6 Super Scandalous Party Tips & 1 My Competition Will Kill Me For Sharing. Oops.

27th April 2015

6 Super Scandalous Party Tips & 1 My Competition Will Kill Me For Sharing. Oops.

6 Super Scandalous Party Tips

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I’m on a roll with our new, fabulous, re-invented blog, Vodka & Donuts as well as posting cool images of past events on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. What do you think? This post covers 6  Super Scandalous Party Tips & 1 My Competition Will Kill Me For Sharing. Oops and oh well. See if you can tell which one my competition isn’t going to be so happy about. :)

1. Tell the neighbors.

Communication is like oxygen: You don’t know you need it until it’s gone. Therefore, over communicate. I’ve seen a LOT of hall passes given to hosts who plead the mea culpa ahead of time and explain to those within ear shot that they are so sorry in advance for the noise, but junior’s only going to get married once, and we promise to knock it off by midnight. (Well, I guess unless junior is yours truly, but that’s for another newsletter.) Give them a heads up. They’ll feel guiltier about spoiling it for you and the fam.

2. Get enough booze.

6 Super Scandalous Party Tips

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It 100% is totally back. You can hand me every A-list vegan in the world, and all of ‘em have some kind of vice. With the dawn of Uber (or “Ooobare” as my sweet, naive bf thinks it’s called) it’s likely a few hard cocktails. So get a little extra. In fact, bonus tip: Don’t have an open bar if it’s too complicated – limit the “types” of booze so you can have plenty of what you are serving. And while we’re on that note…

3. It’s easy to be hip without blowing a wad.

Small batch everything is exploding – from whiskey to gin, there are so many ways to dial it up a notch in about 5 seconds. Another surefire hit? Randomness of any kind – think homemade pop tarts on a stick,  vodka in mini spray bottles and tater tot bars. Seriously. D.I.V.I.N.E. #ShootMe it’s so exciting.

4. Don’t forget about insurance.

Sorry to bring up a bummer of a subject, but it never ceases to amaze me how people spend their entire lives working to attain a certain level of, how shall we say, wealth, or perhaps more appropriately,”comfortability”, and then they’re willing to blow it all by hiring some yo yos without any insurance. As a lawyer friend once told me: “Marley, if something bad happens at an event and the injured’s got a good lawyer, that lawyer is going to sue you and every single person down the line while he’s at it.” Basically, he was saying that whether it’s your fault, you hired them, didn’t hire them or they snuck their way in, if it happens at your pad, you’re toast.

Scared me so badly into thinking that the poor cow who provided the beef’s ranch hand’s mother was gonna go down, so I massively upped my insurance. Any event planner, caterer or valet who’s worth their salt will have exactly ZERO problem providing you with their proof of insurance. So ask for it. (They balk? Oh, that’s right, they don’t have any…which is why you’re getting such a “deal.” Next.)

5. Mix up the guest list.

My Mom always told me that the best parties she used to go to in Washington were the ones that had the doctors, lawyers, senators, gardeners and recent parolees all in attendance (or her tidier version, but the point was the same). It was a great lesson because we spend a LOT of time trying to control everyone’s experience and worrying about who will like whom and think what-of-whatever that we miss the point. If you like to surround yourself with an eclectic mix of people (MUCH more interesting), then invite them to the party. Who CARES if someone turns their nose up. If they do, THEY’RE the ones who should’ve been left off the list. Losers. #Next.

6. Please. Play. Music.

6 Super Scandalous Party Tips

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I get that sometimes a band or even a dj is overkill, but really, it’s HORRIBLEEEEEEE to walk into a party of any kind and…freaking crickets. Music sets the mood for everything – winds you up, cools you down, cheers you up. Yes, I even believe in good music at funerals. Sorry.

Well after all of those doozies, I should probably log off an plan my own funeral. Kind of scandalous advice but somebody had to dish it. Oh well, we never were the go to peeps for the random rubber chicken dinner, so go find yourself a senator and a chimney sweep and add them to your next guest list. I’m off to DC to judge the entrepreneurship competitions at Georgetown, guest lecture for the b-school and catch up with a ton of old friends. After all, the whole story started a million years ago with that handsome chef from 1789…

Make it a great week -
xxx Marley
P.S. So what did you think of my “6 Super Scandalous Party Tips & 1 My Competition Will Kill Me For Sharing”? Tell me what your fav party tips are in the comments below.
P.P.S. Want to get some more ideas? Check out my aggregated mag on Flipboard here. Have fun and be inspired!

My Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration – Weeks 5 & 6

26th April 2015

Here It Is! The Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration – Weeks 5 & 6

OK, well, we I got a little behind and didn’t get last week’s images up and running so now you’ve got TWO weeks of images to ogle over. Oops, sorry! Let us know what you think of them. Click on the individual weeks to check out Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4. Tell us which are your favorites in the comments below!

Skip this part if you already know the drill – In cased you missed it, here’s what we’re doing, mentioned in the first blog (and if you already know what’s going on, skip to the first photo!): “Every afternoon we’re posting event photos & inspiration to my Instagram page to give you ideas for your own events, and of course, encourage you to hire yours truly, fabulous event planner in California for your next soiree! In terms of format, we’re trying to capitalize on the whole hashtag calendar world and take advantage of #WeddingWednesday (#WW) and #ThrowbackThursday (#TT) by posting wedding photos and cool stuff we’ve done on Wednesdays and on Thursdays, harkening back to a past client’s event, be it a celebrity, or just one of us tastemakers. So…here is the first weekly round up of my favorite Instagram images that we posted. (For more event images, click here.) Enjoy and tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below?”

Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Monday:

The week of April 13, 2015

I’m a big fan, shocker, of more is more, which is why I love this wedding aisle jam packed with tons and tons of rose petals and shells for a gorge wedding at The Jonathan Club in Santa Monica. The rsvp cards featured these super great, skinny starfish. LOVE.

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Tuesday:

Love the beach ornament favors, the beautiful shades of pink and the dreamy candle light. Plus the Lilly Pulitzer-esque shades of the ribbon just pull the blooms all together. Right?

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Wednesday:

Happy #WeddingWednesday (#WW): Black and white beautiful (and skinny, sweet Jesus) bride on the beach with those amazing fat lollipops. What else can I say? LOVE.

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration -Thursday:

#ThrowbackThursday (#TBT) to the wedding shot of this same Santa Monica drop dead gorgeous event. The funny image below the blue heart is the groom’s cake. He loves his cigars. :)

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Friday:

A close up shot of those beach ornaments and the happy couple later in the night. Looks like they made the right decision. To get married that is. (Oh, and hire us.) Ha!

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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* * *

The Week of April 20, 2015 – Now we’re back on target!

Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Monday:

LOVE this job we did at Katherine Heigl’s then home for her sister. Lots of yellow petals set off the great modern pool and yellow was used EVERYWHERE. Super cheerful for the daytime.

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Tuesday:

The apple green linens were reinforced with, well, apples.

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Wednesday:

Happy #WeddingWednesday (#WW): Even though it wasn’t a wedding, it could’ve been. Drill down on those amazing little cocktail tables covered in moss, rocks and orchid blooms. They had plexi tops only on PART of the tables so you could touch the greenery but still have a place for your drink to land. :)

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration -Thursday:

#ThrowbackThursday (#TBT) to the photo with Miss Katherine herself. It’s no wonder the girl is so freaking successful with that amazing smile.

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Friday:

That day was HOT. Thank God the blooms were brought and the ‘brellas were out. It was perfect afternoon cocktail cool down weather, though. P.S. Her husband is HOT and NICE. #Love.

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration – I’m In Love:

Do tell?! What did you think of this week’s images? What are some of your favorite wedding sources and what else would you like featured here? Share them in the comments below so we can all get inspired!  Stop back every weekend to get the previous week’s Instagram recap of Event Photos and Inspiration!

xoxo M

My Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration – Week 4

13th April 2015

Here It Is! The Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration – Week 4

How was your week? We’re starting to get into a groove with the Instagram posts of our work. This has brought up 2 things for me: 1) Damn, we’ve done a LOT. 2) Fricker, why haven’t we been posting more photos. C’est la vie. We’re posting now.

In cased you missed it, here’s what we’re doing, mentioned in the first blog (and if you already know what’s going on, skip to the first photo!): “Every afternoon we’re posting event photos & inspiration to my Instagram page to give you ideas for your own events, and of course, encourage you to hire yours truly, fabulous event planner in California for your next soiree! In terms of format, we’re trying to capitalize on the whole hashtag calendar world and take advantage of #WeddingWednesday (#WW) and #ThrowbackThursday (#TT) by posting wedding photos and cool stuff we’ve done on Wednesdays and on Thursdays, harkening back to a past client’s event, be it a celebrity, or just one of us tastemakers. So…here is the first weekly round up of my favorite Instagram images that we posted. (For more event images, click here.) Enjoy and tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below?”

Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Monday:

Psycho obsessed with acid green and anything wood like. I love this whole moss/nest combo. Evidently, since I guess I keep coming back to it. As far as the hors d’oeuvres go, remember to make them no bigger than a 50 cent piece of they are. Just. Too. Big.

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Tuesday:

Butterflies are everywhere, and what can I say, I still love white, even though my world seems to be technicolor these days. In the second image, you can see we’ve got the acid green going again. This whole series makes me fall back in love with Spring!

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Wednesday:

Happy #WeddingWednesday (#WW): Maybe because I EAT so many blasted vegetables, I’ve had to come up with a few new ways to present them. It’s hard to tell, but these are poking out of skewers in a vase of dried black beans. Totally made the color pop. Wednesday’s second event photo is back to the magic nest look.

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration -Thursday:

#ThrowbackThursday (#TBT) to our event that just totally channeled spring and teed up what would be random looking olives to have a little more “floral” influence. I’m particularly partial to the radish as flower.

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Friday:

Butterflies and white and ethereal everything. We did these once for a wedding where everything was the most gorgeous sky blue, but the butterflies were silver and white, all above the very long head table. #LOVE.

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration – Plus, tell me what else you want to see on the blog!:

Do tell?! What did you think of this week’s images? What are some of your favorite sources for inspiration, flowers, trends and all things fashionable? Share them in the comments below so we can all get inspired!  Stop back every weekend to get the previous week’s Instagram recap of Event Photos and Inspiration!

xoxo M

My Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration – Week 3

9th April 2015

Here It Is! The Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration – Week 3

OK, so this is a Wednesday wrap up instead of over the weekend. Got a little challenged with the holiday. Still challenged, BUT… here it is! So how did you like Week 2 of our Event Photos and Inspiration?? Have you noticed? We’re now posting event images twice a day, Monday – Friday on Instagram and Twitter because we’re getting great feedback. The good news is that every weekend, we’re recapping our favorites here in case you missed them.

Recap of the plan, skip to the photos if you know this…(here’s what we’re doing, mentioned in the first blog): “Every afternoon we’re posting event photos & inspiration to my Instagram page to give you ideas for your own events, and of course, encourage you to hire yours truly, fabulous event planner in California for your next soiree! In terms of format, we’re trying to capitalize on the whole hashtag calendar world and take advantage of #WeddingWednesday (#WW) and #ThrowbackThursday (#TT) by posting wedding photos and cool stuff we’ve done on Wednesdays and on Thursdays, harkening back to a past client’s event, be it a celebrity, or just one of us tastemakers. So…here is the first weekly round up of my favorite Instagram images that we posted. (For more event images, click here.) Enjoy and tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below?”

Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Monday:

This whole week features a spa themed baby shower that I did for a very close friend’s future daughter in law. The tables were long with chocolate linens, lots of green and those magical frosted glasses. I LOVE those glasses.

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Tuesday:

Complementing the sort of solid, but still feminine frosty beverage containers, we did super sleek flatware peeking out at the sides of the photos. I think a strong bloom, like these orchids looks amazing on top of simple plates.

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Wednesday:

Happy #WeddingWednesday (#WW): At each place setting guests also got a “chakra” card to get in touch with themselves and really get everyone to relax. The colors on the cards were practically the brightest pop we had at the whole party and they really stood out against the chocolate brown.

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration -Thursday:

#ThrowbackThursday (#TBT) to this photo shoot and the fabulous Eduardo Xol of Extreme Makeover Home Edition. One of the nicest, most professional guys on the planet and amazingly talented. This event was featured in his book, Extreme Entertaining Made Easy, on Amazon.

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – Friday:

And what could be better than mini metal lunch boxes full of spa goodies – love the bath bombs at Lush. Simple, thoughtful and a super nice treat for your guests. Lots of great products like these can be found at your local World Market. (My new FAV go to spot.) Have fun and if you’re in Pasadena, make sure you go and see my boy, Alan, the manager!

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Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration – I’m In Love:

What do you think of this week’s chocolate and acidic apple?! What are some of your favorite sources for inspiration, flowers, trends and all things fashionable? Share them in the comments below so we can all get inspired!  Stop back every weekend to get the previous week’s Instagram recap of Event Photos and Inspiration!

xoxo M

My Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration – Week 2

28th March 2015

Here It Is! The Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration – Week 2

So how did you like Week 1 of our Event Photos and Inspiration?? Going forward, we’re now going to post event images twice a day, Monday – Friday on Instagram and Twitter because we’re getting a lot of traction. The good news is that every weekend, we’re recapping our favorites here in case you missed them. How does that sound? I guess you’ll just have to come back to the blog every Saturday now!

In cased you missed it, here’s what we’re doing, mentioned in the first blog (and if you already know what’s going on, skip to the first photo!): “Every afternoon we’re posting event photos & inspiration to my Instagram page to give you ideas for your own events, and of course, encourage you to hire yours truly, fabulous event planner in California for your next soiree! In terms of format, we’re trying to capitalize on the whole hashtag calendar world and take advantage of #WeddingWednesday (#WW) and #ThrowbackThursday (#TT) by posting wedding photos and cool stuff we’ve done on Wednesdays and on Thursdays, harkening back to a past client’s event, be it a celebrity, or just one of us tastemakers. So…here is the first weekly round up of my favorite Instagram images that we posted. (For more event images, click here.) Enjoy and tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below?”

Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – #1:

I love anything that does “double duty.” In this case the centerpieces were adorable mini picnic tables that happen to hold the ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper and were perfectly integrated as part of the theme with a few blooms (not in the shot) to make it super appealing.

Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – #2:

If you’ve followed me for even 5 seconds, you know how much I love candy. Love this shot of super gourmet suckers in cut crystal bowls as part of the candy bar. Hey, I’m a fan of buzzed guests sucking on lollipops, aren’t you??

My Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – #3:

Happy #WeddingWednesday (#WW): Gorgeous, sleekly covered chiavari chairs so they don’t even look like chiavaris anymore. You can see the little hint of rhinstone trip at the back of one of them, in the left of the shot. I love how the aisle runner was rimmed in magenta orchids. Gorge. (This was part of Snoop Dogg’s Vow Renewal that E! Entertainment covered.)

My Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – #4:

#ThrowbackThursday (#TBT) to our event for Kelly Rutherford’s son, Hermes: The event theme included Rocky the Robot and was held at the Alice + Olivia showroom in New York. #GorgeousSpace. Genius #StaceyBendet

My Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration

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Favorite Event Photos and Inspiration – #5:

If I just could have bowls and bowls of crystals to look at, play with, touch, lay on top of platters, hang from trees, and natch, include in random tent ceilings all over the world, my life would be, well, complete.

My Weekly Roundup of Event Photos and Inspiration

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Event Photos and Inspiration – I’m In Love:

Do tell?! What did you think of this week’s images? What are some of your favorite sources for inspiration, flowers, trends and all things fashionable? Share them in the comments below so we can all get inspired!  Stop back every weekend to get the previous week’s Instagram recap of Event Photos and Inspiration!

xoxo M