Jumat, 26 April 2013

The Alcohol Free Reception

Many couples are opting for an alcohol free reception, some to save money, others just don’t want the headache of liability. And yes, you are responsible for the actions of your guests at the reception and after if they have been served alcohol. That means if you serve any type of alcohol and one of your guests is stopped for driving under the influence or heaven forbid, they are in an accident you can be sued. Count on it.

Unfortunately, many people who are invited to a wedding are under the impression that they are entitled to food, drink and entertainment and overlook the fact that they have been invited at the bride and groom’s pleasure. Wedding guests are entitled to zip. How much or how little is provided is entirely up to the bride and groom. Shame on the guest who has the nerve to complain they got chicken instead of prime rib and punch instead of merlot. With all this in mind here are two great alternatives to serving alcohol.

Coffee & Chai - Before you roll your eyes and give that “oh crap” sigh, read on. I’m not talking about stately cups of coffee and tea served in little china cups with cake and biscuits. I’m talking flavors, iced, whipped, frapped and served in Grande’ wine glasses; garnished with an assortment of chocolates, spices and candies or flavored spoons. Believe me this is not only an elegant look but it is delicious, refreshing and perfectly wonderful if you are having an afternoon reception of light hors d’oeuvre or desserts. It is as always in the presentation. With the vast amount of flavors available from Irish Cream to Banana Fanna your coffee drinks will make Starbucks jealous and serving double duty the flavors can also be used for Italian ice. (How international!)

Frozen Punch Drinks - You’ve heard of “virgin daiquiri, margarita and such… Well, here’s your chance to shine. Don’t tell a soul there is no alcohol and I swear you’ll have people who think they’re getting tipsy. Again, it’s all in the presentation. Check in daily I’m putting together a collection of great iced drinks you won’t want to miss.

Just remember this is your day, your party and you can do what you want. So fasten your seat belt Emily Post we’re in the 21st century!

Jumat, 12 April 2013

A Tea Party Bridal Shower Theme

It's traditional, it's old fashioned and it's lots of fun! So mind your manners and wear your hat and gloves, becasue a tea party bridal shower is a 'civilized way' to celebrate!

You have all sorts of options as to where you host your bridal shower - a conservatory, a museum, a tea shop or your home decked out in doilies and frills. Make sure your bridal shower invitations are traditional and pretty.

My cousin and I held a bridal shower at the local greenhouse once. It's a lovely 19th century building with all sorts of exotic plants and wonderful colors. We didn't even need to do much decorating since they had tables and benches all over and were happy to move them into place for us. Everything was perfect, but we forgot one little detail.

It's a greenhouse, and plants need water. So, at 4 p.m., a fine mist started to sprinkle the plants in the room where we were chatting and by five minutes later, it was a torrent. Luckily, the food and gift tables were set up in another room, so after the deluge, we dried off the chairs and got on with the tea party. It really was a shower!

Ask the bridesmaids hostesses to dress up in long skirts, poofy blouses and romantic, Victorian hats. Make sure they're prepared to serve the tea and mingle with the guests. Provide the bride with a Victorian hat as well.

Set up the gift area as a little bower with flowers and an easy chair where the bride can sit and be the center of attention when she opens her gifts. A nicely decorated corner where she can be seen by everyone is optimal.

Have all your centerpieces arranged in tea pots that can go home as door prizes. Give each guest a china cup and saucer as their party favor along with a tea strainer. Have some exotic loose teas wrapped in cellophane at the door for the guests to have as well.

As for games, something sedentary such as bridal shower bingo is always fun.

Bridal shower decorations can include parasols to carry out the theme. You know, parasols, (umbrellas) showers? You get the picture.

You should also use your laciest cloth (or your grandmother's - I inherited two of them) and fancy napkins. Use doilies as coasters and play soft classical music in the background. If you have silver flatware, use the forks and spoons to dress up the china cups and plates you are using on each table.

My mother had a silver tea set, with serving tray, coffee and tea pots and sugar and creamer dishes. If you can get your hands on a couple, use them so that they are circulated around the room for refills by the bridesmaids in costume!

Serve coffee, hot tea, iced tea, lemon slices, pitchers of cream, scones, finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off or cut into shapes with cookie cutters, petits fours, meringues, tea cookies, and of course, bridal shower cake. You can either have a buffet style table or set up each table with a tiered tray to hold the different courses.

It is fun and it is formal, and the bride will appreciate your efforts.