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The Royal Wedding Watching

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The excitement of the Royal Wedding caught up with me eventually as I was suffering yesterday after staying up late to watch the preparations, I should know better really!
But what fun we had watching this beautiful and meticuously planned event unfold yesterday in London and go without a hitch apart from the slight wedding ring potentially not fitting (always a good tip for a wedding planner to carry a handcream with them!)

We loved everything, the trees in the Abbey were a highlight for me (albeit lacking in fairy lights!) along with the abundance of lily of the valley. The dress was exactly as I imagined it, with the Grace Kelly style and I loved the sister's dress, it was to die for but then so was her figure.

I do think the Middleton girls need to give some style lessons though to the two princesses, what a mess they were, I thought one looked like an explosion in a paint shop and the other looked like a giant pretzel! Apart from this style disaster we loved the day :)

tea party favors

Thursday, April 28, 2011

time for tea
Bridal Tea Parties seem to be the big thing these days. I have been doing bridal tea invitations, bridal tea showers, bridal tea favors...over and over again for the past year. I hope this trend doesn't go out of style any time soon because I simply adore it.
bridal tea party favors & guest teapot by elleDESIGNS
 Favors: Green tea cups and I made a tag for each handle with the guests name. I also handcut pink lace out of paper and wrapped it around the cup to keep with the lace, tea theme. Inside was a tea bag I handstamped with "C & J seeds" and filled them with wildflower seeds. Lastly, i printed out cute instructions with, "Love is in Bloom," as the title.

Guest Teapot: Typical guestbooks are find and dandy, but you know me, I like unique & different. I bought the cutest, most vintagey tea pot i could find. With pieces of paper and pens next to it, I asked the guests to write down wishes, advice, or a sweet note for the Bride and place it in the tea pot. I also placed a tag on the teapot so the bride could have it as a keepsake.

Bridal Boot Camp-low cal snack

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Love sweets? Hate Calories? Need a Treat? Hate long recipes?
Well, Hi there....Come here often?

All you need is a box of brownie mix, fat free (or low fat) cream cheese, organic crunchy peanut butter, mixing bowl, spoon, oven, and a pan.
Brownie: do not follow the recipe on the box, Just add 1 and half cups of water, stir, pour in pan and bake for 30 min at 350.
Topping: Blend cream cheese & chunky peanut butter until smooth, refirgerate while  brownies are being cooked.

Cut the brownies when cool, and dallop some peanut butter mix on top. They may not be the prettiest, but the chewy chocolate mixed with creamy nutty peanut butter will sure satisfy your sweet tooth!

vegan like me? you rock! Most brownie boxes ARE vegan!!! Check the ingredients. As for the topping, substitute your fav vegan cream cheese.. or mix the peanut butter with 1/2 cup of almond milk and refirgerate. Mmmm, cruelty-free delicious-ness!

A Cinco de Mayo Party Inspiration

Any excuse for a party and Cinco de Mayo is no exception with this gloriously brightly coloured Mexican theme to have fun with.

We found these lovely styling ideas on Celebrations using a riot of colours, margaritas in both forms, the daisies and of course the drink, chillis, a photo booth and lots of tasty Mexican food ideas so when we are all finished with the traditional Royal Wedding parties with our scones and tea, we can move on to the maracas!

A big thank you to one of my lovely couples this year for bringing me some official Royal Wedding tea to celebrate in style on Friday.

Green & White Baby Shower

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I love love love wrapping presents. Instead of paper & plastic ribbon, I often use fabric and twine or cloth ribbon. On sale fabric is the cost of adorable wrapping paper these days anyway! I think it gives it that extra touch, and a present wrapped in fabric for a baby shower...absolutely! The mommy isn't finding out if it is a boy or a girl, and i was told the nursery is green, so Wa LA!

I also handmade a big bow out of doilies, and a card that matched the fabric. It may get wripped open in 2 seconds, but the "awww" is well worth it..

neutral baby shower present by elleDESIGNS

Happy Easter

Sunday, April 24, 2011
yummy vegan easter treats by elleDESIGNS

A Beautiful September Wedding in Mijas

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

All of our weddings just ooze style and Katie and Scott's wedding at the end of last year was no exception. It was a delightful day in one of my favourite venues here in Mijas and beautifully organised as always by our 5 star Carla!

Sometimes we have photographers that do not send us photos despite much nagging!

It is always a huge disappointment for us but it is normally because they are just busy and moved onto the next wedding, so it is delightful when we do hear from our couples, whom after the wedding excitement has settled down, like to share their wonderful memories with us.

Katie and Scott recently sent me over their wedding photos, we were so excited to see them as we had planned, organised and decorated this fabulous wedding with the brightly coloured bridesmaids and their gorgeous bouquets to providing lots of details for the wedding day
at this very stylish villa in Mijas. The handsome men in kilts were a bonus as well!

With our ever super efficient Carla planning and organising the wedding details nothing could go wrong, apart from the weather of course. Unfortunately as this was a late September wedding the summer broke here and the storms started to arrive. It was on and off all day with dashes in and out the villa and me scowling at the black rolling clouds.

Luckily the rain stayed away for the ceremony and it went ahead as planned in the gardens with the wonderful violinist Naiara.

However once the ceremony was over it was a quick rethink and the whole wedding had to be set up inside the villa, but all was not lost as the guests got a Masterchef class from the talented Alex from Fiestasol along with drinking lots of cava and cocktails!

The rain, thunder clouds and lightening eventually stayed away for the guests to mingle back outside later but our beautiful Moroccan chill out was soaked and had managed to die the poolside purple. Katie and Scott are coming to meet up with us again next week, we cannot wait to see them again, I will always remember Katie for buying me a box of chocolates as I was so upset at the weather, I do always think it should have been the other way round!

Perhaps next week I can return the favour to Katie!

Spring Wedding in Sotogrande

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our 2011 weddings started off with a beautiful spring wedding at the Hotel Almanara in Sotogrande. Despite a slightly cloudy and overcast week the sun came out at lunchtime just in time for a late afternoon ceremony in the gardens of this charming hotel.

The colour scheme was spanish orange mixed with a chocolate and I have to admit I was slightly worried about this colour scheme for a spring wedding being such autumnal colours, but having arrived at the Hotel Almanara it all fell into place as the linens were all chocolate and coffee coloured.

I could now see why our bride and groom had picked the oranges, lemons and limes it just lifted it and tied in and the end result was fabulous.

This wedding was one where the bride and groom had been ingenious and worked with what the venue had to offer and really worked hard on the details, I had received parcels, strict instructions :) and lots of details to put together for the day and we were delighted with the end results.

My favourite part of the day was watching the ceremony begin and our bride dancing up the aisle to her H2B, it was truly magical and a moment that will stay with me for a long time :)

Here is our email a few days after the wedding

Thank you for everything, our decorations looked amazing, you did a fantastic job, thank you for the beautiful, stunning bouquets I am looking at them as I type this. They are drying out and getting ready for the album. Good luck with all your forthcoming weddings and big hugs.

I love the photo of Fi decorating the cake, the aisle lined with hurricanes filled with dried rose petals, the beautiful Bali umbrellas that photograph so well and on this occasion we had a ceremony sand set set out with orange, chocolate and cappucino sands, apparently these got mixed up on route back to London but this is what a marriage is about, a mixture!

Our thanks to Mireia for sending us these delightful photos and our warmest congratulations to our charming bride and groom and thank you for being our first wedding of 2011 :)

Musn't be late for tea!

Bridal Tea Invitations

Bridal Tea Invitations by elleDESIGNS

New website and cool new photo booth from Jeremy Standley

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We are loving Jeremy Standley's new look website, it is clear and very user friendly and just fab to be honest, although I am sure there has been sweat, blood and tears long the way as the rebranding was taking place but well worth the finished result.

Being in the creative industry means a constant change, developing a strong brand image that you can live with is never easy as we are always changing our minds (I am a Libran as well which is a double whammy!) so I am personally impressed with this very well thought out, clear and dynamic website.

Even more excitement and we are soooo looking forward to a demo, is Jeremy's new photo booth, we cannot wait to have a go and really must blog the photos when the A team get in it, I can imagine us all jostling for space ;)

Knowing Jeremy as well as I do now, a lot of thought has gone into getting the right product and this new photo booth sounds amazing and great fun for weddings. High quality images (of course knowing Jeremy) online and on Facebook within 48 hours, a neat and attractive set up and no electricity needed (always a good thing in Spain!)

We are all getting geared up now for our wedding season and with all these new products and my cutting of the jelly wedding we really are very excited!

Tie-the-Knot Tip: Wedding Cake...

Friday, April 8, 2011

ooh la la ruffle cake by elleDESIGNS
You know how much I love ruffles, so when the happy couple asked for a black and white Paris meets Shabby Chic wedding cake...I jumped at the chance. 100% edible, including the ribbons!

Tie-the-Knot Tip: ...pssst: A great tip for budget savvy brides instead of adding a 3rd tier! They asked for seperate 2 cupcakes to be displayed with little toppers to freeze for their 1st anniversary

Top & Bottom Tier: Strawberry Cream Cheese filling in Golden Butter Cake for 75 guests.

Happy Wedding!

Take me out to the ballgame

Monday, April 4, 2011
hooray for hot pretzels, crowded stadiums, over priced beer & opening day at Camden Yards in my very own Baltimore!
Baseball Season is back and oh how us here at elleDESIGNS have missed you. Opening Day is today for my Baltimore Orioles, "hun". 3-0 praying to keep the the lead. Let's celebrate!
Basball Cake & Cupcakes by elleDESIGNS

A Magical Moroccan Wedding

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Since starting my wedding and event business here in Marbella, I have been extremely fortunate to meet some hugely talented and charming people.

An interesting observation I have made along the way is the difference between the way creative people approach their work to the non-creative brains. The creative people I work with are completely devoted to their professions, it is not a job, it is a passion.

Andreas Holm is one of these people, he is an amazing photographer based in here Southern Spain and has photographed some of our weddings and will be photographing more this year which we are excited about. I am in love with these stunning photos Andreas took of a wedding in Marrakech, Morocco. They capture a beautiful day and many details evocative of the country and the couple, you have got to visit Andreas Holm's blog to see all these photos, they are beautiful.

Another reason for me to go to Morocco, the day I do go will be a big celebration as I have been waffling on about this now for ages and I look at it everyday from my house!