Welcome to Classic Creations' Blog!
My name is Julie Gambrell and I'm the owner of this fabulous wedding and event planning company. We are based out of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, but travel the world planning spectacular events.

We love planning and designing weddings....it's the best job in the world! Be sure to subscribe to our blog to get the latest tips and inspirations in wedding planning as we update it often! Oh, and give us a call if you need some wedding planning assistance!

Cheers! -Julie

Monday, March 30, 2009

Photo of the Week- Wedding Favors

Photo of the Week - Ideas about Wedding Favors

(local jam and a CD of the couple's fave music...they are big in to music)

Most of my clients know that I'm not big on wedding favors...or at least unless they have something to do with your wedding theme and/or your personality. I just don't think you should be spending hundreds of dollars on cutesy knick-knacks with your name engraved on it that probably won't be used by your guests. BUT...I know you love them, and it's your day, so as I tell my clients let's pick something that will work.

So here's our thoughts on favors.....

- pick something edible and you probably won't have a ton leftover....and if you do I'm sure you'll enjoy the leftovers as you nibble away and reminisce about your day.
-only order enough for about 75% of your guests. Typically couples will only take one.

My favorite favors are the late night snacks (like the one above), CD's the couple have personalized with their favorite music, and donations to local charities. The hot one for my couples this year are the donations to charities. Couples getting married in the mountains are donating to the forestry service to help with the pine beetle devastation.
You can pick fun favors just be sure it reflects you as a couple and wedding style style!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wedding Etiquette - Place cards vs. Escort cards

Tipsy Thursday...time for more wedding etiquette!
So what's the difference between Place cards and Escort cards?

I know many people who use the names Place card and Escort card interchangeably, but these are actually two totally different things. So here's the ins and outs of Escort card vs. Place cards.

There's a fine art to deciding who sits where at your reception...sometimes this needs to be discussed over a bottle of wine. It requires that you consider the feelings of your guests, use some diplomacy when discussing it with your family, and a sense of fun. Now this can actually take some time to decide on so I always suggest you start this early. Get a diagram of the table layouts and start assigning! Once you have tables assigned you'll need to consider if you'll be using both Escort Cards and Place cards?

Escort Cards
Escort cards are what most of my clients will do.....these are little cards your guests pick up during the cocktail hour or as they enter the reception room. The cards are arranged in alphabetical order so they are easy for your guests to find. The Escort card simply assigns your guests to sit at a specific table. The Escort cards have your guests' name on it and their table number/name. The name on the escort card should match the formality of your event......Mr. and Mrs. Bob Smith if it's formal (similar to how you addressed the invitation).....Mary and Bob Smith if it's less formal (yes, we usually put the ladies name first).
If you've had guests select their entree and you're not doing place cards, you would need to find some way to designate their food choice on the escort card and ask the guests to set them out at their seat where the catering staff can see them.
(Below, ribbon color designates food choice)

You can get pretty creative with these, the design should fit the level of formality and/or theme of your event.

(Winter theme- sock ornaments filled with candies doubled as favors)

(Old Hollywood Theme)

(Rock place cards for more natural theme)
(Matted escort table assignments)

Place cards

We typically see Place cards used at more formal events. These are cards that do exactly what they say... they tell your guests their "place" at their table. It will have their name on it and if you've had them select a specific entree will usually have some way to designate their entree choice (color, ribbon, etc).

For the actual names on the place card, again for a formal setting the name would be Mr. Smith (if you have two people with the same names then you can list the first name as well, i.e. Mr. Bobby Smith.). If it's more informal you can go without the title, i.e. Bobby Smith. Each of your guests will have their own place card...that goes for couples and well as your " and guest" people. So for those people bringing a date it will be necessary to find out the mystery "and guests" name, just put in a quick call to your friend.

Again, the style of the place card should fit the theme and formality of your event.
(Rock place cards)
(Combo menu card and place card)

(Couple's place card)

(Fall themed place cards)

Julie's Advice
We almost always suggest that you do escort cards, it keeps your guests from having that uncomfortable feeling of having to hurry in and get a seat or save a seat/table, & having to ask "is this seat open". It may be a little work for you, but will make your guests more comfortable on the wedding day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Photo of the Week- Is your wedding timeless?

Photo of the Week -Timeless Wedding
This weekend I celebrated my 16th wedding anniversary. My hubby and I looked over our wedding album and had a few laughs..."Look at the hair...look at what people were wearing...check out the dance pics, what a great party!" It was also nice to see photos of people who are no longer with us. Here are my photos of the week and a little advice at the end....my family wedding album:

Photo of my grandmother's wedding

My mom wouldn't share hers, but I got this one of them as bridal party members)
Me...check out that hair! LOL...poofy sleeves...it was so the style! I was trendsetting at the time to have black as my bridesmaids dress color. My grandma was shocked, but liked it when she saw it.

I have so many brides who say they want their wedding to be timeless, that they don't want to look back at their wedding and say that it was trendy at the time. I'm not sure there's any way to avoid that...and how would you know? Plus it's SO much fun to look at it now and explain to my kids that it was the style of the times!

So my advice to brides...don't get to caught up in worrying about the timeless factor....you love it now, you'll love it later just with a few laughs and good memories added in!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Destination Wedding - Part 3 - The Wedding Day!

Jessica and John's Wedding Day - Mexico

The couple rented one of the casitas (private house) that sat on the cliffs right next to the El Careyes Resort. We could see it from the beach, but the guests had no idea how amazing it would be!

The house is called Dos Estrellas ("Two Stars") and that was used for inspiration in a variety of details. The El Careyes Resort uses turtles in their logo and that also was seen throughout the wedding. The colors were mostly green with a few blue accents.....ocean colors.

(Again....these are my photos as the pros pics won't be back for a bit, so will post some of those when available.)

Guests were shuttled to the top of hill, and when they entered the house, jaws dropped!
The views were stunning from every floor and there were MANY floors! Guests were asked to write a wish for the couple.

Then guests could wander around the lower level and enjoy the "Starlight" signature Drink, served with two slices of starfruit ("Dos Estrellas") before the ceremony started.

I had to try a mini sip and it was delicious! Refreshing and light, I know you're dying for the recipe...go ahead and make one and then continue reading!

Starlight Recipe
1oz lime juice
2 oz Midori
6 oz pineapple juice
2 oz white rum
Pour in to shaker, shake for 20 sec. and pour in to glass, garnish with Starfruit.

Just one of the seating areas on the main floor...as I mentioned in a previous post...the destination wedding locations always have so much color! I love it!
The venue had so many levels, just in the back yard there were three. White lounge furniture was brought in for guests to kick back and relax on prior to the start of the ceremony.

This next one is looking back at the house (this is the first of the lower levels)...it had one of those fab infinity pools.

Once the bridal party arrived (they were back at the hotel doing photos) we asked all the guests to join us upstairs under the grand palapa for the ceremony. Greeters handed out the programs, with the turtle logo on the cover.

While the guests sat in the shade of the palapa, the bridal party was on a deck area with the bamboo structure and soft organza drape flowing gently in the breeze. (The guys were thankful for the breeze!)

(The sun was setting during the ceremony which was absolutely spectacular!)

After the ceremony the guests went back downstairs while we flipped the room. The guest tables each had a slightly different centerpiece, all with green and white textural arrangements....so lovely!

A closeup of the centerpieces before they set them out....lots of roses, curly willow, orchids, local flowers that had a cactus/succulent feel, amaranthus and tulips.

Our little pocket fold napkin with a gorgeous orchid. Placecard holders were little turtles.

Tables surrounded the dance floor...and boy did they party!!!
The cake was a Tres Leches cake, and was super yummy.

We knew they would be partying a lot, and the tequila was flowing (of course!). Once the dancing started we brought out fiberoptic sparklers and the dance floor looked so cool with guests waving them in the air.
They kept extending the party...good thing we had late night apps planned....chips and more platters of guacamole of course!!!!

I know my photos don't do the wedding justice, but I just couldn't wait to share this terrific wedding. I promise I'll post a few when the "real" ones become available. John and Jessica are such an amazing couple and we wish them all the best in their life together!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mexico Destination Wedding - Part 2, The Fiestas!

John and Jessica
Mexico Wedding Bash -Let the Fiestas Begin!

So what's a destination wedding without several other parties?
There was the Welcome Party, the Golf outing hosted by the Maid of Honor, the Moms & Maids gathering, and the Rehearsal Dinner.

The Welcome!

This party was hosted by one of their friends outside their room (which had a rockin' deck area!). They had a variety of flavored margaritas, chips, guacamole, and many other yummy appetizers.

(Bride on the Left)

(Groom on the Left)

(Usually we will do a welcome party once all the guests get there, and everyone is invited. If you're at an all-inclusive resort then all the better (you'll save some $ or pesos), just designate the bar to meet at and parties on!)

Mom's & Maids
This was just a casual beachside gathering of the moms and bridesmaids...oh and of course the bride, so that those who didn't know each other could introduce themselves. The ladies really enjoyed this bonding time....again over some margaritas and chips and guac. Did I mention how incredible the guacamole was here? People just ate and ate it, and they could because they'd bring it out by the mounded platter! Jessica also handed out her bridesmaids gifts during this gathering.

The Rehearsal Dinner

I have to say that this was one of the more dramatic locales for a rehearsal dinner.

Playa Rosa is just short jaunt from the hotel. The guests walked a little ways up the Playa Rosa beach (around the cove from El Careyes) and then to the grassy area where we had tables set in white and fuchsia colors, with stunning flowers from our wedding day florist. The guests selected their escort card from the wire frames we hung from a palm tree.

The guests enjoyed passed appetizers and then a Mexican buffet while they watched the gorgeous sunset. Then the staff lit a huge bonfire right next to our party which also helped fire up some hysterical toasts from our guests.

Music was provided by our DJ Kirk from Complete Music who we brought down from Denver. He also helped facilitate the surprise slideshow Jessica had put together for John.

Then off to bed for tomorrows big day! (Check the blog tomorrow for details on the wedding!)



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Welcome to Mexico- Destination Wedding Part 1

John and Jessica's Amazing Mexico Wedding
Part 1- The Destination
(again here are my not so professional pics, but you get the idea!)
Last week we traveled to Jalisco, Mexico, about a 3 hour bus ride south of Puerto Vallarta, to the beautiful El Careyes Hotel for John and Jessica's wedding.
Most of the guests flew in to Puerto Vallarta and then we took a bus south to our destination. Thank goodness we had a restroom on the bus as many of the guests consumed many cervezas along the way!
The town of Puerto Vallarta still has that old Mexico feel.
Then as we traveled out of town it got very curvy and hilly and started looking not so tropical. We passed many towns that reminded us that there is a very diverse standard of living in the area. It also had us wondering where on earth were we going?

Then between the hills you could start seeing the coastline again. They had about 70 guests join them in this tropical paradise, we were some of the first to arrive!
The first thing you notice as you arrive at El Careyes is boy there is a lot of security here! You go through several guarded gates before you arrive at the property, and then you see why. There are so many stunning casitas (private homes) on the hills surrounding the resort. Heidi Klum and Seal own a casita just a couple doors down from where the wedding took place.
The resort is nestled in a cove with a private beach. Guests saw sea turtles, sting rays, & dolphins. Of course many just hung out by the pool.

When guests arrived they were greeted with a refreshing mint tropical concoction and cool hand towels for a quick refresher. (Left: view from the Lobby, Right: View of the resort from the Reception location)

Jessica and John's guests were treated to some muy bueno welcome bags.
(I'm burning that candle as I type this and it smells fab!)
One of their guests worked for Crocs and brought in several hundred pairs of Crocs in Blue and Green (the wedding colors). They made sure they brought enough not only for the guests, but all the hotel staff as well. When I met with the hotel's general manager he said he received the email from the guest asking how many people were on staff so they could have Crocs too.....at first he could not figure out why this guest wanted "crocodiles" brought in. Talk about getting lost in translation!

The rooms were all so different, I LOVED my shower, I think you could fit 10 people in it!
The beds were incredibly cozy, you just sank in to them. Plus cute little gifts every night with turn down service!

Tomorrow I'll show you the welcome parties and rehearsal dinner!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Photo of the Week- Mexico Wedding

El Careyes Hotel

Mexico Wedding
I'm back from the wedding I did in Mexico and it was amazing...talk about walking down the aisle in style! Jessica is this tall gorgeous bride who was extremely tan by the wedding day!
I'm not a professional photographer, and the real pics obviously aren't back yet. So my little snapshots will have to do.
All this week I'll be blogging about this fab wedding! Here's a sneak peek with my photo of the week (and this was just the rehearsal dinner!)

Be sure to follow us so you don't miss any of the great details from this destination wedding.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wedding Design - Destination Wedding Decor

(I'm in El Careyes, Mexico all this week, today I'll be prepping for the beachside rehearsal dinner at Playa Rosa. This weeks blog posts are geared towards destination weddings.)

Destination Decor

Beautiful palm trees, open tropical palapas, beach bonfires...I love destination weddings! They are such a change of pace from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

One thing I notice about the tropical destinations is that the buildings and surrounding areas have SO much color!

Typically our weddings will be under an open air palapa so we can see the gorgeous landscape. It also means that we might have less decor.....sometimes not ;)

We still really like to bring in nice linens, and we typically will carry those with us from the states. Yes, nothing like carrying those dirty linens back through customs...nobody wants to look through those?!?!

Usually you'll work with your on site wedding contact to coordinate the flowers...unless you speak the local lingo. In Mexico we've found some fabulous florists who speak English very well and are amazing floral designers! The one thing I have to say about those destination florists is they really seem to give you a lot for your money.

Make sure you check with your florist to get a list of what they can get locally. I was surprised many years ago when I started doing destination weddings to find that the tropical flowers I'd expected to get in tropical climates were not readily available or cost effective.

Getting the decor decisions finalized in foreign countries can be challenging at times, and one thing you want to keep in mind is the amount of time you have to set up the reception room. If you are at an all-inclusive resort keep to simpler decor as usually you don't have much time to set up and you don't want Aunt Susie missing you walking down the aisle because she's sweating away hanging lanterns for ya.

So much inspiration for tropical locales!
I look forward to posting pics from our El Careyes wedding next week!