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August 2012 | Vol 7
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Quincea単era Decorations .......................... Mechanics Hall ......................................... Happy Face Painting & Party Art ........... The Cakefather ..........................................
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our quinceañera decorations need careful planning. This is a big purchase. The theme and decorations are what tie everything together. Most likely, you’ll be hiring someone to do the decorating for you. If you’re planning a big party, I think that’s best. There’s no need for you to add on yet another thing for you to do for your quinceañera. Here are a few planning tips for you. Get this sorted out at least eight months in advance. Figure out exactly what you want and shop around for the right person. As with anything else, ask for referrals from people you trust, check out some reviews, or ask a quinceañera planner. When you find a decorator you like, get a contract. Make sure to be specific about what you want. You don’t want to be changing things later on, that will just create problems for you. Before you sign the contract, be sure to go over what they will and will not be doing. Be ready to pay up front. You’ll probably have to put a deposit down or pay half of the total cost at this point. This enables them to be able to purchase what they will need for your party. Finish paying a few days before your event. You won’t want to be interrupted in the middle of your celebration to finish paying. That’s no fun. Make sure to double check your count! Count the number of chairs, tables, and centerpieces you will need. Don’t expect them to have extras – that’s risky! Generally, more customization means more money. You’ll want to consider that if you’re on a tight budget. 9 | Central Massachusetts Event Planning Guide | Volume 7
Questions to ask yourself: In one or two words, what is the look that I want: Traditional? Elegant? Princess? Magical? Wonderland? Do I want flowers in the centerpieces? If yes, will they be real or fake? If no, what will I use to decorate the tables with instead: - Balloons? - Masks? - Feathers? - Pictures? Will I be making my own quinceañera decorations and/or party favors? (Note: Not recommended for large parties!) Will I have special lighting as part of my design? Will I have any special decorations for my entrance?
Things to avoid:
What am I allowed to do for the church?
Quinceañera dolls as table centerpieces.
What is our budget?
Changing your mind too much. Too many balloons at the table. Having small decorations in big spaces (ex: Tables and floor space) Ordering your decorations before your quinceañera dress. Use these free tips to help you choose the best look for your quinceañera. The sooner you can get this done, the easier everything will flow. Be ready to pay up front that way you won’t be scrambling to get it all taken care of later. Volume 7 | Central Massachusetts Event Planning Guide | 10
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But it’s not just the uniqueness of the building that makes Mechanics Hall such a draw. According to Sales Director Sharon Onorato, it’s their reputation for providing extraordinary service that draws so many families to the hall.
- Gail Stanton
Mechanics Hall, located in the heart of
Worcester is quickly becoming the destination of choice for families throughout the Commonwealth when selecting a venue for their upcoming Wedding or Quinceanera celebrations. Built in 1857 the building is steeped in a rich history and offers a combination of timeless elegance and superb service to its clients. Known internationally as one of the world’s greatest of concert halls, the buildings’ unique pre-Civil War design, beauty and rare acoustical quality allows for an event that appears to come straight out of a fairy tale.
“Service is the number one reason. We really take care of our clients,” she explained. The combination of a truly unique setting and award winning service has placed the legendary hall at the top of the list for venue shoppers. Add to that Ms. Onorato’s determination to personally help her clients achieve the event of their dreams. “We are flexible in working with our clients, with their individual needs,” she explained. Excellent service is to be found in the attention paid to details. From the floor plan arrangement, to the vendors, to the place cards in the lobby, her goal is to make sure that everyone is happy with the plans for the day and that the event runs smoothly.
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Available to the public, the hall can host numerous celebrations and when you rent it, you don’t just get a room, instead, you rent the entire building. “For one fee, you get the entire building and a five hour event,” said Ms. Onorato. If a couple wants to hold their wedding ceremony and reception in the building, that too can be worked into the arrangements, and the hall will be transformed from a chapel for the wedding vow service to a reception hall following the ceremony. While guests are off having cocktails, the Great Hall is converted into a reception room, complete with table arrangements and a spacious area for dancing.
The hall also offers a number of amenities to its guests, including professional staff, personal planning service, recommended professional catering services, a red carpet entrance, champagne toast for wedding parties and guests, coat check, Mechanics Hall table seating cards and powder room hand towels, security services and guest parking. “Whatever your event, it can be tailed to be a personal reflection of your personality,” said the director. Those interested in learning more, are invited to visit the company’s website: http://www.mechanicshall.org or to call: Ms. Onorato at 508-752-5608.
Although Quinceanera events, also known as Sweet 15 parties, have many similar aspects as weddings, including a ceremony and attendants, each family brings its own traditions and individuality to the event. To honor those traditions, Ms. Onorato focuses on those details that help to personalize the event for the family. “The expectations of the family are very important. Each Quinceanera is special and important,” she said. Finding out what those expectations are and how to help tailor the event to meet the client’s needs and budget is her specialty. Famous for its design, pipe organ, chandeliers and architecture, Mechanics Hall has undergone a number of renovations over the years to keep it in pristine condition, perfect for providing the atmosphere that dream events are made of. Aside from its pleasing aesthetics, the hall is designed to offer a private room for the family to gather, a cocktail reception area, a lobby area for the placing of cards, and the famous Great Hall. Volume 7 | Central Massachusetts Event Planning Guide | 14
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Happy Face Painting and Party Art Adds a Splash
t’s not surprising Roberta Mandella loves her job. With a few strokes of color, Mandella can turn a little girl into a glittery princess or a wild butterfly. She can transform a young boy into spiderman or batman, or whichever superhero he wishes he could be. Mandella can even turn a 20-something nightclub-goer into a dramatic spectacle of color and vibrance who stands out on the dance floor. “There aren’t many jobs where you get that instant reward of a child’s smile, when you hold up the mirror in front of them and they are so excited at what you just did. It’s kind of hard not to like your job when you have kids praising you all day long,” Mandella said, laughing. She’s able to do this by operating her full-time business, Happy Face Painting and Party Art, which is run out of Worcester and services kids’ birthday parties, corporate events, night club promotions, and grand openings, among other events in need of a little color. In addition to face and body
painting, the company offers glittery and henna temporary tattoos and balloon twisting, or the act of twisting a balloon into different shapes. She opened Happy Face in 2007. Although she describes herself as always being artistic, she was never much of a painter until her friend asked her to help face paint at a local fundraiser. When several people at the event requested her business card, impressed with her work, Mandella realized she just might have a knack for body painting. And she was right. “After enough inquiries, I decided to look into it a little more to make it into a business, traveling to conventions, taking classes,” Mandella said. Some of those conventions were the largest in the country, including the East Coast Face Painting & Balloon Convention in Manchester, Conn. & FABIAC, a huge convention in Florida. There, she learned from the best in the world about the different
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As if operating a successful business wasn’t enough, Mandella also won the honor of being the “Best Painter of the Year” in 2007 from Snazaroo, a face paint company. Oh, and she also authored and illustrated iParty’s best-selling book of all time, “Three-Minute Cheek Art.” Readers can buy some of the supplies at iParty, and follow Mandella’s instructions on how to create their own designs at an event or party. The book is also available on Amazon and on other online vendors.
- Chrissy Kenney
“The stuff that I do now, you’re not going to get that from the book. But it’s a really nice tool for someone who wants to do it for an event or a party and they want to do it themselves,” Mandella said.
techniques and approaches to creating vibrant, yet realistic designs on the human body, which she points out is very different to paint on than a canvas.
Mandella said she does not have a favorite design. In fact, she prefers not having something in mind when creating one of her elaborate designs.
“Just the way you would hold the brush is different,”she said, adding that while most would hold a brush like a pen when painting on canvas, it must be held at a 90 degree angle when painting the skin. “When you are painting the body, your canvas is three dimensional. It’s rounded; it has curves.”
“I love to go the event without a design board and just ask the child what they want to be and just paint it from my imagination,” Mandella said.
of Color to Events
Her business, which employs three people, including Mandella’s 17-year-old daughter Samantha, uses only FDA compliant, hypo allergenic,”made-for-the-skin” make up. Colors range from neon brights to sparkly metallics and everything in between.
Her imagination must be something special because Mandella now joins the “best in the world” as a teacher at the conventions she used to attend as a student. For more information about Happy Face Painting and Party Art, visit their website: http://www.happyfacepainting.com
“We use gems and all kinds of things to really make the designs pop,” she added. Happy Face has been going strong for five years now, with Mandella booking at least three events per weekend on average. Volume 7 | Central Massachusetts Event Planning Guide | 18
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influential people in the industry, and I have a new confidence about it now.”
www.thecakefather.net - Leah G. Thornton
armelo Oquendo of TLC’s series The Next Great Baker is also known as “the Cakefather of Worcester.” Why? Because he’ll “make you a cake you can’t refuse!” A retired gang-unit police officer, Oquendo was inspired to pursue baking after a visit with his cousin in North Carolina. “She brought me into the kitchen and showed me how to make fondant,” Oquendo explains. “Then she told me to replicate it, so I did. She looked at what I’d done and told me, ‘you’re going to be famous.’” A few months later, Oquendo made a much talked-about “Tickle-Me-Elmo” cake for his grandson’s first birthday, which his wife then photographed and uploaded onto the internet. Shortly after that, TLC expressed interest in his talents and he soon became one of the thirteen contestants for season two of The Next Great Baker, beating out a total of nearly 10,000 applicants. Oquendo says that being on the show has affected his business in a very positive way. “I was so new to the cake world when the show called me up. I was like a cave man, constantly having to look stuff up and learn as I went,” he says. “I got to meet so many
The baker explains that his favorite part of being on the show was the endless ability to learn from others. From special ways of melting chocolate, to sculpting frostings and fondants, he learned a great deal of tricks and shortcuts along the way that he says have helped his business tremendously. The show is hosted by Buddy Valastro, star of his own TLC reality series Cake Boss. Oquendo explains that, off-camera, Buddy is “just like you and me.” “Some of my friends said it seemed like he was on me all the time,” Oquendo says, laughing. “I mean, it’s a show when the cameras are on. But he really just wanted everyone to work to their fullest potential. That was his real intention.” Oquendo says that leaving the show was “bittersweet” for various reasons. “I felt like I left under weird circumstances. I mean, I was so happy to be going home - I missed my home life and my wife. You’re kind of cut off from the world for a while.” So what does the future hold for The Cakefather? “I’ll be honest,” Oquendo says, chuckling. “I have no idea what the future holds.” He is looking forward to spending time with his family, first and foremost, as well as continuing to create his unique works of art through his business in Worcester. When asked to provide some advice for future entrepreneurs, Oquendo says, “You never know what life has around the corner for you. Making cakes was never my life-
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long dream, but I always wanted a way to express my artistic ability and share it with others and now I can.”
photo courtesy of:
“You have to walk with your head held high,” he advises. “It’s really a matter of ‘what do you want to do?’ Once you know what that is, it becomes much easier.” Oquendo’s family-owned establishment, The Cakefather, is an authentic bakery that works from second-generation recipes and specializes in sculpting. Everything they make is from scratch. They are located in Worcester. Contact Carmello to plan and order your next cake, 774-670-8845.
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A - G Planning Guide Directory A Comprehensive Listing of New England Event Services ALTERATIONS Alexis Bridal Infinite Bridal Boutique (06)
BACHELOR PARTIES Jillians Tri State Speedway
BALLOONS Balloon Creations (19) Sonia & Andy (16) Carlas Decor (12)
978-464-5900 508-754-6117 774-535-5850
BEAUTICIANS Josefina`s Hair (08) Mi Salon
BRIDAL SHOPS Elizabeth Ann`s Bridal (29) Infinite Bridal (06) La Canastilla Ideal (11) Loren`s Bridal Q Look Bridal The Special Event
508-829-8188 508-943-9043 508-799-0059 508-347-5222 508-459-9291 508-624-9392
CAKES Angel Cakes Back in the Day Pastry (29) Cake Father Fiesta Party Giovanni`s Cakes (25) Isabel`s Cake Sweet Creations by Gloria (16)
917-304-5804 508-793-2858 774-670-8845 978-580-8807 508-798-8800 781-599-1335 978-516-8287
CATERER/FOOD ARRANGEMENTS Creedon and Co., Inc. 508-792-3100 Edible Arrangements 508-797-2200 Party with Abby (16) 508-410-2616 CEREMONY OFFICIANT Donna Buja (29)
CLOWNS Azucarin (26) BiBi
DECORATIONS Balloon Creations (19) Fiesta Party Services Carlas Decor (12) Mendez Decorations R & R Party Store Sonia & Andy (16)
978-464-5900 978-580-8807 774-535-5850 978-685-4068 978-686-0308 508-754-6117
DISC JOCKEY Franky DJ (06) International DJs (29) MCDJ
508-864-0524 508-615-7894 508-365-9754
ENTERTAINMENT Pepe Gutierrez Mariachi (25) 617-360-9753 Jillians 508-793-0900 Tri State Speedway 508-671-9030 EVENT PLANNERS BRG Event Planners (23)
FLOWERS Fabulous Roses Mendez Flowerloons Perros Flowers (04)
508-791-4723 978-685-4068 800-832-7744
GIFTS & FAVORS Carlas Decor (12) La Canastilla Ideal (11) R & R Party Store
774-535-5850 508-799-0059 978-686-0308
HORSE & CARRIAGE Cedar Knoll Farms (15) Hollow Brook Farms (05)
INSURANCE Shea & Poor Insurance (24)
H - Z Planning Guide Directory A Comprehensive Listing of New England Event Services JEWELRY Elliott`s Jewelers J & J Jewelers
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE George Cortes Yarisbeth Polanco (11)
LIMOUSINE All Points Limousine (23) Gray`s Limousine (07) First Choice Limousine (06) Regis Limousine (19)
978-537-4122 508-869-6365 800-370-5466 877-734-4740
MASTER OF CEREMONY Billy Ayala (16)
MORTGAGE & REAL ESTATE Community Realty 508-714-9112 Evolve Bank & Trust 508-425-0511 Wells Fargo 860-712-1271 NAILS Lucys Nail Salon (29)
PHOTOGRAPHERS A Perfect Pictures (1&2) HJM
RESTAURANTS Cancun`s Mexican (26) El Flamboyan (25) Leo’s Ristorante The Manor (23) Periwinkles VIA Italian Table
508-839-8800 508-751-0915 508-753-9490 508-835-4722 508-832-9705 508-754-4842
RECEPTION FACILITIES Beechwood Hotel Colonial Hotel Courtyard by Marriott (Back)
508-453-1111 978-630-2500 978-602-1933
RECEPTION FACILITIES - continued Days Inn Hotel Methuen 978-686-2971 Di Burros 978-372-0441 Double Tree Hotel (11) 508-366-5511 Four Points by Sheraton (20) 978-840-5537 Haverhill Country Club 978-373-1146 Holiday Inn Marlborough 508-481-3000 Leicester Country Club (06) 508-892-1390 Maxwell Silverman’s 508-755-6508 The Manor (23) 508-835-4722 Mechanics Hall (07) 508-752-5608 Periwinkles Banquet Center 508-832-9705 Renaissance Hall (15) 774-535-4161 Salem Cross Inn 508-867-2345 Southbridge Hotel 508-765-8200 Wachusett Villiage Inn 978-571-2524 SHOES Shoes to Dye For
TRAVEL Alpha Travel (12) All Cruise Travel (29) Caribbean Travel
508-753-2242 508-832-4802 508-767-0172
TUXEDOS Bonardi`s (05) Men’s Warehouse Alishas Tux (19)
508-754-4036 508-756-4661 877-734-4740
VIDEOGRAPHY A Perfect Pictures ( 1&2 ) Sidon Video Production (27)
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