Month: September 2014

Sweet Home Alabama | Styled Photoshoot | Southern Bride Magazine Feature

Way, way back in February, Southern Bride Magazine put a call out for a styled photo shoot that paid tribute to your home state. What started out as a text message conversation between vendor friends turned into this absolutely incredible experience allowing some of the most talented vendors in all of Alabama to create our own version of Sweet Home Alabama. The end result was this amazing Blackberry Brunch that ultimately made its way to Southern Bride Magazine.

There are a million things I could tell you about this photo shoot and how it all came together, but I think Katie with Wedding Belles Events said it best…

To us, Alabama is all about southern hospitality. It means pulling up an extra chair at dinner because “you know you’re welcome to stay.” It’s watching the game with old friends, eating momma’s famous blackberry pie, and long talks on the front porch with Grandpa. It’s about feeling right at home, even when you’re somewhere else. That southern charm is what keeps us here, loving and being proud to say we’re from Alabama. So, we invite you to come home with us….where the front door’s always open. Welcome to our sweet home, Alabama.

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Beautiful floral arrangements provided by Simpson’s Florist featuring the Alabama state fruit, the blackberry

Make Up and Hair by The Transformation

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Stationary and paper goods designed by Salt+Paperie

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Bellini Bar and Vintage Rentals by Vintage on Macon

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Naked Cake and Mini Pies by Just Crumbs

When designing a menu for something like this, your brain can go a little crazy, but I knew that I wanted parts of the menu to salute the many farmers in Alabama that work so hard to provide us with quality, locally grown produce. Because of that, we decided that an omelet bar featuring some local eggs and produce was the way to go.

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In addition to paying tribute to our farmers, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to nod at all the grandmothers, mommas and aunts out there that have perfected the good ole Southern biscuit topped with homemade jams and jellies. It occurred to me that using a vintage baking station from Vintage on Macon would be the perfect piece for displaying what to some is just a yummy Southern treat, but to me is a memory of Sunday mornings in the kitchen with Grandmother.

That’s the thing that is so beautiful about growing up in the South, the fact that one bite of a specific treat can evoke a stroll down memory lane that can make you laugh and cry at the same time. That is way I chose to feature our Hog Wild Ham and Biscuit Bar.

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Last, but not least, I wanted to have a little fun with some mini sweet breakfast treats. We went with Mini Pancakes topped with Lemon Curd, Fresh Berries and Mint served on a handmade Alabama shaped board made by a sweet man, Mr. Howard, that I’ve gone to church with for years. We also went with Berries and Yogurt Parfaits and Mini Cinnamon Roll Lollipops.

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All of this awesomess was absolutely a team effort and I couldn’t think of a better team for pulling this off. All of these people possess a talent like none other and hearts of gold the size of…Alabama? 😉 Hahah! I’m so thankful to call you all friends and so grateful to work alongside you all.

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As I said before, the ultimate goal was to submit this beautifully planned and executed event to Southern Bride Magazine in hopes that it would be featured in their Summer/Fall 2014 issue. Turns out they loved it as much as we did!

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We were so excited when the issue finally came out that we couldn’t wait to get our hands on a copy. If you follow my Facebook or Instagram accounts, you’ve already read all about it, but I feel like sometimes things are worth repeating. The following is a post I made on my social media accounts the night I picked up my first copies of the issue featuring our Sweet Home Alabama shoot and then realized my company had been featured in the same magazine more than once!

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“There have been a few times on this journey of starting and running my own catering company that I have had to just stop and take a minute to pinch myself. Tonight is one of those nights. There is something so surreal and humbling about seeing the fruits of your labor in print. Even more surreal is that moment when you realize that your food has appeared in THREE different places in the same magazine.

If someone were to ask me about my “ultimate goal” for my company I think you would be shocked to find that it actually has nothing to do with being the best chef or caterer. It actually has nothing to do with food at all. It has more to do with encouraging and inspiring others to find their “pinch me” moment. So if you have a dream, go do it! Set goals and sprint toward them! Surround yourself with those that support you and encourage you to be the best version of yourself and when you achieve those goals, don’t forget where you came from.

Here’s hoping that I never forget to count my blessing and praise through my trials because we’ve come a long way, baby!” -Ashley Smith, June 2014

Photography: Erin Lindsey Images
Coordinating/Design: Wedding Belles Events
Graphic design/paper goods: Salt and Paperie 
Food: Ashley’s Creative Catering
Cake/Desserts:Just Crumbs
Makeup/Hair: The Transformation
Floral Design: Simpsons Florist
Rentals, Bellini Bar, Styling/Design: Vintage on Macon
Videography: Woodnote Media
Bridal Gown: Modern Brides
Bridesmaid Dresses: Altar’d State
Location: Home of  Allen and Debbie Tidwell
Models: Sawsan Williams, Cassie Clark, Chelsey Moore

Ashley’s Creative Catering Real Wedding: Slaten-Biehn | Decatur, AL | Princess Theatre

Maegan and Alex have been long time sweethearts and have always had special ties to The Princess Theatre. It seemed only natural to celebrate their nuptials at the beloved theatre back in July. From the first time I had contact with Maegan, I knew I wanted to be part of her wedding day but then she said the words “vintage glam” and I was in LOVE!

From the moment their guests stepped onto the sidewalk in front of The Princess Theatre, they were given the VIP treatment. With the marquee sign displaying well wishes to the happy couple, their guests walked the red carpet past movie posters of the happy couple back in time to a party fit for the most lavish of Old Hollywood stars.

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(iPhone Photos)

As the guests entered the theatre they were welcomed with a sweet and salty treat at the popcorn bar designed by Maegan and Alex.

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Their guests were invited to grab a treat and take a seat in the theatre’s auditorium for the premier of “Love Story,” a video slide show of photographs documenting their years together and their proposal story at Bryant Denny Stadium. Um, how cool is that? Short story: Alex surprised Maegan with the most perfect proposal ever on the 50 yard line of Bryant Denny under a twinkle of bistro lights with the help of their late friend Reba. You can read all about it here. It’s pretty perfect. 😉

While the newlyweds were finishing up their photographs, their guests were happily snacking on some popcorn and sipping their bottled Cokes while watching the video. Soon, the video would change from the slide show to a black and white video of the streets traveled between the church where the wedding took place and The Princess Theatre. All at once the screen is lifted and suddenly Maegan and Alex are making their first entrance into their reception onto the stage of The Princess in Alex’s beloved VW Beetle that has been in his family for generations.

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(“Borrowed” Photos from Maegan’s Facebook)

Like any dapper gentleman would do, Alex opens the car door for Maegan and extends a hand to assist his bride in getting out of the car. With their guests cheering, the DJ cues Frank Sinatra’s “It Started All Over Again” and the beautiful couple began their first dance as husband and wife. I’m sure they are both naturally beautiful dancers, but with the help of choreography and lessons from Elegant Dance Company, their first dance was flawless perfection.

All of this just for the cocktail hour? You know the guests are in for a treat when we move into the next portion of the reception! The details that went into this reception are just awesome. Join me on a little stroll around the room, will you?

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A vintage typewriter requesting happy thoughts, well wishes, and advise for Maegan and Alex was displayed alongside their proposal story that was featured in The Decatur Daily.

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A cigar bar for the gentlemen was set up on the patio just outside of the reception. This area was quite the gathering spot towards the end of the evening.

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And what show would be complete without a little costume, right? This area was set up to display the wedding gowns and wedding photographs of both Maegan and Alex’s parents and grandparents weddings. Such a beautiful way to honor them that just so happen to fit in with the theme of their event. It was perfect.

Finally, guests were invited to join the bridal party in beginning the buffet line which was served on the mezzanine level of the theatre. Guest enjoyed a “Shaken Not Stirred Salad-Tini” where “bartenders” would shake the guest’s salad in their dressing of choice and pour it over into a martini glass. It was such a fun way to jazz up a salad bar. Maegan and Alex also chose to feature our ever popular Marinated Pork Tenderloin alongside a griddle of Roasted Vegetables with Lemon-Basil Aioli dipping sauce. Last, but not least, their guests had a blast with out Shrimp and Grits and Mashed Potato Bar.

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With their guests seated at tables styled by the ever talented ladies at Vintage on Macon, Maegan and Alex took a minute to sit down and enjoy their dinner.

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(“Borrowed” from Maegan’s Facebook again)

As the evening went on, it was time to cut the beautiful cakes provided by Nana’s Bakery in Hartselle.

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After cake, the guests were invited back into the auditorium to dance the night away on the stage of the theatre. It was then that we decided to pull out one last surprise for Maegan and Alex. Pretty early on in the planning process, Maegan has mentioned wanting to do a late night milk and cookie bar, but it ended up getting cut from the menu. We decided instead of an entire bar of milk and cookies, we would surprise the couple with a few platters of milk shooters with our famous “pity cookies” that were passed around the dance floor at the end of the night. It was the perfect little treat to end the most perfect evening.

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Maegan and Alex, I don’t even know where to begin in saying “thank you” and “I love you” to you guys! You guys are truly amazing and the love you have for one another is so special. I cannot thank you enough for inviting us to share your special day with you. I look forward to following your love story for many years to come. May God bless you both in your life together as you continue to bless those around you with your beautiful love story.

Venue: Princess Theatre 

Event Coordinator: Kathleen Bernal Events

Event Styling and Vintage Rentals: Vintage on Macon

DJ and Lighting: Metropolitan Disc Jockey

Cakes: Nana’s Bakery 

Linens and Rentals: Mullins Special Occasions

Photography: Spindle Photography

(Whose professional photos are a million times better than my amateur photos shown in this post)

Videography: Holloway Productions