March 2, 2014

THE GRASS MAY NOT BE SO GREEN-WHEN D.I.Y. COSTS MORE

Weddings can cost a huge amount of money, so it's tempting to cut corners wherever you can. Why hire a professional photographer when all your guests will have camera phones? Why hire a DJ when you can throw your favorite playlist on shuffle? Why hire a caterer when your mother can surely bake lasagna for 200 people? As optimistic as you may be, though, do-it-yourself projects don't always save money. In fact, they can end up costing a lot more. Here's how to make sure you don't get caught in a DIY money pit.

DIY Flowers
Flowers are made of delicate stuff. They bruise and wilt easily. They need to be kept at the right temperature and humidity. They need to be put into water with the right nutrients. As strong as your artistic inclinations may be, arranging the flowers is only half of the battle. Live flowers need to be arranged a day or two (at most) before the wedding. Normally, that's when out-of-town friends & family will be arriving, you'll be shuttling back and forth to last-minute vendor and beauty appointments and you might want to attend a bachelorette party too. The inevitable last-minute fluster often results in rushed floral arranging that spoils the flowers, wasting the money you spent.
If you absolutely must put a personal stamp on your wedding florals, choose silk flowers instead of live ones. That way, you can schedule multiple craft nights in the months leading up to your big day and complete the task at your leisure. Plus, if anything goes wrong, there's still plenty of time to hire a professional.

DIY Food
You may have heard inspiring stories of "Family Catering" going off without a hitch. However, the reason these stories are passed around so readily is precisely because they're so amazing. For the average bride and groom, cooking a meal for a hundred of their closest friends isn't something they've done before. If you're picturing cooking on a large scale to look anything like cooking for a dinner party, you're missing a few essential details.
Ask yourself a few questions: When will you cook the food? You'll likely be busy for the few days before your wedding. Where will you store the food before the wedding? Your refrigerator and freezer may not be big enough. How will you transport the food to the wedding site? Do you have a vehicle large enough to lay the trays flat? How will you keep the food the right temperature during the reception? Do you have portable heaters and ice trays to maintain safe temperatures? How will you serve the food? Do you own enough serving platters, lids, and serving utensils?
By the time you're done buying pots large enough to fit everything in and renting extra refrigerators, you may have generated a budget larger than you would just by hiring a caterer.

Unless you've completed a similar project enough times that you could do it in your sleep, it's hard to know exactly what materials and how much time you'll need to finish everything. Otherwise, you could end up scrapping a failed project at the eleventh hour and purchasing new items anyway.
As with all DIY undertakings, the most important part of achieving success is impeccable planning. Never assume you can "figure it out" along the way. Only commit yourself to making items you have made successfully in the past–and even then, understand the difference between making them on a small scale and a large one. If you can't visualize every step of the process from buying the materials to presenting the end result, it's probably a lot cheaper to hire a professional.

February 5, 2014

SETTING YOUR EVENT TONE WITH COLOR

How important does the role of color play when planning a wedding or special event? What dynamic do the colors used in table linens and décor create for the success of an event?

As an event planner, not only is it necessary that I stay on top of the current trends in special event planning but one of the first questions I always ask my potential client is what colors will play a key role to the success of their function.

Don’t be afraid of color! It is a fabulous way to evoke emotions and to set the tone for the mood of an event - think outside of the box when it comes to the design process.


The Psychology of Color

White: Pure, clean, innocent in western cultures; mourning in eastern cultures; creates a sense of space so consider draping a small or dark room in white.
Black: Sophistication, power, elegance; in some cultures it represents death or mourning but in others it can mean life or rebirth; appropriate color for high-end, black tie events.
Red: Excitement, passion, intensity; creates very strong emotions and attention-grabbing; causes blood pressure and heart rate to rise; great color for themed events where guests are encouraged to move throughout the venue.
Orange: Vibrancy, energy, excitement; creates a playful environment for your guests; attention-drawing so a great color to use at a fundraiser, especially in a silent auction area.
Yellow: Cheery, warm, alert; this color can also create frustration and anger and is fatiguing to the eye; probably best to use with another color or as an accent and not as a major backdrop, for example, or focal point in a large room; increases the metabolism so a good choice for a breakfast meeting or brunch event.
Green: Natural, healthy, tranquil; creates a calming effect, relieves stress and helps heal; hence, the symbolism behind the term “green room” as a place to relax prior to going on stage to perform; also a color to consider for a theme where “growth” is the topic.
Blue: Peace, trust, loyalty; a popular and neutral color on a global level; lowers pulse rate and body temperature and creates productivity; perfect color to use for a business meeting or corporate team training function.
Purple: Royalty, wisdom, wealth; an exotic color that is associated with luxury and extravagance but also a spiritual connection; can be used in creating special effects with lighting, for example, when designing a VIP lounge area.
                                                                                                                                                      
                                                               

                 


 
                                                
 

February 4, 2014

A BIRTHDAY FIT FOR A CONGRESSMAN

The art of Event Planning is truly about serving your client, bringing forth a vision and aiding to provide most memorable occasion possible. "The Mission, That We Chose To Accept", was to give a favorite ethnic restaurant, in the heart of Baltimore City, a make over within the 48 hour projected date for a 63rd birthday celebration, in honor of Congressman Elijah E. Cummings. I leaped into this project "Head On" and was met with NOTHING short of gratitude from the  two Guests-of-Honor (what do you know....it was Governor Martin O'Malley's birthday, as well!) and the restaurant staff.



















The Congressman was ELATED with my vision!
"The Birthday Boys"










January 8, 2014

SOOO MANY IDEAS, ONLY 1 WEDDING

When we meet with Brides, one of the first things many of them say is, “I have all these great ideas and photos I found online, I don’t know what to do!” In this great day and age with Pinterest, Google images, blogs, and everything in between, it can become a bit overwhelming for a couple to figure out what they want for their special day and what will actually look beautiful.

Couples find themselves with a bunch of nice ideas, but they don’t necessarily belong in the same wedding. For example, if you’re going for modern, clean, and simple, but half of the photos on your “Inspiration Board” feels vintage, rustic, lavish, and exotic, then some adjustments need be made. Try to focus on saving photos that really reflect what you’re going for and not necessarily just a pretty photo or idea.






Of course, there’s a ton of gorgeous ideas out there, so if you are torn, ask yourself (or each other) these questions: Which design concept really stands out and fits our vision? Which one do we find ourselves constantly revisiting? Which is the best reflection of us as a couple? Truthfully answering these questions, should lead you to the design your heart truly desires. After all, you do have to be certain your wedding is everything you’ve dreamed it to be! The last thing you want is to look back on your photos 10 years from now and say, “Ugh, I really should’ve gone with the modern look - instead of rustic! What was I thinking?!”

Now, don’t feel like you have to completely let go of the other design concepts you came across…you’ll have your Bridal Shower, Rehearsal Dinner, and perhaps an Engagement Party and Day-After Brunch – ask the hosts to incorporate some of those great ideas and design schemes to those events!
Whatever you do, whichever design concept you go with, just please make sure you and your fiancé are evident in your wedding. Personalize it, make it your own, and we don’t mean just with monograms. You want your guests to walk in and say, " This is by far the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!” Then you want them to say, “This is sooooo Amanda & Ryan!” Well, maybe not Amanda and Ryan since that’s most likely not your names, but you know what we mean. Make it your own and a spectacular version of it!

December 7, 2013

NEW HUES FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

One of our "Home for The Holidays" client's recently contacted us looking for a fresh take on Christmas color palettes for their 2013  Holiday DécorScape. We poured over swatches while trying to imagine what Christmas would look like in a variations of hues, tones and textures.....without the Cranberry Red & Hunter Green that we all know so well. You know it can be done…you've probably spotted a varied selection of glass ornaments in a rainbow of colors up in your local Walmart, Target or favorite craft store. We've composed a few visuals, to help you put your finger on what you are wanting your Christmas décor to look like this year.


Cool N Bright…Turquoise & Aqua pair well together, creating a sophisticated look.








Ahhhh, robin egg blue with just the right hint of green ~ our hearts skip a beat when we receive that little blue box and we all stop and stare when we see anyone walk past with that famous blue bag!

You could easily add a pop of red, which is what Tiffany & Co does to their blue boxes during the Christmas holiday, if you just can’t do away with tradition altogether.














A Little Vintage Glam...This would be a perfect "For Us Girls" combination. 




Feel the need for a bit of bright color? Pretty in Pink  may be just what you need!Think pink when planning Christmas decorations that are fresh, pretty, and easy to pull together. Themed around bright pink designs, of course, this also pairs well with blues, greens and metallics.

This also may be a very effective tone if you are attempting to create a decorative scheme for girls, young & older. It has a cheerful, friendly style, so that both the cleanly colored decorations and the specific interest items are likely to be enjoyed for years to come










For a jolt of Holiday Hue, use bright blue or softer periwinkle with snowy white or tinsel silver; Bring in slate or charcoal to vary the shades

The classic blue and silver Christmas color scheme works with many décor styles. A blue-and-silver theme is a classic combination. It transcends décor styles and is reminiscent of a sparkling winter wonderland. Wintry whites and hues of blue can bring a cozy, frosted look to your home this season. Blue and silver make an attractive and somewhat neutral choice for a traditional Christmas theme, because these colors work for several holidays. Use a traditional live or faux evergreen for your tree, and keep lights simple in all white. Add glass globe ornaments in varying shades of blue, such as robin’s egg and navy, with silver. Mix in traditional Christmas shapes such as snowflakes. Incorporate blue plaid patterns and silver solids for linens such as tablecloths, runners and the tree skirt. Hang stockings of blue with silver trim, and add bowls around the room filled with ornaments in blue and silver mixed with traditional Christmas touches like pine cones, holly and silver candles.

 

WHATEVER you select.....Pick out something unusual, unexpected, and simply gorgeous to deck the halls and reinvent the festivities of the season!

August 6, 2013

VINTAGE STYLE MEETS MODERN ROMANCE

 Congratulations to Tiffany & Ralvin Nygaya, who were married on 5/31/2013. 
 
 
 
 
The Owen Brown Interfaith Center, located in the Owen Brown Village Center, in Columbia, MD. Served is a beautiful edifice for this multi-cultural wedding that blended two families and their cultures together. 
 
Florals provided by Gail's Gala Events 







This couple was a pleasure to work with and it was transparent, throughout the ceremony, reception and after party why this couple choose each other to share their love!











A beautiful ceremony, overlooking a picturesque view of the botanical garden and gazebo; with billowy drapes of crepe filled with custom dyed petals, topped with lush hydrangea heads, accompanied by a floral draped arch with satin accents and 130 guests sharing in this nuptial celebration.

 


Custom Unity Set designed by Affairs Remembered
Floral & Satin Arch Accents
designed by Affairs Remembered

















The reception was in full swing with a photo booth, that took guests back in time,  through the use props. Guest tables were topped with custom dipped floating candles and lightly scattered petals to continue the "Vintage Romance" atmosphere that the couple desired. The couple wanted this celebration to be a reflection of their TRUE selves throughout their courtship, romantic yet funny & witty!    


Rob Grant of Rob Grant Photography,captured each faucet of this nuptial celebration.

July 2, 2013

SIMPLY CHICH JULY 4th ENTERTAINING IDEAS

This Independence Day try using red, white and blue in new, unexpected ways to create an American summer soiree. Consider these entertaining ideas to make your gathering both patriotic and practical.

 

 
 
Floral Design
If you're throwing your party in a backyard, give it a garden theme while showing your patriotism. Mix oversized floral patterns with more contemporary patterns in red, white and blue. 
 
 
Red, White and Blue Refreshments
Think of cold beverages as a decorating opportunity. Chill berry-flavored bottled juices or sodas in metal tubs filled with ice; you'll not only keep guests cool but also sneak in a few extra red, white and blue touches to carry the party's patriotic theme.

 

Sun Supplies Station
With the summer heat and intense rays of the sun in full effect, it's important your guests remain hydrated and UV-protected. Keep outdoor essentials nearby with a supply station stylishly stocked with rolled towels, sunblock and ice-cold water.

 

 

Patriotic Picnic
Add a little romance to your Independence Day with a red, white and blue picnic. For a true designer look, introduce a mixture of patterns and textures through floor pillows, toss pillows and blankets. To delineate a portion of your picnic area as a serving space, layer a contrasting bath mat or small area rug in the center, then utilize the surrounding space for lounging.  

 

 

 


               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 In observance of the July 4th Holiday, the administrative office will close at 2:00pm on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - Thursday, July 4, 2013.