Video Blog Series: Get to Know Shari Zatman

February 23, 2018

Get to know Owner and Principal Event Planner and Designer, Shari Zatman, of Perfectly Planned by Shari. This is the first in the series of upcoming videos.

Introducing: Perfectly Planned by Shari’s Video Blog Series

January 30, 2018

We are excited to announce a new video blog series featuring Shari Zatman, Owner of Perfectly Planned by Shari. Shari is an award winning Event Planner and designer with more than 20 years of experience in the industry.

5 Tips for Newly-Engaged Couples

5 Tips for Newly-Engaged Couples

January 24, 2018

You have the ring, you’ve spread the news and all of a sudden, scrolling through Pinterest for wedding ideas has become one of your favorite hobbies. With any wedding engagement comes some obvious stressors, but we’re here to help!

Here are our top 5 suggestions for the beginning stages of planning your wedding:

1.Take some time to enjoy your engagement
Before jumping into the planning process, take some time to truly enjoy your engagement. Whether that time together is spent on a romantic date, casual night-in, or a short getaway, be sure to savor this time together without discussing all of the wedding details.

2.Tackle that guest list
Creating your guest list early on can help you avoid a plethora of problems. You’ll have an understanding of how large of a venue you need, and how flexible you can be with your budget. This lays the framework for our next couple of suggestions.

3.Talk through your budget
Do you have a restricted budget or is it flexible? It’s important to work through your budget and decide who is contributing to the wedding expenses and what the maximum amount of money is that you are willing to spend on your wedding.

4.Secure a venue and wedding date
It sounds obvious, but it’s difficult to take any additional steps until you have selected a venue and confirmed your wedding date, so you need to start here. Since you have a general idea of how many guests you’ll invite and what your budget is, you can start to sort through venue options using those important criteria.

5.Consider your vendors
What vendors are most important to you – Your photographer or florist? Maybe it’s your band or a DJ? Start to research potential vendors, and don’t be afraid to meet with several for comparison before making your final decision. We may be bias, but we are positive that a professional Wedding Planner should be one of the first vendors you hire because we can help you make all of the right decisions. As with other vendors, explore your options and talk to different planners to see which one is the right fit for you.

(Featured image taken by Joey Kennedy Photography.)

Maggie & Chase’s New Year’s Eve Wedding

Maggie & Chase’s New Year’s Eve Wedding

December 31, 2017

What better way to ring in 2018 than with a jaw dropping wedding with your closest friends and family? Maggie & Chase celebrated their marriage at the Four Seasons in Chicago over the New Year, and we’re still swooning over the details. The Perfectly Planned by Shari team had the privilege of collaborating with HMR Designs, an event design company in Chicago, to create Maggie & Chase’s dream wedding.

From the revolving champagne table to the stunning centerpieces, this wedding truly brought the couple’s vision to life. Here are just a few of our favorite things:

Elegant Ceremony Space
A 40+ foot floral and candle lined aisle with dripping gladiolus florets overhead met by a custom coordinated gladiolus chuppah.


Candlelit Cocktail Hour
Custom-designed bars and back bars, candle-lit etageres for escort card display, lounge seating and fragrant florals.

cocktail hour

Reception Vibe
Ballroom entrances with vertical gardens of magnolia, white pine, cedar and oregonia.
Three unique centerpiece styles including 7’ tall magnolia trees and white pine trees aglow with “fairy” lights and glistening “bubble” candles.
A veritable garden of mixed evergreens and white king protea, hydrangea, roses and orchids accented with votive candles.


Personal Touches
Marble place cards done with dye cut gold lettering and a custom printed marbleized dance floor.
A sculpted cake made to look exactly like Maggie & Chase’s beloved dog.
Late night pizza that the Four Seasons made from Maggie’s grandmother’s recipe, presented in military style service and fanfare.


Just before midnight the guests joined in on a countdown and were surprised by confetti canons that launched at the stroke of the New Year.

Thank you to the many fabulous vendors that helped us make this wedding so amazing: HMR Designs, Frost Lighting, Imagination Designers, Kent Drake Photography, Chicago Players, Nota Bene, Four Seasons Chicago.


What is “Event Design”?

What is “Event Design”?

Have you ever wondered what the difference between “event planning” and “event design” really is? While both aspects are very important to a quality event experience, there are very real differences.

Event Planning pertains to the organizational details of the actual event. This could even be considered an aspect of “project management”. This would include venue selection, logistics planning, scheduling, vendor contracting and coordination, transportation, security and so on. These are all of the elements to make the event feel like it is running seamlessly.

Event Design encompasses the look and feel of the event itself. Most people have a hard time “designing” an event themselves because they often feel like they know what they like, they collect pictures of pretty images, but they have no idea how to translate that into an event. We take a vision and make it a reality.

Most events are “branded” with design elements. We are able to look at images you like which represent room decor, tablescapes, print materials, home decorating and fashion and can access like elements that ultimately formulate your event vision. The event design incorporates fabric, furniture, lighting, props, tabletop and hard goods. Because we want the design to affect all senses, that includes smell and taste in addition to the visual elements. We carry the design through the food and beverage experience as well.

The event design is carried through from the beginning of the guest experience. Often the tone of the event is set by a branded look on the save the date and invitation. That might be with color combinations, style (traditional, modern, ornate, chic, etc.) logo/monogram or even a feeling that the print material evokes that is representative of what is to come.

We know that most people are visual and don’t really know what they like, what feels right, and what represents what they want until we can actually let them see it. We will typically use real samples of items we want to present and set up a full table with chairs, China, glassware, linens and centerpieces at a sample meeting for you to critique and approve. This way you can provide input on the design prior to the actual event.

If you don’t want full service event planning, we often offer design consulting on its own as a service to help create and develop an event vision and pull all of these visual aspects together.

Check out these before and after photos of an event we designed and planned which show an empty office lobby and the same space designed for a branded corporate event. What do you think of the transformation?

11 Stanwix Lobby- before

11 Stanwix Lobby- after

Designer Table for Braddock Feast

Designer Table for Braddock Feast

Click the photo above to view the gallery.

The first Braddock Feast was held in the town of Braddock, PA on Sunday, September 27th. It was a community event with area restaurants, caterers and businesses being showcased with samplings of food and beverage.

As part of the event, several Event Designers were asked to design display tables to represent Braddock businesses. Shari Zatman designed and installed this 4′ x 8′ tablescape which represented Freestore and Red Lantern Bike Shop These stores collect new and used items such as clothing, home goods, school supplies, bicycles and more and donate every item back to the community. Many people have and continue to benefit by the generous work of these stores.

Our table was colorful and whimsical and represented the bright and cheery feeling you get at FreeStore and Red Lantern Bike Shop. The focal piece of the table was the bicycle that sat right in the center. On the spokes of the bike were photos of several children who received free bikes from the store. The centerpiece also included actual red lanterns lit with twinkling LED candles. Fresh flowers and stuffed animals filled the bike basket and around the base of the bike were vases of flowers and picture frames with encouraging words such as “You Are Loved”, “Pay It Forward”, “Laugh” and more.

Rather than using actual place settings at the table, Shari drew settings in chalk on chalkboard table runner paper and placed “bow tie” napkins on the “plates”. The chair backs on the chairs were actually long sleeve tee shirts ties with the sleeves of the shirt and accented with a fresh sunflower.

All of these prop items were donated to the stores by Perfectly Planned by Shari after the event.

Jared’s Bar Mitzvah

Jared’s Bar Mitzvah

We were thrilled to work with Nord family for the second time to plan an amazing celebration for Jared’s Bar Mitzvah. We may have returned to the same venue, Heinz History Center (where his sister’s party was held just two years previously), but we certainly transformed the space for him!

Jared’s vision was a “Night Club with basketball accents. To make the space feel unique from his sisters, we arranged the ballroom completely differently. The black dance floor with personalized logo graphic was centered in the room horizontally with a VIP Lounge on each side to accommodate seating for Jared and his friends. 

When adult guests arrived via the red carpet entry at the party, they had to check in with at the entrance by the “club bouncer” to be verified on the guest list for their table assignments. Adults were assigned to tables that were named according to renowned night clubs in the U.S.

The adults sat at elongated tables that were a mix of a high and low heights arranged in a “U” shape around a large square bar. The bar was a main focal point covered in sequin linens, adorned with arrangements on each corner and a large grouping of custom lampshades hanging overhead.

Identical lampshades were also grouped over the center of the dance floor and over the two VIP lounges. Jared’s color palate of royal, silver, black and touches of orange were carried throughout the decor. All of the table centerpieces included illuminated cylinders with basketballs and LED glow cubes were placed all over the room which rotated colors throughout the night. The ambiance was very sophisticated.

Adults and kids alike rocked out on the dance floor led by Mc Criss Cross and his crew. They enjoyed airbrushed sweatshirts and an inflatable photo booth that took pictures which could be printed as well as uploaded and shared to social media.

Jared’s party was completely customized for him based on his requests such as a walking taco dinner station for the kids, donut cart and Bella Christies incredible desserts. They were all big hits. One of the best personalizations was the film that was created and shown as a tribute to what a wonderful young man Jared is. 

Many thanks to the wonderful vendors we worked with on this event:

Heinz History CenterCommon Plea CateringBea Nylias PhotographyAll Pro USAFestivitiesBenack, Glyde ProductionsEntertainment UnlimitedBella Christies and Lil Z’sMosaicAllison McgearyAll Occasions Party Rental

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Bridal Brunch Sneak Preview

Bridal Brunch Sneak Preview

The Perfectly Planned Bridal Brunch produced by Perfectly Planned by Shari would not have been a success without the participation of our fabulous vendors and the beautiful brides and guests. The event was filled with exquisite food by The Omni William Penn Hotel, sweet treats by Bella Christie Sweet Boutique, lovely sounds of violin and piano by Steven Vance Strolling Violins, models in gowns by Bella Bridesmaid and Glitter and Grit, vendor displays by Chapel Hills Jewelry, Glassworks and Cheeks, Arbonne, Nota Bene, It’s Your Day and Studio Booth. The floral decor by Allison Mcgeary Florist, linens by Mosaic and rentals by All Occsasions Party Rental created stunning tables. During brunch the guests enjoyed an informative and inspiring presentation by award winning Wedding and Event Planner Shari Zatman, about personalizing and customing your wedding. Here is a sneak preview of this unique bridal experience. Stay tuned for more photos by Goldstein Photography and video from All Pro USA from the Perfectly Planned Bridal Brunch!

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Perfectly Planned by Shari Bridal Brunch

Bridal Brunch

Join us for a luxury bridal experience October 6th, 2013  at 10:30 a.m. at the beautiful Omni William Penn in Pittsburgh. This event features cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and sit down brunch by the Omni William Penn Hotel, wedding cake and desserts from BellaChristie Sweet Boutique, lavish floral inspirations from Allison Mcgeary Florist, and much more! Come see our exclusive selection of the best partners in the Pittsburgh wedding industry. Brides will get custom planning ideas from award winning event planner, Shari Zatman and fabulous gift bags. Tickets are $35 a person. Register here to ensure your spot!

Toby’s Bat Mitzvah

Toby’s Bat Mitzvah

On April 13, 2013, Toby, together with friends and family celebrated this milestone with a fun filled bash at J. Verno Studios on Pittsburgh’s Southside.  The night was filled with great food, dancing and even beautiful candy and dessert displays. The mood was as bright and lively as Toby’s color palate of fuchsia, purple, lime green and blue.

While entering J. Verno Studios, adult guests were welcomed into a lounge and bar area while the kids played trivia games in the ballroom, provided by Wenning Entertainment, winning prizes and kicking off the party.  Guests were also treated to a photo booth filled with a variety of costumes and hats to take pictures for the guest of honor. The photos from the photo booth were simulcast on large screens throughout the venue all night long. Kids (and even some adults) visited the airbrush tattoo artist throughout the evening to receive temporary airbrush tattoos.

The ballroom was divided into two areas, one area for the kids and the other side of the room for adult seating.

The kids’ tables were lined with pink and purple luminaria and provided open seating at long tables.  The kids had their own appetizer station of multi flavored popcorn and soft pretzel bites which later turned over to their own dinner station. The adult side of the room were seated at round tables and adults dined at a variety of dinner stations featuring a slider bar, Asian Station and more all provided by JPC Catering.  While the guests were all seated at their tables, they enjoyed a lovely slideshow of pictures of Toby through the years of growing up with her family and friends.

After dinner the fun really began with Soundtastic Enterprises getting everyone at the party up and dancing.  There was even a dance off between the boys and girls!  After dinner, guests were treated to a cookie table of homemade cookies donated by friends and relatives of Toby. This had special meaning to Toby as her mitzvah project was a bake sale held earlier in the year with all proceeds going to children’s cancer research.

As if that weren’t enough for any sweet tooth, mini milkshake shooters were passed and a candy buffet filled with goodies such as Reese’s cups, gummy worms, m & m’s  and so much more was available with personalized take out containers to fill and enjoy at the party and to take home.

This sweet night was a treat for both adults and kids. Mazel Tov Toby!