Friday, October 24, 2014

Food Friday- Tapas!

Welcome to a new series... Food Friday  

Every Friday we will bring you great food ideas for your event.  

Try a few out at home on your friends.

Our new favorite thing- Tapas!

Platters of yummy food you can grab and wander with. Perfect for a cocktail hour!

Smoked Paprika Almonds  |  Devour

Smoked Paprika Almonds

Plum tapa with spanish serrano hamGive them something unexpected...
Serrrano Ham wrapped Plum bits

artichokes al ajillo in dish close up
Artichoke hearts are the ultimate tapas item.

Post image for Roasted Garlic and Tomato BruschettaRoasted Garlic & Olive Oil Bruschetta
Head Over to My Baking Addiction for a recipe

falafelsFalafel Balls
Head over to Stone Soup for a recipe

Greek Dolmades recipe (Stuffed Vine/ Grape Leaves)
Head over to My Greek Dish for the recipe

Chipotle Lime Grilled ShrimpGrilled Shrimp

Smooth and Simple Hummus Recipe
Hummus & Warm Pita triangles.
Head over to Inspired Taste to learn to make your own hummus.
Other great tapas ideas-
  • Really good marinated olives. (Not those ones on your grocers shelf)
  • Salted Edamame
  • Those yummy garbanzo beans from last Friday's post make great tapas too!
Now go test out a great cocktail hour!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Vision... Putting it into practice

Every night before marrying tis stuck in your brain...
You're hoping those plans won't go down the drain.

Swags of flowers hung on the mantle with care
It must be a celebration with audacious flair!

Visions of sugared vases dance in your head;

table cloths flowing and perfect, down to every thread.

With the lustre of your dreams for all to behold,
There must be other options than that gaudy gold!

little lights -- how they twinkle! night long dancing- how merry!

If I don't get good help, this may all get very scary!

How do you take all those dreams and visions out of your head and actually make them a reality?


Look at pictures, a lot of them.  Pinterest is perfect for this because you can begin to make boards for all that you love.


Once you've gotten a decent collection, make notes on them as to what specifically you like about it.  (It may take you a while to pin it down.)

It may also help to notice what picture you dislike.  It will tell you what not to do.  Sometimes this is much more helpful for your vision.  Especially if it's something that occurs at weddings all the time.  We've had brides who hated bows (It made for a gorgeous modern wedding with cool knots everywhere.), brides who hated white (gorgeous deep hues everywhere.) and brides who thought wild flowers looked like weeds (think great big amazing blossoms everywhere.)

Start to detail it out-

Take your Pinterest boards and divvy them out.
  • Dresses
  • Hair
  • Bouquets
  • Ceremony Flowers & Details
  • Centerpieces
  • Tables
  • Invitations
  • Drinks
  • Appetizers
  • Meals
  • Favors
  • Cake
check our details page to get an idea of things to pin down your style on.

Narrow it down-

You must pick 1 theme.  And no I'm not thinking pirates or the Caribbean.
You need to have a sort of branding for your event.  It must all fit together, look like it was meant to be side by side.
If you like two contrasting items then look for photos of them combined. Or try it out.  It can be done carefully.  Hire a great florist and design company.  A good coordinator should be able to reach into your brain and find the right people to install that audacious flair for you.


We see 2 common mistake in vision planning.

1-Trying to do too much.

2-Implementing it poorly.

Trying too much

Check your budget and decide (with a professional) what it will really cover.
You can still make it fabulous on a smaller scale- just pick your spots and ignore the others.
Decide what things will make the most impact.  Entryways, focal points, aisles, tables, room centers- are all great places to make a big impact.

Implementing it poorly.

Clients often underestimate what it will take to make a statement where they've decided to pay attention too.

some examples...

  • more petals- when your florist asks how many bags of petals you want- A LOT.  petals don't go far and it takes a condensed amount to show up for a striking effect.
  • flower arches- think thicker and more massive.  The frail arch might as well be skipped because you will see right through it.  It will not stop your eye.  And the flowers should be striking enough to see- especially outside.  There's so much to distract the eye that it's very important to create something 'opaque' enough to give your eyes something to stop on, not strain to see.
  • paper lanterns- these are such a cool thing to use in your decorating but small and few of them just get lost.  Light them up.  Go Big (or group small ones).  Test it out.


Plan enough time.  Hire a professional installer to hang lights, drape fabric, install lanterns and install your expensive floral pieces.  Do not make your mom or friend struggle to make something look right at the last minute.
Things often take more time and more hands than first thought.  
It's worth it to make it great. Just plan carefully. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. right?

Ask for help

Once you've found what you want, take a load off and let someone help you.  A professional will know the pitfalls to watch for, how much it will cost and where to get it done not to mention the best way to install it and how long that will take.

You can do a lot of things yourself but your wedding day is not the day to do it.  Weddings are emotionally stressful (this isn't news to you) remove the possible pitfalls and let others help you...Enjoy Your Event!

You can have the event you want on any budget, really.  Just plan in reality- what it will really take and really look like. A carefully planned event will be noticed by your guests and will please you as...just the event you wanted.

Happy Planning! - Click Here!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How many guests to invite?

You want to invite how many people?!

You're engaged, you're excited and you're telling everyone.
Of course! But wait a minute...

When you run into your long lost friend you haven't seen in years and you tell them the great news... stop... just before inviting them in person.

Tell anyone you want.  Blast it out on social media.  But leave out the "You have to come!" part for a little while.


Develop a vision for your event first. Your event will look A LOT different if you invite 30 people, 75 people or 150 people.  You can pay a lot of detail to tables, flowers, drinks and food at a smaller level that you cannot at a large scale.  Unless you hire a large staff and have a large budget.
(Vision post coming soon! We know, you can hardly wait!)


Go read The Cost of a Guest

Make a realistic budget. Goto to create an easy and customizable budget.
Then think about how many people that really fits.
For example...
$7,000 may look like a lot of money for food but may really only feed 100 people.

$45pp for a minimal buffet dinner & very light appetizers.
Cake cutting fee $2.50pp
$15 per server per hour (~$1,000)
Gratuity 20%
Tax 8%
Total Due $7.452

Now if you just want a bbq delivered drop catering service you may be able to spend less.  But decide early as this may make you sad when it kills your vision and causes lots of work for you and your family and friends without a budget for set up, refill and clean up help.  If it's your plan from the get go then it's not a problem. Surprises during wedding planning can often burst your bubble.

Inviting Guests

The plan...
1. Announce without inviting all

2. Plan your vision. (We'll help you tomorrow.)

3. Determine a realistic budget.

4. Plan a number of guests.
(Don't worry, we"ll help you determine who to invite and how not to let people feel left out.)

It's a big week here at Icing Side Up.
Don't Fret!

We'll help you...

Enjoy Your Event!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Just Go With It

Weddings can be a tale of two events, the one you envisioned and the one you have.

I'm not saying it won't be the way you dreamed it would be.
I'm not saying it won't be fantastic.
It just might be a little different in a few ways.

How will you survive?

1. Plan in reality.
2. Enjoy the process and event day.

3. Relax.

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it"
Charles Swindoll


The biggest reason that an event doesn't pan out is due to poor planning.  Either not planning completely or not planning realistically.

If you are overwhelmed...
1- Do less and do it well.
2. Hire help

Is it realistic?
Bounce ideas off friends, read about them and ask your coordinator.
Someone who has done many weddings will be able to tell you if they think it will work, how they've seen it work in the past, possible problems and easy tweaks to make it work awesomely!


This is easier said than done and is accomplished best by...
-knowing your event is well planned

We live in a fast paced, multitasking do it all world.  
Learn to take time for yourself-
-reading (no checking your phone!)
-taking a nap
-cook a slow dinner
- go out for drinks and sit in on a quiet patio with your fiance
- be still & be intentional.

Do less, do it better, ask for help and learn... to Enjoy Your Event!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Event Hacks- Unity Candle Disasters

Event hacks.  
Quick little tips to save your event and help you ...

Enjoy Your Event!

Today: Unity Candle Disasters

Unity Candles

What a beautiful tradition.

I especially like it when mothers of the couple light the side candles.  It is a very touching way to incorporate your families.

The list of what can go wrong in a wedding starts with the words Unity Candles.

Veils are flammable (This isn't news to you, don't panic.) 
People are nervous. 
Lighters get left in the wrong place.

Fear not! We've got you covered.

#1- Have a ceremony rehearsal.

Take practice candles- because reused candles don't look like a new creation.
 Actually light them- when people are nervous, it's harder than you'd think.

#2- Decide before the rehearsal how you will light them.

(decide nothing at the rehearsal btw- too many cooks!)


-A pretty match box- test prior to rehearsal to make sure the match doesn't break and lights easily.
-A black long handled lighter. Test it.
- When they are seated, have moms light outside candles off of perimeter candles that were lit prior to guests seating.

#3- Have a back up lighting source nearby

-on the table hidden behind the candles or under a Bible.

#4- If something happens...


A candle blows out or doesn't light, then redo it and make a comment like
"See what a resilient couple we are!"

Smile.  Breathe.  


Enjoy Your Event!