Real wax, flameless candles for your wedding

I’ve decorated any number of weddings in which the bride wanted lots of lighting incorporated in their flowers and decorations, including candles and Christmas lights. Both those options had their difficulties — candles are not always allowed or require a permit from the fire department and Christmas lights require a power source, and its not like you can link together 20 table arrangements with normal Christmas lights. I’ve spent many nights loading batteries into yard-long Christmas light strings, wrapping up the battery pack to protect it from water in the arrangement, then taking it all apart at the end, believe me. And let’s not talk about the fire danger of traditional luminaries, where you light a candle inside a paper bag.

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Image courtesy Candle Luminary

However, there’s a Southern California company that is making real wax candles, but instead of lighting them, you use rechargeable lights to light them up. Candle Luminary is making these candles in several sizes and shapes and, as you can see above, there is also a floating option. I got a chance to check them out recently.

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Pool noodle decorations for a first birthday party

My coworker Jessika, whose wedding was featured here a few years ago, recently posted photos of her daughter’s first birthday party, where the centerpieces were handmade by her mom. Pool noodle palm trees!

620600_10201753387310109_695075844_oFirst off, WOW. And second, WOW! How creative and fun! It’s a genius concept. I’m constantly amazed by the variety of ways one can use pool noodles — Lifehacker has a list of silly but clever ways — but you can add this seventh use. Decorations.

So, as you can see, Jessika’s mom used a pink pool noodle as the palm tree’s trunk (using rocks with PVC pipe to make it stand up), and used two types of green paper to make up the palm leaves. There are paper coconuts hanging from the tree, and one of them on each table has a picture of the birthday girl. So cute, and so genius.

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Last-minute budget centerpieces

I got a frantic call from my church mom about two weeks ago, saying she needed help putting together a centerpiece that didn’t cost too much money for her mom’s 70th birthday party. First, I was aghast — did she need it the very next day??? No, she needed it in one week. Still that didn’t give me much to work with.

In most cases, I would have said, “I’m going to go shopping with you!” But I had just returned to work that week from maternity leave, plus I now have two boys to care for, so flitting off to go look for stuff to use in a centerpiece was not an option. I had to direct my church mom on what to look for and hope for the best.

First, I directed her to go to Big Lots and look for vases and items using lights, since its January and those sorts of things will typically be on clearance after the holidays. Her shopping trip just two days before the party was pretty fruitful.

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Decorating a child’s birthday party

My first son’s 2nd birthday is fast approaching, and I was thinking to myself…what do you do to decorate a child’s birthday party? To be honest, they really don’t notice the decorations. So beyond balloons — which toddlers love — there’s only a few elements you need to have to make a child’s birthday party go off without a hitch. These elements can be decorative, so if you want, go a little wild on these elements.

Michael's first birthday party

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Baby shower decoration ideas

If you want ideas for how to decorate a baby shower, you should not look to my recently passed baby shower for my second son. I’m not knocking my husband, who planned the event, but it was the bare minimum of baby showers. The shower was held at Dave & Busters, since I wanted it to be a co-ed event. My brother brought blue and brown balloons, the colors we had decided on. When you have a party at Dave & Busters, they take care of the food setup, plates, napkins and tablecloths, so all that is taken care of. But there were no favors and hardly any of the traditional shower games. (But at least I had a baby shower this time — my first son was early, so I didn’t have a shower at all.)

Thank God the cake, at the very least, was adorable.

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18th birthday party flowers

My brother, the budding florist, decorated this 18th birthday party, or debut, not too long ago.

Photos by Daniel Barrientos

The party was at the Holiday Inn Burbank back in June. (Yes, I know I’m late.) He says he used lemon leaves, white hydrangea, purple lisianthus, purple carnations, and green cymbidium orchids. (He got tired of me guessing, heheh.) At this party, he also provided seat covers and the sheer lavender overlays.
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Aloha! Time for a luau and buffet

Consider this post and the one immediately preceding bonus posts, since I was MIA for two weeks. It’s been busy at Wedding Decorator HQ, and unfortunately, not with weddings.

Pictured above was a backyard party with a luau theme. Most backyard parties are buffets, and that makes sense. Thing is, buffets are really easy to decorate. Everyone should take advantage of buffets.


Really, all you need is a few big arrangements. You can make them as creative as the one above, throw in a few apples, oranges or other exotic fruit. My mom loves using green beans (they’re dangly) and eggplant (I think because they’re purple), but I love it most when she uses mini pineapples.


Use a few boxes to give some varying heights to the table, throw on a couple of white tablecloths, and maybe some brightly colored fabric on top. Place your food dishes on the boxes, and maybe some flowers scrunched into the tablecloths. And enjoy!