Monthly Archives: June 2009

Alzheimer Event Big Success

When I was asked my by building’s landlord to help plan and execute a fundraising event in our building, I was very excited.  When I said, “Yes,” I had no idea that the event was only 10 days away and in an unfinished, unfurnished space.  Long hours, late nights, and tons of help from Maggie at detailsbymaggie, we were able to execute a gorgeous gala.  I would like to share with you some of our challenges, and how we were able to, in Tim Gunn’s words, ‘Make It Work!”900 Rutter Ave BEFORE

BEFORE: When we first walked into the empty room, there were unpainted walls, dirty concrete floors, a basketball hoop, and no electricity.  




AFTER:  The fundraiser was a big success for the Alzheimer Association.  Decor and Silent Auction

The decor was our final touch. (To read more about our challenges and solutions, please read to the end of this post).  The Alzheimer colors, white and purple, were draped from the ceiling with just enough lighting to be functional yet cozy and intimate.  Candles and fresh flowers added the right amount of color to the tables.  Maggie’s final touch- the Gobo light with the Alzheimer’s gala theme “An Affair to Remember” was the cherry on top!Alzheimer Event- After Photo

They were kind enough to send Maggie and I a few Thank You notes:

“Dear Jan: Without you and Maggie the Art Gala would have been less a gala and more just another function. Thank you for your generous spirit, hardwork, and sharing of your talent.  On behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association, it was truly appreciated.”  – Barbara (Alzheimer Assoc.)

“Dear Jan & Maggie:  Many thanks to both of you for an outstanding job pulling together a remarkable event space for our Gala.  It was a pleasure meeting and working with both of you and I look forward to working together.” – Estella (Alzheimer Assoc).

“Dear Maggie:  One of my favorite moments when producing a play is that pause before the door is open- the house is ready- the stage is lit- and all is ready and you know the enjoyment that others will have because of what you have done.  I hope you and Jan shared that moment after all the draping and stringing of lights, and moving of tables… Thank you for all that you did!” – Barbara

Here are some of the specific challenges and solutions associated with this event.  I hope they help you with your next party or special event.

THE CHALLENGE:  Create a floor plan that worked.  We had two silent auctions, passed and stationary hors d’eourves, a wine bar, guest speakers, a sign in table, and a string trio.  We wanted people to come in and move through the space, bid on the auction items, and enjoy the entertainment and refreshments.

THE FLOW: To help with the accoustics of the room, we located the string trio in the middle of the space, against the wall.  The mic and podium were also in this centralized location to ensure all the attendees could see.

Putting the bar and a stationary hors d’eourves table at the rear of the room encouraged people to move entirely through the space. 

A combination of tall cocktail tables and short small tables and chairs ensured a great mix of conversation and comfort.  Having the two silent auctions set up in different locations, one at the front of the room, the other in the middle, gave participants a chance to breathe between bids, and relieve the possibility of a traffic jam.


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Rise In Non-Traditional Weddings Leave Couples With Little Choice

Hey Everyone!  While I wait for pictures to come back from my recent events, I thought I would share with you the press release I just sent out to the local papers.  I think it is so important for anyone getting married to remember that the ceremony is TRUELY the most important part.  I have seen brides try to pick out their centerpiece before their own dress because they are obsessed with the look and feel of the reception.  By becoming a minister, I am able to help each bride and groom make their day their own.  I am genuinely excited about that!



Local Wedding Planner Becomes Ordained Minister To Keep Up With Demand

Forty Fort, PA

 As the owner of Attention 2 Perfection: Wedding & Event Planning Specialists, Jan Sokolowski has seen first-hand the growing need for alternatives to traditional clergy.  With more couples choosing outdoor and non-religious ceremonies, the availability of wedding celebrants is slim to none.  Most religions put restrictions and requirements on a couple, not allowing the freedom they seek for their very personal day.  The bride and groom then turn to state sanctioned officiants, such as a Justice of the Peace, but there are not enough to meet the demand.  To help clients and non-clients alike, Jan has become an ordained minister with the First Nation Ministry. 

Jan is available to perform non-denominational wedding services, including outdoor ceremonies.  She is able to marry any man and woman, regardless of religious beliefs or location of ceremony.  Her creativity and experience as a wedding planner makes each wedding unique, customizing each couple’s ceremony with any music, poetry, or readings that accurately reflect the bride and groom.  She is currently booking 2009 and 2010 weddings.

Attention 2 Perfection is a full-service wedding and event planning company serving all of NEPA and the Poconos.  The only planning company to have certified wedding & event planners on staff, Attention 2 Perfection offers customized services based on individual client needs and budget.  In addition to planning, they offer centerpiece rental, day-of coordination, etiquette advisement, event design, invitations, RSVP tracking, and now, wedding officiating services.



If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please call Jan Sokolowski at 570-817-8227, or email

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Summer Wedding Tips (Part 3 of 3)

Final part to the Summer Wedding Tips Series.

(Missed parts 1 or 2?  Summer Wedding Tips Parts 1 and 2)

#6 Vellum Overlays

Although printed vellum (aka translucent overlays) can be a beautiful addition to any piece of stationary, the ink tends to smudge in humid or hot weather.  Invitations with vellum are great, but you may want to reconsider having them on ceremony programs or menu cards.  Even if the ceremony or reception is air conditioned, people coming in have warm, sweaty fingers which can result in getting ink on their hands or even their clothes!

Carlson Craft Translucent (Vellum) Overlay

Carlson Craft Translucent (Vellum) Overlay

#7  Light Food

In Part 1 of the series, we discussed light colors and linens for Summer affairs.  It is important to follow this rule when deciding on the menu.  Whether you are customizing your entire menu from scratch, or choosing a package from a list of pre-selected items, it is important to remember the time of year. 

Just like November conjures up thoughts of turkey, gravy, and sweet potatoes, July makes your mouth water for lemonade, watermelon, and hot dogs.  Without turning your wedding into a backyard BBQ, don’t be afraid to work with your caterer to create a menu that fits the season.  People do not want to come in from the heat of the Summer to eat comfort foods.  Light fish, grilled chicken, and cold salads can help make your Summer wedding feel like Summer!



Just like your menu, your bar should accommodate the season.  Ask a local vineyard to help you pair refreshing Summer wines with your menu.  For your beer drinkers, consider offering light wheat ales with an orange slice as opposed to dark, heavy Lagers.  For cocktail hour, set-up a sophisticated, non-alcoholic lemonade stand.   Add iced tea and water to make a refreshing help-your-self bar at your outdoor ceremony!  Your guests will love it!

Photo Courtesy of Geoff White Photographers

Photo Courtesy of Geoff White Photographers

#8  Light Drinks




What have you seen or experienced at Summer weddings?  Comments and stories are always welcome!

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Summer Wedding Tips (Part 2 of 3)

The second part of our series bringing you tips and tricks for Summer Weddings.  Missed the first post?  Summer Wedding Tips Part 1

My Mantra:  Summer = Hot Weather

#4 Fondant vs. Butter cream (and other Summer cake ideas)


PinkCake Box Whimsical Wedding Cake
PinkCake Box Whimsical Wedding Cake


Talk to your cake baker about their concerns for the wedding cake.  If you have always wanted butter cream or cream cheese icing, you may need to bend a little to ensure a tasty desert.  Especially if you are having a tent reception, the type of cake is very important.  Fondant is a better choice for icing because it holds up much better in the heat.  Even the inside of the cake matters.  Strawberry filling, although indicative of Summer-time, may lose consistency within the cake. 


#5  Candy Favors
Amy Atlas Old Fashioned Wedding Candy Bar

Amy Atlas Old Fashioned Wedding Candy Bar

As candy buffets gain popularity, I have seen a wide variety of candy used.  Some couples choose to do different candies of the same color.  My personal favorite was a nostalgic ‘penny’ candy bar, with wrapped candies from the days of corner candy stores.  Regardless of your candy buffet theme, keep in mind that chocolate melts (unless you’re an M&M of course!) and that guests do not want to take home a melted mess.  Choose hard tacks, jelly beans, gummies, and even lollipops to make your sweet expression of thanks.



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Summer Wedding Tips (Part 1 of 3)

With Summer quickly approaching, the ladies at Attention 2 Perfection have been busy finalizing details for June, July, and August weddings.  We wanted to share some tips we found along the way.  We hope that you find this series helpful for Summer wedding planning, as well as graduation and any other outdoor party!

My Mantra :   Summer = Hot Weather

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

#1 Chivari Chairs

These chairs are a great alternative to heavy chair covers.  They come in a variety of colors, and are customizable with cushions and sashes.  They dress up an occasion, but in an airy way.  A must for Summer tent weddings!





#2 Light Colors

I just finished designing a beach theme wedding.  The bride chose deep, gray-blue bridesmaid dresses (Serene from David’s Bridal).  Remember- bridesmaid dresses do not have to perfectly match each linen in the wedding- feel free to get creative and experiment with coordinating colors.  Allowing that gorgeous blue color to represent the water, we chose shades of tan, peach, and coral to brighten the room.  It clearly has the beach in mind without being 100% literal.  The subtle shell and sand details help transend a ballroom into a seaside resort.  I look forward to posting pictures!

#3 Fan Programs

Carlson Craft Fan Favors

Carlson Craft Fan Favors

Wedding guests love when their well-being is kept in mind.  These fun fans make great programs for outdoor ceremonies.  Carlson Craft is just one company who offers these personalized favors that add a little extra Summer touch to your wedding.

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