Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Twist to Birthday Entertainment

Determining a theme or style of an adult birthday party is the easy part, but figuring out what to do entertainment wise that is unique and different is another story.  Such was the case for Tim's 50th Birthday Bash given by his wife Shari.   Shari had the theme colors she wanted - black and copper - check!  We decided to go with an outdoor themed event around her pool - check!  Why not do all black leather furniture for the guests instead of tables - check!  But what are we going to do for entertainment?  The ideas that were tossed around were the following: band - no, too cliche'; casino (great idea, but Tim didn't want one); no crazy girls popping out of cakes (to risque!); why not make the local celebrity Chef Wally Joe the entertainment!  Tim loves his food and what better way to represent Tim's birthday than to have his favorite chef not only caterer the food for the event but also provide his guests with a culinary expericence. BIG CHECK!  It was decided to make Chef Wally Joe the entertainment by having him give an interactive presentation of the food that was to be served.   Each course that came out would be described and then passed amongst the guests. 

The menu included:  Roasted Baby Beets, Frisee, Spiced Wlanuts, Goat Cheese & Black Garlic Vinaigrette (on Forks); Berber Spiced Tomato "Tartar" on Chickpea Panisse with Baby Arugula & Cilantro Yogurt; Scallop Ceviche with Heirloom Tomato Taboleh (in Chinese Spoon); Butter Pached Lobster, Vanilla Lobster Roe Vinaigrette & Avocado Custard (Served in Egg with Demitasse Spoon); Duck Pistachio Terrine, Pickld White Cherries & Candied Fennel on Grilled Sourdoug Bread; Potatoe Croquant stuffed with Oxtail, Bone Marrow & Cantal Cheese (served in Potato "tube"); Seared Mishima Beef with Aro Dolce Wild Mushrooms on Farro Flatbread; Thyme Roasted Colorado Lamb, Wrapped Red Mustard Sprouts, Peppers, Olives & Benton Bacon-Anchovy Dressing (Bamboo skewered through middle); last but not least the ACTION STATION:  Cherries Jubilee - Kirchwasser, Cherries, Oranges, Vanilla Ice Cream & Vanilla Financier Cake!  Tim didn't want a traditional cake and since this was a culinary entertainment event - why not give him a flaming dessert instead!

 The night was a success on all accounts - Shari who loves decor got her black leather furniture and flowers and Tim got an awesome dinner with a twist - an interactive culinary delight!

Would like to thank the following vendors for helping us to throw a very special 50th Birthday for Tim!

Flowers:  Haute Horticulture
Furniture: Mahaffey Tents & Party Rentals
Tent/Draping:  Classic Party Rentals
Caterer:  Acre/Chef Wally Joe

Monday, August 15, 2011

NACE National Conference Awards Ceremony

Most companies want to be recognized for their excellence in their industry and prove it by winning an award.  The same holds true for wedding planners and event designers.  When you have worked for a year on an event and have pour thousands of hours into the planning and designing of it, you want it to be recognized as a great event not only by the guests and clients that attended the event, but by your peers too. 

Thus was the case for Laura Romanow Trawick's wedding on April 10, 2010.  Many of you have seen her wedding pictures posted all over our website, Say Yes Magazine and Facebook page and we even tried to use it to win $10,000 from Classic Party Rentals as one of the best events for 2010.  Of course if you were voting for us you would know we placed 2nd in that contest and that was a successful win in our book, especially since we were competing against a California hospital.  However, this wasn't a "panel of your peers" voting for you, but your friends and family, who love you and want to see you win.  So to submit the same wedding to the National Association of Catering Executives (an association of over 5,000 members) for an award judged by your peers and to win is like climbing Mount Everest and shouting form the top "I DID IT!"

Thanks to the following vendors who without them we wouldn't be able to produce award worthy events!
Rentals:  Classic Party Rentals - Memphis, Mahaffey Tents & Party Rentals
Florist:  L & Jay Production
Venue:  Brooks Museum of Art, Brushmark Restaurant
Photographer/Videographer:  Creations Studio
Lighting:  Moonshine Lighting

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Come One Come All- to Juliana's 2nd Birthday Carnival!!


Well this is LONG overdue to say the least!!! :) My sweet baby girl turned 2 this February and I threw her a fun Birthday Carnival to celebrate with family and friends! And I'm just now recovering 4 months later to write about it-ha! Just kidding- it was really easy this year thanks to a great team of friends/vendors!

This year, I did not spend the many hours working on details that I did for her first birthday. Mainly because I did not have the time! We had a huge wedding the end of January that consumed me so thankfully this theme didn't require as much of me ;) I did design the invitation with the help of my good friend Natalie Chang.                                 
 I always enjoy sketching out Jules' party invite because it gives me inspiration and gets me all excited about the details immediately! So, Natalie takes my sketch and makes it into something way more fabulous than I could ever imagine! The invites shimmered with pixie dust (clear glitter) and had orange and white striped envelope liners with the return address as a "ticket" stamp. It's the little things right ;)

The most amazing thing about her party this year was my good friends Kristin and Joe of Zipario's Catering, did the food!!!!! Having your party catered is really the best gift you can give yourself and your guests ha! It takes the stress level down about a million notches for me- and then I get to focus on the details and making things cute! Zipario's did an incredible job and my friends and family have not stopped talking about how delicious and abundant the food was ;) Your mouth is going to water when you see the pics!


The party was held at our new home in Germantown. We moved about a year ago so I wanted this to be our first big shin-dig at our new house. However- our house is not a Big Top tent- so my dear friends at Mahaffey Tent & Rental Company "pitched" in to create just what we needed! Our back patio became a Carnival tent with games,food, and a balloon artist and our sun porch and living room housed the photo booth/desserts/face painting/ and favors. We even played carnival tunes of course.

Let me take you from start to finish so we can cover all the details :) Large Polk a dot Balloons tied to our mailbox signaled guests to our house. As they approached our front porch- there was hot pink and orange fabric swagged curtain style over the doorway and a floral Clown on the door. Haute Horticulture (my florist!) did the flowers and never ceases to amaze me! I know Karin thought I was crazy when I asked for a Clown's face made of flowers but as you can see- she is good at that kind of stuff! She also did some popcorn boxes of yellow carnations that we tied HUGE balloons to so they looked like Hot Air Balloons!                  

Inside, the favors lined my dining room table. 9' of large Polk a dot balloons attached to clear take out boxes of animal crackers. Labels reading "Thanks for Clowning Around at Juliana's Birthday Carnival!" adorned each one.                          

In the living room- a red and white striped photo back drop was set up with props such as clown wigs/noses/glasses/boas/fairy wings ect. for everyone to enjoy. This was also part of my plan for thank you notes- I sent guests the pics they took with a thank you note after the party.

The Popcorn Stations were also set up in this room- popcorn chicken and actual popcorn in multiple flavors. Above my fireplace hung a large painting that was a replica of her invitation. Thanks to my good friend Claire ;) She whipped it out in no time so my mantle would match the party!! I LOVE that I'm so blessed with such creative and talented friends!!   

Onto the Sun Porch.... desserts and sweets galore!! Pink Cotton Candy, "hot dog" cannolis, cupcakes, and a smash cake for Jules. I had a lot of fun with the cupcakes and did mini ice cream cones, pop corn buckets, and cherry limeade's- they were delish!! I made special cupcake collars for all of them and used striped liners to keep with the theme.The smash cake was a really large cupcake that looked like a "big top" tent. Each child got a "Big Top" sippie cup with their name on it to drink out of at the party and take home later.

The face painting station and Pasta Bar were also in this room. I used a lot of paper decor which made it bright and fun! Streamers everywhere... and also artwork all over my windows and bathroommirrors just for fun!                                                         

Outside, under our "Big Top" was where all the action was. The balloon artist was a big hit with the kids and created everything their hearts desired! I did a few other games that were more for two year-olds and not really competitive. I had a "Treasure Hunt"- which was simply a sand box w/ buried treasures; the "Hungry Elephant" game- kids fed the elephant peanuts through his trunk for a prize; and last, the "Bean Bag Toss"- a Huge Clown that you tossed bean bags into his mouth for a prize.
It was perfect- just enough and very simple so the kids could just play.    

The food outside was amazing!! From the slider station to the grilled corn- everyone felt and ate like they were at a real carnival.

I did have a drink station in my kitchen which worked nicely (Lemonade/Sweet Tea/Cokes) with fun cups and straws for the adults.

We didn't open any gifts at the party because the kids were having so much fun with all the entertainment that I didn't want to make them stop! After all, the only one that enjoys that is the Birthday Girl and she was busy the entire time!

All of the event was captured by my good friend and super talented photographer- Donny Granger. THANK GOD!!! I think I took two pictures of my own (which even when I know I have a photographer I always take my own pics too!). He's awesome and you should totally have him take pics for you so you can enjoy yourself like I did! I'm so grateful for the amazing vendors I call friends- they helped make such sweet memories for my family and little girl... and hopefully for all the guests that came too!!

Keep your eyes open for an article on Juliana's party this summer in Tennessee At Home, Magazine!

And give us a call if we can help you plan a special party for your little ones! We would love to!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Miami Chic Engagement Party for Jenni Romanow & Chris Harris

The client approached us about her engagement party and wanted us to bring a taste of Miami to Memphis. Automatically we recommended the rooftop of the Madison Hotel for our venue. We designed the event décor with only a hint of eggplant (the wedding color), and used all white lounge furniture for seating and a few cocktail tables. The client loved the idea and we began work immediately on our “Miami Chic” engagement party.

As event designers, obviously the event design was very important to the overall success of an unforgettable night.  We used an all white monochromatic color scheme with hints of purple flowers to make a statement that was very “Miami Chic!”  We used all white leather couches and day beds, white spandex covered cocktail tables and bistro tables and ghost chairs.  We used white sequin pillows on the couches and day beds.  Even the baby grand piano that entertained guests all evening was white. The bar was a white LED lit bar and had white shadowbox style shelving as a backdrop to house barware and flowers. We also used a white spandex screen behind the cigar roller’s station and lit it with eggplant lighting.

For flowers, Haute Horticulture used mostly all purple flowers:  phalenopsis orchids,
dendrobium orchids, cymbidum orchids and purple callas.  The bride chose an eggplant bridesmaid dress and asked that we that purple in the floral décor so as to bring in some of the wedding colors and to add pop to the white decor. The top of the baby grand piano had a heart shaped purple floral piece to accent it and bring in the bride’s purple color. The contemporary rotating centerpieces were a hit, very dramatic and modern. Most of the arrangements used clear and purple aqua-beads instead of water. The floral designer also used Accent vases with holes through the middle of the vases and did a bridge shape design with big magenta callas going through the middle of the vases. She adorned our white frame for the signature drink with orchids and put small vases of flowers on the bar shelves. 

In terms of lighting we used all 38-par cans with purple gels. Since we were limited on where we could put them because we were on a rooftop, we lit up the entrance and the sidewalls beside the entrance and the bar. We also used uplights on the white spandex behind the cigar roller. We used the existing lamppost on the rooftop for added lighting.

The rooftop of the Madison provides a clear view of the Mississippi River and the lighted Mississippi Bridge. It makes for a romantic setting and provided a great backdrop for our event. To add another visual element (which also served as entertainment) we baby grand piano enchanting our guests all evening. We did typical cocktail/dinner music to keep the guests entertained yet not so obnoxious that they couldn’t talk. The pianist plays for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and is one of the most well known pianists in the city.

Last but not least, we decided since the guests would be enjoying the beautiful outside atmosphere, we would provide them with one more form of entertainment, a professional hand cigar roller (the only American English-Speaking Female Torcedor in the US . She came all the way from Nashville to provide us with her one of kind cigars and custom wrappers.

Since we wanted our guest to mix and mingle and not have to go wait in a buffet line we decided on all butlered passed appetizers.  The food was amazing: Fresh Seafood Ceviche; Mini Puff Pastry Encrusted; Sesame Infused Shrimp Spring Rolls; Hand Breaded Chicken Strips; Miniature Crab Cakes; Chunky Guacamole Dip inside of Avocado Shell with Tortilla Chips; Caprese Salad; Honey Chipolte Glazed Shrimp; Beef Tenderloin on Yeast Roll and Cheesecake Bites.  Obviously the Champagne Bellini Bar was a hit as well!

There is no doubt our goals were met and exceeded as the client wanted to extend the party for two additional hours!

Thank you to Annabella Charles Photography, Haute Horticulture, Mahaffey Tents & Party Rentals, Moonshine Lighting and Gerald Stephens for the successful event!