5 Gift Ideas for Your Groom

Hey brides if you are pondering the idea of what to buy your groom for the ever so sweet gift exchange – don’t worry I have you covered!

Traditionally, the bride and groom gift exchange is symbolic of your love and commitment to each other. As with all traditions it is completely up to you (and your fiancé) whether you want to throw it out the window or not. The best thing to do is to talk it over together beforehand.

Below are five ideas for your groom gift:


1. Purchase an excursion (such as scuba diving with whale sharks) that your huz would love to do on your honeymoon.


2. Just a little risqué, but what groom wouldn’t love a mini album of your best boudoir photos? Many photographers have embraced this trend, so ask your photographer if this is a service they provide.


3. The most popular option is giving your groom cuff links, but make sure they are custom and represent your man perfectly! I know my boyfriend would love these California cuff links. (image via etsy)


4. Dress your husband up with a watch! It is one gift that will get the most use. (image via swell)


5. And, “finally the perfect way to keep a reminder of those important vows you made to each other” or even just a sweet note for your hubby! A sturdy piece of metal (how manly, right?) the size of a credit card that fits perfectly in his wallet. (image via etsy)

Written by:  Erin Todd, Wedding Sales Manager

Teambuilding Activities that Excite & Unite

Drum Cafe South

So you’re planning the annual Company Retreat and your CEO has asked you to incorporate a “new” teambuilding activity. He or She is tired of the same old routine that has been done for years and wants something that is really going to have people connect to one another and have them talking about it for months. Something that He or She can refer to throughout the year versus something that you do because it’s on the itinerary and then it’s never discussed it again. Where do you begin?

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Get outside! You’ve been in training/continuing education meetings for days; take the group out for some fresh air and get them out of their comfort zone. Consider going to places that offer Zip Lining, Hiking or a Water Sport. These activities are fun and can help teach trust and leaning on each other for support.

Host a Competition in the Kitchen, if your venue does not allow groups in their kitchen find a local culinary school. Seems easy and not very “teambuilding” like, right? Wrong. Imagine your group being broken into groups of 4-5 members. Each team has 15 minutes to come up with a menu; this is now when the true teambuilding aspect comes into play. Each team member has only 10 minutes in the kitchen, at the end of 10 minutes the next team member steps in and picks up where the last member left off. Will they complete their meal? Will it be the same menu they initially set out to create? This simple activity that we typically do at home for our families becomes a lesson about working together and clearly communicating your needs.

Play some music. No, I am not talking about turning on the radio to dance; I am talking about actually playing some instruments and making music together. Local music schools and recording studios are great places to look into. Often times they not only have all of the instruments but they also have equipment to record your group singing, strumming and drumming. Wouldn’t it be nice to have everyone leave with not only pictures of the activity but also a CD of something they created together? This one is definitely something “new” plus you might even learn that you have some great musical talents within your group!

Just remember to keep the group engaged you need to keep the activity fun, keep the energy high and keep the overall message clear.

My picks for Vintage Villas:
Some of my personal favorite Teambuilding Activities near Vintage Villas include Lake Travis Zip Line Adventures, Just for Fun Boat Rentals, Silver Whisk and The Musician’s Woodshed. Check them out the next time you are planning a Retreat in the area.

My Favorite on-site Activity to Date:
A few weeks ago I was introduced to a great company that travels to the meeting location, Drum Café South. Talk about high energy and engagement! They were so much fun! The corporate group had individuals from all over the world at this particular meeting and this Teambuilding Activity really pulled all of them together! Their meeting planner got it right!

By: Mallory Voorheis, IOM :: Corporate Sales Manager :: Vintage Villas Hotel & Events

What Type of Veil is Best for You?

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Wedding day attire has changed throughout time, but one component that remains the same is the wearing of a wedding veil. The history of the wedding veil goes back to ancient Greek times, but regardless of the reason why brides still choose to wear them, how do you know what type of veil is best for you?

Although there are no rules when it comes to choosing the style of veil for your wedding day, two things to keep in mind are: veils reflect the formality of your ceremony and should logistically make sense with your ceremony location.

Just as there are many dress styles, there are several types of veils. The longest veil, known as a Cathedral veil, is used in the most formal weddings and typically taking place indoors. If you are having an outdoor ceremony you may want to factor in the elements. The last thing you want to worry about is the wind blowing your veil in your face, or risk it being caught in bushes or even snagging on concrete.

Cathedral

Other veil types include the shoulder (also known as a flyaway veil), fingertip, and chapel lengths. A shoulder is a short wispy veil, typically multi-layered that sweeps the shoulders, while a fingertip veil reaches below the waist and brushes at the fingertips. And a chapel veil extends to the floor trailing the bride.

Shoulder

Fingertip 2

Fingertip

Whatever the length you choose, the veil should look however you want it to: simple or elaborate, embellished with jewels or plain. It should be a beautiful accessory to your dress, but not a distraction. When selecting your wedding veil, may it complement you, your dress, and your ceremony site.

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Written by:  Lauren Allen, Director of Sales and Marketing

Vendor Interview: Stephanie Barro, Bouquets of Austin

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One of my favorite parts of my job is working with all of our amazing recommended vendors. In order to highlight these vendors, we have decided to feature interviews on our blog. To start us off, we sent over some questions to Stephanie Barro, owner/designer of Bouquets of Austin, who has provided beautiful flowers to our clients since we opened our doors. Check out her responses below to some of our questions.

  1. How long have you been in the wedding industry? A little over 20 years.
  2. What is your favorite part of your job? Besides the obvious – which is working with gorgeous flowers every day – my favorite part of my job is the people that I get to meet, both clients and industry colleagues.
  3. Do you have a favorite flower? Having to choose a favorite flower isn’t fair because there are so many that I love! But I do have some favorites for every season: Spring – viburnum and lilacs; Summer – colorful hydrangea and garden roses; Fall – Oh fall…there are just SO many awesome berries and textures that I love in this season; Winter – this season is great because there’s the availability of some unusual blooms; I love amaryllis.
  4. How would you describe Bouquets of Austin’s “style”? Traditional with a twist!
  5. What floral trends are you currently seeing in the wedding industry and are there any trends you would like to see? As far as trends…I’ve seen the rustic/vintage trend declining and a ramp up of more “glam” weddings (think Gatsby). I would love to move towards more cocktail-style receptions with a few awesome, key elements.
  6. Where do you suggest brides should look for wedding inspiration? Besides the many traditional wedding resources that are available, I would suggest brides looking to home décor and fashion magazines, runway shows, and even architecture for wedding inspiration.
  7. Do you have any suggestions to help brides stay within their budget? Yes! It’s a part of my job to help my brides stay within their budget. They must be honest about their budget/expectations in order for us to assist them in providing them the very best elements/décor for their money!
  8. What is the one thing that you think every bride should know when choosing      wedding flowers? Flowers are very personal. They should choose flowers based on their own individual style – not just because certain flowers, colors, etc. are being done by everyone else. In this way, they can be sure that their wedding flowers truly reflect who they are.

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Interested in talking to Bouquets of Austin about your wedding or event? Contact them at 512.257.2395 or check them out online at www.bouquetsofaustin.com.

Written by: Samantha Botello, Wedding Sales Manager

Cocktail Hour Activities

Are you tired of the traditional cocktail hour and want to mix yours up?  Well here are some fun ideas of activities for your guests during that time.

Photo booths are a great idea.  Guests can have fun dressing up with different masks or hats and take fun pictures with others.

photobooth

It could also be fun to have a video camera set up so guests can leave a message or words of wisdom for you two to watch later.

Hiring a comedian for cocktail hour could be an entertaining activity for your guests.  I have never seen this idea take place at weddings, however, who doesn’t love a good laugh?  A comedian would be a great way to entertain your guests.

Having an “I Spy” card would be a great activity too (especially for the young ones).  You could list different things that they need to find at your wedding, such as a pearl necklace or a cake topper.

i spy

Games can also be great entertainment.  Games such as Apples to Apples, Checkers or even Backgammon can help guests interact with each other and have a conversation starter.  Having couple trivia cards about the bride and groom would be a fun conversation starter as well.  Guests can mingle with each other while trying to answer each question.

Lastly, lawn games can be a fun activity in the cooler months.  Some ideas are corn hole, washers or blongo/ladder ball.  Both adults and children can have a blast with lawn games.

SONY DSC     Washers

 

 

 

 

 

Written by:  Mary Gividen, Wedding Sales Assistant

Kelly + Brent

This wedding is filled with unique personality and we just can’t get enough over here at Vintage Villas!

Obviously weddings are all about love, but sometimes they are transformed into pure magic by the people you choose to help showcase that love. Below are the experts, aka wedding warriors of this amazingly, fun love affair.

Wedding Planner: Becky with Pearl Events Austin | Officiant: Pastor Elroy Haverlah | Photographer: Matt Montalvo Photography | Video: 2nd Generation | Wedding Cake: Simon Lee Bakery | Groom’s Cake: Cakes, Chocolates and More | Rentals: Premiere Party Central | Floral: Flora Fetish | DJ: 1st Class Entertainment | Lighting: Intelligent Lighting Design | Flip Book: On the Flipside | Dessert Bar: Walton’s Fancy & Staple, Whole Foods, Delish, Elizabeth Street Café | Movie: Fun Flicks | Food Truck: mmmpanadas | Limo: Carey of Austin | Fireworks: Steve Wolf with Special FX International

During the cocktail hour guests enjoyed drinks and appetizers while the little ones enjoyed frozen hot chocolate. On the patio after dinner On the FlipSide was set up for everyone to create a custom flipbook, and on the Gazebo lawn all the children enjoyed a great movie set up by Fun Flicks.

To start the dance party off the bride surprised her groom with a flash mob dancing to the Harlem Shake. There were people in Gumby suits and props all dancing around the groom! Oh, and not to mention the amazing black and white checkered dance floor set up by Premiere Party Central.

At the end of the night the bride and groom drove away in style in their antique limo provided by Carey of Austin. How amazing are those fireworks!? Now that is a grand exit!

Matt Montalvo & Vintage Villas-15 Resized

Written by:  Erin Todd, Wedding Sales Manager

Fun, Festive, Family Reunions

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Summer is in full swing, for me this time of year sparks memories of family picnics, days at the lake, playing in the backyard with cousins and s’mores around a fire pit while catching fireflies in mason jars to end the sweet humid days.

Those were moments in life that everyone seemed to get along, even zany Aunt Sally was fun and mostly acceptable. It’s times like those that all members of the family had a great time. The kiddos had water balloon fights while the grams taught mom how to play cards and gramps schooled dad on how to grill the perfect steaks.

While we certainly can’t go back in time wouldn’t it be great to re-create those moments and build memories for the younger generations to reflect on for a lifetime? Wouldn’t also be great to have someone else do all of the cooking and cleaning?

Consider hosting a family reunion at a Vintage Villas! Imagine the family gathering for a private breakfast in the morning then heading to our lawn for a game of volleyball or cards on the patio where you can watch the little ones run around. Lunch is served before heading out to the lake for a chartered boat ride on Lake Travis. The evening ends with a great BBQ dinner and a build your own dessert bar in our beautiful Travis Room where you are able to watch the sunset over Lake Travis through the floor to ceiling windows. Following dinner it’s time to head to your private Villa where everyone can gather for storytelling and board games in the lobby.

The possibilities for activities in the area are almost endless. Everything from golfing, fishing, zip-lining, bounce houses, shopping, a trip to the spa and even hill country wine tours!

Our private Villas and event spaces, delicious menus, friendly staff and location make us a great choice for those who are looking to build memories for years to come. So starting planning your next family reunion and be sure to call us to play host, handle all the details, cooking and cleaning!

Written by: Mallory Voorheis, IOM ::  Corporate Sales Manager  ::  Vintage Villas Hotel & Events

 

Meet the Chef

Chef & Cartoon

Chef Steve and his look-alike Linguini from Ratatouille

Commonly referred to as “Chef” around Vintage Villas, our Executive Chef Steve Michalzik has been creating inspired dishes for our clients since 2004.

Chef Steve is a health conscious, easy-going, tri-athlete that often rides his bike to Vintage Villas from his home in South Austin.

He prepares menus ranging from authentic Texas Barbecue to an Asian Fusion cuisine that includes wasabi mashed potatoes. Yum! Steve is seasoned in accommodating your guests’ vegetarian and vegan needs and is attentive to anyone with dietary restrictions.

Clients and guests alike compliment our chef’s food on a daily basis and we never get tired of hearing the great feedback! Vintage Villas is proud to have “Chef” Steve Michalzik as an integral part of the team.

The food was so delicious. I received compliments the entire night about how good the food was! It not only looked delicious but it tasted amazing as well!” – May 25, 2013 Bride

Written by:  Lauren Allen, Director of Sales and Marketing

Should I Hire a Wedding Planner?

Jennifer Lopez

At Vintage Villas, many of our couples ask if they should hire a wedding planner/coordinator. Though it is not required, here is some insight into why you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner:

1.  You’re Too Busy – Let’s face it, you have other stuff going on besides your wedding – work, family, buying a house, having a social life, etc. Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Wedding planners can help by taking on the time and stress involved in the wedding planning process. This will allow you to enjoy your engagement and go on living your life.

2. They’ve Got Connections – A wedding planner’s job is to ensure an entire event comes together so they have to maintain relationships with a variety of vendors and wedding professionals. They have the inside scoop on vendors based on actual experience, and they can connect you with vendors based on your specific needs or vision.

3.  They Know Money – Most brides have never planned a wedding before and have no idea where to start or how much things cost. Planners have experience working with a variety of budgets. They can help you prioritize where to spend your money based on the things that are really important to you. They can also give you a realistic perspective on standard industry costs.

4.  They’re Not Your Mother – When planning a wedding, you will get a lot of opinions from your family and friends. Some of these opinions may not fit into the ideal vision you have for your wedding, but it can be hard to disagree with your loved ones. A wedding planner can help this situation by being a third-party expert. They can offer insight and suggestions based on knowledge and experience rather than personal preference or opinion.

5.  You Shouldn’t Work on Your Wedding Day – There are a lot of little details to take care of before and after your wedding – setting up decorations, putting out favors, handling payments, gathering up gifts, counting rental items, and more. You may find yourself running around while your hair and make-up artists need you to stay still or your family and friends may be burdened with these responsibilities. A wedding planner can take care of everything so that you and your guests can relax and enjoy your special day.

6.  One Size Does Not Fit All – Planners can help as little or as much as you need. They have full planning services, day of coordination packages, and a la carte options. Whether you are just not that into the wedding planning process at all or you just need some help on the wedding day, they can create a package to fit your needs.

As an added bonus at Vintage Villas, we will waive our timeline coordinator fee if you hire a professional wedding planner.  Here are some of our recommendations:

Written by: Samantha Botello, Wedding Sales Manager

Dresses to Love

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I always love to see brides think outside the box when it comes to choosing the wedding party’s outfits. I absolutely adore feminine + neutral dresses for bridesmaids. These are just a few of my favorites from these online shops.

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Written by: Erin Todd, Wedding Sales Manager