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Mylar Balloons vs. Latex and Other Types of Balloons

A balloon can put a smile on both the young and the young at heart. It’s one of the most popular decorations for any type of celebration, from birthdays to baby showers and high school dances. Different types of balloons include Mylar® and latex. Each type has specific qualities that can work perfectly with your themed décor.
 

Mylar balloons
Mylar polyester film, from DuPont Teijin Films, has been around since the early 1950s. Mylar has multiple uses, from electrical applications to magnetic media and packaging, and as a material to create unique, fun balloons. Mylar balloons are often referred to as “foil” balloons. They feature an airtight material that helps keep helium gas from escaping. Because the material is nonporous, a Mylar balloon holds its shape longer than a latex balloon, which typically deflates in 24 to 48 hours.
 

Ideal for shaping, a piece of Mylar can be cut in the form of a popular cartoon character and imprinted with the full-color image of that character. These balloons can be designed for any occasion with shapes such as baby bottles for baby showers, wedding bells for a bridal shower, and Mylar birthday balloons shaped as cakes.. You also can find small Mylar balloon picks to add to floral arrangements and centerpieces.
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Latex balloons
The modern latex balloon was invented during the Great Depression by a chemical engineer in New England. The engineer had been attempting to create inner tubes from a new product called liquid latex and accidentally invented what we now know as the latex balloon. Latex is porous and also stretches and thins when inflated. Helium inside a latex balloon eventually escapes through its porous surface, usually in 48 hours or less.
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Latex balloons are the preferred balloon for a balloon drop. Balloon drops, popular on New Year’s Eve, at high school dances and even at weddings, can be created easily with a balloon drop bag. Most party planners who create balloon drops for clients use a mixture of sizes, so the balloons fall at different speeds for a truly magical display.
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It is also best to use this style for a stunning balloon arch (great for a photo prop), to create columns that accent a party backdrop, and when putting together a balloon bouquet complete with yards of colorful curling ribbon tails.
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Other types of balloons
Mylar and latex are not the only balloon options. Today, you can also find eye-catching light-up balloons that have been fitted with LED lights or small glow sticks. These are a fun addition to an outdoor party, dance or New Year’s Eve party. Bubble balloons are not latex but a type of plastic that stretches and is see-through. These balloon types resemble the look and feel of a beach ball and can last for up to four weeks when properly inflated.

How to Give the Best Bar & Bat Mitzvah Speech Ever – Mazel Tov!

The bar and bat mitzvah are coming of age ceremonies for young Jewish boys and girls. If you’re getting ready for your bar or bat mitzvah, chances are you’re feeling excited and a bit nervous in hopes that everything goes perfectly. You have done a lot of preparation, and you know you still have to write a memorable speech your family and friends will love. Don’t panic. Check out these tips for giving a great bar or bat mitzvah speech.
Plan ahead
Never leave any speechwriting to the night before the event. When you begin sending out photo card invitations out for your big day, also begin thinking about what you may want to say during your speech. Jot down notes when you think of something or use the notepad on your phone to record ideas.
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Theme
Bar and bat mitzvah speeches need a theme to help the speaker keep his or her thoughts in order and the words flowing smoothly. The best speeches focus on a strong theme that corresponds to the Torah reading. If the theme is perseverance, tie that into a story that references how your parents or grandparents taught you the importance of never giving up.
Another option is to focus on a theme that showcases how you value your Jewish heritage and traditions. Focus on your family and how their love, support and guidance has helped prepare you for this important day.
Importance of the opening line
Generally, a boy opens his bar mitzvah speech with the words, “Today I am a man.” He may continue with a line or two thanking his family and friends for sharing in his day and then move on to the theme of his speech. A young girl may begin her speech with a greeting such as Shabbat Shalom followed by a heartfelt thank you to everyone for sharing her special day before moving into the theme of her speech.
When searching for full-length bat mitzvah speech examples, Neshamah Yoga has a charming one, while writer Daniel Benson offers several bar mitzvah speech examples on his website.
Personalize
Chabad.org stresses the importance of making a bar or bat mitzvah speech personal. You want to connect with your audience, and it’s important to remember that your audience on this special day is made up of people who love and care about you. Relax, take a deep breath and speak from your heart. Talk about why this is such an important day for you and what the bar or bat mitzvah means specifically to you. How does becoming a Jewish adult impact your daily life? You can even reinforce your speech by including a quote on the personalized party favors you give out to guests.
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The conclusion
The traditional bar and bat mitzvah speech conclude with the celebrant thanking everyone who has helped him or her on the journey to this special day. Always thank your parents first and don’t forget any siblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles who also helped. Remember to thank your rabbi and bar/bat mitzvah teacher, and then offer a general thank you to everyone in attendance. Be humble and gracious. Your full speech should last between 5 and 10 minutes.

How to Use Removable Wall Decals in Your Home Décor

Removable wall decals help create quick, easy home décor solutions. While it’s true that a great paint color can transform a room, pair that paint with unique wall art decals and you’ve created a room that will impress even a professional design team.
What are removable wall decals?
Whether you call them wall art, wall graphics, appliqués or clings, removable wall decals stick to a surface without the assistance of glue, wallpaper paste or adhesives. They can be hung without a hammer and nails. Removable wall decals can change the look of a room quickly, and when you tire of that particular design, simply remove it without any scraping or hassles.
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Wall decals: creating a statement wall
Removable wall art decals provide numerous décor options and are ideal for both homeowners and renters alike. Create a statement wall with decal art that complements or establishes the theme for the room. Abstract designs, cityscapes, floral patterns and more are elegant choices for a living room, while an entranceway may benefit from an inspirational quote such as “Everyday moments make the best memories.”
Wall panels, a larger style of wall decal, work beautifully in bedrooms as well as living areas where a large wall needs a focal point. Add a geometric pattern wall decal behind a bed to create a simple and attractive headboard, or opt for smaller decals to place above a dining room or kitchen chair rail as an accent.
Kids’ wall decals
Surprise your child with a removable wall decal of his favorite superhero or her favorite fairytale princess. Custom wall decals for kids are a great way to personalize a child’s room. Consider a custom life-size decal of your child in her special dress-up clothes, sports team uniform or any other favorite outfit.
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Customized home décor
Wall decals make creating a custom family tree for a statement wall quick and easy. Combine a tree decal with several small matching frames for individual family photos to fashion a unique family tree art piece. Chalkboard removable wall decals are perfect for the kitchen, laundry room or mudroom as attractive, modern message boards. Use seasonal wall art, such as Easter wall decals, as a quick way to update any room for a holiday or party.
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Quick tips for removable wall decals
Applying and removing wall decals are like any DIY project, the final result always is best if you follow the manufacturer instructions. Our Shindigz wall decals are peel-and-stick and adhere best to a clean surface. No tools are needed and you easily can reposition the decals to get the look just right or when you decide to change the room’s look.
Remember that a freshly painted room takes several days to dry fully. Refrain from placing decals on walls still tacky with paint. Paint drying time varies depending on the type of paint, coats applied, your home’s humidity and the time of year.

The Greatest Mardi Gras Floats of All Time

Mardi Gras, a New Orleans tradition since the early 1700s, features some of the most beautiful and elaborate floats in the United States. Nonprofit organizations called krewes organize themes and fund the floats in addition to planning the parades and balls that take place around Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. Break out your Mardi Gras mask and discover the festivals best floats below.
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Pontchartrain Beach Then and Now
In 2013, the “Endymion’s Pontchartrain Beach, Then and Now” wowed parade goers with its massive size and elaborate look. The float, named for an old amusement park, measured 365 feet long and had nine sections that were segmented to allow it to handle turns more easily. Designed to recreate the Pontchartrain Beach carnival midway, the float featured 250 riders and a 190-ton capacity.
Leviathan
The Mardi Gras float known as Leviathan rolled out in 1998 as part of the Orpheus krewe parade. Orpheus krewe, cofounded in 1993 by performer Harry Connick, Jr., had only four years of parade experience before unveiling this masterpiece. The massive sea monster Leviathan measured 140 feet and in its debut year earned the title of largest float. Leviathan is bold, colorful and the first Mardi Gras float to use fiber-optic lighting.
Bacchasaurus
Most of the elaborate (and expensive) Mardi Gras floats appear in the parades beyond their debut year. The Bacchasaurus float from the Bacchus krewe was a huge hit when it made its first appearance in 1972, and it continues to be a showstopper today when it rolls out during the Bacchus parade. Created by the Blaine Kern Studios, the magnificent brachiosaurus has been transformed into the Bacchasuarus, complete with decadent grape festooning and wine barrels.
Mardi Gras floats: the artistry
The Blaine Kern Studios are the artistic masterminds behind most Mardi Gras floats. A New Orleans institution since 1947, the float-building company even houses the grand floats during the off season. Visitors can even tour the facility and see some of the most magnificent floats that have ever graced the streets of New Orleans.
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Mardi Gras shoebox floats

You can capture the artistry, pageantry and fun that is Mardi Gras with a miniature float crafted from a shoebox. These much-smaller versions of the magnificent floats that roll out during Mardi Gras are great craft projects for kids as well as adults. If you’re hosting a Mardis Gras-theme party, try your hand at a shoebox float (or two or three), which then can become fun table centerpieces. For a Mardi Gras shoebox float, you’ll need a shoebox that has its lid, spray paint, hot glue (plus a hot glue gun) or craft glue, craft paper, tissue paper, feathers, beads and other embellishments to create a stunning mini-float. Mardi Gras Outlet has a page of easy instructions for your Mardi Gras shoebox float.

 

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Glittering Glamour Prom Theme

What a great four years! Commemorate your high school experience, especially 2015, with our 2015 Glittering Glamour Theme Kit. Use the Black Glitter Arch with the personalized sign as the main focal point of the event for beautiful photo ops. Despite its glamour, the arch will not take away from the elegance of the Three Tiered Silver Chandelier that can hang above the dance floor. To cover walls and decorate tables, use our Metallic Black Background Material made from the same lustrous material as our streamers. Keeping the theme, recognize your schools’ Prom royalty with our Silver Metallic Royal Crown for the king and Vivien Crown for the queen.

 

Make your Prom shine bright with this 2015 Glittering Glamour Theme Kit!

This 2015 Glittering Glamour Theme Kit is a great way to commemorate your upcoming Prom. Use the Black Glitter Arch with the personalized sign as the main focal point of the event for beautiful photo ops.

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Metallic Black Background Material

Metallic Black Background Material is made with the same lustrous material as our streamers – only in large rolls! Each roll of Black Metallic Background Material measures 48 inches wide x 75 feet long. Create beautiful backgrounds or decorate tables with this shiny material.

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Silver Taffeta

Use Silver Taffeta to add a bold splash of color to walls, tables, photo backdrops, and more! This high-quality, silver material has a fabulous reflective finish and measures 58 inches wide x 20 yards long. Upgrade your Prom décor in an instant with Silver Taffeta.

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Black Photo Frame Prop

Have a fantastic photo prop with our Black Photo Frame Prop.

The Black Photo Frame Prop features a detailed frame with a black touch. Each Black Photo Frame Prop measures 6 feet 8 inches high x 4 feet 8 inches wide and is printed on one side of cardboard. The Black Photo Frame Prop will make a fun way to take photos at your event. Easy assembly.

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Crown your King with a Metallic Royal Crown. Our Black with Silver Trim Metallic Crown is the perfect way to acknowledge your court and carry on the tradition in style. This 9 wide x 5 1/2 inch Royal Crown features a black top, silver trim and white faux fur. It’s the glam way to celebrate your royal court.

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Three Tiered Chandelier Silver

Amaze your party guests with this Silver Three Tier Chandelier!

Hang the Silver Three Tier Chandelier for an ultra elegant look on a budget! Our silver tier chandelier is made of thousands of carefully detailed metallic Mylar strands with chrome hanging chains. The Silver Three Tier Chandelier is pre-assembled and ready to hang. It’s a great above dance floor elegant focal point for the room. ClSFO SIL

2015 Prom Glamour Mod Frame

Our Prom Glamour 2015 Mod Frame will make this years prom glitter with the impression of dangling pearls across the top and ‘Prom 2015′ imprinted at the bottom. This makes these photo frames a perfect prom favor for your guests to forever cherish.

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This Vivien Silver Rhinestone Tiara crowns her with Elizabethan grandeur. Each of our crowns combines rhinestones with a sturdy metal frame. The Vivien Crown is 1 ¾” high x 4 1/2″ wide.

 

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Coming of Age Traditions, Rituals and Ceremonies from Around the World

Cultures around the world honor their young members with coming of age rituals, traditions and ceremonies. These often include pageantry and lengthy preparation, and carry religious significance. Traditions vary, but the one thing they all have in common is the celebration of a child’s transition into adulthood.

Bat and bar mitzvah

Jewish girls and boys participate in the bat mitzvah (for girls) and the bar mitzvah (for boys). Girls celebrate at age 12; boys at age 13. The term “bar mitzvah” means “son of the commandment” and the term “bat” translates from Hebrew/Aramaic to the word daughter. The bat and bar mitzvah is the time Jewish children become obligated to observe the commandments. This rite of passage is marked with a religious ceremony, and often a large reception or party follows.

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Khatam Al Koran

The 11th birthday is special in Malaysia for Muslim girls. They participate in a ritual called the Khatam Al Koran. The girls prepare arduously for this prestigious coming of age ceremony that allows them to show their maturity and spiritual growth. The final chapter of the Koran is memorized and recited before their family and friends in the mosque.

Land Diving

On the Oceanian island nation of Vanuatu, boys as young as 7 and 8 prove their bravery with a coming of age tradition that requires them to jump off a 98-foot tower with a vine attached to their ankles to prevent slamming into the ground. The vine doesn’t have the elasticity of a bungee rope and must be calculated precisely to keep the child from injury or death. Coming of age rituals around the world often subject youth to potential harm, and the Vanuatu people use this ritual as a way for young boys to prove the manliness to their family and community.

Quinceañera

In Spanish-speaking Latin countries as well as the United States, the Quinceañera celebrates a girl’s transition from childhood to maturity. Held on the 15th birthday, the Quinceañera typically begins with a mass where the celebrant renews her baptismal vows. The religious ceremony is then followed by an elaborate reception, often as grand as a bridal reception. The celebrant wears a ball gown and Quinceañera tiara and is accompanied by a court of young men and women who often perform intricately choreographed dances as a group underneath her very own Quinceañera banner. Depending on the country, region or family, various traditions may also be followed during the celebration.

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Rumspringa

Coming of age ceremonies sometimes encompass more than just a one-day event. The youth of the Amish community typically experience Rumspringa at age 16 and before baptism. It is the period when a young Amish boy or girl has the opportunity to experience freedom and experiment with activities and lifestyles not found in the Amish community. Rumspringa lasts from age 16 until marriage, which generally occurs between the ages of 20 and 22. Rumspringa activities vary immensely among communities, but most Amish youth use this as a time to date among their peer group, stay out later on weekends and even go to the movies and indulge in non-Amish activities.

Seijin-no-Hi    Youth in Japan mark their coming of age on the second Monday of January in their 20th year. They dress in their finest attire, participate in a special ceremony at their local city offices and then celebrate with a party, receiving gifts from family and friends. After Seijin-no-Hi, they are considered adults and part of Japanese society with the right to vote and legally drink alcohol.

Chalkboard Theme Party or Prom Ideas

For a unique and personalized prom, choose our Chalkboard theme with the Chalkboard Wishes Theme Kit! The Chalkboard Wishes Circle Arch can be used as the main focal point of the event for photo ops. Continue the theme with our Chalkboard Frosted Glass Tealight Holders. Not only will they set the mood, but you can write special messages with chalk on them. Then, let your guests take over the chalk by writing notes and memories on our chalkboard paper table runners. These could even be hung in the school hallways at graduation to reminisce the special night. Another way to remember this special night is with our chalkboard Prom Swag Bags. These bags include a chalkboard frame to place a snapshot of the evening among other favors.

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Create a fascinating party with this Chalkboard Wishes Theme Kit!

This Chalkboard Wishes Theme Kit is full of pizzazz for your upcoming celebration. The Chalkboard Wishes Circle Arch can be used as the main focal point of the event for unique photo ops.

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Chalkboard Paper Table Runner

Make your own Chalkboard Paper Table Runner to match your party theme!

Create a unique tabletop decoration with our Chalkboard Paper Table Runner. Each Chalkboard Paper Table Runner includes one – 4 foot x 50 foot roll of flat black paper and one – 12 count package of white chalk

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Chalkboard Frosted Glass Tealight Holder PLCCFG

Chalkboard Frosted Glass Tealight Holders are a must have for your next event!

These Chalkboard Frosted Glass Tealight Holders are wrapped with a black, chalkboard band suitable for writing, a natural raffia bow and coordinating tag that reads Chalkboard. Each Frosted Tealight Holder measures approximately 2 3/4 inches high x 2 inches diameter. Chalkboard Frosted Glass Tealight Holders include a candle. Chalk not included.

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Chalkboard Frame

Our Chalkboard Square Black Frame will make a memorable favor for any event.

The Chalkboard Square Black Frame is a black square frame with a chalkboard finish. The Chalkboard Frame measures 3 7/8 inch square and will hold 2 1/4 inch square photo. The Chalkboard Square Black Frame will make a fun favor for any event. Chalk not included.

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Chalkboard Prom Swag Bag

Chalkboard Prom Swag Bags make great keepsakes.

This trendy Chalkboard Prom Swag Bag features a Prom 2015 gift bag along with four fun favors for Prom guests to enjoy.

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Chalkboard Celebration Centerpiece Sticks CTPCHC

Create a one-of-a-kind look to your tabletops with these Chalkboard Celebration Centerpiece Sticks!

Our Chalkboard Celebration Centerpiece Sticks include three black, one-sided black cardstock sticks that may be used to accent a centerpiece on your table. Each 6 inch long x 4 inch wide black cardstock papers are attached to sturdy black plastic sticks that measure 13 inches, 14 1/2 inches and 16 1/2 inches long. One piece of white chalk is included for decorating and personalizing.

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Fun Pep Rally Games for Middle and High School Students

A great pep rally is loud, fun and full of energy. To help pump up the energy, you need to plan pep rally games that everyone will love. Pep rally games from high school may differ slightly from those played at a middle school pep rally. Also, before planning anything, remember that all pep rally game ideas should be approved by your school officials.
Hula-hoop relay
This is a multi-team game. Start by creating a team for each grade level, with 10 to 20 people each. Assign two cheerleaders per grade, one to cheer the team and the other to cheer with the kids in the stands. Have each team form a line and connect by holding hands. Place a hula-hoop at one end of the line. Each team has to work the hula-hoop to the other end without letting go of anyone’s hand. The team first to move their hula-hoop to the end, wins. Give out party beads in your school’s colors as a prize to the winner or all participants.
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Teacher TP race
It’s fun to involve teachers in pep rally games. This game requires one teacher per each grade level plus the class president (or another representative) for each grade. The student representative is given a roll of toilet paper and when the whistle blows, he or she has to wrap the TP around the teacher as fast as possible. The first one done wins the game for their class.
Makeup mania
Games for pep rallies during Homecoming week should include some wacky fun that keeps school spirits high with lots of laughter. Pair three senior boys’ football players with three senior girls’ volleyball players. Have one set of athletes sit, while the other set is blindfolded. The blindfolded athletes must then apply makeup to their seated partner to help them “get ready for Homecoming.” Have the students in the stands cheer for the best makeup job. Give out face paint sticks in your school’s colors as a prize so students can also paint their faces for the homecoming game.
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Foot ball relay
Another fun relay race for any pep rally, this foot ball challenge needs 10 to 15 players per team and one ball for each team. Plan to have one team per grade level to give the students a chance to cheer for their classmates. The players lay down on the gym floor head to toe in a line. The challenge is to pass a rubber ball (you can also use an inflatable football) from one end of the line to the other (and then back again) using only your feet.
Pie eating contest
A classic but always fun pep rally challenge, a whip cream pie eating contest between teachers is sure to “whip” the crowd into a cheering frenzy. This can be a messy contest so be sure to protect any flooring with plastic. A week before the pep rally create cans with teachers’ pictures on each and have the students put change in the cans to select the contestants. After a week, the four teachers with the most money in their can become the contestants. Donate the money to charity.
Pep rally tip: When planning pep rally games, always try to involve as many students as possible. Assign two cheerleaders to each section of the stands to throw out fan pom poms and get that group cheering loud and proud.

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Nantucket Ocean View Theme Party or Prom

Recreate the romantic scenery of Nantucket with the Nantucket Ocean View Theme Kit. This kit includes a personalized sailboat prop along with other decorations to turn any event into a nautical paradise.

Complete the look by dressing up your tables with our white round polyester tablecloths and festive Nantucket centerpieces!

To make the venue more authentic, add our Seaside Dock Prop. Not only will this view be a perfect photo op, but your guests will treasure their walks along the sea.

A night so special should be one to remember. As a token of the extraordinary event, give away Personalized Nantucket Favor Kits filled with cookies or candy.

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120 In. Round Polyester Tablecloth White

Add a touch of class to your event with our White 120 inch Round Polyester Tablecloth.

Our White Round Polyester Tablecloth is a reusable table cover that will add a touch of color to your event tables. Each White Round Tablecloth is made of woven polyester and measures 120 inches in diameter. The White Round Polyester Tablecloths are machine washable and provide a floor drop on a standard 60 inch round table

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Give your tabletops an authentic look and feel by adding Nantucket Centerpieces to the mix!

Add this Nantucket Centerpiece to your party tables to add a festive look.

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Take a walk along the sea on our Seaside Dock.

Create a romantic seaside scene with our exclusive Seaside Dock Prop. This kit will include 50 feet of weathered wood patterned flat paper, (2) 4 foot high octagon pilings and (6) 2 foot high octagon pilings with rope. Assembly required.

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DIY Favor Bag Kit

Fill these Nantucket Personalized Favor Bag Kits with candy or cookies to send home with your guests.

Use these Nantucket Favor Bag Kits that feature a personalized bag topper with anchors and a rope to hold your guest’s party favors. Each Nautical Favor Bag Kit contains 40 clear bags and 36 bag toppers. Assembly is required.

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How to Become an Event Planner and the Skills Needed to Succeed

If you’ve always loved planning parties as much as attending them, and you have an eye for details, possess strong people skills and a flair for creativity, it may be time to consider a career as an event planner. As the person that is always choosing which birthday balloons to use or the perfect sweet 16 party favors, you’re in luck! The event planning industry is projected to experience growth of 33 percent between 2012 and 2022. With those projections, the need for talented individuals will be in demand.
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What does an event planner do?
Before diving into the mechanics of how to become an event planner, first focus on the event planner’s role. Event planners are responsible for all the details for a special occasion, such as a wedding, corporate retreat, fundraising event or any type of convention. These types of special events are complex and require someone who can coordinate everything from securing the venue and arranging wedding decorations, to working closely with service providers such as florists, caterers and photographers.
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The event planner’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Personal meetings and regular communication with clients
  • Planning of the event, including a budget and timetable
  • Securing bids from venues and inspecting those venues
  • Meeting with and securing bids from service providers
  • Coordinating all aspects of the event (hotel reservations, transportation, food, entertainment, etc.)
  • Monitoring and keeping the event on schedule
  • Receiving, reviewing and approving event bills for payment

 

Becoming an event planner
A bachelor’s degree in hospitality or tourism management typically is needed when beginning a career as an event planner. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Many employers prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree and some work experience in hotels or planning.” Related degrees in public relations, marketing, business or communications also may be beneficial.
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While completing your degree, hands-on experience may be found through volunteering for committee work with campus groups or nonprofit organizations.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, a Certified Meeting Professional or CMP credential is a recognized professional certification in the industry, particularly for event planners specializing in meeting/convention planning. The certification is offered through the Convention Industry Council. The Society of Government Meeting Professionals or SGMP offers the Certified Government Meeting Professional credential, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Event planner skills
To become an event planner certain skills are needed. Strong communication skills are one of the most important. Event planners must be able to verbally express their ideas and concerns, as well as communicate via email, formal business letters and even through social media. Other important skills an event planner must possess include:

  • Organization
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Grace under pressure
  • Ability to negotiate
  • People-person/customer service

A great event planner also has intuition or the ability to understand his or her client’s emotional state. This is particularly important for wedding planners who must address the stress a bridal couple faces during the months leading up to the wedding.