It’s all the Craze…Apple Cider Bar Edition

It’s official. Fall is here. It’s time to trade in our cravings for iced tea and iced coffee for apple cider and pumpkin spice coffee. It’s time to consider having an Apple Cider bar at your next event and here are some ideas to make it great.

Get creative with the cups. I’ve mentioned before, the idea of multi-purposing, and using hollowed out actual apples as tasty and useful cups. You can also consider getting personalized mugs made for guests to use as cups and favors.

Pick great toppings: The best part of any bar or station is the toppings! Guests love to get creative and create their own delicious masterpiece. Lay out cinnamon, caramel, apple slices, vanilla ice cream, brown sugar, oranges or orange peels, flavored syrup or even champagne.

Let them decide the temperature. It’s a good idea to have both a warm and cold apple cider option. With ” bars ” it’s all about letting the guests decide what they want.

Keep the theme going. What do people love more than apple cider? Apple desserts! Fill the bar up with apple cider donuts, apple cider breads and apple pie.

Enjoy your apple cider bar at your next fall gathering!

If you’re going to do…Creative Guest Books Edition

For those of you who are thinking you can skip this post because “guest books are just for weddings “. I say to you, No Way! Remember, guest books are for your special occasion of choice. Birthday parties, baby showers, housewarming parties and even sip and sees. Any event you want to remember and remember who you shared it with, guest books are for you.

The purpose of a guest book originated as the idea to gather the information of guests attending a special event to be remembered and used as a souvenir of sorts.  They were actual books available for guests to sign and provide their contact information; this allowed the event host to have on hand information for thank you notes. Now you find that event hosts aren’t just collecting names and contact information, they are looking for sincere reminders of the special occasions. We’re not collecting information; we’re gathering best wishes, remarks and pictures from guests to hold on the memory of our special occasion. There has been a great deal of creativity brought to the idea of guest books that we see today. From fingerprint Family Trees to puzzle pieces, the creative possibilities for guest books are endless.

So if you’re going to take the non-traditional route and try something innovative for your guest book, let’s remember a few things.

If you’re going to do creative guest booksMake it easy for your guests. The number one thing to remember about guest books is to make it easy for your guests. Guests come to celebrate and have fun with you, so you don’t want them spending too much time on their guest book activity. Make sure your idea and directions are easily understood and implemented.  Take for example the idea of having guests leave their fingerprint on a family tree. A very sentimental and meaningful guest book idea. If you want to use this idea, but you’re not having a small gathering (which this is much better suited for) consider having guests sign leaf cut outs, for you to place on a family tree design.

If you’re going to do creative guest booksDecide how you’ll want it to be displayed. Deciding how your guest book will be displayed, is key in deciding how creative you want to go. Will your guest book be a conversation piece? Will you keep it in safe keeping only to open when you want to relive the memories?  If you want your guest book to be on display consider having guest sign a picture of the guest(s) of honor, have them sign a piece of furniture or serving ware (serving platter, bench) or have them sign puzzle pieces that come together for a beautiful and meaningful piece of art. {You can use the puzzle pieces filled with messages, or create a photo puzzle and have guests sign the back. Either way it’s a piece of art you’ll cherish.}

If you’re going to do creative guest booksMultipurpose to save the budget. Guest books can easily be paired with place cards and table numbers. Your place cards can double as guest books by simply adding space for guests to write their message for you. You can also combine them with your table number. The time capsule/prediction idea is being used a lot lately. Have your guests leave a message for you to open on your Table 12th anniversary. Or have them leave Table 5 birthday wishes for the guest of honor. Bonus: If you are doing a guest book to gather information for thank you notes, remember to leave space for name and contact information.

If you’re going to do creative guest books…Allow the book to be the creativity. Save yourself the time spent on a DIY guest book project and let the book bring the creativity. For a child’s birthday party, buy a copy of their favorite book and have the guest sign the pages. If you’re looking for guest book ideas for a milestone birthday party (21, 30, 40, 50…), look to the classic motivational book, Dr. Suess’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go and have your guests leave motivational birthday wishes throughout the pages. You can also bring the ease of this idea to your wedding. Not sure what to do with all those engagement photos you took? Create a photo book and have your guests enjoy your photos and leave their best wishes at the same time.

What’s the most creative guest book you’ve seen? Leave a comment and share!

(Photos: etsy.com, jesihaackweddingblog.com, casasugar.com, theknot.com)

Beyond the Essentials – Inspiration Thursdays

If it hasn’t shown through this blog yet, let me just say, I am a huge fan of multi-purposing event items. Not only does it cut down on the budget, but the creativity that comes from the idea of it is truly amazing.

Today’s Inspiration Thursday post is about the multi-purposing of wedding programs. 

Get Creative. Get Inspired. Think Beyond the Essentials.

Beyond the Essentials – Inspiration Thursdays

Today’s Inspiration post is all about creative and simple servingware. One of the downfalls of being the host of the party is the clean up!!! Cups, bowls, shot glasses all piled high in the sink for you to deal with. You might say, ” I can always use paper goods “, but why would you use paper goods when you get creative and give your guests that extraordinary experience with little to no work for you.

Making punch for the party? Use the fruit for the punch and the rest…

Cider for your Fall Fest? Use the apples for the cider and the rest…

(Photo: givemesomeoven.com)

If ice cream is part of the menu, I know cookies are on there as well.

(Photo: www.ruhlman.com)

For the healthy eats…

(Photo: sohowsittaste.com)

And for the party people…

(Photo: www.mrswifestinepalmer.com)

Inspiration.

Beyond the Essentials – Inspiration Thursdays

When planning a wedding or event centered around a guest of honor, we all love to have pictures on showcase. It can be a photo of the guest of honor, the couple or an assortment of photos with either amongst friends. Either way, people love to showcase pictures. And yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but a picture showcased with a meaning is worth a million.

Here are a few creative ways to showcase yours or the guest of honors photo with meaning:

By far my favorite photo idea! Share a collage of photos and hang them in the shape of a birthday age or the guest of honors intials.

A birthday or wedding idea. Combine table numbers with photos of the couple or guest of honor at the corresponding age.

And because programs just don’t tell the story well enough. Don’t let the story of your friendship with the groomsmen and/or bridesmaid go untold. Create a space to introduce the bridal party to the rest of the guests. Photos can be of them alone, but I would suggest a photo that captures the true essence of your friendship.

A great way to use those embarassing baby photos? Use them on the restroom doors. The right picture will surely give your guests a chuckle.

A wedding is one of many milestones in a person’s life that deserves to be celebrated. As you and your groom walk down the aisle, why not take the time to showcase a few other milestones in your life. You can have photos of the bride on the bride’s side and photos of the groom on the groom’s side. You can also show the progression of your relationship with duplicate photos on each side of the aisle. Not only will your guests enjoy seeing your journey through the photos, I’m sure you will too!

Inspiration.

It’s all the Craze: The Sip and See

Whether your welcoming a new baby of your own or celebrating someone else’s joy, consider a Sip and See (or Eat and Meet). A Sip and See is customarily given 3 weeks -2 months after the baby is born to celebrate the new family. They are generally a casual, open house style, as baby showers are usually more formal.

I love the idea of a Sip and See because at a traditional baby shower, everyone is honoring the baby that is soon to be arriving. But, how much greater is it to actually celebrate and see the baby!? It’s also a lot easier on the new parents, as people tend to want to “stop by “to see the baby. You can have everyone come at once and make it a celebration?

If you’re contemplating a Sip and See here are a few bits of information to push you towards saying YES!

– Men are much more comfortable attending a Sip and See than a traditional baby shower. So, if you’d like a more family and friends style celebration for your baby, this is definitely the choice to make.

– Sip and See’s are generally an “open house “with set hours for guest to stop by.  This will garner a greater attendance from those who want to celebrate in your joy, but can’t commit to a 3 hour event. Bonus! Plan your Sip and See around your newborns’ sleeping and feeding schedule.

– You may have noticed, I am a huge fan of multi-purposing to save the budget. Typically we have baby shower invitations and then birth announcements. With a Sip and See, you have the invitation and birth announcement, all in one.

Etiquette Tips:

– A more traditional person will tell you that hosting a baby shower for a 2nd child is faux pas. But with the trends of Sip and See’s and Baby Sprinkles, you can celebrate your joy and be within proper etiquette lines.

– The southern tradition of a Sip and See does not call for gifts. Having your registry information on the invitation is seen as a no-no. If you’re a first time parent and could use the gifts, a traditional baby shower is encouraged.

Do you have a question or idea you would like explored about a Sip and See? Leave a comment and I’ll answer them in an upcoming post