Wednesday Wisdom

December 7, 2011

The Leonardo Grand Opening | Wednesday Wisdom


We at Culinary Crafts are constantly looking for new and different venues for our clients.  We know that the venue is VERY important to the event, not only to maintain the look and feel our clients envision, but to work with venues that will make our client's overall experience the best it can be.  On that note, one of the newest venues we are happy to announce is The Leonardo!  We had the distinct honor of catering the Opening Gala and ribbon cutting!  It was AMAZING - from the decor, to the attendees, the venue itself, and, of course, the FOOD!  Take a look!

Love the local vendors, such as Beehive Cheese Co., that we were able to spotlight at this event!

Such a FANTASTIC night and FABULOUS venue.  I love that we were able to delight the guests with one of my favorite new stations, the Doughnut Bar Ring of Fire Action Station!  Such a dazzling and delicious dish, and it fit in perfectly with the wonder and beauty of The Leonardo!  I encourage everyone to go check out this new and impressive space!  It won't disappoint!

Check out our NEW website at!

Photo credit: Logan Walker with CAKE photography

November 30, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Alta MODA Sample Sale!


Every year, Alta Moda opens their door for brides to chance perusing the most gorgeous selection of gowns at fractions of the price for their Sample Sale!  It is a STELLAR event that any bride definitely does not want to miss!!!  Here's the lowdown:

"Alta Moda bridal boutique will host their annual Sample Sale on Saturday, December 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brides-to-be are invited to line up early for a selection of more than 50 couture wedding dresses marked down 50 to 85 percent. Gowns start as low as $400, with many under $1000.

There will be dresses from all of your favorite designers; Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Anne Barge, Melissa Sweet, and many more.

Things you’ll want to know:

Sale hours are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., December 10th only No appointments: First come, First served (wait list) Gowns are sold as is, alterations not included Only sample sale gowns will be on display No holds and all sales final – come ready to buy Most gowns are suited for street sizes 4-12 We only do this once a year, so now is the time Space is limited; only one or two key decision makers/guests per bride

We love our gowns and treat them with the best of care, so you can be assured you are getting your dream dress at a coveted price.

Want to know how sought-after this sale is? Last year, the Alta Moda staff arrived an hour early to find there were already a couple dozen brides lined-up outside the doors. That’s how much you need to be at this sale.

Come early, wear a warm coat and bring hot cocoa or coffee to warm up with. Doors will open at exactly 10 a.m., and you’ll be welcomed into the shop to stay warm and cozy as you wait for your consultation. Once inside, your name will be put on a list in order of the line/arrival so you can find a seat and wait for your name to be called-- no fuss, and no need to hold your place!

Consultations will be limited to 40 minutes. We’ll be running many more fitting rooms than usual to help get you in your dream dress as quickly as we can. And just because it’s a sample sale, it doesn’t mean you’re on your own. You’ll each get an experienced consultant from start to finish. They know all the gowns (by name and inside and out), all the tricks, and how to make sure you are beyond thrilled. Only four gowns can be initially selected, but your consultant will guide you and make sure you try on the perfect styles until you find the one.

Come ready to buy the dress of your dreams!"

We can't wait!  It's sure to be AMAZING again this year!!!  Thanks Alta Moda!

Check out our NEW website at!

November 16, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Top 5 Tips on Planning A Stellar Birthday Party!


We at Culinary Crafts love all types of events, from weddings to corporate events and everything in between.  But we will always have a special place in our hearts for Birthday Parties!!!  Today, I'd like to give our top 5 tips to take any birthday party you are planning over the top!  Check it out!

1.  Know Your Crowd.  For any birthday party, it is always a good idea to know your crowd.  If you are just going to be having a party for a 16 year old and all the guests are about that age as well, you can easily gear the party and entertainment for the teenager set.  If you are having a birthday party for a 50 year old, however, and families and friends are invited, it becomes a bit more tricky.  You'll want some of the food and entertainment to gear towards the adults, but also, to make sure the kids aren't bored by the 'grown-up' fun, provide kid friendly activities and food selections too!  Everyone will leave totally happy and talking about the party of the year!

2.  Details make the party.  If you've read this blog for any period of time, you know I'm a sucker for details.  I love, love, love the way details can make a party go from regular to EXTRAORDINARY!  Birthday parties are an excellent time to have fun with details and themes.  A whimsical cake, an over the top theme, a candy table to die for - all excellent details to consider.  And since its a birthday party, you can really go all out and have fun with it.

3.  Use the venue to your advantage.  As with any event, make sure you take the venue into consideration.  Good use of space can make sure that your guests have plenty to see, plenty to do, and tons of yummy food to eat!

4.  Provide entertainment.  Whether you want to make your party a carnival theme or a laid-back, elegant, "hoe-down", you should make sure to entertain your guests.  I'm not saying everyone needs to hire the Oakridge Boys (like the birthday party above) but having something to entertain your guests will make it the party they won't soon forget!

5.  Make it all about the Birthday Girl or Boy.  At the end of the day, it's YOUR birthday and your birthday party.  Make sure you choose to do things you like and serve food that you love.  You can still make sure that all your guests have a blast and also make sure that you have the party you want!

Happy planning everyone!

Check out our website at!

Photo credits: ZumaPhoto and Keith Westerberg

November 9, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Top 10 Holiday Party Planning Tips


Hi all!  Today I am thrilled to announce our guest blogger, Mara Marian-Harwood, who you may know as the creative tour de force behind Events by LMG.  I always love the events and styling tips that Mara has and what she has shared with us today is no exception!  Each tip is excellent and will definitely help any hostess or host with their holiday party!  Take a look!

Top 10 Holiday Party Planning Tips | Mara Marian-Harwood, Events by LMG

1. Steer Clear of Your Kitchen I love to cook and bake, preparing food for my friends and family is something I truly enjoy. I almost never give up my kitchen to anyone else, except when I am entertaining a large group in my home. It’s an entirely different challenge to prepare dinner and hors d’oeuvres for a few guests than to prepare food and hors d’oeuvres for a large group. It’s impossible to act the part of a gracious hostess if you’re busy watching platters and refilling confections. Allow a catering team to handle the food for you, so you can enjoy the food- and the party! Don’t forget that hostess is your role at your holiday party, to greet and entertain guests.

2. How to be a Hostess The part of a great hostess begins before the party starts. Balance your guest list with couples and single folks. Don’t make a big deal of the single guests, going out of your way to introduce every single person who crosses your path to another makes for particularly awkward exchanges. Single adults will find one another, without your assistance. Be sure to create a fun and comfortable environment that promotes mingling and the rest will take care of itself.

3. No Wallflower Zone The right music, décor and lighting paired with great food and drinks will make for a fun and festive environment. Don’t make the mistake of putting the food right next to the bar. Be sure to split these areas up to keep guests moving. If your home is large enough, multiple bars and food stations are ideal.

4. Some Like it Hot! Be sure to offer a variety of beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. A hot beverage bar is a great interactive-entertainment option for guests, separate from a traditional cocktail bar.  Hot spiced-cider, warm cocoa and hot toddies can all be dressed by guests. Be sure to work with your caterer to get a great selection of colored sugars, cinnamon sticks, marshmallows and peppermint sticks for your guests to add to their drinks. Specialty glassware and mugs can be rented locally to make each of these beverages feel special.

5. Use Candles Sans-Scent Avoid the urge to stock up on and burn scented holiday candles. Solid in abundance at this time of year, cinnamon, peppermint and pine-scented candles can be a tempting choice. Remember that your guests will all arrive wearing perfume and cologne. In addition to your delicious menu, there is no room for more scents. Allow the aroma of the food and beverages to set the mood rather than an artificial candle. (Don’t skip candles altogether though! Just be sure not to place candles in areas where clothes or hair could catch fire, up and out of the way is best).

6. Channel Your Inner Supermodel Since you won’t be busy slaving away in your hot kitchen, be sure to spend time getting festive with your ensemble. The holidays are the time to add a little sparkle. Whether it’s a sequined frock or a pearly eyeliner, get into the holiday sprit.

7. Get Glass Be sure to have lots of bottled water on hand for your party. For any formal engagement, I suggest glass bottles. A glass water bottle feels upscale and pretty. My favorites are Pellegrino for a fizzy option, and Aqua Pana for water sans bubbles. Having the water readily available around the party will keep it accessible for your drinking guests who will thank you tomorrow.

8. Bathroom and Boudoir Your guests will inevitably use your restrooms and poke around your home. Decorate with fresh florals in every space, bathrooms included. Work with a florist to offer beautiful seasonal-appropriate arrangements  other than the standard grocery-store poinsettia.

9. Coat Check Simply planning to stack coats in a bedroom isn’t a good coat-check plan. Some guests will uncomfortable with this and will carry their belongings around all night, not conducive to a fun party. If you’re not working with a professional planner, ask your caterer for recommendations on staffing for this service. Your caterer may even offer the service.

10. Parking Predicament Consider where your guests will park based on the number of cars you’re expecting to need to accommodate. If your neighborhood has lots of street parking options, it’s a nice gesture to let neighbors know that you’ll be having a party so they can expect the increase in cars on your street that evening. It’s amazing how a simple heads up will make your otherwise easily irritated neighbor feel like they were a part of the decision. Problem solved! A professional valet-service is also a surprisingly cost-effective solution to parking dilemmas.

Thank you so much Mara!  These ideas are FABULOUS!  I hope they make all of your holiday party planning a breeze - and if you'd like the professional planning services of Mara and her team, go to!  Happy planning!

Check out our website at!

Photo Credit: Used courtesy of  Events by LMG, photographed by Chudleigh Weddings

November 2, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Spotlight on Distinctive Inscriptions Calligraphy


Today I'd like to share one of our favorite (and brand new!) vendors with you!  Its none other than Distinctive Inscriptions Calligraphy!  The owner, Ashantai, is a master of his craft and we are so excited that he has added such panache to the Utah wedding market!  He has kindly shared some photos and a bio with us so check it out!

"Three years ago, a co-worker, upon noticing my handwriting in my laboratory notebook (I moonlight as a chemist) commented: 'Did you write that? Wow, man, that’s pretty cool! You should do calligraphy. People do wedding invitations and envelopes using calligraphy.'  Initially, I thought little of this.  Then on a whim I bought a calligraphy pen: 'Let’s see where this goes…' I thought. I found I liked it. A lot. Like, a whooolllleeee lot!   When I recognized I was developing an enduring passion for calligraphy, I bought a book for instruction and contacted professional calligraphers for advice and help. One, Michele Papineau, responded in kind.  She has since become my mentor and a friend. My start to my calligraphy passion in a nutshell.

Since then my passion for calligraphy has literally flourished. I am thrilled to write names and quotes in exquisite lettering styles and fanciful flourishes. While it brings me great joy to me to hand letter in any manner, I am thrilled to do both place cards and envelopes. I believe the place card puts one’s name on the marquee. Lauren Brady of The Write Image stated, 'Invitations tell a story — the moment the envelope is opened guests know what type of wedding they will be attending.' I agree.  Since the invitation tells the story, calligraphy presents exquisite opening scenery, the prelude to an enchanting and intimate engagement. I believe my calligraphy provides that very scenery!

Fonts and flourishes, pens and ink, and styles and swirls enrapture me!  I have developed an exquisite love affair with my calligraphy pens, creating art in a variety of styles, from the whimsical to the formal to the fancy flourish. All of my lettering styles are done by hand with brass dip nibs and ink or water-based pigments such as gouache. I produce quality work and take pride in my keen sense of attention to detail, engaging my clients to encompass their vision.  It is pleasing to receive compliments on my work. Most rewarding, however, is to see the ebullience and scintillating effervescence on the faces of clients when they receive their completed works of art.  As one client stated to me: 'My guests are saving their envelopes.  They are so beautiful!'  I responded in kind, 'That’s exactly what I want.  Enthralling impressions, Enchanting memories.' My desire is to create the same impression for you, enhancing your intimate engagement with works of art and enchanting your guests.  I would be thrilled to do so.


Ever notice how ‘What the Hell?’ is always the right answer?' -Marilyn Monroe"

Thank you so much Ashantai for sharing you talent, works, and a little bit about you with us!  Calligraphy is such a great detail to set your event apart and really elevate the look and feel of everything from the invitations to the place cards!  We hope this inspires you to check out Distinctive Inscriptions Calligraphy!

Check out our website at!

October 26, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Harry Potter Wedding Inspiration


I LOVE Harry Potter and am an admitted dork about it.  So, when I saw this inspiration shoot with a Harry Potter inspiration on Green Wedding Shoes, you know I jumped on that bandwagon!  Even better, I was not disappointed - it was GORGEOUS.  It is the perfect mix of aged, old-world magic and nature - with a splash of elegance.  Take a look at some of my favorite parts!

Love the whole feel of this shoot - especially the Liquid Luck and the feathers!  Such a fun idea and totally not just for Potter fans, I think.  The rustic and natural elements with just a hint of the posh and elegant could work with any wedding!  Thank you, Green Wedding Shoes and thank you to Bree of Capitol Romance and photographer Abby Grace for putting it all together!  For the complete post (and more Potter inspired goodness) go to Green Wedding Shoes here.  Happy planning!

Check out our website at!

Photo credits: Abby Grace Photography

October 19, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Top 5 Tips on Selecting Your Bridal Gown


We have a special treat for all of you today!  Hilary Anderson, from Alta MODA and Lily & Iris, is our guest blogger today and has written a FABULOUS guest post on something I'm sure is a pretty big deal for most brides:  Finding the PERFECT wedding dress!  You may remember that Hilary helped our very own Mary Crafts-Homer find her perfect gown!  She is amazing and definitely has some excellent tips for everyone! Take it away Hilary!

"Top 5 Tips for Finding Your Wedding Dress 1. Time can be on your side: Engaged? About to be? Start your shopping! Special order gowns take an average of 4 months to create and another 2 months to alter.  Many options are available for quicker delivery, but time is your friend.  You can save money (and stress) by ordering early. 2. Know Your Budget: Bridal gowns, like so many other elements of your wedding, come in a vast range of prices. It is important to have a general gown budget before you go dress shopping. Having an idea of what you can spend will help keep you from having your heart broken. 3. Your Near and Dear: You'll have so many people wanting to celebrate your joy and join in your planning. However, for your gown appointment, consider bringing along only one or two of your most supportive confidants. More opinions can hinder the process and, inadvertently, hurt feelings. There are plenty of other ways of having them take part after the gown is found. 4. Plan Your Outings: It is a good idea to call ahead and make appointments at the boutiques you're visiting.  This can be a big time saver and insure better, more personal service.  Also, you’ll have first run at all the gowns! 5. Bring an Open Mind: Try on a gown or two outside of the box (we call them the “wild card” dresses).  You never know what you’ll find from trying something new. It may either show you the path to the perfect ensemble or reassure your current opinion. And, much like your man, it may not be what you expected, but you'll know it's right when you see it."

Thank you SO much for your wisdom, Hilary!  And, by the way, if you would like to go see any of the dresses pictured above, they are at Alta MODAAlta MODA has some of the most jaw-droppingly GORGEOUS dresses anywhere, so you should check them out!  Happy shopping!

Check out our website at!

October 5, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Winter Flower Ideas


Today on Wednesday Wisdom, we have a guest blogger!  Sarah Winward of Honey of a Thousand Flowers kindly lent her AMAZING expertise to us today!  I am so excited!  And, because winter weddings are gearing up very soon, I asked her for some floral ideas for winter that are exquisite as well as in season.  Check it out!

"Everyone loves peeling apart a juicy Clementine orange when they are at their peak in the winter months.  I value using a product at its natural peak season, and as a florist, that is very important!  Citrus can be enjoyed in the winter months not only by incorporating it  into your menu, but I say put it in your wedding décor too! Citrus fruit of all types are available to florists on the stem through the winter.  It is a great unexpected element to make winter weddings feel fun.   I talk to a lot of winter brides who wish they were getting married in the summer because they like the natural looking weddings.  To try and make their wedding feel like summer they feel like they need to steer clear of any flowers that even hint at winter.  I think that is a myth.  Evergreens and winter flowers can still feel fun and light-hearted like a summer weddings when you use them the right way.  I say embrace the season! A cozy winter wedding with intimate lighting and rich fabrics can still be fun when you incorporate the right colors and textures into your flowers.  Citrus is a great unexpected way to add some personality to your flowers.  Small oranges, lemons, kumquats, and limes are available on the stem and can be easily incorporated into any floral arrangement.  

There are plenty of evergreen foliages that will feel season appropriate, but don’t say “Christmas”.  Many have wonderful textures and colors.  One of my favorites used in the arrangement in the inspiration board is blue cypress.   Other flowers that are available in winter that are on the inspiration board and come in several colors are amaryllis, anemone, and ranunculus.  These are flowers that are sought-after by summer brides but are not often available because they don’t do well in the heat.  Only the lucky winter brides get them! "

Thank you Sarah and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of using citrus in a winter wedding!  What an unexpected (and fun!) element to set your event apart.  I especially love the idea of further incorporating the citrus into your menu!  Happy planning, readers!  For more about Sarah and Honey of a Thousand Flowers, go to!

Check out our website at!

Image credits:

Clementines, chandelier, and string lights photos: abby trys again photos of floral arrangements: Sarah Winward, Honey of a Thousand Flowers

September 28, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: How To Make DIY Favor Bags


If you haven't noticed, we here at Culinary Crafts LOVE food.  Food is our passion and we love sharing it with our favorite people, including our always AMAZING clients!  So, it makes sense that one of our favorite wedding favor ideas is giving your guests with the gift of, well, food!  So, why not dress up those tasty treats with super cute (and super easy) favor bags?  Check it out!

Thank you to Martha Stewart for this fun idea!  How cute are these chocolate dipped sourdough pretzels?  And the simple, yet striking, glassine bags definitely add a 'wow' factor.  All you need is glassine bags, sticker paper, a sewing machine, and a printer.  First, print out your tags on a full sheet sized (8.5" x 11") sticker paper page and use a ruler and utility knife to cut the printed sheet into the squares for your bags (you can find some really cute - already designed - templates here).  Attach the sticker to your glassine bag.  Next, simply stitch the top of the filled glassine bag with a contrasting thread color (preferably in one of your wedding colors) to close the bag and seal in your goodies.  Now, you don't have to have chocolate dipped sourdough pretzels.  You could fill the bag with candies, Jordan almonds, spiced and roasted pumpkin seeds, or Culinary Crafts signature macarons or whoopie pies.  How easy is that?!

Now, remember, if you are going to be using one of Culinary Crafts's delicate confections, you'll have to make the bags only a couple of days ahead so the baked goods stay fresh and keep them refrigerated!  Also, if you are going to be having a summer wedding, where the favors will be sitting out in warm weather, you want to shy away from chocolates or other melt-y items unless you plan accordingly.  Happy crafting!

Check out our website at!

Image from Martha Stewart Weddings

September 14, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom: Trend Summit [ For Vendors ]


We have some exciting news!  Culinary Crafts has had the distinct honor of being asked to be a contribute at Trend Summit for 2012 on September 25th!  Actually, we were overjoyed - three times over - because Kaleb Crafts, Ryan Crafts and Jacque Riehl are all presenting!  How awesome is that?!

The Utah Wedding Trend Summit will be held on September 25, 2011 and will be the wedding event of the year! Local speakers will introduce and present the hottest and most current trends in the wedding industry. The latest color palettes issued by the Pantone Institute for 2012 will be displayed and discussed within the framework of all things wedding—from bridal gowns to floral centerpieces, from dinnerware to the newest and coolest beverage concoctions and more. This will be the place for the who’s who of Utah wedding professionals!

The Utah Wedding Trend Summit will be held at Pierpont Place, 163 Pierpont Avenue, Salt Lake City, 84101. Pre-register by September 23rd and the fee to attend is $50, if you register at the door, the fee is $75. Register at:

This event is sponsored by Utah Bride and Groom Magazine, The Utah Professional Florist Association, Pierpont Place and The Wedding Professionals of Utah.  Do not miss this one of a kind event, where you will be sure to learn the latest and best trends in the wedding world, which will set you and your business apart as the place to go for the best a wedding professional can offer!

Ryan and Kaleb Crafts will be presenting on catering trends and Jacque Riehl will be presenting on design and planning!  Not to mention all the other fantastic scheduled speakers!  Another enticing tidbit is that we at Culinary Crafts will be providing lunch (which is included in the cost of registration)!We are so thrilled to be a part of this event and hope to see many of our fellow vendors there!

Check out our website at!

Graphic and italicized text re-posted from Utah Bride Blog

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