is just always something about the formality, the material, the heaviness or the color—I’m a pretty big believer in the bridesmaid dress being a one-time-use kind of outfit, and why not, it’s your wedding day! It’s worth a $200 one-time dress! But when I saw these dresses I immediately thought, “that would be such a cute New Years Eve outfit!”


I could also see wearing it to  a Christmas party or other holiday—it’s beautiful, and the shiny silver polka dots add an extra sparkle that would not lead anyone to think you’re wearing a bridesmaids dress. Love it. So if you’re still searching for the perfect bridesmaid dresses and you would like your girls to get to wear them again, consider looking at cocktail dresses and other non-bridal selections—you could save your ‘maids money and get them a two-time outfit!

spicing up your response cards

We’ve all seen a response card. We get them, jot our name at the top (hopefully legibly), check “Yes, I will attend” or “Unable to attend,” and pop it in the mail to the couple. BUT, what if there was something about that little card that caught you off guard and made you stop for a second. What if your guests took your response card out of your invitation and could instantly tell that this was sure to be a fun wedding?

If you’re a fun-loving couple, throwing a fun-loving wedding, don’t be shy to let that shine through! Spicing up your response cards can entail something as small as using some fun verbage like the wording used by one of our 2009 couples:

_____Gleefully accepts

_____Regretfully declines

OR step it up another notch with this fun one I found online…


Or if you want to get really creative, you can have your guest fill out a MadLibs inspired response card:


So have fun with it! If your invitations are fun and funky, keep it going with your response cards and give your guests a sneak peek into the fun they’ll have at your wedding celebration!

fun+personal table markers


I just love these cute table markers! Incorporating a theme into your table names is another way to make your own personality shine through at your wedding. A few of my favorite from this summer so far:

Megan+Greg | Mill Creek Barns:: Each table was named after an “adventure” the couple went on, complete with a picture of them at the location. They had 20+ tables, so this was one adventurous couple!

Kate+Mitch | The Heritage Center:: Each table had a black and white picture of a landmark in Chicago, where the couple lives!

Jessica+Bryan | The Veranda at the Whitcomb:: This couple tied in their beachy motif by naming each table after a Michigan beach

Lisa+Bart | Blue Dress Barn:: A picture of the couple’s adorable dog adorned each table—these were too cute!

Carrie+Adam | Mill Creek Barns:: Each table was hosted by the couple married the longest, complete with a wedding picture and a fun or quirky fact about them! I definitely caught guests snatching these at the end of the night!

Quick Tip:: If you have more than 12 tables at your reception, I would suggest incorporating an actual table number into your design. This way, your guests won’t be wandering aimlessly as they try to find their table!

*photos by JK Photography

signature drinks for your michigan wedding::part 2

To follow up to yesterday’s post, I wanted to share some cocktail recipes you could use for your wedding! These are just a few I like, but feel free to use any drink you love!

drinks2(Left to Right::Grapefruit Gimlet, Key Lime Margarita and Royal Blush)

Grapefruit Gimlet::A refreshing drink for a beach-inspired wedding

  • 1/4 cup Charbay Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Simple Syrup (see below)
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 lime slices

Place first 4 ingredients in cocktail shaker; fill with ice. Cover and shake quickly and vigorously for 8 seconds. Strain into 2 Martini glasses. Garnish with lime slices.

Key Lime Margaritas::For the fun & spunky couple

  • 1 Key lime (optional), quartered
  • Kosher salt (optional) for rims of glasses
  • 3/4 cup Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1/2 cup reposado tequila
  • 1/2 cup fresh Key lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons superfine granulated sugar (optional)

Run a lime wedge (if using) around rim of each of 4 (6-to 8-ounces) glasses. Put salt (if using) on a small plate and dip glasses in salt to lightly coat rims.

Blend liqueur, tequila, juice, and sugar (if using) in a blender until combined. Serve over ice (in coated glasses).

Royal Blush::For a chic & swanky lake shore wedding

  • 1 teaspoon cherry purée (note: recipe below makes 3/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) vodka
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) simple syrup
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) dry sparkling wine, such as brut Champagne, chilled

To Make Cherry Purée:
In a bowl, purée frozen cherries or all-fruit spread with water. In general: 1 cup of frozen cherries (6 ounces) puréed with 2 tablespoons of water makes approximately 3/4 cup purée. To make purée using all-fruit spread, combine 3/4 cup spread with 3/4 cup water. Any extra can be used to make smoothies or sauce for ice cream.

To Make Cocktail:
Transfer purée to chilled martini glass. In chilled cocktail shaker, combine vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup. Tear mint leaves in half and add to shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Slowly strain into martini glass without disturbing purée, then top with sparkling wine and serve.

**All drink recipes from Check them out for tons of great drink ideas!

signature drinks for your michigan wedding


Offering signature cocktails at your wedding is a great way to infuse your personality into your wedding reception! There are a few approaches you can take to this when selecting your drinks.

His & Hers::Choose a bride’s drink and groom’s drink to offer guests! Choose your favorites, present them beautifully (a cute garnish never hurts) and re-name them, if you’d like, to be more wedding-esque!

Wedding Colors::Offer drinks that coordinate with your wedding colors. For a green and yellow wedding, offer up a lynchburg lemonade and mojitos, garnished with mint! For pink and brown, serve guests Chocolate maritinis and a champagne spritzer. Display them in a cute and fun way, and you’re all set for a fun cocktail hour!

Non-Alcoholic::If you’re not serving alcohol, you can still have fun with your beverages! In the summer an iced tea & lemonade bar or punch bar are lots of fun for guests, and in the fall you could offer cider, complete with mixes people can stir in to make their own spicey blend! Garnish with lemons, limes & apple slices, and you’ve got a good-looking and tastey drink selection!

Check out Part 2 for some of our favorite signature drinks!

shoes with style for your wedding day

There are a lot of ways to infuse your personal style into your wedding and you don’t want to  forget about the small details like your shoes! Whether they’re colored, crystal encrusted or traditional, your shoes can be a fun way to add a little flavor to your wedding attire. Warning: Don’t forget comfort—test drive your shoes and if they’re only worthy of wearing for an hour, be sure to pack a pair of comfy shoes for your reception—you don’t want to be in pain or covered in blisters while you dance the night away!


peacock wedding inspiration


I’m not big into inspiration boards, and you won’t see them here on the blog very often, because I don’t use them for actual clients much. However, sometimes it’s fun to play around with them and after a conversation with a dear friend last week, I decided to put together some peacock inspiration for her, and thought I’d share it here as well. This is a very literal translation of a peacock-esque wedding. I’d actually love to see a more abstract interpretation using some peacock inspired tones and textures, so perhaps there will be one more inspiration board in the future for the Stella Blog.

check it out::emplume


In case you’ve got some extra time this weekend with that pesky extra day off, check out Emplume. These fun and funky bouquets and bouts are hand-made of unique materials including feathers, ribbons, swarovski crystals and jeweled buttons. They’re a super modern and offbeat way to spice up your florals!

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day!

etsy find::wedding trees


(picture via etsy)

I love coming across fun and unique ways to set a wedding apart, and if it lends entertainment for your guests as well, even better!

Check out these Wedding Trees from Melangerie on Etsy. The colorful tree will entertain your guests by showing them who’s a family member, childhood friend, co-worker, etc., and they are coordinated to your wedding colors! This would look awesome framed and set at your escort card table, or you can even have these printed into custom place mats. Perfect for a fun and funky wedding reception, and I know I would personally sit and look at these all night!

What are you doing to make your wedding unique?