May 27, 2019

Ali and Conner’s Special Day!

Posted in Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:35 am by JBEvents

One of the highest compliments and truly an honor that we can receive is to be referred by a previous client!  We absolutely love referrals and this couple was no exception!!!  Ali and Conner were referred from a previous client (Thank you Karyn & Shelby), and we are so happy to have them as a part of the JBEvents family! 

The couple selected Little River Farms as the venue for their wedding!  The venue, located in Milton, GA., sits on a beautiful piece of land beside a lake.  There are a couple of options for where to have your ceremony on the property.  Ali and Conner chose the vineyard.  A partially enclosed Pavilion offers a great place for the reception, while inside the house was perfect for Cocktail Hour as well as a respite for those that wanted to find a quiet place to sit and have a conversation.  

Capturing the beautiful images of the day was Kaylan Bradley of Happy Everything Co.  Thank you so much for not only capturing beautiful images, but also for sharing them!

The bride wore a stunning fit and flare gown designed by Essence of Australia.  Ali looked like a living doll!  

Before the ceremony, the couple shared letters they had written each other which is always such a sweet moment.  But Conner also gave Ali a framed hand-made sign that read “Together 2704 days, and I have loved you since day 1!” If I’m being honest, that brought a tear or two to my eyes!  What a sweet gesture – and when you see this couple together, you absolutely feel the love.  

One of my favorite parts of planning is the event design and decor component.  Ali and Conner wanted an elegant, rustic design theme, and JWilbur of EventScapes perfectly combined a rustic approach with a unique and elegant design. 

The ceremony took place in the vineyard.  The couple exchanged their vows standing in front of a stunning arbor graced with soft fabrics, clusters of flowers holding back the drapery and floral blooms hanging in individual small glass bottles.  The finished product was gorgeous! Rev. Rodney Hunt officiated the ceremony.  The couple wrote their vows and I dare say there wasn’t a dry eye. 

A unique part of the ceremony was the wine ceremony.  This is a type of unity ceremony that is a take on the traditional lighting of the unity candle.  In this type of ceremony, the couple each takes a vessel of wine (1 red, 1 white) and pours them into one glass.  Once the wines are poured together, they can’t be separated, which is the whole concept of a wedding ceremony uniting a couple.  They couple then each took a sip of the combined wine as a symbol of fully becoming one.  

A custom design was created for the Estate Table.  A 35+ foot structure was created along the Estate Table to allow EventScapes to create a suspended look with glass bubbles and candlelight.  They further enhanced the setting  with accents of flowers of the day and greenery.  Along the table itself was loose eucalyptus and votive candles along with a series of vases for the bridesmaids bouquets. 

The guest tables had a variety of styles of designs.  Some were lanterns enhanced with moss and rose petals, while others had an eclectic collection of vases each filled with flowers of the day.  All of the designs were surrounded by votive candles offering a flickering elegance.  

Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by Talk of the Town caterers.  Topped off with a delectable wedding cake by Cake Envy.

DJ Lou, of Spectrum Entertainment kept the guests on the dance floor partying all night long!!

WedFlix was on hand to create a lasting video memory of the special day.  

As a late night snack, guests enjoyed a popcorn bar complete with all the fixings! 

We were thrilled to be a part of Ali and Conner’s amazing day!  We wish them a lifetime of happiness!!!!!

In case you still want more, check out their video trailer! 

Ali & Conner

Janice Blackmon Events is an award winning event planning company!  We specialize in creating unique and flawless events for all of our clients!

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September 24, 2018

A Special Simcha for a Special Family

Posted in color palette, Mitzvahs, Other Events tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:52 am by JBEvents

It was truly an honor and a privilege to plan and produce the second Mitzvah celebration for this amazing family!  There are just some times that you really click with a client and throughout the process you develop a friendship.  That was the case with this sweet family.  Three years ago I worked with this family on their daughters Bat Mitzvah and now the youngest of the family, Daniel is celebrating his Bar Mitzvah!

We selected the InterContinental Hotel as the venue, which was perfect because many of the family members live not only out of state, but out of the country.  The Hotel would be home away from home while the family came to celebrate this special time.

Let me just talk about family for a moment.  The love that this family has for each other, and actively shows, makes my heart smile.  The siblings are each others biggest supporters and the connection between them is something that you can feel whenever you are around them.  The entire family – immediate and extended – share a love that just makes you feel happy to see it expressed!

The photos below, compliments of the always fabulous, Kristen Alexander, will tell the story for me, but I want to provide just a few details.  

Instead of a full-on theme for the celebration, a color palette was selected.  The honoree’s favorite Soccer team is Barcelona, so their team colors of burgundy, blue and yellow were the basis of the decor. 

For the Kiddush luncheon, we went with a palette of black and white striped linens, paired with yellow and white flowers.  It was a very crisp and clean look.

For the evening party, we paired a contemporary design concept with organic touches for a truly unique and elevated look.  Bringing the concepts and design together was the creative genius of JWilbur of EventScapes.  

One of my favorite parts of a Mitzvah is the candle lighting ceremony.  Hearing the honoree honor their family and friends is touching and inspiring. 

For this party, if you had a sweet-tooth, then you would have been in heaven.  After a delicious dinner, guests were invited out to the garden terrace for mini cupcakes, fresh made hot doughnuts with a variety of toppings and an ice cream bar.  

And if those sweets weren’t enough, then how about a candy buffet featuring Daniel’s favorite treats.

Guests received a commemorative T-shirt as a lasting reminder of the special occasion. 

Now that all of the kid’s in the family have celebrated their Mitzvah’s, we look forward to continued celebrations like weddings, with this wonderful family in the future. 

 

A HUGE Thank you to each vendor that we were honored to recommend and partner with for this fabulous celebration!!!

Synagogue ~ Congregation Shearith Israel

Kiddush Luncheon ~ Gourmet Catering by Alex

Venue ~ InterContinental Hotel Buckhead

Floral Event Designer ~ EventScapes Atlanta

Photographer ~ Kristen Alexander

Videographer ~ Cre8tive Cinema

DJ ~ Marquee Events

Cupcakes ~ Georgetown Cupcakes

Photobooth ~ ShutterBooth

It was indeed an honor and a pleasure to produce this fabulous and flawless celebration for an incredible family!!! 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning event planning firm, specializing in assisting our clients with a stress-free planning process and a fabulous and flawless event!

July 2, 2017

Happy 4th of July!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:55 am by JBEvents

4th of July

 

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holiday’s.  Summertime, friends, good food and fireworks is the perfect combination for a fun time.  

Some of my fondest memories are from my late teen’s and early 20’s when a friend of mine and I would get a hotel room with a view overlooking the Sarasota Bay and have a few friends over to celebrate the 4th of July and watch the fireworks.  

The 4th of July tends to lend itself to being a great time for gathering with friends.  Barbecues or low country boils are popular themes.  Having activities for the kids as well as games for kids and adults is sure to bring out the competitive spirit in everyone.  The decor for your party can be very simple to elaborate, but having refreshing beverages and yummy food to nosh on are key.  You can get some ideas on my 4th of July Pinterest board.

If you don’t want to host a party at your home, there are many other local attractions that you can attend.  Getting a group together to go watch fireworks is still a favorite activity of mine.  Grab some cold beverages and snacks and put them in a cooler, take sparklers, glow sticks or poppers for the gang to celebrate with while waiting for the show to begin.  Don’t forget to pack the bug spray to keep those pesky little heathens from eating YOU as their snack.  :o)

 No matter how you celebrate, remember the freedoms our Country was built on, which have not come without sacrifice.  These words need to remembered not only on Independence Day, but everyday!

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776

Looking for something to do in the Atlanta, Sarasota/Tampa Bay area or Orlando?  Here are a few ideas:

http://www.atlanta.net/events/seasonal/fourth-of-july/

https://atlanta.curbed.com/maps/where-watch-atlanta-july-4th-fireworks-fourth

http://www.visitsarasota.com/blog/celebrate-red-white-and-blue-florida-gulf-coast

http://wfla.com/2017/06/30/fourth-of-july-celebrations-parades-and-fireworks-in-the-tampa-bay-area/

http://www.visitorlando.com/events/holidays/july-fourth-in-orlando/

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/entertainment/4th-of-july-at-walt-disney-world-resort/

I would love to hear your favorite memories or traditions for the 4th!

Wherever you are, whatever you do, I wish a Happy and Safe 4th of July to you!!! 

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning special event planning company specializing in assisting our clients with innovative ideas, creative designs and flawless execution of their event. 

 

May 17, 2017

Alli & Brett get Handcuffed at their Wedding

Posted in Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:10 am by JBEvents

As an Event Planner, you are responsible for making sure that everything goes perfectly for your clients, regardless of circumstances that are beyond your control.  This wedding was one of those events where keeping calm was KEY to making sure that the clients were unaware of all that was going behind the scenes and to make sure that the wedding went off as planned!

Let me give you a little background of the wedding day!  The wedding was held on Saturday of Gay Pride Weekend in Atlanta at the main host hotel for the viewing of the parade.  Ahead of the day, we were given a map of the slated road closures.  I made sure to provide the map as well as road closure timing to all vendors involved.  Unfortunately, the map provided was not accurate and additional roads were closed at times ahead of the previously provided scheduled times.  This of course resulted in difficulty for vendors (and even my team) to get to the Hotel timely.  Not to mention, the loading dock is located on a street that is closed for the parade! Situations from one vendor being threatened to be arrested, to two others receiving traffic citations were just a part of the day.  Of course, guests had difficulty getting to the venue as well.

What is important to note is that even with all of the issues of the day, every vendor pulled together to do whatever was necessary to create the perfect wedding for the couple.

The bride had a wonderful time getting out in the parade crowd.  Many of the parade-goers stopped her for a photo-op.  We also ran into a motorcycle officer that allowed the bride to pose with his bike.

The groom, is an Atlanta Police Officer with a great sense of humor so we were able to play around with the whole “law enforcement officer” theme,  The groom’s cake was Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.  The favors were chocolate hand-cuffs. At the end of the ceremony, the couple were hand-cuffed together as a fun surprise for all in attendance. The cake topper was a Police Officer holding his bride.  The table names were of police themed television shows and movies.  The bride is very crafty and created the signs herself.

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I absolutely loved being able to incorporate the things most special to this couple to create a truly unique wedding.  That’s what it is all about!!!

One of the special attributes to pay honor to the men and women in the military and law enforcement whom have lost their lives was a “Table set for One”.  We positioned the table behind the dance floor so that it would be a prominent display throughout the evening. Another special tribute was a poem the Bride read for her Groom.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

The floral decor, created by Jim White,  was stunning!  Elegant and romantic ~ pinks, blush, white and creams.  One of the focal points of the decor was the Estate Table with two tall arrangements and a floral garden centering the length of the table with lots of candles.

We had a really great group of vendors that went above and beyond extenuating circumstances to ensure a wonderful wedding for this adoring couple.  Unfortunately, professional images were not made available, so I’m sharing my snapshots.

Special thanks to the vendor-team:

Venue ~ Georgian Terrace Hotel

Wedding Gown ~ Alfred Angelo

Bridesmaid Dresses ~ David’s Bridal

Groom and Groomsmen Attire ~ Men’s Warehouse

Hair/Make-up ~ The BRIDE 🙂

Floral/Event Designer ~ Jim White Designs

Officiant ~ Rev. David Gilleland

Ceremony Musicians ~ Amati Chamber Ensemble

Wedding Cake ~ Frosted Pumpkin Gourmet

Groom’s Cake ~ Krispy Kreme

Reception Entertainment ~ Complete Music, DJ Matt

Photo Booth ~ Family Ties

We wish Alli & Brett a lifetime of happiness!!!!!!

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning event planning firm specializing in assisting our clients with innovative concepts, creative design and flawless production of their event.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 12, 2017

Wedding Budget Tips

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:10 am by JBEvents

You just got engaged and are excited about beginning all of the plans for the wedding.  It’s easy to get carried away with all of the ideas that are going through your head – however, two of the main concerns you need to determine early on is the dreaded, BUDGET and the Guest List!

Guest List image

The budget will dictate the decisions that will be made and it directly impacts the Guest List.  

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Each person you include on your Guest List has an associated dollar amount connected to them.  That is why it is important to thoroughly vet your Guest List.  Generally the couple and their parents will create the guest list based upon who they feel should be invited.  There is always the “Must Invite” list but many times my clients will create a “B” and even a “C” list.  While it’s usually true that not every guest you invite will attend, you must consider the possibility that they will.  It’s also important to note that if you want to send out Save the Dates, whomever you send them to MUST be sent a wedding invitation, So if you have a “B” and/or “C” list, you need to take that into consideration.   Here’s a good infographic of how to determine your Guest List. 

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Once you have the draft of your Guest List, then you can begin searching for a venue (or let us do that legwork for you).  One of the first questions a venue will ask is, what is your estimated guest count, so that’s why it’s important to work on the Guest List first. Venues have a maximum capacity for their event space, so the estimated Guest count has to be considered to determine the appropriate space for your celebration.

If you hire a professional Planner at the beginning, we can lead you through the details so that you can make great informed decisions. With our experience, we can guide you through the process of planning your wedding while removing much of the stress.  We are familiar with venues and can make appropriate suggestions based upon your budget, guest count and vision.

Contact us for information and let us begin planning your flawless wedding while reducing your stress. 

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning Event Planning company specializing in assisting our clients with innovative concepts, creative design and flawless production of the event.  

 

June 30, 2016

Happy 4th of July!!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:29 pm by JBEvents

4th-of-july-party-games

We are less than a week away from one of my favorite Holiday’s, the 4th of July!  The 4th has always held a special place in my heart and remembering back to my teenage and young adult years, I LOVED spending the 4th at Island Park in Sarasota.  There would be a festival taking place all day and then fireworks would be shot off over the bay at dark.  Being with friends celebrating the Holiday made the day all the more special.  When my daughters were young, we would usually spend the 4th with my brother in Orlando.  We would always have a cookout with a group of friends, hang out in the pool and even be able to see Disney’s fireworks from there.  It always seemed magical.  Although I’m not in Sarasota or Orlando this year, I do plan on celebrating locally with friends and family and look forward to watching fireworks to bring the special day to a close. 

If you are getting ready for your 4th celebration, I would like to offer some ideas on decor, food, beverages, crafts and games.  Please visit my Pinterest board for what I hope will be inspiration for your celebration!

Wishing you a Fabulous, Safe and Happy 4th!!!!

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award winning special events firm with offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Sarasota, Florida offering our clients innovative concepts, creative design and flawless execution of their event!

June 23, 2015

Fun Favors!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:53 am by JBEvents

When clients ask me what type of favors I recommend for their wedding or event, I always recommend something consumable.  Guests tend to enjoy something they can eat – whether it’s a sweet or a savory item.  The method of presentation can vary depending on the particulars of the event.

Many times, we have placed small boxes of candy at each place setting so guests see them as soon as they take their seat.

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AW1_2419 DSC_0088 place setting with favor

Other times, we would display the items for guests to pick-up as they depart the celebration.

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One fun way to incorporate the favors into the event is to have a late-night snack offered or displayed after the dancing and merriment has ensued.

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We offer a Candy Buffet service that can be personalized for the event whether by selecting a certain color(s) of candy or a special theme (Old Time Candy, Couples Favorites, etc.).  We usually provide a type of cellophane bag – clear or in the events colors – so that guests can make their own goody bag.

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For a truly Southern wedding, particularly in the Atlanta area, clients love to have items brought in from The Varsity.  Whether it’s their famous fried pies or their hot dogs – guests always go wild for these treats. Or what about Krispy Kreme Doughnuts?  These go so fast you would think the “Hot Now” sign was lit above them.

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Who doesn’t love COOKIES?  One of my all-time favorite favors idea was my clients Family Favorite’s Cookies.  Several family members were known for a specific type of delicious cookie that they regularly made, so the bride asked them too make their specialty and then we placed them with labels indicating the type of the cookie and the person who made it.

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Maybe you don’t want to have friends or relatives make their specialty cookies, but you still want to have a cookie display, a great option is to order some delicious cookies and even brownies from The Christie Cookie Co.  They offer a variety of flavors of some of the most delicious cookies I’ve ever tasted.  You can even utilize their products for Guest Welcome bags because you can order their products in a range of  sizes in perfect tins that you can personalize with your wedding logo.

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Since it’s summer, what could be more refreshing than a gourmet Popsicle? King of Pops provides an on-site cart with a variety of flavors. They are always a huge hit. Another hot weather treat is the Dreamy Gelato cart. Guests had a delicious time selecting their flavors and toppings.

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A couple of other fun options that have been well received by guests are a popcorn buffet and a gourmet cotton candy station.  These unexpected treats will please guests, young and old, and will have your guests remembering your event with sweet visions.

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The options are endless for favors, and we are here to assist with ideas to keep your event unique while making sure it is FLAWLESS!!!

When planning your next event, be it a wedding, Mitzvah, or any other social celebration, contact us to guide you through the process. 

{Photo Credits ~ Kristen Alexander Photography, Ric Mershon Photography, Angela Wilson Photography, Robin Nathan Photography, Jessica Williams Studio, Once Like a Spark, 3 Rivers Photography}

Janice Blackmon Events is an award winning event planning company assisting clients with innovative concepts, creative design and flawless execution of their event.  A variety of packages are offered so clients can determine the level of assistance needed.  

January 31, 2015

Super Bowl Spectacular

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 9:00 am by JBEvents

2015-Super-Bowl-Predictions

The Super Bowl is this Sunday and that always means it’s time for a party.  It doesn’t necessarily matter whether “your” team is in the Super Bowl or not – but the excitement of the day leads to cravings for delicious snacks and beverages with your closest friends.  So whether you are hosting the Big Game party or attending one elsewhere, we’ve created a Pinterest board with many suggestions and ideas.  You will find menu’s, recipes, decor and games – everything you should need to have a fabulous party!  

Personally, I will be watching for the commercials and Half-time show, but guaranteed, I’ll have some tasty snacks and drinks around – after all it is a reason to indulge!!

However you spend the day, be safe, responsible and enjoy!!!

Check out our Pinterest board for last minute ideas for your Super Bowl party!

Janice Blackmon Events is a full-service event planning company specializing in assisting our clients in planning and producing flawless events!!

March 15, 2013

The Luck of the Irish!!!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:53 am by JBEvents


happy-st-patricks-day-banner

Aside from the wearing of green and tossing back a few brews – I would venture to say that most {OK, many} people don’t know the history behind St. Patrick’s Day!   In addition to providing a few party ideas, I want to share some of the history of the Holiday!


Irish quote

According to History.com, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint’s religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

Saint Patrick, who was born in Roman Britain during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. 

saint-patrick

I found it interesting that he was actually kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture: Perhaps the most well-known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.    

St Patricks clover

Around the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland began observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick.  Since that time, the celebration has certainly changed – at least in the US.  Many cities host parades in honor of St. Patrick’s Day with some of the largest ones being in New York City and Savannah, GA.  The US is where the first parades took place dating all the way back to March 17, 1762.   

Today, people of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore and Russia.

In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use interest in St. Patrick’s Day to drive tourism and showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world. Today, approximately 1 million people annually take part in Ireland ‘s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions and fireworks shows.

It seems that now-a-days, the overall expectation for celebrating is far from a Religious observance and more along the lines of a drink-fest.  But regardless of how you choose to celebrate, perhaps you will find some ideas below ~ from decor ideas, menu items and even drink recipes. 

Decor Ideas

YES Tablescape in Emerald

Your Event Solution tablescape for the 2013 Annual NACE Design Trends competition. Absolutely STUNNING place setting!!! Pantone color of the year {Emerald} is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

YES Tablescape

Your Event Solution (YES) Tablescape. GORGEOUS GREEN!

YES Chairs at Table Emerald

Your Event solution )YES) table design. This was such a stunning display. The custom chair covers add such a special look and would have your guests jaws dropping!

Unique Event Management White and Green Decor

Unique Event Management white and green design display for the Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta would be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Moss table runner with square glass vases and green and white florals make for a lovely St. Patrick’s Day table setting.

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White and Green buffet presentation is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

Green-Wedding

St. Patrick’s Day wedding.

Candles and green split peas

Simple decor idea ~ place green split peas in glass candle holders, place white candles in vase. Excellent, easy decor for your St. Patrick’s Day party.

Perfect Stem Table scapes

This table setting by The Perfect Stem for the 2013 Annual NACE Design Trends competition would be a beautiful setting for a St. Patrick’s Day meal.

St patricks day wreath

Welcome guests to your home with this festive St. Patrick’s Day wreath.

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Green St. Patrick’s Day dessert display.

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This dreamy design by Wildflower Linens would be so incredible for a St. Patrick’s Day gathering.

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St. Patrick’s Day display that would be a beautiful presentation for your guests. Notice the linen is placed in the shape of a Shamrock.

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Easy decor idea ~ wrap Shamrock garland around stems of your wine glasses. Use a green linen, place candles on the table and beautiful china and you are set for an elegant St. Patrick’s Day meal.

St. Patricks Day green-and-ivory-wedding

Classic lines, crisp detail – white and green – perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Easy to make frame for your guests to each have their photo taken with. Purchase large frame (poster size works best). Using a large piece of Poster Board,draw and then cut-out the shape of a half of a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end and a leprechaun hat. Paint and decorate as desired. When dry, adhere it to the back side of the frame. Guests hold the frame up while someone takes their St. Patrick’s Day photo. Provide copies of the photos for each guest as a remembrance of the party!

Menu Ideas & Recipes

Clover Quiche

Clover Quiche 1Clover Quiche 2 Clover Quiche 3


 Lucky Spinach Quiche

adapted from Smitten Kitchen 
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3 eggs
1/3 cup half-and-half (or milk or cream)
1/2 cup grated Gruyère or cheddar
1/4 cup grated parmesan
3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup diced onion (white, red, or green onions)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 recipe pâte brisée (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Mix the cream cheese with the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the half-and-half, salt, and pepper. Then add the rest of the ingredients: spinach, Gruyère, parmesan, and onions. Mix. Shape the pâte brisée in either of the two methods described below. After the shape crusts are filled, place the aluminum tins on a baking sheet and bake the quiches for about 20 minutes. Cool for a few minutes.

Carefully remove the quiches from the aluminum tins, line the baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the quiches on the lined sheet. Place the quiches back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the crust sides crisp up a bit. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve.

Makes 3 quiches or 12 mini quiches

Pâte Brisée

adapted from Martha Stewart

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup ice water

Mix the flour with the salt. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or your fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water, a little at a time, while gently mixing until the dough sticks together. Split the dough in two. Place each half on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten each into a disc. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, until ready to use.

Makes 2 9-inch pie crusts

Shaping the Crusts

Method 1 (3 quiches)
3 aluminum pot pie pans

1) Take a pair of scissors and cut at four equally spaced points on the edge of the pot pie tin. One snip on the right, one on the left, one at the top, and one at the bottom.

2) Start pushing the cut edges towards one another. Crease the pan side, right under the cut, so that the crease points inwards. Be careful because the edges are sharp.

3) Start rounding out the rest of the pan edge, curving the pan edge.

4) Repeat with the rest of the pan edges.

5) Lightly spray the pan with nonstick spray.

6) Roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. Split it into 3 equal squares and place each square in a shaped pan. Have the extra dough stick out inwards at the four points where the pie pan edges overlap.

7) Take some foil and fold 12 little thick rectangles. Spray the rectangles with nonstick spray. Place each rectangle between the extra dough flaps on each crust. Press the dough into the bottom of each pan and around the foil rectangles. Take a fork and lightly prick the interior of each crust. Then use the fork tines to press into the top edge of the crusts. 

8) Refrigerate the crusts for 10 minutes. Then, fill and bake.

Irish Soda Bread

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Irish Soda Bread

Instead of using yeast for leavening, most Irish Soda Bread recipes use baking soda and buttermilk for the task.

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, blend egg and buttermilk together, then add to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in raisins, if desired. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with caraway seeds, if desired.
  3. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor.

Irish Stew

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Irish Stew

Here’s a delicious version of an Irish Stew. Just toss all the ingredients in a slow cooker, and enjoy your day. Then come home to a delicious meal.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds beef stew meat
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (2 cups)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 9-ounce package frozen cut green beans
1 tablespoon instant beef bouillon granules
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 16-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
1-1/2 cups water

Instructions:

  1. Cut meat into 1/2-inch cubes. In a large skillet, brown meat, half at a time, in hot oil. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, in a 3-1/2-, 4-, 5-, or 6-quart crockery cooker, combine potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery. Add frozen beans, bouillon granules, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in browned meat, undrained tomatoes, and water.
  3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. Makes 6 servings.

Green Candied Popcorn

Green Popcorn

Green Candied Popcorn

4 quarts popped corn
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional, does make mixture slightly more creamy)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
green food coloring

In heavy saucepan on medium heat melt butter then add sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt. Increase temperature to medium high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Once mixture boils, add in food coloring and stop stirring. Boil for 5 minutes (Do not stir). Mixture should be about 250-260 degrees. Remove from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda. Working quickly and while mixture is foamy, pour mixture over popped corn and gently stir to coat popcorn. Place popcorn into a large roaster or rimmed baking sheet (lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray) and bake at 200° F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Reuben Sandwich with a Twist

twists-on-the-classic-rueben-med

A deli favorite and classic, the Reuben is rye bread spread with Russian or Thousand Island dressing and piled high with corned beef (brine-cured beef brisket that originated in Ireland), tangy sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese. Whether you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party or making lunch, learn the traditional preparation, then try our easy adaptations.

Classic Corned Beef Reuben
Makes 1 sandwich
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes

INGREDIENTS
2 slices rye bread—Try pumpernickel or marble rye bread.
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2-3 tablespoons Russian or Thousand Island dressing, plus extra for serving
1/4 pound sliced corned beef
2 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 cup store-bought sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
Dill pickles, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Spread slices of bread with butter on one side and dressing on the other. Place one slice butter-side down in a skillet.
  2. Layer with sauerkraut, corned beef and Swiss cheese—in that order—then top with the second bread slice, dressing-side down.
  3. Transfer skillet to stovetop and heat to medium-low. Grill, occasionally pressing with a spatula, until the bottom slice of bread is crisp.
  4. Flip the sandwich, then top with a small, smooth-bottomed plate and weight with a canned good. Continue cooking until bread is crisp and cheese is melted.
  5. Slice diagonally and serve immediately with extra dressing and dill pickles.

New Twists on the Classic Reuben

From simple substitutions to lunch-ready wraps, rethink the Reuben:

  • Substitute pastrami for corned beef.To make a variation known as “The Rachel,” also use colorful cabbage slaw (or prepared slaw from your local deli) in place of sauerkraut.
  • Try sliced turkey instead.Swap the dressing for mustard, too—we love using Dijon, spicy brown or whole-grain mustard.
  • Serve it open-faced.Top one thick, toasted slice of rye bread with dressing, sauerkraut, warm corned beef and cheese, then broil in the toaster oven or bake in a 400°F oven until the cheese melts.
  • Choose a different cheese.Go with semi-firm cheeses that melt well, like buttery Gruyère, nutty-sweet Jarlsberg or smoked Gouda.
  • Wrap it up!Spread one whole-wheat tortilla with dressing, add one slice each of corned beef and cheese, plus a heaping spoonful of sauerkraut or slaw, then wrap.

Other Treats

Lucky Charms and Green Milk

Snacks for the Kiddos…Lucky Charms in green cupcake holders and Green colored milk!

Pot of Gold Cupcakes

Pot of Gold Cupcakes

Irish Cream Trifle

Irish Cream Trifle

Ombre cake

Green St, Patrick’s Day Ombre Cake

st_patricks_day_kisses_37

St. Patrick’s Day “Kiss Me” Hershey Kisses

Fruit Rainbow

Fruit Display in the Colors {and shape} of a Rainbow. Place a “pot” of Chocolate dipping sauce for your Pot of Gold.

Beverages

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Shamrock Shake Up

1½ oz. Absolut Miami
1 oz. simple syrup
¾ oz. lime juice
6 mint leaves
1 oz. soda
Garnish: mint sprig

Muddle mint leaves with simple syrup (equal parts sugar and hot water) and lime juice in a shaker. Add Absolut Miami, shake, and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with soda, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

Frozen Mojito

Frozen Classic Mojito

1½ oz. white rum
1½ oz. Monin Mojito Mix Syrup
½ oz. lime juice
5 mint leaves
Splash of sour mix
Garnish: lime wheel

Combine all ingredients in a blender, add 16 oz. of ice, and blend on a medium speed. Pour into a Poco Grande glass, and garnish with a lime wheel.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

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Irish Julep

2 oz. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
½ oz. DeKuyper Crème de Menthe
1 oz. half and half
Garnish: mint sprig

Pour all ingredients into a highball glass filled with ice, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

Emerald Isle Drink

Emerald Isle

2 oz. Barrymore Pinot Grigio
4 cucumber chunks
5 mint leaves
¾ oz. lime juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
1 oz. soda water
Garnish: 3 mint sprigs and a cucumber slice

To make simple syrup, mix equal parts hot water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. In a cocktail shaker, muddle cucumber and mint leaves. Fill shaker with ice and add lime juice, simple syrup, and wine. Shake vigorously. Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with three mint sprigs and a cucumber slice.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

Green Iced Tea

Green Iced Tea

1 Numi Decaf Ginger Lemon tea bag
3 oz. cucumber juice (put cucumber in blender, blend, and strain.)
1½ oz. tequila
Splash of lemon juice
Garnish: lime wedge

In a glass, infuse one tea bag in tequila for 30 minutes. Remove bag and squeeze out excess. Combine all ingredients in another glass filled with ice. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

Shamrock Shake-up drink

Shamrock Shaker

1½ oz. Familia Camarena Reposado Tequila
½ oz. sour apple liqueur
¼ oz. agave nectar
2 oz. lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a martini glass, and garnish with thinly-sliced green apples.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

Celtic Sea Breeze

Celtic Sea Breeze

2 oz. lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
2½ oz. Medea Vodka
Splash of club soda
Basil
Garnish: mint

Add lime juice, simple syrup, Medea Vodka, and basil into a shaker filled with ice and shake well. Strain and pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Add a splash of club soda, and garnish with two mint leaves.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

Emerald Crush

Emerald Crush

2 oz. Blue Ice Organic Wheat Vodka
½ kiwi
½ lime
1 tsp. sugar

Peel kiwi and cut lime into quarters. Muddle fruit and sugar in a shaker until well crushed and juicy. Add ice and vodka, and shake vigorously. Pour all contents into a glass and drink with a straw.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

Shamrocker

Shamrocker

Shot of Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey
½ oz. Crème de Menthe
2 scoops of vanilla ice cream

Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend on medium, and pour into a martini glass.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

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Green With Envy

1½ oz. Blue Ice Vodka
½ oz. Blue Curacao
2½ oz. sweet & sour mix
2 oz. orange juice
Garnish: orange slice and maraschino cherry

Combine all ingredients in a blender, add crushed ice, and blend on a high speed. Pour into a hurricane style glass, and garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry arranged on a pick.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

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The Shamrock-arita

1 oz. Sauza Blue Gold Tequila
½ oz. melon liqueur
2 oz. lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup

To make simple syrup, mix equal parts hot water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake, and strain the ingredients into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan 

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Green Lady

1½ oz. Leblon Cachaca
½ oz. Midori
Sour mix
Pineapple juice
Garnish: sage

Pour all ingredients into a glass, stir, and garnish with sage.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

Luck of the Irish Martini

Luck of The Irish Martini

2 oz. vodka
½ oz. dry vermouth
½ oz. Irish whiskey

Pour whiskey into a martini glass. Then, swirl it around the glass in order to coat the inside, and drain the excess whiskey. Pour the vodka and dry vermouth into a shaker filled with ice, shake well, and strain into the glass.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan 

cos-12-wasabi-praise-lgn-mdn

Wasabi Praise

1½ oz. sake
1½ oz. vodka
½ oz. lime juice
Pea size of Wasabi
Garnish: lime wedge

Combine all ingredients in a martini glass, stir, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Green Drink Recipes – St Patricks Day Green Cocktails – Cosmopolitan

Other Ideas

If hitting the neighborhood pub is how you prefer to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – here in Atlanta, you have quite a few options of true Irish Pubs.  Some of the most popular ones are:

Stout Irish Pub ~ Buckhead at East Andrews

Stout Irish Pub ~ East Andrews, Buckhead

Fado Irish Pub

Fado Irish Pub ~ Buckhead

Murphy's Exterior_New

Murphy’s {Virginia Highlands}

Meehans-Public-House

Meehans Public House

Irish Bred Pub ~ Hapeville, Douglasville, Carrollton

Irish Bred Pub ~ Hapeville, Douglasville, Carrollton

However you choose to celebrate, enjoy and be safe!!!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day and  Sláinte {Cheers}!!!

Janice Blackmon Events ~ A full-service event planning firm offering a variety of packages so clients can determine the level of assistance they need!  Our philosophy is that with our assistance, your event will be flawless!!!

December 16, 2011

Holiday Gatherings!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 1:49 pm by JBEvents

It’s that time of year when we open our homes to family and friends to celebrate the Holiday season.  Whether you decide to have an elaborate soiree or a more intimate gathering, we have a few ideas to help with your celebration.

 

As with any party, the first thing you must do is to set the date and time of the event.  With so many parties at this time of year, it may be a good idea to check with your group of friends to see if your proposed date is open on their social calendar prior to moving forward with your plans.

Once the date has been set and your guest list determined, send out invitations as far in advance as possible.  Be sure to indicate any specific information such as details on parking so that your guests can be prepared ahead of time.

Now comes the decision-making process on what you will serve for your party.  If you are desiring to have a fun and festive gathering where your guests can mingle and come and go as they please, a cocktail party is your best bet.  This can also be the most cost-effective type of party since guests will not expect to be served a full meal.  You must however, keep this in mind when setting the timeframe for your party.  My favorite is a Drop-In Cocktail Party.  This allows for a variety of hor d’oeuvres to be served which can range from simple items such as a cheese, fruit and or vegetable display where guests can serve themself,  as well as more elaborate options  that are perfect to be passed.

If you will be preparing the food items yourself, start the process early so that you can prep as much as possible ahead of time leaving you to not be as rushed on the day of the event.  Make sure that you have all of your serving pieces out, cleaned and labeled with how they will be used.  This makes the placing of the items on the party day easier so that you will know where every item will be placed and what serving piece will be used.

Of course, you can decide to take the easier approach which is to purchase your party food from your favorite caterer.  At this time of year, many of the local caterers have a special party-to-go menus that you can  pick-up and then take home with minimal set-up or preparation. 

It is advisable to purchase bags of ice and store them in coolers for use in keeping items chilled before serving if refrigerator/freezer space is limited.  You will also need to make certain to have enough ice to sustain the duration of the party for all beverages.

Speaking of beverages, make sure that you provide a variety of alcoholic and  non-alcoholic options.  To keep things festive, I am in love with seasonal varieties such as a Gingerbread or Candy Cane Martini’s.  Another wonderful option which can be served hot or cold is Wassail (hot/cold mulled cider).

In addition to making sure you have all of the food prepared and beverages ready, don’t forget to take one last look in each powder room to make certain that you have the essential necessary items in abundance.  It is my recommendation to hire someone to act as a Restroom attendant during the party so that they can maintain the supplies and cleanliness of the powder rooms.

Speaking of hiring people, it’s also a good idea to hire staff to act as servers and bartenders.  This will allow you to actually enjoy your own party and mingle with your guests.  There are agencies that specialize in providing banquet servers and bar tenders, or you may decide to contact a local college or technical school in your area that offers a culinary program to see if they have students interested in making a little extra Holiday money by working as a server for your party. 

One touch that I think is a necessity is tons of candles.  I personally like scented candles – however, you don’t want to overload the senses with various scents, so select one or two complimenting scents to have placed around your home and use other fragrance-free candles to supplement the supply.

Setting the ambiance.  Whether you decide to have your home stereo system playing,  or you arrange for a group of Carolers, or hire an acoustic guitar player or pianist or even a DJ, keep in mind that the music should be background in nature and not so loud that guests can’t carry on a conversation.

It’s also advisable that you have a designated place for coats and ladies purses to be placed.  One such idea is to empty your coat closet and have hangers available for wraps and the bottom of the closet clear and available for bags.  If this is not possible, set aside one room, perhaps the master bedroom, that will not be used for the party to store your guests personal items.

One of the most important things is to make sure that you are ready to receive guests at the start of the party.  Nothing is worse than having guests arrive and things are in a disarray as it makes the guests feel uncomfortable.

You have checked your list, not once but twice and know that everything is set and ready.  Take a deep breath, and be ready to greet each guest as they arrive.  Have a tray of beverages offered upon their arrival and then have a fabulous party.

All of us at Janice Blackmon Events wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, or whatever other holiday you celebrate as well as a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

Cheers!!!

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