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August 14, 2009

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How to Throw a “Green” Event

August 11, 2009

There’s been a lot of talk in the fast few years about Global Warming and how we should try and help our planet by keeping our environment cleaner. As more and more people are becoming more aware of the environmental struggles, “green” parties are becoming more popular. Here are some tips on how to throw a “green” event!

Firstly, try and keep the guest list down. The less people that are invited means less traveling and less fumes. But, if you still want as many guests as possible, follow these tips!

STATIONERY
Invitations
If you plan on going paperless for your invitations, http://www.evite.com is a good option. However, your invitations won’t be very personal, and will be a generic template. But, have no fear, because there are invitations made from RECYCLED paper! Recycled paper invitations is a good way to keep eco-friendly, as well as give your invites a more personal feel. (Michelle Valerie Designs offers stationery on 30% – 100% recycled paper. For more information, email michellevaleriedesigns@gmail.com!)
Programs & Place Cards
Programs, place cards, and any other stationery can also be created on quality recycled paper!

DECORATIONS
Flowers

Flowers almost always play such a huge role in decorating an event. However, instead of going to a luxury florist and choosing the most unique flower that is in season on the other part of the globe, go to your local neighborhood florist and choose flowers that are in season in your area.
To go even further in the eco-friendly direction, instead of going to your florist to get cut flowers that will die in a few days time, go to a nursery and purchase potted plants. These are not only already arrangement ready, but they can be given to guests to plant in their own back yard. If going to a nursery, flowers aren’t your only option either; think baby trees, herbs, or small bushes! You can then decorate the pots with ribbons or any other decoration of your choice.
Other options for centerpieces include fruits and vegetables in a nice looking flower pot, vase, or cake stand!
Lighting
Wherever your reception or ceremony is, see if you can have candles instead of lighting. Candles come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so it will be easy to coordinate the candles with the rest of your decor and theme! Soy and bees wax candles are best.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
If you would like to throw your event in a “green” location, there’s nothing better than going to your search engine and searching for eco-friendly venues. Some good options are farms, botanical gardens, museums, buildings that run on solar energy, green hotels, or even your own backyard!
If an eco-friendly venue is not an option, then choose a venue that is close to most of your guests. It much more green to have your event that is only 20 minutes away, rather than a 2 or 3 hour drive, which will waste gas and produce more pollution.

FOOD & DRINKS
To minimize the use of dishes (and the washing of them) think about having mainly hor’dourves. Finger foods are much more eco-friendly because they do not require as many dishes as a sit down five course meal would.
See if your venue offers organic foods, or food that is locally grown. Although eating less meat is better for the environment, keep in mind that organic food doesn’t necessarily mean vegetarian. Organic food can come grass fed cows and free roaming chickens. These animals are also treated more ethically, given organic feed to eat, and are not injected with antibiotics or hormones.
If you’re throwing the event in your own back yard (or are taking care of your own catering), and want to use disposable cutlery and dishes, use items made from sugar cane stalk or other bio-biodegradable materials. When laying out drinks, fill them in cool looking vases to give it a different look.

Finally, don’t forget about cleaning up! Try and recycle everything you can and put recyclable items in their proper bins.

If you would like invitations or other stationery (programs, place cards, gift tags, etc.) made from recycled paper, email michellevaleriedesigns@gmail.com for more information!

-Michelle Valerie

80th Birthday Centerpiece

August 11, 2009

Hello all!  Below are pictures of a centerpiece I made for my boyfriend’s grandmother’s surprise 80th birthday party!

Nothing big and fancy, just something cute.  I told her she can even change the 8 and 0 so she can be 8 years old instead!

-Michelle Valerie

How To Throw A Great Theme Party

August 5, 2009

I’ve seen it many times; your friend tells you that they’re throwing a theme party. Maybe it’s a hawaiian luau, or maybe it’s an 80s theme. You get so excited at the idea of a theme party; you perfect your outfit, get the best accessories to look the part, and then you show up to the party to see only a handful of people dressed for appropriately. I’ve been through this myself, and let me tell you, if you have not experienced it, consider yourself lucky. Because even though you took your friend’s theme party to heart to make them happy, you still get the looks from those normally dressed people. The looks that say, “Wow, I can’t believe they actually dressed like that!” Well, for those of you that still love the idea of theme parties (like I do!) And want to avoid having your guests be embarassed, here are a few tips on throwing a great theme party (and making sure at least the majority of those will come dressed for the part!):

INVITATIONS

When choosing invitations, make sure that they match the theme.  This will give your guests an idea of where the party is going.  If you would like your guests to come in costume, write it on the invite! Indicate on the invitation that costumes are mandatory.  If you’re worried about sounding rude, come up with a tagline that relates to the party (ex: Boogie down in your best Disco Duds!)  Including the idea of a costume contest may also encourage your guests to go all out for your party.

DECORATIONS

Having the right decorations will help your party’s theme seem more authentic.  Do some research and find out what’s popular for your particular theme and decorate the venue (whether it’s a catering hall or your living room) accordingly.  Some good examples are:

Hawaiian Luau – tiki torches, fake palm trees, leis

50’s – juke box, 50’s movie posters, anything Elvis (skinny Elvis! He didn’t get fat until the 70’s)

60’s – Beatles posters, Peace & Love signs, anything Woodstock & Hippies

80’s – 80’s records on the walls, rubix cubes, neon signs, movie posters (Sixteen Candles, anyone?)

MUSIC

Have the appropriate Music: this is an absolute must, especially if you’re throwing a decade party. If you have an 80s party, play 80s music. If you have a 70s party, you gotta get down and boogie to disco!

BE PREPARED

Have extra clothes and accessories for guests that aren’t dressed for the party.  For example, if you throw an 80s party, have plenty of cheap 80s sunglasses handy to give out to people.

GAMES & ACTIVITIES

Having games and activities that involve the theme is a great way to keep your guests entertained and having fun.  Some good examples are trivia games, limbo for a Hawaiian Luau, karaoke for an 80s party, or a disco dancing contest for a 70s bash.

ONLINE INVITE

Almost everyone has a Facebook now, so create an event page for your party, even if you sent out invitations.  This makes it easier for you to get in contact with your guests and remind them to dress accordingly and any other information you may need to give them.

The most important thing to remember that will make your party great:

HAVE FUN!

– Michelle Valerie

Photography & Videography

August 3, 2009

Good evening/morning everyone!

This post actually has nothing to do with invitations or stationery, but it’s a shout out to my friends at New Filmmakers Studios! If you need photography or videography (editing, directing, shooting, etc.) done, or are an up and coming filmmaker, check out http://www.nfmstudios.com! They offer many services, including editing, shooting, video conversion, etc, as well as blog and vlog updates to help those trying to make it in the film industry. Check them out today!

-Michelle Valerie