Wedding Favors

Often times at weddings, Brides and Grooms will give their guests a little pressie to thank them for coming to celebrate. These favors can be in a variety of styles; for example, edible, floral, or a donation to charity.



 Desserts favors are on the rise. Buckeyes, donuts, strawberries dressed as bride and grooms. People love to come to their tables and find a delectable treat waiting for them. They can even double as place cards!


Photo credit: Wedding Paper Divas


Photo credit: Big Eye Photography


Photo credit: Food Network


Flowers / Plants

Flower and plant favors add to your decorations!


Photo Credit: The Knot

Photo credit: Santa Barbara Chic



Photo credit: Megan Steen Photography

Photo credit: Miki Duisterhof



In lieu of a physical present, you might consider donating to charity. According to WeddingWire website editor Kim Forrest, “Couples want to feel like there’s a bigger purpose to their wedding day — that it’s not just about them. If giving back is an important part of the couple’s life together, why not incorporate that into their celebration?”


Photo credit: Carolinero


In addition to donating, many nonprofits will also have merchandise you can give out to raise awareness.

 Photo credit: Samantha Warren Weddings


Photo credit: Invisible Children


Wedding favors are 100% optional. This isn’t something that your guests expect you to do. But, if you find extra room in the wedding budget, it is a kind gesture.



Happy planning!

Emily Gneiser xoxo 


New Years Resolutions...

It’s a new year.  Statistics show that almost two-thirds of us will make some type of “resolution” to better ourselves or others.  This can sometimes be agonizing and not so much fun.  I am a firm believer that we should be passionate about our endeavors and there should always be a “fun factor” so here are some tips that have served me well over the years.

                I change a behavior or action as my goal.  The number one New Year Resolution made is to lose weight.  Most will find some fad diet to lose 30 pounds quickly and very enthused for two weeks.  Then imagination fights reality and win every time.  Frustrated that weeks have passed without any weight lost, we quit.  I have set a behavior change of exercising 30 minutes a day, four times a week, eating 30% less than I was in 2015, and only eating sweets twice a week.  Weight loss was and is a natural byproduct of healthier living.

                I set a number of changes and reasons why they need to change.  I have what I call my “Dirty Dozen” (named after an old, favorite movie) that I develop each year.  Some are family, some are business, and some are personal.  Share some - maybe not all but some – of your “dirty dozen” with family and friends.  By sharing, you create a fun factor and a challenge to your endeavor.

                I think you will have a more fulfilling 2016 using this method if you also remember to always “keep your dreams more exciting than your memories”.


-Steve Rayo


Signature Cocktails

Trying to decide if you want to have a signature cocktail or two at your wedding? Well, we have a few tips and recipes to help you make your decision a little easier!



            - Try to limit the amount of signature cocktails you have (The more you have, the slower the bar line will move).

            - Choose a drink by: going with a personal favorite drink, a color theme, or by a season

            - Pick a recipe that doesn’t require a lot of ingredients

            - A drink that can be made in bulk is great!

            - A drink that the masses like is even better

            - Give the cocktail a fun name that represents you!


Below we have some fun recipes to consider for your signature cocktails!



2 oz citrus vodka

½ oz lemon juice

¼ oz pomegranate juice

1 oz orange liqueur


Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass.  Garnish with an orange twist or pomegranate seeds.



1 oz cake vodka

1 oz blueberry vodka

½ oz lemon juice

4 oz Sprite


Combine all ingredients except Sprite in a shaker with ice.  Shake well and strain into a highball glass.  Top with Sprite and garnish with blueberries.



 **Per punch bowl

2 oranges, thinly sliced

¾ cup Riesling

2 750mL bottles sparkling wine

3 tbl sugar

1 cup diced pineapple

1 cup pomegranate juice

In a bowl, dissolve the sugar into the pomegranate juice, stirring vigorously.  Add the sparkling wine and Riesling and stir.  Add fruit and let soak.  Serve over ice in a rocks glass.



1 ¼ oz dark rum

3 oz orange juice

3 oz iced tea

Shake with ice and strain into highball glass filled with ice.  Garnish with an orange slice.


Perhaps you’re feeling a little more on the fancy side- you could go with our Coordinator, Emily’s drink of choice:






My personal favorite- in my family we call it:


Makers Mark

Ginger Ale


Remember… testing the recipes is the best part!




The Importance of Presentation


In life, it is important that things are presented in a pleasing manner.  Whether you take a little extra time to make sure your hair is perfect or your shoes are shined before heading out the door, you value how you present yourself.  As chefs, we have few opportunities to present ourselves in person, so we speak through our food.  We pay close attention to how food is paired, the balance of flavors, and of course, how it will look on a plate.  This takes time and practice. With our three most seasoned chefs, myself included, we have over 65 years of combined experience working in restaurants spanning from Sandals Resorts all over the Caribbean, to the Bellagio in Las Vegas, to several well known places on the East Coast.  Scrutinizing every detail, striving to deliver the best quality food, cooking to order, and delivering at the proper temperature; this is our language.















 - Chef Scott






Different Roles of Event Professionals

As an event space with several in-house event coordinators, we are frequently asked about our services vs. those of an event planner.  While the names are similar and both roles are important, the job responsibilities are actually quite different.

What happens during the planning stages of a wedding?

                A full package with an event planner typically includes conceptualizing an event from the very beginning, including the ceremony and reception locations.  A planner works with the clients to create a vision for the event, with heavy influence in the décor aspect.  Planners also frequently negotiate details of contracts with other vendors, such as relaying timelines to photographers and DJs.

                On the flipside, an event coordinator does not come on until a specified time prior to the event date.  For example, after an event is booked at dock580, one of our in-house coordinators begins the planning process with that client 9-10 months prior to the wedding date, even if they book a year or more in advance.  A coordinator’s planning process is geared much more heavily toward the food aspect of the event, with additional time on important services including timeline construction and the conceptualization of floor plans.  The remainder of the coordinator’s responsibility during the planning process is to document the details brought in from the clients or planner so that they can be fully executed day-of.

What happens on the day of a wedding?

                As with the early stages of a wedding, a planner’s responsibility lies mostly in décor and client relations on the big day.  Since the planner has had more involvement in the creation of the décor, it is their responsibility to see the clients’ vision come to life, prior to guest arrival.  It is also expected that a planner will keep an eye on things like off-site photos or an unruly bridal party, to make sure everything runs smoothly for the client day-of.

                Once all of the set up is done, an event coordinator’s main responsibilities really begin.  While most planners offer a ceremony coordination service, the majority of dock580’s ceremonies use our in-house coordinators.  Ceremony coordination includes lining up families and bridal party and cuing musicians for the processional.  Afterwards, it is the coordinator’s responsibility to make sure that the remaining items on the timeline go off without a hitch.  From a room flip, to the timeliness of dinner service, to being a liaison between all of the other vendors, the coordinator pulls together the details and services from a logistical standpoint day-of.  Also, since the coordinator is much more familiar with the ins and outs of that specific venue, they are heavily relied on to troubleshoot unforeseeable mishaps, day-of.

What services do dock580 event coordinators provide?

                -  event coordination, beginning 9-10 months prior to the event, including 2-3 detail meetings and a tasting

                -  menu planning

                -  timeline construction

                -  floor plan creation, complete with CAD layouts

                -  organization of the details of your event, including décor & centerpieces, dessert, the bar, other vendors,   and anything else you want to include in your big day

                -  day of set up of basic décor & centerpieces, as well as timeline execution and troubleshooting

When do you need a planner, in addition to your venue-provided event coordinator?

                Many clients are planning from out of town, out of state, or even out of country; a planner can be crucial in these situations.  Having someone who can represent your vision in person is a huge comfort.

                Time is another huge factor in deciding whether or not to hire a planner.  Many of our clients have busy work schedules, travel for work, or are still working on their degree, all of which mean they don’t enough time to fully plan their own wedding.  Hiring someone to deal with the tedious details frees you up to focus on your other goals.

                Finally, some people just don’t know all that goes in to planning.  Sometimes those of us in the industry forget that not everyone plans hundreds of weddings a year.  If you just got engaged and you have a vague idea of what you want but no idea how to get there, a planner can help you achieve your vision.

                At the end of the day, your planner and your coordinator work together to cover every base of your event to make one of the biggest days of your life everything you dreamed of.