Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sweet summer favors

Summertime often means more light and refreshing local foods for wedding dinners and parties, like grilled fish, fresh garden salads, and smaller bites for hors d' oeuvres like ahi, snapper, and shrimp. We often recommend pairing light and refreshing dinner entrees with complimentary desserts (think short cake, light lemony wedding cake, fruit tarts, and whipped mousses), rather than heavy and rich wedding cake flavors.
For a gorgeous wedding last year we had specialty vanilla and lemon/raspberry cakes crafted for each of the 22 guest tables so that guests could share in the fun of cutting the cake as a group and dishing up a portion that was to their liking. It was a super fun take on the traditional wedding cake, and the individual cakes were incredibly fresh.
We also paired a delicious lemon and basil sorbet as a palette cleanser in between courses!
To make your own spin on wedding desserts, think about incorporating fresh berries in berry cobblers baked in small ramekins, light cheesecakes, or single servings of lemon tarts. Your guests will appreciate the unique take on one of the oldest wedding traditions. If you don't want to completely balk the tradition of having your own wedding cake, why not go with a small head cake for the bridal party table that you can cut.
Fresh baked pastries from San Diego Desserts or the French Gourmet will be sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Summer Inspiration: the South of France

I love to get event design inspiration from places I've been to and have photos of to refer to, like the South of France. I've been there a few times and the colors are incredibly stunning and have inspired many an event. The atmosphere is stunning and the people of Nice in particular are so amazing! The snapshot below is of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France.

Here is a fun and summery inspiration board for a summer party or wedding reception -focusing on the hints of true ocean blue and a touch of a sunshine yellow. Focus on incorporating Southern France and Provençal items like specialty linens, soaps, olive oils, or gift wrap for your wedding favors. Accent these lovely gifts with Midori gift wrap and ribbon, as seen on my board.
I found these wedding party jewelry accents from Banana Republic at a super affordable price, and the skirts from J. Crew - all items are under $100 so they make the perfect gift. Think unique when naming your tables - go with exotic locales you've traveled to or your favorite restaurants or wines; things that aren't always seen at weddings...

Orchids are a tropical detail that will tie it all together. From delicate white dendrobium orchids scattered down your aisle to thick, lush clusters perched above the guest tables, this selection would be stunning with hints of Mediterranean blue and a splash of cheerful yellow in the place cards or bright roses. Think Cotes du Rhone or Chateauneuf du Pape wines and a rich, yet light and delicious menu featuring shellfish and pastas. Top the night off with gourmet desserts or tea cakes and cookies, like sweet Madeleines, my favorite.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

In addition to being a religious holiday, Easter signifies spring and great brunch!
Here's a recipe for a fantastic and refreshing lavender bellini that will be sure to have your brunch guests wanting more:

1 part peach puree
2 parts Prosecco or another sparkling wine
1 pinch of edible, nontoxic, dried or fresh lavender

1. Place the puree in the bottom of a champagne glass
2. Carefully pour in the sparkling wine
3. Don't stir, but use a spoon to pull the puree up along the sides of the glass, so that you won't lose the bubbles
4. Decorate with the lavender
5. Enjoy!

For another special treat, stuff pastel gift boxes with Easter truffles and place on each place setting for guests of all ages. I had fun decorating these eggs with bling!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Expert Advice: Fabulous Invitations from Izzy Girl Press

We love working with Janet Maples from Izzy Girl Press to create gorgeous wedding invitation suites and birthday invitations for our clients. Not only is she incredibly creative, but she's sweet and fun to work with! We went to her to ask about what's new for fall invitations. Here's what she says:

Summer isn't even here and I'm already looking forward to fall and the color inspiration it will bring for weddings. It's a fun time for couples to plan a celebration that really stands out from the rest ...and it all starts with the invitation.

Purple is going to be a popular color for the fall season. From lilac and lavender, rosy mauve to deep purples - it's a wonderful color to set the tone for a glamorous event. Think dreamy deco! We used a deep purple in this invitation set and added a pop of vibrant orange. Embellished with a dose of feather-y design, the invitation had a touch of whimsy.

Other purple pairing ideas: pair with rich, rustic brown or shiny metallic for some added glitz. Think charming + inviting and pair lavender with olive green.

Regardless of the colors you chose for your invitation, remember to be creative and be true to your personality!

Thanks, Janet! Stay tuned for other vendor advice from other talented wedding artists we love.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Refreshing Approach to the Signature Drink

While the "signature drink" has long been a staple at weddings and events, why not offer guests a bevvy of fun signature drinks at stations to sample while celebrating your nuptials?

From an espresso and tea cart to a scotch bar, a wine tasting station, a brew lounge, and a martini bar, you will give all of your guests something they'll enjoy and talk about for years to come! Wanting tropical flair? Why not offer pina coladas or mint juleps for a hot afternoon soiree? What a great chance to allow the bride and groom, their wedding party, and families, to all make fun suggestions based on their favorite drinks as well!

Think about keeping the costs (and in most cases much less than a standard bar) down by offering one or two types of scotch, rather than an assortment; and don't offer a complete bar with rum, vodka, gin, etc. The key is to offer what you know your guests like. Don't offer liquor that isn't generally popular with your crowd; that's where funds can get wasted quickly. Be sure to offer non-alcoholic beverages at your celebration - whether it's a homemade rosemary lemonade or sparkling water accented with cucumber slices or lemon, offer something that's out of the ordinary. We're still keeping it simple but kicking it up a notch and creating another thoughtful detail for your guests to enjoy.


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