{event showcase} 2011 ISES DC Capital Awards Ceremony

Hello!  I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Easter, Passover and/or Spring Celebration last week!  My family certainly did, we even took a short vacation at the Tides Inn on the Chesapeake Bay. We had a blast ... but I'll share more in another post!

I have a great event to share with you today!  It's the Awards Ceremony that I produced in conjunction with the Capital Awards Gala hosted by the DC Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES DC) on Sunday, April 13.  Below are the highlights, in the event that you are tasked with coordinating your own awards ceremony for your employer, chamber of commerce, not-for-profit or professional organization.

The Awards Ceremony was hosted at the AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center in Silver Spring.  The Theatre uses state-of-the-art technology; the decor is reminiscent of Old Hollywood; and the staff are outstanding.  Contact Tiffany Golden-Graham to inquire about facility rentals.

Guests arrived to a lobby complete with a custom carpet provided by American Turf & Carpet ...

... non-alcohol fruity sparkling wine provided by Kristian Regale (graciously set up by my friend, Dave Markowitz of Professional Bartenders and Servers); and Karla Chisholm, a jazz singer provided by Entertainment Exchange (not shown).

Inside the theatre, guests nibbled on the gourmet snack bar provided by Windows Catering.  The Cheesecake Lollipops are my personal favorite!

Friends having fun before the awards - June and her husband, Dan, Kelley (award nominee), my husband, Scott and Renee!

I love live music, especially at award shows - and Olivera Quartet did not disappoint!  They warmed the room with their uptempo jazz music before and during the show.

Event preparation?!  Lance Ortego, my Voice of God provided by Washington Talent, Photo and Video, and Jeff Monner, my Show Manager from TalkingTree Creative, shared a little tequila before the show ... but they did an amazing job during the performance!  Jeff, also, helped me with the PowerPoint Presentation.

The theatre

Denise Thorne of Instyle Caterers and ISES DC President announces the Chapter Awards from the lucite podium provided by Presentation Media

Winners received their award from "Ava Gardner", a character performer provided by Cast of Thousands.  You may remember "Ava" as Princess Leia from my Star Wars Glam party last month!

The coveted Capital Award!  I want one of these ...

Congratulations to my friend, Ray Bialek of Bialek's Music, who received the ISES DC Lifetime Achievement Award!  After 20 years of ISES membership, he claims he is the only CSAP in the crowd - Can't Stop Attending Parties ... can't compete with that!

My husband and I having fun at the After Party! Ok, he had a little bit of fun ... =)

Though I missed seeing the Red Carpet Lady, we did see this neat video advertising/entertainment (photo above) and received a cool photo flip card from Get Flipped! Washington, DC.

Unfortunately, I don't have photos to showcase all of the Award Ceremony sponsor.  Sponsors not shown include Dave Ricklin, our Master of Ceremonies from The Original Game Show LIVE!; gorgeous contemporary floral arrangements from Tierra Floral Design; lighting from Da Vinci's Floral & Lighting and video from Suburban Video.

Suffice it to say, the 2011 Capital Awards Gala was awesome!  In fact, it's a tough act to follow for this 2012 ISES Capital Awards Gala Chair!!!

Photos were kindly shared by my friend, David Madison of David Madison Photography, as well as a few images from Sweet Dreams Studio and A Beautiful Memory Wedding/Event Photography.  More Gala photos may be found on the ISES DC web site.


Heart Shaped Hard Boiled Easter Egg

Wouldn't these heart shaped hard boiled eggs look adorable on an Easter buffet?  I think so, too!  Link to easy how-to instructions available here via Love The Day. 


Inspiration for your Easter Celebration

Still wondering what to do for Easter?  Look no further!  I have some outstanding seasonal ideas for decorating and entertaining family and friends, young and old. Enjoy!

Decor? Dessert? Definitely Fun!
Bunny Cakes on a Stick by Pizzazzerie

Another easy DIY decoration from the talented team at Pizzazzerie!
Add a splash of whimsy to your flower vase by adding dyed eggs.

Sometimes a little embellishment makes a BIG impact!
Bunny Ears napkin fold discovered on Hip Hostess.

Mix up your Easter celebration with a photo booth ... and capture the fun memories with these adorable Bunny Ears and Nose photo props!
Designed by the talented team at Frog Prince Paperie (for a Bunny Hop party produced by The Savvy Moms Guide).
Free download available here.

Origami bunny favor - such a sweet treat!

Super Cute Chick Cookie Pops from The Celebration Shoppe (for Parents magazine)! 
I'm making these cuties for a Girls Night Out Spring Break get-together tomorrow night because Chicks Have More Fun, correct?!

So that's my run-down on easy last minute Easter entertaining and decorating ideas!  Hopefully, my short list will eliminate your research so that you may enjoy more time with family and friends!


Candy Decor for a Sweet Party

Somethings just put a smile on your face ... like these photos of a 'Land O' Candy' party from Parents.com [via Tip Junkie Parties]! 

The colors are so bright and cheerful!
"Lollipops" made from cellophane wrapped balloons on a stick! Genius!

"Hard Candies" made from cellophane wrapped paper plates! Too clever!

"Sugar Trail" made from 12x12" scrapbook paper.  I wonder how long it would last?!

What are your favorite candy decor ideas?  I'm kind of liking this theme for my daughter's 5th birthday in the fall and would love some more bright ideas!


Star Wars Glam: DIY Light Sabers

I've been remiss in blogging lately!  I was preparing for the 16th Annual Capital Awards Ceremony hosted by the Greater Washington, DC chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES DC for short).  The event was held on Sunday evening at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring and was part of a much larger, over the top Gala hosted at the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza.  Despite a few glitches, like missing awards determined 2 hours out, the Awards Ceremony was awesome.  I look forward to sharing the highlights next week.

At the Awards Ceremony, I had the good fortune of working with "Princess Leia" again, only this time she was Ava Gardner ... a la Glamour Gal who passed out awards on stage.  It was awesome!  We reminsced about Jedi Training ... remember this:

If you are hosting a Star Wars party, you need light sabers, correct?!  While you could buy light sabers that really glow, I made them from inexpensive pool noodles decorated with duct tape.  Yes, for about $1.00 each, I made light sabers that held up at the party and are still going strong in the play room!

How to:
Cut one (1) pool noodle in half
Tape the cut edge with grey duct tape - about 6" deep - to create the holder
Use black electrical tape to embellish the holder
Use colorful duct tape to further embellish the light saber

So, if you had a light saber, how would you decorate it?  Polka dots? Stripes? Rainbow of colors?


{event showcase} Star Wars Glam

Star Wars ... glamorous? Absolutely, when you offer spa treatments to celebrate a 6 year old's Jedi Training!  Read on for all of the event details ...

The glam invitation was designed by Frog Prince Paperie!  The Princess Leia silhouette is a take on the popular Vintage Barbie look ... and yes, that's the popular IKEA frame!

The party was brought to life with a little decor including silky linens, craft feather boas, lots of ribbon and large colorful gerbera daisies!

It's probably an understatement to write that the birthday girl is a Star Wars fan!  She recounted more movie trivia than even Princess Leia remembered.  But Princess Leia was very believable!

The Nail Salon was two dining room chairs with comfy throw pillows, scented candles, small table and little girl magazines.  Two nail technicians gave each guest a manicure complete with lotion and glittery flower embellishments.

While the girls took turns receiving manicures, they also decorated light sabers (made from pool noodles) and enjoyed spa snacks and galactic treats - items like Chewbacca Chips 'n Dip, Padme Pinwheels, Luke Skywalker Skittles, Darth Vader Dark Chocolate, Galactic Starbursts and Jedi Juice. 

The snack buffet table was decorated with my husband's vintage Millenium Falcom and Star Wars figurines.  Custom snack box and water bottle labels designed by Frog Prince Paperie.

About an hour into the party, Princess Leia arrived.  The birthday girl was pleasantly surprised and then, dumbfounded when Princess Leia said "You know my brother, Luke?" He sent his regrets and birthday wishes.

It was unexpectedly warm so Princess Leia invited the girls to bring their light sabers outdoors for Jedi Training.  She had their complete attention for at least 30 minutes; they had so much fun!  At the end, the birthday girl received an "official" training certificate.

The party finished up with Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream with a Wookie Cookie (chocolate chip cookie) and photos with Princess Leia.  The birthday girl really enjoyed her special princess one-on-one time!

Guests received spa trinkets - manicure set and eye mask (both from Michaels $1 bin), Skittles chapstick and "I Love Bling" hand sanitizer with matching backpack holder (from Bath and Body Works) - all tucked into a blue glitter basket (Target $1 bin), which was embellished with yellow ribbon and custom favor tag.

Thank you to these vendors who contributed to the success of my party:

I hope you enjoyed my party and found inspiration to tackle complex themes!  In fact, tell me about a time you planned an unlikely theme.


Posh Club Attire

Artwork by Aaron Camper of Sublime Creations, LLC

I'm lending my event management skills to help produce the Awards Ceremony at the ISES DC Capital Awards Gala on Sunday, April 10 (which is why I was MIA last week).  In the midst of planning, I received an email from my friend:

I noticed that the gala dress is posh club attire.  Not sure that I know what that means!  Yikes, I can’t go do the club scene to find out.  Do you know what it means?

Interpreting dress attire can be tricky!  Event planners, myself included, like showing off their creativity and mixing up the fun with quirky dress requests that complement the party theme ... but sometimes that confuses our guests.  Please accept our apologies!

I came across this great article that summarizes and interprets the different types of dress codes.  Not surprisingly, the title of the article is "Decoding the Dress Code".  The best tip is #4 ... Informal is Smart Casual.  I really wish more people knew this etiquette.

As for Posh Club Attire, it's urban formal ... or is that still too confusing?!

How would you define Posh Club Attire?  Leave me a comment and share your thoughts.