Friday, October 21, 2016

12 Years of Halloween Fun!



My sister and I are getting ready to host our twelfth annual Halloween Party next weekend! It's something we look forward to each year and normally have the next year's theme picked before we have even hosted the current party. Looking back through the photos makes me smile as it offers a snap shot of our lives each year for the past twelve years. Some faces have changed, the locations have moved and we've all gotten a little older. With each year's photos, you can see changing relationships, marriages, births and moves. I love reminiscing by looking through the photos - I don't think I could pick a favorite party!

Our themes for the past twelve years

2016 - Drive In Movie
2015 - Glow in the Dark
2014 - Rehearsal Dinner Trick or Treating
2013 - Dinner in the Apple Orchard
2012 - Dracula's Wake
2011 - A Celebration of Phobias
2010 - Starring Vintage Horror Films
2010 - Kid's Mad Science Lab
2009 - Dracula's Ball
2009 - Kid's Monster Mash
2008 - Candy Inspired Soriee
2007 - CSI Dinner
2006 - Day of the Dead Gathering
2005 - Harry Potter Ball
2004 - First Halloween Dinner

The first small party crowd (all still attending except for Amy who moved back to California from New York making the distance too far to commute)


We all look so young! Our youngest guests in particular show the years passing. Bella attended her first party in 2006 at just a few months old. She is now 10!

 

As relationships started, new faces have became regular guests at each party.


The first few years, the parties were mostly adults, but then new babies started appearing each year!

  


We have celebrated in Hampstead, our condo in Merrimack, Katie's condo in Epping and this year our house in Nottingham. We also took the party on the road ... an indoor mini golf course, an apple orchard and even our wedding venue.



We love integrating the theme into invitations, decorations and menus. Our guests even related their costumes to the theme some years!

 
 
 
  


So many great times with wonderful friends! Here's to 12 more parties and all the things that the next 12 years bring to our lives. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Shake, Rattle and Roll

We celebrated our daughter's first birthday party with a musical celebration. With over 65 friends and family, the party hit all the right notes! Decor include primary colors, musical notes and instruments and photos of our daughter's first year.

The two main tables had themed backdrops. The food table had a backdrop covered in records and the dessert table was covered in sheet music. The poster of photos and giant film strips were ordered from Social Print Studio. The dessert table featured the cake made by Popovers on the Square.

 


The favors were a "Build your own band" bar. Fabric bags were filled with kazoos, flutes and tambourines. Desserts included cake, musical note lollipops, themed sugar cookies, pretzel drum sticks and record licorice wheels.


We hosted the party in our barn - it was our first celebration in the space and it worked great! The space allowed room for tables, mingling and activities. The front doors let people roam in and out.



 Children could make their own shaker with plastic spoons, Easter eggs and assorted fillers.


We had a music station with cymbals, drums and chimes that the guests loved banging away at.

 

 


The birthday girl enjoyed her own mini smash cake!




 

Young guests could also decorate their own guitars to take home.


 

The hosts and guest of honor!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The beauty is in the (Wedding) details

Here are a bonus of 10 wedding details that I shared on my Facebook page. Enjoy!


Wedding Detail #1: For a cohesive feel throughout your event, don't forget the detail of decor in the bathrooms. Theme colors and fabric on the doors and a basket of essentials by a chair to rest your feet from a night of dancing and your bathroom is "ready to join the party"!


 

Wedding Detail #2: We ordered umbrellas in our wedding colors hoping that we could keep the rain away. Well the rain came anyway, but the umbrellas turned out to be a great accessory for our outdoor photos and one of our favorite elements. Plan on a few extra items (umbrellas, shawls, rain boots etc) in case the sun doesn't shine and then you'll have great photos regardless!


 

Wedding Detail #3: When your event takes place in several different buildings at one venue, it's important your guests know where to head and when. We had a easel on the path from the parking lot to share important arrival details and directions. You could also pass out maps, have arrows or have your groomsman greet and guide.



Wedding Detail #4: As our bridal party and close family stayed in 20 guest rooms at the Enfield Shaker Museum, we wanted everyone to feel like their room was their home away from home. We hung simple signs by each door with their names. This simple detail helped all feel welcome and allowed us to easily find each other's rooms.



Wedding Detail #5: Early on, I decided our wedding needed a logo. Our logo allowed a cohesive look throughout wedding elements from the belly band on our invitations to the runners on our reception tables, from banners to our corn hole boards. Ours was simple to create ourselves, but you can also find numerous vendors on Etsy who can create a design perfect for your event.



Wedding Detail #6: Just like you can't control the rain, the temperature can also be uncooperative. Two of our venues did not have heat so we rented a heater for the Stone Mill and provided a basket of shawls for the ceremony. Guests were encouraged to grab one on their way in to stay warm and then return it later in the night. Think about other ways to ensure your guests are comfortable regardless of the weather conditions: umbrellas, flip flops, sunglasses or sunscreen would all be great little details!

Wedding Detail #7: Keeping guests informed and excited before your wedding is easier today than it's ever been. We had a wedding website which was a good way to share details about accommodations, weather, things to do in the area and more. There are many free services which allow you to choose design, colors and elements.

Wedding Detail #8: If you are hosting your event in a location that might be unfamiliar to many of your guests, build excitement by sharing details about the location in your invitation. We included a hand drawn map showing where the wedding was to be held in relationship to better know towns in NH. I drew ours, but you can also finds lots of custom maps on Esty.


Wedding Detail #9: As I've shared on my blog, I love name tags for events with guests who may be meeting for the first time. Our rehearsal dinner was no exception. We ordered Team Bride and Team Groom buttons with childhood photos of each of us and added a felt flag to each with the guests name and relationship to us. They helped break the ice and were a cute added detail!


Wedding Detail #10: The last detail I'll share for now is very practical. As you might have been able to tell from my blog posts thus far, we brought a lot of things with us to the wedding. One of the most important details therefore was having a trailer to bring it all to the venue. The trailer definitely saved on trips and allowed everything to be packed up easily at the end of the weekend too. We borrowed ours from friends, but you could also rent one based on your size needs.

   




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