Create a Holiday Arrangement in a Few Simple Steps

A simple arrangement with tulips and roses | A Fabulous Fete

If I were a huge fan of the traditional holiday color palette of red and green, flower arrangements would be a little easier to put together around this time of year. But I typically lean towards lots of white, metallics and a color that is in our home year round either way... coral/pink. 

I found this bunch of flowers at my fave, Trader Joes, and wanted to share a few tips for putting together a similar arrangement in just a few steps. I found these cute little berries and thought they added a festive touch without having to go with an obvious color palette. They usually have these in different colors there, so it's an easy way to stick with the normal flowers you would buy and make them fit with the season!

Ingredients for a fall flower arrangement | A Fabulous Fete

I used peach roses, white tulips, orange/peach berries and some greenery from the yard. The only greens I ever buy from the store are eucalyptus... otherwise cutting a branch or two from our yard (or neighbors, shhhh) does the trick! I really wanted to use the persimmons but they ended up being too heavy for the small vase. I ended up just setting the branches next to the arrangement and it looked really nice that way as well! While we are lucky enough to have a persimmon tree in our back yard, you can also find these at your local flower shops when they're in season.

Simple berries make any flower arrangement a little more festive | A Fabulous Fete
Roses and tulips | A Fabulous Fete
How to start building a full flower arrangement | A Fabulous Fete

I've read tips and taken quick classes on arranging... but to be honest what always works best for me is making it up as I go. I do have a few tips that get me started and make an arrangement looked finished though, so I'll share those with you here.

First, I always start with 2-3 large leafy branches. I use these to set the "shape" of the arrangement. I like them to be wild and asymmetrical (so i don't have to worry about making anything look perfect!). These larger more sturdy branches are also a good base for lighter flowers like the tulips.

Tips for keeping your flowers fresh this season | A Fabulous Fete
White tulips, perfect for holiday arrangements | A Fabulous Fete

Always use super sharp scissors (floral shears are best... but i've never actually searched those out) and cut your stems at an angle. Place them in the water right away after trimming them.

How to create a quick arrangement in a bubble vase | A Fabulous Fete

After I have my bigger branches in, I start to add the fullest flower I have. In this case it was the tulips that were already pretty open.

Tips for making your grocery store flowers look great in holiday arrangements | A Fabulous Fete

To prep the roses, remove the outer petals. They actually protect the rose and are supposed to be taken off for them to properly open. Wish I learned that earlier! Also make sure to remove any leaves that will be below the water line. Since the roses were much heavier, I added these closer to the end so there was already a nice structure built with the other stems.

3 flowers to buy at the grocery store for simple holiday arrangements | A Fabulous Fete
How to create this quick and easy holiday flower arrangement | A Fabulous Fete
Tips for taking a flower arrangement from basic to festive this season | A Fabulous Fete

The stems with berries were tucked in at the very end. I always have a filler like this to tuck into any open gaps and add some movement if the arrangement started to get too symmetrical. This is also when I add in a few more branches of greenery, again, to fill in any empty spaces.

White and peach holiday floral arrangement | A Fabulous Fete

And that's it, with just a few bunches from the grocery store, you can make these for your next holiday get together.

Images by Sunny Kim

California Fall Table Inspiration

Last weekend we headed down to Sunset Beach for a little family time. Every time we make plans to go there I always plan a stop at the cutest flower shop, Devynn's Garden. So after breakfast we stopped in to grab a few blooms for the week. Maybe it was our Hawaii trip on the horizon, or the fact that it's still basically summer at home, but I went straight for all of the tropical stems. It wasn't the typical fall look, but when I started to pair the with a few of my favorite table top pieces, it really started to come together as a look completely appropriate for a fall dinner in CA.

So with turkey day in just a few days, I wanted to share a little inspiration for the table I would set... you know if I actually hosted a dinner one year. 


I added some plate pieces to contrast the bright blooms and pulled out some of my favorite wood bowls. I literally use my blush napkins for everything... they've been at countless photoshoots and dinner parties, but they really work with everything! And finally I finished the table with some rose gold flatware.

While we may be on vacay and I won't be using this table decor for anyone this week, I will keep it in my back pocket for any more gatherings coming up before the new year. 

Would you decorate with a little tropical flair in fall? What are your go to entertaining pieces this season?

Images by Sunny Kim


5 Tips for Styling Your Wedding Stationery

There's nothing better than that moment when all of the pieces in a suite are printed and in your hands. It's so fun to see it all in real life instead of your computer screen. Styling them becomes this relaxing process (for me! ha) at the end of all the craziness and I love getting to show it all of to the (internet) world. Lining up all those lines and adding in cuttings from the yard, ah... i love it. So I wanted to share a few of my tips for styling your own if you are ever motivated to do so;)

Tips for stationery styling | A Fabulous Fete

These are a few of the basic steps I work through every time I pull a new suite out onto the table. Obviously it also involves your taste and style, but if I had to explain what works majority of the time, this would be it! To start...

1. Pull the main pieces you will be styling

This is (obviously) the invitation suite, but also remember the pieces that will round it out. That can be an envelope liner, place cards, coordinating envelopes or other pieces you may have designed as day of materials. Many times I switch out what the client actually used for something that ties back, color or style wise, to my site or brand. Since these images will be living on your feed as well as attracting new clients, I think it only makes sense for you to make those changes to make the entire suite a great fit.


2. I always start with the largest items. Usually an envelope that will lie open with a liner (as these will be covered with other layers) and longer/bulky items. These pieces usually start to create the "border" of your image; the lines that you won't style outside of when layering in more pieces.

3. Next I finish the "border" by layering in the other pieces of the suite. So you can see how the menu, map, invite and envelope create 4 corners and an imaginary rectangle I will work inside of later. Since I had a lot of white, I balanced out the heavy navy envelope with more color in a diagonal line moving your eye to the bottom right corner.

4. I use way more envelopes than necessary in a real life suite. I like the layers it adds as well as color. So once I have my main pieces placed is when I would start tucking in those extra pops of color. You can also do this with place cards or small flat cards.

5. Finally, I tuck in pieces to create movement and break up the hard lines that the paper has created. I always have ribbon, small branches or flowers, corks, rings and scissors. The key in making these extra items work is ensuring they make sense in the image. These items should also be consistent in height. I try to steer clear of anything more than an inch or two higher than your board as it casts shadows and steals the focus from your paper pieces.

This is also the perfect time to balance out your image. Make sure one side isn't heavy in color, hard lines vs. soft curves or "messier" styling vs. rigidly lined up items, and fill in any white spaces that seem empty in comparison.

And last but not least... I always create faux envelopes as well as cover up (all or at least majority of) any personal addresses that were on printed pieces. I know I wouldn't want my address floating around on the internet so I think it's best that we take the same care with our clients.

That's it! Typically the process can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes... depending on how serious I am about it that day. Some suites just flow and others take a bit more planning to get all of the pieces to fit together like a puzzle. Hope this helps some of you looking for a few tips to take pictures of your own wedding suite or stationery!

Images by Sunny Kim

Simple Ideas for a House Warming or Hostess Gift

What to pack in your holiday hostess gift basket | A Fabulous Fete

When I say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE giving gifts, I really mean it. Don't get me wrong, I love shopping for myself just as much. But it's something about searching for the perfect thing that you know that person will actually enjoy (like, NOT gift cards). And even more than that, I love finding extra little things to go along with the "main" present.

In the past few months I had some people in my life moving to new places. Putting their gifts together was super fun, so I wanted to share them and inspire a few ideas in case you have a friend or family member on their way to a new place as well!

We were going to visit a friend in her new place and I knew I wanted to make her something special she could keep/display/use in her new home. So I lettered a long serving board (I think it was from Homegoods or store like that with random pieces). I paired it with items that one, would look nice next to it if she needed to fill a blank space in her house, and two, we could enjoy together to celebrate...

Hand lettered wood serving board | A Fabulous Fete
Hand lettered card by Wilde House Paper | A Fabulous Fete

To pair with the hand lettered tray, I added a fave candle that she had commented on at our house before (a hard thing to buy for people unless you keep your ears open!) and some matches. Card was from one of our Wilde House Paper Boxes.

Re-wrap grocery store blooms for a sophisticated bouquet on a budget! | A Fabulous Fete

Obviously flowers and champagne... because you can really never go wrong with the two so why not throw them in!

Voluspa Candles | A Fabulous Fete

So here's how I always like to think of curating a little gift for someone... think of something useful they'll need, pair it with a few small accessories to round it out, then add in a fun element like a mini bouquet of fresh flowers or their fave bottle of wine, and done. What are your go to hostess or house warming gifts?

Simple Fall Place Cards with Fresh Greenery | DIY

Fresh fall place cards and escort cards you can easily make for your holiday get togethers | A Fabulous Fete

It's probably very clear by now that an AFF project is not complete without a little touch of a flower or foliage element. My original idea was to create escort cards that had gorgeous fall leaves attached and share them as a fall wedding project. That would've been amazing, except it's actually pretty hard to find a decent fall leaf in my neighborhood. So instead, I went with some greens  that are easily found at any grocery store or home depot.

I love this idea for a fall or winter dinner party as place cards. Or as escorts for a winter wedding. They were super simple with a simple slit cut in cardstock. And the best part is you can customize with any flower, vine, branch or leaf your heart desires. 

Here's how I made mine.

Supplies for DIY living escort or place cards | A Fabulous Fete
Instructions for making simple escort or place cards with fresh foliage | A Fabulous Fete

About halfway up your card, slice 2 diagonal slits about 1/4" apart and 1" long. Push the strip up from the back to create the opening you will weave your branch through.

Once you have added your names and they have dried, pull off any loose leaves at the bottom of your branch and slide through the slit.

Hand lettering card stock escort and place cards | A Fabulous Fete
A quick DIY for fresh foliage escort or place cards perfect for fall gatherings | A Fabulous Fete
White lettering on black card stock for holiday inspired escort cards | A Fabulous Fete
Fall place card DIY | A Fabulous Fete
How to use fresh greenery on your place cards at your holiday parties | A Fabulous Fete
Fresh foliage fall escort card DIY | A Fabulous Fete

Arrange in alphabetical order, or add to your place settings if you are using them as place cards. You could line these up on a table, use a cork board to display them, or clip them up for guests to grab if you were using for your wedding.

Many of these little leaves dry really nicely too, so your guests may even want to take them home as tiny keepsakes!

Images by Sunny Kim