Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaids Commandments

AE offers some advice to help you navigate your bestie's big day-
Be the best bridesmaid you can be!

Photo Courtesy of the Wedding Party

1. Be agreeable. Give a blanket approval for anything and everything the bride has planned, its her day after all. 

2. Take charge! Plan a drama free shower or bachelorette party.

3. Make friends. The bridal party will be your new best friends until the big day, and possibly some future friends too! 

4. Speak carefully. Weddings can bring out a little bit of stress, little comments could mean big blow ups. 

5. Pick up the phone. Avoid passive aggressive texts and emails by simply making a phone call. 

6. Try on your dress. Making sure it fits is privy to the big day.

7. Consider hair and make-up. Make sure your style and ideas are within the brides vision. 

8. This isn't about you. At all. Keep your opinions to yourself, you're there to support the bride and groom!

9. Drink responsibly. Your duties go all night, not to mention your presence in the wedding photos. Smudged make-up and a stained dress? No thank you! 

10. Have a ball! Dinner, drinks, dancing?! Enjoy it! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

AE tip: Signature Drink

You can never go wrong with bringing a signature cocktail into the mix..

AE loves to coordinate a specialty drink with the theme of the party!

Photo Courtesy of Indulgy

.. & it's always nice to keep it seasonal!

Summer bash?
Something light and fruity.

Baby shower?
Offer a mocktail.

Fall gathering?
Try a hot cider. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Happy Hour: Watermelon Fizz

Mix up your morning mimosas with this summer fresh cocktail!

Watermelon Fizz
Photo Courtesy of Diane, A Broad

This simple recipe follows: 

1 small watermelon 
 2 limes
1 bottle of champagne 

Peel and cube the the watermelon; puree in a blender or food processor. Strain the watermelon through a fine mesh strainer.  Squeeze the lime into the strained watermelon juice and top with champagne. Give the cocktail a big stir and serve in your favorite glasses! 

As always, enjoy responsibly! 
Xo, AE

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Dress Shopping Tips

Where should you start? 
Without a little organization, dress shopping for the big day can be slightly overwhelming.

AE has a few simple steps to get you started off on the right foot! 

Photo Courtesy of Kitty Haw

Step 1: Set your budget. Once you know how much money you have to spend, figure out which stores fit in your price range. 

Step 2: Book your venue. Make sure to keep the season and site in mind when picking out your gown. A long heavy train on the beach?! No way!

Step 3: Do your research. Have fun flipping through magazines, get ideas and inspiration! Try to zero in on what styles and designers you like the best, this will help narrow down your options in the store. 

Step 4: Find your shopping personality. What kind of experience are you looking for? Quite, intimate time with mom? Check local bridal shops. A weekend getaway with girlfriends? Go to a destination salon. 

Happy Shopping!! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Cake Alternatives

Don't have a preference for cake?
AE has a few splendid ideas that will surely satisfy your sweet tooth! 

Dessert Bar. This is a great alternative for the indecisive bride. Pick out all your favorite sweet treats for guests to pick and choose! 

Photo Courtesy of Stylish Soiree

AE Tip: Adding flowers, balloons, or candles to the dessert table will make it a gorgeous focal point.

Macarons. These French cookies are ideal for the gluten-free bride. Made with almond flour, these gorgeous cookies will satisfy dietary needs, and are tasty too! 

Photo Courtesy of Knot Notes

S'mores. Although this gooey delight will have guests coming back for more, not all venues can accommodate, so make sure to double check! 

Photo Courtesy of Confetti Rentals

AE Tip: If you aren't able to toast the mallows, send the fixings home with guests as a farewell gift!

Candy Bar. Pick all your favorite candies: chocolate, fruity, hard, and soft. Guests will enjoy snacking all evening! 

Photo Courtesy of It's a Brides Life

Decided on a cake alternative for your big day?!
Purchasing a small ceremonial cake to cut in front of guests incorporates a traditional touch
& a great photo moment.

Monday, July 7, 2014

AE Tip: Dietary Restrictions & Dinner Parties

Gluten Free? Vegan? Vegetarian? 
Food allergies and diets can make eating out and attending parties seem somewhat challenging. 
AE has a few tips and tricks to make you (and your stomach!) happy.

Photo Courtesy of The Points Guy

Hosting a party for guests with dietary restrictions?
Don't hesitate to ask guests if they require anything special when you extend an invite. Since some needs can be confusing, feel free to ask questions such as where they find their recipes. 

Attending a dinner party? 
Offer to bring a dish to share with guests. This is a fool proof way to make sure your diet is fulfilled without placing extra pressure on the host. 

AE Tip: Eating out? Quietly mention to the waiter your needs so there are no surprises later! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The Fine Print

Hidden Wedding Costs--
It's all those pricey extras that really make your bills add up. 

Take it from us -- READ the fine print!

Caterers charge by the plate for sit down dinners.  One guest equaling one plate.  Although family style is not less expensive than a served dinner, buffet style is.  Ask your caterer to walk you through the pricing if you're on the fence between your choices.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Designs
When anyone other than the in-house pastry chef makes your cake, your caterer will often charge to cut it.  Sometimes it's a flat fee and other times, it's per guest - which can really add up!

Check with your caterer on corkage fees.  If you use the booze provided by your reception site, the charge is typically included with the total cost.  However, if you're providing your own alcohol, some venues will charge per bottle to have their staff open it.  

Photo courtesy of Frosted Pink Events
Service Charge
These are for non-food-related costs. They can tack on about 20 percent to your bill. 

Usually, this is printed on your quote clearly, but know what you're looking for!  There will most likely be a delivery fee and shipping/handling fee.  If you don't see it, ask for this upfront.  

Welcome Bags
Hotels will often charge for distributing these, usually per bag.  If you're don't care for welcome bags to be room dropped, see if you're hotel will allow the front desk to distribute them when your guests check in. 

Photo courtesy of Signature 

Non-Approved Vendors
Some venues have a preferred vendor list.  Using vendors not on the list will land you with a fee!

If your vendors are booked for a certain amount of time, you'll be charged per hour if you're wedding runs over.  Factor these costs in from the beginning if you think it may be close!

Having a destination affair?  If your guests are not all staying on the property, there could be a fee for them to enter.