The Sweet Table Boutique – Wooden Vintage Candy Wall

24 Mar


When my dear client Jessica asked me to design a vintage style candy station for her upcoming birthday I couldn’t be more excited.


The location she chose for her party was OB Warehouse, a 6,000 square-foot open space from the Cohn Restaurants group with exciting industrial design by Philippe Beltran and eclectic vintage decor. I used one of their wooden bookcases in the main area to display the colorful candy selections.




I added more vintage touches such as cotton doilies and descriptive tags (created with love by Dolldine Designs) made with distressed wood and embellished with keys tied with twine.


Cute vanilla cupcakes were decorated with edible keys to replicate the design of my descriptive tags – They matched perfectly!



The candy wall looked magical with candle light and it was a huge hit at Jessica’s party!

Happy First Day of Spring!

20 Mar


(Stacy and Greg’s wedding – March 20, 2010)


The top catering trends for 2015

4 Mar

Special Events Magazine recently asked the top caterers in the United States what their clients are asking for at special events this year. I really like the ideas and I’m sharing some inspiration for your wedding reception.



1. Shots and bites Combining micro cocktails with matching mini appetizers is a top trend at cocktail hours. Jerry Edwards, CPCE, president of Chef’s Expressions of Timonium, MD., offers an Asian-inspired rice paper-wrapped poached salmon with a peach sake shooter, and a Mexican-themed avocado mousse and chicken torchon with a mini Patron margarita. Kelly Early, owner of Indianapolis-based Thomas Caterers of Distinction, does mini short rib tacos with margarita shots.

2. Bacon and eggs Bacon is the king in Early’s bacon spoons, mini candied bacon BLTs, and bacon-wrapped chicken breast bites marinated in Korean sauce. (Photo above by Erin Hession.) Edwards offers quail eggs topped with American osetra caviar, toast points topped with house-made smoked salmon and sauce gribiche, and cherry tomatoes filled with egg soufflé among his egg-based bites.

3. Pickled and smoked At New York-based Great Performances, executive chef of catering Matthew Riznyk, has a lot of fish dishes, either marinated, cured, pickled or smoked. Also hot: Korean-style appetizers such as fermented kimchee, dumplings and octopus. Richard Mooney, owner of Los Angeles-based Kensington Caterers, combines his house-cured salmon gravlax with mirin and sesame in a wonton cone. Early offers sweet, savory and sour with watermelon cubes topped with goat cheese and pickled watermelon rind, served on a Himalayan salt block.



1. Light and healthy Edwards sees fish and vegetables as the main ingredient. Edwards combines braising vegetables with herb sauces made with fresh stocks and pureed vegetables.

2. Unparalleled proteins Mooney’s roasted branzino with preserved lemon jus is his fish dish of choice. Riznyk adds tilefish and cobia to the list, adding that nontraditional options such as rib-eye cap steak, bison, sweetbreads, goat and game birds will be more and more used. His popular dishes are grass-fed beef tenderloin with a five-herb green sauce as example, and bone-in organic chicken breast crusted with crushed fennel, mustard seeds and Parmesan-panko. Legumes are becoming very popular as well, and Edwards predicts a rise in beans (cranberry, runner, adzuki, black and garbanzo) as protein-packed, meatless main dish options.

3. Great garnishes Fried parsnip, carrot wisps, crispy matchstick potatoes, or superfine fried onion are clever ideas and they add a surprise element to the plate at little or no cost – This is a perfect solution for your wedding reception. Early would add a small skewer of beef, shrimp or scallops to a chicken entree. (Above, braised short ribs from Thomas Caterers of Distinction; photo by Erin Hession.)



1. Small and sweet Edwards provides small portions with big flavor such as chocolate truffles with sea salt, house-made caramels and shot glasses filled with trifle as standouts for 2015. He also predicts a rise in pies of all varieties and a decrease in cupcakes and cake pops. Early adds miniature versions of traditional desserts such as lemon bars topped with whipped cream and rose crystals, and brownies topped with chocolate mousse and mint crystals as favorites. Early also mentioned the very popular “nitro pops” made in a variety of flavor combinations (Frangelico-peanut butter and Chambord raspberry, caramel and apple, chocolate and strawberry), a specialty that San Diego-based Sensational Treats can provide. Riznyk sees miniature eclairs replacing macarons, and predicts a rise in heirloom baking ingredients such as heirloom root vegetables instead of the old carrot cake.

2. Put up pies Mini Mason jars are still ideal to serve deconstructed pies, cobblers and trifle with a rustic-chic theme, according to both Early and Mooney. (Photo above, deconstructed apple pie in a jar from Kensington Caterers; photo courtesy Kensington Caterers.)

{Article courtesy of Susan Cuadrado, Special Events Magazine}

How will you impress your guests at dinner or at lunch? Ask LA DOLCE IDEA for advice and ideas and your reception will be a memorable celebration! Contact me to schedule a complimentary consultation today

Join La Dolce Idea at the Lomas Santa Fe Wedding Show

27 Feb


The Lomas Santa Fe Country Club will host their Annual Wedding Show this Sunday, March 1. I will be exhibiting with a sweet table and I will introduce some other exciting updates.

Brides and grooms: stop by between 12-3pm to meet with me and other vendors participating in the show, I look forward to seeing you there!

This year you could also win a $10,000 Sweepstakes towards your wedding at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club and $10,000 in prizes during the event. Entering the Sweepstakes is simple: fill out your information on the Country Club Receptions website to enter.

ISSE San Diego {Part Four} – Whimsical Dessert Table

22 Feb

Here’s the last post on my wonderful experience with Stacie Francombe at Inspire Smart Success Experience San Diego. Read Part One, Two, and Three to see how the entire event offered great networking opportunities and education to a group of wedding professionals eager to improve their business and be more successful. We all had a blast thanks to the genius of Stacie Francombe!


Today I share the fabulous dessert table that I had the pleasure to create with some of my favorite peeps in the industry: talented women who have great taste and creative ideas to bring any vision to life.


The theme was pink, green and white matching the event color palette and I envisioned a whimsical, happy, and eye-catching dessert table. This display was scheduled to be presented right after the ISSE Graduation at the Education Session so my goal was to give something to celebrate with all the alumni.


Elaine with Sweet Cheeks Baking Company came up with delicious cupcakes, cookies, whoopie pies, cheesecakes, and a beautiful cake (appropriately framed) that included the elements I wanted to incorporate: pinwheels, buttons, a lot of color.


Dawn with Embellishmint dressed a mannequin with a cascade of colorful flowers, feathers and crystal brooches – It looked fantastic, very unique!




Candy were placed among the stands and trays to go with the colorful color palette.



IsseSanDiegoLaDolceIdea_12The shocking pink linen and sheer pink overlay by Sweet Ribbon Events added a huge pop of color.

I had a lot of fun making the banner and it’s now on sale on my Etsy Shop. You can order it in any color :)


The surprise effect definitely worked, Stacie was speechless when she saw the table on stage!

A huge thank you to Stacie Francombe and her staff, I hope she will come back to San Diego for another fabulous event!

Venue: FLUXX
Linens: Sweet Ribbon Events
Desserts, Stands: Sweet Cheeks Baking Company
Flowers: Embellishmint
Design, Styling, Candy, Stands / Trays, Decor, Banner: La Dolce Idea
Photography: Tim Otto Photography

ISSE San Diego {Part Three} – Educational Session

18 Feb


I’m back with more pictures about my fantastic ISS Experience in San Diego with Stacie Francombe (read Part One and Part Two).




The full-day Educational Session was at FLUXX and the vibrant color palette was enhanced with a ton of beautiful little branded details at each place setting provided by Stacie and her sponsors (event programs, notebooks, place cards, water bottles with coasters, phone chargers, calendars, binders).



Me and Stacie


The delicate floral arrangements by White Lotus Productions were the perfect touch, and linens by Sweet Ribbon Events brought a great pop of color. Platinum Event Rentals provided all the tables and Chiavari chairs.



Attendees were greeted with a swag bag full of goodies (snacks, earrings, magazines, gift certificates, and much more!), a custom badge, and a “good morning” Frappuccino.




Stacie touched on several different topics during the educational session: branding, marketing, budgeting, social media, how to get published, creating our own reality TV show. She included a group question and answer format to promote business-building relationships.


Lunch break was at Bice, an Italian restaurant with a long history and famous for its innovative cuisine.


Chef Mario prepared a great menu that included a cheese and cured meat display, lacinato kale and farro salad, homemade pasta with wild mushrooms, baked eggplant parmigiana, and pan seared Chilean seabass.





The grand finale was a display of mini desserts including Bice’s famous tiramisu.



When ISSE attendees returned to FLUXX for the second part of the educational session, they found a custom signature fragrance (by Pastiche Perfume) with assorted chocolate favors (by Sobelle) and a colorful pinwheel at their seats.




Stacie included several activities during the afternoon to make the session fun and interactive.


After the Graduation Ceremony, Cotton Clouds For A Cause rewarded the alumni with sweet cotton candy – in a light pink matching the event color palette, of course!


More sweetness was revealed: a whimsical dessert table designed by me and my favorite girls at Sweet Cheeks Baking and Embellishmint. I will dedicate my next blog post to this work of art, Stacie was speechless when the table was rolled out on stage!

IsseSanDiegoLaDolceIdea_41Congratulations to the ISSE San Diego Alumni and thanks to Stacie for a fantastic Experience in San Diego!

Venue (Seminar): FLUXX
Venue (Lunch): Bice Ristorante
Rentals: Platinum Event Rentals
Linens: Sweet Ribbon Events
Flowers (Seminar, Lunch): White Lotus Productions
Flowers (Dessert Table): Embellishmint
Bakery: Sweet Cheeks Baking
DJ: Daniel Peterson
Favors: SoBelle Favors
Signature Fragrance: Pastiche Perfume
Photo: Tim Otto Photography

Happy Valentine’s Day from La Dolce Idea

14 Feb


Wishing the best Valentine’s Day EVER to all of my wonderful couples and to all the couples out there, whether you are just engaged, just married or just loving every single minute of your relationship!




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