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In this month’s newsletter we featured Purple Onion Catering as our Vendor of the Month. They make the most delicious food for all kinds of parties and occasions, whether it is a small gathering or large celebration, they work with their clients to create a custom tailored menu to their taste. With all of the holiday celebrations going on, we asked our friends at Purple Onion to share their top five holiday entertaining tips, here’s what they had to say…

Happy Holidays!

1.     This may seem obvious but if your budget allows call a caterer!  Outsourcing allows you to enjoy your event and get to spend time with your loved ones.  If catering is not an option don’t go crazy with your menu!  I recommend mixing some already pre-made items with some homemade items.  Place on festive platters and garnish with rosemary and nutmeg and instantly you have a more high end catered look.  This way you’re not stressing about the whole menu and get to enjoy your party.

2.     Seems obvious but prepare for as much as you can ahead of time.  Have a timeline of what needs to get done that week and spread it out so you don’t become overwhelmed the day of the event.  Make sure everything is set up the night before so that the day of the party your just adding the food and the drinks and still have time to shower!

3.     Serve a signature drink or set up a drinks station for guests to serve themselves.   Both are festive and fun and the last thing you want is to spend your own party fixing drinks!  Have recipes, pre-cut garnishes and all the fixings so guests know exactly how to make the drinks.  Just make sure you have enough ice!  This is one item most clients don’t realize how much they actually need to ice down drinks as well as serve in drinks.

4.     Music sets the tone of the party so don’t rely on Pandora or the radio.  Make sure to assemble a playlist mixing holiday hits with your regular party favorites for a good flow.

5.     There is nothing better then walking into a party with a great scent.  From fresh baked cookies to mulling spices to even a great candle it really does make a difference.

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Ken Pak Photography

As promised in our newsletter this month, we sat down with Heidi Kallett of the Dandelion Patch to get some invitation tips. Heidi also shared her perspective on current paper trends and invitation etiquette. After being in the industry for so many years and opening two successful storefronts between Vienna and Georgetown, we were so excited to have Heidi share some of her expertise with us!

Q: What do you love most about your job and what made you decide to open Dandelion Patch?

A: I love so many things about being in this creative, personal, and beautiful event world! But honestly, I mostly love that through our custom invitations we are permanently part of our client’s milestone events: babies, mitzvahs, weddings, birthdays and retirements. We really see the entire life-cycle of our loyal customers.

Q: With so many paper options and designs how do you help couples figure out which invitation design is best for them?

A: We believe that an invitation suite is the first glimpse into the details of the big day. Style, colors, texture and more… custom wedding invitations really reflect the personality of the couple. Usually, when couples come to us- they have an entire pinterest board dedicated to everything from florals to dresses! And as we all know- a picture is worth a thousand words. From a carefully curated Pinterest Board and a couple of dedicated hours, we can help a couple determine their style and create a custom and personal reflection of that style.

 Q: What is the best advice you can give when it comes to invitations?

A: After 10 years of being in the business, I still find that many wedding publications and blogs promote incorrect timelines and etiquette. I realize that you can research online while you’re at work or at home in your slippers. However, a reputable stationer can help guide you through the many necessary choices between paper quality, printing methods, product options, design elements, and those pesky etiquette questions. Honestly, a good stationer will save a ton of time and many possible (and costly) mistakes.

Q: What is your favorite paper/invitation trend right now?

A: I can’t get enough of the watercolor ombre trends right now! Muted pastel palettes with shades of similar colors are hot, hot, hot. I think it takes a talented designer and stationer to pull of the ‘matching’ but ‘not matching exactly’ concept that is so very popular right now.

Q: What are some of your favorite invitations you’ve ever designed? (See below for Heidi’s top picks)


Photo: Michelle Lindsay


Photo: Dandelion Patch


Photo: Katie Stoops


Photo: Dandelion Patch