Showing posts from 2014

Hawaii Wedding Trumped by President's Golf Game

When Army Captains Natalie Heimel and Edward Mallue Jr. planned their December 28th wedding ceremony for the 16th hole of the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course on a Marine Corps base in Hawaii, they didn't expect a problem of presidential proportions. Everything went smoothly until after the Saturday rehearsal when the couple was informed they could not hold the wedding as planned. President Obama, vacationing in Hawaii, wanted to play golf the following day at the same time and in the same location as the ceremony. Fortunately, the golf course staff had a backup plan, quickly moving the ceremony to a more secluded location overlooking the ocean. Some of the guests even saw the President as he played nearby.

Second Annual Great Potato Drop to Occur on New Years Eve

New York City lowers a ball in Times Square on New Years Eve. In Boise, Idaho we lower a 17 foot lighted Great Potato. Tens of thousands of hardy souls attended last year's first annual celebration. Even more are expected this year. The potato will be lowered from the new Zion's Bank building at 8th and Idaho Streets. The festivities will begin well before midnight with music on three stages, food vendors and television and radio coverage. The evening will end with fireworks. To find out the latest details as they are released, see

Shower Planning 101

Every bride or new mother-to-be looks forward to sharing her excitement with family and friends by having one or more showers. Unfortunately, she may put pressure on her family and friends to do what she wants, how she wants, and when she wants. No, no, no. A bride or new mom is the guest of honor. As such, it is her responsibility to enjoy whatever her friends or family plan, as long as it isn't dangerous or tacky. She should be consulted about the date, but that is all.

Honeyfund Honeymoon Registry - as Seen on Shark Tank

Are you planning a wedding, but can't afford the honeymoon? You may be interested in yet another honeymoon registry website. This one, Honeyfund, claims to be free, unlike other similar sites. The site is the brainchild of a couple married a few years ago who were disenchanted with the high fees and other restrictions found on most honeymoon registry sites, so they created their own.  The couple recently appeared on the popular television program Shark Tank, where they pitched the site to the Sharks.

Baskin Robbins Honors Veterans with Camouflage Ice Cream

In celebration of Veteran's Day, November 11, Baskin Robbins is offering camouflage ice cream and waffle cones. The ice cream comes in green/brown or light brown/dark brown combinations. The green ice cream is cake batter flavor; the brown is chocolate and the light brown is salty caramel. On Veteran's Day 10 cents from the sale of every scoop will be donated to veterans' causes.

If you love ice cream, head on down to Baskin Robbins, treat yourself and support a good cause.

The Seven Habits of a Thoughtful Bride

Habits - we all have them, some good, some bad. A habit may be as simple as parting your hair on the same side every day or as complex as a ritual of some type. Habits begin with a thought. The thought becomes an action. An action continually repeated becomes a habit. So what habits should a thoughtful bride, or anyone else for that matter, develop (or not develop)?

Showcase Limo Debuts New Pink Limo

October is breast cancer awareness month. What better time to debut a pink limo. That is exactly what Showcase Limo in Boise did. The custom built Challenger, one of only three in the nation, seats 10. Owner Christine Bennett plans to donate $15 from each hour the car is booked to the Susan G. Koman Foundation for breast cancer research.

The car is perfect for "girly" parties, such as bachelorette parties, Sweet 16 parties and even a birthday party for the grown up Barbie lover, not to mention cancer survivors and those undergoing treatment. What a great gift to surprise someone going through a difficult time with a special day that includes a ride in a hot pink limo. To book the car, visit

Country Style Weddings are "In" Right Now

When a bride says she is having a country wedding, just what does that mean? Many images come to mind. Is she planning a wedding in a meadow? On a farm or ranch? Beside a river? Or something else? The first thing a bride needs to do is define her vision, then determine whether it can be reasonably accomplished. 
I have planned and coordinated numerous weddings in the country, some more rustic than others. We have held ceremonies on top of mountains, where we had to trim the brush to enable guests to make the climb. We have held them beside rivers and lakes. We have had receptions in tents in meadows and fields. Most recently, we held a ceremony in front of a barn with dinner in the second floor hay loft and dancing on the lower level between the horse stalls.

Protect Your Money and ID When Traveling

This is the time of year when many of us travel to family reunions, weddings, for vacation and business. On a recent trip to Ireland my wallet was stolen out of my purse while crossing a street with a group of people. The audacity, not to mention the professionalism, of the pickpocket!! I never felt a thing; I looked down and my purse was unzipped and the wallet and its contents gone.

That incident has prompted me to caution others about personal travel safety and to review how I protect myself. The following tips may help you as well.

Contact your credit and debit card companies about two weeks before leaving home to set up a travel alert. Otherwise, your cards could be denied when you try to use them.Make a photocopy of your cards and your passport if traveling internationally. Leave one copy at home and place a copy in your carry-on bag, not your checked bag, which could be lost or opened by TSA inspectors.Don't carry your money and your credit or debit cards in the same wallet.…

Hen Parties Aren't Just for Chickens

I recently returned from Ireland where hen parties are all the rage. We saw several occurring in several cities. So what is a hen party? It is a glorified bachelorette party attended by not just the bridesmaids, but any female close to the bride, including the mothers of the bride and groom, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, bridesmaids, and close friends. It is not unusual to see twenty or more ladies parading through the streets, each wearing matching T-shirts and sashes designating their relationship to the bride.

Don't Allow a "Guestzilla" to Ruin Your Event

We are familiar with bridezillas, momzillas and even groomzillas, but how about guestzillas - those who think  others should accept and accommodate their selfish, often immature, behavior. Guestzillas take many forms. It may be the parent who insists that their child attend your party or wedding rather than placing junior in the nursery you so graciously arranged. When the child is loud or disruptive, the parents allow such behavior to continue rather than removing the child.

Or how about the guestzilla who didn't return the RSVP then becomes upset to discover they don't have a place card, a designated seat and no food was ordered for them. Rather than being embarrassed by their lack of manners, they blame the hosts, who "should have known we were coming." A similar guestzilla is the person who loudly complains about the food not fitting their particular diet or tastes.

Then there is the guestzilla who drinks too much and becomes embarrassingly loud or engages in que…

Choosing Your Wedding Officiant

You are getting married. You have the gown, the flowers, the cake, the location, but do you have someone to perform the ceremony? He/she is one of the most important participants in the ceremony. Who you choose will depend in part on where the ceremony is held. If the ceremony will occur in a church, the pastor is the obvious person to ask. Many are happy to perform weddings. Others hate them. With prior approval, some churches allow you to use your own minister, perhaps a family member or someone from another state.

Hotel and Resort Travel Safety Tips

Summer time and the living is easy - and the con men (and women) are out in force. Summer means graduations, reunions, parties and weddings, not to mention vacations, many of which require travel and overnight stays at hotels, resorts and campgrounds. Hitting the road can be fun unless the unexpected happens. Everything from theft to injuries to bedbugs can occur if you aren't careful. The following recommendations will help you enjoy your travel while reducing the negatives.

Hotels/motels/resorts: You may be making your own reservation or booking at a hotel or resort reserved by the wedding or party hosts. If making your own reservation, first check the venue's website. Also check travel rating websites, such as TripAdvisor. On the travel sites you may find some negative comments about minor matters, but if you find warnings or major issues, choose another hotel. Look for information not only about the rooms, but about parking, swimming pools, restaurants and other amenities.

Planning a Graduation Party

It's the time of year for high school and college graduations and the accompanying parties. But what to do and how and where? First, ask your graduate if he/she wants a party. You may be surprised to find your graduate does not, particularly high school boys and those who dislike being the center of attention.

If you decide to have a party, first decide on a date. If out-of-town  relatives plan to visit, consider having it either on graduation day or the next day or two. Before setting the date, check to find out if a school party, such as an all-night party, is planned. Also check with the parents of your student's close friends to learn their plans.

Then, decide who to invite. Your grad may want a larger party that includes family and school and church friends. Or he/she may prefer a friends-only party with a second celebration for family. If your student has a close friend, they may like to have a joint party.

When the Bride or Groom Has Been Married Before....

In today's society nearly half of marriages end in divorce. Therefore, it is very common for a bride or groom to be making their second trip (or more) down the aisle. When the bride, groom, or both are marrying for the second time, etiquette dictates that some things be handled differently than for a first wedding. The following are general etiquette guidelines to consider when planning a second wedding.
Bride’s first marriage, groom’s second:  If the bride is marrying for the first time, she may have as large a wedding as she likes. Depending on the groom’s age and circumstances, he should plan on paying for his share of the wedding expenses, rather than expecting his parents to pitch in a second time. The groom may also choose to pay for more of the total costs of the wedding if he can afford to do so, rather than expecting the bride and her family to pay for most of it.  He should also host and pay for the rehearsal dinner if his parents paid the first time around.
Bride’s secon…

Include Grandparents in your Wedding

It is not uncommon to ask the father of the groom to serve as best man or to ask a father or grandfather to perform a wedding ceremony. It is a little less common to ask the mother of the bride to serve as matron of honor, but how about asking Grandma to be the flower girl? That is what a Virginia couple did when the groom's grandmother jokingly asked to be their flower girl. After some thought, the couple asked both the groom's and the bride's grandmothers to serve as flower girls, preceding the bride down the aisle.

Grandparents are largely overlooked at weddings, much like the groom's parents, so why not give them, both grandparents and groom's parents, a more visible role. More and more brides are honoring one of the most important women in their lives by asking Grandma to be the matron of honor, or in some cases, escort the bride down the aisle. If a grandparent or parent of the groom sings or plays an instrument, he/she might provide a portion of the ceremony…

Celebrate Mother's Day with a Tea

Want to do something fun and just for the girls? Something feminine and a bit romantic with lace and flowers and yummy treats? If so, consider celebrating your mom, grandmother, aunts and the other special women in your life by planning a tea. If you are not the stiff, formal, tea and crumpets (yes, there is such a thing) type, create your own version of a tea. The only thing you definitely need is tea.

Traditionally, tea is served in mid to late afternoon accompanied by tiny open faced sandwiches and mini desserts. The tea is usually poured from a teapot into delicate porcelain tea cups (no mugs, please) and accompanied by sugar, milk and lemon wedges. Tables are covered with linen or lace tablecloths and bedecked with floral centerpieces. A proper English tea is made using loose tea leaves placed in a diffuser ball. However, if you prefer to offer several varieties, your guests will surely not complain if you provide a variety of tea bags.

If you prefer a morning tea, mini quiches, …

GoFundMe: Crowdfunding for Personal Events

Crowdfunding to raise small amounts of money from a large number of contributors to launch a new product or business, to fund micro loans to people in developing nations and to fund large public events has been around awhile. Now there is a crowdfunding website devoted to personal events - GoFundMe.

Changes in the Local Market: Who's Gone and Who's New

One thing of which we can be certain - change happens. As the scramble begins to find facilities to hold summer events, you will discover that some facilities are no longer available and new ones have popped up. The Sandstone Event Center in Nampa has been purchased by Community Christian Fellowship church. The church board is considering booking private events, but no decisions have been made. They may, however, sell much of the decor accumulated by the previous owners, much of which is out of date.

Wood River Cellars Winery is no more. It was purchased by Crooked Fence micro brewery and renamed Crooked Flats. The new owners will honor the private events already booked this summer but will no longer book private events, focusing on concerts and other public events instead.

Eagle Island Event Center opened recently near Eagle Island State Park along the Boise River in Eagle. The facility, a two story barn, accommodates 150. The 16 acre property includes a pond,  an outdoor covered picn…

Planning a Cruise Ship Wedding

Would you like to do something different for your wedding and save money as well? If so, consider combining the wedding and the honeymoon by getting married on a cruise ship. You can be married on the ship or you might have the ceremony on a beautiful beach at one of the cruise destinations - surf, sand, palm trees. Can you ask for anything more?

If you choose to be married on the ship, ceremonies are usually held before the ship sails. You will secure your marriage license in the state from which the ship sets sail. The captain can usually perform the ceremony or you can provide your own officiant.

Have a Closet Full of Formal Wear? Donate It and Help Someone in Need

Is your closet overflowing with prom dresses, bridesmaids dresses or cocktail attire that no longer fits or you will never again wear? If so, you might donate them and make someone less fortunate very happy. You can even take a tax deduction for your generosity. In southwestern Idaho Dresstravaganza ( accepts prom dress donations at the Van Heusen store at the Boise Outlet Mall. Call or text 208-297-3332 or email for details.

H&M Debuts Budget Wedding Gown

Swedish retailer H & M, a favorite of teen girls and college students, recently announced the first gown in what is expected to be a collection of budget wedding dresses. The modest ivory gown with ruching at the waist flatters most figures. Priced at $99 and made from recycled material, the dress is perfect for a casual wedding, including a beach wedding. The versatile style can also be worn as a cocktail dress by shortening the skirt.

H & M is not the first budget retailer to offer a wedding dress. Target has offered two styles for several years, both for less than $100. Target's most popular gown, a sleeveless bias cut gown available in both white and dark ivory (closer to pale
 peach, actually), is best worn by a slender bride, as the style reveals every curve. Target's other style is a simple straight-lined gown with cap sleeves.

If you are planning a casual wedding and don't want to spend hundreds on a gown to be worn for only a few hours, either dress may f…

Exchange Students are Coming!

ETC International Exchange Student Program is one of our clients. We work with them to help secure host families for students from many parts of the world. We also plan monthly events for the students and their
host families.

Last week about 40 ETC managers and staff gathered in San Diego for training and socializing, including a day at Disneyland and a day of sightseeing in San Diego. We look forward to a year of getting to know students from around the world and their host families and building into their lives.

If you or someone you know may be interested in hosting a student, contact ETC through the link above to find a local coordinator who will be happy to answer your questions.

The Hidden Safety Risks of Planning an Event

Last month we talked about the hidden costs associated with planning an event. In addition to costs, there are also hidden safety risks that may affect your guests' well being. Safety risks take many forms, from location issues to food and drink problems and more. The following are some of the most common.

Location risks: Locations, particularly outdoor ones, may contain several safety risks.The water feature that initially attracted you to the venue may prove to be an attractive hazard. Be very careful when a large group gathers near a pond, river, lake, pool or even a large fountain, particularly when children or alcohol is involved. Before allowing guests to operate canoes, row boats, jet skis and other water craft, be sure they wear life jackets and have had instruction, if necessary. If you are planning a pool party, ask a friend to serve as life guard.

Memory Makers Returns to Honduras

For seven years Memory Makers Event Planning has sponsored a child in Honduras with Compassion International. I recently had the opportunity to make my second trip to spend time with the adorable Nelson. Twenty-two of us first flew into San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras where we spent time at two projects, including one with a Child Survival Center, where pregnant women and those with children up to age three can receive prenatal care, medical care for the delivery, nutrition and child rearing counseling and support. (Nearly 50 percent of children under 5 in Honduras die, most from birth-related complications. Pneumonia is the second leading cause of death.)

We then drove to the capital, Tegucigalpa, to visit another project and spend a day with sponsored children at a jump park filled with large inflatable jumps. (My elbow still hurts from a burn received on the big slide.) Nelson came with his mother and his new baby sister, 40 days old. What a delight it was to see how Nelson has…

The Hidden Costs of Planning an Event

You contacted the caterer, the florist, the photographer; the invitations are ordered. You are proud of yourself for staying within your budget, but are you sure you are within budget?  Most events include numerous "hidden" costs that can add another 20% to 25% to the budget if you aren't careful. Here are some of the most common costs you may encounter.

Catering: Though the per-person cost may seem reasonable, you will also pay a service fee (this offsets labor costs), gratuity, and sales tax if your state collects it. In Idaho, plan to add 24% to the per-person cost (this assumes 6% sales tax and 18% service fee/gratuity). Be certain to check your invoice to find out if a gratuity was included (usually) or if you need to add it in addition to the service charge and sales tax.

Cake cutting fee: Many caterers charge a cake cutting fee for the use of their plates and their servers' time to cut and serve your cake if the caterer did not provide it. This can sometimes be …

Trade Show Participants: Are Your Employees Helping or Hurting You?

This is the season for trade shows - business expos, health fairs, wedding shows, technology expos, home and remodeling shows, home and garden shows and more. Some shows occur only one day while others occur several days, often over a weekend. Business owners pay big bucks for a booth space, hoping to attract new customers and raise awareness of their products or services. The strategy can backfire, however, if the people working in the booth do not represent the business well.

Memory Makers Decorates Rose Parade Floats

I have just returned from Pasadena, California where I had the opportunity to help decorate floats for the 125th annual Rose Parade and attend the parade. Seventeen of us worked with Petal Pushers, an organization that recruits over 5,000 volunteers each year to work on nearly a dozen floats. My job was helping prep several thousand roses that were used on eight floats. We stripped leaves, cut stems, and placed the roses in vials of water that were then inserted on the floats.

Some in our group cut the individual blossoms from dried flowers then processed the blossoms in a blender to create "paint" to be glued to large "flowers" and used for stained glass windows. Others glued rice crushed in a blender to signs, pillars, columns and any surface needing to look as if it had a smooth white finish. Yet others worked on their stomachs on scaffolding over 10 feet in the air to finish attaching coconut bark to a football. Volunteers do much of the initial work, then pr…