You’re cordially invited for a peek inside The Knot Gala 2016! How stunning was the invitation by Ceci New York?? Ceci and her team were a dream to collaborate with!
The Knot’s latest issue is on newsstands now, which means we’re finally able to share all the wonderful images of this epic night at The New York Public Library! We were so honored when The Knot asked us to plan and design their 20th Anniversary Gala that would wow 1,200 of the creme de la creme of our industry (and some celebs too!) at the end of bridal fashion week. Talk about pressure! The Fetes des REves theme came to me pretty quickly….because it’s something that’s always been
Edge Floral Design created this dramatic entrance for us on each side of the NYPL with boxwood gates and assorted topiaries and votive candles lining the pathways. Tantawan Bloom provided the gorgeous, oversized urns of white blooms en masse. The crystal candelabras from Luxe Event Rentals were the perfect touch!
A 3D, layered laser cut step and repeat featuring the drawings of Ceci New York (tying in the invitation design) and provided the perfect backdrop for guests to pose on the red (or white 😉 carpet at the entrance:
Miss Haley Paige and her lovely ladies pose on the “white carpet” upon arrival
There was one item we just KNEW we had to have from the very beginning of the planning process. You know how when a little idea sneaks into your brain and you just can’t shake it? That was this! We collaborated with Revolution Events (responsible for most of the production elements of this event) on taking the classic carousel and made it the centerpiece of our Parisian park daydream: the band stage. This all-white version is tres chic, no? It all came together despite logistical challenges (I may or may not have closed my eyes when they craned the carousel top OVER the NYPL’s historic and permanent candelabra lamps…)
Tantawan Bloom knocked these blossoming trees out of the park! Hanging butterflies, orchids and crystals, oh my!
How neat are these giant hot air balloons with mirrored “baskets” from Revolution Events?! Flowers by Tantawan Bloom and Topiaries by Edge Floral Design.
This ice bar from Okamoto Studios featuring frozen blooms was a work of art and made our French Garden Bar come to life! Great Performances worked with Tito’s Vodka, one of our sponsors, to come up with delicious cocktails incorporating edible flowers and herbs. Boxwood backdrop and mirrored sign from Revolution Events, laser cut backbars from Luxe Event Rentals. Flowers and candle accents by Edge.
Our goal was to make each food station an experience, and bring the decor full circle, like with this cheese and charcuterie station made up of flirty floral rope swings.
The gorgeous laser cut lounge, with all furniture from Luxe Event Rentals and crystal candelabras from Edge Floral Design.
This lasercut piano was a hit – and an unexpected photo op!
We loved this laser cut awning that Revolution Events made over their twinkly boxwood backdrop for the bar. We wanted to give guests the feeling that that were strolling through this magical french garden and stopping to sample different fare from food vendors, as you would find at the summertime fair in the Tuileries. Chic, white paneled bar from Luxe and cocktail table linens from Nuage Designs.
Delicious and beautifully presented hors d’oeuvres from Great Performances Catering.
A larger than-life violinist from Scarlett Entertainment greeted guests on the front steps of the library. Statuesque male models in white tuxedos also stood on the steps to welcome guests.
Some Shien Lee performers pose at the step and repeat.
DJ Jacob Towe did all the digital projection and video mapping on the exterior of the building and also our butterflies fluttering around on the ceiling….a bit hard to capture in a photo, but very cool and big contributer to the dream-like vibe!
Ethereal performers from Shien Lee (including this one on stilts) mingled with and delighted guests. We dreamt up these custom headpieces with Elbowgrease Designs to complete the outfits.
The VIP lounge was sponsored by Macy’s and we blinged it out – literally! VIP guests had a private bar as well as this baccarat crystal inspired jewelry table made of ice (thanks to Okamato Studios!) where they could “get iced” and try on signature diamond pieces. I love the giant ice gems carved into the table that we used to display the necklaces…
ABC Bachelor Couple, Ben Higgins & Lauren Bushnell come by to party (and maybe gather wedding inspo!?)
One of my favorite parts of the entire night – this flower box lounge! I’m pretty much convinced that Revolution Events can do ANYTHING you (or they) dream up! We had custom black and white portraits of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI applied to the backs of the ghost chairs. Silhouette bistro tables from Luxe Event Rentals and table flowers from Edge.
Across from the flower lounge, one of the biggest surprises of the night – Ladurée had it’s very own pop-up shop!
I have to give you the backstory because this was totally a labor of love. Ladurée has actually never done an event like this before, and I had to plead my cause with the owner, Elisabeth, to participate over several weeks of meetings, emails and calls – so I was ecstatic, to say the least, that she finally agreed 🙂 Revolution Events was kind enough to recreate their shop style for them at the party, but who knew those beautiful pastry counters their shop is so known for have refrigerators built into them to keep the tops cool? That way they’re sitting pretty on display but also being cooled at the same time. Apparently these delicate little confections can melt at a moments notice if not chilled properly and, to top it off…the NYPL has no AC. Add in 1,200 people dancing and you’ve got supreme melting conditions! Well, nothing like a little challenge! Unfortunately, Ladurée has those counters in their shops custom made and there were no extras laying around anywhere. To buy one was thousands of dollars and renting one wasn’t an option, since they’re only custom made (someone did offer to rent me a deli counter though, LOL. Not on brand, sorry!) I wasn’t going to take no for an answer after we’d come this far – after MUCH brainstorming with my AMAZING vendor team, we figured it out. A cabinet was built into their bakery counters (which were being custom made anyway) for dry ice (waaay less expensive than a custom refrigeration system!) and we had special layered countertops made (to keep the pastries from direct contact with the dry ice, less they freeze). Guests cluelessly indulged in their world-famous macarons and all the amazing best pastries and we cried victory!
The upstairs bar continued our crystal and lasercut theme, and featured bar and lounge furniture from Luxe Event Rentals. Tantawan Bloom brought this lovely floral and butterfly installation on the gates to life!
Randy Fenoli from Say Yes to the Dress with Carley Roney, CEO and found of The Knot having fun in our “Vanity Fair” style portrait booth!
My hubby (aka, my biggest fan) and I once the party started…our team had been at it since 6am, and we finally had a moment to sit down and breathe. This look totally says “phew, we pulled it off!” 😉
To start the evening off, Vali Entertainment provided an incredible jazz band that was styled to perfection – this dress was custom made just for our event!
For the second half of the evening, this powerhouse dance band from Vali Entertainment kept the dance floor packed all night!
During the transition of the two bands from Vali, Scarlett Entertainment provided a super unique act – Drum Machine – all the way from South Africa! Drum Machine is the first of it’s kind – he uses a holographic digital turntable in combination with his trussed drum set, and was accompanied by Bella Electric Rock String Group – quite the sensation!
One of the big surprises of the evening was an area called “Appetit Noir” – we wanted gastronomical experience to really wow guests and engage all the senses. While the rest of the party was white and ethereal and almost “heavenly” – this area resembled a darker side of our dreams.
One of our couture mimes (provided by Shien Lee) stood outside the corridor “Shhh’ing” guests…guests were prompted to then grab a pair of headphones off the wall provided by Silent Disco, and suddenly they felt like they were in a giant music box (click HERE to hear what they heard) – walking into a surreal room where aerialists floated above the bar and a ballerina in black posed on an oversized music box pedestal in the back of the room.
First stop: a chef at his station with Himalayan salt blocks curing salmon crudo and then guests wandered through with their own tasting plates through our promenade of five “sketched” storefronts to curate their own bespoke dish with artful toppings (spraying liquor infusions via vintage perfume bottles, plucking edible glower garnishes from our “garden”, giant pepper mills, etc.) It was all quite Alice in Wonderland, really.
Sofia Coppola Wines sponsored this bubbly bar with the perfect pink hobnail flutes from Party Rental LTD. Revolution Events provided the bar, draping and storefronts while Luxe provided all of our tables, candelabras and mirrored furniture. And isn’t the white flower garland from Edge the perfect pop against the black tufted bar?
Upstairs, we also had several fashion illustrators on hand from Drawn Together, so guests could get sketched in their finest – talk about a great party favor!
A HUGE thank you to everyone who worked with us to make this event off the charts!
*Featured the next day in the Wall Street Journal, Biz Bash.
| Planning and Design: Strawberry Milk Events | Venue: The New York Public Library | Stationery: CECI New York | Catering: Great Performances |Specialty Catering: Whole Le Crepe, Sigmund’s Pretzels, Le Puf | Patisserie:Ladurée| Entertainment: Vali Entertainment | Entertainment: Scarlett Entertainment | Entertainment: Shien Artists | Liquor: Tito’s Vodka | Wine:Coppola Wines | Lighting: Bentley Meeker | Environmental Projection: DJ Jacob Towe | Photography: 5ive15ifteen Photo Company | Videography: East West Productions | Flowers: Tantawan Bloom | Flowers: Edge Floral | Decor:Revolution Event and Design | Rentals: Luxe Event Rentals, Party Rental LTD, Nuage Designs | Flash Tattoos: Flash Tattoos | Live Artist: Drawn Together NYC | “Noir” Headphones: Silent Storm | Wigs: Elbowgrease Design | Snapchat Filter: Meldeen | Ice Décor: Okamoto Studio | VIP Lounge: Macy’s Fine Jewelry | Hair and Makeup: Sally Duvall Makeup, Erin Taylor Hair, Beautini, Upstyle, MG Hair & Makeup, Ashley Stone/Beauty Entourage, Donna Lance Makeup |