15 Ideas to Spice Up Your Wedding Reception via Bridal Guide

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 11.36.28 AMHey Y’all,

I read a blog via Bridal Guide Magazine that’s full of useful tips on how to add fun decor and activities to your wedding reception that promote socializing among your guests and add a personal touch to your big day.

bridal-guide-may-june-2014I highly recommend taking a peek at the post if you’re in the throws of wedding planning. Have a great Monday, everyone!
-Brian

Winter Wreaths For Your Door and Mantle

Hey Ya’ll,

If you don’t have time to load up your home’s exterior with twinkling lights or can’t be bothered with a shedding tree adorned with beautiful bulbs, there’s one easy way to instantly add holiday cheer to your abode: a winter wreath!

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.09.09 PMWhat do you think of these lovely blue themed wreaths? How about these wreaths with beautiful bursts of red?

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.11.22 PMA classic green wreath is always a good choice, too…

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.16.01 PMIf you’re crafty, try stringing leftover bulbs together using some wire or hot-gluing bulbs to a bare wreath (click HERE for a tutorial for the wreath below from http://sharyncarlson.typepad.com):

6a00e553e8d96888330120a64bf1a2970b-450wi

Image and tutorial via http://sharyncarlson.typepad.com

Another fun idea is spray painting some holly to create a metallic, sparkly wreath:

31ab6a3b0eb9ce353230fae0717167d1Wreaths are a great way give a seasonal nod to a holiday and the best part is that they can be hung over a mantle, on a wall or on a door. Do you have a winter wreath you use every year or do you prefer to switch it up? Let me know in the comment section below.
-Brian

Wedding Wednesday: Interactive Buffets

Hey Ya’ll,

Interactive buffets are a fantastic way to serve food at any event but particularly at weddings. Whether you use a buffet for just one part of the meal or your entire menu, buffets offer a lot of variety and are a great way to put a personal touch on your event.

This is the candy buffet I created for my friend Bettie's Baby Shower

Bettie’s Baby Shower Candy Buffet

To create an interactive buffet, all you need is a variety of foods that allow guests to essentially design their own meal. For example, if you want to offer a late-night snack at your wedding, you could do a savory buffet that allows guests to make their own gourmet grilled cheese. Or, if you’re like me, you could opt for something sweeter, like a candy buffet. Below, you’ll find my best tips for creating an interactive buffet that allows guests to make their own dessert as opposed to doing a traditional wedding cake.

image via TheKnot.com

image via TheKnot.com

1. Guests can serve themselves. This accomplishes a couple things, it creates less waste because guests are only taking what they want to eat, and it also allows guests to enjoy their meal and dessert at their own pace throughout the evening.

I found this lovely display on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/pin/257479303669367388

I found this lovely display on Pinterest from The Candy Buffet Company.

2. Variety is the spice of life, or in this case, the sweets in life! This is an easy way to incorporate multiple desserts into your menu and give your guests lots of choices. You can create a buffet of different types of cake, or candy (my favorite!), donuts, or any other dessert items that tantalize your taste-buds.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 6.32.13 PM3. Presentation. A dessert buffet is a great way to add to your wedding reception’s decor. I love using a mixture of large glass containers like vintage apothecary jars, mason jars, etc.

Expert Tip: Always make sure that you have the appropriate serving utensils, spoons, tongs, or scoops for each item.  Make sure that the candy is easy to reach by stacking the vessels on the tables so that everything is displayed nicely and the smaller or lower items are in front and larger items are in the back.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 2.54.47 PM5. Party Favors. I love the idea of having your dessert buffet pull double-duty as a party favor station. All you have to do is include packaging at the end of the table for your guests to wrap up a few desserts to take home at the end of the night.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 2.55.41 PMDepending on what kinds of items you include in your buffet, you may need more than one type of packaging. Anything from small cartons, boxes, baggies or wax paper bags can work. Be sure to include some ribbon, twine or washi tape on the table for guests to seal their packages with.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 3.09.41 PM5. Personality! A dessert buffet is a fantastic way to show the couple’s tastes and personality. I recommend creating a monogram using the couple’s new initials to use on the table wherever possible (e.g. The packaging I talked about in #4 is a great place to incorporate a monogram).

If you were creating a dessert buffet for an event, name one item you would HAVE to include in the comment section below. Go!

Man, I’m drooling just thinking about a table full of my favorite sweets n’ treats. Good thing Halloween is coming… candy coma here I come! You can find all of these candy buffet pins and more HERE on my Pinterest page. Have a great #WeddingWednesday everybody!
-Brian

Related Posts:

Donut Dessert Ideas for Your Next Special Event

Halloween Candy Buffet Tips

My Top 10 Tips for Hosting an Easy Holiday Party

My Favorite Fall Wedding Ideas from Pinterest

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.43.14 PMHey Ya’ll,

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost October and fall is already officially here! Are you planning a fall or early winter wedding? Some people think that getting married during these seasons can be limiting in terms of flowers, venue and even food choices, depending on your geographic location. However, I think autumn weddings can be fantastic because there are fewer of them and there’s a lot of room for creative touches. If you’re planning a wedding to take place during the not-so-warm-months, check out my tips below for a little Pinspiration!

Accessories for Warmth1. Accessorize! One of the coolest parts of getting married in the fall or winter is just that, it’s cooler! By wearing a wrap, a cardigan, a sweater, a jacket, a fur stole or even a cape, fall and winter brides can further establish their personal wedding day style and color palette. You can wear these accessories for just your photos, just the ceremony, just the reception or all three.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.46.02 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.45.02 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.46.36 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.47.33 PMYou can find these fabulous pins and more on my ‘Here Comes the Bride’ Pinterest board, HERE.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.31.47 PM2. Use what’s in season! This can help you to settle on a color palette more easily, create a menu and select your flowers. For bouquets and centerpieces, OneWed has some fantastic fall floral inspiration, HERE. Don’t forget, sticking to seasonal selections doesn’t need to conflict with your decor or chosen color palette, you can always alter things to make them work. Take, for example, pumpkins. While they may come in orange and white in nature, you can add tacks, or paint, or ribbon or washi tape to make them work for your decor.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.42.42 PM3. Choose Venues with an Indoor/Outdoor Feel. Fall and winter are some of the most naturally beautiful and picturesque seasons of the year depending on where you’re located. Use this to your advantage when selecting your venue.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.44.42 PMOne thing you will need to keep in mind, however, is the weather and how that relates to the comfort of your guests. If it’s too cold to be outdoors, maybe you do some photos outside, then move inside for the ceremony and reception. Or, if it’s not too cold in the early evening, aim to have your ceremony outdoors (maybe provide blankets or wraps for cold guests to barrow!) and then move inside. If you must stay indoors, look for a venue with great views, since you chose to get married during these beautiful seasons and it has likely inspired all of your design choices.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 5.44.06 PMBonus Tip: I love the idea of throwing beautiful red, yellow and orange and gold leaves, as opposed to confetti or petals, for an autumn wedding. And since there’s so many on the ground this time of year (most places!) its an easy/free item to use for decor at your wedding. You could attach tiny pouches of leaves on the guests chairs, or put them in baskets at the end of each isle for the ushers to pass around for each guest to grab a hand-full before the bride and groom walk down the isle.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen done at a fall or winter wedding? Would you ever wear a jacket or sweater with your wedding dress? Let me know in the comment section below.
-Brian

Bettie’s Beautiful Baby Shower

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.27.16 PMHey Ya’ll,

I’ve designed baby showers in the past and been involved in the planning of them for clients, but when you are one of the chosen hosts for a baby shower for a dear friend, it is a completely different story!

Bettie and I at my Birthday party a couple weeks ago.

Bettie and I at my Birthday party a couple weeks ago.

My friend Elisabeth Stassen or Bettie, as I affectionately call her, is due any day now, so myself along with five of her good friends combined forces to create the perfect baby shower for her.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.36.13 PMWe met, created a game plan that utilized all of our different skill sets, and then divided and conquered to make sure that each detail came together on the day of the event.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.41.58 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.39.40 PMOur main objectives were to create an afternoon that was a little bit non-traditional in theme and decor, but very personalized to Bettie’s high standards and tastes.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.46.15 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.48.28 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.47.59 PMBettie has event planning experience and knew exactly what she wanted and didn’t want, which in some ways made our job a little more difficult but in other ways it really helped us.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.51.02 PMFor the decor, we stuck mostly to classic neutral colors. Think: ivory, khaki, pink, light green and light blue!
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.49.56 PM

The event’s color palette was inspired by the invitations that we found on Etsy. We used these colors in and outside of Bettie’s home for the flowers, table linens, party favors, cups, napkins, and even the food.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.56.42 PM

I of course, was in charge of the cake, a therapeutic challenge that I always enjoy taking on.
Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.37.05 AMI used my new cake pans to create a layered white, Funfetti cake (my signature flavor!) and topped it off with some playful white and pink frosting and sprinkles!

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.06.38 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.07.42 PMAll the hosts made or brought different food that was a specialty in their wheel house.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.08.45 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.10.36 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.37.41 AMAll in all, I think we created a relaxing day of eating, drinking, gift-giving, friendship and of course, celebrating David and Bettie’s new baby girl.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.09.37 PMHave you ever combined forces with friends to plan an event for a dear friend? Let me know what you were celebrating and how it turned out in comment section below.
-Brian

Related Posts:

How to Host a Fun and Chic Summer Baby Shower!

Operation Shower: Go, Baby Go!

Operation Shower

My Wedding Decor Featured By Grace Ormonde Wedding Style

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 1.13.58 PMHey Ya’ll,

One of our YourBash! designs from last year’s Hotel Del Coronado shoot is being featured today on Grace Ormonde’s Wedding Style in their gorgeous ‘Tabletops and Decor’ photo gallery.

phoca_thumb_l_the-bridal-bar-014This photo was taken from the ‘Simply White: Design No. 8 from My Hotel Del Coronado Photo Shoot’. <– Click here to see all of the photos from this shoot. And be sure to check out www.weddingstylemagazine.com, for tons of wedding design inspiration, tips, and more.
-Brian

Operation Shower: Go, Baby Go!

photo[4]Hey Ya’ll,

So far, 2013 has been busy, busy, busy! And today is no exception! I’m currently in San Diego for another fantastic Operation Shower event benefiting military moms.

photo[5]
My business partner Jaime and I designed a special table for the event along with 11 other designers. Our table featured bright red cars, navy blue airplanes, and vibrant pops of yellow from the confetti we stuffed inside each baby bottle. We had lots of fun coming up with creative ways to use gifts and party favors for the moms as decor for the table.

photoDon’t you just love all of the fun airplanes, cars, bikes, clouds, and colors?

photo[1]Once it was all set up, the space really reflected the joy and happiness of the deserving moms in attendance.

photo[2]The event’s sponsors include: Birdies for the Brave, Ashford University, Petunia Pickle Bottom, Pottery Barn Kids, Carl’s Jr., Holly and David Bruce, and of course, the creative graphic designs of the ever so talented Hostess with the Mostess!

photo[6]

Diapers for everyone!

photo[7]

Some of the sweet mommy swag!

Operation Shower is famous for these amazing packages they put together called, “Shower in a Box!”

photo[8]Every mom in attendance gets one, and they’re filled to the brim with all sorts of goodies!

photo[3]This year, I had the honor of announcing and handing out all of the raffle prizes to the lucky winners. Here I am, doing my thing on the mic with Amy Mickelson:

photo[9]All of the moms posed for a group photo at the end of the event. It’s hard not to smile just looking at all of their happy and glowing faces!

photo[10]

I’m always so honored to be a part of these events. Military families are so deserving of our appreciation for the sacrifices they make on behalf of this country and its people. It makes me happy to know that these moms have a community to support them as they prepare to welcome a new member to their families—especially since many of their partners are not able to be with them during this special time in their lives.

Are there any charities or causes that you love being a part of or helping out from time to time? I’d love to hear about them in the comment section below.
-Brian

Related Posts:

Operation Shower
How to Host a Fun and Chic Summer Baby Shower!

Top 10 Ways to Give During the Holidays