Kroc Center // Taste & Tour Inspiration

Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-22

With wedding season upon us, WE thought it might be fun to throw some sweet spring tablescapes, food and flowers your way for a little bit of inspiration. Make sure to pin your faves!

Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-7 Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-5 Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-29 Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-23Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-37 Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-19 Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-18Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-38 Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-13 Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-2Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-33 Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-10Kroc Taste & Tour Lindsey George Photography 2014-11
Photos: Lindsey George Photography
Florals: Loess Hills Floral Studio
Table Rentals: AAA Rents & Event Services
Venue & Catering: Salvation Army Kroc Center


Sample Sale Ready

With New York International Bridal Week behind them, local bridal boutique owners are busy deciding which of the latest wedding fashions they want to bring into their store for brides like you to swoon over. For the new wedding dresses that make their way onto the racks, some dresses must also go which means…you guessed it! Sample sale!

Simply put, a sample sale happens when a store puts select display dresses on sale at a discounted price. This is your chance to snag a designer dress at a lower price point! While it sounds like every bride’s dream come true, a sample sale is much different from the personalized experience you see on TV. Before attending a sample sale, WE have 5 pointers that will make the experience quick, fun, and easy.

1. Be ready to wait: There will be a crowd, a line to the dressing room, and other brides who want to try on the dress. If you don’t like the idea of shopping for your dream wedding gown with other brides-to-be all around you, a Sample Sale may not be for you.

2. Come with experience: Don’t mistake this as the time to determine what styles and fabrics you do or don’t like. Arrive with an idea of what you’re looking for and the sample sale will be a breeze!

3. Limit your entourage: Don’t bring the whole family along. Instead, choose 1 or 2 family members or friends whose opinions you value and trust. Additional people will not only crowd the store, but also your own thoughts.

4. Pack the essentials. This is especially important because dresses are sold as is. If the dress is too short with your heels on or too tight with a bra, that’s something you want to know before you swipe your credit card.

5. Have an open mind: The words “sample sale” don’t necessarily translate into your dream dress. Without expectations you’ll have a good time and be free of disappointment.

If you keep these 5 tips in mind, a sample sale will be an exciting part of your wedding planning process. Just relax and have a blast!

For specific questions about a sample sale near you, give the bridal boutique a quick call and they’ll be happy to help!



Roller Coast Ride for the Father of a Daughter

You want to do what? You need how much? Are you kidding me? How about eloping? You want to get married where? Whatever. Are you sure this is what you want to do?  You need how much more money?!  How about eloping? Whatever. That was fun, is it over already?

That summarizes my journey through the planning of my daughter’s wedding. It was like a roller coaster ride through a minefield, with many hills, thrills, twists, turns, loops, the occasional explosion, and the last, thrilling, “let’s do that again” ending that made it all worthwhile.

The first uphill climb was all the opinions. As the Father of the Bride, I tried not to say anything at all, just grin and bear it and let people figure things out on their own.  Sometimes I would calmly get involved and give my opinion. My wife, on the other hand, likes to get her way (even if it is the wrong way), and quickly gave her twenty bucks worth every chance she got. Not to mention the bride and groom had their own opinions, as did everyone else involved. All that back and forth is enough to drive a man crazy!

Thankfully my daughter is very organized and an experienced event planner so this wedding was her cup of tea. She knew exactly what photographer she wanted, who to contact about catering, how to negotiate, and what needed to be done. A few weeks before the wedding, she sent out a 5 page list to the men in the wedding party detailing all the things to do (and not to do) to prepare for the wedding.  I’m guessing the bridesmaids received a similar list of their own.  At first I was annoyed with what I thought was her narrow-minded opinion and Type A personality. Looking back now, I feel sorry for the fathers that have to help their daughters navigate the world of weddings. Trust me; it’s a jungle out there.

ParentsThe Father & Mother of the Bride on their daughter’s wedding day

Then there was the guest list. I thought this would be easy.  After all, you invite your family and close friends, right?  Unfortunately, I have my family and friends, my wife has her family and friends, and the groom’s parents have their family and friends. Then I discovered that the bride and groom wanted to invite their friends, too. To complicate matters, my daughter belongs to a sorority and wanted to invite every one of those girls!

But the wedding and reception venues were limited in size.  Did you know that for every person you invite to the reception, you have to feed them?!  We were told that if we wanted to invite all of those people, we were going to need a bigger boat.  Sorry, I mean venue.  The reality was no one had the extra money so one by one I cut many friends and family members from the guest list.

Despite all this (and numerous other trials and tribulations) we somehow made it to the altar. The wedding went by so quickly and the reception was over way too soon. I wish I would have had more time and made a better effort to get around to see everyone. Looking back, I’m sad it’s over.  If I could, I’d still be there, even though it’s been over 8 months.  Just like if I could back the truck up to when she was born and live it all over again.  I think of the father/daughter dance song (that I wanted but she declined to dance to) that has the lyrics:


She’s got a smile that it seems to me

Reminds me of childhood memories

Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky

Now and then when I see her face

She takes me away to that special place

And if I stared too long

I’d probably break down and cry

-Guns N’ Roses

Sweet Friday // Fondant Recipe

Well, we’ve found that the general conception of fondant is that it’s pretty to look at, but not so awesome to eat (and everyone just peels it off to get to the real frosting and cake underneath). So if you’re going to go to all the work to detail your cake in fondant, then here’s a recipe you might enjoy.

What You Need:
4 cups mini marshmallows (half of a 16 oz. bag)
4 cups powdered sugar (plus a little extra for dusting — optional)
2 tsp water
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla
Gel colors to color fondant as desired

What You Do:
1. Place your mini marshmallow and water into a large mixing bowl and microwave on high for about one minute, until they are puffy and melted.
2. Stir them together with a rubber spatula until they are completely smooth (if not melted all the way, put back in the microwave on high for 5-10 seconds).
3. Add clear vanilla and mix well.
4. Add about 1/4 of the powdered sugar (1 cup), stir until smooth. Add another cup of the powdered sugar and stir. It will become sticky and very difficult to stir.
5. Pour the rest of the powdered sugar onto a clean counter or cutting board.
6. Scrape the sticky fondant mixture out of the bowl and onto the powdered sugar and begin to knead it together. It will gradually become like a smooth clay consistency. Use a metal scraper to keep it from sticking to the counter/cutting board.
7. Smooth in gel to desired color.
8. Roll out and cut to start decorating your cake.

Recommendations for use: Refrigerate overnight.
Recommendations for storage: Put the fondant in a tightly wrapped container in the fridge. It’s good for about a week.

Source: Erica O’Brien

Sweet Friday // 10 things you should know about fondant

Whether you’re making your own cake, having a family friend make the cake or ordering a cake from a local vendor, WE thought these fondant fun facts might be helpful to you. Keep these in mind when you’re planning out what you want your cake to look like and what type of frosting you want to use.

Wedding Essentials Idea Show

1. Fondant can be refrigerated. Humidity control is important for fondant to be cooperative. And it can also be kept in the fridge for a week.
2. Keep colored fondant out of direct sunlight. Any kind of light — even electric light can fade the fondant. For example, a lavender color turns a blue-ish hue in the sunlight. To prevent color changes, keep your cake and decorations in a dark place or covered.
3. Fondant is not ideal for all designs. Fondant’s gummy property makes it great as an icing, but terrible for certain design work because it won’t hold its shape, vertical or horizontal lines, sugar flowers and the like can be difficult to execute with fondant.
4. Fondant won’t make an imperfect cake look perfect. Skillfully covered fondant cakes are deceptive: the fondant looks so impeccably smooth, many assume that it’s easy and/or it’s the ultimate solution for getting that perfect finish.
5. Fondant tastes better than you might think. Many people are under the impression that fondant tastes bad — but not all fondants are made the same. This is where it becomes important to go in for a cake tasting. Sometimes it’s not the taste, but rather the gummy texture that people don’t like. Don’t let that turn you off from using it though — since it hardens a bit, it’s easy for guests to peel it off if they don’t like it.
6. It’s (sometimes) easier to cover a large cake than a smaller one. Many people are intimidated by a larger cake, but it’s really the proportion that makes it easier. A cake that is taller than it is wide, is more challenging than a cake that is wider than it is tall.
7. Fondant will be affected by temperature and humidity. When fondant is cold, it tends to stiffen, when it’s warm, it gets soft and droopy and then when it’s humid, it gets sticky. Think about the time of year and time of day you are having your wedding and that will help you decide how to tackle this issue.
8. Water and fondant don’ mix. Water droplets will dissolve the sugar in the fondant, leaving small marks on an otherwise perfectly smooth surface. If you’re afraid of it getting wet (especially if it’s raining on your big day), make sure the cake is boxed for transport. Brides getting fresh flowers on their cake should communicate to their florist that the flowers must be absolutely dry before being placed on the cake.
9. It’s expensive. You get what you pay for so we’d advice staying away from the cheaper fondants. Specialty fondants are definitely pricier, but if you calculate all the sleep you’d probably lose over fondant that sweats, cracks or bulges, it’s well worth the investment.
10. Use pre-colored fondant. If you’re making your own cake, choose to buy pre-colored fondant. Otherwise, you run the risk of drying it out or spending hours just to get the right color.

Cake: Alotta Brownies
Source: Erica O’Brien

Makeover Monday // 6 tips for healthier skin

Besides the dress, your face is going to be the most prominent focus point for the people looking at you on your wedding day — and in your wedding photos, which is why it’s important to look absolutely radiant. And what’s the best way to do that you might ask? Well, we’ve got a few tips here for you:

1. Drink more water. Water is vital for every process in the body and especially for your skin.
2. Eat more soluble fiber. Most women lack fiber in their diets. By adding crunchy, sweet, apples to your diet, your body and skin will begin to see the results.
3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. This one probably goes without saying, but a healthy diet will help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins instead of fatty, carb-loaded meals. Lots of Vitamin C will give you that younger, healthier skin.
4. Eat healthy fats. Essential fatty acids are necessary to lose weight, keep your heart healthy, fight off inflammation, keep your hormones in balance and prevent cancer. Do I need to say more? Eat ‘em.
5. Protect yourself from the sun. I mean really. You don’t need to spend hours and hours in a tanning bed or laying outside in the sun. Darker skin hues might be a must-have for young adults to feel pretty, but it’s completely unnecessary. Next to water, one of the most important ways to take  care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of skin exposure causes wrinkles, age spots and increased risk of skin cancer. Best time to avoid the sun? 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. USE SUNSCREEN!
6. Don’t smoke. Unless you want wrinkles, decreased blood flow, oxygen and nutrients, and overall damaged skin, just don’t smoke. Plus, think of all the money you could spend on your wedding if you didn’t buy packs on packs of cigarettes and then then beauty products to try and reduce the wrinkles you created?

Get Fit // Yoga

It’s important to look your best on your wedding day — obviously. But even more important is that you FEEL your best. Yoga is a popular way to boost your health and we’ve searched around for the top 10 reasons you should practice yoga.


1. STRESS RELIEF. Everyone knows that planning a wedding can be a stressful time and no one wants to turn into bridezilla. It’s important to your overall health to keep your stress levels down. That way, you have a clear head for making those big decisions during the wedding planning process and you have less of a chance of getting sick before the big day. Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body by encouraging relaxation. It also reduces blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system. Another plus? Yoga eases symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.
2. PAIN RELIEF. Yoga has been proven to be important to reducing the physical pain for people with cancer, arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions.
3. BETTER BREATHING. Come the day of the wedding, you might be nervous. Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This is also helpful in triggering the body’s relaxation response in case something goes wrong (i.e. the flowers don’t show up on time) on your wedding day.
4. FLEXIBILITY. Planning on getting your best dance moves on for the reception? Well, we don’t want you hurting yourself and practicing yoga will help improve your flexibility, increasing the range of movement (and reducing any aches and pains you may have after furiously dancing the night away).
5. INCREASED STRENGTH. You’re probably going to need some muscles to carry all those gifts out to the car. Yoga postures use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe.
6. WEIGHT MANAGEMENT. What did we say about feeling your best on your wedding day?Yoga encourages healthy eating habits and provides a stronger sense of well-being and self-esteem.
7. IMPROVED CIRCULATION. Because when is good circulation a bad thing? Never — that’s the answer. Yoga helps to efficiently move blood to the body’s cells.
8. CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING. You don’t have to run a marathon to improve your cardiovascular system but that walk down the aisle might seem to drag on. Even gentle yoga practice can lower your resting heart rate, increase endurance and improve your oxygen uptake (for when you ever decide to run a marathon).
9. BETTER BODY ALIGNMENT. Better posture is going to help you look slimmer and feel better longer during your wedding. Relieving any back, neck, joint and muscle pain you may have.
10. FOCUS ON THE PRESENT. Last but not least is to focus on the present and be engaged in every moment and aspect of your big day. Yoga helps to focus and become more aware and to help create mind-body health. It improves coordination, reaction time and memory.

Source: Yoga Alliance
Photos: cloudnineni

Engaged // Audrey + Matthew

Audrey & Mathew-25 Audrey & Mathew-39 Audrey & Mathew-48 Audrey & Mathew-57 Audrey & Mathew-59 Audrey & Mathew-67
W.E. love the colors and hint of prints Audrey chose to use in this outfit. They give this photo just the right amount of “pop!” Perfect for this fall engagement shoot.Audrey & Mathew-69

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