Recently, a couple asked me what options could they consider for their buffet selections outside of the typical “chicken, beef or fish.” The answer is: stations! Instead of having one long buffet line of silver serving trays, go for 4+ stations that offer unique cuisine options and decorative motifs. Check with your caterer to see what they offer and what they can accomodate. Overwhelmed by options? Select 2 stations that represent your hometown and 2 that represent your favorite vacation destinations. Here’s a long list of suggestions to get you started:
Mashed Potato Bar photo courtesy of CuisinEtc!
A lovely trend that is coming more and more to the forefront is giving seed packets as favors! You can represent the bride/groom or new mom/dad’s heritage by giving out seeds from specific areas of the world. Irish families can use shamrock seeds, Dutch families with tulips, or the lotus flower for Chinese backgrounds. You can easily tack a sachel onto a meaningful poem printed on decorative paper for a more budget-friendly option. For those DIY brides out there: take it one step further and design your own seed packets with a photo of the happy couple. You can download a template here from Kodak
For hosts and hostesses with slightly deeper pockets, consider making your guests a small gardening pail that contains all they would need to plant your seeds. A patterned or plain silver bucket, a small trowel, some brightly colored gardening gloves and maybe a lemonade mix to keep them refreshed. Seeds are a great way to represent your family heritage to your guests!
A few inspirations for the DIY-party throwers and those on a budget: instead of spending your hard-earned dollars on expensive flower centerpieces that will be thrown away after a few hours, try using other materials. The ones below are showstoppers, pocketbook-friendly and easy to create. Just a little sampling to get your brainstorm going…
One of my favorite ways to decorate for a baby shower is both inexpensive and helpful! All you need is a few packages of onesies, some pretty clothespins and some decorative rope (on the thicker side). Take the rope and drape it on the walls or from the ceiling of the party area. Ensure it’s stable and then clothespin on the onesies all over the room! It creates a fantastic and appropriate decoration for the festivities and afterwards the mother-to-be can pack the onesies away until the baby is born! You can also mix in infant t-shirts, socks, etc. and it works for indoor and outdoor showers!
Think summer, warm weather and sunshine with this beautiful and cheerful color palette. Great for a beach-themed wedding or one that just needs a bit more punch! There are so many ways to use this color combination: decorate your tables with bowls of different types of citrus fruits and use clear blue glassware and chargers or have your bridesmaids incorporate the theme with blue dresses and orange-hued bouquets. What a lovely choice!
Here are some inspirational cakes for your next event! Base it on your event theme like the moroccan pillows, use your favorite photos as decoration, tie in some bright colors with citrus fruit instead of flowers, use your favorite hobby like the lighthouse or the design of your favorite painting like Monet’s Water Lilies. It’s a great way to personalize your cake and will certainly be a showstopper at your event!
During the depression, while the rest of the country was pinching pennies and just scraping by, the Rockefeller family was holding fabulous soirees complete with unique ideas. One of my favorites centerpiece ideas stems from their lavish parties. The Rockefellers would put a long, rectangular box filled with sand in the middle of the dinner table. The mini trowels placed in the box helps the guests unearth their party favors: emerald necklaces, diamond earrings, ruby bracelets, you name it! Why not update this idea by choose or creating a box of your own, filling it with decorative stones, crystals or even candy, and hiding favors in it?
If you are a bride dying for one of the very trendy “Soon to be Mrs. Smith” zip up sweatshirts or a friend who wants to add some fun to a baby shower – look no further than www.cafepress.com. This site offers an entire line of clothing from t-shirts to terrycloth hoodies to maternity wear and even thong underwear. You can pick from a ready-made design or even upload your own logo! Best of all, the site is much more budget friendly than the usual suppliers. What a great way to keep the theme going on your special day!
Here’s a bold alternative for the bride who loves pink but doesn’t want a pepto bismol-infused wedding. Orange and pink are a sizzling color scheme and create a colorful and intriguing environment, no matter what the event!
Instead of your typical save-the-date or baby announcement card, try doing a magnet! For your engagement, it’s especially nice for when family and friends may not have met your fiancee. For the new addition to your family, your loved ones will love to show off the magnet instead of the typical emailed announcement. There are tons of online vendors who can help you create this easy and affordable option to traditional cards, we like Magnet Street and Magnet Queen.