Tips and Tricks

There are a lot of tips and tricks that I’ve come across over the years. Here are a few that I’ve come to really relay on.

  1. Make Lists: This is really the only way to keep on track of all the items that are needed in all events. Everything from the Guest List to Timeline of events should be written down and updated along the way.
  2. Number People: Numbers are your guide to everything with events. Each step of the way vendors, friends and family will be asking for the numbers. When making the guest list number the guest in two ways. The first way number is each household, this will help with the number of invites you need. Remember you don’t need a invite for every person, but for every household. The second way is to number each person individually. This number is crucial because this is how the reception venue is determined and it will allow you to understand the cost of the event early on.
  3. Stick to it: This applies to many things, from your wants and needs to the budget. Have a plan and stick to it, of course over time you can bend a bit, but stick to your guns, this is a major factor when trying to counter stress of planning events. Remember you can’t make everyone happy so start with yourself.
  4. Ask for Help: This is something everyone should do, the event should not fall only on one person. For weddings the Bride/ Brides Family should not do all the work, make the Groom chip in when making decisions, this is after all his day too. The day of the event is going to be very long and stressful, so trying to shift the tasks to other people will only help make the day enjoyable.
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DIY and Events

Now my love for all things arts and crafts does go pretty deep and I have been known to hit up the dollar store regularly to supply me with my party needs.  But I want to warn all event planners out there that there is a fine line between DIY cute and DIY crap.  Events take up a big chunk of our money so I know that there is a need to cut back on some of our wants and needs for events, but sometimes we need to pull back on all the DIY excitement and just spend the money.

Centerpieces are one of those areas that you can have a DIY disaster.  DIYing 25 centerpieces is a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of money, and even though you think your project is great and people will love it, you end up at the end of the night with 15 centerpieces because no one liked what you did. It’s harsh but hey! it’s the truth.

Flower centerpieces can be expensive, but it is a sure fire hit when it comes to centerpieces. There are two ways to do them, the DIY way: buy dollar store vases and then purchase the flowers from a warehouse store like BJ’s or Costco’s and arrange them yourselves.  This is a great and cheaper alternative to purchasing them through a flower shop, just make sure you put enough of the chemicals to keep them from dying when you make them up to when you are presenting them, and make sure that they stay wet and cool, this will allow the flowers to stay vibrant and alive.  If DIYing the flowers isn’t your cup of tea, just go with the flower shop, many places will work with you and your budget to get you a beautiful arrangement, it is an expense that will be enjoyed by all and it will cut down on some last minute stress. But if you go with the shop, have realistic wants and be open to alternative options.  Flowers are seasonal, so if you are getting married in an off season and want Lilly’s, be prepared to pay for them, because they will need to be flown in special.

 

Stick to your guns when it comes to what you want and what you think you can handle before the big day, but also be prepared to be stuck with a centerpieces if your guests don’t love your creativity as much as you do.

Themes

One of my favorite aspect of planning events, is the theme. I think it is the first step in planning a good party is to lock down the theme.  After that everything from the food, to the decor to the favors, will fall into place.

The theme is the key to a good time. It sets the mood for the entire event and the better the theme the more your guests and you will enjoy it.

Many people feel that they need to have a “fresh” theme, something new and exciting so that people don’t get bored.  I say screw “fresh” and go with the classics:

Black and white: This is classic and simple.  You and your guests won’t have to go out and buy ridiculous costumes or spend thousands on new clothing.  Everything from the decorations to the decor will be simple and easy to find.  And if you really want to throw in a curve ball add one item to have color.

Back Yard BBQ: Simple and fun, who doesn’t love BBQ. Throw some burgers on the grill, add some patch work table cloths and you’ve got yourself a great time.  And for the twist do it in the winter. Grab your friends hang in the house and enjoy the best part of the summer in the cold.

Decade themes: Now everyone has been to 80’s night, or Disco night, but one way to keep it fresh is to center it around an icon movie of the time.  Pretty in Pink for classic 80’s nostalgia or Clueless for revamping the 90’s at it’s finest.  You’ll get extra points for playing music from those soundtracks, or keeping the film on in the background.

Top 5 tips to planning a good party

1) Date and Time: Do this first above all other aspects, doing so will allow you to choose the location and get first dibs on what you really want. Allow yourself to have an alternate date if you must have a specific venue.  If you do not book far enough in advance many places can be booked up especially during peek event seasons.

2) Venue: If you don’t have a specific venue in mind already, choose up to 3 venue’s for an event.  This will allow you to broaden you themes and not get stuck if your first venue doesn’t work out. Also this will help you find something that you may have not thought of originally.

3) Theme: The theme to an event will make or break an event.  It is hands down one of the most important aspects to any good event.  This will allow not only you to focus your party but will set the mood for all of your guests. The theme will allow guests to get excited for the event, and the most fun will be seeing your guests show up in their party outfits.

4) Food and Beverage: Coming from a big Mediterranean family, the first question that is asked before our events, is what are we going to be eating? Food and Beverage are the two main focal points to any and all great events.  People want to enjoy the food and drink and you want to dazzle your guests with how creative you are.  The same ole chip and dip, and cheese and cracker displays are out. In are innovative hors d’oeuvres, main entree’s and specialty drinks. Food and beverage are also the biggest expense that people will deal with at events.  One way to cut the cost of having an open bar is to do beer and wine, or create your own signature cocktail.

5) Music: Whether you have a DJ, a band or just a good ole fashioned boom box, music is a requirement for a party.  People want to dance, shake off the stress of the work week and let loose.  There is nothing worse than going to an event when you want to dance and the music is horrible.  Word of advice do not play the music that you like, if you like 50’s rat pack GREAT! If you love East Coast Rap WONDERFUL! But do not play them solely at your party, play top 40’s, throw in some old school line dancing, and your guest will have a great time.  People will not always love your taste in music, and the best stuff to dance to has a good beat to it and something people can follow along with….And please for the sake of all things good in this world…Don’t do a conga line.

 

Candles at Events

My public service announcement of the week to every and all party planners out there: Use Unscented Candles or Flame less Candles at events.

Unscented Candles allow you the option of having the ambiance that you want while not making your guests sick.  When you use a scented candle during a party the smell can be over whelming for many people and it could start to give people headaches.  So between the smells, lights, and noise you guests could start dropping like flies.

Another thing with scented candles they will change the flavor of the food.  If you make/ serve a delicious three course meal, you want your guests to smell those flavors and not the pumpkin pie candle in front of them.

If you must have a scented candle at your event make it only ONE scent, and use it sparsely, this will allow you to have the scent without making people overwhelmed by it.

Flame less candles are another great alternative to real candles.  These are cheaper in bulk and if you search around you can find some with different colors, shapes and sizes.  Also remember many places do not allow real candles due to safety hazards, so flame less is your only option. But it does not have to be dull or boring if you get the right kind and if you jazz them up with your holders and centerpieces.

Also people will get to take them home without the fear of getting wax all over them.

The Dollar Store and Me

The dollar store is hands down my all time favorite place to shop for events.  Everything from the favors to the decor can be bought there for a fraction of the price of big name party stores.

Each season the dollar store has a ton of variety to choose from, and has just about everything you need for events. Christmas is right around the corner, they have all sorts of garland, Santa serving plates and cookie boxes that any one will need to help with the decor.

If you are planning a baby shower, go there for your invites to your favors to your games.  Two of my favorite new baby shower games are paint the onesie and decorate the diaper.  At the dollar store you can get all the arts and craft supplies needed and still have some great options for your guests to get creative with their designs. The more craft supplies that you offer the more laughs you’ll have when you are going through all the onsies for the new little one.

My love for the dollar store runs deep, and if you haven’t taken a stroll through your local store, do it before an event, it could save you big especially on favors.

One new trend in engagement/weddings, is engagement photos.  Some way to utilize those photos is to order wallet size of your favorite snap and put it in the frame.  Dollar store has frames for only $1 and you can order large quantities from their website . When the wedding’s over send a new photo from the day of you and your new spouse to each guest to put in the frame.

Centerpieces are a make it or break it type of expense.  You put them on each table and in the hopes that people will take them when they leave.  A sign of a good centerpiece is people fighting over it at the end.  The last thing any couple want’s is to have 20 left over hand made centerpieces sitting around in a box in the attic, and get mad that they were a waste of time and money.

The dollar store offers a lot of different options.  One thing to do is buy some stem wear and decorate the table with a couple different size glasses with unscented candle’s in them and some confetti around the edges.  This will give your wedding some sparkle and ambiance to the room, and people can take them home and either use them day to day or set their own tables to match.

Event’s and more

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my new blog! This is just an introductory post so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

I decided to start a blog because I feel that I can help people easily plan a party.

Over the next few months I plan to be writing and sharing posts about events, themes, and helpful tips and tricks.

That’s it for now! If you’d like to be kept updated with my posts “Like” this post or subscribe to my blog.