mitzvahs

THEME INSPIRATION: Fire and Ice

You asked and we’re listening! Welcome to our new series, called THEME INSPIRATION. This is the place where we’ll highlight a theme that has gotten us thinking and we’ll give some ideas to inspire your next event.

Today, we met with a client interested in a Fire and Ice theme. There are so many ideas that work with this theme, so here are a few images to get your creative juices flowing…

Fire and Ice Collage Inspiration

 

Doing your party on a smaller scale? How about these ideas:

Food: Inspired-by-Fire-BBQ.

Drinks: An icy martini bar complete with light up LED ice cubes.

Music: A playlist of songs that coordinate with your theme. Think  “Light my Fire” by The Doors and  “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice…

Lighting: A TON of candles and clear acrylic pieces to reflect light and imitate ice.

Bonus: Ask guests to dress to impress as their favorite element- Fire or Ice. It’s a great conversation starter and gets people excited about your party even before they arrive!

This theme is so hot, it’s cool!

 

Mystical Mitzvah Fantasy

How do you turn a simple ballroom into a mystical place that is reminiscent of the locations in some iconic blockbuster movies like Lord of the Rings, Batman and The Hobbit? That was the challenge that was presented to us for Aidan and Anakin’s Bnai Mitzvah!

We started with a “Passport to Fantasy”… a custom name card, designed to look like a passport. The guests’ names were indicated on the front and then opened to a passport-stamped inside, directing the guests to their assigned table- a location from popular films like Gotham, The Shire and Asgard to name a few…

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

Our client didn’t want to give away too much during the cocktail hour, so we kept it simple with small bowls of spanish moss and wire lights…

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

The photographer, Leslie Talley put together incredible photo books of the Bar Mitzvah boys. These albums will be treasured forever, I am sure. We created a simple Gift Card Box, using wood veneer- it was a cool effect, but simple enough that the boys wouldn’t feel guilty tearing into it at the end of the night!

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

When the doors opened, you could hear the guests gasp at the sheer beauty. Dancers in cloaks stood around the room, while  a large drum created an interesting sound for the guests to enter to…

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

A “wall” of willow branches flanked the main entrance to the room, and centerpieces overflowing with the branches gave the room a forested feel.

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Photos courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

Wood plaques offered the table name, while moss green linens and olive/gold chair covers established our color palette.

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

Each table name tied into the look of the centerpiece with a gold butterfly, dragonfly, or bat which were also nestled in the branches of the centerpiece.

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

Moss surrounded the bases of the centerpiece, giving a very organic look to the table…

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

 

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

 

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

The kids had their own chic section. A combination of modern white, rectangular bar tables and low cocktail rounds gave the kids a place to hang. We indicated the kids area with  a unified table name- the boys favorite movie locale: Khazad-dûm.

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

Moss runners held jars of light intermingled between gold branches laden with butterflies, dragonflies and bats.

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

The lighting was one of the biggest effects in the room- patterns of bare branches flooded with blue light to look like twilight gave the room such a mysterious and mystical feel.

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

The boys took part in a beautiful candlelighting ceremony, honoring family and friends from near and far. We kept things interesting with floating candles inside vases of moss and willow.

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

The Candy Table. Can you believe that cake? It was a fruit filled meringue cake that was as delicious as it was gorgeous. We chose some of the boys favorite candies to feature and labelled everything with labels that matched the passport name cards…

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Photo courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

 

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Photos courtesy of Leslie Talley Photography

The beautiful ambiance set the tone for a day to be remembered (Believe it or not, this party took place in the daytime!!) It was an incredibly fun party, filled with family love that really touched our hearts. We were thrilled to be a part of making this amazing family’s day, just a little more special!

 

Best of 2014

Happy New Year! I love the feel of a fresh new year, ripe with possibility and new opportunities. It’s also especially satisfying to look back on what has occurred in the past year. For us at Soiree, it was a great year: fun events, great clients, creative challenges and many lessons learned! I thought it would be fun to take a  look back at some of our most cherished events of 2014. This, in no way, covers them all, but I’ve chosen a few to highlight from the year with a single picture…

The Art Director’s Guild Awards. A great challenge to come up with a unique design that incorporated lighting, flowers, and was cohesive with a corporately sponsored color palette and a well thought-out stage design. The result was just what we hoped for. The event was a highlight and the feedback was incredibly satisfying!

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CBS’ “The Talk” Valentine Stage. This is what occurred when we combined 6000 roses and a french street market inspiration. We included the idea to keep the roses in a monochromatic palette and the end result was a feast for the eyes…It didn’t hurt anything to have a shout out by Julie Chen on air, either…

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Sierra Canyon’s Gala. The school took a leap of faith in raising the bar for their annual Gala Fundraiser. We joined forces to create a beautiful room- which isn’t hard with a combination of metallics, succulents, orchids and candlelight. It set the evening up for success and was enjoyed by many.

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What we fondly call “Birthday Season”. A series of our own, along with repeat Birthday party clients where we churn out some super fun, whimsical kids’ parties that are to drool over. Like…

The Retro Beach Blanket Bingo Birthday.

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The Safari themed 4th Birthday.

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And, not to be left out…The Lego Party.

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We hit our stride, with our new Decorative Rental packages available to our clients on a tight budget. We put together a rental package for this Bar Mitzvah client to suit her son’s baseball themed party. It turned out to be a homerun of a success, and didn’t break the bank!

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Dawn and Bryce’s Wedding. Two great people deserve to be surrounded by beauty…

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A French inspired Bridal Shower. This gorgeous black and pink themed shower was as gorgeous as it was heartfelt. The bride burst into tears upon arrival- overwhelmed with how beautiful everything was. Best. Reaction. EVER.

Photo by Frances Iacuzzi

Photo by Frances Iacuzzi

 

Rooftop Birthday Bash with a “Real Housewives” theme. More info coming soon in a full feature on this party, but one of the highlights was this great paper rosette piece we made. It was the perfect piece to tie together a color palette that was a complete ombre of blues…

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Melissa and John’s Wedding. These two were so wonderful to work with and we were honored to help make their vision come to life!

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Supper Club 5.0. (We designed 3.0 and 4.0 also!) What a magical night! Put together a small group of girlfriends+ a Top-Chef inspired cooking contest= a Night of fun and laughs. We got to set the mood, and Wow, was it beautiful!

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A B’nai Mitzvah Challenge. Aiden & Anakin wanted to somehow create a theme that incorporated the mystical locations in all of their favorite Blockbuster movies.  The result was a mystical, fantasy dream-come-true…

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A holiday housewarming. It was such a lovely way to close out the year, with warm decor, hot drinks and sparkling conversation!

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Happy 2015 from The Soiree Girls! What parties are you planning this year?…

Maurice’s Metal Mitzvah

Part of the fun of doing Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, is that we get to work with kids. Kids love identifying their special day with some type of a theme, and our latest Bar Mitzvah was no different. When we first met with Maurice and his family, he sat across from us with little to say, almost sulking behind his black concert t-shirt. We asked about his hobbies and activities, what he loved about school, what he wanted from his Bar Mitzvah party? He just wasn’t sure. Finally, I asked about the “retro” heavy metal concert t-shirt he was wearing, and his face lit up! We walked out of the meeting, looked at each other and said, Can we really pull off a heavy metal themed Bar Mitzvah??!

Pull it off, we did. Starting with the guests seating cards- concert ticket style and pinned to a “Will Call” board.

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We created centerpieces that doubled as the guests’ seating assignments with some of Maurice’s favorite bands as the inspiration. Most were heavy metal bands, but a few classic rock bands (for the parents and family friends) were thrown in.

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Our color palette of black, silver, white and electric blue dominated the scene. The lighting was all designed in blue, with a large feature lighting design that created a focal point in a place that normally is a run down  and empty space within the room. We had clouds moving across Maurice’s name logo, which added movement and interest to the design. A huge thanks to Spotlight Entertainment for helping this lighting vision come true!

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The party itself was an absolute ball; the guests drank and danced and cheered on Maurice’s efforts. It was an evening that was a beautiful blend between a kid theme that really said “Maurice” and an upscale, formal evening that commemorated this special occasion.

This event taught Karen and I that no matter how obscure the theme may seem at first, if it is rooted in who our guest of honor IS, then with a little creativity and ingenuity we can make it come to life!

Mazel Tov, Maurice and family!
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Team Inspiration

We’ve been approached about a variety of Bar Mitzvah themes, although one that we were recently approached about, was completely foreign to us, but brought on an exciting challenge! Our clients are HUGE Manchester United fans. (It’s a soccer team for those of you who might not be familiar with the reference…) They wanted a fun, cool Bar Mitzvah party theme that incorporated their love of Manchester United, while still making it all about their son, Joshua.

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The centerpieces were replicas of the team jersey…using all of Joshua’s favorite players and numbers- of course! The centerpiece additionally took on the role of “Table Name”, and the guests were excited to find out whose jersey they were seated at? Rooney? De Gea??

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We drew inspiration from the team colors- red, black and gold and created a  beautiful ambiance! Joshua didn’t want to assign seating to his friends, so we created a kids’ section with simpler centerpieces and named all of the tables after the team mascot name: The Red Devils.  For a bunch of energetic teens, could the name have been more perfect??

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For the name cards, we were inspired by the home field for Manchester United, Old Trafford Stadium. The stadium seats in Old Trafford, spell out “Manchester United” when no fans are seated in them. So, we created our own “stadium” of name cards, spelling out what everyone was there for: Joshua’s Bar Mitzvah! We coordinated the graphics for the talented Leslie Talley (Photography), who put together a stunning keepsake of a sign-in board.

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What a beautiful night and fun party for Joshua and his family! We feel so lucky when we get opportunities to design something completely unique for a client, as we did for this warm and friendly family. A special thanks to Leslie Talley for providing us with some beautiful photographs from the evening!

Mazel Tov Joshua!

Seaside Splendor

We love doing Bar Mitzvah parties. We especially love doing these parties when the Bar Mitzvah is as cool and down to earth as Jake. Jake and his family wanted a great party with no theme- just something that looked great, had delicious food, and was a ton of fun!

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The modern and sleek Annenberg Beach House was the backdrop for Jake’s party.  The weather cooperated perfectly and guests enjoyed a relaxing cocktail hour after an impressive and sentimental service at the family’s Temple.

We drew inspiration from the beach, but kept it simple and clean with a palette of silver, gray and white.

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Curly willow and a smattering of silver shells created unique centerpieces that filled the space and brought a little bit of the outside in, while subtle “Message in a Bottle” table numbers were a fun way to assign the tables.

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Guests found their seats with these beach inspired “lounge chair” seating cards…

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The food was incredible.  The talented team at Feast Catering created a magnificent spread, that not only looked perfect, but had the guests raving!

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The amazing duo of Cindy Gold and Claudia Wong from Gold Wong Photography captured the essence of the day & evening perfectly. Their pictures are nearly as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside. What a dream team to work with!

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We ended the night with a decadent sweets table. A combination of candy and bite sized desserts for all- everyone was so eager to sample it, that we had to hold back the crowd just to get a few pictures!

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We loved working with this amazing family, and I think this Mitzvah Project display gives you a little hint about who they are. Jake felt passionately that he wanted to do something to help a dog rescue or shelter, but he is too young to be allowed to officially volunteer. That didn’t stop him. Instead, he called the local shelter, found out what they were in need of, and organized his own fundraiser in a local park! This display is a portion of what he, his family and his friends raised for the shelter! Great work Jake!!

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Congratulations to this lovely Family! We get all warm and fuzzy inside when we think about your beautiful event. There was so much love in the room that night, and we feel honored to have been a small part of it!
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Alec’s Rock Mitzvah

Every once in awhile you meet a kid who seems wiser than his years. Such was our experience when we met Alec. He was bright, funny, creative, and he knew what he wanted as his Bar Mitzvah party theme: Music. Rock music, specifically. We set out to make his Rock-Mitzvah dreams come true and it was quite Rock-a-licious with these ultra cool, custom made and painted electric guitar centerpieces…

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We dressed the adult cocktail tables in the same electric blue satin linens and placed a simple Phaleonopsis Orchid on each table. Orchids are such a versatile flower and never seem to come off too “girly”.

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Alec and his family treated their guests to a special favor: A CD of Alec’s playlist- inspired by all of his classic rock favorites.

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Even the guest seating cards carried the theme. For the adults, concert-style tickets had their name and seating assignment while the kids received “VIP back stage passes” to direct them to their seats.

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A truly great party always contains a few ideas that come directly from the family. Alec’s Mom, Debbie, and the very talented (and sweet) photographer, Leslie Talley put together one of the most beautiful “sign in” books we have ever seen. It was sleek, classy, and sentimental, adding an extra special memento that Alec will be able to look back on for years to come.

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Our crafty side gets to play every time we do a gift box for a family. A simple wrapped box keeps the Bar Mitzvah’s gift cards safe, and in one place until the end of the night.  We like how this one turned out:

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Alec’s Bar Mitzvah party was a magical event and we feel so honored that he and his family trusted us with their party vision. It was a fabulous collaboration and we couldn’t have been happier for Alec and his family.

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Congratulations Alec!!!
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A Trip to the Vineyard

When our client approached us about doing a theme that would encompass all of the memories she and her family had during their trips to Martha’s Vineyard, we were excited! The setting?: Johnny’s Bar Mitzvah party. We wanted to create the fun vibe of a party atmosphere, but with an ambiance and elegance that captured Martha’s Vineyard. 

It started with a fun and unique “Sign In” board as guests entered the Country Club…

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The seating assignments were displayed on tiny adirondack chairs, just because…well, they’re fun!

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We created a lounge area for the kids- complete with couches, beach balls and a few adirondack chairs to tie it all together and make it just a little more “beachy”…

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A few hydrangea centerpieces in the adult cocktail area seemed  fitting as arrangements…

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The tables were dressed in Navy linens with burlap overlays, lighthouse centerpieces (that really lit up!) and a sign straight from the Vineyard.

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Each table was named after a favorite shop, activity, restaurant or landmark that the family fondly recalled from their trips.  Such a sweet & sentimental addition!

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We created a “logo” and used it as a sign within the kids’ lounge area.

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As the evening wore on, we opened up a beautiful blue and white candy bar for dessert… Salt water taffy, shark gummies, and glittering blueberry rock candy were just a few of the tempting treats!

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The final touch was a favor that we take no credit for- the client designed and presented comfortable hoody sweatshirts as a parting gift to their guests.  The logo- “J.B’s Vineyard” is just obscure enough that it’s a sweatshirt you can wear around town with pride.  It was so much fun to watch the guests’ surprised and happy faces as they realized there were sweatshirts for everyone!

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There are occasionally innovative and sentimental “theme” parties that really touch your heart, and Johnny’s Bar Mitzvah party was one of them.  We wish the Berman family, and especially Johnny, well and hope that the memories from this special night will last a lifetime!!

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From Soda Pop Vintage to Hollywood Awards

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The end result of all of the work that goes into the planning and designing of a client’s party is probably the biggest reason why I love what we do. My favorite events are personal events vs. corporate events, because the families are so personally invested and therefore we get to help create a beautiful and unforgettable day that they will remember for the rest of their lives.  So much of the time I spend in preparation with my clients, is spent with them learning to trust me because until we can physically show them some of the designs they have paid for, they are going on pure faith that we are going to create something they love.  So, the end result is amazing. The end result is definitely the best part.  Two weeks ago, we had a double booked day: Two Mitzvahs- one a Bat Mitzvah for Lindsay, who was dreaming of a Hollywood Award themed Party space and one a B’nai Mitzvah for twins, Rachel and Adam, who despite very different likes and dislikes decided on a Vintage Soda Pop theme for their party!

I headed up the Award party, while Karen got the Vintage Soda Pop party underway. Lindsay’s party was at the beautifully re-designed Temple Judea in Tarzana.  I had worked at this Temple many times prior to the re-model and was excited to get to work in the new space, which was purposefully designed as a blank slate, so that each party could take on an identity all it’s own.  Our Hollywood Award theme was done on a modest budget, and even though the design is simple in it’s execution, I think the result is fairly dramatic!

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We combined two different styles of centerpieces- a tall and a low centerpiece option, alternating throughout the room. This idea gave us the best use of the budget and created a nice sense of dimension in the room.  Each table was named after the awards you might see at the Oscars or The Emmys: Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Costume design, etc.

The red and amber lighting really warmed up the space and the sateen linens added an element of luxury to the whole room! Although our main colors were red, black and gold, Lindsay’s favorite color is purple, so we found small and subtle ways to include a pop of purple color into the overall design.  I jump at any chance I can to add personality to a design by finding personal and sentimental touches wherever possible!

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We welcomed the guests on a red carpet and they picked up their name cards on the way in.  We designed the style of the name card to coordinate with the table name signs, and though the effect was simple, it was beautiful.

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Lindsay’s family spent the rest of the weekend and early part of the next week just soaking up all of the memories and relaxing after a wonderful and meaningful day.  I received a follow up email from Lindsay’s Mom:

Dear Jennifer,
     We thought the whole evening was absolutely wonderful! Lindsay said it was the best night of her life.  It was very special for all of us.  It was a pleasure working with you during the planning, and also the evening of the party.  We had a few bumps in the road, but they really didn’t seem to matter, especially since you were there to handle them!
Thanks so much!

It was an absolute pleasure to work with Lindsay and her family also, who were easy going and trusting throughout the process.  I couldn’t be happier to have had a small part to play in Lindsay’s happy memories!!

While I was busy at Temple Judea, Karen was across town with our crew, busy transforming Shomrei Torah into a Vintage Soda Pop haven.  Rachel and Adam wanted to use their favorite colors, pink and blue, in a way that wouldn’t turn the whole place into a giant baby shower.  So, we thought…why not the hot pink and electric blue that you would find on old neon soda shop sign!  Our graphic designer, Sarah, came up with these adorable vintage inspired designs that named each table after a classic, or favorite, soda pop.  Dad’s Rootbeer, Coca Cola, 7up, Nesbitt Strawberry and A& W Rootbeer name just a few…

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The centerpieces were very budget friendly as oversized “ice buckets” filled with glass bottled sodas, iridescent shred and acrylic ice cubes. 

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Our acrylic table name stands contained pink and blue neon necklaces to give just a little extra pop of color.  Everyone seemed to think it was a clever way to bring in the idea of neon lighting…

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The little details in our party sign, really got Rachel and Adam excited-“Twin Bottling Company” and “13 fl. oz.” (since they are both 13) seemed fitting and fun!

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The name cards coordinated with the table names and party sign and were the guests first glance at the overall theme while they enjoyed some drinks and snacks prior to the start of the main party. We could barely get a picture because the guests were so interested and excited by these cards and were quick to grab theirs and go!

The aftermath of a special event is usually quite sweet, and we enjoy it almost as much as our clients do.  We will always work to exceed expectations because the feeling of pleasing our clients is extremely important to us!

Stay tuned- we have more adorable events on the horizon!  Next up? Another double day: A beautiful, girls-only birthday party and a Martha’s Vineyard inspired Bar Mitzvah…

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