Friday, August 13, 2010

Guest Blog Interview: Courtney Dial of Pizzazzerie

We are pleased to introduce Courtney Dial as a featured guest on our blog today. She is the style genius behind the entertaining blog Pizzazzerie, which she launched as a guide for entertaining inspiration. Her goal is to spark the imagination of her readers and help them create unforgettable parties. Courtney has always had a love for entertaining and creating memories, and she began hosting many parties and events while studying at Vanderbilt University. She continues to work in digital communications and grow her fabulous blog Pizzazzerie, while also planning parties and events for friends and family.

Photo by Kate Whitmore Photography

The Cordial Cricket: What is the most creative/unique party theme you have ever worked on?

Courtney: Actually, this is one I'm currently working on! I love anything vintage and wanted to find a way to incorporate this into a summer party. The theme is "Berries and Bellinis" and incorporates a vintage bicycle theme. This is fun because the guest of honor is also a new triathlon queen, so it's fun to find a way to tie the theme into the birthday girl. We are having a "build your own berry cobbler bar" and mini raspberry vanilla cupcakes. And of course, delicious bellinis as well!

TCC: If you could plan any type of party, what type/theme would you choose?

C: This is a hard one :) If I could plan any type of party, I would want to plan an old Hollywood style engagement party. I love engagement parties because you can be super creative with lots of fun twists. There really is not a lot of "traditional" with engagement events. I love traditions, but I also love events that allow for lots of original ideas. Old Hollywood with a black/white/red color scheme would be a lot of fun!

TCC: What is your number one tip for hostesses to ease the stress of party planning and entertaining?

C: The number one tip is do not try to do everything yourself. It takes away the joy of the planning when you can't even stop to breathe. There are fabulous vendors for printables, signs, favors, etc. Use them! Sure, you could do it all yourself. I usually do about 50/50 with vendors. For example, for an event, I might print my own favor tags but order in water bottle labels because some things are easier handed off. Time is valuable, and it is also neat to connect with vendors because they can give you lots of great ideas!

TCC: What is your most budget friendly decor idea to make your party stunning on a tight budget?

C: Your printer! You can make any party look fancy by printing a menu, using one of your own frames, and placing it on the table. And favors! These can be as simple as a cookie wrapped in a cellophane bag with a bow and a simple label. Everyone thinks you spent hours preparing all the details - but not only was it quick, it was also budget friendly.

TCC: What do you think is the most important aspect of a party or event (i.e. the food, the decor, the entertainment, etc.)?

C: It's all relatively important. The party can have the best food you've ever tasted but if the decor is drab, people won't be impressed. I think finding a happy medium of serving great dishes, using creative and fun decor, and saving for entertainment is all important. My favorite of these? Decor!

TCC: Tell us something about you that we would find surprising!

C: I used to be a career counselor at my alma mater, Vanderbilt University. I type faster than anyone I know. I am not married (I did not think this one was surprising but lots of readers ask how old my kids are or what my husband does, I giggle, I'm 25 and not married).

TCC: What are some of your favorite party and event planning design inspirations (blogs, sites, magazine, people, etc)?

C: Oh, I could go on forever. But, top are Style Me Pretty (Abby is a fellow Vandy grad), Amy Atlas, Jen Sbranti of Hostess with the Mostess, The TomKat Studio, Eat Drink Happy, Get Married Magazine,, and of course, Martha Stewart!

TCC: Tell us about a unique budget friendly favor for guests to take away from a party that you have successfully used with your clients.

C: Sweet treats from simple lemon cookies to mini banana muffins. Place in a cellophane bag. Tie with a ribbon and adorn with a favor tag. Easy as pie!

We hope you have enjoyed learning more about Courtney, her party planning style and her blog Pizzazzerie. Please visit Courtney's blog and leave us a comment here to tell us your favorite entertaining tip or party inspiration you found on her site. Stay tuned for our next party planner guest blog post soon!


Chris @ Celebrations At Home said...

Yay for Courtney! She has certainly hit the ground running. I love watching to see what she will do next!

Amanda said...

I love the style of her blog... and the way she styles those parties!

Courtney Dial said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity to do a guest blog interview. Was such a pleasure. Thanks so much!

Thank you Chris and Amanda for your sweet words.

A Few of My Favorite Things said...

Such a great interview with a wonderful lady!

Shelley@DivinePartyConcepts said...

Great interview! I love Courtney's ideas!