Event Advice


Posted in Event Advice on March 31st, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment


Hey everyone! Its Marie again, writing to you about some great event ideas. This week’s blog I thought I would discuss colors you can use for an event based on the season. Each season is filled with different colors that are not only appropriate for the event but serve as a muse for everything from the invitation to linens. No matter what season you choose, colors are by far the easiest way to decide how to dress up an event.

This is my personal favorite when it comes to event time. I vowed to get married in the fall just to use the rich earthy tones the fall brings. You can use these colors for linens, fun table numbers/names, invitations and so much more. For invites many fall designs have leaves and pumpkins just to add that extra “umf” the fall has. Have fun with your theme! Having the fall colors is your inspiration opens the door for so many fun fall accents. When I think of fall here are the colors I suggest…
• Brown
• Burnt Orange
• Gold
• Deep Reds

The Winter Wonderland theme is so common for December/winter events. If you’re lucky enough to have snowfall the white acts as yet another accessory for your big day. If you’re a glitzy girl like me the winter is a great time to add crystals and “bling”. The crystals act as icicles! Indoor snow without the snow…pretty cool! For the winter time snowflakes are very popular in invitations and cake décor but if you don’t want to take the winter time too literally try using an abundant amount of candles for your tables. The give the room such a glow it’ like a log cabin except in a beautiful hall. It hives the room a very romantic wintry look. Paired with red r white floral you will have a very romantic and winter appropriate piece. For the winter I recommend the following colors…
• Whites
• Ivory
• Black/White
• Metallics
• Deep Reds
• Winter Greens

This is the time of year when we Northerners dance in the streets and welcome the warm weather! The spring time is the prelude to summer with the great pastel colors and warm weather, what a better time of year for a lovely event. In the spring many flowers become available so if you are looking for things like pianese and tulips, go for the spring. Pastels and florals are most commonly used in the spring time with the Easter season and sun being out past 5 PM. If you aren’t keen for the spring color palate but are looking to have an event in the spring try using my favorite color combo, brown and pastels. Brown paired with lavenders and pinks is so classic and photographs beautifully. For the spring time I recommend the following…
• Pastels
• Lavender
• Ivory/White
• Floral Patterns

Sweet Summer! With the hot weather during this time of year it is very common to use bold bright colors for any type of summer event. My rule is this, with the summer there are none. You can use black, white, green, pink, blue, etc all throughout the summer season. Because the summer is nice and hot I recommend bright colors but I’ve seen my share of black and brown in the summer months and guess what? It looks just as beautiful as the yellows and pinks. My recommendation is if your venue allows for outdoor space, take it. Yes, the either can be tricky but you want your guests to enjoy the weather if it’s a possibility. Take a beautiful July day; no one wants to be stuck inside! Try a cocktail hour outside so your guest can have a nice relaxing hour for great food/drinks and then enjoy the rest of the event inside. The summer time is a great time for beach events so try a space that is on/near the water, it allows for great pictures and fun décor (try adding cute flips flops, beach umbrellas, and sea shells for fun!)

No matter what the event using color as your inspiration allows for endless opportunities. Remember to always keep the event about having a great time and no stress. Whether you choose dark colors or sweet pastel tones the event is for you and your guests. You need to enjoy your own event! Leave the stresses at the door and have a great time! If you’d like any advice in regard to your event please feel free to contact me at mferreira@pentaevents.com. I’ve seen so many events that I am full of great ideas so don’t be shy!

Happy Planning!

Hosting a Cocktail Party

Posted in Event Advice on March 7th, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Hosting  a Cocktail Party?

Here are some steps to help guide you!

Want to throw a cocktail party, but have no idea where to even begin? Well this will show you step by step information on what you need to throw an elegant successful cocktail party all on your own! Cocktail parties are a great way to entertain because they accommodate any kind of guest list, from a casual get together with friends to a formal business gathering.

  1. The normal time frame for a cocktail party is about two to three hours and they are usually held between 6 to 10pm. This makes it easier to plan a cocktail party on any night of the week because usually everyone is out of work by that time.
  2. Buy more ice then you think you will need just to be on the safe side. You should have about 1 lb per guest.  This ice is needed for keeping cans cool and chilling the drinks.
  3. You should also have many different glass sizes and styles at your cocktail party.  This provides variety and makes it more interesting. You have to go out in style.  You should have twice as many glasses as you do guests because not everyone will drink the same thing twice.
  4. For the wine drinkers you should have 1 bottle for every two people, for the beer drinkers you should have one six pack for every two people, and then get one or two liquors that can make a bunch of different cocktails. Then of course you have your mixers, you can’t forget those! Examples of some mixers are orange juice, soda, ginger ale, cranberry juice, and seltzer.  Also have lemons, limes and olives on hand.
  5. As far as the menu goes you should have a variety of different foods to accommodate everyone present at your party. For instance, meat, vegetarian, hot, cold, spicy, and sweet.  I know many caterers average about 5 pieces per person so take that into consideration when planning how much to buy, depending on the amount of guests attending.
  6. At the end of the night it’s always nice to offer coffee or tea to your guests before they get ready to leave.  It’s a nice way to wind down the night.

I hope these steps help for you to have a successful cocktail party on your own! Enjoy and happy planning!


Bring Your Own Centerpiece

Posted in Event Advice on February 28th, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Build. Your. Own. Centerpiece
Fabulous centerpiece ideas for those who love to save

Whether it be a corporate function, a wedding, or a social gathering the décor of a room is always important. You always want your guests to feel as though the event is a place where they can relax and enjoy themselves while leaving all their worries in the lobby. An important part of the feel of a room has to do with how the seating areas are decorated. Guests will either be sitting at the average tables (round or rectangle) enjoying drinks and a meal or standing at cocktail tables enjoying each other’s company. You would be surprised how much of an impact table décor can make on a room. Imagine a plain white event space with your standard 72’ rounds with just plain linens and a few place settings…boring. What kind of impression would that make on a guest? Probably none. Now, imagine that same space with tables with a floral piece in the middle surrounded by votives. Immediately the look of the room is changed. Depending on ones budget you can go extreme with table décor but if you don’t have the budget of the stars then here are a few ways to wow your guests without breaking the bank…


Using candles as centerpieces is a classy alternative for floral arrangements. First things first, no scents. You don’t want your guests to enter a room filled with the scent of cake batter or cinnamon spice. Its great for your personal living space but we must keep in mind that if you are using multiple candles per piece that smell is going to be extremely strong so stay away from scents and stick to unscented candles. Candles placed in a tall glass vase and gathered together in alternating sizes looks stunning especially when the lighting of the room is dim. Add flower petals around the base of the vases and you have just upped that piece from classic sophistication to chic and fabulous. Another great way candles can be used is by using floating candles. My personal favorite is using the same style of vase I mentioned before, filling the base with water, and having about a 3’ white candle floating at the top. Here’s a fun idea that you can do yourself or have a florist help you with. Take flower petals or a single flower and have it in the base. I personally love the look of orchids in the base with the candle at the top; it’s so elegant and looks quite expensive. The look that the water gives to the flower is really magical and sure to make quite the impression on your guests

If you’re not much of a flower person you can use acrylic gems, sand, even seasonal items like chestnuts or leaves to dress up a simple candle centerpiece. You can find these items in stores like AC Moore and Michaels as well as your local 99-cent stores! They tend to carry glass vases for $1 so that’s a sure way to save some money. Candles are a beautiful way to light up not only the room but also the faces of your guests while enjoying your event.

Minimal Flowers

In a perfect world we would all be able to afford extravagant floral pieces with jewels dripping from the branches and a small orchestra playing in the vases but unfortunately some of us have other things to put our money towards other than pretty petals. Now a days many grocery stores sell beautiful floral bouquets for around  $19.99 where you can get two-dozen flowers for half the price of a florists. Now brides if this is for you I wouldn’t suggest to you on your wedding day because this is your day so enlist the help of a friend or maid of honor to do the honors. If this is for a corporate function one can run to the store a few hours before the event and keep the flowers in the break room fridge until its time to party. Try taking about 4 or 5 roses and cutting them down so the stem is about 5 inches tall. Place in a small square or round clear glass vase. Have about 3 per table for a medium sizes table and just 1 for a cocktail table and poof! You have an elegant centerpiece. For added flair use different color flowers, in each piece. Also you can place a mirror on the table and place the vases on top. This look is very clean and crisp and will definitely impress your guests.

If you want to stretch your budget just a bit you can do a piece with more flowers but instead of a tall piece think low and decorative. Take a look at the pink and black piece above; Pink carnations are used in an inexpensive glass vase wrapped in ribbon that can be brought at any craft store. Black gems are cascading inside via fishing line giving it an extra touch of glamour. This looks expensive but it’s really affordable. Using flowers such as carnations and daises will cut costs in half compared to roses and orchids. Who said a piece needs to be filled with flowers to be fabulous? Your own personal touches are what make the piece special for you and yours.


Who said candy was just for kids? Using candy in a centerpiece is a fun way to get your guest’s eyes popping and their mouths watering. I recommend candy pieces for children’s parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, baby/bridal showers, and even a casual corporate function. Multicolored lollipops, rock candy, and peppermint sticks coming out of tins or glass containers looks surprisingly pretty and good enough to eat. Having different candies like gummies, chocolate candies, and decorative pretzels in tall glass jars almost like a buffet serves not only as a centerpiece but a favor! At the end of the night staff can hand out decorative bags for your guests to take goodies home. For a corporate function a fun way to tie in the old and the new would be to get vintage/classic candies and display them in small barrels. In lieu of large tables just have tall cocktail tables with simple candles for light (many venues provide votive candles free of charge) and a section of the room dedicated to these delectable goodies. Charleston chews, Hershey bars, Root beers and sugared fruits displayed in these barrels would make your boss feel like a kid again and really… what’s wrong with that?! Candy when brought in bulk is inexpensive and serves for multiple purposes; Decor, parting gift, and best of all great conversation.

Whether you use candles, flowers, or candy for a centerpiece remember that the event is about you…
Wedding … the bride and groom
Corporate function is …celebration of the company
Bridal/Baby Shower … the bride/mommy to be
Retirement … an ode to a life of working hard and success
Birthday… another year older

If you have any questions or would like any ideas please feel free to contact me at Mferreira@pentaevents.com. I have a ton of ideas and would love to assist in planning your special event.

Happy Planning!

Valentine’s Day

Posted in Event Advice on February 11th, 2011 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Valentines Day
Why not throw your very own party this year?

Whether you have a special someone or you’re spending it with a group of your close friends, Valentines Day can still be a fun, eventful holiday. This year why not throw a themed Valentines Day party?  Adding a theme to a party makes it even more interesting and a lot more fun to plan.  From the invitations and decorations to the food and drinks, I will give you ideas to make this Valentines Day one of your best ones yet!

Pretty in Pink Party- This can involve couples and single friends. Everyone must wear pink. Yes, even the guys.  Even if it’s a pink tie, at least it is something! You can even give out a prize to the person with the most pink-involved outfit to make it more exciting.

Match Maker Party- Do you have a friend that is nice, fun, smart but just not your type? Well then this is the party for you.  Every one of us has friends like this! Invite all of your single friends and have them invite their friends, this way everyone at your party has a chance to meet someone new. Your perfect match could be closer than you think! It should be a casual yet fun party.

Singles Party- Grab all of your single friends and embrace this lovely holiday together! The more single people at the event, the more new people there are for your guests to meet.

Chocolate Tasting Party- What better way to celebrate such a holiday then with a large amount of delicious tasting chocolate?  Discover a whole new variety of chocolate ranging from lightest to the darkest chocolate.  Break the chocolate into small pieces for each person to try but make sure that in between each sample that there are apples or unsalted crackers for the guests to have to clean their palate so that their flavor is not conflicted. Make sure you label each individual piece so there is no confusion.  Then after all have been sampled share all of your comments with each other.  You will be surprised what others have to say!


When planning a party invitations are one of the most important parts.  It really can show a lot about your party that you are inviting your guests to.  For each of these themes though your invitations will be similar.  You should defiantly personalize your invitations to make them more memorable looking. There is nothing wrong with getting some red or pink construction paper, glitter, markers, and cutting it into a heart shape like you would if you were in grade school.  Then in poem form, put all of your party information down.  Then to finish off the invitations put some heart confetti inside the envelope for your guests to have a sparkly surprise!


Wherever you are having your party, it should be well decorated.  Let’s start with getting some pink ribbon or pink tulle.  This should be tied around the chairs and railings and draped on the windows and doors to give an elegant look.  Next have heart shaped balloons to either dangle from the ceiling or you can tie them to the chairs or outside where the party is taking place.  Group them in odd numbers if possible because it looks best.   Flowers are great to put as a centerpiece on the table.  Roses or Carnations are great inexpensive options.  I would choose red, white, and pink. They will collaborate well with the red or pink table cloth.  Also for the table, if you have heart confetti, sprinkle it all around the table sparingly to create a dazzling effect! Rose petals can also be used for this.    It is also nice to have some heart shaped chocolate in bowl placed around the room that way if your guests want to munch they have something sweet!

Food and Beverage:

For this type of party your best with having appetizers and then dessert.  Starting with the beverages, I would have Champagne and water with lemon and orange wedges inside of it to give it some flavor.  Also something that would be fun to go with the theme of Valentines Day would be Shirley temples!  To make it even more exciting you can buy red glow cubes that have that ice cube look and light up your cocktail.  For food, shrimp cocktail, pink fruit such as strawberries, cherries and raspberries, and mini sandwiches that are in a heart shape.  You can create that look by using a cookie cutter!  Then for dessert fondue works best in large groups!  Get the chocolate fountain and have food such as, marshmallows, fruit, pretzels, and graham crackers for the guests to dip with.  You can also have cookies and red velvet cake as well to give more variety.  This is a great idea and is very different that it will leave your guests in amazement.  Some examples of candy for that are Hershey Kisses, m&m’s, and Red Hots.  Put little red bags next to the table so that guests can take a treat home with them!


As for party favors I recommend a couple of ideas.  My first choice would be to personalize a candy bar wrapper and wrap it around Hershey bar and give it to your guests as they leave.  On the wrapper put all the information of your party such as the date and the name of the event.  This will make it more memorable.  You don’t have to use a candy bar either; you can use a lollipop and mint and candy tins.  If you wanted to be even more creative you could do all three of those and have your guests pick what they would like.  There are always the simple goodie bags that you can never go wrong with or candles that are chocolate scented.  All of these

Great Tips for Fall and Winter Floral Arrangements

Posted in Event Advice on November 4th, 2010 by Michele – Be the first to comment

Flowers can brighten up someone’s day, say “Thank you,” “I Love You,” or, my personal favorite, “I’m Sorry.”  They serve as the perfect decoration for birthdays, parties, special events or weddings. Choosing the right floral arrangement can be difficult, especially when you are not sure what flower is perfect for what season. Below are some great tips on what floral selections to choose during the upcoming fall and winter seasons.

Fall Floral Selections: Colors for fall are bright, bold and rich. Popular colors are amber, gold, burnt orange, rust, mustard yellow, sage green, chocolate brown, copper and burgundy. Adding white or cream accents can lighten up the floral arrangements for daytime events, weddings or ‘get well soon’ gifts. Add some flavor to a fall floral arrangements by incorporating other natural elements, such as wheat stalks, vines, fruits and colored leaves. Golden Rain trees, Red Swamp maples, sweet gums, crape myrtles, dogwoods, Tulip trees, and Shumard oaks are perfect options for fall décor.  My personal favorite fall flowers are burnt orange roses and sunflowers.

Winter Floral Selections: Using an arrangement of all white flowers is typical for winter floral selections. Although white can seem boring, beautiful flowers come in many shades of white.  Amaryllises, Calla lilies, Orchid tulips and Anemones are some examples of breathtaking white flowers. Because of the Christmas Holiday, reds are very popular for winter floral selections. Red winter flowers include roses, anemone, amaryllis, Gerbera daisies, Calla lilies, poinsettias and cymbidiums. Using blue in your floral arrangement can add to the winter wonderland feel. Winter flowers available in blue tones are hydrangeas, scabisoas, salvias, anemones, frangipanis, hortesias and ceanthous. Adding green foliage to the floral arrangements will add depth to the display and some pizzazz.  Foliage to use in your arrangement are Pine springs, Flat cedar, Lemon leaves, Magnolia leaves, pittosporums, winterberries and hypericums. My favorite winter flowers would be chrysanthemums and Calla lilies.

If you would like to send me flowers my address is….just kidding.  For more floral tips or any other event planning questions contact Casey Gallagher at cgallagher@pentaevents.com.