I was featured.. here is the link. Thanks guys!
I was featured.. here is the link. Thanks guys!
While speaking to a Chicago Venue, I mentioned that I was excited to be speaking at the monthly ABC Meeting coming at their property. When the Catering Manager said “what meeting?” and it was only 2 weeks away, I called our State Coordinator Judy Alden with a “Houston, we have a problem” message. Judy called and her it was a bunch of excuses with pretty much the result being they decided they didn’t want to host us, after telling Judy that “they would take care of everything”, linen, flowers, AV for my presentation, etc.
So, Judy calls me in a panic. She was leaving for vacation on Saturday. We made a call to the Hotel Intercontinental who had offered to host a meeting and welcomed us with open arms. With this I told Judy, to just send the evite, and email blast announcing the change, and I would step in and take care of planning.
Guests were welcomed with awesome an awesome string quartet, full bar and incredible passed HD’s. The pear and goat cheese pizza— I could have had as my dinner entree Guests then entered the ballroom. Floor length ivory damask linens, and chameleon chairs with several different types of “softwear” as we call it (Different fabric cushions and backs) were the base of the tablescape. Gold beaded chargers and elegant centerpieces of hydrangea, and roses in summer colors of green, orange and and yellow graced each table. The containers for the flowers were wrapped in silk, and secured with a vintage broche. The strings relocated and played all non classical music for dinner. (Showtunes galore, as well as Cole Porter, George Gershwin, The Beatles).
Dinner was incredible. Menu was:
A duet of
Truffle Flan, Morel Consumme and Micro Arugula, with fennel and Kumquats, with Spicy Lemon Caper Drizzle.
Pistachio Crusted Filet Mignon, with Artichoke, Leek and Cherry tomato “Salad, and Potato Tart
Dessert was a Strawberry Rhubarb tart with Fresh Basil (the basil was a great accent of flavor).
We enjoyed wines by Simi. I LOVED the Cab, and I am usually not a Cab fan.
I then gave the keynote speech that I did at the 2009 ABC Conference in Indianapolis. It was very well received. I think I can now do this in my sleep.
I was thrilled to step in and save the day for ABC. I am so grateful to the vendors who partnered with me that evening, and and such short notice. It just shows me what wonderful relationships I have with my vendors, and know I can always count on them.
If you will remember a few months back, my blog entry showing the assembly of over the top invitations that were custom made, and put into silk boxed, tied with organaza and sealed with a broche. Well, the wedding for that invite mailing was this weekend.
The custom monogram that guests saw from the very begining, was again present to brand the wedding, along with thousands of Swarovski crystals.
The weather was perfect, and Michele and her maids, all dressed in Vera Wang left Four Seasons in Black Limosines and a vintage Bentley. Michele wore Vera’s “Bouquet” Gown, and matching cathedral veil was made of beautiful french tuelle and custom made lace. The girls wore “iris”, a very light light lilac. Guests arrived shortly after via trolley. The mass at St. Andrews in Lakeview was beautiful. Michele picked all the music from her favorite classic and liturgical favorites. Strings and trumpet, along with a bagpiper (a surprise for the Groom for the recessional) made the ceremony perfect.
Guests entered the Four Seasons lobby and walked up the Grand Staircase, lined with violins. From here they were greeted by a long 16 fooot table holding the escort cards and then moved into the ballroom prefunction area. I did the whole cocktail hour in white. Other than two large white rose arrangements on the Four Seasons beautiful mahagony tables,which held family photos, there were no other flowers, but all candles. Oversized Hurricanes and sheer linen hung over tied white linen gave the cocktail hour a fresh look. Guests enjoyed great savories such as Kobe Beef Burgers and Prawns.
The Ballroom.. I don’t know where to begin. I called it “Parisian Chic”. All done in ivory and shades of lilac and lavender. The dance floor was covered in ivory vinyl, with the mongram prominent and center. The backdrop to the orchestra had dozens of strands of Swarovski crystals hanging floor to ceiling in the reveals of the gorgeous flowing ivory fabric. Guests tables were done in two different kinds of linen, and two different kinds of centerpieces. Flowers in white and ivory complimented the lamps and standing candleabra with again, strands of Swarvoski dangling from them. Menus personalized with each guests name did double duty as placecards. Waitstaff took dinner orders with a choice of Beef or Fish, as Veuve Cliquot flowed. The head table, was three tables of different sizes clustered together, with petite vases of the same flowers as on the guests tables, plus dozens of different candles. The Bride and Groom sat on a loveseat, again thinking outside of the box. After Dinner guests danced, and hung out in the lounge areas by the bars we brought in, with huge lamps made of guess what.. Swarovski crystals, with a band of lilac roses. the whole room was lit in ivory, but transformed to purple as the couple started their first dance.
The centerpiece of the room was the amazing wedding cake. I worked very closely with my cake artist, by duplicating the detail of the this magnificent wedding gown (see close ups I took at one the many fittings I attended). From the magnifcent handmade flowers and lace to even the french tulle piped on so delicately, it was beyond incredible. Too gorgeous to cut, but guests loved loved loved the chocolate cake, french buttercream and carmel filling. Cookies and fruit were also available for guests to continue the noshing. Oh, sorry, I forgot. Chicago Pizza was our late night snack.
You all know how much I love the word “Unexpected”. My “Undexpected”for Michele and Tom was a doughnut station as part of dessert where guests could “make their own” by picking their own icing and toppings A real switch from the chocolate fountain or make your own sundae bar (which I still love!) But, last but not least. The intermezzo course of frozen grapes was served to each guest on a individual ice sculputure that glowed in purple. And the frosting on the cake— We flew in the world’s fastest etch a sketch artist to do sketches of guests, on custom made (just for our Wedding) sliver mini etch a sketches for guests to take home. His fingers must have been aching, as he captured most of the 150 guests.
For the first time in ages, today, as I type and relive this, I am depressed that this is all over. I worked so hard in creating such a magical day, and managing the numerous details. This couple and I have a very special relationship, which you can’t help but have when working so closely for over a year. I am actually in withdrawl that the wedding is over, but glad that our friendship will continue. I can’t wait to see the official photos and video so I can relive this incredible day all over again.�
My Nephew Joey (when will ask me to call him Joe, like I asked relatives to stop w/the “Frankie”) made his first Holy Communion recently, so close friends and family gathered to celebrate. A luncheon at the Doubletree Suites included Baked Potato Soup, Spinach Salad, Duet of Filet Mignon and Chicken, Double baked Potato and Asparagus and dessert of Cheesecake. Joey asked me to do the room in Blue and Green. So, Uncle did. Royal Blue Tablecloths, and Lime Green Napkins and centerpieces of Blue and Green Hydrangea is what did it.