Looking ahead... Trends for 2010

As the New Year approaches I will be discussing various
trends for 2010 weddings on my blog and in the Toledo Free Press.
Some trends I am sure will shock you ... And others will delightfully surprise you!

As a designer, I love to start with color. It sets the mood, helps to define a theme and gives you a sense of direction when all the decisions are presented before you.

Monochromatic schemes and bright colors are some of this years hottest trends.

Dark purple and plum hues are rich and elegant. When it comes to flowers, you can use this color throughout and accent your tables with various vases and containers, giving the monochromatic color scheme some height and variety. Or you can accent it with a bright purple or aqua blue.

and you know how much I LOVE lighting!

Bright orange, hot pink, and turquoise are hot and will be sure to catch your eye in everything from shoes, bridesmaids dresses, sashes, flower bouquets
and table color scapes.

If you are not one to go all out with color - I have a solution for you!
Black is still very popular from the Paris runways, Spring '08 and we will continue to see it for bridesmaid's dresses and bridal gowns (more on that at a later date!). You can accent black with touches of color in shoes, shashes and flowers.

For more tips and 2010 trends...... stay tuned! And be sure to check out my article in the Toledo Free Press mid January 2010!


Wishing you all a delightful Christmas
and prosperous New Year!

And best wishes to all the brides & grooms-to-be who are getting engaged this holiday season!

Charlotte Geary Photography


Christmas Table Settings


And here is a little guide to making sure your beautiful pieces get placed properly:

 Few Tips:
- Napkins can be neatly folded and placed on the "service plate" or charger. Your salad should either be placed above the "salad fork" and to the left of the "bread plate". Or salad can be served after everyone is seated and have placed their napkin on their lap.
- If soup or salad is not being served, omit the corresponding spoon or fork when setting the table.
- If bread is not being served, the first to pick-up the basket should NOT take any bread, but first pass it to their left. Take bread when it is returned to you and place it back on the table.
- The "bread knife" is there to help you take a small piece of butter and to place it on your plate - not directly on your bread. Never cut your bread with your bread knife. Instead, break off a small piece of bread at a time with your fingers, and smear a little butter on with the knife. Break your bread as you eat it, not all at once. And leave your "bread plate" where it is. Never move it or any dishes.
- Wait until all guests have received their dinner before picking up a fork and knife.
- When serving, serve from the left and pick-up from the right. Beverages are to be served as well as removed from the right-hand side of the seated guest.
- Dip your spoon away from you into the soup. Also dip the bowl away from you when savoring the last few bites. Never slurp. Soup should be enjoyed noiselessly.
- After the salad or soup course, "service plates" should be removed with the empty salad plate or soup bowl.
- After finishing your meal, gently lay your silverware in the upper right-hand corner of your plate, at an angle with the tips facing away and down.
- Do not clear your plate or remove items from the table before the host finishes eating or before the host gets up from the table.

Visiting the in-laws or enjoying the holidays with someone new? Different cultures observe different rules for table manners. Here's a great reference for Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Filipino, Brazilian, French, Russian, British and other culture's table manners: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_manners


The Knot Michigan - Fall/Winter Edition

Amy & Nick
Ottawa Lake, Michigan

Photography: Mary & Bob from Grand Lubell

It was the longest day of Summer - And a perfect day at that!

Amy and Nick not only share a love for one another, but a love of horses. They have a horse farm up in Michigan and Nick competes regularly in rodeo tournaments. So it was only natural that the groom and his groomsmen were “loosening up” in between shots by taking their turn at lassoing. Nick won of course – and got the girl!
The event was decorated with the natural beauties of the country; wild flowers, sun flowers, thistle, tall grasses and hay stacks. The tables were adorned with old fashion canning jars filled with flowers and accented with real horse shoes. Each place-setting had a small cow bell, which were rung continuously throughout the evening!
The groom added a few touches of his own with the weddin’ signs, and a guest book podium and card box handmade out of local wood.


Make-A-Wish 25th Anniversary

A special THANK YOU to Sarah J Photography for capturing
the Make-A-Wish 25th Anniversary Celebration
last month. These pictures can be found on her blog: www.sarahjphoto.net/guesswhat/

One of the things I love about her style is how she captures space and the essence of the event in that space. Plus, she's got a great personality and she's lots of fun to work with!


Why I Love Winter Weddings...

    Winter Wedding Bliss....

  • Create a dramatic feel from the earlier sunset with candle light and rumbling fireplaces.  

  • Be swept away with your groom in a horse-drawn sleigh.

  • Country Clubs and Halls are beautifully decorated for the season, usually by professional florists. So your decor budget can be kept at a minimum while still having the look of extravagance. I recommend finding out who will be doing the seasonal decor for the Club and using that florist. This way the designs and use of flowers are consistent.

  • Ice! Use ice sculptures inside and out. Enhance them with LED lighting. They can be used as luminaries in the snow as guests arrive, as a bar to serve guests their drinks, and even as vases to hold your centerpieces. Your cake can also be placed on an ice-sculpted stand.

  • Accessorize! Add a fur or a faux fur wrap to your gown. And same goes for the 'maids and moms. Gift giving is easy with pashmina wraps, hand muffs and stylish leather gloves.

  • Serve warm cocktails as guests arrive to take the chill out and heighten their mood for celebration. Try spiced cider or hot chocolate with Bailey's.

  • Add a hot soup to your dinner course. It can take the place of the salad or be served in additionally. Thick soups are best and many bring out the flavors of the season.

  • Roast chestnuts and have a server crack and prepare them for guests to enjoy.

  • Give ornaments as favors. Find small silver frames and put a picture of you and your groom in them. Hang them on a tree at your ceremony for guests to take as they leave.

  • Have guests write well wishes and messages on small flat ornaments to hang on a white-feathered tree. Put the ornaments up each year as a reminder of your special day.

  • And finally... a warm, tropical honeymoon far away from the chilly Ohio weather!

Here are a few tips to insure Winter Wedding Bliss:
  • Reserve your ceremony and reception locations early. The calendar fills up quickly with holiday celebrations.
  • Consider a Friday evening wedding or a Saturday afternoon.
  • Send guests Save-the-Dates well in advance so they can plan accordingly with a busy holiday season and make travel reservations if needed.
  • Make room blocks and transportation arrangements well in advance for out of town guests.
  • Check the date of your company's holiday party to make sure they don't conflict. If it hasn't been set, and you plan to invite many people from work, ask to put it on the calendar.
  • Stock-up on decorations during post-holiday sales.
  • Make a plan and stick to it. Weddings during the holiday season are joyful. But they can be extra stressful on top of the usual. Try and get as many details complete ahead of time. Delegate whenever possible.


Thank you!

I received a call yesterday informing me that I have been selected by The Knot brides as one of the
Top Ten Wedding Coordinators in Ohio!
I am very honored and excited to have received such an honor.
Thank you to all my brides and their families. Its been a joy and delight working with all of you in planning your special day.

To view one of Crowning Celebrations' "The Knot Top Picks" weddings, go to:

Megan & Scott: A Wedding at Home
Ottawa Hills, Ohio


"Milk & Cookies"

Winter White Wedding Martini
2 ounces of Godiva Dark Chocolate liqueur
2 ounces of Creme de Cacao
1 ounce of half-and-half
2 ounces of freezing Goldenbarr Chocolate vodka
1 tablespoon of shaved white chocolate
2 well chilled, classy looking martini glasses

Snow White Chocolate Martini
4 ounces of Absolut Vanil vodka
1 ounce of clear Creme de Cacao
2 ounce of Godet White Chocolate liqueur
1 teaspoon of dark chocolate shavings 
2 freezing martini glasses

Mint Patty-Party Martini
3 ounces of freezing Absolut Pepar vodka
2 ounces of White Creme de Menthe
1 tablespoon of Peppermint Schnapps
1 ounce of Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
1 Starlight mint
2 freezing martini glasses


'Tis the Season to be SOCIAL!

Fifi's Restaurant
Holiday Luncheon & Fashion Show
featuring Elegant Rags Boutique
Thursday, December 10th
11:30 Social Hour
12:30 Fashion Show & Luncheon
$23/ person
Reservations 419-866-6777

Toledo Opera Guild Holiday House
"Walk the Hills"
Thursday, December 10th
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Starting location: Wildwood Metropark's Ward Pavilion, 4830 Central Ave.
Tickets: $18.00 before December 10th @ Kroger Stores
or Toledo Opera Guild Office
$30.00 at the Ward Pavilion

The Toledo Club's
Holiday Christmas Trees
Public Viewing December 7th & 8th, 15th & 16th
Contact: Nancy LaFountaine
Catering & Banquet Manager


Toledo Botanical Garden's
Heralding the Holidays 
The garden in winter, an array of locally made gifts to choose from, spiced cider, hot chocolate and a visit from St. Nick!
Resident artists’ groups will demonstrate techniques and sell their work.
5-9 p.m. Dec. 4th
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5th
and noon-5 Dec. 6th
Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Dr.
(419) 536-5566 or http://www.toledogarden.org/.

Fire & Ice
Firenation Holiday Party
Saturday, December 12th
7 - 10 p.m.
7166 Front Street, Holland, Ohio
(419) 866-6288

Tours de Noel
Old West End Historic Home Tours
Five Old West End homes, decorated for the holidays, will be open for lookie-lous and idea-seekers; plus, a gift boutique at Park Lane Luxury Apartments (142 23rd St.) will be open, Cafe at the Park will serve meals and entertainment will permeate the day.
Dec. 6th
Historic Old West End, Collingwood Boulevard and Bancroft and Monroe streets.

Holidays in the Manor House
Area groups and individuals decorate for the season in “one of Toledo’s grandest homes.”
 Dec. 6th - 13th 
10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Wildwood Preserve Metropark, 5100 W. Central Ave.
(419) 535-3056.

Wood County Historical Center
Holiday Melting Pot Christmas Tour & Tea
Enjoy the sights and sounds of holidays gone by with a special menu of
International Teas and goodies.
Dec. 10 and 17
2 p.m.
13660 County Home Road, Bowling Green.

Toledo Zoo's
Lights Before Christmas
So many lights, you’ll think it’s daytime. Or dusk, at least.
Illuminated animal images, an 85-foot tree more incandescent than the one at Rockefeller, ice-carving demonstrations, carolers, model trains, “dancing lights” and the Man in Red™ make this event a Toledo tradition.
5-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 5-10 p.m. Fridays-Sundays
through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 24-25),
2700 Broadway
(419) 385-4040 or toledozoo.org



Whether you need a cocktail to get through the stress of making dinner
or the craziness of hosting dinner,
here are a few delish savers!

Pumpkin Pie

- 1 oz. Malibu Rum
- 3/4 oz. canned pumpkin pie filling
- 1/2 oz. Kahlua
- 2 oz. with cold milk
Garnish: sprinkle of cinnamon
Mix ingredients in blender with ice and blend thoroughly;
Pour into graham cracker-rimmed highball glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Pumpkin French 75

- 1 oz. Plymouth Gin
- 1 oz. Pumpkin Puree
- 1 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon juice
- 1 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
- Champagne
Shake all ingredients (except Champagne) in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Strain the mixture into a Champagne flute.
Top with chilled Champagne and serve.

Cranberry Punch

- 2 cups red wine
- 1 cup vodka
- 1/4 cup spiced rum
- 1/2 cup Ocean Spray Ruby Tangerine Grapefruit Juice Drink, chilled
- 2 cups Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry Raspberry Cranberry Juice Drink, chilled
- 1/2 cup green or red grapes, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 lime, sliced
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 apple, sliced
- 1 cup sparkling water or club soda
Combine wine, vodka, spiced rum and juices in a punch bowl.
Add fruit and chill. Add sparking water just before serving.
Makes approximately 10 5-ounce servings.


In the hustle and bustle of planning your Thanksgiving menu and table decor, don't forget about the infamous "kiddie table". In order to ensure a pleasurable meal with the "adults" at your Thanksgiving feast, be sure to create a table that is sure to hold their attention and interest. Make the table crafty, and add crafts and activities along with it.

Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- No linens needed. Drape the table in large craft paper and add crayons to their tablesettings.
- Or if you are on the go for Thanksgiving, bring some coloring book-style place matts so they can add their own style to their meal.
- While you're cooking, have the kids make crafty place settings and napkin rings. See some of my favorites above. Some of the best are made with items around the house or yard like TP rolls and pine cones.
- Make turkey-leg party hats with paper bags or tall pilgrim hats with craft paper.
- Save the China for the adults. Pottery Barn Kids and other homestores have charming plates to enhance the atmosphere at the table.

Whether your kids are 2 or 99, it will surely be a hit!