Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cater To Your Guests (Pt.2)

One Monday's blog I spoke about different ways to spice of your reception menu. Today I plan to discuss the different catering service styles and the cost factors involved. Let's begin...

  • Sit-Down: Formal restaurant style service and the most traditional of reception services. Can become extremely costly based on your meal selection, especially if you have dual-entrees.
  • Buffet: Tables of displayed food where guests can serve themselves. This service is thought to be the least expensive, but don't be fooled. The chef has to prepare enough servings of each item since the guests make their food selection at the buffet table.
  • Food Stations: Multiple mini-buffets set up for the more contemporary bride who wants a modern and fresh look for their meal. You will need a lot of space for this style reception and is typically used for the less-conventional bride. GREAT idea for a cocktail reception.
  • Family-style: Seated dinner where the platters are placed on the table and guests serve themselves. The least expensive service of those listed, but make sure you use larger tables at your reception to accommodate the platters of food.
  • French Service: Staff will serve guests table-side from large serving dishes. Very costly because of the amount of staff needed.
  • Russian Service: Staff will hold the platters table-side while guests serve themselves. As mentioned in French service, very costly because of the amount of staff needed.
Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit -

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cater To Your Guests (Pt.1)

Catering, rather it's provided by your reception venue or if you have hired a private catering company, the cost is going to be approximately 50% of your wedding budget. Try to make use of your monies wisely and keep your guests in mind when making decisions. I've made a few suggestions, what I consider helpful suggestions when planning your reception menu:

  • Make sure to have a tasting so that you can make notations about the look, seasoning and presentation of the menu.
  • Be sensitive to your guests dietary restrictions. Consider adding "Please advise of any dietary restrictions" to your reply card.
  • Personalize parts of the menu to reflect your background and ethnicity.
  • Consider choosing 4-5 different hors d'oeuvre options during cocktails and for dinner serve three or four courses.
  • Spice up the cocktail hour with passed hors d'oeuvres, stations and/or tasting tables. Also note that cocktail receptions can be more cost-effective than serving a full sit-down dinner or buffet.
  • And wherever possible, make sure your entire menu hits on all the taste buds - sweet, sour, bitter and tangy (tart).

Until next time...WEDologize your budget!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Water + Candles

I always get asked by brides what can I do to make my tablescapes look fabulous, but my budget is limited. You can't make a mistake with using candles and water to accent your tables and windows. The drama and romance created from the twinkling candles reflecting off the water can transform any space into a spectacular site. I was just watching "Platinum Weddings" on WEtv and a eco-friendly bride spending almost a half a million on her wedding used soy-based candles, dramatic glass vases, votive candles, glass gems and a sprinking of rose buds per centerpiece. YES! And what makes water and candles such a "WOW factor" ? You can change up the centerpieces easily by using colored glass vases; adding crystal elements or flowers; or even a drop of food coloring to dye the water. The ideas are limitless on the vision you can create using water + candles. Check out the beautiful photos I found on

Until next time...WEDologize your budget!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Here Cometh the Shoe!

I was just with a client on Saturday, as we were thumbing through the latest Get Married magazine, and she simply feel in love with a pair of purple shoes to wear with her fabulous bridal gown for her June wedding. Today's contemporary bride wants to add some color and pizazz to their wedding ensemble outside of wearing a colored sash around the waist or a jewel-toned brooch. Shoes, shoes, shoes!!! The Twenty-Ten bride is jumping all over the idea of wearing brightly colored heels (or flats) under their lovely wedding gowns. The pop of color will make you certainly stand out. Check out some of the styles below. I'm sure designs like these will have your groom smiling from ear-to-ear, especially if you have a reveal AFTER you say "I do"!

My client then went on the say, "How cool would it be to go on a date with my husband in some jeans and my wedding shoes!" I idea!

Until next time...WEDologize!

Photo Credits:

Red shoes -

Fuchsia, Green and Purple shoes -

Turquoise shoes -

Navy shoes -

Yellow shoes -

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Digital Photo Preservation a.k.a. Scrapbooking

Many of you have photos saved on your computer from those memorable events involving your fiance', family and friends. What are you doing with them? Well something fun would be to create a digital scrapbook. Digital Scrapbook? Yes, format your photos using FREE software as personalized keepsakes that you can share online or print. Another thoughtful use could be the creation of a slide show to present at your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or even during cocktail hour on wedding day. With the variety of page layouts available the sky is the limit to WOW your family and friends...especially if you include some hilarious photos of them.

Check out these sites as your begin your journey on the path of digital scrapbooking:

Until next time...WEDologize!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

Getting engaged is such an exciting time in a woman's life! When you finally find the man of your dreams...the one you want to share your life literally want to shout it from the rooftops and share it with those closest to you. After making the announcement to your families, it's now time to select those closest girlfriends or family members to play an integral role in your wedding. Instead of making a simple phone call, I've listed some ideas for you to think about when asking your friend - "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?"

Photo credit and website:
Tiffany blue box w/ paper weight -;
Bridesmaid cookies -
Necklace -
Bridesmaid notecard -

Until next time...WEDologize!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whatcha Know About Etsy?

What do you know about Well if you aren't aware of this website...make it a site you surf today. I honestly just discovered Etsy a few months ago, but for a couple getting married...this is a WEDology site for certain! Etsy is a community of people and small companies that make useful items and sell them to us, the consumer. This site showcases some of EVERYTHING and I've taken a complete liking to their wedding community. These men and women have some serious talent and in most cases - the price is right!

Below are some of my "Esty Wedding Favorites". Let me know what you think.

The birdcage veil for that sexy, glam bride breaking away from tradition

Stylish personalized luminaries that would look great as decor for cocktail hour or lining the pathway of an evening reception

Personalized guest welcome box of useful goodies like snacks, candies and medicine

Envelope guest book w/ cards allowing each guest to write a personal message

Save The Date magnets...not just your typical magnet

Until next time...WEDologize your budget!

(photo credits - Etsy, Inc.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Engaged? Let Bridal Show Season Begin!

Now that you are engaged, have purchased your first bridal magazine and bridal planner...where do you go from here? How about visiting a few bridal shows to see the latest trends in flowers, decor and fashion. I've listed a few of the upcoming Chicagoland bridal shows to assist you on your journey. Oh yeah, one important tip to make things easier on you as you walk the bridal show floor... Since you are going to be asked to list specific information about yourself by the participating vendors, print yourself some labels and avoid all that writing. Information to include - your name, groom's name, wedding date, e-mail address, and mailing address.

January 2010 Dates

January 10th
Bridal Expo Chicago
Renaissance Hotel - Schaumburg

January 17th
Bridal Expo Chicago
Swissotel - Chicago

January 17th
Bridal Expo 2010
Rialto Square Theatre - Joliet

January 24th
Bridal Expo Chicago
DoubleTree Hotel - Oak Brook

January 31st
Bridal Expo Chicago
Hyatt Regency - Rosemont

Until next time - WEDologize!

(photo credits - Bridal Expo Chicago)


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