All The Trim had one VERY exciting event happen over this Holiday Season!  One of our owners, Carmen Giacinti, was engaged to her long-time boyfriend Tommy Garrighan!  We are so happy for both of them and are very excited to “officially” welcome Tommy to the All the Trim family. Be sure and keep checking back often as we will keep you updated on plans and ideas for this special wedding

If I am going to be truly honest, when I attend or plan a wedding, my absolute favorite thing about the wedding day is the actual ceremony.  I love when the groom first sees his bride walking towards him; when the parent’s give the daughter away, and watching as the couple commits their lives to one another.  So when I come across an interesting, new, and fresh idea to incorporate into a wedding ceremony, I must share it!

We all know about the traditional lighting of the unity candle that takes place in most ceremonies.  It is mostly done in Christian ceremonies, symbolizing the union of two hearts and lives as well as two individuals becoming one in commitment.  In recent years, in replacement of unity candles, couples are choosing to do sand ceremonies.   Using two different colors of sand in different containers, poured into one container to symbolize blending your lives together.  It’s a great way to incorporate your wedding colors into the ceremony. 

This brings me to what I consider one of the best unity ceremony idea that I have heard of; one that can continue to be incorporated into your marriage for years to come.  It is called the Cord & Knot Ceremony.  The basic idea is to use two different colored strands of cord, with each wrapped on a different side of a round piece of wood.  During the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom tie the two pieces of cord together to form a knot in the middle of the piece of wood.  It adds a truly unique element to your ceremony that friends and family will remember and is useful for situations where candles are not allowed or where it may be difficult to keep them lit due to breezes at outdoor weddings.  Now for the part that I really love… Every year on your anniversary, you can tie another knot in the ropes!  And in case you forget how many years you have been married, you can just count the knots.  As the years pass by, it can be a great decorating piece that will show everyone who sees it the commitment that you have made and continue to make.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on unity ceremony ideas you have seen done or one that you did at your wedding!

Knot Tying Ritual for Wedding Ceremony

Knot Tying Ritual for Wedding Ceremony







We girls at All the Trim love to blog about all of our favorite & fun ideas for event planning, but every now and then, there are issues that move our hearts.  One is the inordinate waste of food after an event is over.  We have been to too many events where the catering or venue staff is literally spreading out an arm and sweeping loads of perfectly edible food into huge trash cans after the event has ended.  Whhhyyyyy!!  Well, many caterers, and especially many venues, believe they are liable for anyone that eats the food after the event and becomes ill.  So, for fear of being sued, they simply throw it all out.

The New England chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) has begun an industry awareness push to change this practice.  They want not only event industry professionals, but clients as well, to know that there is an Act that already protects these caterers and venues from liability.  It is called the Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.  Congress passed this Act in 1996 during President Clinton’s administration, and it protects donors (hosts, venues, caterers, etc.) and collectors of any donated food from any and all liability.  Based on this Act, there is no reason we should not be giving this post-event food to local shelters, churches or any other organizations that feed our impoverished neighbors.  Dana Siles, Community Service Chair at the New England NACE chapter, along with the consult of Boston Rescue Mission’s Eric Grenfell-Muir, has initiated a “Feeding Our Neighbors” campaign in order to push this awareness throughout the industry.  If you are a local caterer or venue, we urge you to work with Charlotte’s NACE chapter to further the idea of this initiative and create a more aware and thoughtful local community.

Charlotte attempts to pride itself in sustainable and eco-friendly values and programs, however we have a long way to go.  Too many people in our community have fallen upon hard times and are starving.  This is uncalled for, and we in the industry must be responsible in our business practices.  Feeding America is a network of food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, faith-based organizations, non-profits & shelters.  According to Feeding America’s report Hunger in America 2010, of the 37 million people that are served annually by Feeding America organizations, 14 million of these are children.  One in eight Americans rely on Feeding America for food assistance.  Thirty six percent of these served households have at least one person working.  In 2010, Charlotte alone experienced a 36% increase in homeless families.  And with federal and state cuts in food assistance programs, the need is becoming more imperative.

Don’t let event food go to waste!  We implore our industry professionals to help each other become more aware of our choices.  And we urge our clients to choose caterers and venues that allow positive utilization of the food after their event.  Let’s emulate what the New England NACE chapter is doing and pursue our local food banks, shelters & food-assistance organizations in working with them to build a better food network to help our neighbors.  These people are people we know…a family member who lost their home to foreclosure, your divorced best friend who lost their job and supports their kids all alone, your co-worker who was let go due to downsizing at work…these people need our help now more than ever.

And why not think on an even broader level?  Where can items of your décor, flowers perhaps, be donated?  Senior homes or hospitals, maybe?  Creativity is an event professional’s second nature; let’s have fun using this creativity in striving to make sustainability our second nature, as well.  With the Democratic National Convention coming to our town in 2012, it would be great for Charlotte to be a role model in sustainable practices, right down to what we do with our post-event items.

We would love to hear your good stories & bad stories involving post-event food…Did you see food go to waste?  Did you find out the host of the event, caterer or venue donated the food after the event?  To what organizations?  Share, share, share!!!

The Dairy Barn at Anne Springs Close GreenwayThis weekend the girls at All the Trim will be visiting The Dairy Barn in Fort Mill, SC to conduct a site visit for a potential upcoming event. We are very excited to visit this Leroy Springs & Company, Inc. property, as it is one of their four venues located within the serene, pastoral Anne Springs Close Greenway, which spreads over 2,300 beautiful acres. The Dairy Barn was built in 1947, and has since been renovated into a beautiful venue. With accommodations for 20-400 people, the Dairy Barn offers the perfect location to host indoor/outdoor wedding ceremonies, receptions, fundraisers, trade shows, corporate retreats, company picnics and more. So be sure to visit the Dairy Barn for your upcoming event! And, when you do be sure to ask for Peggy Washko, Facility Sales and Event Coordinator, as she has been wonderful to work with!

One of the most challenging parts of the entire wedding process is coming up with a “theme.”  For me personally, it was the hardest.  For most brides, you are not only trying to make your vision a reality, but you are also thinking about the opinions of your mother, soon-to-be husband, as well as your well meaning bridal party. This can be overwhelming for anyone.   So, today, I wanted to give you some insight into my wedding “theme” and how it came about.  Hopefully it will give you some INSPIRATION!!

When I was engaged in March, the only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted a FALL wedding and that I wanted a consistent theme to make my decision process easier.  (It allows you to eliminate ideas that do not fit within the pre-determined theme)  After about 2 weeks of dreaming in my mind, the debate begins:  I wanted unique, my mom wanted traditional; I wanted rustic, my mom wanted elegant; I wanted grass green, my mom wanted golds; I wanted outdoors, my mom and fiancé could only think about the possible torrential down pours.  After about a month of that large discrepancy in vision, we finally had a breakthrough!!  PEACOCK FEATHERS.  That one idea brought peace, unity, and a plan.  Teal Bridesmaid dresses; Peacock feathers in the bouquets and centerpieces to make them feel more rustic. Save-The-Dates, Invitations, and Programs embellished with peacock feather to bring the theme to every aspect of the day.  That one decision made every other decision easier.


The Peacock Theme may not be best for your big day, but I tell you all this to let you know how important your theme is to your entire planning process!  If you are stumped, please give us a call!  We are here to turn YOUR VISION into a reality!

Here’s how the story goes.  Your soon to be husband has just swept you off your feet with the most extravagant, well thought out wedding proposal in history… in the car at the stop light. (Another blog for another day).  Anyway, let’s face it, the very first thing our mind goes to when we think of the day is not the table linens, centerpieces, or even the location, it’s the DRESS.  Whether lace, satin, organza, or tulle, your wedding dress sets the theme for your wedding.  As a recent bride myself, I wanted to share a few experiences and thoughts that really helped me during this monumental search… (Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but it feels as though it is.)

1.  Be selective with who you bring with you.  I will say that out of all the things I did, this was what I did right.  I had watched enough Say Yes to the Dress to know that you should keep your “posse” small.  My first trip was just my mom, my MOH, and me.  They were great at bringing out what I really thought about the dress: how it made me feel, what just wasn’t right, etc.  They were also very willing to give their opinions…when asked.  If you want to include the rest of your bridal party, invite them to the salon for your fitting!  Now let me say something to everyone attending the appointments with the Bride-To-Be.  Remember, it is HER DAY!  If she wants a dress that looks like a down blanket, it doesn’t matter.  IT’S HER DAY. You can only give constructive opinions…when asked.

2.  Communicate with your bridal dress consultant.  Not only have I been a bride, but I have been a bridesmaid attending a wedding dress appointment.  The worst trips I have been a part of are when the bride and the consultant are speaking a different language.  Be sure and tell her if you DO or DON’T like something.  (The train is too long, I want more bling, this fabric isn’t right.)  Her job is to bring the perfect dress for YOU, not the dress she wants you to buy.

3.  Keep an open mind… When I started out on my first trip to try on dresses, I did what every new Bride-To-Be does.  I timelessly searched online and printed out 30 dress options, gave them to the consultant, and was convinced my dress was one of these.  I soon found out a mermaid style just wasn’t flattering on my figure, tulle made me look like a ballerina, and a stark white dress made me look like a zombie.  I had to open my mind and be willing to try on different dress shapes, styles, and colors.

Lastly, Have Fun, Don’t Stress.  Out of all my pre-wedding appointments, searching for the dress was the most FUN!  Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself when something doesn’t look like you wanted it to. Remember that at the end of this, you are going to be marrying the person you love.  And he will marry you no matter what your dress looks like!

Those are this recent bride’s thoughts.  Let’s hear from others who have had this experience, whether it was last month or 40 years ago!!