Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Thousand & One Nights May 8, 2009

Looking back a little…MMD Events was proud to work with Heather Leather and her fabulous charity, Windows for Widows out of New York City, on their “A Thousand & One Nights” fundraiser at the Sirata Beach Resort. Windows for Widows is a nonprofit organization committed to providing emotional and financial support to Egyptian widows and their families. Did you know that in Egypt, where only 20% of the work force is made up of women, women are left penniless after the death of their husbands? This leads to loss of homes, loss of rights and often loss of their children to orphanages. In a society where women are devalued without their husbands, Heather and her charity have stepped in to make a difference in the lives of these individuals. As funds are raised, they are personally distributed by Heather and her team on a case by case basis. Widows apply for funding and are granted it based on a set of qualifications. To learn more and to see how you can help, please visit http://www.windowsforwidows.com/ .

The “A Thousand & One Nights” charity fundraiser, held on May 8th, took St. Pete Beach by storm with live music, belly dancing, Mediterranean cuisine, Arabian décor and a fabulous hookah lounge. Hundreds of people turned out for this worthy cause and thousands of dollars were raised.

Heather personally donated much of the funds necessary to make this night fashionable and memorable. Look for this event next year; it was truly one of a kind!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wedding Décor Part 2 of 3: Table Design and the Concept of Price per Table

The concept of décor is really just the idea of looking at your wedding holistically. It is the idea that every piece of your wedding is not just a necessity – it is an opportunity. Everything from chairs, tables, linens, napkins, favors and centerpieces to candles, table numbers, place cards, menus, chargers, etc. Think of all of these things simultaneously, because they are all table décor.

A $200 centerpiece on a table with linens that don’t touch the ground, hotel candles and chair covers that don’t compliment your theme is not $200 well spent. Poorly planned elements detract from well-planned elements. For example, a wedding reception I planned had small restaurant tables that caused me to really step back and focus on total table design because every detail becomes completely noticeable on such a small table.

Instead of looking at your reception tables as “price per centerpiece”, approach it as a “price per table”. Your wedding theme is better served by combining elements rather than hinging everything based upon the centerpiece alone and trusting that your guests will feel what you intended for them to feel. You can see a $200 example of this “price per table” concept below that includes chivari chairs, linens, paper goods, a centerpiece, etc.

A tip for when you are working with your florist: ask them to build you a tablescape. No centerpiece is an island, everything looks better with candles. If your florist builds a tablescape complete with candles that fits your budget, your table will look complete and thoughtful.

Price per Table Concept: $200 example

Chivari Chairs: $75
Standard Linen: $12
Chargers: $10
Napkins: $5
Menus: $20
Table Numbers: $3
Centerpiece (including candles): $75

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wedding Décor Part 1 of 3: The Power of Lighting

You can’t have a discussion about wedding décor these days without considering the power of lighting. It can create space, depth, unique shadowing, and of course light. It emphasizes the hard work one has put into designing their space, and gives an overall completeness to the style of your room. Giving it that “platinum wedding” feel a basic ballroom can be beautifully lit for around $500 - $1000.

Another wonderful trait of lighting is that it will de-emphasize boring or unpleasant aspects of a room. For example, in a picture below you’ll see how some of our brilliant up-lights, ceiling patterns, and color washing on the dance floor completely transformed a wedding reception venue with putrid yellow walls and a horrific carpet into a completely dreamy venue.

When shopping for your lighting package, be sure to choose a professional. Lately, I've witnessed more and more DJ's providing lighting as an add-on to their jams. Now, I don't want to knock any DJ's, but lighting is a décor element. A lighting professional understands the aesthetic value of lighting and how it shapes the design of your wedding. A DJ or other non-professional may offer a bargain, but a lighting professional adds the value of understanding décor and the style you are trying to achieve.

Thoughtful design is the key here. It does not have to mean expensive. A bargain is only worth it if at the end of the day you got exactly what you wanted. Take my advice, make lighting a part of your budget and hire a professional lighting designer. Then you’ll be one step closer to having exactly what you want for your dream wedding.