Be Bold With White

For anyone who knows me, I am all about color! The bolder and brighter, the better. In fact, it’s not shocking to see me adorned in neon workout gear or a bold nail polish color on my toes, and I might have slept in a room growing up that was painted “Taxi Cab Yellow.”

But over the years, I have slowly embraced a more neutral side and become totally OK with the color white, and I strongly encourage you to utilize white or another neutral when planning an event. I know all my designer friends out there are cheering right now because they’re all huge fans of “white space.”

Take this for example. Never in a million years did I ever think I would own white dishware. You want to know a secret? I now have not one but two cabinets FULL of white dishes. When Ryan and I started registering I put up a huge fight to not have white dishes, but in the end we compromised on a textured white pattern that was designed by the one and only Kate Spade. See? I still won there. The best part? She has all sorts of different accent plate designs that can be mixed and matched within the white dishes.

And when it comes to throwing a dinner party or putting appetizers on display at a get together, I am so glad I have all those white dishes. They are the foundation to the tablescape that allows other dishes to pop or guests to really appreciate the colors of food that are situated on their plate.

 

Photo by Scott Patrick Myers Photography

For a wedding, a classic ivory base palette can really allow for greenery to pop or touches of gold to couple with it to create a clean and glamorous design. I even surprised myself with choosing to use all white flowers at my own wedding with only greenery to accent the soft palette. I did, however, incorporate a fun, bold stripe that acted as my accent “color,” even though it was black and white.

Photo by D-Squared Designs

Now for those of you who are the complete opposite and own a wardrobe full of black and white clothing, you might want to embrace color a bit more. Maybe try a fun tassel earring in a bold color coupled with your LBD to make a statement at your next party. Or, make a bright bouquet of tulips the centerpiece at your next dinner party among the other neutrals on the table. And keep in mind, prints can be a neutral! Yes, my girl Stacy London confirms that. Think about it: leopard print is full of browns and blacks…yes, neutral colors.

Photo compliments of Redbook Magazine. 

So I am challenging you now! If you have incorporated the entire color of the rainbow into your home decor, try embracing the neutral side of things. And if color completely scares you, take a few baby steps by adding in one pop of it at a time.

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Party Planning Lingo

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed I throw around industry jargon while with couples or hosts/hostesses of parties. Most people shake their head and nod in agreement, and some people come right out and let met know they have no idea what I’m talking about.

It dawned on me that this would be a great blog post topic since I frequently sit through conversations with family members who work for big corporations (Target, McDonald’s, Miller Coors, etc.). All of these companies have more acronyms than I can count, and although I don’t feel like the event planning industry has quite as many, I thought I would create a little guide to party planning lingo:

BEOBEO: Banquet Event Order
This is an overview of the party or event, which usually includes set-up instructions, timing, menus, etc. It’s usually a way for planners to communicate to their clients to make sure they have understood everything correctly, as well as a way for staff who work at venues to know what the event consists of. This can also be referred to as a “function sheet.”

F&B Minimum
This is the minimum amount of money you must spend to host your event at a location. Since a lot of venues are not open regularly for dining or regular customers, a food and beverage minimum ensures the venue is making money on your event and not losing money through labor cost, food cost and general overhead costs.

Chair Covers
Let’s be honest. Banquet chairs aren’t always the most appealing things, especially with parties and events that have a particular color scheme. Instead of renting different chairs, venues will often offer covers for the chairs. Sometimes the chair covers are made of spandex material and fit to the chair perfectly and others are flowy, so if you have a preference make sure to ask! I’ve also hear them called “chair skirts” or “chair dresses.”

Jacquelyn Bair & Connor Price Wedding
Photography compliments of Scott Patrick Myers Photography.

Corkage Fee
If a venue is unable to obtain or does not carry particular beverages or alcohol for you, sometimes they will allow you to bring it in. By allowing you to do so, they will charge a corkage fee, which is usually a per person fee.

Serp: Serpentine Table
AKA….a half circle table shaped like a half moon.

Sweetheart Table
In lieu of a head table, couples sometimes choose to sit at a smaller round table with just the two of them or themselves and a Best Man and Maid of Honor. These tables work out great if you are trying to maximize seating at your venue, or if a lot of you bridal party has dates or family they would prefer to sit with during the reception.

Skirting
You know that pretty gathered fabric that is often on tables? Yes, that’s skirting, and the pretty draped linens over the skirting? Those are pinups.

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Theatre-Style Seating
Theatre-style seating means exactly what it says. Chairs are lined up in rows, and this style is usually used for presentations and seminars.

Uplighting
This a definite must if you want a dramatic event. There are lighting companies as well as DJs that will supply uplighting for events. It can be as simple a monochromatic splash of color, or you can get really interesting by adding pin spot lighting and ceiling designs.

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Photo courtesy of Courtney Tompson Photography.

Size Up Your Space

When it comes to decorating for an event, there are a number of things you want to consider about your venue before choosing a color scheme and theme:

  1. Coloring of the space: Make sure the colors you select aren’t conflicting with the color palette of the room. It’s often common for hotels to have crazy carpeting selections, so maybe choose a softer color scheme to offset the loud print. Or, if the banquet chairs in a space are a particular shade, select complimenting colors instead of a color that is going to conflict with the chair color.
  2. Time of year: If it’s the middle of the hottest summer in history (like now), you want to stay away from a cozy and warm colors. Especially if it’s for a wedding, select a color pallet that is either classic or compliments the season. If you are drawn more toward bright and airy colors, choose a spring or summer date. If you’re drawn to darker more luscious colors, the fall or winter might be the best time for you.
  3. Size of the space: This is the one I try and focus on the most. Even if you have gorgeous centerpieces or a really creative mantel display, it’s going to look awfully silly if it’s proportionally a lot smaller or larger than the space.

So today, I wanted to focus on size and shapes of a room. Don’t work against your space; utilize height and unique architecture to accentuate the space. For example, one of my favorite parts about the ballroom and the country club is the domed ceilings. The photographers love it, and highlighting the space with uplighting and patterns draws your eye up to the elegant architecture:

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The lighting above was designed by SW Productions, who utilized the archway to add some texture to a retirement celebration.

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Or like this photo above captured by Lollipop Photography (now Pop Wedding Photography!). This couple added a fun splash of purple to enhance a neutral color scheme for an early spring wedding ceremony.

In spaces with such high ceilings like this, it’s also important to think about the shape and height of your decorations. If you have a lot of small items on the mantels and short centerpieces, the gap between the ceiling and your tables/mantels is going to feel much larger than it really is. Instead, alternate your centerpieces to draw the eye up.

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Photo compliments of Silverbox Photography

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Photo compliments of Moonshadow Studio

This ceremony below took place on the veranda, which already has a gorgeous, rich wood color and lots of architectural elements. So why not include those aspects into the decor and add some softer elements that incorporate the romantic feel of the wedding while adding some natural elements like the moss and flowers.

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And even if the space isn’t enclosed, for example with an outdoor venue, create a little more intimacy by making boundaries. In this photo below, the couple was wed outside, but the gorgeous altar design created an intimate space for the couple and the officiant.

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Photo compliments of Catherine Rhodes Photography

And don’t forget about empty spaces. Those are usually where the details are noticed the most! In the photo below, the couple filled some of the empty entryway with signage and a collection of candles and greenery. It was definitely noticed by guests!

Jacquelyn Bair & Connor Price Wedding

Photo compliments of Scott Patrick Myers Photography

 

And here’s one of my personal favorites! There is a small nook in the entry hallway at the club, so this DIY bride created a toasting station. Upon arrival, guests were asked to take a complimentary champagne Jell-O shot as a toast to the bride and groom (grape juice was also served for the kiddos). Cheers! 11825793_796964660416807_2740641235281109874_n