Saturday, December 24, 2011

Party Planning

It was a party.  Daniel and Tanika decided just a couple of weeks before Christmas that they wanted to get married on the 23rd.  On the 15th a location was booked and the race was on! DiAnna, Ed and I are a force to be reckoned with once we are all headed in the same direction.  The menu was planned, food purchased, and decorations gathered.  It was a beautiful event and the food was yummy. Here's a few helpful hints that we learned.  I am putting them here so that I will always be able to find them!  They are useful for any large gathering. 

1.  Have a meeting up front with everyone so that you are all on the same page.

2.  Find the inspiration piece.  DiAnna and I found one stem of absolutely gorgeous silk flowers at Michael's that gave us the look.  There was only one stem, so we had to use it carefully and build everything else around it.

3.  Use what you have.  DiAnna's mom collects old-looking clocks.  I had lots of glass containers and candle holders.  DiAnna's mom also has a treasure trove of ribbon, silk flowers, and other odd craft items.  We had some old picture frames and baskets.  I had pieces from an old Christmas tree.  All these things combined with some photos of the couple, a few quotes about love and time, a can of champagne spray paint and a few cans of spray snow added up to some beautiful decorations. 

4.  Figure out how much food you need for your particular army and then reduce by about 1/3.  Ed and I always worry about running out of food because we didn't get any food at our wedding, but we had way too many leftovers at this event.  (And most events we do!!!)

5.  Borrow what you can.  We borrowed some beautiful serving platters from a friend.

6.  Buy what you will use again.  We bought some chafing dishes for a great price.  It made the table look professional, we didn't have to worry about the meat cooling off, and we get to use them at the next party.  Now we need to plan a party!

7.  Be careful about using real candles.  All containers must have bottoms to catch the melted wax.  Them, leave everything in the car on a cold winter's night and the wax will pop right off the glass in the morning.  I used a scrubby sponge to get the wax residue off and all is well.

8.  Glitter is beautiful, but hard to clean up.  Our ribbon had glitter on it.  But mostly off it.  Maybe I wouldn't do that again.  But I do love glitter. . .

9.  Get kitchen helpers.  DiAnna's neighbors came and made sure that platters and punch bowls were full.  It was nice to sit and enjoy the event without worrying about what was happening in the kitchen.  Colby was a big help. . .in my apron.

10.  If you are doing the cooking, keep it simple.  Do a meat that has built in portion control- like a chicken breast or pork medallion.  Buy the rolls.  Don't worry about fancy toppings and such because they worry people.  Simple, clean food.  Easy. (And 1/3 less of it! Remember that!)

11. Why not cupcakes for a wedding?  It was awesome!  Everyone had their choice of flavors, they were easy for the bride and groom to handle, and it was an impressive display. 

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Rice!