Five Rules: Shari Johns of As You Wish … Weddings & Events

Follow these five expert tips to make your summer party pop

As the President of the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners and the founder of Dallas-based As You Wish… Weddings & Events, it’s Shari Johns’ business to know absolutely everything about creating spectacular events.  She’s planned hundreds of weddings, rehearsal dinners and receptions, each featuring her expert touch.  So whether you’re hosting an intimate gathering for family and friends or an over-the-top celebration, she’s got the key to making your party pop.

Five Rules For A Fabulous Event

1.  “Lighting makes the space.”
Johns’ successful soiree strategies hinge on attention to detail.  Lighting, for example, is often overlooked -- but shouldn’t be underestimated.  A subtle glow can relax your guests or add a hint of mystery.  “It can even,” Johns explains, “Turn any old ballroom into an amazing night club if that’s what you want!”

2.  “Entertainment can make or break your event.”
Always “audition” a live band before you make a commitment.  Likewise, arrange to hear a D.J.’s work ahead of time so you can be sure of what to expect.

3.   “Create a custom monogram.”
This tip is unique and unexpected, and that’s exactly why it works.  Johns suggests imprinting invitations, programs, napkins and the like with your special insignia for a personalized touch.  Think initials in a favorite color or maybe even an image of your college mascot (great for grads) -- the sky is the limit!

4.  “Design a cool lounge area.”
We can all agree there’s nothing worse than balancing a drink, a plate of food and a handbag while perching on the edge of an occupied sofa.  Johns suggests arranging specific areas where guests can relax and chat or just “sip a perfect martini”.  She knows that planning conversational groupings ahead of time eliminates the fight for rear-end real estate later.

5.  “Offer a fabulous treat or trinket to end a memorable evening.”
Johns’ final tip assures that your guests will remember your event long after they make their way home.  Small framed photos, engraved wine glasses and take-home bags of candy or cookies are all sweet souvenirs of a wonderful time.

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