Sep 27, 2010

Reinvent the guestbook with photos

Image: OpulentCreationsEvents
The guest book is a long-standing tradition of the wedding.

You get to see your guests' best wishes for you on your big day and look back upon them when you get teary-eyed and sentimental. Rather than have a big white book and a pen, get creative and let guests have fun.

Rent a photo booth or get a Polaroid ready with a cool background that matches your theme.

Check out this wedding where they had a beach theme.   The bride and groom setup a rowboat with props and a cute background.

Once your guests take their pictures have them write their names and a sweet message for you. Glue it or place it in a guest-book or on a tack board for everyone to see.  You could also have a wedding tree for guests to hang their wishes for you onto.

The other nice bonus to the photo guestbook is that when your reading your wedding cards and opening gifts and you say to your Groom, "Hunny, look at the lovely card Aunt Ethel gave us." and when he looks at you and says, "Which one was Aunt Ethel again?" You can pull out the photo and show him the aunt he forgot about in your sea of 500 guests.

Sep 24, 2010

Turn Everyday Comfort foods Gourmet for a unique and Fun Event

What's your secret guilty pleasure?

Is it Mac & Cheese?  Tomato soup with grilled cheese?   Or maybe even milk and cookies?

While these may seem like everyday comfort foods to most, they can be the most memorable at a party.  It's what everyone knows and loves and they'll appreciate that you're sharing something so unique and fun.

Here's a little secret.  At your wedding reception nobody really cares about the fork tender tenderloin.  They want fun comfort foods that they crave.  So how do you turn mac and cheese into a gourmet appetizer?  Start with an awesome gourmet recipe and turn it into bite sized portions.

Make a lobster mac and cheese with upgraded cheeses (think fontina and guierere) and even some pancetta.  After you make the mac and cheese, throw them in greased mini muffin tins and top with a bit of breadcrumbs and bake till golden.  Pop them out and serve.  Viola, you have a fantastic mac and cheese that's now a great appetizer for your guests.

Recipe for Lobster mac and cheese with pancetta - (with the option for this as an appetizer)
recipe adapted from the gourmet foodie blog
*2 seven ounce lobster tails or 1 lobster – pre-cooked and chilled in the refrigerator.
12 ounces pancetta diced
5 ounces unsalted butter
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3 ounces Cheddar, shredded
3 ounces Fontina, shredded
3 ounces Gruyere, shredded
12 ounces macaroni pasta

* the original recipe called for a lobster that was uncooked and then to be cut up and put into the pan.  I cannot bring myself to kill a live lobster by cutting it open alive.  It takes all I have just to boil or steam it (but at least I find it to be a slightly more humane death).  I have adapted this recipe to pre-cook the lobster by steaming it.  You can steam lobster in a large pot by placing a small amount of water and heating the water until steam forms.  Once steaming, place your lobster in the pot with tongs (so you don't get burned) and wait.  The bigger the lobster the longer it takes to cook.  You can tell if your lobster is done by pulling on the antenna.  If it comes off clean and easily, it's done.  If you cannot pull it off, he's not ready yet.

1. Cut the butter in to once ounce cubes. Place 4 ounces of butter in a small pot and melt slowly over low heat.
2. In a small pan cook the pancetta until slightly crispy.
3. Place a pot on high heat with heavily salted water for boiling the macaroni.
4. Melt 1 ounce butter in medium sized pot over medium/high heat. Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes stirring constantly until the mixture browns and develops a nutty smell.
5. Stir in the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Add the milk and, again, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
6. While this is simmering your water should have reached a roaring boil. Add macaroni to your pot of boiling salted water.
7. When your cream sauce has simmered for 3 minutes slowly add the three cheeses, a handful at a time, and stir until fully incorporated.
8. When the pasta is fully cooked pour the pasta into a colander to drain off water. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the cheese sauce. Mix well. Fold in the cooked lobster meat and pancetta; serve immediately.

To turn into an appetizer
Follow recipe above and pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.
1. Let your mac and cheese cool, or speed up the process by placing a bowl in the fridge while preparing  for the appetizer.
2. Grease a mini-muffin pan in preparation for your mac & cheese.
3. Pour some breadcrumbs into a bowl
4. place an egg white, milk or melted butter in a dish
4. Take a mini ice cream scoop or a spoon and scoop out a bit of your mac and cheese that has been cooling.  Drop this dollop into the bowl of breadcrumbs and lightly coat your "ball" of mac & cheese.
5. Drop your "ball" into a mini muffin tin slot and lightly brush with either the egg white, milk or melted butter.  Repeat until you fill the muffin tin.
6. Place your muffin tin in the oven and watch it, checking every 5 minutes until the top starts to turn a golden brown.
7. Remove your muffin tin and pop out your mini mac and cheese appetizers with a spatula or spoon (that won't scratch the pan) and serve on a platter immediately.

Image from
Turn tomato soup and grilled cheese into a gourmet display by simply serving the tomato soup in a shot glass or martini glass with a mini wedge of the sandwich on the side.

Image from Blissful Moments
Image from the Cake Blog
Sick of the same old wedding or birthday cake?  Forgo the cake or have an additional milk & cookies bar.  Serve ice cold milk in old fashioned milk bottles set inside ice buckets.  Serve your cookies in jars and on plates that are different heights.  Personalize the look with stickers, ribbons and tags that match your theme.

Sep 22, 2010

What's your top 3?

Today we're talking about your top 3 important things for your bash.  In a wedding there are a lot of elements and when you're on a tight budget, it can be hard to pick what's most important to you.  The solution is to sit down with your significant other and pick the top 3 things that matter most to you and spend the most on that.

For me the most important thing is for people to have a good time and for my wedding to be outside the box.  So my top 3 things are Entertainment (DJ/Band), Food & Drinks, and location.  I didn't want just some big hall where it was a "wedding factory".  What I mean is some locations have more than 1 wedding going on at the same time and it's got no character.  Others are just a big room that looks nice inside, but its next to a busy road.  I wanted something different and exciting, so I've been looking a venues that have a beautiful inside & outside and are not your run-of-the-mill halls and country clubs.

Good food is also important.  I'm looking at places that either let you bring in your own chosen caterer or have an excellent on-site chef.  I also want someplace that will offer signature drinks and other options that are different and unique.

Entertainment.  We've all been to the wedding where the DJ is playing music that's inappropriate, boring or just doesn't make sense.  I absolutely want my guests to enjoy themselves, dance, sing and have a great time and the music and entertainment is what makes that happen. (the alcohol might help a tad too)

Sep 16, 2010

Get fit for your wedding in style

I think just about every bride out there goes on a diet before she gets married.  If she doesn't lose the weight she wants by diet and exercise, it may just drop off by stress.

I felt the urge to start on a major diet when I recently went to visit one potential reception site.  The bride and groom were leaving after getting married the night before.  The bride was so flipping thin that I felt like a fatty (and I'm within my weight range for my height).  I turned to my fiance and said... ok if I want to be as thin as bride, starvation mode starts now.

While I was just joking about starving myself.  I do know I'm going to go on a diet at least 6 months before our wedding.  Just as every bride wants to look good at all times, that includes while we are working out. 

Now I have seen some women go to extremes and work out in full makeup. (Gross.  I don't understand how you can have full makeup on while you're sweating all over the place? )  At least what you're wearing should look cute.  To the left you'll see one really cute outfit from the new Bravada Women line.   I just love this workout outfit that Kim Kardashian is wearing.

Women's workout gear is typically so boring and unattractive.  I'm so glad finally there's something out there that's cute and a one size fits all.

Like this look?  Check out the whole line here

Sep 14, 2010

The Bridesmaid look for Fall

Get the look here

 Planning a Fall Wedding and looking for something flirty and beautiful for your bridesmaids to wear?

I created this fashion inspiration board for a fall garden look. 

Give your girls leaf bouquets with orange or nude roses, shimmering taffeta gowns and lovely floral accessories.

Sep 11, 2010

Let guests get to know each other with ice breakers

I happened to be browsing through style me pretty and found this great .pdf download. It's to get your guests that are intermingled at tables and might not know each other to have fun, ask questions and play games. Luckily the .pdf is editable, so I customized it to my colors and some games and questions I wanted.

Below are my modified questions:
  • How did you meet the bride/groom?
  • What was your favorite part of the ceremony?
  • What was your own wedding like?
  • What famous couple do the bride and groom remind you of and why?
  • If you could go anywhere for a honeymoon, where would it be?
  • What is your favorite love movie / chick flick?
  • What is the silliest/ funniest thing you've ever seen at a wedding?
  • What's your favorite song?
  • What was the first concert you went to?
  • Dog or Cat lover?
  • Have you ever been to a destination wedding?
  • What's the best thing you ever ate?
  • What's your favorite restaurant?
  • If you had a signature drink,what would it be?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I also changed some of the games and added a Mad Libs game to the Let's Play section.

1.) adjective____________  (2.) adjective ____________  (3.) plural noun ________
4.) adjective____________  (5.) noun _____________ (6.) exclamation __________
7.) verb ____________ (8.) exclamation _____________(9.) exclamation _________
10.) noun ____________  (11.) verb ______________ (12.) noun _______________
13.) verb _____________ (14.) noun ______________ (15.) adjective____________
16.) noun ______________

We are ____________(1) for "Bride" & "Groom". They are the most____________(2)   ___________(3) and we wish them nothing less than ____________________(4)
________________(5) for the rest of their lives.   My best advice? Don't forget to ______________(6)  before you _______________(8) and _________________(9) after the _____________(10). "Groom" should always _______________(11) "Bride's" ______________(12) and "Bride" should always ____________________(13) "Groom's" _______________(14).   We wish you number years of happiness and ________________(15) _______________(16).

Sep 10, 2010

Guide your guests to their destination

photo credit: frolic
If you have a large wedding venue, it can get pretty confusing for guests to know where to go.  A growing trend in weddings is to add little details to make life easier for your guests.

One cute idea is having signs guiding guests to the right locations.  For example, they may have to park in one area, visit another for the ceremony and then another for the reception.

It can get even more confusing if you have fun activities planned like a photo booth.  How do they know where to go?

Chocolate butterbean
With these cute ideas like the rustic street-signs and the polished and clean parking sign below, your guests will be sure to appreciate your gesture in helping them get un-lost.  (Just think drunk guests at the end of the night)

Another great idea is if your event ends in the evening, make sure to light the way out of your venue.  Late at night it can get dangerous for guests that are unfamiliar with your location, especially if its dark and wooded.

Whether you choose a path of flickering candles , electric lights or even Solar, it will make a safe exit as well as give a beautiful look to your post-reception getaway.

Sep 9, 2010

Rehersal Dinner / Bridesmaid Luncheon Look

Want a cute outfit for a Rehersal Dinner or a Bridesmaid Luncheon? Why not a pretty Tiffany Blue look that's Classy & Sexy?  This look easily takes you from Day to Night.

Sep 8, 2010

Invitations - The Royal Treatment

Couture Wedding Invitations
After thinking I would go with a pink & brown theme for my wedding, I had to go and find these gorgeous purple invitations. 

They're so regal and droolworthy.  I think you'll agree.  Now that my venue is a gorgeous estate that looks fit for royalty, I may just change my color scheme ideas...

Between this lovely Couture Invitation to my left with the stunning crystal swan by Wanderlust and the beautiful and chic set that I found on Evelopements below, I think I may be in love with purple...

Good thing I didn't pick my bridesmaid dresses yet. 

Sep 3, 2010

A Nautical Wedding

Planning on having a ocean-themed wedding but don't want to do it on the beach? Think yacht clubs, ships, oceanfront properties and marinas. Some of the items in this inspiration board to set your theme:
- message in a bottle invitations
- gold knot rope cufflinks
- blue bridesmaid dresses with red shoes
- blue emelished wedding gown
- an old looking map for your directions
- sailboat placecard holders
- an ocean-look cake
- nautical wedding bands
- rope-knot gold and white shoes
- rope-knot earrings
- replacing boutonnieres with nautical pins
To find all the items in the look above, click here

In addition to these looks I found some other cute ideas for nautical themed weddings.

Sarah Bastille
Nautical Wedding Cake
rope-knot escort boards