Saturday, November 5, 2011

Comfort Food Goes Fancy

This past summer I went to a wedding, and after hours of dancing and a few too many drinks, the night was coming to an end and I was hungry! My delicious dinner from 4 hours before was long forgotten, and I began plotting my stops on the way home to satisfy my late-night craving. Then, to my surprise, out came a midnight mashed potato buffet - complete with martini glasses to hold the delicious creamy potatoes and a plethora of toppings including sour cream, chives, bacon bits, butter, parmesan cheese, broccoli, and onions. Every single guest was elated by the cozy late night food and we all went home full and happy!

Bringing the nostalgic and sentimental appeal of comfort food into a fancy setting can be a delicious way to add a casual element and focus on the simpler things in life. You don’t need to have a less-formal wedding to enjoy a twist on these classic favorites as buffet food or passed appetizers:

Mac & Cheese with applewood smoked bacon or chopped jalapeños
Sliders with Kobe beef and an array of toppings
Pot Roast with fresh veggies
Tomato Soup with mini grilled cheese made with specialty cheeses
Pizzas mini-sized with gourmet toppings
Soft Pretzels with sea salt and honey mustard 
Pigs in a Blanket with puff pastry dough and homemade ketchup

Need some sweets past cake time?

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies served warm with shot glasses of ice cold milk
Cupcakes decorated in your wedding colors
Cotton Candy who doesn't love this fair inspired treat?

Happy Eating!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Classy Bachelorette

Gone are the days when the words “bachelorette party” only incurs images of excessive drinking and inappropriate accessories. I recently planned bachelorette festivities for one of my best friends, and I was happily pleased to find a wealth of ideas for fun activities that wouldn’t embarrass the bride (or everyone with her!) that would still be a unique event she will always remember.  As you begin working on your plans, think about what the bride enjoys and how she would like to spend time with her friends. After all, the day is about her! Whether it’s one night or an entire weekend with the girls, bachelorette parties are meant to bring everyone together and shower the bachelorette with love and good wishes before she begins a new life with her husband.  And maybe showering her with presents too...
Some unique ideas to get you started:
Host a spa day. Why not get everyone together for manicures, pedicures, facials or massages? To save some money at my friend’s bachelorette, we paid a family friend who is also a masseuse to come over for 2-3 hours and give “mini-massages” to everyone, which was a big hit. Head out to a spa for a full day, half day, or do-it-yourself at home - you don't have to bust your budget for a day of relaxation.
Attention Foodies! Attend a cooking class or make dinner together (if you have a smaller group). Pick a theme the bride would love - french food, fondue, comfort food, anything would work - and enjoy a good meal with great friends.
Like wine? Visit a winery for the day, or look into how much it would be to hire a sommelier for a few hours to come over for a professional wine tasting. Serve cheese, bread, and fresh fruit as appetizers. Play games and give away bottles of wine as prizes, or head out to your favorite restaurant in town and test your new knowledge.
Out on the town. Bring your group to a comedy club and call ahead to see if they can make the bride the center of attention (if she's up for it!). Dance studios sometimes offer “girls night out” packages for a bride who would love to learn to salsa....or maybe some more risqué moves! Even just renting a limo for the night to take you around can be the most fun part.
Tea, anyone? Host a fancy tea party and show off your backyard, or go to a real tea room. A lady-like bride would love the opportunity to show off her new hat and share finger sandwiches, petit fours, and scones with her besties.  A friend of mine once made homemade tea bags as the favor for a bridal shower, and everyone loved them!

If you want to stay in, hiring a professional for a few hours could be tons of fun.  A cook, a masseuse, a tarot card reader, card dealer (why not bring Vegas to your living room?), dance instructor - just let the bride blow off some stress of planning the big day and have fun!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Eco-Friendly Weddings

Sustainability is a hot topic, and why not in regards to events? Unfortunately, it’s not always easy or economical to go green when you host an event for a group of people, but it can be possible without sacrificing your budget, elegance or sanity.
An obvious start, using recycled paper for your invitations can be a quick solution. There are so many options, and companies like Crane and Co. produce beautiful paper that is 100% biodegradable or organic cotton. Unlike events where Evites might be appropriate, your wedding invites can also cut back on printed sheets or additional envelopes. For a really unique idea, check out Botantical Paper Works for paper embedded with...wait for it...SEEDS!! Guests can plant your invitation in their backyard and it turns into flowers, plants or herbs instead of ending up in a landfill. Seeds can also be a great wedding favor, as a symbol for beginning a new part of your life.

Everyone wants the perfect dress, but maybe your perfect dress can be one that was used by others as well. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s worth it to check out websites that help recycle dresses which might otherwise go to waste. Some are even bought but never worn with the tags still on them. Try Recycled Bride  or Once Wed and check out what's out there.
If you’re not sure whether to keep your gown, consider donating it to charity or selling it and donating the proceeds. Your bridesmaids can donate their used gowns to charities such as The Glass Slipper Project or Fairy Godmothers Inc., both of which help give underprivileged teens a chance to find a prom dress if they can’t afford it.
Cooking organic or all-natural can be expensive, so maybe consider taking any leftover food from the reception dinner to a local shelter or soup kitchen instead. Just shopping local grocery store or farmer's market (or your caterer doing so) can make a big difference, as well as choosing fruits and veggies that are in season and don’t need to be grown in a greenhouse. Same with flowers, which is cheaper no matter who your florist is!
Go with the "green" theme and look at vintage materials for decorations, or raid your recently married friends' garage to see who might have supplies you can re-purpose. You can also look at outdoor venues or those run by non-profit organizations. Use all-natural makeup/beauty products and register for earth-friendly housewares. Explain to guests what it means to you to be green and why you made certain decisions in your wedding planning, and they will be happy to jump in the green boat with you.
Finally, check out the I Do Foundation to find ways to support charities through your special day! There are a million ways to be mindful of the environment when throwing a bash - I hope these help you get started :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tricia Huddas & Co. Real Savannah Wedding: Jennifer and Kris

Jennifer and Kris were married on a beautiful May day at the Isle of Hope United Methodist Church surrounded by family and friends. Jennifer did an exceptional job with all of her plans, and I was excited to take the reigns the day of and ensure she and Kris had the wedding of their dreams. This was helped along by a great group of friends in their wedding party - "We're professionals" one of the groomsmen assured me! 

The couple exchanged traditional vows and did not take their eyes off each other the whole time. Following the ceremony, the wedding party took a trolley to the bluff around the church for photos before joining guests at the Telfair Academy for a night of dancing and general merriment. Friends of the groom, the ladies at A to Zinnias outdid themselves and found the most beautifully saturated blue hydrangeas to enhance the decor. 

Creative Catering provided the yummy southern fare, including pigs in a blanket and fried chicken! Almost as soon as the cake was cut, it was all gone, thanks to the delicious designs from Carrie Briscoe at Two Cakes. Filled up with delicious food and cake, everyone hit the dance floor for the rest of the night, only taking breaks to refill a beverage or to catch their breath between songs. As the guests lined the sidewalk outside ready to send them off under a canopy of sparklers, Jennifer and Kris shared a final dance by themselves in the rotunda before hopping on a carriage to take them off into the next chapter of their lives!

Tremendous thanks to Christine Hall for these lovely images.


Congratulations Jennifer and Kris! We wish you a long and happy life together.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tricia Huddas & Co. Real Savannah Wedding: Heather and Cory

Heather and Cory had a beautiful June 4 ceremony and reception at the Davenport House Museum Garden. This St. Louis couple fell in love with the city of Savannah on a previous trip and given that the groom's last name is also Davenport, why not get married in the house with his out namesake! Like many out of town couples, we got plans started via email and phone and put the finishing touches on everything during a weekend trip into the city. This is my favorite part of planning because I get to spend some quality face time with the couple and really see their personalities, which helps me to ensure the couple's personalities shine throughout the wedding day!

The couple had a small ceremony with close family and friends, with a delicious dinner reception to follow catered by Paul Kennedy Catering. Heather looked absolutely stunning in her white lace gown and Cory's light gray suit was a perfect touch for the garden wedding. The flowers were a mix of ivory, lavender, accented with  greenery giving the feel of a quentissentially Savannah garden wedding. Heidi and Natalie at A to Zinnias took the couple's idea and ran with it to enhance the already beautiful gardens. Kerry O'Connor Cake Design created the delicious wedding cake featuring a lace design to match Heather's dress and light blue accents. Guests were entertained on the dance floor all night long with the musical styling of the Silver Lining Trio. The couple even had a special personal touch to their reception with monogrammed cookies baked especially for the couple by a friend from St. Louis...yummy!

Heather and Ryan from Heather Roth Photography shot the following beautiful photos. They traveled all the way from St. Louis to shoot the wedding and we had such a great time!

So happy to finally be married...these two are the epitome of sweet love!

Congratulations, Heather and Cory! We wish you a happy and healthy life together!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tricia Huddas & Co. Real Savannah Wedding: Danielle & Trey

Danielle and Trey were married the first weekend in May and they could not have asked for a more beautiful day! This fun loving couple was surrounded by their family and friends as they exchanged vows at the Bluffton United Methodist Church. After photos, everyone was ready to kick off their heals at the home of the parents of the groom where a tent housed the evening's festivities.

Providing the perfect natural backdrop, the May River gave us a cool breeze, which kept the afternoon heat off as we waited for the sun to go down. Guests arrived for cocktail hour to the sounds of the steel drums and a premium tequila bar. As was expected, the fire pit recently installed in the back yard drew quite the crowd all night long as guests enjoyed a rock in the rocking chairs between turns on the dance floor thanks to the wonderful DJ Andy with Hilton Head Entertainment. One of the perks of having the reception in your backyard is the party can go on as long as you want!

Neil Cowley with Make Love Real photography was able to capture these beautiful images of the day. Trey and Danielle are sure to remember every detail of the day thanks to Neil's work. Click Here to view a slideshow of the day.

Danielle with her father just before they enter the church.
Some alone time before the party gets underway!

Amazing Event Rentals and Ohh Events! put together the beautiful tenting, lighting, and rentals. Jan with Ohh Events! also provided the exceptional floral and linen design.
I just love this photo of the tiki torch flame with Danielle and Trey in the background!

Before heading out for the night, Neil was able to snap one last photo of the couple enjoying their wedding day.
Congratulations Danielle and Trey!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tricia Huddas & Co. Real Savannah Wedding: Erin and Phillip

Erin and Phillip were married on Memorial Day weekend at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and had their reception at the DeSoto Hilton on Liberty Street. The couple was very laid back and were just excited to be getting married!

The wonderful ladies at A to Zinnias provided all the flowers for the day and made everything look beautiful. Carrie from Two Cakes made the delicious wedding cake and it matched the day perfectly! Guests were entertained by the wonderful Trae Gurley, who serenaded everyone with his beautiful jazz style.

The guys at Beacon Photo provided these fantastic photographic memories from the day. What a wonderful day for a wedding!

Erin showing off her fun personality!

The beautiful and delicious cake from Two Cakes!

The couple happily married!

Erin and her father as he walks her down the aisle.

The gorgeous bride so happy on her wedding day!

Congratulations, Erin and Phillip! Thank you so much for allowing us to share this wonderful day with you!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dear Fellow Savannah Event Professionals...

Some of you have heard, but for those who have not, we want to pass along some news about one of our own. Ricky Moore, one of the Savannah Special Events delivery leads was in a terrible car accident over the weekend of June 18. So many of you have met him but may not actually know him. He is currently in the ICU and the doctors recently put him under a chemically induced coma to allow his brain time to heal along with his other injuries.

Ricky and his wife, seen below with their oldest son, had another baby just days before the accident, and this is an extremely hard time on their family. He is a gentle soul and in need of your thoughts and prayers to pull through this because it is going to be a long, long recovery.

Ricky and the delivery guys at Savannah Special Events do more than just deliver and setup their rentals - they help us unload our cars, show up early, and help us out when they really don't have to. Let's show our support and help Ricky and his family through this tough time.

An account has been setup at Wells Fargo Bank to collect donations - Charles Moore Donation Fund: Account # 7964140623. The Moore family needs our help now more than ever. Anything will help.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tricia Huddas & Co. Real Savannah Wedding: Tara and Eric

Tara and Eric were married during an intimate ceremony on May 21st at Bethesda Home For Boys, with a small dinner reception following at the Olde Pink House. The Bethesda chapel served as the ceremony venue and was decorated with candles by the altar and flowers lining the aisle. A memory candle was placed at the front of the chapel in memory of Eric's late mother, which provided an extra special and unique touch to the ceremony. Tara looked very elegant in her ivory lace gown, and she was filled with excitement to be marrying the love of her life!

After a guided tour of historic Savannah, guests were taken to The Olde Pink House for the reception for an intimate dinner with close friends and family. The decorations were simple but beautiful, with candles lining the center of the table and the fireplace mantle. Thank you to Garden on the Square for providing the amazing flowers for the ceremony and reception! Kerry O'Connor Cake Design provided the marvelous and gorgeous cake for the reception.

The beautiful chapel at Bethesda

The Olde Pink House reception site

In memory of Eric's mother.

Flowers courtesy of Garden on the Square

The menu cards for each guest, with the wedding favor on top.

Beautiful wedding cake, courtesy of Kerry O'Connor Cake Designs

It was a beautiful wedding! Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Mora!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tricia Huddas & Co. Real Savannah Wedding: Jennifer and Michael

Jennifer and Michael's beautiful April 30 wedding took place at the Plantation Club at the Landings on Skidaway Island. You could tell that Jennifer and Michael were so happy and in love from the smiles they wore all day! The ceremony was held outside the club along the banks of a small pond. Savannah Special Events by Ranco provided the seating for the ceremony and linens for the reception.

Amy and her team of wonderful designers at Harvey Designs outdid themselves with this one making the location even more beautiful with their amazing floral creations. There had to be over 100,000 flowers in the entire reception area! No two centerpieces were the same, which made the reception that much more unique. Kerry O'Connor Cake Design provided the yummy and beautiful wedding cake, which looked elegant next to all the floral arrangements. Guests were entertained on the dance floor all night long by the rockin' sounds provided by Andrew Thielen Big Band. Hunter McRae from Memories n More Photography provided all these gorgeous photos from the day!

Jennifer looks so happy to be walking down the aisle to marry the love of her life!

Officially Mr. and Mrs. Lacovara!

Congratulations, Jennifer and Michael! We wish you a lifetime of happiness!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tricia Huddas & Co. Real Savannah Wedding: Katie and Brad

To kick off our 2011 wedding season, we had the opportunity to work with a beautiful couple. Katie and Brad got married the first weekend in February at the Mansion on Forsyth Park with close family and friends in attendance. From the first moment I met with them, I could tell Katie had a clear vision of how she wanted her wedding day to look and the creativity to pull all of her details together…and I was happy to be able to allow her to enjoy those details!

The morning kicked off at 700 Drayton with a bridesmaid’s luncheon before heading off to Park West Salon for hair and make up. Katie was a gorgeous bride in her lace gown accented with a gray sash. Her gunmetal and silver color scheme with pink accents looked stunning under the beautiful crystal chandeliers at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, and the flowers by A to Zinnias were beautiful, as usual! Many thanks to her photographer, Kimberly Wilson, for these beautiful photos.

Katie and her sweet bridesmaids were all smiles and laughter while they got dressed, primped and anxiously awaited the time to walk down the aisle. Helping her daughter get dressed and put the final touches together, Katie's mom was all smiles throughout the night.

Joined by her father as she prepared to walk into the arms of her love five years after they met, Katie was calm, cool, and collected, just like her husband-to-be. Listening to Brad talk about Katie made me melt and I could plainly see why these two were meant to have their "Happily Ever After."
After an intimate ceremony beneath the tent in the Marble Garden Courtyard, Katie and Brad took a walk through Forsyth Park to enjoy some "us" time before the reception. As the sun began to set, the newlyweds joined their guests…but not before snapping these sweet photos.

After wiping the tears from my eyes during the father of the bride's welcome toast to his daughter and son-in-law, guests enjoyed a delicious meal, followed by yummy cakes from the fabulous Carrie of Two Cakes. The music picked up after a lovely round of the Happy Birthday song for Katie’s father and uncle, his twin brother, and everyone danced into the wee hours of the night!

The smile on Brad and Katie’s faces at the end of the night was the icing on my cake, and I enjoyed working with them to help make their wedding day the celebration they envisioned. Following a sparkler send off, the couple took a ride around the city in a horse and carriage to begin the new chapter in their lives together.

Congratulations Brad and Katie!