April Showers Bring May Flowers

Hello Honeys!

With everything blooming so beautifully this month, we wanted to share with you some bouquets that we're loving right now:
tulips, lamb's ear, roses. via 100layercake
cabbage roses, ranunculus, billy balls, poppy pods and dusty miller. via stylemepretty

white and peach cabbage roses, pale pink spray roses, dusty miller, and soft pink dahlia.
via 100layercake
bright lush peonies and thistles. via greenweddingshoes
roses and wispy grass. via stylemepretty

dahlias, spray roses, dusty miller, gray brunia berries, and hydrangea.
via marthastewartweddings

yellow and peach ranunculus bouquet. via 100layercake

Inspiration Shoot Backstory

Hee hee, I know it's been over a week since we were on Ruffled, but we're still so honored and pleased that our pet project got some love from such a great blog. We wanted to tell you a little more about the meaning and process of this photo shoot, as well as show you some images that haven't been published before. Without further ado:

Sometime in the 1960’s...

....a very skinny, very quiet high school boy in suspenders was poked in the stomach at his bus stop by a pretty, playful girl two grades above him. The girl claimed not to remember, but the boy never forgot, and when they met again years later [he pursuing science and she pursuing art] they stayed up talking all night and realized they had more in common than they ever imagined. 

In 1972 they were married in San Francisco, and lived a charmed life with their dogs and cats, the artist adorning their windowpanes with little painted flowers and grasses, the scientist juxtaposing his carefully conceived equations next to them. Their family would grow to include three daughters: Nessa, Meesha, and me.

When coming up with our inspiration shoot, I wanted to pay homage to the two fields that my parents brought together so harmoniously: Art & Science. Also, since my mom is no longer with us, I wanted to pay tribute to my parents’ marriage of 38 years, and design a wedding to perfectly fit them.

Hannah and I had such a wonderful time brainstorming and executing ideas to show how science and art can complement each other. We also wanted the shoot to reflect the personality of my parents, two very free spirits who embodied love in the 1960’s and 70’s. For our lovely model Maria, Novella Bridal Boutique provided us with two gorgeous dresses, a short Pronovias, and a long Manuel Mota. We chose these beautiful smocks because they reflected the comfortable relaxed nature we were going for, and harkened back to the 70’s in the most modern and lovely of ways. 

For the hair and makeup by Jira at Wowpretty, we went natural and soft. We wanted our model to look angelic, as if she were my mom awaiting my dad on the other side to welcome him to their dream wedding reception.

Church Street Flowers arranged all of our florals into real science equipment – we were so thrilled that beakers, flasks, cylinders and test tubes can look so very elegant! They also provided us with the materials to arrange a wild free spirited centerpiece of curly willow, moss and succulents. 

The tables, seating, and mix of eclectic dishes were all provided by Classic Party Rentals SF. We love that they have such a great range of items. We were able to mix and match to get the casual yet refined and character-filled look that we wanted.

We fused science and art in the details as well: the watercolor invitations and painted sign gave an artistic representation of the dna helix. 

Using this same dna twist idea, we made both the enclosure for the invitations and the twisted “paintbrush holder” that adorned the back of the bench. The fabric for the twists was the same as that of our napkins which we custom-made. 

Above the table we hung “atoms” twisted from gold wire and pearls.

All of our pieces came together at the amazing Allied Arts Guild. Once we came up with our concept, we could think of no better place than this artistic gem in Menlo Park. There are so many hidden corners and intimate areas here. It’s our personal favorite for either weddings, or just a relaxing stroll.

Last and certainly not least, our photographer Page Bertelsen not only provided us with gorgeous images, she also entrusted us with someone very dear for the day: her sweetheart dog Ginger! Hannah & I are pet lovers, so we just had to have a pup in our shoot!

We’d like to thank all of the talented and wonderful vendors who worked with us on this shoot, and helped our vision come to life.

Photography by Page Bertelsen
Hair and Makeup by WowPretty
Model: Maria Fang
Venue: the Allied Arts Guild

Behind the Scenes: Prepping for Our Inspiration Shoot

Hello Honeys!

We were so honored to be featured on Ruffled right before the weekend. 

Here are some phone pix from behind the scenes of creating decorations for our inspiration shoot :D 

watercolor sketch for invitations
golden atoms, the diy here: http://ruffledblog.com/diy-wire-orbs/

my workstation

Watercolor Invitation 

Watercolor Placecards
Homemade molecule sets from which to hang atomic escort cards
We'll be back with more photos from the shoot, so stay tuned!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello Honeys,

We hope you're having a beautiful Valentine's Day! This season is full of love-ly inspiration wherever you go. We really believe that you can find inspiration everywhere (we should have a section on our blog called "inspiration everywhere", no?). Here are a couple things we saw and loved out and about at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. 

Sprinkles is always delicious and cute! Their xox motif makes our hearts flutter (could also be the sugar), and these cute felt cushions adorned with hearts would be a fun and simple diy for a sweet and handmade event. 

Paper heart garland spotted at drybar. Mixing textures and prints within a chosen color palette adds interest and cheer.

 Fantastical Louis Vuitton display. We've had visions of a lawyer wedding dancing in our heads for one of our couples, and this really makes paperwork look exhilarating!

Well hello~~ aren't you the best for last! Couldn't pass this puffy little cloud without snapping a photo. I think she's wishing you all a very happy Valentine's Day! And so are we!


p.s. look at her little feet! SO cute!

Chinese New Year Decorations

Chinese New Year is one of my favorite holidays! When I lived in Hong Kong, I loved going to the huge New Year flower markets, visiting family, and eating all the delicious food my mom and aunties made!

Since I don't have family in SF, I decorate my home festively to get my in the CNY spirit!

Here are some decoration ideas with a modern twist. Full disclaimer these are NOT traditional, but it is how I've adapted them for my home!

Photo credit: Kitchentalk.com
Created by Kelly Oshiro from Santa Barbara Wedding Chic and photographed by Halberg Photographers. Ruffled Blog

These photos inspired me to hang red packets, gold coins, mini red lanterns and yellow mums from pussy willow branches in a large glass vase. You could also use manzanita branches. So elegant!

Photo credit: Billy Ball Centerpieces shot by James Carson on Ruffled

Yellow or gold is a traditional Chinese New Year color so I have big vases of yellow flowers all over my home. My favorite flowers to use are billy balls, tulips, mums and ranunculus.

I always have a big bowl of clementines or satsumas on my coffee table for guests to enjoy during Chinese New Year. "Gum" symbolize prosperity!

Happy Chinese New Year!
- H x

Wedding Table Decoration Ideas - The Lab Event

Hi honeys! We've missed you! It's been a while since we've posted but we're back from the wonderful Holidays and ready to rumble into 2013.

We couldn't be more excited to be planning for many beautiful couples this year! To get inspired, we attended The Lab in Sonoma this past weekend. What a wonderful event! If you are a bride-to-be (or soon bride-to-be!) you should definitely plan to check it out next year.

Here are some wonderful wedding table decorations to feast your eyes on!

Happy Honey & Twine Tuesday!
- Hannah

Winter Origami Decoration

Happy Honey & Twine Tuesday Everyone!

We've got a winter wedding coming up that we're soooo excited about! The colors are silver and pink, and the bride & groom are cute as can be

One of the pieces we're working on for them is a hanging origami installation. Theirs will be surrounding a skylight, but we've put together a simplified version for you to use as holiday party decor on the wall.

In our example, we used origami butterflies made from 6"x 6" silver foil paper (following this video tutorial) but this project can be done with cranes, snowflakes, etc!

What you'll need:

What to do:

Using your pin, skewer, or other sharp object, pierce a hole in the butterfly. We want our butterflies to hang at an upward angle, so we're piercing them towards the front. 

Cut string to desired length and tie a bead to the bottom. This will hold your butterfly in place. 

String your butterfly through the hole you pierced and slide it into place. 

Tie another bead desired distance from the first one. We spaced ours 4 inches apart. Slide another butterfly down the string, and repeat as many times as you like!

Once you've strung butterflies to the top of your string, tie the remaining tail to a horizontal string, and secure with hot glue. 

Continue making strings of butterflies and space them evenly apart – we spaced ours 4 inches. To get that undulating rhythm, we strung butterflies seven to a string, then six, five, four, five, six, seven, etc! 

Hang on your wall or mantle to add some shimmer and texture. 

For our couple, we'll also be adding larger butterflies and snowflakes cut from glitter paper, so stay tuned for photos from the wedding!

How to Plan Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Turkey week! It's time to dig out your stretchy pants!

I moved to the US in 2002 and immediately fell in love with Thanksgiving. The food, the family and friends... the food.

Ever since then, I look forward to this Holiday all year. People ask me how I plan Thanksgiving dinner without breaking a sweat. The secret? Just like planning a wedding, the key to a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner is organization and preparation.

This is my foolproof plan.

Tria and I setting Thanksgiving dinner table last year

2 - 1.5 weeks ahead - Menu Planning / Reserve Your Turkey

Write out your menu. Tip #1: keep it simple! People won't have a better time if you have 20 dishes. My menu is:
- Turkey
- Stuffing
- 2 starch sides - mashed potatoes and candied yams
- 1 vegetable side - my fav is green bean casserole
- Gravy (yes!)
- Cranberry sauce
- 2 Pies - pecan and apple (Tip #2: if you have locals coming for dinner, ask them to bring pie! Less work for you, all the same deliciousness)

That's it! I always make cornbread stuffing but this year I think I'll try this variation with pancetta, apples and mushrooms.

Also reserve your turkey. I usually buy a fresh, range grown, organic turkey. Tip #3: Allow 3/4 pound per person. Schedule pick-up for the Monday before Thanksgiving.

1.5 - 1 week(s) ahead - Make a Shopping List / Go Shopping, Review Serveware

Make a grocery list of everything you'll need including quantities. I like to go shopping 1.5 weeks ahead of Thanksgiving. You could go the weekend before, but the grocery store will be CHAOS. I avoid it like the plague.

But will everything stay fresh, you ask? Keep celery crisp by wrapping in aluminum foil. Everything else should keep just fine.

Tip #3: Pull out all your serveware and use sticky notes to map out which dishes will go in what. If you are short on anything, you still have time to go buy it!

1 week ahead - Make Food Ahead of Time

Tip #4: Break cooking into stages. It's reduces so much stress! Make a list and check things off as you go. This is my schedule.

5 days ahead - Make pecan pie and pate brisee for apple pie. Pecan pie keeps very well if you wrap in plastic wrap and store in fridge. Make 2 pate brisee discs, wrap tightly and store in fridge. Active prep: 1 hour.

4 days ahead - Make cranberry sauce. This is an easy do-ahead. Store in an air-tight container. Active prep: 20 mins.

3 days ahead - Pick-up and prepare turkey. Brine or marinade (whatever your recipe calls for) and store on bottom shelf of fridge. Use neck to make turkey stock. Store in air-tight container. Make mushroom béchamel for green bean casserole. Store in air-tight container. Active prep: 1 hour.

2 days ahead - Trim/peel/cut all vegetables. Assemble green bean casserole, place in casserole dish and refrigerate. Store rest of veggies in individual air-tight containers. Cut potatoes and yams into cubes, cover in water and refrigerate separately. Dice bread for stuffing. Bread can sit on counter overnight to dry out. Active prep: 30 mins.

1 day ahead - Make stuffing using vegetables you pre-cut day before, place in casserole dish and refrigerate. Make apple pie using 2 pate brisee discs you made ahead of time. Once cooled, cover lightly with plastic wrap or cake dome. Active prep: 1 hour.

The Big Day!

5 hours before dinner - Take turkey out of fridge and let come to room temperature for 45 mins. Set the table.

4 hours before dinner - Put turkey in oven! A 12-14 pound turkey will take 3 - 3 3/4 hours to cook. Take pecan pie out of fridge and let come to room temperature.

3 hours before dinner - Cook potatoes and yams. Mash (or whatever your recipe calls for) and keep warm over low heat.

2 hours before dinner - Make gravy using turkey stock. Keep in thermos until ready to eat. 

1 hour before dinner - Take turkey out of oven and let rest for 20 mins. Put stuffing and green bean casserole in oven to heat. Transfer yams to casserole dish and place marshmallows on top.

20-30 mins before dinner - Broil marshmallow topping on candied yams casserole. Pour gravy into gravy boat. Put cranberry sauce into serving dish. Take stuffing, candied yams and green bean casserole out of oven. Put mashed potatoes into serving bowl. And carve the turkey!

Tip #5: Don't forget to enjoy yourself and be thankful! I'm thankful for a wonderful year, my amazing husband, my family and friends, our amazing couples, and of course, my wonderful business partner, Tria.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Planning!
- Hannah x

Photos courtesy of foodnetwork.com, designboom.com, simplyrecipes.com, savorysweetlife.com, smittenkitchen.com, thepioneerwoman.com, marthastewart.com, myrecipes.com

Simple Centerpiece Tutorial

Hellloooo and Happy Tuesday! 

We recently added Diana & Jon's wedding photos to our website gallery, and wanted to share with you how their centerpieces were made. We had such a great time working with them and coming up with ideas to fit their needs and style! 

The centerpieces needed to be low and small enough so that they could be placed on lazy-susans without getting in the way of the delicious banquet. We took cues from Diana's pinterest to create these simple gray flower boxes filled with white hydrangea.

Since the couple didn't have a budget for florals, we created their bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces with silk flowers. To save on labor costs, Diana enlisted the help of her wonderful family, so we made a very simple tutorial for them of how to assemble the flower boxes:

Once the box was assembled, we added a yellow ribbon for the finishing touch. The table numbers, concepted by Honey & Twine and designed by the wonderful Karyssa Magann, were named after SF locations that held special meaning to the couple.

Here's the cost breakdown for their simple and elegant centerpiece:
Hydrangea from Michaels: $21.54 for 6 (we got them on sale – yay for Michaels' 40% off sales!)
Dusty Miller from Michaels: $5.99 per bunch. Each box uses 1/3 of a bunch, so add $2 per box
Wooden Boxes Rented from Honey & Twine: $6
Approximate Total Cost Per Centerpiece: $29.54

Depending on your priorities, there are always creative ways to be cost effective. We can't wait to share more ideas with you in the posts to come!

Stay Sweet,

Customized Wedding Favors

If you haven't seen already, we were honored to have Love & Lavender feature Alison & David's wedding last week.  We had so much fun working with these two! We connected instantly at our first meeting over coffee at Philz. When they asked if we could plan their wedding in three months – we said, “absolutely!”

Through working with Alison and David, we also became acquainted with someone very important in their lives: their adorable cat Buddy.  They wanted him to be represented at their wedding, and had the great idea for customized beer bottles as wedding favors, dubbed “Great Budworth’s Celebration Ale”. To do this they used Grogtag, who makes it easy to either custom-design or use one of their templates. The label design started with this hilarious picture of Buddy in his best outfit:

We designed labels for their beer favors using their wedding’s color palette (peach, olive and antique gold).  We also added the Union Jack to give a nod to David’s heritage.

We eventually decided to go with darker labels to stay true to the Newcastle ale: 

Guests had so much fun bringing their very special beer home, and I'm happy to say that Buddy is still a part of our lives :) David and Alison sent us this photo just last week:

We love our jobs because we get to make so many new friends, both human and animal!

Hanging Flower Decorations

Fall is upon us, and as leaves start to flutter down, one can't help but think of romance. There's something magical about beauty above us, so when thinking about your wedding centerpieces, think above the table as well as (or instead of) on the table. Here are a few examples of beautiful hanging floral centerpieces:

We know that letting your imagination soar is always fun, but not everyone has the budget to do large hanging centerpieces throughout the venue. If you'd like a scaled down version, consider using a hanging centerpiece to draw attention to one specific area, like the sweetheart table or cake table. 

Happy Planning!

*Photos courtesy of Ruffled, Style Me Pretty, Doltone House, Sullivan Owen, and Belle the Magazine

How to Plan a Kid’s Birthday Party

My gorgeous nephew turned 2 last week! In true Wong fashion, my sister and I started planning his birthday party months ago - I mean, planning is fun, after all! We realized quickly that while there would be a few kids at the party, most of the guests would actually be adults - family, friends of my sister and her husband, the babysitter etc.

So we wanted to make sure we planned an event that was catered to children, but that was elegant and fun for adults too!

Here are a few tips…

1) Pick a theme and let it guide your food, decorations and favors. This makes planning easy and will even give your guests an idea of what kinds of gifts to bring (they’ll thank you!) Our theme: Planes, trains and automobiles!
“Wheel” lollipop favors for the kids. We made this into a little centerpiece
Plane and train pumpkins centerpieces
Homemade birthday cake. The plane, made by my talented sister, is carved rice crispy treats covered in fondant

2) Choose one brightly colored decoration you can use in multiple places for big impact.  We found automobile foam stickers and stuck them onto construction paper cutouts. They are super cute and you'll see we used them everywhere! We also made and hung paper chains from the ceiling.
Red and green jello "stoplights." To add pizazz to food, we glued the stickers and cutouts onto toothpicks

Paper chains and helium balloons make any party festive!
3) Offer foods both kids and adults will love. Everyone loves pigs in a blanket, but it’s nice to offer something just for the adults too, like a beautiful cheese plate. If you’re offering PB+J sandwiches for the kids, offer a more grown-up turkey club for the adults.
Pigs in a blanket served with mustard and ketchup
Cheese platter for the adults
Milk for the kids among beverages for the adults
4) Make three dishes; assemble and buy the rest. This will keep you sane and remember, your friends won’t have a better time if you make everything from scratch! We made: chocolate pudding, pigs in a blanket and jello stoplights. We assembled: vegetable crudité with hummus, PB+J sandwiches, a cheese platter, and fruit salad (using pre-cut fruit). We bought: sandwiches for the adults from the local deli. Easy and delicious!
PB+J sandwiches in airplane cutouts
5)  Get creative with presentation! Even something as homey as chocolate pudding and PB+J sandwiches can be food for a fancy occasion. We served the chocolate pudding in elegant individual cups (found at any party store) and made airplane cutouts from the PB+J sandwiches.
Individual chocolate pudding cups for kids and adults!
Your family and friends will have a blast and you will too!

Happy planning!
- Hannah

Vintage Fashion Expo: 1920's Dresses & Animal Jewelry

Happy Tuesday Everyone! Sunday we went to the Vintage Fashion Expo in SF and saw a huge array of eclectic pieces. We couldn’t help but think of our brides when we browsed Decades of Fashion's  collection. They carry gorgeous delicately hand-sewn 1920’s dresses by the same designers who did costume design for Oscar-winning film “The Artist” and upcoming film “The Great Gatsby”. You can enjoy elegance and comfort in one of these – they all have elastic waists so you can actually breathe and eat! Have a second piece of cake! 

Here's a sampling of what we saw:

My weak camera phone does the dresses no justice, but visit Decades of Fashion in SF to see some amazing options for your wedding, after party, or just for fun! You can make an entire day out of browsing their collection of clothing, hats, shoes, and bags. 

Seeing their lovely goods inspired us to share some other 1920's inspired looks we've been seeing around:

Ventura - Pronovias by Manuel Mota
photo via bodas.net

Eden by Jenny Packham
photo via 100layercake.com

Audrey Ivory by Freya Rose
photo via freyarose.com

I of course got distracted by some adorably precious animal jewelry as well:

Animal shaped things! Sigh~ I have an addiction. Hope your Tuesdays are sweet & strong!
-T xoxo
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