Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Anatomy of a Party

This ongoing post will follow the development of a party from concept to event....

Trigger for this party:

My husband mentioned that he needed me to plan a cocktail party this coming May for clients and business associates.  In this event, I did not have to select the date, the location, or the time for the event.  The date was set by convenience, the time by what we both felt comfortable with, and we will be using our home for the event. 

1.  Theme
     I never plan a party or event without a theme in mind.  I always believe that the more fun the theme, the more fun the event.  Unfortunately (for me) for a cocktail party where the guests are primarily clients and business associates, I need to reign in my theme from something like 'The Wizard of Oz'.  I threw out a couple of ideas:  

  • Keys - "The key to our success is your business"  for example
  • Watch or Clock - "The time is now for a gathering of friends"
  • Newspaper or newsprint - featuring headlines about the event
  • Letters - I planned on using the brown craft letters on the food table spelling out EAT, and use a variety of fonts on the invitation, with perhaps an image of a vintage typewriter.
     I discussed my plans for each of these themes, and my husband selected the watch/clock theme.  

2.  Invitation
     The next step (since date, time and location were not a factor) is designing my invitation.  Even with a more subdued theme, I ALWAYS theme my invitations to my party.  I want guests to know from the beginning, that this is going to be a special event.  I have chosen a vintage clock image from The Graphics Fairy blog to use as my primary image.  

The really neat thing about this image, is that our party is planned for 7:00!

More on the invitations soon.....

Tuesday Tips...for a dinner party...

When having a dinner party,  I ALWAYS make sure I have an alternative dessert...just in case someone doesn't care for what I have made OR my dessert fails (for example, burns, falls on the floor, or whatever!).  It does happen!  I always keep a nice sherbet or ice cream in the freezer along with some fancy cookies or fruit  for garnish!  

Strawberry ice cream.
Yummy! See how a cookie makes it more special?

A garnish makes a difference!

Or...you can always just plan to serve ice cream in the first place!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Exciting Event!

Hi friends!  I was so lucky last evening to get to attend a very special dinner at Disney's Design & Display Warehouse in Orlando, Florida!  This is the place that creates all the exciting backdrops, props and display tables for Disney banquets and conventions.  You can just imagine all the fantastic stuff in their warehouse.  Unfortunately, the warehouse is considered a 'backstage' area, and I was not able to take pictures in there.  I knew that ahead of time, so I did not take my camera, but then I saw their offices, and found out I COULD take pictures in there.  Please don't mind the camera phone pictures, and enjoy!  

The lobby of the warehouse is all in black and white and grey.  Don't you love this Dalmation print sofa?

Each designer was allowed to design and decorate their office to their individual liking...
This is one designer's office!

He is obviously a Star Wars fan!
His desk. 
Darth Vader watches him work!

So sorry for the blurry pictures...I was overwhelmed (and afraid they were going to tell me to stop taking pictures at any minute!
Prop representing Plane Crazy

These are large prop pieces representing Plane Crazy, an early Mickey Mouse black and white animated short.  

The most exciting part that we could photograph was their conference room...all themed to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland!  Pictures coming later today!  

One of the chairs in the conference room.
The ceiling in the conference room. It is a chess board with chess pieces in white and red, of course!

A tiny door built into toe corner of the conference room!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras!

It was Mardi Gras today!  A few friends and I gathered at Disney's Port Orleans Resort at the Sassagoula Floatworks food court.  We wanted to make it a bit of a Mardi Gras celebration, even though it wasn't an all out party or a trip to New Orleans, so a tablecloth, some masks and hats, and you have a celebration on a tiny budget!  I hope you enjoyed your Mardi Gras day too!  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Silver and White Winter Wedding

My daughter always thought she would be married in the Spring, perhaps outside along the Lake Erie shore.  She envisioned a more casual wedding gown, perhaps with some lace.  When her fiancĂ© returned from a year in Korea in November and was to report to a Fort in Georgia, they wanted to be together, as a married couple.  Suddenly we had a New Year’s Wedding on the schedule.  From soft pastels and casual, we went silver and white and formal!  I couldn’t be happier with the results!  I hope you think so too!

The white fabric overlay on the table mimicked the wedding dress design! 

The cake was white with white butter cream frosting decorated with rhinestone ribbon and rhinestone initial topper.  The wedding couple cut the cake with the same cake server the bride's parents and grandparents used to cut their wedding cakes.  

The silver boxes on the tables held three heart-shaped cookies as favors for each guest.  Long banquet-style tables were set for the bridal party and guests.  They alternated white cloths and black with complementary alternating ribbons on the favor boxes.  

Crystal trees added to the winter decor.

To finish off...snowflakes lights floating on the ceiling!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Black and White Candy Bar

This was the lovely candy bar at my daughter's wedding!  She was married on 1.1.11 so we went with a silver and white theme.  We used gray and white M & Ms, white pearlized gumballs, white chocolate-covered pretzels, silver Hershey kisses, clear rock candy swizzle sticks and individually wrapped wintergreen Lifesavers.  The candy bar was a big hit and beautiful!