Monday, November 12, 2012

Customizing Your Wedding or Event

Hi there!

It's clear that I am not great at blogging very frequently, but I promise I have a good excuse!  Events by Jackie M has been very busy growing over the last several months.  I've expanded my business not only through new Wedding and Event clients, but through custom detail work as well.  Earlier this year, I decided to open an account on Etsy and I'm happy to report that sales have been great!  I have been able to extend my reach beyond Western MA (and the surrounding areas) to a more global community.  It's a very exciting time for me and for the business!  I love creating custom details for all of my clients.  There is just something about adding those personal touches that is so rewarding!

One thing that has been very clear through all of this additional work is that people want to find a way to make their wedding or event stand out!  I can't tell you how many clients have reached out to me with a small idea... just a nugget of a thought... which then grows into a full blown theme for their special event!

A big theme that has been trending is the idea of travel.  Many of my clients want to create an event where guests truly feel transported to a different time and place.  The best thing about this theme is that the possibilities are limitless!  I've created everything from wedding invitations disguised as airline tickets to menus printed on a postcard. I've customized tables named after Italian cities and even invited guests to pack their bags for a Hawaiian wedding escape!  Color palettes have ranged from antique ivory to bright pinks and purples.  Each and every one of these events has been unique and special in it's own way....the common theme being the idea of travel and escape from the ordinary. 

While I get to create all of these exciting elements, I do caution my clients to make sure they carry their theme through their event.  As I've mentioned in a previous post, themes are great... but only when they are done well.  For instance, if you like the idea of an airline ticket for an invitation, don't stop there.  Your guests will be excited at the idea of getting a boarding pass but that excitement will quickly fade if they walk into a sparsely decorated banquet hall with a few travel signs hanging by the bar.  You MUST carry such a theme throughout your event.  If you pick a specific location (like Italy), make sure that the room feels like Italy.  Make sure there is plenty of wine and plates full of olives, cheese, meat, and fruit.  Use wine bottles bursting with wild flowers as centerpieces.  Display pictures of Italy.... especially if you took photos from a trip there. Make sure that your lighting is soft.  Use your imagination!  Travel themes can be fun and exciting...they provide a great excuse to get creative.  :)

Until next time... happy planning!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

To Theme or Not to Theme

Ok, well, it's clear from my last post that I am not great at keeping resolutions!  What I AM great at is Wedding and Event Planning and boy... have I been non-stop the last several months!  I love having my own business and it's so amazing to me every day how I've been able to grow it with patience, time, and effort.  Believe me... it takes a good dose of all three for this machine to run effectively!

Today I want to talk about themes for your Wedding.  Many clients ask me "Do I have to have a theme?"  My answer: YES!!  Now, let's be clear about what a "THEME" actually is. 

To me, having an event theme does not necessarily mean that you have to have a wedding day that's set in the Roaring 20's or an Intergalactic Spaceship.  No, no, no.  A theme is having a cohesive feel throughout your event that ties all of those little moments together to create one big beautiful picture.  A hint for those of you who still aren't clear on this:  for your wedding, the big picture is (drumroll, please):  YOU!!  Your wedding or event theme should reflect you.  It should showcase elements of you both as individuals AND as a couple.  A theme isn't just about colors-- it's about styles and details that tell your guests a story about your personalities and your love for each other. 

Here's a "for instance:"  Let's say you love the outdoors.  Maybe you take long hikes together or throw together picnics in the park when you have free time to share.  Perhaps you like taking long drives and going on spontaneous trips to the beach or the vineyards.  He proposed on top of a mountain at sunset.Your sense of style at home is simple:  you like bright colors, you love natural light, you are attracted to country and traditional furniture styles when you flip through magazines.  When you have friends and family over for dinner, you all sit at one long table and food is served family style over lots of laughter and mismatched plates and glasses.

Now that we've painted that picture, let's be clear:  YOU ARE NOT A CANDIDATE FOR AN "OLD HOLLYWOOD" or "BLACK TIE SLEEK AND MODERN" THEMED WEDDING!  Those wouldn't reflect your style at all!  Your wedding should have elements that speak your language.  You should be choosing a venue that reflects your love for nature. Perhaps an outdoor ceremony and a tented space would be ideal for a venue.  A barn space would even do.... long exposed wooden beams and white lighting.  Choose a caterer who will provide elegant food in abundance.  Lots of passed hors d'ouevres and perhaps a stationed or family style dinner service.  Make carafes of wine available on the tables or create a specialty drink like a " Lemon Love Cooler".  Choose light colors for your flowers, dresses, and linens:  whites, yellows, light blues, creams, lavenders, etc. Display pictures of you and your love in rustic frames on the tables and in the entry way. Tell your story- make copies of love notes you have exchanged during your time together.  Give back:  in lieu of favors, let your guests know that you have made a donation to your favorite charity or conservation group.  Incorporate something unique..... have your guests hold sparklers to light the way to your awaiting limo at the end of the reception.  Or surprise your groom with a groom's cake that reflects something special about him.  You want your guests to walk away from your wedding thinking that every element really reflected YOU.  You want to keep your day elegant but relevant. 

No matter what your budget, you can pull off a fabulous theme for your wedding or event!  Now it's your turn:  what have been some of your favorite elements at a Wedding?