How I Threw a Fab Party in My Backyard.

So my husband was all set to graduate on May 15th from the GWU MBA program. This calls for a celebration, I thought to myself. After my husband agreed to the idea of a party in his honor, I immedialty began to put a plan of action together. My goal: to plan a terrific celebratory event for my hubby and his friends to enjoy.

First thing on the agenda was to identify a venue for this event. I started by contacting the facilities that I've worked with in the past....all booked for May 15th. I then began to contact other facilties such as hotels, lounges, restaurants, country clubs etc. still to no avail ..... all booked for May 15th. After making a bigillion phone calls across the DMV, the light bulb finally went off- throw the party at home in my backyard! I couldn't believe I did not think of that any sooner.

My hubby was thrilled to know that the party was going to be held at our home. For him, it meant we would save money on renting a venue. But the issue then became how to make a boring backyard appear as fun and festive as a venue.

I had to consider the type of atmosphere I wanted for this event. For this party, I wanted the feel of a casual yet stylish barbecue similar to the the look of an outfit consisting of jeans, heels and a fancy blouse- casual but chic.

My husband's favorite color is blue so I used aqua blue and paired it with black for a trendy color scheme which became the focal point for the decor. I decided to decorate the backyard using cocktail tables in black and aqua to bring out the color scheme. I also used balloon bouquets as the centerpieces and lanterns for lighting.

For the food, I decided to call the highly regarded Famous Dave's to bring some of their finest barbecue and sides. Chicken, ribs, potato salad and baked beans were on the menu.

Next, we hired a DJ and set him up in the basement. My basement was then converted into a swanky U Street lounge equipped with a dance floor. I gave him a list of great BBQ tunes and allowed him to play throughout the night.

We invited some of my husband's family, friends, co workers and classmates and let the party begin. Everyone raved about the decor, food and fun. This was probably one of the least expensive events I have ever planned and one that I had the most fun planning. See, it does not require a swanky venue to plan a fab party. Just good food, great friends and a touch of creativity.

5 Simple Ways to Incorporate Color Scheme

There is nothing worse than walking into a party or wedding reception and the guests ask "what is the color scheme?" If this question is asked, it is typically an indicator that the color scheme of the event was never truly introduced into the decor or it somehow got lost in the original decor of the venue. Here are several ways to bring your color scheme to the forefront of your next event:

1. Backdrop/Pipe and Drape: Why not add a backdrop to spruce up your decor? By adding a pipe drape/backdrop arranged in your colors you will not only make a bold statement but you will also bring the colors of your event to the immediate attention of your guests. Materials can be purchased in an array of colors and hung in various ways to create as dramatic of an affect as you would like.

2. Lighting Design: Traditionally considered for the use of the super chic or fun at heart, lighting design is such a fun way to spruce up your decor. It can be as simple or complex as you would like for it to be. Adding something as simple as uplighting a few walls in your color scheme can be just effective as lighting the entire room.

3. Table Linens: When you walk into a room the first thing noticed typically is the linens. Offered in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials and patterns, table linens are a very popular method of incorporating your color scheme. Decorate your venue with table cloths in your color scheme to bring your colors to the eyes of your guests. Have a little fun with the linens by alternating colors between the tables. For a more sophisticated effect, use satin table linens. If you want a more subtle change, try using overlays. Overlays cover the top of the tables without draping all the way down to the floor. They provide a similar effect as a full table cloth at a less expensive cost. For those with smaller budgets for table linens, simply adding a napkin in your colors at each place setting can bring your color scheme to the spotlight as well.

4. Chairs, Chair Covers and Sashes: If your color scheme includes the color black, why not change the color of your chairs to black? Or perhaps place black chair covers over those ugly blue banquet chairs at your venue? A change as simple as chairs and chair covers can have a huge impact on your venue and color scheme. For a more simple yet sophisticated look, just add a sash to the top of your chair in your color scheme. This will add some appeal to your chairs and a splash of color to your event.

5. Accessorize: There are certain accessories that are needed for most events such as menus, table signs, tent cards and programs. Having these items created in your color scheme and neatly placed at each table setting will add a splash of color to your table decor. It also adds a very neat and trendy feel as well.

Incorporate these ideas and be sure to get your color scheme noticed at your next big event. Don't forget to provide us with your feedback:

New Restaurant in Northern VA

Cozy atmosphere, friendly staff and delicious food describes Columbus Grill. Located in Manassas, this moderately priced restaurant is a great location for after work dinner and drinks at the bar, family dinning on the patio or a romantic dinner for two in the main dinning room. Serving a combination of Mediterranean and American cuisine, owner Nuno Duarto brought a little something with him from Portugal; a chef that serves amazing dishes and a wine room stacked with wine from his private vineyard in Portugal.

If you are planning a private event and in need of a venue, Columbus Grill offers a private dinning room that can accommodate over one hundred people. Columbus Grill is a perfect location for parties, showers, receptions, and rehearsal dinners. Hosting a private event at Columbus Grill provides your guests with a pleasurable experience, enjoying fine wine and delicious food.
For your next dinner or event come out and have a glass wine and enjoy the food at one of Northern Virginia's best kept secrets. 834 Centreville RD Manassas, VA 20111