Hello Productions

Pittsburgh Wedding and Event Planners

Taco Bout’ A Fiesta! June 1, 2017

When our planner Natasha Learn told us her daughter’s first birthday party theme was a fiesta, we knew it would be awesome. Who doesn’t love Mexican everything – and who could say no to tacos?

 

Natasha created the ultimate first fiesta for her daughter, Harper. Taking authentic Mexican decor and mixing it with a little more kid-friendly decor, Natasha decorated with gold mini piñatas, maracas, sombreros, cactus confetti, tissue paper garland, multicolored balloons, cactus balloons, and colorful Mexican flags strung across the entire party.  The fiesta was bright and full of color to create vivid memories for all of the guests!

 

A taco and fajita bar was set, and cookies and cake were served as dessert. For the kids, there was a take-home-bag table with children sombreros and a bag full of Mexican goodies for the little señors and señoritas at the party. A piñata was hung for the children to hit and was full of candy, which was a fun activity for the children to enjoy.

 

For Harper’s cake smash, Natasha decorated a multicolored paper flower backdrop with gold fiesta balloons, a wooden high chair, and a paper-cut-out garland that said “uno”. Her cake was decorated to match the fiesta theme, and Harper sure enjoyed her first taste of something sweet!

 

Photography by Courtney Learn Photography

Cakes – Jennifer Shaffer Cakes

Cookies – Lovies Cookies

Catering – Compadres Mexican Restaurant

 

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Buffet vs. Sit Down vs. Stations May 16, 2017

In most cases, the bulk of your wedding budget will be spent on food and beverage. When providing dinner service to your guests, you as the host will choose from 3 styles: Buffet, Sit Down, or Stations. Each choice has pros and cons… it just depends on which fits your style!

 

Reception Style #1: Buffet

What is a buffet? It is a meal consisting of several dishes stationed on a long table from which guests streamline through and serve themselves. To create a more formal buffet, servers will sometimes assist guests. But in the end, this style is considered to be the most casual of meal service.

 

Pros: Buffets provide your guests with more options of meat, sides and sauces. You can please the masses without having your guests choose their entrée prior to your event. Buffets also save a small amount of money for wait staff since the caterer needs fewer people tending to the buffet instead of each table.

 

Cons: The downfall of buffets include time. Since guests are not professional food handlers, they tend to move at a slower pace when moving through the line. Also, a buffet requires an overage of each dish to ensure no entrée or side runs out. Caterers cannot guess how much each guest will take; therefore, an overage of food increases the cost.

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Reception Style #2: Sit Down

A sit down, plated style of dinner is considered the most traditional and formal option as guests are served an individually plated meal… in most cases, one they have pre-selected in their RSVP. The meal typically consists of three courses: an appetizer/salad, entrée and dessert. Caterers will usually give guests the option between two entrées, which are selected beforehand, or they will offer a duo plate consisting of two proteins.

 

Pros: All of your guests will be served at the same time! With preselecting meal options, the caterer will know exact amounts. A plated dinner also provides the opportunity to time event formalities (such as dances and toasts) between courses to keep guests entertained and engaged throughout the meal service.

 

Cons: A greater number of serving staff is required to cater every table individually. Also, some venues do not offer a plated sit down due to lack of kitchen space. Imagine 300 entrée plates lined up in the kitchen… that’s some major square footage!

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Reception Style #3: Food Stations

A station style reception is where the event’s meal choices are distributed at various tables in your main event space. Station examples include a carving station, a raw bar, a tapas station, a pasta station, a dessert station, and the list goes on.

 

Pros: A fun variety of dishes can be made available including themed stations (like a pierogi or taco bar) that you might not see at a more formal setting. With “cook to order” stations, guests can request the amount of sauce or level of spice, etc.

 

Cons: Considered a new-age style of event dining, many of your guests treat it like a buffet… taking a full dinner plate of food at each station. Stations are made for snacking, tasting, and enjoying smaller portions of each fun theme. The amount of consumption and waste may rack of up your catering bill.

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Hello Baby Showers! April 22, 2017

Full of plaid, woodsy, rustic decor, and an amazing hot chocolate bar, this baby shower was amazing! Our Coordinator, Natasha Learn, brought in fresh winter greenery, birch logs and faux-fur to create the ultimate, warm and inviting winter baby shower theme for this mom-to-be. The baby shower was hosted at the New Castle Country Club and they also provided the freshly cooked breakfast buffet that was simply delicious. From a fresh made omelet station to the best crispy breakfast potatoes, the food was spectacular. For games and prizes, Natasha decided the guests would enjoy “Name That Baby” the guests answered the baby name for each animal listed. Along with this game, she created a “Marshmallow Guess Game” for the guests to guess the number of marshmallows in the jar, the person with the closest guess won a prize. For favors, plaid onesie, bear and monogram cookies baked by Little Lovies Cookies were at each place setting. Not only were the cookies adorable – they were tasty! This shower was exactly what the expecting mama wanted and beyond perfect for the time of year.

 

A Popular Question When Planning Events: Party Favors or No Party Favors? February 12, 2017

We are weighing in on the age old question: if the party favor is a must. Giving your guests party favors at your wedding or special event is a generous gesture, however, it is not necessary. Favors can add up to a lot of money and it could possibly be something your guests might not even want. But of course, if you have favors in mind that are cohesive with the theme of your event, unique, or something your guests will cherish forever – then you should do it! If you decide that a typical favor is not something you want for your event, think of the favor more like a souvenir or even a post-event snack that everyone will enjoy. Here are our top 5 picks of alternative favor ideas from some of our local Pittsburgh vendors.

Photo Booth

There is no better memory than those caught in a moment on camera. Whether picture perfect or silly and fun, a photo strip of your guests is something everyone will love and keep forever. Love a little retro and vintage? Check out this unique vendor, Pittsburgh Camper Booth. A vintage retro photo booth on wheels!

Donuts or Breakfast

After a long night of dancing and celebration, everyone always wakes up hungry! Wrap up a donut, fresh scone or pastry by Oakmont Bakery for your guests the next morning.
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Caricature Artist

Caricature Art makes for a fun and exciting take-home favor. This is always a hit at every event, your guests will be talking about it for weeks! Call The Pittsburgh Caricature Co. to book your premier caricature studio for your next event.

Waffle Truck

Who wouldn’t want to exit a wedding venue and find fresh, gourmet waffles as their parting gift? Have your guests leave your event with an unexpected and delectable treat by The Waffler Truck.
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Custom Coasters

Instead of purchasing your typical monogram napkins or paper coasters, why not get creative with calligraphy by Gardner Ann’s by Katie Harbison. The coasters don’t have to have the event date for your guests to remember they received it on your special day. This is something your guests will keep forever and use often.
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Hooray – You’re Engaged! Now What? January 8, 2017

He popped the question and you said YES! Now you are engaged – congratulations! There are so many things to think about, but don’t get overwhelmed! Here is what to do next.

Call your parents, siblings, family and best friends:

Don’t let your family and best friends find out on social media. Give them the honor of hearing the fantastic news first. Don’t hesitate to get creative with a mock save-the-date, unique photo of the location where you were engaged, surprise them with a facetime call for a first-time look at your new ring, or better yet, surprise them in person so you can witness their priceless reaction!

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Photo from theknot.com

Make sure your nails are on point:

Your hands will be in the spotlight for quite a while! So be confident and show off that ring with a brand new manicure.

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Photo from brides.com

Get your ring appraised and insured:

This might not be one of the most exciting things about the engagement or one of the first things you think about, but it could seriously save you (especially him!) in the long run. Ring insurance can be purchased as an extension of your renters or homeowners policy. Another option is to insure your ring through a company that specializes in jewelers insurance.

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Photo from brides.com

Get your ring resized:

Your new ring might fit like a glove or it might be slipping right off of your finger. If it is not a snug fit, make sure you go to a jeweler ASAP to get your ring sized to fit you correctly. If not, you might be utilizing your ring insurance sooner than you thought!

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Photos from everafterguide.com

Start thinking about a potential date and set your budget:

Wedding venues get booked far in advance so it is wise to set a date as soon as possible. Plus, everyone will be asking if you set a date, so you will be prepared with an answer! Also, think about the kind of wedding you want to have and crunch some numbers to set the budget for your wedding day.

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Photos from marthastewartweddings.com

Have an engagement party:

People will want to congratulate you and your fiance on the engagement. This is a great time to introduce family members who haven’t met and will be seeing a lot of each other during all of the wedding festivities. The engagement party should be held within a few months of the proposal.

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Photo from weddingpaperdivas.com

Go on a date night and have fun:

Relax, spend time with each other and remember why you got engaged in the first place! Enjoy every moment of your engagement and the exciting feeling of calling your man your fiance! Embrace the moment of being engaged before all of the planning begins. When you are ready to start planning, don’t forget to call us at Hello Productions to help you plan your dream wedding day from beginning to end!

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Photo from marieclaire.com

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Keepsakes: Remembering the Feeling September 7, 2016

 

Your wedding is a big day filled with big moments! How to remember those moments can feel overwhelming, so we are here to provide some advice. Check out four ways to lock in those special moments for years to come.

First Look: Capturing the Moment

Brides have told us that one of their favorite wedding day moments is seeing their groom’s reaction for the first time. Seeing your dress and veil. Sharing an intimate kiss. Wiping away a small tear. These are perfect reasons why you should schedule your photographer during this moment. To take it one step further, hire a videographer to capture footage of both parties getting ready, then finishing with the moment of the reveal. This gives the other person an inside look at what the other did to get ready and their emotions in the process.

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Photo from onewed.com

 

Saying “I Do”: Remembering Your Wedding Vows

Your vows are the promises you are making to your partner, so having a way to remember your words is a reminder of your love for each other. Framing these vows in a beautiful script is a great way to showcase a unique part of your wedding day in your home. Thinking outside the box? Frame the actual sound byte of your “I do” and make it into a picture.

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Photos from wedpics.com and swannsoirees.com

 

Tossing the Bouquet: Preserving Your Flowers

Your bridal bouquet is as important as your bridal gown. It’s perfectly crafted to fit your frame, style, and vibe! There are many different ways to remember the flowers that kept your day fresh – shadowboxes and bell jars are ways to preserve the actual flowers, while artistic renditions can be commissioned to capture the beauty of your bouquet.

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Photos from stylemepretty.com and letsgetweddy.com

 

First Toast: Celebrating with Champagne

Wedding toasts are a long standing tradition, and they give friends and family a chance to express their love and wishes for the bride and groom. One way to remember the champagne toast is to use the corks in a 3D art project. You could also incorporate your guests and celebrate in the years to come by having guests sign anniversary champagne bottles! One year, five years, 10 years down the road… you can toast to the memories of your wedding day with a bottle of bubbly!

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Pictures from pinterest.com and Hello Productions

 

 

Cutting-Edge Wedding Decor Trend That’s a Gem June 28, 2016

Filed under: Hello Details — Hello Productions @ 4:27 pm
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WOW, Look at that Rock! (And No, Not the One on your Finger)

Looking for something bold yet classic? Colorful yet simple? Natural yet elegant? This new trend is on the cutting-edge of wedding decor – literally. Agates and geodes are specialty cut stones, sliced and shined to reveal their natural beauty. As it turns out, they fit right into weddings.

Here are six ways to incorporate these glamorous gems into your wedding design.

Invitations: Set the tone of your event with an agate inspired invitation! By establishing this bold style in the invitation, guests will be sure to remember this theme and take note of similar elements throughout the day.

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Escort Cards and Table Numbers: Grab your gold paint pen and welcome guests with a personalized agate favor! Table numbers can be inscribed on the front or back of these escort cards to indicate seating arrangements. Color coding is also an option – encourage guests to find their seats by matching their escort “rock” to the color of their table number!

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Eating and Dining: Agates can play as sweet accents when it comes to decorating dinnerware! Larger, circular stones can be used as charger plates while smaller cuts can accent napkin holders or just stand alone details.

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Tasty Treats: So the agates are NOT edible, but they make any dessert sparkle! The natural pop of color adds a beautiful touch to a simple frosted cake or cupcake.

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Room Decor: Desiring more drama? Hang agates from the ceiling for an “enchanted garden” look. Roll out an agate-inspired cloth as a textured table runner. Make a statement with an agate backdrop for an amazing and totally unique look!

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Rings and Keepsakes: These pieces truly are timeless. Pick your favorite colors and styles to feature your rings and other keepsakes. Not only can you use them in your wedding, but they can be taken home and used as interior decorations that will forever remind you of your special day!

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