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.
Owner and COO of CSE Inc.
Engaging with your guests and making an event entertaining are key components of a successful social function, especially a memorable wedding reception! But, let's face it, it's hard to get people to engage! Technology and cell phones are the go to entertainment options of our generation. So how do you get people engaging and off social media?
1. Fun: Giving your guests an event to remember is all about engagement. This means finding ways for your family and friends to feel like active participants in the proceedings. Photo booths, lawn games, adding elements of surprise (special guest performances) and most importantly hiring awesome vendors like an upbeat Dj, friendly and attentive service staff, a coordinator who cares about the guests experience and comfort, and of course creative and interactive food options are all good places to start.
2. Food: Good parties often revolve around the food, which is why so many end up in the kitchen. Keep your guests involved and the traffic moving with a variety of delicious stationed bites. From the opening cocktail hour to the last dance, your guests will love strolling from one specialty set-up to the next. Cheese & Charcuterie Stations, Dessert/Donut Bars, Special Drink Tastings or Pairing, all contributing to the overall guest experience.
3. Favors: Let your guests know how much you appreciate having them there by offering a take-home treat or item. Think thoughtful keepsakes: like a bag of your favorite coffee beans or jars of local honey, a cute succulent plant or a pair of sunglasses with your initials and wedding date. Branded glassware is another way to let guest take home part of the party! These are memorable and creative ways to not only let your guests know you appreciate their presence at your wedding, but also to keep them moving and involved in your special day.
Over the last few years, we have seen guests loving the idea of different kinds of bars. Not the alcoholic kind, but the munchy kind. We have seen candy bars, trail mix bars, and popcorn bars. This is an easy way for the hosts to share something they enjoy with their guests. These bars work for weddings, gender reveal parties, birthday parties, company parties, movie nights and many other events! Tip: Most of these tables will work for different types of parties. Just change the colors of the candy, popcorn, and trail mix ingredients to match the colors of your event!
The Candy Bar is easily the most known and appreciated! The candy bar is versatile. It can hit the spot for many guests as it offers such treats as lollipops, peanut butter cups, sour candy, sugar sticks, chocolate, taffy, gumballs. The options are limitless!
Candy Bar Example: Vintage Wedding
The candy table can even make an appearance at a vintage wedding! This is a fun dessert option for the reception. The flowers, candles, and glass jars allow the candy to enhance the table.
The Crimson Bride:
Candy Bar Example: Gender Reveal Party
The gender reveal party is a newer event but has rapidly caught momentum. This is when expecting parents reveal the gender of their baby to their friends and family and sometimes find out for themselves. We love this idea of having both pink and blue represented on the candy table.
The Popcorn Bar is an oldy but goody! Growing up, I loved having popcorn bars as a part of my movie nights. Popcorn is loved by so many people! It can be a great dessert option for the health conscious guests, but can also be buttered up for the guests that prefer their dessert to taste like dessert.
Popcorn Bar Example: Company Party
This bar is for the company party. Often times, the long list of guests at a company party can come with a long list of accommodations. Popcorn is a great option for those with allergies because they can eat it with just a little bit of salt, a little bit of butter, or neither. We love the look of this cart! It can be used both indoor and outdoor.
Pen + Paper Flowers:
Popcorn Bar Example: Backyard Movie Night
This popcorn bar is great for a backyard movie night. The pillows add a nice touch to make your guests feel welcome to sit down and enjoy the movie. Make sure to have a refreshing beverage to go with this salty table!
The Trail Mix Bar is a great option for a more laid back party. This bar is newer but is loved by most guests! Just be considerate of your guests with nut allergies! Similar to the popcorn bar, your guests can make this as healthy or unhealthy as they want. Guests typically put the trail mix in little baggies or little jars. This allows for them to get trail mix and mingle without having to worry about spilling their treat.
Trail Mix Bar Example: Camping Birthday Party
A camping party is great for all ages. Your guests will have fun putting together their munch as they are getting ready to camp for the night! Use brown bags for your guests to put their trail mix in!
Kara’s Party Ideas:
Trail Mix Bar Example: Wedding in the Woods
This bar is perfect for the wedding in the woods! The wooden table and moss decorations will make your table a beautiful addition to the landscape.
These bars have been a newer trend at events and your guests will eat them up! Our team has experience with many types of these bars. Let us know how we can help you with your candy, popcorn, or trail mix bar!
Owner and CEO of CSE Inc.
The hospitality industry is infamous for its high staff turnover rate and the catering business is no exception. With most of the work as temporary in nature, and the business being seasonal, many companies find it challenging to find, hire, and retain, high quality people to provide excellent service at their events or in their restaurants. Today we will focus on the catering industry, but these tips are cross applicable to the restaurant industry as well!
Hiring and training any employee is costly and time-consuming, but nevertheless an incredibly important part of your business. We at Common Sense Events supply this so you don't have to (shameless plug, I know!), but for your team that isn't more temporary in nature, it essential to hire quality staff that will stay with your business long-term. This is especially important for sales and logistical managers, chefs, and other positions where a high turnover rate could be damaging and especially impactful to the longevity of the business.
On to the specifics! Typically, a competent person that is excited to work for you is going to put effort into the initial interview. Some things to look for are: showing up early, and being well groomed. This is not to say that they will be wearing a suit and tie, but initial presentation will tell you a lot about a person and how they will represent your company. Hair should be tidy and groomed (facial hair as well!).
Since this is a guest facing position, one of the immediate qualities to look for is an outgoing personality and a smile. Smiles are one of the most underrated parts of the makeup of a good service industry professional and especially working in high pressure scenarios, you will want someone who can smile and maintain a positive attitude and demeanor. The interviewee should offer to shake your hand, make good, consistent eye contact and speak in a clear voice that is easy to hear and understand. A confident person will also think to ask questions of you along the way. The quality of these questions will be a good determining factor to gauge their experience level and asking follow up questions might be necessary to figure out whether they will be able to serve your brand effectively.
Giving real scenarios and asking questions based on real life examples of things that have happened while working will give you an idea of the responses and interactions that you can expect from that person while they are working for you.
Good questions include:
Asking about their opinion of teamwork and how they feel that plays into the workplace is very important as it will give you insight into how they will integrate with your current team. You don't want to hire someone with a chip on their shoulder, someone who is entitled, or someone who won't ask for help if they get overwhelmed. This can have serious consequences especially during high pressure times and this could dramatically impact how your guests and clients view your company.
Hiring high quality staff is essential to the success of your business because your staff are the interaction point between your quality food and the guests. The guests impression of your company will not only be formed from their opinion of your food, but also the service with with that food is presented. If you aren't committed to quality in customer service AS WELL AS quality in the products and services you provide, you won't be in business for long as the market is increasingly competitive and people have so many choices in today's marketplace. Remember, you aren't just hiring a server or waiter, your hiring someone who is solely representing your business to each of your clients.
Recap: What to look for right away:
We hope this guide has been helpful! Share and pass along if you found it valuable! Have a wonderful day and happy hiring! For a customer quote for a service team for your catering or event company, contact us today!