Selfie Suite posted in: Cool Products, Decorating Ideas, Entertainment, Events, How To, How Tos, Inspiration, Party Ideas, Trends

From Homecomings to Holiday Parties, photo booths are still a popular feature at events. If you would love to have one at your next event, but are feeling a squeezed by the budget, I  have a cost effective way to still create an interactive, fun activity for your event that’s easy on the wallet.

Create a Selfie Suite! A dedicated and decorated spot at your event that provides the fun elements of a photo booth, think themed or styled backdrop and props with the ability for guests to casually snapping their own pics at leisure. If this sounds like exactly what will fit the bill for your upcoming fete, read on for more inspiration and my…

5 Top Tips to Designing your own Selfie Suite

moshe zusman for ghtv. pohtobooth backdrop1.     Find your Suite Spot.
As with the event itself, location, location, location is key. The area needs to be easily visible and just off from a high-traffic area. Corners of a room are a great option, and the reason is few-fold. Corners are often wasted space in a venue – the forgotten red-headed step-child when it comes to décor, not a gravitational traffic pattern, yet with the right accessories everyone in the room will suddenly take notice of the corner.

2.     Frame the shot.
Set the scene, per se, that will be in the background. He key here is to ensure that the area seen in photos has a finished look (you don’t see outside of the created staged scene). You can use fabric, wallpaper, ribbon, crepe paper, or flowers to name a few cost-effective options of materials that can be used to create your backdrop. Choose a color or colors and materials that work with the compliment the overall event’s style or theme.

Depending on the material selected for your backdrop, you can either hang it directly on the wall (if permitted) or attach the material to a frame system. The key here is to be sure that your backdrop is securely installed. A backdrop or décor collapsing on guests would not only be a safety hazard, but a major #partyfoul.

photobooth decor collage

3.     Prop it up.
When selecting the backdrop material keep in mind any other items that you may wish to incorporate into the framed background, such as event name, themed décor, logos, etc. and any anchor furnishings such as a chaise, or oversize martini glass vases filled with colorful gumballs atop pedestals framing either side of the setting. Props definitely add another element to pictures. They instigators of spontaneous, silly fun -providing an awesome way for guests to make wacky faces or pose or parade an alter ego. Funky glasses, assortment of hats, a few boas and paper-style props go a long way! Begin by looking around your own home – you may be surprised by the great props you have laying around. In the paper props department, check out PaperandPancakes on Etsy. She offers some adorable options like  the french-themed pieces featured in the above collage (and I just love her store name).

4.     Light it Up.strike a pose signage3
Good lighting is essential. Be sure to do a few test shot in the space (and consider the time of day your party will be hosted to ensure you get it right). Adding lighting will provide a more polished finish and ensure picture quality. Using specialty lighting (think uplights, diffused photography spots, etc.) will give the suite a polished finish. If you opt to keep it really low-key, ensure there is ample house lighting in the area.

5.     Signage
Let guests know about the photo booth when they arrive your party, sure, having signage at the suite is recommended. It’s the final touch to inspire guests to take advantage of this fun feature and to encourage them to share their moments with you on social media. To be sure that you and other guests can enjoy the photos, highlight your personal or company profile page. You can also create a special hashtag for the event and include it on the event signage


So while creating a great selfie suite will take some effort, it’s worth it – promise. This fun addition to your event will provide you and your guests a way to capture the moment with sweet reminders of a top night long after the last song has run through on your party playlist.

If you’re interested in more backdrop inspiration, check out our pinterest board here.

So, what do you think of the “Selfie Suite” – is it a must have at your next party?



Signature Tanja & Co. Events




Photo Credits: (T toB, L to R): Moshe Zusman for HGTV, Paper and Pancakes , T&Co., Peg Hardee, and SnapDen







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Slainte! Serve up a Little Conversation this St. Patrick’s Day posted in: Decorating Ideas, Entertaining Essentials, Holiday Decorating, How To, How Tos, Party Ideas

Any St. Patrick’s Day celebration just wouldn’t be complete without raising your glass and making a toast to good health and good friends. Whether you go all out on St. Patty’s Day, or
if you’re lucky to even remember to wear green, here’s a festive way to serve up beverages that’s guaranteed to have your guests’ “Irish” eyes a smilin’.

Create conversion bottles that can double easy décor for your St. Patty’s Day celebration. Use them to serve up your beverage of choice – a signature drink, tonic, or simply chilled water.  I LOVE the ones I found on Bliss Bloom Blog. These festive flasks will have everybody talkin’, and they won’t cost you a pot o’ gold to create.

st patricks bottles - cover

All you need are green bottles and a gold glass marker or paint. Simple, easy, and inexpensive. Don’t have any green bottles? You’re luck (and in vogue) – be really “Green” and pick up a few bottles from your local recycling center.  This festive and eco-conscious project is easy to create. Follow  Bliss Bloom Blog’s how-to and in a few simple steps you’ll have an “upcycled beverage service”.

Oh, by the way, if you like what you see, remember to click and share with your friends!


Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven




Photo credit: Courtesy of Bliss Bloom Blog

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Are You ObSeussed? posted in: Decorating Ideas, Events, How To, How Tos

dr seuss signage

A sure way to brighten things up…regardless of the weather outside is to celebrate one of America’s most beloved children’s authors.

This Sunday, March 2nd, is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, making it a great day to liven things up during the blah, post-holiday wintertime (and get kids jazzed about books in general).  So to inspire you, a little silly get ready to party prose. I’m no Dr. Suess, but I’ll give it a whirl…

From there to here, and here to there,
inspiring ideas are everywehere!
We’ve gathered together just a few
and posted them here especially for you.

Our ideas on how to celebrate Dr. Seuss Style…

Select a favorite Dr. Seuss book, or be full of fun and incorporate stories from several of his stories to set your theme.





Decor. Bright colors against a white base or backdrop  will really liven up the atmosphere.  Red and aqua are the classic go to. You could also add in yellow, purple or lime green taking from other characters as they suit your theme. follow your chosen theme. Color blocking different shades will have the greatest impact. And of course incorporating stripes and polka dots for whimsical flair!

  • Tissue Paper pompoms is an inexpensive decoration that makes a big impact.
  • Make One Fish, Two Fish….. Blue fish, Red fish using paper and hang from the ceiling.
  • Display theme colored candies in clear jars that will be a sweet treat and also add to the décor (mutli-purpose – ding!ding!)
  • You can also cut various-sized circles (there’s your polka-dots) out of paper and place on tables, stick on walls or hang for fun easy décor.

Easy Eats. Keep the food super simple. Something at least semi-nutritious (and if you can sneak it in there “Seuss-style” – Bonus!).

  • Green Eggs and Ham, of course (take it literally, or be creative and create a sweet treat)
  • Blue cotton candy
  • Goldfish Crackers in assorted colors
  • Adorble (and super easy) Lorax cookies and my favorite, Thing Cupcakes – complete with crazy hair!

Dr. Seuss Party Ideas.web

Fun Times
Sometimes the simplest things can be the most fun and mean the most, and the easiest thing to do would be to sit down and read together with your kids. But because I’m in the business of creating fun and memories, here’s a few more ideas to kick things up a notch on this fun afternoon…

  • Have an animated friend who would be willing and available to dress in character? If so, AWE-SOME! Have them come to the party as a Seuss character and read a book or two.
  • In true Dr. Seuss fashion, create a word together and give it a meaning. This could end up being something that really sticks – inside family joke in the making…
  • Write words from one of the books on plastic eggs (It is February already, so I’m certain the retail isles overflowing with Easter goods), making sure to make a few words rhyme. Hide the eggs and have a few little treats for the kids when they find eggs that rhyme.
  • If this weather is nice – Boil and color some eggs green, go outside in the fresh air for a throwback egg toss fun. If you have several kids together for the party, make it a competition. Have teams of two stand face to face and gently toss an egg to each other. Begin one foot apart to toss, taking a step back each time they successfully catch the egg.  Once a player drops the egg (and it cracks), that team is out. The last team with an unbroken egg wins.

Check out these links for more inspiration, recipes and how-tos:


So, what do you say – sound like a fun day? Leave a comment on here on our blog or chime in on our facebook page. Well,…

That is that
Not more tricks in my hat
but before I close
How’d I do with my prose?


Goodbye for now, I have places to go!

Tanja & Co. Events & Etiquette




Photo credit: thing cupcakes: kitchendoughdough, tabletop: Stem Parties, goldfish: aturtleslifeforme, Lorax cookies: embracemyspace

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Host an Award-Worthy Oscar Viewing Party posted in: Decorating Ideas, Events, How To, How Tos, Party Ideas

Even if you don’t have an invitation to the Governor’s Ball on Oscar Sunday, it doesn’t mean you can’t be just as fashionable in your own home.  I’ve put together everything you need to host your own Oscar Viewing Party that’s sure to leave your guests speechless.

Host an Award Worthy Oscar Party
Get All Dolled Up. Doesn’t it feel good to get all dressed up every now and then? People just seem to be more outgoing and optimistic in a nice atmosphere. So rather than a casual get together, make it a more formal (well, in terms of dress) affair. Give people a reason and permission to glam it up and feel their best!

Make an entrance. Roll out the red carpet. While this isn’t a new concept, it’s always a welcome and adds festive flair. To turn up the effect, add paparazzi. Enlist a few friends, BFs and hubbies, or neighborhood teens to help.

oscar party decor

Deck out Décor. Purchase assorted-size stars (or make your own using metallic paper stock), attach them to fishing line, and hang them from the ceiling about the party space. Turn the lights down and light candles, the soft light will add to the atmosphere. Clear crystal gems filler is perfect for your candle holders. Fit your food table with a red cloth, accessorize with disposable top hats inverted and filled with gold tissue to use as serving pieces (great for those chocolate dipped potato chips), tie satin bows to the tray handles, and finish off with a sprinkling of star-shaped confetti.

 Cast Your Vote. It’s always fun to try and guess who the big winners will be and few can resist sharing with everyone that their instinct was right. Create a custom ballot (or print out ours– it’s FREE) and have them available for guests to cast their votes upon arrival to the party. For a twist, add in a few fun guest categories such as Best Dress, Best Bold Lip, or even “Best Actor/Actress Look Alike” and present the winners with your own version of an “Oscar” during commercial breaks.

Oscar Eats. Keep the food light and mingle-friendly – just as they do at the Governor’s Ball. A few canapés such as caprese skewers, shrimp cocktail shooters, and chicken satay with cucumber salad. A popcorn bar is perfect for the occasion. Set-out plain popcorn and a variety of seasonings and toppings so guests can create their own signature flavor.

oscar party food collageDecked Out Desserts. Glammed up goodies will have everyone seeing sugar stars. Think tuxedo cake pops, chocolate dipped strawberries or potato chips, and black and white parfaits. Add in a tray of petit peppermint patties, and a selection of black and white candies like m&ms, Jordan almonds, and you have a sensational showing of sweets.

 Dress Your Drinks. Bedazzle champagne flutes with a row of rhinestones or don stems with a tiny bowtie for your champagne cocktails. Another idea: serve mini champagne bottles (also called “splits”) with fashionable straws on ice (clear, disposable dessert cups work great for this).

oscar party bev collage

Get Snap Happy.  Make it easy to capture memories of the evening by having a photobooth. People can’t get enough! I’m always setting them for events, and if an event doesn’t have one, guests are asking about it. Hire a pro or create your own. To DIY, make a run to your local party or dollar store to pick up an inexpensive foil curtain for a backdrop, a few feather boas, fedoras, funky shades, some statement baubles, and an Oscar statue if you can find it. Hang your back drop in front of a blank wall, place a small table nearby to display your props, then setup your camera on a tri-pod in self-timer mode – and let guests start snapping!

Now all that’s left to figure out is what you willk be wearing to this award-worthy celebration!

Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

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Wedding Wednesday Inspiration: Lemon Zest Elegance posted in: Decorating Ideas, Inspiration, Weddings

The clear bright day and the warmth I actually FELT from the sun was my muse for today’s inspiration. Feeling the sun on my shoulders was a much needed hug from Mother Nature  that has me bright-eyed….and longing for more warm and sunny days.

The color story: primary shade: lemon zest, secondary hue: chambray, accents tones: white and gray.

I imagine a gorgeous sunny summer day on the grounds of a private estate. A simple ceremony in the courtyard – Guests are greeted by the sounds of the harp and the scent of fresh citrus rising from the lemon slice accents in the flowing arrangements of crayon yellow blooms lining the aisle. The wedding party dons the color of sunshine and it looks more elegant than ever.

Lemon Zest. Mansion Wedding


After the bride and groom say “I do”, guests make their way through the garden to the veranda for cocktails and light fare to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Ladies enjoy sparkling summer cocktail while catching up with dear friends and taking pictures by the fountain, while the gents answer to the playful call of the  patterned pillow collections (another big trend. see more here) atop the white leather sofas to “sit back and relax” with your buddies.    As the sun sets, guests are led down the grand halls of the estate house by roving electric violists to the dinner reception ballroom. You can hear the “Ooohs” and “this is exquisite”  softly whispered as guests are seated at tables topped white fellow and white silk shantung linen set-off by classic china and fine crystal stemware. After the bridal couple has been introduced and the final course served, the lights dim and a beautiful design illuminates the dance floor as the band turns up the energy in their sound. Guests take to the floor and the merriment continues til after the clock strikes midnight. It was a beautiful day for a wedding indeed.

Would you consider this sunny shade for your wedding?



Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

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Pattern Play – A Hot Event Trend for 2014 posted in: Decorating Ideas, Events, Inspiration, Trends


Today’s events are really taking shape! Gone are the days of solid, stark, single color stories.  Well, not totally, but you can expect to see a continued rise in the use of patterns in event concepts this year. Fun geometric patterns like Caspian and geometric shapes, floral prints and polka dots and even wild specialty patterns in saturated in a multitude of color are being incorporated into events. You’’’ see patterns used in beautiful linen, worked into backdrops, in fun accessories and event cast onto dance floors.

pattern play in events

As Event Designers, we work to personalize events creating a bespoke experience reflective of our clients’ objective, theme, brand or personalities, and using patterns can be a great way to make a statement or evoke a specific ambiance. The picture below shows how we incorporated patterns to give a modern take on an event theme that gave a nod to the ’80s  through linen and event logo design.

gala images from mac

The thing to keep in mind when using patterns is volume and placement. Strategically placed patterns really add interest, but if one’s not careful they can become “too loud” per se in the overall concept. Certain patterns if not used in too great a volume, can even make guests feel dizzy (so choose carefully 🙂 . If you see a pattern that you like, share it with your designer, so that they can work with you on the best ways and areas the  implement them print or formation into your event.

What do you think about incorporating the use of patterns into event design? And what patterns are you loving right now?

Wishing you an inspiring day!

Signature Tanja & Co. Events




Would you like to use this article in your e-zine or on your blog?
Fantastic! Please do, as long as you include the following complete information along with the article: Tanja Lynn is The Party Maven. She is a designer, event planner, etiquette consultant, lifestyle expert and founder of Tanja & Co., a boutique event planning and image management event firm based in the Virginias that serves client worldwide.

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Wedding Inspiration: Radiant Orchid posted in: Decorating Ideas, Events, Trends, Weddings

If you’re tempted by purple  – with Radiant Orchid (check out full color review here: Official Color of 2014) being all the current color rage, but “go bold or go home” is not your style, not to worry all is not lost. You can use bold tones in your color story without having it overpower you and everyone else in the room. The trick is in “how” and “how much” the hue is used in your design.

Consider pairing radiant orchid with lighter and more subtle tones from a close color family, such as a soft ballerina pink and blend with an ombre effect to achieve a softer and inviting feel.

Radiant Orchid Wedding Inspiration

Here’s how:

To achieve the overall desired look, use neutrals or again the softest whisper of pink as your base (this will be the most prominent color in your palette) and accent with radiant orchid blending with mid-tones to soften the transition between colors.

*Ambiance: A soft wash of color with special lighting will do wonders! Seriously – it’s totally worth the investment. Plus, pink/ soft purple hues of lighting are lovely and universally flattering.

*Decor: Create focal areas with colorful decor (such as oversize round balloons), using varying shades to achieve a “quieter” so to speak effect. Colorful stemware or glassware is also another way to incorporate an elegant infusion of color.

*Flowers to carry: Here again it’s all about the mix. A long, flowing ombre effect for the bride’s bouquet would be gorgeous and would have an overall softer effect on the eye so as not to overshadow, but rather complement the bride’s beauty. Attendants’  bouquets could have more of a blended look (smaller bouquet pictured above).

*Centerpieces and floral decor: Lush runners created of varying shades of fresh purple and soft pink blooms flowing along the center of long dining tables accented by soft candlelight would be quite stunning.

*To wear: Pinks and purples are beautiful in makeup. You could wear a bold lip, colorful shoes and jewelry. Selecting a max of three areas to infuse this color so as not to have too many areas competing for the eye’s attention.

*Favors: You can also have fun with color in guest gifts or favors. A personalized bottle of bubbly with a vibrant label would be fun and would double as a nice pop of color on dining tables.

So, by pairing a bold tone with softer colors and being careful with the amount of the color in any given area, you can achieve a strong, yet soft feel for your wedding or special event. Do you have additional ideas? If so, please share with us in a comment below.


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Holiday Door Decor – Inspirations and How-Tos posted in: Decorating Ideas, Holiday Decorating, Holidays, How To, How Tos

Christmastime is one of my favorite times of the year. The magnificent decor is delicious eye candy and there’s an untouchable special  magic of the season that brightens faces, warms hearts and evokes a sense of harmony among fellow man that makes me feel sparkle on the inside.

Speaking of the magic, anyone ever wished for cheery little elves to appear, sprinkle some magic Christmas dust  that  instantaneously decks your halls (and doors) in holiday splendor? Well, in the event that the elf on the shelf doesn’t help you out this year,  here are six easy steps to dress you door for the holidays.

holiday door 2013

You don’t need a lot of time (heaven knows this is the item with the highest of price tags these days) or items – my design has @20 total pieces! So if you’re home needs a little help finding Christmas this year, it’s not too late.

You’ll need:

  • Hooks, anchor clips
  • Garland
  • Lights (optional)
  • Decorations – bows, ornaments and other decorative accents of choice. I used 8 bows (10 including the two for the planters) @10 ornaments/accessories
  • Step ladder
  • Floral scissors (to cut fresh garland)
  • Wire
  • Wire cutters


Holiday Door Decor How-To

The Process: Attempts to distract my supervisor were futile 😉

The Steps:           

    1. 1. Install your mount(s). Nails, brick clips, mounting rod, etc.
    2.     Nails (I recommend as small as possible to support the weight), brick clips mounting rod, etc .
      2. Frame the door with garland
    3.      If you will be using twinkle lights in your design, I recommend wrapping these int your garland before hanging.
    4. 3. Select a starting point and work balancing your design as you go.
    5.      I used bows in different sizes, textures and patterns as my main decor element and accented with coordinating accents. The key is to have a common denominator in
    6.      your design to tie everything together. In this case mine was the color story of bold red and lime green.
    7. 4. Secure your largest or feature pieces
    8.      Again, for this design, mine are the bows. I began by hanging the largest bow in one of the corners of the door, then used one medium and   two small bows in the opposite      corner to achieve balance in size with more of a whimsical look.
    9. 5. Add accent pieces


Now your door is all dressed up for the holidays! A simply charming and warm welcome to those who come calling this Christmas, wouldn’t you agree?

Warmest of wishes for a magical and blessed holiday season,

Tanja & Co. Events & Etiquette




For tips on how to decorate your mantle for the holidays, check out our video on Tanja TV !

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Primp Your Pumpkin: Virtuoso of the Vine posted in: Decorating Ideas, Halloween, Holiday Decorating, Holidays, How To, How Tos, Uncategorized

Here’s another costuming idea for your autumn-themed home adornment. Meet Vincent, Virtuoso on the Vine. This squash has swagger!  He has a cultivated appreciation of artistic excellence – a connoisseur of objets d’art.


Virtuoso on the Vine


To create this artiste, you’ll need:


virtuoso supplies


  • 1 pumpkin
  • 2-3 large black beads
  • 1 beret (fascinator or child’s doll clothing fashion)
  • 1 piece black felt
  • Mustache stencil
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • White paint pen



  1. Mark (or place by sight) the features – eyes, nose, mustache
  2. Glue on eyes
  3. Draw on nose, or use another bead, etc. I used a small bat sticker to complement my bat wing beret fascinator.
  4. Trace stencil onto felt
  5. Cut out felt mustache then adhere to pumpkin using glue
  6. Affix your topper

And you’re done!

He would be perfect company to the the candy dish in your gallery and is perfectly suited for the drawing room. This Virtuoso is also quite popular with the pretty pepons – paired together they make quite the IT couple to greet guests in your entryway. For our “Gourd”geous Gourd how-to, click here.


 "Gourd"geous and Virtuoso on the Vine


If you have other thoughts for creative fashions for your pumpkins, please share in a comment below. And if you have photos of your festive fruits, we welcome you to share them with us on our facebook page.



Signature Tanja & Co. Events

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