Just a quick note to give you a heads up about an article I wrote for Atlantis Magazine. In the article, I’ve outlined my event planning process and share my best tips that I’ve learned over the years. Click HERE to read the article now.
Today I want to shine the spotlight on my friend Paige Chenault and her amazing organization, The Birthday Party Project.
Paige is another fabulous friend that I made at Engage! Luxury Wedding Summits, where we most recently had the opportunity to do some Dirty Dancing together (see photo above!). But since 2012, Paige and her team of volunteers have been spreading joy and celebrating the lives of homeless children through the magic of birthdays.
Here’s how it works: Each month, volunteers come together to throw a big, themed birthday bash for the kids staying in the homeless shelters. The parties often have games, crafts and activities, music, and plenty of cupcakes. Each birthday child receives a birthday badge, personalized birthday cake, and a $30 gift.
Started in Dallas, TX TBPP started with one agency partnership that celebrated with 60 kids monthly. Today, The Birthday Party Project hosts 10 parties a month with over 550 kids across Dallas-Fort Worth. In the next few months, The Birthday Party Project is expanding to San Francisco and Detroit to host parties with an additional 100 kids! The Birthday Party Project will continue to spread joy by bringing the program to other markets across the United States in early 2015.
According to Paige, the volunteers or as she likes the call them, “birthday enthusiasts”, are the heartbeat of the organization. If you don’t live in the Dallas or SF area and are unable to volunteer, you can always make a financial contribution. Please note, 100% of public donations goes directly to hosting parties for these great, deserving kids and their families.
Additionally, you can help support The Birthday Party Project by purchasing something on their wish list, which includes party supplies, themed activities, and special party favors. You can also sign up to “Share Your Birthday” using their online fundraising tool, which I think is a pretty great way to celebrate another blessed year of life.
Since I’m always making such great friends at the Engage! events, I thought I’d start featuring some of them here to shine a light on their amazing companies and talents. To kick things off, I’d like to introduce y’all to my friend Amanda Allen (pictured with me above at Engage! 14), Founder and CEO of NewlyWish, a New York City-based online wedding registry service designed to help couples create gift registries that truly reflect their life and personal style.
NewlyWish sets itself apart from traditional registry providers through a curated collection of gifts from over 50 boutiques, brands and artisans, providing everything from chic home goods to eco-friendly products, and unique experiences, all wrapped up in their state-of-the-art registry technology.
Beyond their over 12,000+ products, the NewlyWish site features:
One-click registering – Couples can register for the basics with one click using Kitchen, Bed, and Bath Starter Collections.
Group gifting options – Allows guests to contribute toward big-ticket items like commissioned art, furniture, and luxury linens.
Personalized registry homepage – Couples can customize their registry homepages with photos, messages to guests, and a unique registry URL.
Registry Gift Tracker – Keeps track of all items purchased, what’s been shipped, what’s in process and who to send ‘thank you’ notes.
Gift holding options – Moving? Spring cleaning? NewlyWish will hold all goodies until a specific date.
Cash & Honeymoon Funds – Gives guests the opportunity to contribute cash to the couple’s new life.
Exclusive Mix and Match Tabletop Collections – NewlyWish has taken the guess-work out of figuring out which dinnerware, glassware, and flatware patterns look perfect together, with exclusive collections put together by some of the wedding industry’s biggest names.
If you’re engaged (or looking for a fantastic gift for anyone!), you need to check out NewlyWish for all of your wedding registry needs! You won’t regret it. Happy shopping/gifting!
I hope you had a fantastic holiday weekend! As you can see, I made and ate more than my fair share of desserts this 4th of July! And since I recently posted some advice about how to select your wedding color palette, I figured I’d share a truly inspired post I found on MyWedding.com that offers up 7 different ways to match your wedding dessert to your signature drink using your palette as inspiration… yum!
Click HERE to read the article now. Your mouth will be watering by the end of the post, I assure you! Enjoy.
I recently had the privilege to spend a few incredible days in Aspen at The Little Nell, which I might add is an incredible resort that pays attention to detail in every sense of the word.
Settled at the base of the mountain, you really could not ask for a better location to stay in Aspen. Not only is it easy to walk around Aspen because it is so quaint and charming of a town, but from The Little Nell you can hop right on the ski slopes if it is in fact ski season or take the gondola up to the top of the mountain for lunch and take in the stunning views.
We were fortunate enough on our first night there to have dinner at the top of the mountain while enjoying a few different bands from Elan Artists and a delicious meal from the The Nell‘s chef who created culinary magic.
On our second night, we ventured down the mountain to the Ajax Tavern for amazing food, an impromptu bocce ball tournament and lots of wine. Beyond the fine dining, for anyone planning to get married in Aspen, or thinking of a mountain wedding, I highly suggest checking out the breathtaking views (click here for Little Nell wedding testimonials).
The view alone is worth millions and the Nell has a few special places for the ceremony, as well as the reception, all right there for the perfect wedding.
Also, the rooms at the Nell are incredibly comfortable and spacious, I slept like a log. I don’t think that there is much more you can ask for in a room when traveling.
In addition to awesome accommodations, our days were packed full of fun, and there are plenty of things to do while in Aspen. I have to admit that the highlight of the trip would have to be the white water rafting trip we took with Blazing Paddles.
The two hours floating down the rapids were a complete blast and I would be open to doing that everyday if possible. Unfortunately, we barely get rain in Los Angeles, so I am not sure a daily rafting trip would even be possible.
Our last day in Aspen we went fly fishing, something I had never done before, but I caught seven fish, so I must have some sort of beginners luck. As you can see from the pictures we were prepared for the elements, but at the stocked ponds where we went fishing, the waders were not necessary other than for an awesome photo op. The only time we got in the water was for the picture. Also, all seven of the fish I caught were released back into the ponds.
Winter or summer, Aspen is stunning and has something for everyone to do. I can’t understand why anyone would not want to go there all the time. I am addicted and will be back!
If you’re planning a wedding (or you’re just perfecting your “Someday” board on Pinterest!) one of the first things you’ll need to decide on is your color palette. Once those colors have been selected—that’s when the fun begins (in my opinion).
Every couple finds their own fun ways to use color throughout their wedding day, however, I recently shared one of my favorite tips with SheFinds.com on the subject. So, if you’re in need of advice on creative ways to incorporate color into your special day I encourage you to read my tip, here, along with the other ten creative tips from top wedding planners.
Also, browse the photo gallery below to see a few creative color palettes that I’ve created for weddings in the past.
Last week, I was (once again) fortunate enough to attend the Engage! 14 Luxury Wedding Summit at the Ritz Carlton in Bachelor Gulch Colorado. The hotel was the perfect host for a glamping (glamorous camping) theme or “Camp Engage” and provided yet another few days of incredible memories.
The first day was a combination of great speakers and fun welcome party at Beaver Creek complete with a mechanical bull, tasty drinks by the creative mixologist at The Grand Bevy, delicious food and great decor from the team at Design Works out of Denver and not to be forgotten, an awesome band from Elan Artists.
Day two was a day full of speeches, lots of food, and whenever possible, a few opportunities for Paige and I to work on our dance moves for the final night gala with the help of our incredible choreographer Elle Cheer of Dance Follies Events (click here for a behind-the-scenes look at our rehearsal and final dance). The night ended with the dine around, where we were able to get to “engage” with other attendees at different diner locations around the mountain, and wrapped up with a fireside dessert party at the Ritz.
I had to sneak out early (and by early it was around 12:30am!) to finish my speech for the following morning.
On day three, I gave my speech, enjoyed lunch, and then attended rehearsal with the rest of the flash mob for our surprise dance at the final night gala. Be sure to watch the incredible videos above to see what I am talking about!
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so this collection of pictures by some of the most talented photographers in the industry and the videos created by my awesome friends at I Do Films out of Chicago create memories that resonate more than a million words.