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I don’t know about you, but before a lot of us here in the office can even entertain the thought of getting our day started, we need a nice warm cup of joe. Whether we brew a cup just before we run out of the door or brew a cup in-house on our Epting Keurig, we all love our coffee. Sometimes when we feel like we’ve planned the ultimate event, it is someone’s birthday and we want to treat them to something nice or we just need an extra special pick-me-up, we’ll grab our coffee elsewhere and 1000 Faces is one of our favorite stops.

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1000 Faces is a local coffee roaster that was founded in 2007 by Ben Myers. He grew up in California and later studied ecology at Berkeley University. Ben still runs the roaster and continues to inspire his employees to view all aspects of coffee, the growth, harvest, transport, roasting and brewing, through an “ecological lens.” 1000 Faces was not always at its current location on Barber Stree; the roaster was first born in a small garage in Winterville where Ben was able to learn the ins-and-outs of the roasting industry. Once Ben had soaked up all the available knowledge, he moved his business to its current, quaint location on Barber Street. Ben named his roaster 1000 Faces after a book written by Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.  The book includes a series of stories that highlight cultures around the world. Campbell was able to convey how similar the cultures turned out to be and therefore developed a concept he named, “the monomyth.” According to Alex Reubert, a 1000 Faces colleague, “The name “1000 Faces” fit because of how well the connections Campbell made between religion, culture, and myth paralleled the way our company draws together coffee, people, and place.”

The roaster prides itself on buying high-quality beans from farmers that believe in promoting sustainability within the environment so that they can be considered a speciality roaster. In turn, the land the coffee is grown in is better treated, the farmers are paid more for their product and the coffee is outstanding. “The best thing about being a specialty coffee roaster is that we get to have some say in where the coffee industry is going, and agriculture in general. Only 3% of the world’s coffee is considered “speciality,” but as more and more people’s concepts of quality and ecological responsibility shift, I’m sure that number will grow,” said Alex.

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The Espresso Savio is 1000 Faces’ best selling coffee. It is a three-part blend that can be put through an espresso machine. So, in other words, as you sip your cup of coffee you would notice tastes of fruit, chocolate and earthy undertones, as well as a creamy consistency. If you are looking for a colder beverage to fight the heat, the roaster also now offers a cold brew coffee. It is nutty and chocolaty brew that will definitely satisfy not only your caffeine needs, but also give you something refreshing to sip on while out in the hot Georgia sun.

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Customers can purchase 1000 Faces coffee in a number of places around the Athens community, like the Daily Co-op and World Famous (and Harry’s? check). The roaster also hosts cupings at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Imagine a cupping to be like a wine tasting, but replace the wine with specialty coffee. All cuppings are open to the public. Tours of the roaster can also happen anytime from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. According to a blog post from 2009, “Usually we are so hyped up on caffeine we start dancing. I would estimate that there is more dancing per workplace at 1000 Faces than anywhere in Athens or greater Southeast (during daylight hours). Alex let us know that this statement still rings true today, so don’t be alarmed if you see the 1000 Faces crew showing off their dances skills whenever you stop by for your caffeine boost!

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The Epting Events family cannot get enough of 1000 Faces coffee and cannot wait for the new additions to their menu. We hear that a Nicaraguan coffee called Finca Idealista is in the works that has a chocolate and fruit taste to it, and you can bet we’ll be one of the first in line to try it! The atmosphere in 1000 Faces is one that can’t be beat and we are lucky enough to be a quick drive down the road. “The next time you run out of coffee, or just need a breath during your daily routine, stop by the roaster and refuel. Part of my job is to be there for people that come by and want to talk about coffee, or anything, really,” says Alex. So keep 1000 Faces in mind whenever you brew your last cup of coffee at home, you’re running around Athens and need a jump start, or if you’re just simply looking for that special cup of joe.

Writer: Desiree Sullivan
Photographer: 1000 Faces

Screen shot 2014-07-23 at 3.40.29 PMIt is no secret that we love to plan parties, but what most people don’t know is that planning holiday parties are a company favorite! In order to prepare for the holidays, Chef Janice and our new Food and Beverage Director, Russel Stalvey, worked together to present a variety of tastes for the entire sales team to try. This year was our first year celebrating Christmas in July, but no worries this will be an annual event! The menu highlights included: a jalapeño and cranberry chicken meatball with pretzel sticks, turnip dip, a vegan inspired farro grain dish, deviled eggs with paprika seasoning and a whiskey sour spritzer. Each bite incorporated a unique combination of flavors that was out of this world. Needless to say, each serving dish was left completely bare as the entire company feasted on the holiday spread. Look for these items and more as we continue to plan for the upcoming holiday season!

 

Writer: Desiree Sullivan
Photographer: Desiree Sullivan

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You just threw the party of the year, but the night isn’t quite over yet. As your reception is coming to a close, you still need to end the night with a bang. But what is the best strategy to leave your guests wowed and get stunning photos? For this how-to thursday, we are helping your getaway get noticed.

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1. Choose a great song

Nothing sets the mood like music, so as you are saying goodbye to your guests, make sure your DJ plays a song that is fun and exciting. Everyone has been on the dancefloor all night and they want to keep the party going. We found this great list to help you choose the song that is right for your exit!

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2. Consider changing clothes

Change out of your wedding attire for your grand exit to grab peoples’ attention. We usually see brides change into a shorter sassy dress and the groom following suit by wearing something a little more casual. If you want to go in an unexpected direction, change into something less traditional that showcases your personality as a couple. If everyone knows your husband is a sports fanatic, allow your man to wear his favorite team jersey. Of course, as with all our blog posts, this is just an idea. There are many people who love the classic getaway photos in the wedding dress and suit, so go with the outfits that captures the mood you want to convey.

 

3. Have some festive props

Chances are, when your parents got married, the guests at their wedding threw rice or flower petals for the grand exit. Now there are even more options that create a perfect photo-op. At Epting Events, we LOVE when the couples use sparklers for their exit. Each person gets a chance to hold a sparkler while the couple leaves the venue. It creates an enchanting atmosphere and the pictures are always gorgeous! We have also seen other brides use streamers, confetti or balloons to achieve the same effect.

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4. Leave with style

When you and your husband are leaving for your honeymoon, drive off in your dream car. Here at Epting Events, everyone knows that Lee can’t get enough of old-time cars. They are a great way to make a statement with style. The cars are classic yet charming at the same time. If you are more of a modern couple, see if you can rent a sports car or borrow one from a friend if you are on a tight budget. For the more whimsical and natural couple, show off your personality by making your getaway on decorated vintage bikes.

 

5. Share an Epic Kiss

All of your closest family and friends gathered together to witness you become man and wife. You sealed the deal with a kiss, and the whole crowd cheered.  Now that you are married, give them something else to cheer about. As you are getting into your getaway car, share an epic kiss with your husband. Tell your photographer beforehand that you want to make sure they capture that moment. The photos will be beautiful and it will be a wonderful final memory of the night.

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Check out these photos for more creative inspiration! How fun do these all look? We would love to get feedback from y’all. What getaways have grabbed your attention? Tweet your favorite photos and ideas to @EptingEvents

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We have all been told that distance makes the heart grow fonder. Russ and Peggy are a true testament to this belief. The couple’s journey is a beautiful example of how true love can really conquer all. The love Russ and Peggy share has never wavered, even when faced with a distance that spanned continents. Not only did their love stay true, but it also grew and transformed into a bond that can now withstand the test of time.

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Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 1.19.28 PMRuss and Peggy said their I do’s in front of 250 of their closest friends and family on an awe-inspiring overlook at Historic Smithonia Farms on May 24, 2014. The decor was rustic sleek and intertwined splashes of green, deep purple, peach and coral. As if it was straight from a storybook, their ceremony painted a breathtaking picture as the couple promised their forevers on a hill top just as the sun began to set.

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After the ceremony, guests were led to a courtyard for cocktail hour. The courtyard was draped in bulb string lighting and a guitarist played while guests sipped margaritas on the rocks with a salt rimmed glass. Hors D’oeuvre’s were also provided and had a pinch of southern flare. They were a hit during cocktail hour and included chicken salad cups with red grapes and tarragon, fig and goat cheese crostinis and fried green tomatoes with remoulade sauce.

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For dinner, the happy couple chose a menu laced with that good ol’ Southern charm. Guests were able to visit different stations throughout the venue and dine on some fantastic dishes. The shrimp table and the carving station were a hit among all the party-goers. The highlight of the carving station was a silver meat dome that featured a succulent beef tenderloin that fell right off the bone. Guests were also served a moser salad with toasted walnuts and feta cheese, garlic mashed potatoes and yeast rolls. Russ and Peggy’s wedding reception also had a dinner buffet. Guests were served fried buttermilk chicken, roasted “Hill” vegetables, rice pilaf, butternut squash gratin, roma tomatoes with a mozzarella cheese salad and one of our Epting specialties, cheese biscuits.

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After dinner,  the entire wedding party joined Russ and Peggy as they celebrated their happy day. Everyone danced the night away in celebration of true love and the newlyweds. As the party came to a close, the newlyweds joined hands and ran through a tunnel of loved ones and a shower of confetti. It was a truly unforgettable night! The entire Epting family wishes Russ and Peggy the best of luck as they embark on their new adventure. We sincerely thank the couple and their families for letting us be a part of this special day!

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Writer: Desiree Sullivan
Photographer: Tessa Marie Photography

Creativity often sparks the grandest ideas of all. Take Thomas Edison for example, some people called him crazy, but he crafted an ingenious invention that will forever be useful, the light bulb. Creature Comforts Brewing Company believes in just that, creative innovation. The brewery lives by a motto that is fit for Edison himself: “Creature Comforts is driven by the promise that a curious mind leads to better living.” So in other words, they wholeheartedly live, breath and crave curiosity.

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Creature Comforts is Athens newest brewery and we just knew we needed to blog about them after providing decor and draping for a recent photo shoot at Creature Comforts with Lauren Carnes Photography and Chancey Charm.

Inspired by the Classic City itself, a group of friends set out to construct a brewing company that brewed the finest sip of craft beer that the Southeast has ever tasted. The first ingredient to the dynamic group who founded Creature Comforts is David Stein. He had developed a love for craft beer while working at multiple well-known craft establishments and had been concocting some of his own brews at home that he was calling, of course, Creature Comforts. Adam Beauchamp, a friend of David’s, is another important ingredient. With his experience at Sweetwater Brewing Company in Atlanta and practice with home brewing, Adam was the perfect fit to run the production side of their company. The final ingredient of the team needed to be someone who could handle the business side of the project, this is where Chris Herron, the CEO of Creature Comforts, comes in. With his experience in sales, finance, and alcohol suppliers, he seemed like a good fit. But it was his love of craft beer and dream to start a brewery in Georgia, that made him a perfect fit. Katie Beauchamp, the office manager and Blake Tyers, a brewer and what the team calls their “fountain of creativity,” round out the Creature Comforts family. It is the combination of these unique ingredients that sparked the light bulb of creativity that is Creature Comforts.

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Creature Comforts brews their beer in a historic warehouse that was once a Chevy Dealership in the 1940’s and most recently the building housed a Snow Tire Co. The architecture alone is one of the most interesting parts of the brewery. When driving down the street of the brewery you will notice that the Creature Comforts building, Cine and the Athens Biotest Plasma center all have the same structured facade. Keeping true to the building’s origin, the brewery left the Snow Tire Co. sign in its original place to preserve the historic nature of the venue.

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Once inside the brewery you will notice that the ceiling is completely open to a beautiful rustic, vaulted ceiling that exposes structural beams. The beams were once covered by wooden planks, however the team was able to repurpose the ceiling wood and reconstruct them into table tops and bar tops.The reclaimed wood was given a whitewash to provide an elegant backsplash to the rustic finishes, brushed concrete flooring, stainless steel and copper accents, and Edison lightbulbs scattered around the venue to ultimately create an industrialized chic look that we absolutely love! As a result, the brewery has won an outstanding rehabilitation award, granted by the Athens Heritage Foundation. The venue in itself is rustic chic and the perfect space to host any upcoming parties, events or simply to have an afternoon brew to help spark your next grand idea.

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Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 3.18.01 PMNow comes the good part, the beer. Creature Comforts’ brewing process is broken down to a science, literally! They even call their tasting room the beer lab. They have four signature beers that are on tap year round: Reko Reclaimed Rye, Bibo, TropicaÁlia, Reclaimed Rye and Athena. These crisp, freshly brewed craft beers are the heart, soul and inspiration behind the entire operation. The Creature Comfort signature beers can also be requested at local restaurants around the Athens community. Creature Comforts has recently begun offering specialty craft beers along with their regularly featured taps. For example, Reko Reclaimed Rye is an evolution of their rye amber. They’ve added one of our favorite ingredients, Ethiopian Coffee from 1000 Faces, to create an entirely new taste for all to enjoy. Often times all you need is a splash of creativity and splash of coffee to concoct an entirely new (and yummy!) drink for all to enjoy!

The Epting Events family could not be more excited for the Creature Comforts family as they continue to embark on their exciting journey of becoming a top craft beer hub of the South. And of course we are beyond excited to drink their amazingly delicious beer (the Reko Reclaimed Rye is one of our new favorites)! Sometimes all it takes is a simple idea, like a light bulb, to launch a revolutionary movement that has the momentum to take over the world. While we do value all the practical uses that the Thomas Edison’s light bulb provides, we are not ashamed to say that the Creature Comforts beer revolution is a little bit more satisfying to our taste buds.

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Writer: Desiree Sullivan
Photographer: Lauren Carnes

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Everyone looks forward to receiving his or her slice of scrumptious cake during the reception of any wedding. However, more and more brides are opting for less traditional forms of dessert. These treats can range from simple cupcakes to more complicated delicacies, such as personal banana pudding cups. When planning your wedding, think of the dessert portion of the meal as an opportunity to share your personal favorites with guests.

 

Wedding Cake

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 4.02.52 PMYou really can’t go wrong serving cake at your wedding; honestly, who doesn’t love cake?In fact, greater quantities of couples are choosing to provide guests with a groom’s cake in addition to their traditional wedding cake! The groom’s cake allows guests to sample more fabulous flavors. Furthermore, more and more couples are using the groom’s cake to add somepersonal flair to their wedding. Follow in the footsteps of these creative couples and add some personality to your groom’s cake!

 

Cupcakes

Cupcakes are aScreen Shot 2014-07-10 at 4.03.46 PM wonderful dessert option for virtually any wedding. These bite-size treats lend themselves to a more diverse array of delicious flavors and eliminate the stress involved with cutting a wedding cake. Cupcakes can also be utilized to create a unique dessert display. For example, it is possible to arrange these miniature cakes to mimic a bride’s gown for her bridal shower or simply place them on a multi-tiered cake stand to replicate a traditional wedding cake. Use your imagination– the possibilities are endless!

 

Dessert Bar

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 4.04.39 PMRecently, brides have forgone the traditional wedding cake and instead opted for a more diverse spread of various treats by creating a dessert station at their wedding. This concept allows guests to try a little bit of everything and provides couples with countless opportunities to make their wedding unfScreen Shot 2014-07-10 at 4.04.50 PMorgettable. Add some personality by providing both the bride and the groom’s favorite childhood treats! Our favorite dessert bars are featured on our Pinterest page! For example, the dessert station featured above includes cake pops, cupcakes and several more traditional cakes. Talk about a sugar overload! Follow us for more inspiring ideas on how to spruce up your wedding reception.

 

 
Pralines

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 4.06.11 PMHere at Epting Events, pralines have become a way of life. At our events, guests are able to watch as an attendant slowly stirs a copper pot full of these sweet, southern treats. By allowing guests to view the warm pralines being made and smell the delicious melting sugar, brides are turning a simple dessert into a memory that no one will forget!

 

 

Wedding Favors

These end-of-the-night gifts are a good way to sneak in an extra dessert for your guests! Our favorite wedding favors include locally made candies, such as Goo Goo Clusters from Nashville, Tennessee, and s’mores making kits! Your guests will appreciate the fact that you put some extra thought into your gifts and truly made them your own.

Writer: Savannah Saltsman

 

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Every girl dreams about marrying her best friend. For Ashley not only was she marrying the love of her life, Brandon, but she was also marrying her best friend. The two were obviously in love as it was rare to see either one of them without a smile on May 3rd. Ashley’s infectious laugh made the day enjoyable for all and Brandon couldn’t have been more excited on the day that he would finally get to call the girl of his dreams his wife. Ashley and Brandon were able to share their love story with 170 of their loved ones as they started the next chapter of their lives.

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The couple’s special day was fun, casual, and full of rustic Southern charm. They enlisted Bethany, an Epting Events coordinator, to help plan the event. “Working with Bethany was the absolute best! I loved that she got to know Brandon and I as a couple and kept our personalities in mind with every decision she helped us make,” Ashley said. “Bethany was even able to help perfect the smallest of details. She knew there were things that were very important to us and she made sure those were perfect! With other things that weren’t as important to us, she would make suggestions based on her experience or what she thought was best,” said Ashley. “Mr. Epting, too, was incredible. We loved the personal interaction with him and we knew we were in good hands.”

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The Hill was Ashley and Brandon’s favorite venue from the start, “From the moment we pulled on to The Hill, we had a good feeling. The beautiful gardens, the incredible Farmhouse… it was unbelievable!” And so, the couple started their forever in the Sunken Garden at one of Lee Epting’s favorite venues, The Hill, right here in Athens, Ga. Imagine a whimsical backyard wedding filled with white roses, peonies and light peach accents. The floral department at Epting Events had the honor of crafting Ashley’s bouquet as well as the bouquets for the rest of the bridal party. It was our absolute pleasure to also decorate the ceremony and reception with our handcrafted flower arrangements.

Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 11.31.12 AM“Our wedding day turned out to be better than we could have even imagined. The weather was perfect and all of our favorite people were in town,and we had Epting to help host our day. Bethany and her team were so calm and confident, which made Brandon and I relaxed the entire day! Every little detail was taken care of and they made sure they did what was best for our event, even if it wasn’t something we planned before,” Ashley said. After the beautiful couple said their I do’s, the guests were led to a reception area to eat and toast the newlyweds.  The lawn housed a full bar and the guests were able to sample a variety of hors d’oeuvres including baked crab dip, pecan praline cream cheese with butter crackers and spinach dip with pita chips.

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 For dinner Ashley and Brandon chose multiple buffets. At one station guests were served moser salad with sliced strawberries, roast beef with Queen Elizabeth sauce, cheese grits, roasted “Hill” vegetables and yeast rolls. At the Southern High station guests had the option of pulled pork with apple butter BBQ sauce, leek mashed potatoes and country green beans. The chicken station was also very popular because of the chicken pot pie, green peas and our very own Epting cheese biscuits (check out the story behind them here). And of course we can’t forget about the dessert station! Ashley and Brandon’s wedding cake was a 3 tier cake. The spiced hummingbird cake filled out the top and bottom tiers, while the middle tier had a decadent red velvet cake. Cream cheese was the icing (literally!) on the cake.

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“The most important thing for Brandon and I was to make sure everyone was easy going and to have a blast!” the bride said. To guarantee a good time and a great dance party for their guests, Ashley and Brandon had an entire dance tent set up for the party! In celebration of the newlyweds, the entire wedding party danced the night away to a band out of Atlanta, Men In Blues. Rock, blues and jazz sounds floated across the venue as the couple and their guests danced in honor of true love. We hear Brandon has some pretty sick dance moves and definitely showed the bride and all their friends and family a great time.

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Not only was there a ton of dancing, but there was also a photobooth set up for guests to take funny and memorable pictures for the couple to laugh at after the party. The booth was definitely a hit and there were some awesome moments captured from this happy day. As the celebration came to a close, Ashley and Brandon said farewell to their guests under a tunnel of sparklers! It is safe to say that the newlyweds were beyond happy with their wedding day as well as the Epting Events team, “There was nothing Bethany couldn’t handle… Even made sure my overnight bag was at the hotel (that I didn’t know the name of or what room number we were staying in!  She is a fairy!) Brandon and I both agreed we would do our wedding all over again, as long as we had Bethany and Epting Events!” Ashley exclaimed.It was an unbelievable night that will forever be remembered. The Epting family sends the warmest wishes to the happy couple and thank them for letting us play a part in their special day!

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Writer: Desiree Sullivan
Photographer: Tulle & Grace Photography

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Ever wondered where to find fresh juicy peaches, learn how to can the sweetest of jams, and take a zen-inducing yoga class all in one place? The Athens Farmers Market is the ultimate one stop venue for all your consumer needs!

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The Athens Farmers Market is one of Athens community’s finest attractions with fantastic shopping, organic food choices, unique demonstrations and a neighborly environment fit for all family and friends! The market is hosted year round from 8:00 a.m. till noon on Saturdays and 4:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Screen shot 2014-07-03 at 4.06.00 PMUp until now, the farmers market has been held in the heart of downtown Athens as well as the Georgia Square Mall. Every Saturday, you can find local farmers and artisans selling their goods at Bishop Park. Just this week, the Farmer’s Market crowd made the shift from downtown Athens on College Avenue to Creature Comforts Brewing Company (one of our newest local favorites!) on Wednesdays! This past Wednesday was the first brewery hosted market and we are happy to hear it was a tremendous success!

 

Screen shot 2014-07-03 at 4.11.08 PMBelieve it or not the Athens Farmers Market started as only a handful of local farmers selling vegetables, fruits and other produce grown straight in their backyard. Since then, the market has grown to sell an even wider variety of locally handcrafted goods. At every farmers market you visit in Athens there will be a unique showcase of bakers, horticulturalists, cheese makers, orchardists, speciality food producers and much more! The members of the Athens Farmers Market are wholeheartedly committed to improving the business conditions of local producers, providing the community with a unique venue to buy local goods, and forming a bond between consumer and farmer that benefits all!

 

Screen shot 2014-07-03 at 4.17.29 PMBesides hosting a weekly market for all of Athens to enjoy, Athens Farmers Market also partners up with other businesses around Georgia! Their partnership with Wholesome Wave Georgia helps provide Georgians with access to great food while also improving the local food economy. Wholesome Wave Georgia partners with many markets around the state, but the Athens Farmers Market is obviously our favorite! The market also works with the Classic City Chefs Association each year to host the Autumn Harvest Feast. 

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Guests are invited to feast upon a family-style Sunday dinner and silent auction with local farmers, artisans, friends and the like in honor of the Autumn harvest. Chefs from around Athens prepare locally produced meals for all to enjoy. In fact, each ingredient is directly sourced from the Athens Farmers Market! Yours truly, Epting Events hosts the event at The Hill and helps cater and decorate the celebration. All proceeds from the event benefit two local initiatives: Wholesome Wave Georgia and the Classic City Chefs’ Association which provides financial support to young chefs with the dream of attending culinary school.

 We just can’t get enough of the Athens Farmers Market and we hope to see you this Saturday buying only the best in local goods from the best local farmers, gardeners, food processors, artists and craftspeople that Athens has to offer.

Screen shot 2014-07-03 at 4.22.40 PMCheck out these 49 awesome Summer farmers market recipes from Southern Living so that you can put all your market goodies to use! Shock the guests of your next dinner party by whipping up the grilled peach-and-mozzarella salad, they’ll think you’ve enrolled in culinary classes! Here at Epting we love Athens, we love local, and of course we love the dawgs. We would like thank the Athens Farmers Market for continuing to educate the community on sustainability and the benefits of buying local!

Writer: Desiree Sullivan

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The reception is an opportunity, more so than the ceremony, to let your individual personalities shine. You want your reception to be something that your guests will talk about for years to come, and we can help! For this How To Thursday, learn from us how to host a fun wedding reception that will prove you had the party of the year.

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1. Set the tone

The number one way to ensure that your guests have fun at your reception is by having fun yourself! People’s moods change depending on the vibe that is presented.  If you are worried about every last detail, like when the caterer will cut the cake, you’ll exude a nervous energy that guests will sense. It is normal to get butterflies before you get married, but now that the ceremony is complete, it is your time to celebrate and have fun. One helpful tip? Talk to the bridesmaids and groomsmen before the reception and ask them to help you start the dance party. If the bridal party hits the dance  floor first, others will likely follow.

2. Play great music

Of course everyone has a different opinion about what “great” music is, but match the music with the type of people you have at the reception and your own personal taste. Make sure that the music you choose will inspire people to get up and dance. You want your music to be lively and fun! We suggest encouraging guests to make song requests when they mail in their RSVP card so that everyone gets to hear their favorite tune at the reception!

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3. Keep kids busy

As the night goes on, kids can often get tired and restless. It can be a huge mood killer if kids are fussy or crying. Consider providing a kids activity book so that you can keep them happy and you can allow the parents the opportunity to get up and dance. If you’re really looking to create a certain mood at your reception, state that your event is for adults only. However, only do this if you’re prepared to defend your decision because some guests will not be happy.

4. Have an awesome photo booth

Lets face it, no matter how awesome the music is, there will always be people who don’t like to dance. Avoid this problem by providing them other activities to keep their interest. One of the best ways we have seen people liven up a party is by providing a photo booth experience. Choose some creative props that go with the theme of your event, and allow people to document their experience at your wedding. Also make sure you create a hashtag for your event on Instagram so that everyone can see the crazy photos throughout the night.

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5. Keep the party moving

To host a great party you need to keep the momentum rolling. Don’t allow there to be awkward gaps during the party. Make sure that you’ve created a timeline with your event planner and have shared it with all your major vendors. When you plan out the layout of your reception space, make sure there are enough access points to the bar and the food so that guests don’t have to wait in lengthy lines!

6. Surprise your guests

Give your guests something to talk about! Surprise your guests with a non-traditional first dance or crazy bridal party entrance. Or as the night is coming to a close, bring in a food truck with delicious desserts for everyone to enjoy. The element of surprise will help your guests to let loose and have fun.

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Follow these tips and we promise that you and your guests will have a memorable night! If you’ve already been married, tell us what you did to make your reception stand out from the crowd! Tweet us your answers to @EptingEvents!

Writer: Kristin Jones

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Even though your wedding is all about you and your groom, there are some other people that play an important part in the big day. Your bridesmaids will be standing by your side as you say “I do” and breaking it down on the dancefloor with you with you during the reception. Show your ladies how much they mean to you by making them feel special. For this How To Thursday, learn how to make your bridesmaids feel appreciated as you plan your wedding.

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1. Be respectful of their responsibilities
Part of the responsibility of being a bridesmaid is being a helping hand to the bride. But make sure that you don’t take advantage of your girls! Most likely they are trying to balance a family, a career and other friends. Your wedding is important to them but you can’t expect them to drop all of their other obligations. Don’t get upset if your bridesmaid can’t make it to your dress fitting or cake tasting. Being a bridesmaid can be extremely expensive, so keep in mind that your friends need to be responsible with their money. Do you really want matching bridesmaid shoes, or can you be content with them wearing all different styles of black heels? Your bridesmaids will feel appreciated if you cut back on unreasonable costs whenever possible.

2. Choose bridesmaid dresses carefully
One of the biggest ways you can be considerate of your bridesmaids is by choosing bridesmaid dresses carefully. Even though you are the center of attention on your big day, your bridesmaids want to feel beautiful too! Give your bridesmaids some guidelines like color and length, but then allow them to pick a dress that is flattering on them. However, if you want your girls to match, pay special attention to the cut and color of the dress. Choose something that makes everyone feel comfortable. Your wedding pictures will turn out so much better if you can tell that everyone feels confident in their outfit.

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3. Show that you value their friendship
This may seem like an obvious tip but it is important to make it a priority to be a good friend during your engagement. It can be easy to get so preoccupied planning your life with your husband-to-be that you forget about everyone else. Make sure that you get quality time with your friends outside of wedding planning. Ask them what is happening in their life and follow up if they have a bad day. Make sure to get some good one-on-one time with each girl so that she doesn’t feel like she needs to compete for your attention.

 

4. Say thank you frequently
It can be really discouraging to work hard for someone and then not have them acknowledge your efforts. To avoid making your bridesmaids feel like that, make sure you say thank you whenever you have the chance. Little things like a short card or a phone call to say thank you can make all the difference. Tell them they are doing a great job creating the wedding favors or how much it meant to you that she was willing to drive an hour with you for a consultation. Being detailed will help them see you value all that they do. Don’t be afraid to brag about your bridesmaids! Consider making a special toast in their honor at the reception.

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5. Give with gratitude
A small thank you gift to your bridesmaids can be a fun memento for them to remember your wedding. We love the idea of giving a necklace, some perfume or a silky robe to use while they are getting their hair and makeup done. Personalize the gift by giving a necklace in her favorite color, or get the robes monogrammed so each girl knows which one is hers. Or, if you are really confident with your gift giving skills, think about giving each girl something completely unique that she would love. Pick a price range so that all the girls receive something of similar value. They will be impressed that you took the time to pick out something they’ll love!

 

One last tip: remember to have fun with your best friends! We recommend calling a girls night to watch the hilarious movie Bridesmaids and splurge on ice cream. It would be a great bonding night if not all of the girls know each other yet. While you are at it, take this quiz to find out what Bridesmaids character each girl is like!

Writer: Kristin Jones

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