Groom Style!

October 16, 2015 at 5:24 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

The wedding industry has no qualms about making a big to-do about the dress. And while it certainly can be a centerpiece to the entire wedding, there is something to be said for a sharp-dressed groom. Gone are the days when it’s as simple as a tux. Grooms and their groomsmen’s style now ranges from ultra casual to classic black. Here are a few ways to break from tradition and give your wedding day look a personal touch.

Since black-tie isn’t for everyone, many grooms are now choosing to go with a cotton or linen suit and opt for simple white shirts or a pattern that can be dressed up, like gingham.

If it’s a more timeless look you’re after, you can’t go wrong with a matching tie and pocket square. These can coordinate well with bridesmaids’ attire, too!

One way to tie in some personal flair is through cufflinks. Sometimes just a peek of fun is all it takes to set your style apart – these make great groomsmen gifts, too!

And don’t forget about those kicks! Another great gift (and a more comfortable way to spend the day!) is by swapping out dress shoes for sneakers or boat shoes.

What special touches did the grooms in your life choose?


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Autumn/Fall Theme Wedding & Shower Ideas

September 10, 2015 at 1:07 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

With the start of Autumn just around the corner, it’s a popular time to celebrate upcoming events. Whether it’s a shower for bride or baby or a wedding, it almost seems like a no-brainer to take advantage of the crisp air and cozy feel this time of year brings.

An autumnal theme is not difficult to carry out, no matter how front and center you want its elements to become. If you happen to choose a fall theme for your wedding and your planning begins well beforehand, stock up on décor and supplies at the end of fall the previous year when they’re marked down in price. Products are so similar from one year to the next, no one will ever know the difference!

This is probably the most obvious play on words – but a wedding this time of year will automatically make you think of “fall”-ing in love. This works just as well for a bridal shower as it does the wedding invitation, itself.

Photo From Etsy Shop

Photo From Etsy Shop: Doodlebug & peep

Pumpkins and apples are a versatile choice in food – and they make great displays on this theme.

Photo Found On Karlee’s Blog

A build-your-own caramel apple station would be a great favor or dessert table at any fall-themed event.

Photo Found Here Photo Credit: Cristel at Curiosity Garden Studios

Another sweet for the sweet? Donuts and cider! A sure crowd pleaser at any celebration

If you used a theme like “fall”-ing in love with the invitations, why not carry it out to the event itself? A banner bearing the tag line and accompanying garland would be easy to craft but also readily available on a site like Etsy!

Photo Found Here

For a baby shower, why not make the day all around the little pumpkin? This is another theme that would be great to start out with on the invitation.

Photo From Etsy shop:

From Etsy shop: Paperstrip 

All other décor – whether shower or reception should showcase the season’s best parts of nature – leaves, apples, pumpkins, pinecones, cranberries and spices all make for beautiful, simple and affordable ways to get into the spirit!

Photo Source:

Photo Found On Savvy Sassy Moms 

Happy Autumn!

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‘Ready To Pop’ Baby Shower Theme Ideas

August 21, 2015 at 2:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

No doubt about it –by the end of nine months, any mama-to-be feels like she’s ready to burst. Help her forget the uncomfortable feelings (at least for a little while) with this adorable ‘Ready to Pop’ themed baby shower! This theme lends itself to both genders as well as gender-neutral showers. From food and drink to tongue-in-cheek décor, there are countless ways to carry out this theme!

An easy and inexpensive way to kick off the theme is with the invites. Tie a balloon to the paper and use the same color scheme as the decorations for the event.

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of Teal and Lime

Luckily, “pop” is an easy word to tie in to a catchy phrase or label, one of the easiest being food. Of course there’s the obvious – popcorn.

Photo Source:

Photo Source   Photo Credit: Rebekah Meredith Photography Planning, Design, Styling: Miriam Corona Events

And cake pops! Equally sweet in pink, blue or shower-themed colors.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Startraks Photo / Rex Features (1342278cd) Food at the party Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott celebrate their daughter Stella's 3rd Birthday with a 'Hello Kitty' Themed Party, Los Angeles, America - 11 Jun 2011 Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott celebrate the 3rd birthday of their daughter Stella McDermott with a 'Hello Kitty' themed party in their backyard. Many of Tori and Stella's friends came to share in the fun and Dean treated the kids with rice krispy treats dipped in liquid nitrogen which made fog pour out of their mouths.

Photo by Startraks Photo / Rex Features (1342278cd)
Food at the party
Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott celebrate their daughter Stella’s 3rd Birthday with a ‘Hello Kitty’ Themed Party, Los Angeles, America – 11 Jun 2011

And soda pop – another great way to tie in shower colors, no matter how unique.

Photo Source:

Photo Source: Kara’s Party Ideas  Photography Credit: Megan Kelly Photography

While guests munch – or even just mingle – have them take your own version of a “pop” quiz. Include funny questions about things like cravings or baby names.

Or take bets and create a pool where guests can choose the date and time they think the little one will enter the world.

Photo Source:

Photo Source: Holy Craft 

Thank guests for “popping in” with a sweet mini champagne (save a few for mommy post-delivery!)

Or an indulgent bubble bath – bubbles do “pop” after all!

Photo Source:

Photo Source: Pop Sugar 

Congratulations! Your bundle of joy will be here before you know it!

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Some Of Our Favorite Proposal Videos!

August 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

While the bride may do a great deal of the planning leading up to “I Do,” it’s the groom who’s tasked with coming up with the perfect way to pop the question. Styles range from casual, to elaborate, romantic and everything in between. The good news is, just like weddings, there is something for everyone and at the end of the day, it’s about celebrating two people in love.

Here are some of our favorites to inspire and entertain you!

This groom takes it literally with a live lip-dubbed song and dance featuring the couple’s family and friends to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You.”

A Friday night game of Pictionary took this bride-to-be for a total loop. Props to the groom for keeping things so normal just before he popped the question!

Or, maybe you’re one of those couples that’s always known marriage was in the cards. This groom sent his love on a day of pampering and relaxation all the while knowing he was waiting at the end of it. The proposal is just as heartfelt as if she never saw it coming.

We love this childhood fairytale turned real life – it helps when you’ve got some acting skills!

Going right along with Disney – this groom asked his love to be his wife while they were making a video to “Love is an Open Door” from Frozen.

Finally, sometimes the best way to celebrate another milestone – birthday, graduation, etc. is to make it a memorable day for another reason. We like these two surprise proposals that did just that!

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Sweet 16 Party: Breakfast At Tiffany’s Theme

August 6, 2015 at 6:00 pm (Event Planning Tips) (, , , , , , , )

Darlings! Turning 16 doesn’t happen every day – make it a big one with a Breakfast at Tiffany‘s themed soiree. The 1961 romantic comedy about a café society girl is the perfect backdrop for a coming-of-age party – no expensive blue boxes required!

Tiffany & Co.’s font may be just as iconic as their signature shade of blue. The good news is, both are easier to replicate than you might think. For a fun twist on the jeweler, title your party with the birthday girl’s name instead of Tiffany.

Or use something as simple as a silhouette of the film’s star, Audrey Hepburn.

Photo Credit:

Photo Found on Rosemary On TV 

Of course if it’s Holly Golightly’s classic style you’re after, ask guests to don their pearls and black cocktail dresses. Crowned updo and cigarette holder not required, but certainly a bonus!

Photo Credit: Rent The Runway Photo Source:

Photo Credit: Rent The Runway 

Black, white and blue all over! Use any combination of those three colors and no one will have a doubt in their mind as to what the theme is. Many craft stores sell the same shade of Tiffany blue for items like plates and napkins and even in paint if you want to try your hand at homemade jewelry boxes.

 Photo Source:

Photo Source: Love and Lace 

Photo Source:

Photo Source: Design Muse Blog

There are plenty of noteworthy, girly quotes both from the film and Audrey Hepburn, herself. Make one the theme of the night!

Photo Source:

Photo Source: Pretty My Party  Photographer: A Dude and a Chick Photography

Sweet treats will likely be the name of the game – after all, it is a “sweet 16!” Desserts are also the easiest – and most natural looking when blue – food for guest to enjoy. Don a dessert table with cupcakes, cake pops, candy and other sweets dipped and frosted in blue and white.

Photo Source:

Photo Source: Lindsey Trout 

Send guests home with souvenirs of Miss Golightly’s lifestyle – photo booth props like sunglasses, pearls or a sleeping mask are all iconic and memorable.

Or hit up the dollar store for inexpensive dress up pearls and sunglasses. With or without a photo booth, these will make for some great pictures!

We would love to see photos from your event!

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July Recipe from Chef: Mahi Mahi Fish Taco with Pico de Gallo, Cabbage Pineapple Coleslaw and Green Onion Cilantro Sauce

July 28, 2015 at 8:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

We have been doing these instructional videos for about three and half years now. In that time, many people have viewed them. I was very pleased and surprised when I received an email from my old college roommate and dear friend George Richardson, whom I hadn’t heard from in over thirty years. He had watched a video which lead him to The Willow Room website and ultimately my email. George resides in La Jolla California and requested a recipe for fish. We will be doing a Mahi Mahi Fish Taco with Pico de Gallo, a cabbage pineapple coleslaw and green onion cilantro sauce. This is a great summer recipe that’s light and refreshing. This one’s for you George! – Chef Haberle

Mahi Mahi Fish Taco with Pico de Gallo, Cabbage Pineapple Coleslaw, and Green Onion Cilantro Sauce
Makes 4 servings (8 tacos)


For Sauce

1 cup green onions-sliced
¼ cup cilantro-chopped
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
½ cup canola oil

For Pico de Gallo

1 green bell pepper-small diced
½ bunch cilantro-chopped
2 large tomatoes-small diced
½ large red onion-small diced
1 lime
5 slices jarred jalapeño peppers-finely diced
¼ cup oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For pineapple coleslaw

1/2 gold pineapple-julienned
½ a head of a medium sized cabbage-thinly sliced
1/4 red onion-small diced
½ bunch cilantro-chopped
¼ cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pineapple juice

For Taco

8 flour tortillas
2 pounds Mahi Mahi
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • In a food processor or blender, combine sliced green onions, cilantro, rice wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and canola oil. Blend until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste, then refrigerate.
  • Combine all ingredients for Pico de Gallo, mix well, refrigerate for two to three hours before use.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine rice wine vinegar, sugar, and pineapple juice. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Combine all ingredients for coleslaw, mix well, let sit for 30 minutes, drain all liquid, then refrigerate.
  • Season Mahi Mahi with salt and pepper then grill until it reaches the doneness you prefer. Flake with a fork and reserve.
  • Warm flour tortilla on char-grill. Add Mahi Mahi, cheddar cheese, Pico de Gallo, green onion and cilantro sauce, and pineapple coleslaw.

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Choosing Your Wedding Vendors: Top 10 Tips

July 15, 2015 at 6:42 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Choosing your wedding vendors can seem like an overwhelming task. With so many elements to today’s weddings, you are entering into contracts with a dozen or more people who will basically handle the most important parts of your day. How do you choose the right vendors for you?

Don’t fear! Usually your venue will be the first place that can help you navigate through the endless options. At The Willow Room, for example, we offer a preferred vendor list to our couples. You can find that list on our website here.

These vendors are ones we have personally worked with and found to reflect the style and quality consistent with our couple’s expectations of our venue. They also offer special deals and incentives for our couples.

If your venue doesn’t offer something similar, you can head online and visit sites like The Knot or WeddingWire and use their search functionality to find vendors in your area.

Here are our Top 10 tips when choosing wedding vendors:

1. Set interviews with potential vendors, either via phone or in-person and make sure they understand your vision.

2. Work with people who make you feel comfortable.

3. If you get recommendations from a vendor you have already contracted, to work with another vendor, follow-up. For instance, your bakery may work with a florist. Their experience in working together will be vital in a consistent look and feel to your big day.

4. Read over the fine print and make sure you understand everything in the contract. For example, a photographer may tell you you cannot share your photos online without a watermark, while others may have a more relaxed policy.

5. Don’t always look for the cheapest price. Look for what works best for you. Every vendor has different capabilities and depending on your day, cheaper may be the wrong way to go.

6. Decide your splurge. Maybe it’s the photographer, maybe it’s the DJ. Usually there is one area of the wedding that couples really want to focus on. If dancing is what you’re all about, invest in the right DJ. On the other hand, for an outdoor daytime wedding without dancing, flowers and decor may be more important.

7. Discuss your options as a couple. If one of you doesn’t have a good gut feeling, it’s best to make another choice.

8. Ask for advice on social media and on wedding forums and blogs. You will be able to see real people’s reviews and testimonials of vendor services.

9. Do your research online. Look at vendor’s websites, social media networks and brochures, and see which ones fit with your requirements.

10. Have fun! Choosing your vendors is such an exciting part of your wedding planning. Don’t let it stress you out. Just take one day at a time and remember it’s perfectly alright to ask for help. Your bridal party, your parents, your siblings, your friends, they are there to support you as you enter the next chapter.

Any other tips you would add? Let us know!

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Picnic Theme Wedding Inspiration!

July 10, 2015 at 5:09 pm (Wedding Planning Tips) (, , , , , , , , , , )

One of the great things about getting married in this day and age is that when it comes to your reception, there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Case in point, a picnic theme. While wicker and gingham might not be the first things that come to mind, there are endless ways to bring the laid back vibes of a picnic into a wedding, no matter how casual or formal you’d like it to be. And – great news is, no need to worry about ants or rain clouds when your “picnic” is inside!


Brown kraft paper, simple doilies and the quintessential red gingham will leave no doubt in guests’ minds what to expect on your big day.

Photo Found Here:

Photo Source Here

Cocktail Hour

Why not let your guests loosen up a bit between the ceremony and reception with some activities? Face painting will be a hit with both young and young-at-heart.

Photo Source: Photo Credit: Channing Johnson

Photo Source
Photo Credit: Channing Johnson 

No matter how distinct the cocktail menu is, fresh lemonade will always be a great idea to mix in.

Photo Source: Photo Credit: Megan Evans Photography

Photo Source
Photo Credit: Megan Evans Photography

Table Décor

Make it super simple for guests to grab and go with utensils wrapped in portable bags or tied together with string to keep the carefree theme going.

Photo Source

Photo Source

Wicker will no doubt be incorporated into the décor. Even something as subtle as a miniature basket will do the trick.

 Photo Source: etsy – item is no longer available and no shop listed though

Photo Source: Etsy – Item is no longer available and no shop listed.

Same goes for gingham. Go for small touches like napkins or a bold statement like a table runner.

Photo Source  Photo Credit: Rustic Wedding Chic


Picnic food is simple and comfort at its finest. Allow guests to mingle amongst stations or tables instead of a formal sit down meal. Or make it family style with dishes passed around. Either way, let guests know what’s for dinner with chalkboard menus.

Photo Source: Photo Credit:  Red Shoes Photography

Photo Source
Photo Credit: Red Shoes Photography 

And see them off with homemade or local jam topped with what else, string and gingham!

Are you throwing a picnic-themed wedding or event? Tell us about it!

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Share Your Photos With Us!

July 1, 2015 at 1:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Happy July! The months are flying and we are excited to continue another Summer full of weddings, showers, reunions, corporate and social events. We also wanted to reach out to all of you and see if you might be willing to share some of your past event photos with us.

Over the past 10 years, we have hosted so many memorable events and seeing guests’ photos is one of our favorite things. We love being a part of so many milestones and we would love to create an album on Facebook with guest photos to share with all of our fans.

If you have held an event with us at ANYTIME over the past 10 years, and would like to share some of your favorite shots, please do so by emailing Tara at If the shots are from a photographer, please include proper credit.

Feel free to send them along anytime, no deadlines, as we will consistently update the album as we gather new photos.

Help us build a memory bank of well, memories!

The Willow Room hosts all types of events, so if you’re looking for a venue, please give us a call at 724-379-5666. We have packages to fit all budgets and our ballroom breaks down into three sections to accommodate smaller groups.

Now is the time to begin thinking about your corporate holiday party or your 2016 celebration party. If you’d like to request information on these, or any type of event, you can do so online anytime here.


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Nautical Theme Wedding Ideas

June 26, 2015 at 2:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

For all the images that come to mind when one thinks, ‘summer,’ perhaps that of the sea is one of the season’s most quintessential. After all, most would say that beaches, boats and all things blue are best enjoyed with blue skies and a cool breeze.

Not every bride has the luxury of saying “I Do” on a sandy shore, but there are plenty of ways to give your wedding a nautical twist.

Get creative with your invites. Use the coordinates of your ceremony location or antique map prints from bodies of water near where you live or either sides’ ancestry.

Photo Source:

Photo Source Photo Credit: Gus & Ruby Letterpress 

Keep things casual by having the groom and groomsmen wear boat shoes instead of the traditional formal dress shoe. This fashionable touch will double as a groomsmen gift, too!

As for the bride, a pop of navy blue and white stripes make for a darling touch!

Guest Book
Unrolling guests’ well wishes in this message in a bottle themed guestbook will aid in savoring your big day for many years to come. Large glass bottles should be easily spotted at flea markets and antique shops. Try buying a few in different sizes to make for a pretty display in your first home together as a married couple.

“Capture” guests’ cards in a lobster trap decorated with buoys that double as escort cards.

Stripes are for more than just clothing and table runners. Try decking out your dessert table with blue and white.

Sailors knots can be incorporated into almost any element of a wedding – from place holders to flowers and centerpieces large and small, they make a statement – you are tying the knot, after all!

Happy planning!

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