My husband, friends and I wrapped up another Thanksfeast a couple weeks ago.  Although there’s always a little chaos when we’re trying to get all the hot food on the buffet, it was great fun. I think all 20 people could say they had a great time!

I mentioned here that my tablescape inspiration was based on the Thanksgiving table that Eddie Ross created for Lonny.

The inspiration from Eddie Ross

Just gorgeous, right? With 20 people coming I knew I wouldn’t have the budget for the kind of china and stemware used as place settings. I also wasn’t about to change my light fixture out for the party. (I would have liked to but I didn’t have a magazine fund to work with!) Admittedly, I am not an event designer I am much better at making sure everything goes off without a hitch and guests go home thrilled by their experience. But designing is something I enjoy and like to try my hand at for my own parties. So after a lot of fabric store hunting, Goodwill scouring and a little spray painting, here is what I came up with:


table

Thanksfeast table2

I love our dining room table so I didn’t want to cover it up so I created a runner instead. I don’t even want to tell you how much time I spent searching for fabric that I thought would work well! There was also a hunt for cobalt blue vases and gold candlesticks. Most of the rest of the supplies were already stored on my party shelves but I did happen upon the peacocks by accident – I think they’re a nice addition.

This table was actually done before the party. Because there were 20 people attending, a few tables had to be added on so I made a duplicate tablescape for the second half of the group. There were a couple more places that the color scheme was used. Tomorrow I’ll show you those and share the recipe for the signature cocktail that was served!

For what it’s worth – I feel bad for not writing anything for so long. Once again, the month has been crazy and I let myself get overwhelmed. Everyday I thought, “I’m too busy today. I’ll blog tomorrow.” Fiddle-dee-dee! Then I realized, I will probably never have “time” to blog unless I just make it a part of my day. So let’s see what I can do!
In addition to not blogging, I also ignored my Google Reader for at least two weeks, accumulating approximately 976 posts to read. Fun! One thing I came across that I wanted to share was this deliciously girly wedding that I came across on Something Borrowed, Something Fabu.

Side note before we get started: I promise I won’t feature too many weddings, but when I come across things that could provide inspiration and easily translate to other celebrations, I probably won’t be able to help myself.

All images via Something Borrowed, Something Fabu.

Holy Flowers! I don’t even know if this was used for anything or was just part of the decor. Fantastic!

Shrimp cocktail is such an easy appetizer but add a sculpted, LIGHTED ice tray and it becomes a great feature. If you’re willing to experiment, this is probably an easy addition to your next appetizer table. Grab a few containers or trays, fill with water and freeze (a la ice luminaries) and throw in some of these bad boys.

Wow, just wow. No tips here except to find a fabulous cakestress and channel your birthday cake dreams from when you were a little girl. (If any friends are out there reading, THIS is what I want for my 30th birthday.) Apparently, the bride was inspired by Marie Antoinette and I think she translated her vision perfectly with this cake.

How sweet is this? Dessert buffets are everywhere and while they are a great addition to a celebration, a cotton candy treat is a refreshing change of pace. It would certainly set a fun, lighthearted mood for your guests.

Loveliness all around!

Note: I promise that I did actually write this post on Sunday. But Blogger was having some issues during the last 20 hours.
After gathering inspiration from all kinds of sources (yes, I practically lived on TheKnot.com) I started to make decisions on how to make my (budget) Modern Glam vision come to life. But the first step was one that I could not DIY – I had to find the dress. I wanted it to complement the Orpheum and be something that people hadn’t seen before. I tried on a LOT of dresses:
 
before I found The One:
Maggie Sottero Evita (love, love, still love it)
Then it was time to get down to the DIY; well, almost. I wanted to use a chandelier motif to go with all of the gorgeous chandeliers at the Orpheum. However, my design attempt didn’t get very far:
Fortunately for those who want to use this lovely theme now, it’s widely being used in invitation designs. It was just getting popular when I was looking for it so I couldn’t find quite what I needed. Instead I went to Etsy (also fairly new two years ago) and bought these lovelies:
Invitation by fubabee. Photo by Mark Kegans.
So I missed my chandy on the invites but did find a few other places to use it:
Stamped on coasters for cocktail hour;
Stamped and embossed on place cards; (photo by Mark Kegans.)
and on the labels for the CD we gave as favors. (Photo by Mark Kegans.)
We were holding dinner on the stage which, while lovely, may as well have been outdoors! The ceiling was so tall that I knew it would be hard to make the space feel like it was filled. I decided to do both low and high centerpieces to create some more atmosphere. Half of the tables would have Eiffel vases with some gold sprays I found that couldn’t have been more perfect.
 Everyone in my family went on the hunt for these!
The other tables would use pillar candles, a gold charger and pearls. But during my test runs I couldn’t get it quite right…
Don’t worry, no fake flowers were planned for the actual centerpieces.
Eventually, the 6 inch candle was replaced by pink candles that my mom, my sisters and I spent one night customizing.
The place settings from this post, and the centerpieces too, would have been a perfect finish to the table. But…I would probably still be paying those off today. So the final touch on the tables were framed numbers:
Little sister lovingly cut and assembled everything.
A few more DIY projects were also completed for the ceremony. Quite a few nights were spent pinning flowers to styrofoam balls that would line the aisle:
 Photo by Mark Kegans.
I used our engagement photos on my DIY programs which I probably had way to much fun designing and writing!
Photo by Mark Kegans.
Actually, I had far too much fun with all of it. Which is one of the reasons why I love to see the weddings and parties that others have planned. It’s great to know that other people enjoy putting together all of the details that make a celebration special. But no matter how much I liked putting everything together, nothing compared to seeing it all come together to celebrate our wedding day!

Not all of us have a party budget like HBO or InStyle. I work as the Events Manager for a regional convenience store chain in the Midwest. It’s a mid-size company with over 400 stores, 4,500 employees, over $2 billion in sales, and some pretty conservative leadership. They want internal events and dinners want things done well; but on a (tight) budget. I can’t complain too much – they know enough to have an events manager to handle these things, right?
While our recent awards ceremony (for our 30 district supervisors) doesn’t compare to these elaborate displays of exemplary event production I’m happy with what lil’ ole me could produce with my muscle on a lil’ ole budget.


Our corporate headquarters has an atrium that is a great space to work with. It’s large, open and dramatic. Because this was for company recognition, I decided to use our brand colors – red, black and white – as the decor theme. And what would an awards ceremony be without a red carpet?
With a bigger budget I could have used tall ladder, some nice quality fabric, some dowels and a few of these nifty magnets to add some red draping along the sides of the space. Turning down the lights and adding uplighting to the material would have created even more drama.


Because the focus of the event was the awards I went with simple centerpieces. Plus, once the salad bowls and pre-set desserts were added – the tables were pretty full. I wrapped glass cylinder vases with shiny white scrapbook paper and set those on top of a piece of die cut scrapbook paper. I used this tutorial from Domestifluff to make two pom-pom flowers for each table. It was a great excuse to craft at work!

Another great thing about this space is the natural stage at the base of the stairs. It’s ideal for a one-person presentation and it suits the needs for this event. But for a few more (ok, more than a few) dollars I could create a cleaner and more professional look with a taller and wider set of pipe and drape with a few more uplights and a larger screen.
So it may not be Hollywood but you gotta start somewhere, right?!