friday favorites – best event ideas of the week

I spent last week in Boston at PCMA’s Convening Leaders, a conference for meeting and event planners. There were 4,000 meeting and event professionals in attendance, over half of them were planners. Can you say pressure? Your audience is full of people who are going to scrutinize every detail. I had a great time in Boston and overall thought Convening Leaders was a great conference. I found tons of ideas that I can’t wait to implement into my own events. While the educational sessions are why most people come to Convening Leaders each year, I wanted to share some of the small details and ideas that I gleaned while there.

#5 – Lamps as branding opportunities

lampshade branding opportunity at events

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office holiday party at top of the town

holiday party at top of the town in arlington, va

A few months ago I featured a site report on Top of the Town, just outside of Washington, DC. In December, we used Top of the Town for an office holiday party for about 150 people. I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the venue and how the party worked out, as well as share some of the ideas we used for decor and the menu. We also had some entertainment for the evening, but I will feature that in a separate post.

I’ll start with a disclaimer – my photos are terrible. We didn’t have a professional photographer at this event so it was just me and my decent camera in poor lighting conditions during set-up. So, please forgive me!

The Venue

The selling point for Top of the Town is its view. It’s right outside DC (in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington) so it has magnificent views of DC and the monuments. It was actually a gray, rainy day on the night of the party, so I wasn’t able to take any good shots of the view but you can see some here. Luckily it cleared up enough by the time the party started that the guests were able to marvel at the view.

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pumpkin week – fall wedding inspiration

pumpkin wedding ideas | amanda jayne events blog

For day two of pumpkin week, I wanted to look at some sophisticated ways to incorporate pumpkins into a fall wedding – it’s not just for Halloween nuptials! I will avoid discussing centerpieces, since I hit that yesterday. But there are plenty of other ways to have pumpkins make an appearance – from live pumpkins serving as décor, to a pumpkin design that can be featured in your printed stationery. Grab that pumpkin spice latte (I had my first of the season yesterday!) and enjoy:

You can set the pumpkin harvest theme before your guests arrive by incorporating pumpkins into your invitation design. I think these are really sweet – it’s fall without bashing you over the head. I also like that the color is muted – some brides may not like the bright orange often associated with pumpkins.  These are available from Etsy seller Essentialimages:

pumpkin wedding invitations

Also for pumpkin stationery, you can add pumpkins to your escort cards or table numbers, such as this pumpkin design suite. I like this one because the white pumpkin is subtle and reminds me of a certain famous pumpkin from Cinderella – what a fun, subtle way to pay homage to THAT fairy tale wedding without going full-blown Disney princess! Available from CharonelDesigns:

pumpkin wedding stationery

For ceremony décor, I love the idea of lining the aisle with pumpkins, especially for an outdoor wedding (although I’ve seen it work indoors as well!). If you want to go a bit more rustic with the harvest theme, you can use bales of hay as well (a la the first photo). Photo via EventsAtTheFarm.com:

pumpkin wedding ceremony decor

I love mini-pumpkins (actually gourds) and I think they would make a fun escort card. You could really make this your own with the way you attach the escort card – I love the idea of an elegantly printed card tied to the mini-pumpkin with twine – both sophisticated and rustic! Photo via Event Now:

mini-pumpkin wedding escort card

For wedding décor – for the ceremony or the reception – there are plenty of ways to utilize carved or decorated pumpkins. There is the Mr & Mrs Pumpkins, such as below, or pumpkins carved with the wedding date. I’ve even seen silhouette pumpkins! You can do this with real or artificial pumpkins. These are artificial ones from Etsy seller purpleinkgraphics:

carved pumpkin wedding decor

I also love these stylized “Love is Sweet” pumpkins – you could do this with any phrase or quote. These particular ones would look amazing on the cake table or next to a dessert buffet. Photo via Want That Wedding:

pumpkin wedding decor - love is sweet

Table numbers are another way to use pumpkins. You can paint, stencil or even carve the numbers onto the pumpkins. I really like the way this one is paired with a tall floral centerpiece. Photo via Whimsy Decor:

pumpkin wedding table numbers

But I think this one is really unexpected – the white pumpkin (you can get this effect by painting as well) with the table number tied to it. Again, you can complement the motifs of your event through the font and materials you choose here. I love this! Photo via Janet Howard Studio:

wedding pumpkin table number

I’m not a huge fan of actual pumpkins as favors unless you think your guests would love that (and I prefer favors that people actually use!), but you can still use the pumpkin theme with favor boxes, such as these. Available via Etsy seller alittlemorerosie:

wedding pumpkin favor box

I also love these gift tags. They don’t exactly have a pumpkin on them (sorry, I’m cheating!) but they definitely fit with the theme. These would be lovely on a bottle of apple cider or pumpkin ale. Available via Etsy seller 33PaperLane:

fall wedding favor gift tags

Finally – if you ARE going to incorporate pumpkins into your wedding, don’t forget to get this photo! Photo via Koru Wedding Style – by the way, I got my wedding invitations from Koru Kate’s wedding shoppe and I highly recommend her if you are getting married in the NYC/NJ area!

wedding pumpkin ring photo

Phew! I bet that’s more pumpkin than you thought possible! Of course, you would want to pick and choose what worked best for you – you don’t want pumpkin overload! Editing down is always important!

Stay tuned for the rest of Pumpkin Week: