1. Staging a First Impression

    March 3, 2010 by Tahnya Schilke

    Believe it or not, research shows that a first impression (good or bad) is set in the first seven seconds or less! How your guests almost instantly feel about your special event will affect their entire experience and help form lasting memories. Luckily positive first impressions can actually be “staged.”

    Hello, my name is Tahnya Schilke, the owner of Suddenly Simply. I am also an Accredited Staging Profession (ASP). I guess you could say I’ve been staging ever since I was a child who thoroughly enjoyed moving around furniture and household accessories.

    Even then, I could sense the difference the placement made in how I and others felt.
    My educational background is in special education and psychology, but I eventually realized that staging events, residences and commercial properties is what I enjoy. So, I began my staging company – Suddenly Simple.

    My job (which I love) is to create space and  atmosphere for your event using my understanding of space, color and proportion with the goal of achieving the desirable affect. In simple terms, what you place and where you place objects creates an ambience that effects emotions. How do you want your guests to feel? Impressed, relaxed, inspired, excited, romantic? All these and more are the result of creative staging.

    The first part of the process is my sitting down with brides, grooms and other clients, listening well and truly understanding what effect they want to achieve for their occasion or theme. When I tap into their vision, I creatively use that knowledge to choose and arrange areas such as the entry way, reception table, ceremony stage and/or the overall impact of the area, whether it’s an indoor room or an outdoor patio.

    I try to primarily use what is already available, including furniture, decorations and accessories – instead of spending a great deal of the budget on additional items. I can do as little or as much as clients prefer from a single centerpiece or a “wow” table at the entrance to arranging the entire venue. Stretching the budget is a major priority.

    In addition to staging events, I also use my training and talents to stage homes to make them more saleable, hotel lobbies, offices and other commercial properties.

    If you’re planning a special event, don’t underestimate the power of creative staging.
    Let Suddenly Simple help create the vision that will emotional impact your guests from the first seven seconds, throughout the event and forever in their memories.


    Tahnya Schilke, ASP, Owner

    Suddenly Simple
    Ph: 405-436-3181



  2. It’s a Mansion!

    by Andrea Croasdale

    The word “mansion” brings to mind visions of elegance, spaciousness, and architectural artistry. If this description is your idea of the perfect setting for a wedding, then you’re in luck: Harwelden Mansion reflects the style and glory of early Tulsa.

    Hello, my name is Andrea Croasdale. I’m the facilities manager of Harwelden Mansion in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Although not a native Tulsan, I have grown to love the town and have made it my home. I came to work for the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, which owns Harwelden, after completing both my bachelors and masters degrees in History from the University of Tulsa.

    Constructed between 1923 and 1926, Harwelden was built as the private home by oilman E.P. Harwell and his wife, Mary. Upon Mrs. Harwell’s death in 1967, her majestic home was donated to the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, graciously continuing Mrs. Harwell’s legacy of supporting the arts in the community.

    The sprawling mansion, with its lovely landscaped grounds, encompasses the size of a city block. The 3,389 square feet mansion is said to be the only Collegiate Gothic-English Tudor Style home in Tulsa. For decades, Harwelden has been the preferred choice for weddings, parties, and other events. Its reputation as the perfect setting for weddings of distinction has spread primarily through word-of-mouth by satisfied brides and impressed guests.

    The rental fee, which benefits the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, includes your exclusive use of the mansion and its grounds. If you plan to hold your event outside, the mansion’s interior will be available should the weather interrupt your plans. The use of Harwelden’s event furniture, as well as indoor set-up, tear-down, and custodial cleaning, are included. Your choice of caterer is welcome to use the mansion’s large caterer’s kitchen, and we will happily suggest preferred vendors for all of your event’s needs.

    If you’re looking for a venue with the spacious elegance of a mansion steeped in Oklahoma’s opulent oil boom history, consider the unique style and charm of Harwelden Mansion in Tulsa. You may come to the conclusion, as numerous others have, that no other decorations are necessary here, as the impressive architectural design speaks for itself.



    Andrea Croasdale, Facilities Manager
    Harwelden Mansion
    2210 South Main
    Tulsa, Oklahoma 74114




  3. The Choice Is Yours!

    by Rabin Bhandari

    Choice is what it’s all about when event planners decide on their venue and caterer.
    Food, atmosphere, budget options, services…no one wants to pay for what they don’t want, just what meets their vision and needs. Luckily, there’s an Edmond restaurant/caterer that delivers excellence with the added benefit of numerous options.

    Hello, my name is Rabin Bhandari, the general manager of Lottinvilles Restaurant and Bar. I actually began working at Lottinvilles as a server, working my way up through management.. Many people in the restaurant and catering business tend to move around, but I have always enjoyed Lottinvilles creativity, management style, warmth, commitment to quality, and especially, the clientele we attract. As General Manager, I am responsible for the usual responsibilities of inventory, coordinating the management staff, cost/quality control, and maintaining the pleasant environment, but something I also enjoy greatly is working with our team to create special events.

    The first option at Lottinvilles is whether you’d prefer to have you event here at the restaurant or have us cater another location.

    Our oval shaped restaurant is designed in Santa Fe warmth and charm. Events at Lottinvilles range from a single table of family and friends to corporate meetings, and larger receptions and parties. Our main restaurant accommodates up to 180 guests and you have the option of using part or all of that space. We also have a private room with a big screen television for up to 40 guests. Our bar area’s fireplace adds to the intimacy and atmosphere of the restaurant.

    The regular restaurant menu is full of choices – something to please every taste from entrees such as enchiladas, prime steaks, meatloaf and risotto. In addition, our chef prepares a daily dinner and fish special, such as duck breast, rack of lamb, sea bass or Mahi Mahi. Dessert choices include crème brulee, key lime and pecan pies.
    Another area of choice is our extensive wine list with a variety of popular, but not overly expensive selections.

    Lottinvilles Restaurant and Bar also offers the choice of off-site catering at the venue of your choice. We can accommodate any type of food from simple sandwiches, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres or an elegant 5-course meal. Our in-house baker will also prepare a special cake for your occasion, upon request.

    In addition to supplying the food, you choose how many or few additional services you would like us to handle. We will be happy to coordinate one or every aspect of your event with our trusted resources – tables/chairs, linens, entertainment, florists and bar service – the choice is yours.

    When planning your next event, remember that choices and decisions are easier and budget-friendly when they all come from one place that values your business and is committed to having your event, your way. If you haven’t visited Lottinvilles Restaurant and Bar, consider having Sunday brunch with us. We’re located at the Southeast corner of Kelly and 15th Street in Edmond.

    Rabin Bhandari, General Manager

    Lottinvilles Restaurant and Bar
    801 Signal Ridge Drive
    Edmond, Oklahoma 73013



  4. Latest & Greatest March 2010

    by admin