Planning Food for the Wedding Morning

One of the texts your maid-of-honour can expect from me on your wedding day goes something like this: “Make sure everyone’s eating a little food!  🙂 ”

With the hustle and bustle of hair and makeup completion, the photographer running around capturing the morning, and the general air of excitement, it’s easy to forget to eat anything.  Suddenly, you’re all about to walk down the aisle and realize your tummy’s grumbling or you’re a little light-headed.Planning Wedding Morning Food, Wedding Snacks, Bridesmaid Brunch, Getting Ready // really simple way to ensure you eat is having food brought in.  How thoughtful and genius are these picnic boxes for each of you?Wedding Picnic Boxes, Brunch Picnic, Bridesmaid Brunch, Getting Ready food // used Pique-Nique Boxes by Savoury and Cake for a full-day shoot earlier this summer and it was a hit with our team!  With a ton of tasty options, we had a hard time choosing which one to dig into.  From deli sandwiches to vegetarian salads, fruit cups to pasta, and cookies to blondies, these were spot-on.Curated Picnic Boxes, Fresh Wedding Lunch // Lunch for Bridesmaids // even included a beverage, cute compostable flatware, a mint, and a wet wipe!  Honestly, discovering what was in the box was almost as enjoyable as eating lunch.

With two-week-plus advance ordering, you can select each ‘maid’s choices well ahead of your wedding (check one more thing off the list!) and ensure everyone will be well-nourished and ready to party the day (and night!) away.  Even better, they’re even able to match your wedding theme with a coordinating ribbon and personalized tag.bridesmaids brunch ideas, picnic boxes, luxury picnic // you choose to get a curated lunch for your ‘maids and mama or snack on granola bars and PB+J, enjoy your wedding morning getting pampered and spending time with your best girls.  Just remember to nosh on something so you can soak in every moment of your big day with all the energy you’ll need.

Wondering if you’re missing something?  Grab a copy of the SSE Wedding Planning Checklist and get checkmark-happy!

This isn’t a sponsored post in any way; I just love the Pique-Nique product and experience and wanted to share!

**all photos by Carolyn Bentum**

5 Tips for Choosing a Venue

Choosing a venue for your wedding can be a big decision.  Which one will fit all your guests comfortably?  Does it fit in your budget?  Which venue do you love?  You just have to find one that meets ALL those criteria.  Simple, right?  

5 Tips for Choosing a Wedding Venue //

It’s something that can cause a lot of stress during wedding planning, so let’s break it down with these five tips. 

Chat about expectations

Have a chat with your main squeeze about expectations.  When the two of you think about the ideal wedding venue, what comes to mind?  Choose a few possibilities that meet in the middle if your tastes are varied.  

Consider your budget and guest list

Budget and guest list dilemmas often trump your “ideal venue” and that’s okay.  It’s your story and you’d hate to cut out guests you care about simply to fit a certain venue.  Ask yourself: what are you comfortable spending on a venue?  How many guests is reasonable for you to expect?

Ask all the questions

Ask what’s included with the venue package. Do they expect you to use certain vendors or require a coordinator? Are there extra rental fees for tables, chairs, linens, etc? Some venues include the space as a blank slate which then requires you to find a caterer, tables, chairs, linen, tableware, and more.  Others include their in-house chef and service staff, all table requirements, an in-house DJ, and floral arrangements from their preferred florist.  It’s important to find out all the details so you can make an informed budget and final venue decision.

Know your style

It can be difficult to make a really rustic venue look elegant and vice versa.  What kind of style are you envisioning for your big day?  Do you feel comfortable there? What’s your first style impression when you enter the room?

Consider multiple weddings

Many venues have the capability to host two (or more!) weddings at the same time.  Is that something you’re comfortable with or would you rather have a location to yourself and your guests?  If being one of a few weddings is not your cup of tea, many venues won’t be a good fit for you (and that’s okay!).

Ready to start planning or need a Type-A sidekick to help you make decisions?  2018 and 2019 dates are available, and I’d love to chat about your special day.  

"Can we chat?"

3 Myths About Hosting at Home …

… that we tell ourselves are true!

So often, I hear women say they wish they could host more, but they don’t feel like they have what it takes or their home isn’t Pinterest-perfect.  Today, I’m here to tell you: those things don’t matter.  Let’s tackle three common excuses (or myths) about hosting at home.Easy Ways to Host at Home //

Excuse #1: I get too stressed out trying to be the perfect host and check all the boxes of the Pinterest-worthy party.  I get it.  Like everything we do, we want it to be perfect.  Can I let you in on a little secret?  Nothing is perfect; what’s your standard of “perfection” right now?  Something really beautiful on Pinterest?

That perfectly styled party on the blog you read most definitely had a team of stylists, months and months of prep, design boards, possibly a personal chef, and probably a house cleaner.  (Um, where do I sign up for that?)

Kick perfection to the curb.

Now, I’m not here to say those parties are bad or not intentional or genuine.  I’m a huge fan of parties like that, and, just because it’s big, doesn’t mean it’s less meaningful.  But, if building our communities and investing in relationships is getting side-lined because of our self-imposed expectations to create that?  That’s a shame.  (I’m totally guilty of this, too.)  Your people want to gather together, eat a little food, and have meaningful conversations that make them feel like they’re not alone and that we all struggle with “balance” or juggling kids or work troubles.  It’s about building your village, not your portfolio.

Excuse #2: I’m terrible in the kitchen.  Keep it simple.  When we get invited somewhere, I don’t expect to be getting a gourmet dinner.  After all, if I wasn’t going out, I was going to have eggs for dinner. 🙂  We accept that invitation because of the people and because we want to be part of something.  

It’s about building your village.

So, keep a bag of chips and a jar of salsa in your pantry, some cookies in the freezer so you never feel like you have nothing to serve.  Head over to your favourite store and grab some fresh veggies, meat, and cheese and assemble a platter with crackers or breads.  And, remember, you can buy all these items ready-made, too.  No shame in that game, my friend!

For a small gathering, especially if not for dinner, that’s plenty!  If you’re feeling like you can handle a bit more, try this super easy Spinach Artichoke Dip for something warm and creamy.Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe Crowd Pleaser //

Personally, when I’m feeling frazzled about hosting because the week has suddenly been crazy or something, my go-to’s are a homemade pizza (I always have frozen pre-made crusts on hand), a warm easy-to-make dip like this one, and a meat and cheese platter.  Boom.  Gourmet food in no time and with no stress.

Keep it simple!

Excuse #3: Our home has an awkward layout (or hand-me-down furniture or not enough seating or bare walls, etc).

What?  Your home doesn’t look like a magazine feature?  Totally raising my hand over here, too!  Again, remember why you’re hosting – it’s not to impress people with your things; it’s to show up for them again and again and be part of community.  Sure, your kitchen may be a little closed-off room; but if you put the food and company in your living room, that’s where people will be.  Hand-me-down mismatched furniture?  We’re all there or have been!  

It may not feel glamorous to you, but if there’s an open home for people to gather in, they’ll come and not even think about the seat.  And, another little secret?  We’re the most critical of our own homes, so stop worrying!

Hostess Planning Worksheet, Party Planning Worksheet // to cultivate your own community, have real conversations, and build genuine relationships?  I’ve got a freebie to help you get started.  Grab your FREE Hosting at Home Planning Worksheet to plan an easy, care-free get-together.  Stress is not invited to this party!