Monday, January 25, 2010

Valentine's Day Theme Parties!

January is almost over and Valentine’s Day is around the corner. The holiday of “Love” can become very expensive with all the flowers, chocolates, dinners and jewelry. Try something different this year and host a cost efficient party without feeling like Cupid has shot you in the wallet. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, here are some creative and non-traditional Valentine’s Day party themes to enjoy with your loved one or fun friends.

1. Famous Couples Costume Party. Halloween shouldn’t be the only holiday you can dress in costume for! Have your guests dress up as famous couples or duets throughout the past or present. For example; Sunny and Cher or Obama and Biden. Have every guest throughout the party vote for the best costumed duo/couple.

2. A Red Hot Event! This theme can become cheesy but, with a few adjustments it can be a very classy event. Have your guest dress in shades of red. Decorate the party using flowers, candles and candy in any shade of red. Serve red desserts such as chocolate covered strawberries, spicy foods or Red Velvet cake.

3. Matchmaker Party: Ok so you don’t have to play Cupid to make love connections. The whole idea of this theme is to allow singles the opportunity to meet new possible matches. Have your guest all bring a single friend. Play games such as Pictionary or Charades in order to get your guest talking. Remember humor can help to loosen up the crowd. Don’t serve food/drinks that leave you with stained teeth or tongues, smelly breath or ruined clothing. Remember, the whole point is to find a match!

4. A Dive into Love Tasting Party: When you think of Valentine’s Day, you think of lots of Chocolate! Host a chocolate tasting party; allowing your guest to taste anything chocolate. Serve some unusual chocolate products such as chocolate covered bugs, Chocolate beer, or deep fried chocolate candy. For those non-chocolate lovers try a “fondue” like theme. Serve foods such as chips, fruit, cheese, and meats to dip in an assortment of sauces or mixes.
5. A Night in Paris: Take a trip for one night and bring your guest to Paris, France: the city of Love. Create perfect décor by utilizing those old Christmas tree lights and re-create a beautiful evening at a Paris café. To set the mood, try live music. Serve crepes, cappuccinos, wines and cheese, and other French foods. Before you know it, love will be in the air!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Special Event 2010: Final Week Review!

Okay peeps! The final review of TSE 2010 is in! I write this as I sit in my room for the last night as the rain outside slowly lets up. The weather is warmer than usual, so I'm surprisingly warm and happy, but it's suspicious too. We'll see how cold it is tomorrow, but I hope my plane doesn't get delayed from the thunderstorms they predict!

Thursday I decided to sleep in. Last year I got really sick with a kidney infection after TSE 2009 in San Diego, so in order to prevent sleep deprivation and possible sickness, I thought sleeping the extra hour would do me good.

Sessions were a little lighter but I did get some good notes and see a lot of the same faces I've been meeting all week (which is a great thing!). This was our only free evening of the week, so I spent it with Marley Majcher, The Party Goddess!, at her cocktail hour at the Marriott mingling with all types of folks and getting to know planners from all over the world!

Friday, the last day of TSE. Some people are eager to get home while others try to squeeze every last minute out of the trip. I attended 3 sessions (getting press, networking, and table design) before heading over to the last bit of the exhibition hall and hit up the last of the vendors there.
Then I decided to head over to Cafe du Monde for the last bit of beignets and hot chocolate of the trip! OMG it was soooo cold and windy!!! Thursday was such a beautiful day, I almost considered taking off one of my 4 layers, but Friday was crazy cold! The worst part of it was getting ready for the Gala dinner and realizing it was raining outside! Who wants to dress up in formal attire and heels when it's pouring out?

I finally made it back to the auditorium for the Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner. I helped set up and welcome people to the event, then headed over to prepare for the dinner, which was beautifully set up!
The centerpieces to the Gala Awards cocktail hour.
We were able to take a big group picture (to be posted soon!) and sit for dinner. The entertainment was AMAZING!!! I will post all those entertainers, photos, and links soon, but trust me, it was so good that everyone had to get up and dance, clap, and give standing ovations!
The dinner ended with more amazing Flutter-fetti exploding everywhere and a Champagne Chandelier girl from Champagne Entertainment Group (Rolando rocks!!) and then we danced the night away! And BTW, Steve from Party Hats is an AMAZING dancer!!! I was doing moves I didn't even know I could do on the dance floor with him! So fun!Sad to be leaving New Orleans after being here for almost 10 days! But with the rain, the cold, the football game tomorrow, and Mardi Gras in a few weeks, it might be a good time to start heading out before it starts getting really crazy! I have met so many amazing people, vendors, speakers, and have gotten so many ideas (I almost finished my notebook full of notes!) that I can't wait to read over and start implementing!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Special Event 2010: Mid-Week Review!

Here in New Orleans, or as the locals call it, N'awlins, for The Special Event conference 2010. It's definitely colder than it is in LA, but I'm pulling through and getting to the sessions, my volunteer events, and the evening parties. Gotta make the best of it, right?

My boyfriend and I were out here 5 days before the conference started to really enjoy and tour NOLA, so if you wanna hear about the plantation tours, Katrina, the French Quarter, beignets (yummy!), muffulettas, or any other Cajun or Creole food, let me know and I'll send you a link to my travel journal. But this blog is about the happenings of TSE thus far; my 2 day report!

Tuesday was all sessions. Met some really phenomenal speakers and designers, and met some fabulous people from LA and NY!

Tabletop sample by speaker Christina Springfield, Events by Nouveau Flowers, Inc.
In the evening, mingled at the "TSE Starts Here" party at the Generations Hall, which was a beautiful venue! Food was catered by BIO and included all the southern cajun delights like po boys, brisket, shrimp and grits, and their famous sweet pralines for dessert. But the most impressive of the evening was the Mojeaux band, which totally ROCKED!! They had guests dancing the entire night, and did everything from old skool classics to rock to rap to hip hop! I have never seen a live band RAP, but they did so flawlessly!

Rocking out with the Mojeaux Band! Holla for the Saints going to the Superbowl!
Wednesday was all work. I worked at the Wedding luncheon and got to check out the Gallery early, and it was beautiful! The themes this year involved using natural elements, so table designs were based on Metal, Wood, and Paper.

Metal theme was done by Frank Andonoplas, Frank Event Design.
The table setting for the "Wood" theme was done by Sasha Souza Events.

Paper theme table setting by Janet Flowers.
(I heard those cardboard chairs could hold up to 500 pounds!)
The wedding luncheon theme was also a landscape of trees and meadows with a river of collective blue tables with jumping water and flowers connecting them together-Georgous!
The meadows and forest tables surrounded the blue river tables in the center.
In the evening I worked with Party Hats as they welcomed and fitted everyone with their infamous decorative hats at the "Welcome party."

Teresa from Texas in her Mardi Gras getup.

Afterward we checked out the Mardi Gras floats at the venue, Mardi Gras World, and enjoyed the Mansion section (very "Pirates of the Caribbean" with the outdoors indoors), food, drinks, and live band. The night ended with a huge spray of confetti butterflies and a barge on the Mississippi river shooting off a grand fireworks show!

Confetti butterflies are so pretty!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Linens in a Whole New Way!

Tabletop Fashions will be showcasing their newest look at TSE 2010 in New Orleans: the Scarf Overlay Line!A great way to dress up a table with bold accents and colors, and look at how many ways you can play with it!
The line includes a "Carnival" scarf with oversize polka dots, or "Florence" that features delicate embroidery. There's also the "Edgewater" design, a modern look with circles mixing with undulating lines.Make sure to visit TableTop Fashions (booth 122) at TSE as they debut nine new lines of linen rentals in the trade show area!
Photo Credit: Tabletop Fashions

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wedding Predictions for 2010

About This Blog: Christine Dyer has an MBA in marketing and shares over ten years of marketing expertise with the wedding community. In this weekly blog called Supercharge Your Wedding Business, you'll find advice on an array of wedding business topics such as how to market to brides, social networking, wedding PR, wedding sales, vendor networking, branding, pricing and much more.

In 2010, we’ll see a continued increase in weddings that are personalized, green, vintage, destination and DIY. Brides will still want their “red carpet moment” but they will plan their weddings with a more practical, down-to-earth mindset. Think smaller, more intimate weddings with bigger, more dramatic details. I believe that many of the values that brides cared about in 2009 still hold true. Brides will look to be transformed on their big day, they will value shared experiences and they will make their day an extension of their personal individuality.
Photo: The Knot
New wedding themes will also emerge in 2010. Thanks in part to Vera Wang’s 2009 classical design of Ivanka Trump’s dress, I believe we will start to see fewer strapless gowns and more creative accents like feathers. “The stuffy by-the-rule-book wedding of years past has completely vanished. There is a woman in white, music, food, cake and vows - but every other aspect of the American wedding has been reconsidered,” reports BRIDES Magazine New American Wedding Survey.

Photo: The Knot
Here are some additional statistics from the survey related to emerging wedding trends:
• Fewer than half of weddings take place in a house of worship.
• 20% of couples have a friend or relative deputized to perform the ceremony.
• 13% of receptions feature music via iPod.
• Couples going with live bands are hiring specialty bands such as salsa, R&B and Polka.
• Over 1/4 of couples plan their weddings around a theme.
• 97% of grooms get involved with the planning.
• Soul-food and Mexican are the new go-to wedding cuisines.

Despite the surge in new wedding trends, many old traditions will still live on throughout the next decade. BRIDES Magazine New American Wedding Survey also reported:
• 76% will have a large wedding with all the traditions.
• 87% of women will wear a long white dress.
• 93% will indulge in a cake-cutting ceremony.
• 75% of brides will toss the bouquet and just under that amount will share a father/daughter dance.

Niche wedding blogs as well as free wedding websites will continue to proliferate in 2010.
One of the greatest trends from 2009 was the explosion of so many FREE online resources and social networks to promote our wedding businesses. This has become somewhat of a double-edged sword because these resources can be overwhelming to brides.

Wedding professionals with the most entrepreneurial mindsets will thrive. During tough economic times, it is the smaller, nimbler organizations that can be creative and adapt. In 2010, we’ll see many entrepreneurial minds partnering together, cross-promoting each other and bartering. Social networks are a great place to create and foster these types of symbiotic relationships with other wedding professionals.

Technology and innovation will continue to evolve the wedding industry. Wedding professionals will increase their productivity as more software tools are introduced into the marketplace. More people will join the wedding industry because it is becoming easier to set up a website and market one’s services. Finally, adjacent wedding businesses will emerge. A great example of this was the launch of RecycledBride in 2009. Technology was one of the biggest enablers of the new marketplace at RecycledBride where brides and vendors buy and sell all things wedding-related. 2010 will be a year where the wedding industry will see new technology platforms, new marketplaces and new ways to connect.