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Weddings at The Mansion

Nicki Ann's Wedding Blog

In her blog, Nikki Ann shares with you her insights, thoughts, and feelings on all things women, wedding, marriage, and event-related.


October 22nd, 2010

Signature drinks are not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination. But it seems that I have been hearing more and more about people incorporating these at their weddings recently. I am actually planning on having a signature drink at my wedding. Since my colors are Tiffany blue and black, I figured I needed to go with the blue color for my drink. Since one of my favorite past times is making up drinks, I went to the liquor store one Saturday and sat down with my wonderful taste testers (my future mother- and brother-in-law) and got to mixing. The problem was getting the color to match perfectly or as close to perfect as possible. We did end up finding the perfect mixture of liquor that tasted good as well as matched the color pretty closely. I thought I would share the recipe with you as well as a few other drinks I have either found on the internet or am making up as I go. Now, I haven’t tasted some of them, so you might want to try it out before serving it to guests. I suggest having your bartenders make them in bulk for ease and speedy service to your guests.


Something Blue – My signature drink!!
1 part Vodka
1 part Blue Curacao
2 parts pineapple juice

Pour all ingredients in a shaker with ice and serve up, in a chilled martini glass.
*Alternate version: Substitute coconut rum for the vodka. My mom is allergic to coconut, so I opted with vodka in case she wants to have one.


Purple People Eater
2 oz Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
1 oz Blackberry Brandy
1 oz Cherry Brandy
1 oz Amaretto
1 oz Absolut Citron
1 Splash Orange Juice
1 Splash Pineapple Juice
1 Splash Grapefruit Juice

Pour in shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Serve in a Collins glass.
*This one contains a lot of different ingredients which can be slightly more expensive. But it is a wonderfully-yummy drink.

Another option I found for a purple drink is the following:

1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
1/2 oz Cranberry juice

Pour in shaker with ice and serve in rocks glass.
*They called this a Purple People Eater too, but I would be hesitant to agree that it is the “real” drink. Maybe you could call this Purple Passion or something.


Lemon Drop Martini
1 1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz orange liqueur (Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, etc.)
1 tsp superfine sugar (or to taste)
3/4 oz freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Pour over ice in shaker and serve in a chilled martini glass. Be sure to include either a half slice of lemon or get a little more fancy with a lemon twist.


Pink Diamond
1 oz white tequila
1 – 2 oz white creme de cacao
1 – 2 oz milk
1 splash grenadine syrup

Pour over ice in shaker and serve in martini glass.

Another SUPER easy one for Pink weddings is:

Pink Squeeze
1 1/2 oz Bacardi Light Rum
Pink Lemonade

Pour Rum into tall glass filled with ice. Fill with Pink Lemonade. Add a dash of club soda to make the drink less sweet and more “refreshing.”


Orange Crush (Ok, it is really a Creamsicle, but I like to name them something that has to do with love or weddings… makes more sense, right?)
1 oz Vanilla Vodka
Orange Juice

*Fill Collins glass with ice, pour in vodka. Then fill glass to the 3/4 mark with Orange Juice and top off with Sprite. To make this a lower calorie version (because I actually got this recipe from my fitness boot camp instructor), substitute low-cal OJ and Sprite Zero. It is actually really good this way!!


Green with Envy(because everyone is jealous of your love… get it? Ok, that is bad, but my creativity seems to be lacking today)
1 oz Midori Melon Liquor
1 oz white rum
Club soda or Sprite

Fill tall glass with ice. Pour in liquor and top with soda.
*I made this one up. So if you try it, let me know how it is :)


2 parts lemon vodka
1 part Cointreau
2-3 parts cranberry juice

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

So there you have it. I am sure you can tell I have a special place in my heart for a good cocktail. Plus, I like to make some up here and there. If you have any other recipes for drinks you have had or are planning to use for your own wedding, please be sure to share!


Save the Ta-Tas

October 4th, 2010

October is breast cancer awareness month. About 6 years ago, I lost someone because of breast cancer. She was my high school sweetheart’s mother. Karla was a wonderful woman. Always willing to do anything and everything for me. She loved me. And I loved her. Her son and I had broken up during my freshman year in college, but she and I still talked on the phone here and there just to catch up. She didn’t care that things did not work out with her son and I. When I heard the news that she had breast cancer, we hadn’t spoken for a while. Things had gotten in the way. Things such as life. I thought, “No problem. She is tough. She’ll get through this.” And she did. She beat the breast cancer. However, it was too late. The cancer had already metastasized to her brain. When I heard she was back in the hospital, I was devastated. I regret to this day letting life get in the way and not getting the chance to tell her I loved her. I never had the chance to say goodbye to her, but I know that she looks down on me and says things like, “Go for it, Nicole. I know you can do this” and “What are you thinking? Don’t be stupid.” She was very blunt and said it how it was. One of my favorite qualities in her. While the final cause of death may not have been listed as breast cancer, it was absolutely a main contributor. My main message for this post is to be self-aware. Check yourself and get mammograms regularly. This is something that CAN be beat. You just want to catch it too in time. For more information on breast cancer, please check out the Susan G. Komen website.

I did not start out writing this post to be a downer (I know I teared up writing it). I actually hadn’t even planned on writing about Karla. It just kind of came out. The unfortunate thing is that more people are touched by this disease than me. In fact, there are millions who have been affected in some way. There are quite a few ways to keep breast cancer survivors and those who have lost the battle in your hearts and minds at your wedding. The favors (shown below in the board) are actually plantable cards. These favors can be planted in a garden in memory of a loved one who may have had breast cancer. You can also create your own cards with a note on the back saying that a donation has been made in the guests’ name to breast cancer research. You would then designate a specific amount per guest to donate. Another way to raise money toward this cause at your wedding would be to turn the Money Dance into a collection to be put toward the cause. These are just a few ideas of how to give back at your wedding. What other ideas do you have??

Here is my inspiration board in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Enjoy and be sure to leave comments with your ideas!!

If you would like to donate to the Karla J. Nease Foundation, please contact me and I will get you the information.


My Vision

October 3rd, 2010

Lately, I have been doing inspiration boards for other people. I decided to do one for my own wedding. As I have mentioned, my colors are Tiffany blue, black and a splash of red. There are so many people who don’t quite get my vision and aren’t very sure of the red mixed in with those colors. I don’t think they understand that I literally mean just a SPLASH of red. Mostly in the flowers, but in small quantities elsewhere to tie it all in. The fun part is that most of the items in the inspiration board are actual pieces that will be included at our wedding. The bridesmaids dresses are the exact ones. The champagne flutes are the exact glasses. Shoes, earrings, garter… all mine. It is nice to see it all actually put together to reassure myself that I am not crazy.

Here is my latest creation. My wedding :)

Credits (clockwise):
1. Centerpiece – The Knot, Photo By: Ned Jackson Photography, Danvers, MA
2. Small centerpiece – The Knot, Centerpieces: Kay Spruell, Burkland’s Flowers, Effingham, IL; Photo By: Mark Romine Photography, Normal, IL
3. Blue and White tent lanterns – The Knot, Photo By: Shawn Connell, Christian Oth Photography
4. Invitations – Etsy – but these are from the woman who stole my money, so I don’t think she deserves credit here :)
5. Bridesmaid dress – Bill Levkoff
6. Men’s suit – The Dessy Group
7. Champagne Flutes – Bed, Bath & Beyond, Kate Spade Belle Boulevard Metal Flute Pair for Lenox
8. Cake – The Knot, Cake: Mary Niccum, Teutopolis, IL; Photo By: Mark Romine Photography, Normal, IL
9. Shoes – Paris Hilton Women’s Suarey
10. Garter – plain ‘n fancy
11. Clutch – The Social Seam
12. Earrings – Swarovski