Monday, December 30, 2013

Bring on the food…TRUCKS!

The appearance of food trucks at weddings has not necessarily taken us by surprise, more like created joy in us. This is because food trucks pulling up alongside a reception space are, at the very least, welcomed with smiles and – usually – clapping. Therefore, when a bride or groom requests one at their wedding, we are more than happy to work to accommodate their request.

Why Food Trucks?

One reason why food trucks have become the rage is because of their relative ease in organizing. Since food trucks often only operate until about two on most days, their earnings are relatively steady and somewhat limited to what can be sold during their normal hours of operation. Typically, food truck owners are happy to drive their vehicles up alongside any reception location to earn the extra money that comes along with a special request.

Moreover, income from a food truck appearing at a wedding reception is guaranteed because most food trucks have a minimum that they charge. This guarantees that the appearance is worth the food truck owner’s time.

Food truck owners also know the city’s permitting requirements. Although acquiring a permit is the couple’s task, food truck owners can point them to where and who to ask for such a permit. They can also tell couples exactly what type of permit to acquire. However, the increase in food truck appearances at our weddings has also resulted in us having extensive knowledge about permitting issues.

How Food Trucks?

We recommend that food trucks appear at your reception after the main meal. Essentially, one of the best ways to use a food truck is as a late-night treat or even a sending-off (i.e., favor) gift. In this use, you send your guests home with full tummies and your guests receive a unique “thank you” for attending your celebration.

There are, of course, other times when a food truck can appear at your reception, but this is the main time that the appearance of a food truck is most appreciated and useful. The exact timing of its appearance depends on your reception hours.

We do not recommend that a food truck appear outside your ceremony location either before or during the ceremony. This just creates a mess and distracts from your exchanging your vows. It is, however, acceptable to use food trucks to supply your cocktail hour food. To provide a variety of appetizers, though, you usually must have multiple trucks.

What Food Trucks?

There really is no limit as to what type of food truck you can have at your wedding. Choosing the type of truck is similar to choosing what type of food to serve at your reception:
  • What do most people like to eat?
  • What options are available from a food truck? For example, is there a vegetarian option?
Our advice is to stay clear of anything in which the only option is very spicy. Make sure that what the truck serves is something appealing to the majority of your guests. Since dessert food trucks (cupcakes, pies, etc.) are also available, you could also offer your guests a late-night, sugary treat.

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Adorning Your Bridesmaids

Your bridesmaid’s outfit for your wedding doesn’t end at a dress and shoes. Jewelry, shawls, and even hairpieces are necessary to round out the attire you’ve chosen for your closest ladies to wear.

What should you require that your bridesmaids wear? Should you purchase accessories for them? Where can you acquire these items?

Shawls and Wraps

A bridesmaid once told me that Pashmina shawls were “out of style”. Guess what? She was wrong.  Pashminas and other types of shawls are by no means “out of style”. In fact, they’re still very much in style – a simple walk through any upscale department store shows as much.

Not only are shawls and wraps available in a range of colors, but they are also offered in different patterns. Moreover, many are rather simple – meaning without any frills or décor - allowing bridesmaids to use them again in the future.

A wrap or shawl serves one essential purpose: keeping a bridesmaid warm. For this reason, they’ll never be out of style. In fact, I couldn’t help but notice that the bridesmaid with such opinions about her Pashmina wore it all night during her friend’s mid-March wedding. 


Sending a bride down the aisle without jewelry isn’t a crime, but it does end up leaving your attendants looking unfinished. Moreover, a lack of jewelry on bridesmaids can become obvious in pictures.

You may choose for your bridesmaids to wear the exact same jewelry, jewelry within the same color scheme, or jewelry that is the same but with each bridesmaid wearing different pieces. An example of the last option is one bridesmaid wearing a necklace and earrings in a specific jewelry style or color while another wears earrings and a bracelet of the same type.  

Most bridesmaids are more than willing to wear whatever jewelry the bride selects – even if it’s just a selection of “all silver or gold please.” However, the important thing is for a bride to select what she wants and to make it known: a task helped along by the fact that most bridesmaids will pose a question regarding the issue at some point during the planning process.


No, we don’t mean toupees (however, some groomsmen may need this assistance!)! We mean fascinators, flowers or some other adornment that your bridesmaids will place on their lovely (full) heads of hair.

Hairpieces are tricky. Many bridesmaids aren’t used to wearing them and often have quite specific views about what they’re willing or unwilling to put on their heads. However, the key to including any hairpiece in your bridesmaid’s attire is uniformity. Multiple types of adornments, which often happens whenever bridesmaids are allowed to select the hairpiece of their choice, look awkward in photos.

Note, however, that not every bridesmaid needs to wear a hairpiece. For example, it is perfectly acceptable for only five of ten bridesmaids to wear the fascinator the bride chose. The key is uniformity among whatever number of bridesmaids agrees to the hairpiece and to not have only one bridesmaid, even if she is the maid of honor, wear a hairpiece. One bridesmaid wearing a hairpiece will stand out and look strange.

A bride interested in having her bridesmaids wear hairpieces should pick them out herself and either put them on hold at the store for each bridesmaid to purchase herself or purchase the item for each bridesmaid.  This ensures that the particular piece chosen is actually worn.

With hairpieces, it’s also important to provide bridesmaids with a professional (read: hairdresser) to apply them as appropriate. This ensures uniformity within the pieces’ appearance, reducing awkwardness.

Should You Buy These Accessories?

Accessories are a great bridesmaid gift: the bride ensures that each bridesmaid has the specific item chosen for them and bridesmaids do not have to spend more money purchasing items for their role. You might consider purchasing accessories for your bridesmaids if:

  • They are expensive
  • They are unusual or unique; because not all stores carry the same items, it might be difficult for bridesmaids to find the item chosen if they live scattered throughout the US
  • They are custom made
  • Doing so is within your budget

Make it known to your bridesmaids if you’re planning on purchasing accessories for them, they’ll thank you for saving them time and money.

Where Can You Purchase These Accessories?

A key to purchasing any bridesmaid accessory, regardless of whether you’re gifting them as a “Thank You” for their participation in your wedding, is to keep them mid- to low-cost. Purchasing items for several ladies quickly adds up to a large expense.

Although you can bargain hunt at traditional stores, if you really want to purchase nice items at a reasonable cost, consider gently used items, such as those offered by Most jewelry and other bridesmaid accessories have been worn once and only for a few hours, and most resale websites and shops offer high-class and style items at less than retail.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sending ‘em Out With A Bang

Color coordinated candy is fine and yummy, but when it comes to wedding favors it has become quite…well, boring, to give to guests. So, what can you send your guests home with as a “Thank you for spending time with us” that’s both unique and wanted?

One thing we tend to recommend for almost all favors is that they be useful. Non-useful favors (although we hesitate to label them such because of some guests’ love of them) such as figurines or fans are often tossed in the trash, meaning that your spent money was literally wasted. Therefore, we recommend that couples gift something that someone somewhere will appreciate and use.

When choosing favors don’t worry about how long it’ll be useful for. Rather, focus on whether it is inherently useful. There is no specific “useful life” for a favor. Some favors, such as silver monogrammed cup, can have a useful life of years, while others, such as chocolates, can have one that lasts just minutes.

Favors we love and have seen guests devour and appreciate include:


Food is always a hug hit, and can range from a few cookies to a bag of upscale bread mix. Some ideas for food favors are:
  • Mini hot chocolate packages or a pre-made hot chocolate mix with a couple of donut holes on a stick
  • Cake pops decorated in the colors of the wedding
  • Cookies in the shape of the couple’s initials
  • Small jugs of milk and chocolate chip cookies
  • Specialty foods from the cities in which you and your new spouse grew up
  • S’more packages: gift all the ingredients your guests will need to create s’mores at home
  • Mixed fresh fruit or cherries in small bags
  • BBQ rubs, hot sauces or other seasonings
  • Caramel, chocolate or strawberry sauce
  • Individual bottles of specialty olive oil, maple syrup or honey
  • Small bag of coffee beans
  • Refillable gumball machines: fill with gumballs or nuts of your choice and your guests can continue refilling with their favorite treats long into the future
Food-Related Favors

If you don’t want to necessarily give food but like the idea of gifting something that guests can use when drinking or eating, consider:

No guest is ever so crass as to be upset over a donation made in his or her name. Select your favorite charity or one that has special meaning to you and your new spouse and donate a set amount per guest. Indicate that this donation has been made by posting a sign on each table or other conspicuous place where guests will see it so that they know not to look for a favor.

In reality, there are innumerable options for what you can gift your guests. What, exactly, you choose to gift is up to you, but you might consider:

The wedding’s theme and mood. Giving a silly favor at a formal wedding might make the gift seem out of place. Similarly, gifting a favor in colors that are not reflected in some portion of the wedding décor may make it appear as though the gift was an afterthought.

The gift’s packaging and guest travel. Liquids won’t make it through airport security and some drinks, like milk, require refrigeration. Make sure that the majority of guests and your reception location can accommodate refrigerating liquids.

Your tastes. Don’t gift anything you wouldn’t want yourself. It’s pretty likely that not all guests will take a favor, resulting in your returning home with several.

Shop around and have some fun when selecting favors – it’s the perfect opportunity to select something you love that showcases your personality and reflects your event.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Decorating your Escort Card Table

The staple decoration for an escort card table is a floral arrangement. Whether in the form of branches, a vase with flowers or some other flower-based arrangement, most escort card tables are adorned with blooms. But, what if you’re not interested in having a lot of flowers at your reception or want to make your escort card area a little more exciting?

Recently, we’ve encouraged our brides to step outside the box when it comes to escort cards. The result has been eye-catching, unique, and personalized displays that not only draw guests to select their cards, but also reflect the mood and atmosphere of the event.

Picture Frames

A selection of framed photos of the couple is always a big hit. Some couples choose to only show photos of themselves as a couple, while others display photos of themselves from birth through the time of the wedding. Regardless of what’s displayed in them, however, keep the frames uniform, meaning either the same frame or within the same color scheme, to avoid their overpowering the table and escort cards. Also consider having them monogrammed with the date of the photo to make the display more engaging.

A Mini Bar

If you’re serving a specialty drink, offering it alongside the escort cards means that the space escort card table double duty. Butlers or ready-made drinks in decorative glasses allow guests to begin celebrating and pick up their cards at the same time.

Spotlighted Table

Spotlight a glass table with a LED parcan placed underneath it in a color that compliments but does not exactly match the rest of the event’s decor. For example, if lilac is your main color, use a deeper shade of purple to showcase the table. This adds ambiance but still allows the table to stand out, ensuring that guests see and pick up their cards. When all cards have been picked up, you can flip the lit table and use it for another purpose, such as a candy or dessert bar.

Puzzle it Out

Choose your favorite photo and have it made into a puzzle. Place puzzle pieces onto the table and let guests piece it together while they grab their cards. Have markers nearby so that guests can write warm wishes on the completed puzzle, which you can frame and hang in your home after your event.

Float Your Cards

No, don’t literally submerge them in water! That would just make a mess!

Many event designers offer box tables, which are akin to a memory box in table form. With glass on all sides, you can fill the box portion of the table with whatever you’d like, such as colored water, rose petals, or wine corks. Rest your cards atop the table and, each time one is picked up, more of your unique display will be revealed.

Whatever your fancy in decor, don’t overlook your escort card table when budgeting for décor and designing your wedding. A well-decorated and designed escort card table will not only look great in photos, but will also act as a conversation piece.