How To Plan a Last-Minute V-Day Party

Eastern Shore Maryland Event Planner & Designer

Entertaining, Studio, Styled Shoots

We get it, some years Valentine’s Day just isn’t your biggest priority—even if you’re in a relationship. So if you haven’t planned a killer getaway or made that coveted dinner reservation, don’t sweat it! There’s nothing wrong with throwing a low-key, last-minute couples party for a fresh and fun take on this date-night dominated holiday. Here are three quick tips to get you started!

Stick with Your Standbys
For us, that means stopping by our go-to décor destination Dwelling & Design for a pop of pink courtesy of their colorful flatware line.

Roses are a Girl’s Best Friend
At least on Valentine’s Day because they are everywhere, even in grocery stores! Pair them with some snapdragons and leafy greens like we did here for a loose, textured look. 

And So is Rosé
If champagne is a Valentine’s Day must, Rosé champs is a double must! Garnish with frozen raspberries and blackberries for the perfect pop of deep berry hues.


Photography: Karena Dixon Photography
Styling: Kari Rider Events
Champagne: Hair O’ The Dog
Flatware and Napkin: Dwelling & Design
Charger and Glassware: DC Rental
French Macarons: Bartlett Pear Bakery 
Place Card: Surcee Calligraphy
Ribbon: Lancaster & Cornish

Heather and Doug’s Easton Airport Wedding

Eastern Shore Maryland Wedding Planner & Designer


What do you do when your bride is a combat pilot and your groom is an executive in the aviation field? Plan a reception in an airport hangar, duh! Looking to show off their mutual love of aviation, Heather and Doug found the perfect venue for their intimate nuptials in an Easton Airport hangar filled with restored World War II spitfire airplanes and vintage automobiles. As a balance to the built-in décor manifesting the aviation theme, we focused on softening the setting using loose draping, lush florals and a subtle crystal chandelier that cast a beam of romance over the dance floor. With touches of aeronautical charts sprinkled throughout the décor, the only thing that would have made this day more unique is if the storms had held off and the bride was able to fly over the ceremony site, taxi in and descend from the cockpit to marry her groom as planned. Nonetheless, it was still a fairytale ending for Heather and Doug!


Venue: Spitfire USA Hangar, Easton Airport
Photographer: Meredith Hanafi Photography
Planning & Design: Kari Rider Events
Florist: Seaberry Farm
Caterer: Magnolia Caterers
Rentals: Dover Rent All Tents & Events
Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen
Lighting & Draping: On Your Mark Lighting
Invitations & Statinery: Cara Smith Designs
Bride’s Hair: Elizabeth Claire Salon
Band: Swing Machine

Kraft Paper Holiday Wrapping

Eastern Shore Maryland Event Planner & Designer

DIY, Studio, Styled Shoots

When you’re in the industry of making things pretty, the holidays can get out of control! Not only are you expected to buy the perfect gift, but you’re then expected to wow with its presentation. Honestly, who has time for that?! We’ve done it the hard way: up until 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve meticulously crafting bows and attaching handmade tags. (A bottle of wine later, it may or may not have looked like a child wrapped the last of the gifts!) But we’re ready to wrap smarter this year! Enter kraft paper. Versatile, affordable and available at most craft stores, kraft paper is a blank canvas for creativity. Letter it, stamp it, dress it with ribbon—the possibilities are endless. The best part? A little bit of decoration goes a long way. We recommend dressing up the smallest in your set of gifts and placing it atop larger plain-wrapped gifts. You’ll get the wow factor you want in a fraction of the time it would have taken you otherwise. So join us in wrapping smarter this year with these three tips for wrapping with kraft paper!


Letter It

Personal and delicate, hand lettering a holiday phrase like “Merry & Bright” on kraft paper is sure to impress. If you don’t have the hand for it, ask a friend or contact a local calligrapher like we did with Eunice of Surcee Calligraphy. Eunice recommends laying the kraft paper out flat and lettering on it prior to wrapping the gift to ensure consistency.


Stamp It

Gold or black ink show up well on kraft paper; white can be pretty temperamental. But if your heart is set on white, don’t shy away. We used the tip of an eraser to create the polka dot pattern on this package. The white ink was showing up too faint, so we traced over those dots with a chalk marker to help them stand out more.


Dress It

We love mixing different textures of ribbon to dress up kraft paper. Don’t be afraid to take an unstructured approach like we did here for a fun nontraditional look.

Photography: Karena Dixon
Styling: Kari Rider Events
Kraft Paper Calligraphy: Surcee Calligraphy
Calligraphy Gift Tags: Laura Hooper Calligraphy
Tree Gift Tag: Cara Smith Designs
Ribbon: Sugar Paper LA, Paper Source