1. Creating Valentine’s Day Magic!

    February 1, 2012 by Mindy Wood

     Yes it’s true that with rare exception it seems men are last minute shoppers…which also means that they’re also terrible planners. Every girl wants their guy to surprise them, so what better way to give them a fighting chance than to refer them to SEO? Read on ladies and pass this on to your date for Valentine’s Day for some great ways to plan a truly romantic evening!

    Whoever is in charge of planning the date this year, this is the place to find creative ideas and the best food, entertainment, and expert tips to make it unforgettable. Yes we know the database is HUGE and it can seem overwhelming but if you’ll start with the basics and then get specific you’ll find what you’re looking for. Whatever you select, go for something new and creative to make it exciting!
    Eating fabulous food is a must. If you’re down with the candlelit dinner for two, then try having it catered to your home with a waiter to make it more exciting or opt for a restaurant that provides the dark corner. Great option for catering for two include Prairie Gypsies in OKC or Anything For a Buck in Tulsa. If you’re budget is slim this year (oh those diamonds are expensive!) then consider customizing an hors ‘deuvre and dessert platter. Candy platters and cupcakes are the rage! Almost any of our catering vendors will accommodate the dinner for two. Start with his and her favorite foods and work from there!
    If you need to get out of town to rekindle the romance, see the hotel, bed and breakfast inn, and venue listings on SEO for easy getaway. Hotels have become more competitive than ever which also means their prices will be too. V-day is one of the busiest days of the year so shop around. You can find great prices on even the higher end hotels like the Skirvin or the Renaissance in OKC or the Hilton and Hotel Ambassador in Tulsa. If you plan to spend more of your budget on a night out on the town, then don’t turn your nose up at Spring Hill Suites, Marriott, or Holiday Inn as these chains have been updating and expanding.
    If you really want to shake things up with something completely different, consider sailing or a dinner theater. Don’t rule out karaoke or hiring a three string orchestra to serenade you! You’ll find everything you could imagine and more under the entertainment listing. If you’re up for events, check out the calendar of events here on SEO to find concerts, comedic acts, art showings, and theatre events.
    You may not even know what you’re looking for until you’ve checked out the possibilities right here on SEO’s resource director. It’s easy to browse with websites and detailed contact information, including written bios on many of our listings.
    Happy Planning!

    Mindy Ragan Wood
    SEO Feature Writer
    PO Box 3693 Shawnee, OK 74801

  2. Unique Weddings and Events

    January 1, 2012 by Janay Bishop

    Unique Weddings and EventsYour Day, Your Way!

    Nearly every young girl has a fabulous vision of her wedding day – a someday dream that she always treasures. Unfortunately, as the big day approaches, many brides feel they have to settle for what well-meaning family, friends or even a wedding planner advises. I believe that every bride should have the wedding she always wanted.

    (Read More…)

  3. Wedding Trends Soft, Natural, Undone

    by Mindy Wood

    What’s hot for 2012 weddings might be easier to accomplish than ever before! As society’s values change, so goes the décor and wedding trends. That’s good news for brides who want the wow factor without the headache!

    According to Pantone Pallette Predictions, simple, undone textures are emerging but with strong attention to details. Soft colors found in the world around us collide with a movement that is ever turning the beauty of nature. Hues of blue, grey, and yes, even turquoise, or nudes with soft oranges and or pink accents are cast upon simplistic linens bare of floral arrangement for wall hangings and canopies. Strategic lighting and drapery whose fabric speaks for itself create a fresh and light mood.

    Wedding Business Today predicts brides will look to nature for the reception table décor and that’s no surprise. It might come as a shock but Brides.com is putting at ease those blushing brides who want their dress to blush too! That’s right, ultra soft hues of pink, peach, sliver, lilac and even green are gracing the wedding gowns. Still a rarity, it’s becoming a trend for the bold bride who is comfortable with what she wants.

    And who wants a boring wedding cake when you can have your cookies and eat it too instead? Oh yes, the cupcake trend meets the cookie monster bride! Cup cake towers are replacing traditional wedding cakes or simply added as an elegant bonus to the cake table. Last year’s naughty candy bars donned cupcakes but this year your favorite cookies are the rage. For those who opt for the cake, an imperfect perfection with texture is the rule.

    Hair styles always seem to be characterized around the dress so it’s no wonder we’ll see a lot of brides with a more natural look. This year it’s the bridal hair styles that will be the something old! Styles set by Grandma’s tried and true pin curls are surprisingly easy to don with accents. Great for a bob or long hair, soft waves are in! The more natural the style, the less structured but with the right setting and accents still adds elegance fitting for the bride.

    No matter what trends are shaping up this year, the wedding is always defined by bride’s individual taste and a reflection of all the reasons she fell in love with her own prince charming. Happy planning from us at SEO.

    By Mindy Ragan Wood

  4. T’was the Night Before Thanksgiving…

    November 1, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    I will never forget the first Thanksgiving dinner I hosted for my family. Newlywed in our new house, my husband and I were excited and nervous the night before. Then disaster struck. My charming “new” Edwardian home was built in 1903 and while I’m sure the refrigerator wasn’t nearly as old, the outdated appliance inexplicably quit working.

    These things don’t sound an alarm when they go out but when I realized my bird wasn’t as cold to the touch as it should have been, I nearly panicked. I quickly reminded my husband that it had been my idea to replace the rinky-dink fridge when we bought the house but this was no time to argue! With casseroles cooling on the stove, waiting to be shoved in the tepid refrigerator, my twenty two pound bird was probably breeding salmonella for all I knew.

    Visions of family members reeling with sickness nearly made me panic but I flew into action, dispatched my husband to the nearest gas station for ice, promptly wrapped the bird with an entire roll of cellophane and shoved it into an ice chest. I stuffed freezer bags with ice and placed them on top of my casseroles and the dinner was saved. All in all I was a little impressed with my ability to improvise!

    Most Thanksgiving disasters can be avoided with simple planning and improvisation. Make a list of last year’s troublesome moments. Did you run out of room in the fridge (unlike my disaster, at least yours worked!). Clean it out down to the bare essentials the night before. Maybe you went to the pantry to cook a dish and realized you thought you had everything you needed. This time, write down every menu item and it’s ingredients for a checklist before you think you know what’s in the cupboard. It only takes a minute to do an inventory! Did you end up making all the food, doing all the decorations and clean up? For your own sanity, make it a potluck! Were kids running a muck? Doing a “stressor” inventory checklist will help you make things even better this year.

    Start thinking of things you can do now! As always, the more you cook in advance, the less stressful your day will be. Things like pie crusts, dough, and casseroles will freeze well. Break up the “deep cleaning” chores into two weeks, tackling a room each day or delegating those chores to your kids or spouse a few days before. Prepare indoor and outdoor activities for kids or enlist an older teen to babysit for extra money. Who says you can’t decorate now? Now is the key word…

    Whatever you do, don’t wait until the night before Thanksgiving!

    By Mindy Ragan Wood SEO Feature Writer

  5. Marketing the Fundraiser Event!

    August 1, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    Oklahomans are known as some of the most generous people when it comes to raising money for their favorite charities. From the dust bowl of the Depression days came a heritage of compassionate Oklahomans who can’t bear to see people go without or the land they love put at risk. Whether you’re planning a fundraiser for the environment or for children and families near or far there are some specific ways to market your event.

    Press releases are a great way to stir interest because newspapers and even magazines are hungry for free-of-charge material. Because they’re not required to pay for a press release, when the news is current and of interest to their readers, they’re sure to run it. You can use a press release anywhere: on a website, attached to an email-blast or e-newsletter, or even post them with appealing graphics in places your targeted audience is sure to see them.

    Social media and blogging is another cost effective way to spread the word. Create a Facebook page and a blog to generate excitement about your event. If you’re planning a huge concert or theater production, a behind-the-scenes look at that process can be exciting for your readers. Good blog fodder would be to focus on the charity itself and inspire compassion for your cause. Whether you’re raising awareness about poverty, human trafficking, or dangers to our environment, people feel the need to be informed and they’ll cheer you on!

    Ad space in a popular publication is invaluable! Find out what their readership is, where the magazine or newspaper circulates, and whether or not they’ll cut you a deal on space. Never accept the first price as most sales professionals will barter with you, even if it’s just a few bucks or a discount on a three month or six month ad agreement.

    Community calendars are a good place as well and most sites like chamber of commerce sites are free. Right here on Special Events Oklahoma.com you can post your event FREE! Don’t forget that churches, schools, business clubs, colleges, and coffee shops often have calendars on their websites or places like a corkboard display to post information. Wherever your target audience likes to play or do business, get your notice visible there!

    While we often think of marketing in terms of merchandise, some of those same rules apply for events too. Get the word out in as many places and ways possible. Stay visible, generate a steady buzz and you’ll have a much better turnout.

    P.S. Don’t forget to post your event here on our calendar page!

    by Mindy Wood, (SEO Feature Writer)

  6. Build Your Planning “Dream Team” Here!

    July 1, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    At SpecialEventsOklahoma.com our goal is to give you the tools you need to make your next event a dream come true. Building a team that will increase your productivity, keep you on budget, and get the results you want starts here. Whether you own an event planning service or you’ve decided to plan your own event, we are the resource you need to make it a reality! So where do you begin?

    First, make some critical decisions that will save you time, energy, and money in the long run. It all begins with the budget, so determine the most important aspect or the central goal of the event. If that’s a business presentation, invest your dollars in a venue that will enhance your delivery with state-of-the-art media and effects like music and lighting. Be conservative with the food, not the venue. If you’re planning a wedding, it could be the moment you’re really looking forward to isn’t “I do.” If you can’t wait to take center stage during the reception, invest more heavily in your after-ceremony debut. Find out what is most important and trim your budget from there.

    Second, rule out what you don’t want. Even if you’re not sure what theme you have in mind, you’ll save time by at least eliminating what just isn’t an option. Listen to your vendors and value their expertise but don’t be afraid to have a list of “no’s” to go with your “maybe’s” and stick to it.

    Set realistic expectations. If you want to save some money by taking on a few things yourself, make sure you have the time and talent before you commit to more than you can or want to handle. Determine realistic objectives in view of how much time you have to plan for your event as well. If you can’t delay the date, there may be some changes you’ll need to make to ease the planning process for everyone on your team.

    We know time is the stuff that life is made of so we’ve made it easy to shop options for caterers, venues, rental companies, entertainment and much more at the click of a button. Don’t wade through the phone book or scan scads of websites when our resource directory guides you to the best local providers available. Visualize the possibilities in our photo gallery and keep yourself on track with our free budget planner. To save even more time, our event planner login will tell us what you need and let the vendors come to you. Everything you need is here. Just point, click, and plan!

    By Mindy Wood

  7. Go Home Happy!

    December 9, 2010 by Jaja Cline

    Life is a winding road, full of surprises. I think it’s the things we love to do, the things we’re truly good at that help us stay on the right path to success and fulfillment. As a special event planner, interior designer and certified home stager, my job is to be creative and make people happy. What could be more fulfilling than that?

    I’m Jaja Cline, owner of Décor by Jaja. Twenty years ago a bend in my road came into view when a good friend got engaged and needed help with the big day. I loved it and after that first wedding, the next thing I knew I was helping every bride-to-be in my family.

    In between weddings, I started doing interior painting and home décor when I discovered I could envision a whole new room after it was time to put all the furnishings back together. My friends and family loved my work and as word spread, I soon found myself decorating, remodeling, and planning everything from corporate and to social events.

    Four years ago I became a certified home stager to maximum a home for sale in the real estate market. Staging allows your home to be “show ready” at all times and for you to be “move in ready” for your new home after the sale. A staged home is all about the home itself. We remove your personal imprint and showcase the space of your home so the buyer can “see” themselves living there.

    For couples, I help them decide between trash or treasure and spare them the feud over what can go and what can stay! This service allows a smooth, stress free transition and provides them with a home that debuts their united taste and style.

    When it comes to redecorating or remodeling, I take the time to find out what you love and fashion your home as a reflection of who you are. A lot of decorators expect you to love what they like and then charge a few thousand dollars for a home that you don’t really feel is you! I find out what colors you like, what styles you enjoy, and the kind of atmosphere you want to encounter when you walk through the door. As a frugal person myself, I only charge my clients $200 a day and make sure we take advantage of sales.

    My greatest joy is hearing someone say how much they love to go home or the distant laughter at an event I’ve planned for someone. Seeing the delight in their eyes and the smiles on their faces are the true signs of a job well done. I love making people happy!

    In addition to event planning, home décor and staging, I also offer holiday decorating and personalized gift wrap for the busy season. Contact me and we’ll explore what we can accomplish together for your next special event or home décor project!

    Décor by Jaja
    Jaja Cline
    6009 NW Expressway
    Oklahoma City, OK 73132-5106

  8. “Expensive Taste on an Affordable Budget!”

    September 3, 2010 by Maudie Simpson

    Fine dining, a gracious venue, spectacular décor, and superb entertainment are a few things that make an event special. Most people think giving their guests that kind of experience is well beyond their budget’s allowance but I know better.

    Hello, I’m Maudie Simpson, owner of A Special Occasion Event Planners, LLC. Creativity is my passion and helping my clients afford an event that looks more expensive than it is continues to be part of the fun!

    I started event planning on tight budgets from the first event I ever coordinated. I was helping my former church with their special occasions while working full time as a loan officer. As it turned out, I was not only resourceful on a tight budget but had a an eye for detail, artistic décor, and cohesive planning. Before I knew it, I was creating floral arrangements for weddings every weekend. As demand for my services grew, I left my high stress day job for the work I loved.

    Today we design events of up to 500 people for weddings, parties for retirement, birthdays, anniversaries, corporate events, reunions and more. As a lupus survivor, I have a special place in my heart for fundraisers and non-profit organizations that make the world a better, healthier place to live. We annualy coordinate “The Pretty Party!” lupus fundraiser, the “Gospel Fest” event and a fundraiser for “the Veteran Center.” We do it all, from selecting the caterer and venue to décor and music, so all you have to do is come and enjoy the moment.

    My clients receive a free consultation where I assure them that what they want doesn’t always have to exceed their financial allowance. We work together to find the best solutions that deliver maximum results with their bottom line in mind. At A Special Occasion Event Planners, LLC we have partnerships from A-Z that provide catering, entertainment, photography, and more so we can conveniently offer you a “one stop shop” experience. All you have to do is show up and enjoy the event!

    Stop by our website and see for yourself that expensive taste is about creativity and passion, not a larger than life budget!

    Maudie Simpson
    Special Occasion Event Planner, LLC
    Phone: 405-201-2692
    Address: 11421 Stansbury Place, OKC, OK 73162


  9. Up with Balloons!

    August 3, 2010 by Leilani Stendebach

    When most people think of balloon arrangements, they picture a few floating colors attached to a weight. When I imagine them, I see elegant carriages, castles, and Cowboy Pete! I’m Leilani Stendebach , certified balloon artist and owner of Event Planning by Leilani, Inc. where we design and plan weddings, trade shows, parties and supply top quality rentals.

    My grandfather always told me, “You’ll have a business of your own someday but learn on someone else’s time. Get all the experience you can working for other people.” He was right. I learned the tricks of the trade working in the hotel business and for a convention decorating company before striking out on my own. I took my experience and contacts in the hotel business and got to work.

    What started as a business out of my home and garage fifteen years ago is now my dream job. In 2002 I became a certified balloon artist and soon began winning awards for my ‘out of the box’ creations. As a family business, my daughter Treva also mastered this creative illusion of color, movement, and design and today artistic balloon arrangements are a large part of our business. With certified artists on call, rest assured your event will shine right on schedule.

    With over 6,000 square feet of warehouse space, I have everything I need at my finger tips to make my clients the star of the show. We supply rentals and deliver gorgeous décor for events of up to 1,500 people. Whether you need pipe & drape, trade show decor, balloon decor, wedding coordination, wedding rentals or party rentals, we can deliver the kind of event that your guests will remember. Let us bring our expertise and unique creativity to your next special event!


    Event Planning by Leilani, Inc.
    P.O. Box 55593
    Del City, OK.  73155
    Ph: 405.232.0911
    Fx: 405.232.3744
    Toll Free: 1.888.PLANS-2-GO


  10. The “New” Coles Garden!

    by Jenny Wood

    It’s hard to improve on something as elegant and gracious as Coles Garden Wedding & Event Center. Gorgeous gardens, the beautiful architecture and convenient amenities are the features that have made it a favorite venue for so many different events for years. I’m Jenny Wood and my husband Willie and I are the new owners of Coles Garden.

    We’ve updated this breathtaking property that has drawn interest from people all over the world. We were no exception. Our wedding reception was held here in 2004 and made a lasting impression. When I discovered it was on the market and knew I needed larger accommodations for my insurance office, One General Agency, I couldn’t resist the possibilities.

    It was almost too good to be true. The rooms were perfect for meetings with clients and the building would offer more space for staff as well as a much more scenic view! But, it was also too beautiful not to share with people who wanted to welcome their guests to a spectacular event. I decided to host events and our agency under the same roof. The journey has been fun and exciting!

    It didn’t take much to update a good thing. We added new flooring, crystal, chandeliers, lighting, spacious dressing rooms for bride and groom and little updates that put the icing on the cake. When people step into the enchanted world of Coles Garden and realize how reasonably priced our custom or prepackaged rates are, they can’t walk away!

    We partnered with Deep Fork Grill to offer clients high quality and affordable catering services but clients are also permitted to bring in their own. Keeping flexibility, we also have in-house professional wedding coordinators and allow clients to bring in their own. We revived the indoor chapel so that guests can choose between an indoor wedding ceremony that captures the outdoor view or choose to recite their vows on one of our gardens. Either way, cascading waterfalls and vibrant, colorful gardens will catch your eye everywhere you turn!

    Coles Garden
    Jenny Wood
    1415 N.E. 63rd Street
    Oklahoma City, OK 73111
    Ph: 405.478.1529
    Fx: 405.840.9388