Archive for January, 2010

Event Planning and the SAG Awards® – The Showroom

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010


Less than 24 hours until showtime for the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® and the excitement is building.

We start with an empty expo hall and via event planning, by show day, the set is built, the tables and chairs are down, linen is on the table and the catering staff begins to set the tables.

Above is a picture of what the stars will be eating tomorrow night and here is a link to a picture of our showroom close to finishing.,0,7900248.htmlstory

Event Planning and the SAG Awards® – Our Media Day

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Event planning for the 16th Annual SAG Awards® is done.  Tomorrow is the telecast and we are ready to go.  On Thursday, we had our media event and here is a picture of our sample table that the stars will be sitting at tomorrow night.


Entertainment Tonight stopped by and interviewed myself, Kim Wallace of Dry Creek Vineyard and Suzanne Goin of Lucques Catering.  Here is the link to that interview.

Event Planning and the SAG Awards®

Friday, January 22nd, 2010


Event planning for the 16th Annual SAG Awards® is heading into the final stretch.  On Wednesday, January 20th, I spoke to Allie MacKay from KTLA to explain to viewers how to recreate our beautiful table for less.

sag_table.jpg    table_less.jpg

Listed below are links that you can go to for the sources of my looks for less table as well as a link to the KTLA TV segment.,0,4722510.story

Here is the link to the TV segment to see both the SAG Awards® table and the looks for less table.

To learn other helpful party planning tips and to create beautiful events on a budget, check out my book Budget Bash – Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun and economical for all!

A Wynning Event and the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010


Just a quick note to remind you that the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® is just around the corner.  On January 23rd at 8 pm ET/PT, the show will be simulcast on TNT and TBS.

If you pick up a copy of this week’s People Magazine and turn to page 99, you will see that I provide a helpful floral hint to help create the intimate yet fun atmosphere at the awards show and our chef, Suzanne Goin of Lucques Catering, provides a great chicken salad recipe that will be served that night

On January 20th, Suzanne and I are scheduled to appear on KTLA’s Morning News Show where I will show you how to create our beautiful SAG Awards® dinner table on a budget.  Other party planning budget ideas can be found in Budget Bash – Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget.

Fun SAG Awards® Facts

Did you know that there will be over 5,000 drinking glasses in the room that night?

Or that Suzanne will be order over 160 apples for her chicken salad?

More SAG Awards® news later in the week.  Until next time remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish and fun for all!

Theme Weddings and Planning Your Wedding

Friday, January 15th, 2010


In my last blog, I discussed using an event theme when planning events.  No matter if you are planning your wedding or any other special occasion, it is important to incorporate an event theme.  Even at the SAG Awards® which is coming up on January 23rd (simulcast on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT) we incorporate a theme for the table and room décor.

When you are planning events or planning your wedding, I always find it best to start with an event theme. Theme weddings help give an overall cohesive look and feel to the event from the invitations to the design and décor.  You can incorporate your dinner menu as well in your theme.  Wedding party ideas can include using a particular color, logo or destination or possibly combing all three to create a theme that brings the wedding to life.  

Incorporating Ideas for Theme Weddings when Planning Your Wedding

I am currently working on a wedding where the bride is incorporating the destination with a color as her event theme.  The location is new, hip and modern where the basic color scheme throughout the venue is black and white and hence, she is taking this inspiration but implementing a twist, a whimsical black and white wedding. 

Her linen is a black and white paisley and her napkins are black satin tied with white ribbon.  Her floral centerpiece is all white with silver branches on top added for height and she is using a combination of tall centerpieces and short centerpieces on the tables.  The centerpieces are accompanied by floating candles in glass cylinders wrapped with black ribbon and there are also small votives on the table as well.  Those too will be wrapped in black satin ribbon.

There are blue neon cubes in the glass cylinders that support the floral centerpieces.  This color is a spillover from the bridesmaid bouquets that will incorporate various shades of blues, purples and lavender.

Other wedding party ideas my bride is doing that illustrates the topic of theme weddings is that she took her and her fiancée’s initials and created a logo.  (An illustration of this can be found in my easy-to-read event and wedding planning book Budget Bash.)  She then used the logo on the invitation, and she will continue the event theme throughout the wedding by using the logo for a gobo at the ceremony site and on the reception dance floor.  The dinner menu too will have the logo on it and her cake is a reflection of her theme as well.  It is a black and white decorated cake.

When planning your wedding, think about creating an atmosphere of romance.  You can do this through lighting.  For my bride who is getting married around Valentine’s Day, she is holding her ceremony outdoors after dark.  Thus it will only be the atmospheric lighting we will be bringing to the site that will illuminate the two of them during the ceremony.  Under the arch in particular, we are bringing in a crystal chandelier and using pink bulbs instead of white to light the two of them. 

I can certainly go on for days about event theme and theme weddings but will be pretty busy in the upcoming week with planning for the SAG Awards® which will be televised on January 23rd.  In the meantime, remember to keep in mind the Budget Bash mantra; make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Themed Party Ideas for Planning Events

Monday, January 11th, 2010


Happy New Year! 2010 is kicking off to a great start for planning events.  With the SAG Awards® coming up on January 23rd (simulcast on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT) along with the other seasonal award shows, now is as good as time as any to discuss themed party ideas for your next special event.  

When planning events, I always find it best to start with an event theme.  From the event theme, everything else flows for the party from invitations to design and décor to the catering menu.  Themed party ideas can include a color theme such as pretty in pink or a western days theme, circus theme, luau or island tropic theme – the list is endless.  

Detailed Description for Themed Party Ideas 

Below I have flushed out an idea I have used in the past when planning events.  More event theme ideas and details can be found in my easy-to-read party planning book, Budget Bash – Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget.

Tropical Island Luau – An event theme complete with bars made from bamboo and palm leaves, tiki torches and an island-inspired menu served on a grass-skirted buffet.  Tropical music and a hula dancer, coconut drinking cups for that special island punch and, of course, everyone is greeted at the door with a flower lei. 

Invitations can be created using tropical-designed printed paper or another idea is to glue some sand or a small seashell or two onto stationary.  So many variations of linen can be used including floral prints, tropical island prints or tropical birds.  For a Tahitian event theme wedding I produced, to save money with our linen budget, we used plain gold linen and created napkins using a tropical island bird print to add color and reinforce the theme at the table.

Catering ideas to consider when planning events with a luau theme could include ingredients using coconut, macadamia nuts, tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple and bananas, fish such as lobster, shrimp or Mahi Mahi and sauces using such flavors as sweet and sour, soy, ginger and citrus.

For your tropical bar, don’t forget the classic Mai Tai, Blue Hawaiian and Pina Colada and be sure to include non-alcoholic beverages as well such as a tropical punch made with Gingerale or Sprite along with tropical juices such as banana, pineapple, mango and orange to name a few.

In my next blog, I will continue this discussion about themed party ideas to use when planning events.  And don’t forget that the SAG Awards® is just a couple of weeks away on January 23rd.  In the meantime, remember to keep in mind the Budget Bash mantra; make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!