Elegantly Yours

Creating and Planning Events. Beautifully.

A Butterfly Party April 18, 2013

Lovely Purple & White Butterfly Theme

Lovely Purple & White Butterfly Theme

 

As the weather gets warmer we await the beautiful butterflies that will flutter around us. These dainty creatures offer wonderful inspiration for a bridal or baby shower or for a young girl’s birthday party.

 

The Decorations: The whole butterfly theme really adds an element of fantasy to the party. Go for this look of whimsy and adorn fake butterflies to the seats, shelves, and even walls around the house.

So crafty!

So crafty!

 

Look on Bugs and Blooms website to purchase cute butterfly decorations. Craft stores like Michaels have them as well. Paper, fabric, plastic, and even wooden butterflies will all look great.

 

Pink and Yellow Theme!

Pink and Yellow Theme!

 

  • Cut out butterflies out of pretty card-stock and you can hang them across the room or vertically over the table
Hanging across the table

Hanging across the table

 

Great way to incorporate the butterflies!

Great way to incorporate the butterflies!

 

The Table: Usually the centerpiece of the party, the table is a great place to incorporate butterflies!

  • Tie ribbon around the back of the table chairs
  • Place paper butterflies or the costume butterfly wings on the back of the chairs
  • For a centerpiece: Place a bunch of small branches (real or fake) in a vase and adorn with butterflies
  • Another centerpiece idea: Place flowers and butterflies in and around a birdcage

 

Rustic-looking, yet still sophisticated!

Rustic-looking, yet still sophisticated!

 

The Food:  Butterflies can easily be integrated into many desserts!

  • Attach a paper butterfly to a straw and serve in drinks
  • Butterfly-shaped cookies, butterfly cupcakes, and you can probably guess the last one, a butterfly cake

 

Even if the party isn’t necessarily “butterfly themed” these creatures are still cute decorations to incorporate into any party!

 

Springtime: A Time for Religious Celebrations April 11, 2013

Springtime flowers

 

Spring is definitely in full bloom. After a few absolutely gorgeous days, with the warm spring breeze rippling the trees, I can’t help but be reminded of the meaning of spring.

 

Springtime, besides the bunnies, flowers, and unexpected rain showers, coincides with renewal. Spring is a celebration of life, a return to joy after a dull, dormant winter. In correlation with the rebirth of life that occurs during the springtime, many religious ceremonies also occur in these months. Chances are that you are attending a Christening, First Holy Communion, or Confirmation within the next few weeks. Celebrations of these religious milestones reflect the journey into deeper faith and the sense of tranquility this brings along with the transition.

Yummy cross cupcakes

Yummy cross cupcakes

 

Planning and decorating for a Baptism or Communion can be a bit challenging because the atmosphere may be more subdued than a regular party. However, this serene aura serves as a great platform from where you can reflect the peace and innocence in these ceremonies through the party ambiance.

 

A great way to reflect this tranquility is to decorate using subtle and clean colors. A white on white color scheme will look fresh and is always in style. Tying in other pastel colors, like sky blue, a light pear green, lavender, will accentuate the table setting and emphasize the spring palate. White settings with a hint of silver or gold is a little more glam but still sophisticated for an affair of this nature.

The  sky blue tablecloths are a innovative alternative to traditional white

The sky blue tablecloths are a innovative alternative to traditional white

 

A refreshing combination of white and light green

A refreshing combination of white and light green

 

In terms of decorative food, sticking with subtle colors is the way to go. Religious-themed desserts are a cute idea; definitely a crowd-pleaser as well.

Beautifully decorated cookies

Beautifully decorated cookies

 

I have always loved the clean, crisp look of Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation parties. These celebrations have become a springtime commonplace and represent the beautiful blessings we all have in our lives. Embrace the serenity of the spring before the hustle and bustle of summer time arrives (and with it the height of wedding season)!

 

Event Speaker Diversity April 2, 2013

 

Diversity. We hear about it all the time, in news, in schools, in business, in nations. Believe it or not, diversity becomes important when we talk about events too.

 

One of the recent posts on Event Manager Blog delved into this issue. Event Manager Blog is an excellent blog covering all things event. Its discussion topics include hospitality, inspiration, planning, social media, and technology. Its editor, Julius Solaris, created the Event Manager Blog in April 2007. Solaris is a social media and events enthusiast.

 

His post, “How to Ensure Speakers Diversity at your Conference,” was a great piece on the misrepresentation of diversity among conference speakers.

 

I recently attended the OpEd Seminar, a seminar focusing on the dismal female representation within op-ed pieces in major newspapers, and Solaris’s piece on diversity really stuck with me. Solaris has attended dozens of conferences and notes that there is a serious under-representation of female speakers at these conferences. He notes that although the technology industry (the kinds of conferences he usually attends) is dominated by men, the intuitive reasoning to then only have male speakers wards off change within the industry.

 

To combat this seemingly commonplace issue, Aanand Prasad created a diversity calculator to calculate the fair representation of a given gender that should be present during an event. The calculator determines these figures according to the audience diversity. Pushing boundaries by bringing in female speakers to a male-dominated event will lead to change within this industry as well as many other industries.

 

Whether you work with events that deal with corporate speakers or not, it is always great to bring in speakers that have a different point of view. It really doesn’t matter if someone is male or female; if they are the people chosen to present at a conference, then what they have to say is probably noteworthy. All corporate and business conferences should switch up the type of speakers they have from year to year. In the end, who doesn’t love a little extra something to spice up your event!

 

 

5 Creative Easter Centerpieces March 29, 2013

Filed under: The Plans,Themes,Uncategorized — dziminski @ 5:38 pm

Looking for an alternative to the typical bouquet of flowers to adorn your dinner table this Easter? While flowers are always gorgeous, it is nice to switch up the centerpiece every now and then. Check out these creative ways to enhance your Easter centerpieces.

 

1. Eggtastic Vase

 A simple way to spice up your vase for Easter

A simple way to spice up your vase for Easter

This centerpiece is easy to make and looks great with any type of flowers and in any type of vase. Simply put eggs at the bottom of the vase and then insert your flowers around them. At my house we have a collection of handmade Polish wooden eggs. They are bright, colorful, and create a wonderful  contrast with the flowers. Use wooden eggs, plastic eggs, ceramic eggs, and I guess you could use real eggs too, but they might start to smell!

 

2. Sweet-tooth Vase

Yum!

Yum!

This centerpiece also incorporates flowers, but with a sweet twist. Pour a bag of jelly beans into a glass vase (preferably a square or circular vase) and you’ve got a cute way to show your Easter spirit!

Everyone loves Peeps

Everyone loves Peeps

Take it up a notch a outline the rim of the vase with Peeps. Snacking is allowed while creating this centerpiece!

 

3. Egg Candle Centerpiece

These eggs offer a unique twist on the typical candle. You can purchase egg shaped candles from places like Amazon and Potterybarn for about $8 for a set of 6. Place your eggs on a decorative plate or serving dish and adorn with real or fake flowers or nesting straw.

 

4. Bunnylicious

Elegant Ceramic Rabbit

Elegant Ceramic Rabbit

For a more sophisticated dinner, sleek home decor can work well as a centerpiece. This white ceramic rabbit accentuates the crystal glassware and white linens nicely. The Wisteria flowers add a cheery “Spring” element to tie the table together. Look for inexpensive yet stylish Easter-related home decor at places like HomeGoods, Pier 1 Imports, Michael’s, Pottery Barn, West Elm, and Crate and Barrel.

 

5. Nest Centerpiece

What a great color scheme

What a great color scheme

This centerpiece will add a natural feel to the table. To create the bedding that the eggs will lie in you can buy the fake twigs and small branches from your local craft store. Another innovative option is to buy a Spring wreath and then simply place the eggs in the middle of wreath. You can then re-use the wreath to adorn one of your doors! The egg situation here is the same as it was for the first centerpiece: wooden, plastic, or ceramic eggs will all look great.

 

Use your creativity and resourcefulness when it comes to incorporating an Easter theme into your table setting and centerpiece. Have a lovely day celebrating with your family and friends!

 

Simple Ideas for a Tea Party Themed Event March 13, 2013

Filed under: Themes — dziminski @ 12:58 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 

It’s a rather rainy Tuesday here in New Jersey and the rain always makes me want to just snuggle up with a hot cup of tea. Speaking of tea, a charming idea for a themed bridal or baby shower would be to host a tea party.

 

A tea party theme is a great option for a smaller-scale shower. This theme would be better for an in house-party; it will be easier to decorate and to create a cozier atmosphere with couches and comfy chairs as opposed to the banquet chairs that are found in a rented out space. Being in your own home will allow you to add more personal touches to the affair and you will not have to worry about time restraints. Plus you will save money by not renting out a banquet space. A tea party theme can also easily be incorporated into an outdoor garden party, so keep that in mind if the weather is going to be temperate!

 

Decoration Ideas:

  • Put flowers in old tea tins. Instant centerpieces!
  • Use the tea tin boxes to stack on tables. Or use them as stands where you can place the food dishes.
  • Find old tea cups at a local thrift store or garage sale. Or buy inexpensive ones at shops like HomeGoods. Put tea lights or votives in the cups and violá, tea cup candles!
  • String together dollies to make a cute banner to hang around the room.
  • Personalize tea bags to give as party favors or to use as place holders.
Tea Box Centerpiece

Tea Box Centerpiece

 

Food:

  • The classic mini sandwich. If you’re no cook, get those babies catered! They’ll still taste great and ordering them will save you time.
  • Melted brie and jam. Served with assorted crackers this dish is simply delicious!
  • Early luncheon? Quiche is a must. Eggs, cheese, more cheese, yum.
  • How about a mean gazpacho soup? Or a turkey barley soup if the party is in the winter months. Serve with a dainty side salad.
  • Anything mini. For some reason, people go nuts when food is “mini-ized”.” If you’ve already got mini sandwiches, why not go for the mini muffins, mini cakes, mini chocolates, the works. As long as the gifts for the bride-to-be or mom-to-be don’t become “mini-ized” too!

 

Sweets:

  • Ask each guest to bring a cookie, instant cookie swap. Guests can fill tea tins with cookies and take some for the road!
  • Scones. I’m not even remotely British, but I’m a sucker for a good scone. Not that you have to be British to enjoy a scone of course! Go for a twist on classic scone flavors. Try something new like cinnamon chip or pumpkin spice scones in addition to the classics like blueberry and lemon.
  • Nobody will ever deny the cuteness or the tastiness of petit fours.
  • Other elegant desserts that a Duchess would approve of include: macaroons, lemon squares, shortbread cookies, tea cakes. Think of what your guests will enjoy!
Tea Cup Candle

Tea Cup Candle

 

Of course no tea party will be complete without tea! Make sure you have sugar, cinnamon, honey, and milk available for people to perfect their teas. It’s also a good idea to have coffee for the non-tea drinkers.

  • English Breakfast Tea
  • Green Tea
  • Earl Grey Tea
  • Decaf Tea
  • Assorted Herbal Teas (chamomile, mint, lemon)
  • Any other flavors you think will be crowd-pleasers!
 

The Transforming Culture of The Sweet Sixteen February 20, 2013

Filed under: The Plans,Themes — dziminski @ 7:07 pm
Tags: , , , , ,
Pink Cake Box Sweet 16 Cake

Pink Cake Box Sweet 16 Cake

 

What comes to mind when you think of a Sweet Sixteen? An endearing father daughter dance? A lovely evening filled with laughter, friends, and decadent food? A family oriented affair? Think again. Sweet Sixteens have always found themselves at a rather discomforting intersection between girlish innocence and the adult party scene.

 

Sweet Sixteens can be fun, but their culture is changing. Too often Sweet Sixteens are an awkward combination of family, friends, teenage sass, and gaudy decorations all mashed together in an elegant ballroom or banquet space. In recent years I’ve found the emphasis on transforming the banquet room into a temporary club more prominent than ever. Instead of having a dance floor with a DJ playing family hits, Sweet Sixteens have taken a turn towards the dark, strobe light party atmosphere. Nobody can or ever will enjoy the scene of an 80 year old grandfather sitting at a party where his granddaughter and 100 of her hoodlum friends are grinding up against each other to the blaring rap music.

 

Please avoid this. The key is to map out, early on, what type of party your child is going for. Turning 16 is a big milestone and many families like to celebrate it, as they should! The issue arises when the party involves too many people from too many backgrounds. The truth is, while your daughter, or son, may want it all, all of it smashed into one party is a hazard for everyone involved. Drunk uncle Billy + crying baby cousin + math class Johnny + glitter up the wazoo may just be too much for everyone to handle at once.

 

In the end, try to find a middle-ground with the theme and ambiance of the party so some members, ahem, Gramps, won’t be terribly out of place. If your child is going for a dance party bash with all of her friends, then it might be better to have the party at venue like a teen club. More subdued family affairs will be great if celebrated at an upscale restaurant or at a small banquet space.  If you still want to celebrate the birthday with everyone, have two parties! A night out of dancing for her and her friends and then a memorable dinner with the family another night.

 

The best party will happen when there is a singular focus and not a forced compilation of everything and everyone. Spare yourself and your child the drama of a jumbled up Sweet Sixteen. After all, there will always be the wedding to plan!

 

 
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