It’s the Most Wondeful Time of the Year – Holiday Party Must Haves

The holiday season is fast approaching, better yet it’s here.  We just left October, Daylight Savings time ended and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Many stores already have their Christmas decorations out and I must say, I am starting to get into the holiday spirit.

This is my most favorite time of the year.  It’s a time I get the spend with my family and friends, catching up with what’s happening in their lives, and reflecting on the past which often brings lots of laughs and tears of joy.

Christmas Gathering 2

It’s also my favorite time of year because I get to throw a party and who doesn’t enjoy throwing a party?  So I want to share with you a few things that I think make a great party.

  1. Great Food for Everyone for me includes both the traditional holiday menu, as well as, great desserts.  I am known for my desserts and pride myself in mastering my grandmother’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese Pound Cake (but not like my granny)  and making Gooey Butter Cookies.  I also like to add something new to the mix and think I’ll be trying this new recipe for Dove Christmas Chocolate Drops that I found on the Dove website.
    Christmas Chocolate Drop
    Image from Love Bakes Good Cakes

    In addition to the traditional meal of turkey and dressing, rolls, sweet potatoes, wow my mouth is watering, I offer some “guest friendly” options.  We have several diabetics and vegetarians in our family so I like to cook certain items in my meal that they can eat.

  2. The Theme and Décor is very important to me because it helps set the atmosphere.  Most of your theme has been developed because it is the holiday season, but it is often fun to add an additional element by making it a “White Christmas” or “Winter Wonderland” in California.  Last year this was my theme backdrop for my dining area and it was so pretty.  IMG_9832This look was accomplished by using curly willow spray painted silver, cotton snow, lights, and silver ribbon.  You can incorporated your theme into your decorations and your table settings.  I am working on this year’s concept and I think it will include faux fur.  Can you tell by my themes that I must love the Midwest weather I left?  I do love the snow.  So you’ll have to stay tuned over the following weeks to see what I’m creating.
  3. Holiday Scents can make any home feel warm and welcoming.  A few of our favorite holiday scents are cinnamon which I accomplish by getting cinnamon scented pine cones and I love the evergreen fir tree scent.  Michael’s has these wonderful treecicles that are scented, they’re are a must have!
  4. Music I find adds a great touch to any dinner party.  Having holiday tunes as an under tone to great conversation will find you and your guest belting out tunes before you know it.  My favorite holiday tune is “This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway.
  5. Lastly, filling my home with Lots of Love puts the icing on the cake for any party.  I want my family and friends to feel welcomed and relaxed when they enter the door.  I think the biggest element in throwing a party is love and that outweighs all of the other elements.

So what are you doing to prepare for your holiday parties this season?  Got any great recipes to share or decorating ideas?  We’d love to hear them.  I love creating vision for any party and would love to help you if you can’t quite pull all of the elements together.  Feel free to contact me.

Do you know how to properly set-up your place settings for your holiday party?  We’ll be sharing that, along with one of our real parties in our upcoming post.

Take Care,

Erika

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How do you Spell October, C-R-A-Z-Y!

Hello there!  I sure have missed you guys.  A few weeks ago I predicted that October was going to be a crazy month for me and boy was I  right!  Well I can’t actually predict the future, but I new that I had lots of events and things coming up over the next few weeks.

I’ve been planning weddings, girl’s day events, and birthday parties and have been designing and creating custom décor.  I am so blessed to be able to do something that I love…who could ask for anything more.  I was able to create a couple of custom backdrops for a festival and was able to meet the Disney Princesses and boy was that a treat being surrounded by all of that royalty :).

I also assisted with a celebrity wedding and was able to meet the beautiful actress Denise Boutte from the Tyler Perry Hit Show “Meet the Browns.” She is such a beauty with a wonderful and bubbly personality.  This was definitely a perk of the day!  Check us out!

Denise Boutte and Me

These are just a few things that have been going on over here.  There is so much more that I’d like to share with you about what we’re working on at Erika’s Elegance.  So stay tuned for some DIY craft ideas, wonderful themed birthday party ideas for both kids and adults, and everything else in between.

Take Care and I’ll talk to you soon!

Erika

 

 

On the Move – Brides Against Breast Cancer in Long Beach, CA

Calling All Brides!!!

Long Beach CA Show Flyer

There is nothing that gives me more joy than volunteering and when it is for a great cause that’s even double the joy.  Brides Against Breast Cancer will be coming to Long Beach on October 12th at the Recreation Park Golf Course and you don’t want to miss it.  There will be awesome giveaways, awesome vendors and most of all wonderful deals on your wedding gown.

Erika’s Elegance will be there and encourage you to come out and support and spread the word.  BABC is a non-profit organization committed to raising over $2 million dollars fund free support services to anyone impacted by cancer.

Over the past year I have had the pleasure volunteering as their LA City Coordinator and it has been so rewarding and fulfilling.

Do you want to attend the show?  Be a vendor? or even volunteer?  Please click here for more information.

Let’s make a difference together!

Take Care,

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

 

Blogging 101 – Say “Hi” to the Neighbors

Over the next few weeks some of my posts won’t deal with wedding and event planning.  Why?  Well I’m attending Blogging University by “The Daily Post” participating in their Blogging 101 challenge and I’m SUPER EXCITED!  I actually started the challenge with Day 3 so this post will be a hybrid that includes Day 1 “Introduce Yourself”, Day 2 “Say Your Name”,  and Day 3 “Say “Hi” to the Neighbors”.

Hi, I’m Erika, now live in Southern California life, but originally a Midwestern gal with a Southern twist – my accent is a mix of Saint Louis, Missouri and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I can thank my mother for that who was born and raised in Louisiana and took us to spend all of our holidays and summers there.  I love my life.  I am moving into my second career phase.  Previously I worked in Corporate American for over 18 years in Accounting and Project Management and loved it.  Now I’m the owner of Erika’s Elegance a Full Wedding and Event Planning Company specializing in planning fun and memorable events such as weddings, birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, wedding and business anniversaries, corporate meetings and events, non-profit events, silent auctions, bridal show, and galas.

I blog because I love what I do and want to share that with the world.  I also want to share my expertise with those who may be planning an event and are looking for ideas and strategies for implementation.  I want to be able to provide inspiration to others…

For Day 2 I toyed with changing my name and in fact did that once before.  I’ll have to mull over that for a while.

Now for the fun part, oh my gosh, Day 3 has been a blast.  I’ve never changed my tags and with adding just one new tag, I found so many awesome blogs.  I literally spent about three hours looking at the wonderful content out there.  I added the tags Event Planner (not sure why I didn’t have that before, only event planning), Florists, Parties, Bride, Bridal Bouquet.  And I have added so many new blog friends, it is amazing.

Going forward I hope to stay caught up so I won’t have to go on and on :).  I am very excited about participating in Blogging 101, I hope for wonderful results not just for myself but for all of y’all who are joining the challenge.

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.

 

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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

Bling is one of my Favorite Things

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I had an awesome time viewing the Glow Concepts showroom they have some amazing stuff.  What a way to end the week looking at some one of my favorite things decor infused with a classy touch of bling.   I can’t wait to work with this team.

Join us next week as we finish our series on Wedding Invitations 101. 

Have a great weekend.  I plan on enjoying this Cali weather, what about you????  What are your plans?

Take Care,
Erika

Wedding Invitations 101 – Recap

Invitations are a very important aspect of any event, especially your wedding. The invitation gives your guest a glimpse into what’s to come on event day. It denotes the style, the formality, and most importantly the color scheme of your wedding.

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We started a series called Wedding Invitations 101 to share what we feel are some important aspects of choosing your invitations.  The first post on Wedding Invitations 101 – Invitation Styles which discussed my three favorite invitation styles, The Wedding Card, The Folded Card, and the Pocket Fold.  In that post, I also discussed the printing options available; Engraving, Thermography, Letterpress, Foil Stamping, Digital Printing.  Check out our post from  May 29th. 

Next we did a post called Wedding Invitations 101 – Etiquette which looked at invitation etiquette answering questions such as “Should invitations be hand delivered?” “Can you put “Wishing Well Wedding” on your wedding invitation?” Well can you? “Can You have two guest lists?” No, no, no.  And one I see all too often, “Is it okay to add “and guest” on your invite?”

We have two more aspects to view for our Wedding Invitations 101 series.  We will next look at Wedding Invitations 101 – Ordering Tips answering questions such as when should you order and even how much you should order.   Then we will look at Wedding Invitations 101 – Assembling Your Invitations looking at things such as which way should the invitations face when placed in the envelope.

We look forward to you stopping back by!  The goal for me at Erika’s Elegance is to breathe life into your dreams….I would love to work with you on any project, be it a wedding, birthday party or event corporate meeting.  I’m your gal!

Take Care and Have a great day!

Take Care,

Erika

 

 

 

Nationwide Tour of Gown Sales in Whittier, California

Are you looking for ways to support a great cause and have fun???

Consider supporting Brides Against Breast Cancer.

Brides Against Breast Cancer Logo

Brides Against Breast Cancer is a non-profit organization that is committed to raising $2M this year to contribute to programs for cancer patients, their families and caregivers. Their goal is to ensure that those impacted by cancer have the resources and information they need in their battle with cancer.

This is made possibly by their Nationwide Tour of Gown Sale which visits several cities across the nation.

The next tour date in the Southern California area is August 15th-16th at the Radisson in Whittier.

Whittier CA 2014 Flyer

I have been partnering with Brides Against Breast Cancer for two years volunteering first as their Volunteer Coordinator and then as their volunteer LA City Coordinator assisting with all of the Southern Cal shows and it has been a very rewarding experience.  To know that the gowns being sold not only provide an awesome deal for the brides, but the proceeds will also affect those impacted by cancer, a WIN-WIN situation.  I am very grateful to Kevin and Karen then of LA Bridal Magazine for introducing me to this wonderful organization.

If you’d like to support as a bride, volunteer or event vendor of the show please contact me at info@erikaselegance.com.  Stay tuned for awesome pictures this weekend.

 When you see this truck rest assured there’s a tour coming your way!

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Help me spread the word.  My goal is to let as many people across the nation know about the wonderful things Brides Against Breast Cancer is doing.  Are you up for the challenge in helping me get the message out?

Take Care,

Erika

 

Spreading the Word

Having an awesome time at the Premier Bridal Show at the Hyatt in Westlake.  Out here promoting our upcoming Brides Against Breast Cancer Nationwide Tour of Gown Sale in Whittier.

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I decided to wear pink lipstick to go with the breast cancer theme.

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Check out the beautiful Alfred Angelo gown that decorated our table.  One of the many wonderful gowns you’ll find at the upcoming show in Whittier.

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Our booth was right at the forefront of all the happenings.

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And we got to meet this beauty with her gold glittered painted hooves from Enchanted Carriages.  How fun!!!

I love supporting the cause any way I can and look forward to our upcoming Whittier event.  You don’t want to miss it!

Take Care,
Erika