The Ultimate Tailgate Party

After months and months of waiting, the wait finally over. Football season is here! If you’re from the South you know just how big of a deal college football is. As most of you know, I could care less about football. I still don’t fully understand how the game is played. But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t stop me from throwing one heck of a tailgate party.

Last week I was invited on WSFA’s Alabama Live for a quick segment on how to plan the Ultimate Tailgate Party. If you missed it, you can watch it HERE. We could talk all day long about how to throw a party, but some many people are visual learners like myself, so I decided to style a mock tailgate party. I called my friend Lauren at Milly Photography to capture it all.  2016-09-25_0007 When planning any event, wedding or party there are always a few MUST-HAVES. A tailgate party is no exception. We’ve come up with 3 things that are essential for any tailgate party. The first, You can’t have the proper tailgate party without Entertainment. Wether that’s a game of corn hole, tossing the football on the lawn or cranking up the music. It’s a must! 2016-09-26_0001 Next, you can’t have a tailgate party without you team spirit. Bring you shakers, table clothes, flags and foam fingers. It certainly adds to the festive table decor.  2016-09-25_0002 2016-09-25_0016 2016-09-25_0001 I’m the type of person that will spend extra money on fancy paper plates or cute striped straws, but I’ll buy a cheap lawn chair to save a few bucks. I’m a party planner, don’t judge me! That’s exactly what I did here– We picked up a $6.00 chair from Wal-Mart instead of purchasing one of those fancy $50.00 legit team chairs. I found these inexpensive pillows from the “Dollar Spot” at Target and with a little iron on transfer, I created a custom pillow for under $10.00. Super easy! ANYONE can do it.  2016-09-25_0014 Last but not least. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to throw a tailgate party without the proper food and drink. BBQ sliders, wings and chicken fingers are a few of my favorite easy pick-up foods. But I was recently introduced to a quick and easy sausage dip that is TO DIE FOR. You HAVE to try it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Sausage Dip

(2) 8 Ounce Cream Cheese | 1 Cup Sour Cream | 2 Cups grated cheddar cheese | 1lb of Ground Sausage | 1 can of Diced Green Chiles

*Brown and drain sausage. Mix with all other ingredients. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

If you choose to wash it down with a cocktail, we suggest doing it with a little team spirit, of course. Our friend and one of our favorite past brides, Jean helped us round up a few recipes that are sure to impress your tailgating guests. For the Auburn Fan….

Aubie Palmer Cocktail:

1.5 Old Forester Bourbon  | 1.5 Lemonade | Top off w/ Milos Sweet Tea

2016-09-26_0002 and of course, we can’t leave the Alabama fan out. A yummy fruity drink fits them properly, I think.

Yellowhammer Cocktail:

3/4 oz. White Rum | 3/4 oz. Coconut Rum | 1/2 oz. amaretto | 2 oz. orange juice | 2 oz. pineapple juice

2016-09-26_0003 and for those that choose to have a classic game soda, barqs glass bottle root beer will hit the spot.  2016-09-25_0008 2016-09-25_0005 After all those yummy eats and drinks, you have to have a quick sweet treat before entering the stadium. We stopped by Liger’s bakery for those. You can’t go wrong with THE BEST petite fours in town. Their also famous for those mint thumbprint cookies, too, but my personal fave….the Iced Sugar Cookies.  2016-09-25_0012 2016-09-26_0004 As promised on WSFA’s Alabama Live, I’m giving away a pair of tickets to the AUBURN vs. ALABAMA A&M Homecoming game. It’s super easy to win– all you have to do is comment this post. We’ll select a winner Saturday, October 8th. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. A for making this giveaway possible.  2016-09-25_0009 HUGE thanks to Joyce Hubbard for letting us borrow her Auburn Orange truck. It was PERFECT! And of course, my Granny. Those Liger’s goodies wouldn’t have brought themselves. You’re the BEST!

Evan’s Favorite Things– Day 3

It’s Wednesday— Day 3 of Evan’s Favorite Things. If you’re just now tuning in the wait is finally over. The next 3 days I’ll be posting my 8 of my Favorite Things that I couldn’t live without in 2015. If you missed the first 2 days of giveaways there’s still time to enter.  Day 1 | Day 2  2015-12-14_0004

View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/egcchristmas Day 3=  Three giveaways. Yup! You heard me, THREE. Are you ready?

This past October I planned a FABULOUS 3rd Birthday party for E+Me in Troy, Alabama and my sweet friend, Chelsea (store owner) gifted me with my first S’well Bottle as a thank you gift. Not a day has gone by that my wood grain s’well bottle bottle hasn’t been part of my morning routine.  S’well bottles are made of non-toxic, double walled stainless steel that keep beverages cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. They’re FANTASTIC. I love mine so much and I want you to have one too.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/egcchristmas If you follow my blog regularly you probably read my post “Dream Big. Pray Harder” from last week. We had a HUGE response with pre-orders for the t-shirt I designed as a fundraiser for my Mom’s trip to Costa Rica. I love the shirt itself,  but LOVE the story behind it even more and wanted to share it with one of you.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/egcchristmas I’m a big boy. I love to eat and I have no problem admitting it. My latest addiction (aside from the Oreo Truffle Popcorn]: Iced sugar cookies from Liger’s Bakery. They’re delicious. I stop in at least once a week to grab a few. That petit four icing is the secret ingredient. It’s so tasty. My mouth is watering now just thinking about them. In honor of the holidays, Mrs. Ivy and Liger’s Bakery have agreed to give one lucky winner a complimentary dozen cookies. After you taste them you’ll want them at every special event.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/egcchristmas To Enter Evan’s Favorite Things is simple. Subscribe to my blog (on the right hand side of the blog homepage under the “Video” section), make sure you click the confirmation email or it doesn’t count. Once you’ve done that pop back on over here and leave a comment in the post. You might even win extra points if you post on Instagram and Facebook and use the hashtags #evangcooper #evansfavoritethings.

Photos: Nick Drollette

Toni Is Sweet 16

Most people think Evan and Company is strictly a “wedding” related business. That’s not at all the case. We do everything from weddings, corporate events and NOW, even Sweet Sixteens. I remember laying in bed one evening watching Criminal Minds (as I do most late nights) and I heard the email alert on my phone go off. Of course, like any good business man, no matter the time,  I opened it within seconds. The email was from Julie Sanders, owner of Glow in Troy. She mentioned that she needed our help desperately planning a Sweet 16 party for her daughter. I emailed her immediately and told her I would call her and chat all the details out. After numerous conversations back and forth on dates, guest list and 324 menu revisions everything started coming together….

Did I mentioned we planned this HUGE shindig in 3 weeks. NO LIE.

Party week finally arrived and our Thursday and Friday started with vendor load at the Emporium and 500 pink roses. Oh and 700 yards of pink ribbon.  2014-10-12_0005 It wouldn’t have been a proper initiation if I hadn’t of dragged our newest (at the time) Evan and Company team along for the crazy ride. I am not sure Brian had a 4am wrap time in his mind. But he’s dang good at retrieving giant balloons from tall ceilings.  2014-10-12_0001 No party is complete without a KILLER invitation suite and Courtnie from Poppy Pedals delivered just that. Pink and gold glitter, every sixteen year girls dream. 2014-10-05_0001 And can we talk about that gold calligraphy on those pink envelopes? OBSESSED!  2014-10-05_0015 While planning #toniissweet16 I called Kim, owner of Kreative Moments with my CRAZY balloon ideas and she brought them to life. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE flowers and we used LOTS of them but I didn’t want Toni’s party to resemble a wedding reception. I wanted it to have the glamorous feel of a reception but an overall fun vibe of a Birthday party and the balloons did just that. Most people think balloons are just on a string that you pick up from a party supply store. NOT. Look at those wraps around the columns… 2014-10-05_0004 2014-10-05_0007 I’m still kind of dying over these centerpieces. They combine two of my FAVORITE THINGS, Balloons and Flowers. What do you think? 2014-10-12_0002 We even carried the balloon theme outside. The entrance was draped with pink fabric and accented with pink and gold balloon columns from Kreative Moments. 2014-10-05_0005 Didn’t your Sweet 16 party have a pink carpet too?  2014-10-05_0016 2014-10-05_0002 Honestly, this was my FAVORITE part of Toni’s party… I think Brian and I ate a combined total of 7 popsicles during a 3 hour period. If you haven’t heard of 80 Pops in Birmingham you need to know about them. The lemonade pop is TO.DIE.FOR. 2014-10-05_0012 2014-10-05_0003 2014-10-05_0017 The folks at Jennie Weller Catering always have topnotch presentation and with the addition of a custom menu chalkboard from Poppy Pedals, it’s every event planners dream. Oh the buffalo pizza was delicious by the way. 2014-10-05_0010 Can’t have a party without a cake, right? a few flowers never hurt anyone. 2014-10-05_0013 We ended the night with a 600 piece balloon drop. I was chatting with Julie earlier in the week and we decide to add this like 3 days before the party. Kim was on top of it and made it happen. SO, SO Fun!  2014-10-05_0006 The hours and hours of hard work paid off when Toni came up to me at the end of the night and said, “Thank You so much for my party. We had a blast” 2014-10-12_0003  Though I dreamed up an over the top celebration, I couldn’t have done it without an INCREDIBLE team of Vendors.

Balloons: Kreative Moments | Rentals: Brendle Rentals | Venue: The Emporium | Lighting:  Special Event Lighting | Invitation/ Paper Products: PoppyPedals | Popsicles: 80 Pops | Photography: Saxon McClamma Catering: Jennie Weller Catering | Cake: Ligers Bakery | PhotoBooth: Birmingham Photobooths | Entertainment: DJ Porta Party!!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE working with these vendors and couldn’t imagine it any other way. In ways we’ve become family working with each other weekend after weekend, but the real goes out to my team Sharon, Laura and Brian. I feel like I drive it into the ground weekend after weekend, but I couldn’t do what I do without them. They make me look good. It’s really all them. My name is just on the t-shirt. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! Love You Guys! Thanks again Julie and Toni for allowing me to be a part of such a exciting moment in your life.