Archive for ‘Budget Ideas’

December 8, 2011

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Warm Up Hot Cocoa Party

Nothing says wintertime fun like hot chocolate! Steaming cocoa fragrant with chocolate and half melted marshmallows is a favorite with children and adults. Why not use this simple treat as an opportunity for holiday socializing? A hot chocolate party is an inexpensive way to host an informal party and share in the joy of the season. Are you newly engaged? Why not have a hot cocoa engagement party, what a warm and cozy way to celebrate with your friends and family.

Table Decor & Cocoa Toppings

Set up a table, with festive cloth and décor for your hot cocoa station and snack bar. You can fill the table with platters of sweet treats to dip into your cocoa. We love the idea of making marshmallows a bit fancy; why not dip them into sprinkles that sparkle? Your guests will be sure to love making their own personalized hot cocoa. Use bowls to offer an array of different toppings or mix-ins to the cocoa.


It is as simple as that! Don’t forget to make your holiday play list and invite your guests. We suggest something as easy as or make it a Facebook event for your friends to RSVP to.

Happy Holidays,

La Vita Bella Events.

October 8, 2011

Benefits of Having a Fall Wedding

Many people prefer to have their special day during the summer months, but a fall wedding can be charming, romantic, and friendly on your budget. The fantastic colors and mild climate that this season provides can inspire a beautiful wedding. Let’s take a look at some of the best reasons to have your wedding in the fall months.

A great time for weddings

The Décor: Be inspired by nature’s warm fall color palette

Autumn brings many beautiful colors and it can be a great idea to theme your wedding around the season. The colors of fall such as burnt oranges, browns, purples, and rich reds can be warm and romantic, and they can be easily incorporated into your wedding décor. You could even have your flower girls throwing colorful golden leaves down the isle rather than flower petals.

Fall color palette

Fall leaves on a tree

You can use this color scheme to inspire your wedding invitations as well. Choosing fall colors for your invite perhaps a brown with burnt orange accents. You could even order in bulk or buy at your local craft store gold leafs to slip into each invite with your wedding date stamped on for there reminder cards.

Depending on the time of day that your wedding will be held, it could be a great idea to add candlelight to the ceremony. Not only will it create a captivating and attractive backdrop but it’s incredibly romantic. Imagine saying your vows to your partner in the warming glow of candlelight. Another great idea to bring candlelight to your wedding is via your bridesmaids; how about have them carry lanterns with a candle softly lit? This could be a potential money saver; no extra bouquets to buy from the florist and it will result in lots of romance for your special day.

Bridesmaid carrying candle lanterns

Plan an autumn-themed menu

This is a season that brings many tasty foods, and you can easily conjure up a menu that breathes the delicious flavors of autumn. Why not greet your guests with a glass of warm mulled cider, a butternut squash bruschetta with a sage pesto, perhaps serve a game bird like Cornish hen or quail for the main course.

Butternut squash bruschetta with sage

No extreme weather

The weather can be just perfect in fall – depending on where you live. In sunny California you’re in luck, with only slight chances of cool wind or a drizzle of rain. This gives you a great reason to appreciate the outdoors and bask in the comfortable temperatures and magnificent autumn scenery.

Outdoor fall wedding venue

Your wedding photographer will be in their element with a backdrop of attractive golden foliage for your wedding photos. Due to mild weather your wedding party will not be sweating in their tuxes and beautiful dresses while standing around for pictures. The best part, in case you are afraid of a little chill you can purchase a beautiful bolero jacket to accent your dress and cover your arms.

Various bolero jackets for the bride

Many venues will have cheaper fall rates

With most people preferring to tie the knot in the brighter spring and summer months, having your big day in autumn can save you a lot of money. Hotels, halls, historic buildings, even a park and garden venues are likely to be cheaper (just don’t forget the time change when you plan your day).

There are many benefits of having a fall wedding– take advantage and set the date today before it’s too late and all you have to wait is another year before you tie the knot!

Congratulations to you all,

From all of us at La Vita Bella Events

April 16, 2011

Spice Up Your Wedding Favors

As the heat rises, we have summer weddings on our minds, and we are so excited to share our latest inspiration: spicy wedding favors!

We came up with a few sizzling ideas that summer wedding guests are sure to enjoy, and because most of these are DIY projects that brides can make ahead of time, they are also major money saving ideas. Worried about the projects being time consuming? Elicit the help of your bridesmaids and make it a fun “night in” a few weeks before the big day!

Curry paste

Looking for an ethnic twist to the idea of a spicy wedding favor?

Grab your mortar and pestle and get to grinding! Simple Thai curry recipes require very few ingredients and can be whipped up in an afternoon. Attach a recipe to the jar of paste (we love this butternut squash and red curry recipe!) to help guests put their new gift to use.

Chili chocolate

Salted caramels and chili chocolates are currently all the rage in the world of chocolatiers: jump on this trend by giving them to your guests as a thank you. Search online for your local artisan chocolate shop; or better yet, stop into their store for a tasting!

Jalapeno jam

Strawberries come into season around June: put them to good use by creating this delicious jalapeno and strawberry jam. The sweetness of the strawberries works well in contrast with the spicy jalapenos, creating a unique favor your guests are sure to rave about.

Once Wed- Photo credit Steven Myers

Not a fan of super spicy things? Limit the number of jalapenos in the recipe for a jam with a little less kick (or add a few more jalapenos if you’re really brave!). There are also many stores that carry spicy jams that will make a perfect favor for your guests if you do not have the time to make your own.

 Pepper seeds or baby pepper plants

Giving guests packets of flower seeds has grown in popularity over the last few years.

Giving guests packets of flower seeds has grown in popularity over the last few years. We suggest a spin on this popular gift: give guests a packet of spicy pepper seeds instead of the typical flower seeds, or give a small seedlings that they can take home to plant. Guests will think of you and your wedding in the late summer when their peppers begin to ripen!


Try making your own salsa (which is SO simple to do!) and buy basic jars to seal them in. Finish off the treats with a personalized label: there are plenty of kits on the market (and free downloads on the internet), or you can create your own using a program on Martha Stewart’s website. We like this simple canned salsa recipe from Pick Your Own: they even break down the cost of canning ($0.95 per jar—including the cost of the jar itself—if you grow your own tomatoes, and slightly more if you purchase them. Not bad!)

Spice rub

Another fun and incredibly simple spicy wedding favor is an all-purpose spice rub.

Martha Stewart

A simple recipe of salt, brown sugar, paprika, oregano and thyme make a delicious addition to any grilled chicken or vegetables, and making the favor is a snap: simply combine the ingredients and store in a tin or small spice jar, and finish it off with a DIY label.

Spicy BBQ sauce

From The Stone Soup

Guests will most certainly enjoy a bottle of homemade barbecue sauce: for brides who have not made it before, believe it or not, the majority of recipes call for a few very simple ingredients: ketchup, chilies, brown sugar, paprika and onions. We love this recipe from The Stone Soup: unlike many other BBQ sauce recipes, she also teaches you how to sterilize your jars so that the sauce will last for months, and has an instructional video on the process.

For the Saucy Couple!

Spicy pickles

Emerils Pickles

Pickles are the perfect topping for burgers grilled at upcoming summer barbecues (and a delicious treat on their own!). Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for spicy pickles on the Food Network has received rave reviews from amateur cooks.

As we have said before, the wedding favor is a chance to thank your guests for their love, their support as friends or family, and their dedication to the two of you as a married couple. In essence, it is a chance to say “thank you” to some very important people, for some very important reasons! But just because the symbolism of the wedding favor is serious does not mean that wedding favors cannot be fun. We encourage our brides to find a gift that is creative, reflective of the couple, and above all, something that the guests will actually use. Have fun spicing up your wedding with our suggestions!

April 11, 2011

Repurposing Items: DIY Vintage Green Projects

We love the idea of incorporating rustic and vintage looks into a wedding: a touch of “something old” here or there adds a lot of charm to your big day… and if the project is refurbishing gently used items, then costs will certainly stay down! We came up with a few fun, inventive projects to inspire our future brides.

Antique tea cups and saucers as table settings and wedding favors

A fun, quirky idea for a table setting is to use old, mismatched teacups and saucers. We love the idea of a table set with these beautiful pieces, which can be picked up for a few dollars at any antique store. They can also be used as a party favor for each guest by pouring wax into each tea cup as a unique candle gift.

Boutonnieres from old books

Image from Van Horn Visuals Photography

Instead of the traditional boutonniere with cut flowers, use paper from old books (you can pick one up at a thrift store for pennies!), making the project both cost-saving and eco-friendly.

Burlap and lace ring bearer pillow

Grace Antiques at Etsy

Any old pillow can be recovered with burlap and then finished off with lace for this fun, country-inspired ring bearer pillow. It is a perfect touch for a summer wedding with a country feel! Not a crafty bride? Grace Art and Antiques from sells beautiful ring bearer pillows made from burlap and lace.

Mason jars

Image Courtesy of Moureen Lunn

Mason jars add a touch of home and comfort to any event, and can be purchased very cheap. Fill them with fresh stems or tea lights, then hang them from eaves or sprinkle them throughout the wedding and reception sites for little country touches here and there. After the wedding, use the jars for canning homemade treats, or stock up on them in your kitchen and channel your inner Southerner with some sweet tea!

Lanterns By Treasure Again


Instead of a table runner, use moss to decorate your tables for a romantic feel. Purchase the moss yourself and then sell it to a party store after your big event, or save it for future soirees that channel the feelings of romance and the outdoors. We love this one from Bragging Bags on Etsy.

Bragging Bags from Etsy

Moss can also be used as an alternative for the traditional ring bearer pillow, incorporated into boutonnieres, corsages and bouquets, or as centerpieces or wedding favors, like with this fun DIY project from Project Wedding.

From Poject Wedding

Old bottles: painted for a fresh touch of color

From Dianne Zweig "The Kitchy Collector"

Style Me Pretty-Sedona Bride Photographers

Collect old bottles from flea markets and thrift stores to use as table décor: a simple stem in each is an adorable addition to any table.

Photo By Carly Taylor

For added color, mix 1 cup of water with 4 cups of paint and dip the bottom of the bottles into the mixture: after they dry, use a wet cloth to remove paint and make designs in the bottles (since you added water to the paint, it will come right off with a wet cloth).

Potted plants as decorations and parting gifts

Who says you always have to use cut flowers for your wedding decor? Wine barrels that are cut in half make great planters: set one on either side of your archway for an eco-friendly ceremony decoration and fill them with flowers and ivy.

Use potted plants to decorate the aisles and the tables as well: guests can take them home as favors and enjoy their beauty throughout the year!

Image courtesy of

We hope that these ideas inspire our brides to add some creative, homemade touches to their weddings. Best of luck and congratulations to each of our couples who are planning their upcoming spring and summer nuptials!

April 3, 2011

Reinventing the Late Night Reception Snack Bar

Guests work up an appetite as they dance the night away, and we can’t think of a better way to fuel them than with the late night snack bar. The candy bar has gained in popularity over the last few years, but we thought we’d take the idea a step further: we put together some unique ideas for spring and summer wedding snack bars that are sure to re-energize your guests for the next round of dancing!

Ice cream bar

From My Bride Story

Cold ice cream is a perfect way to cool off after a few dances, and we love the look of the toppings arranged on a table in a pretty display. For added flare, order personalized wooden spoons. We found these adorable ones from Paper Cup Design:

From Paper Cup Design

Vintage Sundae Bar

Cookies and milk

Nothing says “late night snack” like the traditional cookies and milk. We love how these tiny cookies look when arranged on top of little shots of milk, and the guests are certain to enjoy!

From My Bride Story

Veggie Bar

Opt for the healthy late night snack: set up cut veggies and fruit and supply different dips for each: hummus is an excellent combination with sliced carrots and cucumbers, and caramel is a delicious dip for fresh sliced apples and pears. Make sure your caterers lightly coat the fruits with a mixture of lemon and water: the citric acid will keep fruits from browning.

The Veggie Buffet

Popcorn bar

The ideas for popcorn flavors are endless (caramel, kettle corn, parmesan, truffle oil, cheddar… we could go on and on!) and so are the ways to display popcorn for your guests’ late night treat. We love the idea of apothecary jars displaying each of the popcorn flavors alongside little bags to serve up the treat.

Cereal bar

A new idea that is sure to catch on is the cereal bar. The setup is simple—just a few containers with your favorite childhood cereals, a pitcher of milk, and some bowls and spoons—but the idea is fresh, new and a surefire hit for hungry guests. Who doesn’t love a late night bowl of Cap’n Crunch?

We love each of these fun, fresh ideas and can’t wait to incorporate them into our upcoming summer weddings!

February 20, 2011

Fresh Lavender Wedding

When working for a catering company during college, I was lucky enough to see many exquisite weddings. One of my fondest memories was a wedding where the bride incorporated lavender into her rustic, backyard celebration. The aisle was sprinkled with lavender and as the bride and the guests walked down the aisle, they crushed the stems, which gave off a beautiful aroma… I can still remember the smell.

As spring and summer approach, future brides might want to think about using lavender in their décor. It completes any rustic, French-inspired or country wedding… and smells heavenly! Here are a few ideas for incorporating lavender into your upcoming wedding.

We love lavender bouquets and boutonnieres: so elegant in their simplicity!

From Blue Moon Lavender

From Floral Artistry

Incorporating the lavender theme into the table settings is quite simple. Fresh sprigs of lavender, tied simply with a piece of raffia or ribbon, are a perfect place setting.

From Paper Doll Romance

Simple rows of potted lavender (which can also be great parting gifts for staff or members of the wedding party) are a beautiful way of setting a long reception table.

Snippet and Ink

From My Wedding Flower Ideas

Lavender can even be incorporated into reception treats: lavender lemonade are lovely, refreshing drinks and are a welcomed reprieve during a warm spring or summer wedding (we love the idea of having a sprig of lavender as a garnish on a martini!)

Liquid Chefs

Lavender can also be substitute for rosemary in breads, or incorporated into lavender sugar (a great wedding favor). And because macarons can be dyed any color, they are a perfect opportunity to incorporate the lavender color into your wedding!

BBC Good Food

La bon Macaron

Best of luck to our brides as they prepare for their upcoming spring and summer weddings! Whether it be an outdoor, country-inspired affair sprinkled with lavender or a formal black tie event, remember to incorporate bits and pieces of yourself and your groom into your big day. The best weddings are the most personal ones!