Archive for the ‘Reception’ Category

MORE Make the Most of Your Wedding Budget

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
Sweet Couture

Sweet Couture

For those brides among you who may find themselves on a rather tight wedding budget during these rather tough economic times, we recently ran this post with great budget-maximizing tips from top Houston wedding planner Karen Brown.

Well, we’re at it again, this time with input from the delightful and gracious Heather George of picturesque Conroe wedding venue Heather’s Glen.

Here’s Heather’s advice for the budget-watching bride:

On FAVORS: “Brides can save a lot by not purchasing cheap tchotchkes that really add up! Rather than purchasing personalized knick-knacks as favors for everyone, provide a
candy buffet or a coffee bar. Your guests are likely to eat candy, but not likely to save a coaster with your picture and wedding date on it.”

On LINEN: “See what your facility already provides; many have standard linens and centerpieces that you can spruce up with your colors in rose petals or a runner, rather than renting expensive linens.”

On VENUE RENTAL: “Another excellent way to save is to have a wedding on a Friday night, Saturday morning or Sunday evening.  Most facilities have lower minimums for those hours.”

On PHOTOGRAPHERS: “NEVER skimp on a photographer. The pictures will last a lifetime. If you find a gorgeous facility, you want to have quality pictures of your special day there. It would be a shame to look back and say, ‘The pictures just don’t do it justice!’”

Amen to that, Heather. And thanks a million for the free advice—now we’ve got more to spend on that yummy candy buffet!

Nonalcoholic Wedding Drinks

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Like peanut butter and jelly, like shoes and socks, like you and your future hubby, weddings and alcohol are two things that just, well, go together. But not always, and not for everyone.

While most weddings feature alcoholic beverages in some form—a full premium bar, beer and wine, champagne, alcoholic punch or a signature cocktail—there are always going to be wedding guests who prefer to abstain. Do you really want to leave your nondrinking guest—whether a recovering alcoholic, designated driver, teenager or simply someone who chooses to forgo or limit her consumption—out in the cold?

In addition to sparkling water and sodas (for extra panache, you may want to throw in a selection of fancy or retro-looking bottled fizzes such as IZZE Sparkling Juice, Thomas Kemper Vanilla Cream Soda, Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry Soda, etc.) there are plenty of perfectly celebratory nonalcoholic “cocktail” options you may choose to feature at your wedding. Your caterer or bar service may specialize in certain no-booze beverages, so be sure to ask what’s on the menu. And make sure your bar is stocked with the necessary juices, syrups, mixes and garnishes to make a great nonalcoholic drink should a guest request one.

In the meantime, here are two of our favorite festive, fabulous nonalcoholic “cocktails” to wet your whistle:

Madras

Madras

Perfect for hot-weather weddings, the Madras is a refreshing blend of orange and cranberry juice. Just omit the vodka that usually goes into this vibrant cocktail, serve in a highball glass with plenty of ice and an orange-slice garnish, and you’ve got a perfect beverage for a sunny al fresco or tented reception. Tip: Sub grapefruit juice for orange juice and you’ve got an alcohol-free Sea Breeze; sub pineapple juice for orange, and, voila, it’s a Bay Breeze!

Nojito

Nojito

This one takes a little work to prepare fresh to order, but it’s well worth the effort. Fill a pint glass halfway with ice, add a handful of clean, fresh mint leaves, add 3 ounces of fresh lime juice and 1 ½ ounces of simple syrup. Gently muddle the mix with a wooden pestle. Add more ice, top with club soda, and serve with a mint/lime garnish. Delicious! Tip: You can prep the mint leaves and squeeze the lime juice ahead of time, but DON’T muddle the mint beforehand, or it will blacken and wilt. Ick.

Giving Thanks for Darryl & Co.

Friday, December 4th, 2009
Rachel Ray in Ohio

Rachel Ray in Ohio

We’re thankful for all of the great Houston wedding vendors, but this week, we’re especially thankful for the generous gang at Darryl & Co.

On November 8, the Houston-based events design firm teamed up with Rachael Ray to give 2,000 Wilmington, Ohio residents a Thanksgiving to remember. Many of these Ohioans have lost their jobs since the delivery company DHL Express closed up shop in Wilmington last year, and Ray didn’t think these layoffs should keep them residents from enjoying a tasty Thanksgiving meal.

Having worked with Darryl & Co. to coordinate a lavish wedding for several Houston brides at Minute Maid Park last fall, she knew just who to call to help her out. Naturally, Darryl & Co. was happy to pitch in and spruce up the Wilmington convention center for the big day. During their three days in Wilmington, they helped remodel a local food pantry and worked with “Design on a Dime” host Kahi Lee on dinner décor for the Thanksgiving feast.

Darryl & Co. staff in Ohio

Darryl & Co. staff in Ohio

Together, they designed five different centerpieces, using lanterns, amber votives, and tree branch candelabras. The tables were covered with linens in warm, seasonal hues like gold, brown, chocolate, and burgundy. “When you saw the sea of tables, they looked like a fall tree,” says Darryl & Co.’s Lee Capetillo.

A giant scarecrow designed by Darryl & Co. greeted guests as they entered. Inside were buffets filled with turkey, dressing, green beans, pumpkin pie, and apple pie and decorated with baskets filled with pumpkins and gourds. (Yum!)

“It was really, really fun,” says Capetillo. “The whole town was so supportive from the moment we arrived at the hotel, and we had lots of volunteers who helped us get the place ready.” In fact, Darryl & Co.’s crew made a few new friends with the volunteers, who were eager to help in any way they could. “Our visit was about much more than just setting us up for TV,” Capetillo says. “We made friends and became accepted as part of the town.” With that kind of generosity, we can see why Darryl & Co.’s staff are so popular.

The episode aired on November 25, but if you missed it, you can check it out on Rachael Ray’s website.

Room Decorated by Darryl & Co. for Rachael Ray Thanksgiving Dinner

Room Decorated by Darryl & Co. for Rachael Ray Thanksgiving Dinner

Wedding Chair Covers We Cherish

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

If you’re planning to use ballroom chairs (otherwise known as chiavaris) at your reception dining tables, Houston bride, make sure they’re dressed for the occasion.

Anyone who’s familiar with The Linen House knows that Jan Cancila and her crew are always coming up with new ideas and beautiful designs in wedding linen. We recently came across some of their gorgeous covers and accents, which bring out the elegance of ballroom chairs, rather than concealing the chairs completely.

How about the feminine, fabulous Ballerina Chair Cover? We adore the combo of buttons and bow—a perfect way to soften the look of formal ballroom chairs.

Ballerina Chair Cover

Ballerina Chair Cover

For taller chairs, this look, reminiscent of tuxedos, is lovely, especially in a muted aqua-and-gold palette and hip stripes-and-dots print.

Aqua-Gold

Aqua-Gold

Check out this chair—it’s got its own bridal gown! OK, maybe not quite, but this cover is so romantic, so pretty, so perfectly suited for a wedding. Love the splash of color from the orchid accent!

Bar Stool Bridal Chair

Bar Stool Bridal Chair

Something a little less lush your style? These chair pads add color and drama, but retain the classic chiavari look.

Classic Chiavari Chairs with Cushion

Classic Chiavari Chairs with Cushion

Don’t see exactly what your hear desires here? The Linen House can create a custom chair cover just for you!

Make the Most of Your Wedding Budget

Monday, November 9th, 2009

We had so much great advice we just couldn’t squeeze into our upcoming Weddings in Houston magazine story on maximizing the impact of your wedding budget, we decided a blog post was in order. Let’s face it: These are tough times. Now more than ever, Houston’s style-savvy brides are searching for ways to get the most bang—whether in decor, fashion, food, etc.—for their wedding budget buck.

Lucky for us, hometown wedding coordinator extraordinaire Karen Brown of Karen For Your Memories has these 7 essential tips for getting the most for your wedding money, however much you plan to spend. Don’t event THINK about planning your big day without reading this first!

1.    Cut back on the number of people invited. This gives you a chance to spend more on food, décor, entertainment, or whatever will make you happy.
2.    Order invitations from a reputable dealer…but create your own save-the-dates and programs.
3.    If you are searching for a location that is different, but generally less expensive, check out small art galleries. Just be sure that the art on display during your wedding/reception is something you want to be included in your décor. Another lower cost venue is a garden club where you have beautiful grounds to work with. Just make sure there is an indoor area for backup, in case of bad weather.
4.    Find magazine photos of things that you love and work with your consultant to try and adapt them to your wedding and budget. I had one bride who fell in love with a hand-painted aisle runner of black-and-white paisley. We started searching wallpaper stores and found a similar pattern that could be used, but for less cost. One double roll provided the runner all the way down the aisle. We taped it directly to the wooden floor with tape the color of her green accents.
5.    Add dummy layers to the bottom of your cake. We try to arrange to have the cake moved into the back before being cut and served to the guests, so sometimes all but one layer of the cake is a dummy, and sheet cakes are already cut and plated in the back and ready to be served. You still have a beautiful display cake that is a great focal point, but you spend less money. The guests won’t know unless you tell them!
6.    Never sacrifice memories for other areas that seem to be important to you at the moment.  Photography and videography are probably the most valuable things you will take with you from your wedding—besides your new mate, that is.
7.    Always go for quality, not quantity.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Thanks, Karen!