Monday, December 27, 2010

Your Day, Your Way

Who says you have to stick with traditional ideas for your wedding?

Weddings today are being planned with more emphasis on personalities than the traditional almond candies and little white guest books. Not that there is anything wrong with those ideas. An Italian or Greek wedding wouldn't be the same without those little candies. However, with more and more brides of today being internet savvy and with sites like The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings and Wedding Wire, why wouldn't you want to step out of your comfort zone and add some fun ideas that will make your guests feel just as special as you both on the wedding day?

This idea came as a total surprise to us all but was developed as we were brainstorming about color (of all things). Because the bride was one of our own planners, we decided to make it a little less formal and a lot more fun and whimsical. Greens (in particularly apple green and copper) were obviously the color here and instead of doing caramel apples, we had a local bakery make up caramel pears, which were served as late night sweets as well as sent home with guests as favors.

The last touch was the poem I wrote for the bride and groom
about them being the perfect Pair and pulling the Pear theme throughout the wedding. BIG HIT!

Anyone that is thinking about hosting a southern wedding, can think about incorporating Sweetgrass into the theme. Sweetgrass Weaving is a local dying art because of recent land development. The more the land is developed, the less sweetgrass there is for weaving the wonderful treasures of artistic craft. Local weavers pass the art of weaving down through generations and sell their baskets, bowls, fans and even solitary rosettes as shown here. I particularly love to bring them in as escort card holders or small favors with the history of the culture attached to them, so guests can remember their wonderful experience not only at the wedding, but Charleston itself.

With so many brides wanting to create a green wedding theme nowadays, here's an idea that works well with any budget.

1. Start with locally grown flowers that are in season and think about donating all the bouquets after the wedding to a local nursing home after the wedding to allow them more 'life' after the wedding. They'll bring great joy to someone else's life, even if only for a few more days.

2. Make all your reception flowers out of seasonal potted plants. If you buy perinials, they can be replanted and bloom over again each year around the same time to remind the recipients of your anniversary.

3. This also works well with aisle markers. Buy small trees, shrubs and/or bushes and pretty pots to line the aisle. These wonderful markers will help adorn the landscape for the newlywed's new home.

4. For wedding favors, try this site for these fabulous little trees. It helps support a good cause and restore more trees in the community you live in. Perfect gifts for guests and they are so cute.

All in all, there are so many unique ideas for making your wedding different and we love hearing from our BLOG followers. If you recently got married and used a unique idea, please feel free to contact us and perhaps we'll use it in one of our upcoming BLOGS. You can email us at

Friday, December 17, 2010


I get a little overwhelmed each year as I take that final break from the hustle bustle of client holiday parties, last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping presents (which by the way, my kids do on Christmas Eve for me) and writing Christmas cards to friends that we haven't seen for ages. Of course, there's always letters and news inserts of 'family updates' that go into each card as well. By the time my family are ready to celebrate Christmas, I'm a little exhausted to say the least.

Then there's the joy of having house guests. Parents, children home from college, school friends and of course neighbors and dear friends that drop in during the few days we have off. I wouldn't change it for all the money in the world and this year, I've decided to do things a little smarter to help with the holiday entertaining.

I've baked, I've cooked and I've shopped for things I can pull out of the freezer at the drop of a hat. BIG LOTS has tons of old fashioned cookie tins that make wonderful gift packaging for those home-made cookies (as shown here on the left all ready to go).

The unexpected guest won't catch me off guard this year. The
bedrooms are dusted, sheets changed and fresh towels are hanging in the bathrooms for company. Small holiday goody baskets are filled and will be placed in guest rooms with chocolate mints and cozy holiday fleeces (that were purchased just for them) will be placed on their pillows at night.

I've also
bought a bunch of little Christmas baking tins, in the shape of stars and hearts (sold in your local grocery store) that I'll use for omelets in the mornings. Muffins are already baked and in the freezer and thank goodness for Pillsbury Crescent Roll pre-made pastry. Strawberry preserves, cream cheese and a wash of egg, makes great breakfast treats that are simple and ever so fast.
I've set up a permanent bar/beverage area in one area of the house so everyone can help themselves throughout the entire time they're staying with us and of course during festivities, we'll make up batches of special recipe punch, serve champagne cocktails and fun appetizers (from fun, fast recipes along with 'pull and bake cheese rounds') and everyone will still get some fun surprises.

Christmas Eve, we'll say good-bye to friends that have stopped by, pour ourselves a good eggnog, sherry or hot chocolate for the kids and then take our turns reading "The Night Before Christmas" before settling in for the night.

I'll wait until everyone is sleeping then I'll still sneak upstairs with the stockings that have been filled with small individually wrapped 'stocking stuffers' and leave a stocking at the foot of everyone's bed. In the morning, this was the trick that kept my children in bed an extra 45 minutes. The excitement of opening these small 'teaser prezzies' was just enough to give us that extra bit of 'lie-in time'. My kids are grown now, but still expect
this tradition and so it carries on. Hopefully it will be a tradition that they will themselves carry on through generations.

I know my household will be very blessed this year. My children will be home, my parents will be with us, my sister and her family, including in-laws will be with us and there is no doubt that Christmas Day we will be surrounded by love and joy. We'll count our blessings before eating a ridiculously great meal and then wonder why it all went by so fast.

Wishing you all the same joy and blessings as you celebrate this special time of the year. From our home to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwansaa! No matter what you celebrate, may it be filled with love, joy and happy memories.

Elyn Rahman ~ Proud owner of A Charleston Event & Bridal Library

Christmas Rum Punch

I was home sick this past Tuesday and one of the only good things about being sick is MARTHA STEWART on TV. Such wonderful tips as always. To find more wonderful holiday tips from this show, CLICK HERE
Christmas Rum Punch

A dash of seasonal cinnamon ensures this refreshing rum punch recipe from Locanda Verde bartender Naren Young will be a welcome addition to any holiday party.

Also Try: Horse and Carriage Punch


Serves about 9

  • Lime slices, for ice and garnish
  • Apple wedges, for ice and for garnish
  • Cranberries, for ice
  • 3/4 cup Citrus-Ginger Sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 3/4 cups dark rum
  • 2 1/4 cups Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/2 cups Amaretto
  • 3 3/4 cups apple juice, preferably organic
  • 3 1/2 cups sparkling water
  • Orange slices, for garnish
  • Freshly grated cinnamon, for garnish


  1. Fill a 2-cup container with water and add lime slices, apple wedges, and cranberries; cover and transfer to a freezer. Freeze until solid.
  2. In a large punch bowl, mix together sugar and lime juice until dissolved. Add rum, Grand Marnier, Amaretto, and apple juice. Transfer to refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Add ice and top with sparkling water. Garnish with lime slices, orange slices, apple wedges, and cinnamon; serve.
From The Martha Stewart Show, December 2010

Read more at Christmas Rum Punch - Martha Stewart Recipes

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tis the Season for Giving Back

This is my favorite time of year. I love the smell of fresh pine from hanging wreaths, the smell of cinnamon through the air, the festive colors throughout the stores and most of all, the great holiday parties going on all over town.

There's also a part of me that always gets a
little melancholy. I see so many people that cannot afford to enjoy the things we take for granted every day. There are people that have just lost their jobs or perhaps a loved one or are struggling with little ones who are just trying to make end's meet. An elderly neighbor may have just lost their spouse of 50 years and of course the family up the street just hit rock bottom because Dad was just laid off work.
Its sometimes hard to smile and be happy all the ti me when you see and hear stories like this. However, we live in the real world and it exists.

The holiday season, (no matter what religion you are) is being able to share your love and happiness, even in some small way with a stranger, a neighbor or someone else who needs it. It's called Giving Back Cheer" and it doesn't have to cost us a fortune.

Nothing gives any of us more pleasure tha
n seeing smiling happy faces and especially sharing our happiness with other people. Just imagine what it would be like if we could wake one morning and never see poverty again or never see hardship. Imagine everyone having a wonderful holiday season without pain or misery. Imagine everyone having HOPE in their lives? Even the slightest glimmer of hope...for an unfortunate soul could be the difference of life or death.
This post is not supposed to be depressing. Its supposed to be uplifting to those of us who can afford to give back a little cheer to others. Even if we don't have the financial ability to do so, perhaps a helping hand to an elderly person, hot meal to a college student, a subway sandwich and a coffee to a homeless person. Perhaps its just a matter of volunteering at a shelter, orphanage or animal shelter one day. It could be something as simple as talking to someone in line at the supermarket and giving them the gift of a smile and a warm compliment.
On Dec 2, A Charleston Event partnered up with some of Charleston's finest local businesses to help GIVE BACK CHEER to over 800 fortunate families who will benefit from help from Families Helping Families, the initiative of the non-profit Palmetto Project. Each year, Families Helping Families help families who have been selected through local agencies and services that truly need a helping hand.
Caters, local designers, bakers, entertainment specialists, and of course wonderful v
olunteers who came out to lend a helping hand in creating the 2nd annual GIVING BACK CHEER fundraiser event for charity. The Thomas Bennett House served as the backdrop for a festive evening of food, drinks and great entertainment. A silent auction was held and the items were donated by local businesses that truly want to GIVE BACK and help make a difference. The house even opened three days before the event to allow the public to do candle lit tours through the historic home, that was decorated in true holiday fashion for the season's opening event.
So this year, as A Charleston Event sends out happy holiday wishes to all our families, friends, clients (past, present and future), colleagues and vendors who always come through for us, we'd like to extend a further wish that you always stay in good health, that you always prosper and that you always have love in your lives. With this good wishes coming your way, may you also always share your good fortune with others and extend a helping hand and loving heart. Happy Holidays and a wonderful 2011 to you all!

Thanks to the following people/companies, more families are able to have a holiday filled with HOPE this year.
Thomas Bennett House
A Charleston Event
Charleston Florals
Live 5 News
N D Richardson Graphics
Event Works
New Dream Catering
Brick Lane Catering
Newton Farms Catering
Gourmet Bay Catering
Artistic Cakes by Linda
Lucy Sweets
Yoj Events
Low Country Renovations
MIX Premier Bartending
The Lowcountry Business Network
Anastopoulo & Clore, LLC
Posh Salon
Virginia College
White Tuxedo Productions
Head Turner Studios
Wild Flowers
Connie Duglin Linens
AV Connections
Archer Music
Christy Roper, Tracy Bollettino, Ellen Walsh, Nora Richardson, Chef Eric Gaffin, Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer, Terri Grooms, Ellen Stebbins, Glen Sojourner, Angela Hensley McKee, Linda McCormick, Dave Guevara, Shannon Ross, Elizabeth Cote, Zein Rahman, Nick Matutina, Lawson Roberts & DJ Nate, Larry Monteith, ALL the very many people who donated silent auction items and of course, Richard Bell Photography, Giving Back Cheer's Official Photographer