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Dive into your warm-weather celebration and quench guests' thirst with a modern twist on a classic drink. Here, booze-free Guava Spritzers (simply guava juice with sparkling water) are served on an ice-filled tray studded with flowers—and each glass is accessorized with matching cubes and a monogrammed stir stick.
(Various flowers, $6.75 for 25, gourmetsweetbotanicals.com, Wooden stirrers, $19 for 500, bioandchic.com, Rubber stamp, $12, stampworx2000.biz)
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Flowers aren’t the easiest wedding detail to DIY. (They need to be done just before the big day—and unless you’re a pro, creating complicated centerpieces can be a nightmare.) But we’ve found a trick that makes arranging them a snap. Often used in ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, floral frogs are slotted structures that sit in the bottom of a vase to hold buds. Just place one stem in each hole to fill the grid and you’ll have an airy, well-spaced grouping. (Hardy bulb flowers, such as tulips, daffodils, and lilies, stand up best.) Consider enlisting them—and saving some money—for your rehearsal dinner or engagement party.
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Repurpose Floral Frogs
Floral frogs aren’t just for flowers! We repurposed the one used in the centerpiece in the previous slide as a guest-book pen holder and propped up a table number with one of the spiky versions, called kenzan (circle, $4, and square, $7, jamaligarden.com).
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Set up a fully stocked restroom kit and your guests will be prepared for any Murphy’s Law moment: mosquito invasions, achy dancing feet, or red-wine fashion emergencies.
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Wanna see your names in lights? Follow our off-Broadway suggestion: Fashion inexpensive marquee-style signs by filling these super-affordable cardboard letters with strings of bulbs, hiding the cords on the other side of each figure. We love the way they jazz up a dessert table, bar, or, for kick-step-turn types, a DJ booth.
(Paper mâché letters, from $2, consumercrafts.com. C-7 light strand, $35, sllightingnyc.com.)
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Escort Card Badges
Atten-TION! The benefits of these military-inspired medals are twofold. You’ll set a uniform look for your party—and, even better, each attendee will feel like a four-star guest of honor. Use different designs to denote the separate tables: The dove charms signal that you sit at the dove table, the dragonflies at the dragonfly table, and so on. We whipped up these badges with some ribbon, charms, magnets (because pins can leave punctures in silk), and a little hot glue.
(Assorted charms, 50¢ each, fancifulsinc.com)
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Celebrate the brightest months of the year with summery to-go gifts presented with a personalized touch.
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A rainbow of mini gazpachos, the brainchild of contributing editor Peter Callahan, of Peter Callahan Catering in New York City, display the color range of tomatoes -- green, yellow, orange, and red. They also look spectacular served in shot glasses, lined up by shade, and topped with cherry tomato-speared toothpicks.
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Give the sun's rays double exposure with projects that dress up tables and bring sweetness and light to your ceremony. To make this charming mat and escort card, use the Super Sunprint Kit. We spread maidenhair ferns on the kit's blue paper, left it near a window, and just a few minutes later watched this pattern emerge.
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This runner tecnically isn't a runner at all. We reimagined a few inexpensive and portable everyday products to make gorgeous dinner settings perfect for a summer soirée. Here, a straw mat, like this one from Jamali Garden, is a natural choice for outdoor and indoor celebrations alike.
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One-bite treats aren't only easy to eat, but easy to make. Cool guests off during outdoor cocktail hour with this feta, cilantro, sun gold tomato, and watermelon combo.
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No need to tart up fruit; berries and currants are already irresistible when displayed, farm stand-style, in Texas Basket's half-pint containers. Attach escort cards like these -- printed by Moontree Letterpress and calligraphed by Wendy Cook for Bell'occhio -- to Royal Paper wooden stirrers (cooksdirect.com) and stand them in the baskets. The finished product does double duty as an amuse-bouche that leads guests to tables.
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Outdoor weddings are especially beautiful, but they can also be uncomfortably steamy. To keep your guests from overheating, pass out handmade fans -- trust us, they'll be grateful. Ours features a floral motif on one side and a quote from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" on the other: "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep."
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If you’re throwing a nautical-themed event or just love the symbolism, say ahoy to a pair of double figure eights. Start with more rope than you need (we used two 5-foot pieces for each), tie knots (get the how-to below), and drape them around your chair. Trim the excess, and sew ends together or bind them with white gaffer’s tape.
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This classic refreshment is all grown up. During the reception, adults can help themselves at a station stocked with cups, crushed ice, and mojito, peach daiquiri, cosmo, and margarita cocktail syrups. Use glasses to catch drips and straws to slurp up every last drop. Sur La Table olive oil cruets with pourers.
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Even if you party late into the night, the sun will never set on your drinks. Print out our celestial clip art, then cut out circles with a 1 1/2-inch craft punch.
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Forget tin cans tied to a car bumper, and hop onto a bicycle built for two with a trailing pennant spelling out your new status. Print it onto heavier "Classic Crest" 11-by-17-inch 110-pound cover paper (paperpresentation.com), secure it to your ride with a dowel, and top with ribbon.
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