All of life’s sweet moments (both large and little) deserve something equally as sweet for celebration! One of my favorite things to do when something worth commemorating occurs is indulge in a little dessert.
For fellow sweet-tooths, the fact that dessert bars at events have become all the rage is fantastic news! Gone are the days when a cake is the only go-to sugary selection — although cake is still delicious, and there are some stellar bakeries that make not only tasty but absolutely beautiful versions! As I sit here and enjoy a brownie (no occasion, mind you), I wanted to blog about my top five favorite treats that make for the perfect dessert (or addition to a dessert bar) at weddings and other social celebrations.
I guess my parents instilled in me at a young age the fact that fondue is both delicious and special. There would literally be one night each year — New Year’s Eve — that my mom would break out the fondue set, and it was magical! I love incorporating this delightful treat into events, and really — who doesn’t love dipping juicy fruit or candy bar bites into melted chocolate, caramel or marshmallow?
If you’re like me, you don’t eat donuts often — but when you do, oh boy are they delicious! Donuts are quickly becoming the next cupcake, as great bakers are dressing them up to create gourmet masterpieces. Consider adding this scrumptious goodie to your dessert buffet, and I assure you guests will devour them!
Never considered ice cream as a catered food? Think again! There are plenty of companies and caterers who will provide your guests with a lip-smacking assortment of ice cream flavors (and toppings!), all sure to please and be a truly fun food experience.
If you live in Colorado, you have likely camped — and certainly if you’ve camped, you’ve roasted s’mores before. Plan a s’mores station for your event, complete with various types of grahams and chocolate options. This is a great interactive outdoor activity, and will certainly leave guests entertained and satiated.
We all have that one dessert that has been a family favorite for years. Regardless of who you are, it’s likely something classic and delectable that quite literally nothing could top, no matter how fancy or expensive. Grandma’s pecan pie or mom’s chocolate chip cookies are always a surefire hit when included in dessert buffets, and I promise when you ask grandma or mom to bake her specialty for your special day, she’ll be thrilled!
Share your sweet stories! What dessert(s) did you have at your special event?
Photo by Laura Lee Anderson Photography.
I recently had the opportunity to consult for a bride who has such a great heart, and is seriously relaxed and easy-going. She wanted a wedding that read Colorado through and through, and had a bit of a vintage feel as well. Needless to say, it was an absolute pleasure working with her, and bringing some creative ideas for flowers and decor to the table. I’ll share the official photos as soon as I can, but in the meantime, a sneak peek:
Succulents, billy balls, lavender and blue thistle were used in the bouquets and boutonnieres, and truly brought the beautiful Colorado outdoors in. And while the sheer beauty of the chapel was more than enough to create a stunning ceremony backdrop, pretty and playful vintage ribbon clusters trimmed the pews.
Each table was decorated with gorgeous aspen stumps and branches (you can’t get much more Colorado-inspired than that!), and accented with a sweet pewter lantern and small floral arrangement. These floral clusters rotated through tables — one had a vased succulent, one group of billy balls, then lavender and so on. The cake was a real stunner, covered in fresh-cut sage and lavender.
Dani’s gorgeous vintage Colorado wedding came together perfectly yesterday! After a heartfelt ceremony and lovely reception, Dani and Andrew have officially joined their lives together and can begin their happily ever after! Congratulations to such a neat couple, and a big thank-you for allowing me to be part of your special day!
Photo by Jessica Christie Photography.
You’ve planned everything to perfection — the flowers, the decor … and coordinated all vendors and timelines — everything! Now, the big day is here. The beauty of having a planner involved in your wedding or event is that now, you can truly relax. You know your planner absolutely has this day under control — the setup will be perfect, s/he will put out any fires, and will ensure your day goes off without a hitch. While (of course!) I believe in the importance of a planner, I also know not everyone has the budget for one, and some folks just plain want do DIY from start to finish. However, I have also witnessed the unnecessary strain put onto brides on their wedding day (of all days), or the person who has coordinated an event and now just wants to relax when:
- The DJ needs a reminder as to which song the groom and his mother want to dance to
- The florist delivers the flowers, and as the event approaches, the centerpieces start to (gasp!) wilt
- The catering staff wants to confirm the time for dinner to be served
This list literally goes on, and on, and on. Regardless of the perfection of your planning, at least one of your many vendors and their staff are going to have a question, need a reminder, run into an emergency — something. I promise. So, if a planner isn’t in the plan, I recommend assigning a few trusted (this is key!) close friends or family to fill in certain day-of needs. Some of the most important of those include:
- Someone who knows what the entire event setup (ceremony, cocktail hour and reception included for weddings) is supposed to look like, and ensures it happens as planned. This person should have all vendor information, and be ready to be a point of contact and executive decision-maker when questions and concerns arise.
- Someone who is given (and studies) the comprehensive event timeline, and ensures things happen on time (plus or minus a few minutes based on reasonable variances).
- Someone who is in charge of the clean-up process. This includes collecting centerpieces if the vases are rentals and need to be returned, picking up the guest book and other mementos, and making sure the gifts get into a defined person’s car to be taken to a defined location.
Though this might seem like a lot to ask of your guests, it is essential if you don’t have a professional planner to be on-site before, during and after your event. And, as much as your close family and friends love you, they should be more than willing to help!
Note: For weddings, don’t assign these tasks to your wedding party or any immediate family (mother of the bride, etc.) — they will have enough to worry about on your big day! An organized, take-charge kind of aunt or friend who just missed the bridal party is your best choice. And, under no circumstance, should you (the bride!) be in your dress on your wedding day answering vendor questions, worrying about things, or picking up gifts before your big departure.
To check out what I include in my day-of management package, click here.
What day-of snags or bloopers have you experienced that shouldn’t have happened but well, did?
Putting together a timeline for the day of your event is absolutely imperative for smooth sailing, and it should contain much more than just the general start and end times! Although it may seem like a lot of work and planning — and timing needs to be slightly flexible to accommodate uncontrollable variances — having a guide for the different components of your event is highly beneficial. Not only will it keep you and your vendors organized and sane, but it will also make the event feel more fluid to guests. Following are some pieces that need to be on any day-of event timeline, but keep in mind each event is so unique, there are bound to be additional details. By no means is this list all-inclusive!
Make sure your event timeline includes:
- Arrival time of planner, or person/people in charge of event management and set-up
- Arrival time of each vendor (rentals, catering, florist, etc.)
- Arrival time of guest(s) of honor (bride and groom for a wedding, bride or mom-to-be for a shower, couple for an engagement or anniversary celebration, etc.)
- Arrival time of guests (keeping in mind guests usually begin arriving 15 minutes or more before the designated start time)
- Main event start time
- Start time and duration of each event element (welcome, ceremony, dining, entertainment, etc.)
- Event end time
Next week marks the final installment of my blog series on event details, so stay tuned for tips on creating a no-fail event duty list!