Friday, February 27, 2009

A simple wedding favor - french truffles!

Wedding favors are always something where you will see a wide variety of items. Some couples will give you seeds to plant, or a cute candle, or a heart shaped cookie cutter, or homemade rosemary infused oil, or personalized coasters, or a mini frame, or will donate to a charity on your behalf, or decide not to give out favors at all. The candy buffet has become very popular nowadays as well, where people can bag their own favorites and take home a little treat.

For my own wedding, I probably thought of everything imaginable, and in the end, decided to do truffles! Usually, edible wedding favors are always a hit with guests!

I knew that truffles were actually quite simple to make, but back when I was planning my own wedding, I had never made truffles before, and didn't want to have to make and store 600 truffles in the few days before the wedding for the first time! So, I ended up buying french truffles in bulk! I wanted each favor to look like a little present at each guest's placesetting, so I packaged four truffles in brown candy cups, in a chocolate box, all wrapped together in fuschia satin ribbon. I also added a little brown tag with "love is sweet! thank you for coming!" handwritten in white ink. There were also hand punched bite marks at the end of each tag.

The last photo is the final result: the favor at my wedding, taken by BKB Photography. I was really happy with how everything coordinated, with the napkins, the menus, and the chocolate colored linens. The truffles may not have looked very fancy, but they tasted great!

Recently, I made truffles for the first time, and they were delicious! I got the recipe from Miss Spring Roll on, and they were very easy to make.

Chocolate Oreo Truffles

36 Oreo cookies (almost a whole box)
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
1 large bag (24 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Sprinkles (optional)

Finely crush Oreo cookies (I place them in a large Ziploc bag and crush using a rolling pin). In a large bowl, mix Oreo cookies and cream cheese until well blended (I use my hands for this). Shape mixture into 1 inch balls. According to package directions, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips. Dip balls into chocolate (I use a fork for this) and place onto wax paper. If desired, top with sprinkles for color. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Place truffles into small muffin cups; serve on a platter or in individual truffle boxes. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

** TIP! before dipping into chocolate, I put the shaped balls into the refrigerator for a couple of hours to make the dipping process easier!

Doesn't that end result look like a store bought truffle? If I were to do it all over again, I might be tempted to have boxed homemade truffles as favors!

If you need help with brainstorming ideas for favors to fit your wedding style, or want help with picking out the perfect packaging, email me at


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A valentine's day card w/ a fishbone...

This past valentine's day, I had a fun opportunity to create a personalized card for my friend, Sam. She asked to see if I could create a card similar to the "love turtles" that I blogged about back in December, but instead of turtles, a cute pair of kittens! (Sam and her fiancé own an adorable persian kitty) So, I designed some cute rounded belly kittens, along with a fishbone at Sam's request.

I finished off the card with some hand glittered elements, and also lettered her fiancé's name onto the envelope in white ink. It was simply packaged with some tissue paper in a textured box, wrapped with some twine.

Hope everyone had a great valentine's day! If you have an idea for a personalized card, email me at


Friday, February 13, 2009

The story of a qipao - part 2

All of my life, I had always dreamed of a western style wedding. I pictured myself wearing one gorgeous white dress to wear throughout the night. After getting engaged though, I thought more and more about possibly wearing a qipao during my wedding reception. I just thought that it would be a really nice gesture for my parents and my in-laws. It was the least that I could do for everything that they have given me in my life.

So, the search was on for the perfect qipao, and I had no idea where to start. I asked a few friends around Boston to see where I should go, and ended up trying on a few at Kim's Fashion Design in chinatown. They really had some nice designs there, but for some reason, nothing screamed that it was "the one" to me. I then remembered that my oldest sister wore a qipao for her wedding reception back in 1997, and I thought that maybe she might still have it? and she did! She mailed the dress to me, and it fit... but I just still didn't get that feeling that it was "the one."

After going to a few more stores around Boston and still not finding the perfect qipao, I started to wonder if I would ever find one. Later that week, I was at my in-laws' house and somehow the qipao hunt conversation came up. They didn't know that I was looking for a dress, and my mother-in-law asked "do you want to try mine?" My eyes immediately widened and I said "yes!" I was so excited to try it on. She brought it out and it was made of white silk with detailed red embroidery all down the dress. I tried it on and quickly found out that my shoulders were too broad to even squeeze my arms through the top of the dress. *sigh* was I ever going to find a qipao?

Then... it happened. I was on the phone with my mom, updating her about some wedding details, and mentioned that I've been searching for a qipao, but couldn't find one in the stores, couldn't fit in my mother-in-law's dress, and didn't think that my sister's dress was the right one for me. My mom asks "why didn't you ask me?" It never even occurred to me to ask my own mother for a qipao, but when she said that, I thought back to when I was younger, and I remembered that my mom had a beautiful qipao tucked away in a box on the top of her closet.

My mom told me that in Taiwan, her mother (my grandmother) had this qipao custom made for my mom to wear on her wedding day back in 1969. I got this tingling feeling because I thought it would be so special to wear the qipao that my mom wore for her own wedding day almost 40 years ago, given to her by her mother, who I unfortunately never got the chance to meet before she passed. The only question was, "would it fit?"

On my wedding day, I changed from my white wedding dress into my mother's red silk qipao from 1969, with gorgeous silver beading and sequins in a phoenix and blossom branch design. I couldn't have been happier with how it all worked out, and I definitely found "the one."

All of these photos were taken by Brittany of BKB Photography, and the last one is a picture of me and my mother dancing together at my wedding reception =)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The story of a qipao - part 1

I grew up in Hong Kong, so I still follow many Chinese traditions. I really wanted my culture to be represented at my wedding. One of the most common things for a bride to do in HK is to change into many different outfits during the reception, some as many as 5, 6 times. I decided to follow the idea (but not to the extreme) and wear a qipao, a traditional garment, at some point during my reception. I immediately looked to my mother for help, and looked through pictures of what she wore at her wedding. My mom actually wore a qua, which is most commonly worn during the wedding tea ceremony and looks like this:

My mom also changed into an evening dress. In fact, she still had both of these items stored in the house. Despite the fact that they were both not qipaos, I tried them on to see if I could incorporate either into my wedding. The answer was no, because the height difference between my mom and me made both outfits look far too short on me!

I shopped around in Boston and NYC in search of a qipao but choices were limited. Most had very similar patterns, and if you want anything slightly more unique, it would cost you much, much more. Luckily, my parents went on that aforementioned HK trip six months before my wedding. I saw that as the perfect opportunity to have a high quality and affordable qipao custom-made for me. I scoured the internet looking for measurement instructions and came across this helpful guide. Then I had my mom take all my measurements. Lastly, I gave her pictures of styles I preferred, especially one that my husband’s god sister wore for her wedding.

A month later, my parents came back from a very fruitful trip and in one of the suitcases laid an exquisitely crafted qipao. It turned out to be pretty expensive (though still less than if I had it made here in the U.S.), but the amount of handiwork is incredible and truly made it worth the price. There was so much beading all over the gown:

I was amazed that it fit almost perfectly since I was not there in person to be fitted. Full disclosure – my mom did end up altering the dress just a little bit the month before the wedding because I had lost some weight (blame it on stress!) and she also took the opportunity to make the slits on the sides not as high. I really loved wearing it for a portion of my wedding reception. I wore it for the bouquet toss and the father and daughter dance!

The qipao in action:

Photos above courtesy of Sun Photographics

Stay tuned for part 2 - the story of Emilie's qipao.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A classic invitation with hand deckled edges

A while back, I had blogged about some gorgeous envelope liners, and I thought that I would share the invitations that went along with those liners. The invitation suite was a very classic style with some beautiful details. I used ivory cardstock and envelopes, and lined the main invitation, accommodations card, and directions card with a shimmery metallic brown cardstock. For the main invitation, an elegant double knot was added to the side in scarlet ribbon, and the edges of the invitation were hand deckled to give it an antique feel. The three intial monogram was used on both the response card and the accommodations card to tie everything together, and the envelope liners were created using luxurious paper from Paper Source called Lokta Baroque Flower Bordeaux.

With Pink Orchid Designs, any client has the option of letting us handle the addressing and mailing of invitations. So with these invitations, I also took care of printing individual guest addresses, picking out postage, and mailing them out. Since some invitations were international, I had some fun picking out colorful stamps. Don't you just love the fruit stamps?

If you are looking for your own custom wedding invitations, please contact me at!