Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New York Youth Symphony Benefit Concert - Carnegie Hall + NY Althetic Club

This past Fall we had the pleasure of helping the New York Youth Symphony with their annual Benefit Concert. Unfortunately the decor budget was seriously limited but with help from our friends from Hatch Creative Studio and Paratore Audio-Visual we were able to maximize the budget and really convert the ballroom into a very warm, inviting reception.

The concert was a dual performance of Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington's versions of the Nutcracker Suite. I love-love-loved hearing the jazz interpretation side-by-side to the classic holiday favorite. I had to download the sheet music for "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" right when I got home!

Our program shout out!

These kids were so talented. If you didn't look too closely to see how young they were you'd swear it was the New York Symphony.

Sigourney Weaver was the guest presenter at the concert. At the reception she introduced herself to me, "Hi, I'm Sigourney." In my head I said, "I know!" but I politely responded back, "Hi, I'm Annie" instead. She's incredibly elegant and gracious.

Thanks to Hatch who loaned us some of their amazing mercury glass vases and candleholders. It MADE the look. Also much thanks for helping us order the flowers wholesale. That saved us big time!

We kept the cost of flowers down by only adding a few buds to each cluster of candles.

HELPFUL TIP: Just so you know though, candles aren't always the cost saver; they can cost just as much as flowers. The only reason this worked for us was because we were able to borrow all the containers.

We filled all the window sills with candles and small clusters of flowers. As the sky dimmed the view was enchanting. We also added matching amber uplights between the windows to reinforce the glow of the candles and to fill up the room with a warm feeling.

We kept costs down by using inexpensive flowers like roses and lisianthus. The glass containers were $2.99 each from IKEA.

My BFF, Sigourney's table :).

All in all, it was a total success. The NY Athletic Club event manager said that in the several years they've held this event, this year's was the nicest he's ever seen it. What a huge compliment :) Everyone from the Board of the NYYS were incredibly happy as well but I wish we had more of a budget to work with... so everyone, please support and donate to the New York Youth Symphony so next year I can really go wild with the decor :)!

Willy Wonka Surprise Birthday Party - Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

Who says candy parties are just for kids?

I worked with the birthday girl's wonderful husband who wanted to throw her a surprise 40th birthday party. Her being the world's biggest candy fiend, it was only fitting that we held the event at Dylan's Candy Bar in NYC.

For the invitations, I had these custom Wonka Bar candy wrappers designed and printed with "Find the Golden Ticket" and "Win Invite to Meredith's Surprise 40th Birthday Party!" splashed on the front. I wish I had a picture of the back nutrition label because we made everything 0 calories and 0 fat but 25 grams of protein. If only...

Inside each chocolate bar, guests found their golden ticket that won them admission to the birthday celebration. Invitation was signed by Mr. Wonka himself. True story.

Dinner and sweets were catered by Avents Catering who offers amazing menus straight from the kitchens of David Burke.

Yes, of course we had his famous lollipop cheesecake. Too perfect for this candy themed party!

For decor, we made our own vases out of jolly rancher sticks, wheat grass and orchids. Sticky but cute :)

One of my favorite parts of the party was collecting old photos and favorite stories about Meredith from her friends and family and assembling them in this scrapbook for her to keep. I, of course, only got to meet Meredith the night of the party, it being a surprise to her and all, but I felt like I knew her before that night. I only hope one day that I am lucky enough to have a scrapbook filled with such fun and lovely memories of my own.

Now, sorry to always be the black rain cloud but there was a lot of candy consumed that evening. I just wanted to make sure no cavities resulted from that party (liability issues, you understand). So guests were also given a cute teeth cleaning voucher for $50 off if they mentioned the birthday girl at the dental offices of Dr. Diane Deidan, whose office was just a block away from Dylan's (well not that we expected them to go immediately after or anything. Just saying.). She's the best, you watch DVDs through these eyeglasses during your procedure. Appointments are never long enough. Anyhow, the cards read:

You've had a lot of sugar tonight.
Maybe you should come see me?

As guests left they were each given an empty pail with a custom sticker that read "Sweet of you to come." Guests were then allowed to roam around the 2 story candy-shop and fill it with whatever their sweet tooth desired. They were like adults in a candy shop!

Photos by Joanna Wilson Photography

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Carole Tanenbaum - Vintage Jewelry

I'm in love with this hairpiece from Carole Tanenbaum's Vintage Jewelry Collection. I would love to see more of these style pieces come back in fashion!

Here are some other pieces I spied:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Google's wedding document templates

Google has come out with wedding document templates. I didn't end that sentence with an exclamation mark on purpose. I like the concept they're reaching for and I'm sure it'll develop and improve as it is used and they receive feedback from users but I'm going to be honest, I think it's a little inadequate for them to be launching already. I think they need to advise a few more people who have been in the trenches of planning.

Here is my feedback:

Guest List

+ You can easily send out an address form for your guests to fill out that goes right back to your spread sheet and address book
+ You can add and customize the template as you wish.
- But you need to use Google contacts or gmail to easily use this feature.
- For the address form you should have two cells for first name and last name. It will make sorting a million times easier
- Their "elegant" themes for the emailer are not so elegant. Google, remember this is for a wedding not a weekend bbq.

Budget Estimator
+ I like this for a quickie overview.
- But of course for each couple it's different; what counts most and where do they want to invest their budget more? Are you foodies? Big on decor? Gotta have that dress?

+ This budget is a great check list of the little things you will have to consider for your wedding and budget: aisle runners, guest parking, childcare...
- It's a bit micro for my tastes. I'm all for being detailed but I think for a budget sheet this breaks out the cost of each category a bit too much.
- They spelled altar as "alter"! I know, I'm just being my type A self right now.

+ The cells automatically change color depending on what stage you're at. If you're in "progress" it's yellow, "late" pink,...
- I thought they would add some standard to-do's for starters but it's a clean slate for you to fill in.

+ ... I can't think of anything positive to say
- That's all that's important? How many hours and cost for what - site, per person, minimum f&b? What about capacity? Oh man, Google, call me. My venue research sheet has about 50 more questions that you can borrow some from.

Photographer, Cake, Dress, etc.
+ I suppose these are a good start but...
- ...user beware! There are tons of more questions to ask.

Music List
+ It gives a general idea of a few places you will need music.
- They should also add a "do not play list"

Photo List
+ It's a good explanation for couples wondering what a photo list is and gives good general suggestions of groupings

Wedding Day Time line
+ Good overview for someone who wants to know the general flow of a wedding.
- This is somewhere that I like to get super micro on the timing and details. But that's why our time lines average about 10 pages and that's single spaced people.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jcrew Bridesmaid dress


Seraphina Dress

I just had to share this cute dress from JCREW bridesmaid dress. Totally cute and not a million dollars. It's a good template for any color story and you can add a belt of brooch or piece of jewelry to make it more formal or more sweet. I kind of just want one to wear to parties. Here are some ideas for accessories:

Cute and contemporary

Sweet and lovely

Sophisticated and Formal
See, what did I say! It can go any which way. Love it!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Vermont Vows - Destination Spotlight

Vermont Vows is using the table I decorated in Costa Rica in their "Destination Spotlight" article. Look for this Spring/Summer 2010 issue on stands soon!

Thanks to Lisa Light of Destination Bride who helped make all this happen!

And a shout out to Ashley Baber's table too! She is THE planner in Atlanta and THE nicest person! So glad we met in Costa Rica!

Monday, February 1, 2010

DailyCandy Weddings

Uh oh. I know you're already spending 15 hours per day pouring over wedding porn: blogs, websites, magazines...but there's one more you have to add to your daily regimen. DailyCandy Weddings is here!