Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dessy Group Shareboards

The Dessy Group, maker of all things wedding apparel has teamed up with the color pros to create PANTONE WEDDING. Brides can order swatches of their colors to make sure colors are perfectly coordinated.
The Dessy web site also includes a new tool to create inspiration boards (with your perfect Pantone colors, of course). I couldn't resist giving it a shot. I used my friend Lindsay's upcoming fall wedding as my project:

You can see more boards and show some love for your favorites here. Then you can start creating! Dessy provides a library of images and allows you to upload your own. (If you haven't made a inspiration board before, PowerPoint is great to use). I think this is a great innovation on Dessy's part.

Interestingly enough, this board led to the design for my latest invitation for an upcoming event at work!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sugary Shake-up

Event planners and foodies have been watching a potential trend shift in the dessert world. Geeky, I know. After a long reign; another sweet may be challenging the cupcake as supreme confection.
It appears that the macaroon (macaron is proper French spelling) is appearing everywhere. The macaroon is a cookie-like treat made from egg whites, almond flour, and both granulated and confectionery sugar. According to Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery website, "This classic French pastry filled with rich buttercream has been adored for centuries. Precise baking produces a cookie that has a light and crisp outside and a soft and chewy inside. These two textures are what make the macaron such a special confection."

Mmmmmm. credit

You know the shake-up is a big deal when NPR sees fit to report on a pastry.
"Her (Amanda McClement of Metrocurea) argument about the rise of the colorful little almond-and-air cookies included the following: that the show Gossip Girl has fetishized the macaroon in a manner reminiscent of the way Sex and the City launched a cupcake boom; that Starbucks recently carried a limited edition of macaroons; and that white-hot designer Jason Wu (who designed Michelle Obama's inauguration gown) recently baked them in an issue of Food & Wine magazine. Plus, McClements says, she's just seeing them everywhere."

The story goes on to interview people taking a macaroon-making class. The pastry requires technique that can be difficult for the amateur baker to master. I know I wouldn't try them!

So, will macaroons become the go-to pastry for weddings and events? Our love affair with the cupcake has been going on for some time. Enough that cupcakeries are established small business in many areas. Locally, my personal fave is Carefree Patisserie. In addition, the cupcake is an accessible treat that anyone can try at home. And with custom toppers and wrappers permeating parties (have you seen this?!)- cupcakes are not going away anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My (brief) Awards Season

Not all of us have a party budget like HBO or InStyle. I work as the Events Manager for a regional convenience store chain in the Midwest. It's a mid-size company with over 400 stores, 4,500 employees, over $2 billion in sales, and some pretty conservative leadership. They want internal events and dinners want things done well; but on a (tight) budget. I can't complain too much - they know enough to have an events manager to handle these things, right?
While our recent awards ceremony (for our 30 district supervisors) doesn't compare to these elaborate displays of exemplary event production I'm happy with what lil' ole me could produce with my muscle on a lil' ole budget.

Our corporate headquarters has an atrium that is a great space to work with. It's large, open and dramatic. Because this was for company recognition, I decided to use our brand colors - red, black and white - as the decor theme. And what would an awards ceremony be without a red carpet?
With a bigger budget I could have used tall ladder, some nice quality fabric, some dowels and a few of these nifty magnets to add some red draping along the sides of the space. Turning down the lights and adding uplighting to the material would have created even more drama.

Because the focus of the event was the awards I went with simple centerpieces. Plus, once the salad bowls and pre-set desserts were added - the tables were pretty full. I wrapped glass cylinder vases with shiny white scrapbook paper and set those on top of a piece of die cut scrapbook paper. I used this tutorial from Domestifluff to make two pom-pom flowers for each table. It was a great excuse to craft at work!

Another great thing about this space is the natural stage at the base of the stairs. It's ideal for a one-person presentation and it suits the needs for this event. But for a few more (ok, more than a few) dollars I could create a cleaner and more professional look with a taller and wider set of pipe and drape with a few more uplights and a larger screen.
So it may not be Hollywood but you gotta start somewhere, right?!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Awards Season

It's that time of year! The Golden Globes, Grammys, the Academy Awards and the like are happening. The production of the award ceremonies are grand enough but how about the fabulous after-parties that go along with them? These past Golden Globe parties are shining examples of fabulousness:

InStyle's 2009 bash created by (the!) Tom Ford. Photo credits

HBO's party this year. Ummm, custom sculptures to fit your theme? Yes, please! Photo credit

Classic Hollywood glamour at NBC Universal's 2009 party. Photo credit

HBO's 2009 party. Think about the person who had to anchor the "floating" tables in the pool; and then swim around and light all the candles. Photo credit.

The use of lighting, the color saturation and the custom decor pieces make these parties a visual experience. Can you imagine having the budgets and resources that go along with creating these visions? Coming up next, I'll show you my version of an awards ceremony!