Having worked in the Nanakuli event planning industry for almost 7 years there are not many surprises left – but occasionally I still get the, “They did what?” pass my lips! Why am I not surprised anymore – because over the years the number one rule for event planning is putting time into the pre planning of the event, and then planning contingencies for the exceptions that may happen?
So where do you start? As far out from the event date as possible as getting space is the first step. In Nanakuli, where we do a lot of work, it is not unusual to be booking one year out at some of the venues, as they are booked solidly every week.
The first few decisions are the easiest. What is the budget? What is the event about? A party, corporate seminar, convention, festival, wedding, or an anniversary – the list is endless, but one thing remains constant once the event has a name and the type of event is decided, the next step will be to decide where to hold the event. This is where the real event planners stand out from the crowd. So you have an event – okay lets book a hotel is normally the next answer but why would you miss out on an opportunity to create a unique experience?
Event Planning - Throw an Event That Will Be the Talk of the Town
A Bar Mitzvah is an honored, important Jewish celebration celebrating a boy's coming to age. A Bar Mitzvah symbolizes the boy's entrance into manhood at the age of 13. Putting religious ceremonies aside, a Bar Mitzvah is a huge, exciting celebration where the boy turned adult is treated almost like royalty, getting the best on this special occasion. It's important to celebrate this coming-of-age with a bang -- and that bang usually involves a spectacular party. Here are five essentials for making your son's Bar Mitzvah a spectacular, memorable event:
1. Great invitations. Send out traditional invitations with Hebrew and English wording weeks before the event. Invitation stores can make Bar Mitzvah invitations for you for convenience's sake. Otherwise, design your own with a computer graphics program such as Adobe Photoshop. A free alternative is the program GIMP or Pixia. Double-check your wording after it's completed, especially the Hebrew wording. Hebrew wording will not be the same as English wording. If you're having trouble wording it, consult a Hebrew linguist. Send these invitations out two weeks to a month before the actual Bar Mitzvah.
2. Pick a great location. Whatever you do, don't hold it at home. It should be held in a place of worship, or if you're very casual, a cute bar or restaurant. Make sure to decorate it plentifully -- you want to give the message that this day is very, very special in your lives. Sparse decorations won't convey that message, but ones that nicely accent your son's celebration will.
3. Travel in style. Your son is the center of attention, so treat him like he is. Have a limo take your son from your home to the Bar Mitzvah location. Fill the limo with gifts, non-alcoholic drinks, and finger food -- but let the limo driver know that he should take his time driving him to that location. That way your son can enjoy his day of coming-of-age, as well as arrive in style.
4. Delicious food. It's not a Bar Mitzvah without delicious food, right? Serve delicious food such as finger sandwiches, decadent sweets, and other goodies that younger and older generations will enjoy. Be mindful of dietary restrictions.
5. Meaningful speeches. It is not a true, meaningful Bar Mitzvah without speeches from the Torah. Relatives can read stories and speeches in English or native Hebrew, telling the tales of adulthood and coming-of-age. It's truly meaningful for the family and the son, something everyone will remember for ages.
Highlighting how special your son is - and how important his coming of age is - are the fundamental elements to creating a great, memorable Bar Mitzvah - besides a sprinkling of love, that is.
Wedding Reception Ideas - 6 Tips For Having The Perfect Wedding Reception
You are recently engaged, and now it is time to start researching wedding reception ideas. But where should you start?
All good weddings start with a plan, and listed below are 6 tips that you can use to make sure you plan the wedding of your dreams.
Start looking for a reception location early
The first step is to figure out when you want to get married. Summer and fall weddings open the opportunity for an outdoor wedding reception; however these are also the most popular times to get married.
You need to move fast and start early to make sure you get your first choice of reception location during the busy seasons.
One way to narrow down your choices is to choose either an indoor or outdoor wedding reception. Then, make a list of potential locations and start visiting them as soon as possible.
Think about your budget and only look at options that fit your budget
Your budget will play a big part in deciding where to have your wedding reception. Depending on where you live, the average wedding can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000.
If you are having a large wedding with a limited budget, you may want to stick with indoor wedding facilities that offer reasonable wedding reception packages.
Outdoor tented weddings tend to cost a little more. Things like silverware, chairs and glassware will have to be rented, and you will have to work with a caterer that specializes in tented weddings.
Book wedding vendors early
In addition to booking your wedding reception location early, you should book your other wedding vendors like photographers, bands and florists as early as possible.
Good wedding vendors are booked up more than a year in advance. To ensure you get your first choice, start researching and meeting with your vendors shortly after booking your wedding reception space.
Choose a wedding theme for a unique reception
If you want to stand out a little from the crowd, consider incorporating a wedding theme into your reception. A wedding theme can be as simple as a certain type of flower, like daisy, or a season, like fall harvest.
More elaborate wedding themes include Cinderella or country western.
A popular option with any type of wedding theme is to include a signature drink. Different types of martinis, like apple or blue, are great options.
Ask a family member or good friend to take your gifts home
The last thing you want to be worried about when leaving your reception is the location of your wedding gifts.
Ask a good friend or family member (preferably someone reliable and sober who won't forget) prior to the wedding to be in charge of collecting your wedding gifts and moving them to a secure location after the reception.
Take a few moments to look around and enjoy the reception
Weddings take a lot of time and effort to plan. During your reception, take a few moments to look around and enjoy the results of all of your hard work.
Eat the food from your caterer, have a few signature drinks, admire the floral arrangements and enjoy your family and friends. Wedding receptions only last a few hours, so make sure you step back and soak in the atmosphere.
The above 6 ideas aren't everything you will need for planning your wedding, but it is a good start towards the perfect end result which is a wedding memory that will make you smile for the rest of your life.