Chairs For Affairs is a full-service event design, rental and coordination company.

I Need A Reason Why

Hannah Nicole Wedding

Spring will soon grace us with its warm weather and beautiful flowers – I don’t care what Punxsutawney Phil has predicted this year! As events move outdoors, party planners take advantage of the abundance of colorful and cheerful decorations, appetizers, and centerpieces to throw truly remarkable events. Often times you know you want to throw a spectacular party for your friends and family but you just can’t figure out what do to! Because parties are what we love, we want to help you find a reason to host one! This month our event planners put their heads together to come up with innovative, fun, and entertaining reasons to have a spring party. There are just so many possibilities – whimsical tea parties, Easter egg-hunts, fresh cocktail recipes, and jaw-dropping floral designs. Below you will find some of our favorite ideas that are far from the normal party theme. We hope you enjoy!

Baseball Opening Day: The start of spring brings with it the start of baseball season! This All-American sport is the perfect way to bring family and friends together for a party. Have your event on your favorite team’s opening day so you can cheer them on. Decorate with banners, streamers, and table cloths in their colors and use baseball cards as coasters. If you don’t have a favorite team then go with a neutral red, white, and blue theme and ask your guests to come dressed to represent their team. Cracker jacks, peanuts, hotdogs, and soft pretzels are just some of the many ballpark-themed snacks you could serve up for your guests. Baseball decorated cake, cupcakes, and cookies are always fun dessert ideas and don’t forget refreshments like soda and juice for the kids and cold beers for the adults. Be sure to have the big game up on the TV and whiffle ball in the yard for the kids!

End of Tax Season: Who doesn’t love the end of tax season?! Mark the occasion with a relaxing get-together with friends and co-workers to wash away the stress. Simple finger foods can be a cost-effective way to provide your guests with a variety of options that won’t leave them feeling too stuffed. Refreshing fruit spritzers, light beer, and chilled rosé and white wine keep the drink options light. Classical, acoustic, and jazz music are all wonderful choices to play in the background to feed into the mood of the event. Tax themed Mad Libs, a good game of charades, and fake money confetti will have your guests laughing and enjoying the lighthearted get-together.

Spring Fever: If you are impatiently waiting for warmer weather, chances are your friends and family are too! Host a spring fever party to get everyone out of the house and in the mood. This party should be all about bright colors so encourage your guests to come dressed in their brightest and most colorful outfits. Serve drinks with fruits of every color and be sure to decorate with beautiful floral arrangements and contrasting linens. Play upbeat music and have fun group games at the ready to get your guests up and having a great time!

Earth Day: Celebrate Mother Earth and remind your guests how important our planet is with an Earth Day celebration. Recycle old jars and use them as drink glasses or flower vases, use newspapers as table cloths, and repurpose old magazines as hanging tassel decorations. Give your guests seedlings to plant in their home gardens and have the kids decorate bird houses and feeders. Provide your guests with healthy snacks such as carrot sticks and hummus, organic chips and spinach artichoke dip, fresh fruit cut in flower shapes, and a frozen yogurt dessert station. Make sure your plates, napkins, and flatware are all either made out of recycled material or are reusable. Show your partygoers how fun and easy it is to be green!

Whatever you decide, just remember that we can help you plan the perfect party and make it a stress-free event for you and your family. We look forward to celebrating with you!

Planning a Memorable Corporate Holiday Event!

The holidays are the perfect time for companies to show employees how much they care about them. Let your employees unplug from work and get to know each other in a social setting. We’ve compiled a list of some great ways to help spark that cheer for your corporate holiday event.

Idea #1

Door Prizes! Extra vacation days, preferred parking and gift certificates are always crowd pleasers. As far as awarding prizes, you can either do a straight drawing or add more interaction with a game like guessing how many candy canes are in the jar.

Idea #2

Holidays around the world! Spice up your catering selections by featuring an international menu.

The most popular options are always Mexican, Italian and Asian foods, but don’t overlook traditional Christmas cuisine from places like Finland, Sweden, and the Philippines.

Idea #3

The holiday season is, of course, a time for giving, and most companies include charities in their community engagement programs.

The holiday office party is a good time to recognize both the efforts throughout the year and to designate a special gift for a worthy cause. If your company sponsors a children’s organization, for example, you could invite a small group of children to sing carols at your event and then stay for lunch. Another idea is to sponsor a family and ask for volunteers to purchase an item or two from their wish list.

Idea #4

Hire a great DJ, not one of those basic clubbing DJ’s but a DJ who specializes in private events and really knows how to get the guests on the dance floor. Everyone talks about the party that went far into the night because the music was so fabulous!

Last but certainly not least, ask for help. Whether you hire a coordinator or ask for volunteers at work, when the workload is shared by many, the job gets done easier and more efficiently. Plus, more heads working together means more great ideas being brought to the table. Holidays are fun, your company party should be too!

Setting the mood: Tips and Tricks of Party Planning

As a host, you want to woo your guests by not only making a great first impression, but also keeping their attention throughout the event. The goal is to give everyone a spectacular experience; one they will be raving about long after your event has ended. With just a little imagination and planning, you can craft a truly amazing event!

The first step is to develop a theme (a unifying motif or idea). Every aspect of your event, from the invitations and decorations to the food, costumes, and entertainment, helps create a specific ambiance. The key is to decide how much you want your theme to shine through and then either find little ways to connect all of the pieces of your event to your theme or go big and have your theme radiate from every corner of your event space. The possibilities are endless!

Once you’ve decided on a theme, set the mood right from the start with a unique attention-grabbing invitation. The invitation truly sets the stage for your event so you want to create something that will marry nicely with the style and feel of your event. You want your invitation to capture attention, and excite your guests from the moment they open the envelope. People are always enthusiastic about something new that they have not seen before.

Next, get creative with your menu planning. An event theme is defined by the sum of all its parts, including the food and drinks! French champagne and a crepe dessert station is the “piece de resistance” of a Springtime in Paris event just like a margarita bar is the Olé to a Mexican Fiesta. Push your event over the top and make it memorable. For your summer backyard BBQ, stand out with a DIY s’mores bar complete with flavor infused marshmallows, chocolate graham crackers, and peanut butter cups!

Lighting can be the key to achieving a magical feel at your event. For example, try out different colored bulbs to create a calming or energizing effect. Add twinkle lights to trees or fences to create a mystical or romantic feel and then place simple up lights at the bases of your trees to add to the look. Don’t be afraid to try new combinations, you could uncover something spectacular!

Music is essential to the success of any event. Make sure to select music that relates to your theme or the feeling you are trying to convey. Play a mix of different artists and songs instead of playing an entire album or one specific artist (unless your theme is all about that artist). The same applies to live entertainment. Meet with your entertainer to confirm their style meshes with your personality and the type of event you want for your guests.

Always remember to have fun while planning your events and don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A professional event planner can help design and implement your theme and take the stress out of hosting an event! Using these ideas and adding some of your own will guarantee you throw a successful event that your guests will talk fondly about for months to come. Don’t forget to have fun at your event and enjoy the hard work that you put into it!

How to Spice Up Your Halloween Dinner Party

Halloween is such a fun holiday to plan for… fall is in full effect, with all the vibrant colors and cool weather; kids are excited to dress up and “trick or treat”, and the adults are excited to “taste test” the candy :).

This year, use nature-inspired décor to bring the outdoors inside for the holiday. Paint your pumpkins black with gold stems, and use creepily crawling vines as runners. Use the really scary decorations sparingly to avoid your dinner party looking like a haunted house. Birdcages housing black ravens, bat cutouts affixed to table cards to direct guests to their seats, black candelabras and stemware painted with spider webs can class up your spooky dinner. Then to add just a touch of glam….deep red roses, sprayed with a touch of black glitter.

Next let’s add in the perfect cocktail. This signature drink should warm your belly. Whether you go with a delicious spiced bourbon cocktail or a hot buttered rum drink, this cocktail should be something to sip in front of a fire. Send a warm tingly feeling to the pit of your guests’ tummies and make them sigh with pleasure.

For food, try something with a spooky twist to the name; for instance, Devilish Eggs or Sinister Spread. Fun names can make ordinary food so much better! Try taking a bell pepper and carving it like a pumpkin, then stuffy it with a yummy salad of some kind. Don’t forget the sweets though; meringues shaped into bones or cupcakes with candy skulls are a fun addition. Find some great containers in the shape of skulls, place them in creepy skeleton hands and fill them with orange and black candies. Provide mini jack-o-lantern buckets for guests to fill.

With good food, great cocktails and some spiced drinks, you can’t fail with this Halloween themed party.  If you feel stuck or short on time and need a little help, call on us. We love the holidays!

How to throw an EPIC end of summer bash!

If you have kids in your home, you know the importance of throwing them a fun party to close out the summer. The memories last all year and many adults look back fondly on their childhood summer parties with friends and family. Besides, who doesn’t love a good summer bash?! The kids get to run around and have a blast while the adults get to relax and have some fun of their own.

Set the mood by hiring a fabulous DJ! They’ll play the summer’s hottest songs or get the party grooving with some steel drum island music. Having an area for dancing is a great idea especially if you’ve got some kids who love to show off their sweet moves. Lay down a dance floor or have an area cleared out for them so they can boogie all day long!

If you know some little guests may be shy, look to have some activities set-up that will get them moving and playing together. Volleyball, corn hole, frisbee, and backyard badminton are just a few of the many activities you can get for your yard. They all require many people to play them and will get adults and kids alike laughing and playing as a team. 

Take your party to the next level by setting the stage for an epic water fight! Have water guns filled and ready for the little warriors with tubs around the yard for easy refills. Placing obstacles like trash cans in strategic places will provide hiding spots for super soaked ambushes!

Summer weather can get quite warm so planning to have a tent, canopy, or umbrellas is very important to keep everyone cool and comfortable. Providing your guests with a shaded area outside to beat the heat will also keep the dirt out of your home!

Keep your guests fed with food that is fun and easy to handle. Mini grilled cheese sandwiches cooked right on the grill, hot dogs, and salad wraps are all easy to make and are filling. Don’t forget the fresh fruit and lemonade!

After then sun goes down play an outdoor movie to end the party in a big way. Rent or borrow a projector and screen or even tie a big white blanket in-between two trees to play the movie on. Have blankets and fold-up chairs for everyone to relax on and get a popcorn machine or a snow cone machine for the ultimate movie treat!

Chairs for Affairs Shares — A Cornucopia of Elegant and Easy Napkin Folding Ideas

Delight and surprise your guests and kin this Thanksgiving with their very own centerpiece at each place setting. Choose one of the festive and easy napkin folds below or alternate them to provide contrast and variety.

It’s as easy as fold, press, stabilize and unfold. We recommend using cotton poly napkins, which come in a wide array of Fall colors. Add a contrasting table cloth and runner to upgrade your presentation. Contact us at Chairs for Affairs for all your party planning rentals and event coordination needs. (925) 370-1300

Under Cover

So you have chosen the venue for your big event and are totally happy with your choice. Then you go back to wrap up the details and wait….what? Those chairs are a hideous shade of blue that will totally clash with your décor. Now what?! So the first and most obvious answer is, “I know I will get some chair covers and hide them!” you think triumphantly! A good idea and sometimes is the only choice. There are however, some inherent problems with the chair cover solution. chair-cover-solutionThere is an endless selection of chair designs and finding a cover to fit your chair properly can prove to be very difficult and I can tell you from experience an ill-fitting chair cover is just plain “sloppy looking”. A chair cover produces a very formal look and can change the entire feel of your event. Be sure to take a look at some pictures and be sure this is really the look you are trying to achieve. It can be a very costly, time sucking solution. Not to mention that bow tying is not everyone’s “unique ability”. So by now you are undoubtedly wondering, “What are my options?” Firstly, there is a beautiful, self-tying, universal alternative called a chair sack but it is definitely formal looking and can get expensive and time-consuming if you are talking about covering a lot of chairs. There are times when it makes sense to simply replace the chair with one you prefer. This solution can be about half the cost of a chair cover and may possibly allow you the ability to stay true to your original vision of the overall décor.

To Tent or Not to Tent

Dining under a tentWhen is a tent worth the extra expense? We help people every day determine whether a tent is the right choice for their event. Things to factor into your decision:

WEATHER

If you are afraid it will be too hot or too cold a tent may be a good solution. If it is raining and you have planned an outdoor event a tent is an excellent idea. A tent structure is the perfect solution to protect your guests and your food from the elements and make the time you have together far more comfortable.

COST

Tents are structures. They can be expensive (depending on size) and take time to set-up. You will need to balance many factors in your decision making to come to right conclusion for your circumstances.

TONE OF YOUR EVENT

A tent can help set the tone of your event. It sends a clear message that “the party is here”. Because a tent is a structure you can add lighting and decorations to enhance the overall mood. If you are having an afternoon affair in an outdoor setting – sometimes it is actually more elegant to produce shade from umbrellas.

SPACE

If you are holding an event for a large number of people in a small amount of space – chances are tenting is not the choice for you! You need to consider that there needs to be a minimum of 5-10’ all around the tent when you are measuring your usable area. We can help you determine the size of the tent you would need based on the following questions:

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO INCORPORATE IN THE SPACE

  • Number of Guest Tables
  • Buffet Tables
  • DJ
  • Dance Floor
  • Cake Table
  • Escort Table
  • Silent Auction or Display Space

DO YOU NEED SIDEWALLS?

  • If it is cold – yes.
  • If it is raining – yes.
  • If it is windy – yes.
  • If it is really hot – maybe.
  • If you are trying to hide something you don’t want seen (a building, or say a dumpster) – yes.

Keep in mind that you do not to add side walls to the whole tent – you can choose to add as many or as few as you need/want. Also, sidewalls come with or without windows – you choose!

HEATING AND COOLING

Whether you need to take a hand in the active heating or cooling of the tent to keep your guests comfortable, should be taken into consideration and are both readily available!

THE FINAL DECISION

Once you have considered all of the variables and think a tent may be the best option for your event. A site visit can be invaluable in helping you best determine the size tent you need or what size what will fit in the space you have available. It will also allow your rental professional the opportunity to make sure that the plans will be executed smoothly with no surprises the day of the event.

Themed Events

There are endless possibilities when choosing a theme for an event. The most important part of the decision should be to choose a theme that in some way reflects either your interests, your likes or who you are. Any event is made better when it in some way reflects your personality and sense of self. If you are a casual person, chances are you (and ultimately your guests) will be far more comfortable in a casual environment than trying to re-create an Elizabethan dinner. Themed parties are not limited to children’s birthdays – they can be incorporated into any event from corporate event, to wedding, birthday or shower.

Hoe down - denim and bandana print lines

Hoe down – denim and bandana print lines in a 40’x80′ tent

Whether you choose a beach, pirate, vintage inspired, fiesta, shabby chic or elegant theme it can be a really fun way to set the tone of your choosing for the celebration. With the help of the Internet and in particular sites like Pinterest, it is easier than ever to search for fun ideas. From decorating to games and even themed food choices – everything you need to know to make your themed event exciting, fun and memorable is easier to find than ever!

That said…..it is easy to get carried away and make things way harder on yourself than they need to be. I have seen many a party thrower get caught up in all the miraculous ideas they have found only to drive themselvesto the point of bankruptcy, lunacy and exhaustion!

The MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE I can give you is….. once you have settled on a FEW ideas……STOP LOOKING!!!!

WAYS TO INCORPORATE YOUR THEME INTO YOUR PARTY

Essentially, every component reflects the theme and tone of any event. Things you might not even think are a part of the overall theme like what color and style of chair you use, the size and shape of your tables, the colors, music, food, lighting all play a part of the finished product.

INVITATIONS

Set the party-goers expectation by choosing an appropriate invitation to match the tone and attire for the event. For example, if you are planning a good old fashioned country hoe-down – don’t send a formal invitation.

LINENS

Choose linen colors and textures that go along with the theme. All tables needn’t be the same either. Cake/dessert, entry and head tables are usually the most photographed tables and are thus born to stand out – SO LET THEM!!

Themed tableCENTERPIECES

Whether store-bought, rented or hand-made, fill the dead space on the table with thematic elements. They can be simple or extreme. Small flower arrangements, candles, seashells, leaves and live food all make fun centerpieces. Take the height of the arrangement into consideration when choosing. No one likes a centerpiece they cannot see or talk over. This is an example of simple centerpiece perfect for a girl’s night out or bridal shower made simply of Victoria’s Secret bags and a little bling.

TABLE ARRANGEMENT

Something as simple as the size and shape of the guest tables can play an important role as well. A large country-style King’s table can be very grand and works great when trying to keep guests together and sends a real message of closeness and community. Round tables are more suitable for large groups. An oblong banquet table is in comparison more casual and round tables make conversation a little easier and can be very elegant. REMEMBER: A themed event can be fun but in no way should make you crazy!!

  • Your guests are coming for you.
  • They are in most cases friends or family who care about YOU!
  • They are not coming to judge you on how crafty you are.

Why Rent?

I thought for my first foray into the world of blogging we should address the most basic of questions pertaining to any rental inquiry. Why should you rent instead of buy?

COST

Tables, chairs, linens, glassware, china, flatware, arches – all of these things can add up very quickly! Then there are the big ticket items like heaters, barbecues and tents that don’t make any sense at all to purchase in any large quantity. Prevent clutter - rentYou really have to consider how often you will really use these things and consider if this is really the way you want to spend your hard earned money. The alternative is to borrow from friends. This means lots of loading, unloading and set-up that just adds one more thing to do, one more layer of stress to a day that already has plenty of both!

PREVENT CLUTTER

The most general answer is a simple question of how often you expect to use items. Larger items like tables and chairs take up a lot of space. Storage requirements, particularly if you only need the extra seating a couple of times per year can be a real pain. Secondly, while most of us have a few basic linens, do you really want to use the same thing EVERY party, EVERY occasion? I know I really like to mix things up, try new things and vary my themes. Renting linens makes this very easy and is earth friendly as linens leave no waste. Décor items are a little trickier – but I cannot tell you how many brides and party planners have approached me to buy the centerpieces from their event. There are websites dedicated to selling decorative items, linens etc., that are no longer wanted and are taking up valuable space. Renting items or producing a centerpiece that can be shared with guests at the end of the party seem a much better way to go.

SIMPLICITY

The MOST IMPORTANT reason to rent? IT IS EASIER!! Suppose I told you there are places designed to help you with the planning, that have all the things you need in stock. That these magical genies could deliver the items to your home, set them up and would even wash the dirty dishes at the end. Is this something that would appeal to you? Once you have made the decision to rent – the next step is to find a rental company with a good product selection of what you are looking for. Beyond product, you want to find someone who is on your team who will make suggestions and oversee your basic needs so you can focus on the execution of the finer details.