Appeteaser

mmMMMmm...appetizers...my favorite food portion of any event.

Who hasn't filled up on appetizers at cocktail hour the last time they went to a wedding or party?

Nowadays, chefs are constantly pushing the limits with new food combinations and delicacies we never could have imagined 20 years ago. So whether you're having your party catered or cooking it yourself, let some of these appetizers inspire you because your appetizers will be making the first impression on your guests!



Lawn Games

Lawn Games are a great way to entertain your guests if you're having a party outside or a portion of the event outside such as cocktail hour. You can make it as fancy or low key as you'd like and there are great DIY tutorials online if you know someone handy ;)

Check out a few of these ideas:


It's all in the details...

Whether you're hosting a birthday party, reunion, corporate event or wedding the details say it all. You can personalize your party in so many ways and the cost doesn't have to add up.

Signs to direct guests, describe foods or the program for the day can be unique and personalized. It's easy to DIY drink straws, chair signs, photos and anything else your heart can dream of. Here's some inspiration of personalization for your next party:


Rustic Theme

The rustic theme is probably the most popular wedding theme trend for the last few years. And if you're wondering why, it's because it's super cute, easy to DIY a lot of the decor and affordable. 

You can apply this theme to almost any location and make it really casual or super elegant. Its extremely versatile which is a plus for any bride. 

Here are some rustic elements to inspire you:


Reception Hall Venues

Nowadays you have so many options to get married at locations that are out of the box! A park, the zoo, an aquarium, a farm..you name it and the space is probably rentable for a wedding. While all of these options are great, some brides still want the traditional reception hall venue. 

Pros of having your wedding at a reception hall is that the venue is mostly utilized for weddings and therefore they have their schedules and routines down! It's also sometimes nice to be able to go into a place that has set packages for you to choose from without all of the unknown expenses if you were to have it at a more unconventional location.

There are so many options out there so definitely check out your local vendor guide and wedding blogs (other brides have great recommendations) to find your dream location. 

Happy Venue Hunting!!

DIY: Hula Hoop Chandelier

The Hula Hoop Chandelier is one of the easiest things to make and adds a lot of impact to your event decor. 

You can make it with flowers, fabric, branches, lights, crystals or all of the above! You can take a actual hula hoop and wrap your material around it. Make sure you leave room for the wires to suspend it and voila! Your centerpiece has come to life. Here are a few I love:

There are tons of tutorials online but one of my favs is: http://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/handmade/how-to-make-a-hula-hoop-chandelier-pictures. If you're looking for something different for your centerpieces then this is it! 

Mother of the Bride/Groom Dresses

How exciting? Your little boy or girl is all grown up and getting married! As much as it's their day it's yours too. It's the first time you'll be seeing family members and friends in years and heck you want to look good, don't you? Who doesn't?

Don't feel like you have to wear sequins or a jacket or thick taffeta material because thats what most bridal stores sell. My advice is to not even buy your dress in a bridal store. They're overpriced and most lack variety. Check out department stores or your favorite designer. Just because you are a mother doesn't mean you have to look like one. Wear the dress that makes you feel gorgeous!

Here are some sexier dresses to consider:


Buttercream, Cream Cheese, Fondant...Oh MY!! Wedding Cakes

Wedding Cakes. An important aspect of any wedding. The cake tradition dates back hundreds of years ago starting in Ancient Rome. It didn't start out as the cakes we now know.It was usually a piece of bread of pie that the groom would break over the bride's head to symbolize the loss of her virginity and the grooms dominance over his bride.

Sounds like every modern brides nightmare! Crumbs in your hair and being submissive. Where do I sign up? Thank god tradition has evolved over time!

Wedding cakes have become so popular they are now the stars of their own reality shows. Brides and grooms are tasked with the decisions of picking what they like or what they think guests will enjoy. Do you forfeit flavor for design or vice versa?

There are so many flavors, fillings and frostings to choose from and while it can be overwhelming start with a budget! The more design, the more money. Most importantly, go with your heart's desire because you only get one wedding cake!

Some newer trends are the naked cakes (without frosting) or the roughed up buttercream. Here are some cakes to inspire you:

Entertainment @ Your Next Event: Karaoke

I know--you're probably thinking...Karaoke?! How cheesy!?

However everyone's inhibitions go down after a few drinks which I'm sure you'll have at your party so why not bring it back old school with some Karaoke?!

You can make it super charming and classy if you're having it for your wedding by creating a serene stage :

Or you can set up a kick ass stage in your home, if you're having a birthday party! 

Karaoke doesn't have to be the black sheep of entertainment in 2015! It's making a comeback and by staging it appropriately it can become a source of really fun entertainment for you and your guests!


Spectacular Florals For Your Next Party!!

Flowers are natures beauty which is why they've become a staple in decorating important milestones in people's lives. They're beautiful to look at and wonderful to smell--what isn't there to like about flowers!?

There are a plethora of floral arrangement options now a days but why not deviate from your standard centerpiece or bouquet and allow this to inspire you:

Suspended floral arrangements are stunning and can replace chandeliers, arbors and even centerpieces. Kim Kardashian made the flower wall famous at her nuptials with Kanye West and what a beautiful idea as a backdrop for your vows?!

Flowers add warmth and vibrancy to any room so I hope you consider trying one of these new trends at your next party!

Hire a Food Truck for your Next Party!

Food trucks are becoming ever more popular for events. Your guests love it and its a service that is truly unique. The possibilities seem endless when it comes to food trucks-you can find almost anything you want-which is great for the consumer!! 

You can have it as your main source of catering for your event or have it as dessert or have it as a favor for your guests so they can grab a snack on their way home!

If you have a favorite food truck you grab lunch from, go and ask them what they charge for an event! Most will run you $1000 and up. Whichever you decide, I can guarantee it's a feature that both you and your guests will love!!


Outdoor Venues

If you're like me, you love the outdoors and find the romanticism about having a party outside. It's probably all of the movies I've watched throughout the years that showcase a beautiful outdoor location as the backdrop of two people falling in love.

There are so many outdoor options that it's hard to pick just one! You can turn almost any location into a party venue. Such as these:

Backyards, the beach & lakes are all gorgeous options but you can also think outside the box: think campgrounds, the woods and fairgrounds. 

Whatever you decide, just make sure to plan for rain and have an indoor location back up or make sure to hire tents on standby!!

Stop & Smell the Roses: A Guide to Paper Flowers

They may not smell like real flowers but heck they look pretty darn close to it!

Check out these paper flowers and see how you can incorporate it into your next event:

You're probably thinking right about now...yeah they look great but how could I ever make them? Well if you have even the slightest crafty bone in your body then you are in luck. There are hundreds of paper flower tutorials online (check out pinterest), and if you have the time and patience you can truly make your event look amazing and for very little money. You can use them for bouquets, back drops, center pieces and even napkin holders!

The pros to making paper flowers are that they are extremely inexpensive, plus your saving money on florals and can reuse them for another party! However they are time consuming so give yourself ample time to play around with them and start off with an easy flower to make.

One of my favorite tutorials is: http://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/2014/07/16/20-pretty-diy-paper-flower-tutorials.html

I promise you the paper cuts will be worth it!

"A girl should be two things: Classy & Fabulous"-Coco Chanel

Attention all Brides...please take this into consideration when deciding on your bridesmaids dresses: pick a dress that makes them feel classy and fabulous!

Being in a wedding can be costly so check to see what everyone's budgets are and make sure to pick a dress that best represents your wedding theme but also that your bridesmaids would love to wear again. 

Anything goes nowadays which I absolutely love. You don't have to get the same dress for each girl & in the same color. Go crazy & mix it up. It helps to have a variety of dresses when you have ladies of different sizes and skin color. 

Bridal stores also charge much more for dresses so if you can get away with finding a dress in a department store you may be able to save some money. 

I love the sequin dresses and floral ones...they're so untraditional but are really beautiful and unique. 

Whatever you decide--remember to put yourself in their shoes and choose something that they'll feel beautiful and comfortable in. 

Happy Dress Hunting!

Let them eat Cake!

Desserts....mmm....

For those of you with a sweet tooth this is the part of the meal we are truly looking forward to. 

Kick tradition out of the window with some of these takes on a wedding cake:

If you love Oreo's, donuts or macaroons-why not make them your main event!?

A newer trend are the naked cakes...which is essentially a cake without frosting. I personally love it and think it would be an awesome option for a garden or rustic themed party however if you're a frosting fanatic you may want to skip this trend....

Another take on desserts for parties are stations. We've all heard of a viennese station or even an ice cream bar but how about these unique trends:

Last but not least, if you're having a children friendly party why not serve some good ole milk and cookies (I bet the adults eat them too!!)

Not only do I love eating desserts but I love the creativity that goes along with it.

Hope these ideas inspire you to think outside the cookie jar!


DJ vs. Band

Decisions, decisions and more decisions when you're planning an event!

And one of the most debated is a DJ vs. Band. 

Both are great entertainment options so lets explore these two a little further:

DJ:

  • Typically more cost effective than a band
  • You can play all your favorite tunes just as they were recorded
  • Can add on a lot of extras: such as lighting, favors, live musicians to accompany the tracks
  • Comes with an energetic MC that is great at keeping the party flowing and making all of the necessary announcements

Band:

  • Can range in prices 
  • Live music-who doesn't love that!?
  • Adds more ambiance to the dance floor with live musicians
  • Can create a more formal look to your event
  • Room for versatility with the music since it's being performed live.

Whatever you decide ....just make sure you hear their music firsthand so you can be assured it fits with your personality and most of all your event!

Time to drink champagne & dance on the table!

Well maybe you don't want your guests dancing on the table, especially if you rented or purchased beautiful table linens. 

At first glance, you might say-who cares about table linens-the standard white is fine! However let me point out that table linens can really give a party some character. 

Renting table linens can become costly depending on the size of your guest list and the fabric that you choose. Some options to keep the cost down is to go with a really loud fabric, enabling you to spend less on florals (because lets be honest-no one is looking at your flowers with these linens):

Or if you have a smaller guest list and you or a family member/friend is good at sewing --you can purchase some fabric and make your own.

On the other hand, a table runner on rectangular tables is always a cheaper option and can also give dimension to your table and add the character you want:

Whichever you decide, its important to think about your overall theme and how you would like your party to be presented. Linens are just one small detail but can be a huge impact! Happy designing!


When in doubt, just add Glitter!

Sparkles, sequins & glitter, oh my! For the girly-girl or man who wants to add a little shimmer to their party, sequins & glitter have never been so popular. For those of you thinking, "how can you pull this off and still make your event look elegant?"...well my answer is moderation, my friend. 

Whether it be glitter dipped glassware or a sequin dress or tablecloth....these sparkles make an impact on their own: (see below)

Who knew there was even edible glitter to incorporate on the rim of your glasses or on a cake? Yum!

So to all of you who love a little flamboyance --when in doubt, just add glitter!

Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses

Ah, the beach. What a fabulous destination for any party!? Your backdrop is your decor so you could spend minimal money on decorations...and who doesn't love breathing in the salty air?

You can make your event as intimate and cosy or elegant and refined as you'd like! It's the perfect location for weddings, birthdays & anniversaries for those looking for a coastal feel.

                                           Wouldn't you just die for this setting?!

                                           Wouldn't you just die for this setting?!

If you can't have your event on a beach, you can always have a beach theme. The dollar store or in August/September when all beach items go on sale is a great resource for snagging buckets, pails, beach balls and flip flops for dirt cheap!

Oh and did I mention favors?! In my opinion the beach theme has the best options for favors that tie in beautifully with the overall theme. Here are a few of my favs:

So whether you are having your next event on the beach or just love the theme and would like to incorporate it at your next party...have a ball with it ;)

Chalk It Up!

Chalk isn't child's play any more....adults can have fun with it too! And what better way to play with it then at your next party!? It's inexpensive and the crafts are endless!

It can also fit seamlessly into most "themes." Whether you have a rustic, vintage, industrial, garden party or modern vibe--chalk decor will be your best friend in keeping the costs down. You can even make chalk your "theme."

A 30 ounce can of chalk paint will cost you around $10 and you can apply it to almost anything! Picture frames, glassware, wood, metal, plastic...the world is your oyster and chalk is your pearl.

Below are some ideas to get you to "chalk it up":