When Jingle Bells become Wedding Bells!

Pop the Question

The time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day is truly a magical time of year.  There’s  holiday festivities, time spent with family and friends, and if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere cold – snow!  As such a happy and love-filled time of year, it’s no surprise that it’s a time when many couples get engaged.  That’s right, engagement season is coming!

Engagements are a couple’s first step towards a long and happy life together.  It’s a moment that the pair will remember for the rest of their lives, and it should be as thoughtful and special as they are.  Our “Pop the Question” dessert plate is an adorable and unique way to ask your significant other for their hand in marriage.  Re-think the cliched ring in cake approach with a new twist: this time, it’s the plate that’s doing the asking.  The plate can be customized to include the names of the couple in the heart as well as personalized text around the rim. The best part is that you will forever have a physical reminder your engagement story.  Whether you hang it on the wall or eat coffee cake on it, the plate will forever be a keepsake of your love and dedication to one another.

After the engagement comes the wedding planning. Happiest Days Designs offers wedding design and planning packages at all levels, that will get you from engagement to honeymoon. Now located in the Finger Lakes region of NY, we can help you plan the destination wedding of your dreams, whether that be outdoors on the lake or by a waterfall, a rustic barn wedding and BBQ, or a swanky club wedding. Your wedding will reflect your story with details custom made for you. Our designers and artisans will take your ideas and your budget and create something amazing with your stamp all over it. We will handle all the little things right up to and through your wedding, so you celebrate and have fun. Your family and friends will treated with the utmost consideration and your happiest day will be a memory to hold onto your whole lives through.

View More: http://laurawightphotography.pass.us/vineyard-wedding-editorial-lwp-2017Photgrapher: Laura Wight

As a thoughtful host, creating a wedding registry takes the guesswork out of gift giving for your loved ones. Happiest Days Designs now offers a wedding registry. You can register for handmade porcelain dinnerware or a set of fun ice cream bowls. Couples can fill out a simple form online (or if you would like, give us a call!) and indicate which items they would like to put on their list.  We will then set up your custom registry and provide you with a link to share with all your family and friends.  Personalized dessert ware and hand built keepsakes are a perfect way to start a home and a life together.  Who wouldn’t want to celebrate their love every time they drink out of a coffee mug?

© Justina Bilodeau Photography_0474 Gold rimmed plates 2 Stone Barn Maine editorial

Photographer: Justina Bilodeau

Lastly, as Association of Bridal Consultants members, Happiest Days Designs works with Sandals and Beaches Resorts to get your great deals on honeymoons. You can book directly with us! We are a great resource as you are trying to find just the right package and destination in your budget. Sandals offers great properties with unique amenities such as over the water bungalows, all inclusive gourmet meals, and excursions for snorkeling and golfing. You can peruse your options with our Sandals/Beaches portal right on our website.

Personalized Heart and Key Bridal Bouquet Charm

Happiest Days Designs wants to be the place you go to find unique, custom, handmade gifts for weddings, birthdays, new baby, new home, and holidays. Our artisans will help you create meaningful objects that are touchstones to your loved ones and the happiest days you share. Our company is founded on love, community, and celebration! That’s what we share with you.

xoxo Shawn- Happiest Days Designs

 

 

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A gift to remember

zola registry

Wedding day, the happiest day of your life! Joy and love spread through the air as two people vow to spend the rest of their lives together, through thick and thin. This year the  most popular day to get married is coming up quickly, October 20th. Family and friends find themselves wondering what is the perfect gift for a perfect couple?

Above, the handy dandy infographic map tracks the most popular wedding gifts of the year as compiled by Zola- registry .  Zola found the most popular wedding gift for each state, so anyone can see what is trending where they live. Zola is a great site to use to find the great gifts for lucky love birds!

If you are looking for something personal, custom, and unique Happiest Days Designs offers gorgeous heirloom gifts. We offer personalized dinnerware and decor, gifts to remember. We offer an onsite registry featuring our designs that you chose, a little helping hand for your guests.

Our designs feature personalization with the couple’s names and wedding date, celebrating their happiest day all year through. Below are some of our most popular wedding gift designs:

Bridal Bouquet ( with color) – cake plate and domeBridal Bouquet Picture Two

Every couple can carve their names into a tree to show how their love will last forever with these two designs:

Apple Tree Fine Dessert Set for 2 – ( Couple’s names in the heart on the tree- wedding date in the apple

Apple Tree Fine Dessert Set for Two

Apple Tree Folk Dessert Set for 2 ( couple’s name in tree, date in the apple)

Apple Tree Folk Dessert for Two

Or doodle their love notebook style on a platter with our Sweethearts design. TLA- True Love Always:

Sweetheart Platter Image OneSweetheart Platter Image Two

 

Between Zola Registry and Happiest Days Designs couples are sure to bask in happy homemaking and domestic bliss for years to come! Be sure to give them a gift to remember!

xo, Shawn

Ps. This post was done in partnership with Zola

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Let it Snow…unexpected magic

RyanYannSnow-1

It’s the end of September and there is finally a slight chill in the air, a harbinger for the winter to come. Now, I love Summer BBQ’s and Fall barn weddings as much as the next wedding planner, but there is something wonderful about the unexpected magic of a snowy Winter wedding.

Last December, I had the pleasure of  planning Ryan and Yan’s celebration in Old Town Philadelphia. The day of their wedding Mother Nature graced us with the perfect amount of downy snow, not so much to cause headaches for travelers, but just enough to transform the celebration into a winter wonderland.

Honestly, I am not surprised that the fates smiled on this amazing couple! Ryan, the bride, is the perfect package of beauty, kindness, and razor sharp smarts that no doubt made her French husband Yan fall head over heels for her. They met in Paris ( of course) and he was smitten from their first meeting.

Ryan with pink stole

Yan on the Bed

Their wedding was a perfect blend of their two cultures and personalities. Friends and family from France and all over the US traveled to Philadelphia for the wedding.

Ryan and Yann Old City

The bride is a writer and felt drawn to the Paris in 1920’s as a jumping off point to inspire the design.

Library Shot

absinthe

Detail keys

So, wedding favors included small bottles of absinthe and handmade porcelain keys (made by Happiest Days Designs) with tags in both French and English. Tables weren’t given numbers, but names of influential writers and artists from Paris in the ’20’s. Table name

But the night wasn’t all about style (although there was plenty), it was a full out celebration of fun! The delight that Ryan and Yan had at their First Look was infectious!

Ryan and Yann First Look

The couple walked through a shower of bubbles at the end of the ceremony and that set the tone for the night.

Ryan and Yann bubbles

Special moments caught with family and friends show how much love they all share

Ryan and Nikki

and how to have some serious fun.

Dancing fun

The Kimpton Hotel Monaco, Philadelphia was the perfect venue. Modern twist art deco decor in a historic building. The food and service were amazing. They handled ceremony, roof top cocktail hour, and reception to perfection.

Cake

I can’t tell you what a joy it was to work with so many talented and top of their game vendors:  Chic Cosmetique (Make up), Glamster Girls (hair), Beautiful Blooms (floral design), Philadelphia String Quartet (Ceremony Music), Kimpton Hotel Monaco (Venue and Catering), and

Lauren Brimhall- Photography: https://www.laurenbrimhallphotography.com

All the GORGEOUS PHOTOS taken in this post were by the Marvelous Lauren Brimhall! She was so easy to work with and really understood how to capture the soul of the day.

end of the night independence hall

All in all an amazing wedding topped off with a little shimmer of snow. How beautiful!

xo Shawn- Happiest Days Designs

 

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Home Made Broccoli Rabe Pizza – YUM!

Cutting the Pizza

The above masterpiece is what the Broccoli Rabe Pizza looks like when it’s all done! So let’s back up and explain the steps to get you here 🙂

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough

Olive Oil

Broccoli Rabe (fresh bunch)

Lemon Juice

Garlic

Provolone Cheese ( 6-8 slices)

Fresh Mozzarella ( 4-6 oz. ball)

Step 1- Pizza Dough- When Kevin and I got married over 20 years ago- we were gifted with a bread maker. That bread maker has been a workhorse and has been used at least one a week for the past 15 years. Since my eldest daughter was 2- we have Pizza night every Friday night. It’s a tradition. Most of the time we make our own pizza, but sometimes we do take-out. The point to the recipe however, is that usually we make the pizza dough in the bread maker with the quick rising yeast. If you have a bread maker-its an easy solution and works really well. If you don’t most grocery stores sell frozen dough in the freezer section or if you are really stuck – use a boboli or even french bread works well.

2. Roll out the Pizza dough. We like it about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Then lay out either on a sheet pan (oiled or sprayed) or a pizza stone (put into a cold oven and them warmed up in the oven as the oven pre-heats).

3. Wash off the broccoli rabe and cut off the bottom third- woody stems. Saute the broccoli rabe in a little olive oil (two-three swirls around the pan) garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. When the broccoli starts to wilt- and the stems are a little soft- it’s all done.

Broccolli Rabe

4. Olive oil the pizza dough and layer with Provolone slices.

Provolone on dough

5. Layer with the broccoli rabe and fresh mozzarella.

Broccolli Rabe on dough

Pizza with mozz into oven

6. Into the oven for about 15 or so minutes at 500 degrees. The crust should get crunchy and the cheese will melt and spread.

Pizz oven in

7. When it comes out it’s all golden brown and bubbly and delicious!

Cutting the Pizza

8. Happy Husband! Yum!

Kevin and Pizza

xoxo Shawn – Hull’s Happiest Days Designs

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Handbuilding: Floral Mug- Start to finish

 

Step 1- Roll out the clay, measure and cut out the shapes.

Roll out of flower mug

 

Step 2: Form the cylinder around a tube.

Forming of mug cylinder

Step 3: Cut out a circle base- slightly larger than the cylinder.

Flower Mug Cylinder and Base

Step 4: Attaching the cylinder to the base

Attaching Flower Mug base to cylinder

Step 5: Attaching all the way around. Then smoothing

Process of attaching base to mug cylinder

Step 6: Rolling down the lip.

Rolling down the lip

Step 7: Pulling the handle

pulling the handle

Step 8: Attaching the handle.

Attaching the handle

Step 9: Forming the flowers

Making the flower

Step 10: Attaching the flowers

Attaching the flowers

Step 11: Attaching the dots

Adding the dots

Step 12: Selective drying. The lip and the handle with flowers.

Drying the mug

Step 13: Uncovered & Drying for 3 days

Day two drying

Step 14: Bisque Firing. Firing and cooling at least 12 hours.

Bisque Firing mug

Step 15: Glazing. Then firing to vitrification – at least 12 more hours.

Glazing mug

Step 16: Back to the kiln to fire to vitrification. Another 12-16 hours.

Bisque Firing mug

Step 17: Final mug! Yay! I hope Karen loves it 🙂 Check out the website and let’s collaborate and make something for you!

Finished mug after final glaze firing

xoxo   Shawn – Hull’s Happiest Days Designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And the Bride Wore Blue … J&M’s Wedding – October 2017

Church doorway1

J & M got married on a gorgeous Autumn afternoon in October. The weather was warm with just the slightest tinge of the chilly weather to come. A lovely quaint country chapel, set the stage for a lovely traditional wedding. But the pastoral traditional sermon as well as the entire event had a twist. The Bride wore Blue, game boards stood in for floral centerpieces, and mad libs and kissing menus encouraged guests to have fun!

The blue wedding dress donned by M is one of the many testaments to how truly unique this couple is! J&M’s wedding was a multi-state coordination, with the ceremony being held in Maryland, the reception in Delaware, and the wedding planner (me!) traveling from Pennsylvania.  However, buses provided by Charm City Connections in Baltimore made sure everyone made it to the Church on time and made it safely back to the hotel after a night of dancing.

The lovely DuPont Country Club served as the reception venue. The Crystal Ballroom was both stately and playful with claret and blue table linens and board game centerpieces for each table. J&M chose particular games for guest at each table to play after dinner and take home afterwards.   Cards Against Humanity and What Do You Meme were huge hits among the guests as well as oldies like Yahtzee. In keeping with the theme, Hull’s Happiest Days Designs also hand-folded small origami dice for the table numbers and huge ones (nine inches tall!) for the escort table. So fun.

Room view

JM10072017H-317

The fun continued with kissing menus, an adorable twist on the clinking of glasses to make couples kiss.  Instead, a table has to do something to get the couple’s attentions – like loudly singing a song – and the couple will kiss. Also, Advice to Newlyweds, a silly twist on the summer camp favorite Mad Libs were in play. Guests were encouraged to fill out their  marriage mad libs and the couple collected them for a hilarious keepsake of their happy day.

Mad libs

The couple made the most of their wedding and had fun with friends and family dancing the night away.

JM10072017H-803.jpg

We were so honored to be able to be part of this celebration. J&M we wish you years of love and happiness.

JM10072017H-441

xoxo Shawn & Kevin – Hull’s Happiest Days Designs

 

 

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Love and Hygge

It’s snowing outside, the candles are lit, you and your sweetie ( and kiddos optional)  are elbows deep in a mean game of Yahtzee, Candyland, or Cards Against Humanity, a warm fire glows, some snickety snacks – brie and bread, warm bowl of soup, and sipping a mug of hot cocoa – or if you are really lucky a mug of Glogg (mulled wine spiked with brandy). You are living the Hygge life! Hygge is a nordic word that roughly translates to cozy. This time of year cozy is my favorite! I love staying in with family and friends and just hanging out together with comfort food, good movies, a board game, or just chit chatting.

Girls Stranger Things

Valentine’s Day is coming up and a hygge Valentines Day sounds absolutely dreamy! Why not stay in- instead of going out? Cuddle up with your sweetheart in your flannel heart pajamas have an indoor picnic for two in front of the fire, play a game of Truth or Dare, and sip some Glogg. You aren’t driving make that two mugs of glogg. Enjoy time spent together without spending a ton of money or driving around town in the cold. Cozy up and enjoy you are warm and snuggly at home while the wind whips outside. What could possibly be better? Oh yes,…. three mugs of glogg.

Recipe for Glogg

Extract Ingredients:

3 cups of water
4 tablespoons of sugar
Zest of a lemon
2 tsp of cinnamon
7-10 allspice berries
dash of nutmeg
dash of ground cloves

Bottle of Red Wine ( your choice. My favorites: Merlot and Pinot Noir)Handful of RaisinsGinger Brandy

Put all the extract ingredients into a saucepan, simmer for 5-7 minutes and then strain.  Take a nice bottle of red wine of your choice- warm up. Meanwhile, soak raisins in some ginger brandy until puffy-5 minutes or so.  In each mug pour in some warmed red wine, top with an ounce of the extract,  add some soaked raisins to the bottom of the mug, and top off with a shot of ginger brandy. Yum!

Happy Hygge! xoxo

Shawn                                                                                              www.happiestdaysdesigns.com

Glogg with ingredients

 

 

 

 

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