Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Plan the Perfect Engagement Party

Congratulations! You're engaged.  Here are 6 steps on how to plan the perfect engagement party! 

1. Pick a Date 
You’ve just gotten engaged to the love of your life and of course, you want to celebrate! The first step in planning an engagement party is to pick a date. There is no right or wrong time to have an engagement party; however, from my personal experience, I suggest 4-6 weeks after your engagement. This allows enough time for planning, as well as time for you and your fiancé to enjoy being newly engaged! 

2. Make your Guest List 
Your guest list will help determine the type of venue or location to host your party. It will also give you a good sense of the size of your celebration. Engagement parties can be an intimate gathering of close family members or a huge celebration of extended family and friends. A rule of thumb, DO NOT invite anyone to your engagement party that you do not plan on inviting to the wedding! 

3. Decide on a Budget 
Every party needs a budget! Work with your fiancé and any other parties involved to develop a budget that fits your needs. You’ll also want to decide what is included in the budget (i.e. venue, food, décor, entertainment, rental items, etc.) and allocate how much you’d like to spend on each category. Not sure how much to budget? I would suggest estimating $20-$25 per person. As with any party or celebration, your guest list will drive your budget. More guests equals more food, bigger venue, etc. 

4. Choose a Venue 
Now that you have your guest list and budget, you can determine the best location to host your party. My fiancé and I wanted a casual gathering, so his parents offered to host the party in their backyard. If that’s not your style, there are many other options for hosting your party. Every city has venues of various sizes and styles, so do your research to find one that best suits your needs. If you’re on a tight budget, many restaurants offer private dinning spaces for rent or you can head to a local sports bar or pizzeria at no charge. 

5. Select your Menu 
Based on your budget and venue, you can now select a menu for your party. Since our engagement party was a casual backyard soirée, we decided to order in BBQ from Eli’s BBQ and assorted wraps from TAG’s Café. I then worked with our moms to create a variety of appetizers and side dishes. If DIY food isn’t your thing, there are many catering services to choose from that will allow you to create a customized menu to fit your needs. Depending on your venue, you may even have access to on-site catering giving you a full-service, one-stop shop!

6. Décor and Rentals

Décor and rental items can be as little or as much as you’d like. For our party, we wanted to utilize the backyard space, so we rented a tent, tables, chairs and linens through FourSeasons Tent Rental. To add some personal touches, I created centerpieces using flowers from a local grocery and used frames to creatively display our wedding date. Another décor element I added to the party was a popcorn bar with a sign that read, “All because he Popped the Question!” I even made a specialty drink and called it “Love Punch!” Since our party was in the fall, I carved a pumpkin to display at the party for guests to “Save the Date.” Lastly, we had a bonfire at our party, so I made individual s’more bags with a tag that read, “Love is Sweet” and had our wedding date on it. 

The possibilities are endless for décor and personal touches for your party. Get creative by searching the web and utilizing Pinterest. Another fun idea is to give your engagement party a theme, such as Mardi Gras or a Luau.

If planning an engagement party seems too difficult or you just simply don’t have the time, contact SimplyEvents and we’ll ensure your party goes off without a hitch!


Happy Planning!

Laura & Jon 

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You're Married! Now What Do You Do With Your Dress?!

So you did it! You married the love of your life and are starting your life together. Now what to do with that dress of yours? Every day women are buying their dream dress to wear for that one special day. However rarely do people know what to do with it after they have worn it that one time. Never fear. Below is a list of different ideas so that you can do what you want with that dream dress. 

Preserve It: This one tends to be the most common option. Normally the wedding shop where you purchased the dress has a preservation option available for purchase. If not a local dry cleaners will most likely be able to do this for you. Thus you can have it forever or pass it down one day.

Get Crafty With It: Turn that dress of yours into something. Add a piece of it to a shadow box with your wedding invitation and hang it in your house somewhere. Turn it into a blanket for your future kids. Or you can even be like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Star and frame your dress and just stick it in your closet. Whatever your choice let your creative juices flow.

Sell It: Wedding dresses can be expensive. If you would like to make a little of that money back, recoup some loss and sell your dress. 

Donate It: Take the dress to a local goodwill or other charity and let someone have a chance of buying it.

Trash The Dress: If none of the above options appeal to you then my final option is for you. It is called "Trash the Dress." The idea behind it is to take elegant clothing and put it in an element where it does not belong and take pictures of it. You can swim in it, or walk in snow, or even have a paint fight in it. The options are endless.

Whichever you chose just know the choice is yours.

Happy Planning (and perserving, or crafting, or selling, or donationg, or "trashing")

-Jennifer O.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

How To Create a Wedding Invitation Ornament

Ever wonder what to do with your wedding invitation after your big day? This easy DIY craft will make the perfect addition to your tree this year! A wedding invitation ornament also makes for an ideal wedding gift. It’s a great way to always remember your special day, every year. I have made several of these for friends. It really adds some personal touch to your gift. Follow these easy steps to make your own! 
Supplies Needed:
  • Invitation 
  • Scissors  
  • Pen
  • Clear globe ornament (I purchased mine at Michael’s in a box of 4. I saw the display of ornaments this summer and just had to buy a box! You could get these really anywhere once the season rolls around).

    Step 1: First, cut the invitation into strips.  I decided to cut the whole invitation and then pick out what strips I wanted to use. (This invitation was inserted into a decorative heart, so I cut some strips from there too!)

    Step 2: Take the strips and roll them around a thick pen. Depending on the type of paper the invitation is, you may have to bend it a little and work with it for a few seconds to ensure that it will stay curled.

    Step 3: Insert strips into the clear ornament. This is the tough part- only because I’m a perfectionist! I think what makes the ornament really meaningful is being able to see the date of the wedding, the location, and most importantly the names! If you put in one strip and don’t like the direction it is in, or if it’s upside down you can use tweezers or skinny scissors to pull the strip back out and try again. I used several pieces that didn’t have words as well to fill up some space in the ornament.

    Once you insert as many strips as you want, you’re all finished! For the ones I have made as gifts, I tied some ribbon to the top and attached a little tag with a few words that can easily be torn off. It just adds a more personal touch to your gift! You could even choose ribbon that matches the colors of the wedding or invitation. That way it’s all ready to be hung up!  

 Have fun crafting! 
~Danielle S.
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