If you have a party coming up then please take a moment and download and print this awesome checklist!
- Determine Date/Time/Place
- If needed ask for helpers
- Create a Guest List
- Pick a RSVP Date
- Chose a theme
- Determine your Budget
- Send Invitations
- determine decor
- pick centerpieces
- chose table settings
- Plan your menu
- plan activites/entertainment
- Make a Shopping List
- Confirm your guest list
- Book Photographer (if needed)
- Go Shopping
- Determine your Schedule
- Plan for Parking
- Chose a Space for Coats/Bags
- Pick a Gift Spot (if needed)
- Plan your Food Display
- Make Place Cards or Signage
- Clean the Party Location
- Make or Purchase food
- Set out Decorations
- Set Table
- Prepare Drinks
- Do any Last Minute Touches
- Get Ready for the Party
Reserving a room block for your next big event be it a wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, anniversary, family reunion, or even a conference is the best way to ensure that your guests have a place to stay by your venue and at a discounted rate! Doing a block booking gives you all sorts of deals like free wifi, parking, discounted room rates for your guests or even a free room for the wedding/anniversary couple or conference chair person. Here is everything you need to know to complete a block booking.
How do you block hotel rooms for a wedding or special event?
When looking into hotels there a few key points to keep in mind:
- Price Point
- Amenities (do you need parking available, wifi, a gym or pool, bridal suite, etc)
- Distance to your venue
- Or if you are in need of a venue does the hotel have one available
- Free bridal suite included in booking enough rooms
- Extra discounts for people who book early
If you’re having a wedding with a lot of out-of-town guests try to block at two different hotels with two different price points. That way your guests can have a selection of prices to play around with for their travel budget. This is also helpful as hotels might not be able to offer you a big enough block to cover all of your guests.
How do you Begin your Hotel Block Booking Process?
Start by searching online. Look up hotels that are close to your venue and check out what a normal price is there around the time of your event. Narrow down your search to two or three hotels that meet your criteria. You can then contact their booking managers to coordinate the block.
When you call remember to give them the dates you want to reserve. You may want to reserve blocks for a day before and a day after your event if you have out of town guests looking to make a weekend trip out of their travel. You should also give them any special requests like dropping off welcome bags in guests rooms or having them at the desk when they check in. Start by blocking a smaller number of rooms, you can add more later but discuss this with the booking manager they might also allow you to block a larger number and release them as time goes on. Especially if you are booking during a busy season for the hotel, you don’t want to lose spots to other guests.
You can also use free hotel room block series like Skipper or Group Travel to do the work for you. They let you search all the major hotels near your venue, helps you negotiate the price, and you can even reserve your block right through them.
How do you Negotiate your Hotel Block?
Now that you’ve found a room block that works for your event it’s time to negotiate the contract with the hotel. There are certain key words to know when review the contract terms. Here they are:
- Allowable Shrinkage Clause: The percentage of rooms that are allowed to go unbooked.
Your target percentage is between 10–20 percent. Which means, if you’ve blocked 20 rooms but 2–4 go unbooked, you will not be penalized with a fee.
- Attrition Rate or Minimum Commitment: The percentage of rooms that must be filled in order to avoid paying a penalty fee which should be between 80–90 percent. Example: If the entire room block is not used, you’ll owe the hotel damages for all unused rooms based on a minimum commitment of 80 percent. This means that if you do not book the minimum amount of rooms agreed to, you will owe for up to 80 percent of the room block.
- Mitigation Clause or Resell Clause: The hotel will try to book unused rooms in your block so that you are no longer responsible for them you in essence release them, and they are sold to other customers and there for you aren’t paying for rooms that other guests are renting.
How Should you Communicate your Block Information to Guests?
The best way to let them know about the block booking options is to include it all in your wedding website. That way they can know all of the information and options available. You can point your guests to your website in your invitation. You can include information such as: please visit our website at http://www.wedding.com to see more information about our wedding and accommodations. It’s also nice to include directions to and from the venue to the hotel or transportation information on the website.
Now that you are stuffed from your Thanksgiving Feast and your Gilmore Girl party binge. It’s time to start planning your next event! Winter is on it’s way and that means holiday parties are right around the corner. Here is your list of holiday party must haves and tips to make your party a great success!
- You don’t need to run out and buy an entire stores worth of holiday decorations for your party. You can turn your home into a beautiful winter wonderland by using things around your home and getting a little creative.
- Create a candy bar from jars you have around your home filled with yummy holiday candy treats. Include some cute take home bags for everyone to take a bit home with them.
- Place ornaments around the house not just on the tree. Spread them out for some holiday cheer. Or if you’re having a sit down affair you can always run out and buy some plain glass bulbs and write each guests name on one and use that as their place card!
- Use left over ribbon and tie it around items in the house; candles, lamps, door handles, any where they would look cute can work!
- Don’t forget to dress up the bathroom. Adding a fun holiday soap or writing a cute holiday message or putting snowflakes on the vanity are all cute ideas to dress up the loo.
- Don’t be afraid to use a little glitter here and there! You can take an ordinary candle or vase and add some beautiful silver glitter to the bottom to give it some holiday cheer. Or use it in some little jars around the table.
- Use pinecones from your front yard and dress them up with some fake snow, glitter, or gold/silver spray paint to help create a perfect winter wonderland look.
- Play some fun games. For example you could do trivia games, holiday themed scategories, name that tune, name that holiday movie, pin the noes on the snowman. Play as teams for group bonding. Games are a great way for guests to get to know one another or to become closer.
- Create a Photo Booth with fun holiday props. You don’t need to rent one if you have a Fuji Instant Camera or if you have this fun app on your iPad.
- Give out prizes to guests for random things, like finding something you’ve hidden in the room or to whomever has the most pennies on them.
- Play lots of holiday music using a holiday CD or a music streaming channel app like Pandora.
- Have a holiday movie playing in the background on the TV. Even if you have music playing it’s fun for guests to glance over and see a little Home Alone action on the TV.
- Hold a contest for most holiday spirited sweater or ugliest sweater works too.
- Coordinate a cookie exchange for the party.
- Organize a gift exchange like a White Elephant Gift Exchange.
- Create a DIY S’mores and Hot Coco Bar.
- Have a ornament decorating station both kids and adults will love to take home their own ornament.
- If kids are coming make sure that you have kid friendly activities or that all guests can partake.
- Lighting is an easy and less expensive way to dress up any party.
- Soft lighting with candles and dim lights is always a holiday party favorite.
- When in doubt add white twinkling christmas lights.
- Turn glass candleholders into stylish accessories by covering them in decorative fabric.
- DIY it and add entertainment by having a cookie exchange or a cookie decorating party, S’mores, or Hot Coco Bar.
- It’s ok to make your holiday party a pot luck. Really it is.
- If you are planning on doing the cooking decide what type of party you’re having; full sit down dinner, hour d’roves and desserts, snacks and treats, or some other combination.
- There are a million holiday food blogs out there so I am not the winning location for that information but I will say make sure that if you are having a vegetarian at your party you have enough food to fill them. Don’t make them starve with a couple of rolls and veggies…
- Incorporating your favors into your party is always a fun idea. Like doing the ornament place card or the candy bar mentioned above.
- Unless you know that all of your guests share the same religion. Keep your favors secular.
- DIY it with some of these amazing ideas from HGTV.
- If you have kids coming to your party make sure you have some kid friendly favors for little ones to take home.
Election night is coming up very quickly. In just a few days we will find out who will be our next president. And in a hotly contested election like the one we’ve been having, where the media firestorm has taken it’s toll and the election has become a media circus that it is it is no surprise that there will be many election parties happening across the country. So to get ready for that great event here are a list of must haves for your election night party!
You’ve already voted earlier in the day so why not design a fun new “voting” booth that you’re legally allowed to take photo’s in (hope you don’t go to jail JT). You can have a plain white backdrop or decorate it with some red white and blue streamers. And you can use an iPad App to take all of your photo’s in your photo booth. It can be easy and fun for your guests. Plus it will eat up some time while you wait for those results to fully come in in California.
How cute are these straws? They are perfect for your election night party! America themed so that if you have any left over you can always save them for Memorial Day or the 4th of July. They are cute and functional and that’s always a plus for any themed party! Have fun with these!!!!
These adorable hanging fans are good for both election night parties and any patriotic party. They are so cute! They could also be put together for a backdrop for your Photo Booth!
What party is complete without cups. Whether your guests are playing drinking games or not solo cups are always a great disposable drinking choice! If you are going the disposable route you might as well go with the color theme of the two major parties and get some red and blue cups!
Candidate Standees: Clinton and Trump
What party is complete without your own
Trump and Clinton Standees to pose with?
Clinton or Trump fans will love posing with their favorite candidates. Or dressing them up in feather boa’s and funny glasses always works too!
Press the button and hear Donald Trump say ridiculous things in his voice! The button includes a bunch of different phrases, including
– Hillary is a disaster
– I’m starting to get into your head
– I am the most militaristic person in this l room. I love war
– I’m crushing everybody else
– Dont be an idiot. Seriously! Don’t do it
– Let’s make America great again
– Hillary was the worst Secretary of State ever
– When I become president, I’m moving the capital to New York City
– We are going to be winning so much, you are going to get sick of it!
– You’re fired
– This is going to be huge
– Bill Clinton will be the ugliest First Lady in history
– I love women. I love them
– That’s a fantastic idea! Glad I thought of it
No election party is complete without some election theme toilet paper for your bathroom. Now this toilet paper is really only appropriate if your is party is full of anti Trump supporters but it’s still funny none the less. I mean this pose is pretty classic for some toilet paper isn’t it!
Other Election Themed Ideas:
Easy Election Day Fun
Election Day Film Fest Party
Election Day Party Ideas