Boob Voyage! Celebrating a Future Breast Cancer Survivor

Everything can be going great in your life and all of a sudden, boom, you're hit like a ton of bricks with a life changing diagnosis.  One thing my Mother always taught me, that I hold close to my heart, is to smile in the face of adversity. 

This past April, my mother was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer.  When she delivered the news to me, she did it with great dignity and pride, as if she was laughing in the face of the big C word.  Her strength was written all over her face.  She knew she was going to beat it. 

Now me on the other hand, I am a planner by nature.  Everything I do has to be laid out perfectly.  Every T is crossed and every i dotted.  All backup plans in place (rain plan, sun plan, you name it).  Well in this case, I had no plan, I had no idea what to say, what to do, and all I could imagine was losing my mother.  She made up her mind, she was going to fight it, she was going to go through 6 rounds of Chemo, undergoe a double matectomy and come out on the other side. 

I had to cope with the battle of the mind, dry my eyes, roll up my sleeves and stand alongside her as we fought it for a few long months.  Chemo was a monster.  It took almost all of the bubbly spirit she had in her.  She became tired, and slow, and lost her appetite, her hair, her brows, her lashes.. her identity.  One thing she didn't lose however, was her will to survive.  With every round of chemo, that will became stronger and stronger.  I could not help but get stronger with her.  

We were surrounded by so much positive energy, love, and light.  It made me realize that God truly is in the midst of all things.  

To commemorate the long journey, and the start of the second stage of the battle (the surgery), we threw a Boob Voyage celebration the weekend before she was scheduled to have a double mastectomy.  We invited 25 of her closest friends, and biggest supporters to come out, fellowship and lift her spirts before she said BYE BYE to the BOOBIES.  

This night was amazing.  The energy was upbeat.  Everyone shared kind words, prayers, and positive energy that helped her go into surgery ready to conquer the next step.  There were no tears.  Just love, support, and laughter.  Sometimes you have to celebrate the survivor that you know that is inside of you.  Today, we are 11 months post diagnosis and Cancer Free!  

Choosing the Perfect Venue for your Event...

We get this question all the time.. Where can I have my party?  The first step with any event is to secure a venue that accommodates the budget, size and theme of your event.  A few questions you should ask your self to narrow down the selection process.  

  1. What is my venue budget?
  2. What are the hours of the event?
  3. What side of town should I have the event on?
  4. How many guests do I plan to invite?
  5. Should there be live music (i.e band or DJ) or will a bluetooth speaker suffice?
  6. Will there be children invited?
  7. Do I want to bring my own food?
  8. Will there be beer, wine or alcohol served?
  9. Am I planning to charge admission to my event?

These are just a few of the questions you should consider when choosing a venue that is right for you.  Each location will be have different requirements and restrictions and asking yourself these questions will help decide the space that works.  

Our first suggestion to our clients for events that are non-formal like a Baby Shower or Kids Event are to consider City or County Recreation and Community Centers.  These venues are normally the cheapest with ranges from ($100-$350) for residents, have access to parks or playgrounds for children, provide tables and chairs and will set them up according to your floor plan requirements.  These venues normally require a small security deposit that is refunded after the event (as long as you leave it how you found it - clean and in one piece).  They are the most budget friendly venues and the grounds usually well kept.  Click the links to find a list of Community Centers in Richmond, Chesterfield, or Henrico.  

Our Second suggestion to our clients is to try community clubhouses like one that your subdivision or apartment community may own and rent out at no costs to residents.  The only downside that we run into with most community clubhouses is that in some cases they do not allow loud music like what you would expect with a DJ.  For that reason, these venues are best for small get togethers, bridal showers, or dinner parties.  

Lastly, private venues and hotel banquet rooms are our go-to for large events.   Most private venues require ABC banquet licenses for the consumption of alcohol and these can be easily obtained from your local ABC office for around $50.  Most of these venues have very little restrictions and work well with planners and vendors to accommodate your needs.   Depending on the size of the space, you can expect to pay at least $350 for a small hotel ballroom up to $1,000 or more depending on the size of the space.  

You also want to make sure that the space is modern, bright, and free of any eyesores like bingo boards or score boards that can be found hanging on the walls in some community centers, or old fashioned wall decor that you'd want to camouflage.  Unsightly items like those can increase your decor budget by requiring wall draping to give your event an uniformed look.  You want the canvas (venue) to be as blank as possible.  

As always, we offer help in selecting the perfect venue for your event.  It can be a tedious task but knowing what you need upfront will make venue scouting a lot easier.  

Party on!