Thursday, May 22, 2008

Part III - Sweet Sixteen

Sweet 16 birthday invitations can be found in a variety of locations. Consider ordering the invitations from retailers that specialize in wedding invitations. A wide variety of sweet 16 birthday invitations can also be found online.

Be sure to plan the progression of events for the party. A formal party or ball is vastly different from the informal gatherings that most of us are used to. You will need to select the music, decide on an order of dances, and determine whether to do a formal presentation of the birthday girl. Many families borrow liberally from the rituals of the Quinceanera and the debutante balls for ideas.

Consider whether to hire a band or a DJ. You may want an emcee to announce the proceedings, as well as someone to handle the music while you are otherwise occupied. The band or DJ will need specific instructions regarding the style of music, order of dances and other details.

You will need to decide on a menu for the party. Consider the practicalities of feeding the number of guests you plan to invite as well. A buffet-style service is significantly easier to manage than a formally served, sit down meal. Select foods that are light and festive.

Your menu will partly be determined by the time of day of the party. If the party begins later in the evening, it is reasonable to expect that guests will already have eaten. However, if the party overlaps the dinner hour, your menu should be more substantial.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Part II - Sweet Sixteen

Often parents’ desires clash with the wishes of teenagers. Forcing a girl who feels uncomfortable with the idea to go through elaborate rituals is not recommended. Likewise, do not allow yourself to be pushed by your daughter into hosting a party that you cannot afford or don’t wish to host. A sweet 16 birthday celebration can consist of any level of party from an informal get together to a full-scale ball. Negotiate and compromise to plan a party that is right for everyone involved.

If the sweet 16 birthday party will be formal, you will need to start planning well in advance. The preparations for such an event can rival those of most weddings. Book the ballroom or other site at least six months in advance. A year is not too early to book a popular location. You will also need to decide on clothing well in advance. If your daughter will wear a ball gown, it will need to be ordered in plenty of time to allow for fittings. Some prom dresses are appropriate, if you prefer an off-the-rack dress.

Send out invitations at least a month prior to the event. Depending on your family’s social circle, your daughter’s formal sweet 16 birthday is probably either very common or quite uncommon. If it is common, you want to be sure that your event does not clash with anyone else’s. If it is rare, you need to be sure to give attendees plenty of time to get their own clothing together.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How To Plan A Sweet 16 Birthday
Planning Your Daughter’s Sweet 16 Birthday Party
By Lisa Fritscher

A sweet 16 birthday is a big deal in many cultures. In the United States, 16 is a very important age and in most states, 16 is the age when teens get their drivers licenses. This rite of passage marks a greater sense of independence and provides a sort of dry run for adulthood, when teens are still young enough to be forgiven for childish mistakes, but old enough to accept increasing responsibilities. If you are planning a sweet 16 birthday celebration, try to keep these factors in mind in order to create the perfect party.

Traditionally, a sweet 16 birthday party is held only for girls. Boys tend to celebrate with their friends on an informal basis. If you want to plan a sweet 16 party for your son, there is no reason not to do so. Just make sure that he is comfortable with the idea. However, since most sweet 16 birthday party recipients are girls, the advice in this article will be primarily geared toward girls’ celebrations.

The sweet 16 birthday can be considered a blending of the Spanish and Latina Quinceanera with the American debutante tradition. The sweet 16 birthday party is traditionally a time for the girl’s first formal party. Many families spend large amounts of money on these events, renting a hall or ballroom and inviting an ever-increasing list of guests. The party may be quite ritualized, including a set dance list, escorts, flower girls, and other displays of pageantry.

If you want to host a large formal event for your daughter’s sweet 16 birthday, check with your daughter first.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wedding Flowers

Find Wedding Flower Availabilities and Colors

Picking wedding flowers in season can save you a bunch of money. Sure, growers are now able to fly almost anything in from the other side of the world, but you'll pay a premium for that. Here is a US guide to what flowers are generally in season to help you get started. Talk specifically to your florist or grower about what is available.

This chart can also help you decide when to get married. If you want huge amounts of different pink flowers, fall might not be the best time for you to get married. On the other hand, if adore zinnias and dahlias, perhaps you should have a fall wedding.

Spring Wedding Flowers in Season

Anemone * Blue, red, pink, white * Jan-May and Aug-Dec
Bells of Ireland * Green * January-October
Boronia * Pink * April-May
Casa Blanca Lily * White * January-October
Daffodil * Yellow * January-Early May
Delphinium * White, Blue * April- October
Hyacinth * Purple, Pink or White
Lilacs * Violet or White
Narcissus * White
Peony * Pink or White * Late Spring – Early Summer
Ranunculus * white, pink, red, orange and yellow * February-May
Star Gazer Lily * Pink and White * January-October
Sweetpea * white, pink, red/coral, and lavender/purple * December-May
Tulip * Many colors, including white, pink, yellow, red, and purple * December-April
Waxflower * pinky purple and white

Summer Wedding Flowers in Season

Alstromeria * orange, pink, yellow and cream, other colors
Bells of Ireland * Green * January-October
Chrysanthemum * White, Yellow, Orange, Pink, other colors
English Lavender * Purple
Forget-me-not * Blue
Freesia * White, Yellow, Pink, Blue, Purple
Gerbera Daisy * Pink, Yellow, Orange, Red, White
Hydrangea * White, Blue, Purple, Pink
Iris * Purple, Blue, White
Larkspur * White, Purple, Blue, Pink
Liatris * Pinkish Purple
Lily, asiatic * White, Pink, Yellow, Orange
Lily, oriental * White, Pink
Lisianthus * Purple, White, Pink
Matsumoto Asters * Pink, Purple
Monte Casino Asters * White, Purple
Queen Anne's Lace * White
Snapdragons * Pink, Yellow, Orange, White, Other Colors
Solidaster * Yellow
Statice * Purple
Stephanotis * White
Stock * White, Other Colors
Sunflower * Yellow
Tuberose * White
Yarrow * White, Pink, Yellow
Zinnia * Red, Orange, Pink

Fall Wedding Flowers

Aster * White, Pink
Chrysanthemum * White, Yellow, Orange, Pink, other colors
Dahlia * Many Colors
Marigold * Yellow, Orange, Red
Statice * Purple
Zinnia * Red, orange, pink *
Dried Leaves
Winter Wedding Flowers
Amaryllis * Red, White
Anemone * Blue, red, pink, white * Jan-May and Aug-Dec.
Bells of Ireland * Green * January-October
Camellias * White, Pink
Casa Blanca Lily * White * January-October
Cosmos * Pink, White, Brown, Other Colors
Daffodil * Yellow * January-Early May
Forget-me-nots * Blue
Holly * Green with Red Berries
Jasmine * White
Narcissus * White, Yellow
Poinsettia * Red, White
Ranunculus * white, pink, red, orange and yellow * February-May
Star Gazer Lily * Pink and White * January-October
Star of Bethlehem * White
Sweetpea * white, pink, red/coral, and lavender/purple * December-May
Tulip * Many colors, including white, pink, yellow, red, and purple * December-April
Waxflower * Pink, White

Wedding Flowers Available Year

RoundBaby's Breath * White
Bachelor's Button * White, Pink, Red or Blue
Calla Lily * White is widely available, other colors, available as well, particularly in mini size
Carnations * Many Colors
Delphinium * Blue, White, Purple
Eucalyptus * Blue, Silver
Gardenia * White Gladiolus * Many Colors
Heather * Pink
Lily of the Valley * White and Pink
Orchid * Pink, White, Purple, Other Colors
Protea * Pink
Rose * Many Colors ***February at a premium
Scabiosa * Purple, White

By Nina Callaway,

The Color Scheme

It's Your Day to Pick Your Favorites

Every detail of your wedding should reflect your favorites, from gown to shoes, flowers to food.

The color scheme you select will set the tone for the day and the events surrounding your wedding. You can also add sophistication or simplicity through the colors you select. Generally, your color scheme will often carry into the attendants' dresses, table settings, and flowers. See our choices for some wonderful color schemes for weddings.

All White and Green

In weddings, as in life, white is not white and green is not green. Each color has a wide variety of hues from which to choose. But the color combination is a winner and gives you lots of choices, from pure white to ivory to the palest of pinks. If your gown is ivory, it's best to select fabrics for napkins and tableskirts, as well as flowers, in a complimentary shade.

If you've selected a snow white dress, choose snow white flowers. Some choices for white flowers are iris, sweet pea, peonies, orchids, lilacs, camellias, daisies, and carnations. For a softer hue, look for roses, tulips, freesia, or lily of the valley. When selecting greens, you can go from a fresh lime green to the deep green of camellias or leatherleaf ferns. If you want a brighter green, look for leaves from citrus trees, fresh grasses, or green berries.

Pink and Red

With Green Use pastel or bright pink flowers and add accents of red. Or go the other way around--red flowers with accents of bright or pale pink. Add tones of lavendar or purple from hydrangea. For texture and an loose look, use berries in deep shades of red with green foliage.

Soft Blush Tones

Create an elegant statement at your wedding if you choose pale blush colors for flowers and accents. Colors can range from soft pink to soft peach and ivory. Add touches of pearl to accent. Roses are a good choice to enhance a blush color scheme, as there are a myriad of hues of soft-toned roses. Your florist can direct you to the best varieties.

Red is Always Romantic Red roses say "I Love You" and are very appropriate for weddings at any time of the year. Especially in the winter, red looks wonderful with berries and pine greenery and black or red gowns on the attendants. Red is also found in tulips, peonies, gerbera daisies, ranunculus, carnations, lilies, and camellias.

Nothing But Pink

For a very romantic and feminine celebration, pink is beautiful. Choose one shade of pink or use many shades from brights to pales. Roses come in a wide range of pinks, or try ranunculas, sweet peas, camellias, hydrangeas, foxglove, snapdragons, dahlias, and bright gerbera daisies.

Purple, Lime Green,

White For a dramatic, lively look to your day, choose colors with real punch. Purple, lime green, and bright pinks look crisp and fresh! Hydrangea, roses, lilacs, hyacinth, iris, pansies, stock, delphinium, lisianthus, lavendar, and mums grow in shades of purple. Limey greens will add brightness.

By Coral Nafie,