Midnight in Paris Party
Last holiday season we were asked by Gen Next to create a creative and introspective holiday party for their distinguished members. I immediately thought of one of my favorite movies Midnight in Paris. The story goes like this… An American writer in Paris is looking for inspiration and ends up going back in time to meet his favorite artists of that bygone era. But what he soon learns is that even the artists of that era looked back to the era before them.. creating the endless cycle of always admiring the elegance and mystique we always longingly look towards history with instead of living in the now. My vision for the party was to give the guests the chance to slowly step back into time, era by era as the party progressed. The Carondelet House, an Italian style villa built in the 20′s in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, was the perfect setting…
In the first courtyard of this 1920′s villa we offered guests a sip of the ‘Green Fairy’ at our absinthe bar. As guests ventured further through the party they found a gallery we created with canvasses of the artists featured in the movie such as Toulouse-Latrec, Picasso and Dali. Holiday go-ers nibbled on a candlelit dessert display and helped themselves to an over the top whiskey and spirit bar in the ‘Starry Starry Night’ courtyard we created where a cult-level whiskey aficionado gave guests tasting lessons and the backstory on some of their favorite spirits and liquors. Josephine Baker had to come make an appearance on the dance floor of course to do her famous banana dance which kicked off the evening of electro jazz mixed with acoustical musicians such as bongos and saxophone.
Event Design & Planning Alchemy Fine Events
Photography Heidi Ryder
Venue Carondelet House
Flowers Isari Flower Studio
Rentals Archive Vintage Rentals
Entertainment On Demand Lifestyle Staffing
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Holland Wedding Design Workshop
Last spring I was lucky enough to be invited to venture over to Holland to teach and speak at a design workshop for the European Wedding Congress along with Mike Larson, Jana Williams and Lawrence Chan, aka Tofurious. Being half Dutch, this was my first trip to Holland and I was over the moon excited! We shot at the magical Kasteel De Hooge Vuursche and got to work with photographers and planners from across Europe.
My inspiration for the tablescape design was inspired by the famed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders who takes his heritage to the next level by taking the classical delft blue and Holland inspired designs into the 20th century with an ultra modern tongue-in-cheek attitude. Enjoy Mike Larson’s beautiful shots of the workshop and some of the behind the scenes!
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Spanish Fiesta Birthday Party
For a recent client’s birthday in Rancho Santa Fe we created an intimate Spanish fiesta dinner party with a colorful and bold Spanish flair. We started by laying down a beautiful periwinkle linen and and created tile placemats out of hand painted tiles. We featured super colorful florals with bright warm fall colors including yellow sunflowers, orange mums and deep red roses. Eggplant purple tapers glowed above the table in vintage brass candlesticks and delicate light patterns were cast onto the table from the rustic ornate lanterns featuring glowing tapes. Mismatched aqua and purple goblets helped to lend even more pops of color on the table offset by an eclectic set of wooden farm chairs and stunning wicker peacock end chairs.
Making a warm entrance into a party, even home entertaining, is alway important to set the tone from the minute the guests arrive. We did so with a bold spray of bougainvillea in an amber blown glass vases and scattered the table with glowing tapers and wooden balls.
More colorful Spanish glass was featured at the bar with accents of Spanish stars and glowing candles. We created a beautiful collection of Spanish wines and sangria for guests to sip on while they nibbled on tapas from our cheese and Spanish bites tables.
We created a backdrop of colorful Spanish glass, terracotta tubes and glowing pillar candles to display a wide array of Spanish meats, olives, oils and cheese for guests.
For a backyard birthday party no more than a simple cake a few bites are required but why not dress it up with a beautiful presentation? We did with a fun array of Spanish glass, tiles, mirrored stars and votives.
Guests dined under the glowing bistro lights on freshly made paella while listening to the tunes of flamenco guitarist David Maldonado. Even with an intimate party of 20 this goes to show it’s all about quality over quantity, even in the comfort of your own home.
Event Design & Planning Alchemy Fine Events
Music David Maldonado
Photography by John Newsome
Vintage Rentals by Pow Wow Vintage Rentals
Lighting by LG Productions
Catering San Diego PaellaRead More »
Meet the teachers behind our Lake Como Photography & Design Workshop
With more details of L’Arte del Matrimonio (The Art of the Wedding in English) workshop coming together, more incredible designers, beautiful locations and details involved, we wanted to give you the opportunity to learn not only about what we’ll be doing at the workshop, what you’ll see (stunning Galia Lahav gowns!!) a bit more about each of the teachers that are behind this incredible trip. Photographers and designers are teaching this workshop that is open to photographers, designers and planners, with the goal of not only teaching you individual skills of your own career, but by showing you how important your relationships with each other is not only to further your career, create better work, but also to get published. We are thankful to have photo editor Rebecca Crumley of The Knot to chime in on that department of course!
Starting off the series of beautiful videos by Joel VanZ, is the charming Jana Williams. Mike Larson and I had the pleasure of meeting Jana at the Netherlands workshop back in March, where we all connected and became fast friends. We have had the opportunity to work on a few projects since then and it’s been so wonderful to work with her, have her listen and really hear me and allow me to direct her while contributing her wonderful feedback, bride/model interaction and great eye. Fast forward to now, we are so excited to have yet another great European adventure and bring you along with us! So without further ado, meet Jana:
Jana Williams is an international award winning wedding photographer based in Hollywood, California. She has shot luxury weddings from Dubai to Lake Como Italy to New York. Her clientele and portfolio is one to envy, not to mention her huge success with social media allowing her viewer to get to know her on a personal level, especially on her You Tube channel where she offers viewers video tutorials on how skills, social media and just talking about her start and how she got to where she is with an open heart and sweet southern accent. With all of her success in the industry Jana has a reputation of being a very grounded artist that is easy and fun to work with. We agree!
Check out some of Jana’s work below:
For more information on The Art of the Wedding Photography & Design workshop please visit:
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