Table Set UP

Event Planning 101: Mom’s Inspiration

I love a great party. In fact, I truly love planning a party. I enjoy the creative elements of creating the menu, designing the style and décor and bringing people together to enjoy the best of what life offers … family and friendship.

Currently, while in the middle of our professional event season, I am planning an Oktoberfest that we will host at our home. (Bonfire, hayrides and traditional German foods). Hosting an Oktoberfest is a family tradition. Every fall, my parents hosted friends, work associates and family for an evening on our property near Indianapolis, Indiana. My mom would prepare an array of delicious German foods, decorate in the Bavarian blue & white, had gorgeous floral arrangements throughout and made sure that we were wearing something Bavarian! My Dad would be on the grill until it was time to take everyone for a moonlight hayride (that’s not a German tradition, but year after year guests loved it!).

Growing up, my parents hosted numerous parties throughout the year. The traditional holiday party for my Dad’s staff and associates, themed wine parties, outdoor summer get-togethers, Indy 500 events and more. My mom was always the first person to offer to coordinate a baby shower, surprise birthday party or special event. She would spend countless hours finding the perfect accessories for each event, creating a detailed menu and building her own floral arrangements, which were always the perfect touch to the tablescape. I was in awe of her creative concepts, but most of all her desire to have absolute perfection. She didn’t miss one detail. Guests would admire her decor, the amazing foods she had prepared and how welcome she always made everyone feel.

Those occasions are some of my fondest memories filled with laughter and my family all working together to create a special event for our friends.

Most recently, she hosted a Polynesian Party after Kurt and I honeymooned in Tahiti. Once again, my mom spent countless hours designing the look and feel of the event, researching the best menu and cocktail options and purchasing traditional Polynesian headwear for the ladies and leis for the guys to wear during the party! Everyone had a wonderful evening sitting outside with Tiki torches and Mai Tai Cocktails. It was pure Polynesian perfection.

As a media and marketing company, never in my wildest imagination would I have anticipated that a major component of our business would become corporate and non-profit event planning. It happened when I first started Dickerson Creative Communications and one of our media and marketing clients asked me to create an event to bring additional awareness and exposure to their organization, So I did. The success of that event, word of mouth and the exposure we received led me to other events and over the years, our team has created a wide variety of events from Pro Football Hall of Fame events, Formal Galas, Golf Tournaments, Clay Shoots, Corporate Events to Savor Pittsburgh (which is now less than 2 weeks away – so get your tickets at And, yes … that was a shameless plug!)

In your professional pursuit, passion drives your career. For the greatest overall success, you need to love what you are doing. From the outsider’s perspective, event planning appears to be an incredibly glamorous career. There are moments when that is absolutely true, but the vast majority of the time is spent working behind the scenes. There are countless lists, planning calls, strategy meetings, team briefings, contingency planning, vendor research and coordination and of course, event set-up and late night tear-down! Those critical tasks aren’t necessarily what we feature on our social media platforms, but it is what it takes to bring an event to life.

I am fortunate; I have an extraordinary team who makes every event fun. I always laugh and say that we “whistle while we work.” I am grateful for the opportunity to design and execute successful events. Without a doubt, event season is stressful, mostly because of our lack of sleep, but we truly love what we do. I want our clients to see the pride we take in each and every event because we dedicate ourselves to creating something incredible. We strive for what my mom always wanted for her events … PERFECTION. She is still the ultimate party planner and I am thankful that she continues to teach me the tricks of the trade!

For a list of our upcoming events, please visit our ‘Upcoming Events’ page. We’d love to see you in the near future.

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