Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tiffany and Richard's City Chic Wedding

I must admit that I didn't think a random email from a woman in Hong Kong would result in the production of this spectacular wedding at 620 Loft and Garden overlooking Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral. It was just a little over a year ago that Tiffany emailed me, noting that she had read my blog (yay! yay! yay!) and wanted to discuss her New York City wedding. Those of you in the wedding industry can probably relate to the fact that I get some pretty unusual emails from overseas - everything from requests for business partnerships with companies in Qatar to inquiries about taking lump sum payments for weddings via credit card and then refunding the balance in cash (yeah, right!). So, it was extra delightful that Tiffany was serious about teaming up for a modern, chic, City wedding!

Working solely via email and Skype for most of the process certainly did have its challenges, but thankfully both Tiffany and I are serious night-owls so we could schedule our communications strategically despite the 13 hour time difference. We did have two opportunities to meet in person throughout the planning and design process, and on those occasions we powered through dozens of site visits, story boards, dress appointments and sample showings to yield all of the amazing details that united to be an amazing celebration for Tiffany and Rich.

If you Google the phrase "urban oasis" I think that this venue, 620 Loft and Garden, should be the top result. Where else can you find a sky-high, perfectly manicured garden adjacent to a stark, clean loft with million dollar views? I could have done nothing at all and this place would have been amazing, but that would have been no fun at all...

The ceremony took place in the garden which seats just 90 guests. The scale is small, but the impact is big, so it was important to do just enough to personalize the space without overwhelming it. We built a small arch of curly willow dotted with orchids and anchored it in a bed of flowers on modern white columns detailed with the couple's monogram. Ana Dolan adapted the custom pattern we created for all of the printed pieces for this wedding and designed beautiful program fans - which definitely helped on this hot, sunny day!

Guests found their escort cards inside the loft amidst a tray of crystals. Tiffany loves chandeliers and since we were unable to hang any in the space, I found these free-standing ones at Luxe Event Rentals. To finish off the home interior inspired look, I printed a wall art series using their customized lace pattern.

To soften the look of the loft, I added sheer curtains to all of the windows in the loft space using tension rods ("trick of the trade" alert: so easy and so cheap!) as well as covered the main focal point wall with soft white drapery that was swagged open at the entry points. A mix of long and round tables added interest and helped to nestle in all of the guests to the petite room.

Tiffany really liked my lucite stands, but she wanted them to have a little extra "something," so I added crystal strands for some sparkle and to enhance the look of the candlelight. All of the gold vases were brimming with peonies, spray roses and orchids for a look that was both modern and romantic. Hints of black added an edginess that nicely balanced some of the lace detailing on the menus, table numbers and other printed elements.

I've really been enjoying adding a little detail to the bride and groom's chairs, so I couldn't help but make these monogrammed chair caps to finish off the look.

[As a little side note, how AMAZING are my floral designers?? Brenda, Lori, Viktoriya and Gabrielle - I adore you and am endlessly grateful to have you on my team!]

Photos by Gustavo Campos

Tiffany and Richard were truly passionate about all of the details of their wedding which pushed me to think and re-think each aspect of their day. The end result? Spectacular. Amazing. Special. Just like the couple.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ines' Funky and Fun Birthday Surprise

This gig was just plain fun. When a great client calls and tells me that I can pick a cool place for a cool party and it just needs to look and feel cool, well.... that's just cool. It was a special birthday for long time client Ines, and her husband Augusto wanted to surprise her with a birthday bash (check out their wedding here). The only requirement is that it needed to be a venue with a view. With that in mind, there was only one choice for me - SoHi at the new Trump SoHo Hotel has the sickest view of New York that I have ever seen, so it was a shoo-in.

We put together a station-style menu for this relaxed party which means that tables would not be fully set with china, silver and glassware. This makes for a very important decor challenge: how to still make the table look interesting and full when, indeed, it is not full. The answer? A patterned tablecloth! A plain, solid cloth can look empty when there is not a charger plate, silverware, etc. so bringing in a cloth with pattern or texture provides visual interest in lieu of the other elements.

Since Ines and Augusto have small children (see one of their birthday celebrations here), they wanted to include their own kids as well as the children of their guests. To give them a little something to do while the adults were eating, we created a kids' craft table with stickers, crayons, pipe cleaners, wax sticks and other fun goodies. I also used a lower table and kids' chairs so that they would feel extra comfortable.

SoHi has very cool little nooks in the walls opposite the windows so we carried the floral concept through to add more color around the room. One of the greatest features of this space, though, is the honeycomb ceiling with color changing LED's which provides both color and texture.

You know it is not a party without a cake - and this cake rocked! My buds Leslie and Mark at Mark Joseph Cakes worked with me to translate the style of this party into this modern, square cake that was one of the biggest "wows" of the night.

All photos by Sharon Schuster

How do you feel about all the pink? It was definitely the color of the season at LLE, so stay tuned for more!