When the invite says (Dec. 25)

This is that time of year when invitations are plentiful. There are galas, Christmas parties, holiday dinners, cookie exchanges, ugly sweater parties and New Year’s parties. There has to be some type of communication to you from the host or group to get butts in seats. In most cases you are given a date, time, location and any particulars that will help all to enjoy the event.

Here is an example. You are having a big celebration and at a certain time in the evening you will do a balloon release and you want everyone to be there by that time. A good host will add that to the invite, not necessarily the fact that there is going to be a balloon release but that something special is going to happen and you want your guests there for the special event. You know, like a surprise party. It’s no fun if no one is there to yell surprise when the guest of honor arrives.

I attend a lot of events and even though I am “working” I get in the spirit of the event and don the attire stated in the invite or flyer. If it is a white party I’m not showing up in red. Three events come to mind where a theme was well-executed. Number one: the recent “Black Owt” given by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at the August Wilson Center. This was a winner. I’m not sure whose idea it was but they realized that ladies love to wear black and most women and guys have a lot of black already in their closets so this was easy, just shop in your closet and enjoy the party. Number two: Diner en Blanc aka the big white party. I’m not sure why but people love a white party, I don’t blame them I do as well. DEB is growing in numbers and people are really going over the top with their white ensembles. I’ve seen some add white wigs, hats and more. Number three is the Annual Pittsburgh Conservancy Hat Luncheon held on the first Saturday in May which also is Kentucky Derby Day.

The key to having a good time at this event or to any themed party is to get with the program. If it is a hat event wear a hat, go on the internet and see what ladies wear to a tea party. When the invite says dinner is going to be served at 6 p.m. don’t show up at 8 looking for a hot meal. If it is a white party please don’t show up in green thinking it is cute because it’s not. A masquerade ball means wear a mask. A gala normally indicates formal attire.

A lot of time and money goes into having a nice event and in most cases these are fundraisers. Give people something for their money. Don’t settle for the standard centerpiece that the banquet hall supplies, get creative with the centerpiece, use your organization’s colors and make something that will draw attention to the center of the table. Have fun with it.

by Debbie Norrell, Lifestyles Editor

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