events

Winter Hues

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If you’re reading this, congratulations! You survived the Jonas Winter Snowpocalypse (disclaimer: I wrote this on Friday afternoon as everything outside turned white). If you’re not an East Coast-er, you might at least be aware of the snowy weather we are experiencing over the weekend in Washington, D.C. I’m slightly jealous of anyone who is enjoying temperatures above 20 degrees, but I’m also grateful for a lazy weekend at home (let’s see if I’ll be saying that come Monday – hah!). I tend to get a case of cabin fever now and again, but I attempted to be proactive and lined up a bunch of activities for myself, i.e. Netflix.

January was off to a busy start in the event planning world. If you didn’t know it, approximately 43% of engagements happen over the holidays between November and January, with December holding the title of  “most popular month to get engaged.” January isn’t quite over, but a slow February is just around the corner. Hopefully I can get there in 2 feet of snow…

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Outfit details:

H&M Dress similar
Miss Sixty Wool Coat
Anthropologie Hat
Gap Booties similar from Old Navy
Stella & Dot Chiara Necklace

Photos by Bryan Wallace

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Dara’s Baby Shower

My dear friend and colleague, Jen, asked me to photograph her best friend Dara’s baby shower at the end of August. I have been welcoming every opportunity to work on my photography skills , so I was incredibly excited to capture the sweet details of this jungle-themed shower and portraits of the mom-to-be, her friends, and family.

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Mother’s Day at Le Grenier

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T and I don’t have the biggest apartment but we love [and live] to entertain family and friends and wanted to host Mother’s Day this year.  Since having 10 guests over for brunch at our place wasn’t an option, we searched for brunch places in D.C. [with a very specific set of criteria] and settled on Le Grenier on H Street, in our very own neighborhood.

Le Grenier’s charming bistro-like ambiance [with its brick interior, shabby-chic chairs, and wire birdcages] and affordable $18 brunch deal was the perfect combination for our group.  Their brunch offerings, including savory crepes, steak and fries, endless crusty bread, and the plat du joir [which happened to be flaky Arctic char that day] paired with a glass of Champagne Blanc de Blanc, were sure to please everyone at the table… and were a hit!  To add a little personal touch to the table I made place cards and strategically placed everyone – a detail I recommend to anyone hosting a group of ten people!

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The best thing about organizing Mother’s Day brunch at Le Grenier was having impeccable service [did I mention the endless the bread?!] that allowed us to relax, and more importantly to enjoy spending time with one another.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day with my mom, and I hope everyone was able to celebrate their mother, near or far!

Photography also by Teddy Wolff

Jackietara

Other Duties As Assigned

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Last month a friend asked me to help host her father’s birthday party to free up some time for her family to enjoy the festivities and forget about the responsibilities.  I am a natural host: I love greeting smiling faces eager to enjoy a carefree evening, pouring glasses of bubbly, and dashing to the kitchen to refill quickly disappearing dishes, so this was the perfect job for me.  It also helped that Teddy was asked to document the evening, so I would have an event partner-in-crime.

The family was expecting about 40 people, had prepared several entrees and desserts, and was anticipating a few additional dishes with the arrival of a few guests.  Bottles of wine were stocked and ready for serving in the cellar, plates and utensils were nicely laid on the table, hot dishes were coming out of the oven, and guests began to steadily stream through the door when I realized that my previous definition of “hosting” was a romanticized version and was leaving out several other duties.

Once the majority of guests had been received, drinks were poured, and food was eaten, it was time for a long bout in the kitchen with dishes.  I was wearing relatively comfortable shoes, but quickly aching feet from standing in one place had me longing for my leopard Steve Madden flats!  I was running up and down stairs to fetch new bottles of wine and dashing [as I had anticipated] to and from the kitchen to clear dinner and set out hot-from-the-oven desserts.

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Photography by Teddy Wolff

Although hosting is incredibly rewarding, this experience reminded me of all the work that is and could be involved.  With the holiday season and it’s many occasions around the corner, here are some tips for easing your stress and labor while assisting friends or hosting your own fête:

Wear comfortable shoes.  In addition to washing dishes, you most likely will be running back and forth from the kitchen with hot dishes or a fresh bottle of wine to serve!

Wear an apron.  Although your hand-me-down red plastic apron might not be the trendiest look during a party, it will save you the headache of getting stains out of your lovely holiday dress down the road.  There are also some super cute cloth aprons out there, like this macaron apron from Paper Source.

Know your schedule.  If you’ve been asked to help friends and/or family with their upcoming party, make sure you know the plan in advance!  How long will the party last?  How many guests will they have throughout the night?  Will there be entertainment?  Knowing these details will put you at ease and free you up for any other duties as assigned.

Have fun.  Hosting can be stressful, so throw on some cheerful music to keep yourself entertained in the kitchen, pour yourself a delicious beverage, and don’t hesitate to ask your guests for a helping hand!

Jackietara

Event Trends for Fall 2013

Last week my colleague and I attended RSVP Catering’s Fall and Holiday Open House Tasting at the Anderson House, D.C.  The “house” is more of a mansion with it’s grand staircases, marble structures, and statues fit for a museum and, in addition to the delicious food and “Lavender Louvre” cocktail, the decor was beautiful inside the house, and out.  Navy and aqua blues filled the backyard garden and complemented a serene reflecting pool.

RSVP

And blue is just the beginning!  Here are some other popular event themes that have been trending lately:

Pink and Gold

Hints of gold have been popping up everywhere on Pinterest and in several blog posts from The Wedding Chicks and Style Me Pretty.  I’m loving this feminine look that can be used for showers, weddings, or even a backyard party!

Pink, Mint & Gold Wedding Inspiration #mintweddings #mintandgold #mint #gold #goldweddings #goldweddinginspiration #weddinginvitations #weddings

Photo via loverly.com        

Photo via Style Me Pretty

Creative Cake Toppers

I tried my hand this summer at making a cake topper for my birthday cake.  It didn’t come out perfectly, but it was an easy and cute way to jazz up a dessert.  Check out these beautiful and intricate toppers featured on The Wedding Chicks.

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pink and gold whimsical cake topper

Photo via The Wedding Chicks

Polka Dots

A classic fashion style turned event decor staple.  How is is that dots and confetti make things seem that much more fun?!  Creating Couture Parties has a great blog post on polka dot party inspiration.

polka dots

Photo via wehearit.com

Photo via sweetlittledetailsbyjen.com

What trends are you seeing so far this fall?  Please share!

Jackietara

A New Chapter

I am happy and excited to share that I am shifting my career focus to rental events as Corporate Rentals Coordinator!  Building and maintaining relationships will be a key aspect of the job [in addition to planning fun and fresh events!], as I meet clients and vendors and introduce them to our amazing organization and what it has to offer.  It’s a bittersweet transition, [as the “sun sets” on my previous position as Program Coordinator, Special Events] but I look forward to exciting things to come.

Stay tuned for brainstorms, photos, tips, and more, as I continue to learn about the event and rental industry, meet new people, and grow both personally and professionally.  As always, I would love to hear from you along the way, too!

Sunset

Jackietara