Archive for February, 2010

Planning a Wedding on a Budget

Saturday, February 27th, 2010


As a wedding event planner, I wanted to share with you some ideas for you to think about when you are planning a wedding on a budget.  As I tell all my brides, when planning your wedding it is important to determine a budget and stick to it or you will find costs spiraling out of control.

Here is a simple yet elegant idea for you to use when planning a wedding on a budget.   Purchase different types of votive candle holders.  As a wedding event planner, I advise my clients to be on the lookout and pick up candle holders where ever they might find them, or if there is a party or craft store, check out the store’s inventory and don’t be afraid to mix and match color, shape or size.

Planning your wedding can take up to a year or more so that gives you plenty of time to find a variety of votive candle holders.  Go for an eclectic look, you don’t necessarily have to have the same type of votive holder on each table.

Using candlelight can add a new dimension of decor and romance when planning a wedding on a budget.  Also as you can see in this picture below, you can mix and match simple votive holders with ones that are more decorative and detailed.  The simple votive candle holders are in the background with the more detailed candle holders on the table.


Want to add some color to the table? One of the tips I suggest as a wedding event planner is to use rose petals which you can easily purchase in a variety of colors.  You can also arrange individual loose flowers on the table or you can use ribbon and tie these loose flowers together in small bunches. (For more easy and inexpensive flower arrangements, go to pages 59-65 in Budget Bash.)

Finally, when planning a wedding think about bringing something in that has sentimental value or meaning.   Maybe your family has a white decorative table linen that you can use as an overlay on the reception or cake table.  Setting up family pictures at the sign-in or reception tables is another idea especially if you can find pictures that date back two to three generations, all of which were taken on their respective wedding days.

I hope you find these simple ideas useful if you are planning a wedding on a budget.   Again, as a wedding event planner, I stress the importance of determining your budget in the beginning and maintaining it throughout the process of planning your wedding.

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

Planning Your Wedding with White Wedding Flowers

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010


When planning your wedding, no matter what season you are getting married in, consider white wedding flowers.  I was recently at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City and I saw a spectacular reception table centerpiece using white winter wedding flowers.  As a wedding event planner, I am always on the look out for new and different ways to incorporate wedding floral arrangements.

White wedding flowers always give the room an elegant look and feel.  You have so many options with adding color in other areas of the room as well as your wedding when you use white wedding floral arrangements.  A black and white wedding where the wedding party except for the bride is dressed in black stands out beautifully against an all white decorated room.

When planning your wedding, consider bringing in color in other areas of your wedding reception such as the wedding cake or room lighting.  If you dress your bridal party in black, you can compliment them with a black and white fleur-de-lis pattern on the wedding cake.


Want a winter wonderland feel to the room? Add blue up-lighting to the walls and include a white dance floor with a gobo to illuminate it.  (More special event lighting ideas can be found starting on page 26 in Budget Bash.)

As a wedding event planner, I enjoy seeing other industry work especially when I am traveling.  This past weekend, while I was staying at the Waldorf-Astoria I happen to snap this picture incorporating orchids used as winter wedding flowers.  I am sure these wedding floral arrangements were very expensive but you also have to consider how simplistic they are considering only white flowers are being used.

Common white wedding flowers used in these arrangements are white roses and white hydrangeas.  To give these wedding floral arrangements some depth, it appears that green cymbidium orchids were used as well.  What makes these arrangements using winter wedding flowers so extravagant and expensive are the amount of flowers used with no green fillers.

Looking to emulate these white wedding flowers when planning your wedding?  Start by making the top part of the centerpiece smaller.  Instead of wrapping white orchids from the base of the flower tree to the top, use white birch branches or better yet, wrap white French ribbon around the base that holds these flower balls.  Instead of hanging white orchids from the top of the centerpieces, use clear glass beads.

On my next post, I will provide some more wedding event planner tips on using white wedding flowers to create wedding floral arrangements on a budget.  Until then, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

White Wedding Flowers for Your Wedding Table Décor

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010


I was recently hired as a wedding coordinator for a wedding that occurred over the Valentine’s Day weekend and I wanted to share with you the options you have with white wedding flowers for your wedding table décor.

For this wedding, we used white wedding flowers since the wedding day occurred one day before Valentine’s Day.  As a wedding coordinator, I always advise my clients to try and stay clear of major holidays in which flowers are an important element such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or even Christmas.  Wholesale flower costs always increase temporarily during these times of the year.

However, wedding dates are set and as a wedding coordinator we have to work around them and provide our brides with the most for their money.  For this wedding, the wedding table décor consisted of white flowers since the theme was Winter Wonderland.

White roses and hydrangeas were used along with white votive candles wrapped with lemon leaves and white ribbon.  In addition, white floating and pillar candles were part of the wedding table décor. The linen was white sequined and silver napkins were tied with white ribbon.  (For more theme ideas including napkin folding instructions check out my easy-to-read book, Budget Bash.)

The Winter Wonderland theme worked perfectly for this past weekend since Valentine’s Day was the day after the wedding and we were able to avoid using the expensive red and pink roses usually sent on Valentine’s Day.  In fact for added flower décor, we interspersed crystals throughout the centerpieces as well.

We took a cue from the guest wedding table décor and incorporated the same look and feel for the sweetheart table using heavily clustered white wedding flowers along with floating white candles and clear crystals as seen in the picture above.


The place card table for guest seating also illustrated our white Winter Wonderland theme with a white silk table linen and a tall crystal tree wrapped with white wedding flowers.  Clear crystal beads as well as battery operated votive candles hung from the tree to enhance the wedding table decor.  The guest cards were white and for the party gift, white cake boxes were filled with wedding cake for guests to take home.

One of the important roles of a wedding coordinator is to make sure that all the elements of the wedding flow from the invitation to the ceremony and finally to the guest reception.  Sometimes, as in this wedding, last minute changes are made.

Even though the original theme was a black and white art deco theme used on the invitations, we were able to coordinate the new Winter Wonderland theme within two days of the wedding.  We did this by substituting the colored flowers for white wedding flowers, exchanging black and white linen for white sequined linen, black napkins for silver and black chiavari chairs for crystal clear chiavari chairs.  And no one ever knew!

I hope you found this article about white wedding flowers and wedding table décor helpful for your wedding day.  To learn more cost-saving and helpful wedding planning tips, simply pick up your copy of Budget Bash – Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget and remember to keep in mind the Budget Bash mantra; make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Amuse Bouche and Your Valentine Menu

Friday, February 12th, 2010


Amuse bouche is a fun way to start your Valentine menu for your Valentine Day dinner.  Your amuse bouche can be anything from a soup served in a shot glass to a bite-sized beautifully prepared vegetable.

In keeping with this weekend’s Valentine menu, why not keep it red such as tomato soup or a stuffed tomato? There are many variations of stuffed tomatoes that you can prepare as an amuse bouche for your Valentine Day dinner.

One stuffed tomato recipe is to sauté onions and celery.  Then add herbs and breadcrumbs with a bit of water to create a paste.  Using medium tomatoes scoop out the center and stuff the tomatoes with the stuffing.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes and serve.

Other amuse bouche stuffed tomato mixture ideas for your Valentine Day dinner can include goat cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese or bacon.  The possibilities are endless for a Valentine menu.

To learn more cost-saving and helpful party planning tips, recipes, along with other menu ideas and party décor tips, simply check out Budget Bash – Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and remember to keep in mind the Budget Bash mantra; make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Valentine’s Decoration for Your Valentine Day Dinner

Thursday, February 11th, 2010


A couple of weeks ago I went to an intimate dinner party and thought the presentation would be great for a Valentine Day dinner.  These Valentine’s decoration ideas would work for just the two of you or an intimate party of four or six or even more.

Like all other special events, when we arrived we were treated to wonderful hors d’oeuvres and specialty martinis.  In fact, one way to incorporate Valentine’s decoration for your Valentine Day dinner is to serve a cosmopolitan martini as the specialty drink of the evening.  Re-name the martini a Sweetheart-tini or maybe a Romantic-tini.  The ingredients and color make this drink a perfect match for the holiday. (For other specialty martini recipes check out pages 87 and 88 in Budget Bash.)

What I loved about this dinner was the décor.  In fact, many of these décor ideas are simple tips that can turn any dining room into a romantic setting easily and inexpensively.

Valentine’s Table Decoration Ideas

Why spend money on a specialty tablecloth?  One Valentine’s decoration idea is to simply purchase red velvet or red satin fabric and drape it over your table as a decorative overlay.  Or, create a table runner with either one of your fabric choices.


Other table decoration ideas for your Valentine Day dinner include creating a simple yet fun and whimsical floral centerpiece using red fruit and flowers.  This centerpiece includes crab apples, red roses and strawberries.  Please note that strawberries attract small insects so you don’t want to use them in your outdoor centerpieces and probably it is best to use them at a small indoor dinner party where the centerpiece is just on the table during the dinner.  (For other do-it-yourself floral centerpieces check the floral décor chapter in Budget Bash.)

At this dinner party, the hostess provided at each place-setting romantic love inspired quotes.  She used red and black construction paper, rhinestones and red ribbon for décor on these notes.  The quotes were printed on the red construction paper and then pasted onto the black paper as a background.  Then the notes were decorated with the ribbon and rhinestones.  Of course, you can always use these quotes at other parties you host as well.

Simple table decoration ideas for Valentine’s as well as other holidays include red votives on the table as well as hanging votives from your dining room chandelier (if you have one).  Many craft shops sell these pre-made hanging votive holders and all you need to do is place a red candle inside!

Add Valentine’s decoration accents to your table such as the red butterfly as seen in the first picture or maybe mix and match your china, flatware and glassware.  You can always pick up some inexpensive gold chargers and then re-use them during the December holiday season.

I hope you found the table decoration ideas for your Valentine Day dinner helpful.  To learn more cost-saving and helpful party planning tips, recipes, simply pick up your copy of Budget Bash – Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and remember to keep in mind the Budget Bash mantra; make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Valentines Day Idea and a Valentine Day Dinner Menu

Monday, February 8th, 2010


This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday and what better way to spend a family day than with the ones you love most. Here is a Valentines Day idea as well as a Valentine Day dinner menu that the whole family can enjoy.

One Valentine’s idea is to craft your own Valentine Day card and then collect cards you receive and place them in a Valentine’s Day box that you create yourself.  Make and share your Valentine Day card with your friends and family.  This Valentines Day idea is easy, doesn’t require many materials and the whole family can participate in this activity.

To make your own Valentine Day card, just pick up the following materials:

•    Red, white and pink construction paper
•    Glitter colored pens such as red, pink, purple, silver and gold
•    Glitter glue and scissors

Then, just sit with your kids and get creative.  You will be amazed as to the kids’ creativity associated with this Valentine’s idea.

Need a place to collect your Valentine Day card?  Just create your own special Valentine’s Day box.  The materials needed for this Valentines Day idea are as follows:

•    Red, white and pink construction paper
•    Glitter colored pens such as red, pink, purple, silver and gold
•    Regular glue and scissors
•    Shoe box or cereal box

Take the larger portion of a shoe box or cut the top off of a cereal box.  Then, cover the box with the construction paper and any other design you choose made with the construction paper, glitter pens and glue.  All of these materials can be picked up at a local drug store, market or craft store.

Another Valentines Day idea is to create a 3D Heart with tissue paper.  For this Valentine’s idea pick up the following materials:

•    Red, pink and white tissue paper cut into 1” squares
•    White construction paper
•    Regular glue and scissors

Simply cut the white construction paper into a heart.  Then take the 1” square tissues and twist them around your finger. Dab a dot of glue on the construction paper heart and then stick the twisted tissue paper down on the heart.  Mix up the colors or start with a white center, then work towards the outer edge with pink then red.  You can even make 3D hearts on the cover of your Valentine Day card!

Valentine Day Dinner

While the kids are crafting, create a comfort “hearty” Valentine Day dinner that the whole family will enjoy.  Of course, include various shades of red food!

Valentine Day Dinner Menu

Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese Crisps


Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Beer Can Chicken with Apple Cranberry Stuffing

Peas and Carrots

Red Velvet and Strawberry Cupcakes

I hope you found the Valentine’s idea for creating a Valentine’s box and cards helpful.  Creating a Valentine Day Card is a craft the whole family can enjoy as well as sitting with your family at a Valentine Day dinner.

To learn more cost-saving and helpful party planning tips, recipes, including the cheddar cheese crisps and beer can chicken, along with other menu ideas and party décor tips, simply check out Budget Bash – Simply Fabulous Events on a Budget.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and remember to keep in mind the Budget Bash mantra; make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!