Cocktail Hour: Miniature Versions of Your Favorite Foods

When it comes to cocktail hour, some couples want to serve what they’ve seen at other weddings. Whether it be bruschetta, meatballs, a cheese and cracker station, etc… However, there are couples who are on the edgier side of things when they choose cocktail hour food. These couples don’t serve the standard, they serve unexpected appetizers that the guests will be thrilled with.

 Photo Credit: Deer Petal Flowers
Photo Credit: Deer Petal Flowers

Maybe it’s just me, but miniature versions of things are just so darn cute! I mean come on, who doesn’t love puppies? They are just so much cuter when they are little! The same goes for appetizers. By doing smaller versions of classic foods, you are giving your guests a small taste of something scrumptious.

 Photo Credit: Happy Wedd
Photo Credit: Happy Wedd

Being a Pinterest fiend, I’ve seen some pretty creative hor d’oeuvres that can be served at almost any party, let alone a cocktail hour. The options are almost endless, just pick some regular sized food that you and your fiance enjoy and ask the catering company if they can make it into a miniature version. It may help to go on Pinterest to see what you like first, and then have a frame of reference for your caterer when they ask about appetizers.

 Photo: Wedding Party by Wedding Pics
Photo: Wedding Party by Wedding Pics

Some minis I’ve stumbled upon are miniature grilled cheese with a shot of tomato soup, a fork with nicely twirled spaghetti, sliders, mini caesar salads. I could go on and on, but you’d be here for hours!

 Photo Credit: You and Your Wedding
Photo Credit: You and Your Wedding

No matter what you and your partner decide to serve, try to keep it unique to the two of you. Remember that there’s no other couple in the world like you, so why not make your special day even more unique? A selection of miniature appetizers will keep people talking about your wedding for months, maybe even years. They will be so blown away by this trend that they will keep telling friends about it. And who knows, you could be a trendsetter for your group of friends who have not yet tied the knot!

Supporting Your Spouse

This past week, Adrian and I celebrated our 4th Wedding Anniversary! I can not believe how fast time flies! The thing with getting married, is life keeps moving after the wedding day. A marriage is simply not one day, it is a lifetime of constantly choosing that person. Every day, we choose to make it work and we choose to laugh. We also choose to cry and support each other when times are not easy. Choice, that is the thing that makes it all work. 

 Photo Credit: Authentic Adventure Co
Photo Credit: Authentic Adventure Co

Today, in this next phase of life, I am choosing to celebrate with Adrian while he is in Dallas getting a promotion for work! He has worked many long years in aviation and he is finally getting a well deserved transfer to international flying at American Airlines! We have been very lucky and blessed in our lives. It is important to realize the good things that happen in life and being able to work through the tough parts. 

Supporting your spouse does not mean that you obsess over every move they make, every meal they eat and how much sleep they get. Sometimes supporting your spouse means trying not to smother them in their sleep when they are snoring loud enough to wake the dead (not that I have ever contemplated this)! Supporting, means allowing them to be their own person while working together on shared goals and passions. When two become one, you do not stop living your individual life. You now simply have a 24/7 cheerleader and support system. You do not have to face the world alone.  

 Seriously, I have to deal with this on a daily basis! Photo Credit: Being Joy Photography
Seriously, I have to deal with this on a daily basis! Photo Credit: Being Joy Photography
 Finally, a semi-decent photo of us! LOL Thanks @Beingjoyphotography!
Finally, a semi-decent photo of us! LOL Thanks @Beingjoyphotography!

Everyday, we try and be a better version of who we were yesterday. Some days we fall short and other days we thrive. Having the desire to make it work and stick it through NO MATTER WHAT has served us well these past 4 years. I can not wait to see what the next 70 years has in store. 

In what ways do you support your spouse? I would love to hear in the comments below! 


Vendor Spotlight in the Images Above:
Planning: Ashley Nicole Events Inc
Videography: NightOwls Media
Photography: Authentic Adventure Co
Hair & Makeup: Tamara Hair and Makeup Artistry


For the full feature of a Wedding Planner’s wedding, click HERE!

ANE Real Wedding: Kayla & Kyle

Every once in awhile, a love comes along that you know will stand the test of time. Kayla & Kyle have that love. This past Sunday, they celebrated their 1st Anniversary! I can not believe how time flies, when you are young, in love and having fun. 

I met Kayla and Kyle and immediately fell in love with Kayla’s spunky personality. We had a lot in common and it felt like we had known each other for years. Kayla, 100% trusted and believed that I could turn her dream into reality which makes my job so much easier. What I love about Kyle is his passion and clear adoration for Kayla. He loves her SO MUCH! This wedding was filled with COLOR and lots of sunflowers! Kayla found these fun bridesmaid’s dresses at JcPenny of all places! I was obsessed! I have a feeling, the girls will certainly re use these dresses. Their wedding was filled with so much love, laughter and smiles. It was hard for them to contain their excitement. Outdoor ceremonies can be tricky in the spring, however, the day was perfect and they were able to get married along the Fox River in Elgin, Illinois. 

Happy Anniversary Kayla & Kyle! Thank you for allowing Ashley Nicole Events Inc to be apart of your big day!


Vendor Spotlight:

Planning: Ashley Nicole Events Inc
Ceremony Venue: Walton Island, Elgin
Reception Venue: The Haight, Elgin
Florist: Town & Country Gardens
Hair & Makeup: Tamara Makeup & Hair Artistry
Catering: Evantastik, Inc
Cake: Delish Cakes
Photography: Love & Ink Photography
Rentals: A-Z Rentals
DJ: DJs For You

Wedding Contracts: Not A Dirty Word

 Contract is not a dirty word! 
Contract is not a dirty word! 

Contracts are not a dirty word. They protect all parties!

— Ashley Radosav

We are surrounded by contracts every day and there is no real end in sight. We live in a “I’ll sue you!” wold, thus our lives now revolve around everyone covering their butt ALL.THE.TIME. Here is a list of the daily contracts we enter without even thinking about it: Cable, Internet, Cell phone, Car loan, Mortgage, Gas, Electric, Amazon Prime and so many more. When it comes to arguably one of the most expensive parties of your life, having and reviewing wedding contracts are a necessity. 

This is NOT a post about prenuptial agreements! 

Finding all of your wedding vendors can be hard enough. Once you find them, they shove these legal papers in front of you and make you feel as if you are signing your life away a little at a time. Wedding contracts do NOT need to be scary or overwhelming. Arguably, these are fun and exciting things that you are agreeing to (Photo, Video, Bar, Lighting, Flowers) and not something overwhelming, or at least it shouldn’t be. It is a simple agreement: Here is the product or service I provide, this is what and when you will pay me for it. 

Making sure that you sit and speak with the vendor to explain in detail what their contracts mean is very important. The basics of a wedding contract include the names of the people entering the contract, the event date, the times of provided service and what the outcome will be. For example, you sign a photography contract and you will expect to have him/her onsite with you for 8 hours and in 6-8 weeks you will get a beautiful wedding album. My contract for example basically says, “be a nice human being, I will be nice back.” Please feed me, this is what you will get in return…fairly simple. 

 Google Images
Google Images

Here is a brief run down of the key elements to a successful wedding contract:

  1. Make sure that all of the wedding/event dates are the same. I have caught more than once a wrong event date as I reviewed my client’s contracts. 
  2. Make sure your guest count is the same. The worst thing ever would be to have 225 guests and only food for 125. Double check your numbers…OFTEN!
  3. Make sure the timelines are corresponding. If you sign an 8 hour photography package, make sure all of the important events (ceremony, cake cutting, first dance) all happen within that 8 hour window. Otherwise, you will be missing some key elements of your day in the album you receive after the wedding. 
  4. Follow up and confirm with all vendors a week or two prior to the wedding day to fill them in on any last minute changes. A wedding vendor will always refer back to their notes or their contracts if something goes awry. If you do not inform them of changes, these vendors are NOT mindreader! 
  5. Hire a wedding planner to help catch some of these common mistakes. At the time of signing a wedding contract, there might be some gaping holes in your timeline, this is quite common. However, that is something a wedding planner can help fill in for you and make sure your other vendors are all kept up to date! 

I hope this shed a little bit of light on how to approach a wedding vendor’s contract and have them break it down into simple easy to understand language. You are getting married, not trying to pass the bar. Have them (or a planner) break it down for you!

If you have other questions about wedding contracts, send me an email at Hello@AshleyNicoleEventsInc.com and I will be happy to help!

 Photo Credit: Being Joy Photography
Photo Credit: Being Joy Photography

ANE Real Wedding: Leslie and Dave

In just over one month, Ashley Nicole Events will be celebrating Leslie and Dave’s 1st Anniversary!  I can not believe how time has flown by. It seems like yesterday that we were wrapping up the final details and practicing the long walk down the aisle. It was such a pleasure working with this sweet couple. Leslie and Dave had double the reason to celebrate as they would soon be welcoming their first son! Their adorable little boy is also the first ANE baby! During one of our planning sessions, Dave came to me and told me that he really wanted to hire a planner to take the stress off Leslie. They were both so busy with their jobs and with the joyous blessing of a baby on the way he wanted to do as much as possible to make the process easy and enjoyable for Leslie. It was so sweet to see him jumping into the protective father role, right from the very beginning. Dave and Leslie were surrounded by friends and family on the first of many joyous days together as husband and wife. 

We at Ashley Nicole Events wish Dave, Leslie and baby Jack a very happy first anniversary and many, many more to come!

Vendor Spotlight:
Planning: Ashley Nicole Events
Ceremony Venue: St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Wheaton
Reception Venue: The Haight, Elgin
Hotel: Courtyard Marriott, West Dundee
Florist: Laura’s Flowers
Photographer: Crane’s Photography
DJ: Quinn Bayola
Hair: Christina Sopata
Makeup: Erin Paul
Cake: Michelle Siorek
Catering: My Chef
Rentals: Windy City
Limo: Top Fleet Inc.