Thanks for being part of our 2011

Happy New Year!

2011 has been a fantastic year. 
This year we have created 28 events that ranged from the Opening Reception of the inaugural Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, a house party at Kevin Rathbun’s home, a volunteer day at Wonderland Gardens in Decatur, Georgia (both during the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival), holiday parties for non-profits and corporations, to, of course, dozens of weddings. 

We’ve also been privileged to speak and write educational articles for our industry’s best seminars and magazines. Erica Prewett has been the keynote speaker at the Plan Your Meetings LIVE events in Atlanta, Charlotte, and will be speaking in Tampa next month. She has also spoken for several Atlanta based organizations this year such as Atlanta Business Women’s Association and the Wedding Alliance of North Georgia.

I am so proud of what we do at A Big To Do Event. We create memories. 
Here are some of my favorite from 2011.
Opening Reception “Sugar” at Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
May 2011
Loews Hotel, Atlanta, GA
House Party at Kevin and Melissa Rathbun’s home
May 2011
Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
Volunteer day at Wonderland Gardens
May 2011
Decatur, GA
Katie Buice and Brandon Waters Wedding
June 2011
Hawkesdene House in Andrews, NC
Randi Styles and Michael Curling
August 2011
Gardens at Great Oaks in Roswell, GA
Sarah Hitt and Slayden Lee Wedding
October 2011
Lovely Lane Chapel in St. Simons, GA

 

 Liz Bogus and Raiford Storey Wedding


October 2011

 

Atlanta History Center in Atlanta, GA

North Fulton Bar Association
Toy Donation for North Fulton Charities
December 2011
Roswell River Landing in Roswell, GA
Thank YOU for being part of our 2011.
 From all of us at A Big To Do Event, “Cheers! “

The old faithful Eggnog!

Today, we cover the most traditional of Holiday beverages…


Eggnog!





This eggnog recipe uses cooked eggs instead of raw ones (I know, gross) so no worries about getting sick or sharing a non-alcohol version with little ones. To begin, combine 4 cups milk (whole milk is always better in recipes so don’t use any of the skim stuff here), 5 whole cloves, 1/2 a teaspoon vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla, you WILL be able to tell the difference) and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a saucepan and heat over the lowest heat setting (otherwise your milk will clump) for 5 minutes. Slowly bring this to a boil. I suggest whisking this to avoid dreaded lumps. 


Now, in a large bowl whisk 12 egg yolks and 1 1/2 cups sugar until fluffy. Slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture (so you don’t scramble the eggs). Pour all of this into the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY, until thick. Please don’t allow this mix to boil. Before letting this cool, strain out the cloves. Refrigerate for about an hour. 


After the hour is up, stir in 2 1/2 cups light rum, 4 cups light cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Love the way this looks in a stemless wine glass, pour and enjoy. Cheers Y’all!


This was found at allrecipes.com, published by username “nataliesmom”. Wish you were our mom… just kidding, everybody loves their momma in the south!

You CAN catch this Gingerbread Man!

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you are ready for another great cocktail to make your holiday celebrations merrier. Today, we bring you…

The Gingerbread Cocktail!

This one calls for a little prep work, but it is totally worth it. To make the syrup put 1 cup water, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1-inch piece fresh ginger (thinly sliced), 2 cinnamon sticks and 3 whole cloves in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes (until the sugar dissolves), stirring occasionally.

Now, remove the syrup from the heat and let cool (about 20 mintues). Once cool, remove the ginger, cinnamon sticks and cloves.

For the expresso, mix 1 cup boiling water, 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, 3 to 4 tablespoons, Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) until the powder is dissolved. Let this cool.
To make the cocktail, Combine 1 cup syrup with espresso/hazelnut liqueur mixture in a large martini shaker. Add 4 ounces Kaluha and shake to combine. Pour over ice-filled glasses and serve.
Cheers Y’all!
This recipe came from the Food Network website. 

Burr… Baby its cold outside!

For this week’s cocktails, we will be sharing a few creamy holiday concoctions. 

Today, we cover…
The Blizzard Cocktail 

The best part about this is the Grand Marnier whipped cream, which you can put on anything really. I used it on pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving and it was delicious. To make this cold buster, combine 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey or rum, ½ an ounce hazelnut liqueur (like Frangelico), ½ an ounce Irish cream liqueur (like Bailey’s) into a clear coffee cup and stir. Top this with HOT coffee.

Now for the good stuff: To make the fluffy topping, whip 1 cup of heavy cream and after it reaches the desired consistency fold in 1 ounce orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier). Garnish the drink with 1 dollop of the whipped cream and serve immediately. Cheers Y’all!

Thank you Martha Stewart for sharing this yummy hand warmer on your website!

Brandy, you’re a fine drink!

This is probably my favorite cocktail we have discussed thus far (I know it is only number 3, but it really is yummy!) It is the Apple Brandy Cordial. How could someone not like that? The name sounds like a lipstick shade, and even the manliest man would enjoy this semi-sweet libation. Plus, it has a great apple base that doesn’t bring an appletini to mind (no offense you super sweet green concoction) and is different enough from the traditional holiday cider. Seriously y’all, this one tops the list.
This drink is made in batches (of 4) so it’s perfect for a dinner party. In a large pitcher, combine 3/4 cup brandy, 1/2 cup apple juice, 1/3 cup Cointreau, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon angostura bitters. Fill 4 glasses of your choice with ice and top that with the yummy mix. To be a proper bartender, then place an apple slice or two on the rim of the glass or just put them right in the drink. Be creative, cheers y’all!

“Apple Brandy Cordial, you’re a fine cocktail. Yeah, you’re taste could steal a sailor from the sea.”

We found this cocktail on the Real Simple website. 

I have yet to mention this, and should have sooner, ALWAYS drink responsibly. Also, cocktails are for grown-ups so stick with the soft stuff if you aren’t 21.

Get Married, Save the Planet

In planning a wedding, global climate issues may be the furthest thing from your mind, but there are actually a lot of fun, easy ways to recycle in your wedding!
If you have any presents, favors, or other things that need wrapping, a cute idea is to use newspapers to wrap them.  Not just any ol’ set of Sunday funnies, though.  You could collect papers from years past that were printed on the day of your wedding, or use wedding announcements.  It would be like a gift in and of itself for the recipient, because they would get to read whatever stories you pick out for the presents.
Photo from Country Living.
There’s also a how-to for making adorable ribbons from recycled magazines.
These make recycling look pretty darn cute, don’t they?

If you’re up for a little work with a sander, you can put your engagement photos to good use by making frames for them.  It’s really easy to find salvageable wood, even if you’re not into Dumpster Diving.  This style of frame is very cute, and would certainly add to an outdoorsy-themed wedding. 

Photo from The Daily Green.

You could also use reclaimed wood to make a sign for the ceremony or reception.  If a family member is into woodworking, this would be a great way to get them involved in the wedding.  I have a friend whose dad is making one for her ceremony.

Photo from Kate Parker Weddings.

If you want to cut down both on the environmental impact and cost of your save the dates, you may want to look into sending them out electronically.  This may be hard, as Great Aunt Nora might not have an email address (or know how to turn on a computer), but you can always send some out in the mail and some via email.

Photo from Glamour.

When sending out electronic save the dates, it can give you a lot more freedom with colors and design, since you don’t have to worry about paying for them to be printed.  You could even include a little video for your invitees to watch so they can get excited about the wedding. :)

Photo from Sneg Fest.

If you have any blankets or clothes that are past their prime, you could easily repurpose those somehow.  The possibilities are nearly endless!  Custom napkins for the reception, a banner, streamers (for a chuppah, maybe?), handkerchiefs (gotta be prepared for the waterworks), etc, etc.  It would add such a sweet handmade touch to any event, and would also be a great way to get a craft friend or relative involved in the wedding.

There’s no place like home (or your backyard, rather)…to get great wedding decorations.  All you have to do is walk around your yard for awhile and pick up a bunch of twigs that are around the same size (or could be made the same size).  Then you’ve got a perfect candle for an outdoorsy wedding!

Photos from Covet Living.

And you can never forget Mason jars.  These bad boys are a bride’s best friend.  You can use them for drinks (as pictured), for candleholders, candy holders, vases, part of a centerpiece, terrariums, or basically whatever strikes your fancy.  Then, after the wedding, you can take ’em home and use them for whatever else you want!

Happy recycling!  Let us know what your favorite ways are to recycle in weddings. :)  We’d love to hear from you!
Megan

This CosMULLpolitan is MULLicious!

Happy Wednesday A Big To Do lovers! 
Today’s holiday beverage puts a mulled twist on the classic Cosmopolitan, in honor of Mrs. Erica Prewett (as the Cosmopolitan is her favorite cocktail). This deliciously chic mix will warm up even the chilliest of parties. The mulling gives this cocktail a wonderful organic flavor that fits perfectly into the evergreen and holiday spice season.   
First thing you will need to do is create mulled cranberry juice (no worries, it’s a snap). Warm 1 liter of cranberry juice with 5 drops grapefruit bitters**, 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 cloves and 4 orange twists (the peel of one regular sized orange cut into fourths). Let this simmer until fragrant, your home is going to smell delectable! Now let the mix cool and refrigerate (will keep for around 3 days).

Now on to the big show! To make the mulled Cosmo, shake 2 ounces orange or citrus vodka, 1 ounce mulled cranberry juice, ½ ounce lemon juice and a dash of triple sec. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a clove studded orange slice (just mash a few cloves into an orange slice… those of you not from the south “mash” simply means press).

Cheers y’all!

**If you want to be a true cocktail pro, you can make your own bitters… check out this link to find out how: http://www.realfoodmadeeasy.ca/2010/02/grapefruit-bitters/

(This recipe was adapted from a mix found on the Belvedere website, so thanks Belve!)



You’re a sweet one, Mister Grinch!

To help “spruce up” your holiday cheer over the next few weeks, A Big To Do will be bringing you some yummy and festive holiday cocktails. 

Today, we showcase….
THE GRINCH

This is a great conversation starter at any holiday party, due first to its lovely colors and second to telling someone its name. However, don’t be fooled by its namesake because this pretty little sipper is the Grinch post loving transformation with those cute little Who’s down in Whoville. The main ingredient here is Midori, which is melon flavored liquor with the perfect amount of sweetness. 

To make the Grinch combine 2 ounces Midori, ½ ounce lemon juice and 1 teaspoon simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice then shake, shake, shake it! Pour into a chilled martini glass that has been rimmed with red sugar crystals (can be found in the baking section of any grocery store). Feel free to garnish with anything that you fancy from a sprig of evergreen to a tiny red ornament. Cheers y’all! 

Best Maids and Dudes of Honor

Most couples picture their wedding and one of the oh-so-important questions to answer is which of my friends I would cast as the bridesmaids and maid of honor.  It occurred to me that I would really want for my brothers, who I’m really close with, to be in the wedding party.  I mean, I could always bully my fiance into adopting them as groomsmen, but why not just stick ’em on my side of the altar, where they could mutter sarcastic remarks to me and pretend not to be crying during the ceremony?

I don’t know if anyone else remembers this movie, but it’s probably a bad example to use because Patrick Dempsey is actually plotting to make the bride his own, or some romantic comedy shenanigans like that.  Regardless, this is the general concept I’m after today: using men as bridesmaids, and women as groomsmen.

Photo courtesy of Cate Misuraca.

I think this is a great idea!  Why stick your best friend on the other side of the altar just because he’s a guy?  One of our brides asked her best guy friend to be her “dude of honor.”  It’s a growing trend, and I think that getting away from typical gender roles in weddings gives us a lot more freedom.

Photo from Dadiva Shop.

This diagram pretty much explains it all.  And I think it’s great and fun that we’re getting away from the standard, you-must-do-this rules of a wedding.  If something fits for you and your life but doesn’t fit with the “rules,” why not change it?  After all, your wedding should be a reflection of who you are.

Photo courtesy of Cate Misuraca.

So, if your best friend is of the opposite gender and you were thinking about making him or her your right hand man (so to speak), don’t hold back!  Why shuffle around the bridal party when you can just have everyone where he or she would feel most comfortable?

Got any fun man of honor/best woman stories?  We’d love to hear them!

Need a Client Gift?

Don’t you love getting exciting mail?  The other day, we got a box full of our new client gifts!
They’re adorable bags of teeny little cookies with a “Big To Do Event” sticker on the front and a ribbon.  All in all, everything about this gift screams adorable.
We’re going to give them out to our clients, but you could use these for party favors, giveaways, or whatever else strikes your fancy.
If you like these, shoot us an email and we’ll hook you up!