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Events Extraordinaire wishes you and your families a happy and prosperous 2010.

Embrace the Season!

Embrace the uniqueness of each season, and let Nature be your guide. It's creative and more eco-friendly.
Cluster groups of items, such as the above pictured pumpkins for maximum impact. Other options would be to place out baskets or bowls of apples, pinecones, nuts or other seasonal finds. Repeat the theme idea in your monograms, invitation artwork, favor packaging, programs or other stationary, to make the decorations memorable. Tie clusters of acorns or small pinecones into your bouquets and centerpieces. Use small pinecones with small notes attached as your "reserved" signs.
Another special cool weather idea is to provide small blanket throws at the ceremony area. Make small lap throws with square pieces of fleece, which requires no hemming. Cut into a square - fringe the edges - and presto - a unique and useful wedding favor. Imagine the surprise on the faces of your guests when they find a lovely little blanket sitting on their chair. What about a plaid blanket to further expand on the outdoorsy theme.
Go for the unexpected, and reach for nature's bounty! Enjoy your fall and winter special days.
Contact your wedding planner for additional wedding favor and decorating ideas.

Unique Guest Book Ideas

I borrowed this idea from Martha Stewart, and I think this is one of the most creative Guest Book ideas I have seen in a long time. Place pieces of paper next to your second-hand type writer (or vintage family heirloom), and be prepared to see what quirky and creative messages will be left for you from you guests.
An additional twist is to ask someone to go from table to table and take pictures of each of your guests (or couples), and place these pictures along with their guest book messages in a scrapbook.
Think outside the box and let your imagination go. Your wedding will be unique and memorable.
Check with your wedding planner for more guest book ideas.

Capturing memories

You only have one chance to capture the special moments and occassions in your life, so make sure you place someone in charge of taking photographs, and possibly video. Don't let these special moments go unrecorded.
Hiring a professional photographer for your wedding or special event will guarantee you have quality photos from your day. A trusted friend or relative, who is well trained in the use of their camera and scene set up is also an option.
Be certain to give the photographer a list of specific poses and group pictures that you desire. You will be busy the day of the event, and won't remember what you want - so it's important to have your photographer keep to the list. There are no Do Overs.
Contact your wedding or event planner for a list of reliable photographers in your area. Look through the photographers sample book - and Smile!

Unique ceremony locations

When it comes to planning a wedding or special event, the first step is choosing a location. Have you ever considered any of the following locations for your special day?

* A Labyrinth Wedding - check out this site for ideas. This isn't a local California company, but it can offer ideas. http://www.weddinglabyrinth.com/index.html

* A Hot Air Balloon Ride - Maybe a quick ride after the ceremony?

* A Lake Tahoe Cruise aboard a boat like the Tahoe Queen.

Or possibly consider the following suggestions:

Near an Historic Landmark such as San Francisco's Coit Tower, or at a local Art Gallery or Museum.

On a Covered bridge (Such as at Knight's Ferry, CA)

At a ski resort - during the off season

At small winery or brewery - make special arrangements to use the grounds privately

Thinking outside the box may save you money, as some unusual locations are less expensive than traditional locations, and will create a memorable experience for everyone. Check with your wedding or event planner for additional suggestions.

Think outside the box when choosing colors and decorations for your wedding or special event. Go beyond the expected when designing your decorations and color schemes.
What feeling are you working to create? Are you envisioning country chic, classic white on white, or an international feeling? Tiny touches help to bring those ideas to life.
Contact your wedding or event planner for suggestions, and together you can make your ideas come to life.

Surprising Memorable Moments

Surprise your guests with an unexpected Grand Entrance or Exit. Maybe you will choose a horse and carriage, such as the one pictured above, or maybe it's a classic car. Another fun idea is turning the walk from the ceremony area to the reception area into a Parade, complete with drums, bells and whistles. Or pass out bottles of bubbles, and shower the couple in bubbles as you make the walk.
Discuss your ideas with your wedding planner or event venue coordinator, together you can create a fun and unexpected memory of your special day.

Personalizing To Make the Day Yours

Personalize your wedding, and let your individuality shine. Share the things or places that you love with your special guests. Whether you choose a cake topper with your initials, or photographs from the trip you took together to the Olympics, these personal touches will move your wedding from the typical to the memorable.
It's all about getting Personal.

Earthfriendly Entertaining

In 2008 it seemed like everywhere I looked I found Green This and Green That. Green was the word of 2008, and everyone was on the bandwagon encouraging a newer and greener way of thinking - on every subject under the sun - from cleaning products to automobiles. It is my hope that Thinking Green was not a trend, but the beginning of a new lifestyle. Greener choices in all aspects of our lives are available, and it is important to make the effort to Go Green when available.

Earth friendly party planning options are one way to make a change towards Going Green. Consider how each decision you make in your party planning process affects the environment, and consider using a more environmentally friendly alternative. Your party planner can assist you with incorporating greener options, and with locating eco friendly products.

Each of us making small steps towards a greener lifestyle can make a big difference in the long run, making a positive impact on the environment.

Budget minded events can still be spectacular

Keeping to a budget and having a dream wedding may seem impossible, but with a little imagination and flexibility, it is very possible. Here are some tips for keeping the cost of your event or wedding down, while making it the day of your dreams.

1. Simplify your "vision of the day". A daytime wedding or party, can still be very elegant.
2. Reduce your guest count. A special event for 50 is much more affordable than it is for 250.
3. Gather white linens from your friends and family, and make or rent matching toppers for each table, or go for a country feel, and embrace the individuality of each table, and even use multi colored napkins. Avoiding plastic tablecloths and paper napkins will give a more formal look to your event, and will be much more gentle on the environment.
4. Hold your event at the home or garden of someone close to you. It's possible that one of your friends or relatives have a lawn area, or barn that could work perfectly for your smaller, dream wedding or party. Offer to clean and spruce up the area. Plant extra flowers and leave them as a thank you for the use of the property.
5. Consider using cupcakes instead of a large wedding cake. Cupcakes can be made days ahead, frozen and frosted the day before the wedding by a trusted friend or relative. A simple cupcake decorated with a fresh viola will look beautiful on your cupcake holder. Use a wire mesh holder, or make your own holder with tiers of wood pieces in a pyramid shape. Cupcakes can be served without a plate or fork, thereby reducing the amount of service ware required. It's eco-friendly and economical.
6. Save money by using recorded music for your ceremony. You can save hundreds of dollars simply by using a recording of Canon in D, rather than having a string quartet play as you enter the wedding area.
7. Simplify your menu; chose cake and punch over a full, sit-down dinner. Or have the ceremony at 7:00 p.m., and serve an assortment of finger foods and desserts.
8. Reduce the number of hours the event will last. From the start of the ceremony, till you wave your good-byes can be as little as 3 hours, and still you will have had sufficient time to celebrate your special occasion in style. Guests have ample time to return home, and you can start your honeymoon and not be exhausted.
9. Clothing is another area where savings can be made. Consider making your own dress, using a recycled dress or simply wear an outfit that you already have that is special. In former times of financial hardships, weddings still occurred, and brides wore "their best dresses" for the occasion.
10. Look no further than your flower garden for your bouquets. Plan ahead, if possible, and plant an assortment of zinnias or roses. Hydrangeas are another wonderful choice. If you aren't able to have your own flower garden, look around your neighborhood, or at the yards of friends and relatives. Many people would be happy to share some cuttings from their flower gardens for your special day. If this is still impossible, consider purchasing some small bouquets of flowers from a local store and make your own simple bouquets and centerpiece arrangements. This can also save you hundreds of dollars.

Look over your wedding or special event plans. Make a list of what you want, then see if there are any changes that you can make that could save you money, while not sacrificing your dreams. Your wedding planner can offer many suggestions for keeping to a budget while designing your speacial day.

Getting Started on Planning your Big Day

Get an early start on the plans for your wedding or special occasion, and save yourself a great deal of stress.
While some parts of the planning don't need to be done early, there are some important decisions to be made as soon as possible, such as choosing a location, securing a photographer and a caterer, as well as a D.J., if you will be requiring that service for your day. Locations and the above mentioned wedding vendors book up early, so get on their calendars, and sign a contract.

Visit local Bridal Fairs and check out wedding magazines for ideas. And while you may have always imagined a wedding using your favorite color, check out bridal salons for dresses for your attendants before finalizing your color scheme, as you may find it difficult to locate bridesmaids dresses in your desired color. It's easier to find the dresses, and then fill in with the other colors of your choice. It can be very frustrating to choose a color for your wedding, and then find that you cannot find coordinating clothing.

Remember to ask your florist about what flowers will be in season during the month you will be holding your wedding. Out of season flowers can be very expensive. Consider using live plants, or large hurricane candle holders as centerpieces to save money, and be more environmentally friendly.

Get started early, but don't stress. Your wedding planner can help make the planning process easier. Ask your planner for Greener or Eco-friendly choices , and money saving wedding planning ideas.

Historic Buildings as Event Venues

Take a look around your community for historic buildings while you are searching out an event venue. Many are city owned, which can save you money as they tend to be less expensive than privately owned facilities. Other benefits include a natural sophistication with the building's decor, and the special memories that are created when the celebration occurs in a unique building.
Contact your local wedding and event planner for suggestions on historic event venues.

Show Your Personality

Do you have a love of bright colors? Do you adore butterflies and big, bright daisies? If so, let your individuality and personality shine on your big day. Take a chance and go for a more non-traditional set of colors. When it's time to shop you can skip the "wedding" aisles, and head over to another department, and find items that say "YOU".
Be brave, remember that this is your wedding, and it should reflect your personality.

No matter what colors and themes you choose, try to think about being more environmentally conscience. Live plants, soy candles, hand held fans (for cooling), umbrellas for shade, fabric table covers and napkins, and reusable dishware can go a long way at making your day spectacular while still being kind to the environment.

Talk with your wedding planner about decorating ideas that break the traditional wedding mold, and greener, or eco-friendly options. Have fun

Wedding Favor Idea

Looking for a new twist on the wedding favor tradition? How about a candy station, where guests can fill small packages with an assortment of candies. The bride from this wedding chose to incorporate her wedding colors into the candy selection. The guests enjoyed filling their own bags...bringing back the memories of being a Kid in a Candy Store.
Have fun with your planning, and contact your wedding planner for additional ideas.