Thursday, July 24, 2008

Theme parties--So much fun!!!

Well, those of you who are into such things, will notice that for the month of July I have 5 (count them, FIVE!) posts already and there is still a week to go in the month! Woohoo! I have really been trying to be more attentive to this blog. I'm still not sure that anyone (other than my daughters) is reading it, but I shall persevere and continue to write posts.
My week has been interesting. We did a seminar today with a carnival theme, so most of the week was consumed by trying to think up a centerpiece that said "carnival" to go with their other activities. Hmmmmm. I enjoy coming up with things like that, funky solutions to weird off the wall problems. But this one took some real thinking! We ended up with a tall vase that we filled with peanuts and had those mylar grassy fountain things coming out of the peanuts in purple, green, and red. Then we put stuffed animals all around the base with pictures from carnivals and fairs that I printed off and cut out, all over the animals. Then we put peanuts around them on the table. It turned out great. The pictures were all bright and interesting and really made it eyecatching.

We used lots of colors of cloth toppers on the tables and we put contrasting colored napkins flat in the center of the tables for additional color under the centerpieces.

The food was the most fun. We served hamburgers, chicken, potato salad and baked beans for lunch, with funnel cakes, deep fried Twinkies and deep fried Milky Ways, for dessert. For their afternoon break they had tortilla chips and salsa, popcorn, pretzel rods, and snow cones! It was definitely a fun theme to do this week since our county fair is going on out at the Expo Center. Patti even went to the fair to do some research on how to get those deep fried Twinkies and Milky Ways perfect! I hope this doesn't catch on for wedding receptions though! Those Twinkies and Milky Ways took a long time to fry! It was a fun day and a really interesting and fun project to work on. I like doing stuff like that. It keeps my brain working.
My theory about doing a theme, whether it's a seminar, a wedding reception, or any other type of party, is that you have to carry your theme through to touch all the senses--sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch. When we have an Asian buffet or a Spanish buffet, or any of our many themed events, we play music that goes with the theme, the food and the menu hit sight, smell and taste, the decorations on the buffet and the tables go for the sight and touch. It makes for a complete event. If you leave any of the senses out, then your theme has holes in it. So if you are thinking about a themed party, remember--appeal to all the senses and your party will be a huge success!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Warm fuzzies

Sometimes I receive notes that just make my day. This was one of them:

p.s. We went to a wedding this afternoon for some of our friends from college,their reception was at xxxxxxxxxx... and as we drove home tonight we both said how glad we are that we chose to go with you. We already know we are assured such a classy wedding reception and atmosphere and won't be sharing the space with the 50th wedding anniversary party tonight that had tons of kids running around! (with no special kids room to play in I don't blame them!) But we were just that much more confirmed in our decision to have our reception with you all and wanted you to know that we're glad that such an all encompassing friendly and knowledgable wedding service and classy place like you all are right here in Valpo and are taking such good care of us for our special day! Its very comforting and exciting! So thanks for being here! :)

Now I ask you, what better testimony is there? This is why we keep going in this business. It's couples like this that "get it" that make us feel like we are really doing something that is important and appreciated. So thank you A.! You made my day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

December is available for the picking!!!!!!

Well, I had a meeting with my ad agency on Friday, and we talked with them about tying a calendar of available dates into our blog. Does that appeal to anyone? Does anyone actually READ my blog? (That would be other than my daughters who are loyal and faithful readers, haha) Our thought was to have some sort of list along the side of the posts that would show the available dates that are kind of getting missed in the shuffle. It's always frustrating when someone says to me "Oh, I hear you are booked three years ahead!" because we AREN'T booked that far ahead, and even if someone came in tomorrow wanting a date this fall, we could do it. Maybe not a Saturday night, but we do Fridays and Sundays all the time, and they work out great! We have a number of SATURDAYS in DECEMBER!!! This friends, is THE most beautiful month of the year to have a wedding! And for some reason, everyone is shying away from December this year! We still have plenty of time to plan it (heck, two or three weeks is enough for us to plan a wedding!) We are offering our winter discounts that normally start in January, in DECEMBER this year because we would really much rather do weddings than Christmas parties. What a deal you can get! Discounts on the ballroom rental and the chapel, free centerpieces and beautiful bichon tablecloths, the disounts amount to about 1500 dollars discount! AND you get the advantage of having all of our beautiful Christmas decorations AND the luminaries from the chapel to the ballroom, and of course, the WOW moment. (Don't know what the WOW moment is? Well, that's when everyone walks into the ballroom, and all the lights are turned down, the candles are lit, the fireplace is burning in the lobby, the tables are set and sparkling and perfect; and the guests walk in and breathe "Woooooooooow" because everything comes together in that one perfect moment, and they are just overwhelmed with the beauty of it!) Honestly, those fluffy pictures outside with the greenery behind them are overrated. You can get equal or better photos with Christmas decorations and just think, the smile on your face when you think of all the money you are saving will be even bigger!!
To be truthful, I start to get a little shakey if I go a month without doing a wedding! We'll certainly book Christmas parties in December if we don't have weddings, but gosh folks, save me!
If you are at all open to the idea of a December wedding, come see us, email me, or call so that we can talk about it!
By the way, Jim and I were married on December 14th, my parents anniversary, and my brother's was December 18th, Michelle's anniversary is December 2nd--so we can all tell you firsthand about how great a December wedding is! And just think, wouldn't it be a lot more fun to go to the Caribbean or Mexico or Hawaii when it's not 85 degrees here?
Check out this site for some fabulous ideas for winter weddings! If this doesn't get you thinking that it could be fabulous, I don't know what will!

Stephanie and William 7-19-2008

What a lovely wedding! Such a nice couple and so much fun to plan with. Their day started out stormy and dark but by late afternoon when the wedding party had arrived to take pictures, they were able to get some nice outdoor shots. When the wedding ended, they released the rows themselves, and when all the guests had gone out front with their bubbles, they rang the bell and then went out to a beautiful cloud of bubbles!! It's always such a great photo op!! There were just a few sprinkles in the air, but nobody seemed to mind.
Much love to you both Stephanie and William! All of us at Aberdeen Manor wish you many years of happiness!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Envelopments = Fabulous!!!

We finally received our Envelopments Design Studio a while back. What fun! We've been kind of keeping it a secret because we needed to familiarize ourselves with it, but now we are ready to go for it! They have tons of colors and types of papers, lots of different pocket folders, and different things to make an invitation unique and different. Envelope liners too that are patterned and match the solids. It's an amazing line of invitations because YOU are the designer! What is most amazing is that they are very reasonable when you purchase the components and put them together yourself. Labor is an expensive factor in any product, and that is what makes many invitations really high priced. The amount of hand labor involved in an invitation directly drives the cost; ribbons, layers, special papers, anything that a machine can't do.
So, with this line, you can do as much or as little as you want to, or feel capable doing. Of course, we can do all the printing here at Affairs, adding flourishes and decorative elements if you want them. We can do all the putting together too, if that's how you want to do it. We are very flexible, and will help you with as much or as little as you want. The big thing is the papers! I have never seen a company that has such a broad line of colors. Gosh! If they can't match your wedding, nobody can!
The coolest thing about the Envelopments program is that you can do a totally customized, unique invitation, for the same price as a generic hohum invitation, if you put them together yourself! It's really fabulous! Come by and see us and we'll show you all the possibilities!

Friday, July 11, 2008

How long does it REALLY take to plan a wedding?

I am always amazed at how many people think you need to have at least a year to plan a wedding properly. Honestly, there are only two reasons I can think of to wait a year, the first is to get the place to have the reception and the second is to SAVE for the wedding. But if you can get a date you like at a place you like for your reception sooner, there is really no other reason to have to wait a year.
Back in the stone age when I was in college, if you were engaged for more than 6 months it was considered highly improper. Couples would become engaged, and have their wedding generally in 3 to 6 months. Of course, back then I don't recall ever even going to a dinner/dancing type reception. It was usually cake and punch in the church basement or parlor or social hall. If you were really going all out, you served finger sandwiches or some other little hors d'oeuvre type finger food. And of course, there were always the little bowls of nuts and pastel pillow mints to go with the cake. Those were the days. :)
With the growth in popularity of the dinner/dancing reception, the planning period for weddings has stretched out longer and longer, but only because of the availability of the halls and the expense!
Personally, I LOVE planning weddings on shorter time frames. The biggest challenge is being organized and getting all your ducks lined up. I have planned weddings in as little as 4 days! We put together a wedding in three and a half weeks for over two hundred guests. The hardest thing with that one was getting their invitations out, but we ordered them the night that they came in to book their date, and since we usually get them within a week, they had them out in the mail the following week. Obviously it didn't give their guests the usual 6 to 8 weeks notice, but it didn't seem to bother anyone. Our favorites list was a big help for them too. We went through and decided what services they would need, and I flagged names from the list for her to call, with an alternate choice if the first choice was already booked. She told me later that she had all of her vendors lined up and booked in about 45 minutes!
Another challenge when you are on a short time frame, is the gowns. That's where a good bridal shop can really be a huge help. They all have certain lines of both wedding gowns and bridesmaid gowns that they can order quickly. One of my gals bought her gown on sale! She was able to buy a sample of a discontinued gown that was absolutely beautiful. Another option is to have your gown custom made by a seamstress/designer. When you are working with someone local, they are aware of your time constraints and can react.
Something else to consider; one of the big bridal magazines did a study a few years ago, and they found that for EACH AND EVERY MONTH OVER SIX MONTHS that you plan a wedding, the COST GOES UP 10%! So, if you want to SAVE money on your wedding, don't take a year or two to plan it!
Obviously, the key to planning on a short time frame is having someone to help you that knows what they are doing and who to call. That's where Aberdeen Manor is perfect because we have the expertise to help you with all the details whether you have 2 years or 2 weeks to plan it.\
So now that you have all sorts of confidence to plan a wedding in less time, think about some of the December through March dates we have coming up! We have HUGE discounts and specials going on for these months. Our Christmas weddings are awesome! The decorations are gorgeous and with the bichon tablecloths and centerpieces that are included for no additional charge during those months, you have your guests practically swooning when they walk into the ballroom! Think about it, and give us a call to check dates, or just stop in. Hope to see you soon!