Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Star's Favorite Things: Halloween Fun!

Happy Halloween!  We celebrated Halloween this past weekend by hosting a casual get together in our home.  It featured yummy festive and fall inspired treats and lots of DIY decor.  Below are a few photos of some of the fun elements.  All photos were taken by the talented Christine Collins of Collins Clan Photography

I made a ghost out of cheesecloth and fabric stiffener. This was an easy craft and extremely inexpensive! Thank you Pinterest and the Everyday is a Crafting Day blog for the idea! 

A few years ago I purchased a couple cases of mason jars from my local grocery store and use them all the time!  They make great vases, candle holders and of course, beverage glasses!  I tie ribbon, tulle or raffia around the top in various colors depending on the occasion, and I end up with a decor element that appears to be tailor made for the event at hand.  As you know, I love paper straws (as you can see from my previous post) and utilized black and orange ones for the beverages which were served in mason jars tied with black tulle.  This was super quick, inexpensive and so much more fun than plastic cups! 

A friend of ours brought over the adorable carved pumpkin.  Love the simple yet creative little face on it!
Lots of delicious snacks and goodies were served... below are some of my favorites! I've been making the chocolate dipped apricots for a while now and they are super easy. Simply dip dried apricots in melted chocolate until they are halfway covered, lay on parchment paper and top with a whole almond before the chocolate dries. Simple and delicious and very Halloweenie!

We served carrots and ranch in little shot glasses which made for perfect little portions.
The marshmallow people were hand dipped in food coloring then in chocolate and finished off with little chocolate eyes. This was so fun, I know I'll be making them again in the future and I'll definitely share the DIY tutorial with you. Stay tuned!
Cheetos were served in little paper cones and I glued googalie eyes to them to add a little fun!
Because in my opinion, you can't have a party without cake, chocolate cupcakes were served alongside delicious caramel apples slices (which I happen to think are the perfect Halloween treat)!

This is our our little man's first Halloween and we've had so much fun introducing him to all that this holiday has to offer! We even stuck him in a pumpkin for a quick photo. He wasn't too sure what to do so he just started gnawing on the side!   

Happy Halloween from the Sterling Team!



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vote for us on LA's Hotlist for Best Wedding Planner!

Sterling Engagements is once again nominated for Best Wedding Planner in Los Angeles on the LA Hotlist.  Last year we made it to the Top 5, this year we hope to be #1! 

We would absolutely love your vote and support in helping us climb to the top again this year! 

Every vote counts and your participation is greatly appreciated. Please also feel free (hint-hint) to spread the word to other co-workers, family and friends!

CityVoter has even made the voting process easy by allowing you to login solely from your Facebook.

So please head right over to the Sterling Engagements page and vote for us today!  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Star's Inspirations: Ombre Love!

Ombre is everywhere in fashion and beauty from hair color, to clothing to nails.  The ombre look has also become quite popular as a design element at weddings and events.  Ombre is a great way to tie your event colors together and is so easy to accomplish.  Florals and wedding cakes are great ways to use the ombre effect, but it can also be incorporated into other decor elements such as lighting, dessert bars, dresses and stationary.  The possibilities are endless which is what I love so much about this look!  It can be sprinkled in or used through your event.  It can be subtle understated or bold and intense depending on your design preferences.  

At one of our recent weddings, the bridesmaids wore navy blue dresses and the maid of honor wore a blue ombre dress which set her apart from the other girls.  The dress was truly stunning and it made me realize that I need more ombre in my life!  Check out these beautiful ombre designs.

This candy display is unique and so beautiful!

Photo courtesy of Young Married Chic

This ombre floral arrangement makes carnations look incredibly chic!

Photo courtesy of Ruffled

Ombre sugar hearts decorating a basic white cake?!  Love!  For a tutorial on how to make these sugar hearts, check out my previous post.

Photo courtesy of Wedding Chicks

Little cakes with bare sides show off the ombre layers.  The rosette frosting is the perfect topper.

Photo courtesy of Glorious Treats

I recently came across this in Lucky Magazine and thought it was stunning!  It would be be beautiful and unexpected on the fashion forward Bride or playful and fun on your Bridesmaids!
Photo courtesy of Moda Operandi

I don't even know where to start with this... I love everything about it!  What a great way to achieve an understated ombre look!

Photo courtesy of Loverly

Ombre escort cards tie pink, sherbet, yellow and cream together so nicely.

Photo courtesy of Once Wed

So classic and chic!

 Photo courtesy of Erin Ever After

Love the ombre bottles in the background.  Such a beautiful and unexpected design element!

 Photo courtesy of Etsy Shop Liddabits

This reminds me of a sunset... or cotton candy...  either way, it is so pretty!

 Photo courtesy of Revel

How pretty is the bouquet made of fabric flowers?!

Photo courtesy of Etsy Shop Autumn and Grace

This centerpiece is beautiful beyond words.  I love how it looks placed on a pink table cloth with the ombre favor boxes!

Photo courtesy of Vintage Rose Garden

This photo illustrates how lighting can truly transform your look.  This ombre lighting oozes romance!

Photo courtesy of A Good Affair
Another stunning ombre wedding cake.

 Photo courtesy of Cake Coquuette

And who can forget this dress?!  Trend setter Gwen Stefani boldly wore an ombre wedding dress at her  2002 wedding to Gavin Rossdale.  Stunning!

Photo courtesy of Fashion Munster

Sneak Peek: One of our recent brides utilized rose petals to create an ombre isle runner.  My apologies for the amateur cell phone photo; professional photos to come:)


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bold, Chic and In Love: The Flower Girl

Lets be honest- there is only one person in a wedding that may have the ability to the steal the show from the bride a little - the flower girl. What's more exciting then an adorable little girl in a humongous, over the top dress? The answer is nothing! 

Picking out this dress should be one of the fun and easiest choices for the day. Here are some great options for your favorite little lady on your big day!

All photos courtesy of Davids Bridal, Nordstrom, Flower Girl Dress Shop,The Dessy Group, & Pink Princess

1- Tank Sateen Dress from Davids Bridal

2- Flower Girl Dress from The Dessy Group

3- Peach Tie-Dye Tulle Dress from Pink Princess

4- Tulle Ballerina Dress from Nordstrom

5- Flower Embroidered Lace Dress  from Flower Girl Dress Shop

6- Angels Organza Dress with Sash  from Nordstrom

All 6 of these dresses range from classic to absolute, over-the-top princess. Depending on your angels personality and the look of your wedding, there is an option for everyone. It's impossible to dress up a little girl and have her look anything but perfectly adorable, so have fun with it.

If you want some advice on the cutest flower girl dresses, please email me at


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Star's Favorite Sweets: Peanut Butter Cup Bars

I feel as though I am letting you in on the best kept secret recipe ever, but I must admit, it is all over Pinterest (how did I ever live without Pinterest, I don't know).  And for good reason!  These Peanut Butter Cup Bars are devine and taste just like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!  I modified the recipe a bit, using a basic ganache rather than the chocolate/peanut butter topping listed on Bakerlady.  I did this because I happened to have heavy cream in the fridge and I LOVE ganache... I figured it would make the most perfect topping for these bars.  I don't think I've ever enjoyed licking the bowl more than I did while making this recipe :)  Oh. My. Goodness.  These are amazing!

Peanut Butter Bar Ingredients:
1 c. butter melted
2 sleeves/packages graham crackers 
2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. peanut butter

Peanut Butter Bar Directions:
Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground to the consistency of sand (you may want to start with one package, pulse them, then add the other so they all fit). 

Add the melted butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar to the food processor.
Blend together.  Scrape down the sides with a spatula if necessary (tell yourself it is necessary so you have a reason to lick it after you scrape the sides :)

Pour the peanut butter mixture into a 9 x 13 pan and flatten with an off-set spatula.  Prepare chocolate ganache topping.

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. chocolate chopped in to small pieces (or chocolate chips)
1 c. heavy cream

Chocolate Ganache Directions:
Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.  Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, carefully watching it so that it doesn't boil over.  Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate.  Tap the bowl on the counter to settle the chocolate into the cream, then let it sit for 1 minute.  Using a rubber spatula, slowly stir in a circular motion.  Stir until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes.  Spread the ganache over the peanut butter layer.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.  I think these are best served a bit cold with a glass of milk!

*Recipe adapted from Bakerlady

Chocolate and peanut butter... it doesn't get much better than that.  Run, don't walk to the store to buy the ingredients for these amazing Peanut Butter Cup Bars!