Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Costa Rican Rentals

I recently was very fortunate to be invited by Destination Bride and Costa Rican Rentals to explore and experience Costa Rica! Costa Rican Rentals has a number of amazing villas in the North Pacific Guanacaste Region of Costa Rica. These villas vary in size so there's something suited for any purpose from intimate destination weddings, honeymoons, group vacations, etc.

Myself and an impressive handful of wedding professionals were treated to 4 days and 3 amazing nights of 5 star treatment as guests at these villas. Each villa comes equipped with a full staff who are so incredibly friendly and helpful that I almost felt guilty for how well we were being treated...almost :).

Every morning this awaited us when we woke up along with eggs, margaritas, guacamole, margaritas, rice & beans (a CR staple food), margaritas, potatoes, etc...

For dinner we usually enjoyed a fresh fish of some sort

...fried deeply

...fried deliciously

Here are some scenic pictures of the area:

During the day there were a number of activities we could partake in like fishing, zip lining, trips to the local town, in-villa massages and of course enjoying the beach. I'm not sure if this is true of all Costa Rican beaches but the one near us had all black sand. I think it had something to do with the once upon a time active volcanoes.

On day 3, we held a table design challenge. Prior to our departures to Costa Rica, we were each told we could bring whatever we wanted from home to create a Costa Rican destination tablescape.

It was really amazing how each table was totally inspired by something different. One table was done in a rustic-chic beach style and another felt like a tropical rain forest hut. For me I went the romantic/nostalgic Costa Rica with lace, coffee and Catholicism. Check out my table!

We were given the raw basics

Ceci New York brought different sets of stationary for us to incorporate into our tables. I used this purple and pink set for my table.

Here's a look at my completed table but let me tell you how we got here!

Thanks to my friends at Classic Party Rentals who lent me a burlap table cloth for my trip. This was also 1/4 of my luggage and weighed 10lbs on its own!

What says Catholic more than these tall candles, which by the way only cost about $2 each or less at the market. Sometimes I find them at the 99 cent store (but you may have to peel off a Jesus or Mary sticker from it)
BORROW THIS IDEA: Next I spilled the beans that is. I poured the beans right onto the table and if I didn't have the prettiest table of them all I certainly had the best smelling table. In the coffee beans I nestled in votive candles.
HELPFUL TIP: So, coffee beans catch on fire (lesson learned). If I were to ever do this for a real party/non-photo shoot then I would definitely not put open flame directly by the coffee beans.

The flowers they supplied us were overly tropical varieties for my table so I started hunting around the grounds and found these flowers behind the pool. I used a mixture of the dried dying pale pink ones with pops of the fresher more vibrant ones for a nice tonal gradient. Pretty, huh?

With the loose flowers, I scattered some on the coffee beans and with a bunch of the others made a trail off the table to create a puddle of petals that winded down the side of the table. Since the table cloth was a loaner I didn't want to glue it in so I ever so delicately weaved in the stem into the burlap fabric.

BORROW THIS IDEA: To continue that romantic, nostalgic feel I brought from NY yards of lace that I used as accent on the floral centerpiece as well as a skirt on the napkins and menus. You can also see a variant of this idea on Amy and Sean's wedding I posted.

I'm a fan of draping pashminas on chairs. They are not only great pops of color but are also very handy when the night temperature starts to set in. Even in paradise the nights can be chilly. Chinatown $3 dollar pashminas are totally worth the purchase!

For another pop of pink I added these local cookies. Yum, Chiky! I spotted these cookies in a jar by the entrance (mostly because I wanted to eat them the night before) and pulled them apart to reveal the inner pink filling and set them next to each setting. Why not start with something sweet?

Everyone gathered for dinner every evening and honestly can say that I made lifelong friends on this trip.

Especially my villa-mates and new friends for life! Ashley Baber of Ashley Baber Weddings (left) and India-Jewel Jackson of (right).

Thanks again to Lisa Light and Karrie Burns from Destination Bride for organizing the event!

For more information on the trip and on Costa Rican Rentals, read below:
Heather Mahaffey
Costa Rican Rentals, LLC
o: 800-569-2688 or 912-756-3011

Oh, what I would give to be sitting with my feet in the pool again and not bundled in these layers! I miss you, Costa Rica.

Photos Courtesy the talented Ms. Corbin Gurkin.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Instyle Weddings - Weddings We Love: Famously Fabulous Affairs

Daughter of Design is very excited to share that one of our recent weddings for Il Divo's tenor, David Miller to soprano Sarah Joy Kabanuck is featured in the Winter 2010 issue of InStyle Weddings' "Weddings We Love: Famously Fabulous Affairs" which hit stands on 12/25/09. InStyle showcased David and Sarah's story and ceremony pictures but I'll be sure to post much more detailed shots of the entire event on my blog shortly.

It's a shame this will be the last edition of InStyle Weddings but we're honored to be a part of its final publication.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

MTV Truelife: I'm a Newlywed

If you were recently married or are getting married between now and the end of February and would like to be on MTV's Truelife: I'm a Newlywed, contact us at

You must be between the ages of 18 to 28 to qualify.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

WeddingChannel article: Fall Weddings 101....

...and Daughter of Design is your professor!

Check out our recent interview for Fall Wedding ideas that don't fall short.

Click here to see the full article: Fall Weddings 101