It’s Fiesta Time – Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Mexican Dancer
Mexican Dancer

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner.

This celebration commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862
Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862

Although a Mexican holiday, it has been celebrated in the United States right from the start.

It is said that when Mexican miners in the gold country town of Columbia (in California) heard the news, they celebrated by firing rifles, shooting off fireworks, singing patriotic songs and making speeches.

fireworks
Fireworks

To celebrate this historic event, for a simple home get-together, or at your wedding (May 5 falls on a Saturday in 2018), here are some “must haves.”

Food & Beverages
Cuisine

Burritos, tostadas, or enchiladas. How about a taco bar?

tacos
Tacos

Serve elote (Mexican corn on the cob) on the side, topped with salt, chili powder, lime, butter, cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream. It is traditionally served on a stick, with the husks pulled back as a handle, or cut the kernels into a bowl.

elote
Elote

Have plenty of homemade tortilla chips and dishes of guacamole and salsa.

And don’t forget dessert – rice pudding, flan (caramel custard), sopapillas (a crispy, fried flatbread), and churros are all delicious choices.

Beverages
Mojitos, Margaritas, Sangria often come to mind. Other delicious options are:

• Paloma – a mix of tequila, grapefruit, lime and soda
• Michelada – a classic “cerveza preparada” (beer cocktail)
• Horchata – made of almonds, rice and cinnamon

Frozen Horchata
Frozen Horchata

Non-alcoholic drinks:
• Agua Fresca – a blend of water and sugar with fruits, cereals, flowers, or seeds
• Mexican soda – enjoy delicious flavors, like Tutifruti (fruit punch), Toronja (grapefruit), Guayaba (guava), Jamaica (hibiscus), Limón (lime), and Mandarina (mandarin)

mexican soda
Mexican Soda
• Virgin Margaritas – with frozen limeade, orange juice, and grapefruit juice

Decor
Color Palette
Incorporate the colors of the Mexican flag (green, white, and red) into your decor.

Table Runners/Linens
Place table runners of green, white, and red on your tables. Or, instead of a runner, use a Mexican rug or blanket as a fun table overlay.

Decorations
What else is more iconically Mexican than colorful pinatas, maracas, or papel picado (perforated paper) banners? Also use colored plates or utensils, colored vases or pottery, tissue paper flowers.

Pinata
Colorful Pinata
paper banners
Paper Banners
Tissue paper flowers
Tissue paper flowers
Photo credit: akiyoko / 123RF Stock Photo

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For fun ideas for your wedding, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Fun Engagement Party Themes and Planning Tips

Engagement party decor
The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here—you’re engaged!

Congratulations are in order but first, take in the moment. Enjoy your now fiancé and the fact that no one knows this awesome news. When you’re ready to share your engagement, get creative with how you tell family and friends.

One of the best ways to share the news is with a party! These days, couples are taking over and planning their own engagement party. If you’re not sure where to start, wedding stationery company, Wedding Paper Divas, compiled 50 ideas and themes that you can browse through. Check it out here!

After you figure out which direction you want to head for your engagement party, it’s time to start thinking of the venue, decor and guest list. If this is all new to you, keep reading for my engagement party planning tips.

Engaged couple

Engagement Party Etiquette and Tips

Purpose of an engagement party – The purpose of an engagement party is to celebrate the couple’s engagement, pure and simple, and to help family members to get to know each another before the wedding day.

Who do we invite? – Keep in mind that just as with a bridal shower, those invited to an engagement party should also be invited to the wedding. The absolute “have to invite” people include the immediate families of the couple, their close friends, and the wedding party members (if they have been selected already).

Are gifts required? – No they are not. Again, the purpose of an engagement party is to formally announce and celebrate the engagement, and allow family members of both sides to get to know each other. Some guests may wish to bring a gift, but it isn’t necessary.

Who hosts the engagement party? – Unlike a shower, gifts are not expected. Because of this, anyone can host an engagement party (the couple can host if they choose, or either set of parents).

What should guests be served? – It depends on the style of the party. If it’s a dinner party, then some sort of substantial meal is expected, although a party with just snacks and simple desserts, or a buffet with finger foods can be just as enjoyable (as long as the time of the event doesn’t fall during a typical dinner time).

Cupcakes

Does the engagement party’s theme have to match the theme of the wedding? – Not at all. The host can choose any theme he/she wants, as long as it is reflective of the happy couple. Like the rehearsal dinner, an engagement party should not be grander than the wedding. Remember to check out Wedding Paper Divas for fun engagement party ideas.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

How to Have Happy Wedding Guests (With 5 Super Easy Tips)

11229839_10206380169797323_821285514982644025_oPhoto by Jack Hoying

You’ve invited friends and family to help you celebrate your wedding. If you are like most couples, you plan to feed them, entertain them, and thank them for being a part of your special day.

While the quality of the food and music can definitely make or break their level of enjoyment (no doubt about that), don’t forget the little things that can impact your guests’ experience.

1. Keep your guests informed (before the wedding day).

Wedding guests appreciate being informed of what to expect. Your invitation will give them some clue, but a wedding website is a wonderful, inexpensive (and even free), convenient place to provide further information your guests will want or need.

Look at it from their perspective. Having clear info – locations, directions, time schedule, hotel accommodations, gift registry options, etc. – easily at their fingertips makes it easier for them to participate.

Many couples include a page for guests to conveniently RSVP, and leave comments or questions they may have.

2. Keep your guests informed (on the wedding day).

You’ve shared plenty of info prior to your wedding day. On the big day itself, make sure guests understand what you want them to do with appropriate signage at your ceremony and reception sites.

Guests tend to err on the side of caution. They need that gentle guidance to let them know what we want them to do, such as: yes, please sign the guest book; yes, please take a favor; and don’t forget to turn off your cell phone (you don’t want someone’s phone to start ringing in the middle of your ceremony!).

It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to create signs that are memorable and in keeping with the theme of your event.

3. Plan for a variety of foods available.

Think of your reception dinner as Sunday dinner only amped up a few notches. You don’t have to stick with the tried-and-true – it’s ok to be adventurous – but keep it familiar. Consider guests’ dietary needs, perhaps offer a vegetarian and gluten free options there are any dietary restrictions.

If you are adding a regional specialty or a nationality dish that may be unfamiliar to your guests, explain what it is with elegant tent cards, (remember #2 from above?)

4. Add a little pampering.

Your venue will have some sort of restrooms (either with running water, or hand sanitizer station). Pamper your guests with a few extra amenities like hair spray, hand lotion, tissues, band aids, breath mints, and a mini a sewing kit.

5. Smile, and really enjoy your day!

Make sure that on your wedding day you wear a happy face. You have planned a great event, it’s now time to relax and let the good times roll. You’ve done your best, and you have helpers (family, friends, wedding coordinator) to handle the details. So smile and enjoy what you’ve planned.

Smiling and being happy is contagious. It has a “trickle down effect.” If you are happy and enjoying yourself, your guests will feel it and also be happy and have fun.

On the other hand, if your are grumpy and complaining, your guests are going to feel that negativity. They are less likely to have fun, and will probably leave early.

Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Why Is Another Bride Angry Over A Wedding Gift?

OMG – yet another report of a bride being angry over the gift she and her spouse received from one of their wedding guests. This time the bride is complaining over what she considers to be a cheap gift that does not cover the cost of what the guest ate or drank at the reception.

Not long ago we all heard about the couple who weren’t happy with their gift basket filled with food items — apparently one of the brides was gluten intolerant, and the couple felt that “having a wedding is all about saving for the future.”

Seems like the people getting married are suffering from social memory loss.

1. They are forgetting what is the point of a wedding reception
2. They are forgetting what is a “host” and what is a “guest”

The point of a wedding reception

A reception (by definition) is a “formal party to welcome somebody or celebrate an event such as a wedding.” Therefore a wedding reception is a celebration of two people who just got married. Key word here is “celebration.”

The level of formality can vary from couple to couple, as can all of the other details of the celebration itself (dinner or just cake and punch; dancing or just background music; 150 or more people or just 25, for example).

What stays the same is that it is a CELEBRATION. A time for festivities to have fun and rejoice in the special event.

Host vs Guest

Think about this . . .

You’re having a couple friends over for dinner.

Instead of burgers and hot dogs, you decide to serve something a little fancier – maybe a delicious prime rib or filet of sole – with a nice bottle of wine to accompany dinner, and a decadent dessert afterwards.

Your friends come, you eat and drink, visit, and at the end of the evening they go home. Now, they didn’t bring anything with them – no envelope with money, no gift. They didn’t give you anything at all. They didn’t “pay you back” for the wonderful dinner you invited them to, prepared, and served.

Do you feel slighted? Of course not! You invited them. You chose to have them over. You chose what to serve. You hosted a dinner party and they were your guests.

So, should this be any different than if the dinner party were a wedding reception? The answer is a resounding NO!

You are still hosting a dinner party, only on a larger scale. You chose who to invite. You chose what to serve. You’re hosting a wedding reception and they are your guests.

Definition of “Guest” (definition found on Bing.com)

  1. recipient of hospitality: somebody who receives hospitality from somebody else
  2. somebody entertained at another’s expense: a recipient of a meal or entertainment that is paid for by somebody else

So, if you’re the ones getting married, be gracious hosts, treat your guests to dinner, dancing, or whatever you choose. And if you’re a guest, celebrate the first day of your loved ones’ marriage and (even though the point is the celebration) bring a gift that you want to give, (whether cash or a pretty present, it’s up to you), and spend how much you want to spend.

The only expectations are that everyone has a good time and that everyone leaves with wonderful memories of the wedding celebration.