Hats Off to Groundhog Day!

February 02, 2016. Category: catering, ceremony, traditions, trends

Sometimes it feels like planning your wedding is a bit like Groundhog Day, you see the same traditional elements over and over again.  You don’t want to give up on tradition but also want to put your spin they day. So in honor of Punxsutawney Phil we want to pass along a few of our favorite twists on some wedding traditions. Here’s to not seeing your shadow and starting something new!

Embrace the Darkness

We love a good daytime ceremonies but there is a certain romance and elegance about getting married at night. Use candles and a good lighting team to direct the guests attrition to exactly what is important…the two you starting your life together.


Photo by Raquel Reis

Get Up and Move

Release your guests from their tables and let them mix and mingle! A dinner of food stations and passed small plates and mixing up the seating with cocktail tables and lounge furniture is the perfect way to get your guests to interact throughout the evening. Worried your guests are too shy? One the specialty cocktails start flowing so will the conversations (and dance moves)!


Photo by Vicki Grafton Photography

Brides-man…Best Woman

Your posse may not necessarily fit perfectly into gender groups. Skip tradition and ask those that truly mean the most to you to stand next to you as you say “I Do”. Your brother is your BFF, make him a brides-man. Your childhood friend is a girl, best woman material right there.

View More: http://erickelley.pass.us/kelly-jay-wedding

Photo by Eric Kelley

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How to include your dog on your wedding day

August 26, 2015. Category: pets, trends

For so many, a dog is not just a pet, he’s part of your family. If your pup holds a special place in your heart, you may be looking for special ways to include him in your wedding as well. The good news is there are lots of options! Take a look at these adorable photos from some of our favorite weddings.

Getting ready

Every bride needs their friends and family around as while getting ready for her big day. Many hotels have pet-friendly policies so that your pup can be there with you for photographs as you’re getting dolled up.

ajp-1002Photography by: Abby Jiu

At the ceremony

For really talented (and obedient) pups, your dog could play a special role as best man, ring bearer or even videographer, wearing his own mounted GoPro camera on a harness.

VickiGraftonPhotography-Film-364Photography by: Vicki Grafton

For dogs who may not want to play such a leading role, have your pup on hand for family shots. Make sure he or she has a snazzy outfit to complement your attire. There are options from collars with bowties, neck ties, or fabric flowers. You can also ask your florist to provide a floral collar made of babies breath or greenery.

Photography by: Abby Jiu

Things to consider

1. Are dogs allowed at your venue? 

Make sure to ask this if you are considering including your pup. If not, you can opt to
include your dog in your engagement photos or in your 
post-ceremony pictures outside!

2. Is your canine companion’s temperament compatible with a wedding?

The last thing you want is for your furry friend to take off running the wrong way down the aisle, or get too enthusiastic about greeting guests along the way.  Think about how long your pet will be able to participate before getting tired or bored and plan accordingly. Ask a dog-savvy family member or friend to be your dog wrangler as you’ll need someone to hold the leash and move off to the side if Fido gets too excited.

3. Safety first! 

Make sure your plans are safe for both your pup and your human guests. If you’re planning to dress your dog up, make sure the clothing is dog-safe (no toxic materials or choking hazards)! Make sure any floral items he is near aren’t poisonous if ingested. You would also do well to inform your guests that your dogs will be present so that anyone with allergies (or even a fear of dogs) can prepare.

4. After party

Most dogs will tire after a few hours – they’re missing out on their daily naptime with all the excitement! Make plans for Fido to head out to his own special vacation at a local doggie daycare or boarding facility. Or hire a dog walker to take him out for walks from your pet-friendly hotel. Most pet-friendly hotels will have a list of dog walkers, or you can use one of our favorites: Wagtime. They provide services for daycare, boarding and dog walks!

Finally . . .

5. Inform your photographer.

If your photographer is expecting those unexpected adorable moments that pets create, he or she is far more likely to catch them on camera. Plus, your photographer might have some really cute ideas to suggest as well!

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Flavor of the Week

August 17, 2015. Category: trends

Many of our clients consider themselves “foodies” so we often try to incorporate new food trends into our weddings and events.  These are a few new hot foods, that you should think about too!



Broth (sometimes called stock or bouillon) is, essentially, water that’s simmered for long periods of time with a marrow-filled bone. Broths are usually meat-based, but chefs are getting creative, adding all sorts of vegetables and herbs. If this sounds simple, it is! In fact, broths have been around for as long as the restaurant industry has, but they are recently becoming more and more popular. Why? Maybe it’s the potential health benefits of consuming all those nutrients, maybe it’s a desire to return to simpler foods. Either way, it’s delicious.

Smokey Flavors 

Adding a smokey flavor to more than just meat is becoming more and more popular year round. Chefs and even at home cooks are turning up the heat on their proteins, vegetables, butters, and even cocktails. But how exactly does smoking work? Smoking is a way of cooking using wood smoke to indirectly heat the food at a lower temperature. Below are two recipes from Today.com you might not expect to be smokey, but that taste great!

Smoked coconut cheesecake

Courtesy of chef Ian Chalermkittichai, Spot Dessert Bar


3 8–oz. packages cream cheese
1 cup ground chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 oz. white chocolate, shaved

1. Place a Thai incense candle in a 3–inch-wide bowl; place within a larger bowl containing cheese. Light candle; cover bowl with foil. Smoke for 30 minutes. Uncover bowl; set aside.

2. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Mix crumbs and butter in a bowl; press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan wrapped in foil. Bake until set, about 15 minutes; cool. Process cheese and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add 1 cup cream, salt, vanilla, eggs and yolk; process until smooth. Pour cream cheese custard over cooled crust; bake until cheesecake jiggles slightly in center, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Cool, and chill for 4 hours.

3. Whisk remaining cream, coconut milk, and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form; spread over cake. Sprinkle with chocolate to garnish.

Sun tea 

Courtesy of Tim Byres, “Smoke: New Firewood Cooking”


1 (750-milliliter bottle tequila or bourbon)
1 (2-by-7-inch) cedar or maple wood plank

In a large glass container with a lid, submerge the wood in the spirit and allow it to soak for 2 days. If you are making this with tequila, use the cedar wood; if with bourbon, the maple. When you are ready to use, pass the spirit through a fine-mesh strainer and reserve in clean and dry jars. You can drink this straight or use in mixed drinks.



Kalettes are a vegetable hybrid between kale and Brussels sprouts. Don’t worry though, they’re not genetically modified! Tozer Seeds bred them through cross-pollination (like Broccolini or cherry tomatoes). These new veggies are extremely nutritious, taste nutty and sweet, and, are cute-looking too. One Huffington Post writer suggests serving them sautéed with garlic, chile, Parmigiano and almonds. See a Domenica Marchetti’s recipe for this here.



This ancient Ethiopian grain has become extremely popular recently in health stores worldwide. Why? Tiny though Teff’s seeds may be (they’re about the size of a poppy seed, making them one of the smallest grains in the world), they are extremely nutritional. They are extremely high in protein and contain eight essential amino acids. They are also naturally gluten free! Teff is commonly ground up into flour to make one of Ethiopia’s most beloved foods, Injera, a spongy flatbread, but it seems like it can be incorporated into almost anything! Hella Wella directs you to a ton of great recipes for Teff, ranging from a Teff Burger to a Teff Polenta! Or check out  Ashley Neese‘s recipe for Sweet Potato Teff Pancakes.

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Outdoor Wedding Reception Games

June 25, 2015. Category: experience, inspiration, trends, weddings

A great way for you and your guests to have fun at your outdoor wedding reception is to offer a variety of lawn games and activities. Lawn games allow guests of all ages to mingle, get to know one another, and have some friendly competition as they celebrate you!

A few of our favorite games include Bocce Ball, Ring Toss to Cornhole.

Photography by: Abby Grace

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Wedding Websites: Top 4 Things to Include

June 09, 2015. Category: how to, trends

Wedding websites are becoming very popular as they are a great way to get the word out about your upcoming wedding. A couple’s wedding website is a place guests can go to locate information about the wedding, weekend events, travel accommodations and more.

Wedding website template “Olive” from Riley & Grey

These websites can be customized to suit your personality, requirements, and more, but there are a few must-haves:

1. Your Wedding Schedule (including the date and time of each event, venue locations, etc.)

2. Directions to your venues

3. Travel accommodations (including hotel blocks or suggested nearby hotels)

4. A link to your registry

“Golden Temptress” template by Ceci New York for Appy Couple

Finally, keep in mind that you should share your website by putting your url on your save-the-dates!

“Alex” template from Squarespace

Here are a few of our favorite sites that help couples create their wedding websites:

Squarespace for Weddings

Appy Couple

Riley & Grey

Wedding Jojo

When looking for a service, check to see how they set up their pricing. Can you pay month by month? Is there a set period of time that you have to have the site up or can you cancel at any time? Also, some templates may be designer options and may cost a bit more.

You may also want to see if they’ll offer a custom domain name. Some services include this as part of the hosting cost.

“Whimsical” template by Martha Stewart weddings for Wedding JoJo

There are an infinite number of really beautiful and unique templates available, but at the end of the day, remember that your website can be short and sweet! Provide the four key pieces of information, you’ll be set.

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