Life is a special occasion

Save The Date : 1

Save The Date design for Morgan and Spencer

Do you love this save the date? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

Wedding Invitation : 7

Wedding invitation for Sydney and Aiden

Do you love this invitation? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

L | D Finds : High Heel Service

Nothing makes my day more than finding something I've never seen before. Okay, so maybe this statement is not entirely true, but for the sake of this post just extend your suspension of disbelief.

Getting back on track, I found something awesome today: high heel cake server and high heel cheese slicer. LOVE THEM! How perfect would either be at a bridal shower, baby shower or bachelorette party? Priced at $15 each, they are not braking the bank!

Laser Etched Plexiglass Invitation

One of 2010 new trends: laser etched plexiglass invitations. Try saying that 5 times in a row.

Custom made acrylic invitations are a fantastic way to set the tone for any event, corporate or social! These babies are available in an assortment of colors but that's just the beginning. There are a number of embellishment options that can really jazz these bad boys up: photographs, ribbons or swarovski crystals are just the tip of the ice berg!

Sound too good to be true? Well, here is the flip side...these trendy invites are not budget friendly. Not only is the product pricier than a regular invitation, but the cost to mail them is higher due to their weight and size. If your budget is willing check out Grapevine. Their work is incredibly impressive and they offer acrylic invitations.

DIY : Non-Floral Centerpieces

One question I get asked a lot is how can I cut the cost of my wedding? Personally, I don't have a special event planner's secret to magically create a wedding that should cost $50,000 to a wedding that will cost $7,500 - although that would be so cool to have! If you are trying to plan a event on a budget one suggestion would be to incorporate non-floral centerpieces. There are so many amazing ideas, like the nest bell jars. But before you run out and start buying your material to build your nests, be sure the non-floral centerpieces will actually cost less money than floral centerpieces. Sometimes clients tend to forget that there are a lot of items necessary to pull off the adorable non-floral centerpiece. Items like specialty linens, vases, candles, mirrors and all sorts of other details. And these little details add up.

Before taking the non-floral centerpiece route, talk to your event planner or a florist. Give them your budget and your vision and let them go over what your options are. This way you can make an informed decision rather than jeopardizing your tablescapes.

L | D Finds : Bridal Toolbox

Time to check in with the Bridal Tool Box, which has the best wedding tips for the bride and groom to help make the wedding day a little less stressful. Here is what was posted today:

Your guests will still have fun without the sirloin steaks and lobster. You don't need to break the bank to impress them with fancy food.

I love visiting the Bridal Tool Box, and no I am not sponsored by them in any way, shape or form. I just enjoy reading their daily wedding tips. The tip above really resonated with me. It's so common to get caught up in the planning of on an event. More times than not, people tend to temporarily forget the reason they're having the event in the first place. Not only can this happen in weddings, birthdays, holiday parties...but it can carry over into our daily lives. So don't forget the true meaning behind holiday spirit during this holiday season! Remember that it's not about how much money you spend on people, it's about joy, appreciation, happiness and being with the people you love!

TOTW : The Newspaper Shot

If you frequent photographers websites you should definitely be familiar with what I call the newspaper shot. For any of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's when the photographer takes a picture of a newspaper, preferably the local newspaper from the town where your wedding or special event is taking place. The ideal shot would include the date, location and of course your wedding rings. This shot can be applicable to any event, it doesn't just have to be for a wedding. If your event is not a wedding, substitute any item related to the event for the rings; for instance, a diploma could be placed in the shot if you're planning a graduation party. Not only does the newspaper shot make a great picture, but it is just a fabulously unique keepsake from your wedding or special event. After all, how else would you know what was happening in the world on your special day.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bucket

Real Events : TRUNKSHOW

The holiday season is in full swing! Spending time with friends and family, shopping, parties,'s exhausting but wonderful. One event that may have visited your home town this year is TRUNKSHOW, an organic, luxury goods showcased directly out of your own home. Sounds new and unique. Well it is! TRUNKSHOW was created by two very fashionable ladies. Don't worry if they have not made their way to your town yet, just visit their online store. Just in time for the holidays! And be sure to visit Yes Please Blog to check out the inspiration behind the gorgeous table design and Bash Eco Events for more pictures.

Holiday Cookies

Lately, Real Simple and I are holding hands and skipping down a dirt road together on a warm, fall afternoon. Seriously, I am all over this website because it is filled with...really simple ideas. Today, the really simple idea that jumped out at me was sugar cookies, which are a fantastic gift that can be decorated and given to coworkers and acquaintances, as a hostess gift for a holiday party, gifts for children to give to their friends, for the neighbors, even family members. Everyone loves cookies and it's a gift that wont break the bank! The cookies can be placed in a tin or in your own favor bag with a label like I did for one of my customers.

The recipe I found makes about 40 cookies and will take you a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for shaping the cookies
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2.Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
3.With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff). Shape into a disk and (unless otherwise specified in an individual recipe) refrigerate, wrapped, for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
4.Make cookies according to directions below.
5.Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Holiday Cutout Cookies

1.Divide the basic sugar cookie dough in half (do not substitute slice-and-bake dough). On a floured surface, roll each piece out ¼ inch thick.
2.Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Refrigerate on baking sheets until firm.
3.Sprinkle with decorating sugar and bake at 350° F on parchment-lined baking sheets until just beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
4.Cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

DIY : Holiday Wreath

One of my new favorite websites is Eddie Ross' blog. He rocks. Eddie used to work for my woman, Martha Stewart, and now has branched out on his own to bring his fabulous-ness to everyone. I was actually inspired with this post to create a centerpiece for our Thanksgiving Dinner - pictures coming soon and arranging flowers looks a lot easier than it is :-)

Any-who, today I came across this neat idea for a diy holiday wreath. You'll need about 80 ornaments, a wire hanger, hot glue and some ribbon. Planner's tip, this wreath does not need to be for just the holidays. Get clear glass ornaments and fill with novelty items like tiny baby bottles and use this for a baby shower. Be creative and the possibilities are limitless!

Wedding Gowns Under $250

November was an extremely busy month for Lauren Daversa Events. Now with the holidays here, time is flying by fast and I haven't had the opportunity to get lost on the Internet. Last night however, I took a few moments to visit one of my favorite stores, Nordstrom, and found the perfect for the Wedding Gowns Under $250 series. This dress is a beaded crisscross matte jersey gown. Glittery rhinestone straps wrap the flattering surplice bodice of this fluid matte jersey gown. Pleats below the empire waist and a floor-length skirt together create an elegant silhouette. And the price...$178, proving beautiful can be affordable.

For The Menu : Recycled Turkey Ideas

There are so many fantastic ideas posted on all sorts of websites but the execution of many of them tends to be difficult. I love Real Simple because they always have usable ideas. The key work here is usable. Today, I received an email on 10 Ideas for Leftover Turkey and a few of them have stuck in my mind...turkey hash, turkey rubens, turkey samosas, turkey waldorf salad and spicy rice and turkey with chorizo!What are your fantastic ways to recycle Thanksgiving turkey?

L | D Finds : Sloan Images

For the past two months or so, I have been contributing to my friend Christina's blog, Sloan Images. Christina is the owner of Sloan Studios based out of Omaha and she has rapidly emerged as a talent with which to be reckoned. One afternoon when I was uploading an article to her site I noticed a posting of my old friend Karah, owner of Bella by Karah, and her beautiful family. Both of these ladies are amazing, their work is fabulous and I highly recommend them!!!

DIY : Winter Wonderland Dessert Buffet

The Inspired Bride posted a diy tutorial on a gorgeous, wintry-dessert table! The Inspired Bride included ALL of the instructions to recreate this very user friendly dessert table for anyone looking to add this idea to their wedding, bridal shower, or even a holiday party.

Current Music : The Noisettes

The Noisettes are my new current obsession. In particular the song, Never Forget You. The group has a real retro sound, and the lead singer’s voice is really unique, sort of a cross between Duffy and Amy Winehouse. Their music would bring life to any party and I would put them in your playlist!

Photo courtesy of Island Def Jam

Wedding Monogram : 8

Wedding monogram for Jamie and Jason

Do you love this monogram? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

TOTW : Special Events At Home

For the past three months, Lauren Daversa Events has been writing a series on hosting special events at home. TOTW has covered: the logistical issues associated with parking; the importance of understanding household capacity; the not so pretty topic of restrooms and cleaning; rental needs; and finally, last but certainly not least, issues associated with electricity.

As we've established in this series, turning the fantasy of a special event or an outdoor wedding at home into a reality requires many-a-things, each of which are significant. But the event would be lost with out one element in particular: electricity. Everyone involved in the wedding, or event, needs it. If the caterer is not working exclusively in your kitchen, then they've brought their own equipment and it all needs power. The band or DJ need to be heard, power. The beautiful lighting in the tent and around the property, power. AC or heating units, power! And of course your house will be lit up and cooled or heated...power! Everything needs power. The questions is...can your house supply enough of it?

First, determine how many outlets are available on your property. Then make sure they are located where the vendors will be setting up. Next, have an open discussion with your event planner about whether or not your house has a sufficient amount of power to go around to the vendors. If you don't have a planner, discuss this with your vendors.

Typically, most homes can not accommodate the amount of power necessary to light up a tent, provide power to the band / DJ, provide power to the caterer and their portable kitchen AND the house itself where the event is being hosted. If you don't have enough juice, and believe me, you don't want to risk blowing a fuse or even worse, a power will have to bring in a generator! NOTE, if you bring in a generator, make sure to keep it far enough away from the party so guests don't hear it buzzing all evening.

You might also have to purchase, or rent, extension cords. NOTE, if you have extension cords running all over your property, cover them up! For one, they are an eye sore. But also because they are dangerous. So, if you're saying to yourself, "Oh, I don't need to cover up the cords, they don't look that bad," think about it this way: guests or vendors can trip on them. Think, Extension Cords + Trip = Liability!!!

In the end, hosting any event at your home is a fantastic idea. All of the situations covered in the series might not apply to your event, however. Each area discussed is critical to cover in order to make sure your event is flawless. Remember, hosting any special event is all about being prepared. Hosting a special event at home means you have to go above and beyond to ensure your event is a success. Check back next week for another TOTW.

Photo courtesy of North GA Party Rental

For The Menu : Tomato, Watermelon & Basil Skewers

If you are a frequent reader of my blog then my love of The Food Network will come as no surprise. And let it be known that this is not a new love affair; this romance has been going on for decades! Well, I was rumaging through my favorite recipes stored in my Food Network recipe box and I stumbled across an oldie but a goodie: tomato, watermelon and basil skewers. Everyone should have this in their recipe arsenal and whip it out for the unexpected party.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (4 to 5 pound) watermelon, cut into 32 (1 1/2-inch cubes
32 small basil leaves (or torn larger leaves)
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Special equipment: 16 (6-inch) skewers

Combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

Starting with the watermelon squares, push the watermelon to the very tip of the skewer. Then skewer a basil leaf, then a tomato half. Continue with another watermelon, basil leaf, and tomato half. Place the skewer on a serving platter so it stands upright, using the lowest watermelon square as a base. Continue with the remaining skewers.

Drizzle the skewers with the reserved balsamic syrup and the olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt and serve!

L | D Finds: Meggie White's Aqua Ring

Moxsie featured this adorable faceted dyed green jade ring with a 12kt gold fill wrapped band, which I love! Moxsie says it's the perfect summer ring, bright and chunky, and will compliment any summer dress. But I think this ring transcends summer! Maybe because I live in Florida or maybe because I have the eye for fetching jewelry. Either way, this would be the perfect piece to wear to this weekends dinner party, or the next night out on the town. Throw on your Goldsigns and your favorite Tracy Reese and you are set.

Visit Meggie White for more handmade jewelry perfect for your next special event.

L | D Finds : Bridal Toolbox

I have previously posted about this website because I love their daily wedding tips for the bride and groom to help make the wedding day a little less stressful. Check them out every day as they display a new tip at random from their collection. Here is what was posted today:

Older children who want to be involved could be given ceremonial jobs like candle-lighting or handing out order-of-service sheets.

Wedding Monogram : 7

Wedding monogram for Heather and Craig's wedding!

Do you love this monogram? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

Corporate Event Tips : Budget and Venue

The focus on this blog tends to fall on weddings and social events, however. Lauren Daversa Events is a full service event planning company and this includes corporate events. A company might enlist an independent planner to organize any number of their functions, including: business meetings, cocktail parties, conferences, client appreciation parties, grand openings, holiday functions, luncheons and dinners, product launches, seminars, team-building events or trade shows.

Planning a corporate event is similar to - but not exactly the same as - planning social events and weddings. Many components are the same, including the planners objective, which is to execute the project for the company while at the same time maintain a practical focus and keep the company on a realistic path to their goal. If I had to pick two significant areas that will ensure a successful corporate event, I'd pick budget and venue.

Everyone wants their event to be as nice and as non cookie-cutter as possible for what their budget can afford. A corporate planner will be able to create a realistic budget for any event. The key work here is re-al-is-tic. If the budget is $25 a head, guess what: the client should not expect a steak and lobster luncheon at an oceanside venue with fire breathing magicians and an artist painting custom mehndi designs for their employee appreciation party. Be realistic, listen to your planner's suggestions and accept the budget.

Once the budget is set, it's time to move onto securing the venue. Again, many companies make the mistake of having to host their event at a Ritz Carleton or Four Seasons. There is nothing wrong with a 250 person dinner at any Ritz Carleton or Four Seasons, unless you are working with a restricted budget. Let's put it this way...for a luncheon at a hotel such as the Ritz or the Four Seasons, plan on spending $40 per head, plus service charge and tax for a salad. Then add on valet, room fee, AV charges...yada-yada-yada. Again, listen to the planner who is educated in their regional venues. They will get you the best deal at the appropriate place for your event, or otherwise, the most bang for your buck.

There are a lot of companies looking to take advantage of today's economic situation. Don't be fooled by the sound of something that is too good to be true. If you are a company who has hired a planner because they have promised you the world on a silver platter, be wary. Numbers don't lie, and in the end you will either pay more or being greatly disappointed with the event. Likewise, if you are a planner hired by a demanding company with unrealistic expectations, be wary. You will either be running around like a nut trying to accomplish the unattainable, or potentially tarnishing your reputation.

Photo courtesy of Corporate Events Barcelona

Birthday Invitation : 1

Scalloped flower birthday invitaion for Chloe's first birthday!

Do you love this invitation? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding, birthday or special event, please contact

Wedding Monogram : 6

Wedding monogram for Bettisha and Dwyane's wedding!

Do you love this monogram? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

TOTW : Special Events At Home

For over two months, Lauren Daversa Events has been examining the different elements that go into throwing an event at a private house. This five part TOTW series has covered the logistical issues associated with parking; the importance of understanding household capacity; the not so pretty topic of restrooms and cleaning; and now the series has reached the fourth and most critical segment: rental needs.

Undoubtedly, rentals can be almost as expensive, in some cases more expensive than the food and beverage for an event. Depending on the type of event being planned, rental needs can include, but certainly are not limited to:

  1. Tables
  2. Chairs
  3. Tents
  4. Draping
  5. Lighting
  6. Flooring
  7. Dance Floor
  8. Heaters/Air Conditioners
  9. Tableware
  10. Linens/Chair Covers
  11. Bathrooms
  12. Decorations
  13. Staging

Pretty overwhelming, right? When you determine exactly what you need to make the event work, all of a sudden the perfect at-home wedding looks like a money pit. Securing rentals is one area where an inexperienced renter can be taken advantage of by the time the deposit is put down. This is also an area where having an experienced wedding planner really helps.

First, an event planner is educated in the cost of rental items, the labor involved to set them up and break them down, they know which companies are professional with good, well maintained products and which companies are just bad news! An event planner will also get a better price than the average customer. They work with these companies on a regular basis, they are not a one time shopper. Therefore, the rental company offers them discounted prices.

Don't beat yourself up if you're not working with an event planner. Have the rental company to the site of the event for a site inspection and ask LOTS OF QUESTIONS. Don't be intimidated. Ask them why they are proposing the specific tent size and have them mark the space off on your lawn. Get their input on unexpected weather because - note to self - unexpected weather changes everything. Will the tent withstand wind and rain? How about the land? Is the land level where you want to put the tent? Or, might you need flooring? And those gold chivari chairs you broke the bank for, they certainly cannot get wet. If it rains, will the lawn become a mud pool? How about an unexpected heat wave, or cold front. Do they have heaters, air conditioners or fans? Ask them what they suggest for a Plan B. Then do your homework and research what they are proposing.

When you receive their quote, go through it, line by line. Ask what their less expensive options are. You might not need the highest price china. Make sure you are getting what you need and want and that they are not burning a hole through your pocket. And always make sure you have everything agreed upon in writing. When you know what you need...check with your other vendors. The caterer will definitely be able to supply a lot of your rental needs.

Yes, you'll need to rent everything: tables, chairs, china, dinnerware, napkins, linens, settings, barware, portable restrooms, a tent, lighting, draping, flooring. It's enough to make your head spin. However, take it step by step. Determine what you need, who has it and how much. Go with reputable companies, read the contract and you're all set! Remember, hosting any special event is all about being prepared. Hosting a special event at home means you have to go above and beyond to ensure your event is a success.

This is a five part posting. Check back next week for the final post on Electrical Capacity.

Photo courtesy of Top Hat Party Design

DIY : Party Favor Label

100% customizable and 100% fabulous!

I get a lot of requests from people to send them a design to print themselves. Above is a recent design I sent for Jess, a sweet girl from New Jersey planning her Sweet 16!!! Her birthday happens to fall on Halloween and she chose pink, orange and black as her colors. Jess wanted a custom label for her favors, homemade sugar cookies she is baking with her grandmother. This is such an easy project, complete in three simple steps.
  1. Bake something
  2. Put it in a zip lock bag
  3. Fold and attach the label to the top of the bag

Do you love this label? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

L | D Finds : Preggatinis

I am constantly reading about new cocktails hoping to find something inspirational and fresh to serve at weddings and special events. Of course I was incredibly happy to find Natalie Bovis-Nelsen's fantastic book, Preggatinis! That's right, a book filled with creative, non-alcoholic cocktails designed for moms-to-be! These recipes don't have to be just for the future moms...use them for children and non-drinkers!

Wedding Invitation : 6

Custom design wedding invitation
for Whitney and Benjamin's Naples wedding!

Do you love this invitation? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

Wedding Invitation : 5

Custom design wedding invitation
for Julissa and James's Connecticut wedding!

Do you love this invitation? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in either design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

For The Bride : Do Not Forget A Dress Hanger

Let me paint a picture...Bride Bella has spent months searching for the perfect wedding gown, trying on wedding gowns, dreaming about wedding gowns, rationalizing how to pay for her dream wedding gown. Then, on that special day, she found it. It's beautiful and expensive but who cares, this is her wedding, her once in a lifetime, special day!

Fast forward nine months to Bride Bella's wedding day. She's gotten her nails done, her make-up done, her hair done. She is the perfect shade of a light, golden bronze without being orange. The photographer is in her hotel suite snapping pictures of all the details while she sips on champagne with her bridesmaids. Everything is amazing. But there is a small detail that was missed. Bride Bella's dress hanging on a plastic hanger. When Bride Bella reviews her wedding photos, she's going to be pissed.

See the difference!

Don't count on the photographer saying, "Hey, Bride Bella, the hanger your dress is on sucks. Do you happen to have a dress hanger any where?"  If your working with a wedding planner, he or she should think of this (I know I would).  But if you're organizing your wedding alone, there might not be anyone to bring this detail to your attention.

I know this may seem like a small detail but it counts. Besides, everything is in the details! Trust me, no bride wants to forever see her beautiful wedding gown hanging on a plastic hanger!! So, if your wedding dress does not come with a wooden or fabric hanger...ask for one from the boutique. Or if you have to, go out and by one.

Happy Planning!

Photo of dress on wooden hanger courtesy of Orange Girl Photographs
Photo of dress on plastic hanger courtesy of David Purslow

Wedding Invitation : 4

Custom design wedding invitation
for Sara and Edward's Palm Beach wedding!

Do you love this invitation? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

Wedding Invitations : 3

Custom design wedding invitation for
Allison and Palmer's destination wedding!

Do you love this invitation? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

TOTW : Tables

Banquet tables make more efficient use of space versus round tables. If you are using round tables, create visual interest and variety by using a mix of different sized tables.

Photo courtesy of Blooms By Martha Andrews

By the way, check out Martha's blog. It's overflowing with inspiration!

Signature Drink Club : Butternut & Falernum

Living in South Florida, I no longer experience the change of seasons I grew up with in New England. It's funny, I used to wonder why people would actually make a pilgrimage to view the leaves changing color. Now I understand. With this theme in mind, I am going to pay homage to the welcoming of the new season by highlighting a drink I've read a lot about but have yet to taste. The Butternut & Falernum at Tailor, located in my hometown - the one and only NYC, is all the rage. The drink combines rum, brown butter, juiced and reduced butternut squash, and falernum—a cane-sugar-based liqueur and has hints of almond, clove and lime. WOW! But the directions do not end here. Next, the mixture is shaken with ice and sprinkled with nutmeg. This drink would be amazing as a signature cocktail for a fall dinner party. It is different, seasonal and based on all the praise in the press and the patrons of Tailor, it is delicious.

• 2 oz. Matusalem Gran Reserva Rum
• 3/4 oz. John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum Liqueur
• Grated fresh nutmeg to garnish

• 2 oz. Butternut Squash Jus from an 8lb butternut squash
• 5 tablespoons brown sugar
• 5 tablespoons brown butter

• Make approximately 16 oz. of butternut squash jus by juicing the squash.
• Simmer juice to reduce by one third, add 5 tablespoons of brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
• Add 5 tablespoons of brown butter to the juice and refrigerate overnight.
• Pass through a sieve to remove the butter solids.
• Into a cocktail mixer pour 2 oz. of butternut squash and add the remaining ingredients except nutmeg.
• Shake and strain into a double rocks glass 3/4 filled with fresh ice cubes.
• Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Receipe courtesy of New York Magazine
Photo courtesy of Jeff Gurwin

TOTW : Important Rental Questions

There seem to be an endless list of important questions that must be asked when renting items for your wedding or special event. Most of those questions focus on the rental items, set up and pricing, however. There is another aspect often overlooked, which is break down. It's extremely important to find out exactly what is required of you after the event is over. Below are six key points to discuss with your representative. Keep them on hand when booking your rentals because overlooking them usually results in additional charges and nobody likes that!

• Do the dishes need to be separated, rinsed and / or washed?
• Do the tables need to be broken down and / or stacked ?
• Do the chairs need to be stacked and / or bagged?
• Do the linens need to be folded?
• How do I maintain the fountain?
• Do I need to gather all the rental items in one single location, or place them in a certain area for pick up?

Photo courtesy of Encore Party Rentals

Norm 06 Puzzle Light

feel more human looks in the obvious places, peek around corners and turn over the unassuming stones for products, information and resources that support a modern lifestyle. They put it all in one place, and let you poke around and shop for new products that turn heads and open minds. One of these products is the Norm 06 Puzzle Light. Inspired by nature, lilies and water lilies, Norm 06 is a sculptural lamp shade with its own expression. It's easy to assemble without the need for any tools or glue and would be a unique and head turning addition to use as decor for a special event.

Real Events : Rebecca Thuss

You might not know her name but you certainly know her work. Rebecca Thuss is a ten year veteran of Martha Stewart Living, an award winning photo-stylist, a creative director, wedding designer and crafter who is responsible for the breathtaking work everyone swoons over. Yeah, she can literally make people sigh out loud; or maybe, quietly to themselves. Either way, she is an amazing talent who inspires people like me. If you are in need of some event inspiration you should visit her website and view her portfolio right now! You will not be disappointed.

TOTW: Count Yourselves

Do you want to eat at your reception? Then don't forget to include yourselves in the guest count. Seems to obvious, right? Well, what appears to be a funny thought -the guests of the hour not having something to eat- really does happen.

It's not that difficult to figure out how. Picture this, the bride and groom have diligently worked on their wedding spreadsheets for twelve months. They have made sure to dot every i and cross every t. They can tell you who is having steak, who is a vegan, how many vendor meals they ordered and who is sitting at table ten. Their spreadsheets are perfect, not even a typo in the bride's college roommate's new boyfriend's last name. That's right, it's all perfect except they didn't include themselves in the final guest count. Okay, maybe the bride and the groom will eat but someone might be eating the leftover stuffed mushroom caps from the cocktail hour for dinner.

Now in a perfect world where everyone has hired fantastic vendors, this is a non issue because these fantastic vendors are prepared, however. The bride and groom who had worked so diligently on every single detail, also have a tight budget where every penny is accounted for in the beautiful, 98 person, garden reception they've planned. When they didn't hear back from Uncle Joe, Aunt Beth, cousin Steve and cousin Drea, they assumed they were not going to make it to the wedding; and, when the groom never heard back from his father's old golf buddy who just remarried and moved across the country, again they assumed they were not attending; and they never imagined the photographer would end up bringing two extra assistants to the wedding to cover even more angles of the event. So, three days before the wedding, they called the caterer and gave them the final head count of 98, accidentally leaving themselves out of the final count.

Ta-da, this is how easy it is for there to be a food shortage at a wedding. So make yourselves count!

Photo bride and groom chocolate caramel apples courtesy of Beau-Coup

DIY: Scratch Off Ticket

The name says it all. And Art Mind -who also has a shop on Etsy- teaches you just how to make a scratch off lottery ticket. There are about one million and one uses for this: baby shower, dinner party, wedding, birthday party, cards, promotional tool. This is just the coolest tutorial I have seen in a while and you can change it up to suit your event. Enjoy!

DIY: Pendant Lamp

I was reading a posting from The Estate of Things on making a pendant lamp. Immediately, I thought this would be a perfect piece to decorate an event. The original idea comes from Crafty Nest. She used a large bouncy ball, clear drying craft glue, hemp string and a light fixture. The size of the ball and the type of string and light fixture used can be tailored to fit the decor of the specific event. Previously, I wrote a post on this same type of project, however. It appears that Ready Made has since taken that project down, so enjoy!

Wedding Gowns Under $250

Here is the second dress in the Wedding Gowns Under $250 series, featuring gorgeous finds for your wedding attire priced under...$250. Chadwicks, yes, Chadwicks is where I stumbled upon this gorgeous pleated charmeuse dress complete with a intricately beaded bodice. The dress features an empire-waistline, which is figure-flattering; sweetheart neckline; spaghetti straps that place an emphasis on the shoulders; and a long, pleated skirt in silky charmeuse. To me, this dress evokes a beach wedding but to each bride is her own! The cost of this beautiful dress...$134.99, proving beautiful can be affordable.

TOTW: Special Events At Home

This article marks the half way point of the five part TOTW series on hosting special events at home. The first entry in the series explored many of the logistical issues associated with parking. The second entry focused on household capacity. Today the focus turns to the not so pretty but boo hoo because it's imperative to think about topic of restrooms and cleaning.

Two of the most common areas overlooked when hosting any special event at home are restrooms and cleaning, starting with restrooms. Can your home support 150 people going to the bathroom between one and three time over the course of a four or five hour period? I'm going to go out on a limb and say no, unless you have mighty toilets and a super septic tank. And even if you do have mighty toilets and and a super septic tank that can withstand constant flushing, the average house has only has two or three bathrooms, which is just not enough. The magical number of toilets should be at least 1 toilet for every 35 guests.

If this is not sufficient support that provisions need to be made for additional restrooms, how about this: are all your bathrooms located on the first floor, right next to one another? Probably not. They are more than likely spread out throughout your house. Meaning, guests will have to walk into your private bedrooms to access the restrooms. Hmmmm, no thank you!

Okay, still not convinced? What happens if one of the toilets malfunctions? Besides creating a mess -literally and figuratively- you'll be out the money that should have been spent on the additional restrooms anyways since you'll have to hire a plumber to fix the problem. So cut to the chase and make the right provisions by renting additional restrooms.

And there is NO need to be embarrassed by having port-o-potties trucked into your gorgeous wedding because they have gone glam. Seriously, check out Kholer's luxury restrooms. This is a luxury restroom that provides an upscale environment for events such as concert tours, sports tournaments, corporate events, birthday parties, and weddings. The multi-user restrooms features individual male and female suites, and porcelain KOHLER® sinks and toilets, chrome faucets, and luxurious trim and finish materials available in cherry wood and marble. Tasteful artwork, music, air-conditioning, and full-length mirrors are also present in all restrooms, to make participants feel comfortable in their bathroom-away-from-home. Okay, maybe this isn't in everyone's budget. But the port-o-potty has evolved from the blue constructions workers stalls of the past. There are upscale options available.

The second portion of this entry focus on cleaning. Hiring a clean up crew is another must for an at home special event. Of course, your caterer will help to clean up the event, however. The caterer will probably not be cleaning your luxury restrooms throughout the evening, or picking up anything the guests may have dropped, tidying up the house, wiping down the floor or table tops, emptying ashtrays, keeping trash cans empty. After all the guests have left, the crew can also do a sweep of the street picking up any mess left behind. This is something you will not want to do after the party, or even the next day. But left unattended could result in a costly fine from your neighborhood association or the town where you live. Don't worry, the clean up crew doesn't need to be an army. Certainly one or two helpers will suffice.

Remember, hosting any special event is all about being prepared. Hosting a special event at home means you have to go above and beyond to ensure your event is a success.

This is a five part posting. Check back next week for tips on Rental Needs.

Photo Courtesy of Atlantis Home