I LOVE a good party!
We get to go to a lot of wedding industry events and amusing people who plan, cater, decorate, entertain at, photograph and film AMAZING weddings for a living is no easy task…
Recently my friends at The Knot came to me and asked me to plan the Philadelphia / South Jersey wedding market event…. It’s basically Thank You for people who advertise on The Knot and an update on the industry as a whole and how to get the most out of your advertising.
So planning a party of 300+ people who see cool parties all the time is no easy deal (HOWEVER, people were still talking about the last party we did for them several years agoJ)
I rarely talk on the blog about things I don’t think are of interest to our brides, but this will make complete sense (I hope)…
The basics of entertaining people who are in the industry, see great parties, are hyper critical ( and you KNOW we are) is NO different than planning a great wedding.
- Pick a GREAT venue – I chose the Please Touch Museum – A GREAT, interesting space (more on that later), centrally located for a lot of the people invited, easy access off the highway, parking and they hadn’t hosted many industry events.
- Keep things moving… Max and Me Catering's (the exclusive at Please Touch) Kimberly Rifici and I talked about the flow of the event – it was important for us to showcase many of the areas of this wonderful space and to keep things interesting we were moving people from one space to another for cocktails, program and dinner and then another for dessert.
- AMAZING food and plenty of it – Max and Me went above and beyond. Kimberly (who was FAB!) and I talked about a Vintage Chic – sort of Speakeasy vibe to the party…she and their chef ran with it. They came up with twists on classic canapés as butler passed hors d’oeuvres for the cocktail reception to keep people circulating and stations for dinner with interesting mixes of “Chicago / Gangster” and “N’Orleans” – the other important things for this crowd – variety and PLENTY of food.
- BOOZE – fitting with the vibe Champagne was passed in champagne coupes (vintage sauces rather than contemporary flutes). Signature cocktails Classic Martinis (with fun displays of pickled olives, caperberries, and blue cheese stuffed olives), Whiskey Sours and Shirley Temples fit the theme to a T.
- Keep them Entertained – Networking was the big part of the cocktail reception, allowing new friends to have fun in a Photobooth with fun props (provided by Shutter Booth) and some great background music of electric strings ( provided by Carmen Tomassetti and CTO Artists) was just the right fit. After the presentation a great DJ (also from CTO Artists) gave everyone what they needed to get up and dance…later we let one of the great spaces of the venue speak for its self… The Carousel House and its vintage carousel was a great way to entertain everyone (this big kid too) as the night came to a close…
- Set the right stage – Picking the right professionals and TRUSTING them to do a great job is also key – Judith Campbell and her team at Campbell Studios (décor)and Nancy Bauman ( Gala Cloths by Dulany)… we gave them the theme and let them brainstorm the right colors and accents to bring the vibe to life..
- Bring it all together…..Dave Buckley from AFR (furniture rental), Ellen Williamson of On Q Productions (lighting and draping) and Brian Toner of Eventions Productions (A/V) all worked to bring the space together and make it work, incorporating seating, accent lighting and the technology we needed to bring the space to life…
- End on a Sweet Note… we invited everyone to The Carousel House, rides on the carousel, a little gift from The Knot and something sweet – desserts from Isgro’s Italian Pastries and Coffee and Cappuccino from Marci and Steve Mathis at Maui Wowi ( yes, they are more than just great smoothies!)
And last but not least … get the right people to document the night – Susan Beard Design documented the night and images will appear in an upcoming issue of The Knot Philadelphia – and Dave Williams and the INSANELY creative team of Cinemacake Filmmakers put together is film of everyone enjoying the fruits of our labor.
Thanks to the entire team for doing what you do BEST… everyone had a BLAST!