It’s Here! Pour a Cold One & Celebrate "International Beer Day"

beer in mugs

International Beer Day, a global celebration of beer, is held on the First Friday in August. This year it’s tomorrow, August 4th.

Beer is an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented grains, such as wheat or barley.
international beer day - hops
Typically flavored with hops, herbs and fruits can be added for a different flavor. It is one of the world’s oldest beverages, thought to date back to the early Neolithic era (~9500 BC).

A popular beverage, beer is listed on many Top-5-Beverages-In-The-World lists, following water, soft drinks, and tea. (With coffee taking the #5 spot).

How to Celebrate?
• Try your hand at brewing your own beer. At-home beer making kits are readily available and cost less than you’d think (many start under $50).
• Spend your evening at a bar trying out new types of beer. Local craft beer bars and microbreweries are popular.
• Take a brewery tour and spend time learning the science behind beer making.
• Be adventurous. Sample beers varieties that you haven’t tried before.
• Enjoy beers from other cultures.

international beers

Fun facts . . .

. . . Beer is the name of craters on Mars and on the Moon. They are named in honor of the German astronomer, Wilhelm Beer.

. . . Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.

. . . Banana beer is made from the fermentation of mashed, ripe East-African Highland bananas. Commercial brands of banana beer include Mongozo Banana Beer, Raha, and Agashya.

Serving beer at your wedding?

Get creative by:

• Offering beer flights for your guests to sample different beers.
beer flight

• Want a fun summertime drink? Try a Shandy. It’s half beer/half lemonade. For a fall wedding do a half beer/half apple cider mix.
International Beer Day - summer shandy

• Decorate with wheat and hops. Create a hops garland, or boutonniere, or use a bundle of wheat as a centerpiece.
International Beer Day - Standing Preserved Wheat Grass Bundle

• Give little jars of beer jam as favors.
International Beer Day - Raspberry Vanilla Jam Beer

• Give personalized bottle openers as favors.
silver heart bottle opener keyring wedding favor personalized favors

• Incorporate beer in your menu. Serve a delicious beer bread, chocolate Guinness cake, beer cheese dip, honey beer braised ribs, or chili beer glazed steaks.
Beer Bread

Do you have any good recipes using beer, or other fun ideas using beer?

So raise your pilsner glass and give a toast to brewers and bartenders and beer!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Looking for fun ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitations & Other “Green” Tips

Incorporating eco-friendly, green ideas into your wedding  is easy and affordable. Check out theseeco-friendly wedding tips

This post was published in cooperation with Paperless Post.

Looking for wedding ideas that aren’t only earth-friendly but wallet friendly too?

INVITATIONS AND OTHER PAPER PRODUCTS
• Like the idea of menu cards? Do only 2 or 3 per table instead of one for each person (your guests won’t miss having their own).

• Reduce the amount of paper used in your invitations by omitting the inner envelopes and using RSVP postcards instead of the traditional card and envelope.

• Or you can completely reduce the amount of paper for your invitations by going paperless.

Beautiful Wedding Invitation from Paperless Post

Our friends at PAPERLESS POST help you create online and paper stationery that reflects your individual style. You can choose, and customize, from hundreds of styles/designs for your wedding invitations, including gorgeous styles by world famous designers such as Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, and Vera Wang.

Beautiful Wedding Invitation from Paperless Post

Beautiful Wedding Invitation from Paperless Post

Benefits of Using Online Invitations

• It’s totally eco-friendly. No paper or inks at all.

• Easy for guests to RSVP. With a click of a button they can respond with their accepts or regrets. There’s even a button to remind them to RSVP later.

• It’s a breeze to include additional information for your guests’ convenience (ex. parking info, hotel info).

• Directions from their doorstep to your venue are at your guest’s fingertips with the click of a button.

• You can add a comment wall for guests to leave a personalized message.

• Are you giving your guests menu options (Beef or Chicken)? Add additional RSVP question for your guests to answer. Also great for song requests.

• Need to make a change to the time or place? Updating is easy.

• Easily track who has responded. Need to check in with those who haven’t RSVP’d? There’s a button for that too.

• There’s more than just Wedding invitations. Holiday cards, Birthday, Thinking of You, Graduation announcements, and personalized stationery are just some of what they offer.

• It’s affordable.

Choose a card design. Add your text. Change the font style and color. Add a motif or logo. Want to add your own motif, logo, or photo? It’s easily done, and just takes a few seconds.

Your invitation/card is saved and put into a draft folder until you’re ready to send. Then when you’re ready to send, you can either send it immediately or schedule it for a future date.

It really is that simple.

Disadvantages

Ok, gotta be real. There are a few disadvantages to using online wedding invitations.

• Lost E-Mail
Occasionally an online invitation will get lost in cyberspace, and not reach it’s recipient. (But hey, things can get lost with the regular mail too). If someone says they haven’t received your paperless invitation, make sure you’ve got the right email address, or that your guest hasn’t changed their email address.

• Not All Guests Have Email
These days, most people have email, (and if they’re like me, they check it several times throughout the day). However, some of your guests, usually older folks, like grandparents or great aunts/uncles may not.

• No Keepsake
Some couples, and their parents like to save the invitation for a lovely keepsake. You can print out the online invitation, but doing a ‘print screen’ is not the same as an invitation that’s actually been printed.

The good thing here is that Paperless Post offers all of their designs in paper form as well.

Other Ways to Go Green for Your Wedding

DECOR
We can all agree that candles provide a romantic ambience.

candle wedding decor
Photo credit: ekkarat / 123RF Stock Photo

But did you ever notice soot on the edges of the glass of the candleholder, or going into the air when a candle is blown out? For your wedding why not use soy or honeycomb candles? They’re much cleaner than regular wax candles, and like other candles, come in any size or color you’d want.

After a wedding reception when the room is being cleaned up, it is kind of sad watching those beautiful floral centerpieces being thrown away.
Eco-Friendly Wedding Tips - Potted Plants

Photo credit: annete / 123RF Stock Photo

Instead of using cut flowers, group potted flowers on tables as centerpieces. Then at the end of the evening, your guests can take them home. The potted flowers enjoy a new life (either appreciated in your guests’ homes, or replanted in their yard). Plus, this serves double-duty so you don’t have to get separate favors.

FAVORS

If you prefer offering favors for your guests, go with an edible treat.

Eco-Friendly Wedding Tips - Edible wedding favors

In reality, your guests often can’t use or don’t want the cute favors that are non-edible, and will either end up throwing the favor away, or leaving it at the reception. But if it’s something for them to nibble on – they’ll be snacking on them during your reception, and maybe even looking for more!

FOOD & BEVERAGES
More and more caterers are thinking green

Eco-Friendly Wedding Tips - Organic, locally grown food

– using ingredients that are organic, and locally grown.

Why not include some green, eco-friendly choices for your wedding? They’re just as easy, and often either cost the same or less than non-green options.

Let us know what you think. Are/would you consider including some eco-friendly elements to your wedding?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or 937-581-3647!

It’s Fiesta Time – Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo dancers
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.

PIÑATA
Colorful Pinata
Mexican 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!

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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!

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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.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For wedding planning tips and ideas contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!