Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sip and See – Not just for babies

A southern tradition that is making it way north is the sip and see.  New parents host a sip and see to allow their friends and family to come and meet their new addition shortly after the baby has arrived home.  The new parents provide light refreshments.  Essentially, it is an ex post facto baby shower, without the gift.  However, having a sip and see is not just for celebrating the arrival of new babies. Throw a sip and see for that new addition on your house, to introduce a visiting relative to your friends, or to celebrate an engagement.

From finger sandwiches and punch to caviar and champagne, the sip and see can be as formal as your taste dictates. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Client interview with Johari A. Barnes, President of Distinctively Yours Event Management

How long have you been planning events and how did you become a wedding/event planner?

As far back as high school, I had friends and family members ask me to plan events for them.  It did not take long for me to realize that I loved it!  I have planned events for major corporations, small businesses, and individuals professionally for the last ten years.  All of these experiences inspired me to start Distinctively Yours Event Management, LLC in April 2005.  We strive for professionalism, integrity, exceptional service, and creativity in every event we coordinate.
Distinctively Yours Event Management is a full-service event planning company specializing in weddings. We understand that you have waited a lifetime for your wedding and you want it to be beautiful, special, and YOURS!

A limited number of events are booked each month to ensure you receive the personal
attention you expect for your wedding.
We handle every aspect so you can have a worry-free day. Our staff is dedicated to your happiness and understands the importance of making your wedding memorable.

What sets you apart from other Wedding/Event Planners?

Our focus is to provide professional service to our clients and make their event memorable, inspiring, elegant, and most importantly stress free. We make it our priority to build a rapport with our clients so that we become the first number they dial when it comes time to celebrate any occasion.  We motivate our clients to be creative, help them to realize their dreams, and we thrive on novel solutions and concepts.

Why do I need a wedding planner?

There are only 24 hours in every day and with work schedules and family responsibilities, planning even the simplest of events can be difficult.  Distinctively Yours Event Management, LLC can help locate a venue, recommend vendors as well as provide on-site supervision at your wedding.  We allow you to enjoy your wedding and leave all the worrying to us. We provide wedding planning expertise; we do not take over your wedding. You will benefit from our experience and relationships with highly qualified vendors making your wedding the most unforgettable day of your life.

Are your services affordable? What services do you offer?

When it comes to planning a wedding or special event, you want to ensure that you work with reputable professionals to execute your dreams. At Distinctively Yours Event Management, LLC our service is such that clients feel that they have made a great investment.   We offer full production planning, partial planning, and wedding day management. We support LGBT weddings/commitment ceremonies.

Whom do you work best with?

We work well with individuals that recognize quality over quantity and realize that we provide a service that will give them a piece of mind to know that their event will be executed just as they envisioned. We also work well with clients that love to have their expectations exceeded.

Who is not going to benefit from working with Distinctively Yours Event Management, LLC?

We would love to assist all couples that inquire about our services; however, this is not a reality. Our love of planning weddings is superseded by the desire to work with couples in healthy relationships.  As marriage is the blending of families, love should be at the forefront of the union.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept checks, cash, money orders, and all major credit cards via PayPal.

This sounds like everything I have been looking for….What happens next to get started?

We are so excited about your engagement and upcoming wedding! We cannot wait to get started….You can schedule a consultation with us via e-mail at .  You can also speak to us directly at (410) 905-6178. We look forward to working with you!


Kennedy Krieger Festival of Trees

Photo by
For the third year we have decorated a tree for the Festival of Trees held at the Maryland State Fair Grounds in Timonium, Maryland.

The Festival of Trees benefits Kennedy Krieger Institute, a comprehensive resource for children with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system.  The Festival is a holiday themed event with local music and entertainment, beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, shopping, a children’s sports, games and crafts area, and of course, Santa Claus.  Held in the Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Festival of Trees 2011 will take place from Friday, November 25 through Sunday, November 27, 2011.  Families throughout the region eagerly look forward to this event and consider it a holiday tradition.  Last year’s event attracted nearly 40,000 visitors and raised close to $900,000 for the patient programs and research performed at Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Those numbers are HUGE and helps to provide necessary care for children within our communities.  After last year’s wonderful experience we decided to participate again and starting planning last December for this year’s tree.  This year we named our tree Colors of Christmas and used lots of different shapes and sizes of ornaments in shades of pik, blue, green, purple and silver, and tons of lights.  We think our tree came out great.