I want to take some time to go behind the scenes and walk you through what kind of resources we use when planning our events. I think it is very important for potential clients to understand the ins and outs of how Design Inspirations operates in order to understand why we are a great selection when planning your next event. We always work within our clients’ budget and strive to produce the ultimate experience without going over budget.
Growing a design business has proven to be a bit of a struggle over the pass years. Especially considering all of the websites and television shows that are out there these days. Everyone thinks they’re a designer and they’re always so afraid to enlist help from a professional thinking it’s not within their budget. Hopefully, over time, I can convince you otherwise. Design Inspirations provides many services at various stages of your planning in order to work with our clients’ budget as well as help people realize seeking professional assistance can be helpful. Honestly, it’s very hard to execute an event properly if you are the designer/planner, host/hostess, and even the guest of honor all wrapped in to one. Why not have someone take that pressure off of you so that you can really enjoy your event and your guests.
I had so much fun with this most recent event, because it was an event for me which gave me the opportunity to express my design skills and really show what we’re all about. If you aren’t familiar with some of Design Inspirations events, you can check out some pics from previous events.
So, in discussing our most recent event, Why have a Baby Shower, when you can have a “Mommy Shower!”, I really wanted to do a run down of how we executed a lot of our designs. At Design Inspirations, it’s very important that we utilize as many resources possible to ensure that we stay on budget and sometimes that may require that we are more hands on in order to achieve the ideal vision.
Let’s start with the invitation, did you know we custom design invitations from scratch? We find that the invitation really sets the mood for your upcoming event. It helps set the mood for your guests. And in some cases, our custom invitations can be less expensive than purchasing mass produced invitations. Our clients usually appreciate that extra added touch.
This particular invitation was designed to look like a doily to reference the upcoming tea party. We actually went through a few ideas before coming to this solution. I enlisted the minds of the ladies at Rock, Paper, Scissors to help me brainstorm this design, and of course, all supplies needed were purchased there. [If you’ve never been there, you really need to check this place out. The staff is wonderful and oh so helpful!] I truly love the way this invitation turned out and would love to replicate it for another event in different colors and other possible adjustments. I think it would be a great idea for a wedding invitation or a little girl’s birthday party.
Then we get into decorations. Sometimes the key to decorating is dependent on the space you are working with. We happened to find this great market in East Hanover, David Alan, that worked perfectly as our tea party backdrop. [Important tip: when selecting a venue, make sure you ask as many questions as possible to ensure that they can accommodate your needs. It’s more important to have a space that fits your needs rather than you have to adjust your vision to fit the space.] Luckily, having our tea party at David Alan fit right into our vision as we really only wanted to serve a light spread of sandwiches and they were perfect for that. Having to bring in our own food would have made things more complicated and in fact cost more. They have so many packages that they can fit almost any budget.
If you go back a few of our blog posts, you will see that a lot of our decorations were handmade by yours truly. We used an assortment of paper lanterns that were bought in white and actually painted ourselves to coordinate with our color scheme. The white flower pom poms were actually bought by my sister who found these Martha Stewart pom-pom kits for a bargain. [Of course, I know how to make these myself, and I must admit it’s a lot easier as a DIY, than buying the kit. But, it’s not a bad option for beginners. I truly enjoyed watching my family members struggle in figuring out how to assemble them.]
Now if you do follow our blog posts, you will note that we had planned on using some custom doily designs that we had made. Unfortunately, those were not used during this event as we could not find the right space for them, however, I did make a cute Mommy Shower banner and we were able to incorporate that one. [Gotta love the coincidence of that yellow door. I wish I could say that was planned, but it’s just a happy accident.]
A few other decorations included a floral centerpiece arranged by my mother using teapots as bases. We actually just went to Whole Foods and picked some fresh cut flowers in the ideal color scheme we wanted. Of course there was a little bickering, but we managed to get through 4 arrangements the day before the event. Making your own arrangements is really not a bad idea, but if you need a hand, we have awesome resources. The little tea cup candle was another DIY project that we executed. Of course, I did cheat a bit by having a local shop do the candle fill part. The rest of the decor at the tables were plastic decorative tableware and carved wooden fans that my lovely sister picked up for me at Pearl River.
When it comes to the food, I think it’s always best to sample the food at the place you’re planning on using. If they don’t have a way to accommodate you, then I would rethink using that space. [Of course, I’m not saying all venues should just offer up free meals, but depending on the circumstance accommodations can be made.] David Alan luckily has a great selection and their food was absolutely delicious! Before turning over a deposit, my mother and I decide to have lunch there first and really enjoyed ourselves.
And then there’s our dessert table. We have to layout to you our selection of desserts and how exciting it was to put together this spread. [Notice our lovely doily runner.] Let’s start with the cakes; those Black & White mini loaves, Ginger Pear mini bundts, and Banana Bread mini loaves are all a courtesy of Cake Seduction. [You know Cake Seduction, that other company that I dabble in 😉] The chocolate brownie cookies were from Sweet Element and I have to tell they were such a hit, especially the coconutty ones. Then, we had these hand decorated sugar cookies from A. Sweet Indulgence decorated all pretty as little doilies. And, of course, some Lorna Doone’s cause who doesn’t love them with tea!
Let’s discuss our little tea area. We provided our guests with three different tea options courtesy of InsaniTea. There was White Tea, Bingo Blueberry, and Cinnamon Sibu. We also had an Iced Green tea that I made with honey, mint, and lime. [Made using InsaniTea’s Sencha green tea.] Along with tea, this table also displayed a Blackberry Crumble pound cake from Cake Seduction as well. Cake Seduction and InsaniTea also had a hand in the construction of our favors also displayed at this table.
Our favors consisted of a Black & White bundle from Cake Seduction. And from InsaniTea, we supplied a sampling of 2 teaspoons of Jasmine with Flowers in a cute little tin where I made custom labels for. The favor boxes also added a cute tea strainer from Pier 1 Imports. Look how cute these brown boxes are with our cute addition of custom paper ribbons and a stamped “Thank You”. All this so our guests could enjoy a cup of tea at home.
As I said before, I truly enjoyed putting this event together and really can’t wait to do more. I hope you received some inspiration of your own, especially if it entails contacting us for your next event. Look out for later post where I go into more detail about why we called this a “Mommy Shower” as opposed to a baby shower and introduce you to my Mommy to Mommy book.