How to Fold a Napkin

When it comes to folding napkins it is a time consuming task. When looking through pictures online you may be drawn to the elaborate folds, but my recommendation is to steer clear!

When you are folding over a hundred napkins simplicity is key. Here are some napkin folds that are easy to do and still look great.  The most common fold that we do for weddings is called a menu fold. The fold works for those who will have a menu or have a paper element like a thank you at each persons seat.

Trifold is extremely easy and hardly involves any folding, it adds an extra element to your table and looks great.  The knot method of folding is just as it is called, you just tie a knot in the napkin.

The three-pocket is similar to menu fold because you can tuck things into it. For this one silverware is normally tucked into one of the pouches but a nice touch is to add a flower into the napkin.


The bow tie is a fold I have yet to see at a wedding but it is an adorable look and fun element to add to the table.

Lastly you can wrap your silverware with the napkin then tie it off with a pretty ribbon. Napkin rings can also add a lot of décor to your table. There are so many different kinds; you could even make them yourself. It is crazy to think about the amount of different folds there are for a napkin. This list is just a quick run through of napkins that are easy to make, and for instructions on how to do the folds YouTube is a great resource.

Planning a Wedding Shower on a Shoestring Budget

Planning a wedding shower on a budget can be a hard task so here are some tips and tricks to keeping the budget low.

Location and the meal are some of the most important things at a shower and they are also the most expensive.  A tip to keep within your budget while choosing a venue is finding one that doesn’t charge a room rental fee.

Another way to save money on food is rather than including a meal do a large selection of heavy appetizers. That way guests will feel full, there are plenty of options, and you will save money. Or opt for a breakfast menu!

If you have the space or someone who is willing to loan out their home having a shower at home can be less expensive. You can bring in a catered meal or cook yourself. Some food options that are easy to make and guests enjoy can be a taco bar, chili, or a selection of soup and salad.

Games are always a shower must, and can be done with very low costs.  A shower favorite game is the toilet paper bridal gown game, all you have to do is buy some cheap toilet paper and that’s it. Other game options that are easy to do are things like world scrambles, fill in the blanks, and guessing games.

For décor a great centerpiece option could be a floral or candy bouquet, not only do they look pretty but you can give them away as prizes to a game.

To cut down on costs for tablecloths, plates, napkins, and silverware head to the dollar store. They have a variety of colors to choose from so you can get exactly what you want. Or let us rent them for you!

If you need help putting together your shower let us know, we can help you think of ideas to have a fun, yet budget friendly shower.

Megan & Andy are Married! 12.06.2014

Megan and Andy are two of the sweetest people I know. They were super kind and sweet and really only thought about their guests’ comfort and happiness during the planning process.

They were married at Cottonwood Barn in Dexter. The ceremony took place in the Straw Barn, this wedding was December 6th so it was a good thing that the barns come with heat! New Creations by Kate did pipe and drape to create a beautiful backdrop for the ceremony and lined the aisle with lanterns and candles.

Megan made a cute stand for hankies to be used for Tears of Joy for the ceremony. After the ceremony guests made their way into the main floor lower level for wonderful food by PrimOvations. They dined on warm appetizers, enjoyed some drinks, and played ping pong and the ring toss game.

Guests found their seats by mini trees that we hung the escort cards on, and went to the second floor for the reception.

The main floor of the barn has an amazing chandelier that greets you as you walk into the room. We placed the head table to sit directly under it and guests surrounded them. The décor was cream with greenery, which New Creations hung green garland on the top beams and adorned each guest table.

I was so excited to work with Dave and Candice from Lamarand Style, their work is so gorgeous and it was fun to work with a someone who I have been following their work!

Megan and Andy’s cakes were made by two of the girls in their bridal party. The cakes were such beautiful and tasted so good!

One of the coolest things they did was they hired a band, The Hackwell’s, that played Folk music. They definitely were not a typical wedding band but fit in perfectly with the guests and everyone had so much fun dancing and listening to the music.

Dinner was a southerner’s dream! It was an elegant BBQ buffet and had everything you could ever wish for in a BBQ.

One of our tasks for the evening included putting out over 250 luminary bags outside and light them. This in normal weather may not have been a big task but it proved to be a bigger project than we thought since it was extremely cold and windy but we made it happen and it looked fabulous at night.

Megan and Andy are two of the sweetest and most down to earth people you have ever met, which makes this wedding even sweeter. I will miss them and I wish them both the best life together as possible!!




Meet Michael Jarman at Jarman Art

We had the pleasure of coordinating Michael Jarman’s daughter’s wedding last year, and were thrilled to hear he is venturing into the wedding industry! Here is a Q&A to introduce you to what he does:

How I got started…and why… Being an old school architect who would rather draw with a pen than a computer, I developed a passion for pen & ink drawing early in my life. This art form allows me to focus on architectural details of buildings that might be overlooked when viewing the entire structure.

How long have I been doing this… I first started working in pen and ink at Albion College.  This love continued during my architectural studies at LIT and on into my architectural career.  Friends and family started noticing my drawings and requesting drawing of their home or cottage, or even their favorite car.  As children’s friends began getting married this past year, I started drawing their venues as wedding presents…and decided this might just be a second career.

What makes my artwork unique or distinctive… Because of my architectural training, I have the ability to focus my drawing on that special angle or unique feature of the building I am drawing.  I attempt to look through the original designer’s eyes to focus on the building’s details that stood out.  As the client, you still want to be able to recognize the building, but now through this unique lense.  I use this same philosophy of finding creative angles and details when I draw cars and boats.  It doesn’t hurt that cars are also my passion, owning an old sports car and being fixated on car racing.

What do you love most of the creative process… I love creating a piece of art where the viewer sees the magic of the building by looking at it through a different lense.  For commissioned works, I enjoy listening to the individual talk about their home or wedding venue and understanding the unique elements that make it special. For example, my daughter recently was married at Cottonwood barn in Dexter, MI.  The juxtaposition of the elaborate chandelier mixed with the old barn was a focal point of the venue, and set the theme for her wedding. So, of course, I had to capture it in a drawing.  For another example, a friend requested that I draw their cottage.  In our discussions, they mentioned that they had a bench near the water that showcased all the colleges their family attended.  I knew this was an important element of their life up north, so I placed the bench in the forefront of the drawing.  My goal is to create a piece of art that, when viewed, captures the magic of the place and time.

Favorite Quote… “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”

– Winnie-the-Pooh

Garrett’s Popcorn

For anyone who has eaten Garrett’s popcorn before you know how extremely delicious it is. They are a popcorn company that originated in Chicago, but now have thankfully traveled to Michigan. Even if you live out of state though, they do deliver nationwide.

We recently attended an event at the MGM Grand where Garrett’s popcorn was being handed out in favor bags. This is such a great idea for a favor at a wedding!

The Garrett Mix is their signature flavor it consists of equal parts caramel and cheese popcorn. They have a huge verity of yummy flavors to pick and choose from. The sizes they offer are a 6.5-gallon container where you could let guests bag their own popcorn the container costs $141.00.

The next option would be to get a party pack, you get the option of getting 24 or 48 bags per pack. They come pre-packaged so they recommend you have them delivered as close to your wedding date as possible. The 24 pack costs $189.00 and the 48 pack costs $349.00.

The next option, which I think is the best bang for your buck, is a 6.5-gallon container with 50 unfilled bags for $155.00. This is a great option if you or a designated person have time to fill all the bags prior to your wedding day.

If you would like to taste test Garrett’s Popcorn the only location in MI is at the Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi. Even if you choose to not incorporate it into your wedding I recommend going to get a bag to indulge in!  To contact Garrett Popcorn you can call (866) 6-POPCORN or go to

Tiffany & Jeff are Married! 10.18.2014

Tiffany and Jeff were married at the amazing Piquette Plant. I love this venue and was so happy to be a part of their special day. This venue, while it is amazing, comes with it owns quirks. There is no heat or AC so you do need to plan accordingly. But the history behind this venue is that it’s where the first model T was produced. So the backdrop for your event has a vintage car history and the feel of how our great city of Detroit was made.We began set up which we used two of the levels and had a room flip after the ceremony so our hands were full.

Tiffany had great taste when it came to her decor. One of my favorite items she brought in was a vintage time card holder that we used as a escort card and then later had guests write on the back of them a personal note to the happy couple and each guest clocked out at the end of the night!

The ceremony took place in the top half of the building. The nice thing about the Piquette is on the top floor they have a wall divider (heavy door) that we were able to roll shut so guests couldn’t see the reception.Guests got to the second floor by the lift that was used to get the cars off the assembly line. Chairs were lined up to create an aisle surrounded by the model T that was produced here. Sweet Beats performed music as guests came in and for the ceremony, and then at the cocktail hour.

Ryan Southen was their photographer, he was great to work with and we hope we can work together again soon. Patisserie Parmentier created a gorgeous naked cake for the wedding.

After the ceremony, guests went to the first floor where cocktail was set up. While guests were down there we
were busy flipping the ceremony space into an area for guests and a place that was draped off for the caterer (Epoch) to set up. Epoch is an amazing caterer and I love working with them. Hotz Catering provided all the rentals for the evening. One of my favorite DJ’s who loves a good party was there to make the night fun – DJ Chuck Boone.

They didn’t just have one favor for their guests, and no one was going home hungry: we had a Faygo bar, hot cider and doughnuts, and then a baker made homemade hostess cakes and Twinkies.

Pot ‘n’ Box was the florist, she created a unique aisle of mixed vases and floral that lined the long rectangle tables that were placed next to each other to fit the space properly.

A guest made their table numbers out of blocks of wood with nails in them that formed the numbers. I just loved all the little details that went into this wedding to make it an experience for their guests.

Tiffany looked amazing and you could tell the Jeff was just as happy as she was to be married and to spend the rest of their lives together. Congratulations!






Meet The Brides’ Project!

We love the Bride’s Project! Hannah Lowe did a Q & A with her to find out more about them!
When did the Brides Project begin?
The Brides Project was founded in Ann Arbor in September 2011. It was modeled after a similar concept in Toronto. Helen Sweet, the founder of the Toronto The Brides Project gave her blessing to Monique Sluymers to bring the idea to Ann Arbor. Monique partnered with Barb Hiltz, the Executive Director of the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor, to create the shop as a social enterprise.
What is the purpose of the Brides Project? Do all the funds raised go towards keeping the shop open or are they donated to a charity?
The Brides Project raises funds for the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor. The Brides Project is a nonprofit, operating out of donated space, by volunteers. The dresses have been donated, priced at a steep discount to retail, and then sold. We keep the overhead incredibly low (thank you to the generous donation of space by The Courtyard Shops on Plymouth Rd) so that the proceeds raised from dress sales can go to the CSC. A grant by the Knight Foundation funds the salary of one part-time staff person (me), and otherwise, the shop completely runs by volunteers!
Are all the dresses used?
The dresses have been donated, however not all the dresses have been worn.  We regularly receive donations from other bridal boutiques (such as Bellissima Bridal in Rochester most recently) who give us sample or overstock dresses. Brides who donate their gowns have either worn them, loved them and want to see them live on, or they’ve never worn them for whatever reason.
How can women donate their dresses?
Dresses can be dropped off or mailed to the Cancer Support Community at 2010 Hogback Rd, Suite 3, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. We’ve found the best way to mail dresses is to gently roll them up inside of a pillow case – they can easily fit into a small box that way.  There is a donation form on our website that should be filled out and returned with the dress. That way, the Cancer Support Community can send a tax letter. A donation of a dress, veil or accessory is a tax-deductible donation as allowed by law, and we recommend that donors check with their tax professionals.

What is the average cost range of the dresses in your shop?
Dresses are generally priced between $200-$1000, however we do have some dresses that are more or less than that range. The average price of a dress is around $450.
Should brides make an appointment or are walk ins welcome?
Appointments are strongly encouraged such that brides can get the best experience in our shop.  Typical appointment times are Wednesday and Thursday evenings, Saturday and Sunday days.  Our volunteers that work in the shop are incredibly friendly, welcoming and well-informed.  Again and again, we receive comments from brides glowing about the time they spent with our volunteer bridal consultants.  We do offer Open House hours once per quarter (typically on a Sunday), where no appointment is needed.  Brides can also come on Wednesday mornings without an appointment between 9am and 12pm, however we are very lightly staffed that day, so it is first come, first served.  No appointments are needed to try on veils or accessories, but we encourage brides to email before coming to ensure that a volunteer will be on site when the bride does stop by.  If no volunteer has signed up to work, then the shop is closed.

Do you provide alterations?
We work with a fabulous seamstress named Jan Lee. She is an independent contractor who schedules appointments with brides separately from us.  She does offer great rates for brides who have found their dresses with The Brides Project.  Brides do not have to use her services of course; it is just an option.
What things do you have other then dresses? Belts, shoes, and/or jewelry?
We have lots and lots of veils in all sizes and styles.  We also have an array of shoes, purses, tiaras, ring pillows and other accessories.  We currently have a few belts and sashes, however they are quite popular and hard to keep in stock.  We’d LOVE more sash and belt donations! :)
We also have a few flower girl dresses from time to time.
Do you have any men’s attire?
Nope – we are just focused on the bride at this time.
Where is the shop located?
Currently the shop is located at 1677 Plymouth Rd in The Courtyard Shops. Since we have generously been donated the space, we do move around every so often.
What are the hours of the shop?
We do not have regular hours since we are staffed by volunteers, but we are generally open Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6-8pm, Saturdays from 10am-4pm and Sundays from 12-4pm.  We also have Wednesday morning hours from 9am-12pm, and every other Thursday from 3-5pm.
How can brides contact you to make an appointment to come look at dresses?
The best way to make an appointment is on our website