January 19, 2011
Beautiful bridal showers and receptions on a budget
Even if real life affects the bottom line of your bridal budget, you can still make your shower or brunch reception the first-class affair of your dreams.
Event manager Renata Burian-Ferguson and sommelier Paul Bologna at the Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa in posh Palm Desert share a few surprisingly simple ideas designed to make a memorable — and affordable — event spent with family and friends.
Tee Off for Teatime
Burian-Ferguson says English garden-style teas are never out of fashion, and there are some beautiful, modern ways to update the popular bridal shower theme simply by using hot color schemes (greens, blues and browns), some updated cocktails and creative edibles.
• Tea Forté not only makes fantastic artisanal teas but also tea-drinking accessories that guests can take home with them.
Consider dressing up the tea party with a golf theme:
• Transform unused golf clubs and fresh flowers into eye-catching centerpieces.
Bologna notes that wine tastings built around themes of favorite genres of wine (Californian, Italian, German) have become popular for weddings staged at the hotel. However, he notes that with a little research, you can achieve the same kind of “gee whiz” factor anywhere with a little bit of planning and a commitment to a favorite region or style of wine. When done right, the get-together can also be educational.
Here are some of Bologna’s suggestions for a successful sipping session:
• Pick five or six wines that fit both the season and favorite genre of wine, and order them by price or by intensity.
• Explain to your guests that terroir is a French descriptor that indicates a wine’s geographical origin, as the wine takes on the unique characteristics of the soil in different locations. A Cabernet from Napa, for example, will be a very different from a Cabernet from Paso Robles.
Burian-Ferguson notes that although the sky’s the limit when it comes to wedding planning at her property, many of the ideas are as accessible as your neighborhood gourmet food market, housewares store and farmers market.
• Olive bar: Feature different types of fresh and cured olives in giant martini glasses.