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March 2013

Thrive Event Planner

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Thrive Event Planner

March 2013



PLANNING CHECKLIST 16-9 months before

5-4 months before

8 months before

3 months before

q  Start a wedding binder filled with wedding inspiration ideas q Work out your budget q Choose your wedding party q Begin compiling a guest list q Hire a planner, if desired q Reserve your date and venues q Book your officiant q Research photographers, bands, florists and caterers

q Hire the photographer and videographer q Book the entertainment q Meet with caterers q Purchase a dress q Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-oftown guests q Register with a minimum of three retailers

6-7 months before

q Select and purchase invitations q Begin planning a honeymoon q Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses q Meet with the officiant q Book a florist q Arrange transportation

March 2013

q Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues q Check on wedding invitations q Select and order the cake q Send your guest list to the host of your shower q Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings q Schedule hair and makeup appointments q Choose your reception music

q Finalize the menu and flowers q Order favors, if desired q Make a list of the people giving toasts q Finalize the readings q Purchase your undergarments q  Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception q Print menu cards, if you like, as well as programs q Purchase the rings q Send your event schedule to the vendors

2 months before

q Touch base again with all the vendors q Meet with the photographer q Review the playlist with the band or deejay q Send out the invitations q  Submit a newspaper wedding announcement q Enjoy a bachelor/bachelorette party Thrive Event Planner

1 month before

q Enter RSVP’s into your guest list database q Get your marriage license q Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations q Visit the dressmaker for your last dress fitting q  Stock the bar now that you have a firm head count q Send out as many final payments as you can q Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors q E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles q Assign seating, if desired q Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts q Write vows, if necessary

Week of the Wedding

q Reconfirm arrival times with vendors q Delegate small wedding-day tasks q Pick up your dress q  Check in one last time with the photographer q Set aside checks for the vendors q  Send a final guest list to the caterer and all venues q Break in your shoes q Pack for your honeymoon

Source: Real Simple

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Photos courtesy of Mary Beth Conner Photography

Engagement Picture Ideas

Engagement photo shoots have come a long way since carefully composed studio shots. Now, many couples are choosing themes that focus on their interests and what reflects their uniqueness as a couple. Happy Couple Consider a shot that expresses the love and happiness you both feel with each other. Cute Prop Add a fun prop or two to an engagement shot to add extra texture to the pictures. Kissing Pose Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. And what could be more fun than practicing for the first kiss as husband and wife? Hobby Picture Whether your favorite hobby is riding bikes, reading, or duck hunting, show them off in a personalized engagement shoot. Fun and Flirty Picture This fun twist on the classic “side-by-side pose adds a charming splash of fun to any engagement portfolio. Pets Included For the animal lovers out there, family photos aren’t complete without your pets.

Thinkin Thinkin Outside Outside Of Of The The Box Box Memories Memories In In Motion Motion Photography Photography By By Mia Mia Senior Portraits Senior Portraits Weddings Weddings & & Engagement Engagement Boudoir Boudoir Kids Kids & & Family Family Portraits Portraits 1320 1320 Hodges Hodges Street Street Lake Charles, Lake Charles, LA LA 70601 70601 p: p: (337) (337) 309-3281 309-3281

ographybymia ographybymia


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If you’re planning on taking engagement pictures, consider these tips from Mary Beth of Mary Beth Conner Photography.

/photographybymia 4


• Having fun is the most important thing. A photographer can’t fix an expression as easily as a blemish. • Coordinate your outfit colors. It’s okay to have a print for one person, but not both. Solids tend to be the best for photos. • Let the photographer know the kind of look you’re after. For example, the city or woods, day or night. • Most importantly, clean the ring!

Thrive Event Planner

March 2013

Customized Wedding Sets are the Perfect Blend by Christine Fisher

Customized wedding sets blend unique settings and features from many different jewelry pieces into one unique ring. Annette St. Romain, owner of Bijoux Fine Jewelry in Sulphur and Bijoux Jewelry Design Center in Lake Charles, says choosing a customized wedding set is a fitting way to personalize a jewelry piece that is so personal. “Just like a marriage, which is a blend of temperaments, viewpoints and experiences, a custom wedding set will have unique features from many different wedding sets that a couple has seen,” she said. “Or maybe they have never seen what they want, and it’s a completely new creation.” When Andrew Fisher proposed to his fiancée, Stephanie Hulsey, he wanted to give her a ring that combined everything she loved. “We had talked about getting married,” he explained, “so when we would window shop for wedding sets, she’d show me rings she liked. She would point out that she liked a side of one, or a setting of another.” Andrew visited jewelry shops in Houston but decided to choose one from his hometown of Sulphur, Bijoux Fine Jewelry. At Bijoux, he worked with Annette, describing

what Stephanie liked. “I brought pictures and we talked over the design,” Andrew said. “A few weeks later, I went back to see the final 3D image of the ring. It showed every detail in 360 degrees, so I saw exactly what it would look like. It was exciting to see all of the different designs we liked come together in one piece.” Annette says most grooms are surprised how easy it is to customize a ring. “With the aid of our 3D rendering and our in-house master jeweler, we take into consideration all of the mechanics of the ring, such as the sturdiness, the weight and the structure, while implementing the design choices the bride and groom want,”she explained.“If you can dream it, we can create it.” When Andrew proposed, Stephanie said she was so surprised to see the things she loved about the previous rings all wrapped up into one. “It was perfect and I love it!” she said. For more information about customized wedding sets or customized jewelry, call Bijoux Fine Jewelry Center in Sulphur at 625-9971 or Bijoux Jewelry Design Center in Lake Charles at 478-0770.

Custom design by Bijoux Fine Jewelry

If you can dream it, we can create it.

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Thrive Event Planner

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Gift Ideas For Wedding Attendants

Attendant and wedding party gifts are a great way of showing appreciation to all of the people who have stood by you during the wedding planning and are prepared to deliver a flawless performance on the big day. Even if you’re on a budget, you don’t have to give traditional gifts or give each person the same thing. We’ve put together a list of creative and personalized gifts that are perfect mementos for anyone.

BRIDESMAIDS Monogrammed robe Framed picture of the bridesmaid with bride Jewelry to wear on the wedding day Tote bag

GROOMSMEN Initialed flask Cufflinks Personalized golf towels Monogrammed cooler

FLOWER GIRL Little pearl necklace Bridal Barbie Doll Small purse filled with goodies

RING BEARER Yo-Yo to keep busy during pictures Football Money bank

PARENTS Monogrammed handkerchiefs Engraved framed photos Matching watches

HELPERS Personalized mug/wine glass Money clip Engraved keychain 6


Thrive Event Planner

March 2013

March 2013

Thrive Event Planner

www.thriveswla.com www.thriveswla.com


When it comes to selecting a party theme for your little one’s next birthday celebration, what’s popular one year may not be popular the next. Whether you decide to go with a character-themed party or a generic theme like a luau or beach party, social media sites like Pinterest can be a big help in creating a cohesive look. The key to pulling off the theme is ensuring that there is a consistent look among all of the elements. The invitations, the decorations, the plates, napkins and cake all should tie together. You can take it a step further by having your activities and favors link back to your overall theme. Whatever you decide, be sure to get creative and have fun with it.

themes courtesy of www.thetomkatstudio.com


Wet & Dry Bouncer/Slide Combos Available! • Birthdays • School Activities • Festivals • Company Functions

• Picnics • Fund Raisers • Barbecues • Holidays

• Church Functions • Family Reunions • Tailgates • Much More!

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Thrive Event Planner

Present this coupon to receive $10.00 off your next rental! (337) 214 - JUMP • (337) 583 - 2183 March 2013


Parties for Pennies

by Allie Mariano



Parties can be a very expensive and timeconsuming task. Next time you host a party, try these inexpensive ideas made with dollar-store items to help make your get-together festive for less.

1 Striped Candleholders

It’s easy to create these striped candleholders in any color you’d like. Simply wrap streamers around votives, glasses or vases and attach with double-sided tape.

2 Cupcakes in Champagne Flutes


If you’re looking for a unique way to serve cupcakes, try dollar-store champagne flutes. Fill the bottom of the flute with your favorite candy and then place the cupcakes on top.

3 Table Number Centerpieces

If you have assigned tables at your next event, try buying vases from the dollar-store, filling them with various fruits or flowers and placing in a table number. The options and colors are endless.

4 Ruffled Party Streamers

To create these ruffled streamers, cut strips of streamers to the desired length and lay one on top of the other. Once this is finished, simply sew them down the center, pushing gently so they bunch up.

5 Tiered Trays

To make these colorful tiered trays, all you need is three dollar-store trays and two dollarstore candlesticks. Spray paint these in any color combination and glue them together for a festive serving piece.

3 Celebrate With A Little Equestrian Magic Theknot.com


Let the Stables at Le Bocage host your child’s next dream party. Come to our beautiful facility, where our friendly staff and blue ribbon show ponies will create the party of every child’s dreams. The Stables at Le Bocage

We customize each party to your specifications and offer a variety of options to meet everyone’s needs.


Call to start planning your child’s dream party today!



March 2013

The St ables at Le Bocage Thrive Event Planner

4550 South Park Road Lake Charles, LA 70607 thestablesatlebocage.com (337) 905 - PONY (7669)

www.thriveswla.com www.thriveswla.com


Planning the Perfect

Here are a few simple games will entertain guests and hosts alike: • W  ho was that? Ask each guest to bring a baby picture of her or himself. Give each picture a number and pin them to a board. Guests guess who was who and whoever guesses the most correctly wins a picture frame.


by Allie Mariano

Baby showers give friends an opportunity to celebrate with the expecting parents. The best showers incorporate laid-back, fun games, as well as a few snacks for everyone to enjoy. Prepare or buy a few easy finger foods that guests can snack on between games and gifts. Here are a few simple suggestions: • T ea sandwiches with pimento cheese or chicken salad can be cut into cute shapes, such as diapers or bottles.

• G  uess the Baby Song Make a playlist of fifteen songs that use variations of the word “baby” in the title. Give guests pen and paper and instruct them to number their paper to 15. Play the first 15 seconds of each song and have guests write down the title. • B  aby Telephone Play the traditional game of telephone with parenting tips. As the tip travels by whisper around the room, it will most likely end up a hilarious jumble. • B  aby Bingo Print a bingo card for each guest. When it’s time to open gifts, each guest crosses off items while the momto-be opens them.

• U  se toothpicks to make mini-skewers of tasty bites. Try a Mediterranean flavor with cucumber, cherry tomatoes, olives, and feta. Or go Caribbean with bites that include ham, pineapple, and provolone. • M  ocktails, or non-alcoholic versions of popular cocktails, make a tasty drink that everyone can enjoy. Mix sparkling water with fruit juice and various fresh fruits. Try strawberry lemonade or orange peach, or experiment with your own favorite flavors. • C  upcakes and cakepops are very popular treats that guests will definitely enjoy. For a fun surprise, dye the cake pink or blue to reveal the baby’s gender.

4150 Nelson Rd. • Building E, Suite 3 • 337-475-9995 10


Thrive Event Planner

March 2013



The average marketing professional has likely run into the problem of generating contacts and leads for new business. The concept of a business event or seminar is a tried-and-true method for drumming up new clients, but this task can seem daunting. These helpful tips can make your next event a success. HAVE A CLEAR PURPOSE. The target clientele, size of the event and marketing philosophy should all be taken into account before the planning stage can begin. Also, an important point to bear in mind is the type of conversation you’d like your attendees to engage in, small cross table discussions or large, auditorium-style format. BOOK EARLY AND BOOK SMART. It is important to book a venue according to how big or small your event will be. Also, travel expenses for attendees, parking, and accessibility should be taken into account when choosing a location. ADVERTISE. Don’t send your invitations out too early. For a short two-hour seminar, three to four weeks is plenty of lead time. Don’t over or under invite. Expect around a two percent response rate for larger events (response rate roughly equals attendance). Be sure to have prospective guests RSVP. DON’T FEAR A SMALL FEE FOR ATTENDEES. Aside from the obvious covering of expenses, attendance can actually benefit from a small fee. A fee will cut down on no-shows, effectively eliminate the occurrence of the “free meal” crowd, and those who attend will be serious about the seminar and expecting value for their time. If you deliver, they will be impressed that you recognize the importance of their time and money. GET A GOOD SPEAKER. A great guest speaker can generate a crowd of his or her own. Also, don’t be afraid self-promote. Before the speaker, be sure to do a short introduction including a plug for yourself and your business. You want your attendees to know who put on such a great seminar! SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Little things like misspelled name tags or incorrect seat assignments can derail an otherwise great event. Make sure those details are ironed out in advance. ASK FOR AND PROVIDE FEEDBACK. Be sure to follow-up on all new contacts you may have made. Mail “thank you” cards to attendees and use comment cards (with spaces for contact info) to get positive or negative feedback from your guests. March 2013

Thrive Event Planner

www.thriveswla.com www.thriveswla.com


Business networking events are often greeted with the same enthusiasm as a visit to the dentist. This is particularly true when you are desperate for a job or your business needs to expand.

TEN TIPS FOR SURVIVING A Business Networking Event by Chris LeBlanc

No E vent is To oL

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Thrive Event Planner

March 2013



Although some people may be naturally more adept at communicating in large groups, networking is a honed skill. Practice quickly getting to know new people by chatting with your waiter or barista. Also, if you’re the shy type, don’t be afraid to bring a friend from the office to help break the ice.


You may be at your wit’s end trying to land a job at a good firm, or open new revenue streams for your business, but this is not a good time to appear needy.


No one wants to hear a sales pitch or canned speech which is convoluted and technical. Assume you’re speaking to a broad audience and avoid technical jargon whenever possible.


Whether you’re discussing the inner workings of a fax machine with technician or the details of a merger with a CEO, be present and engaged in your conversations. Make eye contact and ask questions to display interest in what he, or she, is saying.


People love nothing more than talking about themselves and their own experiences. Asking open-ended questions not only gets them talking, but it gives them a sense that you care about their opinions. This will go a long way to increase your rapport with others.


However obvious it may seem, a professional and clean outward appearance is vital. Overdressed is better than under dressed.


Be sure to promptly follow through on any help or information you may have offered during the event. Also, send a quick email or phone call to new connections.

Although your main goal at the seminar may be personal gain, be prepared to give as much as it is to get. Share any advice and expertise you may have with others.

DRINK RESPONSIBLY If alcohol is offered, remember this is a function in which you should impress others. Limit yourself to one or two drinks at the most.


Finally, above all else, try to enjoy yourself. Making new connections and networking with others are central to human interaction and essential to your business, but who says you shouldn’t have fun while you’re at it?

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337.312.0972 | www.ehealthyimage.com March 2013

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2nd Anniversary


5th Anniversary


10th Anniversary


15th Anniversary


20th Anniversary


25th Anniversary


40th Anniversary


50th Anniversary


60th Anniversary



Anniversary gifts often come in the form of jewelry or electronics but here are some creative ideas that incorporate the traditional gift ideas for specific years: • C  elebrate a couple’s first year of wedded bliss with an anniversary clock (so named because it needs winding only once a year). • T hrow a BBQ to celebrate a couple’s 5th anniversary, and gift them a stainless steel set of grilling utensils or perhaps a pewter serving platter. • A  leather tote bag makes a wonderful 10th anniversary gift for a weekend trip. A leather-trimmed picture frame or even a leather wine carrier make great gifts. • S ilver jewelry will not disappoint on the 25th wedding anniversary. Look for something recycled or vintage for an original touch.

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Thrive Event Planner

March 2013


If you are throwing an anniversary party, plan a special tribute for the couple. A slideshow of pictures accompanied by the couples’ favorite songs can provide background entertainment. Hand out mini-flash drives with the slideshow and tunes saved. These can be purchased and personalized cheaply.

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Learn about our year-round community impact at www.jllc.net. March 2013

Thrive Event Planner

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make it a winning


A wedding day is a special occasion that’s full of memories that last a lifetime. You want it to be as beautiful as it can be. We’re here to help. Whatever your group’s size, our professional staff provides the personal attention needed to create memories that last a lifetime for you and all your guests. For information and booking, call 1-337-430-2423.

Download our room layouts.

ConneCt WIth us I-10, Exit 27 Lake Charles, LA • 1-800-THE-ISLE (843-4753) www.isleofcapricasinos.com © 2013 Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. Disregard if prohibited from visiting Louisiana casinos.



Thrive Event Planner

March 2013

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