Elegantly Yours

Creating and Planning Events. Beautifully.

Maximizing Your Floor Space May 21, 2013

sports table top-white garden chairs-wheat grass-gold-events-planner-newport-ri


One of the most important aspects to planning any event is to Arrange Accordingly. Knowing exactly how many chairs, tables, and extra tables you need in the room can be a guessing game for some events, but these tables and chairs dominate the event space. It is important to set them up in a way that is conducive to the entire party environment. Not to mention arranging them in a way that doesn’t make the tables seem like a maze for guests.  Read on to avoid trapping guests in a claustrophobic haze of stylishly decorated chairs and tables!


Know your party size. And stick to it. Don’t continually fluctuate on how many people you think are coming.  We all know that for some events like a repast it can be hard to get a definite number ahead of time, and of course it is always good to have one or two extra settings  just in case, but try to have a ballpark estimate if you can’t get a definitive number.   It makes planning out floor space and table settings a lot easier.


Don’t overbook. If the banquet hall or room you are renting out says it can fit 100 people maximum, don’t  try to be sneaky and think you’ll be able to squeeze in an extra 40 people. Between tables, chairs, and potentially a buffet and/or dance floor, you want people to be able to move about. Nobody wants to be trapped in a corner table where they can’t move from their seat because the tables are so close together.


Be familiar with the venue. Take a look around your venue space/banquet hall prior to the event and familiarize yourself with the room shape. This will make it easier to visual where you want everything to go when you are planning out your table setup.


These tables are nicely spaced throughout the room

These tables are nicely spaced throughout the room


Account for additions. Having a dance floor? That takes up space. So does a  DJ/band, buffet tables, a gift table, any display tables, any tents, and a bar. Make sure you account for these additional aspects and that you leave ample space for your guests to access them. Trust me, you don’t want to block anyone’s path to the bar.


Draw a floor plan. Whether you are going to be the one physically moving the tables or not, it always helps to draw a floor plan and know ahead of time how you want the room to be set up. Draw in the tables, entrances, exits, and any additional elements like where the bar or DJ will be.


And lastly, some table arrangement reminders:

·         Never have a table directly in front of the entrance

·         Don’t place tables in front of exits or too close to any doors

·         Avoid placing tables directly under air vents. Nobody wants Grandma shivering the whole time!

·         Make sure tables are not too close to the buffet/bar/dessert station. Guests need to be able to mill about and linger (when deciding to go back for seconds!)


Spotlight: The Elan Catering and Events April 8, 2013

The Elan

The Elan

Can’t find a venue that offers stellar banquet rooms and an exquisite cuisine for your event? Look no further then The Elan in Lodi, New Jersey. The Elan, featuring catering and event services, redefines the traditional notion of a banquet hall.  Dedicated to exceptional service, The Elan has seamlessly integrated modern elements into its banquet halls and overall services to emphasize the celebrations that its guests gather to attend.


The Elan has recently undergone extensive renovations; it is featured in Wedding Wire’s  Bride’s Choice Awards of 2013 as an excellent venue in northern New Jersey. Whether you are planning a wedding, cocktail party, sweet sixteen, religious celebration, anniversary party, corporate retreat, or a class reunion, The Elan’s modern banquet rooms can easily be transformed into the look you want. The main event spaces at The Elan include:

The Grand Ballroom decorated for an event

The Grand Ballroom decorated for an event


Grand Ballroom: Features an expanded lobby and exquisite chandeliers. Room has two built-in bars, a marble dance floor, and a state of the art audio and visual system. Seats 400 for a sit-down dinner, 500 for cocktails and dancing.


Alessandra Room: A more intimate space than the Grand Ballroom, the Alessandra room includes elements that emphasize a classic style. Room has a dance floor and built-in bar. Seats 160 for dinner, 250 for cocktails.


Isabella Room: The smallest of three larger spaces available. Includes sound and audio and visual equipment, a built-in bar, and can accommodate a small dance floor or stage. Seats 50 for dinner, 75 for cocktails. Great for hosting small birthday parties, anniversaries, business meetings, and holiday parties.


Skylight Room: The glass dome-shaped ceiling illuminates the room and makes it a perfect location for a lovely daytime or nighttime event. Seats up to 90.  Perfect for ceremonies, wine dinners, or for use as a photo backdrop. Can host seated dinners up to 50 guests.

The Skylight Room

The Skylight Room


Beyond the gorgeous venue spaces, The Elan focuses on culinary excellence. They offer predetermined menu options that make planning your event even easier. Additionally, these menus can be adjusted to incorporate vegetarian, kosher, and gluten free options.


The menus offer specific options for the following types of events: Sweet 16s, brunches, corporate breakfasts, corporate lunches, mitzvahs, weddings, and cocktail parties. Each menu comes with the option of a buffet service or a plated-dinner service.


Many of the event packages also offer a cocktail reception that include hor d’oeuvres. Beyond cocktail hour, other cocktail stations include various options like a dumpling and wok station, a seasonal harvest station, and a Latin station. For wedding options, The Elan offers a four course dinner that include the following cocktail stations:

  • Carving station(s)
  •  Tuscan station, featuring upscale Italian favorites
  • Seafood bar with fresh and quality seafood
  • Succulent dessert bar with options including a smore’s bar, dessert shots, a cordial bar, coffee and tea service, an assortment of petite fors, and stuffed chocolate covered strawberries


The Elan is wholly dedicated to making your event memorable and offers wonderful options for all types of events. If you’re interested in planning your next event at The Elan contact them here!

The Alessandra Room

The Alessandra Room


Rent a Private Estate for Your Wedding February 27, 2013

Filed under: Venues — dziminski @ 12:49 am
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A lovely outdoor wedding

A lovely outdoor wedding


If my life was like Diane Lane’s life in Under the Tuscan Sun then I would love to host weddings and other assorted parties in my backyard. Unfortunately my backyard is not a picturesque Italian landscape. But don’t worry, the reality of the tri-state landscape teaches us a wonderful lesson about the location, location, location of an event. While there are many stunning venues, hotels, museums, and ballrooms in New Jersey and New York, there is something warm and enticing about hosting an event in a more private location.  If you’re looking for an atypical wedding atmosphere, look no further than someone else’s house. Seriously. An emerging trend in weddings is to rent a private estate for a week or weekend to have your wedding. I have been hearing more talk about renting out wedding properties and found this article on the topic from the NY Times rather interesting.


Homeowners of private residences and estates have been listing their properties on event and wedding websites to attract brides who are looking for something a bit different than the average venue. Many of these estates are in the Hamptons, and they offer an elegant, natural location for weddings (they often include beach access as well!). These venues present the perfect background setting for creating your own version of an upscale backyard wedding. They are an intimate alternative to the sometimes forced, stuffy atmosphere of a typical indoor wedding. These residences are rented out and their privacy enables you to add special touches that will transform the location into the feel you’re going for on your big day.

Oheka Castle in the Hamptons

Oheka Castle in the Hamptons


A quaint estate offering an airy and lush backyard atmosphere would be an absolutely lovely location for an outdoor wedding. My friend Stephanie has a blog about sophisticated and chic outdoor weddings called True Blue Wedding. She offers creative tips about adding those personal touches to make your outdoor wedding truly memorable. Check out her blog here!


Oheka Castle Backyard

Oheka Castle Backyard



Redefining myself. Trying to hold on to the best of the old and embracing the challenges of the new me.


life is always sweeter and yummier through a lens. bunnyandporkbelly [at] gmail [dot] com

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