Friday, September 15, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: My Bachelorette Tablescape

 I’m playing catch up on my bachelorette recap and am finally getting around to sharing one of my favorite parts I got to be involved in, the tablescape for our dinner in on Friday night!

When talking with my maid and matron of honor, it became clear to us that since guests would be arriving at the house at different times, cooking a meal at the house on Friday night may be our best option! As soon as that was decided, I asked their permission to be in charge of setting the table since I miss getting to set up fun tablescapes after my days as a photo stylist. Fortunately, they were happy to let me!

I knew I’d want to play into our colors of the weekend, blues and greens while using some items I already own. Originally, I had set up the table on the screen porch, but since the weekend of my bachelorette happened to be during a heat wave, we made the call that it would be more comfortable to eat inside. That should explain why some photos show things outside versus inside. 

I already had the melamine bamboo dinner plates (available here too) that I figured would be a great starting point and easy to rinse off and throw in the dishwasher after dinner, so that was where I began with my planning. The “placemats” are rug remnants our rug vendor for Hibiscus House, English Village Lane, made and let us use in the showroom that was going to be an easy neutral to incorporate as well. Beyond that, I kept coming back to our color palette to put everything together, and have included what else was used below!


Tablecloth from Julia Amory

I love all of Julia Amory’s pretty tabletop (and now apparel offerings)! I used quite a few of her patterns for different work shoots over the years and even have one of her green and white tablecloths acting as the skirting to my skirted table in my living room. This blue and white pattern is no longer available, but the scale of the print made it a subtle statement that worked well with the other items I selected to use. 

Rechargeable Tabletop Lamp Covers from Amanda Lindroth

My future mother-in-law was one of the first people I know to have the now very popular rechargeable tabletop lamps. She’s had them at the lakehouse for quite some time, and I have since gifted some to my mom and ordered a pair from Amazon for myself. At market, in July I saw that Amanda Lindroth launched fabric lamp shades that fit these rechargeable lamps, and I stalked their website until they were finally live! At $19 I immediately bought two, and they couldn’t be cuter. I also love this pair shipping in October.

Monogrammed Napkins from Euclid Home


Y’all heard me rave about Euclid Home in this post talking about our theme, and I could go on and on again about the monogrammed dinner napkins she did for us. Since the everyday and formal china I registered for is full of blue hues, I thought it would be nice to have cloth napkins that worked with both. I selected two different thread colors, Lapis Blue and Powder Blue, to be monogrammed in her Square Monogram with what will be my married initials. They turned out beautifully, and now I’ve already volunteered to host my girlfriends for Friendsgiving so that I have an excuse to use these and the napkin rings (more on those below) stat! 

Magnolia Napkin Rings from Southern Tribute


I first discovered Southern Tribute when pulling pieces for a Southern Lady Magazine fall shoot a few years back. I fell in love with the tortoise design offered on the napkin rings and was thrilled to reconnect with Melissa recently! She’s an amazing connector of people and has built a beautiful business of iconic napkin rings, match strikes, boxes, and more. If you read Wednesday’s post, you may have read a bit about my love of magnolia trees and the way we incorporated them into our save the date, so when selecting which ones to use for my table, this felt like a natural fit. While I adore the tortoiseshell acrylic, I opted for clear for these just for versatility's sake. They made such a pretty statement on the table and complemented my monogrammed napkins well, but would also look just as great with plain or patterned linen! Also, the gift boxes these come in are just as much a work of art and make gifting so easy. Consider your hostess gift shopping for Thanksgiving and Christmas complete with a set or two of these napkin rings in the motif that best matches your hostess! 

Stemless Wine Glasses from Estelle Colored Glass


Nell started my Estelle Wine Glass collection a few years back for Christmas and my birthday, and I’ve been adding to my blue stemless set ever since. Hunter’s mom has a beautiful set of green stemless glasses at the lake that I knew would look great with the colors we were embracing for the tablescape. 

Pool Floats from Amazon

Since we were going to be at the lake, I wanted to gift each attendee a pool float to use, but once I found these that matched our color scheme decided to use them as a backdrop for our tablescape Friday night. I hung them up using fishing lines and thumbtacks and thought it made for a cute added touch!

I used vases I already had and got a variety of flowers from Trader Joe’s that I used for the centerpieces. Something to keep in mind with centerpieces for a tablescape is to keep them low enough so that guests can see over them to chat with one another! I’m sure y’all will be seeing many of these items again in tablescapes soon, and I can’t wait to continue to use them time and time again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: Designing Our Crest With Paper Eliza

 As my planner said the other day, “It’s crunch time.” While that sounds a little overwhelming, I’m viewing it that we’re in the home stretch of wedding planning. After a call with our officiant and photographer later this week I feel like most of the big stuff is finally done! The main things left to do in preparation for the wedding are ordering a few items like welcome bag gifts, koozies and napkins for the reception, exit items, and dance floor props all of which feel like fun buys. 

We’ll be receiving the digital version of our crest soon, which is what we plan to put on some of these items and as I’ve been envisioning how those pieces will turn out I’ve been reminded of just how much I love the custom crest we created with Paper Eliza. I’m thrilled to share a bit more about the meaning of some of the elements on our crest and introduce you to Eliza to learn more about the process of creating your own! 

Eliza and I met pretty early on after I moved to Birmingham but don't ask me where or how because I've blanked on that. I had started following her while she was still at Samford, and I had ordered a few different items from her over the years as gifts! When we got engaged and started to think about our save the dates using her to design a crest and create them was a no-brainer for me! After lining up our church and reception venue she was one of my next emails.

When it came to deciding what we wanted to put on our crest, Hunter and I went back and forth on quite a few ideas. Including Winnie was an obvious choice to include, but we also both went to Furman and were toying with the idea of including the iconic bell tower from there on the crest. Ultimately, since we didn’t really meet until after college Furman didn’t fully feel like a shared part of our relationship we strayed from that thought. Hunter knows how much I love magnolia trees and suggested including the flowers since Eliza often incorporates flowers of significance into her crest designs. We kept talking about wanting to include our love of the water into the crest given the time we’ve spent together at Hunter’s family’s lake house and my family’s beach house but struggled with how to do that. Since the docks/piers at each location look so different, Hunter had a great idea to incorporate them both on either side. The pier on the left-hand side is what is typically in Fairhope and near my family’s beach house while the dock on the right-hand side of the crest is more of what we see at the lake. I love that he came up with that idea and love how Eliza executed it even more. 

Choosing colors for our crest proved to be a little tricky at first. Originally tried to embrace our date by leaning toward fall colors, but after seeing the initial design decided to stick to what I know with brighter colors in our wedding color palette! We ended up choosing a blue invitation color with navy text in two different fonts. Eliza provided us with so many different examples of fonts and layouts that it felt easy to choose favorites from her examples to narrow from there. I’m so thrilled with the way it came together, and I am eager to see how it looks on our welcome bags, koozies, and napkins! 

For those of you wondering a bit about Eliza and wanting to hear more about the process of working with her read on! 

How did you get started on Paper Eliza?

I started Paper Eliza in college years ago. I had a couple of friends go away to summer camp to work and they had asked me to create a stationery set for them to take with them. I knew my way around Adobe and knew I could design them something, so I called up a fulfillment printer, printed the first set, and the rest was history! I now specialize in wedding paper and took it full-time over a year ago.

Growing up did you always love art or when was it that you discovered that love and talent?

I did! But honestly, I never considered myself an artist, and honestly, most days still don't ha! My passion is business and entrepreneurship and I am so thankful that the Lord has opened these doors for me and allowed me to get to do something that uses both my gifts and talents AND lets me own my own business! I am living the dream!

What does the custom crest process look like?

It is so much fun! The design process starts when you place the order for the product. When checking out, you have two options - one for a "Paper Eliza Usage" crest and one for a "Digital Only" crest. The digital crest is more expensive because you will have the licensing rights to print your crest on any and all paper products from outside vendors. This is perfect for people who already have a print shop that they want to use. The "Paper Eliza Usage" option is cheaper (by a lot!) because it discounts the crest since the bride is choosing to use Paper Eliza to print it on her wedding paper - save the dates, invitations, day-of paper, etc. The bride would have the right to print it only on Paper Eliza paper and will receive the crest six weeks out from her wedding day in digital formats so that she is able to use it on nonpaper products like koozies, napkins, cups, etc. as well.

When adding the crest to your cart, you will answer a series of questions that help me understand what you are looking for in your crest. Specific flowers, a duogram or monogram, colors, etc! If you are wanting to include a pet, I'll request that you email me a picture so that I can accurately illustrate it - and the same goes for any other specific or niche elements that you want to include. I'll illustrate it for you and email over your proof. We build proofs crest by crest and won't send multiple options at once because we want to make sure that every round of proofs is getting us closer to the ultimate vision.

What advice would you give brides as they work on their crest and decide what to include on it? 

Definitely have a good idea of what you are looking for before you purchase the crest! The less of a vision that you have going into it, the longer the design process tends to take. A very popular thing to include that sometimes people overlook is state flowers! I loooove including the bride's home state's flowers, the groom's home state's flowers, and the state that they met in. It is subtle and special and makes the crest so unique!

The paper process for weddings can feel overwhelming, do you have any tips on how brides can enjoy it more while still dotting their Is and crossing their Ts?

Adding personal touches to your paper can make it feel exciting! No one in the world will have the same custom crest with you and I think it really helps with the excitement of seeing visions and dreams come to life through the design and proofing process. Our site is built out in an a la carte fashion so that you can customize the papers in your suite to perfectly fit what you need, which I also think helps make it feel less overwhelming - you are getting only the cards of what you need.

If you had to guess, how many brides have you worked with to date?

Whew, definitely a couple hundred! An honor I do not take for granted.

What is the most unique item you've seen one of your crests appear on?

Mardi Gras beads were a fun one to see! And the University of South Carolina towels to wave at the reception - a tradition special to USC game days for the couple. I love those little personal elements.

Outside of wedding paper, what are some of your favorite products to work with clients on?

I love a party invite! We do a lot of ad hoc party paper. If you don't see a product on my site, it's always worth shooting me an email to see if we can work on special projects.

Is Paper Eliza your full-time role, and what is your favorite part of your job?

It is! I love getting to meet so many different people and hear about their visions and dreams for their big day. It is so fun and special.

What's the best way for people to see your work and place an order?

The best way for people to see my work is probably my Instagram. We are constantly sharing new projects there! But placing your order will start your custom paper process, so you can find my site here to get started. Feel free to shoot me an email if you want to hear more about the custom paper process - I am happy to shoot over my digital guide walking you through the process.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: What I Included In My Bachelorette Goodie Bags

 Hopefully, you were able to catch yesterday’s blog post sharing all of the details about my bachelorette weekend theme and where we found decorations! Today’s post is equally as fun as I will be sharing what was inside the gift bags I gave each of the girls' who attended the weekend.

Given that I picked out the theme, I’m sure Nell and Sophia (my maid and matron of honor) weren’t surprised when I insisted on taking over other tasks as well. One of those tasks that I wanted to be in charge of was the goodie bags! Nell and Sophia both know I love surprises and added a few items with the weekend’s logo as well as a surprise gift from each of them into each girls' bag. Since we were spending the weekend at the lake, I wanted to make sure the items included were both useful and went with the theme, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they turned out. And if you can’t tell from the photos, then I’m happy to assure you everything was well loved and used throughout the weekend! 

I feel so fortunate to have been able to work with brands that I adore and have worked with in the past on some aspects of these bags! While I certainly don’t think spending a fortune on gifts is necessary, I do find it to be a nice thank you from the bride ahead of all of the wedding festivities they are likely taking time to travel to and spend money on. That was one of the main reasons I wanted the majority of the items to be coming from me, with only a few items included as extras that went with our theme! 

The Bags: Sprinkled with Pink Shop


I know that many of us have closets full of tote bags, but having a cute place to put all of the goodies included in their gift was important to me. When it came to which tote bags I own consistently get a lot of use, I kept coming back to my Sprinkled with Pink Shadow Monogram Jute Carryall totes. I have two different sizes of these, both adorned with my monogram, and love using them as beach totes, grocery bags, and even Winnie’s bag when she’s traveling somewhere overnight and doesn’t need quite as many things. The price point on these totes is great, and you can customize them in different colors with each attendee’s initial. I went with green and white as our monogram colors for the totes as well as some of the other items from Sprinkled with Pink.

Pool Pouches: Sprinkled with Pink Shop


I’m a bag inside-of-a-bag person when it comes to organizing smaller items, and these Shadow Monogram Pool Bags were perfect for the little essentials I wanted to include inside the bags. I’ve since started to use mine to store sunscreen in my beach bag, and it is perfect for that! I also love how packable they are since, when empty, they are completely flat. We stuck to green and white for the monogram colors on these too. 

Inside the Pouches: 

Advil // Liquid IV // Under Eye Masks // Mini Makeup Wipes // Mini Sunscreen // Aloe // Sun Bum Chapstick

Water Bottles: Sprinkled with Pink Shop


It’s easy to get dehydrated in the sun, so these Custom Name Tumblers were great to have on hand and made it easy for us to know which drinks were whose. I went with the blue tumbler and stuck to green and white for everyone’s names on these. 

Lounge Chair Towels: Weezie Towels


I knew with our weekend taking place at the lake and Hunter’s family’s lake house having great lounge chairs that some sort of towel or lounge chair cover would be so practical. I love my Weezie towels and bathrobes and was thrilled to be able to include one of their Pool Lounge Covers in each person’s bag! The blue and white stripes looked adorable with the Waverly text style I picked out to be embroidered in green thread on each one. Weezie thought through every detail of this design since it’s extra long to cover the entirety of a lounge chair and has a functional back pocket to keep the towel in place without sliding. Plus, like with all of Weezie’s towels, they are plush and absorbent helping us to make sure we were nice and dry before heading inside after being in the water. 

Cocktail Kits: Camp Craft Cocktails 


I discovered Camp Craft Cocktails through Hunter’s mom, who gifted him a container one year around Christmas. Each of the containers makes about 8 cocktails, and all of the ones I’ve tried so far are delicious. When thinking about what to include, the name alone made these a no-brainer! What’s especially cool about them is that you just add the alcohol of your choice, refrigerate it, and then shake it up to enjoy. Each girl got a different flavor so that we would have the ability to try a few kinds! I need to order more of these to have as easy hostess gifts when heading over to a friend’s house for a meal or party! 

Bandanas: Nell stitched our names on these (similar available to customize here)


Bandanas seemed like an essential part of the camp theme, and Nell took it upon herself to hand embroider our names on each of the bandanas! This was so thoughtful, and now I need to commission her to embroider all of Winnie’s bandanas. We folded these and tied these to each of the bags, so it was easy to know who to hand them out to when passing them out after dinner on Friday night! 

Luggage Tag & Notepad: Joy Creative Shop


I love a notepad for my to-do lists and even included another style from this brand in my bridesmaids' proposal boxes. The wavy border of these personalized notepads was a subtle nod to waves in the lake but more than anything a practical item to be able to use even once the weekend was over. When I saw the luggage tags I couldn’t help but order those for everyone too and put their addresses on the back in case they want to attach them to their luggage the next time they fly. 

Pool Floats: Amazon

I shared these pool floats in yesterday’s post, and included how I ended up using them as decoration, but for the price including two pool floats in the cutest colors/patterns that perfectly matched our theme I was impressed by the quality and size! 

Hats with Camp Walton Logo: Custom Ink


I let Nell and Sophia be in charge of any of the branded “merch” for the weekend with the request that the hats be hats that people would actually want to wear. I love a white athletic material hat and reach for them more often than a cotton hat or the popular trucker style hat that I’ve seen on many bachelorettes and Nell really delivered on finding the best material. So much so that Hunter even wanted to make sure enough were ordered that he could buy one too! I quickly Venmoed for any leftover hats since I think they will make a great gift for my family members around the holidays! 

Camp Mugs: Discount Mugs

I think the item from the bag that has gotten the most use so far has been the camp-style mugs with our weekend logo on the front. I can’t remember who thought of these for the bags, but I’m so glad they did! I love using mine for my morning cup of coffee now that I’m back home. The ones we got ended up being really good quality and have held up well during accidental trips in the dishwasher. 

Parker Knoll Shirts: Etsy

I could sing Nell and Sophia’s praises for so many things beyond just helping to throw my ideal bachelorette weekend, but everyone was singing their praises when they opened their bag to find a Parker Knoll t-shirt that they gifted us. At least 3 times a week, I open my phone to a picture from one of my friends wearing theirs. which makes me so happy. They said they found these on Etsy. and they are so soft since they are Comfort Colors brand. Before doing s’mores Friday night everyone changed into pajamas and without any instruction we all walked out to the fire pit in our new shirts! 

And in true Parent Trap fashion, each bag had an Evian bottle with a lizard glued to it and a couple of packs of Oreos with peanut butter. I had the best time gathering these items and putting them together for my friends and was so proud to show Hunter how perfectly I was able to pack them in the trunk I grew up taking to camp! I’ve included all of the items in our bag below to shop in case you think one or two may work for a bachelorette you’re helping to host! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: Bachelorette Theme and Decoration Details (Parent Trap)

I’ve been looking forward to sharing today’s Wedding Wednesday with y’all for quite some time! My bachelorette was a couple of weeks ago and was such a blast. Despite having a very capable maid and matron of honor who could have executed the weekend without any help from me, I was insistent on getting a say in the theme and helping out with different aspects of the weekend, which was such a welcome break from wedding planning!

Where We Went: 

Having been on fun destination bachelorettes in the past, I knew I wanted to do my best to make the weekend cost-effective, somewhat relaxing, and, of course, fun for my bridesmaids who were able to attend. Hunter’s parents have a beautiful lake house on Lake Martin and generously agreed to let us use it for a long weekend for the occasion. Excluding those who would have to fly (who I obviously invited but encouraged to do what was best for them schedule/finance-wise), Lake Martin was a pretty easy drive for everyone who was able to come. It’s only about an hour and a half from Birmingham, which accounted for about half of our group and four and a half from the furthest away attendee. 

Hunter’s family’s lake house is a place we’ve spent a lot of time in the summers, and it was so fun to have my friends there to experience it. I loved that it gave us the option to be by the water in a spacious house that would give everyone some flexibility with what they wanted to do during their downtime. Plus, it made for the perfect setting for our theme.

The Theme: Camp Walton for Girls (Parent Trap)

Since early on in college, I decided that one day, when it came time for me to have a bachelorette weekend, I would have it be Parent Trap / Camp themed. Like most girls, I love The Parent Trap but knew that my last name, Walton, would make the perfect play on the camp in the movie’s name, Walden. Over the years, Parent Trap themed bachelorettes have become quite popular, which gave us a lot of ideas to go off of while coming up with an itinerary for the weekend! 

Logo Design: Strokes and Scribbles

Once Nell and Sophia (my maid and matron of honor) approved my theme, we decided to create a logo of sorts, for the weekend to use on various items. A friend from high school, Claire, was the perfect person to get in touch with for this and is a talented artist/graphic designer. She did the best job interpreting my ideas and bringing them to life in a way that was even better than I could have imagined!

We played off of the Camp Walden logo in the movie and switched out the tree for an illustration of Hunter’s family’s lake house. The attention to detail on this was amazing, and it was a fun, subtle nod to where we’d be spending the weekend. I wanted to add one tree back in as a reference to Hunter’s last name, Branch, and the waves underneath Walton in our logo worked well for the lake, which is why we embraced them from the Camp Walden logo. Not only did the logo turn out adorably, but Claire was also so fast in getting it back to me and is even able to help place orders for various merchandise to place the logo on! 

Branded Cups and Huggers/Koozies: Please Reply in Birmingham

If Hunter’s mom didn’t work at a great stationery store with the ability to help us get items printed, we likely would have gone through Claire to get some things ordered, but I am so glad we were able to use Please Reply since they were who we printed our wedding invitations through. Hunter’s sister Janie spearheaded ordering these items with the help of her mom, and they were exactly what I would have done had I been assigned the task! We opted for Frost Flex cups and slim koozies that everyone was able to take home with them after using them the whole weekend! 

If you need somewhere online that does a good job I've also ordered from The Essential Market before with success.

Painted Signs: The Painting Boothe (instagram)



These signs were another aspect that were kept a surprise from me until it came time for them to be picked up. Nell got in touch with my friend Rachel about painting these, and I felt so touched knowing how many people had a role in making the weekend so special! There was a big Camp Walton sign that we used in the living room above the dining table, and then above each room was a Parent Trap quote. 

Cocktail Napkins: Euclid Home

There were so many details to love, but one set of items that I am thrilled to now have on display after the weekend are the custom cocktail napkins for the weekend monogrammed for me by Euclid Home. Euclid Home has become my go-to for monogrammed items, and her custom cocktail napkin set had everyone gushing over! Each napkin had a different quote from the Parent Trap on them and there was even a Camp Walton one. These would make a great gift for a stock-the-bar party, to send to a bride if you weren’t able to attend her bachelorette weekend, or order for yourself a memento of the weekend and theme! The quality is unmatched and I love that each one has a different font used while all embracing the overall color scheme. 

Decorated Cookies: Janie's Mother-in-Law

 This is another example of being so touched by all who pitched in to make the weekend full of perfectly executed details. Hunter's sister, Janie, and her mother in law made and decorated sugar cookies that went perfectly with our theme. These cookies not only looked amazing, but tasted incredible too, which I don't feel like is always the case for pretty cookies! She does these for fun, so I'm not able to point you in her direction, but if I could I know she'd be fully booekd up in no time at all. 


Balloon Arch: Amazon 

Balloon arches can get so expensive, but Amazon is a great money saver on this if you have a bit of time to execute the project. Janie was in charge of this, and after seeing what she did (in a short amount of time), she needs to start letting people hire her to make them! She ordered this pump, blue and green balloons, and this balloon arch kit that came with pieces to easily cluster balloons together. 

Pool Floats: Amazon


Since we were going to be at the lake, I wanted to gift each attendee a pool float to use, but once I found these that matched our color scheme decided to use them as a backdrop for our tablescape Friday night. I hung them up using fishing line and thumbtacks and thought it made for a cute added touch!

Trunks & Paddles: 

Those of us who grew up going to all-girls summer camps each had trunks that we brought along for the weekend! My parents were thrilled when I asked to get mine out of the attic in Fairhope to bring to Birmingham for the weekend. 

Another cute and packable touch that I was surprised by was all of the photos of Hunter and me that my friends hung up! No detail was spared, and one was even cut right down the middle! The way they were hung even looked like how we'd hang things up at camp.  

I can’t wait to share more tomorrow about what I included in my bachelorette gift bags for friends. And check back in Friday too for all the details on our tables cape and full itinerary! 

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