Top Tips for a Relaxed Rehearsal Dinner

As our family had the privilege of recently hosting our own rehearsal dinner,  I want to share some thoughts while they are still fresh in my mind.  Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is held the night before the wedding and hosted by the groom’s family.  It’s the vehicle to gather the close family, attendants, officiant and bridal couple together, break bread, and fellowship together, and kick off the Big Event with food and merriment.

Take a look at these top tips for a successful, relaxed rehearsal dinner ~

1. Choose a style that is distinctly different from the wedding.

Not wanting to compete with the black tie optional wedding, we went the other way – a pizza truck!  Here we used black and white gingham tablecloths from steve mckenzie’s, pulled up a wood-fired pizza oven food truck, and served ice tea, beer and wine.  Father of the groom, Atlanta interior designer Steve McKenzie created the lush winter floral arrangements.  Festive color-coordinated napkins from Dot and Army completed the table.  More about their easy napkin rental program soon…

The wedding is the main event, so offering a different experience to the wedding party gives them a more complete weekend.


textiles, gingham, dot and army napkins, floral
Black and white gingham fabric anchors the tables in the window-filled venue. Floral by Steve McKenzie

2. Consistent Details

Any well done event, especially a wedding, follows a curated path of carefully chosen details.  From the save the date to the invitation to the floral, consistent colors, fonts and written tone set the stage for your special day.  The groom’s love of outdoors and hunting were celebrated with custom stadium cups, monogrammed napkins and photo booth props.

Custom monogram by Sequins and Lipstick
hunting, Etsy, lips
Photo props by Captivating Creations
Carter McKenzie, Jill McKenzie, The Homestead_GA
Groom + Jill aka Mom

3. Choose the Rehearsal Dinner Menu Secondly to Wedding Menu

The wedding menu plays a starring role in the event, and the budget.  Tastings are held, serving pieces are surveyed, table-cloth colors are coordinated, all these details culminating in this once in a lifetime event.  The rehearsal dinner should coordinate with this evening, not compete with it.  Southern Crust Catering food truck provided this complement to the sit-down dinner on Saturday night.

rehearsal dinner, Plaza Towers, Atlanta GA
Bride + Groom
Atlanta GA, Serenbe , green Chevy truck
Southern Crust Catering
Southern Crust Catering, rehearsal dinner
Hot pizza on a cold night!
roses, winter, floral
Floral by Steve McKenzie
A moonlit magical rehearsal dinner!
 Cheers to your next celebration!  Hopefully these tips lay the groundwork for many special evenings for you and yours. All photos by Christina Wedge Photography




Annie Mae’s Pantry: A Little Cafe with a Lot of Soul

Atlanta’s food scene has a new player, Annie Mae’s Pantry just off Northside Drive and Interstate 75 in Atlanta, and put it at the top of your list.  Guided by her own culinary philosophy, Andra Hall (she also owns CamiCakes, a well-known bakery with 5 Atlanta and 2 Jacksonville, FL locations) presents a menu based on “The Four S”es: “Simple. Soulful. Savory. Sweet.”  Here she pays homage to her late paternal grandmother, Annie Mae Norton and is reflective of Hall’s rural upbringing in Monticello, FL, a lazy town situated 30 miles northeast of Tallahassee.

Founder Andra Hall
Andra Hall

Think regional food, like fresh seafood, garden vegetables and “sweets”, as Andra’s family called dessert.

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At our table, it’s a toss up between the Yard Bird (chicken), Fishing Pole Finds (top contender here is Annie Mae’s signature Fried Fish and Grits), Brown Bag Sandwiches and Sweets.  These cakes and pies are definitely worth the splurge!

Image 84

Whether you carry out or enjoy the comfy bistro setting, linger longer as you enjoy these homemade meals with your friends and family.

Annie Mae’s Pantry is located at 1700 Northside Drive, Atlanta, GA, just north of our showroom.  See you soon!



Top 3 Tax Organization Tips

One of our very favorite bloggers and organizational-guru is here for Tastemaker Tuesday and we couldn’t be more excited to share her feature post here with you today!

Carrie Peeples, of Neatsmart is a witty and wonderful person. We become fast friends at last year’s Southern C Summit, and she even worked her organizational magic in the steve mckenzie’s Interior Design workspace., Carrie listens to your organization needs and expertly create memorable combinations we’d never think of pulling together.

Read on to learn about Carrie’s top tax tips from the organizational point of view, saving you time, headache and maybe even some money!  I’ve added some cute home office ideas at the end too.

Continue reading “Top 3 Tax Organization Tips”

Merriest of Christmas Greetings!

Merry Christmas dear friends, family, clients, customers and team members!! We wish you the happiest holiday and pray you spend the day with your loved ones, enjoying this special time together.

And don’t forget, take a minute to put your feet up, relax and be IN the moment…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Holiday greetings from our family to yours!

We hope you spend the holiday with the ones who are most special to you. And enjoy those leftovers!

We look forward to seeing you in the steve mckenzie’s showroom tomorrow for our Black Friday specials – there are some great deals to be had; and don’t forget about our free gift wrapping service!!

The Top THREE Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for Holiday Guests

Hosting holiday guests may seem daunting, but we’ve got three easy ways to refresh your home for guests – and they’re all 30% OFF right now, at steve mckenzie’s, so they won’t break the bank!

  1. Pillows. New pillows can instantly- and beautifully – update any sofa, chair, bed, chaise, settee, etc…. you get the picture. And has steve mckenzie’s got a fantastic selection for you! Here are a few of our current favorites:
This “Southern Toile” design, by Adam Trest, is an absolute stunner in person and available at a fantastic price point – especially given our current promotion! And it’s offered in a range of colorways, including this delicious cranberry red, ideal for the holidays.
Add a touch of sparkle with this sequin and linen pillow in a greek-key inspired design. A design like this will go with just about any decor and will be a memorable touch for guests!

    These polka dot linen pillows, based off of Steve’s fine art, will add a sense of fun a whimsy to a space!

Lamps. Not only will a new lamp help brighten a dim space, they can provide a bit of sparkle in a room, jewelry for your current home decor ensemble, if you will. A fantastic lamp can also provide a stunning sculptural element and add needed height on tables which may be lacking. But, a good lamp can be hard to come by. Good thing you have access to the experts, and a glorious selection at steve mckenzie’s; including these:

Blue and white is a timeless combination for interiors and when done in the chinoiserie style, looks effortlessly stylish!
A desk lamp perfectly placed in a guest room offers such a warm, thoughtful touch. And the gracious lines of this lamp are sure to add a designer touch!

Throws. Much like pillows, a new blanket or throw can do so much for a space. It can add the perfect pop of color to your bedding, offer loads of texture when draped over the corner of a sofa or provide softness and warmth set over the back of your Adirondack chairs near the fire pit. Here are a few fabulous options currently in stock:

And remember, all of these – plus SO many more – are available at steve mckenzie’s, 30% off now, through the end of the holidays! Please stop in today for best selection and let one of our team members help make selections both you, and your holiday guests will adore.


How to Set the Perfect Autumn Table

Earlier this fall we had the pleasure of collaborating with Lisa Rieves, owner of The Front Porch of Vinings, to design a dinner party bursting with the colors of autumn and BIG on style. The backdrop could not have been more perfect; we staged our table setting in Lisa’s beautiful home and this provided direction of the rest of decor.

As you know, we love starting with floral and the centerpiece for party was no different! Floral was purchased from Trader Joe’s the morning of the event – this really gave us that fall color and helped establish the palette. Our selections included roses, gerber daisies, sunflowers, and little petite daisies.  But we think the actually came from a walk together with Lisa through her beautiful garden gathering hydrangea, ferns, branches and vines. We set the centerpiece in a lovely lichen and moss-covered urn Lisa already had and combined the greens and flowers for an abundant, yet casual arrangement. The floral, coupled with Lisa’s beautiful distressed candlesticks, set the stage for the rest of the tablescape.

We then turned to Lisa’s gorgeous open shelves, abundant with dishes, glasses, serving pieces and more – this is when the fun really began! Lisa purchased her Gien and Le Jacquard Francais from our showroom and it looks just stunning presented this way in her home!

As the base for our placesettings, we chose these beautiful, boxwood placemats, which can be found at The Front Porch of Vinings. The green makes such a lovely, lush grounding for the charger and dishes, coming up next…

We then turned to this beautiful Pont aux Choux (in Cream) as the charger from Gien. We love the detail the scalloped handles provide.

The dinner plate is Gien’s Pont aux Choux in Taupe, which sets an earthy, autumn tone to the overall setting.

The Gien Chanterelle dish acts as our salad plate and offers detail and interest to the overall setup.

We then completed the placesetting with a Chanterelle collection bread plate, Gien soup bowl (in Taupe) and vintage silver-plate cutlery, tied with twine from The Front Porch of Vinings, and a Le Jacquard Francais napkin.

For the beverage service, we used a beautiful cut-glass stem vessel as well as a Ball Mason Jar to add a bit of that down-home, comfortable fall feel.

Here is a quick look at the layers all coming together:

The finished look combined with the floral created a truly magical fall evening!

Together, Steve and Lisa had a wonderful day setting the perfect autumn table!

We want to thank Lisa for opening up her beautiful home and collaborating with us on this fun dinner party.

*All photos by Katheryn McCrary Photography