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Showing posts from 2012

Thanks for a Great Year

As this year draws to a close, we look back with gratitude at the diversity of events we have had the opportunity to be a part of and the many new friends we have met, as well as old friends whose support and encouragement we appreciate so much.

This has been a year of meeting new friends from throughout the world, from Kenya to Honduras and places in between. We have had the opportunity to serve our clients from Sun Valley to McCall, Stanley, Twin Falls and into eastern Oregon. We have represented them at technology and medical conferences, planned incentive travel trips and helped celebrate special family events from weddings to anniversary parties, vow renewals, special birthday parties and more.

We are grateful for the professionals in our community who have helped make our events successful, particularly the ones who have been willing to step in and pick up the pieces when necessary.

As 2013 approaches, we look forward to another year of excitement and new opportunities. May you…

Tips for Surviving Wedding Show Season

Wedding show season is fast approaching in southwestern Idaho beginning with the 34th annual Wedding Party Show January 5 and 6, 2013 at Boise Centre on the Grove. The Wedding Party Show is the area's oldest and largest show, attracting upwards of 1,000 brides, plus grooms, mothers, sisters and others for a total attendance of over 5,000. Over 100 merchants, including caterers, photographers, florists, musicians and DJs, wedding planners, venue owners and others will be available to share ideas and discuss your wedding plans.

The Wedding Party show will be followed in quick succession by three smaller shows to be held in various locations around the valley. With so many shows so close together, it is easy to become overwhelmed. The following tips will help you navigate wedding show mania without succumbing to pressure and stress.
The primary reason to attend a wedding show is to gather information. Rarely do brides book merchants at a show, nor should they unless they have previous…

When its Appropriate to be Your Own Event Coordinator and When its Not

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Literally thousands of events occur every day in this country, the majority of them without professional help. So, when is it appropriate to plan and coordinate your own event and when should you contact a professional? You can usually successfully plan and/or coordinate your own event when:
the party, meeting or other event will be small and informalyou are planning a drop-in event to last only two or three hoursa limited amount of food and beverage will be served and you can manage it by yourselfyou are planning a birthday party for a young child. Most parents are not interested in paying for help unless they are planning a Sweet 16 or another major party.you have the time and expertise to do it all yourself and still enjoy your guests You need to call a professional when:
the success or failure of the event might affect your career or reputationthe meeting or conference involves professional continuing education credit and the accrediting organization requires the involvement of a me…

Enhance your Event by Using the Services of a Rental Center or Event Decorator

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If you are planning an event of any size or complexity, chances are you may need the services of a rental center or an event decorator. So, what is the difference and which may best fit your needs? Rental centers carry tables, chairs, linens, dishware, tents and much more. Larger event or party rental centers stock a wide selection of items - numerous chair styles, many linen colors and styles, tables in several sizes and more. They may also be able to special order unique linens to compliment your event theme.

Rental centers will deliver your items (for a fee) or you can pick them up. In addition to the cost of the rented items, you will be charged sales tax, delivery fee and possibly damage insurance. Should you rent large items, such as tents, the rental center's staff will erect and take them down.

Memory Makers goes to Honduras

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For nearly six years Memory Makers Event Planning has sponsored a child in Honduras through Compassion International. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit with Nelson, his mom and his tutor. It was such a blessing to finally meet this sweet young man. He lives in extreme poverty in one of the most dangerous areas in the world in a one-room home without running water with his parents, two siblings, grandmother and five (yes, five) uncles.

As a sponsored child, Nelson is able to attend school and to receive at least one healthy meal and snack each day. He and his siblings have access to medical and dental care, loving mentors and supporters and other resources. He can grow up healthy and educated, equipped with the tools to enable him to break the cycle of generational poverty so prevalent in his country.

You or your business may want to consider sponsoring a needy child in an undeveloped or underdeveloped area of the world. For only about $40 a month, you can change lives for gener…

Treat your Friends to an Election Night Party

If you and your friends enjoy watching the election returns, why not make a party of it. Depending on your social circle, you might invite guests who root for both parties if everyone can enjoy the results without becoming angry or frustrated. If your family and friends tend to be more polarized, then you might invite only guests of a similar party preference.

Decorate with red and/or blue banners, party hats and paper goods. You might serve cookies in the shape of donkeys and elephants or add some pizzaz by serving red velvet cake with blue icing. Plan a fun game or two, perhaps giving a small prize to whoever picks the winners of local elections.

Above all, keep it light and fun; no snide comments or displays of anger. Though the results are extremely important, it isn't necessary to make others uncomfortable about their allegiances.

Know Someone Turning 65? Plan a "Welcome to Medicare" Party

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Aging is a fact of life. We can't slow it down; we can't stop it, so why not have fun with it? If you know someone who will soon celebrate a 65th birthday, you may want to plan a "Welcome to Medicare" party. Invitations might be in the style of a Medicare card. Decorations might include additional Medicare cards in varying sizes (Medicare placemats?) and red, blue and white decorations. You might even serve red, white and blue foods, such as red velvet birthday cake, vanilla ice cream, blueberries and/or strawberries with red or blue punch.

A short program that includes funny stories, poems or embarrassing incidents associated with aging or Medicare will keep your guests in stitches.

If the honoree is in good health, guests might be encouraged to have fun with gifts, bringing such things as a cane or a large magnifying glass. If, however, the person suffers from a serious health issue, foregoing gifts in favor of cards only may be more appropriate.

Don't let tha…

Choosing the Flowers for Your Wedding

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Most weddings involve flowers, usually bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres for the men and possibly centerpieces and other decor. It is easy to become overwhelmed with so many items, not to mention the varying prices. The following tips will guide you as you begin thinking about your floral needs.

Bride's bouquet - Unless the bride is being married at the courthouse, she probably needs a bouquet. Bridal bouquets come in two basic styles, either handheld or in a holder. A handheld bouquet is one in which the stems are wrapped in ribbon forming a "handle" for the bride to hold. The flowers generally form a round mound. Handheld bouquets are easy to keep hydrated on hot days by slipping them into a vase of water.

Choosing the Perfect Florist for Your Special Event

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If you are planning a wedding or another special event, chances are you will need the services of a florist. Unfortunately, not everyone who claims to be a florist really knows their way around flowers. The following tips will help you choose someone you can trust to provide quality bouquets and centerpieces.

First, let's begin with a bit of background on the industry. There is a difference between a florist and a floral designer. Florists are licensed by the Idaho Department of Agriculture. They must maintain certain standards set by the state. A floral designer does not need a license. Their primary responsibility is designing arrangements under the direction of a licensed florist.

Florists obtain the majority of their flowers from wholesalers, though they may occasionally purchase special items from local growers. Two floral wholesalers serve most of southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon. The wholesalers obtain their flowers from growers, both in the U.S. and internationally.…

Renew Your Wedding Vows in all 50 States

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I am working with a couple from California, married for eight years, who have set a goal to renew their wedding vows in all 50 states. So far, they have renewed their vows at Niagara Falls, NY; the Space Needle in Seattle, the Oregon coast, on a cruise ship in CA, on the beach in Hawaii, at the Alamo in TX, the Grand Canyon, and on the Strip in Reno. Now, it is time for a ceremony in Idaho. The groom would like to have the ceremony in a hot air balloon, if possible, so we are working out the details.

In the process of planning their event, I learned that an annual vow renewal in various states is actually quite common. Certificates are available to comemorate the event and, for couples who collect them, getting the certificate is almost as important as the ceremony.

Because the couple is already married, the ceremony is symbolic, not legal, so anyone can perform it. We haven't decided whether to ask the balloonist to perform the ceremony or if I will do it.

If you want to regular…

Social Media Etiquette for Events

No doubt about it, social media has changed our lives. We can easily stay connected with family and friends across the country and around the world. Businesses increasingly use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for marketing. All are simple to use, making it easy to fall into the habit of quickly posting or tweeting about where we are, what we are doing or what we think, sometimes multiple times each day. But sometimes those posts can backfire.

Today, employers and potential employers increasingly monitor social media. Suppose an employer sends people to a training conference only to later see posts such as, "Lame speaker" or "Bored out of my mind." The employee attended the conference to learn new things, not to spend time on his/her phone or the Internet critiquing the speaker or topics. Doing so could result in a reprimand or, unknown to the employee, a write up in their personnel file. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube should be off limits when on the job unl…

Integrity Counts in Business and in Life

Integrity is important in both business and personal lives, but what exactly is integrity? It is ethical, honest and moral behavior that promotes the welfare of everyone. Integrity, or the lack thereof, seems to become a particular issue when money is involved. Suppose you find a wallet containing money and identification in the grocery store parking lot. Do you: 1. take the wallet home and then call the owner and arrange return 2. turn the wallet in at the store or 3. take the money and toss the wallet in a dumpster?

What about the customer who overpays an invoice? Do you give them a call to find out if they intended to overpay or if someone made a mistake or do you happily keep the money?

Or what about the event that will occur at a facility where your company had a past issue and has been told not to return. You are contacted by someone wanting your services and it is a several thousand dollar contract at a slow time of year. Do you go ahead and book the event then try to figure o…

Hosting a Shower by Webcam

Recently I was invited to a baby shower for an expectant mom who lives in another state. Pregnancy complications occurred shortly before the shower, making it impossible for her to travel. However, with today's technology there was no need to cancel the shower. The invitations had gone out; gifts had been purchased, so let the party continue.

Through the use of a webcam and Skype, the guest of honor was able to almost fully participate in her shower, minus enjoying the cake and punch. Her sister opened the gifts to oohs and ahhs and much laughter, as well as a few tears. Friends enjoyed visiting with each other and with the long distance mommy.

You can host a similar shower or a party if you have a close friend or relative who is a bride or mom-to-be you that you and your friends would like to honor. Don't let distance be a deterrant.

Scentsy Event Benefits Refugee Community

Scentsy, locally headquartered in Meridian, is joining with local refugee agencies to host a special fund raising event. The public is invited to the Scentsy headquarters at 2701 E. Pine Avenue, Meridian on Saturday, August 25 from 4 to 8 p.m. Organizations such as Artisans4Hope and Create Common Good will offer their arts, crafts and services for sale. Food and locally grown produce will also be available. The goal is to raise $100,000 to benefit local agencies and programs. The event will also include music, games and other activities, as well as information on how you can volunteer to work with area refugee organizations.

Come on out and join the fun and pick up a few gifts at the same time. You will be glad you did.

Event Planning's Dirty Little Secrets

Successful events don't just happen. Many people work behind the scenes to handle the myriad details - the good, the bad and the downright disgusting. Following are some of the dirtiest jobs involved in producing a special event.
Port-a-pottie transport, set-up and clean-up. If your event requires the use of portable facilities, someone has to provide and maintain them. You probably won't see the person or give them a second thought, but what would you and your guests do without them?
Animal pooper-scooper. If your event will be held at an outdoor location or will involve animals in any way, someone must clean up behind them. This includes cleaning up behind the ringbearer dog, cleaning bird droppings off tables and chairs (sometimes off the linens as well) and cow patty patrol at places like Pioneer Park in Stanley before setting up tents, tables and chairs.
Dishwasher. Washing dishes for your family is one thing, but doing it for 300 guests can be an ordeal - scraping, rinsin…

Stretch Pickup Truck Limos

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I just returned from a trip to England and Scotland. In St. Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf, I saw my first stretch pickup truck limo. This particular one was being used for a birthday party for a teenaged girl.

The limo looks like a humongous pickup, complete with the open bed on the back. It seats about 12 passengers. They are made by Ford using the chassis of an F150 or F350. The bed on the back was small and seemed out of proportion with the elongated body.

Apparently, these limos are quite popular in the Edinburgh/St. Andrews area where they are used to transport groups of golfers and their gear and by small tour groups. Will they catch on in this area? Perhaps, but not likely anytime soon. What would you carry in the bed? The loot from your event, your rentals, or something else?

Wedding Insurance - a Good Idea or a Waste of Money?

You insure your car, your home, your health, and your life.Now you can insure your wedding too. Wedding insurance has been popular in Great Britain for several years. Now, a number of U.S. companies offer it as well. The insurance is receiving much publicity, but do you really need it, or is it a waste of your limited wedding funds? The answer depends on your situation.
Most policies offer varying amounts of coverage for varying fees, with the most expensive policies costing around $400 for a U.S. wedding.If you are planning a destination wedding to another country, the fee will be higher.

Most insurance policies will insure against: Unforeseen weather problems (Are you planning a wedding in Florida or the Bahamas during hurricane season?).The weather issue must be a major problem that will prevent you from holding the wedding as scheduled or will prevent a majority of your guests from attending, not just an afternoon thunder storm.
Cancellation or postponemen…

The Most Common Event Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Whether you are planning a company grand opening or picnic, a conference for your non-profit or Grandma's 80th birthday party, successful events don't occur without planning. Though planning a special event may initially seem easy, it is not if you want the party, meeting, conference or other event to flow smoothly.  Following are the most common event planning mistakes and suggestions on how to avoid them.

Destination Unknown is .........

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A couple weeks ago I posted about the opportunity to assist a local company in planning an incentive trip for their top sales people. The winners did not know their destination until they reached the Boise airport today. They are going to Sedona, Arizona and the Hilton Resort and Spa. They will enjoy golf, spa treatments, jeep rides through the red rock canyons, and much more. They fly into and from Phoenix. On the way to Sedona today they will be stopping in Cave Creek for lunch and a couple hours free time to get acquainted with this historic community and to shop.

The company that is rewarding their employees in this special way is Sysco Foods Idaho. Congratulations to the winners.

National Association of Women Business Owners Announces 2012 Business Women of the Year

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The southern Idaho chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) honored five women as 2012 business women of the year at a gala celebration held May 5 at the Idaho Historical Museum in Boise. Glenna Tooman, owner of Memory Makers Event Planning, LLC in Boise, was named Business Woman of the Year. She won based on her years in business and her commitment to her clients and to mentoring women business owners and students who aspire to become business owners.

Serena Kenner, owner of Southside Floral in Nampa, was selected Up and Coming Business Woman. Sonia Martinez, executive director of Latino Economic and Development Center in Blackfoot, was named Trailblazer of the year for her accomplishments in improving opportunities for Latino women while working in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Lori Fascilla, executive director of Giraffe Laugh Early Learning Centers of Boise, received the Leadership award.

Boise CPA and NAWBO member Laura Canales received the …

Mystery Incentive Travel Trip

I have been working with the local branch of a national company to plan an incentive travel trip for their top sales people in southern Idaho. On May 17, 15 employees and their spouses will gather at the Boise airport for destination - unknown. They will learn the destination when they receive their tickets. They have been told to pack for warm weather and to plan on golf and spa activities for sure. Additional activities will be revealed at the appropriate times. The group will leave on a Thursday morning and return on Sunday afternoon, hopefully with lovely tans and many fond memories.

I had the opportunity to research and recommend several locations for the trip, all within a few hours flight of Boise, then the planning committee made the final decision. They chose a lovely all-inclusive resort with a fabulous staff that has been very accommodating to work with. The staff has really gotten into the idea of a mystery trip and all they can provide to make it special. Thanks to Doreen…

Indian Wedding in Idaho

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Today we held a traditional Indian wedding in my backyard. Yesterday the couple was married in an American-style wedding. Their plan was to have a second wedding in the fall in India in the groom's hometown until they learned last week that in India there is no such thing as a vow renewal ceremony. If they were to have an Indian wedding, it must occur at the same time as the American wedding. When the groom's mother arrived from India with the news that everything must occur now, we scrambled to create a second wedding. Because we wanted some degree of privacy and the ceremony involves fire, we needed to hold it in an outdoor location and my backyard was the most private (and affordable) place available on short notice.

Never too Old for Love

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For her 100th birthday on February 6, Dana Jackson married her 87 year old boy friend, Bill Stauss. Both are residents of Rosewood Health Care Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This is the bride's fourth marriage. Her first was at age 15. Imagine two weddings 85 years apart. How very different they must have been.

The bride wore a white gown and long veil. The groom, who is blind and has never seen his bride, was handsome in his tuxedo. The bride had a bachelorette party before the wedding. A champagne toast and desserts were shared at the reception. Congratulations! Here's to many years together.

Make Your Event Really Cool with an Ice Sculpture

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Want to add a really cool - literally - and elegant feature to your event decor? If so, you might order a custom-designed ice sculpture or ice bowl. We are fortunate to have a local master ice carver, Danny Spangler, owner of Ice is Nice in Star, who can create just about any design you want, whether it be a romantic design for your wedding reception or anniversary party, your corporate logo, sports team logo or another design. Size is not an issue; Danny has created very large designs as well as smaller ones, depending on your budget and space limitations.

An ice sculpture will create a focal point for your party. If you prefer something useful as well as decorative, you might order one or two ice bowls. The bowls come in a wide variety of styles, which can include fresh fruit or flowers frozen into the design. The bowl contains a plastic liner that can be filled with punch, salad or a couple bottles of your favorite wine or champagne. A light placed under the bowl highlights the des…

Choosing a Photographer for Your Special Event

As we gear up for the summer event season, photographers will be in demand to cover everything from Grandma's 90th birthday party to a wedding, graduation party, reunion or another special event. Unfortunately, all photographers are not created equal. There are good ones and there are really bad ones. Your event will occur only once, so you want the best possible photos. Because most people rarely hire a professional photographer, they are often unsure how to evaluate one. Therefore, the following tips will help you make the best choice for your money (and your memories).

First and foremost, check the photographer's web site. Do you see photos of other events like yours? Are most of the photos studio shots or were they taken at other locations as well? Are all or most of the photos posed, or do you see movement and spontaneity? Can you see the subject's entire body, if appropriate, or do you see people with missing feet, legs, or tops of heads? Are there heavy shadows, ind…

Fast-growing Local Company Celebrates Anniversary

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Congratulations to Boise company InDepth Solutions on the celebration of their 5th anniversary. Employees, family and friends - 180 strong - gathered recently at Boise State University for a fantastic party with great food, music and interactive entertainment. Here is to many more years.

Manners and Courtesy - Are They Dead?

Today we live in a casual society. We rush from one appointment to another. We eat with our hands as much or more than with a knife and fork (pizza, sandwiches, chicken and on and on). We dress casually, even for formal events. Do people today think about, or care about, manners? What about consideration for others? Thoughtfulness? Courtesy? Are they all passe in today's society?

Use Your Event to Help a Favorite Charity

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At last week's wedding, the bride and groom asked guests to bring food for their church's food bank in lieu of gifts. By week's end the church had received nearly 1,000 pounds of food and over $600 in cash donations, all from a group of 126 guests.

You can do something similar at your event. Many charities have needs your guests can meet inexpensively. You might ask for food for the food bank; for dog and cat food for a local shelter; for underwear, socks and/or gloves for the Rescue Mission; hats and scarves for the cancer society, or many other items. Give your favorite charity a call and find out how you and your guests can bless them. Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness and you will make a difference in the community.

Bridesmaids Luncheons - a Thing of the Past?

When is the last time you heard a bride say she was having a bridesmaids' luncheon? If a luncheon was mentioned, did you wonder what the bride was talking about? Unless you live in the southern U.S., there is a good chance you are not familiar with this custom. In generations past, a bride honored her bridesmaids by hosting a luncheon, tea, or a similar social event for them. Other women in the wedding (such as soloists), the mothers and grandmothers of the bride and groom and perhaps an aunt or two were also invited (but not usually the flower girl). The bride often presented her gifts to the ladies at the party. The event was often held a week before the wedding, though some brides held it the day before the wedding. (The luncheon occurred in addition to a bachelorette party, not in place of it.)

The luncheons, tea or brunch were sometimes held at a restaurant and other times at a private home. Dessert was usually a special cake containing charms, such as a coin, thimble and rin…

Trends for 2012 - Weddings, Food, Meetings

It seems each year we are inundated with predictions of the latest trends for the coming season. Some make sense or are a continuation of a current trend. Others make you wonder where the idea originated. Some of what are considered "national" trends, have actually been in vogue in this area for a couple years or more. The following are predictions for this year culled from several sources and presented in no particular order.

Wedding Trends - the following are compliments of OneWed.
Food trucks - Whether it be a taco truck after a party or an ice cream truck at a wedding reception, if you have a favorite truck food, invite them to your event. You can even hire the corner hotdog vendor to drop by.Unique head pieces - Brides are replacing the typical veil and/or tiara with wedding hats, headbands and big, beautiful barrets and clips. Feathers for the hair are "in."Royal wedding inspiration - In the tradition of Kate Middleton, simple and understated is in, whether it …

Wedding Planning for the Mature Bride

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I am currently working with a bride who is a 66 year old widow marrying a 70 year old gentleman. Through the years I have planned numerous weddings for brides in their 40s, 50s and 60s. Some were marrying for the first time, some were divorced, others widowed.

When a couple is older, both bride and groom often have many more decisions to make than younger couples. A mature bride's body has changed and the gown that looks great on a 25 year-old will not look the same on a 50 year-old. One or both may have children and possibly grandchildren. They may have homes, own a business and/or have investments they want to leave to their respective families. Health issues may be part of the picture. To protect yourself, your family, and each other, all these issues and more need to be addressed before saying "I Do." 

Wedding Gown: Many mature women find choosing a wedding gown to be the most difficult part of planning their wedding. Unless she works out regularly, a revealing gown …

33rd Annual Wedding Party Show has Come and Gone

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The 33rd annual Wedding Party Show was held this weekend. Approximately 1,000 brides plus grooms, moms, sisters, friends, children, non-participating merchants and others streamed through the show looking for everything from planners to catering, flowers, gowns, tuxes and unique venues. It was a great show. Below, Caitie receives a big kiss from show mascot Chloe.

Planning a Super Bowl Party without the Mess

Happy New Year! Christmas and New Years are behind us. The next big event, other than the 33rd annual Wedding Party Show this weekend, is Super Bowl Sunday, February 5. Many people have Super Bowl parties, some at restaurants or pubs, others at private homes. If you are among those planning a party at home or perhaps at your community club house, you are probably not looking forward to the mess at the end of the day. Unfortunately, when a group gets together and food and football are involved, messy happens.

You can control some of the messies, and help the environment, with a bit of preplanning. You might start with what you serve. If you order in pizza, you will have boxes, crusts, sauce and other possibly gooey and messy items to deal with, so be sure to have plenty of large trash cans and bags on hand. If, on the other hand, you prepare a crock pot of soup or chili, you will have considerably less clean up, even if you use disposable bowls and spoons. Serving beverages in individu…