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Anniversary Party – Planning and Prep

August 8, 2013

I believe preparation is key.  My sisters and I were fully able to enjoy the day and even spent the afternoon poolside – and not running around doing last minute errands (for the most part :)!

30th Anniversary Party 243

This is the first event where I delegated more tasks, and although financially it may not be the most sound choice, I HIGHLY recommend it for special events (ie. a cleaning lady, a caterer). But we did take on a lot of tasks ourselves, but with 3 helping hands and months to prep we were happy with the turnout.

Here was our checklist and preparation schedule:

To Do List

Prep Timeline

I also created a binder for this event (surprise! surprise!) with tabs for the following:

  • Menus (contained dinner menu, appetizer menu and grocery/shopping lists)
  • Rentals (contained contracts, rental invoice for tables, flatware, linens, etc.)
  • Invitations (contained invitation, guest/RSVP list)
  • Timeline (contained to-do lists, timeline, schedules, checklists, etc.)
  • Inspiration (contained Pintrested images of ideas we wanted to implement)
  • Layout (contained backyard layout of stations, tables, etc. and seating chart options)

Having everything in one place (contracts, images, lists, etc.) is super helpful to me and something I REALLY recommend.  Plus after your party is complete you have a guide on how to replicate your event!

I also wanted to share some little details that we were proud of!

Place Cards – we searched long and hard for a clever, fun idea on place cards and couldn’t find one we liked!  I had read in Lisa Vanderpump’s entertaining book (don’t judge) that she uses little framed photos of her friends for place cards and I thought wouldn’t Polaroids be a fun, contemporary spin on this!? When each guest arrived we had them pose for a quick photo and then we added the image to their seat before dinner.  It made for an amazing conversation starter and a great keepsake! (I recommend letting guests grab a cocktail or two before… makes for better pictures 🙂

Personalized Details – I love the idea of a few personalized details at an event and I felt for this party, a modern, metallic monogram would be just the thing.  I found a website called Society Social which makes very high quality, custom items and we were excited to grab up the matchboxes and napkins for the party!

30th Anniversary Party 154Menus: I’m also a huge fan of printed menus.  Whether that is a large sign, or individual settings, it makes it much easier than explaining which each course is.  I downloaded a fun font via and printed the menu on some gorgeous, heavy stock. I cut it down to plate size and used it as part of our table setting. Menus: I’m also a huge fan of printed menus.  Whether that is a large sign, or individual settings, it makes it much easier than explaining which each course is.  I downloaded a fun font via and printed the menu on some gorgeous, heavy stock. I cut it down to plate size and used it as part of our table setting. 30th Anniversary Party 366Flowers: I will go to my grave repping Costco flowers… all it requires is a little planning and you will save oodles on gorgeous blooms!  For the party I bought 200 white roses, 100 calla lillies and 100 hydrangeas for under $400! I mean you can easily spend $200 for a couple dozen roses at Valentine’s Day! Such a joke. Anyway… You have to order them precisely a week and a half before your event date, but you can pick which date you’d like them delivered in a two day window and once the blooms arrive channel your inner Martha and get to designing.  I have been collecting glass vases the past few months, so I made sure to follow my flower prep guide and make arrangements accordingly!

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With a little planning, some preparation and a few little details I believe you will have a slam dunk party every time! Entertaining is a love language, and what better way to share the love than going the extra mile? Happy planning!


Wedding Week – Decor and Details

July 10, 2013

Now the real fun begins… decor and details!

Whitney's Camera 712


We were lucky enough to have a gorgeous venue, but that didn’t keep us from indulging in flowers.  I wanted a neutral palate for the wedding but wanted the focus to be the flowers… fun pops of color against a natural setting.   Instead of giant centerpieces, I suggested going with a daintier, more eclectic set up of various flowers, vases and textures.  This differently helped in the cost department as well.  As I mentioned earlier, multipurpose arrangements (that can be used in the ceremony, then moved to the reception) are another great way to cut cost.  If you are attached to a particular type of flower (i.e. peony), that may not be in season during your wedding, ask your florist for other options that are in season, which can help keep you in budget (we substituted garden roses for peonies and I was just as happy).












This is where I had the most fun.  We wanted people to know they were at OUR wedding… so this was a great way place to add monograms, personalized napkins, fun favors, customized menus, etc.  Cost can really add up but here are some of my suggestions:

  • Invites/Programs: We used for our Invitations.  They do a great job of customization without breaking the bank (we also bought a $100 gift card for $50 on  They also offered ceremony programs in the same suite, so we did that to add a fun touch to the day.




  • DIY Menus: I went to and downloaded similar fonts to the ones used in our invitation suite.  From there I used publisher to create napkin bands with our menu on it (I picked up thick craft paper from Michael’s that I used for any DIY printed project for the wedding… so cheap!).



  • Ceremony Favors: We passed out bubbles, sunglasses and fans (not needed on our dreary wedding day unfortunately) and made fun little signs to put next to them.





  • Personalized Details: had some super affordable personalized items. Some things we picked up – personalized napkins, lollipops, etc.



  • Seating Chart/Place Cards: I hand wrote our seating chart on black poster board (I was hoping it would look like a chalkboard!?), and then printed place cards and tied them with raffia around small paper bags that we placed a baguette in.



  • Other: We also created DIY straws with our favorite saying, a fun photo collage of pictures of us, sparklers (that we forgot to use) for the end of the reception, a DIY drink menu with our reception’s specialty drinks and DIY glittered letters to delegate the gift table.








  • Lawn Games: We bought a corn hole game and ladder golf to bring to our cocktail reception.  It was a great way to get everyone interacting, and what better way to get people acquainted than with some friendly competition?!


*Images by John Plus Louise Photography