Join Me At The Luxe Hotels Wedding Event

luxe_wedding_email_horiz.inddHey Ya’ll,

I’m on the host committee for the upcoming Luxe Hotels Wedding Event and I’d love to extend an invite to any brides out there looking for vendors and design inspiration for your wedding.

All of the details regarding time and location can be found in the image above. For details about all of the fantastic vendors and wedding professionals that will be in attendance and  giveaways that will be happening at the event, LIKE them on Facbeook! To purchase tickets for the event, go to: www.LuxeHotelsWeddingEvent.com. I hope to see you there on March 17, 2014.
-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

Traveling for the Holidays? 3 Mags to Snag for the Journey!

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 3.43.19 PMHey Ya’ll,

I contributed to a bunch of fantastic publications this month, and I’d love for you to snag yourself a copy to read during your holiday travels! So, check out my featured commentary below, then be sure to look for each magazine on newsstands or online for your laptop or tablet all month long.

416244921_370Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 3.34.44 PMIn Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, I commented on new wedding trends, like how the royal wedding and Downton Abbey have created a resurgence of interest in the pastoral charm of english gardens and wide, stately lawns.

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 3.14.18 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 3.14.26 PMI also offered up my advice on creating a green event by giving guests the freshest food, and sticking to what’s locally grown in order to support the local community and help to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding.

2012-11-29@00.33.292012-11-29@00.31.31In this month’s First for Women, I’m giving seasonal tips for creating stunning holiday floral arrangements. My main advice being, don’t be afraid to mix textures this season! Try velvety crimson roses paired with star-shaped paperwhites. Add evergreens and berries as filler to put a cheerful seasonal twist on any bouquet.

2012-11-28@23.14.33Screen Shot 2012-11-28 at 5.08.14 PMInside this month’s Entrepreneur magazine, I’m talking “Party Protocol” for all of you attending holiday work parties. The main thing to remember here, is that while it may seem like a relaxed atmosphere with all of the free alcohol, drinks and food, decorum is still very important. People are watching… people like your boss. So respect yourself and others and be sure to stay on your best behavior. You’ll thank yourself come 2013.

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 4.16.02 PMAlso, a wedding I coordinated earlier this year is being featured on The Wedding Channel.com. Click HERE, to see all of the stunning photos from Taylor and Matt’s wedding at La Cuesta Ranch, in San Luis Obispo, CA. Let me know what you think of the flowers and decor, since those were all my doing!

Lastly, thank you for taking the time to check out all of my recent press, I really appreciate all of your support. It’s been fun looking back on everything I accomplished in 2012… I can’t wait to see what 2013 holds!
-Brian

Friday Favorites: The Butter End Cakery Giveaway!

Hey Ya’ll,

Good news! The weekend is finally here and today, I’m featuring a super sweet giveaway from The Butter End Cakery!


Artists and Epicures come together at The Butter End Cakery, where the finest cake just happens to be the canvas for incredibly unique works of art.

Millennium Falcon Cake

Born after owner Kimberly Bailey’s battle with cancer, The Butter End Cakery has become a place of joy, creativity and inspiration.

Using only local cage-free eggs, organic milk, hormone-free butter and rolled chocolate instead of fondant, makes The Butter End Cakery stand out in the cake shop crowd.

Ganesh Cake Photo Credit: Brian Leahy


The Butter End Cakery
is highly sought after by celebrities, five star hotels and anyone wanting to make their special occasion one to remember. And while they don’t have a bakery case with ready-made desserts, their lofty bright shop in Santa Monica, CA is open to the public with an expo kitchen where it’s fun to watch the team hard at work. You might even get lucky and score a free cake sample while you’re there! ; )

So… I bet you’re wondering how these gorgeous cakes really taste? Well, thanks to reality TV the art of cake making and decorating has become very popular! And while many of the new cake companies either make delicious tasting cake or beautifully decorated cake, The Butter End Cakery does both in a style that’s all their own. They also happen to keep a quote-wall in the kitchen of fun customer comments, including one bride who said, “That’s so good I think I just peed a little!” Which, if you ask me, is one of the best endorsements I’ve ever heard.

GIVEAWAY ALERT:
If you live in the Los Angeles area and would like to win an 8″ hand painted cake (feeds 10) from The Butter End Cakery, simply do the following:

1. FOLLOW them on FACEBOOK (https://www.facebook.com/TheButterEndCakery) and/or TWITTER (https://twitter.com/thebutterend).

2. LEAVE A COMMENT on this blog post, telling us what you’d like your cake to look like and what special event or person you’d like to win the cake for!

That’s it! Follow @TheButterEnd on Twitter or Facebook, then leave a comment below and you could win a piece of edible art from this sweet California cake shop! Good luck!
-Brian

***ELIGIBILITY/TERMS AND CONDITIONS: The cake order must be placed 2 weeks in advance and picked up at The Butter End Cakery shop located in Santa Monica, CA during business hours Monday – Friday. Contest ends at midnight on Thursday 8/9/12.***

Friday Favorites: Black & White

black and white
Hey Ya’ll,
I have always been a fan of black and white, especially when it comes to photography.  A black and white photograph is always crisp, clean and refined. I love the way this color combo can feel as timeless as ‘Old Hollywood’…
Or as modern as contemporary art…

Photograph of musicians ‘She and Him’ by Dave Hill via http://www.mymodernmet.com

So if you decide that you want this color palette for your wedding, you’re in luck because these colors can be used in many different ways… I like to think of black and white as the chameleon duo of the design world!

Black Tie Wedding Design via districtbrideguide.com

Traditionally, black and white are considered the perfect color scheme for a formal evening wedding. You know the drill: the bride wears white, the groom wears a traditional black tux, and the guests are usually given warning that the affair will be a formal “black tie” event. However, these colors also have the ability to create a casual and whimsical environment for a wedding that would take place during the day.

Here are a few of my favorite black and white linens:

Audrey Oxford via wildflowerlinens.com

Black, White & Red color palette via http://insideweddings.com

Maybe you’re looking to create a formal event with dining and dancing? A black and white design will be elegant, romantic and beautiful, but if that is not your style, turn up the volume with a pop of color. Red is the perfect accent color to complement a black and white design, but that color combination has been done, and redone and done again!

Black, White & Turquoise color palette via http://www.onewed.com

So, I suggested adding a splash of hot pink, maybe even kelly green or a gorgeous turquoise to give your reception some pizazz and make a bold statement that may be unexpected. In the end, the great thing about black and white is that they are truly timeless, so no matter when you’re getting married or what the current fashion trends are,  you will always be able to find decor elements to make your wedding unique to your personality, on trend for the season, and items will be available in large quantities so that you can easily design and decorate for your wedding.
-Brian

What’s your favorite accent color for a classic black and white design? Let me know in the comment section below.

Here are links to a few of my ‘Friday Favs’ featured in the collage at the top of the post: