September Educational Meeting: Bride and Groom Panel – 9.11.12

September 11, 2012 “Bride & Groom Panel” Educational Event

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art
ABC-OC Communications Chair

If you were lucky enough to be able to attend last week’s ABC-OC educational meeting at the Wyndham Orange County, you know what a treat it was to be able to not only feast your eyes and tastebuds at the venue’s new Silver Trumpet restaurant and bar, but you were all ears as you heard the experiences and desires of four recently married couples about their wedding planning and wedding day. Don’t miss key takeaways the couples said and the night’s sponsors, below!


Skillfully moderated by Clint Hufft, here are some key takeaways:

  • Vendor selection – Finding and coordinating vendors is much easier with a wedding coordinator because they have the skills, knowledge and the couple’s best interest at heart.
  • The venue and photographer were top on the list to get first. Some had their hearts set on a venue but because of a disconnect with the people there, they went elsewhere. They chose based on the venue wanting to ‘wow’ them and help them visualize what their day will be like and where everything will take place.
  • Have extraordinary customer service like having a florist that wanted to go 1.5 hours each way (to the venue in Fallbrook) to see the couple’s vision.
  • Be interested in what the groom says/feels – great to feel included.
  • Be organized.
  • Communication – Vendors, please touch base here and there if your booked well in advance. Don’t wait until a week before the wedding to check in (don’t let the bride/couple call you first).
  • Be responsive to emails – within that day.
  • Key reasons for selecting their wedding coordinators are that they felt a personal connection with them like friends. Making their wedding dreams come true and ensuring them that they won’t have to worry were very important to them.  Some coordinators come off too formal or too stricct of a process.
  • Venues include day-of coordination but they didn’t realize what it didn’t include that they needed like ensuring the photographer took all the shots on their printed lisStuck Out?
  • Having a personal touch and going out of their way to make them feel special.
  • None of the vendors asked if they had a wedding coordinator.
  • Sources – Found vendors on the venue’s preferred vendor list, Yelp, WeddingWire, The Knot, Ceremony magazine, Etsy (shoes, jewelry, cake/bakery). Some vendors were found via Google (read up to page 3). None looked at blogs.
  • Bridal Shows – Went to 2. One at their venue. Everything in one place. Hired their photographer.
  • Magazines (Ceremony) – Liked having physical mag to show vendor.
  • Meeting Space – Meeting at a coffee shop or third-party location is fine especially if professional photos and information is provided.
  • Videographer – Yes! So important to relive the experience through video.  Time lapse of build up. Have watched the video at least  15 times in the first year. It doesn’t seem as important to have until after the wedding.
  • DJ – The timing was everything, and it was perfect thanks to our DJ. It was my one responsibility at the wedding (the groom) and I felt like the wedding was perfect because of him.
  • Ceremony – Suggesting unique ceremony ideas like having a prayer circle was so special and just for them.
  • Lighting – They did have lighting provided by either the DJ or venue. Not coordinated well between the two though (would have if there was a coordinator!)
  • Referrals – Getting referrals for vendors are appreciated – ask if they need help finding anyone.
  • Having family be a part of the decision making process and feeling included.
  • Having photos online (vendor’s websites) of vendor’s work from their selected venue was very meaningful for them to know the vendor knows the location, especially photographers.
  • Not sure online reviews can be trusted. It depends on the source.
  • Budget – Having a prioritized list of what was important to them. Then got quotes ‘from the best.’ Price shopped a bid, then made their decisions.
  • Special touches – The florist and coordinators did a great job of making their wedding special. But nothing different outise the list was recommended.
  • In looking back, they wish that the vendors all met or coordinated about their wedding prior to the day.

Phew! That’s a lot to take in but how valuable to hear.


Don’t forget to submit your work to be recognized by your peers to win a Trendsetter award. It’s easy and complimentary – just complete the entry form for each submission by November 11th.

Thank you sponsors for creating such a wonderful night for everyone –

Venue | Wyndham Orange County |
Photographer | Frenzel Photographers |
Entertainment | Tim Espinosa Entertainment
Moderator | Clint Hufft |
Florist | Empora Flora |
Stationery | Jen Simpson |
Linens | Designer Specialty Linens |
Linens | Fusion Linens |
Coffee & Donuts | Brew Ha Ha |
Entertainment & Lighting | As You Wish |
Video | Plug Wedding Videos |
Ceremony Arch | Happy Chuppah |
Chiavari Chairs | Fusion Linens |
Chiavari Barstools | Classic Party Rentals |

July All-Member Meeting: Mastro’s Steakhouse

July 10, 2012 Event

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art

The evening began behind in Costa Mesa by the Orange County Performing Arts Center at Mastro’s Steakhouse  in the Noguchi Garden. Most of us didn’t know such beauty existed in Costa Mesa let alone host a modern and California enriched wedding ceremony in this outdoor sculpture. Commissioned by Henry Segerstrom in 1979 and completed in 1982, Noguchi Garden is recognized as one of the country’s preeminent sculpture gardens and the most vital publicly accessible outdoor sculpture oasis in Southern California. Situated on 1.6 acres, the garden in its design symbolizes various geographical characteristics in California, incorporating indigenous plants and materials. Six principal elements comprise California Scenario: “Forest Walk,” “Land Use,” “Desert Land,” “Water Source,” “Water Use” and “Energy Fountain” captured beautifully by Ron and Gabrielle of Ron Levy Photography.

Owned by the Irvine Company, Mastro’s Steakhouse takes reservations for events in the Noguchi Garden and the site fee for the property is $500. The garden is open to the public so if you’d like to grab your Nook or meet a client there, feel free.

We were immersed in what family and friends would experience with a wedding hosted there, with a ceremony set up beneath the “Forest Walk,” champagne, delicious tray-passed h’orderves (the crab stuffed mushroom caps were a favorite) and cocktail reception with the cool sounds of Brian and Mike. The decor was bright and summery and the uber cool lounge furniture by Lounge Appeal was the perfect ensemble for guests to relax and chat.

For the second half of the event, our group of approximately 100 people were led through Mastro’s romantically lit ambiance where the impressive display of fine wines sparkled in what appeared to be the walls of the restaurant as we walked upstairs to a beautiful ensemble of lighting and decor. Without a doubt, a big highlight of the evening was the food. From the decadent mac and cheese to meticulously made sushi and let’s not forget the seafood tower with the largest shrimp I think I’ve ever seen (that disappeared in the blink of an eye).

John Goolsby of Godfather Films and California state coordinator and membership director for ABC reminded everyone about registration for this year’s annual ABC conference ‘Business of Brides’ themed ‘Diamonds & Denim’ November 11-13 in Denver. The cutoff for regular registration is September 15th. Late registration is an additional $90.00 after that.

Stacy Gitten of Hitching Post P.R. and Trendsetter Chair of the ABC-OC gala this winter gave an update about this year’s awards and updates to the nomination process. Stay tuned for communications about how and when to nominate for these prestigious awards. Be recognized for all your innovative work for your clients! For more information, visit the website at,


Did you know ABC-OC has a Facebook page? Join the group today!

Not a member yet? Members enjoy preferred pricing for events, sponsorship opportunities and recognition in Orange County. Non-members can attend two events to decide.  Join Today!

Don’t miss the next event held on Tuesday September 11th at the Wyndham Orange County. We will have a panel of brides to get insights on their experiences and vendor selection process. Click here for the event calendar and bookmark it!


hank You Sponsors!

Venue | Mastro’s Steakhouse & Noguchi Garden |
Photographer | Ron Levy Photography |
Florist | Lei of Love |
Musicians | Brian & Mike
Rentals | Lounge Appeal, Inc. |
Rentals | Baker Party Rentals |
Cake | Cakes by Joe |
Linens | La Tavola Linen |
Paper Goods | Li’K Designs |
DJ | Invisible Touch |
Photo Booth | The Fotomatic Photo Booth |

June Coordinator Luncheon: Five Crowns

by Bethany Thomas,
Commemory Fine Art, ABC-OC Communications Chair

Five Crowns, the host of the June ABC-OC coordinator luncheon, is a charming replica of one of England’s oldest country inns and a Corona del Mar landmark. The venue offers warm hospitality and cozy fireplaces set among authentic antiques and period paintings. We all enjoyed the sunlit Greenhouse and colorful English garden where the event took place. We experienced the award-winning food and wine, exceptional service and distinctive style that have made Five Crowns by Lawry’s a dining destination since 1965.

The theme of the event coordinated by Kerri Hatter Weddings & Events was inspired by the ferns in the greenhouse and the new herb garden where ceremonies take place. It was a gorgeous feast for the eyes where each element was hand-picked to complement each other. “Everything matches perfectly,” said Barbi Walters of Bluebirds PCH. From the blue and tan burlap linens by Designer Specialty Linens, to the florals by French Buckets – it all coordinated beautifully.

An unexpected detail were the thoughtful and creative gifts provided by Tasha with AmpersandInk Designs, the paper goods sponsor. Tasha packaged up a delightfully printed recipe/thank you card on seed paper with the avocado mash recipe that was served at Five Crowns. Behind the card was a wooden spreader with a perfectly ripe avocado in a crisp white bag!

There was so much helpful information provided at the event by the speakers. Here are just a few highlights –

John Goolsby | Godfather Films | ABC State Coordinator – The Association of Bridal Consultants ‘Business of Brides” national conference Nov. 11-13 in Denver, Colorado

Kevin Covey | Kevin’s Parties– Highlights from Engage!12 Summit like how to speak to ‘Millenials’ – “necessity vs. luxury.” Everything is necessary!

Laurel Mungo | Mon Amie Bridal Salon – How to be prepared for brides when emergencies happen. Like how to fix a torn gown in a pinch to getting lipstick and wine stains out of the dress. Laurel encourages all planners to get a tour of their 20,000 square foot salon to see all the designers available at the salon and to meet their expert team of consultants.

Friar Tux – Bowties are coming back! 10 years ago they were worn 2% of the time. Now they are at 30% and rising! Plus, Friar Tux has a referral program just for planners.


Couples, their families and friends can enjoy a full-service experience at Five Crowns with the entire space giving everyone the feel that they are in a private English home. In the same space is SideDoor, an English style, neighborhood gastropub. And upstairs has private rooms where the bride and groom can get ready with their bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Thank you sponsors for your amazing services!

Venue | Five Crowns and Side Door |
Speaker & Bridal Gowns | Mon Amie Bridal Salon & Amy Michelson |
Speaker | Friar Tux |
Photography | Diandra Ann Photography |
Florist |  French Buckets |
Linens | Designer Specialty Linens |
Musicians | Del Lago Trio |
Paper Goods |  AmpersandInk Designs |

Don’t miss the July ABC-OC all member meeting on July 10th at Mastros Steakhouse South Coast Plaza. Register today.

May Educational Meeting: Celebrations by Turnip Rose

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art
ABC-OC Communications Chair

Modern. Beautiful. Educational. Delicious.

On May 8th, 110 wedding professionals took advantage of a beautiful modern setting, delicious food, learned about Pinterest, a social media phenomenon important to the wedding industry and more about each other at Celebrations by Turnip Rose in Costa Mesa.

Congratulations and thank you to John Goolsby who was announced as our new ABC State Coordinator for California. New members to ABC-OC were announced as well.

To find out more about Pinterest and other marketing strategies to grow your business, contact Wendy Dahl at or visit her website at

Enjoy the crisply artistic photos captured by Christopher TODD studios, and please see the list of sponsors who donated their time and talents below:

Thank you sponsors:

Venue | Celebrations by Turnip Rose |
Speaker | Wendy Dahl/Bride Business Builders |
DJ Entertainment | Visions Entertainment
Entertainment/Vocalist | Lindsay Jacobs |
Favor/Sweets | The Last Crumb |
Florist | Entwined Design Florals |
Linens| Designer Specialty |
Papergoods | InStyle Event Co. |
Photographer | Christopher TODD Studios |
Video | Fiske Film |

To learn more about joining ABC-OC, the standard for wedding excellence, and to receive our emails please visit our website.

February Coordinator Meeting: “The Bright Way to I Do”

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art

The first ABC-OC coordinator luncheon of the year called “The Bright Way to I Do” illuminated many things that day. The first was a glowing hidden treasure in Laguna Beach called Hotel Seven4One on PCH just south of Forest Avenue. The Hotel Seven4One, a 12 room private address that guests can call their very own beach house while they host their guests and event in contemporary and thoughtfully designed spaces: the Euro-chic lobby lounge, urban courtyard, breathtaking sun deck, and relaxed yet totally wired guest rooms and suites. There was a real buzz about the one-way mirror in the master suite’s shower overlooking the ocean. You can see the manatees but they can’t see you!

Video Created by The Emotion Picture Studio:

The brightness in spirit and mood were apparent as the coordinators were greeted by ABC-OC Co-Directors, Lindsay Longacre and Kevin Covey with lovely flutes of champagne and the light, mellow and hopeful sounds of singer, songwriter and acoustic guitar player Kevin Miso.

Calli Traub with The Event Company shed light on the importance of lighting to set the mood and give photographers a smile from ear to ear with a gorgeous landscape for their clients.  Yes, these shots are from Hotel Seven4One. An unbelievable transformation of the space with light and color. Photographer Kristina Lee agrees, “It’s so important to have great lighting like The Event Company provides. It makes my job much easier.”

The food was sensational and the desserts from A Wish and a Whisk melted in our mouths. The creativity of each delicious morsel was stunning to look at and a delight to the senses. It was hard to tell where the flowers from Empora Flora began and the desserts ended because they were so perfectly designed together. I heard many say things like, “what ooey goodness stuffed in that strawberry!?”

As you can tell from the beautiful detail shots from Kristina Lee Photography that it was Valentine’s Day. From the whimsical touches of the decor, florals, desserts, paper goods by Jessica Lam, music plus the reds and pinks everyone was wearing, love was in the air. The love of weddings, the friendship between members and comradery of creating beautiful memories for people’s union of love.



Thank you to all the sponsors who made this beautiful event, beautiful! Please visit their websites and ‘like’ their pages for more information and ongoing updates about their services:

Venue | Hotel Seven4One |

Speaker | The Event Co. |

Video | The Emotion Picture Studio |

Photography | Kristina Lee Photography |

Rentals | Signature Party Rentals |

Florist | Empora Flora |

Papergoods | Jessica Lam |

Lighting | The Event Co. |

Music | Kevin Miso |

Dessert/Sweets | A Wish and a Whisk |

ABC-OC’s First Open Meeting 1.10.12

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art

If someone was doing a keyword search on Google for the first ABC-OC open meeting of the year, the words they would enter are: welcoming, friendly, re-newed and rejuvenating. These words were repeated in many conversations I had personally or that I overheard. One in particular was a direct quote from Monique Matlock of The Knot, “I loved the event. It was one of the most rewarding ABC meetings I have EVER attended. And believe me I have been to MANY!”

Coordinated by ABC board member, Cori Sponagle and hosted by the Aliso Viejo Conference Center, the night began with the ‘old’ and new board members anxiously awaiting guests to arrive as this was the first impression for attendees to experience ABC-OC this year. Welcoming scents of candles burning was in the air as guests found their adorably designed name tags.

Guests were directed to walk around to back terrace to the sounds of Mister Piano Man, Hector Jimenez and the sights of beautiful round paper lanterns. So many new faces!

Following cocktails on the terrace, guests were invited into the ballroom.

Lisa Moon, the association’s outgoing Co-Director of Administration welcomed everyone and had each of the sponsors talk a little bit about themselves and what they donated that evening.

Lisa then passed the torch to her successor, Kevin Covey who gave a very important message about improvements to this year’s meetings and how important it is to join and attend.

The association is all about networking and learning from fellow wedding professionals. But it is also about setting standards and ethics for our industry. Guests may attend two meetings. At which point they must join ABC-OC if they would like to continue to participate. He then introduced the new Board/Steering Committee:


Ambassador Chair | Kelly Feeney of Disney Fairy Tale Weddings

Ambassador Subcommittee | Monique Matlock of The Knot, Jan Wilder of FlowerFusion and Heather Morgan of The Hotel Hanford


Trendsetter Awards Chair | Stacey Gitten of Hitching Post PR

Trendsetter Awards Subcommittee | Shashona Reynolds of Mastro’s Steakhouse and Alan Katz of SoCal Officiant


Co-Director of Programs | Lindsay Longacre of LVL Events

Programs Chair | Holly Schoenke of Simply Sweet Weddings

Programs Subcommittee | Gini Garner of Gini Garner Events, Cori Sponagle of Events by Cori, Courney Urquiza of InStyle Events Company, Kerri Hatter by Kerri Hatter Wedings & Events and Carolyn Leal of Ceremonies by Carolyn


Co-Director of Finance | John Goolsby of Godfather Films

Membership/Database | Erika Bowers of Erika’s Elegance

Communications Chair | Bethany Thomas of Commemory Fine Art


Dinner was delightful! The conference center made a pistachio crusted French chicken breast with herb beurre blanc, sauteed arugula and whipped potatoes. My neighbor to my right mentioned it was the best chicken he ever had at an event!

An unexpected highlight of the dinner was a video produced by Steve Moses and his team at Vantage Point Productions called ‘The Arrival’ based on how “The party starts when you arrive” at ABC-OC meetings. A fun and fresh look at the great time our meetings are with a great group of friends and colleagues. Watch it! You’ll be sure to see yourself or your friends if you attended last year’s event at Casa Romantica.

After dinner, the room next door awaited guests with the heart of night’s activities with ‘speed networking.’ It was invigorating to have the opportunity to meet every person and give each other a peek at what service we give to our clients and each other. Artists, DJ’s, florists, photographers, planners, sweets, venues, videographers and more – many of which met for the very first time. Monique with The Knot agrees, “The speed networking really forces you to spread out and talk with people you never chatted with before. I have to say at prior events, I am guilty of sitting with people I know and am most comfortable with and not always mingling like I should. I hope we do more of these types of events in the future…..I still feel there are some I didn’t connect with!”

It was exhilaratingly exhausting by the time it ended. Now when the next open meeting comes around on April 10th (joint with the San Diego chapter) we’ll all know each other!

Thank you to all the sponsors who made this exciting night possible by donating their products and services. Please visit their websites and ‘like’ their pages for more information and ongoing updates about their services:

Coffee Service | Brew HaHa |

Entertainment | DJ Tasos |

Florist | Pixies Petals |

Rentals | Signature Party Rentals |   

Photography | Kate Noelle |

Printing& Design | Kamka Designs |

Sweets | Donna B’s Gourmet Cookies & Cakes |

Venue | Aliso Viejo Conference Center |

2011 Annual Trendsetter Awards & Holiday Gala

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art

In a word, the 2011 Third Annual ABC-OC Trendsetter Awards Gala on December 13th, 2011 at Disney’s Californian Hotel was sensational and spectacular. Okay, that’s two words but not nearly enough to describe the talent and fun had in one place celebrating literally the ‘trend setters’ in the wedding industry in Orange County.

Greeted by Jan Wilder of Flower Fusion on the step and repeat photographed by Studio EMP set the scene for the spectacular evening that was ahead for members and guests.

Members enjoyed cocktails and a wonderful selection of tray-passed hors d’oeuvres and live music as they greeted their friends and colleagues for the first time that evening at the welcome reception. And Mickey and Minnie were dressed in their holiday best to take photos with guests, taken by White Rabbit Photo Boutique!


Following the welcome reception, members were then invited into the ballroom where they were welcomed by a room filled with white twinkle lights, greens and golds with a splash of deep pink and red. The flowers were stunning yet creatively whimsical by Flowers by Cina. Beautifully rustic square tables by Classic Party Rentals provided intimate seating for guests.  Li’K Designs provided creative menus and programs for guests to follow the events of the evening.  Barker Décor Service provided a beckoning dance floor while the team at Our Wedding Dance showed everyone how they can look like Fred and Ginger with their graceful talent.

The premium accommodations, rich dining experience and service provided by Disney’s Californian Hotel provided was simply wonderful. Highlights included three cheese ravioli hearts, slow braised prime beef short rib and a romantic salad.

Lisa Moon, the association’s Co-Director of Administration recognized the ABC-OC 2011 Steering Committee for all of their hard work:

Stacey Gitten (Ambassador Chair), Kathy Jo Peterson (Trendsetter Chair), John Goolsby (Communications Chair), Michelle Tortuya (Co-Director Programs) and Kelly Feeney (Co-Director Communication) – many of whom’s faces were flawless thanks to make-up by Flawless Faces!

Following Lisa’s acknowledgements, Kathy Jo Peterson presented the 2011 Trendsetter Awards! Congratulations winners on your achievement –

Best New Food Concept, Presentation or Display | Catherine Joanne Cakes |


Best New Concept | SoCal Officiant |


Best New Memento | Godfather Films |


Best Introduction or Final | Once Upon a Time Weddings |

Best New Decor Under $50,000 | High Society Wedding & Event Planning |

Best New Decor Over $50,000 | LVL Weddings & Events |


Best Captured Moment | Jim Kennedy Photography |


Members Choice | Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort/Waterfront Weddings |


Trendsetter of the Year Honors Award | Barbara Wallace |




The celebration continued with decadent desserts featured at the creme brulee station and crepe station.  Brew Haha‘s coffee cart was on-demand with custom made cappucino and lattes to fire up guests energy level for Undercover Live Entertainment who provided a 7-person band offering guests hip, fresh, professional and exclusive live entertainment to dance the night away.





Thank you to all the sponsors who made the magical night possible by donating their products and services. Please visit their websites and ‘like’ their pages for more information:

Beverage | Adult Chocolate Milk |

Coffee Service | Brew HaHa |

Dance Floor | Barker Decor Service |

Entertainment | Undercover Live Entertainment |

DJ/Lighting | Invisible Touch |

Florals | Flowers by Cina |

Furniture | Classic Party Rentals |

Make-up | Flawless Faces |

Programs | Li’K Designs |

Photography | Studio EMP |

Photo Booth | White Rabbit Photo Boutique |

Venue | Disney’s Californian Hotel | 


Trendsetter Award Swag Bag Sponsors:

Adult Chocolate Milk |

Candee by Sandee |

Classic Party Rentals |

Commemory Fine Art |

Disney Fairy Tale Weddings |

El Adobe Capistrano |

El Canito Cigar |

Flower Fusion |

Itty Bitty Sweets |

Kathy Joe Peterson Weddings & Events |

Mary Dann Weddings and Events |

Our Wedding Dance |

S&A Jewelry |

Signature Events by Tania | 

Trader Joes |

Turn On The Lights!

Transforming any room into a spectacular event space takes a lot of vision, design, and work. While florals, linens, and other décor make an impact, our experts agree that lighting is the key. “Lighting is the single best way to transform any venue from ordinary to extraordinary!” says Robert Arthur of Invisible Touch. Michelle Tortuya of Charming Events agrees “Lighting can transform a space so dramatically and for a fraction of the cost of other alternatives.” Lighting is an essential element of event design. Kevin Covey of Kevin Covey Weddings & Events suggests professional lighting to all of his clients, saying, “I always love intense vibrant colors throughout the room. It makes such an impact in the space.”

While centerpiece pinspotting, highlighting the cake, and uplighting architectural features in a room are all great ways to use event lighting, the hottest trend is battery-powered LED lighting. According to Arthur, battery-powered LED (light emitting diode) lights have low power consumption, require no cords because they are controlled remotely, and last up to 10 hours at an event. “Vendors that use this technology do not require any power whatsoever and the run off of a remote control so there are no wires or taping necessary. This is great because a lot of venues do not want any type of tape seen by guests. Additionally, the battery-operated LED lights are small and unobtrusive to guests and can also be used to light under tables or to highlight ice sculptures, etc.”

Mike Ivey of Pro Audio & Lighting says LED lighting is “being used to color change throughout the event. The room can become a total different color and environment as the reception segues from event to event or song to song during dancing.” Tortuya’s clients choose to use multiple colors in their celebrations. “The color combinations are endless and using two to three different shades seems to work out best.”

In addition to LED lighting, Covey sees using lighting as a part of the wedding theme as another current trend. “I coordinated an art deco style wedding and for the border of the ceremony aisle we had gobos of art deco patterns. It was a lovely border and it fit the style of the wedding.”

Focusing on lighting to make an impact in an event can be a great use of resources. Whether using lighting in traditional ways on centerpieces and highlighting important elements, or venturing into new LED color-changing lights, the transformation can be huge. Covey speaks of the importance of lighting an event. “You spend so much money on your wedding it’s a shame if you can’t see it the way it should be seen.”

Trendy Favors

Especially with the holidays coming, we thought we should spend a little time talking about gift giving. We asked two of our members to share their expertise about favors.

From Kathy Jo Peterson
Some say that party favors are no longer needed, I on the other hand completely disagree, I am a huge fan of the party favor or parting gift used at weddings. I think its a lovely touch to thank those for taking the time out of their busy lives to spend the day with you and in some cases it is the whole day indeed!

I use the party favor to further enhance the design of the wedding, when that is done its an important part of the small touches that make the day so special.

You don’t need a lot of money for the favor but you do need to put thought into how it will look on the table. I love to match the tags with the menu card. I love to bring the graphic used on the invitation to that tag as well. I will always tell my brides to choose something that is meaningful to them such as their favorite cookie or favorite candy. I had one bride fly over her favorite Hawaiian cookie in a very colorful cool looking box, because they were going to Hawaii on their honeymoon and also fit the tropical theme of the wedding.

Trends seem to be leaning to favors sent home on a “Good Night and Sweet Dreams” table, for the guests to take as they depart. Theme candy stations, cup cakes or a yummy colorful dessert buffet with pink boxes for the guests to take home their choice is always fun. I just did “hot chocolate and donuts” to go and that was a huge hit. I have even had valet put small boxes of Krispi Kreme inside each car with a note so as guests got into their cars the surprise was waiting.

Anytime you can elevate the look of the wedding and touch the heart of the guests with a party favor you done a good thing !

From Marisa Lujan of Belle Paquet
I think that the biggest trend for this holiday season or any time of year is to make your gift unique and thoughtful. Everyone loves a heartfelt thank you. There is still a big trend with edible gifts – the infamous gift package full of goodies, personalized oil and balsamic vinegar set, and cupcake mix. Belle Paquet can take a color palette, picture, or monogram and put it on an edible treat that your guests will love. Just because a gift is edible does not mean it cannot be personal. Details can be incorporated in the packaging as well. Add a personalized tag or small note to show your appreciation. It’s the personal touches that make all the difference!

Another trend is to be practical. Functional gifts can be decorative and useful. Belle Paquet also offers a very fun soy votive candle that has an outer chalkboard surface. This can be a gift, placecard holder, and a vase when the candle is finished. Functionality doesn’t have to end here. Using silk boxes to package your gift gives something extra to your guests. The box can be used again as a travel case for jewelry or other valuables.

Lastly, the biggest trend of all is quality. Just because you want to be unique does not mean you can’t go with familiar brands. Voluspa, Tea Forté, and Pré de Provence, for example, offer extraordinary quality that we love and that your guests will love, too!

Autumn Wedding Trend Forecast

Photo from Heavenly Portraits
We asked some ABC-OC consultants about the trends they see in their weddings this fall. Here’s what’s hip:

Desserts: Brides are ditching the cake in favor of a more personalized dessert buffet. Jill Watson of The Pampered Bride says, “This can be caramel apples along with the couples favorite candies as well as yummy bite size desserts… cheesecakes, lollipop cakes, cup cakes, trays of little chocolates, crème brulees in little cute cups… the choices are endless whatever the couple is all about!” Barbara Wallace of Barbara Wallace Weddings agrees. Her brides are opting for smaller cakes or no cakes at all in order to introduce a dessert bar with more options.

Dresses: Bridesmaids are continuing to wear short dresses even in the fall. According to Wallace bridal gowns are also turning a new leaf. “The brides are changing into a more manageable dress for dancing after they do the formalities in their regular gown.”

Drinks: Coffee carts are still yummy but Watson also sees the season bring autumnal cocktails. “In the fall we see pumpkin martinis, pomegranate, Godiva chocolate martinis, and anything with a fall color.”

Bouquets: Bold colors and alternative flora are in. In the Moment‘s Amy Kuchta says, “I have also noticed that brides are not only using bold colors for their bouquets but, incorporating herbs that make the aroma extra unique. Sage, which symbolizes long life; chives for good fortune; mint for wisdom!”

Favors: Gifts for guests are also changing this season. Kuchta says her brides are eliminating the favor all together or opting for something very personal. “Long gone are the Jordan Almonds! Some cute ideas that I have seen are freshly baked cookies with grandma’s “secret” recipe, donations to charities & favorite treats on display.”

Hope these trends inspire you this season!