The Holidays are Here...almost!

The holiday season is upon us whether we’re ready or not! In addition to everyone’s hectic schedule, this time of year can be even more stressful, detrimental to our diets and send even the most organized into a frenzy. Not to worry, we’ve got our favorite tips for enjoying the season, hosting the best party and doing it all with grace.

Cocktails, Cocktails, Cocktails

Don’t complicate the drinks.  Make a spectacular punch or bar of “batch” cocktails. We love a self-serve gin or vodka bar. Just provide the liquor and mixers and let everyone make their own! Need some inspiration? Check our @ourfathersboston cocktail recipe

 Courtesy: Allegro Photography

Courtesy: Allegro Photography

Creative Coat Display

Don’t just have guests put coats on a bed – instead, set up a cute, creative coat display or rack near the door so guests can immediately remove their coats and relax. If you’re having a themed party – incorporate that into your display as well so that from the moment your guests step into the party, they know what it’s all about! 

 Courtesy: Good Homes Design

Courtesy: Good Homes Design

Pre-Cook Apps to Save Time

Greet guests with a themed-beverage and/or fun hors d’oeuvres. This will help make them feel warm and welcome right from the get go. Pro tip – to save some time and stress, cook some of your snacks ahead of time and freeze them. That way all you’ll have to do is re-heat and serve. Saving that extra time will allow you to spend more time with family and friends – which is what the holidays are all about! Check out @bostonchefnews for some great ideas. We especially love the Thanksgiving to Go – you still have time to order your sides and even the bird!

 Courtesy: Eric Barry Photography

Courtesy: Eric Barry Photography

Create an Interactive Element

Set-up a display, such as a “create your own mimosa” bar or DIY chili bar with different toppings. This adds a fun, interactive element to your party that guests will love.

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Holiday Tunes on Tap

Create a festive play list ahead of time that will get everyone in a jolly mood – mix holiday tunes with upbeat party favorites to create the perfect playlist that you can set and forget!

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Share the Leftover Love!

Invest in pretty to-go containers so guests will willingly take-home leftovers and you won’t be stuck with tons of food that may go to waste.

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Light it Up

Don’t forget about lighting! Depending on the party theme – think about what type of lighting would be best to “set the mood”. Having something more intimate? Try soft candle light or LED to set a cool, relaxing environment.

 Courtesy: Ashley O’Dell Photography

Courtesy: Ashley O’Dell Photography

How to Throw an Over-the-Top Tailgate Party

Football season is in full swing – but before you can properly cheer on your team, you have to participate in the sacred tailgate. Here are three tips for throwing an over-the-top tailgate that will be the talk of the parking lot.

1. Replace the burgers and dogs with a full brunch spread

Tailgating for 1 o’clock games can be tricky. Who wants to eat a hot dog at 11am? Instead, bring a skillet and grill up some bacon, eggs, and bagels for a DIY breakfast sandwich. Swap the beer in the cooler for OJ and champagne so your fellow tailgaters can choose between classic OJ and mimosas. Bonus points if you plan ahead and make a Pinterest-approved overnight French toast for a sweet addition!

 Courtesy: Celebrations at Home

Courtesy: Celebrations at Home

2. Set up a team spirit station

Set up a face paint station to let your friends get creative while getting decked out and a DIY photo booth to let them show it off! Just hang a simple white sheet from one of the car doors and garnish it with team banners, balloons, or streamers for the perfect photo-opp. 

 Courtesy: fun365.orientaltrading.com

Courtesy: fun365.orientaltrading.com

3. Don’t forget the games!

Sure, Cornhole is the unofficial game of all tailgates but that doesn’t mean you can’t switch it up. Repurpose any empty bottles and create a carnival-style ring toss, set up a giant Jenga game, or test your skills at Ladder Golf. Challenge your neighbors and wager snacks or booze for a fun competition!

 Arielle Doneson Photography

Arielle Doneson Photography

SD Style Look Book: Fall 2018

Summer has officially come to a close. And while some are savoring the last bits of the summer sun, we’re celebrating everything that’s about to come! From floral hoops and floating croissants, to flash tats and ladder ball, here are the top wedding and event trends that are sure to be popping up on Pinterest very soon.

Photography courtesy of Arielle Doneson Photography

5 Foolproof Ways to Throw The Ultimate Labor Day Party

The lazy, hazy days of summer are coming to a close and now we’re gearing up for the popular Labor Day weekend filled with barbeques and pool parties – allowing people to savor the last remaining bits of summer!

If you’re planning on hosting an end-of-summer party, here are 5 tips to ensure your bash will be one to remember.

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Create a DIY Drink Station – A self-serve station is a great way to take the pressure off and allow guests to go ahead and help themselves at their convenience. Set up the station with all ingredients for guests to make their own drinks. Ice Tea and Lemonade are always great options, especially on a hot day. In addition to the ingredients, make sure to have some alcohol set up so if people want a spiked beverage, they’re welcome to it. 

 Courtesy: Brit.co

Courtesy: Brit.co

Set Up Some Games! – Interactive games like Horse Shoes and Ladder Ball are fun to play in teams. Or, if you’re hosting a pool party, how about a game of poolside bowling? Use pool noodles as lanes, grab some plastic bottles for the pins and use a beach ball as your bowling ball. Strike!

 Courtesy: Tentsforrent.com

Courtesy: Tentsforrent.com

Always have a backup plan. Things happen. Especially here in New England when it comes to the weather, so you may want to consider renting a tent, if you don’t already have one  - just in case in rains! Also, make sure to keep some bug spray on hand because as the day winds down, some no-so-fun critters like to come out and play.

 Arielle Doneson Photography

Arielle Doneson Photography

Keep the décor simple. Create one central focal point that makes a statement. Does dessert have a special place in your heart? Go for an over-the-top dessert fondue station. Seafood lover? Host a Lobster Roll showdown! Grab (or make) a few different types of Lobster Rolls and have guests vote for their favorite. Looking for something a little more edgy? Try one of our faves -  a DIY Flash Tat Studio. Again, it’s all about creating interactive, fun things for your guests to enjoy beyond the company!

Have a happy and safe Labor Day!

Things You Should Know Before Planning a Wedding on a Holiday

This past week in addition to celebrating the 4th of July, some people were celebrating anniversaries and attending weddings! For some, the holidays are a time to celebrate more than just what happened in the past, but also a time to celebrate the future.

It’s inevitable, each year we get inquiries from brides-to-be that want to know what it’s like, or if it’s feasible to plan a wedding on or during a holiday. Short answer: yes! It’s definitely doable, and when done well, can be really special. Here are some tips on how to best incorporate the holidays into your wedding if you’ve chosen to have your wedding on a holiday. 

 The Brenizers

The Brenizers

Memorial or Labor Day 

These two holidays mark the unofficial beginning and end of the summer. Memorial Day offers the excitement of what’s to come, and Labor Day provides the opportunity to savor what’s left of the season. Either way, it’s a time to celebrate! Fan of BBQ? How about offering an upscale version either for the main dinner, or perhaps a BBQ bar with fan favorites for the after party for those late-night cravings. 

 Joe Mikos Photography

Joe Mikos Photography

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is often a popular wedding date but given that it’s already one of the biggest party days of the year, make sure you do something more than just hats and noisemakers for midnight. Instead, customize the celebration to you and your significant other so that your guests won’t just remember it as any old NYE, but rather your wedding night! How about small bottles of monogrammed champagne? It’s an “Instagrammable moment” and something that people will utilize – either that night, or another!

Another fun idea is to have everyone write down their New Year's resolutions and put them into a time capsule - seal it and plan to open it at a later date to reveal who kept their resolutions. This is a great way to keep the celebration alive for years to come! 

 Joseph Laurin Photography

Joseph Laurin Photography

July 4th

If it's the 4th of July and your budget allows, have fireworks! Sparklers are great too, and they provide a really fun, interactive (and inexpensive!) way to add a little pizzazz to your celebration.

 Joe Mikos Photography

Joe Mikos Photography

Father’s Day or Mother’s Day

If you’re having your wedding on the same weekend as Father's Day or Mother's Day, be sure to find a special way to acknowledge the parents who are coming. Perhaps with a little token gift such as a free manicure or hand scrub at the hotel spa for Mom, if there is one. Or perhaps a free round of golf for Dad, or beer at a nearby bar.


Whatever the holiday, your loved ones will be happy to celebrate with you and create some amazing memories. That said, there are some things to consider before finalizing those holiday celebration plans. 

  • Many plan family trips around the holidays, so check in with those most important to you that that this isn't issue and to prevent any hard feelings.
  • Before you sign on that dotted line and pop the bubbly to celebrate booking your venue, check into the local hotels in the area and make they have availability but also that the room rates aren't significantly higher than on a non-holiday weekend. And remember to ask about two-night minimum requirements!
  • Some vendors might charge more to work on holidays, especially New Year’s Eve.  (We're looking at you bands and DJs!) So, don't be shocked at the pricing and ask why they charge more and see if there is anything you can do to help. 
    • Pro tip: If they need accommodations, offer up one of the discounted rooms in your block!