Expert Advice

ECO-FRIENDLY EVENTS

We love the effort big corporations have been making lately in order to minimize their ecological footprint! Events can lead to lots of waste, but there are ways to change that. Going green at events doesn’t have to be hard, try out these simple tips at your next event:

CUT BACK ON PAPER AND PLASTIC

Try to eliminate single use plastic goods whether that be cups, plates or cutlery. If you have to go with disposable tableware, look into recycled plastic and bamboo options. Try to encourage guests to create as little waste as possible by labeling what they use. Check out our favorite labeling pens here!

USE NATURAL LIGHTING

Whenever possible, opt for natural lighting at your event. If you’re holding your event outdoors and want to create natural light when the sun goes down, candlelight ambiance might be an option. Using 100% soy based candles is the most eco-friendly option, as wax candles are typically made from a petroleum byproduct.

MAKE RECYCLING A NO BRAINER

Make it easy to recycle! If you are hosting your event outdoors, make sure you bring both a garbage can and a recycling can to encourage your guests to recycle.

ELIMINATE FOOD WASTE

Have reusable containers on hand and encourage guests to take home whatever food isn’t eaten. If it’s easy to transport, very few people will say no to extra dessert!

Celebrate With Soda Bar

If there’s one thing all event experts can agree on, it’s that the perfect cocktail can take any event to the next level. Road Soda is a craft cocktail bar on wheels serving delicious custom drinks at private and corporate events - including weddings, music festivals, and more all across the US.

With Road Soda, the bar comes to you! The custom made airstream gives a vintage, rock ‘n’ roll feel and creates a unique experience for guests. Road Soda will create a custom menu for your event depending on the function, your favorite flavors, location and more!

At EventMates, we strive to showcase a client’s brand or personality through small, creative details. Contact us today and we’ll craft your event and deliver it in style with a touch of Road Soda!

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Photo credit: Road Soda Bar

5 Ways To Celebrate Cheese Lovers Day

Today is a very special holiday for lovers of cheese. As a cheese fanatic myself, I will be celebrating the day in many different ways. Here are a few ideas for you and your cheese-loving friends!

1. THROW A CHEESE DAY PARTY

Hosting a cheese party for friends and family is a great way to celebrate this holiday. There are many ways to incorporate cheese into a party setting. Guests, wearing all yellow of course, could be offered cheesy dishes through different stations. Make-your-own nacho, mac and cheese, or grilled cheese bars are both entertaining and scrumptious. Throughout the night guests could take photos at a “cheesy” photobooth. And serve Cheese Tea - yes, Cheese Tea -  any milk, fruit or green tea topped with frothy cream cheese!  

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2. HAVE A CHEESE PARTY... FOR ONE

For a more relaxed approach to the holiday, a stay-at home meal could be a way to celebrate. Cheese can be added to almost every dish. This is a chance to get creative in the kitchen! Pay homage to cheese on this holiday by creating any of the recipes on our Cheesy Pinterest Board here.

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3. HIRE A CHEESE FOOD TRUCK!

Gorilla Cheese NYC is a favorite in NYC offering creative takes on childhood favorite: grilled cheese! Gorilla Cheese has the classics, like their American cheese on white bread with a side of tomato soup, and the outlandish, like their s’mores melt on graham cracker bread.  If you want a more mobile party for Cheese Lovers Day, the Gorilla Cheese NYC food truck is the way to go.

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4. HOST A CHEESE TOUR

Looking to venture out to celebrate the cheesy holiday? Host a cheese tour! In NYC, we recommend hiring a Cheese Guide (yes, they exist) to lead the way. Pick a neighborhood and enjoy! And finish the tour at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in the Flatiron District for a happy hour cocktail while watching the cheese being made.

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5. HOST A DINNER PARTY AT A CHEESE RESTAURANT

Raclette, when cheese melted on a wheel and then scraped onto accompaniments such as potatoes, other vegetables, bread and meats, has become very popular in the last few years. If in NY, host a dinner party at the restaurant Raclette where a waiter will bring over a melted, half wheel of cheese and scrape the gooey goodness onto your food. This restaurant is the perfect way to celebrate the national cheese holiday.

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And The Oscar Goes To… How to Throw an Award Winning Party

After the historic Golden Globes this weekend, Awards Season has officially begun. If you are thinking of hosting your own Awards Watch Party or Fundraiser this season we've outlined a couple of key things to make your party as glamorous as the stars on the red carpet! For more ideas, check out our Pinterest board here.

1. THE FOOD

Food can be a fun aspect of any party, especially a Hollywood themed one! Whether it is a popcorn bar, a concessions table, or a menu thriving with celebrity puns, food is a staple for the long awards shows. Have fun with the "best of" nominees to create a thematic menu or even go so far as to create vignette stations that are decorated and thematic to each film.

2. THE GAMES

Entertainment comes naturally to the theme of an Awards Show party. Red Carpet bingo, ballot voting, or a more creative activity such as printing your hands on your own “Walk of Fame” are a few ideas for your party!

3. THE LOCATION

A good location is crucial for an Awards Show viewing party. You need a space big enough for your audience, as well as a big screen to watch the show. In your own home make sure there is comfortable seating - consider getting a few extra pillows and blankets (thematic to the night) for people who need to sit on the floor. If you are making it a bit more formal and have budget to go elsewhere, Splacer has a couple of wonderful spaces that will make you feel like a celeb in your own right watching from a multi-million dollar loft!

Photo credit: Pinterest and Splacer

A Wedding Far, Far Away

The holiday season is an extremely busy time for engagements! If the snow has you thinking of planning a wedding far, far away EventMates is here to help with our favorite tips regarding destination weddings:

CAREFULLY CURATE YOUR GUEST LIST

If you and your fiancé are thinking of financing some of your guests’ travel expenses, your budget will play a huge part in dictating your guest list. With larger destination weddings, including people outside of immediate family and close friends, we have seen that about 50% of the guests invited will be able to attend.

SCHEDULE A SCOUTING TRIP

While a scouting trip is an extra expense, it is so helpful in determining that the destination and venue fit a vision that you are putting much of your time, money, and energy into. We recommend traveling to your wedding site, local hotels that you can recommend to guests, as well as any fun activities/sights that guests may want to see while they are there for your wedding. Some guests may want to make a mini-vacation of the trip!

HIRE AN ON-SITE PLANNER

If you and your fiancé have decided to plan the wedding yourself, consider hiring a day-of planner. A day-of planner acts as the liaison and coordinator between the couple and all vendors throughout the day. They keep the wedding running smoothly and will allow you to enjoy a beautiful, and worry-free day! Click here for a free consultation, where you can learn what type of planning services are right for your destination wedding!

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Photo credit: Elizabeth Hellman

Throwing a Spooktacular Event

Halloween is almost here! As party professionals, this is one of our favorite times of year. We love incorporating holiday themes into sophisticated, well curated events. There is so much fun to be had with Halloween-centric decor, menus, costumes, and more! Here are our favorite tips and tricks for throwing some Halloween spirit into a spooktacular event:

EERIE EATS

One of our favorite ways to incorporate themes is through creative food and beverage menus. Greet your guests with worm shooters made with udon noodles in green broth. Just one of the many culinary treats sure to delight. 

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GHOULISH GLASSWARE

Your creativity doesn't have to stop with what’s in your drink or the name of your drink! Take it a step further and choose themed glassware to add to the ambiance. Serve your guests their drinks in beakers and test tubes while mad scientists’ lab coats drape over the bar area.

LIGHTING EFFECTS

In order to give your event a spooky feel, get creative with lighting! By using black light, dimmed lighting, strobe lights, spotlights, and even candles, you can easily transform your space and accentuate different decor that you want to stand out. Candles are a great table top option, because they can act as both a center piece and a lighting alternative for a dim and haunted feeling.

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Photo credit: EventMates & Pinterest

How to Save on Flowers: Bloomerent

The Rent the Runway “Ladies Who Celebrate” summer wedding kickoff event featured several startups from the wedding industry. We had a chance to catch up with one of our favorites - Bloomerent. Just like us, they are in the matchmaking business but for floral arrangements. They match two events close in proximity, with similar styles and allows them to “share” flowers at a discount up to 60% off (yes, 60%). Whether you are the first or second event using the flowers, you get a reduced price and a guarantee that your flowers will be delivered just as they were promised. We love the spirit of this female startup that’s helping make flowers more affordable, while making the world a greener place.

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Photo Credits: Cassie Martin, Bloomerent Instagram and website

Vintage & Garden Inspired Weddings

Garden weddings can make for the most elegant of settings. Though using vintage style décor sets the tone quite well, there are many ways to incorporate a more modern touch. With a variety of color schemes, you can choose to add a more stand out design, or stick with classical vintage ideas. Looking through the following will provide you with the perfect insight to make decisions towards your most awaited and cherished day.  

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DRESSING THE WEDDING PARTY 

Bride:
To keep that vintage look, wear a lace dress. If you’re aiming for something subtler, wear a simple dress with a lace veil or flower piece in your hair.

Groom & Groomsmen:
Suspenders or a beige/taupe colored suit really set the scene.

Bridesmaids:
Lighter colors, such as light pink or taupe look best. If the bride’s dress is simple, add lace to the bridesmaids for more texture.

HANGING DECOR

A garden wedding presents the perfect opportunity to utilize your surroundings. With so many trees, you can hang different decorations to create that magical setting.

Tips for reference:

  • Painted bird cages with floral arrangements inside
  • Different shaped jars/bowls hanging from ribbons
  • String lights through the trees overhead
  • Hang engagement pictures on a clothespin line

WALKING THE PERFECT AISLE

  • Hang jars of floral arrangements all down the aisle.
  • Sprinkle rose petals down the aisle, or create a beautiful design within rose petals.
  • Loop garland of vibrant green flower arrangements down the inside of the seating.
  • Hang floral balls from modern stands down the aisle.

TABLE DÉCOR & FLORAL DESIGN

Subtle:
Use light colors like pinks, lavenders, and mint greens.

Vibrant:
Incorporate bright purples or blues with the light greens to really make the image pop!

Simple:
To keep a simple and classy look, stick to white and green floral arrangements.

CAKES, CAKES, CAKES!

EXTRANEOUS IDEAS

  • Antique furniture dresses up outdoor locations, and serves as a great space for a candy bar or gift table
  • Wooden doors can be used to vintage up the event
  • Chalkboard signs look simple and shabby chic

Western Themed Events

As far as themes go, the “Wild Wild West” and “Desert” theme is well suited for just about any event. With so many different options, it has been used for kid’s birthday parties, baby showers, and even weddings!  From table decorations to the food you serve, this guide covers every detail down to the icing on your cake. No matter how casual or high-end the occasion, there's sure to be a fit for you.

SET THE STAGE

  • For both formal and casual, use lanterns to spice up the ceiling of your event
  • Colors like red, light orange, and white set the tone really nicely
  • In a wedding setting, sticking to whites and greens especially in floral designs can create a simple and elegant look
  • Wooden barns or ranch locations will make for a beautiful destination wedding
  • For a more casual setting, incorporate bandanas and cowboy hats
  • Use mason jars to serve drinks and add to the cowboy setting

FOOD & DESSERTS

Fun for Kids! 

  • Keep kids busy with a DIY box set up! Include a Saloon and Jail, great for playtime and pictures.
  • Create a bin of ponies to double as both a toy and decoration
  • Cow print paper goods make for a cute table setting. Brown bags and wanted signs serve as an adorable and easy to make placeholder.
  • Rope can be used as an awesome decoration. Coil it into the birthday boy/girl’s name to add to the walls!

And more ... 

  • Sunflowers and daisies are great for western floral decorations and table displays
  • Create your own "Saloon" for drinks (Soda Saloon for the kids!)
  • Use checkered picnic tables with light blues and red to add color. Rope string tied around the napkins adds a quirky touch!

WESTERN WEDDINGS

  • Wooden and rustic colors presents an upscale feel to the wedding.
  • Use a venue like a barn or ranch for breathtaking photos with a very western feel
  • To avoid looking too casual, use lots of greens in floral arrangements. Adding a touch of light pink is subtle and looks great. 
  • Depending on your location, wooden furniture adds a nice touch and set the tone very nicely, even with nice glassware and table settings

Nautical Weddings

Nautical themed weddings have become increasingly popular. Whether you create your perfect day along the shoreline or bring the beachy décor to an upscale location, this seaside scene is in! Still keeping to the theme, there are so many options to explore.

Couples have selected a wide variety of locations and décor that have turned out nothing short of stunning. Explore the yacht clubs, estates, beaches, along with the do’s and don’ts of nautical weddings.

DREAM DESTINATIONS

We’ve seen beaches, waterfront resorts, yacht clubs, country clubs, and many others. With price as something to always consider, you must also decide if you would like a more modern twist or stick to the traditional décor. Modern detailing can provide a fresh new feel, while traditional remains elegant as always.

TOP 10 NAUTICAL WEDDING SPOTS:

  1. Oceanbleu at Westhampton
  2. Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes
  3. Massachusetts Yacht Club
  4. Boca Raton Resort and Club
  5. Royal Lahaina Resort, Maui
  6. Auberge Du Soleil Resort, Napa
  7. Winnetu Oceanside Resort
  8. Fess Parker, Santa Barbara
  9. Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun
  10. Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island

INVITATION INSPIRATION

ANCHOR BLUE: 
This traditional look uses the tried and true sailing colors: navy, white, & Red. You can’t go wrong with this!  TIP: tie in rope or string to offer a little more creativity

RUSTIC & BEACHY:
Break free from the traditional colors with natural hues for a modern, beachy twist  TIP: Use a wooden look to give the invites a textured feel

TABLE DECOR

Flowers:
- More casual & modern- Hydrangeas
- More elegant & traditional- white roses

DIY:
- For an easy centerpiece or simple decoration, tie rope around glass jars and fill with flowers
- Add seashells and coral to create a more casual scene

CREATING THE PERFECT CAKE

  • For a rustic look, combine sandy or wooden colors with the crèmes of wedding cakes. Smaller more casual weddings call for sand decorations and seashells, while a more upscale wedding may use something like the simple, ruched option below.
  • Sticking to the traditional colors of blue, red and yellow, these decadent cakes present an array of options for those with a simpler taste and those who prefer something more intricate.
  • The square stacked cake presents a unique option for any wedding.

HOW TO: PRETTY YOUR WEDDING PARTY

  • Bridesmaids: Stick to solids! Navy blue or taupe look best!
  • Trending: Put younger boys in shorts! Or use for a daytime or casual wedding
  • Men Must-Haves: Boat Shoes