Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thanks for being part of our 2011

Happy New Year!

2011 has been a fantastic year. 
This year we have created 28 events that ranged from the Opening Reception of the inaugural Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, a house party at Kevin Rathbun's home, a volunteer day at Wonderland Gardens in Decatur, Georgia (both during the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival), holiday parties for non-profits and corporations, to, of course, dozens of weddings. 

We've also been privileged to speak and write educational articles for our industry's best seminars and magazines. Erica Prewett has been the keynote speaker at the Plan Your Meetings LIVE events in Atlanta, Charlotte, and will be speaking in Tampa next month. She has also spoken for several Atlanta based organizations this year such as Atlanta Business Women's Association and the Wedding Alliance of North Georgia.

I am so proud of what we do at A Big To Do Event. We create memories. 
Here are some of my favorite from 2011.
Opening Reception "Sugar" at Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
May 2011
Loews Hotel, Atlanta, GA
House Party at Kevin and Melissa Rathbun's home
May 2011
Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
Volunteer day at Wonderland Gardens
May 2011
Decatur, GA
Katie Buice and Brandon Waters Wedding
June 2011
Hawkesdene House in Andrews, NC
Randi Styles and Michael Curling
August 2011
Gardens at Great Oaks in Roswell, GA
Sarah Hitt and Slayden Lee Wedding
October 2011
Lovely Lane Chapel in St. Simons, GA

 Liz Bogus and Raiford Storey Wedding
October 2011

Atlanta History Center in Atlanta, GA

North Fulton Bar Association
Toy Donation for North Fulton Charities
December 2011
Roswell River Landing in Roswell, GA
Thank YOU for being part of our 2011.
 From all of us at A Big To Do Event, "Cheers! "

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The old faithful Eggnog!

Today, we cover the most traditional of Holiday beverages...


This eggnog recipe uses cooked eggs instead of raw ones (I know, gross) so no worries about getting sick or sharing a non-alcohol version with little ones. To begin, combine 4 cups milk (whole milk is always better in recipes so don't use any of the skim stuff here), 5 whole cloves, 1/2 a teaspoon vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla, you WILL be able to tell the difference) and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a saucepan and heat over the lowest heat setting (otherwise your milk will clump) for 5 minutes. Slowly bring this to a boil. I suggest whisking this to avoid dreaded lumps. 

Now, in a large bowl whisk 12 egg yolks and 1 1/2 cups sugar until fluffy. Slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture (so you don't scramble the eggs). Pour all of this into the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY, until thick. Please don't allow this mix to boil. Before letting this cool, strain out the cloves. Refrigerate for about an hour. 

After the hour is up, stir in 2 1/2 cups light rum, 4 cups light cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Love the way this looks in a stemless wine glass, pour and enjoy. Cheers Y'all!

This was found at, published by username "nataliesmom". Wish you were our mom... just kidding, everybody loves their momma in the south!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You CAN catch this Gingerbread Man!

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you are ready for another great cocktail to make your holiday celebrations merrier. Today, we bring you…

The Gingerbread Cocktail!

This one calls for a little prep work, but it is totally worth it. To make the syrup put 1 cup water, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1-inch piece fresh ginger (thinly sliced), 2 cinnamon sticks and 3 whole cloves in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes (until the sugar dissolves), stirring occasionally.

Now, remove the syrup from the heat and let cool (about 20 mintues). Once cool, remove the ginger, cinnamon sticks and cloves.

For the expresso, mix 1 cup boiling water, 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, 3 to 4 tablespoons, Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) until the powder is dissolved. Let this cool.

To make the cocktail, Combine 1 cup syrup with espresso/hazelnut liqueur mixture in a large martini shaker. Add 4 ounces Kaluha and shake to combine. Pour over ice-filled glasses and serve.
Cheers Y’all!
This recipe came from the Food Network website. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Burr… Baby its cold outside!

For this week’s cocktails, we will be sharing a few creamy holiday concoctions. 

Today, we cover…
The Blizzard Cocktail 

The best part about this is the Grand Marnier whipped cream, which you can put on anything really. I used it on pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving and it was delicious. To make this cold buster, combine 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey or rum, ½ an ounce hazelnut liqueur (like Frangelico), ½ an ounce Irish cream liqueur (like Bailey’s) into a clear coffee cup and stir. Top this with HOT coffee.

Now for the good stuff: To make the fluffy topping, whip 1 cup of heavy cream and after it reaches the desired consistency fold in 1 ounce orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier). Garnish the drink with 1 dollop of the whipped cream and serve immediately. Cheers Y'all!

Thank you Martha Stewart for sharing this yummy hand warmer on your website!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Brandy, you’re a fine drink!

This is probably my favorite cocktail we have discussed thus far (I know it is only number 3, but it really is yummy!) It is the Apple Brandy Cordial. How could someone not like that? The name sounds like a lipstick shade, and even the manliest man would enjoy this semi-sweet libation. Plus, it has a great apple base that doesn’t bring an appletini to mind (no offense you super sweet green concoction) and is different enough from the traditional holiday cider. Seriously y’all, this one tops the list.

This drink is made in batches (of 4) so it’s perfect for a dinner party. In a large pitcher, combine 3/4 cup brandy, 1/2 cup apple juice, 1/3 cup Cointreau, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon angostura bitters. Fill 4 glasses of your choice with ice and top that with the yummy mix. To be a proper bartender, then place an apple slice or two on the rim of the glass or just put them right in the drink. Be creative, cheers y’all!

“Apple Brandy Cordial, you’re a fine cocktail. Yeah, you’re taste could steal a sailor from the sea.”

We found this cocktail on the Real Simple website. 

I have yet to mention this, and should have sooner, ALWAYS drink responsibly. Also, cocktails are for grown-ups so stick with the soft stuff if you aren't 21.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This CosMULLpolitan is MULLicious!

Happy Wednesday A Big To Do lovers! 
Today’s holiday beverage puts a mulled twist on the classic Cosmopolitan, in honor of Mrs. Erica Prewett (as the Cosmopolitan is her favorite cocktail). This deliciously chic mix will warm up even the chilliest of parties. The mulling gives this cocktail a wonderful organic flavor that fits perfectly into the evergreen and holiday spice season.   
First thing you will need to do is create mulled cranberry juice (no worries, it’s a snap). Warm 1 liter of cranberry juice with 5 drops grapefruit bitters**, 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 cloves and 4 orange twists (the peel of one regular sized orange cut into fourths). Let this simmer until fragrant, your home is going to smell delectable! Now let the mix cool and refrigerate (will keep for around 3 days).

Now on to the big show! To make the mulled Cosmo, shake 2 ounces orange or citrus vodka, 1 ounce mulled cranberry juice, ½ ounce lemon juice and a dash of triple sec. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a clove studded orange slice (just mash a few cloves into an orange slice… those of you not from the south “mash” simply means press).

Cheers y'all!

**If you want to be a true cocktail pro, you can make your own bitters… check out this link to find out how:

(This recipe was adapted from a mix found on the Belvedere website, so thanks Belve!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You're a sweet one, Mister Grinch!

To help “spruce up” your holiday cheer over the next few weeks, A Big To Do will be bringing you some yummy and festive holiday cocktails. 

Today, we showcase….


This is a great conversation starter at any holiday party, due first to its lovely colors and second to telling someone its name. However, don’t be fooled by its namesake because this pretty little sipper is the Grinch post loving transformation with those cute little Who’s down in Whoville. The main ingredient here is Midori, which is melon flavored liquor with the perfect amount of sweetness. 

To make the Grinch combine 2 ounces Midori, ½ ounce lemon juice and 1 teaspoon simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice then shake, shake, shake it! Pour into a chilled martini glass that has been rimmed with red sugar crystals (can be found in the baking section of any grocery store). Feel free to garnish with anything that you fancy from a sprig of evergreen to a tiny red ornament. Cheers y'all! 

Best Maids and Dudes of Honor

Most couples picture their wedding and one of the oh-so-important questions to answer is which of my friends I would cast as the bridesmaids and maid of honor.  It occurred to me that I would really want for my brothers, who I'm really close with, to be in the wedding party.  I mean, I could always bully my fiance into adopting them as groomsmen, but why not just stick 'em on my side of the altar, where they could mutter sarcastic remarks to me and pretend not to be crying during the ceremony?

I don't know if anyone else remembers this movie, but it's probably a bad example to use because Patrick Dempsey is actually plotting to make the bride his own, or some romantic comedy shenanigans like that.  Regardless, this is the general concept I'm after today: using men as bridesmaids, and women as groomsmen.

Photo courtesy of Cate Misuraca.
I think this is a great idea!  Why stick your best friend on the other side of the altar just because he's a guy?  One of our brides asked her best guy friend to be her "dude of honor."  It's a growing trend, and I think that getting away from typical gender roles in weddings gives us a lot more freedom.

Photo from Dadiva Shop.
This diagram pretty much explains it all.  And I think it's great and fun that we're getting away from the standard, you-must-do-this rules of a wedding.  If something fits for you and your life but doesn't fit with the "rules," why not change it?  After all, your wedding should be a reflection of who you are.

Photo courtesy of Cate Misuraca.
So, if your best friend is of the opposite gender and you were thinking about making him or her your right hand man (so to speak), don't hold back!  Why shuffle around the bridal party when you can just have everyone where he or she would feel most comfortable?

Got any fun man of honor/best woman stories?  We'd love to hear them!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Real Wedding Featured: Katie and Brandon in North Carolina

There are a million things I love about what I do. One of the most prominent reasons, though, is the relationships I develop with my brides (and the couple). No matter if the bride has decided to use us to plan the entire wedding or just uses our Month Of wedding management package, the relationship that develops in that planning process is precious to me. And sometimes I'm lucky enough to build that precious planning relationship with a current friend.

Katie Buice Waters is one of those precious friends to me.

She and Brandon got married in June at Hawkesdene House in Andrews, North Carolina.

Her wedding is featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs today! Check it out!

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