Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Distinctively Yours Event Management in Style Magazine

Annually the Family Tree of Maryland hosts The Great Chef's Dinner and area designers donate tablescapes around the dinner's theme. This year's theme "Recipes are the Spice of Life" was depicted by over 40 designers. Distinctively Yours Event Management was one of four designers selected as Style Magazine's favorite and were showcased in the November 2008 issue. The red satin tablecover with the draped mocha zebra print was the perfect base for our table. We are very excited by this mention and hope to participate in the event next year. To check out the article .

Happy Planning!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tips on Personalizing your Wedding

Most of us have attended our far share of wedding and what makes them the most memorable are those things that uniquely showcase the couple. Personalizing parts of your wedding will do just that.

- writing your own vows – all long as both parties are in agreement this can be a very special way to express your love for each other like only you can
- Instead of entering the ceremony with the traditional wedding march enter instead to your favorite song
- Want you close family and friends to give you away? Enter the ceremony with a single rose. As you walk down the aisle have your close friends and family each hand you a single rose. When you reach the front you will have a beautiful bouquet and your family and friends have all shared in this special moment. This is a great idea of you do not have any one to walk you down the aisle.
- Personalize the wedding party gifts. At a recent wedding the groom had a pair of Nike’s customized for each of the groomsmen.
- Memory table – Displaying pictures of deceased loved ones in a area of the reception is a nice way to honor them and your relationship with them
- Include wedding pictures of close family and friends – These pictures can be hung around the reception or added as a collage in the program. This is a way of showing your love to the ones close to you.
- Have the pattern on the wedding cake mirror the brides’ gown.
- Instead of table numbers identifying guest tables use a theme – honeymoon destination, favorite food, or favorite movie. I have even seen court cases that the couple worked on used as table identifiers.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Planning an outdoor event

Having an outdoor event – wedding, company picnic, or party – is a great idea but there are some things you should consider during the planning process.

Weather – Rain, snow, wind and heat are all elements that can make your event not go as well as planned. It is a good idea to rent a tent. The tent should be large enough to keep guests, tables, and dance floors away from the elements. It is also important to consider having the sides of the tent closed in. This prevents the wind from directing rain and snow under the tent covering. If it is a very hot and humid day consider having the tent air conditioned. Many tent companies can provide this service. These are just a few ways to keep your guest comfortable and enjoying your event.

Catering – Make sure the caterer is aware that the event will be held outside. This can make a difference in the type of food served and how it is presented. This also goes for the bakery if a cake is being delivered.

Bathrooms – Depending on the location of your event you may want to consider portable restrooms. I know the portable bathrooms at parks and ballgames come to mind. It does not have to be like that. There are portable restroom companies that specialize in more formal restroom options giving your guest the feeling that they are in an actual restroom.

Have something for the kids – If children are invited you may want to have an area set up especially for little ones. Renting a moon bounce or having a small wading pool available will give tikes something fun to do. What about face painting and carnival games? The kids will have wonderful memories of your event too.

Centerpieces and place settings – Always consider the items that will be placed on the table during outside events. Make sure they can withstand the weather. Glass centerpieces may not be ideal during very windy days. The wind may also blow away paper napkins, menu cards and other light items. Find a creative way to keep these items where they should be.

Parking – There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find parking or having to park three miles from an event. Keep this in mind when deciding upon a location or consider having valet parking.

Hopefully these few suggestions will make your outside event weather proof and memorable.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Interesting Wedding Venues

Every bride wants her wedding day to be unique and special. Country clubs, mansion, and hotels are the typical location for wedding receptions but there are alternatives locations that may be more in line with the couples’ personalities. There are a variety of unique venues ranging from museums to ballparks. Below are just a few possibilities

American Visionary Art Museum
Walters Art Museum
Sports Legend Museum

Tourist attractions
B & O Railroad
National Aquarium in Baltimore

Meyerhoff Courtyard

Brookside Gardens
The Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens of Baltimore

FedEx Fields
Camden Yards
M & T Bank Stadium

Boordy Vineyards
Nixon’s Farm
Lyric Opera House

Maryland Hall for Creative Arts

Happy Planning!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

10 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs

Create a Budget
Before meeting with any vendors or signing any contracts create a budget. Gather all parties that will be contributing to the wedding costs and decide what amount will be spent on the total wedding. Once that number is agreed upon, decide on how much you want to spend on each category. Do not stray from you amounts!

Trim Guest list
The people at your wedding should be people who have a vested interest in your marriage. If you have folks on your list that haven’t seen you since you were in grade school you may not want to invite them to you wedding. Cutting the number of guests can save you money on invitations, location, food, drinks, tables, centerpieces, and rentals. Do not feel pressured to let single guests bring a date.

Smaller Bridal Party
All bridal party members receive a gift of thanks from the bride and groom. Not having to purchase a large number of gifts helps your wallet. Remember not only are the bridal party members going to be at the wedding but so are their spouses/significant others.

Have the Ceremony and Reception in the same location
Unless there are religious reasons having the ceremony and reception can be a wonderful way to save dollars. Venues will sometimes give you a discount for using multiple spaces. And there is no transportation cost to include in your budget.

Flowers should be in season
Having you florist make your arrangements with flowers that are in season will help cut cost. Also, do not feel you can only decorate with flowers. Use ribbons, candles and vases to help cut floral budget.

No Alcohol
If you and your fiancé do not drink consider eliminating alcohol from the wedding. Other ways to cut the alcohol cost is to provide the alcohol for the wedding, if allowed by the caterer, or only have an open bar during the cocktail hour. Having guest pay for drinks is not in good taste so NEVER have a cash bar at your wedding.

Buy a used Wedding Gown
There are many consignment wedding gown stores online. Ideally the dresses have been worn once. You may have to get alterations but that is cheaper than buying a gown. You can also rent a gown to help save money. Reusing a gown is also very GREEN.

Have your wedding on any day but Friday or Saturday
Having your wedding on a date other than Friday or Saturday can help you meet your bottom line. Vendors do not usually have a high demand for these other days and may be willing to cut you a deal.

Have your wedding during an off month
Having you wedding during off-peak times, November – April can help you avoid higher rates. Ask vendors if they have off-season rates and if not see if they are willing to negotiate.

Forgo favors
Most guest do not remember the favors from weddings so not having favors will not be a problem and you get to put that money towards other parts of your wedding.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Which Wedding Vendors do you tip?

Tipping - although expected - is not required and it simply given for outstanding service. Caterers, reception site, wait staff, and bartenders usually have 20% tip included in their contracts. Parking attendants and coat check staff should be tipped in advance - approximately $2 per guest or car. Limo Drivers and DJ's normally receive 20% of the contracted fee as tip. Florists, photographers, and bakers are not usually tipped but again if the service is remarkable then by all means. An officiant is never tipped. If you would like to make a donation to the officiants' house of worship that would be more appropriate.

Happy Planning!

Green is the New Black!

Everyone where and everyone are talking about GREEN. You can host a green event without breaking the bank and it does not have to be hard. Below are a few examples:
1. Have your photographer use digital film and forgo the wedding album and just have you wedding photos on disk.
2. Rent linen and china instead of using paper or plastic napkins, plates and tablecloths.
3. Have your ceremony and reception in the same location or very close to help cut down on air pollution.
4. Ask your stationer to use recycled paper when creating your save the dates, invitations, response cards, and thank you notes. Also recycle any paper that is left at the wedding
5. Forgo favors and make a donation to your favorite charity. If you decide to have favors give each guest a small floral that they can plant. This helps the environment.
6. Ask your caterer to use local food sources to help cut down on air pollution.

These are just a few ways to be GREEN and still have a fabulous event!

Happy Planning

Let Them Eat Cake - Jell-O Cake that is...

I was recently reading the Catersource magazine and came across an interesting article about serving Jell-O cake for your wedding instead of the traditional wedding cake. WOW! Good Gracious! Events in Los Angeles has created this cake for the couple who is really looking to have their wedding be unique. The cake comes in about 20 varieties and colors. Champagne is combined with water, syrup and gelatin and berries and fruit can be mixed in. Per the article they have gotten rave reviews for their Jell-O cakes. They also have a not alcoholic version available.

I think this is very innovative and would love to try it!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Should I get a Wedding Planner?

Many brides ask themselves this question and the correct answer is YES.

Although friends and family can be extremely helpful and have the best intentions. Having a professional wedding planner/consultant allows your family and friends to enjoy and be a part of your special day and offers you a worry-free wedding. A wedding planner works with the bride and groom to help the vision that they see for their wedding come alive. Because wedding planners have a large network of vendors (photographers, caterers, florist, etc.) they know who to recommend that will fit you and your budget. Wedding planners are available to help you save money and time and enjoy one of the most important days of your life.