Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cheerful Luncheon

I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet what I do for a living. I’m an event planner and love it, this is the best job for me! Today I hosted a client appreciation luncheon at work, that turned out better than I imagined. I had little to no budget to work with, but found a wonderful caterer who stepped in last minute to provide a nice buffet within my price range.

Two hours before the luncheon I changed out of my heels and into my shopping shoes, aka the flip flops. First, I found these 2x3 inch silver picture frames at Hobby Lobby for .50 each, half off their original price. Here I used them as signage on the buffet, so I don’t get asked 100 times “what’s in the chicken?” I plan on also utilizing these at small dinner parties as place cards, or maybe directional “Sign In Please” if I ever have a function where I need people to do something and don’t have the staff to station there.

Our buffet included a Fattose Salad, Chicken Alberto, Marinated Grilled Vegetables, New Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary, Fresh Baked Rolls and Champagne Cake for dessert.

As I was brushing my teeth this morning I got the idea to decorate in cheerful yellow and white. I stopped by a local florist and purchased yellow and white daises for $1.50 a bunch. The vases I used are a set of four colored glasses from home. Easy to assemble and less than $12 for four centerpieces. I wanted fresh flowers because I always notice when I attend an event and its fake or fresh. I liked the low centerpieces as well, you can see over and around to everyone at your table. To make sure the small floral arrangement didn’t get lost on the table, I bought four sheets of scrapbooking paper at Hobby Lobby at two for a dollar. These set under the centerpieces and gave the table a focal point.

Continuing with my yellow and white theme, the largest color splash in the room were the bright yellow table linens, also my cheapest purchase. I bought these plastic round tablecloths in sunshine yellow at Party Pig for $2 each, they are great because at the end of the event you wrap them up with the trash left on the table and toss. Easy clean up, nice bright punch of color.

Since this was a “Thank You” for our clients, I purchased these glass jars that stand about 4-5 inches tall at Hobby Lobby. They were $1 a piece. I filled each of these jars with lemon jelly beans that I purchased in bulk at Whole Foods. This was my most expensive purchase at $7 a lb, but I felt the color theme really needed to be reinforced by tying the party favor into the table d├ęcor. Once filled, I wrapped them with sheer yellow ribbon with white polka dots on it. Each roll was 15 feet of ribbon for $1.99. Using simple white card stock, and a hand written “Thank You,” we fastened each through the ribbon and tied in a bow. These were placed at each place setting.

The food was great, and the cheerful yellow and white theme brought a smile to every attendees face who joined us. This party for 20 people cost a total of $350, that is less than $20 per person!

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