Archives for November 2014

Festive Thanksgiving Tablescapes Part 2: Linens, Place Settings & Details Gallore

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving Lovelies!

Turkey Day is just a few days away, so get excited! By this point, your menu should be pretty much set, and you probably have at least some idea of what you’re doing for your centerpiece. Now that the big elements are planned out, we’d like to encourage you to think through some of the smaller details that will bring your Thanksgiving table from cute to crazy good! To that end, today we’re sharing some ideas to make the rest of your tablescape the talked about set-up of the holiday season. Linens, China, Glassware, Flatware, and small touches that bring the tablescape to life, these are the details that will make your guests squeal with delight from the moment they walk into your home! Remember those three design components we discussed last week? Once again, you will want to keep color, texture and shine at the forefront of your minds as you are crafting the rest of your table-space! On a side note, we at Marisa Nicole LOVE variety (and are going to suggest that you utilize some mismatched items), but do encourage you to remember that in these kind of situations, less can be more. Particularly at Thanksgiving when there will be colorful food in abundance, try to pick one aesthetic direction and stick to it. For example, rustic centerpieces wouldn’t make sense with modern elegant linens and Victorian flatware! Without further ado, here are the other areas of your table that we’d like to encourage you to be intentional about this Thanksgiving!

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All fab tablescapes rely on a great base, and that is where your table comes in! We are definitely not suggesting that you to purchase a new table just for your Thanksgiving feast, but we do want to help you show off what you love and hide what you don’t. If you have a large rectangular wooden table, we encourage you to show off that wood and simply lay down a fun or neutral runner down the center (skipping the full linen altogether!). However, if you are using mixture of several tables with varying finishes, shapes and sizes, one of the best things you can do to create a cohesive look is to utilize the same full table linen on all your dining surfaces.  You will for sure want to take color into consideration here. The key is to always pair color with a neutral. If you are planning to do a TON with color in your centerpieces and/or through the other elements on your table, your best bet would be to go with a super clean, neutral colored and textured linen. However, if you have a gorgeous patterned/colored/textured linen that you are dying to use, just be sure to compliment it with cleaner, neutral colored napkins, china and flowers.

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Place Setting

Place settings are probably our favorite part of the whole tablescape! Be sure to use the same guidelines we have been talking about this far. Feel free to mix and match colors and textures, and to incorporate a little sparkle! Start with a fun place mat or charger to frame and ground your place setting! We love chargers because they are inexpensive and really allow you to showcase your look. Place mats can be anything from a leaf-shaped mat to a square of wood or cork to a fun-patterned cloth.  As for the china, stacked, mismatched plates and bowls are our heaven! Swoon. Flatware can go on top of the plate tucked into a napkin, tied up atop a flat napkin, or the traditional way on either side of the plate (be sure to follow the rules of etiquette for this, which we won’t go into in this post). Regarding glassware on top of the table, you will want each place setting to have at least one glass for water or something non-alcoholic and then a wine (or specialty cocktail) glass. This is another great opportunity for pairing unexpected styles. Utilize varying colors, heights and finishes to death at your table! Not sure if you are too out of control with your mixing and matching? Our rule of thumb is that as long as you keep at least a third of your plates, flatware and glassware neutral (in color/finish/style), you should be just fine!

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Small or Personal Touches

They say the devil is in the details, and we agree! Little personal touches are what give your table the “aww” factor. One of our favorite things to do is to add place cards to each setting! We love the look of gold or colorfully painted leaves with names written in sharpie or paint pen on top. Stick a name card on top of a pine cone or wrapped around the stem of a glittery pumpkin. So fun! Adding a sprig of rosemary to each place setting is a super easy and cute touch to give a pinch of rustic woodsy-ness to your table. An alternative to place cards is to have a menu printed and tucked into each napkin- this is especially great for big groups so you don’t have to keep repeating what’s for dinner! As a final touch, we love to wrap silverware together with ribbon or twine to showcase style and to up the cutsie factor of each place setting. Ultimately, the small touches you incorporate into your tablescape are your opportunity to express your creativity and personality, so have fun with it! Continue to follow the guidelines presented in this series regarding maximizing variety while pairing standout items with neutrals as you determine the little details you want to showcase, and you should be all set to wow your guests this holiday!

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We hope these tips have helped you design the perfect tablescape for your Thanksgiving. Play with color, texture and shine throughout your linens, place settings and personal touches while remembering to pair everything with a neutral, you will be sure to end up with a praise-worthy dining experience. Have fun, be creative and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Festive Thanksgiving Tablescapes Part 1: Standout Centerpieces!

Happy holidays, lovelies!

Thanksgiving is almost here! With Turkey Day just around the corner, and many of you working tirelessly to create the perfect holiday celebration for you and yours, we thought we’d pause on wedding talk to focus this week and next on some tips on how to tablescape like a pro! It cannot be denied that cuisine is the cornerstone to this celebration, but don’t break our hearts and forget to design a fab base to accompany your tasty treats! Therefore, today we are going to focus on your centerpiece by sharing components to keep in mind throughout your design process: color, texture & shine! But wait, there is more. Before we dive into breaking down the specific design components, I am going to cheat and give you the best piece of advice regarding your Thanksgiving table arrangement right off the bat: Be sure to use an assortment of several low, varying sized arrangements to create you centerpiece instead of just a few large statement pieces. Why, you ask? The answer is two-fold: Keep them low so that your guests will be able to see and converse with each other over your centerpiece and structure your design in the form of a grouping so that you can easily shift items and/or take away pieces once the food is brought to the table!

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We at Marisa Nicole Events are crazy about fall colors! Thanksgiving is traditionally that wonderful time of year when we see a ton of burnt orange, burn red, mustard yellows, and all shades of brown. We encourage your use of all these colors in your Thanksgiving centerpiece! However, all these colors grouped together, without some form of neutral (whites, metalics or greens) to break them up can end up feeling monotone and just too dang warm in tone. Play with pairing your favorite fall hues with a strong neutral or two to create a balanced and understated arrangement. Think through your table runner, flowers (fresh and/or dried), vessles, candles and their holders and utlize all the colors in your color story to bring life to your Thanksgiving table!

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Another thing we love about fall is all the fun dried and textured items the season brings. Yes, florals and candles are the go-to for any centerpiece, but feel free to use these sparingly and introduce other elements to your arrangements. Play with adding coincidental fall items such as dried leaves, acorns, wheat, curly willow, berries, mini pumpkins, gourds, wooden elements, twine and burlap into your arrangements. Try using a cross section from a tree under a vase of flowers! Curly willow is a festive and inexpensive way to bring both height and structure to your table without spending a ton on fresh flowers. By mixing curly willow or wheat with a sprig of small berries you can easily create a laid-back, rustic feel to your table. Burlap and twine are great for creating rough edges and an easy DIY look. Use an 12”-18” wide burlap strip as a table runner or wrap twine around your vases!

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Every good table-scape needs at least a touch of shine, and holidays are a fun time to take it up a notch. Pumpkins and gourds are a go-to for Thanksgiving centerpieces. Try spray painting them gold or rolling them in glitter for an unexpected and stylish pop on the table. You can even apply this technique to fall leaves, pinecones and twigs to incorporate into cozy fall displays. Nothing feels more like home than the warm light of a few (or many) well-placed candles. This is the perfect place to experiment with size and shape. Use a few big candles, sprinkle many little ones across the table, or try a mix of both! Mercury glass candleholders are a great way to add a little shine and sparkle to your glowing flames and can be found for $5 or less! Just make sure not to put any candles directly under flammable center piece items- you don’t want an unanticipated fire to add too much glow to your evening!

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Start thinking about how to perfect your Thanksgiving centerpiece by using a variety of hues, textures and by bringing shine to your table! Now that we talked through your centerpiece arrangements, next week we’ll help you think through everything else on and around your Thanksgiving table!

Intern Spotlight: Meet Chloe!

Hi lovelies! I am very excited to introduce myself as the newest member of Marisa Nicole Events! I’ve just begun to see into the beautiful world of wedding planning with Marisa and her team, and since you may be seeing me this fall and winter, I thought I’d share a little bit about myself:


  • Favorite Wedding Blog: I’m obsessed with Wedding Chicks! I love the muted colors and natural, organic feel of their posts.
  • Describe the Perfect Wedding Cake Flavor Combo: Lemon cake with chocolate frosting- a little tart matched with creamy sweetness. Yum!
  • Favorite Styling Genre for Event Design: Rustic. The warmth and coziness of natural wood, abundant flowers and charming DIY touches are perfect for celebrating such an intimate and meaningful day.
  • Event Planning Super Hero Skill: The ability to go back in time—to have those “ooh, we should’ve done this” moments on the day of the event and be able to go back and actually make them happen would be awesome.
  • Veil, Flower or Headpiece? I love the look of a delicate, sparkly headband!
  • Favorite Wedding Tradition: When the bride and groom feed each other cake! It’s such a fun window into their goofy side as a couple. It allows them to be playful and laugh together.
  • The moment in every wedding that never fails to bring you to tears: the toasts! Especially when siblings of the bride and groom speak, I always imagine what I would say to my sister. Makes me cry every time.

Ensuring Beautiful Wedding Memories: Tips For Picking The Right Photographer For You!

Happy November Friends!

Fall is in full swing and our busy wedding season is finally starting to wind down. But for many of you future brides and grooms out there, the stress of planning your wedding and finding the right vendors for your day is just starting to weigh on you. Every couple wants their wedding to be captured beautifully, so it is not surprising that one of the first vendors they get excited about determining is the photographer. But how do you know if a company is going to be the right fit for your celebration? To that end, today we are sharing the three most important things you should consider as you are meeting with potential photographers and working through this very important decision.

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The first thing you need to consider is whether or not you like the photographer’s visual style. As you are perusing a photographer’s website, you should be able to quickly determine whether or not you are drawn to the look and feel of their shots. Two different photographers will shoot and edit the same exact wedding in drastically different ways. Look through the company’s “real wedding” albums together and identify the style you like: open/airy, bright, nostalgic, sharp, moody, happy — the visual aesthetic of each photographer is different and your job is to choose to meet with photographers whose images you can see yourself in.

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Pricing & Packages

When selecting the right photographer for you, it’s critical to know exactly what your price range is, and to stick to it! (side note – be sure you do a bit of research regarding how much photographers cost before drawing this line). Don’t allow yourself to meet with companies that are above and beyond what you were willing to spend. Prior to your consultations, sit down as a couple and talk through what services you need from a photographer before, during and after your wedding day. At your consultations, be sure to thoroughly cover what you do and do not get in their packages. Make sure you understand the following about the images you would be receiving from each photographer: resolution level, number of professionally edited images, and overall quantity of images delivered. For example, if you need to be able to print your images yourself, then you will want to make sure the photographer you choose delivers the images to you in high resolution. Find out if the package includes an engagement session and/or any additional albums. Talk through how many photographers will be present on your wedding and the number of hours your packages includes. Finally, be sure to ask how long after the wedding you can expect to receive the photos and what the delivery method will be.


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The final thing you need to consider is completely intangible. Unlike many of the other team members for your wedding, it is crucial that you genuinely like your photographer. It‘s super important that you feel comfortable and relaxed around the person who will be there to capture moments of bliss between you and your partner. If you feel awkward with your photographer, it will show in your wedding photos! If you find that you aren’t clicking during your consultation, then that photography company probably isn’t the right fit for you. It is crucial that this particular vendor, more than any other, is someone that you can truly be yourself around.

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All that to say, if you find a photography team that shoots in a style you like, offers the services you need at a price that works, and that you actually might want to be friends with, then hire that company STAT and check that vendor off your to-do list!