Sunday, December 29, 2013

Counting down.... 5, 4, 3, 2....

This time between Christmas and New Year's Eve is, I think, a universally great week, regardless of what holidays you celebrate. Time off from work, time to be with family, vacationing somewhere warm or maybe on the slopes, a few extra dinners out with a few extra glasses of something to keep the holiday spirit going... And I do love this time for all of those reasons, however, I have a major confession to make - my absolute FAVORITE thing about this week is the release of every possible configuration of a "best of" or "countdown" list reliving the highlights from the past year.

I could watch the top 10 music videos of the year on VH1 on repeat, having not seen even one of those videos the entire year - nor even knowing what channel on which to find VH1. I made my family wait an extra twenty minutes for me on December 26th as I perused CNN's top 100 images of the 2013 - one of them was a horse itching his back on a gravel path (???) but I was, nonetheless, glued to my screen. And don't even get me started on the top 25 celebrity breakups... at least 10 of which I had to Google since, evidently, being a step-child of a Housewife makes you a celebrity. Top 100 songs, 10 best political bloopers... you name it, I love it!

So, since I'm a forever sucker for every countdown list known to man, I figured I'd give it a try and make one of my very own. This was an amazing year for LLE, so it is hard to choose, but take a look at the Lindsay Landman Events' 2013 Top 10 Moments of "Wow!"

Click on the photos to enlarge

bar mitzvah decor
10. Rainbow Soda Station for Milo's Bar Mitzvah
Milo was sweet and shy and had few requests... but a soda bar of some sort was one of them, so we created this eye-catcher that kids and adults loved just the same!
photo by Sharon Schuster

aisle runner
9. Custom Aisle Runner for Soumya and Aditya's wedding
Soumya sent me a Pinterest board loaded with images of Meenakshi Temples from the South of India that had simple stone structures and then the most stunningly colorful and elaborate chakra patterns all over the ceilings... so we recreated the look on the aisle runner to incorporate a touch of her culture. 
photo by Gustavo Campos

museum of natural history wedding
8. Alissa and Josh's Escort Card Display
The American Museum of Natural History was the inspiration for this unique display. As this sat in the shadows of the giant and iconic T-Rex skeletons, the bride specifically requested these dark manzanita branches to mimic the dark bones of the dinos. The table itself, like all of the tables in the cocktail hour, "displayed" flowers on the inside just as museum cases display artifacts. 
photo by Gustavo Campos

skater bar mitzvah
7. "Drive Thru" Food Station at Aaron's Bar Mitzvah
For a skater-kid having a Bar Mitzvah at a luxury car dealership, what else can we say but, "Roll With It?" We incorporated wheel installations and graffiti art in the bars and buffets, but the highlight was definitely this "drive thru" where kids could roll up, check out the menu [backdrop] and get their take out box for dinner. 

studio 450 wedding
6. {Just} Fab Flowers for Hannah and Tim's Wedding
2013 marked the year that we began offering straightforward floral design for a select number of engagements per year and this lovely wedding at Studio 450 was a perfect way to kick it off! 
photo by Silk Studios

guastavinos wedding
5. Escort Card Display Sculpture for Soumya and Aditya
Who knew PVC pipes could look this good? I had a fantasy that involved building a one-of-a-kind sculpture to set this escort display apart, so my team of wedding elves helped me to cut, paint and assemble 100 sections of PVC pipe and adorn the sculpture with fresh fall blooms. Just in case it wasn't funky enough, we set it on a copper sequined linen for good measure!
photo by Gustavo Campos

east hampton party
4. Compound Foundation East Hampton Gala
This is the view of the spectacular tent from behind the hosts, Ne-Yo (left) and Kevin Hart. The night sky effect on the ceiling of the tent brought the outside in, but with a major dose of glitz and glam.
photo by DJ D-Nice

jewish wedding
3. Alex and Yaniv's Horah
This Brooklyn Museum wedding was amazing in a million ways with gorgeous details and a truly stunning couple, but this moment took the cake for me. This was an insanely busy and stressful setup (not so unlike any of the others!) and the bride wasn't feeling well (ack!) and by the time the ballroom opened for dinner, I was sweatin' the small stuff... but just for a second, I looked to the dance floor and caught a glimpse of two truly happy people completely and totally enjoying their wedding day, and I felt their joy to the bottom of my soul. And there's no better "wow" than that.
photo by Cava Weddings

natural history museum wedding
2. Dining Under the Sea at Alissa and Josh's Wedding
There is nothing that isn't cool about having a dinner of any kind in the Hall of Ocean Life in the Museum of Natural History. But, to make sure sure wedding guests got the full effect, we brought in a white dance floor and lit it like the sparking ocean on a crystal clear night.
photo by Gustavo Campos

destination wedding
1. Shanique and Frantz's Oceanside Wedding Dinner
After some daunting summer rain on the island of Anguilla, the skies cleared just in time to set the warm, glowing dinner tables on the patio of a private villa set on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean. Need I say more?
photo by Allan Zepeda

There really is no greater honor than to be invited to share in the intimate details of someone's special event. Whether it is a wedding or a Bar Mitzvah or a gala celebration, I am touched and excited each and every time I am tapped to make it happen and make it beautiful. After more than twelve years, you would think it gets old, but I assure you it does not. I extend my most sincere thanks to all of the families this year and in years past who have shared their celebrations with me and who have helped to make my dream job a reality - and a career. 

Wishing you a new year filled with joy and goodness and many, many reasons to celebrate!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ne-Yo's Big Night

Since we spend most of our time producing fabulous weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and social parties, it is no surprise that many of you may not know that we have a long history of producing highly successful fundraising galas and events as well. And while many of these events are great fun, I'm not shy to admit that one of the highlights of the year is producing this amazing gala for music superstar Ne-Yo and his important charitable initiative, The Compound Foundation.

This past August was our second time working on this star-studded event at a to-die-for private home in East Hampton. The homeowners are unendingly gracious and let us come in and take over their entire property for a week... 'cuz that is how long it takes to set up an event of this scale!

This event is a little bit of everything - a beautiful dinner by Chef Roble and Great Performances, a raucous live auction, performances by Estelle, Mario, and, of course, Ne-Yo - with Kevin Hart as the hilarious host to boot. So, with all that glamour, the stakes are high for me and my team as we work to coordinate every one of those nerve-wracking details. Nonetheless, you'll know why it is all worth it when you peek at the gorgeous setting - not to mention when almost $500k is raised to help kids in foster care.

6000 square foot tent with decking floor from Starr Tent filled with lounge style furnishings from Luxe Event Rentals and New York Lounge Decor.

Branding is crucial at any charitable event so we made our mark on the pool around which guests enjoyed cocktails.

Chic centerpieces in mirrored vases carried through the black, white, cobalt blue and mirror palette. 

VIP tables got their own bottle-service mini-bars featuring Ne-Yo's own Malibu Red liquor.

The tent after sunset featuring a real starry night effect!

Porsche is a title sponsor of this event... what could make a beautiful tent for a beautiful cause on a beautiful night look even more... beautiful? A brand new red Porsche at the entrance, of course!

A huge thanks to the talented Allan Zepeda for these stunning photos. 

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sabrina and Max: Glimmer, Sparkle and Shine

I think it is about time you got to see this amazing wedding! We worked with Sabrina and Max for more than a year to fine tune this beauty... he is an artist (posing as a dentist) and she is a performer (posing as an ad sales rep) so between all of us, there were some seriously creative juices flowing throughout!

All that glitters is not gold, but it could be mirrors or sequins... at least at this wedding. Sabrina loves anything with sparkle, so we used custom mirrored tabletops, gold and sequin linens, mirrored vases and even glitter paper to layer the menus so there was not a dull surface to be had. I think that in another venue all of these different materials could have been too much, but in this dramatic space, it was just right to show off Sabrina's style and reflect all of the gorgeous details inherent to the venue.

This wedding was originally scheduled to take place in a garden venue, so when we moved the location to Capitale (which is pretty much the opposite of a garden!) Sabrina and Max wanted to keep the fresh feel of the outdoors alive. Since there were no blooming branches to be found in the fall, we decided on building camellia trees with a white birch trunk and a floral base - just the kind of nature that is right up my alley - hand crafted and perfectly tailored!

You know I am a sucker for a great escort display, and boy do I love this one. We painted the frames of those Ikea (yes - Ikea!) floor mirrors gold and had the amazingly talented Joanne Day hand calligraph every name.  It was fun to watch guests admire themselves and the artistry of the display simultaneously, not to mention the super cool reflection the mirrors created on the floor.

I think we designed 20 different bars before the couple decided on this one - a GIANT square bar with a mirrored top and center console which was detailed with their specialty cocktail recipes as well as their monogram.

Every decision made for this wedding was made with passion and conviction, which made for more than a few multi-hour design sessions, but in the end, I really see this couple - not just in the mirrors - but in every aspect of the design. I believe that every guest that attended this wedding felt like it looked just like what Sabrina and Max would have chosen, and they would be absolutely right. Every wedding should look and feel just like a reflection of the couple who planned it - and when it really does, I feel like it was a design job well done.

Want to see more? The full album is on our Facebook page!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Designer's Quest

It’s been radio silence on the blog for exactly 6 months now. Six long, long months.  I often start my entries, when they are few and far between, with an apology for not having written sooner or more often. But today, instead of an apology, I’ll go with an explanation.

These past six months have been a time of development and re-imagination at LLE. Much of this has been living inside my head and finally some of it is just starting to appear in the light of day, so I’d like to start to share more of it in this forum.

I love the work that I do every day and I am proud of it. I am also remarkably gratified when clients tell me how much they love the work my team and I have done for them or when Googlers from around the world email me to compliment a photo they found online that linked back to this blog, Pinterest or Facebook.  And, there is no greater compliment than when a fellow designer contacts me to ask how I created something or where I sourced something. It makes me feel like I am contributing something not just to an individual client but to the bigger picture of events.  So, if things are going so well, why not keep on keepin’ on and stay on course?

Well, here’s what you may not know…. When you see a beautiful centerpiece or escort table from a wedding or a party, it was likely something I thought of up to two years before the photo appeared. Two years! Now, we rarely work with clients for two years on their events, however my job as a designer is to log snippets of ideas in my mind until the right moment, client, venue, etc. comes to unlock the idea and fill in the details.  I’ll admit that sometimes I have a pretty great, fully detailed idea or vision on the fly, but mostly it is like Legos, slowly stacking in my brain until the full tower is ready for play.  Why this matters – and there’s no way to sugar coat this – is that often when something looks new and exciting to you, I’m already over it.

So, I’ve been on a quest for the last six months for what feels truly new to me, and I suspect this is just the beginning. I’m not looking for one big idea or one “a ha” of inspiration. Instead, I am looking for new ways to think, new ways to regenerate my own creativity.  Therefore, instead of reporting to you on this blog about what I’ve already done, I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do next.  I wish I could do both at the same time, but, well, you know…

My journey has taken me to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) where I started my formal education in interior design, a subject I’ve been passionate about for many years. It has also taken me to FINALLY start to learn how to use the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) on my own so that I can better communicate with my graphic artists and printers and so that I can spend less time telling them what is in my head and more time showing them.  I’ve been to more art exhibitions in these past 6 months than I’ve been to in the last 3 years combined (I know… bad New Yorker!!) to re-ignite how I learned to think about art when I studied it in college. I have also been revisiting my creative writing projects that have sat dormant for the last three “boom” years at LLE. 

Finally, and most externally relevant, I am putting my quest for new ideas and inspiration in the hands of new clientele. Beyond all art, fashion, architecture and the like, I am most often and most profoundly inspired by my clients – what they love, what inspires them, what their stories are that led them to me.  So it was finally time to move from a “less is more” mentality to a “more is more” frame of mind. For years, we have offered our design and production services almost exclusively to our clients for whom we were producing an entire event, but now we are armed and ready to expand our reach and offer both full service eventdesign and a la carte floral design to anyone who loves the LLE style, regardless of whether or not we are involved in the planning of their special day. This opens me up to collaborations not only with new clients but event planners, venues and other event pros in New York and well beyond.

I’m excited about where I am and where I’m going. And I promise to try and keep you looped in on my journey along the way!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

From the vault: Tina and Joe's Gorgeous Gotham Wedding

I actually cannot fathom that I never blogged about this wedding before because it was one of our most spectacular weddings of all time! It is hard to believe that it was in the Fall of 2008, but I suppose time flies when you're having fun!

There were a million things that made this wedding awesome, but paramount was this couple's strong, unified vision for their wedding. Tina and Joe wanted a truly intimate ceremony with only family, and then a "badass*," blow-out, no-holds-barred party to celebrate with all of their friends.  Pretty much everything else, they left up to me! [*Badass was Joe's favorite word - you don't forget stuff like this, even after 4 years!]

So, we created a two-day event: Day 1 (Thursday) was their private wedding ceremony followed by an intimate dinner at the Park Avenue Townhouse with just about 25 of their family members; Day 2 (Saturday) was a fun and fabulous party at Gotham Hall. Tina also got to rock two different dresses and two different hair/makeup styles, which is pretty much every girl's dream.

It is a little hard to tell what the escort card setup was, but it was super cool.  Black acrylic cards were calligraphed in white and set atop a lucite table that was filled with water and tons of dahlias. Surrounding the table were clear lucite pedestals of varying heights loaded with jewel toned candles.

The seating area at Gotham Hall is an oval framed by the original teller walls from its days as a bank.  We enveloped the area with sheer drape, and then washed it with colored and patterned light to create a warm and magical environment.

Dinner tables were a mix of long feast style tables and square elevated tables (guest sat on bar stools) which gave the room great dimension and interest.  To this day, these centerpieces are still one of my favorite things we've ever created. Instead of using a traditional vase, I bought black crystal 4-arm chandeliers and then removed all of the electric components so that each arm could hold a pillar candle and the top could be the flower base. It took hours to un-assemble and re-assemble each one, but it was so worth it!

A black and white dancefloor really never looked so good as it did in this room. Also, looking back at these photos, I am remembering that this wedding was the first time we ever made our own linens because I couldn't find what I wanted (now we make linens for almost every event!).  I searched the world over for that exact fabric... and only months later black and white damask dominated the wedding scene and could be found everywhere. That's what you get for trying to be a step ahead of the game!

Photos by Barnaby Draper
I now need to dig around and see what other treasures are still hidden in my "vault" from weddings pre-dating this blog (or any blog for that matter!).  Glad I uncovered this beauty to start off the new year!

Happy 2013!