By Hannah McCarthy
Kids can often be the life of the party! They are curious, full of energy, and have a great sense of humor; this can often leave them bored at large events, especially weddings! We have a few activities that are sure to entertain the younger guests on your big day!
This idea of a coloring book is great because it keeps the children in one place! Bundle up some crayons to hand out as well. Make sure to include your wedding colors in the crayon bundle. This activity can be for the ceremony or reception!
The scavenger hunt is great for the active child with lots of energy. It allows them to run around and interact with people! Give each child a disposable camera and develop the film later. You will have a fun time looking through all of the pictures!
Board games are a classic option for kids! You can have a table full of different choices for them like Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Operation, Sorry, etc. Some of the adults might even join in!
Lawn games are also a great way to entertain kids! Connect 4, Cornhole, Lawn Darts, Giant Jenga, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Ladder Ball-There are so many fun lawn games! With all of these options, you are sure to find one that each child will enjoy!
Bubbles are an easy option for kids! You can do the typical bubbles in a bottle or wand. You can even do giant bubbles with a cute kiddie pool and hula hoop. Check out https://www.icanteachmychild.com/giant-bubbles/ for the recipe!
Thank you for reading the blog! I hope we gave you some ideas to keep the little ones entertained at your wedding or other special event!
By Kassandra Garcia
With the arrival of every season comes a selection of delicious new ingredients that will satisfy your cravings. Throughout the year you have the opportunity to try any of these recipes or ideas that you may like for events or parties that your guests will absolutely enjoy!
Any crowd loves a good, hearty cheese bar that you can easily set up on several charcuterie boards. Add in some delicious spreads, fresh fruit, and a selection of breads and crackers for a beautiful and savory appetizer station!
Tomato Bisque with Grilled Cheese
Not only is this a classic appetizer during any season but it is very simple to make and you can add a rustic touch with a bamboo toothpick and mini mason jars. You can offer a variety of options including vegan and gluten free substitutes or something for those meat lovers by adding some prosciutto to some sandwiches if you would like. These ideas apply to any soup and sandwich combo of your choice, just have fun with it!
Avocado is a must to include within your appetizers because most guests will take it without hesitation. Spread some avocado on crostinis, top it off with roasted tomatoes, and you've got yourself another hassle free appetizer. If you would like to offer an alternative for those with dietary needs without having to complicate your life just purchase some gluten free parmesan crisps to replace the bread; add some cheese and crispy bacon bits for those who like a little more and problem solved!!
Sweet Potato Chips with Aioli
Sweet potato chips, zucchini chips, carrot chips, you name it! Rather than having the typical flavorless chips and salsa, add some color and variation. This is a healthier option for everyone attending, including the kids. Slice up some sweet potatoes, zucchini, or carrots and toss them in the oven to have some fresh chips with aioli or any dip of your choice.
Last but not least, KABOBS! These don’t really need a recipe because you know what your guests prefer: shrimp, chicken, steak, tofu, or veggies. You can start by marinating your proteins or add a seasoning of your choice. Once fully cooked to your liking, top them off with a little garnish and you are set to enjoy the delicious appetizers you've prepared!
Over the years, we have seen many cocktail hours and even more appetizers. Let us know how we can be of assistance with your appetizers!
By Hannah McCarthy
It’s that time of year again! Pumpkin carving, pumpkin spice, pumpkin bread; pumpkins galore! Halloween is a holiday that holds dear memories for so many. Here are some ideas to help make your Halloween party memorable!
When decorating for Halloween, don’t overthink it. Simply decorate with oranges, blacks, and browns. Halloween decorations can easily look like Thanksgiving decorations, but the black in Halloween decor is what helps differentiate the two. Use pumpkins, candlesticks, and lanterns in your design. The picture below does a great job encompassing all of the elements mentioned above, with a few additional Halloween details added!
Caramel apple dip is always a great choice for a Halloween party! This dip can be used as an appetizer or a dessert. It is easy to make; only 4 ingredients! All you need is cut apples, cream cheese, melted caramel, and a crushed up heath bar!
For drinks, we love the idea of Candy Corn Jello Shots! This takes the Halloween candy you ate as a kid to a whole new level! We have also seen Pumpkin and Carmel Apple Jello Shots. A fun way to make your drink tables more festive is with a sign that says, “Pick your Poison!” Check out the recipe in the link below!
For entertainment, it’s helpful to have an option that is both child and adult friendly. Pumpkin Bowling is fun for both kids and parents! As a fun addition, make bowling lanes out of hay bales!
We hope that this blog has given you some inspiration for your Halloween party! Have a great October!!
By Hannah McCarthy
The people who stand next to you as you say your vows are some of the most important people in your life! They are the ones who walk through life with you and will hold you accountable to the vows you make on your wedding day. Here are a few small ways that you can thank them for investing in your big day!
These small bottles of wine are a treat for your bridesmaids! Drinking them will be a special activity for your wedding party to do together. This also gives them a little extra something to be excited about for each wedding festivity!
Clothing has been a popular bridesmaids’ gift! The clothing that is most often given is a silky robe. Moving into fall, we thought it would be good to give an alternative to the silky robe. Many love the flannel because it does not mess up hair and makeup while changing. The flannel can even match the wedding color scheme. Flannels make for cute photos of the wedding party getting ready.
We love the idea of giving groomsmen a flask instead of only alcohol. This compact size allows the flask to be easily carried with them throughout the big day. It also allows them to fill it with various types of alcohol. The engravings make this a unique gift. The flask can say the groomsman’s name or the date of the wedding!
Socks are a trend that we often see and are a great gift all year round but especially in the fall. Socks can be purchased with different colors, shapes, patterns, and designs. They can also represent your groomsman’s favorite college, sports team, or super hero; or these socks can simply coordinate with the wedding’s color scheme!
These gifts are a sweet way to say thank you to your wedding party! They open the door for many fun memories. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog! We wish you and your wedding party all the best on your wedding day!
By Val Abate
Capturing a wonderful moment or memory at an event is now easier than ever! Most of us have the power to do so through our phones. Taking a great photo on your phone is simple, and here at CSE we know the difference a good photo can make. Here are some tips and tricks to elevate your picture game using your phone for a quick personal photo or even a social media post!
Tip One: Lighting
There are multiple ways to instantly make your photos look like they were taken by a pro, lighting is one of them. Try to keep your back to the light source because shooting into the light will blow out and often overexpose your photos. You can also adjust the way your phone processes light by tapping the screen while using the phone’s camera app. Once tapping, a vertical line will pop up with a little sun in the middle; by moving the sun up or down the line, you can control how much light is in the photo.
Tip Two: Keep Everything Level
When taking a picture, make sure everything is level. It may not seem like it would change the quality, but the difference is huge! A great way to help make sure your pictures are level is by enabling a grid in your phone’s camera settings. Simply keep the natural lines of the table, doorway, or floor parallel with the grid on your screen-Voila a perfectly level photo!
Tip Three: The Rule Of Thirds
Using the grid we enabled earlier we can apply the rule of thirds. You may have heard the term “rule of thirds,” when someone is talking about photography. This rule ensures your photo is pleasing to look at and dynamic! The rule is more of a guideline that proposes that an image should be divided into nine equal parts, by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important subjects (people, cake, trees, etc.) should be placed in line or on the intersections the lines create.
Bonus Tip: When trying to capture the action, hold your finger down on the photo button. The phone will take a burst of photos rapidly so you can choose the best one and do not miss a moment!
Don'ts of Phone Photography
Try not to go crazy on filters or effects. One filter, if any, is enough and most of the time can be unnecessary. Don’t crowd the photo with a lot of action. Less is sometimes more! It helps the image look clean and organized.
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog! Go apply your photo skills next time you whip your phone out!
By Kassandra Garcia
Photos by Kassandra Garcia
When it comes to designing every little detail in your wedding, you want unique reception tables that you and your guests will absolutely love! As you begin putting it all together, there are so many ways to make it memorable and one of a kind, without forgetting the traditional place setting. The design and decor of your reception tables is going to be the first thing your guests see as they take their seats. The sweetheart table, where the attention will be directed at your grand entrance, also gives you the opportunity to add anything else you would like.
Traditional Place Setting
We have seen so many different designs while having the pleasure of serving people on their special day. From DIY intimate weddings to large-scale, high-end receptions, any idea can come to life to match your theme and the atmosphere of the location, with a little organization. To begin, choose a color scheme and style you want to show at each table.
Anywhere in your design, you can add a pop of color or have every table setting match. As seen in the photo above, the couple chose to have assorted styles and colors of water goblets. The kind of glassware needed will be determined by the beverages served or if you have a designated time during your reception for a toast.
When it comes to the actual plate, most use traditional china or the trendy eco-friendly option of biodegradable bamboo plates to add a rustic touch. Both options come in many different sizes and shapes. Each can be paired with a charger or placemat if you wish!
As you look into choosing your cutlery, take into consideration your menu and what would be needed for each course. Based on your budget, you can keep one set throughout the reception, which would include the basic fork, knife, and spoon, or provide a set for each entree.
Now onto the linens: this is where you can do the most because there are so many different options! We have seen people create their own runners or special table linen for the sweetheart table, but others want to stick with a more traditional look. As pictured below, a simple runner and beautiful candles, surrounded by votives and plants, can do the job.
My favorite part of decor are the napkins because there is an art to them. You can use disposable ones, choose a fold with linen napkins that can hold the cutlery, or simply provide an accent color to your design.
For your place setting, here are some options:
Anything special to you can be used as accent decor, even if you only have a few things. They can add that personal touch! Many love designing a seating chart and providing place cards that are easy to make and mean so much to your guests. You can simply buy a metallic marker and write on tiles, use printable folded place cards, or even make customized coasters as seen in the first picture.
For your accent decor, here are some suggestions:
We hope this blog helps give you some guidance and a few tips as you start planning for your big day!
At the end of every wedding, there is the anticipated moment where the couple gets to be sent off by their loved ones! Throughout the years, there have been different ways for the guests to celebrate the send-off, the most common one being throwing rice. Couples are now shifting from throwing rice to new fun options!
One popular option is blowing bubbles as the couple is running to their car. We just love the phrase, “Blow good wishes for the new Mr. and Mrs.” The bubbles can double as a party favor for wedding guests!
A new trend is waving ribbons as the bride and groom are leaving. This is a way to extend the reception party to the car! The glow sticks attached to the ribbons in the picture can make for a beautiful starlit send-off!
Another fun way to celebrate the couple is with confetti! Confetti can be popped or tossed. Most designers will customize confetti to go with the color scheme of the wedding!
Sparklers have become a favorite send-off option over the last few years! They look gorgeous in pictures and guests love lighting the path for their favorite couple. Lighting sparklers is an exciting way to end the night!
Every couple is special and deserves a memorable send-off! It is a privilege for guests to launch the couple into their future. Let us know how we can assist you with your send-off!
A unity candle is a representation of the couple joining their lives together on their wedding day. We love the beautiful image that a unity candle represents! There are couples who want to demonstrate their unity but do not like the typical candle. Here are some alternatives for the non- traditional couple!
Unity Sand is a great option for the couple who wants a beach wedding or even just enjoys the beach. The fun thing about this particular unity setup is that it can be used as a decoration in the home. There is an endless amount of colors that can be used for the sand!
Just like the Sand, the Unity Chord can also be used as decor in the home! The three strands can represent several different things. They can represent the couple and God uniting or they can represent the couple and their families coming together. They can even represent the couple’s love in the past, present, and future.
The Unity Paint is great for the artistic duo. The couple can pour the paint or use a brush on letters, shapes, and even figurines. This is a great way to represent yourself as a couple!
The Unity Beer is as non-traditional as it gets. You simply pour both beers together and drink them. This is a great way to get the party started, even before the reception! We have also seen couples do this with coffee!
The Unity Cross is a sweet idea for the religious couple. The outside cross and the curly detail come in two individual parts. The bride and groom each take one and screw them together during the ceremony.
Regardless of the way each couple decides to display their unity, these are a great reminder of how important unity is going into a marriage! As a staff, we love the small details like a unity ceremony that make each wedding and couple unique. Let us know how we can help with the small details of your big day!
A few months ago we had the privilege to serve at a multi-million dollar celebrity wedding. It was breathtaking and indescribable! Literally, we’re not allowed to describe it. Haha. While we were at the wedding, we noticed how important leadership is to an event! Whether it is a large scale celebrity wedding or a small family party, leadership is necessary to the success of an event. There were three elements of leadership that stood out to us.
The first thing we noticed is that a leader leads by example; a leader sets the tone for what is expected. If a leader wants a team with a good attitude, then they must have a good attitude. If a leader wants their team to work hard, then they better hustle. People follow what they see and not just what they are told.
Another element that we saw was initiative. A leader won’t wait around for someone to tell them what to do. They will look to see what jobs need to be done. If they can’t find any, then they will ask how they can help! At an event, there are many unknowns, but a leader takes the initiative to figure out what needs to be done in order for the event to be successful.
The third element we saw--and most underrated part of leadership--is service. A leader will make sure the people around them are being taken care of. There are many jobs at an event that are not glamorous. An example that I saw at the wedding was the scullery. This is where all of the dirty dishes go and are scraped clean. At an average event, there are large chunks of food, random sauces, and funny smells. At a large event, you can only imagine what the scullery looked like. There was a team that stepped up during dinner and did not leave the scullery until all the dishes were scraped clean and had a box to be stored in. It was not a pleasant job, but they did it because it had to be done and they wanted to take care of their client.
True leadership is not always easy, but it is important and so rewarding. A leader sees the end goal and will step up to make it happen. If you have a leader that leads by example, takes initiative, and serves others, you are on your way to a successful event!
Owner and CEO of Common Sense Events Inc.
Hi there everyone & thanks for checking out our blog!
If you have followed our company at all (you should be following us on Instagram-https://www.instagram.com/cseservices/), you know we work in the Palm Springs desert area quite frequently. Popular wedding months are March through May and October through November. During these months, the desert area has some of the most beautiful scenery and some of the coolest venues we have worked at! Here are a list of the top 5 wedding venues we like in the Palm Springs area, in no particular order:
1. La Chureya
This Spanish-style estate in the heart of The Movie Colony with a pool, grotto-style spa and tennis court is one of our favorites! The bridal party can stay onsite with 5 bedrooms which can sleep up to 10. The property features a front lawn where the ceremony often takes place, an adjacent courtyard perfect for cocktail hour, and a beautiful green backyard and pool area perfect for the reception! There are facilities in the house for catering, but the catering companies usually setup in the covered carport area! Visit their website:
2. The Lautner Compound
Located in the Desert Hot Springs area, this beautiful mid-century modern resort boasts vacation rentals and an incredible wedding or special event space. This space is adjacent to the living areas and has a dreamy open air feel. Appropriately called, “The Park”, this 10,000 sq. ft. area is located near the Ranch House which has been recently renovated to feature two distinctive bars. Catering has multiple entries and areas to set up and the architecture and design make The Lautner Compound a “must look” for desert wedding and event venues. Check them out on the web!
3. Cree Estate
Sprawled over two and a half acres of lush landscaping, the Cree Estate welcomes guests with a grand Spanish fountain and large circular driveway. Gorgeous orange and lemon trees are mixed in with palm trees all throughout the property. The house itself is an authentic Spanish style home, all adobe, with weathered wooden doors that could be a gorgeous photo backdrop. The property features several spaces for entertaining and can be used interchangeably as a ceremony or reception site. We love these multi-area properties as you can lead your guests through an experience as they celebrate your special day with you. You can stay onsite as well and with 6 bedrooms, it's easy to host guests the next day for a post wedding brunch. We definitely recommend checking out this one-of-a-kind property for your wedding or special event!
4. Casa De Monte Vista
Casa De Monte Vista is the perfect destination for weddings, parties, retreats, corporate events, or birthdays! This property enables full customization by allowing you to bring in your own vendors or choosing from their list of preferred vendors. As a completely walled and gated private estate, Casa De Monte Vista has a cater-ready kitchen, lush landscaping throughout, beautiful pool and incredible mountain views. The venue has an ideal location, being only 6 blocks from downtown Palm Springs for easy access to night life if you plan on having a wedding after party! Check out this venue at the link below!
5. Sand Acre Estate
Nestled in the heart of The Movie Colony neighborhood, Sand Acre is elegant, secluded, and stately with expansive lawns and high gates and walls for privacy. The property features fruit trees, a private tennis court, and a beautiful, picturesque, spanish style estate with 5 bedrooms. Incredible views of the San Jacinto Mountains rise in the background. The property allows you to bring in outside catering for the ultimate in a customized event experience. Click the link below for more information about this incredible venue!
Of course this list is not exhaustive, but if you're thinking of getting married in the desert, they are all worth checking out! Contact us if you have any questions about the venues, vendor referrals (catering) or to get a feel of our experience working there.