Favorite Moments of 2017

Favorite Moments of 2017

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is over, and a new year is just begun. This is when we we stop and reflect on the year we had and contemplate what we want for this next year. 2017 was a great year at Superior Celebrations because we got to take part in so many beautiful moments with our customers. We want to share some of the highlights with you and thank our sweet customers for including us in their big days.

Favorites of 2017

Favorite Gender Reveals

Ah, gender reveals. They hold a dear place in our hearts. A a new baby is always a mystery–what will they look like? Who will they someday be? The gender reveal party is a fun place to start all that wonderment and excitement with friends and family all around. We get so many amazing stories and photos from our customers that it’s difficult to narrow down a few favorites.

Sometimes in the flurry of confetti and jumping–we find that folks do a lot of jumping at the reveal–it can be tricky to see everyone’s faces. It was so fun to see the Pecora family’s reaction to baby boy!

Favorites of 2017

And how about those small, intimate reveals? This sweet moment shared by the Tuck family is one of our favorites because big sister is the central part of the photo.

Best of 2017

We have two options for Gender Reveal Confetti, pink and blue. Imagine our delight when the Craft family had both pink and blue confetti blast off for their twins!

Favorites of 2017

Favorite Sparkler Photos

Sparkler exits are a big deal over here. If you’re in the market for wedding sparklers, or are considering using them in your wedding make sure you check out our posts 6 Sparkler Sendoff Do’s and How to Photograph a Wedding Sparkler Exit. And now for a few of our favorites!

Sparklers are a staple for New Year’s Eve, and this couple kicked off 2017 by tying the knot. The sparkler exit captured by Daisy Moffat is full of fun and excitement.

It’s always adorable when you get a close up of just the bride and groom with sparklers. This cute smooch was captured by April from April G. Photography.

With adult supervision, sparklers are most thoroughly enjoyed by children. Ashley from Ashley Guinn Photography used our 10″ Sparklers in a princess photo shoot. How sweet is this little one?

It’s always exciting to see new ways for people to photograph our sparklers. This ring shot captured by Laura Moore puts an interesting spin on our Heart Sparklers.

Favorite Confetti Photos

We couldn’t be happier that the old tradition of throwing rice is now a showering of confetti. Our White Confetti and Multi-Color Wedding Confetti are the top sellers for weddings, although other colors and varieties are also used and look amazing.

First off, our favorite multi-color confetti picture is of Britt and Tory, captured by Sterling Image Works. A perfect “you may kiss the bride” moment.

Typically, the bride and groom are the ones who decide to use confetti. However, for this couple, the confetti was a total surprise! How fun for them to walk down the aisle as it’s raining white confetti.

Captured by Leigh Elizabeth, surprise coordinated by Auburn and Ivory Creative

Captured by Leigh Elizabeth, surprise coordinated by Auburn and Ivory Creative

When a couple goes super bold with our Gold Streamer Cannons, the result is a giant golden archway that is absolutely perfect for that end-of-the-aisle shot.

Finally, you have to give it up to the couple and the photographer who will brave the rain for a confetti shot. This photo was captured by Laura Moore and has us rethinking everything we know about confetti and rain. In fact, we have an entire post dedicated to Weddings and Rain: A Photographer’s Perspective.

Favorite Sky Lantern Sendoff

Sky lanterns are the way to go if you always dreamed of a fairy tale wedding. That said, combined with a destination wedding, our lanterns are a match made in heaven. We loved this destination wedding shot in Cabo by Victoria Huff.

Sending off a sky lantern is one of those “bucket list” items for everyone, and these guests had a blast filling the night sky with them.

Looking back on all the photos of 2017 shows just how beautiful a few things like confetti, sparklers, and lanterns can make a moment. We are so thankful for our loyal customers and the amazing photographers who allow us to showcase their work. We are looking forward to a truly spectacular 2018. If you want us to see your weddings, events, and gender reveals, be sure to tag us on Instagram @superiorcelebrations and use the hashtag #superiorcelebrations. You can also give us a shout-out on Facebook.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Posted in News

Featured Proposal: Ben and Irena

Featured Proposal: Ben and Irena

We often talk about weddings here and hope to provide inspiration for couples planning their weddings. But what comes before the big day? The proposal, of course! While it’s the ultimate romantic gesture, proposals take creativity, guts, and sometimes a team of people to pull off with finesse. So what happens when you put your proposal in the hands of a wedding and event planner?

Magic.

Today, we want to share a sweet story while spotlighting a few of our friends from the wedding and event industry. What’s especially fun about this proposal is that the couple, Ben and Irena, both work as vendors and know their way around weddings. Ben works as the chief operating officer for Chase Canopy, a company specializing in luxury tents and event rentals, and Irena works for BBJ Linen, the nation’s leading provider for linen rentals. The fairy godmother of this story, Lisa from Creative Concepts by Lisa, worked with Ben to pull off a spectacular proposal that was watched by 20,000 people on Facebook Live.

Now, before we get to the juicy details we have to tell you a little bit about Lisa and her fabulous company.

Vendor Spotlight: Creative Concepts by Lisa

Lisa started her business in Hamden, Connecticut back in 2009. Since then, the team has grown and now has offices in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts as well. Lisa describes her philosophy as making her clients shine. She says, “My philosophy is simple, when the curtain goes up you get a standing ovation! I absolutely love being a wedding planner and making you the star of the show.” Lisa’s enthusiasm is infectious, and it’s no wonder Ben turned to her to help stage his proposal.

So how did Lisa manage to get both Ben and Irena into her office for a Facebook Live event? The Teal Couch. Every Tuesday, Lisa invites industry vendors to come to her office, sit on her teal couch, and engage in a live Q & A. The Teal Couch provides what she calls “wedding therapy,” and gives the perfect space to swap stories, exchange laughs, and share valuable information with her audience.

When Ben and Irena came on it was because they are TWO of my industry vendors, but behind the scenes Ben and I had been working to get Irena on the show for months and surprise her with the wedding proposal!

Ben appeared on the Teal Couch over the summer and that’s when he decided to pop the question in Lisa’s office. The proposal didn’t take place until November, after luring Irena in under the pretense that she would be talking about BBJ Linens with Ben and Lisa.

Vendor Spotlight and Surprise Proposal

After scheduling the show, Ben left the details up to Lisa–genius move, by the way. Lisa collaborated with some of her favorite vendors to put together the perfect spread:

Ben purchased his ring at Jared’s Jewelry and dropped it off with me the week before the show so she couldn’t stumble upon it. I then contacted my friends and fellow vendors: Luigi of Forget Me Knot Flowers for the dozen red roses, Hope at J-Cakes for the amazing cup cakes adorned in edible pearls and diamonds, Steve of Juhasz Music for the live music and JC of Robert Norman Photography to capture it all! Funny, I set up the on-site photographer as being in my office to take images for my website, and we even did twenty minutes of “mock photos” pretending they were clients, and now they are. Irena was NONE the wiser!

Lisa introduced Ben and Irena and allowed them each some time to talk about their respective businesses. They then went into the Q & A format for a typical Teal Couch session. After some time, Lisa asked Ben to retrieve something from another room while she and Irena continued talking. A few minutes later, Ben came back accompanied with musicians and immediately got down on one knee. Irena was so shocked that he had to ask the question twice.  You can see the disbelief on her face in this photo.

Vendor Spotlight and Surprise Proposal

Vendor Spotlight and Surprise Proposal

This is after Ben popped the question a second time. This is most likely the moment that all the women watching on Facebook Live started getting a little teary.

Vendor Spotlight and Surprise Proposal

When you think of the number of people involved in this proposal, and the fact that it was recorded on Facebook Live it’s almost a miracle that it went off without a hitch. Lisa explains that Ben really did his homework to make sure that everything went perfect. He even came down a few days earlier to do a “walk through” to practice with Lisa. Someone give this man a Klondike bar! Major kudos, Ben.

Vendor Spotlight and Surprise Proposal

We might be a tad bit biased, but one of our favorite parts about this proposal is the photo op they did using our confetti cannons. We always get to see them used for weddings, but just maybe they are even more magical at proposals?

Vendor Spotlight and Surprise Proposal

Lisa will be along for the ride of wedding planning and assures us that a wedding set for 2019 is on the books. Ben and Irena asked her to be the officiant and she assures us that it will be a “tented affair,” most likely dripping in gorgeous linens. We hope to see some sparklers and confetti cannons make an appearance as well (wink).

Congratulations, Ben and Irena! What a beautiful proposal and exciting day. If you want to watch how it all unfolds you can see the recorded video from Facebook Live on Lisa’s page. Make sure you follow her on Instagram as well! A huge thanks to Lisa for sharing all of these insider details with us. We are so excited to see what is sure to be a fabulous wedding in 2019.

Posted in Monthly Spotlight

December Bucket List

December Bucket List

Happy December! December is by far the busiest month in the year, and oftentimes it slips past us without allowing us to do everything we were dreaming of all year long. We have 25 days until Christmas, so lets maximize our time spent with family and friends and make some wonderful memories. We’ve put together a bucket list for the 25 days leading up until Christmas!

December Bucket List

1. Play in the Snow

First of all, try to have a snow day. Maybe you’re like us and you live in Florida, the Sunshine State. Guess what? There are places that pack in a bunch of ice and snow and give you the opportunity to have a snow day. Even Disneyland and Disney World have Olaf’s Snow Playground to give your kids a taste of snow.

15 Fun Activities for December

Source: GeekDad

2. Get Outdoors

If the weather permits, head outdoors and take your family on a hike. December is undoubtedly the most expensive and stressful time of the year. Just being outside gives everyone a nice boost of vitamin D and physical activity is a shot of feel-good endorphins. The best part is it’s free!

15 Fun Activities for December

3. Do Good

Go and do some good in the world. Whether it’s finding all the bell ringers in town and dropping money in the bucket, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or leaving a huge tip, this is the time to spread cheer. Find a cause that resonates with you and your family, and get involved! Last month we talked about ways to give back to veterans for Veteran’s Day. Guess what? Christmas is still a great time to give back to veterans. Take a peek at that post for some inspiration.

15 Fun Activities for December

4. Ice Skate

Take your family ice-skating. Even though you can do this any old time of the year, ice skating at Christmas is something special. Wear scarves and beanies and go find your inner figure skater, or hockey player…whichever speaks to you.

15 Fun Activities for December

5. See a Play

Watch a Christmas musical or play. White Christmas is a really fun musical to see, and The Christmas Carol is always moving. You can’t watch Scrooge transform from jerk to jolly and not be filled with the Christmas spirit. “God bless us everyone,” right?

Source: Weekend Notes

Source: Weekend Notes

6. Christmas Candy

Make Christmas candy! This is the only time of the year where making candy is a thing. You do not want to miss out on it. If you’re not super confident in the kitchen, you can do something super easy and make Christmas Crack. Oh my word, this stuff is ridiculously delicious and addicting. That’s why it’s called crack. If you feel up to the task, Peppermint Patties are also absolutely delicious. Pack up your treats and divvy them out to your friends and neighbors!

7. Movie Marathon

If you’re not able to get out to watch an actual play you can have a Christmas movie marathon. My family always kicks off December with Elf and The Santa Claus. We pretty much have those movies memorized. The Home Alone franchise is also a great one to watch in a marathon, although I personally think they go downhill after they replace Macaulay Culkin.

Source: Moviefone

Source: Moviefone

8. Game Night

Host a game night. You can get a large crowd together and have an old fashioned Bunco night. Or if you have younger children a really fun game is Pie Face. Actually, this game is fun for adults too. Games can be your salvation when your kids are on winter break. Stock up on things like Jenga, Uno, and Checkers to keep your kids from turning into screen zombies.

Source: Walmart

Source: Walmart

9. Random Acts of Kindness

Go do some random acts of kindness. Get your kids to make some cards and take $30 (or more) worth of quarters to a laundry mat. Fill up the slots and leave the cards on the machines. It won’t cost you much, but you will serve a bunch of people in a sweet and unexpected way.

15 Fun Family Activities

10. Tacky Party

Have a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party. Every year thrift stores get to charge ridiculous prices for hideous Christmas sweaters. Why? Because Tacky Christmas Sweater parties are always one of the biggest highlights of the season. Know one really knows why, exactly, so just embrace the ugly sweater and drink some punch.

Source: Esquire

Source: Jason Yormark

11. Scavenger Hunt

Go on a photo scavenger hunt! Whether it be Nativity scenes, Disney montages, or just plain old Santa Claus, set a goal and see if you can get X amount of photos in X amount of time. You can use this printable to get you started!

12. Spice Ornaments

Making spice ornaments is perhaps the easiest activity you could do with your kids this Christmas. They require three ingredients: applesauce, glue, and a boatload of cinnamon. They smell amazing and make really cute gifts for teachers and neighbors. You can even use them as gift tags. Check out this recipe and instructions to feel like you won Pinterest.

13. Progressive Dinner

Get some friends, neighbors, or family members to help you put together a progressive dinner. This is a fun way to have a party without having to spend a ton of money. It’s also a great way to see each other’s homes decorated for Christmas. If you need ideas on how to get started Taste of Home is a great resource for learning how to put together a successful progressive dinner party.

15 Fun Family Activities

14. Letter Writing

Write a really funny Christmas Letter. You know those letters that basically tell of all the successes of a family? Yeah, why not write one that is both realistic and funny? Letter writing is a lost art, and with social media most people do not feel it is necessary to update people on what is going on in their lives. Chances are you are already sending out a holiday card–why not include a little letter? This post is really helpful in planning out your Christmas letter and includes tips on how to not appear “braggy.”

15. Gingerbread House

Make a gingerbread house. I have had some major gingerbread fails in my day, but it doesn’t stop me from trying again each year. There’s something so fun about building a tiny house made of cookies, frosting, and candy. My kids enjoy it even more than I do and it’s an activity that gives everyone great memories. Want some gingerbread inspiration? Check out The Decorated Cookie’s roundup of gingerbread creations.

16. See the Lights.

I recently heard someone say that her favorite holiday memory as a child was getting in pajamas, bundling into the car, grabbing Jack in the Box, and then seeing all the Christmas lights on display. Jack in the Box isn’t essential, but do get something yummy and make those memories with your kids and loved ones!

See the Christmas Lights

17. Get Fancy

Whether it’s for a party, Christmas Eve service, or just at home with your family, have a night dedicated to formal holiday wear. You know the type? Get the guys to put on a tie, dress your daughter in a concoction of velvet and tulle, and deck yourself out in something with sequins. Don’t forget a bold red lip. The photos will make it all worth it.

18. Roast Chestnuts

Does anyone actually do this here in America? You can buy them year round on the streets of London, but it’s not quite a thing here in the states. We hear the lyrics, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” so much between November and December that we ought to just commit and try it out. You can learn all about how to do it (without an open fire) right here. Since most of us don’t eat chestnuts on a regular basis–beware of the shell. THAT you do not want to eat.

Photo and recipe by In Search of Yummyness

Photo and recipe by In Search of Yummyness

19. Take Someone Shopping.

Ok, we’ve already covered the random act of kindness category, however, we all have someone in our life who needs to be blessed beyond the “random act.” We’re talking single moms, dads who just lost their job, or people going through a health, emotional, or financial crises. The sad fact is, we all know people who fall into those categories and the holidays are the perfect time to DO something. This isn’t charity, this is stepping in as a friend and loving your neighbor. Don’t have much to give? That’s OK. Even taking someone to Toys R Us and spending $30 would be a blessing. So think about it: who in your life could use a little boost this December? Now is the time to invest in that family by sharing your resources and making room in your heart.

20. Have a Pajama Day.

If there is one month in the year that EVERYONE gets overtired in it’s December. Declare a day of personal care for your entire family and allow everyone to rest. This means: no regular clothing, only pajamas. No cooking, only takeout. No cleaning–tomorrow will take care of it. Even if you have young kids, they can benefit from a day of resting. Put on some movie marathons, pop the popcorn, read some stories, and play some games. Most important? Go to bed early. After all, everyone knows that flu season follows the holidays, so give your family that extra boost with a legitimate day of rest.

21. Make Wassail

What’s loaded with sugar, smells amazing, and tastes like Christmas? Wassail! This recipe is great because you can make it in the slow cooker. Just dump the ingredients in and within a few hours your house will smell delicious.

Recipe and Photo by Your Home Based Mom

Recipe and Photo by Your Home Based Mom

22. Have a Bonfire Night

Gather some friends together and have a good old fashioned bonfire night. Make s’mores, sing campfire songs, and tell scary stories.

23. Host a Christmas Cookie Swap

Invite some friends and neighbors to bring at least two dozen of their favorite cookies. Now swap! Everyone should go home with a huge pile of assorted cookies.

24. Make Holiday Slime

If you have kids between the ages of 6-12 you are well acquainted with the slime craze. Have you ever bought so much Elmer’s glue in your life? No. Do you know the difference between Butter Slime and Cereal Slime? No. But your kids do. Well, guess what? Your kids will be ecstatic to know that there is such thing as Holiday Slime. This slime is the ultimate: it smells like peppermint, and is super sparkly. Yes, your kids will love it. Get the recipe here.

Photo and recipe by Momdot.com

Photo and recipe by Momdot.com

25. Host a White Elephant Bingo Night

There’s something so delightful about finding a perfectly awful gift and watching your friends squabble over it. A white elephant party takes all the stress of buying presents and turns it into a night of laughter and fun. Adding the bingo element is an extra twist to determine who gets to swap and steal. You can find the details here.

We hope this bucket list inspires you to make some awesome memories this December! If you do any of these activities and share on social media, be sure to tag us on Facebook and Instagram! You can use #superiorcelebrations and we will share your photo with our followers. Let the Christmas cheer begin!

Posted in Holidays

3 Winter Wedding Shower Ideas

3 Winter Wedding Shower Ideas

That Halloween sugar high is wearing off and we all know what that means…the holiday season has begun! It’s almost dizzying to think about heading into the holidays, and if you add weddings to the mix it’s even more so. Are you a bride tying the knot during this winter? Are you a bridesmaid planning showers and bachelorette parties during the holiday months? We have compiled some great ideas to help you plan your events during this festive time.

3 Winter Wedding Shower Ideas

Kate Spade Holiday Shower

Chic and glitzy Kate Spade details are often woven into bridal showers. After all, pink, glitter, and gold–Kate Spade’s favorite palette–are perfect for girlish wedding celebrations. Swapping out pink for green or red is the perfect way to stay on point with your Kate Spade shower. We love this table spread by Pizzazzerie and how it incorporates the best holiday elements in such a chic way.

Photo by Pizzazzerie

Photo by Pizzazzerie

Whether you serve brunch, lunch, or even just cake, be sure to include some festive drinks at your Kate Spade shower. A sprig of rosemary, a handful of cranberries, and striped straws finish off a gorgeous table.

Who doesn’t like getting a shiny new ornament for their Christmas tree? Keep in your Kate Spade theme with these DIY ornaments. Guests will love taking these shiny baubles home.

Photo and tutorial by Handmade Mood

Photo and tutorial by Handmade Mood

Wine and Cheese Couples Shower

While wedding showers are usually a feminine portion of the wedding, many couples opt for a couples shower instead. Couple showers are fun because it gives the bride and groom time to enjoy their friends together. Spring and summer allow for couple showers to take place outdoors in the form of BBQs and picnics, but in the fall and winter months you need to find something more cozy. Enter everyone’s favorite duo: wine and cheese.

Promise your guests (sometimes the menfolk need convincing) that a couples shower is going to be a blast. These invitations should do the trick!

Invitation available for purchase on Etsy

Invitation available for purchase on Etsy

The fundamentals of a great wine and cheese night are pretty easy to imagine, but this is a party you want everyone to savor. The first thing to start with is an amazing charcuterie board. Use a combination of cutting boards, marble platters, glass and metal dishes to keep the texture interesting. Remember to garnish with the holiday in mind by using sprigs of rosemary, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds. Your charcuterie should be equal parts salty, savory, sweet, and spicy.

Speaking of savory and sweet, we’d be remiss to not include this utterly decadent baked brie recipe. This dish has every component possible–sweet, salty, spicy, and oh-so-gorgeous. Whether you’re planning a shower or not, be sure to put baking this on your holiday bucket list.

Photo and recipe by Foolproof Living

Photo and recipe by Foolproof Living

A wine and cheese night offers some fun activities and gifts for your guests. For example, use glasses with chalkboard stems and encourage guests to write on and take home their glass. Party favor = complete.

Photo by Wedding Dash

Photo by Wedding Dash

Want a simple little game or activity? Have guests try and figure out how many corks are in the jar. Winner takes home a bottle–or a block of your favorite aged cheddar.

Another fun activity is to have guests label your “firsts” on bottles of wine. These bottles are to be opened during your first year as you pass different milestones like first fight, first Christmas, first power outage–you know, all the predictable and totally unpredictable things that can happen in the first year of marriage.

Photo by Indulgy

Photo by Indulgy

Buffalo Plaid Bachelorette

You start seeing hints of it in October, but by December buffalo plaid is out full force. Why? Probably because this fabric pairs so well with jeans, boots, and all things winter. And, it makes for the perfect, cozy theme for a bachelorette.

Start off with these darling invitations available on Etsy.

Available for purchase at Coral Balloon

Available for purchase at Coral Balloon

Serve your girls from an elaborate hot chocolate bar. Follow this link for a bunch of free printables to accessorize your spread.

Picture and printables by Lia Griffith

Picture and printables by Lia Griffith

 

If you want to serve something a little more hefty than hot chocolate, a chili bar is a great spread to pair with your cosy, buffalo plaid theme.

Gift your bridesmaids with some monogrammed buffalo plaid shirts to wear while getting ready for the wedding. Speaking of bridesmaids and gifts, we have a whole post dedicated to finding your girls the perfect gift! Be sure to check it out after reading this one.

Available for purchase at Moomsie and Me

Available for purchase at Moomsie and Me

Non bridesmaids can receive these adorable koozies to remember the weekend.

Available for purchase at Memory Jar Creations

Available for purchase at Memory Jar Creations

As you can see, the holidays provide for some excellent ways to celebrate wedding showers. We hope this post gave you some inspiration and ideas to make your celebration truly superior. Feel free to tag us on Facebook or Instagram with #superiorcelebrations to show us how you celebrated!

Posted in Weddings

Family Holiday Photo Tips

Family Holiday Photo Tips

We are (roughly) one week away from Halloween, one month away from Thanksgiving, a month and a half away from Hanukkah, and two months away from Christmas. What does this lineup mean to you? Well, besides the obvious, “Oh no! It’s time to start shopping!” you might also realize it’s time to start thinking about those holiday cards.

Those holiday cards and photos really sneak up on you, and we want to help you prep. That’s why we asked some of our photographer friends to help give you the information you need to get the best holiday photos ever.

Pro Tips for Taking Family Photos

Know Your Photographer

It should go without saying, but understanding your photographer’s style is key in getting the photos you want. Lindsey from Lindsey Portugal Designs recommends reviewing the photographer’s portfolio, blog, and Instagram before booking.

“If you don’t like the photos you are seeing from that photographer, you most likely won’t like the ones you receive. Each photographer has their own style, and it is important that you match that style with YOUR style.”

Remember that how a photographer edits your photos will the outcome as well. Check out how they pose clients, what settings they tend to favor, and the type of filters they use.

Determine Your Outfit Style

Most photographers are versatile and adept at catering to the different styles and interests of their clients. However, it’s always good idea to refer back to their portfolio and observe how their clients typically dress. If there is one thing photographers always agree on, it’s to avoid matching too much. Kaylie Cole from E. Hamilton Photography likens over-matching to killing the creative soul of a photographer.

Don’t be responsible for death of the creativity that lives in your photographer’s heart. Wear clothes that match, but don’t all wear the same thing. There is nothing worse than for a photographer to arrive at your session to see you, your spouse and all 6 of your children wearing a plain, navy blue long sleeve shirt. If you need styling tips, ask your photographer! I’m sure they’d love to send you some ideas!

Photo by Kaylie Cole

Photo by Kaylie Cole

When planning your outfits, keep in mind the setting for your photos. Taking photos in a field? Consider wearing pastels or neutral colors that will blend well with foliage. Urban setting? Opt for brighter colors that will pop against the grey background of buildings and sidewalk.

Photo by Ashley Guinn

Photo by Ashley Guinn

Layers and accessories can help to create a unifying look without being too matchy. Keep in mind that scarves, vests, and even hair bows will pull the look together.

Keep Comfortable

The absolute worst thing you can do when taking photos is look overly posed and set up. The best photos are the ones where you show your true selves–being happy! Ashley Guinn from Max Fisher Studios urges her clients to do whatever it takes to get that real smile:

“Act silly, tell dumb jokes, just do whatever it takes to get genuine smiles. I try to guide clients to look natural and not overly posed and stiff. Keep them engaged with each other.”

Photo by Ashley Guinn

Photo by Ashley Guinn

The photos you will enjoy the most are the ones where your family is genuinely having fun. If you know your kids (or spouse) might get a little stiff in front of the camera, plan for some activities during the photo session. For example, a family tickle fight is always guaranteed to get that genuine smile. Other ideas include running, jumping, and even blowing bubbles.

Photo by Kristen Duke

Photo by Kristen Duke

Remember who the expert is.

Sometimes, as parents, we face the difficult conundrum of putting our kids in their place while pleasing the photographer. In the case of family photos? Your photographer takes precedence. As Kaylie Cole from E. Hamilton Photography says,

Often times the best moments captured on camera are the ones when you are talking to or hugging your child. These are the genuine moments you want to be captured. Sometimes the photographer is intentionally NOT telling your kids to look at the camera. Telling your kids to “Look at the camera! Look at the caaameraaaa, LOOK AT THE CAMERAAAA!!!” Isn’t always helpful. It might be causing your kids to feel stressed out and it usually results in a photo of you with your mouth open.

family photo tips

Photo by Kaylie Cole

Photo by Kaylie Cole

Photo by Kaylie Cole

Be Considerate of Your Pets

Lastly, remember your four-legged friends. Oftentimes, families choose to include their pets in holiday photos. After all, pets are a part of their daily lives and routine. Why wouldn’t they include them? However, pets often pose a difficult problem when included in holiday photos; they are unpredictable and distracting. Lindsey Portugal has some awesome advice for tackling this problem:

“If you do decide to include pets in your family session, make sure to bring along a friend who can watch the pet for some of your session. Many times the pet will only be in a few shots, and you don’t want to have to leave your pet in a car! ”

We hope you enjoy these tips from some of our favorite photographers. A huge thanks to Lindsey, Kaylie, and Ashley for contributing.

Posted in Photography

10 Hilariously Awesome Halloween Treats

10 Hilariously Awesome Halloween Treats

For some folks, the most wonderful time of the year is not Christmas, but Halloween. The costumes, the candy, the decor and the mirth that accompanies “spooking” can easily rival jolly Ol’ Saint Nick’s festivities. Now is the time plan for parties and carnivals, and we found some hilariously awesome treats to share. Not only will these treats rule your carnival’s bake sale, but they will leave everyone laughing.

Dracula’s Dentures

Munch on this delicious concoction that is Drac’s teeth. Chocolate chip cookies, marshmallows, frosting, and slivered almonds make up these delicious dentures. Tip: these treats would make great favors when wrapped in a cellophane bag.

dracula-dentures-set

Photo and recipe by The Girl Who Ate Everything

Walking Dead Mummies and Babies

Looking for something savory to serve? These Mummy Dogs are a perfect snack for folks who are hungry as well as those who just want to taste. Ketchup and mustard are your usual suspects for dip, but get creative and find a more daring alternative with spicy mustards, aioli sauce and even chili for yummy dips.

With two ingredients–crescent rolls and hotdogs–these snacks are a cinch. Get the recipe and instructions here. And how cute are baby mummies? For this recipe you just sub the hotdog for Little Smokies.

Photo by Delish

Photo by Delish

Witch Wart Fingers

You can’t get through a Halloween bake sale without a friendly nod to witch’s warts. Gross, yes, but there is no escaping this age-old trope. We recommend implementing it in an easy way: dipped pretzel sticks. That’s right, all it takes is some candy melts, food dye and pretzels to give you a snack worth gabbing about. These treats would look cute splayed out on trays in groups of five. You know–really grab at them with your display. Check out this recipe for step-by-step instructions for the perfect Witch Fingers.

Recipe and photo by Crafty Morning

Recipe and photo by Crafty Morning

Shrimpy Brain Dip

This next treat is not for the faint of heart–or should we say stomach? While it combines all the best things such as shrimp, cream cheese and cocktail sauce, it marries them together in a brain-shaped mold. The result is a devastatingly realistic looking brain.

Hilariously Awesome Halloween Treats

Photo and recipe by 4 Sons ‘R’ Us

As long as you can get past the initial “incision,” you should be able to enjoy this shrimp dip with chips, crackers or bread. Check out the full recipe and instructions here.

Monster Donuts

So maybe you don’t have a brain mold handy. I know I don’t, and if the recipe is easy I’m more likely to try  it. That’s why these Monster Donuts are so awesome! There is no baking involved, just head over to your favorite donut shop and grab a dozen. You can purchase sets of vampire teeth at the dollar store and add a bag of M’n’M’s to complete this adorable treat.

We found this idea on One Little Project. Be sure to check out her site for amazing Halloween ideas!

Silly Apple Bites

If you’re looking for a snack that satisfies your vegan and gluten-free friends, these Silly Apple Bites are just the thing. This recipe uses sunflower butter to hold together two apple slices and a strawberry tongue. Sunflower seeds make up the teeth, and the googly eyes are made from this vegan friendly recipe.

Photo and recipe by Fork & Beans

Photo and recipe by Fork & Beans

Red Velvet Cinnamon Roll Guts

If the Shrimpy Brains grossed you out, get ready for another dose of gross. What happens when you take a beloved comfort food and disguise it as something gruesome? Mind numbing confusion, that’s what. These red velvet cinnamon rolls scream, “Don’t touch with a ten-foot pole!” but they smell like Grandma’s house and Christmas. Maybe just close your eyes while eating them.

Photo and recipe by Kitchen Overlord

Photo and recipe by Kitchen Overlord

Shrunken Apple Head Punch

If there’s one smell associated with fall (besides Pumpkin Spice Lattes), it’s apple cider. Mulling up your cider is a yummy treat, and you can add the funny factor with these “shrunken” apple heads. Achieve the shrunken-head look by baking the carved apples on a low heat for a few hours. Not only will you get a creepy treat, but your house will smell amazing!

Photo and recipe by Tesco Real Food

Photo and recipe by Tesco Real Food

Voodoo Doll Cookies

What pairs nicely with Shrunken Head Punch? Voodoo Doll Cookies, of course. Like we said earlier, Halloween totally rivals Christmas and this recipe certainly proves it. Put your cookie cutters to use early and delight your guests with these spooky guys! Wrap them in cellophane and gift them to friends and teachers to spread Halloween cheer [wink].

Photo and recipe by Not Quite Nigella

Photo and recipe by Not Quite Nigella

Whether you’re going for scary, gross or punny, we hope these treats gave you some inspiration for Halloween. As you plan for your parties and carnivals, check out this post to help you get Halloween ready!

 

 

Posted in Holidays

What Will It Bee: Featured Gender Reveal Party

What Will It Bee? Featured Gender Reveal Party

It always a thrill to get to see how customers use our products. When you share on Instagram and Facebook, we do a collective happy dance here at Superior Celebrations. We were so excited to see how Lindsey from Lindsey Portugal Studios used our Gender Reveal Confetti Cannons at her gender reveal party. For those of you looking for some gender reveal inspiration, here is a fresh and fun concept for your party.

What Will It Bee?

Lindsey and her husband, Ivan, are expecting their second child in December. While they had a small gender reveal party for their first child, Noelle, they wanted to take things to a little grander scale with number two. As a photographer and illustrator, Lindsey has plenty of creativity and talent at her disposal. She admits that she “tends to go overboard” and wanted to keep this party relatively simple.

What Will It Bee Gender Reveal Party

Lindsey chose a “Bee” theme to stay within a gender-neutral zone, but still provide plenty of sweet details. We love the simple combination of yellow, white, and beige incorporated into the decorations.

What Will It Bee Gender Reveal Party

For favors, she made up little jars of raw honey from Houston Farm To Home. Handmade beehive tags and mini honey dippers completed the gift. How cute are these?

What Will It Bee Gender Reveal Party

She kept things low-key and casual by serving guests from a baked potato bar–genius! And opted out of doing any games or activities:

I am not a big game person (even with baby showers) so I wanted the event to be more of a “socialize” event – casual. Everyone kind of made their guesses known beforehand though. I would say it was about half and half on the team boy/girl. Although the majority of my family was “sure” it was a girl.

A clean-eating enthusiast, Lindsey purchased gluten-free cupcakes from The Gluteny Bakery in Houston. Be sure to follow them on Instagram for some delicious inspiration.

What Will It Bee Gender Reveal Party

What Will It Bee Gender Reveal Party

For the big “reveal,” Lindsey and Ivan used our Gender Reveal Confetti Cannons. While they both already knew the gender of their baby, they wanted to capture the moment when their friends and family saw the confetti.

What Will It Bee Gender Reveal Party

Lindsey took pictures while Ivan videoed the reactions. You can see the expectation and excitement before the launch!

What Will It Bee Gender Reveal Party

What Will It Bee Gender Reveal Party

They used about five cannons and the effect was beautiful. Lindsey thought five was the perfect amount for her crowd, especially for the kids. “The kids were literally making ‘confetti angels’ in the ground after they went off.”

What Will It Bee Gender Reveal Party

Everyone cheered for baby girl number two, and the kids had fun playing in the fallen confetti. Lindsey said her daughter, Noelle, would “pick up the sticks and say ‘boom pink!’ They also had tons of fun using the Melissa and Doug kid cleaning kit to sweep all the confetti around. It was seriously tons of entertainment for the kids.”

All in all, it was a wonderful time spent with friends and family, celebrating the arrival of a new little girl. Congratulations, Lindsey, Ivan, and Noelle! We are so honored to have been a part of your great day.

What Will It Bee Gender Reveal Party

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Are you having a gender reveal party? Be sure to tag us on Instagram or Facebook so that we can share. We welcome featured parties, weddings, and celebrations and would love to showcase your day! Email hillary@superiorcelebrations.com for collaborations. 

Posted in Party Time! (Tips, Decor Ideas, & More)

Planning Your Perfect Destination Wedding

Planning Your Perfect Destination Wedding

So you’ve decided to have a destination wedding. Congratulations! Not only are you going to tie the knot in the place of your dreams, but you’re giving all of your guests a fantastic getaway to boot. The only thing standing between you and your paradise is the planning.

Orchestrating a destination wedding can be both daunting and overwhelming to the engaged couple. There are countless details to be arranged and many of them will not be settled until you arrive at the destination. However, there are some things you can do to relieve that stress and streamline your planning. Here are the fundamentals for planning your perfect destination wedding.

Planning Your Perfect Destination Wedding

Choose the destination.

The most obvious of your decisions about a destination wedding is, in fact, the destination. Where will you get married? Of course you will want to choose a place that is beautiful and meaningful to you and your fiance. One extremely important thing to consider when choosing a location is the weather.

Do you want to pledge your vows on the white sands of Jamaica? You’ll definitely want to stay away during the rainy and unbearably hot seasons. Saying “I do” at the Piazza San Marco? Consider planning your wedding between September and November to avoid the crushing tourism of Venice in the summer.

"Elopement in Venice" by Mauro Pozzer

“Elopement in Venice” by Mauro Pozzer

Find your accommodations.

Choose a location that has the right accommodations for you and your guests. To keep things affordable for everyone, find a hotel that will give you a group discount and block off rooms that are close to one another. Another option is to rent a villa. Oliver’s Travels has over 300 destination wedding villas all over Europe. Can you imagine the kind of house party you could have in a villa? So. Much. Fun.

Villa on Lapone Winery Estate by Airbnb

Villa on Lapone Winery Estate by Airbnb

You also want to make sure that your accommodations are close to restaurants or stores to purchase food. If you go the villa route, consider hiring a chef to cook several meals for guests to eat in the home. You are not responsible for feeding your guests throughout their entire stay, but you certainly want to ensure no one is ever hungry.

Plan some activities. 

For your guests, the biggest perk of a destination wedding is the trip they can make out of your event. Find a place that has various activities for them to choose from. You don’t have dictate everything they do, but coming up with a fun itinerary will be appreciated. After all, you chose the destination because you love it–now let your guests fall in love with the place too.

Khao Lak Thailand Diving by Adventure in You

Khao Lak Thailand Diving by Adventure in You

If you are having a few children in attendance it will be important to make sure there are a few activities for them as well. You also will probably want a babysitter or two. Event planner Sandy Malone of Sandy Malone Weddings and Events suggests hiring babysitters for any activity that involves swimming or takes place near water. She also recommends screening your hotel or villa for any potential dangers like “modern villas with no railings.” See her article 10 Ways to Have a Successful Destination Wedding That Includes Children for more ideas and information.

Pick only experts.

 Your greatest asset to your wedding–besides an abundance of love, of course–is a seasoned wedding planner. Even better, if you can find a local wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings you can consider yourself winning.

A local wedding planner will have the best information to present to you, and they will know their way around local vendors. If you don’t know where to start when looking for your wedding planner, Weddings Abroad has a contact form that will give you access to the very best planners in your destination.

The other expert you will need to choose is a photographer. Remember, your photographs are your greatest assets after the wedding. While you should find a local wedding planner, your photographer is someone you can bring with you. Most wedding photographers jump at the chance to shoot a destination wedding. After all, there aren’t many opportunities to capture a bride and groom with a baby elephant, right?

Thailand Wedding by Aidan Dockery

Thailand Wedding by Aidan Dockery

Stay in the know.

Because you will likely not have the face-to-face talk with most of your wedding vendors, the best thing you can do is stay on top of communication. Emails, phone calls, and even some Skype calls will ensure that everyone is on the same page. Your planner will obviously coordinate with the vendors, but you and your vendors should get to know each other and definitely have a relationship before the big day.

Plan your packing.

You’ll likely be bringing waaaaay more with you for your destination wedding than you would for a normal trip. Familiarize yourself with your airline’s rules about luggage and what the extra fees are. If you booked an airline that allows a free bag, consider sending some things along with your guests. The one thing you absolutely MUST bring with you on the plane is your wedding gown. Do not trust it in your suitcase. Even if it means you’ll have to fold it up, you can get it steamed later.

Overwhelmed about what to bring? Destination Wedding Details has a great checklist for what you ought to bring with you.

Know the laws.

Getting married in a foreign country comes with quite the hoopla in the legal department. Most countries will require passports, birth certificates, and a proof of residency as a minimum. Some countries, like France, require that the couple reside in the country for a certain period of time before they will legally marry. There are also laws about who is able to perform the the wedding in order for it to be legally binding. A good starting place to learn about the legal technicalities of destination weddings is FindLaw.com.

Jellyfish Bohemian Beach Wedding by Style Me Pretty

Jellyfish Bohemian Beach Wedding by Style Me Pretty

If the idea of boning up on marriage laws isn’t quite your forte, you can simplify the entire process in one sweep: obtain a marriage license in the U.S. and have a “symbolic” ceremony abroad.  You can read up on the difference between a civil and symbolic wedding right here.

Another legal aspect to consider is what you bring with you. There are a handful of items that absolutely will not make it through customs. Case in point: wedding sparklers. If you were wanting that sparkler exit, consider opting for sky lanterns instead.

Amber and Ford's Destination Wedding by Victoria Huff Photography

Amber and Ford’s Destination Wedding by Victoria Huff Photography

Destination weddings make for some of the most beautiful and memorable weddings for everyone. It should be joyous and exciting, with minimal stress. We hope you learned a few helpful things along with us. Please share your destination with us by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram!

Posted in Weddings

Top 7 Wedding Do’s

Top 7 Wedding Do's

Planning your wedding will cause some of the most exciting and happy moments of your life, along with some of the most stressful. Between the giant to-do list, the ever-growing guest list, and the unasked-for advice from just about everybody–you’re bound to make a mistake or two along the way.

However, there are some things you absolutely do not want to forget. While wedding styles and trends are always evolving, there is a timeless etiquette that will help you ensure that your wedding day is special for everyone involved.

Top 7 Wedding Do’s

Do tell your close friends and family the big news before announcing on social media.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but in today’s world of instant information via Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, you don’t want to reveal that you are #engaged without first calling your grandma.

News travels fast, and unless you want a case of monumental hurt feelings, pick up the phone and let them hear the big news straight from you. Your loved ones will share in your joy and even add to it. Once you inform those who are closest to you feel free to blow up Instagram with pictures of that gorgeous ring!

Do include your wedding website URL in your information.

Etiquette dictates that you leave off registry details on your invitation.  Your guests will of course want to know where you are registered, but there are better ways to relay that information.

Wedding invitation available at Wedding Paper Divas

Wedding invitation available at Wedding Paper Divas

Today, most engaged couples are utilizing a wedding website. Wedding websites are a great place to track guest lists, inform guests about any changes in plans, and hype everyone up before the big day. They are also a great place to let people know where you are registered.

Do be sensitive to those you could not invite due to venue/cost constraints.

Sometimes weddings have to be small because of the venue or cost. As a result, you are bound to have some disappointed friends and family. Rather than ignoring the elephant in the room, make sure to take the time and explain why you cannot invite everyone. Amber Harrison from Wedding Paper Divas recommends addressing the issue with grace, and keeping some information private:

“It’s perfectly OK to say, ‘Your excitement and support means the world to me. Unfortunately we are having an intimate wedding and just aren’t able to invite everyone we’d like.’ Budget and/or venue constraints are other very real challenges that you can turn to help you gently and honestly break the news without needing to offer a detailed explanation.” Read more of Amber’s advice here.

Do be considerate and hospitable to out-of-town guests.

Wedding Dont's

While you have a million things to do, don’t forget there are people making sacrifices to attend your wedding. You can save them some trouble and stress by giving them the information they need to plan their trip. Utilize your wedding website to inform them about where they should stay and what to expect on their trip. Make it fun for them by suggesting your favorite places to eat and things they might want to do. You can even go the extra mile by inviting them to your rehearsal dinner.

Do spoil your wedding party.

Your wedding party, especially the bridesmaids, will spend time and money to make your day a success. From the wedding showers, to the bachelorette party, to the dress they will only wear once, to the uncomfortable shoes they’re going to have to tolerate–these ladies are showing their loyalty to you. While you don’t have to spend a fortune, DO give them a meaningful gift. We have a list of Thoughtful Gifts to Give Your Bridesmaids right here to help you find some ideas.

Bracelet available at Burnt Honey Jewelry

Bracelet available at Burnt Honey Jewelry

Do keep your guests comfortable.

While it might seem obvious, your guests shouldn’t have to suffer through your wedding. You want them to enjoy your day with you. If you’re having an outside wedding in the middle of July your guests will most likely get hot. Provide fans, shade, and maybe even bug spray to keep them comfortable.

Click here for more thoughtful wedding favor ideas

Click here for more thoughtful wedding favor ideas

On the other hand, if your wedding is in the fall or winter and you know it will be chilly, make sure to have some blankets handy. I attended a wedding where the bride’s grandma couldn’t even sit through the ceremony because it was just too cold.

Finally, don’t make your guests wait an eternity between the ceremony and reception. If you do have to take an hour for pictures provide them with appetizers and drinks while they wait for the reception to start. And while we’re on the subject of food, make sure to feed your wedding vendors. They will be working hard to make your day beautiful and need to keep their energy up. Plus it’s just the right thing to do.

Do take the time to properly thank everyone.

Take time during the reception to talk to each guest individually. If your attendance is large, consider having an assembly where guests can talk to you after the ceremony. Otherwise, make a point to seek out and thank everyone personally.

Another way you can show your gratitude to guests is by NOT having them pay for their drinks. You don’t have to have a completely open bar, but you should provide something for guests to drink.

Finally, get those thank you notes out in a timely fashion. While you do have a year to send them, try to get them out in the first few months of your marriage while the memory is still fresh in their minds.

Wedding Don'ts

Last, but not least, don’t forget to enjoy your day! When you are happy and having a good time, your guests will join in the fun to make your event even more meaningful.

Posted in Weddings

5 Things To Eat Before Summer’s Over

5 Things to Eat Before Summer's Over

We are in our final month of summer, and school is right around the corner. Have you accomplished everything on your summer bucket list yet? Soon we’ll all be thinking of cooler weather and warmer meals, but for now let’s gear up to enjoy this last bit of summer.

Summer is an especially delightful season for our taste buds. Fruits can be blended into salsas, wine can be frozen for slushies, and just about anything you can imagine will taste good on the grill. While you’re planning out your month of August, we hope these recipes find their way into a few of your family meals.

Sweet and Spicy Salsa

They say that opposites attract, and we often appreciate this the most with food. Take, for example, the mango and the habanero. If you have not experienced the wonder that is a sweet, habanero salsa then you are seriously missing out. The perfect accompaniment to fish, chicken, and warm tortillas, mango habanero sauce is a summer must. A word of caution, though: habaneros are a small, but mighty pepper. Definitely keep out of reach of children and AWAY from your eyes.

Mango Habanero Sauce recipe available at Caroline's Cooking

Mango Habanero Sauce recipe available at Caroline’s Cooking

Mexican Cole Slaw

Coleslaw is another classic summertime food. It goes so well with hamburgers, hot dogs, and ribs. However, put a little Mexican twist on it and you have a totally different dish. Some corn, black beans, and taco seasoning change the entire make up of classical coleslaw. Pair it with tacos, enchiladas, or carne asada for a delicious summer meal!

Mexican Coleslaw recipe available at Lemontree Dwelling

Mexican Coleslaw recipe available at Lemontree Dwelling

Caprese Bruschetta

Bruchetta is a quintessential summertime dish. I personally love that it uses two of the easiest summer plants to grow–tomatoes and basil. Combined with mozzarella and balsamic vinegar, you have yourself a perfectly balanced meal.

Caprese Bruschetta recipe available at House of Yumm

Caprese Bruschetta recipe available at House of Yumm

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Remember the glory days of Jell-O salad? Sarah Grey, author of A Social History of Jello Salad: The Rise and Fall of the American Icon states that “few foods can tell us more about life in 20th century America than the wobbling jewel of domestic achievement: the Jell-O salad.” If you’re someone who enjoys learning history with a side of humor be sure to check out Grey’s article.

Back to summer cooking. Summer is the perfect time to go old school and serve up some Jell-O salad. Don’t worry, the Jell-O plays a small role in this Strawberry Pretzel Dessert. Pretzels combine with cream cheese and strawberries to make the perfect salty/sweet treat.

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert recipe available at Sugar Apron

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert recipe available at Sugar Apron

Froze

As slushies are to kids, so froze is to adults. Let your inner kid enjoy a sweet, slushy beverage with adult benefits. Froze is actually very simple to make and modify. Tweak the flavor with fresh fruit, spices, and herbs. You can obviously make kid-friendly versions of froze to appease the whole family.

Froze recipe available at Bon Appetit

Froze recipe available at Bon Appetit

We hope this last month of summer is a beautiful one for you and your family. Take the time to enjoy the flexible nature of summer before it’s back to school, and back to schedules. And make sure you try at least one of these delicious foods!

Posted in Party Time! (Tips, Decor Ideas, & More)

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Superior Celebrations is a division of Superior Fireworks that specializes in products such as sparklers, confetti, and sky lanterns that make for special moments at weddings, parties, and other special events. Essentially, our expertise is in being the highlight of the party; we sell the products that everyone will talk about long after the party is over. Many of our products, such as our 20” Wedding Sparklers, our Heart Sparklers, and our Confetti Cannons, are designed and manufactured exclusively for us, to ensure we sell only the highest quality items.