Wedding Planner : Washington DC : Baltimore | Events by Mackie » Wedding Planner Washington DC, Baltimore

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Traditional vs Non-Traditional Wedding and Event Entertainment

Entertainment!  As a wedding designer and event planner I must say that choosing the right entertainment for an event is a make or break deal.  In the past year I have met and seen so many different DJs, dancers, singers, bands, magicians, and comedians that I have a jumble of names and a book full of cards.

 Although I truly enjoy traditional entertainment, especially at weddings, I am also finding that non-traditional performers can have the wow factor that really makes your event stand out.  A belly dancer, a hip hop group, a mime, a hula hoop artist, a fire breather, etc.  When was the last time you went to a wedding and had a fire breather wander the reception performing pyro-tricks? 

 This weekend I watched the dance troupe Urban Artistry from Washington DC perform at the 2010 American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront. 

Assassins, Urban Artistry Performers, Washington DC

Urban Artistry

They were so fun and entertaining.  I couldn’t help but think how exciting they would be at an event, mingling with the crowd and getting folks out of their seat and involved in their dance moves.  Think about your friends, family, or co-workers boogying with this group on the dance floor.  How much fun could you possibly have?

Can’t wait to plan an event that involves this kind of fun and group participation!!!

crystal danielsonAugust 30, 2010 - 11:58 am

I think this is a fabulous idea, I would love to have an event that included these sorts of things! Sometimes people need a “jump start” to break out of their shell and the things you mentioned are great!!!

The Rose City…Portland, OR

Visiting the Rose City always feels like coming home.  Having lived there for almost five years and then spent my teenage years in McMinnville coveting living there it certainly is a city that still hangs out in my dreams.  One of the most fantastic things about Portland, OR is the abundance of roses.  As an event and wedding planner I pick out beautiful and interesting objects that are of interest all of the time, but when it is roses it is a no brainer.  They smell good, they look good…and in Portland even if you are not a rose fan, there are so many differend kinds you would be hard pressed not to find at least one you liked. 


Roses, Portland Oregon

They call it the rose city for obvious reasons.   All over the city…even on the side of the roads and highways are roses.  The most magnificent example is perched high atop the city just below the zoo and the arboretum.  The Portland Rose Gardens are an example of carefully planted, crafted, and nurtured botanicals that send me and many others into a swoon. 

Check out these favorites of mine:

Florals, Roses, Portland Oregon

Destination Venues…finding the right one

Searching for a venue can be a daunting task when it is right in your backyard, but searching for a venue when you are miles from home and looking via the web can be exhausting. 

Recently while planning a class reunion in Oregon I found myself doing a lot of communicating with venues via phone and email, looking at websites, and really trying to envision the event in my mind.  Thankfully I did have friends near the destination who could visit and check out the location to make sure that it was appropriate. 

A few good suggestions when looking at destination locations.  Do a Google search on all of your venues and check out sites that do not belong to the venue itself.  This will give you a more unbiased opinion of your choices.  Often people look at the venues websites and choose based on this.  Remember the venue is only going to show you what they want you to see.  The best pictures, best perspectives, and best testimonials.  If there are review sites owned by travel advisors or that are not paid review sites, check those out as well.  Last, but most importantly, ask around.  Call caterers in the area, florists, DJ’s and of course planners from your proposed destination.  These are the people with their finger on the pulse of events.  They will know where the best places are and will definitely tell you!!  Be careful and take your time.  The last thing you want is a the perfect picture in your head that turns out to be the perfect nightmare in person!

Destination Wedding or Home….Pampering the out of town guest

With my recent travels to Bar Harbor to look at venues and just get to know the area a bit more I began thinking quite a bit about destination weddings.  Often when people journey to a destination wedding they have no idea about the locale they are traveling too.  Now granted there is a wealth of research possibilities that are so easy.  With the internet at your fingertips and the travel section at Borders and Barnes and Noble anyone and everyone can put together a “To Do” list for anywhere.  However…as the Bride and Groom you want to make your wedding day, weekend, or week a special gift to yourself and your guests, and what better way to do that than to provide spectacular day trips and activities for your guests to experience when they are in the throes of wedding ecstasy?  This idea can also be used if you are getting married at home but have out of town guests traveling quite a ways to see you jump the broom. 

Consider using a bit of your budget money to buy tickets to popular attractions for your out of town guests.  Schedule group events or activities such as a guided tour, a boat ride, a hike, or a show.  Put together a “Welcome Bag” for your guests that includes some travel goodies i.e. a water bottle, a map, some brochures about local attractions, and/or a list of your personal favorite local attractions. 

Here are some free time ideas to pamper your wedding guests during downtime in Bar Harbor, ME:

Cruise, Bar Harbor, Wedding

…and many many more.  Explore your options online before letting your guests loose.  Any new area will have a wealth of downtime options.  Prepare your out of town visitors with the tools they need to enjoy your destination wedding much like it is a vacation.  For many of them it will be!



Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

Bachelorette Invitation, Bachelorette Party Alternatives   Bachelor Party Invitation, Bachelor Party Alternatives

As brides get older and wiser the shift from the crazy, alcohol fueled, sexy firefighter stripper filled bachelorette party to a tamer celebration of a new chapter filled with close girlfriends and female family members is becoming more and more prevalent.  Finding new ways to make this traditional “party” uniquely yours can be a challenge, but can also be loads of fun.

 As a wedding and event planner looking for inspiration for a “bachelor or bachelorette celebration” can be as simple as taking a look at your wedding design and/or color palette.  Your colors can be incorporated into t-shirts for your girlfriends, candy bags, or even event picture frames with a Polaroid of the group for each person.   Small private dinners/parties can be arranged either in a home, a suite at a hotel, or a private room at a favorite restaurant.  A hotel suite at a local hotel can easily be turned into an intimate setting for all kinds of friendly fun.                                                      Golf Bachelor Party

Casino Night


These are just a few ideas…there are plenty more and just about any activity, game, or party idea can be streamlined into a fun evening for both men and the women to usher the bride and/or groom out of singlehood into domestic bliss with their new partners.

If you are a bride wanting to take the pressure off of your bridal party, a groom who wants to have a lower key shindig, or an MOH or Groomsman looking for some assistance in planning this rite of passage for your dearest friend/family member, look no further. Design and planning packages for bachelor and bachelorette parties are available.  Ask us about our Ushering in Domestic Bliss Parties today!