Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hosting a Holiday Party

December is always filled with company parties, socials and luncheons for work, it can be a bit overwhelming! How do you make yours different?

I planned a holiday party for a martial arts school last weekend and it was great! The venue, A Cow Jumped Over the Moon, has always had such a great staff and the restaurant's look is already elegant, sophisticated, and fun.

With just a little bit of holiday magic, I was able to create a casual yet chic holiday party for families, couples, and single ready to mingle people. Thanks to Christine Chang for capturing these beautiful photos of the night.

Signage is key, especially if your guests have never been there before.
The venue already had such great ambiance, it made it easy to just accents and little details to finish the festive look.
Great (kosher!) sushi was featured in Angeleno magazine.
Ornament-shaped name tags and a
customized wreath featuring the company's logo on silver medallions.

A live DJ makes all the difference!
Ready for the party to begin!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Decorating for the Holidays on a Budget!

So the economy is down and you’re trying to keep your expenses low this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring in the New Year with decorations for the holidays! I always believe that when you’re on a tight budget, it only makes you more creative and resourceful! So let’s get those creative juices flowing as I show you some fun tips to make your house ready for the holiday spirit without spending any of that gift money!

1. It Smells Like Christmas! Nothing feels more like the holidays to me than all the wonderful smells that come with it. Peppermint, pine, and cinnamon scents are easy to capture with candles. Decorate the candles with some greenery or even a ribbon, and you’ve got a beautiful tabletop piece that also smells great!

2. Edible Centerpieces. Don’t know what to do for the center of your table? Place a few jars of various shapes and sizes and fill them with yummy holiday-colored candy! Your guests won’t be able to resist grabbing a handful of sweets every time they walk by.

Photo: Inspire Me Crafts

3. Display Your Christmas Cards. What do you usually do with all the holiday cards you receive in the mail, place it on the mantel? This year, use those cards as part of the decor, displaying them in groups around the house, or putting them up on a wall or door in the shape of a tree, or placed in a basket or bowl.

4. Back to Nature. Take a brisk walk outside (chilly!) and collect some pinecones, acorns, leaves, small branches, berries, and evergreens. Arrange them together as a nice display in a tall vase or tied together as a bouquet. To add some color, spray paint the pinecones and branches gold or silver to make it really sparkle!

5. Happy Green Holidays! You may not even realize it, but being creative and resourceful with your decorating helps the environment too! My final tip is to skip on all the unnecessary wrapping paper (they’ll just throw it away, right?) and use newspaper or any other large printed material instead! Know an architect who throws out blueprints all the time, or banner paper that schools throw out at the end of the year? Use those interesting prints to create a unique gift wrapping idea for your friends and family. Finish off the wrapping with an elegant bow. Not only will everyone notice how eco-friendly you are, but your gifts will probably be the first to be opened!

Friday, December 4, 2009

My funniest moment in Event Planning So Far

So I've been meaning to write about the funniest moment in my event planning career so far. I would say other people had the laugh, I was just trying to get my work done!

For Halloween this year, my boss requested 2 "dead" bodies to float in a swimming pool at a party. Since we only had a few days to procure this and it wasn't in the original budget, I had to think of something fast. After much research online and calling for prices, I decided to get resourceful. I went over to the local sex shop and the woman there was very helpful about explaining the various looks and positions of inflatable lifesize dolls.

After purchasing 2, I headed back to the office and began creating a "dead man" and "dead woman" in distinct clothing. The man got to wear a pair of my old jeans, a plaid button-down shirt, and a fun hat to cover the big gaping hole of the inflatable doll's mouth. I also had a problem with the gy-normous chest on the man, so I had to roll up the plastic and tie them down! For the woman, unfortunately I didn't have a dress picked out so I had to put together a sexy dress of random fabrics that we had in the warehouse, but I made sure she wore matching black bra and panties (she was a DD). I was also able to snag a black wig for her to give her some long locks.

The end result is what you see before, and guess what? My boss LOVED it, and I got to learn about the 3 holes that all inflatable dolls come with!

My "Dead Man" to float in the pool.
Look at the dress on her!

My happy Halloween couple!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wedding Traditions, What Do They Mean Anyway?

Working on another wedding in a few weeks, and I started wondering where all the wedding customs and traditions came from and what they meant back then. I was able to find some really interesting and fun stuff!

The Wedding Bouquet
There are several reasons for the wedding bouquet. In ancient Poland for example, when you sprinkled sugar on the bouquet it would keep her temper sweet. For Greeks and Romans, the bouquet was a mix of garlic and herbs or grains. The garlic was used to ward off evil spirits, and the herbs or grain was to ensure a fruitful union.
Wedding Dress
Traditionally, brides didn't wear white! Up through the 18th century, most brides just wore their "Sunday best" to their wedding, including red as a favorite during the Middle Ages in Europe. Other colors were worn for symbolic reasons: blue meant constancy, green meant youth, and eventually white was worn as a symbol of purity.

Throwing Rice
One of the oldest wedding traditions, the custom of throwing rice originated with the ancient Hindus and Chinese. In these cultures, rice is the symbol of fruitfulness and prosperity. Tossing it after the ceremony was believed to bestow fertility upon the bride and groom. Eating rice and other grains was thought to guarantee health, wealth and happiness for the newlyweds. Today, rice tossing is being replaced by the more ecologically friendly birdseed tossing, because uncooked rice is damaging to birds who eat it off the church lawn.

Wedding Veil
Originally, the veil was thought to have been used to hide the bride from abductors, much like dressing the bridesmaids in similar dresses was supposed to do. But more recently it has been to romantically conceal the bride's face because it was believed what was hidden is more valuable. Another early interpretation of the veil was that it symbolized youth and virginity.

Wedding Ring
The wedding ring has traditionally been worn on the third finger of the left hand because it was believed that a vein in this finger ran directly to the heart. The third finger of the left hand has become the customary wedding-ring finger for all
English-speaking cultures.

Kiss
The first kiss at the close of the ceremony is still very important today. Many cultures believe that when the couples kiss, they exchange spirits with their breath and with that, part of their souls are united.
Cake
The wedding cake has always played an important part in the wedding. Ancient Romans broke a cake over the bride's head to symbolize fertility or abundance. Many other cultures dropped wheat, flour or cake on the bride's head, and then ate the crumbs for good luck. The early British baked baskets of dry crackers, and every guest took one home after the wedding. In medieval times, guests brought small cakes and piled them on a table. The bride and groom then attempted to kiss over the cakes. Eventually, a young baker decided to put all the cakes together and cover them with frosting, thus the tiered wedding cake was born.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Party Goddess! Parties it Up!

I work part time at The Party Goddess! and Marley Majcher, the boss lady, just celebrated her big 40th birthday bash on Saturday. Jen O' Sullivan was one of the amazing photographers who captured the night with her stellar photos, including this one with me, Ji San, and Camilla, 2 coworkers that were in charge of checking in the guests with me (hence the matching outfits!).

Photos by Jen O Sullivan. Super fab!

It was a fantastical event with the theme, "The 4 Seasons, more than just a hotel" and showcased 4 rooms of each season and included a Hunky Santa in a gingerbread house, massage chairs and a Pama bar, a tiki bar, and a pirate ship with pilgrims and a mashed potato bar! More pictures to come!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Hot Beach Wedding

I was lucky enough to work on Sue Cook's daughter Kristen's wedding earlier this month and by far had the most fun I have ever had at a wedding!!Both Lauren Ho and I worked the day-of coordination of the event which was held at the Beach Club in Santa Monica. Kristen and Toshi, the bride and groom, have been together since high school and shared a beautiful beach front wedding during sunset and cocktail dinner.
But the FUN part was definitely the people, from their sense of humor to dancing and singing to Grease's "Summer Nights!"Christine Chang was the talented photographer along with Sean who did the photobooth. Here are some pictures from her blog.
The bride and her beautiful bridesmaids who were very supportive and attentive.
These crazy party animal groomsmen with Toshi the groom.

Photographers Christine and Sean with the newlyweds.
The newlyweds were led to their car by guests holding sparklers and headed off to the Huntley Hotel where the rest of the party wedding guests met up for more drinking and dancing. They closed the club down and I went home exhausted but having had a great time!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Count Fluffula's Costumes and Cocktails

I spent a super fun Saturday night helping a wonderful non-profit called the "Four Legged Friends Foundation (FLFF) raise money at their Halloween fundraiser where pets got to dress up in Halloween costumes!! It was adorable!
Sandra Lollino, founder of FLFF, put this even together that featured face painting, a doggie-and-companion fashion show, raffle tickets for prizes, a silent auction, and the main event, a costume contest! Animals and their companions walked the red carpet (and grass!) to show off their coolest, cutest, scariest, and funniest costumes for a chance to win!
Gotta love a Chihuahua mermaid!!

OMG this dog was ADORABLE!!!!
(and he had his own business card!)

Debra Skelton from MadTV was the Emcee for the night and did a great job keeping the vibe up!

These girls rock! DeAnne and Sandra Lollino
For more information about FLFF or about the event, click here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stepping Up in the City

I attended a Step Up Women's Network event last week to honor friend Jaclyn Mullen's award to her Commitment to Philanthropy and their annual membership celebration. Held at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, this event was wall-to-wall packed! Photoboothless with Bryant Sentosa was there promoting their new photobooth and 6 ladies were honored for their amazing support to Step Up and to their community. After hearing the speakers and one of the young ladies who was sponsored by Step Up's mentorship program, I decided to join the non-profit organization and see what I could offer the community!! =D
Congratulations to Jaclyn and all the wonderful women for all their hard work. I'll keep you posted on all the fun upcoming events from Step Up!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Party, ISES Hollywood Style!

ISES had their monthly meeting in October and it was a Hollywood Halloween-themed party!
Coffin Tables...a nice touch!
Held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, it was the perfect place for ISES members to dress in their costumed best, play games, eat orange-white chocolate from Chocolate Delights, and dance the night away! Doyle Borden from My Flower Guy designed all the flowers and decor of the event, including the overall design, which was a perfect mix of Halloween at a vintage Hollywood hotel!Met some very nice people, including Kevin Viner who did an amazing magic trick for us that involved lemons that I'd never seen before, a talking photobooth from E-pod Events, and I even got a tarot card reading from Susanna with Leonard Neil productions.
"Marilyn Monroe" from Champagne Creative Group shared her goodies at the party.
I always love attending ISES events because you get to see familiar faces and brand new faces, and everyone is just so talented! I plan on lunching with Erika from An Catering, attending a show at the Magic Castle this week for Andrew Goldenhersh, and I'll be volunteering at the "Meet the Masters" event in November! The life of an event planner is always busy!

But definitely the best part of the night was the costume contest and the scavenger hunt. Congrats to Jeremy for having that competitive spirit and to everyone who dressed up for the occasion!
The Fab Winners of Costume Contest!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Enter the Red Carpet Wedding Contest from BridalTweet!


NEW YORK – September 15, 2009 – BridalTweet.com today announced a contest awarding one lucky bride a complimentary rental of dazzling diamond earrings to wear on her wedding day. Each bride who joins BridalTweet.com before October 30 will be entered to win, compliments of Adorn Brides.1 “The Red Carpet Wedding contest is our way of thanking brides for joining our wedding community,” said Christine Dyer, creator and founder of BridalTweet.com. “We’re seeing that brides will rent anything from visual props to floral arrangements, table linens, head-pieces and sometimes even dresses; why not rent diamonds for the special day.”

Each bride that joins BridalTweet.com will also gain access to the wedding community’s ongoing benefits such as free wedding advice, exclusive offers, giveaways, information about local events, a local vendor directory, and more. All BridalTweet.com members, including brides, wedding vendors, and wedding bloggers, can also share tips and information via chats, blogs, discussions, groups, photos, and videos.

Early results indicate BridalTweet.com’s growing leadership position within the wedding industry. Since its inception in April of 2009, the wedding community at BridalTweet.com has exceeded 3,500 members, with 64 percent of the community’s visitors returning to the website in a given month – a strong signal of BridalTweet.com’s active and engaged audience.2

“We are excited to work with BridalTweet.com to bring the red carpet glamour of diamonds on loan to one lucky bride’s big event,” shared Laura Carrintgon, co-founder and chief stylist for Adorn Brides. “Every bride, regardless of her budget deserves to have access to the very best in bridal accessories. Now, brides can rent thousands of dollars of diamond jewelry for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase them thanks to Adorn Brides.”

To learn more about BridalTweet and read the press release, click here.
Hurry! The contest ends October 30th!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Featured on Utterly Engaged!

Great news! Our Mad Hatter's Tea Party was featured in "Utterly Engaged" this month! You can find the e-zine on the website in issue #004, but I also posted all the pages here for you to enjoy!
Special thanks to Adrienne Gunde, my photographer who also got the event in the magazine, and Eva Chiou, who allowed us the opportunity to post! Looking forward to the next one!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Let's Jam! 2009

Wednesday was ISES-LA's annual JAM (Joint Allied Mixer) event, held at the Millennium Biltmore hotel in downtown LA. As a committee member, we have been planning since March for this big event which involves all the event planning associations, vendors, exhibitors, ISES members, and attendees, usually with an attendance of over 500. What makes this event stand out from the usual trade shows is that we make it a fun social event as well, with drinks, food from our catering vendors, and music and lounge furniture to relax and chat.
It was a long day as we prepared the load in, set up, and prep all the booths, tables, music, registration, goody bags, decorations, and food. By the time the event started I was all sweaty and tired, but by the time I got in and saw the party in full swing, it definitely brought back my second wind!
Here are just some pictures of the amazing lounges set up on all three floors from our sponsors, Luna Party Rentals, FormDecor, Dazian Fabrics, and RrivreWorks.

Luna Party Rentals designed this one. Love the chandelier!
Jeff from FormDecor rocks! What great light-up furniture!
Amazing Chinese-inspired lounge area from RrvireWorks.

Here are some fabulous companies I was able to meet:
Lattes on Location
Chocolate Delights
Get Flipped!
Luna Party Rentals

And of course there were all the familiar faces whom I love and adore!
Me with Dora (my super fab Event Associate) and good friend Sue Cook (LAPD).
I was able to snap a few pictures during the event, but before I knew it 4 hours had passed and it was time to wrap up!
Champagne Showgirls always know how to show it off!
The fall tabletop from Divine Luxury Design.
Shirvan Designs creates a beautiful table masterpiece.
Thanks so much to the JAM committee members for all their hard work and dedication to make this event such a success! I felt truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with some of the industry's best. And many many thanks to all the fabulous volunteers who came out to help on the day of the event, including Joyce (my parking partner in crime!), Camilla Z. (TPG!) and her friend Lauren, and Lauren T.