3 Great Ways to Beat the Heat at your Summer Wedding

July 19th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

summer wedding

There’s no question about it: Summer weddings are popular. People like the idea of walking down the aisle in warm and sunny weather. Who wouldn’t?

The downside, though, is that outdoor summer weddings can be hot. Brides and grooms want the balmy climes for their ceremony, but not so much that guests are uncomfortable. Need help thinking of ways to enjoy all the plusses and none of the summer heat minuses? We’ve got three great ways!

Shade is Your Friend

On a hot day, simply being in the shade can feel 15 degrees cooler. The ceremony will probably be short enough to need no special accommodation. But make sure any outdoor cocktail hours or reception areas have ample shade. If you’re on a budget, think naturally-occuring shade, open-air roofs or strageically-placed umbrellas. In the case of umbrellas, you have an opportunity to incorporate your theme. Tenting and portable air conditioning are a little more expensive but can be worth it if the heat is significant.

Your Biggest Fans!

Handheld fans are a tasteful and elegant choice for favors. And for a summer wedding, they also serves the practical purpose of helping your guests stay cool. You may even want to have two sets: a fan with your ceremony program printed onto it for guests to use at your actual nuptials and a more ornamental (but still functional!) version as a place setting for the reception.

Stay Hydrated

Sitting outside in an afternoon of summer heat isn’t the best recipe for staying cool and comfortable. To combat the heat of the day, make sure each reception table has glasses of ice water and even a pitcher or two for refills. A cute favor or table decoration is a small spritzer bottle at each place setting. A spray of cool mist will go a long way to keeping guests hydrated and happy.

Stay cool, and enjoy your big day!

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How To Class Up Your Summer Events

July 5th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

summer event

Whether you’re doing barbecues, beach parties, 4th of July or just getting together to enjoy the warm weather, summertime is when we want to be outdoors. Summer get-togethers can get lively and even raucous, but that doesn’t mean your event can’t be stylish. Keep your summer festivities classy with a little help from us!

Decorate the Outdoors

Even the great outdoors, in all its natural splendor, can use the helping hand of someone with a deft decorative touch. Don’t be afraid to adorn picnic tables or outdoor seating areas with tasteful tablecloths, centerpieces or any of the other flourishes you use inside. What’s stopping you from bringing the indoors out?

If anything, there’s more opportunity to embellish when you’re outside. You’re not hemmed in by space limitations or the need to match existing décor. Nature is wild, so run wild with it!

Make it Sparkle!

You’re probably all sparklered out after yesterday’s Independence Day celebration, but you don’t have to stop lighting up the evening hours just because July 4th is over. Embrace the trend! Wedding sparklers come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re actually just as appropriate for summer fun as they are for weddings. (But safety considerations always apply!)

Whether you’re celebrating your new nuptials or the neighborhood cookout, everyone loves a little flair (or flare, as the case may be) in your festivities.

Barbecue with Style

Sunny days and barbecues go together like yin and yang. It’s safe to say the grill is at the center of most summer gatherings. Why not spice it up a little? Avoid fire hazards, of course, but don’t be afraid to add some ornamentation to your barbecue zone. Knick-knacks and themed barbecue gear are a fun way to express yourself, and give your friends a chuckle. We’ve all seen “kiss the cook” aprons, but there are many other options out there to suit all tastes and themes.

However you choose to decorate your summer event, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Pretty days with food and friends only come around every so often, so have a blast (and don’t forget your sunscreen)!

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Centerpiece Vases: Classic and Timeless

June 21st, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

Quick question: what’s on every table at your event that can either get in the way or be a showstopper? You might be able to think of a few things, but we’re talking about centerpieces!

The centerpieces at your reception may seem like a minor detail when weighed against the swirl of venue, photographer and florist concerns. But as they’ll be on every table, guests will notice them. The centerpieces you choose are in your event photos and are the most visible piece of décor your guests interact with. So choose with care!

You have a great many options from which to select, but it’s worth noting that sometimes, the simplest—and most classic—way can be best. We recommend using vases as centerpieces, because the look is timeless and classic. This week, we’re breaking down the different types of vases you have to choose from. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

June 7th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

mirrors

You use mirrors to spruce up your house—why not your next event? Mirrors can make a small venue look bigger, add a fun, romantic ambiance or work as your theme. Mirrors work best for indoor, evening events, and we’ve got some great ideas to help you out! Read the rest of this entry »

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School’s out! How to Host a Great Graduation Party

May 17th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

graduation party

Whether it’s high school, college or even the 5th grade, this is the season when school is over and those finishing a particular chapter look forward to what comes next. Chances are someone you love is among the graduates this year, and you’d like to help them celebrate their accomplishment. Now is the time to start planning, so here are some things to keep in mind when putting together a killer graduation party.

Read the rest of this entry »

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4 Awesome Bachelorette Party Ideas

May 3rd, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

bachelorette Party

Whether you’re in the wedding party or just a great friend, when you’re throwing a bachelorette party, you want everything to be perfect. A bachelorette party doesn’t have to be what we always see on tv. You can go big, small, loud, quiet… or somewhere in between. Hopefully, you’re familiar with your friend’s style and the style of the wedding. This week, we’ve got a few ideas to inspire you!
Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Plan Your First-Ever Event

April 23rd, 2017 by admin

Planning your first event is never easy but with preparation it can be one of the most exhilarating moments of your life. During preparation, it is important to never forget this event is for your guests. Every step of the way should have the guests in mind.

What are the key details you should keep in mind when planning your first event? 

 

Research, Research, Research

There is no test trial when planning your first event. To keep yourself organized from the beginning, manage your event through Eventbrite. In addition, it is important to research the latest trends before the event begins. Personalization is the hottest trend right now in any event. From handwritten name cards to individual parting gifts, this is the perfect way to make sure each person knows he or she is the most important attendee at the event. Natural decorations are key to creating an authentic environment for your guests. The use of seasonal plants, animal furs and bird feathers, including ostrich feathers, creates a warm and inviting ambience for the event.

Lean on Key Influencers in Your Network

It is important to think through key influencers who will be able to help you pull off the event. Months before the event begins, think through your network of friends and the gifts and talents of individuals in this network. Is your friend a calligrapher? Can a family member provide live music during the event? A friend or family member could provide the integral piece to taking the event to the next level.

Communication

There are so many components to an event, so it is vital to communicate to your team, attendees and vendors before, during and after the event. Create to-do lists for each team member so they know their specific roles going into the event. During the event, clearly label directions for attendees and have extra team members ready to answer any questions. After the event is complete, write thank you notes to the key team members and vendors who made it all possible.

Your first event will set the trajectory for your career as an event planner. Take in each moment of the event so you can remember it the rest of your life.

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What if it Rains on Your Wedding Day?

April 18th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

rain wedding day

Of all the variables that can go right or wrong on your wedding day, none are quite as far outside of your control as the weather. Weather forecasts being as unpredictable as they are, it’s hard enough to plan for an outdoor event a week in advance, let alone a year. However much you may not want gloomy weather to intrude on your bright and happy occasion, the possibility has to be considered. You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can control how you respond to her meteorological whims. In the season of “April showers,” let’s consider some options for those dreaded rainy-day weddings.

Have a Back-Up Plan

If your wedding and/or reception are outside, make sure you know venues contingency plan—and that it’s acceptable to you. Your venue should be able to move you to a sheltered location and still keep things elegant. If you know the back-up plan in advance, you won’t be surprised or unhappy. And you won’t have the stress of worrying about what will happen when. You don’t want your guests and wedding party to spend a day miserable and drenched!

Be Creative With Your Photos

Believe it or not, some of the best wedding photos are taken on rainy days. You just need to think ahead! Invest in a black-and-white umbrella as a great accessory for pictures on a potentially-rainy wedding day. Identify sites at your venue that will still work. (Gazebos and tasteful overhangs make for great backdrops.)  An experienced photographer will be able to improvise and make the best out of the last-minute change. Make sure your team has some ideas in place ahead of time, just in case!

“Rain, rain, go away!”

Stay positive. You may not be getting the precise event you’d hoped for, but you’re still getting married! There are lovely decorative touches that work indoors, and most of what you’d planned out of doors will still work. Table arrangements, centerpieces and draping might even hold up better when not subjected to outdoor weather. If allowed, consider some lovely candle arrangements, and see if you can hold some floor candelabras in reserve as a stylish note well-suited to either a wedding or reception site.

If the rain insists on sticking around, you have options, and with some planning and forethought, they can be great ones!

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How to Throw a Beautiful Vintage Wedding

April 5th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

vintage wedding

From an opulent Great Gatsby wedding, a more traditional Roaring 20s theme or something in the natty style of the 1960s, a vintage wedding is all about making what’s old seem new again. Although the vintage theme is quite popular, there’s no shortage of ways to put your own stamp on a vintage wedding.

Wondering where to start? There are tons of little touches that will make your event perfect, but hit these three main areas, and you’ll be throwing the vintage wedding of your dreams.

What to Wear, What to Wear?

Dressing the part is important when it comes to dating an era, so you’ll need to put some time and thought into making sure the wedding party looks the part. Your budget will dictate how closely you can re-create the time period you’re aiming for. But keep to the style as closely as possible, and try to make choices that won’t undermine your visual narrative.
You also have the opportunity to decide if you want family members, and even guests, to wear period attire. Although you probably won’t be able to get every guest on board, some will find the idea fun and charming. If you do want others to participate, provide them with suggestions, websites and images to help guide them.

Setting the Scene

The decorations are probably the best and easiest way set the tone for the era-specific atmosphere you’re looking for. Everything from the flowers and the grander design all the way down to knickknacks at the guest tables can speak to your larger theme. Depending on what version of vintage you’re going for, you can choose more classic centerpieces, flower arrangements and even place card holders.

Don’t Skimp on the Cake!

The final piece that’s central to any wedding is the cake, but at a vintage wedding, the bar is raised. Your choice of cake—and how it’s presented—should tie into your vintage wedding theme. Look at your cake stand, serving set and cake topper as the final touch. As for the cake itself, make sure you choose a baker with the skill to execute your vision. You might even want to spend a little extra for a test cake so you’re not disappointed on the day of.

Whatever era and style you’re a fan of, we know your wedding will be beautiful!

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What to Look For in a Florist

March 15th, 2017 by Erin K. Martell

florist

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, a birthday or an anniversary, flowers are part of almost every celebration in the world. Any event is enhanced by beautiful floral arrangements. But with so many florists and floral shops out there, how do you know which one is best for you? Here are some tips to make sure you’re choosing the best florist for your event.

Set A Budget

Simply put, flowers can be expensive. The final dollar amount for your event will depend on how elaborate your arrangements are, what flowers you choose and where you live. Floral costs can range from a few hundred dollars to as high as several thousand. If you choose a rare or out-of-season flower, be prepared to pay!

The best first step you can take is to decide on your budget, and stick to it! Get firm estimates from the potential florists you interview. But don’t be afraid to have a back-up choice in case their final proposal is more than your budget.

Find Your Style

A florist’s work is by definition visual, so ask for samples and pictures of their work. You’ll be able to confirm your florist’s decorative style is right for you and that they have the skill level you need. If they don’t have pictures to share, that’s a red flag.

Of course, you need to know your style first! The florist’s look book can also help with this. Is your preferred style classic/formal? Minimalist? (If so, you could save some money!) Or do you prefer the charming chaos of “Anything goes!” so long as it’s pretty?

Wherever you land on style, commit, and be consistent! And don’t focus so much on the flowers you forget the flower holder. Choose vases and floral stands that won’t clash with your overall theme.

Do Your Homework

Learn how much the services of a good florist go for in your area. Look for bargains, but the cheapest service is not always the best. If the quote seems too good to be true, it probably is. Pay attention to local word of mouth as well. When someone is thrilled with the flowers at their event, they won’t hesitate to tell you about it!

Did you love the flowers at your event? What were they? Share in the comments below!

 

image credit: Bara Art
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