Hello Productions Raleigh

Killer Events. Unique Style. Unforgettable.

Hello Favorite Things 5.1.15

Here are just a few of the things we’re loving this week …

1.) This color combination – especially the hot pink and teal! (Source: http://www.afloral.com)


2.) These cute printable coupons for the special mom in your life – click on the photo to download! (Source: https://brightnest.com)


3.) This adorable starfish headpiece for a beach-inspired wedding (bride or flower girl!) (Source: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeSomethingNew)


4.) These bridesmaid “prep kits” to ensure preparation and fun! (Source: http://www.minted.com)


5.) Looking for a really unique font for your event or wedding invitations? We love Creative Market’s selection! p.s. Sign up for their weekly newsletter for free downloadable items every week! (https://creativemarket.com/fonts)

creative market font collection

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Our Favorite Alternatives To The Mason Jar Trend

While mason jars are still all the rage (and we still love them!), we have a few alternatives for those brides or event planners looking to break out of the mason jar mold.


(1) Dip Dye, (2) Nautical Rope, (3) Washi Tape Frame and Washi Tape Tea Lights, (4) Cloche Bell Jars, (5) Dipped Feathers.

Our first suggestion is the dip dye style, like these cute dip-dyed wooden bowls. To achive this style, you will want to dip an item into paint so that the bottom half (or slightly more or less) is covered in a contrasting color.

Our next suggestion is nautical rope – the look is no longer just for New England. Bring a little bit of the coast inland with this style. By wrapping rope around various items (vases, jars, glasses, chairs, etc.), you can easily and affordably create a nautical look.

Our next suggestion is to finally do something with that washi tape you’ve seen popping up in stores recently. This blog will show you step-by-step how to make a washi tape-covered frame, but we think this tape will add a fun pattern to almost anything! (Think: place cards, favor boxes, give bags, vases, bouquet wraps, menu cards … the list goes on!)

Our next suggestion is to get creative with glass cloche bell jars. They can be used to display just about anything, but we love the idea of using these as centerpieces to display something that goes along with your theme, such as the adorable bird nests above. Perfect to pair a few for wedding table centerpieces or use them individually at a smaller event, such as a baby shower or bridal shower.

Our last suggestion is to get fancy with feathers. This blog shows you step-by-step how to give feathers a gold-dipped design, but you don’t have to limit yourself to gold! Dip features in any color and add them to your centerpieces, hair piece, or bouquet. You could even use a feather dipped in a corresponding color to hold a place card or to embellish a menu card.

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Top Wedding Gift Registries For All Kinds of Couples

There are so many great options if you choose to have a wedding gift registry, from local stores that now participate to larger retailers that let you do everything from the comfort of your home. Here are our favorite online retailers that offer gift registries.

collection of registry logosFor the Classic Couple:
Crate and Barrel, http://www.crateandbarrel.com
Bed, Bath and Beyond, http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com
Macy’s, http://www.macys.com/
Bloomingdale’s, http://www.bloomingdales.com
Restoration Hardware, https://www.restorationhardware.com

For the Entertaining Couple:
Williams-Sonoma, http://www.williams-sonoma.com/
Pottery Barn, http://www.potterybarn.com/
Sur La Table, http://www.surlatable.com/

For the Artsy Couple:
MOMA Store, http://www.momastore.org
Jonathan Adler, http://jonathanadler.com/
My Registry, http://www.myregistry.com/

For the Active Couple:
HoneyFund, http://www.honeyfund.com/
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, https://shop.mrandmrssmith.com/us/shop
Travelers Joy, http://www.travelersjoy.com/

Just for Fun:
Best Buy, http://www.bestbuy.com/
Target, http://www.target.com/
Amazon, http://www.amazon.com

modern pineapple picture


For a few of our favorite wedding registry must-haves, visit Modern Pineapple, a new, inspirational blog for modern entertaining, decorating, traveling the globe and more!

Read: Wedding Registry Glassware Guide
Read: Wedding Registry Baking Essentials

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Use WeddingDresses.com To Find The Perfect Wedding Dress

If you’re looking for a new car, there are tons of websites to help you in your search. You can narrow down your selections by year, color, price, features, etc. – so convenient! The creators at WeddingDresses.com realized there was a need for this type of search for wedding dresses as well, one that includes all types of designers and styles.

Created in 2014 by a group of wedding-lovers, WeddingDresses.com is a way to search and filter thousands of dresses by options such as silhouette, color, neckline, train size, and sleeves. The search includes over 140 designers.

Keep in mind, your local bridal store may not carry every designer and dress you find on the site, but it is a great way to start your search! Take any pictures you like to your dress consultation because your bridal shop may be able to help you find the exact or a comparable dress.

We think this is a great resource for new brides to start their wedding dress search so we played around with the filters and picked some of our favorite wedding dress trends. Remember the less filter options you use, the more dresses the search will return.

We searched Fabric: Lace and Neckline: Illusion

Left to right: David Tutera for Mon Cheri, Cristiano Lucci, Moonlight Collection

Left to right: David Tutera for Mon Cheri, Cristiano Lucci, Moonlight Collection

We searched Style: Cap Sleeve

Left to right: Lela Rose Wedding Collection, Eugenia, Moonlight Collection

Left to right: Lela Rose Wedding Collection, Eugenia, Moonlight Collection

We searched Color: Blush and Style: Dramatic

Left to right: Moonlight Collection, Ian Stuart Bride, Vera Wang

Left to right: Moonlight Collection, Ian Stuart Bride, Vera Wang

Whether you’re a bride or just a wedding-lover like us, head over to weddingdresses.com and search away!

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Downton Abbey Inspired Wedding

With the drama and fashions of the Downton Abbey characters gracing our screens again, we can’t help but imagine what a Downton Abbey-inspired wedding would be like! Here are some fabulous ways to channel Lady Edith and Lady Mary on your special day.

PicMonkey Collage - high clere castle

Do you see a destination wedding in your future? Why not consider having your wedding in Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle! Highclere Castle lies to the west of London and while it is open for pubic tours, it is also available for private events and weddings. Brides can get dressed in on of the castle’s bedrooms and later dance the night away in the Victorian Library.


The castle and surrounding gardens are made available for the exclusive use of your and your guests. While the Highclere Castle requires a Downton Abbey-worthy budget (approximately $25,000-$30,000), Hello Productions would be happy to make the trip overseas to help you plan!



If you’re looking for something fabulous for your “something borrowed”, you will probably want to rent Lady Mary Crawley’s dazzling wedding tiara, the exact one she wore on the show. All the elements date back to the 1800s making this hairpiece truly vintage. It’s made up of yellow gold and 45-carats worth of diamonds. The catch? It’s available for $2,000 a day (plus a hefty $200,000 deposit).


Being adorned by vintage diamonds? Priceless.


We love vintage-inspired wedding dresses right now that capture a sense of romanticism yet are still modern for today’s wedding. These styles continue to gain popularity as more designers include cap sleeves, feathers, and lace details on their dresses.

Dresses by (left to right): Alberta Ferretti, Catherine Deane, Austin Scarlett (www.brides.com)

Dresses by (left to right): Alberta Ferretti, Catherine Deane, Austin Scarlett (www.brides.com)

While Lady Mary and Lady Edith had different flower arrangements for their respective weddings, they stayed true to a classic style that mimicked the whites, pinks and greens of the gardens. We think ranunculus, peonies, and pink calla Lilies would do the trick for this spring!


Photo sources: brocadenashville.com, www.spunkyrella.com, flowersbulbs.com

Photo sources: brocadenashville.com, http://www.spunkyrella.com, flowersbulbs.com

A wedding of this magnitude will need a spectacular cake. We love these vintage-styled cakes collected by Cake Geek Magazine in the UK. Stop by their blog to see these and more!

PicMonkey Collage - cakes

Last but not least, we can’t forget the festive bunting that was put everywhere! We love this similar lacy option by BaloolahBunting on Etsy.com.

Photo sources: emmalinebride.com, www.etsy.com

Photo sources: emmalinebride.com, http://www.etsy.com


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French-Themed New Year’s Eve Dinner Party

We love the idea of theme dinners and who doesn’t love to celebrate the new year!? If you’re looking for something special for this year’s New Year’s Eve, we have some fun French ideas!

For the table, use a collection of Eiffel Towers as centerpieces. For the first table, we used peonies to add a pop of color. For the second table, we used gold stars, pine branches and pine cones for a wintery feel. If you don’t have Eiffel Towers on hand, stores such as HomeGoods, Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx, and Pier 1, often have affordable French-inspired decor.

towers with peonies
towers with pine

For the menu, you will want to pick French-inspired dishes. If you have a small group, you may want to do a full dinner. If you are looking for more of a party feel, pick French hors d’oeuvres and desserts instead.

french food

Epicurious.com has a section of French recipes: http://www.epicurious.com/recipesmenus/global/french/recipes, such as these scallops, escargot, and French cheese pairings. We also love these quick and easy mushrooms!

Mushrooms Veronique

1 (12 oz) package whole white mushrooms
White seedless grapes, cut in half
4 oz Boursin cheese
Parmesan cheese, grated
Butter, melted

Remove stems from mushrooms.
Stuff caps with one grape half each.
Top with Boursin cheese and dip in melted butter (or brush on melted butter).
Rub or roll in Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

There are so many amazing French desserts to choose from, such as Crème brulee, custard, éclairs, macarons, mousse, pot de crème, various tarts, and of course, French pastries. Since this dinner was held near Pittsburgh, we decided to save our guests from our lack of French dessert skills and ask La Gourmandine Bakery to help us! They were as delicious as they were beautiful!

2014-12-12 14.54.03

As for the wine (and it wasn’t a French dinner without French wines!), we looked to our local state stores to find wines that were pleasing to our palates and our wallets. Here are a few suggestions:

Chateau Graville Lacoste, Graves, 2013, $18.99 (White)
Domaine des Baleuttes les Coteaux, Muscadet Sevre et Maine, 2013, $10.99 (White)
La Tete Noire, Gigondas, 2012, $29.99

Don’t forget the French champagne to serve with your appetizers and desserts!

french table

This new year’s eve, fill your table with Eiffle Towers and French-inspired food to transport your guests to Paris for the evening. It will be a New Year’s Eve to remember and the perfect way to ring in the new year. Bonne Année!

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Find Out What Hello Productions Has Been Up To!

Hello Productions has been busy recently and we thought we’d give our readers a peek at some of our recent events! From baby showers to weddings, Hello Productions has been busy planning and executing events in both Pittsburgh and Raleigh. And keep in mind that our planning services don’t stop there! We are happy to help with destination event as well!


Laura & Bill’s Wedding

Photography by Michael Will Photography


Natasha’s Baby Shower

Photography by Debra Brody

baby shower collection

Megan and Erik’s Wedding

Photography by Betty Elaine

megan and erik collection

Want more details and photos? See more from these events (and others!) on Hello Production’s Natasha’s Facebook Page. You can also find more past events in our Hello Productions Portfolio!

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Our Favorite Invitation Websites (with Coupons!)

If you’re looking for invitations or announcements online, there are a lot of websites available. Most offer all kinds of customizable design layouts and the option to add photos and personalized text. These sites offer cards for every occasion, from wedding invitations and save-the-date cards to holiday photo cards and shower announcements. Here are a few of our favorites – we think each of these companies has something that makes it special – and perfect for your next event!

minted collection

Minted (www.minted.com)

Minted offers an exclusive assortment of holiday cards, Christmas cards, wedding invitations, baby announcements and many more cards sourced through their global community of indie designers. All of their designs are customizable and have add-on features such as envelop colors, return labels and corresponding thank you cards.

What We Love: Purchase customizable place cards and receive FREE guest name printing! These are a great option for an event of any size, from a large wedding or a small dinner party.

Right now: Enjoy 15% off wedding orders of $200+, 10% off $150+ with CODE: WED2014. Sign up for their newsletter or visit http://www.minted.com/minted-coupon-codes for additional promotional codes.

tiny prints

Tinyprints (www.tinyprints.com)

Tinyprints specializes in personalized birth and graduation announcements, birthday and shower invitations, and thank you cards. You can include your own photos or use one of their stylish designs.

What We Love: Tinyprints has a resource page (http://www.tinyprints.com/etiquette.htm) to help with wording, advice and inspiration on your invitations.

Right Now: Free Shipping on Orders of $49+ with CODE: FREESHIP49. Sign up for their newsletter to receive additional promotional codes.


Wedding Paper Divas (www.weddingpaperdivas.com)

Wedding Paper Divas (the sister company to Tiny Prints) is a great online resource to find everything from gorgeous wedding invitations and save the date cards to rehearsal dinner invites and response cards.

What We Love: Completely coordinate your invitations with personalized postage!

Right Now: Sign up for our emails and get $15 off your first purchase. Free Shipping For All Orders! CODE: FS14. And check back for Deal of the Day!

pear tree colors

Pear Tree Greetings (www.peartreegreetings.com)

Pear Tree’s collection of save the date cards and save the date magnets are uniquely modern and fresh in design, combining photos and the latest trends to let you create a look all your own.

What We Love: Their unique wedding invitations can also be customized with photos and your choice of over 70 colors to perfectly match your wedding colors.

Right Now: Save 40% on select wedding invitations with code WEDSAVE40. Sign up for their email sand $10 off your first order.

paperless post

Paperless Post (www.paperlesspost.com)

If you want to be completely paperless and deliver your invitations online, Paperless Post has some great options. Paperless Post helps you create online and paper stationery that reflects your individual aesthetic.

What we love: For the budget-conscientious bride, they have an assorted of free designs.

Right now: 15% off flat-printed invitations and announcements when using Promo Code CBHOLIDAY15.


Need help with invitations? Hello Productions can handle it! Contact us today!

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Tables, Dance Floors, Stages … What Size Do I Need?

When you are configuring your space for an event, you need to consider how many people are coming and how much space you have available. Knowing these two numbers will help you know how to set up the room and how many to seat at each table.

table sizes2Round tables
These typically come in four different sizes:
36” Round – Seats 4 people
48” Round – Seats 6-8 people
60” Round – Seats 8-10 people
72” Round – Seats 10-12 people
*Note that the lower number of people will be the most comfortable for your guests, but if you are working with limited space, the higher number will fit.

Rectangular (or Banquet) Tables
6’ Banquet – Seats 6-8
8’ Banquet – Seats 8-10

Cocktail Tables
30” or 32” Cocktail tables (typically 42″ high)
*There isn’t a formula for cocktail tables since every party is different – if you are having heavy appetizers, we recommend more tables, as guests will be looking for someplace to set their drinks down while they eat. If you are having passed appetizers and a short cocktail hour, you could easily get away with just a few throughout the space. </font></p>

Head Tables
If you decide to do round head tables or have a table with seating on both sides, refer to the guide above. If you are doing a long, one-side head table, expect to need an 8’ Banquet table for each four people. (For example, if you have 12 people at the head table you will need three 8’ Banquet tables.)

Sweetheart Table
Sometimes, the bride and groom will have a table for the two of them, commonly referred to as a sweetheart table. This is typically a small round (36”) table.

Cake Table
While this can be any size table, venues often provide or recommend a 48” round or half round to display the cake. If your cake is made up of multiple cakes or has corresponding cupcakes, you may want to secure a larger table to make sure you have enough room.

Dance Floor
Many venues will provide a dance floor and recommendations on how big it should be based on your guest list, but if you find yourself needing to contact a rental company for dance floor tiles, here are some tips.

Figure you will want 2-4 feet per guest. If you are expecting most guests to be on the dance floor, you may want to go for 3-4 feet of dance floor per person. If you have a group that likes to watch rather than dance, you can probably estimate 2-3 feet per guest.

For example, 20’ x 20’ dance floor should fit 150-200 guests comfortably.

DJ or Band Space
Don’t forget to calculate space for the band or DJ! A DJ can typically set up in a 10’ x 10’ space; but a band will need more, especially if they are a larger band. Ask for the size of stage or space they will need ahead of time so you can include that in your layout.

Looking for someone to handle the layout of your space for you? Give Hello Productions a call! We are happy to create a layout for your wedding or event and help you fit everything in!

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Ski Trip Planning Tips For Any Resort And Any Budget

skierAs the weather gets colder, many people start dreaming about the beach; but for those snow bunnies out there, we have some tips to help you plan your next ski trip! Ski resorts have something for everyone, from ski sports to shopping, and from great restaurants to spas, perfect for a couples weekend away or family trip.

Ski trips can get costly, so consider going during off-peak times, such as the post-holiday, pre-spring-break month of January. Many resorts offer deals on lodging and lift tickets during these low season times. Another tip is to plan your trip during the week, as weekend prices are often higher. Avoid holidays since many resorts will charge extra holiday rates.

Before you pack up all your equipment, look online for deals that include lift tickets and rentals. These may be less expensive than buying your tickets and renting your equipment separately; and may end up being a good value, even if you own your own equipment. Sometimes renting equipment can save you the hassle and cost of packing and checking it on the airline. If you do decide to bring your equipment, pack as much as you can in your boot and ski bags, limited the number of additional suitcases you have to take.

When picking your accommodations, decide if you want the convenient (but sometimes more expensive) option of lodging on the slopes or if you want to save your money and stay off the mountain. If you decide to stay outside of the resort, be sure to research transportation options (is there a shuttle to take you to the resort each day or will you need to hire a taxi or rent a car?). The transportation options should figure into your budget for accommodations. If you have a large group, it may make sense to rent a van instead of having to call two taxis to travel together.

Another tip to save money during your trip is to eat in meals and pack lunches. You may want to make a grocery store trip the first day for breakfast items you can eat before you leave and things to pack for lunch. You can leave your lunch in a locker, saving money on buying lunch each day. You can then feel guilt-free when you splurge for dinner out one or two nights. Another option is to have everyone take turns making dinner. Give each person a budget and they can use it for groceries or take-out, as long as they stick to it! Be prepared to be exhausted after a fun day of skiing and snowboarding, so a quiet dinner in by the fireplace might be exactly what you want.

Bonus Tips from Hello Travel

vail villageThinking Colorado? While Breckenridge’s newest expansion has recently been completed (additional 543 acres of skiable terrain) and may be tempting, remember it will be tempting to many and receive a lot of press – and crowds – this season! Instead, opt for a trip to Vail (pictured at right), which will have reduced lines due to its new six-passenger chairlift.

In the market for new equipment? Most of the major brands are releasing upgraded ski boots, with for comfort for hiking as well as functionality for skiing. Look for pre-season and after-Christmas deals.

Looking for a new resort to visit? Check out the 50 Best Ski Resorts 2013-2014 from The Active Times. While the western half of the country has some amazing resorts, for those looking to stay on the east coast, Stowe and Killington Resorts in Vermont made the top 30.

Still not sure where to start?

Let Hello handle it! Hello Productions can help you with all aspects of your trip, from booking the lodging and flights, to arranging transportation and restaurant recommendations. Give us a call today!

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