Unique Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day With Little-to-No Planning

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If you are looking to celebrate Memorial Day but simply don’t feel like putting in the time and effort to organize everything, then we have a few solutions for you. Celebrating Memorial Day shouldn’t be a hassle, and in fact, Memorial Day should be one of those holidays where you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the upcoming summer season. If you are ready to celebrate but prefer not to exert yourself, then take a look at a few unique ways to celebrate the holiday with little-to-no planning.

 

Don’t Host at Home

This may be one of the more obvious tips, but if you choose not to host a party at your house, then you’re already halfway there. Hosting at home means you’re responsible for everything–making sure guests are happy and having fun, food, drinks, music, and more. If you choose another venue, say a lake, park, or community pool, then your hosting responsibilities are cut in half.

 

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Go In on a Joint Celebration With Neighbors

Talk to your neighbors and see if you can collectively throw a joint neighborhood Memorial Day party. When more people are involved, you can delegate accordingly and not have all the responsibility fall on you. Check with your local area park and see if you can reserve a pavilion or picnic area, and then split up the responsibilities for each neighbor involved. This way, you can still be barbecuing outdoors, enjoying the summer sunshine, and not have to be the only one charge.

 

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Find a Theme and Stick to It

If you hone in on one particular theme for your Memorial Day party, then you will be organized in your planning process. For example, you can choose a luau themed party, which means that food, decorations, music, and drinks will all follow the luau theme. This helps in the planning process as you won’t need to come up with ideas or a menu on your own. Luaus usually require tiki-inspired decor, tropical drinks and food, Hawaiian music, and more! Keeping in line with a particular theme for your Memorial Day party will take a lot of the guesswork out of the planning process.

 

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Make it a Memorial Day Potluck

One easy way to throw a Memorial Day party with little-to-no planning is by making it a potluck party. Asking guests to brings specific dishes or contributions will mean that certain things will be off your plate completely. Create a list of the items needed and delegate accordingly. This will not only lighten your planning load, but it will also keep things balanced in terms of what is needed for the party and what will be provided by someone else. You can even delegate things like mixed CDs, drinks, decor, and more! Don’t be afraid to make it an entirely collaborative affair.

 

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Keep it Simple

Just because it’s Memorial Day, doesn’t mean your party needs to be a gigantic event for the whole neighborhood. If you want to just sit back and relax, then keep it simple and small. Invite a handful of people, have them bring things to contribute to the party, and just enjoy a smaller gathering. When you keep your party small, you are able to control things more–like the mess that is made by guests and all the cleanup involved. You also have less to shop and prepare for when you keep it simple.

As always, make sure you have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

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The Classiest Way To Not Invite Someone To Your Wedding

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Planning a wedding means that a slew of decisions are heading your way and FAST. Between decorations, pre-wedding festivities, dresses, and the like, the last thing you want to do is feel the burden and guilt of having to exclude someone from your special day. Whatever the reason may be, if you’ve decided to not invite someone to your wedding, then keep in mind there is a right and wrong way to handle the issue. If you’re looking for the classy way to take care of the situation, then follow along carefully.

 

Explain that you’re keeping things intimate.

This is always a good go-to explanation if someone wonders why they aren’t invited to your wedding. Instead of inventing some elaborate story, just let them know that you’re keeping it a more intimate affair for your own peace of mind. Honestly, most couples do want to keep things small and intimate, so it’s not all that far-fetched. Unless you’re throwing a gargantuan party and inviting everyone you’ve known since pre-school. Then you may want to consider another option…

 

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Budget.

Yes, budget is a huge reason many people cull their wedding invitation list. While some plates nowadays are costing upwards of $100 per person, it’s easy to use the excuse that your budget just isn’t allowing everyone to be invited. You can explain to them that you would love to have them at your special day, but unfortunately the budget is tight and reserved for mostly family members.

 

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Let them know the venue is a bit on the small side.

If you have decided on a smaller wedding venue, then this isn’t a terrible way to break the news. Simply let the un-invited know that while you would love to have them there, the wedding venue just won’t allow it. Explain that while the list has already been cut in half, most of it is filled with family, and the venue just cannot accommodate much more.

 

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Man up and be gentle.

If you’d rather not lie, or make up excuses to save their feelings, you could always man up and be honest in your decision-making process. Something obviously happened in order for them to get the axe from the invite list, and explain to them that it wasn’t something you could easily recover from. Truth be told, if what happened between the two of you was painful enough for them to not be invited to your wedding, then chances are they probably already know there is a good chance they won’t be invited. Just make sure that if you’re choosing this option and manning (or womanning) the heck up, then make sure you’re gentle about it and you do it the right way. Nothing is worse than a text message or an email, or (GASP) finding out from another friend or family member. Be as honest as possible, and who knows, you may just be able to hash things out prior to your big day anyway.

 

As always, happy planning from your friends at Polka Dot Design!

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Biography: Jessica Glass

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Meet the Author:

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This current photo of Jessica was taken in 2017 at the University of Texas at Arlington, outside of Carlisle Hall and the University Science Building.

An Introduction:

Jessica Glass is an up and coming author that has a lot to offer the writing world. She has a diverse educational background and some interesting career experience.  Jessica is excited to be working for Polka Dot Design as a product description writer, because of the creative opportunities it gives her to express herself in her writing, and in building her brand. She is looking forward to working with Polka Dot Design on many projects to come.

Formative Years and Current Background:

Jessica is originally from Chicago, Illinois. She grew up as an only child in culturally rich, ethnic neighborhoods of the city, like Beverly. She was deeply involved in the Beverly Art Center’s programs and theater productions as an actor, stage manager, and assistant director. She served on the art center’s Teen Advisory Board, which was responsible for generating classes, creating literature, programs, advertising, and events targeted towards teens at the center. Jessica also performed with the Chicago Children’s Choir in the Lyric Opera’s production of Turandot, and with local jazz bands around the city, where she would sing vocals in bebop jazz ensembles. She studied for many years with serious operatic and jazz vocal teachers, and still performs regularly at dinner parties and weddings. Her vocals have been featured on podcasts with local artists and musicians.

She moved to Texas after finishing high school in 2012. She has performed as an opera singer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area while going to school, and working on other writing projects. She is currently living in the suburbs around Dallas, with her husband, Cody, and her two rescued cats, Charlotte and Louis. Jessica prides herself on building strong relationships with family and friends, and balancing those relationships with her career and work. She enjoys going out with her Mother, Dad, and Mother-in-law on lunch dates, and spending quality time with her husband on the weekends.

Education and Training:

Jessica is currently on the dean’s list as a student at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is working towards getting  her Bachelor’s in English, with a writing minor. She’s expecting to graduate in spring 2018, and then, she wants to start on her teaching certification. Jessica comes from a long line of teachers, which made school and education extremely important to her. She has taken advanced writing classes targeted towards technical writing, multimedia authoring, and rhetoric. This training has helped prepare her for her position at Polka Dot Design, and for her growing career as a writer. Her experiences in college have prepared her for understanding different perspectives, and successfully interacting with several discourse communities both on and off campus. She enjoys and prefers working with people that come from a variety of diverse and different backgrounds, as she values different feedback and opinions in the workplace. She considers her educational upbringing to be an important experience that has helped to form her strong work ethic and determination. She strongly believes in a well-rounded liberal education, and is very interested in coursework and educational programs that focus on multidisciplinary approaches to learning.

Career as a Writer:

Jessica is a published short story author with The Writer’s Coffee Shop. She published her first work of fiction in 2014, which was titled, In the Bed of Roses which was available as an eBook on iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Kobo. She is still currently under contract with TWCS, but will soon be looking to publish more works of fiction at other publications as well.

Her position as a product description writer at Polka Dot Design has been an enriching and fulfilling experience. She has enjoyed learning how to work efficiently with the guidance of Phillip Vanarsdel as a freelance writer. She felt deeply satisfied knowing that a lot of the skills she acquired in her coursework at UTA was being put to good use in the business world, and is extremely grateful for this new and exciting opportunity.

In addition, Jessica is currently on assignment for the upcoming summer/fall issues of Prepared Foods magazine. She is, in general, looking to expand and explore her career as a creative writer, technical writer and copy editor. She will be continuing with college in the summer, but is also endeavoring to expand her career as a freelance writer. She hopes this will broaden her horizons after graduation.

Other Hobbies and Interests:

Jessica is an impassioned nature enthusiast. On weekends, when she is not working or writing, she likes to hike and take long walks around her neighborhood and at local forest preserves.  In Chicago, Jessica volunteered to help build and maintain walking paths, and bike trails.  Jessica is also strong believer and patron of the arts. She enjoys performing as a vocalist, visiting art galleries, seeing plays, and working on her creative writing in her spare time.

Jessica is very passionate about folklore and mythology as well. She draws on these texts for inspiration in her fiction writing. She is currently working on a novel that would be a retelling/re-imagined version of a Grimm’s Fairytale called Snow White and Rose Red. Jessica also wants to write a full-length novel on the history and mythology of mermaids someday, when she has enough time to do the proper research.

  She also enjoys reading and researching the lives and works of William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Emily, Anne, and Charlotte Brontë in particular. She has written many academic papers on the literature, characters, and life of all three of these authors. Her goal is to make it to England after graduation to do some more research on the Brontë sisters by visiting the Haworth house, where the sisters grew up and spent most of their lives.

 

Attached below is Jessica Glass’s current resume.

 

Resume.polka.dots

Who Do You Invite to an Engagement Party?

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Bling Invitation

So you are planning your engagement party–first and foremost, KUDOS! The engagement party is one of the more easy-going and lighthearted pre-wedding parties there will be. In fact, consider the engagement party being the event to kick off the festivities that will encompass your entire wedding planning experience. That is why there is so much emphasis on choosing the best engagement party invitations around–they will be the first thing people see as a representation of you both as a couple, so you have to make it as memorable as possible.

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Calla Lily Invitation

Some people ditch the engagement party altogether and instead, prefer to simply send out engagement announcements. This too, is a perfectly suitable option. Engagement announcements are a great way to keep all the friends and family in the loop about the joining of two hearts, without forcing all the hullabaloo of a party. Keeping it simple and easy with a few engagement announcements is a great way to stay classy without any unnecessary primping or planning.

Most people do, however, choose to throw an engagement party, or have one thrown for them. If so, ain’t no shame in your game folks. Engagement parties can be fun for everyone, even the happy couple. But you might be thinking…”well, who the heck do I even invite to an engagement party?” And to be honest, that is a phenomenal question.

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Couples Shower Invitation

First and foremost, proper etiquette states that everyone who is invited to the engagement party should be invited to the wedding, so keep that in mind when you are thinking long term. You might assume that you should invite a few of the acquaintances to the engagement party but not the wedding, and unfortunately that’s not how things normally go. However, keep in mind that you are the master of this ship, so if you want to throw a blowout engagement party and a simple, small wedding that is entirely up to you. Not everyone invited to the wedding needs to be invited to the engagement party, so keep that in mind, too.

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Ampersand Wedding Shower Invitation

So, who do you invite? The families of both sides should be an obvious list-topper, plus close friends, significant coworkers, neighbors, or of course, wedding party members. These are the people you want celebrating this big moment with you. While many people seem to think the engagement party is the most lax of them all and that dropping an invite for their friendly mailman is a good idea, that’s not usually the way to do things.

It also depends on the purpose of your engagement party and who is throwing it. If your family is throwing the party for you as a way to announce your engagement to everyone, then all major relatives and close friends should generally be invited. However, if your sending out some couples invitations on your own behalf and would like a bit more intimate affair to celebrate your engagement, then inviting close, mutual friends or other couples may be just the ticket.

Tip: there are certain people NOT to invite to an engagement party, which includes exes, children, and people who you have no desire to invite to your wedding. Again, this is different for everyone and for the type of party that is occurring, but just keep these tips and guidelines handy when you start shopping for cute party invitations.

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Top 5 People To Not Invite to Your Bachelorette Party

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A bachelorette party is a gathering of friends and family before a wedding with hopes to let loose and have fun prior to the upcoming nuptials. Truthfully, this gig is all about getting together with your closest girlfriends and wedding party people with one goal in mind: to have fun. But for some, it might get confusing in regards to who you should invite or not invite to your bachelorette party. Let’s be honest, planning a wedding is tough work, especially with all the different types of etiquette and obligations in the way. So we’ve simplified it into one quick blog post for you. These are the top people you do not have to invite to your bachelorette party…no strings attached.

 

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Someone Who is Not Guaranteed to Receive a Wedding Invitation 

Let’s say you have that friend who always is a good time, but you don’t really trust her around your male family members after a few cocktails…yeaaah, you probably shouldn’t invite her. We all have those friends who are there for a good time, but can easily get out of hand when say, an open bar pops up. If you know for a fact this person is not guaranteed to receive an invite to the wedding, then it is probably best to not include them in the bachelorette party festivities, regardless of how much fun they may be, or the hook up they have at the local club.

 

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Your Soon-to-Be Husband’s Cousin’s Fiancé

You are not required to invite every female in your family or in your new family to the bachelorette party. Sure, will some of them possibly be perturbed that they didn’t receive a invite? Maybe. But do not feel obligated to do so. If you’ve never hung out with them one-on-one without your fiancé there with you, then it probably will be awkward hanging out all night on potentially the wildest night of your life, right? There is plenty of time to get to know your fiancé’s family down the road, starting at the bachelorette party is probably a bad idea.

 

A Co-Worker you Do Not Really Hang With

Maybe you’ve invited a bunch of co-workers to get wild on your last night of “freedom”, but that doesn’t mean that you need to invite everyone. There is probably a woman in your office who is polite enough to ask about your wedding every-so-often, but you don’t really know her outside of those conversations. It’s totally okay to skip the invite. If you don’t hang out outside of the office, then inviting her to the bachelorette party is probably a bad idea. Inviting someone just to be nice will more often than not backfire.

 

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Actually, Any Co-Workers For That Matter…

Look, we understand that co-workers sometimes are the people you spend time with the most, but you do not need to be in your most vulnerable state with people you have to see everyday. If you prefer to keep your work and personal life separate, then a bachelorette party is definitely NOT the time to blur those lines. Believe us, it’s a recipe for disaster.

 

Your Mother

Okay, okay, we know what you’re going to say. But hear us out. Maybe you have a great relationship with your mother than borders Rory and Lorelai, and totally feel comfortable drinking too much and potentially vomiting by the end of the night in front of each other, and that’s fine. But if you don’t think you can ever erase the image from your memory of your mother getting a dance from the “handyman” that “happened” to show up, then you can politely decline to invite her.

Hopefully this helps in terms of who to invite and not to invite to your bachelorette party. If not, well then just invite everyone and then it’ll be a REAL party.

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