Wednesday, July 31, 2013

South Carolina Tax Free Weekend!!

Listen up, y'all! Charleston's Tax Free Weekend, August 2-4, is just another excuse for our Sweetgrass Brides to go dress shopping... and we'd love to help! So we've called some of our favorite boutiques downtown to get the 411 and found some amazing deals for this upcoming weekend.

Gown Boutique, in addition to being tax free, is offering an additional 10% off on their "Design Your Gown Collection". These unique, USA made gowns offer each bride the opportunity to design her perfect wedding gown! Gown Boutique's schedule is filling up fast so call today to make your appointment!

843.856.2682
664-A Long Point Road
Belle Hall Shopping Center
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

In addition to tax free, Maddison Row is holding a Legends by Romana Keveza trunk show. All Legends gowns will be marked down by an additional 10%. Romana Keveza is one of the most recognized designers in bridal wear. Her looks are inspired by Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy.

 
843.720.7979
171 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403

Fabulous Frocks is Charleston's leading Bridal Consignment Boutique. Prices normally coming in around 30-50% off will look even better this weekend when partnered with SC's tax free promotion! Get a sneak peak on finding your frock here!
843.754.1855
100 Church St
Charleston, SC 29401

White Pure Couture on Daniel Island is running all kinds of deals for this upcoming weekend - in fact, they started last Monday! In addition to tax free weekend, White is having a Jenny Packham Trunk Show and a London representative is coming into town tomorrow through next Monday to assist! All of White's stock is also on sale, ranging from 20-65% off! Don't waste any more time y'all!

843.471.2975
259 Seven Farms Drive
Daniel Island, SC 29492

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Creative solutions for Escort Cards

The way that you guide your guests to their tables is often the first impression they have of your reception. Why not make it memorable? Check out these creative ways to display your escort cards!










Monday, July 29, 2013

All About Sweet Grass, from Sweetgrass Social!

Happy Monday, y'all! What better way to start off your week than with a little southern wedding inspiration?! This week's inspiration is sweetgrass - a symbol of the southeast.

Sweet grass is most commonly used as a material for basket weaving but has developed into a Charleston staple. It has established a historical importance here in South Carolina via the African American Gullah people who use it to weave artistic baskets. This popular native grass is now used in weddings as flowers, centerpieces and more. Below are some great ways to incorporate this touch of the south into your Sweetgrass Wedding!


These sweet grass leaves have been formed into bouquets, possibly for the bridesmaids or flower girls. When dried out, the leaves have more of a neutral, cream tone as opposed to their typical dark green hue. These bouquets make for a less expensive substitute, but one that's just as pretty.


The way our couple, Megan and Liam, incorporated sweet grass into their wedding is a favorite of ours. A single, sweet grass rose was added to each place setting for additional decor and a bit of southern flair. This rose has not yet been fully dried out, which helps to compliment any and all floral arrangements. 


As pictured above, sweet grass can also be used as a favor for guests to bring home. This couple used sweet grass roses as their parting gift to guests, as a "little piece of Charleston to remember" their wedding by. Such a cute idea!


Another one of our couples, Julie and Reed, had their sweet grass weaved into small church bells and used as pew markers. This simple, but elegant touch is not only a great substitute for expensive florals, but also the perfect way to incorporate the sweet grass element into the event. The greenery and ribbon bow quite literally "tie" together perfectly with the sweet grass to add that hint of southern charm.


Our very own Sweetgrass co-owner, Jacqueline, beautifully incorporated the sweet grass concept into her special day by adding touches here and there throughout the event. She used a sweet grass rose in her bouquet to bring that little piece of Charleston back to her Florence, SC wedding. Pictured below, Jacqueline used a sweet grass basket design to trim her cake, in addition to sweet grass roses around the base for decor.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Date Night at Home - Chicken Taco Stacks

Chicken Taco Stacks are this week's date night at home recipe! This recipe is all about the pilin' - beans, chopped chicken, diced bell peppers, scallions and of course, everyone's favorite, cheese. Stack 'em up, bake 'em up and enjoy - and don't forget a pitcher of margaritas!

Chicken Taco Stacks
Ingredients (for 2 stacks)
1 (14.5 oz) can refried beans
3 tbsp lime juice, plus more for garnish
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 (or more...) cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1 avocado, slided
2 scallions, sliced
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the beans, lime juice, jalapeno pepper and cilantro. Stir until well mixed.
Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the tortillas in a row on the sheet, Place in oven and bake for 3 minutes. Flip and bake 3 more minutes.
Evenly spread the bean mixture over each tortilla. Top with chopped chicken, diced bell pepper, cheese and scallions. Carefully stack the tortillas, 4 to each stack.
Place baking sheet in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and the tortilla edges are golden and crispy.
Garnish each stack with sliced avocado, cilantro leaves and fresh lime juice!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Something Blue

Everyone knows the saying, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" for your wedding day. Here are some creative ideas to add that "something blue"!








Friday, July 19, 2013

Advice for Brides from "The Knot"

When it comes to your wedding day, attention to detail is key. When you have a wedding planner, however, you can leave that up to us. We recently stumbled upon this article on "The Knot" which pinpoints the "Top 10" essential details that Bride's forget. Make sure you and your wedding planner discuss these essentials to make your wedding day a seamless effort!


1. Making post-wedding plans
2. Bringing your overnight bag
3. Picking someone to take your things home after the reception
4. Deciding where everything goes
5. Decorating the other areas
6. Buying gifts for the wedding party
7. Choosing how to gather the gifts
8. Figuring out your day-after plans
9. Bringing the legal documents
10. Making and confirming itineraries 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Date Night at Home - Roasted Pork Tenderloin

It's that time of the week again - date night at home! This recipe is just as simple as last week's, but just as delicious. Try this simple, roasted pork tenderloin served over garlic mashed potatoes and roasted veggies!

Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Ingredients
2 (1-1.5 lb) pork tenderloins
2 tbsp dry spicy seasoning blend/rub of your choice
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup apple cider
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Directions
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Trim tenderloins of silver skin and pat pork dry with paper towels. Roll in seasoning blend/rub.
Head a tbsp of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the tenderloins. Turn them occasionally, until they are evenly browned all over - about 2 minutes per side.
Roast 10-15 minutes, transfer pork to a large plate and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
While pork is resting, place skillet over medium heat, add apple cider and simmer until reduced by half. Add butter then serve drizzled over pork.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Most Popular Engagement Rings Across the U.S.

From New York to Los Angeles, here are our country's most popular engagement rings! Some ring settings are trending by city, while others are nationally popular.

The first is a high quality diamond, put in a simpler setting. The center stone is obviously the most expensive part, and little to no gems encrust the band. This is James Allen's Four Prong Cathedral Arch Engagement Ring, priced at about $2,430.


The next is a ring that doesn't just focus on the center rock. Tiny diamonds around the band add extra sparkle, while the center stone is a bit smaller which will reduce cost in the center. This is a great way to save money without sacrificing impact. This ring is titled the Twisted Pave Shanks Contemporary Solitaire, priced at $1,175 with James Allen.


This ring is for the bold, unafraid of a lavish stone and/or setting. Fancier, more ornate rings with colored diamonds or double halos also fit into this category. Blue Nile's Cushion Cut Halo Diamond Engagement Ring is priced at $6,828.


For a more conservative look, colorless round diamonds are a must. This is the most popular cut in America. Blue Nile prices this Surprise Diamond Solitate Engagement Ring at $3,291.

 

High quality diamonds are popular in some parts of the country, no matter their price. Dallas ranks at the third highest average spent on engagement rings, after NY and LA. The main focus is on the center stone but in a ring like this one, the decorative band is somewhat the highlight. This Pave Marquise Scallop Engagement Ring goes for $1,775 at James Allen.


The classic colorless diamond emerges again here, but with channel-set stones; this type features a clean-lined band. This James Allen Channel Set Round Shaped Diamond Engagement ring goes for only about $800.

Monday, July 15, 2013

How to Decide Whom to Invite


Having trouble on deciding who you should invite to your wedding? Below, we've found a very useful chart to help eliminate your wedding invite worries.

Start at the pink arrow on the left and ask yourself, are either of you related to this person? After that, elements such as family drama and closeness are factors. If it's not a relative, do you work or go to school with the person? Regularly spending time with someone is an indication that they should be invited, whereas, whether or not you were invited to their wedding can also be a factor.

All in all, keep your invitation list as long or short as you want - as long as you and your groom are happy with your selection, that's all that matters!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Date Night at Home - Rigatoni & Chicken Bolognese

Throughout the wedding planning process, it's easy to get caught up in the craziness of our daily lives. We sometimes forget to just sit back and relax, and spend some time with our beloved. Once a week, you and your hubby-to-be should do date night at home. Earn his devotion by whipping up a meal for him, have him cook for you or even better, cook together once a week - this is always quality time spent.

Choosing the right meal can be tricky though - you want to make something your man will love, but you don't want to walk away feeling too full. This recipe for rigatoni and chicken bolognese is just the one to strike that balance. Serve it with a yummy side salad and don't forget dessert or after dinner drinks!


Rigatoni & Chicken Bolognese
Ingredients
1 pound ground chicken breast
16-ounce can tomato sauce
6-ounce can tomato paste
½ cup water
1 large carrot, finely chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 pound rigatoni
Grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
In a stockpot, combine the ground chicken, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, carrot, onion, garlic, chili powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Cover, and simmer over medium heat for an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf, and stir in parsley. Meanwhile, cook rigatoni, and toss with sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan.

Hearts of Palm, Endive and Avocado Salad
Ingredients
1 4-ounce can hearts of palm, cut into ½-inch slices
1 head endive, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
Directions
In a medium bowl, combine the hearts of palm, endive, and avocado. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the  lemon juice. Gently (careful not to mush the avocado) toss the dressing with salad, and season with salt and pepper.

Thanks to Cosmopolitan.com for this great recipe!






Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Signing of the Guest Book

We see the standard guest books very often, so why not put a different spin on this classic element at your wedding? There are so many different things you can do based on the bride and groom's personal taste, interests and passions. A guest book is such a multifaceted element of a wedding - so why not do something different with it?!

This couple used a large wooden "K" cutout as their guest book. The letter was painted a dark color and white paint pens were used to write personal messages. This not only makes for a great photo after all the signatures have been added, but it can also be used as a home decor item, placed in the newlyweds home as a reminder of their special day.


Another popular guest book idea is Guest Libs, a wedding spin on the classic game of Mad Libs. They can be used to get advice from your guests, or as just a fun activity for them to do throughout the night.


One idea that we love is used old vinyl records as a guest book. If the bride and groom share a passion for music, why not emphasize that by using records as the guest book? After the wedding day, the bride and groom can frame them in record frames and adorn their house with the well wishing of their most beloved friends and family.


Another interesting idea, and one I have yet to see, is the signing of tree stump slices. This is truly a unique idea, especially for a bride and groom that are aiming for a rustic feel on their wedding day.


Lastly, one of my favorite ideas thus far, is that of making a wine barrel or wine bottles your wedding guest book. A wine barrel can be used as home decor for a couple that shares a love for vino, while each different wine bottle can be saved for certain anniversaries, during which the couple goes back and rereads all the loving messages from their special day.



Monday, July 8, 2013

A Wedding Gift Unlike the Rest

If you're looking to wow the bride and groom on their special day, gifts from their registry just won't make the cut. Below are some creative and different ideas to help you give a gift your bride and groom will always remember!

Wine for a Wedding is a company that sells a wedding gift so special, the bride and groom can cherish it together for a very long time. Wine for a Wedding's wine box has three panels - each showing the couple when they can open the bottle of wine. The gift giver can leave a message inside each of the boxes for the couple to enjoy on each anniversary. The box shown below is called the Classic Trio and goes for about $79. Check out what other styles Wine for a Wedding has to offer here!


Home decor that commemorates the bride and groom's recent nuptials are also a good gift for any couple. Shown below is a handmade pillow set that could decorate the bride and groom's newly combined household. Also shown below are Mr. and Mrs. pillowcases for the boudoir. These simple but fun ideas are a special reminder for the bride and groom as they kick off their new life together!

One last idea that's unique to every couple is "giving an experience". To give an experience is a wonderful gift because it's likely something that the bride and groom will never forget. But to give an experience means... what?
  • Restaurant gift certificates
  • Yearly (or daily) memberships or tickets to an art museum, zoo, science center, theme park, or historical society
  • Gym memberships
  • National or state park passes for the year
  • Tickets to a local wine tasting or vineyard
  • Hot air balloon rides
  • Massage packages
  • Netflix subscriptions
  • Kayaking/whitewater rafting/tubing adventures
  • Weekend/one night getaway
 We hope these ideas have been helpful for you search of a unique wedding idea. Any of these ideas are ones we can assure you, your bride and groom will never forget!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Current Trends: "Naked" Wedding Cakes

One of the big decisions for your wedding reception is the cake design. The cake instantly becomes a focal point when someone enters the reception venue. Check out this new trend in wedding cake design, Naked Cakes! As the name states, the cake is, in essence, naked. It lacks the outer frosting layer which adds to its unique look. This design could complement any rustic or outdoorsy wedding, or could be an awesome focal point for the not-so traditional bride and groom.











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