5 Reasons to Surprise Your Employees with a Farm to Table Feast

March 20, 2018 by Grand Central Party

As many of our favorite local restaurants know, spring in Tennessee means bountiful produce from a wide variety of local farms. Why bring up that lovely point on an events and bridal planning blog? You may notice that everyone in the office seems a little bit more distracted this time of year. As the weather turns warm and the days grow longer, people want to be outside. Take advantage of your corporate team’s spring fever and use it to your advantage with these 5 reasons to surprise your employees with a farm to table feast! It can spur more productivity and employee engagement. For more, keep reading, we’ll tell you why:

Farm to Table Feast

Farm to Table Feast

Events encourage employee engagement. The research is in: almost 45% of American workers are disengaged from their current jobs. And we understand- a job is a job. People want to make money, so they go to the office everyday. By holding mid-season and mid-year events, you elevate the meaning going into the office. Give your employees something to look forward to. If you source local ingredients from local farms, even better! You show your staff that you care about them and the community around your company. Don’t leave corporate events for Christmas and New Year’s alone. Find ways to celebrate all year.

It’s an excuse to get your people outside. Springtime is the perfect time for a picnic or outdoor event. The weather is good, and it’s not so hot that everyone will be sweating through their button-downs. Use the good weather to your advantage, and give your in-office party planners a little wiggle room to create a beautiful space outside. Tents and tables with long lines of delicious fresh food can make a Thursday afternoon feel like a Saturday night of vacation.

If you exemplify community involvement, you encourage community involvement. A farm to table event means bringing in food from local farms, growers, and people in your area to cater. By sourcing food from local businesses, as opposed to large corporate chains, you are sending a message to your staff that you care about the businesses that exist within your local community. You also have an opportunity to make something truly fun and unique for both your staff and the businesses that you purchase food from. Your staff may learn something about their area that they didn’t know before. Which can only add to the fun.

Healthy food equals active minds and fit bodies. Most people with full time jobs are strapped for time. By hosting a farm to table event, you are not only giving them a mid-week and workday break, you are also showing them that they have the ability to buy wholesome food at their fingertips. Have one of your local farms set up a do-it-yourself cooking station under a tent where employees can make farm fresh omelets or sandwiches. This will show your people that they have the resources within their own community to eat healthy even when they are not at work. The healthier your staff is, the lower your cost on healthcare. In this scenario, everyone wins!

There are always reasons to celebrate. While corporate parties can be expensive, remember that there are always reasons to celebrate when it comes to your staff. Whether you are celebrating a company-wide anniversary, throwing a collective birthday party where every member of the staff is recognized, or thinking about spring holidays like Easter or Passover, remember that your employees will always accept a reason to celebrate. By hosting a truly delicious spring fete, you are drawing attention to the fact that there is a reason to carpe diem all year long.

As the weather warms up, we hope you find more than just five reasons to surprise your employees with a farm to table feast. Make everyday a holiday and watch your people appreciate their jobs even more.


Prom Trends 2018: Velvet is Back in a Big Way

March 6, 2018 by Grand Central Party

Can you feel it? Warm breezes are beginning to peek around the edges of the afternoon and daylight savings time is just a few days away. That’s right: spring is upon us. Spring weddings are so much fun, but if you’re a high school student, or a parent of a high school student, you know that spring can mean only one thing: prom. We published a post a few weeks ago about tents and prom, but that’s honestly the boring stuff from an attendee’s perspective. Prom is about making a splash with your dress, your date, and your dinner plans. The big news? Velvet is back in a big way for these 2018 prom trends, along with low-back dresses and fancy accessories. Read on for more ideas on Prom Trends in 2018 and make this

Prom Trends 2018

Prom Trends 2018

the most magical night of your dreams.

We said it once, we’ll say it again: VELVET! This year, as you look around for dresses and accessories, channel your inner 1990s’ child and embrace the soft feeling of velvet. From flowing velvet gowns, to beautiful velvet chokers, gloves, and shoes, this amazing fabric is going to be all the rage. And don’t forget about the men in your life. Velvet bowties and cummerbunds can make his suit or tuxedo stand out. For best results match your velvet to his and make your prom photos pop.

Get into metallics or get out! Momma always said that your fingernails and toenails should match, but this doesn’t have to be this case for your 2018 prom. Metallics are in, especially for nails. Consider a shining silver, gold, or metallic red to compliment your gown. We are also in love with metallic hair accessories that can fit flawlessly into any updo or hairstyle. If you are on the prom-planning committee, consider adding some metallic decor to the overall look of your event. It can add a special shimmer that your attendees are sure to remember. And while velvet doesn’t generally come in metallics, there are a lot of fun ways to combine the two different looks and make them work together. For example, a velvet gown with metallic shoes: Yes!

Up-dos, Up-don’ts, and oh! just wear your hair down. The one thing that completes a look for prom better than any date or catchy handbag is the perfect hairstyle. You may spend hours researching the perfect updo, complete with braids and waves and a velvet tiara. Don’t let your well-chosen updo turn into an up-don’t. This year, consider changing up a traditional prom hairstyle for something a little funkier and less traditional. Your parents may have questions, but this is the perfect time to put that pink stripe in your hair you have always wanted. Just tell them that it matches your dress and it will wash out within a week. Besides, you’re only seventeen once.

Your shoes were made for walking, and also, dancing. For hours. If you’re wearing a full-length gown on prom night, you may not be worried about your shoes or maybe you are. Take it from us that the one thing you should be worried about on prom night are your shoes. Prom is, after all, one big dance party. You don’t want to spend the night sitting on the gym bleachers because your feet hurt. When choosing shoes, consider heels that are fun and foot friendly. And if you look around long enough, you may find the perfect pair of velvet shoes to perfectly match your dream dress.

No matter what your plans for Prom 2018 are, remember it is a night to stay safe and have fun. We hope that you are able to find all of the perfect velvet (because it is back in a big way) accessories. And that you feel like the princess you are headed to her dream ball.


Groom’s Wedding Clothes – Make the Man

February 25, 2018 by Grand Central Party

As a bride-to-be, planning your big day involves a thousand tiny details. From flowers to bridesmaids gifts, you have so many things to worry about. While planning and buying your wedding dress has probably been a long process of shopping and planning, and even more strenuous, the process of finding one dress to fit all of your bridesmaids, you may not have thought as in-depth about your Groom’s Wedding Clothes. While sending him to the nearest chain store to get fitted for a suit is all well and good, consider the details of his attire too. Because, as they say, the clothes make the man. Especially on his wedding day.

Groom's Wedding Clothes

Groom’s Wedding Clothes – Make the Man

Help him to look as trimmed and groomed as possible. Traditionally, a bride and her maids will spend the entire day before her wedding getting their hair, makeup, and nails done in preparation for the big day. With the rise of boutique barber shops across the country, it’s not a bad idea to send the groom and his men to do something similar. Sign the boys up for trims, shaves, and beard shapings a few days before the big day. (Because, everyone knows a men’s cut always looks better on the third day.)

Boutonnieres can be personalized. Your bridal bouquet was a labor of love by the florist who made it. These heavy, beautiful, and often expensive accoutrement are one of the most exciting parts of the floral delivery on any bride’s wedding day. Don’t forget about the groom’s boutonniere as well. Tell your florist to work a special trinket or flower that is special to your relationship into his boutonniere for him to discover the day of the wedding. And, yes, it is okay to send a note with it to explain why it’s special just to him. Although, we’re certain he would have figured it out on his own.

Allow your man to stand out as much as he wants to. A few years ago, we had a bride and groom who could not agree on what the groom wanted to wear on their wedding day. He wanted to wear a white tuxedo with tails, while she wanted him to wear a traditional black tuxedo. They finally compromised, after several discussions, that he could do the James Bond and wear a white dinner jacket with black tuxedo pants. We tell this story to say that groom’s often feel overlooked on their wedding days. Allow your intended to wear something special, if he wants to. It’s his day to stand out from the crowd too. Whether that means a funky bow tie, different socks, or a white tuxedo with tails, allow him to be as excited as you are about his fashion choices for the big day.

Shoes, socks, suspenders. All the details that add up to a lot of fun. Remember the days when a black suit was the only acceptable dress for men’s wedding attire? Those days were boring! While we don’t particularly endorse bringing back the pastel suits of the 1970’s, we do recommend having a little fun with what your groom and his men wear on the big day. Let the clothes make the men look good, and use them to reinforce the overall aesthetic of your wedding. If you are going for shabby chic, suspenders and gingham are a great idea. A little bit hip? Have all the guys in hightop Converse sneakers. Midnight in Paris? Consider navy suits without ties and open collars. We have even seen grooms wear the socks of their favorite sports’ team when they were married. No matter which way you choose to go with your wedding’s overall vibe, make sure your groom and groomsmen fit the theme as well as you and your bridesmaids do.

No matter what, the most important part of the wedding day is the two people who are coming together to be married. The clothes may make the man, but every man needs a good woman. And that lends beautiful purpose to a wedding day.

3 Fun Ways to do Bridal Work Outs in Winter

February 22, 2018 by Grand Central Party

One of the absolute best parts of being a bride is that your wedding day is a day to look your absolute best. After choosing the perfect dress, the perfect hairstyle, and combing Pinterest for shoes, perfecting your wedding day look may have felt like a full time job. As you prepare for your upcoming nuptials, don’t neglect your health and wellness in preparation for your wedding. We’ve put together a list of the three most fun ways to do bridal work outs in winter. Take advantage of the cold winter months to get your heart-rate up and prepare for the most important day of your life.

Wedding Fitness

Get fit for your Wedding

Take a class and get everyone involved. A few years ago, we heard a story from a bride with a March wedding date that got very in to Jazzercise in the weeks leading up to her wedding. While you may hear Jazzercise and instantly think of your grandmother in a leotard and leg warmers, this bride swore up and down that it was fun, she got to dance to some of most fun pop songs of the day, and it was a really good workout. In addition to being a great workout, it was something she didn’t do alone. This bride enlisted her in-town bridesmaids, her mother and future mother-in-law, and anyone else that wanted to join to come to class with her and dance their behinds off. Not only was it a fun shared experience leading up to the wedding, this bride said that she got into really great shape while grooving with her family and closest friends. Don’t be afraid to find group classes that you and your friends and family can participate in while preparing for the wedding. It’s a great to make sure everyone is relaxed and in shape.

Find an indoor pool. If you live in an area with a prominent YMCA program, you may be used to seeing ladies going to and from water aerobics classes. While we are not necessary suggesting matching bathing suits and swim caps, swimming laps at an indoor pool is a great and rigorous pre-bridal workout that you can do no matter how good or bad the weather. Consider finding a gym that offers a pool and take a dip after a long of work or wedding planning. Swimming is an especially great exercise because it encourages lean muscle tone without adding additional bulk the way lifting weights can. It’s a surefire way to make sure your arms look great on your big day. And, who knows- you may even decide that lady’s water aerobics are a perfect fit for your bridal exercise regiment.

If you like a challenge- take to the outdoors. It’s true, you may be reading this blog post in sunny Florida and thinking that the weather is great for working out outside. If that is the case, we envy you. For all of the rest of you who are suffering through winter’s depths, we feel you and sympathize. One fun way to beat the weather and get a great workout in is to find boot camps and other classes that meet outside: cold, rain, or shine. Exercise is proven to reduce stress, heighten your mood, and help you fit into your ideal wedding dress effortlessly. If you’re going through an especially stressful planning process, a really hard workout may be just what you need to power through wedding planning. If outdoor bootcamps aren’t available, you can always enlist the help of a personal trainer to really make sure you’re in shape on your wedding day.

However you decide to spend your time leading up to your wedding (and you may be too busy to even dream of getting a workout in), we wish you all the best of luck. These fun ways to do a bridal work out may help you kick some of the winter time blues. May your wedding day be the one that you have always dreamt of.

Now is the Time to Dream of Spring!

February 6, 2018 by Grand Central Party

There are a few reasons why we love February, and the list doesn’t just involve Valentine’s Day. We love cozy, cold evenings; that last day of playing in the snow; and enjoying piping hot lattes before the temperature rises and we all switch back to iced drinks make February quite grand. Our favorite thing about February, is that soon the snow will melt and we can all agree that now is the time to dream of spring.


Time to Dream of Spring Time

Whether it’s a wedding, an engagement, or a few bridal showers, springtime is the perfect time to celebrate. The weather is wonderful and the world seems to come back to life. Here are a few of our best party ideas and tips for any event you’re planning this spring.

Embrace Color. Fall and winter events lend themselves to dark and heavy color palettes that enhance the mood of your fête. (Or, for the truly adventurous, see our post on Winter White Weddings.) Springtime events cry out for bright and sophisticated color palettes that include rich and glowing greens, bright pinks and oranges, and smooth taupes and whites for texture. When you plan an event with a March, April, or May date, consider diving into all sides of the color wheel and have some fun!

Get Your Spring Drink On! Because Spring begins the start of the growing season, many classic fruits and vegetables become brighter, healthier, and better during this time of year. When you plan a party, a fun signature cocktail can make a great addition to any menu. Think about your favorite gin and vodka cocktails with a splash of cucumber, lavender, or thyme to make something truly unique and worthy of the season.

It’s Time to Consider Your Bridal Bod. It’s true, every bride worries about what she will look like in her wedding dress. There is still time in the depth of winter’s doldrums to start a new exercise and dieting plan to look your absolute best on your big day. While it may be too late for New Year’s Resolutions, keep an eye out for February deals and coupons to your local gyms and yoga studios. Also, consider adding a trip to a spin class or yoga class as part of your bachelorette party or weekend. It’s a fun and healthy way to diversify your plans for the weekend.

Never Fear the Great Outdoors. Sure, we live in Tennessee where seasonal allergies can be the end of us all. But even if you live in the most pollen free state in the union, there’s no argument that springtime is the perfect time to move any party out of doors. Whatever the occasion, even the backyard can be turned into a royal engagement party courtyard with a little tender loving care. Consider pitching a tent at any venue, or add a spread of tables and chairs to the lawn so that your guests can eat outside.

Add a Few Outdoor Games. Parties are fun. Food is good. Great drink is better. But nothing really spices up an afternoon or evening affair like a few outdoor party games. Springtime is the perfect time have corn hole, bocci, or even badminton available to your guests. If your party is informal (or maybe even if it’s not), you may consider putting up a net for volleyball. Because spring weather is warm, but not hot, it’s the perfect time to add a few extra activities for your guests.

No matter what the occasion, it is never too early to plan and to dream. Start thinking about where you would like to have your next party and plan it for the spring. It’s a beautiful time of year!