Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Theme Party: Cinco de Mayo

Historically, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. A Cinco de Mayo party promises to be colorful, fun and festive!

Invitations: These great invitations will let your guests know they are in for a festive, casual party.

Decorations: Use bright, vibrant colors for your decorations. Utilize items such as sombreros, chili pepper lights, and maracas to decorate the room. Try covering your tables with Mexican serapes (shown below) to bring in an authentic feel. A neat centerpiece would be a sombrero filled with flowers. You could also make a centerpiece with real flowers and put them in an authentic Mexican food can like in the photo below. Pinatas can be used for both decoration and entertainment!

Feeling crafty? Try making some tissue paper flowers to decorate the room. Here are some simple instructions for making these flowers courtesy of Circle Time Kids.

-4 - 6 pieces of any color tissue paper cut into squares, approximately 8 inches
-One pipe cleaner
1. Stack the pieces of tissue paper with edges aligned, alternating colors.
2. Fold the stack as a fan (back and forth) in one inch folds until you have a 1x8 inch piece.
3. Use scissors to round out both edges of your "fan".
4. Squeeze the tissue "fan" in the middle and twist a pipe cleaner tightly around it for the stem.
5. Carefully fan out the tissue, then separate the petals and shape the flower and stem by pinching in the middle to bring the petals together.

Beautiful and authentic!

Another idea would be to hang tissue paper pomanders from the ceiling as shown below. If you aren't ambitious enough to make them, you can buy some on Etsy.

Favors: Send your guests home with items that fit with the theme such as maracas, tissue paper flowers, or some margarita salt.

Dessert: I love my dessert, and who can resist an adorable pinata cake like this one from Matty Cakes?

Food: Guacamole, salsa, enchiladas, tacos, Mexican rice...yum! There are so many possibilities. Try this delicious guacamole recipes courtesy of the Food Network's Tyler Florence.

-4 ripe avocados
-3 limes, juiced
-1/2 red onion, chopped
-1 garlic clove, minced
-2 Serrano chiles, sliced thinly
-1 big handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
-Extra-virgin olive oil
-Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop out the flesh with a tablespoon into a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork, leaving them somewhat chunky. Add the remaining ingredients, and fold everything together to gently mix. Lay a piece of plastic wrap right on the surface of the guacamole so it doesn't brown and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Cocktails: What Cinco de Mayo party would be complete without margaritas? Here is a great recipe for a Beer Margarita from All Recipes:
-1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
-12 fluid ounces tequila
-12 fluid ounces water
-12 fluid ounces beer
-1 lime, cut into wedges
Pour limeade, tequila, water, and beer into a large pitcher. Stir until well-blended, and limeade has melted. Add plenty of ice, and garnish with lime wedges. Adjust with additional water, if needed.

Music: A live mariachi band would be ideal for this party. But if you can't get a live band, pre-recorded music will be great. Amazon sells mixes of mexican party music that are sure to get you and your guests in the mood!

Now that you have all the elements in place....enjoy your party!

{Photo credits: Invitations from Party Invitations, Sarapes found here, flower collage clockwise from top left: Flowers in a galvanized pail found here, tissue pomanders found here, flowers in a sasla can from Flickr, flowers from Fresh & Vintage blog, Maracas from the Sassafrass Store, Margarita salt here, Salsa and guacamole from Flickr, Margarita from Devil Graphics.}

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weddings: Monograms

A customized monogram is a beautiful way to coordinate many aspects of your wedding. Here are some ways you can use a monogram in your wedding:

-Save the dates
-Menu cards
-Place cards
-Table numbers
-Aisle runner
-Miscellaneous signs
-Welcome baskets or bags
-Ceremony programs

I recently asked Sarah of Belletristics to design two customized monograms for Rebecca and Jason's upcoming wedding. The couple met on an airplane, and are having a purple and green spring wedding. The "love is in the air" theme will be repeated throughout the reception in a tasteful, subtle way. Rebecca has a beautiful vintage inspired dress, so I didn't want the designs to look too modern. But I still wanted to incorporate their fun personalities and keep it looking appropriate to the season. Sarah designed these beautiful monograms that we will be using throughout the wedding...

Don't you just love the way she cleverly incorporated the airplane theme by making the "t" look like wings? She is so talented! If you are looking for a monogram or other stationary for your wedding, you should definitely check out her website. The prices are very affordable and her customer service can't be beat!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Theme Party: Preppy Pink and Green Birthday Party

With spring in the air, I thought a preppy pink & green birthday party would be a fun party theme.

Cupcakes - these are adorable and wouldn't be difficult to make yourself. This beautiful display was made by Amy Atlas Events. Amy creates beautiful and delicious dessert tables.
Fabric Swatch - you could use this fabric as a table runner, tablecloth or napkins. Found here.
Flowers - I just love these pretty flowers in a box made to look like a present. All you need is a box, ribbon, tissue paper, and flowers. So cute!
Perfume - Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker found at Macy's would be a great gift for the birthday girl, or you could give it out as favors.

And what fun would a pink & green birthday party be without a green cocktail to enjoy? Try this fabulous recipe courtesy of Sandra Lee. To keep with the theme, instead of garnishing it with an apple or leaves like she does, I would use a stick of pink rock candy.

Apple Martini
-2 trays ice
-1/4 liter vodka
-1/2 liter sour apple mix
-Splash sweet vermouth
-1 granny smith apple, cored & sliced

Directions: In a medium pitcher, combine ice, vodka, sour apple mix and vermouth. Stir thoroughly. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with apple slice. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eye Candy: April Showers

Are April showers getting you down? You can't help but be cheerful on a dreary day when you wear a pair of these adorable rain boots from Chooka. So many styles to choose from and they are all so fun! I have seen some of these boots available at DSW. Pair it with a fun umbrella, and you will be singing in the rain and splashing in the puddles.

It doesn't hurt to be prepared if a little rain should fall on your wedding day. Invest in some umbrellas that match your wedding, and you will be ready in style!

{All boots from Chooka, umbrella found here}

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weddings: Spring 2010 Gowns

In Style Weddings has chosen their top 25 gowns from the Spring 2010 collection. Here are a few of my favorites...

{From left to right: Gowns by Modern Trosseau, Angel Sanchez, Jim Hjelm, Vineyard}

Friday, April 17, 2009

Confetti: Wedding Timeline Tips

If you are getting married this summer, chances are you are beginning to think about the timeline for your wedding day. A timeline is a great tool that helps keep everyone in the loop, from your wedding party to your vendors. It also forces you to plan things out in advance - instead of just flying by the seat of your pants on your wedding day. With a written schedule of events, everyone knows their place and you can relax knowing that you have laid the groundwork for the day to run smoothly. You shouldn't have to think about the timeline on your actual wedding day...leave that to your consultant!

One of the tasks of a wedding consultant is to assist you with your timeline and help you think of things in advance that may present problems. Here are some things to consider...

*The wedding ceremony begins at 2:00 - the limo is picking the bride up at 1:00, and she will arrive at the church at 1:30. Where will she go for a half hour? Does the church have a room for her to wait in? Many churches do not have areas for the bride wait, so she may want to consider arriving later. Plan ahead, and ask the church in advance what their policies are.

*Cake Cutting - If you are serving wedding cake for dessert, the venue may require you to cut your cake before dinner. A traditional timeline puts the cake cutting after dinner. Make sure to check with your venue regarding their policies so that you aren't taken by surprise.

*Photographs - Make sure to speak with your photographer in advance to plan the timing of photographs. Many photographers are particular about when they prefer to take shots. Make sure that the flowers will be arriving prior to any photographs needed. For instance, if the bride is doing portraits at her home before the wedding, she will want to make sure the flowers are delivered on time for these photos.

These are just a few tips to get you thinking about the way the day will flow. If things don't time out exactly as planned on the wedding day, don't let it get you down. After all - the only time that really matters in the long run is when you say "I Do!"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Inspiration Board: Cherry Blossom Inspired Wedding

I recently had the privilege to visit Washington, DC while the cherry blossoms were in bloom. They are truly a beautiful sight to behold. Here are some ideas for a cherry blossom inspired wedding. So fresh and classy!

{Clockwise from top left - Cherry Blossom Wedding from The Knot, Save the date card from Papeterie, Cherry Blossom ring pillow, flower girl basket and guest book from Nuptial Celebrations Canada, Bridesmaid dress by Mori Lee , Favor box from Brides, Glasses from Favor Ideas}

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Confetti: The Importance of Shopping Around

I am decorating an upcoming wedding for one of my brides, and I was searching for julep cups to hang from the pews at her wedding ceremony. These small julep cups with detachable pew clips are perfect. We can get double use out of them by attaching them to the pews at the church, and then taking the clips off and using them as part of the tablescape at the reception.

I found these online through a popular wedding favor site for $5.42 each. I thought this was a bit expensive, so I did some more searching on google for a better price. Flowers & Supplies offers the exact same product for $2.39 each! The florist told me he wasn't even able to find them for this price.

Lesson learned - don't always go with the first place you find online when searching for wedding items. Many retailers increase the price the minute they hear the word "wedding." Be a smart shopper and you can have the same beautiful wedding for a fraction of the cost!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Vendor Spotlight: Easton Entertainment

Today I sat down with Bill Shaflucas, owner of Easton Entertainment. Bill is one of my favorite local DJ's. When you hire him as your DJ, you know you are getting him at your event. As a coordinator, this is a huge benefit because I always know what to expect! Bill is an easy going guy who is eager to please his clients. He takes a laid back approach at events - and he likes to stay in the background and let the party evolve around him. He has a great knack for playing the tunes people want to dance to - and the dance floor is sure to be rockin' when Bill is around! If you want a DJ that will be dancing with your guests & entertaining them with his antics, then Bill isn't for you. But if you want someone who is going to consistently play quality music, knows how to make a crowd have a good time, and professionally attends to your event, I highly recommend him! He can be reached at 716-510-1357.

How many years have you been in the business?
10 years

How did you get started?
I was working as a bartender at Kahunaville in the Galleria Mall. During happy hour one night, they were playing the house music over the sound system and the atmosphere was dull and boring. I went over and started playing with the music to try to liven things up. People liked it so much that they asked me to play music on a more regular basis, and soon my job changed from bartender to DJ!

What is your favorite part of your job?
I like seeing people on their best days, and being able to create a fun atmosphere for them.

What is the most memorable event you have worked at?
I recently did a wedding on the stage at Sheas. And just being on the stage looking out into all the seats, and thinking of all the famous people who had been on that stage was something I will always remember.

Any crazy wedding stories to share?
I once did a wedding where two hours into the reception, the Best Man told the Groom that he had slept with his wife the night before! A giant fight broke out...and needless to say, I just packed up my equipment and left.

What advice would you give to couples who are planning a wedding?
Don't sweat the small stuff! At the end of the day, you will be married and that is what's important. Just go with the flow and don't stress over things that may not work out as planned.

What are some of your favorite local party or wedding venues?
Sheas, Banchetti (great Italian food!) & Seneca Niagara Casino. It is always great to hold your event near somewhere that has a nightlife scene so that your guests have something to do when the event is over.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your hobbies?
I like to run and play soccer. But really my job is my hobby - I am so lucky.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Eye Candy: Wedding Shoes

So you have found the perfect what? Don't forget to buy a great pair of shoes to go along with it. My Glass Slipper offers gorgeous couture shoes from designers like Kate Spade, Giuseppe Zanotti & Filippa Scott. They also have a discount section where you can find some great deals! Here are some pretty finds from their site...