Holiday Party Harty

The tinsel is glistening in the light, mistletoe hanging in doorways.  Gifts begin to appear beneath carefully selected trees, and not the Charlie Brown type.  Though Thanksgiving has yet to grace us with its presence, we are dreaming of holidays and Christmases to come.  

Reminiscing of the holidays is easy; some of our best memories were made around Chestnuts literally roasting on an open fire.  It’s all fun and games until you have to plan a dinner party, though.  What to do?  You have a guest list of 30 and no clue.  Don’t worry (we didn’t mean to rhyme but) this blog post is just for you!

1.  Guest Count

It’s impossible to know how much food and space you need if you don’t know how many guests you are hosting.  Send out an invitation to your close friends and family, and request a prompt RSVP.  E-vites are perfectly fine for a holiday fete, but something handlettered or calligraphed ups the ante for sure.

2.  Furniture Fiasco

Now that you know the amount of people you are hosting, find out whether you have the proper furniture to accommodate them.  If not, seek out friends to bring pieces from home, or, if you are looking for a more tailored look, rent out a few items!  Glamour & Woods, Dang Fine Party Rentals, Prim Unique Rentals, & Classic Party Rentals are a few of our faves in the Phoenix area.

3.  Menu

You do realize that you are now responsible for everyone’s sustenance, right?!  Don’t panic; we have a plan: Epicurious.  Select a few recipes you like, and we recommend that you practice the entire thing once over before actually making the feast.  If you don’t consider yourself a Betty Crocker, find a delish restaurant that caters to do the work for you.  A few of the best local spots: La Grande Orange GroceryWhole Foods Market, & Arcadia Farms.

4.  Attention to Detail

We have all been to the same dinner party over and over.  Drab linens. Overdone china.  Crystal glassware.  Robots, much?  Don’t be afraid to switch it up by adding names to each place setting, using geometric patterns, and pairing festive flowers with your tables.  Each event and home is different; just make sure you stay true to yourself when coming up with the design concept.  If design is not your forte, call up the girlfriend who does these things all the time.  Promise she will be more than happy to help.

5.  Good Spirits

And you can bet your butt we ain’t talking about a positive outlook.  What is your wine and liquor list looking like?  This should be just as curated as your food menu.  Please don’t only offer champagne and tequila.  Also, doing just beer and wine is okay.  As the host, you can make these decisions.  You could even surprise everyone with a welcome shot… get festive!

6.  Who's Who

This is a huge deal at awards shows.  If there is any conflict between anyone in the group you are inviting, be sure not to exacerbate these issues by seating enemies next to one another.  In the same sense, if there is a huge family blow-up between cousin Anna and her mom Suzy, it may not be a good idea to invite both!  Stakes tend to run high around the holidays, and the last thing you want is an all-out brawl featuring a short-rib food fight in your dining room.

7. Celebrate

Through all the glitter, gifts, and glamour, we sometimes forget what the holidays are truly about.  We are called to love others, to spend time with friends and family.  Spread joy, drink eggnog, laugh heartily.  At the end of the day, none of these other steps matter if this last one is done right.

And with that, we have helped you create the perfect holiday dinner party.  Now go be your fabulous self; you have guests to entertain!





Fab Fall Tables

Leaves begin to turn golden in color, from green to yellow to orange.  You have been on random shopping sprees to Anthropologie in search of fashion scarves and overly priced, but delicious, scented candles.  Just when you think you have seen all the beauty you can stand, a single ruby red bloom peeks its head out of the magnificent pile. The days lose hours and the boots come out.  Apple cider is in the air, and talk of carving pumpkins.  This is how we know that Fall is upon us.  

Although it can be hard for people to portray this time of year without being tacky at times,  when done right, a sophisticated deep color palette is sure not to disappoint.  Fall represents a literal kick-off to the holidays and festivities to come (football, Thanksgiving, and Halloween, just to name a few).

Here are some of our favorite ways to make those fall tables stand out.

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1.  Incorporating fruit and deeply hued florals and linens create a rich and masculine atmosphere; very reminiscent of the season. 

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2.  The color black is your new best friend.  It portrays refinement and rebellion at the same time in the latter part of the year, and will make your gold and silver metallics even jazzier.

3.  At the same time, don’t be afraid to incorporate lighter, airier colors such as white, tan, and light grey.

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4.  Keep it organic.  This season is a nature-lover’s paradise; stay true to that and present your guests with an ode to mother nature herself.  This look can even turn artsy-bohemian.

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5.  Though golden colors like mustard, apricot and rust are fabulous in the autumn, also be sure to add in greenery, which will complement the rustic nature of fall.

Well, we’re hoping that we have inspired you to spend ungodly amounts of cash on fall decor at Target and Hobby Lobby this season.  What do you think of these epic tables & are you planning on using any of these rad ideas for the upcoming season?  

Primp & Perfect

I always laugh at how fast my hubby can get ready.  Forget a shower and being out the door; that man can pack an entire suitcase in just over a minute.  (Cut to me spending two hours in my walk-in closet, after at least sixty minutes perusing my favorite fashion blogs, and three hours of shopping the day before).

It’s not a secret that men are able to get ready in the time it takes the ladies to curl our eyelashes.  That fact is never more apparent than on the wedding day, though.  As a Planner, I am able to move back and forth between the bride and groom during the wedding day and see both perspectives.  Here is exactly what it looks like.

the groom:

He’s having a few Stella Artois with his buddies, all suited up and buttoned down.  This day began the way another other day does, except that he rolled out of bed, grabbed his bags, and checked in at a swanky hotel.  By the time the ceremony rolls around (depending on the group of men, of course), you better believe that the groom and his party each have at least a couple drinks in them.  I’m all for celebrating, as long as nobody gets out of hand; especially this early in the day.

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the bride:

Hair began at 8am, makeup commences at 9:30, and there are seven bridesmaids and a flower girl sitting around gossiping and giggling with each other.  There are curling irons and tubes of bright red lipstick, rolling laughter and pretty french lace undergarments.  A pillow fight may even spontaneously ensue.  As far as these women are concerned, this day is what dreams are made of.  And they’re absolutely right.  

A few glasses clink in the background, a bellini toast to the bride and groom.  At the end of the night, the bowties come off.  Pretty flower crowns are set down on the dresser, never to be donned once again.  For tomorrow, you will face the world as Mr. and Mrs., without all the poofy dresses and towering centerpieces.  And so it begins...

Wedding Wardrobe

The Save the Date arrives in the mail and you dutifully post it on the refrigerator with a magnet, knowing that the wedding is still ages away.  A few months later the invitation is sent, and you begin to panic a little bit.  In the weeks that follow, you go back and forth between surfing Rent the Runway, unsuccessful trips to the mall, gobbling down entire pints of rocky road ice cream, and begging your best friend to attend the wedding disguised as you.

Don’t panic!  Here is our complete guide for guests: What to Wear to Weddings.

1.  Refer to the Invitation

Does it say black tie?  Casual summer barbecue?  Rustic elegance?  If this is not explicitly stated on the invites, look for clues in the style of the stationary.  More glamorous paper probably means a fancier wedding, while burlap and doilies allude to something more simple in nature.

2.  Black Tie Confusion

“Black tie”, “Black tie optional” or “formal reception” may seem a bit perplexing.  The latter statement means that men must wear a solid black tuxedo or suit with a bow tie.  'Optional' allows men to wear a tuxedo with a bow tie, or a suit, if they do not own or wish to wear a tuxedo.  For the ladies, a full-length gown or cocktail dress is appropriate.  Formal reception essentially means the same as black tie optional.

3.  Bridal Party Bewilderment

When we attend weddings, we ask what the bridal party colors are beforehand.  The last thing we want is to show up in a lavender chiffon gown and unknowingly become one of the bridesmaids.  With so many colors to choose from, we think it is in good taste to wear a color that the bridal party is not donning already.

4.  Save the Club Attire for Vegas

Looking and feeling great at weddings are a must, but not at the cost of embarrassing the bride and groom.  Revealing dresses and too-short hems are two styles to avoid at weddings.  Stick with something classy and beautiful.

5.  No White Allowed

Unless you happen to be the bride, you should never wear white to a wedding.  Allow this to be the bride’s special day, and avoid being mistakenly congratulated by strangers.

There you have it, our simple wedding attire guide.  Do you have any tips on how to dress for weddings?

Bridesmaid Blues

Sometimes they’re pink and poofy.  Red and silky.  Bright green and tacky.  Taffeta, chiffon, satin, a-line, fitted, and babydoll.  We are talking about bridesmaid dresses.  You know, the five of them that are sitting in your closet, collecting dust right this second.  The ones you guiltily want to donate to Goodwill but can’t bring yourself to do because of some unspoken loyalty to the brides of weddings past.  

What if there were a better solution, though?  A way to wear the dress once and never have to look at it again.  After all, nothing should be taking up extra space in your sacred closet; that’s prime real estate right there.

We introduce to you Union Station, a site that makes it possible (and simple) to rent bridesmaid dresses.  The process begins three months prior to the wedding for full availability.  If you are searching for dresses last minute, this option is available, but you are limited to the dresses in stock at the time.  

Order up to three fabric swatches for free and once the bride chooses her favorite frock, she can register the bridal party.  Now for the best part: they will take it from there.  From making sure that each maid gets the correct size, to keeping them on schedule to get their dresses two weeks before the big day.  

Union Station will even send a free backup size, so you can decide what looks and feels best on your body.  When the celebration of love has come and gone, you simply put the dresses in their prepaid packaging and send them back.  They will even handle the dry cleaning for you.

We love problem solving, and when it comes to bridesmaid dresses, consider this problem solved.  Cheers to freedom from the bridesmaid blues!  And Union Station, thanks for being so awesome.

The Cool Kids

In the world of weddings, there are always new kids at the cafeteria table.  They come as quickly as they go, leaving a trail of hashtags and photo booths.  While one trend passes, another replaces it, and we find ourselves trying to predict what’s next. 

Here is our list of five upcoming wedding trends for the year 2016.

1.  Rustic Vintage to Detailed Elegance

Rustic vintage weddings have been on trend for a while now.  While we love the doilies, burlap, and mason jars, we predict a return to understated elegance.  Everything will revolve around intricate and romantic designs with lots of feminine touches and soft light.  

2.  Signature Cocktails to Champagne Bars

It seems like every wedding we have attended or planned lately has featured signature beverages in honor of the bride and groom.  We think that new experiences like champagne bars will be taking main stage in 2016.  Add fresh juice and berries for a wow factor, and this can even double as the wedding favor!

 

3.  Posed Photos to Organic Love

Photography is always front of mind when it comes to the big day.  After all, how else will you explain to your children how fabulous your shoes were, or be able to look back on that magical first look?  Instead of the traditional posed photos, we foresee candid pictures with lots of laughter, tears, emotion, and character.  If this is your thing, have your Wedding Planner recommend a Lifestyle Wedding Photographer.

4.  A Lot Less Cake, for Goodness' Sake

There are not many things we love more than cake.  Let's face it though: our mothers had cake.  Their mothers had cake.  There were cakes stacked on top of cakes.  There were flowers in between cake.  (Is there such a thing as too much cake??)  Make room for fun bite sized or personal desserts like mini pies, donuts and macarons.  And the cakes we do see will be a lot more modern and Art Noveau than we have become accustomed to.

5.  Kale, Kale Where Art Thou

Everyone craves a great meal at a wedding.  Petit filet, smashed garlic potatoes, cream of broccoli soup with caramelized bacon.  We believe that less conventional items will join our savory friends on the menu.  Think kale, seaweed salad, edamame, and quinoa (just please don't pronounce it "queen-oh").

What do you think?  Do you have any predictions of which wedding trends will be in or out next year?  Leave us a comment below!

Bohemian Garden Party

As Wedding Planners and Stylists, we have our hands full most of the time.  Whether we are making sure all the groomsmen are accounted for, meticulously locating metallic Sharpies, or keeping the night on schedule, you can count on us to be pulling strings behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly.  We love our job, and we love our clients.

With that being said, we also love being able to let loose and put together a beautiful and unique concept for a styled photo shoot.  This most recent one we put together was featured on Ruffled Blog last week, and we're still grinning from ear to ear over it!

We went for an earthy, bohemian look, incorporating nature and different hues of Pantone's fabulous color of the year, Marsala.  Throw in the cutest little vintage food truck you've ever seen, a gorgeous historic Phoenix venue, and a couple in love, and we had all the ingredients for a perfect shoot.

Venue: Heritage Square                                      

Styling: Hytched Weddings & Events               

Photography: April Maura Photography

Florist: Lighthouse Flower Shop                         

Food Truck: The Duke Truck     

Bridal Shop: Brilliant Bridal        

Hair: All Done Up        

Makeup: Emily Huizar          

Cake: My Goodness Cakes 

Stationary: Foil & Ink                                  

Rentals: Prim Unique Rentals

Groom's Attire: Celebrity Tux & Tails

Table Ware & Decor: World Market                    

Food Plate: Craft+Culture

Bride: Shannon Kusmit                                        

Groom: Anthony Zasimovich

The Gay Big Day

We have all heard the news by now: same-sex marriage is finally legal in all fifty states.  For those who have been waiting for this fundamental freedom, this is cause for celebration (pun intended)!  We believe that love comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders, and being able to fully express that love through marriage is a great victory for the LGBTQ community.

After the BIG question has been asked and answered with an infinite yes, the next question on our minds is “what to wear?”  Here are some pointers and ideas for the wardrobe when it comes to same-sex weddings.

We always say that your wedding day should be a reflection of your personalities, and the attire definitely follows suit.  Yes, two females can both wear dresses, or they can both wear suits.  If one partner likes to get all dolled up and the other is more of a tomboy, that is perfectly fine.  

For gentlemen, two of the same suits in different colors is a great idea. However, the grooms may each have unique senses of style as well, which calls for two completely different looks.

Tying in some of the same colors, or a pop of the same color, is a great way to complement each other without stealing the other’s thunder.

What we are trying to say without actually saying it, is that anything goes.  Do what feels right for your relationship.  Be true to exactly who you are, and the love is sure to shine right through.

 

The Pinterest Wedding

The day you have been waiting for has finally arrived.  You have a sparkling stunner on your left hand and you are ready to start planning your big day.  Then you get on Pinterest and see all kinds of things.  Burlap table runners!  Candles in mason jars!  Photobooths for days!  It can be hard to separate what you actually like from what’s just cute and hip at the time.

So how do you avoid having the “Pinterest” wedding?  You know, the one that may photograph beautifully but is actually an overdone event that incorporates way too many DIYs and fads?  It is time to get back to basics.

Think about who you are as a couple.  What types of activities do you enjoy doing together?  How did you meet?  Where are you from?  When coming up with the overall feel for the wedding, these are the details to take into consideration.  I always tell my couples to avoid Pinterest until they have an idea of what they want.  Pinterest is an amazing tool for finding ideas and inspiration, but it’s way too easy to be overwhelmed by the endless options.

Once you have an idea of the look and feel you are going for, talk to your Wedding Planner if you have one.  He or she will help you clarify and refine those concepts into something beautiful and functional.  If you are going sans Planner, keep in mind that more is not always more.  Find a trusted friend or family member to bounce ideas off of.  (And by that, I mean just one person; asking everyone you know will only further confuse you).

All in all, you want to look back at your wedding twenty or thirty years down the road and admire it for its beauty and integrity, not laugh at your former self for thinking that putting a moustache on everything would be “cool”.  Celebrate your love and be true to who you are; that’s what the perfect wedding is all about.