Category Archives: Real Parties/Events

Our Policy on Vendor Referrals

For those of you who saw our segment on WBRE Consumer reports, you may have noticed Jeff Chirco mention vendor referrals and asking the person referring if they accept kickbacks.  (For those of you who missed it, please check out WBRE Consumer Reports page).

I wanted to clarify what he meant by this, as well as explain our vendor referral policy.  Firstly, anyone planning a wedding or event will save themselves money and heartache by doing a little research into different vendors.  Not everyone feels comfortable calling or hiring a wedding planner to do this for them.  The next best thing would be going to a different vendor that you feel comfortable with, say a DJ, photographer, or catering hall.  Ask this vendor if they can recommend someone within the wedding industry that they PERSONALLY worked with and that they would recommend you hire.  Sometimes, you will hear more about who NOT to hire, but it still helps you find the right vendor for you.

Regarding asking about kickbacks- don’t feel shy asking if someone is paying them to make the referral.  Some companies call them finder-fees, and others, like catering halls, have advertising connections and other incentives to refer a specific vendor, regardless if they live up to their standards or not. 

A wedding planner should never take money from a vendor as a kickback, nor should they charge you for their vendor referral list. 

Once you decide to call upon a new vendor, ask them for references.  If they cannot provide at least 2 different people to call, do not consider them a reputable vendor, and move on.  There are plenty more fish in the sea!

Finally, I would like to take a moment to discuss our policy (Attention 2 Perfection) on vendor referrals.  We would be glad to suggest a vendor free of charge.  However, we do not give out our entire vendor ‘list.’  We base our referrals on what your particular needs are.  For example, you are looking for a florist.  We work with many florists that all have different attributes and niches.  After learning what your needs are, we then advise you to call one or two that will fit your personal demands.  Voila!  We just saved you tons of time, and was able to give you a referral right from the get-go. 

As long as we are not making the phone calls, setting up, or going on appointments, our vendor referrals are free of charge.


Hope this gave you a little more insight into standard practices and our policies.  If you have any questions regarding this matter, do not hesitate to contact us!


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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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My Blog Banner: a peek into my work!

The photos I decided to use for my blog banner give a little insight into the exciting things I do.  For today’s post, I thought I’d give a little explanation of the different circumstances for each photo.

Baby Shower FavorsThese were favors for a tea-themed baby shower at Sugar’s Tearoom.  This medium box contained a white, tea-for-one set.  The custom tags read ‘thank you’ on the front, and the back had a little slot for a yummy bag of Stash brand tea. The tags were even shaped like a tea bag- including the string stapled to the paper!White tulle over shiny pool blue paper, and a brown and white polk-a-dot shear organza bow really tied everything together!


Acuff Wedding

This photo is of Mr. & Mrs. Bill and Fallon Acuff.  I think this photo really captures the love between these two high school sweethearts.  This wedding was very special to me, as it was my best friend getting married.  I had the joy (and stress!) of being maid of honor and wedding planner for this wedding. 

Photography by Fantasy Images in Tannersville, PA. 


Jan AvatarThe people in my banner are the creative works from Michelle at Design Done Right.   Michelle gave my company the look it so desperately needed!  For those of you who remember my old business cards and website, Michelle has really taken me a long way from dull purple and gray.  Thanks, Michelle!


Hand-painted escort cardsEscort BoardThese butterflies served as the escort cards for Dynnalee’s Sweet 16.  These were carefully cut by hand, and then hand-painted with watercolors.  Each guest’s name was then written (again, by hand) in permanent black ink.  Each color corresponded to their table’s theme- it was a Disney Princess Party!

We then pinned each butterfly, in alphebetic order, to a pink satin pin board.  Everything you see was custom created by our design team!


I love branches! This close-up is from my Wigilia centerpiece. Wigilia is a traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner.  Wigilia Close-upThere are certain traditions including having apples and nuts on the table- so we filled a large clear vase with nuts, apples, and a few shiny Christmas balls for decoration.  We added the branches for height and depth.  The final touch was the double-sided, photo Christmas ornaments.  We have made many similiar centerpieces for other families for the holidays- Polish or not!  The ornaments from past years are a great additon to the family Christmas tree.

Please click here if you’d like to learn more about the Polish Wigilia.

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Filed under Inspirations, Real Parties/Events, Real Weddings