[guest post] 8 awesome theme ideas for your next corporate event

theme party ideas

Parties are always more fun when there’s a theme. It creates more opportunity for engagement and mingling. The last thing you want at a social event is the sound of crickets or guests chattering on their phones instead of with each other. Contrary to what naysayers say, themed events are not just for junior high school dances or a 10-year-old’s birthday bash. Themes are used all the time for college, corporate, and charity marathon events.

 If you’re short on ideas, the following considerations make for a great themed corporate event.

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mad hatter tea party styled shoot

View More: http://rachelstricklandphotography.pass.us/madhatter

How would you launch a new Southern tea line? With a tea party, of course! Rachel Strickland Photography took this one step farther and designed a Mad Hatter tea party for a fun and whimsical twist. The details and decor are full of topsy-turvy lines – I love all the teacups and books. And the coffee cup chandelier is such a fun twist! And the cake and cupcakes are to die for! Enjoy!

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brendon & danielle’s fall wedding


Brendon and Danielle were together more than 10 years before tying the knot, and their wedding ceremony and reception is full of poignant family details that nod to their already long history together as a couple.  For example, each of the mothers carried a photo of their child as a baby on their nosegays. Danielle, the bride, had a locket on her ankle with a photo of her with her late father so he could still “walk her down the aisle.”

There were fun touches as well – kudos to the couple for giving guests a favor that might literally “pay off” – scratch off lottery tickets! I wonder if any of the guests won some spending money!


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monique & tommy’s colorful outdoor wedding


I love this DIY wedding in Arizona – perhaps mostly because it doesn’t look like a DIY wedding, even though the bride and her family handled almost all of the details. I also love the bright colors – perfect for an Arizona wedding. The outdoor ceremony and reception are stunning; the twinkle lights over the reception space are just magical. Enjoy!

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has someone solved the shoe problem?

tanya heath

I first wrote about the “shoe problem” over a year and a half ago. I’ve been aware of the shoe problem for as long as I’ve been an event planner. What is the shoe problem, you might be wondering? It’s the extreme difficulty that event planners have finding comfortable shoes that work for being on your feet at an event for hours, if not days, at a time. I’ve written an entire post explaining this problem.

But has someone solved this problem? Tanya Heath has apparently tried. The Paris based designer has released a pair of shoes with interchangeable heels. That’s right – you can go from flat to a wide heel to a stiletto. But as Connect Your Meetings reports, this comes at a price. The shoes retail for $380 sans heels, with each set of heels running $26. Another benefit of this system? The heels are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and designs. So you can think of your heels as a way to add “bling” to your outfit – if that’s your thing.

Of course $400+ is a lot to pay for a pair of shoes, and I’m not entirely sure it would solve the shoe problem better than a comfy pair of flats. And at that price point, I’m not likely to experiment any time soon.

What do you think of this solution?

top 5 tips for managing a team on-site

Managing A Team

My latest post for Etouches is up – “Top 5 Tips for Managing A Team On-Site.” Of course, I’m referring to a team of event planners, or a team of people helping to execute an event. I know not all event planners have a team at their disposal, and might need to rely on volunteers, or staffers who don’t typical work events, or even temporary help. Head over to Etouches to read the post!

You can find more of my event planning tips and articles here, or follow my “Event Planning How-To’s” board on Pinterest.

Show Etouches some love! Enjoy!

pink & gold unicorn themed birthday party


This birthday party for a little girl is nothing short of magical. What little girl doesn’t dream of unicorns?  This is a whimsical but still elegant styled party with lots of beautiful DIY details – plus, plenty of glitter, as all little girls’ parties should have! And remember the quote – “Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.”

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easy cinco de mayo party ideas

I find the bars and restaurants way too crowded on Cinco de Mayo – I much prefer to drink margaritas in my own home  rather than pay an exorbitant fee for watered down ones with bad queso. For me, all you really need to celebrate Cinco de Mayo are margaritas, friends, and some guacamole. It’s not hard to pull together a quick party. If you want to throw together some Mexican-style decor as a bonus, here are some fun ideas:

easy cinco de mayo party ideas | paper lanterns


Paper lanterns are an easy, affordable addition to your decor. You can find them at party supply stores; Amazon has them in packs of 8 or 10 for about $1 or so a piece. Add lightbulbs and you’re done! If you can’t find fiesta style lanterns you can stick to red, white and green (the colors of the Mexican flag) or do fun bright colors. Photo via Party People Blog.

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valentine’s day styled shoot



When you read the headline you probably thought – silly Amanda, Valentine’s Day was more than two months ago! But I couldn’t help sharing this wedding inspiration shoot around the holiday. Not only are there plenty of beautiful details, but they use the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year, marsala. There are also plenty of DIY details – the invitations are free printables from The Wedding Chicks and the hearts were handmade confetti using heart punches from Hobby Lobby. What a great idea! Keep an eye out for the sheet music bottle centerpieces – a clever idea and easy to DIY!

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spring flowers

Spring Flowers

After what felt like the longest winter, all of a sudden spring is here. My husband and I took advantage of the warm, sunny weather this weekend to get some gardening and yard work done. The photo above is a shot of my front stoop – I’m experimenting with more container gardens this year.

Naturally as I’ve been seeing flowers everywhere – in our yard, in other gardens, there’s even some stunning wildflowers lining one of the highways I take on my commute to work – I’ve been thinking about flowers for events and entertaining. I have several resources on the blog that I’d like to share in case you (like me) want to learn more about flowers. First, you can see all of my flower posts here.

But here are a few of my favorite posts:

My “Let’s Learn About Flowers” Series

What I Learned In Floral Design Class

More Flower Arranging Tips

How To Make A Centerpiece From Grocery Store Flowers

I’m still trying to learn more about flowers. What resources do you have to share with me? I’d greatly appreciate it!