1. Mind Your Manners

    May 1, 2012 by Carey Sue Vega

    Have you ever found yourself at a formal social or business event and not really sure which fork is which, what was the right thing to wear, or even if it was okay to bring a guest with you? There’s no reason to feel uncomfortable. Proper etiquette is a tool anyone can and should learn….even young children.

    Hello, my name is Carey Sue Vega, and I’m an Etiquette Expert. After receiving my degree in Recreation from OSU (yes, there really is such a degree), I worked for a major cruise line as Youth Coordinator and then Cruise Director. As the host for Captain’s parties and VIP events, I realized that many of the passengers were not familiar with proper etiquette in a formal social setting. After all, few people sit down to a formal dinner on a regular basis. I realized that I could help educate people on etiquette, so that they feel more comfortable in a formal setting.

    As an Etiquette Expert, I offer a series of classes at various venues in Oklahoma City and Edmond for children (fifth grade through high school), college students and adults.

    Students learn proper posture, eye contact, how to shake hands and make proper introductions, among other topics. The younger students have challenge assignments they take home to implement skills learned in class. By working on the assignments at home, they see firsthand how putting the skills into place, they receive positive feedback and reinforcement.

    In our adult classes, we review proper etiquette for social and business occasions. Topics include party planning, table etiquette, silverware and settings, passing food,

    “gentlemen” manners, as well as mixing and mingling tips. We also discuss the proper way to write, send and respond to invitations. We answer questions like, “When is it alright to bring children?”, “How should I dress?”, “What are the rules in a business setting”, and even, “Is it proper for a lady to wear a hat after dark?”

    If you would like your child to learn proper manners, or if you would like to brush up on your social or business etiquette, please give me a call or check out my blog at, www.careysuevega.com to learn about upcoming classes.


     
    Carey Sue Vega
    Etiquette Expert
    405-721-1467

     


  2. Having a “Ball”!

    October 1, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    Halloween is the one time of year Americans have a great excuse for dressing up in their favorite costumes. Other countries have scads of parties where they get to dress up (reenactments and seasonal parties) but we’re pretty much restricted to Halloween. So why not have a “ball” this year and change things up! For this type of great party, there are two versions: the adults only and kid friendly.

    For the Adults: When choosing your theme, of course, you have to consider your guest list. Try not to be too restrictive but if you’re going for a ball with masks and dancing, make sure there are as few rules as possible regarding costume period and design. Don’t restrict it to one decade or century (can you imagine demanding all your guests show up in 17th century attire?). The more flexible you are, the more people will want to show up. If a period theme is what you want, let your guests pick the decade or century they want to depict. As to rules you might insist everyone wear a mask until the unveiling or only while on the dance floor.

    Have categories for the winning costume like “most frightful” for those making a scary appearance and “most delightful” for those who went all out for an authentic period look, characterization, or something sexy. Tie in the décor with both modern and vintage accents like cobwebs, dark colored candelabras, gazing balls, drippy candles, gargoyles, black lace clad skeletons, and carved pumpkins.

    For music play a wide variety but be sure your DJ is prepared to play soundtracks from scary movies and classic flicks. Let your guest pick the songs they want to hear but be sure to have selections ready to signal things like a contest, door prizes, specific dances, etc.

    For the Kiddos: While a Halloween ball might be wildly appealing to your little pink princesses make sure you have plenty of guy stuff for the young ghouls too. Forgo the masks and set up stations for the kids to do activities that engage their senses. Hands in gooey green slime, finding “treats” in a box of gray colored beads or small rocks, or guessing games are great ways to have fun. While the ages of your guests will determine how scary you can make the over all experience, you can’t go wrong with crazy carnival games with some grooving music in between. You might be surprised how easy it is to line up the kids and teach them very simple dance steps. Award a prizes to the best “couples” on the dance floor but be sure everyone who participates gets more candy in their bags.

    For backdrop music select familiar soundtracks to movies like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Superman or favorite game themes like Lego Batman and Indiana Jones to create epic suspense. For your dances, go for wacky classics like “Monster Mash”, the Adams Family theme song, “Ghostbusters”, “I put a spell on you” and “Martian Hop.”

    Consider your guests first and the theme for your party will emerge. Have a safe and happy Halloween!


    By Mindy Wood

  3. Build Your Planning “Dream Team” Here!

    July 1, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    At SpecialEventsOklahoma.com our goal is to give you the tools you need to make your next event a dream come true. Building a team that will increase your productivity, keep you on budget, and get the results you want starts here. Whether you own an event planning service or you’ve decided to plan your own event, we are the resource you need to make it a reality! So where do you begin?

    First, make some critical decisions that will save you time, energy, and money in the long run. It all begins with the budget, so determine the most important aspect or the central goal of the event. If that’s a business presentation, invest your dollars in a venue that will enhance your delivery with state-of-the-art media and effects like music and lighting. Be conservative with the food, not the venue. If you’re planning a wedding, it could be the moment you’re really looking forward to isn’t “I do.” If you can’t wait to take center stage during the reception, invest more heavily in your after-ceremony debut. Find out what is most important and trim your budget from there.

    Second, rule out what you don’t want. Even if you’re not sure what theme you have in mind, you’ll save time by at least eliminating what just isn’t an option. Listen to your vendors and value their expertise but don’t be afraid to have a list of “no’s” to go with your “maybe’s” and stick to it.

    Set realistic expectations. If you want to save some money by taking on a few things yourself, make sure you have the time and talent before you commit to more than you can or want to handle. Determine realistic objectives in view of how much time you have to plan for your event as well. If you can’t delay the date, there may be some changes you’ll need to make to ease the planning process for everyone on your team.

    We know time is the stuff that life is made of so we’ve made it easy to shop options for caterers, venues, rental companies, entertainment and much more at the click of a button. Don’t wade through the phone book or scan scads of websites when our resource directory guides you to the best local providers available. Visualize the possibilities in our photo gallery and keep yourself on track with our free budget planner. To save even more time, our event planner login will tell us what you need and let the vendors come to you. Everything you need is here. Just point, click, and plan!

    By Mindy Wood

  4. Fun Summer Parties!

    May 4, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    Summer is the time for cookouts, pool parties, and ice cream socials! For the hostess who loves to entertain, summer is just another great excuse to throw a fabulous party. This summer challenge your guests with some themes that maybe you’ve never considered before but touch a nerve on current trends.

    Ever heard of the high tech scavenger hunt craze known as geocaching? Invite a few friends to try this fun and exciting adventure when you sign up at geocaching.com or design your own scavenger hunt complete with gag treasures and clues that lead to the booty. Celebrate your find over drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

    The DYI trend could be your clue to something truly unique for a summer party and maybe even a good excuse to keep the party going all summer! Everything from cooking gourmet meals to crafting home spun art or jewelry, the minute you mix friends and food you have a party. While you’re at it, why not get together twice a month and keep the creative juices flowing? Either way, a one time get together or a regular affair, the do-it-yourself trend is loaded with ideas for fun.

    Reality TV is definitely an American obsession. Why not pick and choose a few shows that have a fun flair and turn it into your own reality party? Isn’t the show “Fear Factor” really a ramped up game of truth or dare? Imagine the fun your guests might have drawing ‘fear factor’ cards from a hat! The show “Runway” sounds like a dress up party and “American Idol” is really just a karoake gig with a record deal at the end. Don’t forget “Survivor,” a game of extreme obstacle course management. Any of these shows could easily become a blast in your home or backyard, for kids or adults.

    One trend that environmentally conscious Americans hope graduates to a way of life is the Eco Movement. Organic, natural, and authentic are the buzz words swirling over coffee tables these days so take advantage of that interest and throw a party! Consider a no-processed-foods recipe exchange party with a farmer’s market theme. Play a game of who can design the best artwork from reusable materials like buttons, water bottles, old greeting cards, or puzzle pieces.

    Pattern your parties after trends this year and see where it might lead you and your friends. No matter what your theme, you’ll find all the resources you need here to pull it all together and have a blast this summer.

    Happy planning!

    – Mindy Wood


  5. Planning Spring Fun!

    March 2, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    The snow has gone, the sun has dawned, and spring has finally sprung! It’s time to tour the loveliness of all things bright and green and bask all things warm and fun! It may be too soon to break out the bathing suits but it’s the perfect time of year to start enjoying great weather. At Special Events Oklahoma you’ll find great ways to spend your Spring Break with the family or just slide more fun into your schedule.

    If gambling and golf is your game, check our listings for great places like the Cherokee Casino Resort in Catoosa and their Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa. For a quieter location, try the Shawnee Country Club & Golf just outside Mid-West City. If you’re ready to organize a golf fundraiser for your favorite charity, Spring is definitely the time to do it before the summer heat sets in July. Look up Oklahoma City’s Passport Tournament Services under our golf listing.

    Unless you planned ahead, spending Spring Break with the kids in Colorado isn’t going to happen this late in the game so consider other local options for fun activities. If you’re taking off for a long family weekend pack in the fun then don’t plan it without checking the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation. You’ll find a wealth of information on parks, scenic routes, hiking trails and fun educational experiences for the whole family. Keep it local and weather friendly when you visit our entertainment listing for information on indoor games like Dodgeball Party Zone and Laser Tag. You’ll find museums ready for eager minds and busy bodies too!

    Plan your spring night life around the events you’ll find on our calendar of events. You can even check the weather right here on specialeventsoklahoma.com Rick Springfield is coming to Firelake Casino, Lawton’s hosting their Home & Garden Show, and you art lovers won’t want to miss Garland’s Arts & Crafts Show this month either.

    Plan some fun this Spring season with Special Events Oklahoma!

    Mindy Wood, (SEO Feature Writer)

     


  6. Oklahoma Love!

    February 4, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    Why leave one of the most unique, culture rich states in the country to spend your valentine’s weekend with the one you love? Our proud state has a lot to offer love birds. There are romantic resorts, nationally acclaimed chefs, scenic getaways, top notch theaters, night life destinations, and gift shops that carry everything for everyone!

    Spend a romantic weekend at a country bed and breakfast inn or posh hotel. Our Resource Directory will point you in the right direction when you search our “venue” category. Everything from little out of the way, historic bungalows or spa resorts to sophisticated, stylish hotels located near big city action can be found here. Don’t miss our newest listings!

    If you and your loved one are foodies, look up a caterer to whip up something different or unique for delivery or pickup. Find your next favorite restaurant when you browse our catering and food section. Specialty food shops like chocolate and candy stores and restaurant gift shops add special fun and romance.

    Plan an exciting evening with our events calendar where you’ll be in the know about concerts and the latest theater productions. You can easily purchase tickets online and surprise them over dinner or escort your date to a dinner theater!

    Buy your special someone a gift they’ll remember when you shop for personalized gifts like signs for the office desk or your home, hand stamped jewelry, or his & hers gift items. These gifts make the perfect addition to flowers and candy. It’s never been easier to find meaningful gifts when you shop any of our vendors in our gift section.

    With so many vendors listed at Special Events Oklahoma you’ll find endless ideas to fill your day and evening with love and romance. As planning experts, you’ll see how easy it is to create the perfect date and make this year your most memorable Valentine’s holiday ever!


     
     
     
    Mindy Wood
    SEO Feature Writer

     


  7. Oklahoma Economy Moving Out of ICU!

    January 4, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    By all accounts it seems Oklahoma is rebounding from what has been termed the Great Recession. According to Russell Evans, director of the Center for Applied Economic Research with OSU’s Spears School of Business, about 35,000 out of 80,000 workers who lost their jobs at the onset of the recession have returned to the workforce. That’s almost half!

    As Oklahoma City and Tulsa begin to close in on the unemployment rate, businesses are not only more optimistic but have learned an important lesson: diversifying their products and services spells more markets or the ability to at least keep their heads above water.

    As challenging times bring change, many in the special events industry changed with it and started finding ways to stay competitive. In spite of many Oklahomans tightening their wallets, we saw the trend in hand crafted goods skyrocket. Artists created inexpensive, meaningful products that their customers couldn’t find anywhere else. Caterers, venue directors, entertainers and other industry providers added other services like event planning or goods like party favors and gifts. True creativity and excellent customer service shined even brighter in spite of stricter budgets. SEO vendors stayed at or under those budget without compromising quality for their clients.

    Although we’re not out of the woods yet, the last few years have made Oklahomans ever more resilient and creative. We at SEO are proud to represent the spirit of hard work and ingenuity that energizes hope for a brighter future. Keep up the good work and let the good times roll!


    Mindy Wood, SEO Feature Writer

     


  8. Wedding Gowns that Turn Heads

    April 6, 2010 by Rhonda Davis

    Hello, my name is Rhonda Davis, the owner of Moliere Bridal in Oklahoma City. Although my degree and background was originally in accounting, I always had the dream of one day being in a retail setting – especially one that was service oriented. Plus, I was fascinated with every aspect of weddings, particularly because it is such a service-oriented industry.

    In September of 2009, I purchased Moliere Bridal which had been in business with a wonderful reputation for 18 years. I purchased the exquisite inventory and kept the wonderful staff, including the manager, consultants and seamstress who is truly a master of her art.

    Moliere Bridal specializes in wedding gowns, but we also offer, bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, tuxedos, shoes, jewelry, headpieces and veils. We have one of the largest selection of wedding gowns in the state. Of our six designers, we are the only Oklahoma retail bridal shop to carry five of those lines. – you’ll find them no where else in the state but Moliere and no two gowns are alike. Because of our special order experience, we are extremely knowledgeable about taking measurements for dress sizes 0 to 28.

    At Moliere Bridal, we pride ourselves on our exceptional service throughout the process from selection to fitting and final fitting. Moliere is one of very few area members of the National Bridal Service, an organization which specially trains all our consultants.

    Another service we offer is gown preservation. After your wedding, we will assist you in preserving your gown as a cherished heirloom or perhaps for other generations of family brides. Your gown is cleaned and preserved in an acid free environment – beautifully displayed in a white, windowed box.

    Remember that few decisions are as important as the style, fit and care of your perfect wedding gown. Please visit Moliere Bridal and discover the special order – special service option that will definitely “turn heads” at your wedding.


    Rhonda Davis, Owner

    Moliere Bridal
    6401 N. W. Expressway
    Oklahoma City, OK 73132

    (new location as of May 1, 2010)
    800 N. W. 50th
    Oklahoma City, OK 73118

    405-728-0485

    molierebridal@sbcglobal.net
    www.molierebridal.com


  9. Presentation – a Catering Specialty

    by Michael Cook

    Hello, my name is Michael Cook, the owner and chef of Michael’s Catering. I grew up in a hotel kitchen since my father was a general manager for Holiday Inn. I fell in love with the preparation of food and soon began cooking for a hotel, then worked my way up through the ranks to be come a chef in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas. Then, as Food
    Director, I became more involved in the operations end to round out my experience.

    About eight years ago, I decided to use my catering experience for large and small groups to start my own catering business, which has been blooming ever since.

    At Michael’s Catering, we provide a wide range of catering services for groups from 50 to 2500 guests. Whether you prefer banquet or custom menus, we cater for seated dinners, buffets and receptions with hot and cold hors d oeuvres. We prepare all types of cuisine – Mexican, Southwestern, Italian, and Luau. Planners also can choose from our premium choices, such as prime rib, lobster and other seafood dishes.

    More than half of our business is for wedding related events – receptions, showers, rehearsal dinners; but, we also provide catered breakfasts, lunches, dinners and breaks all over Oklahoma for all type events.

    Michael’s catering is known for our exceptional presentation. I create my own ice sculptures from a variety of designs to suit the occasion. We create a “wow” food table
    by displaying the foods at different heights using mirrors and crystal glassware. We supply flowers and food linens that coordinate with your color scheme and even use decorative touches such as feathers to enhance the impression. We offer two foot to five foot cheese or shrimp towers (with as many as 800 shrimp!).

    Utensils, plates, glassware are all provided, as are the set up and tear down. We supply a professional server and wait staff for sit down and banquet style events. For added convenience, we will also be happy to assist you in arranging for bar service, wedding and specialty cakes, rentals, florals and entertainment.

    If an Oklahoma wedding or other event is in your future, please contact Michael’s Catering and discover how experience, professionalism, quality and artistic creativity sets us apart from the competition. For personal service, call me direct at 405-556-0377.
     


    Mike Cook, Chef/Owner

    Michael’s Catering
    P. O. Box 6514
    Moore, Oklahoma 73153
    405-556-0377

    michaelscatering@coxinet.net
    www.michaelcookcatering.com


  10. Staging a First Impression

    March 3, 2010 by Tahnya Schilke

    Believe it or not, research shows that a first impression (good or bad) is set in the first seven seconds or less! How your guests almost instantly feel about your special event will affect their entire experience and help form lasting memories. Luckily positive first impressions can actually be “staged.”

    Hello, my name is Tahnya Schilke, the owner of Suddenly Simply. I am also an Accredited Staging Profession (ASP). I guess you could say I’ve been staging ever since I was a child who thoroughly enjoyed moving around furniture and household accessories.

    Even then, I could sense the difference the placement made in how I and others felt.
    My educational background is in special education and psychology, but I eventually realized that staging events, residences and commercial properties is what I enjoy. So, I began my staging company – Suddenly Simple.

    My job (which I love) is to create space and  atmosphere for your event using my understanding of space, color and proportion with the goal of achieving the desirable affect. In simple terms, what you place and where you place objects creates an ambience that effects emotions. How do you want your guests to feel? Impressed, relaxed, inspired, excited, romantic? All these and more are the result of creative staging.

    The first part of the process is my sitting down with brides, grooms and other clients, listening well and truly understanding what effect they want to achieve for their occasion or theme. When I tap into their vision, I creatively use that knowledge to choose and arrange areas such as the entry way, reception table, ceremony stage and/or the overall impact of the area, whether it’s an indoor room or an outdoor patio.

    I try to primarily use what is already available, including furniture, decorations and accessories – instead of spending a great deal of the budget on additional items. I can do as little or as much as clients prefer from a single centerpiece or a “wow” table at the entrance to arranging the entire venue. Stretching the budget is a major priority.

    In addition to staging events, I also use my training and talents to stage homes to make them more saleable, hotel lobbies, offices and other commercial properties.

    If you’re planning a special event, don’t underestimate the power of creative staging.
    Let Suddenly Simple help create the vision that will emotional impact your guests from the first seven seconds, throughout the event and forever in their memories.


     

    Tahnya Schilke, ASP, Owner

    Suddenly Simple
    Ph: 405-436-3181

    stagers@suddenly-simple.com
    www.Suddenly-Simple.com