help, I’ve got ugly chairs! part 2: chair treatments & embellishments

How to embellish chairs

Welcome back to the “Help! I’ve got ugly chairs!” series! Yesterday I discussed the different types of chairs you usually find at hotels and banquet halls. Today we’ll talk about ways to enhance your chairs, whether you have a wooden folding chair that needs some pizzazz or if you want to make a chiavari chair a little more special. This is called chair treatments or chair embellishments. Enjoy!

Chair caps: If you are just itching to cover up part of that chair but don’t want a big, baggy chair cover? What about a chair cap? These are also called toppers or half covers, or sometimes sleeves. They can be made in almost any fabric, but I love the lace for a soft, romantic look.

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Help, I’ve got ugly chairs! Part 1: The Low-Down on Event and Banquet Chairs

What to do with Ugly Banquet Chairs

Ahh, the chair. For those of you who don’t plan events for a living, you may be thinking, what’s the big deal about chairs? But for many events – parties, galas, weddings, even (and sometimes especially) conferences – chairs are the unsung heroes of the event. They provide needed seating and respite for guests. But they are also an opportunity to wow guests when tied into the event decor.

Since chairs are such an important part of events, I’ve decided to do a two part post on chairs. Today, we’ll talk about the different kinds of chairs you can use at events, and the pros and cons, and when it actually makes sense to use a chair cover. Tomorrow we’ll talk about ways to decorate and embellish your chairs.

To begin, let’s talk about the chairs you will likely run into when planning indoor events at a hotel or banquet hall. Most hotels stock banquet chairs. They are stackable and usually have some modest padding on the seat and the back. They may be designed so they can lock together. They usually look something like this:

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friday favorites – this week’s best ideas (9.12.14)

Friday Favorites 9.12.14

Happy Friday! Here are my favorite ideas from other event planning, wedding planning and entertaining blogs this week! Enjoy!

From left to right, clockwise:

It’s no secret that I love fall – who else would devote an entire week to pumpkins on an event planning blog? So naturally I love this free printable that’s perfect for fall. I’m going to hang mine in my home office – what about you? { Joelle Charming }

I love this idea for a bridal shower – all the guests wrote messages on balloons that the bridal party will inflate and use to decorate the room where the bride gets ready the morning of the wedding. What a fun idea! { Studio DIY }

Naming wedding tables after places isn’t a new idea anymore, but I love the seating chart this couple used to illustrate the idea – they used an actual map of the area and tied each table name to the actual location on the map. Makes finding your seat more like an actual treasure hunt! { Snippet & Ink }

I’m pretty obsessed with mimosas, so naturally I love this sign. This is from a bridal shower but I might make my own and bring it with me to Sunday brunch, just to make my needs clear to our waiter. Thoughts? { Creating Couture Parties }

What happens when you are planning a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party and are trying to incorporate some healthy snacks? These adorable apples modeled after the turtles themselves! I can’t think of a better way to get kids to eat an apple! What a great idea!    { Creative Juice }

Have a fabulous weekend!

how to choose an hors d’oeuvres menu for your cocktail hour

how to choose a cocktail hour menu

Choosing a menu can be one of the most fun parts of wedding planning for both the bride and groom – everyone loves food tastings! – but actually selecting the menu can be a daunting task. After all, the food is one of the most memorable aspects of a wedding according to guests, but catering to different tastes and diets can be a challenge. Here are some guidelines to help select a menu that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Know Your Guests: The number one rule for planning any menu is to know who will be eating. If a lot of your friends are vegetarians or vegan, you will want to include more vegan hors d’oeuvres that usual. If you will have a lot of children in attendance, you will want to have a few more kid-friendly items available. If any guests have food allergies, make sure  you let your caterer or chef know so you can be sure to have a few items that those guests may eat. This is easier to plan for with cocktail hours because you will naturally have some variety and guests can choose the items they like.

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why event planners (and everyone else) needs whitespace in their lives

event planners need to find ways to be less busy

Last week I attended HSMAI’s Meet National Conference in Washington, DC.  The most memorable part was the keynote speaker – Juliet Funt, a speaker and business consultant, and also the daughter of Allen Funt, the creator of Candid Camera. Her talk was on whitespace and I’ll admit, I went into the presentation with pretty low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable Funt’s presentation was and how much I agreed with her. For all of us who strive for work life balance, her talk really resonated.

The WhiteSpace schtick is the idea that we all need WhiteSpace in our lives. According to Funt, “WhiteSpace is improvised and scheduled time and thought for which we have no predetermined agenda or plan… it’s the time during which strategic thinking occurs, creativity soars and focus returns.”

In other words, WhiteSpace is the time when you can actually be creative, think clearly, solve problems and… do your job. When I say do your job, I don’t mean just the tasks that make up your daily grind, but manage to achieve value that event planners bring to the table.

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want to have a food truck at your wedding? here’s how…

Wedding Food Truck Tips

Food trucks have taken most major cities by storm so naturally, they are starting to appear at weddings. This is a fun way to add a unique catering option for your guests. Here is what you need to know in order to pull off the food truck trend at your wedding:

Consider Timing:

There are plenty of ways to fit a food truck (or two, or three!) into your wedding. But unless you want to replace your main meal with food truck fare, the easiest ways to work them in are during the cocktail hour, dessert, or as part of a late-night after party.

Menu Planning:

Is the food truck going to be providing the only food at the time it’s serving or will it be adding to other options you’ll have, such as the wedding cake for dessert with the add-on of an ice cream truck for your guests? Make sure the amount of food and type of food is appropriate for the timing. You don’t want to offer heavy, greasy foods during cocktail hour if your guests are going to still have a formal sit-down dinner. If a food truck normally offers meals, ask if they can serve bite-size hors d’oeuvres portions of their menu.

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pumpkin week – DIY pumpkin projects

As pumpkin week continues, I wanted to share some DIY ideas. These are all ideas that could be used for fall entertaining. Enjoy!

There are infinite ways to decorate pumpkins without carving them – paint, glitter, decoupage – but this lace pumpkin is adorable! Via Camille Styles:

DIY pumpkin ideas for fall entertaining


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pumpkin week – fall wedding ideas

Welcome back to Pumpkin Week! Today I’m sharing fabulous pumpkin ideas for fall weddings. Fall weddings are so lovely – the weather is (usually) crisper, the colors are gorgeous, and there’s pumpkin everything to add to your wedding decor! I already featured pumpkin centerpieces yesterday - any of those ideas would be lovely for a wedding or any event. Here are some other ideas.

[Editors suggestion: munch on a pumpkin flavored treat while you scroll - pumpkin bread anyone?]

Set the pumpkin mood early on in your wedding by featuring pumpkin ceremony decor. Via Shelterness:

Pumpkin wedding ideas for fall weddings


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pumpkin week – pumpkin inspired tables & centerpieces


Pumpkin Week at Planning It All

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Pumpkin Week here at Planning It All! I started this tradition last fall the week of Labor Day because it’s the unofficial start to fall which means pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING. I’ll admit to being a pumpkin-aholic. I already had my first pumpkin spiced latte of the season last week (and consequently an iced version the next day – thanks Christina for letting me know about those!). I will inevitably make about a trillion loaves of pumpkin bread, batches of pumpkin cookies and pumpkin biscuits. I’ve added decorative pumpkins to my collection of fall decor. From here until about Thanksgiving it’s all pumpkin, all the time.

So I’ve decided to devote another week of pumpkin-inspired ideas here on the blog. Today we’ll look at some of my favorite pumpkin centerpieces. On Wednesday we’ll look at ways to incorporate pumpkins into fall weddings. On Thursday we’ll look at DIY pumpkin decor. All pumpkins, all the time!

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best wedding ideas of the week

Best Wedding Ideas of the Week

This week for my Friday Favorites, in honor of my 3rd wedding anniversary, I wanted to share my favorite wedding ideas from various wedding blogs this week. Enjoy!

From left to right, clockwise:

Rather than colored linens, this couple chose plain white linens with alternating table runners, gray polka dotes and gray stripes. The different runners add visual interest. Plus the venue had a very bright walls so the grays really work. And I love the long tables. I love the whole look! { Ruffled }

We see mason jars all over the place, but here’s a cute new use: these mason jars are a triple threat – escort cards, glasses for the night and favors. Way to make glassware work for you! { Fab You Bliss }

I love wedding ceremonies set in the round! This is an elegant wedding with beautiful details – look out for amazing lantern decor! { The Bridal Detective }

I’ve seen antique key escort cards a few times, but this escort display ups the ante with an antique typewriter with the note, “Find the key to your seat.” Very cute! { Blushing   Blog }

This red, white and blue wedding has lots of sweet details, but my favorite is this quilt guest book. Guests sign quilt blocks! { Rustic Wedding Chic }

Bonus: (not pictured) Jackie Fogartie Events has a fabulous round up of alternative altar ideas!

Have a fabulous weekend!