Month: August 2009

Creating The Celebration (without going crazy)

A party for any reason can be a daunting task if it’s up to you to plan it. Be it a child’s birthday or a company meeting, there are certain things that must be done. Each event is different, but there are some similarities in the way you can approach the planning process.

Get a clear understanding of the purpose of your event.

Set the goals for your event. How many people do you expect? If this is a repeat event are you trying to get a larger turnout than last year? Determine what you wish your attendees to gain from the event.
Set your event budget. This should be a top priority and often difficult if this is your first time. How much can you or how much are you willing to spend? How are you paying for the event?

Select your date and location. This could be as simple as planning to mow the back yard or may involve a visit to another city to view hotel and convention space. Plan accordingly and give yourself plenty of time. Don’t expect a location to available for an event next month. Book now for next year.

When you are considering location you will want to keep in mind the following:
a) Room capacity. Is it too large or too small? Remember that if you’re having a luncheon for 200 people you need to consider serving space, space for guests and space of any AV equipment, entertainment of DJ. b) Lighting. Subtle lighting is nice for meal and social functions. But if you are planning an all day workshop on accounting methods, you will want to make sure there is adequate lighting in the room.
c) Parking. Is there adequate parking for your guest needs? Will they have to pay for parking? How far will they have to walk from the parking area to the event?
d) Electrical supply. A home gathering is not a problem, but you can’t plug a crock pot, DJ, lights and a fan into one outlet. If you are planning a large convention, you need to consider what equipment will be in use that needs electricity. e) Phone hook-ups. Will you need phone access during the event? Will your exhibitors need access? Are their any restrictions or limitations on wireless phone service in your event location?
f) Computer/Internet access. This could be important for exhibitors.

Working backward from your selected date(s), set up a project timeline with specific tasks that must be accomplished by specific dates. Some of the things you may want to make sure that are on your timeline are:
a) When to make your first announcement of the event.
b) Prepare and print promotional materials (brochures, invitations, etc.)
c) Select caterer/menu
d) Select entertainment
e) Select decorations/florist
f) Determine audio-visual needs
g) Select overnight accommodations, if needed
h) Secure transportation if necessary
i) Review and sign necessary contracts
j) Select and confirm speakers
k) Finalize your agenda/program
l) Confirm attendees
m) Prepare materials for event
n) Prepare name badges
o) Prepare any necessary signage
p) Prepare materials to be shipped to event location
q) Set up on site
r) Re-confirm details
s) Enjoy the event
6. Determine what vendors you will need to work with. These could include, but are certainly not limited to:
a) Caterers
b) Entertainers
c) Florists
d) Photographers
e) Printers
f) Registration Assistants
g) Audio-Visual suppliers

Determine if you need any special licenses or permits to host your event. This could be anything from arranging fees and permission for using recorded music to arranging to have sections of a major street blocked off for traffic control.

Public Relations. How do you plan to publicize your event? Are you going to the local card shop to get pre-printed invitations? Or do you need to develop a promotional brochure to be mailed to thousands of potential attendees.

Ask yourself if you are planning to notify the media. Is your event something that would be of interest to the general public? Or do you prefer for the event to remain private?

If you feel overwhlemed ask for help. Often professional event planners can lighten the load and save you money and mistakes. Not all of these suggestions will apply to your event, but by using these tips you can develop a check list of your own. Realize from the start that not everything will go as planned. But in many cases, you will be the only one to know that.
At almost every event, there comes a time when you can no longer control what happens. You’ve done all the planning, made all the preparations. The event will happen, one way or another. If we can help you plan your next event contact us at Pierce Events. 724-986-6939

Pierce Events offers complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at

Make Every Moment Count

In July, Pierce Events was asked if we would do a wedding in Chicago. Of course, no problem. The catch was the wedding was to take place in 2 weeks.

Most weddings take at least a year to plan, but this was not like most weddings. Time was of the essence as the groom (just 29 years old) was dying and did not have much time.

And so we took off for Chicago. It was a beautiful backyard ceremony and reception and a dream come true for the couple. Sadly the beautiful bride pictured above is now a widow. Yet their story should serve as an inspiration to all of us.

Events mark the milestones in our life and I was proud to be a part of this one.

From the Daily Herald:
Michael Rotenberry might not have had time on his side, but he made every minute count.
Rotenberry, of Lake in the Hills, died Friday after a battle with cancer. He was just 29.
Born in Elk Grove Village, Rotenberry graduated from Lake Park High School in Roselle and North Park University in Chicago.
From 2001-03, he served in the U.S. Army, stationed in South Korea.
After he returned to the U.S. his mother, Patricia, ran into his longtime friend Katherine Atkins, a teacher in Carpentersville-based Community Unit District 300.
“Michael is home, he’s really looking for a job,” Atkins remembers her saying.
Atkins helped him fill out job applications, as the pair reconnected.
Rotenberry was hired in District 300, working as a physical education teacher at Gary D. Wright Elementary in Hampshire and Perry Elementary in Carpentersville.
Diagnosed with stomach cancer in October, Rotenberry immediately made a bucket list, filled with “simple things” he wanted to accomplish, Atkins said.
Among them were getting engaged and married to Atkins, watching sports and spending as much time with friends and family as possible.
Rotenberry also authored a blog,, and made sure that the couple’s Lake in the Hills home was fixed up perfectly.
Atkins and Rotenberry planned their wedding in two weeks, holding the ceremony in Atkins’ parents’ backyard and the reception in Rotenberry’s parents’ backyard.
The Rev. John P. Smyth, Maryville’s former chief, officiated.
“(Michael) pretty much held out until the wedding day,” Atkins said. “The day of the wedding he was exhausted but made the most of it.”
Rotenberry stayed strong no matter how sick he got, Atkins said.
“We would laugh all the time,” she said. “We took pride in every moment we had together.”
Besides his wife, Rotenberry is survived by his parents, Wayne and Patricia, brother Timothy, grandfather William Killen, four nieces and nephews and a beloved dog, Wrigley.

Pierce Events offers complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at

A Tiss-You Idea

Weddings, baby showers, birthdays, at some point the your emotional guests (or those with allergies) will need a tissue. Well now you can meet that need and incorporate it into your decor’.

Kleenex creates custom products that you design. For just $4.99 you can add a photo, logo or artwork. It’s a perfect addition to the powder room, as a gift, or just to decorate with your own style.

Check it out at

Pierce Events offer complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at

Bar Blog: Tips for Stocking the Bar At Your Reception

It’s a question anyone who plans a wedding reception is bound to ponder. How much liquor will you need?

Even if your guests aren’t big drinkers, a few drinks of bubbly for toasts are essential for most couples and guests. We here at Pierce Events have a few ideas to help you.

If you are hiring a bartender service or caterer it’s always a good idea to get their input. They can help give you ideas of what you will need. If you are having a friend pour drinks and no one to ask then you will need to determine first how many guests will attend?

Let’s say you are expecting 100 guests. Here is what you will most likely need.

  • Beer: 5 to 6 cases
  • Whiskey: 1 liter
  • Bourbon: 1 liter
  • Gin: 2 to 3 liters
  • Scotch: 2 liters
  • Light rum: 1 liter
  • Vodka: 5 liters
  • Tequila: 1 liter
  • Champagne: 1 to 1 1/2 cases
  • Red wine: 2 cases
  • White wine: 3 1/2 cases
  • Dry vermouth: 1 bottle
  • Sweet vermouth: 1 bottle

If your caterer will be providing the alcohol be sure to ask if they will take back any unused alcohol. It can save you money if they don’t charge for unopened bottles. Next you must decide on what type of bar service you will provide.

The Open Bar

An open bar is the most popular choice, but it’s also the most expensive. Guests can order any drink, and you pick up the tab. For Irish weddings this could mean consumption of your life savings in a matter of hours. The drinks are free so people may drink like fish and it can lead to some ugly endings at the end of the night. You may want to ask you bartenders to end service or provide only soft drinks one hour before the end of the reception if you think there might be a problem.

The Limited Bar

You offer a selection of drinks — beer, wine, and mixed vodka drinks, and set specific consumption times, such as the cocktail hour, the toasts, and an hour after dinner. Consider having waiters serve drinks rather than letting guests go up to the bar. You’ll pay for the waiters, but you’ll probably save money on alcohol, and fewer guests will go overboard. If you limit the amount of time the bar is open, ask the waiters circulate to refill glasses of water, soda and coffee during dinner.

The Cash Bar

I don’t recommend this at weddings. It looks cheap and tends to insult your guests. You don’t invite people to your house for dinner and then charge them for it do you? If you answered yes, then by all means have a cash bar. Just don’t be surprised if no one shows up.

A Dry House

If you, your families, and most of your guests don’t drink alcohol, then skip it. Many people do this for religious or personal reasons. Serve sparkling water, soda, and nonalcoholic mixed drinks instead. If you want some bubbly for toasting, go for sparkling cider.

If we can assist you in any way with planning your reception or event please contact us. Cheers!

Pierce Events offer complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at

Wedding Receptions: Decor for Your Day

When it comes to wedding receptions most couples are not sure where to begin. The first step is finding a suitable location for you and your guests.

While you might want a grand affair on a mountain top, if grandma is in a wheelchair it might not work for her. Keep your guests need in mind as you plan.
The basic elements for planning your wedding reception and reception decorations will be determined by the location you select. You don”t want top heavy centerpieces that can topple in the wind for an outdoor reception.
Planning the reception decorations is all a part of the details of planning the wedding reception. Wedding receptions have six basic elements in their planning:
Physical Comforts (Stairs, restrooms, parking)
Reception decorations

These elements are often determined by your reception location. A stunning landscape may call for less decorating. However, a dance floor on uneven ground can pose a hazard.

There are many ways to take care of your decorations including rentals. Renting some of the accessories can save you money. The ambiance of your reception decorations includes your:
Place settings
The lighting choices can be as simple as twinkle lights and votive candles or complete lighting design that change the look for the room throughout the night.
Your place settings can be simple or elaborate. The drapes can be made of tulle, gossamer or silk. Your flowers can match those at the wedding or be individual to the reception itself.

There are so many options that you can explore with your reception decorations that the list is endless. Decide on a venue, decide on a theme and then let that help you choose the overall look. If you are still not sure where to begin, give us a call. We would be happy to guide you through the options available and create the perfect reception to celebrate your first few hours as newlyweds.

Pierce Events offer complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events। For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at

Money Saving Tips for End of Summer Parties from Pierce Events

Pittsburgh, PA – You may be planning an end of summer party and in doing so Pierce Events is offering some tips to help you entertain without breaking the bank.

Think small. You don’t have to have huge amounts of food to satisfy your guests. Keep portions and presentation smaller. Think mini cheese burgers with an array of toppings. Small portions know as Tapas are very popular. Use smaller plates and cups when serving.

Share the affair. Don’t hesitate to ask invited guest to bring their favorite dish. You might find a new food favorite while the sharing the food costs. Often guests love to share a family recipe. You can do this with drinks, desert, salads, or anything.

Go plastic. It seems like paper plates are the easy choice. Just toss them away when you are done. However, if you have frequent gatherings, go with some good plastic ware. They are easy to clean and will save you money in the long run with multiple uses. Not to mention it keep you dirty plates out the landfill.

Discount Décor – Many discount retail stores are a great source for party supplies. Check out your local dollar store for everything from centerpiece supplies to place mats. Many summers items are sold at deep discounts at large retail outlets. Buy on sale now and store for use next season.

Pierce Events offer complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at