So Much To Share

It has been a long time, far too long since I have sat down to write and chat with you all.  I figured though, that this was the perfect opportunity.  Let me fill you in on what has happened since we last connected.  I now have a grandson and he will be turning one very soon.  My son also became engaged, and so we have many, many fun days of planning ahead.  Also, we as a team here, have many other milestones that we are thrilled to be sharing with you.  Within the next 10 months we will have

A wonderful first birthday party for my handsome grandson Dean,

A baby shower for Joann’s newest grandchild

Bridal showers for Katrina, my new daughter-in-law to be

Wedding party meet and greet

Rehearsal Dinner,

Wedding

and of course we still have the holidays, and our Sunday Family Dinners to share. 

I would love to take you on the journey while we plan for all of these events.  As most of you know, we are event planners and we have so much fun when it comes to planning our own events.  We try many things that we have seen but have not had the opportunity to do with any of our clients. 

I hope you enjoy the journey…

Here are a few sneak peak photos

Engagement Day

Trying on the hats mom made for my party

Cant wait to share

Graduation Party

Summer is finally here and the graduation celebrations have begun. This Sunday my little brother graduates from college and we are planning a party for him next week. My family is all about parties and entertaining. Danny (my little brother, who obviously isn’t so little) is getting his bachelor’s in hospitality management. He is all about friends, family, good food and great beer/liquor so he wanted his party to have a southern feel. After all isn’t the south known for it’s hospitality.

Planning graduation parties can be simple and they don’t have to be boring. You don’t have to have all the decorations be in the schools colors or have tons of balloons and streamers. You can subtly incorporate the colors if you want to, but the focus should be on the graduate and celebrating their achievement and who they are as an individual.

Anyways I wanted to share the invite that I designed for him. I gave it a little southern flair by using a seer sucker back ground. I am so proud of him and I can’t wait to celebrate! 

Are any of you throwing graduation parties? Stay tuned for some pictures from the party! 

Happy Halloween

Today is Halloween and first I want to say how much my heart and prayers go out to all of those on the East Coast who have had so much lose and devistation.  The country is pulling together to help and we hope this finds you all well. 

We had such a busy weekend this past weekend and as promised I have pictures to show you.

These are pictures from our pumpkin carving contest.  We had about 30 people that came out and we had 10 pumpkins in the contest.  Here are a few of the ideas that our guests came up with, from the basic to the elaborate.  We had FUN and I hope that you all try it sometime and have a great time as well. 

Here was a picture of one of the desserts that was brought…it was Yummy!!!

Here are some of the pumpkins…

There was the standard evil pumpkin

and the Disney pumpkins, Goofy, Donald and the Aloha Disney

There were many more but we thought we would just show you a few. 

Hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween.

Hugs,

Dana

Pumpkin Carving Contest

Here is one of the easiest ways to kick off the holiday season.  This is a party that is easy and enjoyable for guests of all ages.  This is our third year and each and every year I am amazed at the creativity and talent that we have in our circle of friends. 

Let me tell you how easy this can be.  We used evite to send out the invitations.  Each person is told that they need to bring their own pumpkin to carve.  If you want to make it really easy then you can also have friends bring a dish to share, make it a pot-luck. 

We actually have people bring items to share but we also make sure that “just in case” people forget or decide not to come, we still have food to serve.  The first year we made mummy hot dogs

Mummies on a Stick Recipe

and a variety of other “fun” food offerings.  This year we are making Sloppy Joes out of a special blend the my son has come up with (he is a butcher), homemade mac and cheese and a s’mores bar

We set up tables and chairs, lights, and have bowls in case anyone wants to save their pumpkin pulp and seeds.  We have decided on a time limit of two hours and everyone starts carving.  Once the pumpkins are done they are displayed and we vote on a winner.  The voting can be done any way you want it to be done.  Depending on your group you may also want to include a cocktail…and the party is done, now you can enjoy yourself. 

Over the years we have collected some extra pumpkin carving tools and our guests have always tried to out do themselves.

The most important thing is that everyone enjoys themselves and they start planning for next year the minute this years party is over. 

THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:

Don’t stress yourself out- last year we organized an early afternoon wedding on the beach the same day, our decorations for our pumpkin carving were simpler than the year before and no one cared (or if they did, they are still coming back this year so they weren’t too bothered)

Have fun-Don’t worry if everything is perfect, most people are there to visit and have fun. 

Make it fit your crowd- our crowd is pretty competitive and they would carve for hours if we let them so we put a time limit on it, that way young and old can vote before the little ones may need to leave.

Plan for inclement weather- Our party is outside as I think most of yours would be, so we make sure we have a fire pit, some extra blankets and jackets and something to shield us in the event of rain. 

Here are more pictures and I promise I will take some from this year and share them as well. 

Hugs, Dana

It’s Sunday

Sunday is one of my favorite days of the week.  There are times that we have events on a Sunday but in general it is a family day.  As you all probably know, my kids are grown but we all try to put other things aside so that on Sunday afternoon we can all get together to celebrate family.  Rain or shine we spend the day at my mom’s house and gather together to go over funny stories of the last week and talk about what will be happening during the week to come.  It is a chance to reconnect with each other and keep up on what is going on.  The guest list usually includes my mom, the matriarch of the family, my Aunt Faye who everyone calls Aunt Faye and so I will refer to her from this point forward in my blog as Aunt Faye, and my sister Dori.  From my household there is myself, my husband Dante, my daughters and son-in-law, my son and his girlfriend…usually 10 in all.  That is the base group.  Then other family members or friends stop by and join in.  There is always an open invitation.  We play games, we watch movies, we work on projects that need to be done and we just spend time connecting with each other. 

We have been carrying on this tradition for about 5 years now, it started when my daughter got married and left “the nest”.  I can say that I can probably count the number of times we have not been able to gather for dinner on two hands in five years. 

As time has gone on we have implemented a system for deciding what we will eat for dinner each week.  Each person is assigned a week, we go from youngest to oldest, and each person picks the meal for that week.  We all help making the dinner and cleaning up. 

This week’s dinner is going to be Grilled Cheese, cheddar on homemade sourdough and homemade Tomato Soup.  Even though the menu is simple, the company will be great.  Oh yeah, the dogs come too, can’t have family dinner without them…

If you are ever in the area…stop by

This is Bella (the beagle) and Diesel (the chihuahua) we also have Bailey who has the sweetest face but I have to find a good picture for you all to see her.

Dana

So Do You Want To Plan Your Wedding or Manage It

I just couldn’t resist sharing this article by one of our wedding industry experts Alan Berg.  It is very insightful and gives our new couples something to think about. 

Also, I have not forgotten the post I promised you earlier this week.  Keep thinking about those pumpkins…

It’s hard to turn on the TV these days and not see another wedding related program. There are reality shows and movies, all glamorizing the planning process. Whether you are hooked on them or not, one thing’s for sure; they make the planning seem easy, usually because they have professional help.

By now you’ve probably realized that there are way more decisions to be made than you originally thought. From save-the dates to invitations, rings to dresses, caterers to music, photos and videos to flowers and decorations, there are so many decisions.  Have you thought about hiring a professional wedding planner? No? Don’t think you need or can afford one?  There are a lot of misconceptions about today’s wedding planners. Some couples think they can’t afford one while others just want to make most of the big decisions themselves and enjoy the process. Either way there’s a planning service for everyone.

A professional planner will work with you to tailor your wedding to your needs, tastes, style and budget. As a matter of fact it’s their job to know all of the best wedding pros in your market. Since they regularly do business with them, they can often get you a preferential rate or additional services that other brides might not get.

Still not convinced a wedding planner is for you? Consider this: It’s your wedding day. The sun is shining brightly. You’re getting your hair and makeup just right. Your wedding party is getting ready… but wait, who’s checking to see if the flowers have arrived? Who’s checking with the limo company to make sure they’re on their way? Who’s coordinating the band or DJ’s arrival at your reception venue?

If you answered your Maid of Honor, is that really the right answer? No doubt your Maid of Honor is someone very special to you. It’s her job to make sure you get ready and then, you want her to enjoy the experience of your wedding, along with the rest of your honored guests.

If you answered the Banquet Manager, it’s their job to ensure the reception and catering are on point, but it’s not up to them to make sure the rest of your chosen wedding vendors are where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there. They may offer some planning help, but they’re main focus is the food and venue.

There are different levels of professional wedding planning and, while I believe that a full service planner is your best guide to a beautiful wedding, you should at least consider a Wedding Day Manager, sometimes called “Day-of Coordination”. It’s really not “day-of ” as they start taking over the management around a month before your wedding. That way they can work with you to hand off all of your chosen vendors, who they are, where and when they’re supposed to be and more, before you get too close to the actual day. That way you can enjoy your day knowing that you’re in the hands of a professional. Your Maid of Honor and your entire wedding party can go from the ceremony, through the photos, to the cocktails and reception, and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that a professional is watching over the details. Not just anyone, but someone who has the experience to handle anything that comes up.

In my over 20 years in the wedding industry I know, first hand, that not having a professional planner is one of the two biggest regrets couples have after their weddings (not having video is the other). So, before you write-off hiring a planner, at least have a conversation with one or two and see what they can do to help you. Whether you want to make all of the choices or need help with a few or many, I’m sure you’ll find that, like the movies, your wedding’s success will be easier to achieve with professional assistance.”

 Alan Berg

Introductions: Dominique

Hi Everyone;

I’m Dominique, co-owner of Party and Be Married.  I am very lucky to have a job I love and live a creative life.  Fashion is my other love.  Before joining the team I studied fashion at the Art Institute where I received my degree, and then worked as a merchandiser/stylist for five years.  I guess you could also say that entertaining and throwing parties is in my blood.  In my eyes, there is always a reason to gather with family and friends and to celebrate and share a meal (I’m Italian so food is important) :)

I love all things creative and colorful.  I believe that there is inspiration in everything and through this blog I hope to share those things with you.  I believe that we all need to take the time to Live, Love and Party.

Introductions: Dana

Let me introduce myself,

My name is Dana and I am a co-owner of Party and Be Married.  Just to give you a little background on myself and how I came to be an event planner…When I was pregnant with my first child, I was helping one of my friends with plans for a party she was throwing.  I remember telling her that my dream job was to be able plan parties for a living, but at the time, there was no real “job” for someone who did that.  I was in banking, working as a Branch Vice President when someone higher up noticed that I had a real knack for being able to pull corporate parties together, and so the story begins.  I did this for a number of years while still working at the bank and then one day I decided that enough was enough.  The corporate world was not making me happy.  I had done what I wanted to do, I proved what I had come to prove and so I bid the industry farewell.  Years later I find myself here, happy, and doing what I love to do.  I have been doing this with “social events” for over twelve years, and it never gets old. 

Here is the trick.  You have to do what you love and I love planning weddings and events.   Some people don’t love planning these things, and that’s what this is about.  Here we will give you ideas, recipes, pictures and advice, and when all is said and done, you can still have someone else plan your party, but you may have an idea or two to make it yours. 

Family is important to me.  In this blog you will also meet my daughter Dominique,(the one I was pregnant with when I decided this was the job I wanted), and my dear friend Joann, who may as well be family.  We met and worked together in the “corporate world” and have been friends (and Godmothers for each other’s kids) ever since.  Every week we have family dinner where the three generations of family get together.  There is at least 10 of us, and many times there are more, either family dropping by, neighbors coming over, or friends that are in the area.  We love to celebrate everything as we live, love and Party.  Hope you come back to see what we have to offer. 

WELCOME to our New Blog

Welcome to our blog, Live, Love and Party. 

This sums up our life philosophy, we Live for today, Love like there is no tomorrow and Party…well we party just because we like to.  Parties and weddings are our life.  We enjoy them, we plan them, we think about them all the time.  That’s what makes us good at what we do. 

Our goal is to make parties fun.  We will be giving you ideas, pictures, recipes, and advice by letting you into what we love to do.  We hope that you relax and enjoy what we have to offer.  Let us know what your thoughts are.  We would love to hear from you. 

Hugs,

Dana, Dominique and Joann