Summer Series: Morrow/Mastrean Wedding

 Where: Candlelight Room, Washington, PA
When: Saturday, May 18, 2013
What: Wedding & Reception

As the owner of Offbeat Occasions, I’m fortunate to have friends and family who believe in my dream of pursuing a successful, event planning business. Jess (Morrow) Mastrean is one of those friends. For her May 18 wedding, Jess asked me to be a bridesmaid. I was honored to fill that role and blessed by her allowing me to help with much more.

As Jess and Anthony (her then fiancé) were planning their wedding, I was completing my course work to earn my Certificate in International Wedding & Event Planning. One month before they said “I do,” I earned my Certificate and opened Offbeat Occasions for business. Through the entire process, Jess gave me practice by asking questions and allowing me to provide input as she planned. It was so helpful!


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Utilizing my networking skills, sharing insider tips, creating timelines, and coordinating day-of were just a few techniques I was fortunate to use during Jess and Anthony’s wedding. Their faith in me, and their encouragement, gave me the boost to let Offbeat Occasions soar. I can’t thank them enough!

[Special thanks to Tressa McCune Photography for the photos!]

Summer Series: Trombulak/Ring Reception

Where: Twelve Oaks Mansion, Cranberry Twp.
When: Saturday, June 29, 2013
What: Wedding Reception

Some brides are blessed with a sound mind and a strong support system. They know exactly what they want their wedding and reception to look like and they have a team that helps them make it happen. Hiring an event planner never crosses their mind because they have everything under control. Though that bride may not need a planner, she may find herself in need of an extra pair of hands. That was the case with our bride, Marie (Trombulak) Ring.

Marie and Javan (her then fiancé) sought out the help of Offbeat Occasions with the hopes of crossing one item off their “to-do” list. They had spent the past year planning a creative, sports-themed wedding reception with lots of unique details. All the pieces were coming together, except for one. With the wedding ceremony in Pittsburgh, who was available to decorate the reception hall in Cranberry that day? Ashley of Offbeat Occasions was happy to help!

A few weeks before the wedding, Ashley met with Marie to go over the set up details and expectations. We love an organized bride and Marie was definitely organized! The day of the wedding, Ashley arrived at the beautiful reception location ( and began decorating. Everything was divided into easy to understand bags and boxes. Like we said, this bride was organized! Two hours later, the reception hall was decorated, the bride was happy, and the guests partied the night away.

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Asking for help is not an admission of weakness; it’s a chance to ensure success. You may not need help planning the event details, but consider if you will be able to realistically execute all of the event details. No task is too small for Offbeat Occasions! Let us help ensure your event is a success.

Summer Series: Hilltop Cultural Festival

Where: Transverse Park, Mt. Oliver
When: Saturday, August 10, 2013
What: Non-Profit Community Event


Pittsburgh’s Hilltop Community is rooted in history, looked upon with assumption, but is nevertheless a growing cultural hub. Few people know what this community has to offer, so this summer Offbeat Occasions helped coordinate an event to raise awareness.

The Hilltop Cultural Festival was hosted by the YMCA Hilltop Computer Center, the Knoxville Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh. Their goal was to create an event that would bring the community together to foster awareness and understanding between the Hilltop residents and the Bhutanese refugees. [To learn more about the Bhutanese refugees, check out this link:]

Ashley, owner of Offbeat Occasions, was responsible for gathering ideas from the hosts and forming them into one cohesive event. It was a joy! The end result was a sunny afternoon at Transverse Park, full of face painting, mask making, snacks, cultural dancing, a magician, and yes… even a bounce house.

Being a grassroots event, Ashley made use of whatever resources were available — calling upon friends and family to help staff the event. She enlisted the help of kids in the community to make signs and canvassed flyers all over Brownsville Road with co-workers.






As the old saying goes, “where there is a will, there is a way.” In this case, Ashley was personally invested, not only as the event coordinator, but as someone who has grown to appreciate and care for the Hilltop community. And this is the passion she brings to every event. It’s not about the profit; it’s not about the acknowledgment; it’s about seeing the happiness in the client’s eyes as they watch all the details fall into place. That, in event planning, is true success.

Summer Series and New Branding

In celebration of 5 months as an official Event Planning company, the Offbeat Occasions blog will feature a series of posts about events I did this Summer. Check back each day this week to read the Summer Series!

If you visited the Offbeat Occasions website or Facebook page in the past, you may notice that they now have a new look. Say hello to the new branding! I love it and I am so grateful to Shalaman Johnson for his awesome logo design work. I’m also thankful for Lavina and Deepak who made the website update possible. THANK YOU!!!

I have a feeling this is the beginning of big things coming to Offbeat Occasions!

Candy Bars: More Than Child’s Play

 Have you attended an event that offered a Candy Bar? No, I don’t mean the host offered you a Snickers or Milky Way. Though that could be fun, a Candy Bar offers much more. Picture it: a table completely devoted to eating as much candy, in all varieties, as you can. Let’s face it… it’s not for the faint of heart.

Popular at Baby Showers, Wedding Receptions, and Birthday Parties, Candy Bars provide the host a creative, personalized outlet that benefits the appetites of the guests. Use glass vases, large bowls, plastic popcorn containers, or anything that reflects the party theme. Personalize it by choosing your favorite candy or select a variety that offers something for everyone. Take it as an opportunity to accentuate the color scheme by only choosing candy that matches. The possibilities are endless!


Clearly my passion for Candy Bars is showing through, but that’s because they are such a fun, interactive party element! The best part? By setting out plastic bags with twist ties, the Candy Bar can also double as a party favor. Add a sign that says something like, “For our guests who are so sweet, we offer you this special treat!”… or whatever cute saying you can come up with…

However you decide to do your Candy Bar, have fun with it and enjoy that sugar rush!