Category Archives: Party Invitations

Hosting a Wine Tasting

 

wine tasting invitation
Add a wine tasting to any special event where friends and family gather!

If you simply enjoy wine, or are a bona fide wine expert, hosting a wine tasting is a great opportunity to have some fun with friends while trying some new vintages. Planning is simple! Invite a few good friends, select a few varieties to sample, and your party is off and running.

Pair a wine tasting with a family dinner, or add a champagne tasting to your parents gold anniversary dinner. Wine works with all occasions! If you would like to add a sense of competition to the party, try dividing your guests into male and female groups and see which one does better in a blind tasting.

First decide what you want to taste. You could sample different varieties from a specific region, regional varieties from one type of grape, or simply wines that have the same color. Grocery stores now carry wines from around the world, but you may want to visit a wine store if you have any specific questions. Be adventuresome and select a wine you wouldn’t normally buy. Even blind tasting can be interesting. Cover all labels and price stickers before your guests arrive and test to see who has the best palate for knowing what wine comes from where or what the most expensive ones are just from taste and aroma. Be ready for some surprises! The best finds are the $10 bottles that drink like $20 vintages.

It’s not necessary for you to buy all the wine yourself. Send out the invitations and include whatever theme there may be and encourage your guests to contribute a favorite of their own.Let your guests know what you’re planning to serve to eat so they can select wines to pair with the meal. If taste testing from a specific region you can serve dishes that country is best known for. If you are not serving a meal, offer cheese samples from the wine region with crackers and fresh fruit.

Aside from having wine glasses for each guest, you will need to offer some light food to clear the palete between wines. Rinse the glasses between varieties. Offer some paper and pens for guests to rate and comment on the wine. If you wish to have a blind taste test, be sure to cover the labels before the guests arrive.

wine tasting cardAvoid having strongly scented flowers or candles near your tasting area. The strong fragrances will make it much harder to enjoy the bouquet of the wines. If not already well versed, learn a few wine basics before the tasting. This will help you to encourage discussion of the various aspects of each vintage: bouquet (smell), texture, color, mouth feel, acidity, and of course flavor. Savoring the wine from different aspects increases the enjoyment of the experience. A favorite book, Great Wine Made Simple by Andrea Immer, can give you the basics.

After the party you could send out an email that includes a list of the wines served and where they were purchased so that guests can buy a bottle of their own.

Customize Your 50th Anniversary Invitations

50th anniversary invitationsIf you and your spouse have reached the milestone of fifty years together, you deserve a special celebration. You may have help from family and friends to arrange the festivities, but everything you do should be directed at making the occasion memorable. Don’t rely on cookie cutter sentiments and appearance for your 50th anniversary celebration. Make it personal!

In today’s culture, especially in the West, the milestone of half a century is celebrated with gifts of gold. These can be household items or personal items. A gold foil wrapped bottle of champagne is something that is a little bit outside the box. Between partners, jewelry and quality timepieces are traditional gifts. Most seniors today are trying to reduce possessions, and already have all they need. For this reason, it is common to see “no gifts, please” or “your presence is the only present desired” comments on invitations.

Many people approaching the milestone are happy to have friends and family available to share the occasion. Friendship is one thing you cannot have too much of! Creating and sending custom invitations is a must to clarify the details of the event and have your guests mark their calendars. Using an original picture of the bridal couple on the invitation is always fun to receive, especially in contrast to a current photo.

When preparing your 50th anniversary invitations, be sure to allow enough time for designing and printing. Check online sites for the information about lead times and shipping times. When you design your own notices, you can use all the creative ideas you can find online, or work with a design company that will help to capture the concepts that you want.

Save the DatesConsider sending save the date cards out early if you know the date of the celebration in advance. Invitations normally go out 4-6 weeks in advance, which requires getting the printing and list prepared a few weeks prior to that.

If you are unable to gather for your parent’s anniversary, due to health or distance, consider sending your parents a “card shower”. Send out invitations to friends and family letting them know of the impending event and request that they send personal greetings to arrive by the anniversary date. Receiving all the  cards and memories from friends and family is almost as wonderful as seeing everyone in person.

Blue and Green Kitchen Bridal Shower

bridal shower invitationsAt a recent bridal shower, colors were chosen to match the bride’s wedding colors: blue with bright green accents. The bridal shower decorations were fun to make, appropriate for the kitchen shower theme, and created a fun and festive room for the shower. Since the room at the church where the shower was held was rather plain, the bright colors helped to set a cheerful tone.

White table clothes were topped with playful centerpieces made from kitchen utensils turned into flowers and creatures by the addition of paper petals and leaves. Spatulas and sponges became flowers. A pair of dusters to a veil and a bow tie. The scrub brush got a veil and eyes. All were arranged for height and tied with matching ribbon bows. Seating the centerpieces on blue kitchen towels helped to add color punch to the white tables. The balance of blue to green was about 50/50, which worked for a colorful party atmosphere, where the wedding decor and details were more blue with hints of green. The bride of course wore blue and looked fabulous with the decor! All the centerpiece kitchen tools and funnels were sent home with the bride-to-be.

The favors were earrings set at each place setting in a white box with blue and green filler. The guests enjoyed comparing and trading styles.

Recipe cards were sent out with the kitchen shower invitations and collected at the shower.

A gift bingo card matching the invitation was set at each place setting so the guest could fill it out prior to the gift opening. This provided some laughter during the gift opening, mostly by those who blatantly cheated. Every crowd need a couple rabble rowsers!


The delicious luncheon consisted of croissant sandwiches, a layered dip, a vegetable pizza and chips, a fruit tray and warm artichoke dip. The drink table use all clear glass to offer champagne punch, sweet and plain iced tea, water, lemonade and ice water. Offering the food and buffet style encouraged mingling and conversation by the punch bowl.

Side note: The Kitchen Shower theme was chosen to compliment the shower thrown by the other side of the family. Most guests followed the theme. The gift-guessing bingo was made more difficult by the kitchen theme-breakers! The bride seemed happy with it all!

Save the Date Cards Save the Day

Save the Date AnnouncementAn large birthday or anniversary party has many benefits, the greatest of which is the reunion of family and friends at the celebration. The last thing you want to happen with your anniversary party is to miss important guests because of schedule conflicts. Invitations mailed 4-6 weeks before a party often do not give enough notice for events during the busy spring and summer months. Many people have vacation plans made months in advance and multiple invitations arriving for those precious weekend days.

Ensure that schedules are free for your celebration by sending save-the-date cards out prior to your invitations. When you have confirmed the date of your celebration, send out save-the-date cards to “reserve” your guests.

Save-the-date cards include only the most basic information about the event. You will want to include the date, and general location of the upcoming anniversary party, along with the names of the anniversary couple. All other details of the party can be provided later with the actual invitation. Most save-the-date cards conclude with the phrase, “invitation to follow,” or “details to follow.”

Save-the-date cards are crucial for occasions with guests who will travel to the event, or events which will encompass several days. Include a R.S.V.P. with your save-the-date card to gather an early list of attendees for destination events, such as a group vacation, family reunion, or Caribbean wedding.

Naptime Productions offers many save-the-date cards for anniversary parties, milestone birthday parties and weddings. Choose from popular themes, like western or tropical, or select a design to match the invitations you plan to send later. Either way, you will help to ensure the success of your big event!

The Claddagh Ring: Friendship, Love and Loyalty

Irish wedding invitationThe Irish Claddagh ring was originally designed in the fishing village of Claddagh, Ireland, in the 17th century. Previous to it’s creation, rings showing hands joined were Roman symbols of faith and loyalty. Legend has it that a sailor from Claddagh returned home after a long absence to find his sweetheart waited for him. He designed the Claddagh ring for her. The hands represent friendship, the heart, love and the crown loyalty.

Claddagh rings continue to be symbols of love and loyalty, and also as a sign of pride in Irish heritage. They are often used for friendship, engagement or wedding rings, and as family heirlooms passed down from mother to daughter. Wearing the ring’s heart pointing toward the arm symbolizes being romantically involved.

Christian symbolism attributed to the ring assigns crowning love (heart and crown) and faith (hands) to representing the glory of Jesus Christ.

An Alternative Spring Bridal Shower

Spring Bridal ShowerWhy not capitalize on the spring fever of your guests as a theme for your bridal shower? Host your spring bridal shower at a local garden for a refreshing bridal shower alternative. New beginnings for both our yards and their relationship! Carry the spring theme through with these freshly sprouted options:

  • Serve a garden tea menu with tea and coffee, lemonade, small gourmet sandwiches, salad, fruit and pretty desserts.
  • Since your party will be outside, be sure to include “outdoor garden shower” on your shower invitation with “casual attire”. You may even want to include a rain date.
  • Set up a potting table to allow your guests to build their own container gardens favor. Have several planters pre-made made for these who don’t like to get their hands dirty.
  • Have a garden professional come to the shower to give a brief talk about planning a flower garden. Or, perhaps the speaker could demonstrate how to make the container garden. Set up chairs to that guests can choose to sit and listen if they wish, or mingle if they don’t.
  • Use name tags with different flowers and have each guest pick their flower.
  • Set up a gift display table so that guests do not have to sit and watch the gifts being opened. If you wish, you can indicate “display shower” on the invitation and let your guests know to only wrap their gift with a bow.
  • Set colorful seed packets out for guests to choose from as they leave the shower. Attach a note to each packet thanking them for attending the bridal shower.

Planning an Anniversary Celebration

Your anniversary invitation sets the tone for the event.

Celebration of your parents anniversary provides you with a way to honor their years of commitment with the greatest gift: time with the people they love. While most parents would agree to a party, many anniversary parties are thrown as a surprise to remove any party-planning worries from the guests of honor. Surprise parties are also simpler to plan with fewer chefs in the kitchen.

Avoid planning stress by meeting once with siblings as a group, up front, and decide the event basics: date, time, location, guest list, food, beverages, and budget. Skype or GoToMeeting, email and telephone conferences make this much simpler to accomplish.

Get sneaky. Borrow your parents address book for a day to gather addresses. Or, recruit a friend of their to help assemble the guest list.

Delegate. Divide tasks immediately and let each contributor make all decisions about their task. Group decisions on details will cause delay, stress and wasted effort. Be specific and crystal clear about what each person has agreed to do and send email updates to keep people moving.

On your list you may want to include these tasks:

  1. Venue. Choose and arrange for party location
  2. Invitations. Order and mail 3-6 weeks prior. Include sharing cards for inclusion in a scrapbook with invitations and RSVP information.
  3. Decorations. Collect memorabilia for display, guest book or scrapbook, family photos for cake table, anniversary sign for the door.
  4. Food and dinner ware
  5. Beverages and cups
  6. Entertainment (music? games for children?)
  7. Toast to the couple or Anniversary Speech
  8. Memories slide show
  9. Setup and cleanup

Keep in mind that simple is good! None of this has to be complicated. The goal is simply to be together and make the celebrants feel special. All your efforts will be worth it when you look back on this milestone as a cherished family celebration.

 

Top 5 wedding anniversary gift ideas

If you have recently received a wedding anniversary party invitation, you may be struggling to find the appropriate gift for the couple that’s close to your heart. Consider some of these choices to commemorate a first anniversary or a 50th.

1. Then and now picture frame. Find a photo of the couple on their wedding day and a current photograph for a charming retrospective of their love for one another.

50th anniversary invitation2. Personalized wine bottle. Many companies will create an anniversary wine bottle enscribed with their names and the years they’ve been together.

3. Hand-drawn sketch of home. Commission an artist to draw a hand sketch of their home for a unique gift that will hang on their wall for years to come.

4. Photo on canvas. A treasured family photo that is reproduced on a canvas could be a wonderful gesture that they will treasure.

5. Personalized cake knife and server set. An engraved cake knife and serving set could bring back warm memories of the couple’s wedding day and will commemorate their anniversary.

No matter what you choose, make sure your gift comes from the heart and will help the couple reflect on the love and admiration that keeps them together.

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An Anniversary Gift of Poetry, by YOU!

Wild Prints Party Theme

Wild Thing Party Invitation
Playful animal prints are popular among young women

Get wild with your upcoming party or shower decorations using bright colors and animal prints! High contrast zebra, leopard and giraffe prints with pink make a great diva look for events from birthday parties to bachelorette parties. The invitation is quinceanera party invitationsperfect for 15th and 16th birthday invitations. Animal prints in natural colors creates a fun jungle look for any wild thing fling! Begin with invitations to pick up the theme. These are from Naptime Productions and lean toward the “girlfriends” look with a combination of pink and green.

During the party, provide “props” such as scarves, hats or boas to add to the playful mood. These colorful gangster hats in bright colors and animal prints are only a dollar each! Bandanas are readily available in many animal prints at craft stores, as are boas and animal print papers in the scrapbook section which can be cut for favor tags, used as placemats and made into frames and borders.

Pink zebra bow
WinterButterflyBowtique.com
Animal Print Party Favors
From Partyoption.com

Need party favors? Perhaps hair bows for the girls, like these custom-made pin wheel bow versions. You can also find animal print favor bags and boxes at party supply stores and fill them with goodies for easy animal prints party favors.Your local party store should also carry an assortment of animal print theme napkins and plates, like these sweet pink zebra stripe napkins available online.

from platesandnapkins.com

If you party is a grown-up affair at a local club, make a party of getting ready together before your big night out. For added fun, don’t miss these incredible eye shadow kits from coloronpro.com!

Exotic eye makeup kit from coloronpro.com

Ringing in the New Year

New Year’s Eve is coming, and you want to do it up right! You don’t want to spend too much or travel to far, but you also don’t want to have the same old stand-around-the-kitchen-counter-staring-at-the-dish-of-peanuts party at your house where the crowd clears out at 12:01 a.m.! So what do you do? Here are a couple of fresh, funky ideas.

8-track party – my friend had an 8-track party for New Year’s Eve and although it was many moons ago, I still remember it vividly. He had an 8-track tape p
Retro Party Invitation
layer
with a variety of tapes from that era (yes the 8-track time period is now old enough to be an era, unfortunately for all of us baby boomers), and everyone came dressed in bell-bottom jeans, headbands and wildly colored shirts. You don’t really have to have an 8-track player to have a 8-track party, since it is more about the music and the clothes than the technology, but if you really want one you can find 8-track tape players and tapes on eBay. Guests will rock out to the Moody Blues, The Who, and Pink Floyd among other musical artists recording during the zenith of the 8-track era in the late sixties and early seventies. Key to any party is the invitation, which sets the stage for a winning party formula, and with Naptime Productions Totally Retro party invitation, your New Year’s Eve party is well on the way to reaching legendary status, one they will talk about for years.

Maybe, though, you want something a little more elegant, a little more sparkly, a little more
silver centerpiece
, let’s say, 2011 instead of 1971! Then by all means throw a dress-to-the-nines, top hat and tails, ballroom style New Year’s Eve bash, just on a smaller scale! Naptime centerpieces set the stage, as well as the tables, and can be customized for any occasion. If space is limited in your home (don’t forget that basements are easily decorated for parties and make spilled drinks and dropped trays of hors d’oeuvres much easier to clean up than your living room carpet), your local church social hall or area organization meeting rooms may be rented at a low price, or even free in some cases if it isn’t already booked for an event. Cocktails and appetizers, formal dress and danceable music, champagne toasts and balloon drops at the midnight hour, all started with an invitation from the Naptime Productions New Year’s Eve party invitations line, will definitely have your New Year’s Eve party rivaling anything seen on the television!

And please, have fun on New Year’s Eve, but don’t forget to drink responsibly! A DUI or something much worse is definitely not the way to start the New Year.