How to Plan an Easy and Elegant Christmas Party!

Throwing a Christmas party is easy! Yes, I said it, easy! Christmas time is a busy time for everyone, but here are a few tips on how to easily plan and host an elegant Christmas party for your friends and family!

Plan your Menu
First things first, food! You have already chosen a date and invited the people on your guest list, now you have to figure out what to feed them! Whether you know your way around the kitchen, or prefer to have your Christmas party catered, figure out what you want to offer your guests.
If you are planning on making all of the food, realistically plan out how much time you will have to prepare the day before and day of. Once you have done that, you can plan your menu! Don’t stress yourself out and try and make every single recipe you have ever made. Stick to a few that you know are winners, and even try some knew ones! Inviting your guests over for dinner is also a treat for you! Now you can whip out those recipes you save for special occasions, or have been wanting to try!
If you don’t have any recipes on hand, ask your friends for some go-to recipes! Below are two of my favorite and easy recipes that are always a crowd pleaser!

Easy Christmas Recipe

Now time to make a list and get cooking!

Details and Décor
Decorating is one of my favorite things about hosting a Christmas party, or any party in general! Keep your tablescape simple, with small décor details. Don’t overwhelm guests with large Christmas centerpieces, or an overwhelming amount of plaid. Go for smaller more detailed décor, and avoid clutter!

Add some scented candles to your elegant Christmas party in order to set the Christmas mood. Scented candles invoke certain memories, and will remind everyone of happy times they spent with their friends and families.

Make a Playlist

Set the mood for the party with a festive Christmas playlist! Some cheery Christmas tunes will definitely set a merry tone for your event! If Christmas music isn’t quite your thing, pick any playlist and have it playing in the background! Make your own on Spotify or YouTube and sing and dance the night away with the ones you love.

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Have Fun

Most importantly, enjoy your time with your family and friends! Be proud of yourself that you were able to put together an elegant Christmas party that everyone loved! Enjoy the planning, the preparing, and the partying!

My Christmas wish to my family, friends, and followers is that you have a blessed holiday season this year, and every year! I hope my easy-to-follow tips will help you plan an elegant Christmas party that you can enjoy, and celebrate all the good things and happy memories in life!

Talia’s Graduation Party

It’s official, both of my daughters are now in college! Where does time go? I remember dropping them off for their first day of kindergarten like it was yesterday! Last year we celebrated Caleen graduating high school, and this year it was Talia’s turn.

Talia Graduation Party

Talia wanted something different for her graduation  party, and I was more than happy to do that for her! The decor was chic and rustic, with turquoise table linens, and sunflower and daisy centerpieces. The vibrant colors went perfect together, specially against the burlap table runners.

Rustic Decor Teal and Yellow Event Decor

I know how much everyone enjoys taking pictures and decided to make a custom photo backdrop for Talia and guests to take pictures in front of. The photo backdrop was not only a place to take pictures, but it was also a place for everyone to leave sweet notes. She loved reading everyone’s words of encouragement and memories that they have shared together.

Graduation Photo Backdrop Photo Backdrop - Guest Book Talia's Graduation Party

We had a lot of food, and even more dessert! Check out the s’mores station! 99.99% of people love s’mores, but can’t exactly enjoy them in the middle of a summer day. A s’mores station is the perfect solution – s’mores without the heat and mess!

Dessert Table Fresh Fruit Buffet Dessert TableS'mores Bar

It was a great day we are so lucky we could share Talia’s special accomplishment with our family and friends!


Vendors:  Rentals: American Party Rentals ~ Floral Decor: ArtQuest Florals ~ Sweet Table Decor: Blue Petal Event Design

Delia and Feras’ Grand Hyatt Wedding!

Everyone deserves to have their dream wedding become a dream come true! And that is why I am so excited to share the details from Delia and Feras’ dream wedding!

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The couple, originally from Arizona, decided to celebrate their love here in San Diego. I enjoyed showing them different places where they could have their ceremony, as well as connecting them with vendors that would best cater to what they dreamed for their big day.

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The ceremony took place at the beautiful Immaculata Catholic Church on the University of San Diego campus. The church itself is breathtaking and was delicately accented with blush and cream florals. Because the church is so ornate and rich, it was important to not over-decorate the space, which would take  away from its pre-existing beauty. Hanging from every other pew was an elegant bouquet of fresh flowers, that coordinated with the bridal party bouquets, as well as the two tall  arrangements framing the altar.

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After the ceremony, the guests made their way over to the Manchester Grand Hyatt while the wedding party took some quick pictures at USD. USD is a beautiful campus and is a great place to take pictures before or after the ceremony.

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The newlyweds were glowing as they took their first pictures as husband and wife! Just look at those smiles!

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The blush bridesmaids dresses are proof that not all bridesmaids dresses have to look the same! They were stylish and the fit and color was flattering on everyone in the party. The groomsmen were stylish as well, in their well-tailored suits and blush bow ties.

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Every single detail in Delia and Feras’ wedding created a cohesive and one-of-a-kind look for their big day. The bridesmaids bouquets perfectly matched their dresses, as well as the brides’ bouquet, which was a mixture of blush and cream florals with rhinestone accents. As you can tell from the pictures, all the floral details went  together perfectly throughout the day.

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I love helping design the sweetheart table a little bit more than the rest of the room. This is the place where the bride and groom get to look at their beautiful party and take a quick break from all of the dancing. But most importantly, it is the place where they get to share their first meal as husband and wife together and admire all of the people that joined them in celebrating them and their new journey.

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The sweetheart table was a elegantly decorated with gorgeous, fresh orchids, cascading from the tabletop. Framing the lucite sweetheart table was a floral arch consisting of a variety of blooms, including orchids, and  white and blush roses. Hanging from the inside of the floral arch were five chandeliers, perfectly lighting up the flower arrangement and framing the newlyweds.

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The rest of the room was beautifully decorated as well. Some tables were covered with ornate gold mica overlay, while others were covered with rich gold blush linen . The round tables were decorated with tall floral arrangements consisting of blush and cream florals, that matched the other arrangements throughout the room. The long tables were assigned for the wedding party and immediate family and  decorated differently with one big flower arrangement towering over the table and smaller arrangements, mixed with the romantic candlelight. Candles on all of the tables added a romantic feel to the already romantic florals.

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Everyone danced the night away on the bright white dance floor with the couple’s initials displayed in gold. They enjoyed the traditional Jordanian zaffe as well as live music by Jamal Kassab and band!

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Last but not least, we have the cake!  The cake sat on a glass top cake riser  hovering on top of a rich gold rosette table linen and a crown like structure made of a fresh, lush, white and blush flower arrangement. It looked great, and tasted great too!

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I am so happy Delia and Feras chose me to help them plan their dream wedding! I loved the cohesiveness of all of the details and design, and wish them a lifetime of health and happiness! Congrats Delia and Feras!

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Vendors
Venue: Grand Hyatt – Florist: ArtQuest – Linens: APR – Dance Floor: HCD Dance Floor – Entertainment: Jamal Kassab and Band – Zaffe: Sa’id Dance Group – Photographer: Emilio Azvedo – Videographer: Taylor Films – Transporation: San Diego Limo Buses – Invitations & Menus: Whimsique – Printing: Artplace

Radys Children’s Hospital Benefit Gala

Every year I look forward to participating in the planning of the Radys Children’s Hospital Auxiliary – Rancho Santa Fe unit Benefit Gala. It is so rewarding to plan such an amazing event  for an organization that does everything it can for every single sick child that walks through its doors.

Clap Board - Broadway Decor

With every passing year, we have been taking the gala to the next level, and this year is no exception!  Broadway Nights,  will forever be one of my favorites!

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Upon arrival, guests were transported into a surreal broadway dream, complete with a living read carpet!  Red velvet curtains draped the entry ways as guests walked along the red carpet to the cocktail area. The cocktail hour and silent auction was held in the Capella Ballroom. Each table in the Capella Ballroom had a centerpiece that paid homage to the popular Broadway play, Phantom of the Opera.

Broadway Nights Decor

Once cocktail hour was over, guests took their seats in the transformed ballroom. Rich red drapery lined the  Elizabeth Ballroom, but the focal point was the “Broadway” sign. The marquis  “Broadway” sign was huge, lighting up the whole room and  contributed the vintage and authentic ambiance.

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The Broadway theme even carried over to the menu – which was designed to resemble a Playbill. The room was lit up by romantic candlelight and accented with white florals. 

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One of the things I liked about the design of the ballroom was the use of different chairs. Some chairs were gold art deco style chairs, while others were solid black with more of a modern style.

Broadway Nights Decor

Guests were not prepared for the Broadway surprises of the night. They had no idea that they would be experiencing not one, but four of the best Broadway plays! The LED wall behind the stage changed with the performances, making it seem like each short performance was an actual play!

Broadway Nights Decor

As the evening started and guests took their seats, the cast of, “The Lion King” walked through the crowd and onto the stage, performing the most famous Lion King song.

Lion King Collage
After the Lion King, the cast of Wicked took the stage followed by Les Miserables.

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The last performance by the cast of the Jersey Boys was an excellent closer for the live performance portion of the night. Guests got out of their seats and sang along and danced with the lively cast.

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I love that guests were able to enjoy the hits from not one, but FOUR Broadway plays!  Guests were kept guessing which play was going to come next, and were excited to see all of the impressive acts, creating a great energy for the rest of the night.

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The party continued in the Capella Ballroom with a dance floor and DJ. Guests danced to their favorite songs and enjoyed sliders and other yummy appetizers.

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The gala and silent auction raised an exceptional  amount of  funds and awareness for a great cause, and every year I am grateful that I get to be a part of it!


Vendors: Living Red Carpet/ Champagne Diva Dress – Creative Champagne Group — Chair Rentals – Hire Elegance — Chargers- BBK Linen — Event Decor – Pacific Event Production — Entertainment and AV: Imagination Entertainment — Photographer – Emilio Azvedo — Venue – The Fairemont Grand Del Mar

 

 

Elan’s Bar Mitzvah!

Mazel Tov! I am so excited to share with you Elan’s Bar Mitzvah! Elan’s Bar Mitzvah was full of personal details and fun, and I can’t wait for you to see the pictures!

Jewish Bar Mitzvah Dance

First, just a little background on what exactly a Bar Mitzvah is.

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A Bar Mitzvah is a traditional Jewish celebration that marks a boy’s entrance into adulthood.According to secular law, adulthood starts at eighteen years old. However, according to Jewish law, adulthood starts at thirteen for boys and twelve for girls.

PicMonkey Collage 5It is an exciting time for both parents and the celebrant as well. Parents get to welcome their children into religious adulthood and celebrate the ancient Jewish tradition with their children, family, and friends!

Bar Mitzvah

Elan’s Bar Mitzvah began with the religious ceremony at Beth Israel Synagogue. It was an intimate ceremony with just close family and friends.The Bar Mitzvah celebration took place later on in the evening on the, California Spirit. It was the most perfect night for a dinner cruise around the waters of San Diego, from the perfect weather to the clear skies that allowed guests to enjoy the beautiful San Diego skyline.

California Spirit Hornblower Cruise

Now, this was just no ordinary dinner on a boat. There were games, a DJ, and gorgeous decorations that took everyone’s breath away.

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Bar Mitzvah Centerpiece

The minute guests walked onto the boat they were handed a refreshing glass of champagne or apple cider. After they walked in, they left sweet notes on Elan’s custom graffiti painting that served as a guest book.

Graffiti Guest Book

The younger guests could hardly contain their excitement when they saw the ping pong and foosball tables, as well as the skee ball machines. They were quick to leave their parents side and start playing with the other guests.

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After guests enjoyed their appetizers and games, they headed up to the top deck for dinner. Each table was decorated with beautiful orange and yellow floral arrangements. Some tables had gorgeous tall fresh tulips, while others had vibrant yellow roses and orange gerber daisies. Each table number was a black and white picture of Elan at a certain age, which went perfectly with the pearly table linens, and orange napkins and place settings.

Appetizer Tray

Tulip Centerpiece

Yellow Rose CenterpieceTulip CenterpieceBar Mitzvah Decoration Bar Mitzvah Centerpiece

The dining area was also  full of pictures of Elan throughout the years. It was a fun way to see how much Elan has grown and all of the memories he has created with his family and friends.

Bar Mitzvah Centerpiece

Following dinner, guests headed back downstairs to enjoy some sweet treats and coffee. As everyone made their way downstairs, the DJ and his assistant really got the crowd going on the dance floor! The dancing assistant led the group in some fun dances, which was a great way to get those shy dancers dancing! Those who did not want to dance enjoyed playing the rest of the night! 

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Skee Ball - Arcade Party

Elan’s Bar Mitzvah was full of fun personal details, that tied the whole celebration together. All in all, it was a great celebration that honored Jewish traditions and was full of fun!  Again, Mazel Tov!