Event Design on a Dime

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Some of my most rewarding moments as an event planner are times clients call me super excited to share feedback from their guests on how fancy their event was, many times they tell me everyone said ” it must have cost a fortune” or “where did you get that” (then they are shocked to find out where or how). This past weekend I helped a friend plan a dinner party we kept it simple, chic, and best of all CHEAP! (shhh)

A great event does not have to put you in debt: negotiation skills, a few great sales, and a little creativity can stretch your budget like its nobody’s business, or party:)

Here I will give some tips on how to have an impressive dinner party without breaking the bank.

1)  Order your Wine by the Case – You get a discount, you will not run out of wine, and you will have some left over for your next event

2)  Recycle – I think the most beautiful vases for your wine bar are wine bottles, also Patron bottles have a unique shape and have enough weight to make tall centerpieces. Old fabrics can change the entire look of your space.

3) Candles are Classic – nothing says fine dining like gorgeous lighting! Dim your lights, use those fabrics if you need too, and light those candles. Places like Ikea, Pier One Imports, even dollar stores have great prices and unique candle holders. Just remember scented candles should only be used in the restroom, no one wants to inhale ocean breeze scent as they are taking a bite of food.

4)  50/50 Food – Catering can be expensive and while a restaurant may have an amazing Sea Bass or Filet Mignon do you really need to have the salad, breads, vegetables, and starches catered too? Figure out what you can make yourself that does not take too much time to save money.

5)  Potluck –  How many times have you had a party and everyone brings dessert and you are left eating cheesecake and pastries and gaining 5 lbs the next week? Well an easy way to avoid that without turning away homemade goodies is adding a potluck rsvp to your invite, have spots for desserts, appetizers, and entrees . Who ever does not rsvp with what they are bringing will usually ask what they should bring – that is the perfect opportunity to fill in some blanks before your trip to the store. I cannot recommend having a theme too so foods and wine complement each other.

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6) Signature Cocktails – You will all soon learn about my signature cocktail obsession, and they do not always have to have alcohol, but this past weekend’s cocktail did. It was a revamp of the Christmas Cookie Cocktail (everyone seems to love the non-pareil rim) We added cherry heart candies some clear peach soda, a few drops of red coloring and cherry vodka. I recommend the small martini glasses because you can make them as strong as a shot and still keep it classy.

7) Entertainment – Can you play guitar or piano? Well if you can or one of your guests can always offer that up. It is so beautiful and intimate to gather around some live music. If you do not, no worries just have a good playlist picked out on the mp3 player. Games are always good to have on hand as well.

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“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.”

~Bo Bennett 

Peace, Love  & Dandelions

Keri-Anne 

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3 Easy Tricks To Make Your Party POP

Everyone wants their guests to have an amazing time at their event, there are easy ways to do this without spending a ton of time and additional money. Here are a few tricks I use for every event be it a business function or kids party.

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1. Multipurpose centerpieces and decorations 

For a 10 year “Tin” wedding anniversary we had made darling little take home flower arrangements in tin cans. Cupcake stands make beautiful centerpieces as do cake pop arrangements. Who says you can’t have your cake and take home the plate too? Personalized plates also make great gifts.

Image  2. Signature Drinks

Signature drinks are my favorite way to take an event to the next level!  From red, white, and blue cosmos at a  political fundraiser to Fairy Punch (fruit punch bowl with floating edible flowers) served in winged cups  at a 7th birthday party. I have  seen all eyes light up in wonder and amazement once they get a glance of a pretty drink ,  and quite a few glassy ones a few hours later too:)

Image3.  A Video Thank You 

I know this one may seem almost too simple but it really means a lot to your guests. Just a few minutes of video thanking the guests for coming and some photos of the event edited in will make that day last forever. A huge bonus – emails are super easy to send!

 

“One does not leave a convivial party before closing time.” 
~Winston Churchill 

Peace, Love & Dandelions

Keri-Anne Slater

Let’s Get Acquainted With A Cocktail

Hello and Happy New Year! 2013 is apparently the year to blog as I have gotten so many requests from clients and friends to start one. So  here it is,  Dandelion Event’s official blog where I  will share some ideas and tips on how to have a memorable event.

The first entertaining idea I would like to share was for New Years Eve. I was asked to bring a dessert to a party so of course I wanted to make a fabulous dessert cocktail and dress it to impress. This holiday cocktail  idea came to me after eating some of my Mother’s sugar cookies with a candied cherry in the middle and a bottle of marshmallow flavored vodka staring at me every time I’d open the freezer  . So after few hours of experimenting,  a nap caused by too much experimenting, and a fun arts and crafts hour of cocktail decorating I came up with the….

Cherry Cookie Cocktailcocktail 2

1 cup marshmallow vodka

1 tbs  of Jello cheesecake pudding mix (I used sugar free)

1/4 cup Maraschino Cherry  juice

1 & 3/4 cup black cherry flavored seltzer water

(Garnish) Maraschino cherries with stems, rainbow nonpareils, Marshmallow fluff or agave nectar to rim

Martini glasses – I used plastic mini martini glasses  and if you use them be sure to add a dab of clear drying glue when assembling them but you can use regular sized ones I would recommend using more cherry soda as these were meant to be on the stronger side in the mini glasses

Put your vodka in the freezer, add pudding mix, shake well and chill  until ready for mixing,  this concoction tastes just like a sugar cookie

Now prep your glasses.  I assembled and rimmed them with “” glue” made from fluff mixed with a splash of water  to get the nonpareils to stick and then dropped the cherries in stem up

Mix your cherry juice with the seltzer and chill

When ready to serve pour 1 part vodka mix in, then gently top off with 1.5-2 parts of  cherry soda

This recipe filled 12 mini -glasses and was served beside a tray of my Mother’s sugar cookies (half with cherries, the other half with nonpareils). I caught a few people dipping the cookies in their drink, I am glad it was enjoyed and I hope you and your guests enjoy it too.

Cheers!

The tray is from Ikea and decorated with a piece of glitter garland from Michael’s  wrapped in an adorable little LED light set and taped onto the tray. To cover the battery box that was peeking out from the lights I added a cute zebra patterned gift bow. Simple and stunning.

“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”

~Ron White

Peace, Love  & Dandelions

Keri-Anne 

prep cocktail