DJS Events

"Turning Visions Into Reality"

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dawn Strain, founder of DJS Events, to be interviewed on 88.7 FM WRHU today!

Posted by DJS Events

The Believe Symposium - Long Island

Today, tune in Wednesday September 29th at 6:00 PM E.S.T. Dawn Strain, Founder of DJS Events and The Long Island Elite will join a LIVE interview with Tim Kealy on “The Profit Express” on 88.7 FM WRHU and streaming live on the web at

Along with Lisa Strahs-Lorenc from LI works, Dawn Strain will be speaking about The Believe Symposium- an event created for Long Island youth, professionals and community members. Listen to Dawn and Lisa as they share their passion to inspire young adults and business professionals to believe in the promise of making Long Island a better place to live, work and thrive!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fire it Up! Five Ways to Spark Your Event.

Posted by DJS Events

Fire it Up! Ways to Use FIRE at Events

Lighting is an enormously important part of each event; not to mention any space in general. Lighting sets a mood, creates ambience and can alter the way an event is perceived. The aspect of lighting we want to talk about today is FIRE. Here are a few ideas we like at DJS for creative usage of fire.

1.) Flameless Flames.
Flameless flames have been on the rage now for a while, and it’s for good reason. They come in all sorts of different shapes, and sizes. At an Arabian Nights themed event, our belly dancers mesmerized us by the light of flameless flames that were actually made of a beautiful silk material.

2.) Tea Light Candles.
Dripping from tree branches or placed in beautiful containers on a table, tea lights are a delicate way to make a big impact in a room. To make it super safe, use battery operated ones, just make sure their plastic “flame” isn’t too obvious.

3.) Sparklers
Sparklers are an awesome, adult-friendly way to ring in the New Year or celebrate a birthday/ anniversary. At this party, there were multiple birthdays at so everyone got a sparkler and lit it up before singing and cake cutting.

4.) Entertainment
Add a little mystique! Nothing lights up a room more than a fire eater or a magician’s fire tricks.

5.) Fireworks
These can be used for large scale events-festivals, concerts, rooftop parties and other outdoor affairs…but even indoor occasions can have a small pocket of outdoor patio time in which guests are mesmerized.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

DJS owner Dawn Strain is chosen as Bloomingdale's Local Fashion Influencer!

Posted by DJS Events

DJS Events owner, Dawn Strain, is participating in Bloomingdale’s Fall kick-off HOT campaign as local fashion influencer.

She’s super excited to go visit Prime, Four, and Westbury Gardens promoting Bloomingdale's and Sam Edelman shoes. If you want to meet Dawn and hear about some of her upcoming events, as well as receive some bonus gifts with a Sam Edelman purchase, go see her host “On the Go with Sam Edelman” this Thursday 6-8pm at Bloomingdale’s Bridgewater Commons.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Simple or Spectacular? Tips for your Save the Date!

Posted by DJS Events

While Save the Dates gained popularity years ago as a practical way to remind guests to clear their schedules, Save the Dates have now become a stylish and unique way to show the bride and groom’s personalities and tastes. Save the dates don’t have to be as formal or pristine as the invitations; this is why they often take on a more humorous or artistic tone. Here’s a great example of a Save the Date that DJS Events has done and an example of the art from the formal invitation that followed:
A sweet little detail worth noting is the pair of wings in the background of the Save the Date. That same sketch was used to create a gobo for the ceiling of the wedding. We love threading themed details all throughout our events!
Interested in something a little less traditional? Magnets are also a great way to go, they stare your guests in the face every day when they reach for the fridge! We also found these awesome Save the Date videos that are truly a great way to express a couple’s joy and creativity. Enjoy and be inspired! We like this one because it's concise, artful and fun, yet also manages to stay classy:

Allison & Jared are Getting Married!! Save the Date!! Engagement Photo-Shoot. from Thomas Marlow on Vimeo.

Here's one that is a little more story driven. Incorporating your story as a couple is powerful way to create a theme or capture your guests attention:

Save the date from Justin Lewis on Vimeo.

And this one is great because it's brief and sweet, without much fuss for the type of guests that don't have much time!

save the date from Brooks Tuckett on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pop-Up Store Revival

Posted by DJS Events

Pop-up stores are getting some new love these days. It seems as though in this economy, the need for short term rental space has grown. Building owners would much rather have short term tenants than none at all, and companies have found the pop-store store to be a successful, creative advertising strategy.
Launching a new product takes on a whole new dimension when you can create a launch event and then leave the entire atmosphere intact for days afterwards. The ways in which to use pop stores are multitudinous; have an anniversary or bar/bat mitzvah and invite your overseas or out of town guests to stay a week, throw a fundraising gala for the arts and have a running gallery show for a week afterwards –the possibilities are endless! Here's an article where you can find out

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What is a Gobo?

Posted by DJS Events

What is a Gobo and how can it make my event spectacular?

At DJS Events, we LOVE gobos. Many people don’t know what gobos are, or how they can amp up an event. Let us fill you in.

Gobos (or Go Betweens) were originally created for stage and films sets to control lighting and the shape of lighting. They serve the same purpose for events. A piece of material made of plastic or glass with patterned holes is placed in front of a light. This material only lets the desired shape through while blocking the rest of the light, which casts specific areas of shadow and light, creating the image that you want onto a ceiling or wall. The image can be of anything, be it a company logo, a person's name, or an image. Gobos can be simple with clean lines like a men's/women's restroom icon or layered and elaborate like a gothic stained glass window. Some high tech gobos can be animated!

Sound super technical? It’s not! Gobos make an awesome addition to your event. Here are some examples of Gobos that DJS Events have executed for our clients.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Attack of the Green Monster: Making Sense out of Sustainable Events

Posted by DJS Events

Let’s face it: most of us rely on a
certain amount of unsustainable resources to maintain our daily
lives. Events are not much different in this regard, and if you aren’t careful, your event can become an unsustainable nightmare: beginning and ending with the consumption of one-time use materials. Even for the most seasoned event planner, creating a large green event can be likened to jumping through hoops of fire.

When we were hired to plan and execute the USGBC-LI (United States Green Building Council-Long Island Chapter) Annual Green Gala, we knew we had a small challenge on our hands.
With a guest list over 450 and a fairly strict budget, we had to make the best decision based on economics as well as being environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, going green usually costs a lot more green, even when buying in bulk. When having a green event, much thought needs to be put towards priorities; often times being completely green isn’t possible.

Going Green Checklist:
-What can you re-use? Can you use potted plants instead of flowers?
-Think about your event. If you are planning an elegant gala, why not use a functional party favor, such as sustainably resourced aluminum or steel water bottles complete with a company or organization’s logo? If you're planning on a company or team building outing, you could provide solar powered alarm clocks or flashlights as a party favor. Be creative and think about the client's industry!
- What can leave an imprint on people’s minds as well as being sustainable? Flashdrives are re-usable and are also a fantastic networking tool: you can put a presentation, photos or just the contact info onto every flashdrive that is handed out at the end of the event.

We chose to be as green as we could muster while respecting our client’s budget. This often meant having to purchase 50% or 75% recycled materials instead of 100%. We used biodegradable Verterra plateware, (made from a renewable resource of fallen leaves that actually helps the soil it’s composted in) for our cocktail hour.

Our goody bags were recycled paper, and the invitations were printed on 30% recycled paper.

It’s worth mentioning that prices for invites doubled and soon tripled after the 30% mark of recycled material. The party favor of the night were bamboo flash drives, and the awards used for the honorees were partially recycled glass.

Both small touches created a beautiful continuity to the entirety of the event.

Finally, the centerpieces we used were potted plants, and since the honoree of the event, Michael Dowling, is the president of the North Shore LIJ Medical System, they were donated to hospital waiting rooms after the event. There’s nothing better than having your post event creation continue to brighten someone’s day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dummy cakes versus Yummy cakes

Posted by DJS Events

In our right hand corner we have the original, scrumptious Yummy Cakes! In our left, we have the avant-garde, gorgeous Dummy Cakes!

Ding Ding Ding!
When it comes to dessert, our clients are often at a loss when it comes to Yummy versus Dummy.
“What do you mean, spend money on a cake I can’t even eat?”
Ah Grasshopper, there is so much for you to learn!
Here are the basics for deciding on having your cake and eating it too:

Dummy Cakes 101

Dummy Cakes are virtually limitless…created to be the focal point of your wedding, they can be any size, shape, color or design you want, even twisting and bending in Cirque Solei style. Want an Eiffel tower cake? Done! A cake in the shape of a Prada bag spilling open, complete with lipstick, Blackberry and wallet? Done!
Dummy cakes can do pretty much anything….
except be eaten.
So, back to the age old question:
Why have a cake I can’t eat?

There are many reasons why dummy cakes are a great way to go.
It’s important to note that when you order a dummy cake, your baker will also be supplying you with cupcakes or a sheet cake that is pre-cut and served after the dummy cake is presented. While you won’t be able to eat the decorative cake, chances are that if you have a talented baker, the edible cake will be delicious.

Here are some reasons why one may want a dummy vs a yummy:
1.) The Freedom Factor: you want a complicated cake that will wow your guests, it’s likely that the design will be easier to construct using fondant and Styrofoam, the main ingredients in dummy cakes.
With Dummy cakes, the possibilities are endless…
2.) Picky, Picky!: What if you have a Japanese themed wedding and you want green tea flavors, but also the traditional chocolate and vanilla? You can have a variety of cupcake flavors or even small sheet cakes. Let’s be honest, guests can be super picky and if you have anything unusual it may be best to provide some good old fashioned traditional flavors.

3.) Options! If you want a “mostly dummy” cake, you can have the bottom tier be real while the rest is fake. This is can great for weddings, where the traditional caking cutting photo is usually a must for the photo album that follows.
4.) Lots of Hungry Partiers…after your guest list exceeds 300, one yummy cake won’t do the trick anymore.

Yummy Cakes 101

And yet there is something about tradition that just doesn’t get old. “Yummy” cakes are the kind that can be eaten (imagine that!), and while they can’t take on the crazy sculptural forms that some dummy cakes can, they can be carved into shapes and decorated with a myriad of edible arrangements-including edible flowers.
Most of the reasons why you might want a yummy cake has to do with the drawbacks associated with dummy cakes.

Here are some reasons why you might choose a yummy cake for your special day:
1.) Flava’ Flave: Cupcakes and side cakes tend to be dry and many report that flavor in side cakes isn’t always as scrumptious..which leads to number 2….
2.) Don’t get fresh with me! Yummy cakes are made, iced and served the day of your event, as opposed to sheet cakes, which can be made a day or two before, affecting freshness and quality.

3.) Fabulous Fillings- When it comes to yummy cakes, the sky is the limit… not so with cupcakes. In general, you can’t use fresh fruit fillings in cupcakes.
4.) Quality, not Quantity…If you have more than 300 people are your event, you can also choose to have more than one yummy cake rather than a whole lot of plain sheet cake.

5.) It’s just plain awesome to be able to eat the beautiful cake that someone worked super hard on. And if you ask some, tastier too!

We hope this helps and that your day is as delicious as the cake you choose to use!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Masquerade 2010

Posted by DJS Events

The 7th annual Long Island Elite Masquerade was a great success!

The theme this year was Wonderland. We were so excited to put on this year’s event for the Long Island Elite, who raised money for Long Island Charities and had a blast while doing it!
Rather than the usual cocktail set up of various round tables, we created a mad tea party 8 tables long. Guests loved the tea party so much they chose to sit there for dinner as well, amidst the calculated clutter of flowers, cups and saucers, tea pots, antique books and clocks. We placed some of the clutter on spinning plates for added magic…

Photos by Dennisimo Photography
Besides being cozy, this sociable seating arrangement set up fantastic opportunities for guests to network. One of the most prevalent remarks of the night was how easy it was to make connections and exchange information.
Our challenge every year with this event is keep things fresh and exciting. After 6 years of putting on the same event, the challenge grows every year—it’s a good thing we love challenges at DJS, because there’s nothing better than topping yourself!

Some of the other elements of the evening:

We chose fresh, vibrant colors for our floral arrangements. When you are working with bright table tops you have to make sure that your arrangements can stand on their own and aren't drowned out by the surrounding colors.

We accented our special reserved tables with branches laced with orchids, moss and hanging votives. These elements grounded the tables and gave a glittering, whimsical detail.

Dawn Strain, President & founder of LIE looked gorgeous in a gown donated for the evening by Kleinfeld Bridal

Scrumptious dessert by Just a Sliver! We had character inspired cupcakes and ones that said "Eat Me"
Who Are You?
We transformed the patio into a hookah lounge, complete with Hookahs from Mystique.

Photos by Dennisimo Photography

Our croquet and life sized chess set was a big hit!

Photos by Dennisimo Photography

Who is LIE?

Founded in 2002, the Long Island Elite (LIE) is an organization dedicated to fostering the growth and development of Long Island’s business professionals under the age of 40, the region’s emerging business leaders. To learn more about LIE, please visit their website at
The performers provided by Chezzam created a magical evening with a crazy cast of characters that kept the spirit of the evening fun, quirky and charismatic.

Photos by Dennisimo Photography

The King, Queen and Member of the Year Gary Cucchi (Tweedle)
Photos by Dennisimo Photography

If you couldn't make it and would still like to donate to the Long Island Elite, please go