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A Sweet Idea: The Dessert Reception

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris February 26, 2013 11:00 AM

Ever been to a 'dessert only' reception?

The idea came to my mind the other day as I examined three different catering proposals for our fall nuptials. I literally fell out of my seat in amazement over how costly it can be to feed guests at a reception. The whole ordeal left me saying to myself, "I wonder if our guests would be satisfied with just a Coke and a smile?"

Of course that wouldn't be enough. {le sigh!} So, what would be a good alternative to the sit-down formal meal that most guests expect at a reception?

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Photos by Maureen Cotton Weddings

Instantly, I took to my Pinterest boards to 'get inspired' and that's when it hit me! Why not host an evening dessert and wine reception with a few passed appetizers for our guests to dine on in between yummy treats including a station with an assortment of pies and cheesecakes, a cupcake bar, a candy bar...all-sugar EVERYTHING. Our invitations would carefully indicate 'a dessert and wine reception' to let our guests know not to expect a full meal. We will also plan it to start later in the evening in order to give guests the option to eat a full meal before arriving.

Seven months to go and I think I've figured it out!

Yes, having a wedding is an expense. Our goal is to not let it get too expensive. A dessert reception allows you to be creative and explore more cost effective ways to have an amazing celebration.

The traditions of yesteryear are evolving and more modern-day engaged couples are following trends that will help save money. I'll drink (and have a big slice of chocolate cake) to that!

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For more inspiration, check out these fab ideas in the Lifestyle section for pulling off a candy and dessert buffet at your own reception.

Happy planning!

Actually, you're 'not invited' to the wedding...

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris February 18, 2013 10:04 AM

Last week, a coworker sent me a link to an article about a new wedding trend that's drawing quite a bit of criticism in the wedding world: the anti-invite.

Call it harsh or downright rude, but in the article senior editor of TODAY, Rina Raphael, informs readers that more couples are sending out these alerts than you may think. In today's economy, those who are planning weddings are keeping a closer eye on their budgets which often means that the guest list is the first place to downsize. Add to that the fact that we are an "information oversharing generation," and many of us feel compelled to let people know everything... even stuff that's better left unsaid. Stuff like, "Actually, you're NOT invited to the wedding!"

The most amusing part of the article is when Raphael interviewed an anonymous bride who informed friends that they were placed on a waiting list for her wedding and would be notified if 'an opening' came up for a full invitation. These second-tier friends harbored some resentment, but STILL readily accepted the invite, even if they were labeled as 'B-list' friends.

Ha! What will they think of next?!

I don't think I'm feeling this trend. What happened to the days when non-guests just figured out they weren't invited when they simply didn't get a save the date in the mail?

Have you ever been on the receiving end of one of these 'you're not invited' email alerts? Share your story by leaving a comment below.

Valentine's date night ideas for Boston's engaged crowd

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris February 11, 2013 12:15 AM

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and you're engaged! Take a break from the wedding planning and treat your future husband/wife/partner to a special evening.

Here's my list of a few awesome things to do in and around Boston:

Darryl's Corner Bar and Kitchen, South End
The sign on the front of Darryl's Corner Bar and Kitchen reads "intersection of friends, food and music," and those are three words that the Mister and I live by. In fact, we first met at this cozy South End restaurant during a networking event, so naturally it holds a special place in our hearts. Check out the Valentine's Day Date Nights special that is being offered between Feb. 14th - 16th.

Expertly Engaged Tip: If you really want to spice things up with your fiance', check out Darryl's on Tuesdays from 8 PM -11 PM for Reggae Night!

Thumbnail image for Chris and I in front of Darryl's.jpg Photo credit: Maureen Cotton Photography

Couples Massages at Bella Santé
Shoveling out of Nemo, wedding planning...Let Valentine's Day be your excuse to escape it all. Schedule a couples massage session complete with chocolates and champagne at Bella Santé's Wellesley or Lexington locations between Feb. 14th - 17th and prepare to hit 'play' on relaxation mode.

Mickalene Thomas Exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
If you and your boo are part of the artsy scene, a visit to the ICA this week to check out New York-based artist Mickalene Thomas is a must. The Mister and I caught her exhibit last fall at the Brooklyn Museum and it was an amazingly rich display of paintings adorned with rhinestone and acrylic. Located on the Boston waterfront, the ICA is a visually stunning building and will leave a lasting impression. The Mickalene Thomas exhibit runs through April 7th.

Late Night Dessert at The Fireplace, Brookline
Head to this upscale yet cozy spot in Brookline for a dessert nightcap to end your Valentine's Day night. Order the Sweet Little Bites selection from the menu and share a pair of yummy doughnuts and snuggle up next to the fireplace. Another great thing about this spot? A gluten-free menu option!

Whatever you decide to do this Thursday, do it with love. Happy Valentine's Day!

If the lights go out at your wedding...

Posted by Angel Babbitt Harris February 4, 2013 08:01 AM

As millions of Americans watched the lights go out during last night's Superbowl, I couldn't help but wonder how I would react if that happened at our wedding.

I admit. A bit of worry set in. It didn't last long, but the slightly neurotic, inner-Bridezilla tendencies that I'm trying so hard to suppress began to set in.

As a coping mechanism, I took to the blogosphere to "stalk" stories of couples who dealt with power outages on their wedding day. I learned that many power outages were actually due to inclimate weather, and not electrifying halftime performances put on by Beyoncé. However, for the record, I would happily welcome the lights going out at our reception if Beyoncé came and performed "All the Single Ladies" right before I took my position to throw the bouquet!

But, I digress...

Next, I stopped by the good ol' Farmer's Almanac to research the probability of a classic New England Nor'easter touching down and causing a massive blackout during our reception. A huge sigh of relief came shortly after discovering that the forecast is looking awesome for our day, though my fingers are still crossed.

So, what should you do if the lights go out during your wedding?

If you're a planner like me, I suggest circling back with your vendors and find out how each would handle unexpected situations, including power outages. Check to make sure your venue has back-up generators and candles available. If you plan to hire a DJ, coordinate a time when he/she can go to the venue and take inventory of any additional equipment they might need. Remind your wedding planner to pack flashlights and a backup iPod, just in case.

A power outage is just one of those things that no one can predict. You can prepare as much as possible, but ultimately Mother Nature is in control. As long as you are surrounded by family and friends who love and know you best, you're good. No one will hold it against you, or question your ability to throw a great party!

Just remember to keep calm and marry on. Lights on or off, you'll still be just as married after all is said and done.

Happy Planning!

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