CUE Vendor Spotlight: City Sweets & Confections

The Vendor Spotlight series is back!!!!

 Not only do we bring you the latest bridal fashion fresh off the runway, but here at CUE, we like to feature different vendors, both new to the business and veteran favorites we love to work with.

 We felt it was very fitting to bring back our vendor spotlight feature with one of our all time favorite vendors, City Sweets & Confections!!!

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Photo Courtesy of Caroline Frost Photography

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Photo Courtesy of Caroline Frost Photography 

City Sweets is a couture cake art studio that specializes in creating beautiful, delicious, and unique wedding cakes.

Deborah Lauren founded City Sweets & Confections in 2000, where she has been creating custom designed cakes ever since.

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Photo Courtesy of City Sweets

Not only does City Sweets offer an amazing selection of flavors, but they pride themselves on using only the freshest ingredients!!!

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Photo Courtesy of City Sweets

The CUE girls love cake and are never disappointed when working with City Sweets. Not only are the cakes absolutely delicious, working with Deborah Lauren is a real treat. Deborah is such a joy to be around and her positive energy is infectious!

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Photo Courtesy of City Sweets 

The CUE team is always excited when we get to work with City Sweets and Deborah Lauren, who is as sweet as her cakes!!

Check out more information at www.citysweets.com

Make sure to keep a look out for more Vendor Spotlights and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!  🙂

Xoxo, Megan

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Vendor Spotlight: Windsor Custom at The Ainsworth

The CUE girls have found a hidden gem underneath The Ainsworth, a wonderful restaurant here in New York City. Down a set of narrow stairs lies Windsor Custom, a custom menswear ‘living room’. This is more than just a shopping experience as you are provided with a full bar, pool table, tasting menu, full privacy, and concierge-like professional service. The clothing style caters to all different types of men, from the finance guy to the artist, from the athlete to the realtor, from the DJ to the lawyer. They have knowledge of all the latest trends and styles and help guide each gentleman into a comfort zone that fits them. This is the perfect place for a groom and his groomsmen to get their wedding attire while also having a great time! Windsor Custom is more hands on than the average custom company and prides its self on being 100% made in the USA.

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Photos courtesy of Windsor Custom

Windsor Custom is by appointment only, to reserve call 212-741-0628 and be sure to check them out at http://windsorcustomnyc.com

Xoxo,

Sheri

Advice We Love: How to Choose Your Wedding DJ Wisely

Jon Simon, aka DJ Gatsby, is one of our favorite DJ’s to work with.  He has a unique style, is a pleasure to be around  and has a knowledge of all musical genres.
We’re excited to offer you his tips below on how to choose your wedding DJ.

 

How to Choose Your Wedding DJ Wisely:

You’re about to marry the love of your life, but could do without his musical tastes.  He’s a country bumpkin from Montana who also digs hip-hop, while you’re a city girl from the Northeast who can’t do without your ‘80s jams.  Who do you go with to bridge your disparate musical tastes in a thoughtful manner on your special day?  Of all the DJs out there, how do you differentiate one between the other?  A poll conducted by Bridge & Groom Magazine a few years ago asked guests the #1 thing they remembered the most, and 80% answered the entertainment.

Besides their rates, you can pick the right DJ for you by keeping these questions in mind:

 

  • Is the DJ a full or part-timer?  64% of DJs work on a part-time basis, and because of this their experience and qualifications should be questioned.  How many affairs do they have under their belt if it’s not their full-time gig?  Do you also feel that they would be able to answer your questions in a timely manner or work meetings around your schedule if they have a day job?
  • What’s their DJ background?  If they don’t have any or much club DJ experience, they may be lacking the instinctual ability to get the dancefloor packed and keeping them there as well as the important skill of blending the music aligning the tempos together.
  • Are they part of a DJ company or on their own?  DJ companies tend to operate like wedding factories because they do the same dog and pont show most weekends and just swap out the names of the bride and groom.  Their DJ sets could sound stale because they do the same routine over and over without creating a custom playlist based on what you particularly like and dislike.  Ask them how they can meet your needs specifically. Will the person making the sale also spin your wedding, or will they send someone else out to spin?  Because big DJ/Entertainment Companies do so many weddings, they can tend to limit the amount of individual say you can have for your own event.  If they don’t respond to your correspondences within 24 hours during the sales/inquiry process, that should be a sign right there that they won’t be the most attentive and get back to you when the date draws near and communication is crucial.
  • Have they offered to send you recommendations for their work in the past?  A DJ who doesn’t jump on the opportunity to send you references may tell you something about their experience or their job performance.
  • How do they run a face-to-face meeting or a phone chat with you?   In the end when you choose a wedding DJ, you’re going with whom you trust the most with the level of responsibility. Meetings are crucial for you to see how comfortable you feel about the potential vendor and how they operate. Listen in to see if they seem proactive and genuinely interested in taking care of you and your fiancé and not simply going through the motions.
  • What is their philosophy about MCing?  If they spin a lot of Bar/Bat Mitzvahs or Sweet 16 parties, I would really be wary.  These DJs either out of habit or style get in people’s faces as if they’re teeny boppers and spend too much time on the mic.  Most of my clients tell me that they want to avoid the “cheesy DJ” stereotype and love when I tell them that I use the mic solely to direct the flow by make necessary announcements and really allow the music to do the real talking.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article and have any additional questions, or would like to receive a quote– please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at: djgatsby@gmail.com

djgatsby_bio

Jon Simon/DJ Gatsby
516-967-5138
djgatsby@gmail.com
www.djgatsby.com
facebook.com/gatsbydj
twitter.com/gatsbydj
http://www.yelp.com/biz/dj-gatsby-manhattan
http://pinterest.com/gatsbydj/
http://soundcloud.com/dj-gatsby-repertoire
http://www.mixcloud.com/GatsbyDJ
http://www.bboxradio.com/heartbeats-per-minute

CUE Vendor Spotlight: Sugar Flower Cake Shop

Sometimes all you need for a brilliant business idea is a hard working farm girl and a love of sweets. Such was the case for Amy Noelle, which lead to the delicious creation of Sugar Flower Cake Shop. Amy was tired of the overrated, unnatural  cakes that people were concocting and decided to make beautiful all organic, sustainable,  local cakes made with fair-trade ingredients. The bakers of Sugar Flower Cake Shop are dedicated to keeping their shop and cakes green, even making lipstick out of the leftover grease and composting their kitchen scraps.

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Photos courtesy of Sugar Flower Cake Shop

Sugar Flower Cake Shop has appeared on the cover of  The New York Times, as well as in Style magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Brides New York, and many others. Their sugar flowers are not only an edible treat, but they are also a treat for the eyes with their realistic petals. Amy, along with her other bakers, also host sugar-flower and cake-making classes in their kitchen, which everyone is encouraged to sign up for! We love Sugar Flower Cake Shop and think that they would be the  perfect, delicious addition to any event! Check them out here: Sugar Flower Cake Shop.

Xoxo,

Sheri

CUE Vendor Spotlight: Oysters XO

Oysters XO is an innovative culinary experience that spices up any event and offers something unique and unexpected. The attraction lies in the presentation and the interactive experience between guests and the Oyster Girls. They move among party guests with buckets around their waist while they shuck and serve tasty, high-quality oysters. It’s all about the way the girls turn on their charm as they serve these succulent ocean delicacies.

Photo courtesy of Oysters XO

Photo courtesy of Oysters XO

This concept began years ago in Amsterdam and was recently introduce in New York. Even more recently, they have been introduced to Washington D.C. Oysters XO is growing and moving quickly as they are beginning to create new and more innovative ideas to make your event one to remember. Stay tuned for possible new services Oysters XO will be offering!

We got to experience the Oyster Girls first hand at The Knot Gala this past October.  As you can see, Danielle was totally up for the fun!

Photo courtesy of Curtain Up Events

Photo courtesy of Curtain Up Events

They are perfect for corporate events or wedding cocktail hours as the Oyster Girls are fun and upbeat. Check them out at http://oystersxo.com

Xoxo,

Sheri

Wine Pairings for Valentine’s Day Delights: by Gina King, Founder & CEO, Domaine Somm

Valentine’s Day is a day to honor love in every form and what better way to do so than to indulge in some exciting food and wine. Whether you’re celebrating with friends or that special someone in your life, a mind- blowing food and wine pairing experience can absolutely enhance the occasion. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together wine pairing ideas and tips for a few common aphrodisiacs: oysters, chili peppers, and chocolate. We’ll start off with a refreshing platter of oysters, move on to something with a bit of heat, and finish off with some chocolate for dessert.

OYSTERS

In general, it’s best to pair oysters with a bone dry white wine or bubbly, but since they come in so many shapes, textures and flavor profiles depending on their origin, we’ve put together a few guidelines to maximize your enjoyment.

The northeast coast produces skinny oysters that have a longer shaped shell with lean flesh while still retaining a moderately briny, salty, steely flavor. Examples are Long Islands (the original Bluepoints), Wellfleets (from Cape Cod), Delawares and Bristols (Maine). In Canada, “Novys” (from Nova Scotia), Malpecques (Prince Edward Island) and Caraquets (New Brunswick). Due to their lean and minerally taste, the best wine match for Northeastern oysters is a bone dry white with perceptively minerally or flinty qualities. Sauvignon Blanc from France’s Loire Valley, most commonly bottled as Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé is an ideal match. Sauvignon Blanc from the New World doesn’t work as well since they tend to be fruity and lack stony, minerally or flinty character.

2011 Domaine des Vieux Pruniers Sancerre

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The Northwest coast produces fatty oysters that are the broadest, roundest, fruitiest, fleshiest and creamiest in texture. Examples are Hama Hamas, Quilcenes, Hood Canals, Pearl Bays, Caraquets, Chef Creeks, Sinkus and the biggest of all, Tottens. Dryer style Rieslings, Gruner Veltliner, and Pinot Grigio work well.

2011 Schloss Gobelsberg Gruner Veltliner Gobelsburger

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Olympia and Kumamoto oysters from the Pacific Northwest are unique and produce the smallest variety. Olympia oysters are the Pacific Northwest’s only native variety and are small, mild, and yet meaty. Kumamotos are a sub-species of Pacific oysters, which originated from Japan, but are now farm raised in Washington State and Northern California. They are tiny, plump, sweet, and succulent. A perfect match to both is a dry Champagne or sparkling wine.

 NV R.H. Coutier Brut Tradition Champagne, Grand Cru

 

 

 

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NV BiancaVigna Prosecco Brut

 

 

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CHILI PEPPERS

Many people assume the sweeter the better for wine as the dish heats up with spice, but in reality, the sweetness will take away from the flavors. Wines that are on the fruity side with low to moderate alcohol levels work best. Avoid wines that have subtle flavors as the spices will overpower the wine. For white wines, try a Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, off-dry Riesling, Roussanne, or Sauvignon Blanc. Herbal and tangy Sauvignon Blanc tends to go well with Southwestern dishes that have cilantro and lime notes in addition to spice. The sweet-hot flavors of some East and Southeast Asian fare go well with Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling. A touch of sweetness often found in these varietals tones down chili heat while harmonizing with sweeter sauces, such as sweet-and-sour or coconut milk-based sauces. The lower alcohol content gives your tongue refreshment and relief.

2011 Brooks Wine Gewurztraminer, Oak Ridge Vineyard

 

 

 

 

 

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2011 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Lot 150

 

 

 

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Rosés made with Grenache based blends also work beautifully with spicy dishes, even those with a meat element. And by the way, rosés are not just meant for summertime enjoyment! They’re very food friendly and great to enjoy year-round, especially on Valentine’s Day.

 2011 Bergerie de l’Hortus 

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For red wines, stick with lower alcohol wines with noticeable spice character, forward fruit and moderate tannins. Barbera, Cru Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and sometimes Tempranillo work well.

2011 Luli Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands

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CHOCOLATE

The general rule of thumb for pairing wine with anything sweet is that the wine should be at least as sweet, if not a touch sweeter, than the dessert you are serving it with. Otherwise, the taste may quickly veer towards sour. Since there are many different styles of chocolate, it’s not possible to choose one style of wine as an ideal partner. So, we’ve drilled it down to white, milk, and dark as a starting point.

White Chocolate has sweet flavors of honey, vanilla, caramel, and/or fruit, which pair nicely with a sec or demi-sec Champagne. The acid in sparkling wines produces tart flavors when paired with the cacao in milk or dark chocolate; however, there is no cacao in white chocolate, making a sweeter style of Champagne or sparkling wine a wonderful match. Riesling or Pinot d’Alsace is another great option as they show an exotic sweetness that complements the vanilla, caramel and honey flavors of white chocolate. Fresh strawberries dipped in white chocolate would be great with the following wines.

NV Drusian Extra Dry Spumante Rose, Rose Mari 

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2010 Bott Geyl les Pinots d’Alsace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Milk chocolate has flavors of brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, honey, caramel, nutty and/or malt, so an optimal pairing is Tawny Port.  Its nutty nuances highlight milk chocolate’s nutty and caramel notes and enhance the overall chocolate flavor. A couple of other good partners are Hungarian Tokaji, which goes beautifully with chocolate ganache, and Muscat or Moscadello (Italian), a rich wine with honeysuckle and honey mingled notes which also complement the vanilla, caramel and honey flavors in milk chocolate.

2011 Caprili Moscadello di Montalcino

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Dark chocolate can have bitter, roasted, earthy, and/or nutty notes. Due to the intensity of flavors, bittersweet and dark chocolates need to be paired with stronger red wines with concentrated fruit notes. Vintage Port is a classic pairing with a decadent dark chocolate dessert or truffles. For a non-fortified option, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, or Zinfandel also work well. While some of these varietals may appear too tannic to pair with chocolate, the cocoa butter decreases the astringency and dryness of the tannins and the higher cacao content enables bittersweet chocolate to pair well.

2011 Bodega Noemía A Lisa

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Chocolate with caramel, toffee, or coconut goes extremely well with Sauternes, a rich, sweet dessert wine with honey and apricot flavors that complement caramel, toffee, and coconut.

2005 Chateau Climens Barsac, Grand Vin de Sauternes

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Domaine Somm provides
a personal sommelier service to elevate wine experiences at any occasion.
We create enriching wine programs and curate high quality, distinctive wines for events, wine clubs, and our online wine boutique. We also donate a portion of all profits to charities within the areas of sustainability, health, education and the arts.

Gina King, Founder & CEO of Domaine Somm, is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and received the Advanced Certificate with merit from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. Prior to founding Domaine Somm in 2012, she was the Head of Global Event Marketing at a global financial services company based in NYC for more than a decade. Gina earned a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and was formally trained in wine education and service at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley.

CUE Vendor Spotlight: Tsirkus Fotografika

It can be a difficult task to create a unique and memorable event that stands out from the rest.   Here at CUE we are always looking to find innovative and fresh vendors to keep your guests impressed.  In Walked RA from Tsirkus Fotografika.

Introducing Tsirkus Fotografika:  a non-profit, public arts organization designed to bring creativity to communities while documenting public life at its most lively.  Tsirkus specializes in vintage itinerant photography and low tech multimedia shows, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Tsirkus is extremely eco-friendly, treading little to no carbon footprint.  They are a tax deductible company when donating via Fractured Atlas, who take public transportation, foot-power or carpool whenever possible and are always looking for better ways to improve the environment.  Tsirkus travels from town to town, designing and capturing unique vintage shoots, using an almost obsolete polaroid camera, where the models act as both model and audience.

-The photography models pose for these unique photos and, subsequently, act as the audience who purchase the photos contributing to the featured non-profit cause.

-The camera, once a staple of portrait studios, a Graflex Super-D is over 70 years old.  There are very few still in active use and very few people who will work on them.

-Tsirkus has been written up in NY Magazine, Supplementaire (UK Fashion Journal), and CBS Philadelphia Online.

Donna and Guy’s Wedding
Photo by Tsirkus Fotografika

RA Friedman is the founder of Tsirkus Fotografika.  The project began due to a freezer failure when a 30+ year-old frozen Polaroid had defrosted and he questioned what to do with it!  When he’s not busy with non-profit photography shows, RA works as an archivist for primarily Yiddish language recordings, a profession held by maybe five other people in the world.  For more information on RA Friedman and Tsirkus Fotografika, visit www.http://tsirkus.org or follow them on Facebook as Tsirkus Fotografika.

The image above is from a recent CUE wedding.  This couple’s guests had a blast with RA.  Check out the rest of the images from this event here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151132472308589.443562.102587023588&type=1&l=28f218664bxoxo,

Ayelet

CUE Vendor Spotlight: Lucky Lil’ Darlings

Introducing the Lucky Lil’ Darlings Kid Zone

By Lindsay Bell

Imagine you are at a wedding, baby shower, blowout birthday party, corporate event or family reunion & there is an area that you can drop off your children when they get bored, fussy or just want to be engaged in something new?

Yes I said…Drop. Them. Off.

Enter LLD Kid  Zone!

A ‘Kid Zone’ is basically a pop-up child-care center fully equipped with reliable energetic sitters, a check-in/check-out process to ensure the safety of your child, activity stations to surely engage imagination, take home gift and more!

LLD is a pro at customizing a ‘Kid Zone’ for each individual event. Themes are our specialty. We arrange all activities around the theme of your choice. We will work with your specific budget and our team will brainstorm creative ways to make every idea work!

To get started we set up a simple phone consultation to learn more about your upcoming event & then we begin planning. We book the amount of sitters’ necessary based on the number of kids expected, ages, etc.  We plan the ‘Kid Zone’ around a modest budget or we can blow your ‘Kid Zone’ out of the water with the most magical of events for your children.

We have found that our LLD Kid Zone is a desired MUST have at events because:

-LLD assists & offers a great solution to the event planner in dealing with families who want to bring children to your event.

-LLD alleviates stress for attending families & guests who have children.

-LLD provides a detailed itinerary of how the ‘Kid Zone’ will run prior to the event, so you can alert attending families & get them excited!

-LLD offers an additional helping hand with the children onsite (bathroom runs, if a parent is requested to partake in the event our sitters can jump in, etc.)

-LLD provides engaging & interactive activities while parents enjoy the party & mingle with friends & family.

-LLD provides a sense of security. All parents must check-in/check-out each child, and then the parent has the option to pick -up/drop-off throughout the day or night.

An LLD Kid Zone provides the best of both worlds, parents get to take their children to the wedding,  baby shower, blowout birthday party, corporate event or family reunion and actually get to be a part of the special day & so does your lil’ one!

For more information on and LLD Kid Zone visit: http://www.luckylildarlings.com/services/kid-zone/

 

Lindsay Bell is the co-founder of Lucky Lil’ Darlings (LLD), an elite child-sitting & events company providing corporate and family focused babysitting, parent-centric events and inspiring commentary on child care, kids and family focused products. Prior to launching LLD, Lindsay worked in communications for the Radio City Rockettes and as a Marketing Manager for boutique marketing and PR agencies in NYC. For more information on Lindsay and LLD visit www.luckylildarlings.com or follow Lindsay on Twitter @LindsayBellNYC

Photo by: www.ladyappleton.com

{CUE Vendor Spotlight}: Abigail Kirsch

What began in the 1960s as a cooking school  in the basement of Abigail Kirsch’s home has turned into a phenomenal catering service which the girls at CUE have had the wonderful opportunity to work with.  They are not only professional and fun to work with, but they go above and beyond expectations. Not only does Abigail Kirsch cater, they also have exclusive venues in eight different locations throughout the tristate area.

The goal of Abigail Kirsch is “to produce creative and delicious menus, whether serving 20 or 2,000.” Though we all may eat with our eyes first, this catering service ensures that every bite tastes as amazing at it looks!

                             

Strawberry Pots de Creme                           Lobster Caprese                              Duo of Sippers & Sweets

All photos courtesy of Abigail Kirsch

Abigail Kirsch caters for a wide array of events from weddings to corporate meetings. Whatever your event, they are certain to impress! Check them out at www.abigailkirsch.com/

Xoxo,

Sheri

Trufflepig Travel: Memory Making Company

In 2004, Charlie Scott, Greg Sacks and Jack Dancy came together to form the Toronto-based travel company Trufflepig Travel Inc. These three young men have a mountain of travel experience in 50 different countries and pride themselves on being able to sniff out the best of a destination in the 30 countries where they operate. Trip planners dig deep and get to know their clients through wide-ranging discussions on travel preferences, habits, budget and timing.  Consequently, itineraries are uniquely customized for a client’s every need and desire. Each trip begins with a clean slate and is never “off the shelf.”

Trufflepig is straightforward, transparent and customizable for the travel planning needs of individuals, families or small groups. This company believes that travel is about enriching your life, creating memories with your loved ones, and engaging the world at large! They work their hardest to make your vacation the most memorable you have ever had.

Trufflepig’s online magazine, “The Sounder,” is accessible online at www.trufflepig.com/sounder and is full of insight and inspiration for every traveler. In February 2012, Trufflepig was recognized as a “Top Traveler Specialist” in Europe by Conde Nest Traveler .

For more information, or inquiries for planning your next memory, contact:

Charlie Scott Trufflepig Travel, Inc.

www.trufflepig.com

curious@trufflepig.com

Tel: 416-628-1273

Tell them Curtain Up Events sent you!

xoxo,

Danielle