Friday, May 29, 2009

LOVE fresh summer foods... especially at weddings!

If you've been in or around Pennsylvania, New Jersey or almost any part the northeast, you might have noticed a smell recently...or rather...an aroma. Thats right, it's strawberry season, one of my favorite times of the year. A recent visit to a local farm market had me drooling over some of these red beauties and gave me an idea about what to write about this week.

The importance of buying food local. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you've seen the commercials recently and you buy your vegetables from farm markets during the summer, but what the heck does it have to do with weddings. Simple, have the food served at your wedding be local too! Not only does it support local businesses, but your food will taste that much better. Go ahead, get a tomato from a local farmer and then take it to your supermarket who shipped theirs from states (if not countries) away and just look at the difference, and then cut one open and taste the difference! Wouldn't you love to go to a wedding and notice how fresh and delicious the food was? and then realize it was your own wedding?
One of my favorite websites for find everything local in the Philadelphia area is LocalFoodPhilly. They even provide a list of caterers that use local food. BuyLocalPA features a map to help you find restaurants, caterers, bakeries, wineries and all things local. And for those of you that are outside of the PA/NJ area, you can always head over to Local Harvest which helps to find these things all around the country, or you can always just try a search engine to search for locally grown services in your area.

One last thing about using locally grown foods at your wedding - You have to use what's in season. Sorry! I know you might dream of having a december wedding with beautiful chocolate-dipped strawberries with the cake, but you know in the back of your mind that strawberries don't grow in December (at least not around here they don't). So before you get your heart set on having asparagus served at your august wedding, check with your local farm market first. Go ahead and ask them when they get what foods and such, most of them are more than happy to help. Another great resource is epicurious, who feature the coolest Peak-Season Map I've found online yet. Just click on the month you're having your wedding, and the state you're having it in and voila! you know what's in season!

Hope this has been a help and that you're enjoying the start of the summer-food season as much as I am!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Introducing Josie...

Hey there! I am one of the new interns, here at JP Event Design for the summer. As it is summer we are keeping busy! A large part of what I'm doing right now is working on my "Inspiration by JP Event Design" which I'm very excited about. To tell you a little about me, I consider myself to be an artist who just happens to love organizing and planning too, and I'm really hoping to use my art background to bring new and different ideas to all of the events I help with, as well as my "inspiration." It's great to be learning how to pull everything together, from getting a venue, to flowers, to designing a table and everything in between.

I'll be blogging weekly and would really like to concentrate my posts on the subject of buying local. With how America's economy is, it's becoming more and more important to support businesses that are based right here in the U.S. and keep the money right in our own "back-yard." One of my favorite tools is a site called Etsy. This is a fantastic site to find things for your event that are handmade, local, professional, and incredibly unique! One of my favorite tools on the website is their Shop Local tool which helps to find people who may be right in your own town that you didn't even know existed. I've found etsy to be particularly good with finding stationary for events such as invitations, place cards, thank you notes and everything else. If you can't find exactly what you're looking for (which is hard to imagine with the expanse of things on etsy!) there is another great tool that allows you to request custom items. I've also found that if you find a seller who makes things similar to what you're looking for, you can send them a message and they are almost always willing to custom make things for you.

Well thats it for me today! hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Why hire a wedding planner?

Interesting question - I should be a pro at it since I get that question all the time. Recently, however, it has been altered somewhat to include, "Why spend the money to hire a wedding planner?" and while the answer to the initial question is endless (relieve stress, save time, get the best vendors, manage budget, the list goes on and on...), having a friend and confidant that knows absolutely everything about weddings should be considered priceless. Then, of course, there is this nasty economy and services that should be considered worth every penny get tossed like the garter. In an economy like this - is it even feasible to hire a planner? Feasible... yes. Affordable... yes. Worth it... YES! In fact, the economy is one of my top reasons to hire a planner (well, if you hire a good one, anyway). A wedding planner will not only help you manage your budget when times are tight, but a good planner will get you the best prices for the quality services you need at your wedding. We know the right florists, the best caterers, the hottest DJ's, and tons of different venues - so a good planner will not only match you with vendors that compliment your style, but also negotiate to get you the absolute best prices these vendors can offer. As a wedding planner in the industry for over 10 years, I know what these services are worth. If you come to me with a request and it not feasible for your budget, I will tell you - you won't have to go through endless web searches, six consultations, and 3 bridal shows to find out. Without a planner, you will probably spend thousands of unnecessary dollars because you didn't know what the best prices were for the services you sought. The investment in a wedding planner will go further than almost any other investment you make in your wedding day. The real question should be: Can you afford NOT to hire a wedding planner?