Getting Started on Planning my Event

WOW!  Last week I had one of the best weeks a girl could ask for.  I was able to plan three different events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Sound crazy?  Well it could be a little crazy, but with your creative juices flowing and the right planning your event can turn out          amazing

So you have a party to plan or your wedding (which might I add, will be the most important event of the century). You have this vision of what you want it to look like in your head but you don’t quite no where to start!  Well you’re heading in the right direction.

It is so important that I stay with my client’s vision so that their event can have the “look and feel” they’ve dreamt about.  Below are three key elements I start with to get my creative juices flowing while planning an event.

Event Theme

The theme should be something that is significant to you.  It can be a hobby, a favorite sport, or even a certain era in time, such as the Great Gatsby era.  Once the theme is identified, it is important to pull the concept into every design element starting with the Save the Date cards through to the party favors.  Next we focus on…

Great Gastby Collage

Color Scheme

The color scheme is sometimes derived from the theme you’ve chosen.  Choosing the right colors is important because you want it to be representative of your personality and it will drive all of the design decisions made.  I love working with multiple colors in a palette and encourage my clients to pick one or two dominant colors, a sub-dominate color, and two accent colors.  Below is the color scheme chosen for the Great Gatsby event I am working on.  You’ll see black and gold has been used for the dominate/sub-dominate colors and are often associate with the Great Gatsby era.  Next we added a splash of deep red and black/white diagonals as the accent colors because the couple wanted to add a twist on the traditional Great Gatsby concept.  And lastly is your

Great Gatsby Color Scheme

Guest Takeaway

How do you want your clients to feel when they leave your event.  Do you want them to say that was the most awesome party in the world?  Or that it was the swankiest event of the century?  Or we partied like a rock star?  What ever you choose it should be incorporated in the elements you choose for your wedding.

As an event planner, I love being able to create the vision boards for my clients and rely on my past events and other event resources to find the perfect elements to complement their day.  One of the first sneak peeks your guest get into your wedding is the stationery.  There are so many great resources that provide Save the Date Cards, Invitations, and your other stationery needs.  I love to rely on my friends from Paperless Post when my creative juices start flowing because they have so many wonderful items to share.  Some of my faves for a Great Gatsby Themed Wedding from Paperless Post…

Paperless Post Konfetti Gold by Kelly Wearstler

Save the Date from Paperless Post

Konfetti Gold by Kelly Wearstler

Paperless Post Josephine Baker - BlackGold

Invitation, Menu Card, and Wedding Programs from Paperless Post

Josephine Baker also available in Black & Gold

Looking for more design inspiration? Check out these wonderful wedding invitations” target=”_blank”>wedding invitations and other stationery options that are sure to get your juices flowing from Paperless Post.

Are you hosting a party?  Would love to hear about your design ideas?

Take Care,

Erika

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Happy Birthday to You Party Ideas!

Sunday, I shared with you that it was my mother’s birthday.  I got to join the celebration via Face Time. Last year I actually got to celebrate with her in Saint Louis and boy did I have a ball planning her surprise party.  My sister and I decided that since it was a milestone for her, and we had just unexpectedly loss our dad a few weeks before, we wanted to make this an extra special birthday for her.  This was going to be a challenge though, my mother knows everything and it is very hard to pull the wool over her eyes.  So we decided to host the party at my sister and brother-in-law’s house and invited her closest friends and family.

I  immediately kicked into party planner mode, who wouldn’t with an opportunity like this, doing something you  love to do AND for the girl of my heart?  It was a win-win situation and an opportunity for me to design and create some cool stuff to add a special touch for her day.

It was excited to see my entire family kick into event planner mode with me and we got all the planning and decor done in a week AND she was so surprised!

 

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I wanted the party to focus more on the celebration versus the décor, so I created just a few focal points and allowed the love in the air create the atmosphere.

Black, cream, and gold was the color scheme.  I wanted classy colors to complement a classy woman.

 I created this custom birthday sign with a diagonal pattern and used a pearl paper to give it an elegant touch.

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I love to add contrast to things when I’m creating so I created this tissue paper pom-poms in a polka dot pattern.  I added a little twist in how I cut the paper to give it a more contemporary feel.  My mother was actually the one who taught me how to make these when I was a little girl.  Tissue paper flowers are one of those old decorating ideas that will never go out of style.  I placed these on the cupcake table and around the home.

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The main focal point was the cupcake table.  I must say I was very proud of this creation.  I wanted to give the table a WOW factor so I created this awesome back drop by making paper rosette flowers to create this masterpiece.  Well it may not be a real masterpiece, but my mother loved it so much she has it hanging in her home to this day.

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My sister’s home had a wonderful furniture accent piece that paired well with the decor.  I love the hutch the cupcakes sat on.

Another DIY idea I used was making the cupcake stands.  This was done by attaching plates to candle stick holders and spray painting them in black and gold.

This is something you can definitely keep for serving items at any dinner party.

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Lastly I asked several of my mother’s friends and family to describe her and what it meant to celebrate her birthday.  I used those saying to created these custom cupcake tags:  “It’s Your Party”, “Diva Lady”, “Happy Birthday”, “We Love You”, “#1 Mom”, and “You’re Special.”  And I created these water bottle labels and gave guests bottle water as they left.  I got so excited I didn’t take a picture of them but here is the label design.

Momma's Water Bottle Labels

I hope you enjoyed some of the Birthday Party Decorating Ideas I presented.

I would love to stay connected with you guys please:

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I love being a Southern California Event Planner and would love to help you find inspiration in planning your next event.  Looking for party or wedding ideas please contact us today.

Thanks for sharing more time with my family.  I hope you have a great day!

Take Care,

Erika

What a Fun Week!!!

Happy Friday!  As we close out another week, I must say I love what I do.  I had a wonderful opportunity to work with some amazing vendors on a Bridal Photo Shoot for Hair and Make-up Stylist Monica of Monica Duldulao Professional Hair and Makeup.  She always looks stunning!

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When Monica reached out to me about the photo shoot, I was very honored and excited to join the photo shoot team to create the flowers and design and décor for the shoot.  Monica wanted to highlight three looks for the photo shoot.  She wanted to do an Elegant look that focused on crystals, a Bohemian look which focused on color, and lastly a Rustic look.  I want to show you a sneak peak behind the scenes.

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If this chandelier is any indicator of how beautiful the photo shoot was, you are correct.  I absolutely love this accent which is very edgy.

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One of our beautiful models Ruby and Photographer Joan Fuller of Joan Fuller Photography.

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Our Bouquet created for the Elegant look.  I added a little bling to the look to pull in the bling elements for the photos shoot.

Also, look a the beautiful jewelry on the model’s wrist and in her hair created by Dvnchi Bridal Accessories

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Our other beautiful model Vanessa adorning our Bohemian look.   I wanted to use flowers from the flower crown to tie the bouquet to the overall look.

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 I love the way the bridal crown came out and check out those eyes.  Monica you have done it!

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Lastly our Rustic look.  I love how the bouquet and boutonniere came out.

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Me and our wonderful photographer Joan and her lovely assistant Anna

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I can say it was a wonderful day!  Are you ready for more to come?

I appreciate your support and stopping by my blog.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  This weekend will be busy for me, I am attending tree trimming tonight and I am so excited, and then tomorrow will have rehearsal all day prepping for our big Christmas play on Sunday.  I have been directing the play for the past 3 years and it is an absolute joy in working with our Children’s ministry.  I’ll share more next week.

Take Care,

Erika

Savoring Saturday A Look Back at Christmas

 

Every year, I have the pleasure of creating Christmas gifts for my husband’s team at work.  I love coming up with creative ideas to make the gifts extra special.  I’m still working on what the gifts will be this year but wanted to share what I did last year.  My hubby loves coffee and I notice that the team loves coffee and tea as well, so I decided to give a few savory Christmas time drinks that they could enjoy.

I created three drink mixtures that they would only have to add boiling water to and Voila, there you have it, a warm and soothing drink.  Every year, I also create a custom card.  I have so much fun acting as my husband’s little helper :).

 

This is the Christmas Card I created.  I wanted to go with the traditional Christmas color scheme last year and wanted it to be festive and to incorporate the look of  one of my husband’s favorite sweet treats, peppermint.  I love to find inspiration through many aspects when creating, whether it be family and friends, nature, or even something I’ve dreamt.

 

Tony's Praise Team 2013 Card - Final

The inside of the card read

Chocolate, Coffee and Tea for You,

To say thanks a Latte for all you do!

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Next I gave instructions for mixing each drink and created a cute little saying for each.

The first drink mix was RUSSIAN TEA.  I added “as you’re russian through your day take a moment to sip on this spicy soothing tea.”  Directions: Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of tea mix to 1 cup of boiling or cold water. Adjust amount of mix used to taste.

 I found this yummy recipe at allrecipes.com you mix all the dry ingredients and you have enough for 5 servings.

  • 1 cup instant tea powder
  • 2 cups orange-flavored drink mix (e.g. Tang)
  • 1 (3 ounce) package powdered lemonade mix
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

The next drink was FRENCH VANILLA CARAMEL CAFÉ.  I added “what a way to start off your day with a little French vanilla caramel café.”  Directions: Add 2 heaping tablespoons of mix to boiling water.

I found this recipe at food.com you mix all the dry ingredients and you have enough for 12 servings.

  • 1/3 cup instant coffee
  • 1 cup instant powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered caramel coffee creamer
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla instant pudding mix

 The last drink was the BOWERS HOT CHOCOLATE.  I added “take a little time and stop an unwind with a frosty hot cocoa, it’s warmth will relax you before you know.” Directions: Spoon 3 or 4 generous tablespoons of cocoa mix into your cup (depending on the size), add boiling water, and stir well.”  With this drink, I took cocoa mix and added chocolate chips and marshmallows.

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And I put all the drink mixes in this festive cup for all to enjoy.  I got feedback from some of the team and they loved the drinks.  Needless to say that made me very happy and my job as little helper was done until the next year :).

Have a great weekend!

Take Care,

Erika

Winter Wedding Wonderland

‘Tis the season!  As we start preparing for Christmas and New Years, I am reminded that winter is almost here!  Yeah, I love the winter season, the snow, the fashion and the crisp breeze that comes with this time of year.  Now that I’m a Cali girl, I love visiting Missouri during the holidays and often pray for snow when I go and usually get to enjoy one good snow day during my visit.

Although winter is not the prime of wedding season, I think winter inspired weddings are so chic and a couple can do so much with their color palette, wedding attire, flowers and décor.  The first step is finding the right color palette for you as a couple.  When I think of wintery color palettes, I think of hues of icy blues, deep purples, and crisp reds.  Take a look at some of our favorite red winter inspired wedding ideas.

Red-Winter-Wedding-Ideas

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 red centerpieces

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manolo brides

red and gold small decor

With these awesome designs, you can easily say, I’m dreaming of a Red Christmas….I’m in the holiday mood, what about you?  Stay tuned for more holiday stuff and have yourself a merry little weekend.

Take Care,

Erika

Photo credit: Platinum Event/Project Wedding, John Labbe/Created by: Preston Bailey, Calligraphy by Jennifer, Finafani, Sane Wedding Planning, Weddinggs.net, Weddings on teh French Riviera, Reference Wedding Decoration, and Weddingomania.

Engagement Season is Officially Here

dreamstime_xxl_37273881Between working a wedding yesterday and seeing a good friend post his proposal to his girlfriend yesterday, I realize that Engagement Season is here.  Well November 27th officially kicked off that time of the year that many men and women wait for.  It’s a time that we hear all the wonderful proposal ideas that happen during this time.  Yes engagement season is really an occasion that happens between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.  I especially enjoy this season because I often get the chance to help grooms come up with that perfect proposal idea.

The buzz this year has also been that many brides would LOVE to get engaged, and even married on December 13th of this year leaving them with an iconic date to remember of 12-13-14.  How cool is that???  Per a survey completed by David’s Bridal, there are over 20,000 couples slotted to get married on this date a huge jump from the 7,200 that got married on December 13, 2013.

So if you’re one of those lucky women who have already been proposed to, hats off to you, we share in your excitement! But if you are one of the ones still waiting to here those magical words, we can continue to dream with you about planning that wonderful event of a lifetime.  Stay tuned for more as we share some awesome proposal ideas, and I’ll even share how my hubby proposed to me, I still get Goosebumps thinking about it.

Have a wonderful day!

Take Care,

Erika

Where’s My Fork?

So you’re preparing for your big dinner party and you want every thing to be right.  You’ve picked the perfect party theme, paired together the perfect color palette and have an awesome dinner menu that would make anyone want seconds and thirds.

You want to make a great impression on your guest and you want everything to be perfect.  All the decorations have been put up and you begin to set your table.  Fork, spoon, knife?  No, knife, fork, spoon?

What is the correct way to set your table for your dinner guest.  We’ll share with you the formal table setting that will guarantee your guest will say, “wow they really know how to throw a party.”

 

Bed, Bath and Beyond Love Story Place Setting
Bed, Bath and Beyond Love Story Place Setting

In order to get the correct information, we called upon the etiquette experts at The Emily Post Institute who is known for providing the proper etiquette since their first etiquette book in 1922.  Your table setting should include a charger plate, dinner plate, salad plate, bread & butter plate, teacup & saucer, dinner fork, dinner knife, salad fork, soup spoon, teaspoon, champagne glass, red or white wine class, and an iced beverage glass.

Start your look by using a charger plate.  The charger plate provides the framework for your dinnerware and is not used to eat on.  It is taken away once the dinner starts.  Next you place your dinner plate on the charger and the salad plate on top of the dinner plate.  You can add your napkin on top of the plates and add a name card or other decoration for a nice added effect.  If you don’t want to add to the top of the plate, you can add your napkin to the left of the fork.

Next you want to add your bread and butter plate which goes right above the dinner plate.  To the left of the bread and butter plate, you’ll add the teacup and saucer.  You can elect not to have the cup and saucer on the table and have it brought out after dinner.  Then you’ll add the add the champagne, wine, and iced beverage glasses.  The iced beverage glass goes directly above the knife, place the champagne flute to the left and the wine glass to  the right.

Finally, you want to place your utensils.  The key is to work from the outside in.  The silverware that is used first will lie farthest from the plate.  You’ll place your salad fork down and then your dinner fork closet to the plate on the left side.  On the right side, you’ll place your knife with the cutting edge facing the plate then your soup spoon, if needed, and lastly your teaspoon.

Also, If you have spoons and forks for dessert, you can set those up horizontally above the plate, the spoon handle should face right and the fork handle to the left.

I know it may seem overwhelming trying to get everything in the right place.  Although it looks really nice to have everything in order, what your guest will remember is the love and friendship that they’ll share with you.  So don’t sweat the small stuff.

Stay tuned for our upcoming Crab Boiled Themed Birthday Party.

Take Care,

Erika

 

Real Party – Tony’s Jazz Club

This June, my hubby turned a major milestone and I wanted to celebrate and honor him.  He had never had a surprised birthday party so I thought it was a wonderful time to surprise him and at the same time throw and awesome party!

Party TimeI wanted my husband’s party to reflect who he is which is why I chose a Jazz Theme since he is a musician.  The color scheme I chose was navy blue, silver and black.  As an event planner, I can get carried away with color schemes, but I was so excited to be able to use his favorite color, which navy blue and it seemed to fit the theme so well.  Check out our day!

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Each table had a Jazz Great assigned to the table with little known facts, and a welcome sign saying “Welcome to T’s Jazz Club” IMG_9990

I must say that it took a lot of planning to surprise my hubby.  He is so inquisitive and very in tune with me, so I had to solicit help from our dear friends Paul and Lisa, and his cousin Darryl.  If it weren’t for those guys I don’t know how I would’ve pulled it off.  Well since we had the party at our house, I had to devise a plan to get him out of the house.  So Darryl picked him up that morning and the work began.  I later picked him up and brought him back to the house and the surprise began.

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We got him good.  Our family and friends greeted us as we walked through the door.  I was so happy!

I wanted guests to feel the musical tone as they walked in the door.  To accomplish this, I created a music note backdrop that would also be used for pictures.  I thought this came out so cute.  I had so much fun creating it.

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Since it was a Jazz Club theme we had a life band, the Paul Allen Connection which consisted of guys my husband plays with.  We also had the lovely songstress Lisa Newberry who belted out jazz tunes and a lovely rendition of happy birthday.  We sat the band up in our dining room where my husband’s organ is so that he could jam with the band at the end of the night. I must say this could’ve been a real recording session with all the musical talent in the room.

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My hubby loves fresh fruit, so I created a fruit bar for he and the guests to enjoy while waiting on the main course.

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 I created the table cloths to have a blue sequins on the top to give it a jazzy, disco type feel.

As the guests arrived, we had our host Mr. Sebastian to give them a menu so that they could order their meal for the night.  I had fun creating these.  I wanted it to have the jazz club feel with a black menu which I embossed with my hubby’s initial.

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On the menu was Shrimp, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo w/Rice, Vegetarian Gumbo w/Rice (My hubby is a vegetarian and I had to have something especially for him), Red Beans ‘n Rice, Put the Squeeze on Mac ‘n Cheese by Lady Robin, Chicken Wangs, and Ha’ Mercy Cornbread all cooked by yours truly with the exception of the Mac ‘n Cheese cooked by our friend Robin.

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We had several drink options which I gave musical terms.  The Blue Tone-Tini Martini our Signature Drink and the Sweet Sangin-gria, and we had Grape, Strawberry, Orange Soda Pop.  I also created name tags for everything.

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Lastly the desserts were created by Mrs. Amanda of Sweet Granny Cakes.  If you have not had her sweet treats you are missing out.

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Check out the music cupcake tags I created.

Overall we just had a good ‘ole time enjoying our family and friends.

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The Dream Team

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And kudos to our awesome photographer Harris of GC Photobooth.  He was the best!

Me and Harris

At the end of the day, my hubby was very happy and that’s enough for me.  Hope you enjoyed sharing in our day.

When planning events, I always start with my client to get the inspiration for my theme.  Where do you find your inspiration?

Take Care and have a great weekend!

Erika

On the Move – Sacred Heart Festival

I am having such a good time today.  It has been a crazy busy past few weeks with a couple more to go but I am so grateful and thankful and wouldn’t have it any other way.  I absolutely love what I do.  Today I am hanging out with the Disney Princesses at the Sacred Heart Festival in Covina, CA.  If you’re close by you should come out and hang with is.  Who is your favorite princess?

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I think I love them ALL! :).

Hope you’re having a great weekend.  Take care and see ya soon.

Erika

Holiday Weddings and Events…the Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

So you’re planning your wedding and you’re trying to decide on a date.  You have the wonderful idea of planning your big celebration around a holiday.  Awesome, great or wait……you then begin to wonder is this really a good idea.  Will guests want to come to our wedding?  What will the cost be?

Last week I shared with you my beautiful wedding.  I know, I may be biased 🙂 .  I am still floating on air thinking about the post.  My husband and I chose to have our wedding during Labor Day weekend and it was the best choice I ever made.  Many often wonder what having a wedding during the holiday means for them.  When planning an event there are many decisions to make and with those decisions there are often pros and cons.

THE GOOD

EXTRA TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS is always a bonus.  Having an extra day added to your celebration due to the holiday will allow more of your out of town guest to attend the celebration because they won’t  have to worry about getting back to work the next day.

HAVING A THEME already created for you works for a lot of couples.  They simply determine their color scheme and begin to plan an event of a lifetime and depending on what type of event it is, your color scheme may already be developed.  Image having a Wintery Wedding around the Christmas Holidays, palettes of whites, or hues of blue or even green and gold all wonderful color schemes to choose from.

DECORATIONS, DECORATIONS AND MORE DECORATIONS.  Most venues lavishly decorate their facilities during the holidays which you would be able to incorporate into your celebration.  Often my clients find themselves only needing to focus on the centerpieces which gives them more bang for their floral arrangement buck!

Holiday Decor

Photo by Joe Hendricks Photography found on http://www.bridesmaid.com

NEVER FORGET YOUR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY.  Wouldn’t that be awesome if your hubby never forgot your anniversary.  Whoa, talking about cutting down on having to remind him of the happiest day of your life 🙂 that would be priceless in itself.

PRICING can be a pro or a con depending on which holiday you want to book an event.  At times, you’re able to get really good pricing because during the holidays people have planned celebrations with their families which leaves venues unoccupied and the Director’s willing to provide special pricing.

THE BAD

PRICING as stated can be a con, depending on which holiday you choose.  Valentine’s Day and even New Year’s Eve will always raise the pricing for you because of the popularity of those days.  In addition, many vendors charge and additional fee for working during the holiday and they are often in high demand.

SOME GUEST MAY OPT NOT TO COME to the big event because of previous plans.  From my experience, this isn’t one of the top cons.  Your closest family and friends are going to be so excited for you and want to share in the big celebration and wouldn’t miss it for anything in the world.  You guys will be surrounded by plenty of love.

DELIVERY DATES AND TIMES will require that you may have to work out a few more logistics but it is doable.  Being able to work with the rental companies and the venues is a must.  Delivery often has to be done a day or two prior to the event and picked up a few days after.  You will have to work with the venue to ensure someone is able to accept the delivery and pick-up, as well as, there is space to store the rental items.

WEATHER can be a factor when planning your event around the winter holidays such as Christmas and New Years or even the holidays during the rainy season if it will be outside.  Weddings and event during any season are doable, it just requires planning.  Work closely with your planner and rely on them to provide you with recommendations, solutions and risk plans if inclement weather occurs.

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Image from http://www.karmajello.com

LOSING SIGHT OF YOUR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY because it gets lost amongst the holiday festivities.  But I say, as long as, you and your hubby-to-be know the date, everything will be okay.

THE BEAUTIFUL

With all of the pros and cons to consider when choosing our wedding date, the biggest factor in making our decision was the extra day we had to spend with our family and friends.  We have planned weddings and events around several holidays and love being able to use the holiday to incorporate in the design plan.  Planning a holiday event? We would love to assist you during the planning process.  Contact us today and let plan your event and sweat the details so that you can enjoy being a part of the celebration!

I look forward to connecting with you again, join us as we share a Crab Boil Themed birthday party we recently did.  It was yum! yum! good.

Take Care,

Erika