So it's clear we are in the business of entertaining and planning amazing celebrations. But sometimes when it comes to hosting our own parties with friends and family, we like to just go simple and keep the budget low. Not to mention, they are usually put together quickly because of our crazy schedules!
For all you other "we meant well" hosts/hostesses, with little time and budget, here are some quick things you can do to turn your household items into custom Halloween decor (and back again).
We are going to let this video speak for itself. Nothing but magic on this special night in Rhode Island. Thank you Last Take Films!
You're engaged! Congrats! Now what?
Whether you are one of those people who has been planning your wedding since you were a child or you never thought about until all of the sudden you're engaged, these 3 tips can help get you on the right path to take those next steps to plan your special day before you even look at a venue.
Get on the same page.
Each couple has a different dynamic and we see couples of all varieties. Sometimes it's a partnership and they work together to plan the day. Sometimes the bride takes it all on and just tells the groom where to show up. No matter what, talk it through with your partner. What are their expectations for the process and what's important to them? It's also a great communication exercise to prepare you for that adventure that comes after the wedding :)
Here are some question to help get you started:
The topic no one wants to talk about is really one of the most important pieces. You can't start looking a venues until you decide how much you have or are willing to spend on your wedding. Not only how much is an important decision, but where is the money coming from? Is family contributing? Are you doing it on your own? This will help give you some perspective on what your options are.
**Tip, if you aren't sure how much you want to spend, I like to compare it to the "$" symbols that OpenTable uses to describe restaurants. How do you want people to rate your wedding as if it was an OpenTable listing?
$ - $100 / person
$$ - $100 - $200 / person
$$$ - $200 - 400 / person
$$$$ - $400+ / person
***the per person cost encompasses your whole budget divided by how many people - not just f&b
Think About Who You Want There
This is a key piece. Thinking about who you want there can be a big driver in location. If you're thinking about a destination wedding, but would never get married without your grandma who is too old to fly, this may put that into perspective. Guest count also will help frame your venue search, budget, and overall vibe of your wedding. A 50 person wedding is very different than a 200 person wedding, and where you think you'll fall is important.
Have more questions? Contact us! We can help.
More and more we meet couples looking to put together a "backyard" type of wedding. Whether it be in a rented barn, field, or their actual backyard, they often think this is the easiest way to achieve their rustic wedding dreams while saving money!
I hate to break it to you, but i'm here to report that it is never as easy or cheap as you think. Don't get me wrong! I fully support this trend and they actually have become my favorite weddings to coordinate because the opportunities for personalization are endless! But with all those opportunities for details comes the task of how you actually can make them happen out of thin air. Before undertaking this massive wedding project, let me share some tips with you that save you from day-of chaos and that it has all the comforts of an existing venue.
DISCLAIMER: These tips may come off negative and as though i'm trying to persuade you not to do this. That's not the case! I just want to be honest and frank with you so that your wedding planning process is as enjoyable and seamless as possible.
Hire a Planner
I fully recommend that you hire a full-service planner to be by yourself during the whole process, but if this isn't in your budget, a day-of coordinator atleast is necessary to make this all happen. A full-service planner can help you along the way to ensure that you've thought of every logistics. Trash, power, lighting? Maybe your tent company is installing lighting so your tent looks gorgeous, but have you thought of how people will be able to see getting back to their cars? A planner can remind of these things AND make them happen. If a day-of coordinator is more your speed, just think of this, when you're sitting in the chair getting your hair and makeup done for the most special day of your life - are you going to be able to answer vendor calls looking for directions or setup your escort cards? Perhaps you may be able to, but let me promise you, you don't want to and you shouldn't! It's YOUR day.
Full Service Caterer
Full-service catering can mean many things, but mainly, make sure that you are bringing in a caterer who is going to help clean up plates, trash and clear left over food. This is not the case with all caterers, especially for these types of events, so ensure that you've talked through these details with them so your family isn't the clean-up crew at the end of the night.
Take a 360 View of Your Venue
When you're planning the floorplan and guest flow, make sure you are looking up, down and all around. What is the ground like? Will people be able to walk on it or do we need flooring? Again, lighting, will people be able to see where they are going?
Also in this category is your neighbors. Be conscious of noise and disturbances that may not go over well with your neighbors. Be sure to talk to them ahead of them (maybe even invite them!) so that nothing disrupts the party!
Prepare for Weather
This may sound obvious, but ALWAYS have a plan B. Any portion of your wedding that could be affected by rain (or even wind or cold) should be addressed and have a backup plan. Tents are great, but does your tent come with sides? If it's cold, windy and rainy, a tent overhead won't solve all your problems. It's also important to talk these through with your vendors. Entertainment such as DJs and Bands who have instruments will be very sensitive to the elements, so ensuring they feel comfortable with your plans in place will prepare you for a lot of day-of concerns.
Let it Go and Remember what Matters
Weddings in general are vulnerable to stress and obstacles, but "build your own venues" come with their own folder of challenges. The key is to remember what is important to you and being flexible to help make that happen. Do you want to have a bumping 3-hour dance party? Make sure your dancefloor is secure and your DJ is comfortable. Do you have a family of foodies? Make sure your caterer has a great workspace and everything they need to deliver a seamless experience. At the end of the day, you are marring the person you love and it is the start of an amazing next chapter. If you can focus on that, you can handle your wedding :)
Over the past 5 years, Nashville has exploded as one of the top Bachelorette destinations in the country. Groups of girls have been packing up their cowboy boots and heading for the country music capital of the world. Whether a country music fan or not, there is something for everyone that will guarantee to leave a lasting impression of this colorful city.
Here are our Top 5 insights with something for everyone in no particular order....
#WhatLiftsYou Wings Mural
One quick trip to Michael's and $5.00 + 10 minutes at home and I had an even higher rush than the one I would have received from buying that adorable one at Home Goods.
So here's what I did to create a seasonal bulletin board. Keyword: SEASONAL! You can change the look of it as much as you change your attitude and design space.
What you Need
Set just 35 minutes north of Boston is Lynch Park. The expansive park lies in the middle of a residential neighborhood which makes it hard to stumble upon unless you are directed. In addition to multiple picnic tables, walking paths and a small beach, you'll find a gorgeous rose garden, enclosed by a beautiful brick wall and looking out to ocean views. Even though the park is very busy especially during peak season, the rose garden can be reserved for private events.
Location: Beverly, MA
Associated Costs: Permit, Chair Rentals (if needed)
Transportation: Parking Lot (Parking can be arranged for free for your guests)
Bonus Selling Points:
- Steps from the waterfront!
- Photos, photos, photos. In addition to taking advantage of the beautifully landscaped floral garden, literally steps away you can have a waterfront shoot. Best of both worlds!
We have been lucky enough to plan events all over the world. Even if we are traveling for professional reasons, we always try to slip in some fun and explore as much as we can.
Las Vegas is one of our favorite places in the United States. That's definitely a personal preference because we understand it's not for everyone, but if you enjoy food, entertainment, gambling, shopping, adventure, recreation - literally just about anything - you can find something for you!
We have traveled there professionally, in our 20's with 9 other girls, even with our parents for their 60th birthday, so we like to think we've seen a little bit of all the sides of the city.
Here's our Top 5 insights that work for ANYONE planning a trip to lively destination. In no particular order.....
Cirque du Soleil - ANY
Larz Anderson Park is a gorgeous option for anyone looking for a peaceful outdoor ceremony. The location options within the park are endless and you can't pick a bad spot for a bad backdrop.
Associated Costs: Permit, Chair Rentals (if needed)
Transportation: Free Parking Lot
Bonus Selling Points:
- Swans, SWANS! There are swans that live in the park. People pay extra for that!
- Photos, photos, photos. The park covers 5+ acres and includes natural options for you and your partner to venture off with your photographer and photos of a lifetime.
In the world of Pinterest and Etsy, some type of unique banner is almost required when hosting a celebration. Through the years, we have have put our crafting gloves on and created many burlap triangle banners for our clients. They're so easy and fun to make, we thought we should share it so anyone can have at their next occasion.
What You Will Need
1. Lay out the vinyl on a flat surface.. When you go to peel the vinyl, you will notice one side is clear plastic and the other is the actual vinyl. Make not of which is which. I find it best to draw on the plastic side because any residual lines will come off when you peel the plastic.
2. Draw your first shape and cut it out.
3. Place your shape on the middle of one of the banner pieces. Be sure to place with the clear plastic side facing up.
4. Heat your iron to about 300 degrees. I like to use a piece of wax paper between the shape and the iron to protect both. Cut a piece of wax paper and place on top of your shape.
5. Place your iron on top of the wax paper and hold for approximately 30-45 seconds.
6. Remove the wax paper and peel up a small corner of your shape. The vinyl should stick to the burlap and cleanly separate from your clear plastic. If it doesn't clearly separate, put the iron back on for another 20 seconds.
7. Your shape should then be adhered to the banner. If your shape still seems like it needs additional heat, you can place the wax paper and iron directly onto the vinyl for another 20 seconds.
TIP: Do not leave the iron on there for more than 20 seconds to avoid bubbles or over-melting of the vinyl.
Voila! Now you have a beautiful custom burlap banner! Enjoy.