Friday, May 27, 2011

The 411: Creative Food Bars

Men, women and children all will remember one main element at your event.  Be it a wedding or a summer bbq, the food is a key element to any party's success.  I have been seeing a ton of creative additions to weddings with creative side bars to keep guests happy until the last song.  But scale down these same ideas and they would be a perfect fit for a more casual affair.  Here a four of my favorite inspirations right now:

#1. Ice Cream Parlor
Wedloft featured a spectacular ice cream parlor set up that made me curse the stars that I am lactose intolerant and don't have free range of every item on this table.  Of course you can provide soy ice cream for your guests along every topping under the sun, making sure there are labels for each item for any guests with allergies.  Timing & location is an issue since you don't want your beautiful display turning into a sloppy mess, so save this idea for an indoor reception, limit the bar's availability to 2 hours and always check with your venue first.  If you want to try this out for a home party, limit the types of ice cream and keep any unused cartons in the freezer.

#2. Trail Mix Buffet
Who doesn't enjoy trail mix?  This is a personalized and fun update to the dessert bar featured on Style Me Pretty.  You can set out the different items for guests to create their own trail mix or you can set out different styles of pre-made trail mix.  Perfect for health nuts and this is the lowest cost bar on the list.  Yum!

#3. French Fry Bar
So mashed potato bars have become fairly common but what says all-American party more than french fries?  Wedloft featured this mouthwatering setup which makes french fries look classy and chic at a wedding, imagine that!  I could easily see this being a huge hit at a house party as well as a great compliment to burgers and dogs.  I would suggest using plates so guests could pile on cheese, crab meat, bacon, chili... the possibilities go on and on.

wedding food

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hitched!!! Matt Wedding 2.19.11

As a professional first, I stepped into this wedding a mere 3 weeks ahead of the big day and I was so excited to find out that I would be working with two amazing vendors that I have had the pleasure of working with before, the caterers and the photographer.  Erin & Nick are a great couple who live on the border of Kentucky & Ohio although Erin is from Baltimore and Nick is from upstate New York.  They were ready to throw a big celebration years in the making and I am honored that I was a part of everything.  I first had the pleasure of meeting them at the rehearsal ceremony.  I worked very closely with the mother of the bride as well as phone meetings with Erin to get ready for her elegant February wedding day.  I must send a special shout out to my amazing event assistant/ co-coordinator, Christine Jermusyk, who really helped me make this incredible day possible.

There were so many beautiful, personalized and well thought out details to this wedding.  The wedding party and families all got ready at Hotel Monaco which is a truly spectacular place for photos.  The couple choose to have a first look session and it was as beautiful watching in person as the images below.  As a wedding surprise to Erin, the bride's parents surprised her by renting a vintage white rolls royce from City Lights to take her and her father to the ceremony.  The couple was very thoughtful to book a shuttle to take their wedding party to the ceremony and then to the reception, courtesy of Z Best Limo's.  Erin and Nick choose the breathtaking chapel at St Paul's School, where Erin had gone to high school.  For the reception, they selected Baltimore's 1840's Ballroom as their venue which really set the stage for the amazing night ahead.   The amazing venues along with the wedding party and guests were captured by Jacqueline Schlossman Photodocumentary who I cannot say enough good things about.  We all lucked out that the day was warmer than expected for mid-February and the wind made for some great images. 

The reception was catered by Sascha's Catering who have worked at the 1840's Ballroom many times and as always, exceeded all expectation with the setup, presentation, food & drink and their entire staff.  The decor was complemented by the bride's aunt's company, the florists of The Flower Cart.  Having a relative involved in the planning process made it that much more enjoyable for Erin & Nick and all the floral arrangements were stunning.  The live party band Character Zoo handled the music & MC duties for the entire reception and they really made the party come alive.  Erin &Nick had first seen Character Zoo at a friend's wedding and were so excited to book them for their own big day.  Enjoy these photos and please check Felicity C Weddings' Facebook page for the whole photo album. 


Friday, May 20, 2011

Would You Wed Like Kate? (part 1)

The royal wedding was three weeks ago today and by all accounts, we have all eased back into normal life.  But there were some really amazing details that will certainly be inspiring brides for years to come.  I wanted to take a closer look to see which aspects of the wedding that the world watched would be trending this wedding season.

#1. Colored Engagement Ring
Not that the bride has much choice typically, but this sapphire stunner made headlines around the world for its beauty, its history and the fact that it is not your standard engagement rock.  The main reason for the popularity colorless diamonds is that they are not only classic but they go with anything you could ever wear.  I wrote a post about the popularity of colored engagement rings catching on with celebrities, it might just catch on with the rest of us soon.

#2. Kate Did Her Own Makeup
So many people, myself included, were surprised to learn that Kate decided to do her own makeup for the most watched wedding this century.  She did take lessons from a makeup artist but chose to apply by herself.  For most brides, makeup and hair stylists are necessary vendors for a few reasons- to cut down on the anxiety of perfecting the wedding day look, having access to a professional and lastly because for most brides these services are a rare luxury.  Celebrities get their hair & makeup done on a weekly basis, so are they 'over' this luxury?  It was speculated that Kate made specific choices with her wedding to represent herself as "one of the people" and this was a very good example. 

#3. Her Maid of Honor, Sister Pippa, Wore White
Today's bridesmaids dresses are always well thought out- coordinating color themes, wedding formality, season, etc.  White is traditionally a color only worn by the bride at the wedding but the trend of white bridesmaids dresses was gaining speed even before the royal wedding.  Not only have I seen this on wedding blogs, but Felicity C Weddings had a client in September 2010 who had two bridesmaids, both in knee length white dresses.  Kate's sister Pippa looked amazing, although a bit orange for my tastes, and may give more steam to this growing trend.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Balancing Your Wedding Planning In Our Digital World

While I am completely for the technological evolution that allows people and ideas to be shared almost instantly, I wanted to take time out to advocate for stepping back from the keyboard during wedding planning.  Keeping bridesmaids updated on group emails, skyping dress fittings with out of town VIPs and of course subscribing to wedding blogs for inspiration are the key highlights to be connected online.  I've seen people on facebook sending out requests like "looking for a great caterer/DJ/photographer/site in this city. any referrals?" which is a really great use of getting real client reactions.  Yes, there are many advantages to the social media outlets we all use daily. 

My concern is that brides may be obligated to share every detail and photo on social media which can create many problems.  Here are three basic rules to keeping your sanity in this over-sharing social media world.

1. Limit the information you are sending out
Your betrothed, your families, your wedding party and your wedding planner are the people with whom you should spend the most time discussing wedding plans.  Constant oversharing is already rampant on facebook ("today I ate a turkey sandwich", "I hate when it rains", "I hate traffic, boooo!") much less oversharing of wedding plans.  Offbeat Bride even has a post "how to talk about your wedding on facebook without pissing people off".  How can this be a problem?  Do you have a huge friend/ acquaintance list that may include people who are not invited but assume they are invited since they receive all the updates?  Or are you not inviting everyone to the pre-wedding parties & feel awkward posting a status & photos online for everyone to see?  Posting photos of your linens, the bridemaids dresses or sharing too many details online not only leaves little to the imagination for guests, but it opens up a portal for every 'friend' to give his/her opinion.  There is a delicate balance to this, since I've also heard a lot of brides that complain their out of town relatives ask repeatedly for wedding updates on facebook so they can feel connected.  Each couple has a different comfort level with how much information they are putting online.  Make sure you speak with your beloved before posting wedding info to avoid any unnecessary stress.

2. Don't let social media turn you into a bridezilla
Whether it was on purpose or just an accidental effect, the wedding industry has created this overwhelming competition aspect to planning a wedding.  In addition to scouring wedding blogs, looking at your friends (and friends of friends' friends) wedding photos online can turn any calm, well intentioned bride into feeling like "I must out-do this wedding" or "my wedding is so lame compared to this one".  Every wedding is different because it is a personal reflection of your tastes, families, friends, cultures, religions, and overall couple style.  That is what makes wedding so fun to go to for guests, each one is a new experience.  Step away from the rat race and focus your energy on the aspects that will make your wedding special.