Tips for Planning the Perfect Outdoor Family Reunion

November 8, 2018 by Grand Central Party

There’s just something special and memorable about an outdoor party. Enjoying the ones you love in the beauty of a natural setting brings the event to a whole new level, and the photos of the day will, of course, be fantastic. That is, if the weather cooperates.

Here at Grand Central Party, we are all about planning the perfect event. and we know that when you plan an outdoor soiree for your Nashville event, you will have challenges that threaten its success. You could just move the whole shindig indoors, but where’s the fun in that? Let’s talk about some ways you can protect your outdoor gathering; here are some tips for planning the perfect outdoor family reunion:

  • Weather. Before you plan your outdoor reunion, do everything you can to know what kind of weather you could possibly be facing. If your loved ones are traveling distances to attend, it would be a shame to have your party ruined just because of a little weather. Research the yearly trends and pay attention to unusual weather events that may have happened in the last decade or so in order to be prepared for the very worst.
  • Tents. Using tents either as a backup or as the main base for your celebration is always a good idea since they can protect against sun, rain, wind, sleet, dust, and mosquitoes, and a host of other bothersome outdoor-related things. Rental tents can include sides that are made to be pulled up so that the inhabitants can enjoy all that a natural setting can offer, and many are made of clear materials so that everyone can see the surroundings, even when it might not be great to be out in them.
  • Seating. Take into account the ages of all the attendees, and order enough chair rentals to go around. High chairs can be included for those with small ones, and you can even have couches and loveseats brought in for a casual, desert gypsy vibe. If there will be a catering team, some seating for them to use to rest their feet is a nice touch. Placing your seating in intimate configurations that encourage conversation will help everyone catch up as they reconnect with loved ones they haven’t seen for a while and will be a great touch that ensures your reunion party is one to remember.
  • Lighting. When hosting an evening party, use your imagination for lighting. Sometimes it’s about more than just being able to see. Will there be music and dancing? Make sure your lighting fits the mood, and that your DJ or musicians will be able to see what they are doing. Also, take into account the foot traffic and the safety of the party goers. You can also light up paths and under trees for a gorgeous look.

Here at Grand Central Party, we love a great celebration. Let us help you plan the perfect outdoor family reunion!

Planning a Destination Wedding on a Budget

November 1, 2018 by Grand Central Party

Location, location, location!

Everyone loves surprises, and a wedding proposal is at the top of anyone’s list when it comes to the best, ever. When it comes to planning the wedding and honeymoon and all the costs involved, however, no one appreciates anything unexpected. We all know how pricey they can be, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dream of being married overlooking the ocean or at a special mountain retreat. Choosing some lesser-known locations can really help when it comes to cost-savings, and oftentimes you will enjoy fewer crowds and traffic by going this route. Now that’s something unexpected that would be very welcome!

Here are a few locations that can offer couples some great savings and wonderful experiences all at the same time:

  • Belize. Flight prices are about the same as those that fly to more popular locales such as the Mexican Riviera. Not only does Belize boast some of the most beautiful sandy beaches imaginable, but it also offers lush rainforests, ancient Mayan ruins, and the second largest barrier reef in the world! Belize doesn’t have any expensive mega-resorts; its vibe is more along the lines of eco-lodges and inexpensive inns. You may have to do without WI-FI and air-conditioning, but hey – you can get very reasonably priced lobster, so who needs social media?
  • Vermont. With its quaint villages and scenic landscapes, this state is a wonderful spot for an outdoorsy vibe. Tumbling streams and thick woodlands are picture perfect. It is dotted with cozy inns and B&Bs that are both intimate and cost-effective!
  • Sedona. This stunning red-rock town is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the west, and the sunsets simply cannot be beaten. Since it’s off the beaten path and out in the middle of nowhere, although still easily accessible, great value can be found for wedding couples. And just think of the backdrops for your ceremony!
  • Savannah. One of the best-preserved locations in the South, this town studded with gorgeous historic mansions and cobblestone streets is a true Southern beauty. It’s equally as lovely as Charleston, but more affordable for your wedding on a budget.
  • Jamaica. There may not be an international airport, but flying into Montego Bay and taking a shuttle is no big deal! Room rates are reasonable, and beachfronts are an eclectic jumble of fun architectural styles that lend a hip and carefree vibe to each day.
  • Lake Tahoe. Skiing is king here, but there’s a lot of sunshine, as well. Three hundred days a year, or so they say. The area is home to a wide range of value hotels, and there is a lot to do here, too; it’s a great pick for a budget-conscious wedding couple. The lake is stunning, and the hikes available are unparalleled, while casinos are near for some nightlife fun.

Planning your destination doesn’t have to involve a lot of stress and worry. Pick a unique and fun location that others haven’t thought of, and let’s get this party started! If you are looking to keep the party in the Nashville area, Grand Central Party can help with all of your rental needs!

Top Winter Trends for Your Wedding Reception

October 25, 2018 by Grand Central Party

The past few wedding seasons have seen a proliferation of pastels and romantic vibes, but there are a couple of new trends happening now: bohemian and New Age. These two styles are looking to replace the rustic barn trend of the last two years or so, and things are going to be a lot more relaxed. Color schemes are no longer important with couples leaning more towards a vibe or a mood with richer textures and deeper colors and less towards actual theming. Burgundy is being seen again, and edgy black accents are a thing, too. We are seeing velvet these days, as well! For bohemian, think trendy 20th century artist or writer – someone who is unconventional, creative and informal. For the New Age vibe, consider ancient religious spaces, a vibe that incorporates the unity of many peoples and cultures.

The reception venue trend is moving towards industrial spaces, both old and new, in keeping with the current concern and sensitivity for the environment by making use of what we already have, and this can be the case for your Nashville event. There is a relaxed, blank slate feel to these spaces just as barns allowed, but with an edge that says 2018. Today’s wedding couples want their celebrations to be personal and unique, but also comfortable, and an industrial space is all those things. It will provide protection from the weather and lend a great look to the photos!

When it comes to the dessert table, quirky is always best. Cupcakes and donuts have been around for a while, but let’s invite the cookies and the cheesecake to join in! Or maybe a table of family heirloom recipes, or sweet offerings from your country of origin…in keeping with current trends, do what comes naturally and what fits the mood of your celebration.

The food you serve will underscore the vibe of your event. If you are going with the multicultural style party, then your food offerings should reflect that! Food trucks? Having a few that serve meals from other parts of the world would be a great touch. Are you thinking about a bohemian gathering in Paris at midnight? Contact a French restaurant or caterer and see what they can come up with. Dreaming of the New York of the mid 20th century, complete with poets and jazz geniuses? Do a bit of research and see if a menu can be created that would bring that era to the table!

We love a great party here at Grand Central Party! Contact us today for your Nashville soiree!

Having a Bad Weather Backup Plan for Your Outdoor Wedding

October 18, 2018 by Grand Central Party

Wedding couples dream of being married under sunny skies in the beautiful outdoors, but that’s not always possible here in Middle Tennessee. Often, stormy weather with accompanying wind and rain is the wedding day reality when planning your Nashville events. Having a backup plan is going to save the day and should be part of your planning process right from the start. You will have many other things to think about and plan for, so make sure the weather isn’t a stressor when it comes to one of the most important days of your life by having a Plan A, and even a Plan B, in mind.

One common solution is looking to tent rentals for these types of situations.  This gives your outdoor surroundings plenty of coverage from the elements. From protection for your guests from rain and wind to the direct sunlight and heat of the deep summer, a tent rental is a great way to make sure the day isn’t spoiled by elements out of your control.

Make sure that a tent rental and chair rental/ table rental is okay with the venue you have reserved; the manager or owner may have a preferred vendor they would like you to work with, as well. While using tents might not be exactly what you had in mind, they are very versatile and can work well as a blank canvas when it comes to your theming and making use of the outdoors. They come with clear side and top panels as well, which will allow for unobstructed outdoor views, and you can definitely use this to your advantage, even in the rain. The sides can be pulled back when the weather clears, as well, to allow for fresh air, and this will look like part of your overall plan.

Many venues offer indoor options for your event, too, and this can be planned in advance so that you don’t have to even think about it as the day approaches. Make sure you are clear on pricing differences, should there be any, and that all the logistics will be taken care of accordingly. Moving chairs, tables, flowers and food, etc. at the last minute can be a big undertaking; make sure you know who is going to do this and what it will entail.

Some couples may want to stall for time with a pre-reception party to wait for the squall to pass. Organize this with your caterer to make sure it can happen smoothly and not place undue pressure on the kitchen. A pre-ceremony toast and some speeches can be special, and if they are impromptu, they can be very entertaining, as well!

Line up some outdoor heaters if you think that things can get too cool and consider having hot drinks such as mulled wine, hot cider or chocolate, or fancy coffees for your guests during a cold snap. With your wedding planner, go over all the unforeseen situations that might come up with an outdoor wedding and plan accordingly, and let the fun begin!

Contact us here at Grand Central Party for all your events!

Creative Alternatives For Your Groom’s Cake

October 11, 2018 by Grand Central Party

These days, it’s traditional to be non-traditional when it comes to a wedding. The couples of today want to make their celebration their very own, with themes and touches that express their own personalities and interests. From a Star Wars vibe to a Bedouin tent, the sky is the limit for a wedding event. Couples get married in costume, on horseback, or barefoot on the beach – even while skydiving! If you can dream it, you can make it happen, as the saying goes.

One way to have fun with older traditions is to create a unique, one-of-a-kind groom’s cake. Some couples may opt to do away with this old favorite, but maybe, in keeping with the spirit of individuality that is the hallmark of 21st-century ceremony, you could add your own twist to add to your memorable Nashville wedding!

The tradition of a groom’s cake comes from Victorian England when couples would have both a small bride’s cake and one for the groom in addition to the main wedding cake still seen today. Slices of these smaller cakes were given to the bridal party at the end of the wedding. This wedding event tradition made its way to the United States eventually, and remains popular, especially in the southern states. It’s a way to give the groom special recognition on the wedding day, which so often focuses on the bride herself. Often made of dark chocolate and containing fruit and liqueur traditionally, the possibilities today are really endless.

Perhaps your groom’s cake can be done in his very most favorite recipe! Lemon cake with lemon frosting, or red velvet….why not? In honor of the groom, his cake should reflect his individuality.

When it comes to the shape, his hobbies or interests should be taken into consideration. If he’s a musician here in Music City, why not a cake in the shape of his instrument? Or perhaps the image of his favorite pup? If he is a sports fan and is all about one particular team, then the logo or the colors of the team would be a great touch for him. Use his favorite movies for inspiration, or his line of work. Hobbit holes, robots, skyscrapers, cars, super heroes – these days, cakes come in a multitude of shapes and sizes.

You could even consider his favorite dessert instead of cake…A giant ice cream sundae or a bucket of banana pudding, a tower of his favorite cookies, or maybe a charcuterie board with all his favorite meats and cheeses, if he just isn’t into sweets. And don’t forget all the gluten-free options available today!

He will be touched and thrilled to see the special creation you have come up with, just for him. Here at Grand Central Party, we are all about a grand celebration! Visit our website to get your party started.