When it comes to the look of a wedding, one of the biggest details are the wedding flowers.  Flowers by themselves are lovely, but when put in capable hands can take on new combinations, textures and style.  This is one of the many floral designs from our client’s weddings that we loved.  The purples are vibrant and varied with some fun hanging bubble vases which made a perfect ceremony archway piece.

purple wedding altar inspiration

purple-wedding-aisle flower-inspiration

purple destination wedding program inspiration


(Photo credit: Sherman Chu, Floral design by Mints Design)

Aug 27, 2015 by Jamie Chang

Hello and welcome to an all new Wedding Wednesdays Q&A.  Today we’re discussing the guest list: I just got engaged and I know we need to create our guest list before we can look at anything.  We did start putting down some names, but are struggling with who should actually go on the list.  Do you have any tips to help us?

So, you are right that before you can even look into venues or pick a date, you’ll need to make a realistic guest list.  Your guest count will dictate which places are a good fit and will also greatly influence your budget.  Some do the guest list first and then the budget, while others do the budget first.  Either way, they are inextricably linked, so having a solid number will be important and affect all your decisions going forward.  With that being said, here are 4 steps to help you put together your list:

1. Sit down with your fiancé and start making a list of everyone that is important to you and who you want at your wedding.  Make your list freely and don’t limit yourself (that comes next).

2. Once you have an initial list, look it over in detail and ask yourselves these questions: Is each person on this list someone you are close to?  Do these people know who you really are and do you envision them being a part of your lives down the road?  If you had your wedding and this person wasn’t there, would you be sad?

3. For most couples, you’ll need to cut your list down in order to achieve the wedding you are looking for.  With guest lists, many times we tend to invite people because we are supposed to, but this is an opportunity to really think about the people that matter to you.  Take your answers from step 2 and start paring your list down to construct a list that makes sense for the two of you.  These should be the people you have to have at your wedding and will be bummed if they aren’t there.

4. Once you’ve come up with a list that feels good, you’ll want to look at it and just guess who you think will actually RSVP yes.  If you are having a hometown wedding where most people live, chances are that most people will come.  If you are doing a destination wedding, you can have anywhere from 25-80% of your guests coming.  I know estimating is hard, but just give it your best guess so that you have an number of actual attendees.  Then pad the number a little and this will be the guest count you should use going forward.  Now, a word to the wise, your list will change and get tweaked and of course your actual attendees won’t match your guess, but if you’ve done a good job it should be pretty close.

Got a wedding planning question you need answered?  Let us know in a comment below.

Aug 26, 2015 by Jamie Chang

Technology is amazing and it’s changed the world.  It’s changed how we communicate and who we communicate with and it’s drastically changed how we work.  We live in a digital world where we are constantly on our phones, laptops and tablets checking email or updating our social media (for work or for personal use).  And while in some ways this makes it easier for us to connect and get work done, it also has a huge impact on our lives and our health.  Heavy technology use has been linked to higher stress levels because we never disconnect.  Even on vacation, we are checking our emails and responding to people and as such we really never leave our jobs behind.  We don’t get that separation that vacations used to give us where we can’t be reached and out of the office really meant out of the office.

Even I who admittedly am not the hugest digital fan, am on my devices a lot and it’s true that my vacations are rarely device or email free.  It’s one of the curses of being your own boss and being able to work from anywhere.  But, not unplugging and taking a real vacation from work, is detrimental to your health (higher risk of heart disease), your sanity (it changes your brain) and let’s be honest, the joy of being on vacation.  So, let’s make an effort to unplug and enjoy life.  Let’s take back our vacations, be with real people (our friends and families) and experience life.

To have a true unplugged vacation, sometimes you need to go somewhere where you can’t be tempted to check email.  Many of us are weak and will peek at our phones or laptops even if we made a promise to ourselves to unplug and with so many places that have wifi, it’s not hard to cheat.  So, book a trip to a place where you just can’t connect (or it’s hard to) and it will force you to put your device down and see the world.  One of the major plusses to picking an unplugged vacation destination is that they are also some of the world’s most pristine and untouched places.  Which is not only perfect for a vacation, but a honeymoon as well.  And some of these places even hold weddings too!  In my books, that is a win all around.  Check out these destinations, perfect for you to get off the grid and get back into your life.

Unplugged Vacation Destinations in the US:

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (California)

Grand Canyon (Arizona)

Little Palm Island (Florida Keys)

Yakutat (Alaska)

Ultima Thule Lodge (Alaska)

International Unplugged Vacation Destinations:

American Samoa (South Pacific)

Wolwedans (Namibia, Africa)

Elephant Watch Camp (Kenya, Africa)

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica (Peru)

Shakti Ladakh (India)

Concordia Eco-Resort (St. John, USVI)

Hix Island House (Puerto Rico)

Manicou River (Dominica)

Emerald Lake Lodge (Yoho National Park, Canada)

Bamurru Plains (Australia)

Blancaneaux Lodge (Belize)

Gaia (Belize)

Haramara Retreat (Riviera Nayarit, Mexico)

Azulik (Tulum, Mexico)

Isla Palenque (Panama)

Does this make you want to book your next vacation and give yourself a digital detox?  I sure do!

Aug 25, 2015 by Jamie Chang

We’re on a music kick (if you haven’t noticed) and this week’s inspiration comes from the Thievery Corporation.

Aug 24, 2015 by assistant

Did you hear the good news?  Mango Muse Events is now on Periscope!  Yup, for the first time you’ll get to talk to me directly, which I’m really excited about.  I’ll be doing Q&As, sharing wedding planning tips, DIY wedding design, travel tips, peeks behind the scenes and more much awesome stuff.   I’ll be doing my first session soon, so come and join me for some fun!  You can follow me @mangomuseevents.  I hope to see you soon!

Aug 22, 2015 by Jamie Chang

Every wedding has it moments, but my favorites are always ones where the couple is just being totally themselves.  I love this post ceremony moment of petals falling, an ecstatic bride and a smiling and amused groom.  Classic.

Happy Anniversary to Jessica and Kelly!

(Photo credit: Rachel Robertson Photography)

Aug 21, 2015 by Jamie Chang

Megan and Greg’s wedding had so much going for it, cute DIY details, a fun wedding party, great food, a full dance floor and an awesome beachside location.  But, the best part?  All the love flowing from the guests, to their friends, to the parents, to the couple.  There was lots of love with this one.




Happy Anniversary to Megan and Greg!

(Photo credit: Strotz Photography)

Aug 20, 2015 by Jamie Chang

In today’s Wedding Wednesdays Q&A we’re talking about your wedding budget:  We just got engaged and we’re starting to dive into all the planning, but we’re a little unsure about the wedding budget.  My number is different than my fiancé’s and we’re not sure what to do about that. How do we know what the right budget is?  Help, please!

Oh, don’t you worry, I’ve got you covered!  Below are 4 steps to help you create your wedding budget and get you on the same page.

1. First, list out what you want and rank what is important to you (start separately, then share).  This will give you an idea of what you each are thinking and allow you to come up with a list together.   You may have to compromise, but it will be good practice for your marriage.

2. Come up with your scary number.  This is the dollar amount that gives you a heart attack and is what you absolutely do not want to spend.

3. Figure out the range that you are comfortable spending to get the wedding you want.  Having a range gives you flexibility to splurge on the items you really care about if needed.  This will also help you to compromise and bring your numbers together.

4. After you have your range, come up with your ideal number (that is also realistic) that you will shoot for within your range.  This will become your goal budget and the number you’ll use to plan going forward.

Got a wedding planning question you need help with?  Share it with us in a comment below!

Aug 19, 2015 by Jamie Chang

A few months ago we participated in the Beyond Blu Bungalow Venue tour at the Exploratorium, a fun interactive museum in San Francisco right on the water.  The tour was for engaged couples looking to experience a venue and vendors in a new way.  For the event, we designed a table perfect for a geeky chic couple who wants their wedding to be both beautiful and fun with lots of personality.  As always when I design without a real couple, I make one up as our inspiration.  So, this couple was geeky and proud.  They both worked in biotech and had a love of science.  They chose the Exploratorium because of all the fun exhibits that their guests could enjoy, but also for the awesome views of the bay and the bridge.  It was the right place for them as it wasn’t stuffy or showy, but open, fun, modern and different.

For the table design, I wanted to keep the design fun and geeky, modern and natural, so I centered the whole table around the idea of an “Imperfect Science”.  Love is imperfect and an uncontrollable force, but it’s beautiful and something to be celebrated.  This design embodied that idea and was a combo of symmetry and geometric shapes with a slightly off artistic asymmetry to it.

The centerpieces were a combination of shapes and sizes.  We had beakers, testubes and cloches as our vases and used spiky flowers with lots of interest, texture and geometry.  The flowers were pretty, but also were chosen because they looked like specimens.

We used a wood table to keep the natural element, but also used metal chairs to give it a little bit of an industrial feeling.  The charger, china and napkins were chosen for their texture and shapes as they brought some interest to the table.  Instead of using a runner, we had 2 napkins displayed in a diamond shape to serve as the base layer of the design and add some contrast.  The colors were approachable, but layered with purples, blues, greens, black and white and some metallic accents for some pop.

The placecard holders were made of black and white molecules, and the placecards were hand painted with varying shapes.  Since we didn’t have real people seated at the dinner, we invited the cast of the Big Bang Theory to pose as our guests.  I think they had a fun time.

One of my favorite parts of the design besides the molecule holders and placecards was the colored beaker water.  I did some experimentation with it beforehand and I think it added something a little extra and made it that much more interesting.  This was so fun to create and certainly fun to see come together.  Off to our next design!

Do you need some help creating your unique design?  We can help!  Contact us today to get started.

Aug 18, 2015 by Jamie Chang

Did any of you check out the Perseid meteor shower this past week?  I really wanted to, but couldn’t get out to a deserted enough place to see it.  I heard it was cool though!  It made me think of the stars, so this week’s inspiration is a great line from Coldplay’s song, “Yellow”.

Aug 17, 2015 by assistant


Jamie Chang

Freshly picked is a blog of tasty morsels to inspire, amuse, encourage, excite and help make your life easier. We share wedding planning, travel and design tips and inspiration and anything else that tickles our fancy.

Jamie Chang is the owner and wedding planning maven at
Mango Muse Events, a boutique event planning and design firm specializing in customized destination weddings and social occasions. Mango Muse Events is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and orchestrates events all over the world.

connect with us






  • 2015 (178)
  • 2014 (160)
  • 2013 (171)
  • 2012 (59)
  • 2011 (20)
  • 2010 (30)