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Happily Ever Parties
 & 
Entertainment

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Why should I choose Happily Ever Parties & Entertainment?

Happily Ever is owned & managed by college educated professionals with decades of related business experience.  We have booked more than 1,500 characters since January of 2013, while maintaining a 5-star average review rating.

Our costume characters are carefully selected based on several criteria including professional acting or singing training & experience, talent, appearance, personality & experience working with children.  We have numerous actors/actresses available throughout the area. Our costume characters are well paid & treated as the professionals that they are.

Happily Ever conducts criminal background checks on all employees & carries business liability insurance.  (Many "discount" companies do not).

Some character companies consist of only 1-2 people, and the same person does ALL of their characters, and also manages the business.  So, their talent is one-size-fits-all (one person playing all roles), they can only book one party a week, & the business is run by amateur actors.  Because the character is the owner/operator, you cannot reach her when she is working at a party. They can usually only offer one character at a time and have very limited choices for characters and activities. You are required to purchase a  pre-designed "package" of activities and are not allowed to pick and choose the activities that best suit your child and your event.  If a schedule conflict arises, they will often cancel your event at the last minute, because they do not have any back-up performers.

Happily Ever Parties has many different people who play the same characters.  If a scheduling conflict arises or an entertainer gets sick, we are usually able to substitute another performer who can seamlessly fill the same role and do the same activities.  Because we have multiple identical costumes, we are able to replace someone with just a few hours notice. The owner is a mature, experienced business manager, who is available and reachable, even during multiple events.  Happily Ever does not require you to purchase a "package" of activities (that you may or may not like), but, rather, allows you to customize your activities to suit your event.

Other large companies may offer low-ball, economy pricing, but they will hire anybody off the street and pay them a much lower rate. They do not have the same standards for appearance, talent & experience.  They may not run criminal back ground checks or pay their characters a fair & competitive rate. 

Our costumes are of the highest quality available, and most are custom made.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY 
FOR.

Happily Ever strives to offer high quality, attractive, fit & talented performers, at a competitive rate, while treating & paying their staff like the professionals they are.

2.  How do I book and pay for the service? 

If you know what you want and are ready to book right away, you can purchase a package on the "Book-Dallas/Fort Worth" Page on this web site.  If you need assistance, a quote, or have questions you wish to have answered first, send an email or fill out the contact form with information about your party date, time, location and what you are looking for. 

We will contact you with questions or a quote and, once all dates and details are decided and agreed, send you an email invoice for payment of the booking deposit.  You may pay by credit or Debit Card (Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover) or by PayPal. 

There will be a deposit/down payment due to book the party, and the remainder will be paid in cash to the character on the date of the event.  (Tips appreciated).  (For corporate events, it is possible to pay the balance due with a company check, with prior arrangement.)

PLEASE NOTE THAT RATES QUOTED ARE ONLY VALID FOR 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THE QUOTE. IF PARTY IS NOT BOOKED WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM QUOTE, RATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. THANK YOU.

3.  How can I check availability? 

Send an email or fill out the contact form and we will confirm when we quote you that the service you requested is available for the date, time and location you requested.  If you book a party through the web site, and we do not have anyone available for your event, you will be notified within 48 hours and refunded in full.

4.  Do you travel to my location?t

We service the entire Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and many nearby North Texas cities. Denton/McKinney, etc. are included in our territory.  Send an email with your address or fill out the contact form.  In some cases, (if your event falls outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area) we may have to charge extra for additional mileage and travel time.  We will inform you in advance (prior to booking) if that is the case.

We also have a location in Austin serving the immediate Austin, TX area (princess, fairy, doll & mermaid characters only). (Santa is available in Austin.)

We have additional locations in New York City, NY, Los Angeles, CA and Chicago, IL. (Princess type characters).

5.  What Characters do you have available? 

Happily Ever Parties does not claim to offer any officially licensed or copyrighted characters

 Send an email and ask about the character you had in mind and we will let you know if that is an in-stock costume. 

We are also willing to accommodate special requests, but those may require additional time (or, in some cases, additional cost), so those may need to be booked 30-60 days in advance.  It must be financially feasible.  It does not make sense for us to spend $500 to purchase a costume for your party, if you are only paying $150 for the event.  If your requested character is not popular or often requested, it doesn't make financial sense to buy the costume just for you.

Current in-stock costumes include:
Holiday: Santa Claus, Reindeer, Mrs. Santa, Christmas Elf, Santa's helpers, Snow Man, Easter Bunny.

Winter Theme:  Snow Queen, Snow Princess, Snow Prince, Snow Man, Snow Reindeer

Princess: Snow Queen, Snow Princess (& Prince) , Butterfly Princess ( & Prince), Glass Slipper Princess, (& Prince)  Purple Princess, Fairest Princess (& Prince) , Long Haired Princess (& Prince) , Green Princess, Yellow Princess (& Prince) , Pink Princess (& Prince) , Blue Princess (& Prince), Mermaid Princess (& Prince), Red-Haired Princess (& Prince) , Woodland Princess, Russian Princess, Native American Princess, Persian Princess (& Prince), Princess,  Prince, Fairy Princess, Pink Doll Princess (& Prince), Butterfly Princess (& Prince). Red Princess, Pacific Princess

Teen Villains:  Purple Teen, Blue Teen, Purple Villainess

Mermaid: Swimming Mermaid (& Sister), Mermaid Princess,
Native American:  Princess, or Historical Pocahontas,
 
Fairy:  Green Fairy, Garden Fairy, Fairy Princess

Story Book:  Forest Boy, Green Fairy, Pirate

Doll:  Pink Doll Princess, available in Blonde, Brunette, Black Hair, Red Hair, Ethnic

Ballerina

Cheerleader

Mascot/Oversized Costumes: Snow Man, Snow Reindeer, Hat Cat,  Girl Kitty, Story book Bear, Boy Mouse, Girl Mouse, Adventure Girl, Boy Sponge
 
Pirate: Pirate, Lady Pirate

Hero:  Red Hero, Lady Hero, Girl Hero, Star Hero, Black Hero, Robot Hero, Blue Hero, Red Hero

Fantasy: Good Witch, Kansas Girl.

Fairy God-Mother

For many of our characters, we have multiple costumes available, so that we can book the same character(s) for more than one event on the same day. We are also frequently adding new characters, so check with us if you have any questions.

6.  What Services do you provide?


 See the "Book-Dallas/Ft Worth " page for prices.  If you have a request that is not on our list, ask, and we will try to accommodate you, if our cost is reasonable.   We are also happy to book more than one character, for a single event.

We do not currently offer decor, bounce houses, food, photographers, etc.

Please note, that we are unable to donate free or discounted services for charities, fund-raisers or other causes. Thank you 

We offer the following activities (depending upon your request, availability, the number of children at the party and the amount of time that you have booked.)

* Story Book
*Themed Singalong
*Dancing (hokey pokey, twist, chicken dance, etc.)
*Magic Snow Trick (Snow Queen Only)
*Limbo game with music and limbo pole
*Bubble Dancing (dancing with bubble machine - outdoor parties.  Depending upon availability. Dallas/Fort Worth area only).
*Make-up (powder, glitter, lip gloss, optional nail polish).
*Temporary tattoos (similar to stickers, they are applied with water, come in multiple designs and will stay on for hours.)
*Parachute games (Depending on availability.  Dallas/Fort Worth area only).
*Super hero tricks (martial arts - for hero parties, Dallas/Fort Worth area only.)
*Singing Princess ( Mermaid, Snow Queen, etc.)
*Swimming Mermaid (for pool parties.  Outdoors in summer only.  Indoors year round. 1 hour minimum).
*Simple Face Painting (takes about 5 minutes per face, so depends on time booked and number of children.  Limited availability.  Additional costs for 50+ children).
*Simple Balloon twisting (Additional costs for 50+ children).
*Crowning Ceremony (princess parties - birthday girl gets to keep the genuine rhinestone tiara & princess sash.  (2 weeks notice required outside of Dallas/Fort Worth. Additional costs apply.)
*Dress Up (Dallas/Fort Worth only. Additional costs)
*Treasure Hunt (Dallas/Fort Worth only.  Additional costs).
*Spa Party (Dallas/Fort Worth only.  Additional costs).
*Party Favor Bags (Dallas/Fort Worth only.  Additional costs).

Prices are non-negotiable.

7.  How are Prices determined?

Our company overhead costs include administrative/managerial staff pay, office supplies, party supplies, shipping & transportation costs, web sites, advertising, insurance, printing & supplies, costumes, accessories, (plus cleaning, repairing and maintenance), face painting supplies, balloon twisting supplies, dress up supplies, make up kit supplies, story books, CD players, CDs, training DVDs, recruiting, training, training supplies, background checks, supplies for games, temporary tattoos, party favors, etc.

Besides the cost for the materials, administrative/management invests a great deal of time and effort into promoting, quoting, communicating, booking, preparing, scheduling, invoicing, purchasing and organizing for each event.  Some events may have required many hours of back-and-forth communication, prior to booking.

The individual entertainers also invest a great deal of their time, in addition to the time spent entertaining at parties.  They must put in the time to pick up and return their costumes & supplies, get dressed up in the costume & accessories (and removal of costume after the event), commute to and from the event (including the cost of gas), prepare for each event (in some cases learning a song, researching a character, learning particular skills, etc.)

All of these considerations are taken into account, when we are pricing events. The majority of our cost has already been incurred by the time the entertainer arrives at the party.  That is why our first hour is the most expensive, and longer events are a better value for the money.

We charge extra for outdoor parties in the hottest and coldest months of the year.   Outdoor parties tend to be more damaging to the costumes.  In addition, they are a great deal more stressful for the entertainer.  In the summer time, she may be wearing a long ball gown with a layered petticoat, gloves, wig and other accessories.  While you may be comfortable outside,  in a tank top and shorts, she may be extremely uncomfortable, with all of her added layers.  In the cold months of the year, you may be fine wearing a jacket and sweat pants, but she may be wearing a thin, off-the-shoulder dress, or crop top, and feel a great deal colder, as a result.

8.  What are the qualifications for the Characters that you provide? 

All of Happily Ever's characters are cleared through criminal background screening and are liability insured.  We only hire personable, articulate, energetic, intelligent individuals with experience and/or training in professional acting, singing, dancing, music, entertainment, coaching, teaching, art, and/or early child-hood education or child care. 

Many of our characters are also professional actors, models, voice over actors, singers, dancers, recording artists, make-up professionals and more.  You may see or hear them (in real life) in movies, films, on TV shows or commercials, performing music at local venues, as a voice over character on a web site or commercial, modeling in a catalog, cheering or dancing on a college or professional squad/dance team, performing in a musical at a community theatre, singing and dancing in a local show choir, and more

9.  How can I become a Happily Ever Costume Character?

Click on the "Jobs" page for more information on this topic.

10.  What are your "Terms and Conditions" for booking a character?

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Happily Ever Parties does not claim to offer any officially licensed or copyrighted characters.


Booking Deposit is non-refundable, once availability has been confirmed.  Any amount paid to the costume character on the date of the event (including the tip) is also non-refundable.  It is the client's responsibility to know the correct amount that is due to the character and to pay that amount at the event, in cash.  


Unless arrangements were made and agreed upon prior to booking, we assign our own staff to parties based on availability.  You do not have the option to choose which performer is assigned to your event.


Balance is due in cash to costume character(s) at the event. 


If event is canceled, must be notified in writing. No refunds will be given if purchaser cancels a confirmed booking for any reason. .


There are no guarantees that we will be able to provide a character if you decide to change the date, time or location, due to weather or for any other reason. 


We will make a reasonable attempt to do so, but if we do not have a character available for your changed date/time/location, then the event is considered canceled by the purchaser, and there will be no refund.

If you reschedule your event, and we ARE able to provide a character for your new date/time/location, there will be a $25 (per character) reschedule fee, which you will need to pay prior to your event. (We reserve costumes, supplies & people based on the deposit and turn away others who wish to book for the same date).


Once character(s) arrives at the event, balance is due, regardless of weather, fire, or other occurrences that may arise to prevent character(s) from performing at event.


Please have a back-up plan in the event of inclement weather.  


If a situation arises that makes the performer feel unsafe or the performer is being mistreated, we reserve the right for the performer to leave the event at that point, and there will be no refund.


Balance due must be paid in cash to costume character(s) at the event. (Tips are appreciated). Please pay with exact change, as characters do not carry cash.  (Corporate clients can make alternate arrangements for paying the balance due).


If you wish to keep the entertainer(s) beyond the scheduled end time (and they are available to stay longer), you will need to pay them each an additional $25 in cash for 20-30 minutes over time or $50 in cash for 40 to 60 minutes over time.


THE CLIENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR KEEPING TRACK OF THE TIME. CHARACTERS DO NOT WEAR A WRIST WATCH OR CARRY A CELL PHONE, AS IT WOULD BE OUT OF CHARACTER. 


Character(s) will need one 5-minute breaks per hour for indoor parties or two 5-minute breaks per hour for outdoor events.  Some costumes (large mascot type costumes - may need additional breaks.)


There will be no refunds of any kind after the service has been performed.


Payment of booking deposit constitutes acceptance of terms and conditions.


Happily Ever Parties & Entertainment assumes no financial liability beyond the amount of the deposit paid to reserve the event.


PLEASE NOTE - ANY OUT DOOR CHARACTER BOOKING, LONGER THAN 30 MINUTES,  FROM JUNE 1 TO SEPTEMBER 30, WILL COST AN ADDITIONAL $25 PER CHARACTER PAYABLE IN CASH TO THE CHARACTER AT THE EVENT, IN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR RATE. (THE ONLY EXCEPTION IS THE SWIMMING MERMAID CHARACTER).


IN ADDITION - ANY OUTDOOR CHARACTER BOOKING, LONGER THAN 30 MINUTES,  FROM NOVEMBER 1 TO MARCH 31ST WILL COST AN ADDITIONAL $25 PER CHARACTER PAYABLE IN CASH TO THE CHARACTER AT THE EVENT, IN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR RATE.  (THERE WILL BE NO SWIMMING MERMAID CHARACTERS BOOKED FOR  OUTDOOR PARTIES BETWEEN OCTOBER 1 AND MAY 1.)


IF YOUR PARTY LOCATION IS OUTSIDE OF OUR STANDARD SERVICE AREA (see home page), THERE WILL BE ADDITIONAL TRAVEL CHARGES DUE TO THE CHARACTER IN CASH AT THE EVENT. YOU WILL BE INFORMED OF THE CHARGES IN ADVANCE AND WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECEIVE A REFUND IF YOU ARE UNWILLING TO PAY ADDITIONAL TRAVEL COSTS. 


Depending on the distance out of our service area,  we may have a minimum booking time requirement.


We do not offer a 30 minute "Meet and Greet" outside of our standard service area.  (The entertainer would be spending twice as much time commuting to and from the party as they would entertaining at the party).


(You can find our Service Area map linked from our "Home" page (near the top).  

11.  Why do you not provide quotes and bookings by phone?

a) When people ask for prices and booking information over the phone, there is no paper trail and there is no written agreement between the two parties that is documented.  It can easily create misunderstandings and situations where what one person said is not what the other person "heard".  If all discussions are documented in writing, there is less potential for misunderstanding.
b) If we were to take bookings over the phone, we would also be required to take credit card information over the phone.  We prefer to use a secure server where the client inputs his/her own information on-line and we have no direct access to credit card numbers.  There is less potential liability involved if we do not have to write down and then shred each person's credit card information.
c) We quote hundreds of parties a week and book between 20-80 per month, depending on the season.  At this time we only have one person doing the quoting, booking and scheduling.  Due to time limitations it makes more sense to handle these requests by email.  A person can answer 30 emails in the time it takes to answer 5 phone calls.  When we keep all quotes and bookings through email, we can serve a great many more people, a great deal more efficiently, in a great deal faster time frame.
d) We have found that it is extremely important to keep the phone line open, especially on weekends, in case there is an emergency on an already-booked event.  If we are tied up on the phone providing a quote, and a client or character is urgently trying to reach us due to an emergency situation that is happening right now, we need to be able to be there for them immediately.  If a client or character leaves us a voice mail in regards to an urgent situation that has arisen at an event, and we have 50 voice mails ahead of that message, we will not be aware of the problem or be able to listen to, or respond to, the emergency appropriately and immediately. 

We prioritize events that have already been booked, and are happening right now, over those who are inquiring about a price for a hypothetical party that is still two months away.  If you were the person with the urgent situation that needed assistance right now, we think you would appreciate being able to get the help you need immediately, instead of in several hours, when your event is over. 

In most cases, getting a quote immediately (rather than in 24 hours) is a convenience, not a necessity.  Getting needed help for  a party that is happening TODAY is a necessity.

12:  Costumes

Our Costumes are purchased directly from individuals who have designed,  hand-crafted and created them. Happily Ever Parties is not responsible for any misconduct on the part of the costume designer or any potential resemblance to any other artist's work. We do not claim to represent any licensed or copyrighted characters.