Monday Musings

December 5, 2011

Monday Musing: Lavender Wedding


We here at Culinary Crafts cater over 300 weddings a year so it would make sense that our entire team of wedding specialists work constantly to create flawless celebrations for dozens of brides every week - and one of our recent favorites was a gorgeous outdoor wedding, complete with gorgeous decor, scrumptious food, and fabulous florals.  One of my favorite ways to create a unique look that is simple yet stunning is by using non-traditional flowers or plants at your event - and this wedding had just that!  Whether its succulents, holly, kale, artichokes, rosemary, or lavender,  these options definitely add a feeling of natural and organic beauty.  In this wedding, they chose to use lavender to add the purple pop to their color palette and it was beautiful in their outdoor garden venue.  They had a simple elegant design and the sprigs of the beautiful purple blooms added a bit of visual interest (and I'm sure smelled WONDERFUL). Take a look!

Not only was their wedding drop dead GORGEOUS, but they had a ton of DELICIOUS food from yours truly!   At this wedding, the rustic wood fire pizza oven fit right in - as did the pizza, which was provided one of our favorite new vendor partners, Surefire Pizza, of course! Pair that with one of our new favorite action stations, the doughnut bar, and you have an event that's dreamy, delectable, and down right STUNNING.  Happy planning!

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Photo credits: Jacque Lynn Photogaphy


November 7, 2011

Monday Musings: How to Create a Guest List


Today we'll be tackling the ever pesky subject of guest lists.  Trying to decide who and who not to invite to your big day can be daunting, but if you plan early and keep these tips in mind, it'll be a lot easier!  Take a look!

1.  Decide what your budget is and the feel of your wedding.  Deciding your budget, venue, and feel are all extremely important to coming to a final guest list.  Firstly, decide your budget.  This helps you decide how many people you are able to invite because caterers charge by person, so you want to make sure you decide a budget you are comfortable with and use that tool to help determine your guest number.  Secondly, you should find your venue and see if they will accommodate how many people you are inviting or if is too big, maybe consider finding a smaller venue that would fit your more intimate affair.  Also take the feel of your wedding into consideration.  Have you always dreamed of a small, intimate affair with only the closest of family and friends?  Or do you dream of a big bash with everyone you can think of?  While the latter may have to be scaled back because of budget, still look at what your dream is, what the budget is and come up with a realistic guest number.

2. Create a couple of smaller lists.  You and your soon-to-be spouse should write down all of your own family  that you'd like to invite - trying to make it about equal.  Now if one of you has a small family and the other's is bigger, keep that in mind and realize your lists will not be equal and allow the person with the larger family a bit more room.  Next, make a joint list of your friends that you'd like to invite to share in your big day.  Lastly, ask your parents to submit wish lists of people they would like to invite as well.

3.  Now - edit the list.  Now that you have your budget, venue, and preliminary list in order, go through the lists and make the cuts to get the list into the number your budget will accommodate.  Remember to be open and communicate with your parents about who you'd like to invite - especially if they are footing the bill.  Talking openly and honestly will save headaches in the future.

Happy planning everyone!

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October 24, 2011

Monday Musings: Top 5 Halloween DIY Decor


Hello all!  This week, we are super excited for the upcoming Halloween weekend!  To celebrate, every day on the blog, we'll have a Halloween spin on our daily themes - starting with today's Top 5 Halloween DIY Decor!  Check it out - and if you'd like to try your hand at any of  these projects - just click the link below the image!

Spooky Luminarias

Creepy Bird Window Silhouettes

Head Waiter Serving Tray

Bloody Candles

Dubious Drink Labels

I hope this adds a little 'spooky' to your home! Enjoy!

Check out our website at!

All images from Martha Stewart

October 17, 2011

Monday Musings: Spotlight on Scenemakers and Diamond Rental


What do you get when you combine the vision of Mary Crafts, the rental operations of Diamond Rental, and the award winning design of Scenemakers?  A breathtaking masterpiece to be long remembered!  Two of the FANTASTIC vendors at Mary and Rick's reception were Diamond Rental and ScenemakersScenemakers was responsible for the AMAZING site design!  And Diamond Rental was responsible for all the BEAUTIFUL rentals!  I mean, remember that tent?  That detail alone was DROP DEAD GORGEOUS.  And the way they were designed to frame the reception?  AMAZING!  Take a look!

Scenemakers and Diamond Rental made Mary and Rick's reception a night their guests would never forget.  Such a breathtaking venue, stunning rentals from Diamond Rental, and Scenemakers's design was the icing on the cake!  They both took Mary's vision of "Surround Tents and Open Courtyard" and turned it into a reality.  Just what Mary and Rick dreamed!  Dinner and dancing under the stars!

Check out our website at!

Photo credits: Pepper Nix Photography and ZumaPhoto


October 10, 2011

Monday Musings: Invitation Ettiquette – The Host Line


Hi all!  Today I have the wonderful Ann Elizabeth of Ann Elizabeth Custom Invitations here to tell you about Invitation Etiquette and also to explain the deal with the host's line.  Take it away Ann!

"Ever wonder why some wedding invitations start out with the bride and groom’s names printed at the top and other invitations list the parents of the bride at the top?

So what’s the deal... Who’s name’s should be printed first?

The answer to that question is the 'hosts'.  Figuring out who the 'hosts' of the wedding are is important for couples to consider when selecting wording.  In many cases, the “hosts” of the wedding are the bride’s parents. A major factor of figuring out the “host” is establishing who is shouldering the majority of the financial burden of the wedding.

Some etiquette experts also say that the persons listed first on the invitation was tied to whom was 'giving' the bride to the groom. (Think... Father of the bride walking the bride down the aisle to give the bride away.)

The role of “hosts” has typically fallen to the bride’s parents, but now it is not uncommon for multiple sets of parents or the bride and groom themselves to be the 'hosts' of the wedding and, therefore, listed first on the invitation.

It can get tricky when parents and the bride and groom are participating in the finances and even trickier when multiple sets of parents are involved. Use your best judgement on what suits your situation and talk to your family about their preferences.

In any situation, we recommend that the engaged couple be as considerate as possible to those who are helping in the nuptial plans and err on the side of being gracious and appreciate the love and support of your family and friends."

Thank you so much Ann!  I know the host line is definitely one of those situations where etiquette can definitely save you a lot of grief and hurt feelings!  As Ann says, its always better to err on the side of being gracious!  Your wedding planning and wedding day will be happier as a result!  Happy planning!

Check out our website at!

Invitations provided by Ann Elizabeth Custom Invitations

October 3, 2011

Monday Musings: Spotlight on Carrie’s Cakes


Hello all and Happy Monday!  Today, I'd like to spotlight another one of Mary and Rick's FANTASTIC vendors: Carrie's CakesCarrie's Cakes made their GORGEOUS wedding cake which was one of the beautiful visual pieces that every guest certainly enjoyed!  It was a 5 tier, ivory masterpiece that mimic-ed the style and fabric of Mary's Augusta Jones gown.  Each tier was slightly different but all culminated to create this wonderful wedding cake!  Take a look!

Carrie and her crew are definitely the masters of beautifully constructed cakes.  They build the wild, the great, the intricate, the elegant, and the whimsical.  Anything you could dream, Carrie's Cakes can make!  Thank you Carrie's Cakes for creating a stunning cake that Mary and Rick (as well as their guests) will never forget!  And, also, a thank you to Scenemakers for putting the "icing" on the cake with dozens of ivory roses at the cake's base and an aubergine L'amour linen set atop hundreds of beautiful rose petals making for a breathtaking presentation!  Stay tuned for a spotlight on Scenemakers soon!

Check out our website at!

Photo credits: Pepper Nix Photography and Logan Walker of  ZumaPhoto

September 12, 2011

New Blog Format and Monday Musings!


Hi all!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend full of relaxation and fun!  Be sure to read to the end of this post because we give you our Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Caterer, but first some exciting news!  Recently, we've been working on making our blog even more helpful to you, our readers, and adding more tips, tricks, advice, and how-to posts - and with that, we've also decided to come up with a sort of weekly breakdown to make it easier for you to tune in to your favorite topics and find the information you are looking for!  So, without further adieu, from today on, we'll be posting topics based on these 'theme' days:

Monday Musings - Advice from experts, tips, tricks, and helpful how-tos!

Trendy Tuesdays - Well be letting you in on the industry's up and coming trends and ideas to keep you in style!

Wednesday Wisdom - DIY projects, more tips, ideas, and experts weighing in on how to make your day perfect!

Food Theory Thursday - All things food and drink!  Here we'll be sharing recipes, techniques, and pairings for you to use in your own kitchen and event menus!

Favorite Find Friday - Here we'll be showcasing our favorite find of the week - so it'll be a grab bag of fantastic finds!

And, in honor of today's first ever Monday Musing, we asked the ever wonderful Mary Crafts-Homer to share with us her Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Caterer to make sure you get the best fit for your event!

1.  Let your caterer know your budget up front and ask what would be the best fit for your event based on that budget.  You may want a 7 course plated dinner for all your guests but that definitely adds major cost to your bottom line - so unless your budget allows for it, let the caterer suggest other options - such as a gorgeous dinner buffet with similar food options to cut your cost.  If the caterer won't work with your budget or tries to upsell you an event you aren't sure you can afford - be wary.  Also make sure that you trust your caterer enough to give you ideas you wouldn't have thought of yourself, but also make sure that they keep your vision at the forefront.  It's your day, after all!

2.  Ask if there are any additional costs for labor, alcohol service, gratuity, etc. that will be added into your final total.  This is especially important if you have a tight budget and do not want to be surprised with the final bill the week before your wedding.  Most caterers will outline any additional labor costs, extra staff costs, alcohol provider's costs, and also suggest a gratuity based on your cost.  Make sure you are aware of the costs involved and plan for your budget and there will be no surprises at the end.  Also, remember the gratuity is based on the service provided.  So your gratuity should reflect your overall happiness with the event and service.

3.  Ask if the food is prepared on-site or in a kitchen off-site.  Culinary Crafts prides itself on preparing their food at the event site (which is one of the reasons it is SO delicious and fresh).  This allows you to plan for how much space the caterer will need to prepare the food and plan a layout where they will have their "back of house" or prep area.  You don't want to be figuring this out on the day of - you'll have more important things to focus on!

4.  Ask if they are a full service caterer or not.  Meaning, are they just going to show up and make sure the food is taken care of?  Or are they going to make sure that the layout is the way that you (the client) have envisioned?  And that the cake shows up?  Or that the rental company has delivered the chairs and linens you ordered?  Culinary Crafts will make sure all facets of the event are taken care of from layout to set up to execution.  Of course, a wedding planner would do this as well - so if you have hired one, Culinary Crafts will work closely with the planner to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.  One less thing to worry about on your wedding day!

5.  Ask other wedding vendors and past client about their experience with the caterer you are considering hiring.  No matter what the reputation is of the caterer, you should ask vendors and clients you know and trust about their experience with the caterer to find out if they would recommend them or had any problems with them.  It's always important to know who you are doing business with.  It'll make sure you are happy in the long run!

Happy planning everyone!

For more ideas, advice, and tips, check out our website at!

27x winner Utah’s Best of State

24x Best of State Caterer

3x Best of the Best / Hospitality

1x Entrepreneur of the Year