The Mai Tai is a classic cocktail, full of island flavor and just the right amount of tropical sweetness. Thanks to Paula Le Duc and  Josh Gruetzmacher  here’s how to make the perfect, old-fashioned Mai Tai:

1944 Mai Tai

Glass – rocks/old fashioned filled with crushed ice
Method – shake and strain
Garnish – slapped mint sprig; inverted lime shell


• 1 oz. aged Jamaican Rum (we recommend Appleton VX)
• .75 oz. house-made spiced rum
• .75 oz. fresh lime juice
• .5 oz. orange curacao (we recommend Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao)
• .5 oz. orgeat syrup (we use house-made orgeat, but highly recommend Small Hands Foods orgeat as an alternative)


• Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice.
• Insert an inverted lime shell in center of the drink.
• Fill lime shell with .5 oz. dark rum.


Share your homemade 1944 Mai Tai on Instagram and tag us @snippetandink for a chance to be featured.

 Josh Gruetzmacher and Paula Le Duc Fine Catering are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.

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When you hear “Las Vegas wedding” you might imagine Elvis and kitschy drive-in chapels, but Kaylin and Garrett’s celebration was anything but. With a palette of gold, white, and black, and totally unexpected entertainment, their celebration is the epitome of Las Vegas glamour, and if you want to wow your guests then you’ll find plenty of inspiration here.


Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink


What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Make sure to enjoy the day as everything goes by so quickly. I am such a perfectionist and it is hard to sit back and rely on other people but I am so thankful I did.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Enjoy it and remember that it’s not worth fighting over the little things. Everything will work out as it should.


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Kaylin wore her grandmother’s diamond bracelet and costume earrings, and carried a pearl beaded clutch that echoed the beads on her Reem Acra gown.


Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink
Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink


The Ceremony

“We had an outdoor evening ceremony and the flowers and lighting looked stunning.”


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Your ceremony in three words.  Elegant. Celebration. “Kaylin” (as Garrett describes the wedding).

Who officiated your ceremony?  An officiant was part of our wedding package, and he was wonderful and offered great life advice.


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What was your ceremony music?  We brought in a string quartet.
Prelude: Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheerhan)
Groom’s Entrance: Ain’t that a Kick in the Head (Dean Martin)
Bridal Processional: Wedding March (Richard Wagner)
Recessional: Midnight City (M83)

What were your vows like?  Traditional.


Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink


“Garrett and I wanted to make our wedding a celebration for everyone and when you really want to celebrate there is no better place than Vegas. The weather was beautiful and all of our guests enjoyed time by the pools, the restaurants, and attending some of the shows. With no set itinerary, our friends and family were able to enjoy themselves and have a vacation as well.”


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Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink


Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  It was so amazing to see two years worth of planning come together, and the night was just beautiful. Also, we had so much fun getting ready that day. Since it was an evening wedding we had time to go to the pool then shower and head to hair/makeup. It was such a special week with friends and family.


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The Reception

“The reception was quite non-traditional. Keeping with the celebration theme and the excitement of being in Las Vegas we got creative. For our cocktail entrance we had two golden Glamazon ladies to greet our guests and set the tone for the evening. We had an aerial bartender who poured champagne from the ceiling. The band was a huge hit and the guests were heading to the dance floor before we were finished with dinner. When planning the wedding, we took all the things we liked about other other weddings we’ve attended, and brought to life our vision of making the night a true party.”


Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink
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What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We prefer neutral décor and love black and gold. This color scheme, together with all white floral elements, was gorgeous.

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  My husband was rapping on stage with the lead band singer and the guests were cheering him on. It was such a fun night with so many favorite moments, but this one in particular was priceless.


Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink


What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Chocolate with white icing. The cake had large bows with pearl broaches.

Did you have first dance song?  Since I have two left feet and Garrett was not into the idea of taking dance lessons, we decided to hire the aerial champagne artist in lieu of having a first dance. When each couple of the bridal party walked in they were announced by the band and greeted with a glass of champagne. We came in last and did a toast. We felt is was unique and exciting. Everyone is still talking about the “champagne lady”.


Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink Emilia Jane, Estera Events | Snippet & Ink
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Photography: Emilia Jane / Event Planning & Design: Estera Events / Dress: Reem Acra / Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung via Bella Bridesmaid / Suit: Ike Behar / Stationery: Studio LMC / Calligraphy: Stacey Shapiro / Makeup: Izha Zylvanni / Rentals: BBJ Linens / Band: The Golden Coast All Stars

Emilia Jane is a Snippet & Ink Select vendor.  This post contains affiliate links. 

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Smartphones, photo booths, and hashtags — today, we have more options than ever for capturing and sharing images from the big day. But what we do with these special shots can be just as important as the photos themselves!

Enter Frameology —a new online service that allows you to upload your photos and frame them directly from your computer, smartphone, cloud drive or even social media. They handle all the rest! Frameology will print and frame your photo, package it beautifully, and ship it anywhere in the US.

What makes Frameology particularly noteworthy? It’s their focus on simplicity and quality. If you choose to print one of your thousands of digital photos, it’s because that photo is meaningful, a permanent reminder of a time that was truly special for you. But Ben Koren, Frameology’s founder, realized that the process of printing your photo, finding a perfect picture frame and matching the two was a hassle. So, he started Frameology to offer something better!

Frameology‘s ease of use is unparalleled, and their dedication to good design is significant. Since a photo is one of your most important memories, Frameology treats it as such—using a fine-art quality printing process, hand-crafted frames, and lavish attention to detail.

Whether you’re framing your wedding photos or printing a senior portrait for your grandmother, there’s no better way to cherish your own special memories. We’re offering a chance to win $500 toward a purchase at Frameology, $250 for 2 Snippet & Ink readers!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post letting us know which Frameology frame is your favorite and what you plan on framing!

UPDATE:  This contest is now closed.  Congratulations to Alison and Barb for each winning $250 towards a purchase at Frameology!  

Contest begins Monday September 14, 2015 at 9:30AM PST, and ends Friday September 18, 2015 at 11:59PM PST. Winner will be selected by Snippet & Ink and announced on this post. Please note: winner must live in the United States.

This post is sponsored by Frameology

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Lauren and Chris wanted an intimate wedding that allowed them to spend time with each of their guests, and they accomplished that with an elegant ceremony and reception at Charleston’s William Aiken House. From the bride’s romantic ruffled gown to the delicious menu, we love how these newlyweds chose to celebrate their special day.


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Did you include any special items in your wedding?  I carried a clutch made by one of my aunts that included a piece of my late godmother’s wedding dress, which meant a great deal to me. My grandmother gave me a hankie that I carried as well. Something else that meant a lot to me was my something blue: my Nana couldn’t be at the wedding, so I wore a ring of hers with tiny sapphires for the night. Chris’s mom also gave me a bowl that has been in his family for many years a few days before the wedding, with a book called The 5 Love Languages, which was incredibly sweet.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Try to just trust anyone you’ve hired to plan that portion of your wedding. They know what to do, and they’ll make it great. A day before the wedding some of our flowers weren’t working out (a garland for the entryway) and Heather (from Gathering Events) had a great idea for what to do but it was something she hadn’t done before. We told her to just go with it. Also, try to take as many pictures as you can beforehand. It felt great to not worry about anything after the ceremony other than celebrating being married together and remembering those moments with our family and friends.


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Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  We chose to have both the wedding and the ceremony at one spot: the William Aiken House. We wanted an outdoor garden wedding where everyone could celebrate immediately after the ceremony and not have to stress and worry about finding another location or find things to do waiting for a reception to begin. We planned a relatively small wedding because we wanted everyone to feel casual and like we were all part of the same family, not Chris’s family and Lauren’s family or Chris’s friends and Lauren’s friends, and we wanted to spend a lot of quality time with each of our guests.


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The Ceremony

“We planned our ceremony with the help of our officiant, Melanie Murray from Weddings Your Way. She provided us with a few templates for ceremonies that she has used in the past and we customized the ceremony to our wants. One thing that was very important to us was having one of Chris’s sisters do a poetry reading at the wedding. We wanted the wedding to feel like a reflection of our backgrounds and inclusive of our families.”


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Your ceremony in three words.  Loving, playful, poetic.

What was your ceremony music?  We had a String Duo play at the wedding. One of our favorite moments was seeing Lauren’s grandmother walk down the aisle to “Moon River”.


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What were your ceremony readings?  We had one of Chris’s sisters, Katie, read “The Art of Marriage” by Wilferd Arian Peterson.

What were your vows like? Our vows were traditional. It was very important to Chris that we do traditional vows because he felt that traditional vows were powerful as they’ve been used in generation after generation – we were married using the same words of commitment that our parents used.


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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? When Chris jumped the gun on saying “I Do”!


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The Reception

“I would describe our reception as laid back and inclusive, with delicious food and drinks. One of our main goals for the reception was to make all our guests feel like they’ve known each other for years. We wanted our reception to feel like an informal cocktail party with plenty of mingling. We chose to do stations instead of a sit-down dinner so we could minimize breaks between drinking and dancing, and we had no assigned seating so everyone could get to know each other, which worked great.”


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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  My dad and I started dancing to “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and then surprised everyone with breaking out into the Twist! We even had a little bit of acting in pretending like the DJ messed up the song. Another favorite moment was when our DJ surprised us with a Backstreet Boys song after I went on in email after email about the 90s. It got everyone on the dance floor and was hilarious! My dad also gave the most heartfelt speech during the cake cutting to Chris and me.

What songs did you dance to?  Our first dance was to “Real Love” by The Beatles. My dad and I danced to “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and then broke out into the Twist, and Chris and his mom danced to “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys.

Please tell us about any other special moments from your reception.  My grandma adores Chris, so when our guests clinked their glasses one time, Chris gave her a kiss and said it was the last time. It was such a funny moment for everyone.


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Did you have a signature cocktail?  We had Pimm’s Cups served during cocktail hour. Otherwise, we had a regular full bar for our guests.

What was your wedding menu?  Deciding on our wedding menu was definitely our favorite part of the planning process (Chris had a little too much fun with the sampling of pies when we were planning the menu). Chris and I are pretty adventurous when it comes to food, and so are a lot of our friends, so we chose food that was both fun for us to try and enjoy, but didn’t scare off other people. We had three stations: Crab Cakes and Black Eyed Pea Relish, Short Ribs with Haricot Vert, and Shrimp and Grits. We ended up doing a “Southern Display” with some deviled eggs, local cheeses, and boiled peanut hummus. We had passed appetizers of Chicken and Waffles, Goat Cheese Egg Rolls, Truffle Lobster Tarts, and Smoked Salmon on Cucumbers. We were lucky that our coordinators had us go into a room by ourselves so we could try everything!

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  We served a cake that was Lemon with Lemon Curd and Lemon Buttercream, and Almond and Almond Buttercream. We also decided to do a pie station which was a lot of fun, with Raspberry Pie, Banana Cream Pie, and Pecan Pie.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  The best advice I received as a bride came from Chris’s mom: she told us to plan our honeymoon first.


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Photography: Olivia Rae James / Event Planning & Design, Floral Design: Gathering Events / Venue: William Aiken House in Charleston, South Carolina / Dress: Martina Liana via Gown Boutique / Shoes: Kate Spade / Veil:Gown Boutique / Jewelry: BHLDN / Suit: Mens Wearhouse  / Stationery, Calligraphy: Momental Designs / Hair, Makeup: Charleston Events and Makeup / Rentals: Snyder Events / Officiant: Weddings Your Way / Music: Palmetto Strings, EPIC Events / Catering, Cake: Fish Restaurant

Momental Designs is a Snippet & Ink Select vendor.

This post contains affiliate links. 

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