Monday, July 27, 2009

you only turn 5 once.

wherever i said previously that you shouldn't hit your guests over the head with a theme, i retract in the instance of children's parties. there is no better place to go over board and exhaust all the crazy themes you've thought up, then at a kids fifth birthday. though your office crew is cool, i'm not sure your stint on the holiday party committee will last long when you suggest a SHARK theme. your son, on the other hand, will shout from the tree fort that you're the coolest mom in the land. (i must give credit to my three year old for his SHARK theme...complete with red beverages to resemble blood. go ahead, take it.)

kids are cool. they will love whatever outlandish, nonsensical stuff you can dream up. and i promise you, a do-it-yourself-er with a funktified theme can come with the same price tag, if not less, than one at the local arcade with the guy in the mouse suit. my advice, is to ASK them what they want...their answers may surprise you at how cool and DOABLE they really are.

another place that i love flexing my thematic muscles is for mitzvahs. for those of you who don't know, the party part of the mitzvah weekend is usually centered around a strong theme. there is no better source to extract the theme than from the kid directly. therefore, as i do with my brides & grooms, i have an interview session. i ask questions about their hobbies and interests...what they value, what they think they're good at. what emerges from the interview? what they like and therefore, a theme. many are top secret now as they are in the planning stages, but i never seize to be amazed at how creative, uninhibited and cool my 13 year old clients really are.

one of my favorite kids parties you ask? had to be "under the big top"...a retro circus complete with pink ponies, freaky magicians, belly dancers, mini doughnuts, jugglers, stilt walkers and a brass band. mid-party i had a "pinch me moment" was the coolest, weirdest (in a good way) party yet. and who dreamt it all up? a kid.


lindsay piram
event planner & producer

Monday, July 20, 2009

let me see you tootsie roll.

the chicken dance.
the train, the choo-choo train (you can ride it).
the electric slide.

how can you avoid catastrophe by having those played at your wedding? (assuming you want to).

music selections and the performance of your musical entertainment plays a HUGE part in the overall
success of your wedding festivities. a good band gets people to the dance floor...and they stay there (versus them fetching their car and heading home). a few tips to make sure the dancing at your wedding is a lot less chicken dance:

hire a band.
there is nothing more festive and celebratory than a big band with brass and drums and big, booming vocals. its retro, its fun and it puts you in the mood to "shake your groove thing".

hand select your songs.
a list of songs that your band knows should be provided. go through it (some can be long) and make sure you like what you see. if not, ask with enough advance notice, and they may be able to learn something special.

consider your audience.
most likely, your grandma will be at your wedding. play something she wants to hear. also in attendance, i assume, are your loud college friends and your fiances frat pledge class....and what they want, i'm going on a limb here, is not what grandma requested. you CAN play both and still keep the dance floor packed...a good band and song selection will make it happen.

feed the frenzy.
if you follow the simple steps above, i think
your dance floor will reap the rewards. what's the last step to keep it hoppin'? feed the crowd. whether its more sweets like cold ice cream cones or late night savory snacks like pizza or egg sandwiches wrapped in the morning news...bring the food TO the dance floor. this will keep them from having to leave it and will energize them all night long. (a bar with close proximity doesn't hurt either).

good band + the right song choices = packed dance floor

packed dance floor = great party

lindsay piram
event planner and producer

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Best of Minnesota Bride

We came, we partied, we didn’t take home the prize… but we were nominated. (And boy, were we excited about it.)

Everyone who is anyone in the Twin Cities Bridal Industry made an appearance at the 2009 Minnesota Bride Best Of Awards at the Varsity Theater on Wednesday, July 8th. It was a lively crowd of floral designers, caterers, jewelers, stationers, decorators, photographers, and so many other “ers” and “ors” that I can’t even mention all of them at once.

Vanessa Kimball, our amazing graphic designer, Lindsay Piram, event planner extraordinaire and usual author of this blog, and I (we missed our beloved manager Greta Andzenge,
who was off learning to breathe in birthing class), donned our finest duds and celebrated our nomination with a signature cocktail the hosts called “Something Blue.” Way to appeal to the wedding crowd… It was a mix of UV Vodka, sprite, and something blue I guess…too sweet for me, but at least it got us in the wedding vendor vibe for the night.

The cocktails were flowing and the food was plentiful. The music was loud and the people were louder. (Probably because they only get out when working other people’s events.) The awards were handed out and we applauded our friends and colleagues.

Cheers to Eric Sandstrom of Floral Logic, Don Jensen of Linen Effects, calligrapher Rosann Konieczny and the entire team at D’amico Catering for their well deserved awards. We love working with these amazing companies and invite all of you to check them out as well.

Until the usual blogger is back next week, make every day a reason to celebrate!

(And by the way, I do take full responsibility for missing the deadline my employee set forth for me on Monday. Thank goodness my staff keeps me in line and holds me accountable for my tardiness.)

Amy Zaroff

Monday, July 6, 2009

chinatown, usa.

i love chinatown. and the best chinatown of all chinatowns? san francisco chinatown.

how can a place like chinatown help your next event? think theme!

there is so much thematics in chinatown its ridic. from the tea sets to the samurai swords (ok, some is really cliche), everything there is centered by a theme...of what? china! seriously though, it can teach you a lot about taking one thought or idea and running with it. theme can be totally kitschy or simply subtle...but theme, at least to me, is required for an event to feel cohesive.

everything you need is in chinatown, whether you're hosting a dinner party with far east flair or your sons "kung fu panda" party. you can walk away with your arms full or wander and gather mental merchandise (thats what i call ideas).

not every city has its own chinatown, how i wish they did. but there are similar haunts in your city, i am sure. check out your local markets (flea markets, bazaars, farmers markets) for authentic items for your decor and menu (saffron is WAY less expensive at a global market than your supermarket, priced per thread). locale specific grocers are also a great place to submerse your
self in theme. arabic and asian markets are full of spices and sauces and are great places to check out to think theme (and fill your pantry).

here in mpls i highly recommend visiting the Global Market on Lake Street. it houses latin, caribbean, asian and arabic specialities all under one roof! parties are just waiting to be happen with all that is here. i guess the Global Market could be considered the closest thing we have to chinatown (one sprawling building vs. an entire neighborhood), for now.

do yourself a favor and find your city's own chinatown (or version of). you will be glad you did.


lindsay piram
event planner & producer