AYW Exclusive: How to Throw a Winning Bridal Shower

‘Tis the season…of romantic, wintry proposals! And with proposals, come months spent planning- weddings, of course, but also, wedding showers. If you’re the lucky friend or family member taking on the potentially daunting task of throwing a bridal shower for the special bride-to-be in your life, read on for a simple how-to…

 

The guest list: first things first! Answer the following questions: will this be a ladies only event? a couple’s shower? a lingerie shower? This information helps determine who will receive an invitation. In some cases, the guest list may be limited to bridesmaids, close friends + close-in-age female family members. In others, invitations are extended to elder family members of the bride and groom, family friends, etc. The “theme” usually plays a role in dictating who appropriate guests are. Bringing us to our next topic of conversation..

The theme: Upon choosing the general type of shower you’ll be throwing, consider choosing a theme based on the bride’s personality + preferences. Does she have a favorite vacation spot? A love for travel? Does she prefer a certain type of cuisine? Have a favorite, festive cocktail? It’s what makes any event unique: the details, large and small, that are designed with the belle of the ball in mind. Once you’ve decided on a theme, get your creative wheels turning! Hop on Pinterest or a wedding + lifestyle blog and keep your eyes open for adaptable ideas for decor, cuisine, signature drinks, and fun event-specific group activities. We love how this tropical styled shoot we created could be easily translated in to a fun, summery shower theme idea! And finally…

 

The execution: We always recommend working with trustworthy vendors, no matter how small or large the event you’re coordinating may be. Trust your florist, caterer, stationer (etc.) to help in making creative decisions. Be sure to thoroughly explain your vision for a specified theme, and allow for their professional input as often as necessary. If you’re DIY-ing any portion of the event, don’t be afraid to delegate! It’s likely that there are other close family members and friends that would be honored to help in pulling the shower together.

Most importantly- have fun!  And we don’t just mean during the shower- we firmly believe that the planning process of any event should be enjoyable and memorable. Savor these celebratory moments leading up to the big day, you’ll wish you could relive them later on!

And, of course, should the task of planning a shower seem too daunting, the doors to our AYW office are always open! :)

 Photos:

Allen Tsai Photography, Simply Mox Paper, Culinary Art Catering, The Wildflower Floral Design

Real Wedding: Johnson-McLamb

We’ve been waiting with bated breath to see the photos of this out-of-a-dream October wedding since the moment this sweet AYW couple said “I do.” We knew it early on in the journey of planning and designing this outdoor Fall soiree: Taylor and Chris’ celebration would be an evening to remember.

Guests were driven from the Lovers Lane United Methodist Church ceremony to Downton Dallas’ Nasher Sculpture Center. In the heart of the big city, this coveted sculpture garden venue was the perfect location for Taylor and Chris’ families to entertain their beloved guests. During the cocktail hour, a jazz band played whiled guests sipped on signature drinks- complete with customized stir sticks and beverage napkins adorned with the couple’s monogram, designed by Southern Fried Paper. Upon the happy couple’s entrance, the party found their escort cards tied with dainty twine to a stunning boxwood trellis wall display. Dinner tables were decked with bright, bold linen and statement centerpieces full of unexpected texture and pastel blooms thanks to Bella Acento and Bella Flora. The bridal party took their seats at a jaw-droppingly gorgeous farmstead-style head table; topped with a floral garland runner and lovely blue china. The guests of honor, Taylor and Chris, found their chairs draped in free-form greenery with “Mr.” and “Mrs.” chair back signage. Swanky lounge furniture surrounded an all-white dance floor, and everyone danced under sparkly string lights to an epic performance by band, Signed, Sealed, Delivered. The cake, created by Panini Bakery, was (almost) too pretty to eat. At the end of a fabulous evening spent under the stars, custom favor boxes of Godiva chocolate were picked up by each guest after they said farewell to the newlyweds with waving ribbon wands.

Needless to say, these images (captured beautifully by Jennifer Yarbro) have us all kinds of “heart eyes,” and we’re pretty sure they’ll have you gushing, too. Take a look at this sneak peek preview and check back on our Facebook page later this week for a complete album of all the prettiness!

 

Real Wedding: Turner – Price

AYW lead designer and planner, Rachel Burt, loves getting to know her clients’ families. So, of course, it’s a special honor when the little sister of a past AYW bride reconnects with Rachel following her own engagement. Such was the case with this week’s Real Wedding feature, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to be apart of a second Turner family affair. Add on the adventure of Claire and groom, Michael’s, destination venue… let’s just say, we were smitten.

A bayside resort was the perfect, scenic backdrop for Claire and Michael’s nuptials. Fortunately, the threat of impending rain was bypassed and their Horseshoe Bay yacht club reception took place as hoped: under bright, clear skies. Fabulous weather, signature cocktails, romantic cafe string lighting, a glowing bride and groom, and the sound of waves lapping against the dock of the bay made for a dreamy Fall wedding. A couple of our favorite details: an escort card wall display complete with a horseshoe tied to each guest’s table assignment, and the bride and groom’s grand exit by way of speed boat. Enjoy a few preview images, captured by Gerri Flory Photography, of this pretty September evening- we’re pretty sure they’ll have you smitten and wishing for warmer days, too. The full album will be on our Facebook page later this week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

AYW Exclusive: B.O.N.T. Modern-Tropics Styled Shoot

This sunshine-y (and sweltering) Dallas day has the As You Wish design team reminiscing on one of our all-time favorite styled shoots to date: a Modern-Tropics themed feature in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Brides of North Texas. The team of creatives that helped make this chic, rainforest-esque design scheme (dreamt up by our lead planner, Rachel Burt) come to life, was top-notch. Grab yourself something sweet to sip on- little umbrellas are optional, but highly recommended- and peruse some serious prettiness.

Big thanks to-

Venue: The Nuvo Room
Photography: Allen Tsai
Videography: Tyler + Lindsey
Florals: The Wildflower
Stationary & Place Cards: Simply Mox
Ghost Chair Rentals: Suite 206
Table Rentals: Shag Carpet Props
China, Flatware & Stemware: Posh Couture Rentals
Linens: BBJ
Catering: Culinary Art Catering
Gown: The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus
Hair & Make-up: Makeup by Wendy Zerrudo

Real Wedding: Bailey – Heidel Wedding

Angela came to As you wish… looking for help to bring her spring wedding to life and we knew just the right color combo to make that happen! Our team worked hard to create this fun and fresh inspiration page and then brought it to life for her wedding day with the help of some great vendors!

Mark and Angela had both their ceremony and reception at Marie Gabrielle and used the stunning outdoor space to complement their fresh coral and green color palette.

Brooks Whittington of Brooks Weddings was on site all day to capture each and every moment–take a look below to see some of our favorite shots from the day!

 

The ceremony decor was soft and romantic and encompassed the vision for the wedding perfectly.

 

Check out these beautiful altar arrangements from The Garden Gate!

 

We just HAD to include this close-up shot of Angela’s gorgeous brooch bouquet–the color and details matched the decor perfectly!

 

With cocktail hour in full swing, guests were treated to the signature drink of the evening: a mouth-watering Strawberry Vanilla Mojito with adorable striped green straws!

 

The dinner tables inside were set with beautiful centerpieces incorporating a pop of coral and green napkins to tie in the colors from outside.

 

The couple shared their first dance under cafe lights strung above the dance floor and then led their guests inside for dinner, cake-cutting and toasts.

 

Romano’s Bakery created both a fabulous bride’s cake and fun groom’s cake for Mark and Angela.

 

…and then it was back outside for more dancing and partying the night away under the stars!

 

The newlyweds left with a bang–their exit was complete with a band escort, sparklers, and a vintage car!

 

 Click HERE to see the video that Beyond put together and check our Facebook page soon to see the rest of the pictures from Mark and Angela’s big day!

Signature Drinks

Drink Up!

Who doesn’t love a good refreshing drink during the cocktail hour of a wedding?  Selecting a “Signature Drink” has become very popular for the modern bride.  Whether you choose to simply match your color scheme, or select the cocktail you have sipped on your entire adult life, a “Signature Drink” is a fantastic way to add personality and fun to the cocktail hour.

 Color Scheme Cocktails

Matching the “Signature Drink” to the color palette of your wedding is a great way to tie everything together. In addition to the actual cocktail being the color of your event, you can also reflect your color scheme with the garnishes! At this gorgeous purple and grey As you wish… wedding, we paired a purple sugar rimmed glass with a grey striped paper straw for a fun twist!

Seasonal Cocktails

As a die hard Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte fan, I can only imagine the excitement of incorporating a seasonal drink into my own wedding. If you love the taste of peppermint in the winter or a lemonade mixer in the summer, a seasonal drink is always a good choice!

His and Hers Cocktails

Do you crave Cosmos while your sweetie prefers Jack Daniels and Coke?  If you and your future husband have different tastes, then having a “His and Hers” drink is the best way to go.  This is a great way to give your guests a taste of each of your personalities and allows them get to know each of you a little more!

Whether you decide to reflect the colors, the season, or the personality of the wedding, “Signature Drinks” are always a great way to add a special touch to any cocktail hour or reception.

Photos by: John Christopher Photography, Love this Day Events, Wedding TV.com, barinacraft.com

Cocktail Time!

What’s your signature cocktail?
A growing number of my brides and grooms are choosing to serve a Signature Cocktail at their reception, a drink created just for their day.  Often, we name these commemorative concoctions for the new couple as well.  Love it!  But where should you begin when creating your own signature sip?  To help kick things off, I checked in with an expert for a little advice.
Jana Miller, bartender extraordinaire from Rocky’s in Denton, is often tasked with creating one-of-a-kind cocktails.  In her experience, color can be the key.  ”Midori, Blue Curacao and Razzmatazz are always good bases for a colorful drink,” she says, noting three jewel-toned, fruit-flavored liqueurs (see list below for even more options).  ”If people want something neutral, my go-to liquor right now is Tanqueray Rangpur. It’s delish! Mixed with Sprite or Tonic, it’s a refreshing way to start the night.”
Jana is right on the money – and she makes this whole mixology thing sound like fun.  Why not take a look at some basic recipes today, and then experiment with variations until you come up with one that’s just right for you?  Whether you’re leaning toward a take on the traditional martini, or a fruit-filled number with a tropical twist, a Signature Cocktail can be a great way to break the ice at your upcoming reception!
Recipes:
(adapted from FineLiving.com)
Basic Martini
3.5 oz. Vodka or Gin
.5 oz. Dry Vermouth
Pour ice, Vodka or Gin and vermouth into a shaker. Shake and pour into a martini glass and garnish as desired.
Basic Gin & Tonic
2 oz. Gin
Tonic Water
Pour Gin over ice in a rocks glass. Fill with tonic water and garnish as desired.
A Few Colorful Liqueurs:
Flavor: Citrus
Color: Blue
Flavor: Dark Chocolate (other flavors available)
Color: Chocolate Brown
Flavor: Coffee
Color: Deep Brown
Flavor: Sweet Lemon
Color: Yellow
Flavor: Melon
Color: Bright Green
Flavor: Pomegranate
Color: Deep Red
Razzmatazz (alsoChambord)
Flavor: Raspberry 
Color: Red
Bonus: A Fabulous Floral Garnish
Drop one of these beautiful Hibiscus blooms into a cocktail, and listen as guests “ooooh” and “aaaah”. The sweet flowers will also add a romantic, rosy glow.

Cocktails: In the Pink

In the world of weddings, the color pink is here to stay. From blush to berry, in all its shades, pink symbolizes happiness and playfulness, true love and pure romance. And a recent article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram gave me a spark of new inspiration with regard to this perennial favorite wedding color: cocktails!

I love the idea of combining this classic color with a brand new trend – the signature wedding cocktail. Many of my couples are creating one-of-a-kind sippers for their guests to enjoy on the big day, and when you think of all the pink possibilities in the world of mixology, the sky is the limit! The aforementioned article offered up rosy recipes from such high-profile restaurants as Del Frisco’s (The Flirtini) and Nana (Love Potion No. 9), and with a little creativity, I’ll bet you can dream up a delicious pink drink of your very own!

Getting started: A little liqueur can add mystery to a martini, and a splash of juice might be just what’s needed to wake up a plain gin and tonic. Below, I’ve listed some of my favorite pink-centric mix-ins; choose a basic cocktail, then look to the list for inspiration. Play around with your recipe, and when you’ve got it just right, choose a name for your original creation. Most importantly, have fun with it! Enjoy!Juices and Fruit Purees

Cranberry Juice
Pink Grapefruit Juice
Pomegranate Juice
Guava Juice or Nectar
Pink Lemonade
Raspberry Puree
Strawberry Puree or Nectar
Watermelon Puree
Grenadine 

Liqueurs
Campari
Flavor: orangeChambord
Flavor: Raspberry

Crème de Noyaux
Flavor: Almond
PAMA
Flavor: PomegranateSloe Gin
Flavor: sloe berries

Tequila Rose
Flavor: strawberry cream 

Garnishes
Fresh berries
Pink grapefruit slices
Cherries
Pomegranate seeds
Edible (pink!) flowers
Pink sugar rim
Pink parasols, straws & stirrers