Wednesday, October 31, 2012

KBYG: Wedding Cakes

A wedding cake, for most brides, is a must have.  However, many brides and grooms are overwhelmed when it comes to figuring all of questions a cake tasting brings up!

So, here is a quick "Know Before You Go: (KBYG)" segment on wedding cakes:

Questions you can expect to hear:
  1.  Round, square, or other shape
  2. One flavor or multiple flavors
  3. Will the cake be served to each guest or placed out on a table for self-service
  4. Wedding date, of course!
  5. Guest count
  6. Do you want flowers on your cake
  7. Colors
  8. Cake topper
  9. One big cake, lots of small cakes, small cake to cut and then cupcakes, or all cupcakes
  10. Delivered or picked up
    • Pay for delivery!!! Trust me, transporting a wedding cake should be left to the professionals! :) 
See, a cake tasting isn't as easy as it sounds! Here is some advice from a wedding planner to help you tackle these questions and get another wedding task checked off your list!
  1. Arrive prepared with pictures of at least 3 cakes.  
    • Just simply flip through magazines, and browse Pinterest & Google to find a handful of cake images that you like.
  2. Look through your saved inspiration pictures to see what the commonalities are.  
    • Are the cakes all round, square, colorful, white, detailed, plain, etc. 
    • If you can figure out what it is about each image you like, it will be easier for you to communicate what you want in your wedding cake with your baker. 
  3.   When you arrive, you will be presented with a plate of 4-5 different cake flavors to try
    • DO NOT DEVOUR THE CAKE! Really taste the cake and make sure you like it. 
  4.  In addition to bringing cake inspiration images, bring your wedding inspiration as well. 
    • It's helpful to the baker to see other elements of your wedding to make sure the design fits the overall wedding scheme.  
    • Bring fabric swatches, invitation designs, ribbon color, jewelry, and anything else that has sparked your design inspiration!
  5. Take anything that you want incorporated into the cake.
    • For example, if you want to use the same cake topper that your mom & dad used at their wedding, make sure you give that your baker so she/he can design around that.  Or maybe you want him/her to use a specific ribbon. 
    • Make sure you provide exactly what you want so that there are no surprises on the wedding day!
  6. Know your budget.
    • Like any other piece of planning your wedding, the cake should fit into the budget.  Make sure you go in with an idea of what the baker charges per person.  The worst thing you can do is fall in love with a cake design, cake flavor, and then it be way out of budget!  
    • Do your research on cake vendors and if you need assistance or would like to take advantage of the Simply Events preferred vendor discounts, contact me today!

 Here are some cakes from a past Simply Events weddings!

Cake Stand used at Catie Harris' wedding!

Molly+Simon wedding cake
Stephanie+Ammon wedding cake
Stephanie+Ammon wedding cake

Emily+Donny wedding cake

Galvin+Johnson mini-wedding cakes

Caitlin+Phillip wedding cake

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Mason Jars

Mason jars are a huge trend for the 2012-2013 wedding season.  If you choose to go with mason jars, more often than not, you are going for a rustic look for your big day.  Simply Events has had two brides in the past two months that have opted to use mason jars as their centerpieces and other decor elements.  The benefit of these jars are that you can find them anywhere for relatively inexpensive.  For instance, check out all the craft stores, such as, Michaels, JoAnn's, and Hobby Lobby. Believe it or not, Meijer also has mason jars for sell!

You may also want to rummage through your parents and/or grandparents garage or attic for some old jars to use for free! I did this and was able to find over 20 mason jars (great find)!

Here are some images from Victoria & Mike's wedding on October 27, 2012.

My bride, Molly, from October 6, 2012 used mason jars for not only her centerpieces, but as drinking glasses which doubled as guest favors as well.

Check out this amazing review that Molly gave Simply Events!! :) 

Are you using mason jars for your big day?!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Midnight Snack

Similar to those midnight chocolate or salty cravings that hoist you out of bed just for a small taste, offering a midnight snack at your wedding is becoming a popular trend.  The Midnight Snack at a wedding (or any event) is one of the best ways to keep your guests' energy levels up.

Not only will it re-energize the crowed, but this is such a fantastic way to serve some of your favorite foods as a couple.  Just remember, keep these servings bite-size so that your guests can nibble between songs.  The last thing you want is for everyone to leave the dance floor because they have to sit down to eat!!

What is really amazing about this trend is that you can customize it however you want.  For example, newlyweds in the Cincinnati area may choose to offer some kind of chili (Gold Star or Skyline) or they may opt for some famous Montgomery Inn.

Here is a list of some super simple midnight snacks!
  • Mini cheeseburgers
  • Mini hotdogs
    • If you're from the Cincinnati area, offering a chili bar (Gold Star or Skyline) is a great way to add hometown pride to your wedding!
  • Milk & cookies
  • French fries
  • Donuts
  • Fruit & yogurt
  • Bagels
  • Ice cream
  • Grilled cheese with a small glass of tomato soup for dipping
  • Mini milkshakes
  • Popcorn balls
  • Mini pies
  • Mini cheesecake bites
  • And more!
 Make sure you follow the Simply Events: Midnight Snack board on Pinterest! 

 What would you serve?

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Funky Halloween Food Names!

We are currently working with a client who is hosting a Halloween Extravaganza this Friday, October 26th. If you follow the Simply Event blog, then you probably remember the Spooktacular Invitation post from October 9.

One thing that I always like to do for themed parties is to create fun and funky food names to add an element of surprise to the party.  Not only is this a very cost effective way to customize your party, but your guests will love that they get to eat Wicked Witchy Fingers, Boo Berries, Gag-amole, and more! Here is a list of some fun, funky, and uber creative food names for your next Halloween Extravaganza!

Food Item
Halloween Name
Chicken Wings
Howling Hot wings
Chicken Tenders
Monster Mummy Fingers
Quesadilla Bites
Fright Bites
Mummy Dogs
Fruit & Cheese
Rat bites & Rotten Fruit
Veggie Tray
Vile Veggies
Deviled Eggs
Deviled Gooey Ogre Eyes
Cheese Puff Caterpillars
Pretzels & Chips
Skeleton Bones & Skull Chips
Vampire delight
Barbeque Sauce
Fire Roasted Ghoulish Sauce
Honey Mustard
Snail Slime Surprise
Wicked Witchy fingers

This is a perfect project for kids to do!  These names were actually created by my client's children! They had a blast figuring out what to name everything and it really got them in the Halloween spirit.  Then, Laura (Simply Event intern) created the food labels using Halloween card stock.  She was also able to find free downloadable Halloween fonts which add another level of creativity and customization to the project!

Make sure you check back next week to see some pictures of these food labels and more Halloween party pictures!! 

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

5 Grand Reception Exit Ideas

The tradition of exiting the ceremony while guests shower you with bubbles, rose petals, etc, is becoming less and less popular. Why you may ask? Most newlyweds choose for their guests to leave the ceremony and head directly to the reception for cocktail hour while they stay and have pictures taken at the ceremony venue. So, instead of exiting the church or ceremony space then turning right around to go back in for photos, the couples chooses to forgo this tradition all together.

However, grand reception exits are becoming more trendy to the modern bride.  There are several ways to end the night that is sure to be memorable and great for a photo opp! Me and my husband choose to do a sparkler exit. Which was amazing, however, we didn't get a great picture - such a bummer! The thing with sparkler exits is that you MUST get the really long sparklers in order for it to work well.  Otherwise, the short ones will burn out before you get a chance to run through the sparkler tunnel!

Here are four more creative, fun, silly, and awesome grand exit ideas!

A Fireworks Show

This may not be in the budget for every bride. However, a fireworks show is such a great way to cap off the most memorable night of your life. Plus it is a sure way to wow your guests as well as yourselves! 

Silly String Exit

    If you're that couple who wants something different and is on a budget, Silly String may be your best bet! Plus, this makes for pretty fun last photo of the night! Double plus: who doesn't love being covered in silly string?! I mean, it takes you back to being a kid - so much fun!
A Helicopter Exit

    Like the fireworks show, this is definitely not 'tight budget friendly.'  But how amazing would it be to live like King & Queen and have a helicopter transport you from your reception to your hotel for the night?!  
A Hot Air Balloon Exit

    A magical hot air balloon ride sounds like the most perfect getaway for a summer's night wedding reception. Depending on how early in advance you book your ride, you could stumble upon a really great deal!

    Make sure you Follow my Grand Exit board on Pinterest for more ideas!

 For more ideas on spicing up your reception exit, contact me!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Photo Booths!

Everyone loves a photo booth and I am no different when it comes to this trend.  This past weekend, my bride & groom had a Say Cheese Photo Booth at the reception and everyone had a blast with it - even me and my assistant!

Photo booths are a great option for guest favors as well. Most companies will give the bride & groom a copy of the photo strip along with one copy for the guests.  This one for example was placed onto a magnet which I now have hanging on my refrigerator!

Emily & Donny, my bride & groom from September 8th, also had a photo booth at their reception.  They used Inlight Photo Booth which provided a custom sized booth designed around how much space was available at the reception! I did not have an opportunity to use this photo booth, however, below are some images from the wedding guests!

Barbara & Sean, my bride & groom getting married on May 26, 2013 will also have a photo booth at their reception! They choose to go with Cincy Wedding Services who couples their photo booth with their DJ service! 

If you are considering having a photo booth at your wedding reception, or any event for that matter, here are some questions to ask when doing your research:
  • Do you get a digital copy of all the images?
  • Does it come with a scrapbook for the bride & groom's copies of pictures?
    • If it does, make sure you either like the one they provide or provide them with the scrapbook you want them to use!
  • How many hours does the booth operate for?
  • Does it come with a personalize photo strip?
  • Do they provide the props or will you have to provide the props?
For more information how what questions to ask and for a list of preferred photo booth vendors (where Simply Events clients get discounts), contact me today!

Here are some images from Emily & Donny's photo booth! :)

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Monday, October 15, 2012

To See or Not to See...that is the question!

On Friday, we asked our Facebook friends to answer this questions:

"Will you see each other before the bride walks down the aisle?"

The options were; yes, no, undecided.  With 80% of the votes, NO, was our winner.  It seems that most everyone still likes to partake in the tradition of not seeing each other until the ceremony.  There is something so incredibly special about waiting all day long before your future hubby can see you. 

Here is a picture of my husband waiting for me to begin my walk down the aisle! Precious! 

However, the new trend of having a first look before the ceremony is becoming more and more popular.  Several of my brides have opted for this option and they loved their moment together.  Here are three images from my bride and groom, Caitlin & Phillip. 

Then of course, there is an even newer trend of allowing the bride to see the groom. However, the groom is not allowed to see the bride.  One of my brides needed to see her groom. So, we tied a tie around his eyes and the moment was spectacular. It made for a really awesome picture too! 

No matter which option you choose, just remember to do what YOU want to do.  Do NOT let a photographer try to talk you into seeing each other before the ceremony, just for the sole purpose to get bride & groom photos done early.  If planned properly, you will have enough time to have pictures done at any point during the wedding day.  

If you need assistance creating your day of timeline, contact me! 

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How To Create A Candy Bar

Photo credit: Best Friends with Frosting
Providing a mix of candies and chocolates at your event will ensure that your party will be a huge hit with not only the kids, but adults too!  Candy bars are extremely aesthetically appealing if done correctly.  However, party throwers and brides are often lost when it comes to how much candy to actually order.  Too much will leave you with way too many leftovers. Which may sound good now, but when you've finished the last piece of candy, your stomach may not agree with that decision! Too little candy is never good! No one likes to be left out!

I first must say that you are probably choosing to do a candy buffet for the sole purpose that it looks really awesome, right?!

So, if looks are all you are going for then you need to keep this in mind: what size table will you be using for the candy buffet? This is important because you don't want a HUGE table with only 5 jars of candy.  But you also do not want to have a small table with 9 or more jars of candy! The jars bring in another whole level of difference for each candy table. Will you be using large or small jars? Hopefully the answer to that is both.  It is always nice to have a mix of different heights, widths, and shapes of jars!

The best way to approach a candy buffet setup is to mesh the aesthetic appeal with the accurate amount of candy for your guests. 

So, how do you estimate how much candy to get for your guests?!  Below is a step by step guide
  1. Determine your guest count -- for easy numbers lets just say your guest count is 100
  2. Assume each guest will take about 4 ounces
  3. Multiply your guest count by the number of ounces per guest
    •  100 x 4oz  = 400oz of candy! WOW!!
  4. Then convert the ounces into pounds
    • 400oz = 25lbs of candy!
    • If you Google  'ounces into pounds' a converter tool will show up at the top of the search engine! :)
You may think that is not enough candy. If you strongly feel that your group of guests will take a lot of candy, then you may want to increase it to 6 ounces per person.  However, be careful in this way of thinking because not everyone will take candy, some guests will just take a few pieces, while others will load their bag until it's full!  So, it all evens out! I tend to always error on the side of caution and over order.  It's never good to run out!

To make it easy for you, I have calculated more scenarios based on 4oz per person!
  • 50 guests = 12.5 lbs of candy
  • 100 guests = 25 lbs of candy
  • 125 guests = 31.25 lbs of candy
  • 150 guests = 37.5 lbs of candy
  • 175 guests = 43.75 lbs of candy
  • 200 guests = 50 lbs of candy
  • 225 guests = 56.25 lbs of candy
  • 250 guests = 62.5 lbs of candy
For more candy buffet inspiration, check out the Simply Events Candy Buffet Board! 

So there you have it! I hope this helps when you are planning your next celebration! Contact me if you have a need for an experienced wedding and event planner!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spooktacular Invitations

An invitation sets the stage for how the party will be.  I am working with a client now who is hosting a Halloween Extravaganza. Spicing up the invitation is a trend that many party throwers are beginning to take part in.  Hosts & hostesses want invitations that are more personal, customized, and fun!  Out with the standard border, same font for the text, and white paper! It's time to bring in a designer to get the party started!     

Now obviously before you can send out an invitation, you must lock down your venue. Yesterday I met with my Halloween party client to look at a few spooky locations.  Given the party is just 3 weeks away, we needed a venue ASAP so that we can get the invitations out quickly! Luckily, we found the perfect place to host this haunted celebration!

I reached out to my invitation designer and gave her some specifics on what the invitation must have. However, I am never controlling on the creative/design element of the invite.  That's why you pay a designer. All I told my designer is the who, what, when, where, and why.

My client is thrilled with the outcome of the invitation!  What do you think?!

Since this party is for close friends and family only, I do not want to show the entire contents of the invitations.  I have blacked out the hosts as well as their company logo. You will also notice the address is made up for privacy purposes!

Here are some other invitation inspirations from Pinterest!

Do you need assistance with your upcoming Halloween or other holiday celebration?
Contact Catie today!

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