Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 Ways to Take Better Party Photos

From birthday parties to wedding anniversaries, the best way to preserve your party memories is to take pictures! Some of our customers have submitted some fantastic photos of events featuring custom Pinwhirls, many taken by some very talented professional photographers. However, if your party is less formal, or you just don't have the budget, we've got some tips to help you get better party photos.

Photo Courtesy of Beth B.
When you're finished, you can browse the Pinwhirls Flickr photo stream for inspiration.

5 Tips for Better Party Photos

  1. Try to get a group shot. Getting everyone together at the same time can be difficult, so plan accordingly. You'll want to try for the group shot toward the beginning of the party, as some people may leave the party early.

  2. Don't try to pose people. Candid shots are more fun, so unless you're trying to get everyone to make a silly face, we recommend just going with the flow. Take pictures of people when they don't suspect it, and you're bound to get some of the best shots of the night.

  3. Know the party schedule. More formal affairs like anniversary parties might adhere to a schedule of events. Get the itinerary for the party so you don't miss any of the photo-worthy moments.

  4. Be creative. Move around the room to get different shots from different perspectives. Don't just set up the camera in a corner and ask people to say "cheese." (Although a camera booth is still a great idea!) Stand on chairs. Sit on the floor. See what happens when you take photos from a number of different angles.

  5. Remember that zoom is your friend. By zooming in and out you can have some fun with photos. Plus the zoom feature can help you get around camera shyness with some of the guests. If you don't have to stick the camera right in front of them, the pictures will look more natural.
Do you hire a photographer or take your own photos for birthdays and other events?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to Master the Art of Mingling at a Party

It's one thing to throw a party, and another thing to attend a party. For some introverted partygoers and for individuals who find themselves trying to fit in with a new social crowd, a little refresher on party etiquette can be a lifesaver.

For other more extroverted participants, a little restraint might be called for. So here's what to do after you get the party invitation and accept your invitation to the event.

Mingling & Socializing: Party Etiquette
  • Don't get too hung up on yourself. When you care about other people, the conversation tends to flow pretty naturally. So concentrate on asking questions that help you get to know the other people at the party.
  • Move around the room. Even if you're engaged in a conversation, it's okay to excuse yourself and move around the room. It's good to meet new people. If you're intimidated by groups or crowds, seek out people standing by themselves. They'll be glad you approached and introduced yourself.
  • Be a good listener. Your interest in what other people have to say makes you likable. If you have a tendency to let your mouth motor on, make a conscious effort to give others an opportunity to join the conversations. A good way to accomplish this is by pausing after you speak. The longer you pause, the more likely someone else will jump in to the conversation.
  • Stay positive. There's a reason they call them party poopers. Negativity really doesn't have any place at a party, and your mood can sour the mood for a whole lot of people. Focus on the positive things you have to say, and never ever talk badly about the party, the food, the host, or the guests.
  • Introduce the people you know. It's okay to play hostess at the party. When you introduce to people that don't know each other yet, mention something they may have in common. This can kickstart a new conversation and also give you a polite way to exit the conversation without leaving someone standing alone.
What do you love or hate about mingling and socializing at parties?

Photo credit: <a href="http://mrg.bz/vcVeXE">imelenchon</a>

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cocktail Party Tips

Cocktail parties are generally pretty classy gatherings. They're the perfect event when you're hosting the boss and colleagues during the evening, but they're also fun for receptions or for entertaining a group of close friends.

The formula for a cocktail party is pretty simple. Guests are served snacks and finger foods and a variety of alcoholic beverages. For obvious reasons, a cocktail party invitation will not include children. Most parties last about 2 or 3 hours and start anywhere from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tips for Hosting a Great Cocktail Party

1. The job of hostess is very important. You'll be expected to introduce friends and colleagues that may not know each other, and generally make sure that the conversation continues throughout the party. Of course, it will also be your job to make sure the food and drinks are replenished as necessary.

2. Don't forget the designated drivers. It probably goes without saying, but designated drivers are a must at any party where alcoholic beverages are served. It's probably a good idea to put a little reminder on your party invitations. Something simple like, "Don't forget to bring a DD!"

3. Plan the menu ahead. You should probably plan for 3-4 drinks for each guest you invite to the cocktail party. The food menu you should fairly simple and include snacks and appetizer dishes that are easy to eat while walking around and mingling.

4. Entertainment ideas. Cocktail parties can be budget-friendly affairs. A live band isn't necessary, because your guests will spend the majority of their time chatting with each other. For a little ambiance, you might want to play some light jazz or instrumental music in the background.

5. Go for simple but elegant party decor. No need to overdo the decorations a cocktail party. Some simple, elegant linens and nice glassware will do the trick. Finishing touches could include fresh flower arrangements and candlelight.

Cocktail parties are very easy to plan and can be a great way to introduce your friends and colleagues. What are some of your cocktail party planning tips?

Photo credit: turbidity

Friday, July 13, 2012

Heather & Chris: Fun & Fabulous Pinwheel Wedding

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of working with Heather on her upcoming May wedding.  I could tell via our email chats that her wedding was going to be a fun and fablous affair filled with lots of clever handcreated touches.

Chris and Heather were married on May 27, 2012 in Bristow, Virginia at The Bristow Manor Golf Club. This was a "redo" wedding for them as they were married the first time on April 6, 2010, before her husband was deployed to Iraq. They didn't have a chance to have all our family there for that wedding, so this one was very special for them. The weather was beautiful, the day was perfect and the memories will be forever!

Loved her color combinations of turquoise and coral.

She even went the diy pinwheel route on some of her items - such as the above pinwheel cupcake toppers. How cute are they paired with our coordinating cupcake wrappers?

More photos can be viewed here!

Thanks, Chris and Heather for allowing us to share photos of your big day on our blog.  Also, a big thanks to their photographer for allowing us to share her beautiful work:http://catwilborne.com/blog/.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

6 Fun Water Games for Your Next Pool Party

Photo credit: beglib from morguefile.com

There's no better way to celebrate summer birthdays than with a pool party! Whether you're lucky enough to have a pool in your own backyard, or you're meeting party guests at the local pool water games are always a hit. (Always play it safe in the pool and make sure children are supervised at all times.)

Pool Party Games

Noodle Jousting Tournament: In this game, two players at a time to sit on rafts with foam noodles. Each player tries to knock the other player in the water by jousting with the noodle. The person left standing takes on the next player, and the person still on the raft at the end of all the rounds is the winner. Set up a tournament bracket for serious fun.

T-Shirt Races: Divide the swimmers in two teams and provide an oversized T-shirt for each team. Swimmers must swim the length of the pool in the T-shirt and then hand it off to the next teammate in a relay-style race. This game is best for more advanced swimmers.

Scavenger Hunt: Place items that sink and float in the pool. Call out items to be found and the person who collects the most at the end of the game wins! To make it difficult, use riddles instead of calling out the item names. Use only one of each item, or a limited number of items to keep the game challenging.

Ping Pong Plunge: With a magic marker, write a different number on ping pong balls and then toss them all into the pool. The object is to be the one who collects the most ping pong balls with the highest value.

Marco Polo: This one is an old favorite. A version of tag for the water, Marco Polo is played by choosing someone to be "it." That person must close his or her eyes or be blindfolded while calling out "Marco." The rest of the players must reply "Polo." If the first player tags someone, they become "it" and the game continues as before.

Volleyball: If you have a pool net and a volleyball, this one is a lot of fun. But you can also play by roping off the pool and using a plain old beach ball.

What are some of your favorite water games?

We have some great summer themed papers for creating your pool party invites, banners and decorations. Visit our shop at Pinwhirls.com!