Crowning Inspiration: Destination Toledo

Make Toledo a destination Wedding with these fun and exciting ideas!
Don’t just make your wedding an event to remember – make the entire weekend unforgettable! And with three-day weekend holidays like Memorial Day, you can be the hostess-with-the-mostess! From welcome parties, to group activities like golf tourneys, baseball games, and amusements, to socials, bridal teas, and farewell brunches, treat your guests to Toledo’s favorites.

Kick off the long weekend and welcome guests with a barbeque M*A*S*H style. Toss Tony Packo’s hot dogs on the grill, accompanied by their famous sauces and pickles. Chill down some Maumee Bay Brewing Company beers on ice.

Hit the water for some cool lake winds on the mighty Maumee. The Sandpiper Boat is your mode of transportation, holding up to 100 guests. Mix up your favorite drinks and take in the scenic views before reaching your dinner destination at The Docks.

Or go Portside, literally, and catch a Mud Hen’s game at Fifth Third. The Stadium features private banquet rooms and suites for all your entertaining needs.

A little competition never hurt! Host a bride vs. groom golf tournament. Tee it up lakeside at Maumee Bay State Park or race roller-coasters at Cedar Point. Complete your destination delights with a limo bus. Stock it with all your favorite refreshments and goodies to get you there and keep you going.

Take in the sights and smells at the lovely Toledo Botanical Gardens or the Schedel Arboretum. Host a ladies luncheon, complete with fresh lemonade and brightly colored parasols.

Blow your guests away with live glass blowing demonstrations at the Toledo Museum of Art. Let local artists craft before your eyes and take in world renowned treasures. Continue your tour of art along The Loop galleries, such as 20 North Gallery and Space 237. These spaces offer the perfect setting for a wine party. Include some regional favorites and Ohio Amish cheese.

Bid farewell with a strolling brunch at home. Cater in your favorites or serve up local delights from bakeries like Petit Fours, Thrush’s or Michael’s Café. It’s a great way to look back on the weekend, and even share a few photos.

No matter where the weekend takes you, be sure to bring along your sun block. There’s no greater chore than for your wedding photographer to Photoshop your bright red shoulders and awkward tan lines!

Did you catch my blog post about Welcome Bags? They are the perfect touch for out-of-town guests!


Crowning Cocktails: Sex and the City 2 Martinis

 Whether you are throwing a premire party or packing a flask for the show, here are a few recipes to put you in the mood! The first is a classic that you can't go wrong with:

Cosmopolitan Martini
4 parts Citron Vodka
2 parts Cointreau or Triple Sec
2 parts Cranberry Juice
1 part Lime Fresh Juice
The Carrie Drink
2 ounces Skyy vodka
1 ounce X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
2 ounces cranberry juice
3/4 ounce sparkling apple cider
Shake Skyy, X-Rated and cranberry with ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Top with cider and garnish with a thin apple slice.

The Samantha Drink
2 1/2 ounces Skyy vodka
1 1/2 ounces Cabo Wabo Anejo tequila
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Shake with ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Rim glass with mixture of salt and small amount of white pepper. No garnish.

The Miranda Drink
2 ounces Skyy vodka
3/4 ounce Campari
2 ounces pomegranate juice
1 ounce Triple Sec
Squeeze of lemon
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

The Charlotte Drink
2 ounces Skyy vodka
2 ounces pink lemonade
1 ounces Triple Sec
1/2 ounce Midori Melon liqueur
Shake with ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with an edible flower.


Crowning Inspiration: Gratitude is always in Style!

You are sure to bring a smile to their face with these 6 simple steps for a flawless thank you note:

1. Always start with “dear” and the names as you would address them in person:
Example: Dear Aunt Sally and Uncle Joe, or Dear Dr. and Mrs. Evenston,
2. Thank you for the (description of gift or name of gift).
Example: Thank you for the setting of our Wedgewood wedding china.
3. The include 1-3 sentences about the item, followed by what you did with it or why you liked it. This makes the note feel more sincere.
Example: It's beautifully displayed in our china cabinet. I am looking forward to using it when we host our first Thanksgiving dinner this year!
4. Thank the giver for coming to the weeding, if they did. Try not to say “Thank you” again or start off saying “Thank you”.
Example: It meant a lot to have you there in celebration of our special day. Thank you for coming.
5. Mention something about the giver such as family members or something happening in their lives.
Example: Best wishes to the kids. or Looking forward to seeing you at the Lake Cottage!
6. Salutations: "Love" is fine for family members and close friends. For others, some choices are "Yours Truly", "Regards", or "Warm Regards". And sign both your names.

A few extra tips:
- Always handwrite your thank you notes.
- Even with a picture card (as shown above) be sure to include another note card or write a message on the back.
- Generally, brides and grooms should write a thank you note within 6 months of their wedding.
- Thank you notes for WEDDING GIFTS should not be written by the couple before the wedding. If sent before the wedding, the note should be only from the bride.
- Thank you notes for SHOWER GIFTS should be written before the wedding and from the bride (unless a couples shower was given, then they can be written by either).
- Keep a list as you go along to make sure all shower and wedding reception guests received a proper thank you.


Crowning and Cunning: Baggy Winecoat

Check out this must-have accessory for all your summer parties!

 – the Baggy Winecoat by Menu. Just remove your bag of wine from its box, place it in this soft bag-in-box wine dispenser, close the flexible top, and enjoy an easy way to pour and serve wine in style! If you are thinking that "boxed wines" is pas très chic, think again! See below for some tasty "boxed" wines.

If white wine is your drink of choice, this wine dispenser also doubles as a wine cooler with space to pack some ice and keep your vino chilled, ready to serve and sip. Ideal for outdoor barbecues and alfresco soirees, this soft dispenser is easy to carry, thanks to its built-in handle and smart design by Jakob Wagner. And a rubber bottom helps keep the Winecoat upright and steady, even if you’re not! Here’s a toast to the bag in box Baggy Winecoat wine dispenser – an entertaining essential by Menu.

Along with the screw top comes a more eco-friendly way to contain wine.
(Credit Maggie Hoffman)

But don't take my word for it - check out these great boxed wines under $9!!!
Wow, a deal like that and we can celebrate all summer long!


Crowning Inspiration - Carnations

When life gives you lemons – make lemonade!

That is what comes to mind when I think of a single carnation flower. They are kind of like the bittersweet lemon. I would never use (in fact I make a sour face) a carnation within a bouquet of other flowers. But if used solely, and in large groupings, they can produce fabulous, chic and affordable arrangements! They last longer than other common wedding flowers, they can take a little more abuse as a blanket for escort cards or wish-boards, you can tear off their petals for isle runners or flower girl tossing, and best of all, they can be died just about any color you want! In fact, I would love to do an ENTIRE wedding with just carnations – the possibilities would be endless!!!

Check out some ideas with this inspiration board:


Crowning & Cunning: Wedding Date Numerology

Ever wonder what the numerology of your wedding date is? According to Visions of Reality, numerology is the concept of all of life, known and unknown, shaped by energy. This energy can interpret life’s direction; your purpose, goals and obligations.

To calculate your numerology, simply add up all the numbers in your wedding date. Then refer to the explainations below. Example:

July 10, 2010 becomes: (7+1+0+2+0+1+0 = 11 Add 1+1 = 2 Your number is 2

**1** The courtship was unforgettable, and perhaps a bit longer than most, and how you and your beloved met is quite a romantic story. Much like the hand of Fate. Choosing a Number ONE wedding day indicates that you are a very affectionate and loving couple. It shows a maturity with the marriage, and an ability to work through disagreements and upsets in a respectful manner. This loving couple is seeking total oneness with each other. Remember that from this day forward you need to allow for the inevitability of change. Flexibility and Understanding is the Number ONE’s Wedding Day Key to Success!

**2** If you choose a Number TWO wedding day to be married, you will want either a very private or extremely public wedding. This is the number for eloping, and the Number TWO wedding day may need to be a marriage in secret. Your mother’s advice will either be strongly accepted or rejected when making the wedding plans. There is no in-between. Emotional maturity of one of this couple may be lacking, but maturity is a valuable asset to the success of this union. Don’t be surprised if everyone sheds a tear or two on this wedding day, for the ceremony will certanily have a sentimental quality.

**3** If you weren’t joking when you said you’d marry only for the money, then you might find a Number THREE day an excellent choice for boosting your financial security through the luck of this partnership. You both may be overly concerned with what family and friends are thinking of your union, and also that your wedding has to be the biggest and the best! If you two expect too much, than this day sould start off as a great big disappointment, with perhaps even a downpour of rain.

**4** If you both have been discussing and agreeing on all of the responsibilities of what marriage brings, and have carefully weighed the pros and cons of married life, perhaps you will choose a Number FOUR day to be married. The significance of a Number FOUR wedding date is faithfullnes until death do you part. This is a couple who can work together and accomplish goals that would otherwise seem impossible, such as running a business successfully together, or expanding housing, having multiple property units as real-estate holdings, a single bank account and every project is one of togetherness. Whatever it is, from buying a home to having your children, will be carefully timed and planned.

**5** If you have chosen a Number FIVE as your wedding day, you may be putting the emphasis on how well you and your beloved communicate with each other. This will be an active marriage, and will need to fight monotony and boredom, so it will be wise to have some individual interests as well as ones shared. This is a marriage where each of you will need your space, your own workplace, and lots of alone time.

**6** The blessings of Venus with all of her Love and Devotion fall on the Number SIX wedding day. Love, affection, peace and happiness are the favors Venus may bestow. This does not mean that there is no challenge or that you are under some kind of magical charm. Responsibility, trust and caring are a must for maintaining this wonderful beginning. This couple will be willing to work hard and long hours together, with lots of time for discussion and planning things out, because the marriage will become the upmost of importance in both lives.

**7** Watch out if you have chosen the Number SEVEN wedding date! Change, upsets, or a relocation of the reception hall may be in order. Though the Number SEVEN day represents upsets with plans, it may also represent being resuced at the very last minute. Rule by Uranus, the Number SEVEN wedding day can represent lost plane tickets, accidents, a gown that doesn’t fit or the maid-of-honor showing up after the ceremony. Uranus also represents a fast and furious courtship, waking up in the morning and finding yourself married to a stranger, being stood-up at the alter, as well as this partnership being an unwise decision. If there is happiness and love with this union, then perhaps one of the parent’s does not accept your intended as the proper mate, putting pressure and guilt on everyone.

**8** Wow! Baby! When choosing the Number EIGHT for your wedding day, you want to be compatible in every way with your partner, and sex will be a very important aspect to this relationship. This is the couple who, one enchanted evening, exchanged glances to each other across that crowded room and knew right away that they were meant for each other. Then they spent the next several weeks in bed, woke up one day, went to the Justice of the Peace, and were married. They will tell you that they felt married before the second glance on the first night they met. Once locked, they are inseparable!

**9** A Number NINE wedding day may indeed be one of secret. Another date of possible elopement, because the Number NINE wedding day is ruled by Neptune. The faith you were brough up in may be a very important factor to consider before this marriage takes place. This will be a very spiritual event, following all of the wedding rules of whatever faith is followed. One of this couple may practice medicine or perhaps, may be handicapped. There is an overshadow of the Divine with this union, whether the couple being married are aware of it or not.

Some material provided by Marvelous Girl and Visions of Reality