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

Advertisements

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!

IMG_9989

IMG_9991

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.

IMG_0088

IMG_0089

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.

IMG_0637

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.

IMG_0661

IMG_0688

IMG_0110

IMG_0109

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

IMG_0029

 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.

IMG_0022

IMG_0212

IMG_0217

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.

IMG_0260

IMG_0232

IMG_0255

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.

IMG_9995

IMG_0290

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

IMG_0636

IMG_0418

Check out the music cupcake tags I created.

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

IMG_0521

IMG_0346
The Dream Team

IMG_0279

IMG_0117

IMG_0166

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

Wedding Invitations 101 – Assembling Your Invitations

Assembling your wedding invitations closes out our series on Wedding Invitations 101.   It’s a simple task right?  All you have to do is put the invitation in the envelope, seal, and send.  Well yes, but keep in mind, your invitation is the first sneak peek your guests see of your wedding day.  Don’t you want it to be the best impression that can be made?  It’s not just about making a good impression, but assembling the invitation wrong defies the laws of nature :).  Well not actually, but it makes it a little easier for your guests when opening the invite.

Assembling your invitation:

  • Lay your invitation down with the wording face up if it is a folded invite, insert the folded edge first, if it is a single card invite, insert the left edge.
  • Next start placing your enclosure cards on top of the invitation in size order with the smallest on top and wording face up.
  • For the response card you will need to tuck it under its envelope flap, also wording face up.
  • If you have tissue paper, then you would put a piece on top of the invitation packet and then slide into the inner envelope.
  • The unsealed inner envelope is then placed in the outer envelope with names facing upward so when the envelope is opened the names of the guest are visible.

Wedding Invitations

But we’re not done.  It is also important to address both the inner and outer envelopes correctly.

Addressing your inner envelope:

The inner envelope lets the bride and groom signify exactly who is invited to the wedding.  If you have a family of four that has two children your envelope would be addressed as such:

Mr. and Mrs. Bowers
Brandon Bowers
Gabrielle Bowers

*It is also appropriate to write names informally such as Uncle Tony and Auntie Erika

Addressing your outer envelope:

The outer envelope is professionally using proper titles, first, middle (optional), and last names.  Titles are abbreviated, however, words in the address are spelled out such as Fourth Street or Begg Boulevard.  Children’s names are not included on the outer envelope, their names would be on the inner envelope if they are invited.

Married Couple:  Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Bowers

Married Couple (wife outranks husband): Dr. Shondalette Adams and Mr. Desmund Adams

Married Couple (both doctors):  The Doctors Adams or Drs. Desmund and Shondalette Adams

Single Woman:  Ms. Kimberly Isaac or Miss Kimberly Isaac (under 18)

Divorced Woman:  Mrs. Willie Mae Owens, Ms. Willie Mae Owens, Ms. Willie Mae Parker

Widowed Woman: Mrs. Charles Owens

Separated Woman:  Mrs. Charles Owens, Mrs. Willie Mae Owens, Ms. Willie Mae Owens

*You should never address an outer envelope with “and guest.”  You should find out the guest’s name and use the unmarried couple living together naming convention if the couple shares a home, if they don’t, you should send the guest a separate invitation.

Hope this helps you on your quest to complete your invitations.  I would love to answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to contact me.

Have a great day!

Erika

 

Wedding Invitations 101 – Ordering Tips

You’ve found the perfect invite that fits your wedding style and embodies everything you and your fiancé are.  You’ve also worked with your event planner or stationer to address the proper etiquette for your invitation.  Then you begin to wonder when should your invitations be ordered? How many do you order? When do I mail them? And the list goes on and on. I’d like to share with you some invitation ordering tips during this post.

Wedding invitations should be ordered 4 to 4 ½ months prior to your wedding. Invitations should be mailed 6-8 weeks prior (please note that for a destination wedding or a wedding surrounding a holiday, you want to add an additional 1-2 months onto this timeframe to allow planning time for your family and friends). It takes about 4-6 weeks to work with your stationer to come up with the invitation style, the correct fonts, the correct paper, and even the correct wording. After that is complete it takes about a week to get the order placed and off and once that is done it takes about 3-4 weeks to get the invitations back.  You also need to consider addressing time for the invites.

Calendar

It is very important to have your guest list completed before ordering. You will need roughly one invite per household. You will want to order about 25 extra invitations for those in case you need to resend some invites out, want to send some to additional guests, or even want to keep one for yourself. It is expensive to go back and reorder invitations after the initial order. You will also want to order extra envelopes for the mistakes you may potentially make.

The last thing you need to consider when ordering invitations is postage. You will want to take a sample invitation with all of the enclosures as though you were sending to a guest to the post office to have them to weigh it. You want to make sure you have sufficient postage. You don’t want your invitation to get sent because you don’t have enough postage. In addition, you need to account for the postage for the RSVP envelope.  Please remember to include this amount in your budget as well.

usps

I must admit, this is something that I used my contingency fund for because I didn’t account for it in my revised budget.  I know, I know what was I thinking.  Rest assure I always include this is my client’s budget. Depending on the size of your invite and whether or it can run through the postage machine, you may have extra postage added. Not only do we specialize in Wedding and Event Planning and Production at Erika’s Elegance, we also create custom stationery. We would love to create something specifically for you.

 

20140221_221558 - updated

Got an invitation question???? Contact us today!

Visit us for our last post on the Wedding Invitation 101 – Assembling Your Invitation

Take Care and Have a great day!

Erika