Weddings: Diamonds, Pink, and other Girly Things II

Yesterday, we showed you guys some of the highlights of a recent wedding Chef’s catered at Noah Liff Opera Center with a very glamourous vibe (check it out here). So, today I’ve got the rest of the pictures here for you, from centerpieces to entrees. Hope you find some inspiration and ideas to visualize your own reception.

The Head Table


The Main Dish

Served buffet style, they had a mashed potato bar (both sweet potatoes and garlic mashed potatoes) with a smorgasbord of toppings. For the entree, they served beef braised short ribs and had pork tenderloin carving station. The mouth watering Apple Jack Salad was served in martini glasses and wild rice orzo also served as another side. Delish.

Apple Jack Salad with Balsamic vinaigrette, roasted pecans, blue cheese, and a green apple slice

Homemade bread served at every table

Bread rolls for the pork tenderloin and wild rice orzo in the background.

Mashed potato bar toppings

Dessert Station

Wedding cakes are something we rarely do, but for this occasion, the glorious Sonya pulled together a petite wedding cake made with our  infamous Strawberry cake and cream cheese icing. In addition to the smaller wedding cake, she also had a chocolate fondue, pecan tassies,  german chocolate, hummingbird, and strawberry cupcakes, cheesecake lollipops, and cookies and milk shooters. Yum!

They also had an old school espresso machine to compliment the dessert

Cookies and Milk Shooters

Cheesecake Lollipops

Pecan Tassies

German Chocolate Cupcakes


Weddings: Diamonds, Pink, and Other Girly Things

A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure to go check out one of the receptions we were catering at the Noah Liff Opera Center in Nashville. It was a very beautiful wedding, filled with many elaborate details for the event’s execution. For this reason, upon arrival, I was thrown a mop and given a job to do. So, mop in one hand, camera in the other, I sopped up the water vases’ dripping remnants as the rest of the staff hurried to set them on the tables, as well as getting all of the food out and cleaning up the room. As I glanced over to see the event planner frantically crawling on top of the grandly large head table in the center of the room to light dozens of tea lights, I knew we were behind schedule. But what’s a catering without a little drama? Though we may sometimes act like the chaos can be the end of the world, I really think it’s what we thrive on, and maybe even perform our best during it.
And as always, it came together beautifully, and the bride was thrilled with everything, which makes it all worth it!
While the reception was only for 200 people, they treated their guests to quite the spread, as seen below.

Cocktail Hour

Before the guests entered the main dining area, they experienced a cocktail hour with hors d’eouvres and live music in the adjoining room.

One of the many plush seating areas situated throughout the room for the guests to lounge on

More seating areas

The guests picked up their place card off this hanging spiraled wire.

Roses and mirrors galore!

Center table for appetizers

Tomato, Mozzarelle, and Basil skewers

Chicken Tender Cones encrusted with cheese breadcrumbs and with cheese straws in the bottom

Mini Jam Filled Cornbread Muffins

Passed coconut shrimp

Passed Fried Green Tomatoes

Photoshop Tutorial: Subtle Embossed Watermark

If there’s one thing that annoys me when looking at other’s photographs is a large, obnoxious watermark that completely distracts from the photo itself. So how do you create a subtle watermark that still gives credit to the photo’s owner, while still remaining tasteful.
So, I’ve made a tutorial to give a step-by-step guide on how to create a transparent, embossed watermark.


Before beginning this tutorial, make sure the logo you are using is saved as a file on your computer.

It will be much easier to do if the image if two-toned with a solid background.

1. Open Photoshop

2. Open logo:

File > Open > (Find logo image) > Open

3. Create transparent canvas:

File > New > (Set Dimensions to approximately 3×3 in [feel free to change this if your desired logo size is different]  with no more than 300 px and transparent background content)

Now you have both your logo and transparent canvas open.

 4.  If your image is not already desaturated, go ahead and do so

Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (Shortcut = Win: Shift  + Ctrl + U Mac: Shift + Command + U)

5. Now we’re going to select just the logo without the background to paste onto the transparent canvas.

(There are many ways to do this and, depending upon your logo, there may be a better way to do it than the way I have used.)

  •  For this logo, I went to Select > Color Range…
    & selected the solid background of your logo with the color dropper
    (I selected the background first,  but if your image has less dimension to it, you can probably skip a step, select the black, and be okay.)
  • Then press OK.

6.  Inverse the selection

Select > Inverse

7.  Paste logo on transparent canvas

  • Copy Selection of the logo (Ctrl + C (Win) or Command + C (Mac))
  • Click on transparent canvas > Paste (Ctrl + V (win) or Command + V (Mac))

8. (Optional) If after you paste, your image is too big for your canvas, resize appropriately to fit the canvas

  • Select ‘All’ (Ctrl + A or Cmd + A)
  • Transform Selection (Ctrl + T or Cmd + T)
  • Resize appropriately to fit canvas
  • Press the checkmark when finished

9. Emboss logo

Filter > Emboss > (I used the settings: Angle-135, Height- 9 px, Amount – 105%, but change them to best suite your image) > OK

It should look like this

10. Flatten the Image

Layer > flatten image ( or Cmd + Shift + E)

11. Save the image for later use as .psd file

12. Copy the watermark logo > (Ctrl+A or Cmd+A) > (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C)

13. Next, open whatever image(s) you wish to add the watermark to

14.  Paste the watermark on your photo (Ctrl+V or Cmd+V)

15. If the watermark is bigger than you would like, resize accordingly

16. Move the watermark where ever on the image you want it to be permanently. I like the bottom right corner.

Press the move tool (or hold down cmd while you move the layer with your mouse or press the ‘V’ key before you move the logo)

17. Next, while working on your watermark layer, change the blending mode to ‘Hard Light’

Your image should look like this:

Merge all layers, save, and finish!
There you have it: A subtle, embossed watermark for your photos!

If you have any questions or want to see more posts like this, feel free to comment.
Hope it was helpful!

Spring Wedding Inspiration: First-Hand Photos

Rose and Baby's Breath floating in a glass globe vase, with a square of floral foam discretely hidden to keep flowers hydrated.

Orange, Green, and White Flowers in a cylinder vase tied with burlap, salmon colore ribbon, and raffia.

Love the colors: Salmon with hints of orange, white, green, and a rich blue.

Using antique China is always a fun, yet classic choice, especially when paired with mismatched antique silverware. More pink hues, this time paired with a sunny yellow

Love this hanging flower arrangement with peach and hot pink flowers. Not to mention how well this green compliments these pinks. A very fresh, fun, and clean color palette.

Bold color pairings are also in for spring. This pink and bird egg blue combo is quite striking.

From the same wedding as above. The fresh white couch rentals (from Liberty Party Rentals) and the same blue and pink with the table cloths create a completely different feel with the same palette.

Country Ham Biscuits are a classic for a reception at a location like Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. Use a clear glass passing tray and a simple rose for the perfect balance of soft, edgy, and southern.

This tablescape was done by Chef's Market for a summer special on Talk of the Town. I absolutely love these bright colors in the outdoors and the use of anold farm table.

These chair ties definitely help make the table. Since the chairs are a dark stained bamboo wood, they needed the light, sunny yellow to brighten up the set. Also, the tented trellis centerpiece (or, as my dad calls it, "Goodlettsville's Eiffel Tower") adds great height to the table.

Part 2: 10 Ways to Use Flickr to Promote Your Business (or even yourself!)

Here’s Part 2 to yesterday’s post 10 Ways to Use Flickr to Promote Your Business (or yourself!)

6. DO: Use the statistics.

If you choose to purchase Flickr Pro, you will be given access to statistics on your pictures. Showing a graph of views on your photos over time, what photos were viewed on a specific date, and the source of how the photo was found. This helps you assess when you’re doing something right or wrong and enables you to do more “right.”

Stats Graph on Flickr

See what images are viewed and what sites they're referred from

Break down of photos and videos

7. DOlink to your Flickr account from your web site.
I find Flickr is a simple, easy way to organize and share photos with other social networking sites. Simply post the link to your website, Facebook, or Twitter after an event instead of uploading the same picture to 1 million different locations.

Continue reading

Part 1: 10 Ways to Use Flickr to Promote Your Business (or even yourself!)

On my bookmark toolbar, even before Facebook and Twitter, is Flickr. Maybe it’s personal preference, my line of work, or specific interests, but I love looking at pretty things. It’s my go to site for ideas and inspiration for not just artistic ventures, but essays, entrepreneurial ideas, and project concepts. Like many, I’m a visual learner & thinker, and I think pictures often can say a lot more a lot faster and have the capability to be more engaging for your audience.
So, naturally Flickr is a tool that can be used for marketing either yourself or your small business, if done correctly!

The Flickr community, filled with creative and artistic people, are very sensitive to users who abuse community guidelines and while they might not tattle-tell on you to flickr moderators, they certainly won’t take nicely to your postings or be inspired to comment or look at your website if they feel you aren’t sincere in your posts.

Here is a practical list of DOs and DON’Ts to best utilize Flickr:

1. DO: Use your website URL as your Flickr screen name/handle.
People who find your photos and enjoy what your posting will appreciate this when it they want to see what else you’re doing and find further inspiration or communicate on similar interests. Also, since each photo will be shown with the screen name in the corner, Flickr members will be more likely to visit a site when they’ve seen the URL repeatedly.

2. DO: Make your profile information about your business. Include your full name, a brief description about your business, your website’s URL, and other contact info (just don’t over do it.) Also, your “buddy icon” should be either a professional picture of yourself or your company logo.

3. DON’TSpam.
If there’s one way to turn off the Flickr community, this is it. One of the benefits of Flickr is that it provides an excellent opportunity for people to see the personality of a business and the people behind it. Don’t abuse it by over-doing your advertising. Being genuine is the best way to gain credibility on Flickr. Subtlety is key when using Flickr to market yourself.

An Extreme Example of Spam

Continue reading

Pinnacle Wedding, 6 August 2011 (Part 2)

Yesterday, I shared some of the photos of the catering from the wedding at the Pinnacle last month. Today, I’m happy to show you some of the decor, dining room, and bride and groom’s cake. Loved, loved, loved this wedding. Such a different atmosphere from most receptions, elegant and glamorous yet comfortable and laid back. For a link to yesterday’s post click here.

A beautiful, simple yet elegant wedding cake. I always love fondant flowers. They're just so pretty and tiny! A true art form.

The Groom's Cake.

The above groom’s cake is not quite appetizing, but definitely creative. Both the bride and groom are doctors so it’s definitely appropriate, and not as morbid as it might be out of context. Everyone had a good time with it. It’s always nice to see a couple that incorporates their sense of humor in their reception.

Clean, comfortable couches in the main dining area. They hung all the lamps and brought in all the couches that day. The cargo elevator got its fair share of use, let me tell you!

The beautiful sunset from inside of the Pinnacle building

The dining area