Food, Drinks and Treats

Wedding Trend: Curated Food Stations

curated food stationsRecently, I attended the National Association For Catering and Events’ Experience! 2015 Conference, where I learned about trends and techniques to enhance our events in the coming year.

The amazing celebrity event designer Colin Cowie was the keynote speaker, and I loved all the ideas he shared. One that stuck out was the use of Curated Food Stations. I know what you’re thinking – what the heck is that?!

You’re probably familiar with the concept of food stations. A mashed potato bar, a carved meat, maybe a pasta station. Now take that concept, and kick it up a notch!

Each station should be an experience for the senses.  Work with your caterer to create 2 or 3 unique items for each station. Then, add to that station an incredible wine pairing!

Food may be pre-plated on small appetizer-size china, rather than larger plates like a traditional buffet. When food is beautifully displayed, it cuts down on the lines too!

We actually got to experience this effect during the cocktail reception for 650 conference attendees. Each station had two items, pre-plated, so all you had to do was walk up and grab one! I can personally attest that it was fabulous.

Would you like to see this concept come to life at your wedding?

ABC Florida State Conference Recap #BeBoldABC

This week, I had the pleasure of working with my dear friends and fellow Master Wedding Planners Carmen Mesa of Carmen Mesa Events and Tammy Waterman of Special Moments Event Planning to produce a fabulous conference for wedding professionals. The Association of Bridal Consultants’ Florida State Conference is always a labor of love, but hearing each and every attendee walk away saying how much they had learned makes it all worth it! Here’s a little recap:

Saturday night, we treated our amazing speakers to a fun evening at Sweet Pete’s and The Candy Apple Cafe and Cocktails.

jacksonville

Sunday morning kicked off with brunch, where I got to tell everyone some interesting facts about Jacksonville. (#ILoveJax)

brunch collage(thanks to Rose of Sharon European Florist for the centerpieces, Beachview Event Rentals for the chairs, and PRI Productions for the super cool Jacksonville backdrop)

general session

After brunch, we went into our general session room for lots of great educational content:

And then it was on to the poolside cocktail reception! The weather could not have been more amazing. As event planners, we always worry about the weather when planning outdoor events – especially in August in Florida! But there was not a drop of rain that day, and the breeze made the rooftop deck quite comfortable.

Omni hotel Jacksonville poolside reception

Day 2 of the conference started with a casual breakfast. How cool are these centerpieces from Rose of Sharon European Florist?

breakfast centerpieces

And the Omni Hotel Jacksonville staff created the letters “ABC” out of the parfaits!

parfaits

For Tuesday’s lunch, each speaker was assigned a table. Lauren from Ten23 Designs created these adorable signs with their names! She also made tons of other cute decor pieces that were used throughout the conference.

lunch table

Monday’s educational sessions were just as amazing as Sunday’s:

  • Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting – Attaining Expert Status: How to Become on Expert Industry Leader
  • Susan Southerland, Just Marry! – Selling to Couples at Every Planning Phase
  • Charlene Shirk, C. Shirk Productions – Pitch Perfect: How to Deliver A Great Media Interview
  • Bryan Glynn, BGPictures – Critical Website & Internet Tips for Your Business and Making $$ with YouTube
  • Donnie Brown & Steve Kemble – Social Media As Your PR Consultant (Round Table)

Sadly, it was time to say good bye to all of our friends, new and old. These little snack packs had water, chips, and sweets for the drive/flight home.

take home snack boxes

heather canada donnie brown steve kemble

It was an amazing (and exhausting!) three days, and I am so thankful for everyone that attended. Want to see more photos? Check out the ABC Florida Facebook page.

Burying Bourbon For Good Weather On Your Wedding Day

southern folklore good weather on your wedding day

Every couple that is planning an outdoor wedding stresses out about one thing: the weather! Hopefully you have great backup plans in place if you are planning an outdoor event. (If you don’t, you should!) But here’s an old tradition you might want to add to your wedding planning schedule.

Southern folklore has it that 30 days before the wedding, at the time of the ceremony, the couple should go to the ceremony location and bury a bottle of bourbon upside down. During the cocktail hour, the bottle is dug up and subsequently passed around for all to enjoy. The folklore must be true, because we’ve seen it done at 3 weddings now and all have had fabulous weather despite rainy or cold days before and after!

Do you have any superstitions or traditions you’d like to share?

(photo from Ann and Mark’s November 2014 wedding, by Susan Michal Photography)

Wedding Day and Honeymoon Fun

wedding day and honeymoon fun

We’ve been busy pinning some fun ideas over one our Pinterest boards! Check out our new board, Wedding Day and Honeymoon Fun, for some great getting-ready attire and pre-wedding special touches. Plus, some honeymoon ideas too! What fun ideas have you pinned recently?

Christmas Inspiration

Christmas is next week! Yikes! If you are busy with wedding planning, your Christmas preparations may have fallen by the wayside this year. But don’t worry, we found some fun and easy projects on Pinterest to inspire you! Head on over to check them out. Merry Christmas!

christmas pinterest