This past fall we entered “The Gala Awards” for Special Events Magazine. We entered for the category of “Best Event Produced for a Private Individual: Budget $1,000 and Above Per Guest”; while we were ultimately not selected as a finalist, we are extremely proud of both this event and our entry, so we wanted to share it with you. We hope you enjoy!
On Saturday November Second of Thousand and Thirteen, the two hundred guests of Brian and April were invited to spend the evening touring their recently rebuilt home; celebrating with a lavish party that included a vast array of menu items, and an expansive list of entertainment. The event, “Home Wasn’t Built in a Day” was intended to premiere their three year process of rebuilding their home, increasing the size from approximately seven thousand square feet to seventeen thousand square feet. The night consisted of two elements; a two-hour cocktail party where guests visited different rooms of the home while being treated to themed foods and entertainment, and then a dinner and dancing reception within a grand tent that consisted of musical acts. Prior to the event itself, a great deal of work went into the process of selecting the invitations, entertainment, catering, and the additional vendors.
Brian and April, five-time-repeat clients, contacted us in late August saying they wanted to host a party to celebrate their new house. They already had a caterer that they use regularly, but needed creative ideas for showcasing their home and making it a fun evening. We began by visiting the house and creating a list of entertainment ideas that would guarantee guests enjoyed visiting every room and that the event was memorable. After coming up with ideas, the next step was creating the Save the Date and selecting their invitation.
As a nod to the modern era, the Save the Date was a video message sent via evite to all the guests telling them the hosts were formally ready to share their new home and to reserve the evening. For the official invitations, the family selected a gorgeous custom designed invitation by Arlene Segal that featured door like flaps that opened to reveal content written in black with gold glitter thermography ink. We assisted with the designing of the invitation as well as writing the language which consisted of a poem explaining what the party was in honor of, that the first two hours would be for a tour of the home, and that following the tour guests would be invited to a lovely dinner and dancing reception featuring several types of wine and many performers. Once the invitations were sent and the rsvp cards received (which included having guests say sell to the next bidder if they could not attend), we assisted in ordering matching escort cards and place cards, with the place cards in different colors to indicate meal choice. In the midst of all these pieces being ordered, talent had to be booked which was a process as well.
This client was more than willing to bring performers from all over the country as long as they were the best. While this made the evening more magical, some of the performers had specific needs that made the process of finding housing for them an enjoyable challenge. Once all of the entertainers were booked, we were able to focus on the day-of the party and how these various performers would be utilized within the two components of the event.
For the two-hour cocktail party, the hosts wanted to have each room featured on the tour highlighted in unique ways. The tour began with guests being transported from their cars to the house in golf carts. Upon arrival, attendees were welcomed into the home by “tour guides” in hard hats, given a blueprint of the home with tour details, and then directed into the Dining Room to formally begin. The dining room featured a champagne and caviar bar as a welcome before they really started their tour. After that, guests were invited to the Library, where a Harpist (Gail Shanta) treated them to some lovely classical music. Guests then sampled wine in the Mona Lisa of the home, a Custom Designed Wine Cellar made from imported Italian Marble featuring their private collection with well over five hundred bottles. From there, guests were directed into the basement of the home by one of the dozen tour guides stationed throughout the house. Once in the basement, attendees entered the bar/game room where Billiards Entertainer Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman was demonstrating trick shots. After that guests were wowed by a full Raw Bar featuring Oysters and Crab Claws along with band “Two for the Road” singing stunning renditions of popular music. From there, guests visited the Movie Theatre, where there was a Hollywood Starlet along with sodas and popcorn while a film played, and then went onto the indoor basketball court to see Globetrotters legend Spinny Johnson show some moves while guests were treated to beer shots and nachos. After that, guests went up the back staircase and viewed the couple’s lovely master hot tub, master bedroom, and expansive walk-in closet. As a final stop on their way to getting their escort cards, guests were directed into the family room to enjoy the Jazz singing of “Simply Classic.” After these first two hours, guests were directed outside with their escort card for a brief walk to the tent to start the reception.
The entertainment continued from there; while guests were walking the short walk past the swimming pool into the tent, they were treated to DC Synchro, a local Synchronized Swimming group that performs with high heels on. From there, guests were in the tent where seven different types of wine were severed as part of the meal. Guests were also entertained by The Maccabeats, an all-male, Jewish a cappella group which was a surprise to April since they are one of her favorites; as well as a band out of Los Angeles, Haute Chile, and a DJ.
Overall, the evening was a magical affair that left guests mesmerized; and while it had its fair share of challenges, ultimately went off without a hitch and left guests none the wiser that there had been any mishaps.
*Hosts names were changed for privacy.