Favorite Friday { Summer Crush }

Here’s a delicious recipe from Camille Styles that’s perfect for a summer soiree {great for engagement parties, bridal showers, or even as a signature drink}.

Ingredients:

  • 3 peaches, peeled and sliced (plums or nectarines would be great, too)
  • 1 large bunch of basil, stems discarded
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 3/4 cup gin
  • 3/4 cup Lillet
  • 1/2 cup light agave syrup
  • ice
  • club soda

Directions:

In a large pitcher, muddle the fruit with the basil and lime juice. Add the gin, Lillet and agave. Stir well, then pour into 4 glasses filled with ice. Top with club soda, and garnish with extra basil leaves.

Tuesday Tips { Meeting with your Florist }

Before you set up a meeting with floral designers, make sure you have these important details pinned down:

  • The Budget – your floral designer is definitely going to need to know how much you’re willing to spend on flowers. It can be really frustrating for brides if you’re florist comes up with a gorgeous design, just for you to find out it’s too expensive. If you have no idea how to come up with a budget for flowers, start out with 10% of your overall wedding budget. You can always allocate more to flowers at a later time if needed.
  • The Venue – The style of the venue may have a big impact on your floral design {rustic, modern, etc.} Check to see if your venue allows flower petals to be dropped during the ceremony, if candles are permitted, etc.
  • Color Palette – try to come with some sort of color scheme in mind. Your florist can definitely guide you in choosing colors, but it always helps to have at least one in mind {feel free to bring color swatches with you}.
  • Guest Count – you’re definitely going to need to know your guest count before meeting with the florist. This will determine how many bouquets/boutonnieres are needed for the bridal party, plus how many table arrangements you’ll need for guest seating. It will also help you determine the floral budget.
  • Flower Types – are there any specific flowers {or even a design} that you just have to have? Bring in a few photos of the style you’re looking for, and remember that flowers are seasonal so what you want may not necessarily be available for your wedding.

Tidbits & Tips { Simplify Your Wedding }

I’ll admit that planning a wedding is hard work. It requires lots of time and energy, but one thing it should not be is stressful. It should be a fun and exciting time for you and your fiance, so today I’m sharing a few tips on how to simplify the wedding planning process.

  • Less is more – for the couple that’s on a super tight budget, stresses out easily, or just prefers a more intimate gathering, consider having a smaller guest count. Just think – that’s less food to order, less favors to make, and more money you get to save =) If you’re on the “less is more” band wagon you should also consider having things like your favors do double duty {a favor that doubles as a seating card is one of my favorite ideas}.
  • Stop buying things – seriously, what’s the point in purchasing tons of vases, candles, and other decorations when they could easily be rented {and probably at a price better than what you’re already paying}. Most professional vendors will have tons of fabulous items that they’ll rent to you {vases, mason jars, etc.}.
  • Pull ideas from your personal life – the best and most unique details are ones that reflect the couple’s personalities. If you love books, consider naming each guest table after one of your favs. If you love food, then feature great food at your wedding. The possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating what you love into the big day.
  • Favorite Friday { Hayley Paige }

    I’m not usually a fan of strapless gowns, but I have to admit that I’m kind of obsessed with this Hayley Paige design! I love the contrast between the feminine ruffles and striped fabric =)

    Tuesday Tips { Vendor Meals }

    Deciding whether or not to feed your vendors is a tricky thing for some. While we don’t think you need to provide them with a “wow” meal, it’s always nice to make sure they get something to munch on. Here’s a few quick tips on choosing vendors meals:

    • Who should we feed? The short answer is any vendor that is staying for the duration of the wedding. A floral designer who is dropping items off, setting up, and returning at the end of the night does not need a vendor meal. Your DJ, photographer, and other vendors who are staying for the entire event are most definitely going to need a meal.
    • What should they eat? This is usually dependent upon the client’s preference. Some couples order a simple “boxed style” meal {sandwich, chips, and cookie}, while other couple may have their vendor eat off the buffet {after guests have gone through}. We definitely recommend checking vendor contracts because some of them require a hot meal.
    • When should they eat? Depending on the timeline, most vendors try to eat when everyone else eats. There isn’t usually too much going on during this time, so it’s a great chance for your vendor to sneak off for a few minutes to grab a bite.
    • Where should they eat? Try to keep vendors as close to the reception space as possible. Some couples like to provide a reception table specifically for vendors. If you’d prefer they not eat with guests check to see if the venue has a small side room near the reception space.

    Trendy Thursday { Farm-to-Table }

    These selections for a farm-to-table wedding from Chef Shannon Cook are seriously making my mouth water! She recently got married and shared some of her food selections from her special day:

    “We had small jars of olive oil roasted nuts and marinated olives for snacking.”

    “For the non-wine drinkers we had a selection of local beers. For water pitchers, we collected glass milk bottles all summer. Each bottle was laden with lemon verbena stems and fresh mint.” {She grew most of the herbs herself!}

    “We filled shallow wooden boxes and platters with what I feel are my favorite food groups – cheese and fruit. I like to offer guests a variety of cheeses and almost always rely on a tangy fresh goat cheese, a bloomy triple or double crème, a hard, nutty aged cheese such as a Parmesan Reggiano or Comté, and a washed, ripe cheese with serious character such as a Tellegio.”

    “I collected smaller jam jars to fill with a buttermilk and Oregon blue cheese dip and crisp farm veggies.”

    “Roasted grapes are a delicious accompaniment to roasted meats or a beautiful presentation on a cheese board. I like to serve them as a topping to bruschetta that’s has been spread with a creamy soft blue cheese or a tangy goat cheese and drizzled with honey.”

    Belathee Photography

    Tuesday Tips { If I Could Do it Again }

    We don’t like it when couples look back on their wedding day and wish they had done things differently. So, we’ve brainstormed a few tips that might help you in the planning process so your day will be what you’ve always wanted!

    • Don’t limit your vendor search to just your local area.
    • Give yourself plenty of time to plan!
    • Start reading blogs early in the planning process. Blogs are a great tool if you want to see past weddings from vendors you’re interested in.
    • Look up reviews – check out Wedding Wire for reviews on ALL your vendors!
    • Think about having a back-up pair of shoes {maybe some cute flats for dancing}
    • Be specific with your florist – tell them your style, your colors, and any specific flowers you want included. See if they’re willing to create a mock-up for you.
    • Consider having a smaller bridal party – having more than three or four bridesmaids can become difficult when you’re trying to keep track of everyone.
    • Lower the guest count – 300 people at a wedding is a LOT. Think about how much time you’re going to spend greeting everyone and not getting down on the dance floor.

    Tidbits & Tips { Wedding vs. Venue Coordinator }

    Lots of couple don’t really know exactly what a venue coordinator does. Some people think they’ll run your ceremony, setup personal items {menu cards, decor, etc.}, and make sure everything runs smoothly during your event. While some venue coordinators may assist with this, it’s not a common occurrence. Here’s a helpful list of what a venue coordinator will help with versus an actual wedding coordinator:

    Venue Coordinator

    • Recommend vendors that are familiary with the venue
    • Act as a menu consultant for all food and beverage selections
    • Detail your Banquet Event Order (BEO)/catering contract
    • Create an estimate of charges outlining your financial commitments to the venue/caterer
    • Create a floor plan of your function space in order for you to provide seating arrangements
    • Oversee the ceremony and reception room set up, food preparation and other venue/catering operations
    • Act as the on-site liaison between your wedding planner and venue/catering operations staff
    • Ensure a seamless transition to the venue/catering banquet captain once the grand entrance has occurred and dinner begins (this is typically when the Catering Manager leaves the reception)
    • Review your banquet checks for accuracy, prior to the completion of the final bill

    Wedding Coordinator

    • Provide venrod referrals to suit your taste and budget
    • Assist with etiquette and protocol for invitations, family matters, ceremony and toasts
    • Create a comprehensive timeline for your rehearsal and wedding day including the ceremony and reception
    • Confirm call times and details with vendors {and the bridal party} several days prior to the wedding
    • Act as a liaison between your family, bridal party, band/DJ, florist, photographer, videographer, caterer and other vendors to create a seamless operation
    • Ensure the ladies have their corsages, bouquets, etc. and assist with the pinning of the boutonnieres before photos
    • Deliver and arrange ceremony programs, escort cards, place cards, favors and any personal items (cake knives, toasting flutes, guest book, personal or family photos, etc….)
    • Coordinate the ceremony (line up bridal party, assist with brides dress, etc.)
    • Work with the venue and catering staff to ensure the reception room is set up properly with the appropriate number of tables (with table numbers or reserved signs placed correctly) and the proper number of seats at each table
    • Coordinate the reception (bridal party/bride and groom’s entrance, first dance + parent dances, toasts, cake cutting, grand exit, etc.)
    • Collect personal items and gifts as the night goes on and put them in the assigned persons vehicle or hotel room