June 30, 2008

A Pink & Gold Wedding

I was inspired to do a pink and gold wedding after seeing this beautiful blush pink wedding dress with gold embroidered designs. Isn't it just gorgeous? Pink and gold is such a lovely color combination. It can be light and airy for spring or summer events but can also be rich and exquisite for a winter evening affair. And really, infuse some deep chocolate brown as an accent and it could easily transition into fall. So, it's a combination for all seasons!

Other elements to a pink and gold wedding:
- An array of pink and gold stationery and invitations
- Small, simple bouquet of pink roses, dahlias and mini calla lilies tied with a luxurious creamy gold ribbon
- A romantic table setting - pink linens, pink and yellow floral centerpiece and chocolate brown and gold chairs (and checkout the amazing gold star burst light fixture!)
- Tea and cookies favor box wrapped with a gold designed paper and thin brown ribbon
- Pink and gold wedding cake - 3 square tiers of pale pink fondant adorned with an array of ribbons and trims

June 26, 2008

Host & Hostess Gifts

I know that finding the right host or hostess gift can be difficult. Finding something different and really useful is even more of a challenge. So here are a few suggestions to thank your next host or hostess:

- Stonewall Kitchen - Delicious sauces and rubs packed in a stainless steel tray. Perfect for the grillmaster.

- Eco-Me kits - These eco-friendly kits help you make all-natural products at home whether for body (lotions, scrubs, oils), home (cleaning products), baby or pets. Mix in a few regular household ingredients and you've got an array of green products at home. The Eco-Me kit contains all ingredients in a cute sack, perfect for gifting.

- Bono appetizer set - Set of 3 white bone china bowls hand painted with thin black lines. Great for dips, veggies, snacks, sauces, etc and sure to fit any table design scheme.
- Candela candle lamps - Flameless candles that sit on a charger until you're ready to use. Great for outdoor entertaining in the warm summer months.
- Pre-packed Picnic Basket - Contains everything you could need to eat in the park and more. Great for couples and for familes.
- Cakesicle Pan - This clever pan presents a super fun new dessert idea for the baker.
- Wine Thermometer - Both handy and stylish, this tool will make sure you serve your wine at the correct temperature.
- Midnight Bar Mixes - Make drinks with ease using these starter mixes. Perfect for any cocktail party.

June 25, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Plum and Silver Wedding

Welcome to this week's edition of Wedding Wednesday! Each week Kati of The Finer Things and I chose one invitation and present two unique inspiration boards. Today we have selected a plum and silver invitation from FineStationery.com. This color combination would be lavishly lovely for a winter or fall wedding set in the evening. I can just imagine the beautiful glow of candlelight against silver...

- Wedding gown and bridal bouquet - I absolutely love this dress for today's theme. The silver accents and glow make it just stunning. The purple hued bouquet is made up of anemones, wax flowers and clematis leaves all brought together with an ornate ribbon.
- Groomsman boutonniere - Simple purple boutonniere for the groom and his groomsmen [via Style Me Pretty]
- Silver beaded wreath surrounding 3 votives - I spoke above about the glimmer of candlelight off of silver elements and this is exactly what I was talking about. A similar idea would be to place candles atop mirrors. Would look great on your reception table, your buffet table, your ceremony altar, your guest book table, etc.
- Purple floral centerpiece and purple place setting - If you'd prefer a floral centerpiece, consider a simple purple anemone arrangement in a low square vase or wooden planter. The antique plum plate really makes a standard white place setting pop.
- Purple candles - Carry your colors and the shimmer of light into other areas of your ceremony and reception with these tall purple candles and glass hurricanes.
- Customized wine - Pick and customize your label and your wine selection at Personal Wine. This would be a great favor, addition to each table or gift for your wedding party.
- Modern silver circle wedding cake with purple accents [found via Lemiga]
- Favor - Candy favors packaged in purple boxes and adorned with a ribbon in a contrasting purple hue.

Make sure to stop by The Finer Things to see Kati's edition of this week's Wedding Wednesday. Her post is filled with great ideas to help you plan your plum and silver event.

June 24, 2008

Oh Baby!

Today I'd like to present a new feature on Tastefully Entertaining entitled 'Oh Baby!' Are you planning a baby shower for a friend or family member? Do you need some help coming up with theme inspiration? If so, then help me help you!

I'm looking for baby shower planners out there with a basic idea in mind. Did you want to plan the shower around a specific cake picture, a room decor, a favor, an invitation, etc? Send me your initial inspiration, no matter how crazy, and I will plan a shower based on that element!

Interested? Email me at OhBaby[at]tastefullyentertaining.com.

Please note, that depending on the number of idea submissions, I may not be able to incorporate them all into this feature.

June 23, 2008

Seaside Blue & Orange Wedding Theme

The Knot recently featured a seaside wedding theme in bright blue, purple and orange hues. I love this modern color combination as it would be great for a baby shower, a bridal shower, a summer dinner party and of course, a summer wedding.

- Table setting - Blue glass chargers, white plates and blue glass bowls. Centerpiece made of stacked acrylic boxes filled with eryhgium thistles, orange dahlias and white hydrangeas atop blue sea glass.
- Menu card - Bright blue letterpress card by Smudge Ink placed on each place setting and topped with an orange dahlia
- Table name/numbers - Matching blue patterned petal catcher filled with blue hydrangeas and tied with orange ribbon; Would also be great as ceremony decor
- Wedding cake - Lovely eyelet white 3-tier cake
- Place cards - Clear glass bud vases filled with a variety of bright blue candies, a pick with the place card and an orange ribbon accent; The Knot also suggests providing extra candy in buffet form for guests to fill before they leave (a place card and a favor all in one!)
- Boutonnieres - Orange, blue and purple boutonnieres to complete a stunning groomsman look

June 20, 2008

First Day of Summer Cocktails

Today we're celebrating the 1st day of summer! Bright colors and fresh fruits prevail, inspiring us all to mix up some cocktails to welcome the new season. Here are some suggestions for some summer cocktails:

- Pomegranate Sparklers
- Spicy Citri-Politan
- Lime Daiquiri
- Lemonade Caipirinhas
- Kiwi Melon Sangria
- Cherry Berry Smoothie
- Watermelon Mojito
- Island Heat
- The Perfect Mai Tai


June 19, 2008

Jungle Baby Shower

Today's post features a jungle theme baby shower. I find these sweet jungle animals absolutely adorable and, really, what more could you want in a baby shower theme? Consider the following elements:

- Pop up animal favor boxes
- Jungle animal cake- There is a lot of cake and cupcake inspiration out there for animal themes. This particular cake is from flickr user Fun_Y3n.
- Animal baby shower invitation by simply put (from FineStationery.com)
- Lotus flower tealight candle holder - great for on your table and all around to enhance the jungle theme.
- Animal party favors by flickr user qiatytre. These would be amazing for thank you notes as well!
- King of the Jungle party picks

June 18, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Dream Wedding Edition!

Today is a very special Wedding Wednesday! Kati, of The Finer Things, had a wonderful idea to switch things up a little this week. Instead of selecting only one invitation, this week we're selecting two! We are presenting you with inspiration boards for what we think is our dream wedding. Since my dream wedding wouldn't be the same as Kati's, we each selected different invitations. Here's where this gets even better- I was just married this past November so I decided to give you a peak into my real life dream wedding!

I'm sure I've mentioned before that my favorite color combination is black and white so those were my wedding colors. For the invitation, the first introduction of your theme to your guests, I chose this simple and classic white invitation by Rita Renning (from FineStationery.com). I added a band of black ribbon to the center for a striking look.

The following is a montage of elements from my day. I've described each in more detail below but want to give credit to Creative Image Associates for the amazing pictures. Anyone needing a photographer on the east coast should check them out because they're really fun and take wonderful pictures!

Table decor: My husband and I are both avid theatre lovers so we wanted to incorporate that element into our wedding. Each table had a Playbill from a specifically selected show placed alongside the simple floral centerpiece and atop the black tablecloth. The table names were titles of songs from each show. For our sweetheart table, I created a custom Playbill with our engagement picture.

Bridesmaids: This picture is of me with my lovely bridesmaids. They wore floor length black gowns that gathered across the waist into a brooch. They carried red gerber daisies with black centers. (Red was an accent color.)

Favor: I wanted an inexpensive DIY favor and decided to adorn votive holders with custom wedding labels. The white votives fit perfectly into clear candy bags and were tied with black ribbon. (Just the beginning of my ribbon adoration.)

Programs: I designed and printed my own programs on high quality white card stock. Use the scoring attachment on your paper cutter to get a professional crease. I punched two holes in the crease to thread and tie black ribbon into a bow.

Ceremony exit: This picture shows my husband and I as we are exiting the church. Guests were handed bubble wands adorned with thin black ribbon. This may be one of my favorite pictures because you can see the bubbles glimmering in the night.

Wedding cake: Our cake was covered in white buttercream made to look like fondant. (Same look, better taste) Subtle trios of white dots were placed sporadically around the layers. The base of each layer had black ribbon (See? I told you I was obsessed). Our initials topped the cake though it is hard to see in the picture.

Groom and Groomsmen: The groom and his dapper groomsmen were dressed in all black tuxes. The only white element was the tie. I absolutely love this look! The Dads wore a more traditional style tux with a white shirt and a black tie.

Bridal Flowers: My bouquet was made of white gerber daisies with black centers. Several of the daisies had a Swarovski crystal in the center to add a sparkle. The base was wrapped in white ribbon and adorned at the top with my Grandmother's antique brooch. Also in this picture you can see a glimpse at the side of my dress made by Maggie Sottero.

Reception Location: Our reception was at a 1930's ballroom that once hosted jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra. It has a great history and is just beautiful. We made sure to include a lot of jazz and swing music.

Guest Book: Simple white guest book with a black ribbon horizontally across the middle.

I hope you've enjoyed your glimpse into my dream wedding. I'm really excited to share it with you. Make sure you head over to The Finer Things to see Kati's version of Wedding Wednesday. I'm so eager to see what her dream wedding includes!

June 17, 2008

Summer Ice Cream Social

My husband and I received a ice cream maker for our wedding and we are anxious to give it a try. So I thought it'd be a lot of fun to throw a party and make different varieties of ice cream with friends.

Invite your guests with an ice cream themed invitation such as this fun polka dot invitation by Stacy Claire Boyd. (from FineStationery.com)

To start, you'll need an ice cream maker. We have a Cuisinart Ice Cream Machine and it seems to be a rather popular choice as most stores carry this model. If you don't want to actually make the ice cream, have an ice cream social with many mix-ins and toppings for an equally fun occasion.

Now for the accessories- for toppings or mix-ins consider using one or more of these pastel colored serving trays. To scoop your delicious creations, give these funky ergonomic scoops a try. These neat scoops create small cylindical blocks of ice cream providing for a contemporary fresh look. Need to transport your treat later? This insulated ice cream tote will keep it perfectly cool.

Serve your ice cream concoctions in these sweet pastel bowls. Lastly, top your custom ice cream with toppings from Stonewall Kitchen. Pictured above is their Spiced Rum Butterscotch Sauce. They have several other sauces too, in an array of great flavors.

June 16, 2008

Orange Floral Country Wedding

Today's post was inspired by a wonderful inspiration board on one of my favorite sources for great ideas and pictures- Faye and Greer. Sadly, that blog is no longer updated but it's many posts are delightful. I have admired this particular Faye and Greer post and always wanted to give my own take on a orange floral country wedding so today I decided to do so!

The lovely floral cake, orange pocket letterpress invitation(would also be great as programs) and reception table decor are all directly from the Faye and Greer post, as I simply couldn't imagine my orange country wedding theme without them. To these brilliant picks I added a few of my own:

- Floral reception decor from flickr user and blogger, OnceWed
- Orange, pink and green bridal bouquet
- Papaya floral letterpress invitation ensemble
- Vanilla and peach preserve favors

June 13, 2008

July 4th Party Inspiration

The 4th of July is right around the corner. Start your preparations now by making some of these DIY elements for your patriotic-themed party:

- Patriotic fans
- Fabric flatware and napkin holder
- Red, white and blue sand candles
- Patriotic drink umbrellas
- Red, white & blue patterned cans (could hold food, flowers, utensils, etc)
Flag cookies

June 12, 2008

Delectable Desserts

It's time for another batch of delectable desserts! Summertime provides a new season of fresh fruits as well as the need for cool and refreshing dishes. I may whip up one of these tonight to beat the incredible heat wave hitting the East coast!

- Carolyn's Gelatin Cheesecake
- Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake
- Mini Lime Pies with Glazed Berries
- Frozen Passion Fruit Meringue Cake
- Amaretti Ice Cream Cake
- Espresso Granita with Whipped Cream

Bon appetit!

June 11, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - A Black & Ecru Wedding

Welcome to another edition of Wedding Wednesday, where Kati of The Finer Things and I take one invitation and create two unique event interpretations. This week we're planning a wedding based on this black and ecru ribboned invitation from FineStationery.com.
I'm sure I've said it before but black and white (or ecru in this case) is one of my most beloved color combinations. So, when we picked this week's invitation I was very happy to create another event dedicated to my favorite color pairing. Here are my picks for a stunning black and ecru wedding:
- Bridesmaid attire - black gown with an ecru sash and vintage brooch
- Groom boutonniere made of cream calla lilies and black ribbon
- Simple black and ecru table decor - low vases of cream roses centered between two strips of black ribbon
- Cream and black candy buffet for guests to assemble their own favor

Here are two of Kati's wonderful finds! Be sure to check out the rest of her version of today's black and ecru wedding theme.

June 10, 2008

Blue & Yellow Preppy Wedding

Today's post is for a blue and yellow preppy wedding. The blue and yellow combination is very nautical so some anchor motifs would fit in perfectly if that's the theme you're after. But, for today's board, I'm just keeping it nautical-inspired.

I started with this blue and yellow table decor. This has been one of my favorites for a long time as I had originally cut out this picture for my wedding inspiration book 2 years ago. I just love the square tables and plates! It's so different from the ordinary and so sharp looking.

Next, I knew of the perfect invitation for this theme- a diagonal stripe Repp tie invitation from FineStationery.com.

For table cards, consider something a little different such as clipping navy bordered table cards to a piece of twine or string. (If you are going for the nautical theme use a knotted white rope for this idea.)

For the bridal bouquet, consider yellow and white flowers wrapped at the base in blue ribbon. Incorporate the pins into the bouquet design by mimicking a common cake pattern of three small clustered dots.

Now for the attire- Have the bridesmaids wear a preppy blue tea length dress such as this Priscilla of Boston design. For the groom, find a matching yellow and blue Repp tie to wear under a navy or charcoal suit. A simple yellow boutonniere would stand out perfectly on the dark suit.

If you're not planning a wedding this theme would translate perfectly for a dinner party, a male's birthday party or a gathering for Father's Day!

June 9, 2008

Birthday Dinner in Hot Pink

For this month's Birthday Dinner feature I've chosen to create an inspiration board for a hot pink event. Though I'm specifying these ideas for a dinner party they would also work for a bridal shower or a baby shower.

To start send a simple and pretty invitation such as this pink Falling Flowers letterpress invitation by The White Aisle. Upon arrival, welcome your guests with a refreshing pink cocktail to set the mood and start the birthday fun.

If your dining table is on the smaller side serving dinner buffet style is a great option that will allow space for a table centerpiece. Set up your buffet table nearby with pink tablecloths, pink florals and white food dishes. For your centerpiece, consider a simple clear vase with a mixture of hot pink flowers.

For dessert, consider something a little different such as this icy combination of coconut, lemon and watermelon granitas.

As a favor, send guests home with a box of two cream puffs, cutely packaged in a hot pink box.

Celebrating a male's birthday or just not into hot pink? Check out my other monthly birthday dinner features in teal and in black.

June 6, 2008

A Blue and Brown Wedding

Today's post features a brown and blue wedding. My inspiration came when I was perusing the Brides website and found these artisnal chocolates packaged in a cute blue box with brown ribbon. I love the combination of light blue and brown and thought this is the perfect beginning to a theme.

I love the modern look of this brown and blue Vera Wang invitation from FineStationery.com. The vertical shape and french style envelope make this ensemble truly striking.

As for the attire, dress your bridesmaids in brown gowns with light blue sashes. Have them carry a white bouquet so the bride can stand out with a light blue bouquet. Bring the look together by having similar flowers in all bouquets as well as wrapping the stems of each bouquet in brown ribbon. As for the groom, have him don a light blue boutonniere to match the bride.

Take the color scheme through into the reception by using a napkin design in white and brown. Tuck in a little sprig of one of the light blue flowers you are using in your bouquet. Shown in the picture above are some Bella Mosa delphiniums.

Lastly, for dessert serve up a slice of this 3-tier light blue round cake featuring brown ribbons on the base of each layer.

June 5, 2008

Father's Day Dinner Party Menu

Celebrate this Father's Day by inviting Dad for a home-cooked, delicious meal. The following is a menu that's sure to please all who attend your gathering.

Appetizer - Sugarcane-Skewered Shrimp with Chile-Cilantro Rub

Entree - Herbed Chicken with Spring Vegetables

Side Dishes - Creamy Cole Slaw & Fried Baked Potato

Desserts - Fresh Creme Cheesecake with Summer Berries & Bittersweet Beach Brownies

June 4, 2008

Tastefully Entertaining in The Nest magazine

I found out yesterday that Tastefully Entertaining was included in a list of favorite blogs in The Nest magazine! I'm included alongside three other amazing blogs under the Entertaining category- At Home with Kim Vallee, Hostess with the Mostess and Not Martha. These three blogs are such an inspiration and I am honored to be listed alongside them!

Thanks to Kim Vallee who let me know about this exciting news and to The Nest for including Tastefully Entertaining among their favorites!

Wedding Wednesday - A Citrus Chic Bridal Shower

Here is your next edition of Wedding Wednesday. Kati, of The Finer Things, and I have chosen one invitation and have created two different event interpretations. For this Wedding Wednesday we chose to do a bridal shower based off of this orange and yellow fruit slice invitation from FineStationery.com.

My 'Citrus Chic' bridal shower features the following:

- Centerpieces made with cylindrical white vases of multiple heights topped with orange and white flowers with fruit at the bases.
- Multi-color highball glasses by Kate Spade featuring frozen pear slices. Why not use your fruit garnish as an ice cube? Slice ahead, douse with lemon juice to keep them from turning and put in the freezer for later
- Cake with bright orange, yellow and white flowers
- Candy buffet in orange and yellow hues

Make sure to head over to The Finer Things to see Kati's version of this week's Wedding Wednesday. Though all her picks are great I chose to give you a sneak peek at this springy yellow dress and the most adorable cupcake. Check out her post to see what else she included!

June 3, 2008

Sand Dollar Beach Party

Let's go to the beach! Well, we can at least bring the beach to us with a sand dollar beach party theme. Actually, I am heading to the beach this week so I wanted to present a theme revolving around one of my favorite beach symbols or elements, the sand dollar. So elegant and simple, they are easily incorporated into your beach themed gathering.

- Sand dollar invitation - This may be a little too formal for an everyday gathering but you could easily recreate as a DIY project. Print your wording on some card stock and attach a sand dollar for that added element.
- Bamboo fans and slippers - Make your guest feel like they're relaxing at the beach with these slippers and fans.
- Sand dollar table numbers - You may not need table numbers for a more informal get together but just imagine the possibilities- place cards, favors, decorations, outlining a walkway, etc, etc
- Sand dollar cookies - Give as a favor or eat for a themed snack
- Sand dollar glass stemware ornaments- Could be decorated to indicate who's drink is who's
- Sand dollar addorned candle - Great for a favor or for decoration

June 2, 2008

Pink & Red Outdoor Baby Shower

Today's post details a red and pink outdoor baby shower (this would also work for a bridal shower or any party). My inspiration came from this great dock party set-up by Martha Stewart. I love the concept of using fishing poles to hang decorations. So clever! On your tables include some red and pink tea lights as neatly pictured in this photo by flickr user evan.

Invite your guests with a pink and red themed invitation. Remember, it doesn't need to look 'baby' in order to be an invitation for a baby shower so I picked this playful circles invitation from FineStationery.com.

Serve a summertime favorite such as pink lemonade. Though pictured above with lemon slices, consider using strawberry slices or raspberries for a touch of red. Your guests will love a dessert that strays from the traditional cake so instead, try making a strawberry rose shortcake. [delicious picture via flickr user evan]

Lastly, hand out favors such as these cute red and pink jelly bean jars.


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