Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Real Wedding: Julia & Reed

On June 16th, 2012 Julia & Reed tied the knot at the Central United Methodist Church followed by a classic reception at the Florence Country Club, congratulations to the happy couple!

Photographer: Fred Salley
Florist: Flowers by Starks
Event Planner/Coordinator: Sweetgrass Social Event & Design
Band: Finesse
Caterer: Florence Country Club
Cake: Buttercream
Rentals: Bravo!
Calligraphy: Art for You by Genia Tyson
Bride's Shoes: Loeffler Randall
Exit Transportation: Gold Star Limo
Paper Products: Love, Taylor

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tailgating in the South

Saturdays in the fall take on an entire different meaning down South than anywhere else in the country. Business stops so the entire town, and in many cases the entire state can go to the game! Tailgating is such a phenomenom down South that some universities are now offering Tailgating 101 courses, The University of South Carolina started its’ first class this semester to breed future generations of expert grill master’s! As football season gets underway you might be thinking of ways to make your tailgate the talk of the lot on Saturday!  

Tailgating in the South does not just include Saturdays on game day. Preparation begins weeks ahead from finding that perfect tent, perhaps a carpet, comfortable team spirit lounge chairs, cute decorations (possibly including an exqusite chandelier) to the biggest TV possible, not to mention the team spirit serving dishes to – of course, the food and beverages themselves!

To make your tailgate the best one around, you must go all out and not cut any corners! Here are some tips to the perfect tailgate!

11) Determine when game time is (if it’s a dreaded noon game, brunch would be a great idea with morning Mimosa’s or Bloody Mary’s, if it’s an evening game break out the grill and go to town)!

Add a Charleston flair to your tailgate party with this signature Bloody Mary from Toast Restaurant, featuring Zing-Zang Bloody Mary Mix shaken with vodka, topped with lemon, a bacon wrapped olive, fresh okra and the rimmed trimmed with Old Bay…this recipe is sure to get any tailgate going!

Develop the menu (determine whether you want a classic menu such as hamburger’s and hot dog’s or if you want to get creative and having team spirited food). Southern Living has recently released a new SEC Tailgating cookbook which can be ordered online or in stores in such retailers as Barnes & Noble, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/southern-living-the-official-tailgating-cookbook-southern-living-magazine-editors/1111377572?ean=9780848738259 . The cookbook features themed recipes for all your favorite SEC schools no mater what time of day kick-off is at Southern Living has you covered!

Decorations (no tailgate in the south is complete until you have team spirited plate ware, tailgate tent and furniture—make sure to have plenty of seating, after all how else are friends and family supposed to enjoy your party)?! Cute homemade crafty idea’s for your party can be found by searching on www.pinterest.com or if you do not have the time to make decorations, www.etsy.com has a lot of cute tailgating decorations from banners to hand painted ceramic platters and wine glasses.

Entertainment ( before and after the game, your guest will of course want to be in the loop, so be sure to get a satellite hookup and bring your biggest TV , so the ultimate fans can stay up to date)!   

Games (nothing says tailgating like corn hole, so don’t forget to set out a set or two for your guest to enjoy! During the offseason, is the perfect time to buy new sets and decorate them with your favorite teams colors and mascot in mind)! Cornhole World Wide has custom boards with your favorite team’s logos on them or if you desire to get crafty they have plain ones for you to decorate, which can be purchased at http://www.cornholeworldwide.com/custom.php?gclid=CO3_5K_Pv7ICFQjf4AodFn8AUA .


After you’ve planned your entire tailgate out, there is one thing left for you to take care of…what will you wear? Tailgating in the South is very different than anywhere else—nowhere else in America will you find women in their Sunday’s best and men in button down shirts and bowties. Since summers extend far into the fall it is best to pick lightweight flowy fabric – mix solids and patterns together for women, a nice monogrammed sash is a great touch for men, add a monogrammed bowtie! If rain is in the forecast cowgirl boots are a must for women and for men grab you bean boots and party on! Most college towns have off-campus book store’s which feature an array of tailgating items as well as many boutiques with specialty items which would be great for any tailgate! You can never have too much of you favorite teams colors in your closet, below are some great retailer’s to find all your game day necessities!

Custom Dresses & Bowties:
LaRoque {Columbia, SC} - http://www.shoplaroque.com

Team Polos:

Bowties, Needlepoint Belts, Button Down’s and Much More:
M. Dumas & Sons - {Charleston, SC} - http://www.mdumasandsons.com
J. Michaels Clothiers - {Nashville, TN} - http://www.jmichaelsclothiers.com
Britton’s of Columbia - {Columbia, SC} - http://www.brittonsofcolumbia.com

Brittons of Columbia has you covered for game day!

After all the preparation is done, your outfit is picked out and everything is ready for the morning of, don’t forget two of the most important things to have great day….1) don’t forget to invite friends and family to your tailgate and 2) don’t forget your parking permit for your tailgate spot as well as your tickets! Now it’s time to get tailgating, below you will find some great recipe ideas! Enjoy! Go Team!


Strawberry Mimosa

Strawberries pureed and blended with chilled champagne


Red Velvet Waffles

Find a waffle maker with your teams mascot for the perfect touch combine red velvet and top off with cream cheese icing for game day breakfast

Fried Eggs Benedict:

Courtesy of Southern Living, Eggs Benedict Recipe

Lunch & Dinner:

Deviled Eggs

Courtesy of Southern Living, Deviled Eggs

Bacon-Cheese Dip

Courtesy of Southern Living, Bacon Cheese-Dip

Mini Muffulettas

Courtesy of Southern Living, Mini Muffulettas


Vanderbilt: The Tennessee Jam Session

Courtesy of Southern Living, Tennessee Jam Session

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Real Wedding: Katie & Bobby

On August 4th, 2012 we celebrated the joining of Katie & Bobby as husband and wife at the historic Governor Thomas Bennett House. The wedding was beautiful congratulations to the both of you!

Ceremony/Reception Location: Governor Thomas Bennett House
Bride Dress: Modern Troussseau
Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade
Caterer: Newton Farms
Rentals: Eventworks
Officiant: Dr. Clarke
Invitations: Sixpence Press
Photographers: The Connellys

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Real Wedding: Erin & Fitzlee

On July 9th, 2012 we had the pleasure of celebrating Erin & Fitzlee's wedding at their beautiful family Pecan Grove in Florence, South Carolina, it was a beautiful evening that were so happy to be a part of!

Ceremony Location: St. John's Episcopal Church - Florenc, SC
Reception Location: McEachin Family Pecan Grove

Photographer: Angela Cox Photography - http://www.angelacoxphotography.com
Florist: Flowers by Starks - http://flowersbystarks.com
Event Planner/Coordinator: Sweetgrass Social Event & Design -  http://sweetgrasssocial.com
Band: Soul Function - http://www.soulfunctionrocks.com
Caterer: Mim's House
Cake: Buttercream - http://www.facebook.com/pages/buttercream/140552035956694
Favors: Mason Jar Strawberry Shortcake - Family Friend & Mini Pecan Pies - McEachin Family Pecan Grove
Rentals: Coastal Tents & Events -  http://coastaltents.net
Calligraphy Menu: Art for You by Genia Tyson - http://artforyou-geniatyson.blogspot.com
Bride's Shoes: Loeffler Randall
Bride's Dress: Legends by Romona Kevesa
Paper Products: Crane Co Stationary
Hair: Brittany Miles of Panache Hair Studio

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thank You Note Etiquette 101

As your wedding day comes and goes, you are without a doubt—going to receive your fair share of gifts. The most important, however, most forgotten part of a wedding are the thank you notes! It is advised to send out all thank you notes within 3 months of receiving, but it is said to be socially acceptable for up to a year following the wedding date.

While you are sure to be thankful for all of the gifts – if you do not get a head start on thank you notes it can get extremely overwhelming and stressful.  It is highly recommended to order your thank you note stationary when ordering your invitations- that way everything is all ready to go when the gifts start coming.The best thing couples (yes, couples-both the husband and wife should partake in writing the thank you notes) can do is start sending thank you’s out as soon as gifts are received. In order to tackle the somewhat tedious task it is a good idea to set a goal to write a certain amount each day.

The Stationary:
As far as the physical card goes- get creative, steer clear of generic stationary such as fill in the blanks, online website thank you blogs or pre-typed notes. Spend time on the thank you notes. If there is a general theme throughout the entire wedding- incorporate that into the stationary (i.e. if it were nautical incorporate an anchor with rope spelling out thank you, using the color scheme used in the wedding). Other great ideas include taking some pictures holding a cute sign saying thank you and having them printed on to cardstock or using the new monogram of the married couple. Get creative, have fun, sit down and design something unique to the both of you!

Simple Thank You to go along with the theme of the entire wedding.

Utilize the new monogram of you and yours, nice added touch is to get it embossed!
Use pictures on the front flap of the card, a good idea would be to have separate thank-you's  to use incase you receive gifts before had (if you don't want your groom to see you in your dress before the big day)!
Who Should Receive Thank-You’s:
Anyone who gives you an engagement, shower or wedding gift, money, attendees, people who hosted parties or showers, vendors and parents should receive a thank you note in a timely manner.

The Contents:
What to put in the thank you note can be a challenge—as tempting as it is to type a generic message on the notes, do not do it, your friends and family put effort in to buying your wonderful gifts to help get you started out, the least you can do is hand write a thank you note.

Start the thank you note off by greeting the guest (if they are around your age, it is acceptable to address them by first names).  Express that you sincerely are thankful for the gift-but do not gush over it, remember to be specific about the gift – including how you will utilize the gift (if it was money, express how it might be used such as to pay off some of the mortgage).  Thank them for attending the wedding (if they attended or thinking of them if they could not make it). It is important to promptly acknowledge the guests sending the gifts, but do not stress if you get behind because you do have a lengthy time frame to respond back. Do not use being late as an excuse, even if the 1-year anniversary has passed-- keep writing!

The Envelope:
Addressing the outside of the envelope has always been a challenge and a somewhat gray area. For families example, address envelopes as Mr. & Mrs. John Smith. For close friends, it is acceptable to use first names such as Sarah-Anne Smith. It is still proper to spell out all parts of address such as Eight King Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401, as opposed to, 8 King St. Charleston, SC 29401. It is a nice added touch to put the new couples return address on the envelope flap instead of on the front in the upper left hand corner. As far as postage goes, it is seen as tacky to use pre-paid postage or to use metered postage-the standard book of stamps is the most popular option, however, many couples are choosing to use specialty stamps or design their own custom stamps to use. It is up to you ultimately as to what you do, just define your theme and have fun with in throughout the entire process!
Custom postage to remember the day.

Return address on the back flap. 

Final Thoughts:
Your thank you note is the last impression you will leave on your family and friends-remember to send out your thank you notes, it is never too late! You always want to stay on good terms with everyone so do not worry if you got too behind or stressed out with the entire wedding process. Come up with a plan and stick to it until each and every gift you received has a thank you sent! A good idea is to establish a rule stating that you will not let yourself use the gift until a thank you note is sent out. As you complete your notes keep a handwritten or spreadsheet list so you know which ones were already mailed and which ones still need to be sent (it can get really confusing as all the gifts arrive)! When it gets overwhelming, think of all that your family and friends have done for you and yours and how thankful you are for them, it makes it all worthwhile!

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