Tag Archives: Dining

Signature Sips

I love wine. Most love beer. Enough prefer liquor over both.

The first time I discovered the “signature drink” idea for weddings, I knew I wanted to incoporate this idea in the reception. And really, I can theme anything. I love themes. I think it’s the little Martha Stewart inside of me’s favorite thing to do. Plus, it can help with your budget {huge deal}, not to mention add a little oh-la-la  to your sips.

Let’s be honest, it’s sort of a treat when you discover there are actual drinks at a wedding – most often it’s just beer and wine. Which is fine, I’m not knocking anyone or anything.  However, actual drinks mean big bill and big bucks {which = breaking budget}. For me, anyway.

One way to get the best of both worlds is to use the sig. drink theme.  Guests get to walk around with cute-sy little colored drinks to match your wedding. They make for pretty rad pictures anyway. See below:


Aside from the cute factor however, you give your guests another option at the bar but keep costs under control by only offering one type of liquor. Which I suggest be vodka. Vodka is the most popular liquor and can be combined with a wider variety of mixers to achieve different flavors (not to mention, it can take on whatever color you want). Basically, you can’t go wrong with it.

Our drink consists of: 1 oz vodka; 0.5 blue curaco and soda water. If mixed correctly, it really tastes delicious and light, perfect for a hot summer night. The name of our sig. sip: TBD. Any ideas readers?

Not sure what to mix with what and how to get your signature color? Castle Brands Inc. has this wonderful little tool that allows you to search for cocktails based on color, complete with recipe and ingredient information. Too fun! If you don’t find what you’re looking for, resort to Google. It’s a no fail. And my best friend.

Once you find a recipe {or two} have a BM over for a taste test to figure out which one you like best. You have fun and get wedding stuff done at the same time. Now that’s killing two birds with one stone, for ya!

Anyway, since we are deciding to take  the three-drink-choice route {and our venue allows us to bring in our own alcohol}, we need to figure out exactly how much we need of what. Not easy. As I’ve mentioned before, Frugal McDougal’s Web site offers visitors a drink calculator.  You just enter in the number of people you think will be drinking, then the number of hours, and they do the math for you. Of course, the hard part is deciding who you think will actually gravitate towards which beverage for the night.

Tip: just estimate. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to be exact. Like I did.

My friend and event planner Brandi, of All Events Planned, also suggested (in her experience) to assume that out of 100 people, 25 will drink beer, 25 will drink wine and 50 will drink the cocktail. It’s at least a starting point – the counting is really up to you.


Keg Beer – if you decide to do a keg, check out Jack-Son’s Sports Bar for prices and flavors available {they’re whom we are going through}.  They include a keg cooler and pumps for each type of keg you rent .  Here is another list of a few places in the area that may be worth comparison shopping for.

Bottled or Canned Beer –  Costco. It’s no surprise their prices are great and you can return any unopened packages.

Wine – Again, check Costco. However, you may be limited on the types of wine available. If this is the case, you can also price check at regular grocery stores in the area; I think most places will give you “event discounts” if you buy a certain number of bottles.

Liquor – The liquor store. It’s worth asking if they do discounts on multiples but I really don’t know on this. My grandpa picked our liquor up on his way down to Reno this spring for cheap. Thanks grandpa!

Liquor License

If your venue does allow you to bring in your own liquor, you have to show proof of a banquet permit {in order to serve the liquor} in the state of Washington. They only cost $10, so make sure you get one. Here is Washington’s permit guidelines and rules. Read ’em. Learn ’em. Use ’em.



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Filed under Alcohol, Dining, Food, Reception


I have a sweet tooth.  Big.  Huge.  Weak.  Sweeeeet sweet tooth. 

This weekend the guy and I are set up to meet with a caterer and will also do a little cake tasting/testing while there {bittersweet}.  It’s funny, when I first started doing my “nuptial research”, my eyes always gravitated toward the more elaborate, decorated cakes.  The more I think about it, the less I like them — not to say that the brides that do shouldn’t, just not me.  I got caught up in the fairytale, Disney princess wedding ideal there for awhile and have since, snapped out of it.  My taste and preferences have gravitated toward simplicity now {complex ideas – simple designs}.  I am very particluar and very much detailed oriented about every aspect of my wedding – wanting it to be juuuuust right – and the cake is no exception.  However, I do need to remember that IT’S JUST A CAKE! 🙂

Anyway, here are a few pieces worthy of a little spot-light attention on my pages . . . a little “cake-spiration” if you will 😉

textured cake for blog post

{love the texture}


something different I like about this one – maybe better for a Seaside wedding








{groom-approved cheesecake — how fantastic!}


{how terribly cute! A flavor for every sweet tooth :)}


{love the freshness & cleanliness of it}


{texture. color pop. cake stand. perfect

some cute little extra for the top?






SO CUTE – via Baumbirdy on Etsy


pretty bottoms?





oops getting off track — don’t need the accessories for cake testing 😉

Found this helpful Q&A with professional cake baker Erica Fill via All Events Planned and thought I’d share a few insights here — perfect timing for me!

 Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?

A: Delivery.  Nothing is more heartbreaking than to order a gorgeous cake, only to have it destroyed by the time it gets to the reception hall because someone else picked it up and delivered it.   Trust your baker to get your cake to your reception hall! 
Q: What is the worst story you have heard about a mistake someone in your industry has made, anyone, ever. Alternatively, what is the worst mistake a person in your industry can make?

A: One horrible mistake a baker could make is to not properly support the cake! Dowels do take up some space (minimal), but they are the difference between your cake staying upright or falling over! 

Q. What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: Always bring basic info to your consultations.  Reception info, phone numbers of contact people, color swatches, pictures, ideas that you’ve drawn up.  If you have an idea of what you want your cake to look like, then your consultation will not only run smoothly, but will be a fun experience.
For the full interveiw, click here!



Filed under cake, Catering, Dining, Food, Uncategorized


We went shopping!

Hotel shopping that is 🙂

This post goes hand-in-hand with the Save the Date one because it’s important information that your guests {OOTs} will need as soon as possible (for those early planners ;)) and something that should be set up by the time you send out your STDs.

Hotel blocks are – you guessed it – just a bunch of rooms held especially for your OOTs and can be, most often, negotiated as a group rate with the hotel manager.  Some places may have you sign a contract and some won’t, however, you need to make sure that you are not liable for paying for the unused blocked rooms – big financial dilemma right before your wedding? No thanks!  Read before you sign please.

So, in order to book, go shopping!  Find an area of town you {fancy} and investigate your options.  You can either contact the manager ahead of time – which might be better if you plan to go on a weekend – or you can just pop in and just see what they have to offer. 

Well – our decision was pretty quick and easy.  I spoke with Sara, the General Manager from The Ledgestone Hotel, through email to set up a visit and tour with her.  Sara was very nice and informative and had no problem negotiating until we agreed on a price that we were both comfortable with – I can honestly say it was a very pleasant experience and not this big scary thing like I imagine most negotiating encounters to be. 

Anyway, The Ledgestone is *new* and it is beautiful! When I saw the rooms {suites} I felt like I was in a swanky downtown condo in the big city – no joke! These rooms are fully equipped with a living room, separated bedroom, FULL kitchen and little dining table {amazing}!



Cool, right? I’m excited to show off this {stylish little} part of Yakima to my chic Seattle friends :). Thank you Sara!

Big Plus: The Ledgestone will soon be welcoming Bob’s Burgers & Brew to their parking lot, which is described as having an “adult Red Robin-ish” vibe to it – check it out!

In order to give our guests a little more leeway and help them explore their options as well, we also visited the Oxford Inn {they accept pets too!}, located just across the freeway from The Ledgestone.  The Oxford Inn (not the Suites) already has a standard “wedding rate” of $85 per night, so no negotiating needed for that great price! 

Located right on the beautiful Yakima River, the Oxford may be a little more family friendly with an outdoor swimming pool and the Greenway located right behind the hotel – perfect for strolling along with the kiddies.  We met with the on-site manager – Corrie – who gladly gave us a tour and answered all our questions!


Both places were very helpful and the FI and I feel like both hotels will fit perfectly into the vision of our OOTs 🙂 — another check off our list of to-do’s though not quite a “wedding victory”.

Have a good Monday readers!



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Filed under Coupons, Hotels, OOTs

Deals Around the Valley #6

Deals Around the Valley #6: 5% off your wedding catering bill


I had a lot of responses to the Valley Deals run last week from vendors in the area and these generous folks just keep on giving!  So, I decided to run a few more deals this week for you all 🙂

Yakima’s brand new ::uptown chic:: Sage Restaurant|Wine Bar is offering a 5% discount off your wedding catering bill! With the “creative ability to tailor the menu to fit your event perfectly . . . the possibilities [with Sage] are limitless.” 

sage 1

Offering “impeccable

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, attentive, courteous service . . . and plenty of yummy food” Sage’s inclusive website features a few sample menus as starting points to help spark ideas for brides and grooms. 

sage 3

What I also found very helpful about their website is that they offered estimated price per person costs for the food! I know this sounds {simply silly} but I’m finding a lot of places won’t even give you pricing information unless you sit down with them first! I find this technique irritating.  I don’t know about anyone else but, being on a budget, I need to find someone in price range first, and then take the time to talk with them . . . not the other way around . . . so, thank you Sage for being upfront!

Quite the cute little site, Sage also hosts a What’s Haute? section in which they detail what they believe to be “haute” at the moment (all the way from decor to food).  In this section they suggest using Yakima’s abundant local ingredients to “provide your guests a taste of the best the Northwest has to offer” including plank salmon, crème brulee with local peaches and artisan cheese platters – yum!

{special note} Sage’s executive chef – Jeff Euteneier – gives the “inside scoop” on his own blog The Reluctant Chef!

I’m a blog addict, I had to check it out 🙂

For more information on catering with Sage, please contact event coordinator, Michelle Euteneier by email or call 853-1057 and mention this post!

 4000 west king street
yakima, wa 98909
(509) 853-1057

sage restaurant hours:

monday-thursday: 11 am – 9 pm
friday: 11 am – 11 pm
saturday brunch: 10 am – 2 pm
saturday dinner: 2 pm – 11 pm
sunday: closed

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Filed under Catering, Dining, Valley Deals