Thursday, February 25, 2010

Confetti: Unique fundraising idea

Last night, I volunteered at the first ever Handbag Happy Hour event to benefit AIDS Community Services. The event was held at Salvatore's Italian Gardens, and I am sure it was quite a successful fundraiser. Ladies of all ages from across the region attended and had the opportunity to bid on new and previously loved designer and distinctive purses. There was a silent auction and a live auction. The live action included purses donated by Susan Lucci and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, and these were very popular! There were many generous companies and individuals across Western New York who donated purses and raffle prizes to make the evening a success. I haven't been to Salvatore's in a while, and was impressed with their appetizers and presentation in general. On the way out the door, ladies had the opportunity to pick up even more purses at bargain prices ($5-$20)! Needless to say, everyone left happy and with some new goodies.

This was an awesome idea for a fundraiser (wish I had thought of it!), a great way to bring women together, and I am sure that it will be very successful for years to come.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Party Time: Roaring Twenties Party - Part 2

Today I am excited to share some more images from our client's fabulous Roaring Twenties themed birthday party. All of the decor was created by Distinctive Occasions exclusively for this party. Handmade pillows trimmed with boas, jewels and beads abounded in the lounge area, red votive candles were trimmed with fringe and gems, pearls encircled the floral arrangements and the candles, beautiful rhinestone broaches adorned the tuxedo tablecloths and the chair covers, and fringe curtains covered the windows in the lounge area.

We obtained an old fashioned bathtub and filled it with ice to hold champagne bottles - giving the birthday girl her own version of bootleg liquor!

Upon arrival, guests were able to pose for souvenir photos in front of a vintage Pierce Arrow car (colored black and red of course!) we rented for the occasion. On the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, the birthday girl's name was illuminated in lights. There was no question who the star of this party was!

Floral arrangements by Flowers by Johnny utilized roses, lilies, ostrich feathers, pearls and beads - they were stunning and added so much to the event.

{All photos by Knight Photo Studio and Distinctive Occasions}

Stay tuned next week for the final set of details from this fun themed party!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wedding Save-the-Date Announcements

Everyone today has busy schedules which makes it is important to plan in advance to attend an important event such as a wedding, especially for guests who are attending from out of town. A Save-the-Date card is a way to let your guests know the location and the date of the wedding so that they can plan to attend. While they are not mandatory, most couples today send them. A Save-the-Date should include the date and town the wedding is being held in, pertinent hotel and travel information, and can also include a link to your wedding website if you have one. While it is nice to introduce the colors and style of your wedding if you have these aspects decided, it is not necessary. Here are some cute and different ideas for Save-the-Dates...

Destination Wedding Save-the-Date

Picture story save the date

Save-the-Date pen

Photo booth style Save-the-Date

If you choose to send Save-the-Dates, they should be mailed approximately 6-7 months before the wedding.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Congratulations Newly Engaged Couples!

If you are one of the lucky people who received an engagement ring for Valentine's Day or over the holidays - congratulations! You are embarking upon an exciting (and sometimes stressful) time. Here's a good plan for getting started:


1. Hire a Wedding Coordinator - Yes, I know what you're thinking....of course she would say this since she is a wedding coordinator! But honestly, a coordinator can be your biggest asset when planning a wedding. They can save you time, money, and help you to avoid costly mistakes. Although a coordinator can assist at any stage of the planning process, you will get the most monetary value out of the relationship if you involve one from the beginning. We offer hourly consultations for couples who need a push in the right direction but plan to do most of the planning themselves. A coordinator is a very valuable investment in your wedding.

2. Discuss the overall style and feel of the wedding. Do you want a formal, black-tie affair, or a casual BBQ? Discuss what is most important to you as a couple and how you see the day unfolding in general.

3. Choose a preferred month for your wedding. Try to keep an open mind with dates, since your preferred venue may not be available for your selected date. Also take into consideration holidays, vacation days and school schedules.

4. Set a budget. There are many templates you can find online. But how do you know how much these items should actually cost in your market? A coordinator is a great resource for this as well.

5. Choose a venue. There are many great venues in Buffalo. Make sure the venue you are considering is within your budget and fits the overall style of your wedding.

Get ready for an exciting ride!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Party Time: Roaring Twenties Party Part 1

We recently had the pleasure of coordinating and decorating a Roaring Twenties themed 40th birthday party for a private client. This was a fabulous affair where the host required all the guests to dress in themed attire. Guests entered the party through a real speakeasy door where they had to give the secret password to a costumed actor in order to enter.

This will be the first of a few posts showing the details and decor of this party which was held at Sonoma Grille in Amherst. The client stressed to us that most of the guests had been in this room for many celebrations, so it was important to transform the room in order to impress them. I thought it would be fun to start by showing you the before and after photos of the room. Here are the before photos of the Reserve Room...

And the after photos...

The windows are such a focal point of this room, and they define the space and give it a particular character. I immediately knew that in order to truly transform the room in a spectacular way, I had to change the windows. We chose to create these fabulous white and black curtains to cover every window in the room - this design element really created a "wow" factor.

{Event photos by Knight Photography}

We added black fringe to the ceiling lights, and red uplighting and red moving lights gave the room the feeling of a dark, smoky speakeasy. A black & white dance floor was placed in the center of the room, and all the decor was in black, red & white. We sewed white boas onto the bottom of black tablecloths, and used slinky black chair covers that echoed the style of the curtains and enhanced the twenties feel. It was truly a dramatic room transformation.

More photos of this party to follow in the upcoming weeks!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Inspiration Board: Whimsical Wedding

With Valentine's Day coming up, I created this lovely inspiration board with lots of whimsical wedding details. It is fun and girly and very unique. The colors pop - it would be perfect for an outdoor wedding. It is a bold and stylish, yet still soft and so pretty!

{Click on images to view credits}

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wedding Tips and Tricks: Wedding Websites

Many of my couples ask me if I think they should make a wedding website. There are many benefits to doing so. You can include details about the wedding including travel and lodging information, share your stories and photos, link to gift registries, and even take electronic RSVPs. Here are a few tips...

Selecting a site - There are many templates available online, both free and paid. Some free ones to consider are The Knot, EWedding, and Wedding Channel. A paid site I like is Wedding Window.

Tell your story - Make the website unique and representative of you as a couple. Include stories and photos to reflect your personalities and help people better understand you as a couple.

Travel - Be sure to include information on hotels and any special rates/room blocks along with links to the hotel websites. I advise couples to give guests a few hotel options at varying price points if possible. This doesn't mean that you have to set up room blocks at multiple hotels, but at least give them information on other nearby hotels so that they can choose.

Local Points of Interest - Some of the best wedding websites I've seen include information on local attractions and things guests can do in their down time. Share restaurant recommendations and tidbits about your city.

Privacy - Remember that whatever information you put out there can be viewed by anyone. Be selective about what you include unless your site is password protected.

RSVP Option - In today's electronic world, this is a great feature and helps make it easier on the procrastinators and people who just don't return their reply cards. It will make your life easier, because you won't have to chase people down for a response.

How to tell guests about your website - It really isn't proper etiquette to include the website on your wedding invitation. A great place for this is on the Save-the-Date card or on maps and travel information that you send out.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Buffalo Bridal Expo 2010

This past weekend, we were exhibitors at the Buffalo Bridal Expo held at the Seneca Niagara Casino. All of the exhibitors were members of the Buffalo Bridal Association, businesses that you can trust to provide professionalism and quality for your wedding day. We really wanted to showcase our design skills, and show everyone the items and ideas we have at our fingertips to help you have the wedding of your dreams.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth! It was great to meet new 2010 and 2011 brides and grooms, and to see some of our current brides as well. Here are some photos of the tables we designed at our booth...

This first table is every "girly-girl's" dream! It is a pink and crystal table, with a beautiful candelabra centerpiece draped with crystals. Favors included wine bottles (white Zinfandel of course!) with crystal monograms, beautiful matching menu cards, pink diamonds, silver beaded charger plates, rose petals, pink chivari chairs, crystal napkin rings, and the gorgeous flowers by Flowers by Johnny (who did all the flowers at our booth - he's the best!!). This shows how beautifully all the separate parts can work together to create a complete look.

We do have this candelabra available for rent - just give us a call!

This next table is our sweetheart table. Check out the intricate lotus flower napkin folds (yes, that is only one napkin!), adorable Mr. & Mrs. chair backs, the lovely teardrop linen, calla lily centerpiece, and a love poem displayed in a frame. It is simple and elegant.

Our buttercream table was a big hit, with its huge floral centerpieces and modern look. We combined a beautiful buttercream string swirl linen with whites and ivories, playful paliette napkin rings, and a circular menu card to show you that you don't always have to think inside the box when designing your wedding tables. We had a lot of interest in these fitted chair covers with their beautiful broaches - but we know not everyone has the budget to have this look on every chair at their wedding. I suggest that if you like this type of look but can't fit it into your budget, you could use it for a head table or a sweetheart table. The chair covers are available in white, ivory, black & red.

Finally, our teal table was designed to show you how one color could work in any season. In the Fall, we paired it with brown and peacock feathers. We showcased a curly willow centerpiece with tealights as a "splurge" centerpiece, and a candle with coffee beans in a hurricane vase as a "budget" centerpiece idea. In the winter, we paired it with white and silver, utilizing our beautiful floating candle centerpiece as a great "budget" idea. Summer was red, with a neat design for arranging plates and napkins on the table, creative drink menu card by Belletristics , (actually someone liked that drink card so much it was stolen from the booth!), and spring was orange with some fun paliette tea lights, tissue paper poms, and bright centerpieces featuring beautiful tulips.

We hope that these tables provide you with ideas and inspiration, and look forward to continuing to inspire you in the upcoming year!