Category Archives: Weddings

{Inspired by} Peacocks

As far as birds go, it does not get any fancier than a peacock. It is no wonder these birds can reel in the ladies, bringing in several at one time with one swift spread of the feathers. I know I am not alone by being drawn into the iridescent array of colorful feathers of these beautiful creatures. I’ve been to a few events recently that have been peacock-inspired with beautiful blues and greens sprinkled throughout the room.

This past weekend, I attended a pre-wedding celebration bridal shower for my friend Jen. Being a bird-lover, she had a peacock themed shower with peacock invitations and a few peacock touches. As a bridesmaid, I wanted to help add an extra special touch to the day, so I created peacock name tags to hang from the water glasses and a few peacock colored tissue poms that rested on the mantle.

A little over a year ago, my dear friend Doug married his lovely bride Stacy and hosted one of the most beautiful wedding receptions I’ve ever attended. Peacock inspiration was everywhere from the flower girl to the name cards. It was elegant and sophisticated with a modern flare. To start out the peacock theme, I designed their wedding save-the-date with a little peacock touch. (You can find this design in my Etsy shop, Morning Star Designs).

A special shout out to Robb Davidson Photography for the photos from Doug and Stacy’s wedding. If you live in the Chicagoland area and are looking for a fabulous and inspired photographer, check out Robb. He is great!

If you have any peacock-themed events you’ve experienced, we’d love for you to share a link!

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Fall Outdoor Wedding on the Lake

I recently had the pleasure of attending the wedding of my lovely cousin, Colleen, and her new husband, Tim. The outdoorsy couple chose to have a lakeside wedding at a northern Wisconsin resort and thought of every detail to create the perfect mix of sweet and quirky to match their fun-loving personalities.

Photo by Lucas Botz Photography

Custom wooden signs by Trueconnection directed guests to various wedding events with a lighthearted sense of humor.

The ceremony was held lakeside.  Bridesmaids wore knee-length red dresses, flip flops and gorgeous gold jewelry made by 3 Maries Designs, a friend of Colleen’s, while the men wore suits with striped ties.

Photos by Dan Cooley

Cocktail tables were set with burlap runners and little vintage jars filled with custom straws from Bab’s Giddygappers for guests to sip signature drinks and a casual seating chart led guests to their table in lieu of place cards that could blow away in the outdoor setting.


Cheerful banners by Liddabits and little white lights brightened the reception tent.

Tables were adorned with burlap runners and several small, unique arrangements of colorful fall florals and candles in vintage glass jars and apothecary bottles.  Jars were accented by custom ribbons from The Lonely Heart with the couple’s nicknames or the phrase “je t’aime” in honor of when Colleen lived in France.  Colleen arranged the reception flowers herself with the help of family and friends.

Table numbers were tucked into large vintage Ball jars filled with red, orange or yellow jelly beans – perfect for a little post-dinner treat. Guests were encouraged to fill out custom mad libs from August Press and read them to the couple instead of clinking glasses to earn a public smooch.  Custom wire “Mr” and “Mrs” signs from The Funky Shack marked the bride and groom’s seats.

A photo station full of silly props helped guests to let loose at the reception. Even the bride’s parents and little flower girls got in on the action.

Photo by Lucas Botz Photography

Photo by Lucas Botz Photography
All in all, it was a perfect weekend for a perfect couple!

Resort: Dillman’s Bay Resort
Wildbooth Photos: Lucas Botz Photography
Bride’s Dress: Jim Hjelm
Bridesmaid Dresses: Simple Silhouettes from Flutter boutique, Minneapolis
Reception Flowers: (Wholesale – arranged by bride)
Bridal Bouquets: Just Bloomed, Minneapolis


Filed under Weddings

She Said Oui!: A Parisian Bridal Shower

My cousin Jim and his high school sweetheart Jenny are tying the knot this September. It was our families’ honor to throw Jenny a shower. Jim proposed in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, so a French-themed bridal shower was a no brainer. Held at Retro Bistro, a wonderful French restaurant in Mt. Prospect, IL, we sipped on Kir Royales (champagne and Chambord) and dined on delicious French cuisine.

French-themed items along with pictures of the couple were placed on the gift table as guests walked in.

Slender Eiffel Tower vases in purple, black and green with simple callalilies adorned the table, atop Parisian paper and alongside dishes of Champagne flavored candies.

Guests were given a variety of scents of Eiffel Tower bottles of lotion, placed at each place setting at the table, along with a name card to match the invitation.

Each guest was asked to choose a card out of a pile once seated for lunch. Written on each card were different French terms, phrases and places. Throughout the course of the shower, the hosts would pick a card from the box and read it aloud. If your card was read, you were able to choose a Parisian prize.

If I do say so myself, this shower was magnifique! An early congrats to Jim and Jenny, we look forward to the big wedding celebration this fall!

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Lovebirds Bridal Shower

Last weekend I threw a lovebirds themed bridal shower for my younger sister who is getting married in August.  I created custom invites for the shower to match the colors of her wedding and complement her invitations, which focus on a pretty calligraphy font.

To fit the theme, the table was decorated with a rustic white bird cage that held two little bird candles as my “lovebirds” and was surrounded by moss and small potted garden flowers. The flowers were tied up with twine and tags with the couple’s name on them and served double duty as favors for guests.

love birds bridal shower decor

A mimosa punch was dressed up with paper straws that held whimsical paper bird cutouts.

lovebirds bridal shower

Simple salads were the dishes du jour, making it easy to prep food as a hostess. A chicken, grape tomato and bocconcini salad was dressed with spinach and garlic mustard pesto made from my CSA bounty. Served along side it was a mixed greens salad with radishes, pecans and green apples.  All dishes were marked with tags that matched the invitations.

chicken pesto salad

Mixed summer berries with a light balsamic mint dressing completed the salad trio.

mixed berries with balsamic

love birds bridal shower theme

For dessert, guests were treated to hand-dipped pirouette cookies and homemade Lemon Lavender Cupcakes, a favorite flavor combo of the bride-to-be.

lemon lavender cupcakes

lemon lavender cupcakes


Filed under Weddings

Going to the chapel…

Well, I’m off to a wedding this weekend. A wedding for my dear friend, Kate.

Okay, okay. I may not be whisking off to England, but rather, the royal utopia of Kansas City for my brother-in-law’s wedding this weekend to his lovely bride Kate. With all of this royal wedding buzz in the air, I had to dote on one of my favorite topics, weddings! Joe and Kate asked me to help design their invitations for their chic spring wedding. I was more than happy to oblige and wanted to share the final results with you. (The invitation is available in my Etsy Shop, Morning Star Designs).

I’m so excited to attend and be a bridesmaid for this fabulous occasion! I’m looking forward to all the wonderful details, but for now, I put together my own green and black modern wedding inspiration board. I’m sure Kate and Prince Wills will have nothing on this wedding. Who needs a glass carriage anyway?

Photo credits to: Studio Stems; Wedding Obsession; Weddings Place; C+S; Hem&Hers;  Monolo for the Brides; Libby James; Swanky Tables; I Love Photo Blogs

An early congrats to the bride and groom!

What would be your perfect royal wedding? If anyone is throwing a royal wedding viewing party, we’d love to hear about it!

Like what you see? Want it!? Visit my Etsy shop, Morning Star Designs, to purchase your own personalized downloadable file of this invite.


Filed under Weddings

Rustic Fall Wedding

This past fall, the ladies of HAP were asked to style the wedding of dear friends of ours.  Lane and Craig’s vision of their wedding was very specific.  They wanted a rustic and organic theme with an emphasis on trees and nature.  They didn’t want anything too over the top, but wanted it very simple and personal.

The finished product was everything the couple wanted; rustic and simple with special personal touches.

The couple was married outdoors by the Calatrava in Milwaukee.  An arbor, created by La Tulipe Design, covered in fall foliage acted as the backdrop to the ceremony.

The programs were created by Katie and were kept simple with a tree watermark.


The bridesmaids wore different shades of burgundy and purple and carried fall colored bouquets with natural additions like leaves and twigs, also created by La Tulipe Design.  All of the ladies, including the bride, wore flowers in their hair.

The reception was held at Coast in Milwaukee.  Guests were greeted by a place card table dressed in burlap, natural twigs and and leaves, and personalized place cards.


The centerpieces were simple and played off the rustic and natural themed event. Low, glass vases were filled with river rocks, moss and candles.  Katie wrote table numbers on kraft paper and secured them to twigs, giving them a more natural feel.

Other tables had vases wrapped in burlap and filled with twigs, river rocks, seeded eucalyptus and other greens.

Instead of having a traditional guest book, guests were asked to write wishes to the couple on kraft paper tags and hang them on a wishing tree.

Most importantly, the couple spent the day blissfully happy and surrounded by family and friends.

Congratulations Lane and Craig!


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Come Sail Away: Nautical Rehearsal Dinner

The HAP girls were recently hired to deck out the Milwaukee Boat Line’s Voyageur for a nautically themed rehearsal dinner. Inspired by vintage sailboats, we used a red and blue theme, incorporating ticking fabric, wood, rope and a few other nautical touches.

Using a sponge brush and navy paint, we stenciled the bride and grooms names to a lifesaver to adorn the favor table. Guests were treated to salt water taffy wrapped in blue and red ticking fabric with a Bon Voyage tag, that nested in rustic blue and red wood crates.

Each centerpiece was wrapped in nautical rope and held Daisies and Sprengeri. A painted wooden anchor rested against each vase on top of a small blue ticking fabric placemat.

Guests were mailed a Come Sail Away invitation, mailed in a blue envelope, along with a response card. The invitation is available in my Etsy shop, Morning Star Designs.

Even the babies dressed up for the event! And no, they are not twins, they are cousins – 9 days apart!

Congratulations to Jeff and Kate – thank you for allowing Haute Apple Pie help make your weekend extra special!

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