Thursday, June 28, 2007

Have you seen this dude?

Many of you know that Army Wives, the new show on Lifetime, is filmed here in Charleston. You may have seen the crews and characters outside of Hibernian Hall, or up and down the streets of downtown or on base. Did you know one of the stars of the show is in our own event/hospitality industry? Richard "Bubba" Bryant plays Jeremy Sherwood, unfortunately he's the abusive son of Denise Sherwood played by Catherine Bell. Bubba's a true Charlestonian and can be seen at Locklear's and tending bar with WIT Bar Services.

Army Wives is actually a great show and the highest rated series in Lifetime's 23 year history. It's also great to see Charleston panoramas and where they film; there's a great scene on Queen Street looking all the way down toward Waterfront Park, it really does Charleston's beauty justice.

Anyway, check it out, Sundays at 10pm on Lifetime.

Go Bubba!
photos by Lifetime TV

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Smell this

When I was in college in Orlando, Florida I had every opportunity in the world to patronize Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World... so I did. It was more than just a childhood memory for me, it was every other month a different park and every weekend a new concert at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney.

Even though I frequented these fantasy worlds and thought I knew them inside and out, they still pulled the wool over my eyes with one thing. Did you know that the smell of fresh baked cookies on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, or the scent of damp earth when you walk through Jurassic Park at Universal Islands of Adventure is all a marketing ploy??? The cookies weren't baking at all, it was scent marketing! Brilliant! Machines pump out over 2,000 different scents from Glazed Donut to Dinosaur Dung... to make you feel a certain way; deisel exhaust, fresh cut grass, pizza, bubble gum, the list goes on. So who knows if an aroma you fondly remember was real or if it was a scent machine persuading you to stay a little longer or buy a little more.

You too can use this while planning your events to either transport guests to a comfortable place, or to create a new memory. I used a ScentAir Scent Wave machine in Coconut Breeze last year for the Gibbes' Passport to Paradise party celebrating the opening of our Bermuda exhibition. I thought the smell of coconut oil wafting through the air would make guests feel as though they were at a beach party in Bermuda. The Scent Wave wasn't even expensive, about $100 for a one time use contraption.


photos by, Michael Bonnett, jr., Lori, ScentAir

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Travel Series: Chateau de Courances

We have many great venues here in Charleston, from stately homes to sprawling plantations with history and beauty. Sometimes, though, we all need inspiration through pretty photos of far away places! If you haven't already noticed, I really love the idea of travel + events instead of just local inspiration. Now we're about an hour outside of Paris at the...
Chateau de Courances, a 16th century chateau that fell into disrepair for a long while until it was restored in 1870.
Looking at the photos, I feel I should be in a scene from Ever After or something. Moliere, a European film out this year filmed at the Chateau de Courances.
Vive la France!
photos by David Patrick Columbia

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Seal the deal

Look at these cute envelope seals from A Day In May Design based in San Francisco. These are good clean fun for your destination wedding save the dates and invitations. Kiawah Island, woot woot!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Event I'd like to attend o'-the-week!

If you've ever dreamed of being able to bring your best four-legged friend to a black tie gala (because I know I have...), next year travel to Washington, DC and go to the Bark Ball! The Washington Humane Society held their 20th Anniversary Bark Ball on June 9th at the Renaissance Hotel and over 400 dogs attended with bedazzled collars and luxurious attire. Hey, you're only one butt sniff away from an icebreaker!

The ball is the Washington Humane Society's largest annual fundraiser and benefits its Good Home Guarantee, a plan that promises to find a home for every adoptable dog and cat that enters the shelter by 2010. This year the event raised more than $100,000 and many dogs were adopted.
The clever centerpieces were topiaries in the shapes of various canine companions, and the decor was a swanky fuscia and black. The Renaissance Washington, DC served vegan and vegitarian dishes to the suits, but the doggies got organic snacks, specialty ice-cream, and a cake baked by Barkley Square Bakery out of Alexandria, VA.

How FUN is this?!?!?! Louis the Pug and his owner, among others, CUTE! Double click...

photos: BizBash

Monday, June 18, 2007

Nouveau Cocktail

These great finds from CB2 (shhh, extension of Crate & Barrel) put a new twist on old classic cocktail party accessories. Regular martini glasses, though beautiful, tend to be pretty unwieldy especially after downing a few cosmos or if used in catering presentation (ceviche, shrimp cocktail, etc.). Check out the shortinis, they make it easier to balance and create a unique look with sturdy bases in various colors.

The satellite dishes look both retro and futuristic; they would be great for dips, condiments, or even a specialty ice cream.

Cute little stainless steel cocktail spoons look sleek and modern but are only 4.5". Make yourself a Top Chef when you present a delicate lobster foam atop these under-sized utensils, because foam isn't just for the carwash anymore.

Love your new olive dish when you spring just $12.95 for this really great serving piece that also keeps your hors d'oeuvres from escaping. Make neat patterns with alternating green and black olives for an instant conversation piece.

Travel Series: Art & Society parties in Venice, Italy

photo David Hoare

Oh Venice, you have everything don't you? Well, except for streets, you just have canals, but that's what makes you... you!
If you've ever been to Venice you know the feeling I'm talking about when you can't find ANY cars, just boats as far as the eye can see. A "Waterworld" without Kevin Costner stealing your aluminum cans. If you get up early enough you can see the garbage boats hauling away everyone's trash from the edge of the canals, and supply boats taking crates of produce and palettes of L'Aranciata to the corner store or cafe.

It's a very whimsical destination and today's post is taking a peek into the unique society parties that took place in early June during the opening of the Venice Biennale, the largest contemporary art exhibition in the world.

Above is a photo of a cocktail party in the ballroom of the Palazzo Pisani Moretta, a palace built in the 15th Century for the Pisani family. Are you having a little bit of venue-jealousy right now?

Above, guests mingle before being seated for the Venetian Heritage Gala dinner.

Below is a dinner party at the STUNNING Palazzo Albirizzi, another palace that has been in the hands of its original owners, the Albrizzi family, for over 500 years. If you're looking for a vacation rental, an exclusive apartment here is just $12,000 a week...

And last, we round out the night at Hotel Cipriani where Russian artist Stella Kesaev hosted a party to celebrate her Moscow-based contemporary art foundation. Czech out the bovine-inspired upholstery!

Incidentally, Hotel Cipriani is an Orient-Express Hotel just like our very own Charleston Place.

I hope this travel series was fun, we have to go again sometime! Ciao!

(below, me and my hubby on our honeymoon)

party photos from David Patrick Columbia

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Holy Ribbon, Batman!

Saturday, June 16, Kristin Newman Designs of Charleston and Curly Willow Designs of Greenville teamed up to wow a big apple bride at the Gibbes Museum of Art.

Joel from Curly Willow and his team worked tirelessly stringing alternating gold and ivory ribbon in THREE individual tents. Twinkling string lights peeked through the amazing ceiling installation and large votive chandeliers were dressed with greenery.

Guests started inside for a quick cocktail and to pick up their place cards done by Martine over at Dulles Designs. After being seated in the courtyard. Carolina Catering served a delicious dinner of beef tenderloin and lobster stuffed shrimp with haricots vert and twice baked potatoes, Yum!

Jim Smeal made a beautiful 5-tier cake decorated with icing flowers that matched the delicious cookies guests got as favors.

Bryan Mahanes from Other Brother Entertainment brought the Pat Patrick Band all the way from Nashville, and toward the end of the evening a group of military men, including the groom, took over the mic with "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" just like Top Gun, HOT!

The Gibbes Courtyard and its walkway were filled with even more greenery with rentals from Plants Alive making it look like a lush oasis, even though the weather was surprisingly cool. Curly Willow arranged many interesting pieces with a continuous ivory and green theme.

Do you have an event you'd like me to showcase on Charleston Party Planners and Being SOCIAL? Email me and we'll type about it!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Not your mother's bachelorette party...

photo by Carmen Elsa

Having recently been one (June Charleston Magazine wedding pages), I know the modern bride has a lot to worry about these days so she shouldn't have to worry about what her MOH will do about the bachelorette party.

If planning a destination bachelorette party, why not go to NYC and check this out! On Location Tours, Inc. provides Sex and the City tours in the now famous nabes of the show we all miss SO much! How fun would it be to chill out with your best girlfriends (or boyfriends) and visit Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Sam's old hotspots and stompin' grounds?

The SATC tour boasts bachelorette packages ranging from the Charlotte, at a mere $44 per person, to the Samantha starting at $195 . This package arrangement is obviously for the least adventurous to the utmost.

Highlights include a chauffered limo tour, free admission into Lotus, a filming spot and restaurant/club in the meat packing district, and a "Pleasure Chest" kit...sweet.

They also have Soprano's tours so you can send your fiance a photo of you and your girls swinging at the Bada Bing.

I'll probably never get enough of SATC, but now I won't have to because I can just hop the next AirTran flight to NYC and strut down 5th Avenue with a little Carrie in my step...or just wait for the movie!

A night in Morocco

Stumbled onto this very cool decor/tent rental company based out of Los Angeles called Mosaik Moroccan Interiors. They rent props and decor for movies, events, or anything entertainment-related. I love this look, we need something like this closer to home!

photos from Mosaik Moroccan Interiors

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Je voudrais un verre de vin

"I would like a glass of wine"; this is probably what my friend Kenton is saying as I type because she's attending a wedding in Sonoma Valley, California this weekend. All her clever itinerary planning made me wonder about fun things to do in other parts of wine country. Today we're going to Napa Valley!

Research led me to discover Festival del Sole, a ten day lifestyle festival blending together wine, cuisine, art, literature and music in Napa Valley, California from July 13-22, 2007. This will be the second annual Festivale del Sole, and last year's resounding success foreshadowed many exciting editions to come.

World class performers, celebrity chefs, top winemakers, and a scenic setting make this event very attractive for oenophiles (winos), foodies and culture-seekers. You can be sure there will be opening receptions, luncheons, wrap parties, gala dinners and all sorts of other special events that really make the Festival del Sole a "see and be seen" staple of Napa Valley.

So if it gets too hot here in Charleston, head to Northern California in mid-July and consider Festival del Sole as Spoleto's classy west coast counterpart.

photos by David Patrick Columbia

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kermit the Frog is not dead!

Green is quickly becoming the color of choice in many of today's industries, not because of the way it looks, but because of what it means. Going green in event planning means selecting supplies and services with a sensitivity toward reducing the threats we face from global warming, species extinction, deforestation, toxic waste and hazardous chemicals in our water and food. The Natural Resources Defense Council, a non-partisan environmental and advocacy organization, has a great website and tons of information about how to go green at home, work, play, etc.

photo by BizBash

The 2007 Academy Awards took the issue very seriously when they re-shaped many of the details of the event. Tissue products in the pre-show trailers, Kodak Theatre, dressing rooms and green rooms were 100% recycled content, non-endangered forest paper. Hybrid vehicles were made available for presenters and staff. Nearly 100% of Wolfgang Puck’s Governor’s Ball menu was organic and environmentally friendly, including seafood, dairy and produce selections. Puck used only organic, locally grown, sustainable ingredients and meat from humanely treated animals when serving the evening’s 1,600 pounds of lobster, 800 pounds of chicken, 400 pounds of Kobe beef, 40 pounds of black truffles, and 40 pounds of salmon. These were just a few of the steps taken by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the huge awards show that stops Hollywood in its tracks every year!

photo by BizBash

On our coast, another notably green event was the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. The night’s earth-friendly elements included email invites, the use of soy-based inks on biodegradable materials Bioflex and Duraplast for signage, generators powered with biodiesel, and organic food for catering.

photo by BizBash

above, the simple but stunning candle wrapped in banana leaves and tied with raffia
photos by BizBash and Jennifer Binder
Green is the word, is the word that they heard, its got groove, its got meaning.
Go green -- it will make you feel better.