Morgan + Scott: Fall Ranch Wedding Near Waco (featured by Southern Weddings)

Rustic OutdoorRanch Fall

Morgan and Scott’s November wedding was filled with personal details, sweet traditions, southern charm, and most of all, JOY. The bride’s family ranch outside of Waco served as the venue for both ceremony and reception—an easy choice considering the couple’s history there. “Throughout my life, it was a really special place for me to go and get away from all the craziness of life, and I got to share that with Scott throughout our relationship,” says Morgan. “It was so special to get to share that with everyone at our wedding.”

Morgan walked the aisle clutching a bouquet wrapped in ribbon that was created from her mother’s wedding dress, and the couple exchanged vows in front of a barn accented by greenery and white blooms. Protea, antlers, wooden farmhouse tables, and endless rows of candles combined to create a rustic-chic reception to remember. Needless to say, we were thrilled to see Morgan and Scott’s day featured by Southern Weddings!

Here are a few more of our favorite details—many thanks to Caroline Jurgensen for capturing them so perfectly.


Photographer: Caroline Jurgensen Photography
Videographer: Ryan James Films
Venue: Family Ranch
Florist: Bloomingals Floral Boutique
Wedding Cake: Bobbi Rudeen
Caterer: Eddie Deen
Rentals: Sandone ProductionsPosh Couture RentalsPerch DecorPendley Party Productions and RentalsJunk and Disorderly
Lighting: Absolute Lighting
Ceremony Strings: Baylor University faculty quartet
Band: Drywater Band
Paper Products: Crop-Paper-Scissors
Hair Stylist: Trish Nesbit
Makeup Artist: Angela Karr
Coordination: Laura Arredondo and Brooke Nappier for DFW Events

Lacey + Zach: Outdoor Wedding with Romantic Reception at Private Residence

OutdoorPrivate Residence Spring

Lacey and Zach’s wedding at a private residence had it all—the charm of an afternoon garden party mixed with the romance of an evening spent stargazing. Following an intimate first look, the bride and groom exchanged vows beneath a stunning chuppah comprised of bright blooms and cascading ferns. Star panels brought the “wow” factor to the tented reception and gave guests the feeling of dining beneath the stars. Rich linens, mirrored tabletops, candelabras entwined with floral, and a classic black and white dance floor provided the perfect finishing touches.

Keep scrolling for more gorgeous details from Sarah Kate!

Love the idea of hosting your wedding at home? Get inspired by this residential round-up of some of our favorite soirees!

Fort Worth Wedding with Tented Reception at a Private Residence

Festive Rehearsal Dinner at a Private Residence

Outdoor Wedding at a Private Ranch

Amanda + Justin’s Elegant Wedding at a Private Estate


Ceremony/Reception Site: Private residence
Photographer: Sarah Kate, Photographer
Bridal Gown Designer: Oscar de la Renta
Bridal Gown Retailer: The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus
Hair & Makeup: Kristen Shrimp; Audrey Elliot
Floral/Design: Jackson Durham
Officiants: Rabbi David Gruber; Father Tony O’Donovan
Stationery: Melanie Frazier for DFW Events (Save the Dates); Papyrus (Wedding Invitations)
Cake: Dallas Affaires Cake Co.
Caterer: Al Biernat’s
Music: Gyros String Quartet; Bulletproof Brass
Lighting: Beyond; Lighting Dallas
Videographer: Summer Satterfield, Summer Films
Rentals: POSH Couture Rentals; Stage Works; La Tavola Fine Linen
Planning: Hannah Kohler and Laura Arredondo for DFW Events

Colorful Winter Wedding Inspiration

Winter Holiday

It’s true—we love a wedding wrapped in wintery whites. But we’re equally drawn to celebrations that evoke the excitement of the season via vibrant color palettes and festive design details. Who says a winter wonderland has to be covered in snow? As these holiday inspired weddings will prove, draping an “I do” in layers of color is every bit as magical.


Jewel tones pair perfectly with a December wedding—think gowns for the bridesmaids in ruby or rich purple, with a red velvet coat and a sweet flower crown for your littlest attendant.


photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | see more from these weddings here and here

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In the Press: Tiffany + Immanuel’s Holiday Themed Wedding

Winter Holiday

Pinch us, please. Christmas Eve is just two days away! To celebrate, we’re sharing all the happy holiday details from Tiffany + Immanuel’s wedding, which was featured on D Weddings’ Bridal Buzz blog! If you’ve been dreaming of a winter white wedding of your own, then grab a mug of hot chocolate, curl up by the fire, and prepare for a serious dose of holiday magic as we break down every last detail of this intimate December “I do.”

photos: Edmonson Weddings

First things first: that gown. Tiffany was absolutely breathtaking in her Ines Di Santo confection purchased from The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus. From the luxe folds of the skirt to the crystal-encrusted bodice accented by off-the-shoulder cap sleeves, everything about Tiffany’s dress evoked the “French-European” flair of the couple’s wedding day. The bridal party sparkled as well in gorgeous, glittering Theia gowns from Neiman Marcus.

And how handsome is the groom in his Ralph Lauren Black Label attire?

The couple exchanged vows at Christ the King Catholic Church, a stunning setting for their intimate ceremony. An all-white floral palette from Garden Gate brought a light, delicate touch to the altar space.

Says Tiffany: “Our family has a long-standing history with Christ the King, and it is our family parish, so that was an easy decision. Most members of my family were married there, and it also has that very traditional and formal feel I wanted too, so it was a natural fit.”

For their reception, the couple selected the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek for the venue’s “old Dallas” feel and rich history. “We went with a sit down dinner, with silvers and golds as our base palettes, then mixed in rich jewel tones—reds, soft pinks, lavenders, deep purples, hot pinks,” shares Tiffany. “I really wanted a black tie, intimate, and regal feel. Especially with the holidays, a winter formal wedding felt perfect, and we mixed in just little splashes of Christmas.”

Personal touches abounded throughout the evening, and included a topper for the groom’s cake modeled after the couple’s beloved dog, a fun candy table filled with Christmas cookies and a selection of Tiffany and Immanuel’s favorite treats, and a few surprise elements—snowflake lights on the ceiling during cocktail hour, a dance floor monogram, and extra touches to the bride’s cake—gifted by the bride’s mother.

And let’s not forget the food! The dinner menu was just as luxe at the rest of the evening, and featured a dual entrée of roasted Filet Mignon and butter poached lobster tail served with broccolini and and pomme puree. A custom wintry holiday-themed cocktail, the “Merry Me,” lent a playful touch the evening, as did the couple’s festive favors and their dog’s very special reception appearance. Dressed in a tux, “he made quite the entrance to ‘Pretty Woman’ at bouquet toss time!” recalls Tiffany.

Congratulations, Tiffany and Immanuel—we’re so grateful to have been a part of your magical December wedding day! Wishing all of our friends a very merry holiday season and a joyful beginning to 2016!


Ceremony Site: Christ the King Catholic Church
Photographer: Edmonson Weddings
Stationery: Crane Invitations
Bridal Gown Designer: Ines Di Santo
Bridal Gown Retailer: The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus
Hair and Makeup: Maitee Miles
Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren Black Label
Bridesmaid Dresses Designer: Theia
Bridesmaid Dresses Retailer: Neiman Marcus
Flowers: The Garden Gate
Reception Venue: Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
Reception Violinist: The Steve Bayless Orchestra
Wedding Cake: Fancy Cakes by Lauren
Groom’s Cake: Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
Transportation: Premier
Band/DJ: Brian Prescott
Lighting: Beyond
Wedding Rentals: Suite 206; Chiavari Chairs of Dallas; BBJ Linens
Wedding Planner: Hannah Kohler for DFW Events

Winter White Wedding Inspiration

Winter DFW Details

There is something about a winter wedding that is absolutely magical; filled with a special “something” that can’t quite be defined. Part of the magic can be attributed to the proximity of the holidays and the lights, music, and warm memories the season holds. Another dash is due to the icy chill in the air—the one that inspires brides to set up custom coffee and cocoa bars at their receptions, set out baskets full of Pashmina scarves during cocktail hour, and wrap themselves in the most beautiful furs as they wave goodbye to guests amid the glow of festive sparklers. But the most enchanting element of all? The selection of a color palette that matches the landscape we all dream of waking up to each Christmas morning—white, white, and more white, as far as the eye can see.

photo: Perez Weddings | floral + decor: Bella Flora of Dallas | lighting: Beyond

Contrast is not the name of this particular decorative game. Rather, drama unfolds from the repetition of a single shade in various textures and surfaces throughout the event. The result? Brilliant altars, aisles, and tablescapes that are understated and indescribably luxe, all at the same time. And so, we’re offering you this simple phrase: While others may be longing for “snow, snow, snow” a la White Christmas come December, you’ll find us dreaming of a “winter white” wedding this (and every) holiday season. Take a few cues from the alabaster hues of these DFW Events favorites, and your own “I do” is sure to be the crème of the crop.


From a boutonniere for him, to dainty lace shoes for her, and elegant invitation suites bearing the name of each, ivory is perfectly suited to every last detail of your wedding day. Longing for just the tiniest pop of color? Consider incorporating gold calligraphy on your invitations or a burst of rose on your envelope liners.

photo: John Cain Photography | floral: Kate Foley Designs | entire wedding here

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photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | see the entire wedding here


photo: Jess Barfield Photography | more from this wedding here


A soft cascade of roses is the perfect complement for the bride’s strapless lace gown, while wrapping tree trunks in twinkling lights lends a magical, “Secret Garden” -esque atmosphere to a ceremony at The Crescent.

photos: Stephen Karlisch | floral: Stems of Dallas

For a more structured look, consider wrapping a solitary selection of blooms—like these white lilies—in a thick layer of ribbon. Finish the bouquet with a line of pearl-tipped pins or an heirloom brooch.

photo: John Cain Photography | floral: Garden Gate | see the entire wedding here

The minty shade of these velvet-like leaves are the only element present to break up the white-on-white palette of the bride’s bouquet, a fact we couldn’t love more. A dainty lace handkerchief provides the finishing touch.

photos: Perez Weddings | floral: Bella Flora of Dallas


Your littlest ‘maids (and biggest fans) will adore being dressed in the same shade you’re wearing down the aisle. Don’t forget to order a matching bunch of posies for them to carry—a sweet flower crown with trailing white ribbons is a lovely touch, too.

photo: John Cain Photography | more details here

photo: Blake Ryan Towsley, Harlow + Crue | floral: Bella Flora of Dallas | as featured by D Weddings

photos: Jess Barfield Photography | entire wedding here


An aisle of white rose petals lined by wintry branches dripping in crystals gives the rooftop of The Joule Hotel a “winter wonderland” ambiance, while creamy blooms accent pews and altar space alike at a traditional ceremony at TCU’s Robert Carr Chapel.

photos: Perez Weddings | floral + decor: Bella Flora of Dallas | lighting: Beyond

photos: Tracy Autem | floral: Garden Gate


Cascading orchids, translucent vases, floating candles, mirrored surfaces, crystal accents, and cakes all tied up in bows—these are the things that winter weddings are made of. Incorporate one or more elements for instant elegance.

photos: Perez Weddings | decor: Bella Flora of Dallas | lighting: Beyond

photos: Tracy Autem | floral: Garden Gate | lighting: Beyond

photo: Blake Ryan Towsley, Harlow + Crue | floral: Bella Flora of Dallas | lighting: Le Force | as featured by D Weddings


Depending on your destination, there may not be the slightest chance of snow at your winter wedding. No matter—white Flutter Fetti provides the same effect (minus the chill). Join hands, exchange a kiss, and make a wish as the flurries fly.

photo: John Cain Photography | full story here

Fall Décor for your Thanksgiving Table

Fall DFW Details

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of ours for so many reasons. It’s a day of celebration that’s linked to family, fellowship, food, and an occasional break for football. It’s marked by tables overflowing with the best home-crafted recipes and tasty dishes that have been passed down through generations. It’s gratitude, and warmth, and all the best feelings of the holiday season pressed into one. And yet it’s also sandwiched right between the jack-o-lanterns of Halloween and the glimmering garlands of Christmas, meaning that in a decorative sense, Thanksgiving can be easy to overlook.

And so this post is for those of us who may or may not still be snacking on the occasional piece of leftover Halloween candy while pinning every Christmas-themed craft in sight, but have yet to land on a decorative concept for our Thanksgiving tablescape. (Not that we’re speaking from experience or anything…ahem.)

While it might be tempting to skip straight to the twinkling lights and ornaments of December, we think it’s worth the extra effort this Thanksgiving to lay a table that’s completely and totally inspired by everything beautiful about fall. Rustic florals and earthy linens. Heirloom pumpkins and flickering candles. Pashmina blankets and calligraphy’d place cards. We could go on, but instead we thought we’d share a few mood boards inspired by some of our favorite fall events!

Pumpkin spice and everything nice – that’s what fall tablescapes are made of! Take a cue from this clever mix of warm autumn shades and cool blue tones when setting your Thanksgiving table…or staging a gorgeous outdoor seating area near the fire pit. This look pairs nicely with a warm mug of apple cider and a Pashmina wrap.

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | decor: Jackson Durham | click here to see more from this event!

Shades of red make for a regal presentation no matter the season. For fall, we love pairing the rich palette with earthy shades of chocolate and chestnut. Antlers add to the rustic appeal. A pecan pie wouldn’t hurt, either.

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | floral design: Stems of Dallas | click here to see the entire wedding! 

The perfect complement to the cheerful grins on the faces of your family and friends? Festive arrangements of wildflowers that manage to look homespun and haute couture, all at one time.

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | decor: Jackson Durham | more from this festive birthday party here

Establish a serene mood at your Thanksgiving get-together by incorporating the softest shades of crème and blush. Add a hint of lantern light and a glimmer of gold, and your tablescape will easily transition from fall to winter post-celebration.

 photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | floral design: Bella Flora | click here to see this wedding on Style Me Pretty

Heirloom blooms, pale pumpkins, rustic wooden slabs, and warm autumn leaves. Surrounded by scenery this beautiful, your guests won’t have any difficulty finding reasons to give thanks this holiday season.

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | decor: Jackson Durham | click here to see more event details!  

Cheers to celebrating in style at gatherings overflowing with gratitude this Thanksgiving!

Tiffany + Dustin: Fairy Tale Inspired Wedding at the Dallas Country Club

Country Club Spring

Tiffany describes Dustin’s proposal while on a family vacation in Saint Barth’s as being like “a dream,” so it’s no surprise that the couple’s wedding day was designed to feel just like a fairy tale!

[photos: Luke Edmonson, Edmonson Weddings]

“Junior at Garden Gate made my vision come to reality,” says Tiffany of the enchanting décor, which featured ethereal accents of butterflies, a mix of sheer and sequined table linens, and a color palette of the palest pinks and icy silver hues.

Selecting the Dallas Country Club as their wedding venue was an easy choice for the couple, who had enjoyed grabbing a bite to eat poolside with family members on many previous occasions. Although Tiffany originally had an outdoor affair in mind, rain required that the ceremony be moved indoors.

“With several phone calls and the best wedding team a girl could ask for, our ballroom was transformed into a magical ceremony location with candles, flowers, mirrored vases, and bar fronts that were used as props to add ambiance with an amazing string quartet,” Tiffany recalls.

The magical mood carried over to the reception entrance, which hosted the couple’s guest sign-in book beneath a breathtaking butterfly tree installation accented by string lighting from Beyond. A bar was the focal point of the opposite end of the room thanks to a stunning ice sculpture by Ice FX embellished with the couple’s custom wedding monogram.

Upon entering the reception room, the couple’s 275 guests enjoyed a delicious menu featuring everything from tenderloin to salmon before dancing the night away as Special Edition Band played from the mirrored stage. The bride changed from her stunning Ines di Santo wedding gown into glamorous cocktail attire just for the occasion!

After enjoying slices of the Fancy Cakes by Lauren confection that the couple designed together, and sampling Dustin’s Texas-themed groom’s cake from Dallas Affaires to boot, guests bid bride and groom farewell and sent them on their way to begin their own “happily ever after.”

Congratulations, Tiffany and Dustin! We loved being a part of your dream-come-true day!


Ceremony/Reception: Dallas Country Club
Officiate: Dr. Fiedler (HPUMC)
Photographer: Luke Edmonson, Edmonson Weddings
Videographer: Beyond
Band (Ceremony and Reception): Special Edition Band
Florist: Garden Gate, Junior Villanueva
Lighting: Beyond
Ice Bar: Ice FX
Cakes: Fancy Cakes by Lauren (bride’s cake); Dallas Affaires (groom’s cake)
Linens: BBJ Linen
Rentals: DFW Dance Floors through DCC
Hair: Sonia Trevino
Makeup: Kate Conkey with Charlotte Tilbury
Transportation: Premier Transportation
Get Away Carriage: Three Jays Carriages
Coordination: Hannah Kohler for DFW Events

In the Press: Karen + Brad’s “Napa Meets Hill Country” Wedding

Rustic Outdoor Fall Press


If you’ve already picked up the latest (and loveliest) issue of Brides of North Texas, then you may have noticed a brand new section gracing the pages of the magazine: Wedding Walkthrough! We were thrilled to have one of our favorite Fall weddings featured in this exclusive new section, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at how each component of an event comes together to create an unforgettable “I do!”

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer

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Coordinated by Hannah, this “Napa Meets Hill Country” themed wedding was a perfect reflection of the bride and groom—Brad grew up in San Francisco and Karen hails from the Texas Hill Country. A color scheme of burgundy, red, cream, and green saturated the lovely grounds of Marie Gabrielle in rich jewel tones for both ceremony and reception. Antlers, wine boxes, and barrels added to the “wine country” atmosphere.

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While every aspect of Karen and Brad’s wedding day was gorgeous, we were most taken with the couple’s incorporation of personal details that reflected their family and friends. “My dad made an antler chandelier that we hung over our cake table which was stunning. We also had a very good friend play live music and sing for our first dance,” said Karen.

karenandbradWED_400 07_Karen and Brad4

As for Hannah’s favorite decorative detail? “I loved the massive head table—exposed wood with a collection of rich centerpieces in wine boxes created a ‘wow’ moment in the decor.”

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Other eye-catching details included the couple’s escort card display—names were clipped to twine stretched across a wooden frame—and the ceremony backdrop, which consisted of an elegant wooden altar piece accented by stained glass windows and floral elements created by Stems of Dallas.

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We’re still dreaming about Karen’s stunning Carolina Herrera gown from Warren Barron, too. The combination of a classic silhouette with a modern illusion neckline was breathtaking!

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Many thanks to Brides of North Texas for featuring Karen and Brad’s beautiful wedding day, and for giving us the chance to shine the spotlight on all of the aspects that made their day so unique!


BONTcover_FW2015BONT_FW2015_TearSheets_137 BONT_FW2015_TearSheets_138 BONT_FW2015_TearSheets_139Note: Karen and Brad’s wedding was also featured by Style Me Pretty! See the full post here.


Photographer: Sarah Kate, Photographer
Ceremony/Reception: Marie Gabrielle
DJ: Andy Austin
Band: Aaron Einhouse Band
Ceremony Musicians: Serenata Strings
Hair/Makeup: Anita Brown
Gown/Retailer: Carolina Herrera, Warren Barron
Bridesmaids Attire: Jenny Yoo
Florist: Stems of Dallas
Lighting: Beyond
Rentals: Posh Couture Rentals
Linens: BBJ
Cake: Elena’s Cakes
Invitations: Rifle Paper Co.
Getaway Car: Bowtie Vintage Classics
Other: DFW Dance Floors
Coordination: Hannah Kohler for DFW Events

Odonna + DeQuincy: Lovely Outdoor Wedding at the Dallas Arboretum


Are you a fan of love, joy, and colorful blooms? Then this beautiful “I do” at the Dallas Arboretum is sure to delight you! With a sense of style second to none, Odonna and DeQuincy enjoyed meaningful moments with family and friends throughout their wedding day and were intentional about incorporating elements that reflected their personality as a couple—think matching his-and-hers Louboutins and a serenade by the groom’s fraternity brothers!

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Our favorite aspect of the wedding day, however? The excitement you’ll see reflected on the bride and groom’s faces in each and every photo snapped by The Pros! Keep scrolling to take a peek at just a few of the details that made this wedding so unique.

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events

Congratulations, Odonna and DeQuincy! It was an absolute joy to be a part of your wedding day!

Hastings/Bass Wedding Coordinated by DFW Events


Venue: Dallas Arboretum

Minister: Dr. Sylvester Smith, Jr.

Caterer: Gil’s Elegant Catering

Photographer: The Pros

Ceremony Music & DJ: Absolute Entertainment

Florist: Garden Gate, Junior Villanueva

Linen: BBJ Linen

Lighting: Absolute Entertainment

Cakes: Panini Bakery

Photo Booth: Premiere Photo Booth

Hair and Makeup: Tashandra Isom

Transportation & Getaway Car: Premier Transportation

Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Coordination: Mary-Frances Hurt for DFW Events

Planner’s Perspective: Five Tips For a Stress-Free Easter Brunch

Spring Celebration

Cadbury eggs have been on the shelves for weeks, and yet somehow it still feels like a surprise that Easter is already here! We’re guessing that many of you will be hosting a gathering or two this weekend, but trust us—there’s no need to panic (even if your tablescape is still up in the air and your menu is less than set). Our Director of Event Planning, Alison Baker, just so happens to be a devotee of at-home entertaining, and she’s got all the tips you need to plan an Easter brunch that’s equal parts stylish, stress-free, and perfectly suited to your own unique spin.

Easter Brunch-01

[photos: John Cain Photography | floral: The Garden Gate]

“In many ways I think that at-home entertaining is becoming a lost art, just like handwritten thank you notes. Inviting guests into the home might seem intimidating (not to mention stress-inducing), which can tempt hostesses to take shortcuts that really aren’t necessary. By simplifying your concept, doing a little advance prep work, and focusing on creating a personal atmosphere, you’ll be well on your way to a perfectly planned Easter brunch…or any other at-home event, for that matter!”



1. Know Your Attendees: “I have to give full credit to my mother, Sharon Morris, who taught me everything I know about cooking, baking, and hosting at a very early age! Mom shared this trick when I was growing up, and I think it’s brilliant. She keeps a catalog of cards in a recipe box featuring all of her regular visitors’ likes and dislikes. When they come over to the house, she pulls their card and builds a menu around the tastes of each attendee. I now make it a point to reach out to new guests in order to learn their preferences, which saves so much awkwardness…like serving steak to a vegetarian! The key takeaway here: know your guests and make your event personal to them.”

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2. Prep in Advance: “When you’re hosting an event, you shouldn’t spend the entire time running around in the kitchen—that’s a surefire way to bring on all of the stress we’re trying so hard to avoid! If you feel uneasy, your guests will too. It’s so important to spend time talking with your guests and making them feel welcome, so limit your day-of event prep to a few final touches. On a practical note, make sure that your dishwasher and all trashcans are completely empty before everyone arrives. It will make your cleaning process that much easier! Finally, make a list and check it twice. It seems basic, but when I don’t make a list I’m sure to forget something. Like that time I thought I had thrown a fabulous birthday party for my daughter only to realize afterward that we still had an entire freezer full of ice cream that never made an appearance! Needless to say, we enjoyed ice cream for quite some time afterward. Long story short, the more advance planning you do, the fewer items you’re likely to forget (and the more time you’ll have to enjoy your own party).”


3. Select Double-Duty Décor: “Keep your centerpieces simple, but definitely go for something live. I love filling a big bowl with citrus for a bright pop of color that can be used after the event is over. I’ve also gone to Trader Joe’s and picked up a handful of inexpensive herbs to group in a planter and repurpose later on. Potted plants are another fun element to incorporate, and can be given away as a parting gift to guests or planted in your own garden. If you’re tired of your own china or glassware, swap with a friend or consider mixing in theirs with your own. This saves you the expense of rentals, plus we all know that having something new makes everything more fun, even if isn’t technically yours!”

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4. Don’t Forget the Littlest Guests: “We had a precious mini guest who attended dinner at our home with his parents. Although our friends had expected their three-year-old to watch movies that night, he looked up at me with big eyes and said, ‘Miss Ali, where is my seat?’ It absolutely melted my heart, and I have made it a point to set places for my littlest visitors ever since! If you’ll be hosting tiny attendees at your home, stop by the Dollar Store and pick up cute plates and plastic cups. Write their name on a place card and set a treat beside it. It’s such an easy way to make them feel special and involved, and to teach kids manners and etiquette from an early age!”

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5. Simplify Your Menu: “An event is not the best time to pull out a brand new recipe, so stick with something that you know and love. Double points if it’s able to be prepared the night before! My mom’s Quiche is a go-to of mine as it can easily be whipped up the night before, and my favorite Ginger Simple Syrup can be prepared in advance and poured over fresh fruit just as guests arrive. If you’re short on time, you can still treat your guests by putting in a call to your favorite bakery and ordering an assortment of pastries. Bisous Bisous is a current favorite of mine!”

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“And that’s it! I’ve included a suggested menu below that tastes delicious and is easy to prepare ahead of time. Pair with a mimosa with a twist—think Champagne mixed with blood orange juice or a splash of St. Germain—and consider your Easter brunch perfectly planned!”





1 pie crust (enough crust for 2 pies)
1/2 lb. bacon or ham (diced) or a mixture
6 eggs plus 1 egg white for the crust
2 cups heavy cream (warmed)
1 cup half & half (warmed)
Green onions or leeks (1 bunch)
Mushrooms (8 oz.)
1 1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/8 t. nutmeg
Dash cayenne
3/4 lb. (3 cups) grated Jarlsberg or Gruyère cheese or combo
Chopped thyme or chives (optional)


Put dough in spring form pan and brush with an egg white. Fry bacon and sauté ham if using both. Crumble bacon. Sauté onions and mushrooms in bacon fat or vegetable oil. Beat eggs, add spices, then pour both creams in blender. Layer meat, veggies, and cheese on top of crust. Slowly pour on milk/egg mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or a little more until puffed and brown. Set on a pizza pan to allow for easy transportation to oven.

Allow to sit and firm up for at least 15-20 minutes before cutting. Can be served at room temperature as well.


• You can use spinach (10 oz. frozen) that has been cooked with onion then cooled instead of mushrooms, or you can leave out all vegetables, which is a Quiche Lorraine.
• This can also be made in a deep-dish pie plate, 2 rectangular tart pans, or a 2-inch deep round tart pan.
• If you have made the filling the night before, just set it out to get to room temperature prior to baking.


Makes 4 servings
Original recipe via Epicurious


For ginger syrup

3 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups thinly sliced fresh ginger (1/2 lb.; from a 10-inch piece), left unpeeled

For fruit salad

4 cups summer fruit cut into tiny squares (mixed berries, melons, peaches, and/or nectarines work well, as do apples and pineapple)
3 tablespoons small mint leaves


For ginger syrup

Bring water, sugar, and ginger to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan, then stir until sugar is dissolved. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes. Pour ginger syrup through a sieve into a bowl, discarding ginger. Chill, covered, at least 2 hours.

For fruit salad

Toss fruit and mint with 1/4 cup syrup, or to taste.

Note: Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, for 1 month.


Recipe via Ina Garten of Food Network


For the streusel

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling


For the cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel

Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.

Notes: You can prepare the entire cake (including the streusel) the night before and refrigerate. In the morning, let sit out for 15-20 minutes before baking.