Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Event Designing with Color Palettes, Part 2

Several posts back I showed you some ideas from MarthaStewart.com about using different color palettes to set up your event design. I promised to post some photos of a real-life example I did. I don't have as many photos as I thought I did, but here are a couple so you can get the gist of the color scheme.

This was a "Golden Birthday" theme. For those who don't know what that is, one's golden birthday is the day when the age someone turns is the same as the day in the month he or she was born. For example, my golden birthday was my 21st birthday, since I was born on the 21st day of the month. The examples below were from a party I threw for a friend of mine on her 26th "golden" birthday.
I used the colors gold, black and white throughout the event. The colors are reflected in the invitation, tablecloths, table decor, and the cake. I also incorporated a Parisian theme as well, hence the Fleur de Lis on the invitations, table, and cake.

In case you're interested in the other details, I provided cheese, crackers and grapes for appetizers and the fixings to make croissant sandwiches as a light dinner. We had lemon drop martinis as the signature drink. Take-home favors included handmade chocolate (milk chocolate and white chocolate) candy suckers in the shape of the Eiffel Tower and a mini spa gift (white sugar body scrub with a white or gold loofah). As you can see, I kept with the color palette as well as the parallel Parisian theme with every detail of the event.

I apologize for taking so long to get this post up!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Must Have: Wine Glass Lamps

You have got to check these out!!

I was checking out the Everyday Celebrating blog and came across a post from a couple of months ago talking about these AWESOME wine glass lamps (click here for the original post). I immediately fell in LOVE, so I had to post about them!

How simple, yet so amazing at the same time! I am personally one of those people who loves candlelight as a way to set a classy tone for a social engagement.

You can buy these shades, called Gorgeous Helen, from WishingFish.com. They are sold as a set of three for $14.00. Click here to go straight to the Gorgeous Helen shades.

What do you think??

Chocolate Giveaway

Hey, check out the Mermaids of the Lake blog. They are giving away CHOCOLATE from the Chocolate Apothecary, a fun chocolate "pharmacy" in Spokane. The link to the post is here. You can enter the giveaway by posting a comment on that post, and while you're at it, tell the Mermaids I sent you! :-)

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Easter is just around the corner, and I came across this fabulous idea from Martha Stewart that I just had to share!

I love this concept because it is so simple and easy to do! Notice how the same bunny shapes on the garland are also used as cupcake toppers.... and notice how those same shapes were cut out of the paper used to make the favor bags. For instructions on how to make the garland, click here.

This is a versatile concept that can be applied to any theme or holiday. Pick your shape, cut it out of the paper used to make favors, and put those cut-outs to work as decor. Voila!

FYI- Easter is on April 12th this year!

Auction Success!

I've been somewhat quiet in the blogosphere lately because in my day job I was putting the finishing touches on a large ($100,000+) fundraising event for the organization I work for. Events are a unique "beast," if you will.... I found myself using the phrase "it's just the nature of the beast" many times over the last couple of days, referring to last-minute changes, lost event supplies, volunteers, surprise guests, etc. However, I love the challenge of pulling so many unique details together to create an experience that others will enjoy. Posted below are some photos of this event, as I previously promised in an earlier post. I don't have the final tabulations done yet of the event financials, but preliminary figures are very promising. :-)

I apologize for the quality of some of these photos. I forgot my digital camera, so I tried to capture what I could during and after set-up before my camera phone died (go figure). I wish I had photos of the actual event itself with all of the guests there, but I'm glad I do have what I'm posting below:

Yes, we literally had enough stuff to fill this truck.

The mayhem of all of the auction items needing to be sorted into their sections.

The ballroom just waiting...

Hanging signs

Looking better!

The completed sports section

Just some of our many raffles

The local artist section

The celebrity section

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Monday!

I won a giveaway over at Design by Kendall (check out Kendall's blog!) and the prize is $25 to Favor Affair (check them out too!). Thanks to both of you... This makes me want to throw a party!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

SURPRISE: Advance Planning

Ok, so I have a surprise giveaway up my sleeve... but I can't tell you what it is until May. What I CAN tell you now, however, is that this giveaway is only for my blog followers. Yes, only for Creative Entertaining blog followers.

So here's the deal.

If you sign up as a follower of my blog, when May rolls around, you'll be eligible for the giveaway. Simple and easy... LOVE IT.

Why am I planning this so far in advance?

Because that's what I do! I plan events for a living. This is an event, so I planned ahead! :-) You should plan ahead too, and follow this blog now! A word of caution: signing up for e-mail updates is not the same as being a follower (but you can do both!).

Did I mention that this will be the FIRST EVER Creative Entertaining blog giveaway??

Go. Enter. Now.

Hostess with the Mostess is one of my favorite blogs. There's a giveaway this week that is SO FUN! I wanted to share the good news with you and encourage you to enter (let me know if you win!). This giveaway is from Garnish, an online supplier of packaging (I'm digging the cute name!). Why is that important? Well, presentation is everything, right?? Check out the photos below for fun ideas on how to incorporate packaging into your events, and then check out the blog post here for information on how to enter. Good luck!!

I won!!

I'm super excited to share that I won a giveaway on the It's a Jaime Thing blog (no, that's not me... we just share a great name and love for events)!! I will be receiving an autographed copy of Christina Friedrichsen's Intimate Weddings book. I can't wait to see what advice Christina shares in her book. Thanks to Random.org for making me a winner! :-) Do me a favor and check out both sites and share some love!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Event Designing with Color Palettes, Part 1

I love color! The colors you choose to incorporate into an entertaining affair will make your event come alive. The best part about designing an event using color is that it's easy to do!

Check out Martha Stewart.com. The website has four color palettes that are fun for home decorating, but I thought we could take that a step further and incorporate those same palettes into event designing. Here are the color palettes as highlighted by Martha Stewart (all photos courtesy of Martha Stewart.com):

Yellow and Orange
I envision a fun sunset or tropical theme party with this color palette.

Blue and Green
The colors blue and green always remind me of the beach, so I've been known to incorporate those colors for a beach or tropical theme. This is also a wonderful color palette for a special man or little boy in your life!

Red and Pink
This is a sophisticated color palette that's great for bridal showers, baby showers, spa parties or any others "ladies only" occasion.

Whites and Neutrals
Whites and neutrals are interesting in that you don't see them used too often as a color palette for an event. However, I like this palette because it can be used to provide a jumping off point for other brighter colors. Example: Have white tableware and tablecloths, then bring in eye-popping color through flowers and napkins.

Take a look at each of the color palettes above. Let me know your thoughts! I will post Part 2 in a little bit showing you a real-life example of using a color palette for a party.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Chocolate & Champagne Gala

I attended a fundraising event this weekend called the Chocolate & Champagne Gala. I enjoyed the concept and thought I would share it with you as a theme to replicate for your own event, either at an event facility or in your own home. (I apologize for not having any photos to share; I was working for part of the event and the lighting was horrible in the photos I did manage to take!)

The event had several components: food stations, chocolate stations, silent auction, loud auction, champagne table, and dancing. The evening began with the silent auction and food stations. Guests had the opportunity to bid on fun gifts and sample delicious food! Food offerings included a fresh pasta station, fruit and cheeses, carving station with beef, pork, and rolls. The chocolate part consisted of many tables staffed by local vendors offering their chocolate wares for your palette's delight; chocolate covered strawberries and espresso beans, truffles, chocolate candies, pretzels, and coffee. The food stations closed just before a short program and loud auction began. Once the bidding was over, a local swing band played and guests stayed behind to dance.

So, how can you adapt this event to fit your next soiree? It's easy!

  1. Food stations. Provide hot and cold food options for your guests. If your home or event space allows, consider placing food stations in different rooms (i.e., kitchen, dining room, living room, patio, etc.). This allows guests to mingle and will hopefully prevent traffic jams around a single food table. It also offers the option of providing different types of food without being too chaotic on one table. This can work well with a potluck event.
  2. Dessert station. The event I went to offered chocolate-themed desserts, but you can choose another theme if you wish, such as cheesecake, mini desserts, ice cream sundaes, etc. Allow guests to pick and choose items that satisfy their taste buds. Offer your guests an after dinner drink to go with dessert.
  3. Beverage bar. Allow your guests to mix their own drinks at a drink station. Provide the mixings for 3 recipes, and they can choose which drink to mix in their glasses. You can choose to provide alcoholic or non-alcoholic mixed drinks.
  4. Donation station. Throw a party for a good cause! Consider incorporating a fundraising or other element to your event to give back to your community. Put together a small auction (silent or loud) by asking each guest to bring a basket for the rest of the party guests to bid on. Or, simply ask guests to bring non-perishable items or cash to donate to a local charity.
  5. Dress code/theme. Most of us don't get the opportunity to dress up and attend a nice event on a regular basis. I'm one of those people who loves to do that, so I think it's a fun way to spice up an at-home celebration! You don't necessarily have to dress up in suits and heels, but consider choosing a theme that everyone will have fun with (i.e., Hawaiian, Roaring '20s, Safari, etc.).

I hope you enjoy the inspiration board above!

I am currently working on a fundraising auction for my "day job." I will be sure to post details and photos of the event once it is completed in a few weeks!