Color Trends: Summers New Nautical

Stay cool with this seasons hot nautical themed colors!

Deep Navy, Canary Island Yellow, Fair-weather Blue and Starboard Red are all inspired by nautical themes and the hues of semaphore flags.

And when it comes to The New Nautical decor, don’t forget the great patterns out now! Check out some of these amazingly chic ways to do nautical like you’ve never seen!


So invite a sailor over…..These summer colors & patterns will be sure to buoy your spirits and let your adventurous side set sail…Ahoy!


Check out our Board for more inspiration!


Maya Kalman, Event Design Expert & CEO of Swank Productions Maya Kalman is the Founder & CEO of SWANK Productions, a luxury wedding planning, event design and event production company in New York City. Known for her beyond-the-box designs and undying passion for creating extraordinary event experiences, Maya risen to become one of the most well known wedding and event planners in New York City. She has been a featured expert on TNT, NBC Today Show, MTV, Martha Stewart, Food Network, Geraldo Live and many more, and has planned and designed weddings, corporate events and parties for some of the top companies, brands and personalities around the world.
Follow Maya on Twitter, Maya on Facebook

Unique Venues: Top Event Venues with a Lawn

Summer is officially here. Time for Fun, Sun, Picnics & Fireworks!

For lots of people, a great summer “outing” hinges on the ability to be “out on the lawn”.

But WHERE are you going to find a lawn in New York?!(Other than Central Park!)

Well believe it or not there are quite a few amazing venues in NYC (and the surrounding areas) that actually have beautiful grassy lawns!

The Out Hotel: This boutique hotel has a secret and it’s not what you think! It’s their cute and very private courtyards. The Out Hotel likes to boast that their great lawn rivals central parks thanks to its privacy and super comfy beanbag chairs.

Desmond Tutu Center: Enjoy an amazing park-like setting while looking up at some of the amazing Gothic architecture that the center is made up of. You can lie on the grass and easily forget that you’re located right in the heart of Chelsea.

620 Loft & Garden: This garden is famously used in many fashion and entertainment shows, and for good reason! The view affords you glimpses of both Saint Patricks cathedral and Saks Fifth Avenue, but the garden itself is so beautiful there’s no reason to glimpse off the sides. Make sure you take in the reflecting pool and beautifully trimmed hedges.

High Line If you live in New York, you’ve probably walked the High Line, but did you know that you can rent it out for private events? Areas on the Highline can be rented out, with locations that can accommodate up to 250 guests. Talk about a unique New York summer experience!

The Timeshare Backyard, 145 Ludlow Street. Leave it to New Yorkers to make the best of an empty lot by turning it into a beautiful lawn space! As we all know having a backyard in the East Village(or anywhere in the city!) is real estate gold. Well lucky for us, you can now rent the perfect summertime backyard by the hour at 145 Ludlow. Stop settling for baking on the tar roof of your apartment building and break out the slip and slide on this lush grassy transformation of a vacant lot.

Yankee Stadium & Citi Field: You don’t need to be a baseball fan to appreciate the iconic landscapes of New York’s two home fields, but it certainly helps. Enjoy the lawns that have been part of cultural milestones all while rousing up a classic New Yorker question; The Yankees or the Mets?

Elevated Acre Located in the heart of the financial district, this space is a FULL ACRE of plush green grass. Come out here for an event or just to lie around and eat your lunch.




J Equestrian Center at Hamilton Farm Golf Club: If you are an equestrian lover at heart THIS is an AMAZING venue! I PROMISE your nose will NEVER be able to tell that horses were once in there! Located in Gladstone, New Jersey, you’ll feel like you’re travelling through time when you enter the restored

Hempstead House- Don’t let the Long Island address scare you, this AMAZING estate is only 30 minutes out of NYC. The building itself is beautiful, but the real breathtaking aspect is the sprawling manicured lawn with sweeping views of the Long Island sound.

Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture- The home for the Brooklyn Society for Ethical culture is a gorgeous mansion overlooking prospect park. But you don’t need to head to the park to enjoy the outdoors, this venue is home to the largest private garden in the city



Oheka Castle: If your dream was to be married in the gardens of Versailles, Oheka is the perfect  alternative. A genuine castle surrounded by one of the most magnificent gardens we have ever seen, this is THE lawn venue. The craziest part (and most jealousy inducing) is that years ago, somebody actually lived on these amazing grounds.

The Brooklyn Picnic House The picnic house is the perfect summer location. Open to both people looking for a private event venue as well as everyday park goers, there’s no reason not to enjoy the restored pavilion area surrounded by a vast open meadow

The Liberty House The liberty house, about one mile from Liberty Park, offers a wonderful outdoor terrace during the summer months. Features include fire pits, cabanas, and tables placed amongst the gardens. If you feel like being in Liberty Park itself, try dining there for brunch or dinner which offers classic views of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan Skyline, and the Hudson River!

And if none of those venues work for your event…..we have absolutely been known for bringing truck loads of sod in to create a lawn anywhere we want one!

Do you have a favorite venue that has a lawn of some sort?  Let me know!!!


NYC Gay Pride

Gay Weddings

Gay Weddings

Here at Swank we are getting SO excited about this weekend’s LBGTQ PRIDE festivities! Although we support pride all year long in our office, what is better than having a whole city come together to celebrate on the same day?! Anybody who has been to the parade can attest to the amazing energy the event contains!

This year’s New York Pride is extra special because it marks the completion of one full year since New York legalized gay marriage. Last year at the parade, gay marriage had just passed and the excitement in the air was amazing. Now we will get to see many couples who have already tied the knot, and others who are planning on doing so.

Luckily for Swank we have been able to be a part of some truly special gay wedding celebrations. These weddings were special not just because of their amazing design (After all, who is more stylish than the gays?) but because of what they meant to the couples involved. Take for instance, a wonderful same-sex couple who were finally able to marry after more than TWENTY TWO years together. Their wedding was gorgeous and incredibly meaningful to everybody who was involved.

Then there was the beautiful lesbian couple, Felicia and Kim, who were lucky enough to solidify their young love by being married on a yacht in a wedding sponsored by MTV. But we’re trendsetters at Swank. We didn’t wait for formal support from New York and Obama to show our pride. Check out pictures of the amazing Fire Island party we worked on well before gay marriage was legal.

Whatever your reason for celebrating Pride, know that we’re right there celebrating with you!

After all, what’s more Swanky than equality and fabulous weddings for everyone?

Thank you to Bliss Productions & Sharon Schuster for the photos!

Same Sex Weddings – Beautiful Ketubahs & Marriage Licence

Same Sex Weddings – Beautiful Ketubahs & Marriage Licence

Today, as (I’m sitting on my patio is the sun) :) and I finish the final details of what will be a GORGEOUS Same Sex wedding for an amazing gay couple this weekend, I recieved a very cool email.

Judaica Collection has a HUselection of BEAUTIFUL Same Sex Ketubahs AND they are giving 10% until Wed June 6th.

In addition to the beautiful images I LOVE the text.






Top 10 Summer Venues I Love!

Top 10 Summer Venues I Love!


When it comes to Summer Venues & Rooftops for your event,  New York City has TONS to offer!

Here are my favorite Top 10  Summer Venues for Summer Parties in NYC and the surrounding areas.

These are all perfect for events like corporate summer parties, employee appreciation parties, birthday parties  &  rehearsal dinners.

What I really LOVE about all of these event spaces is each venues has an outdoor element but also has an indoor rain solution!

(Always have a plan B!)


What’s your favorite Summer Venue?  Let us know!

  • Studio 450  - One of my all time favorite empty loft spaces.  Great for weddings, social & corporate events.  This venue has a special place in my heart…..I was the first bride to get married there :)

  • Barolo - This restaurant has a huge and beautiful back yard with a gorgeous cherry blossom tree in the middle.  Events here is the spring and summer are pure magic!

  • Beekman Beer Garden & Beach - This little know venue all the way down town is a great option if you want the city and the beach at the same time.  Great for social or corporate events it has a huge tent and a man made beach complete with illuminated furniture and fire pits!

  • Randall’s Island - a favorite venue for corporate summer outings and activity based Bar or Bat Mitzvahs.  The property is huge, with tons of sports activity ares and having a tent as a plan B is a huge benefit!

  • Ink 48 Penthouse - talk about a view of NYC!  Even a jaded new yorker would think this penthouse is amazing!  This venue  is perfect for rehearsal dinners or smaller corporate events.  The balcony is huge and the view is to die for…oh yeah and did I mention there is a small pool up there too!

  • Ramscale - this venue is a private apartment / art gallery available for weddings, birthday parties and corporate events.  Its the perfect space for a cocktail style party.  I love the huge terrace that faces the west side highway with views of the city that seem to go on forever.

  • Empire Hotel Rooftop & Pool - this venue is one of my favorite to transform.  A clean fairly empty aesthetic.  Great for corporate or social parties.  3 separate areas that combine as one.  And a retractable roof gives SO many different options for temperature and weather plans!

  • The Terrace Club - A nice size terrace in the middle of everything.  This is the perfect option for the financial crowd!

  • 214 Lafayette Street - talk about hidden gems in NYC!  This is a private apartment that you would NEVER have know was at its location.  You can easily walk by the nondescript graffiti covered facade, but inside is a 6 floor MANSION!  All with full size pool, 2000 square foot garden deck and 30 foot ceilings.  This one is amazing event venue but its NOT cheap…..a day starts at 20k

  • Top of the Garden - this little know venue is a wonderful option for social or corporate events that want to be in the Chelsea area, want a huge white space that’s easy to split up and want a huge rooftop ( with an awning!!!)  This is the venue.

I could keep going on and on, the city has so many great summer venues!  I’ll have to do another blog on my next top ten venues asap!

What are some of your favorite summer venues?!?  I would LOVE to know!



Maya Kalman, Event Design Expert & CEO of Swank Productions Maya Kalman is the Founder & CEO of SWANK Productions, a luxury wedding planning, event design and event production company in New York City. Known for her beyond-the-box designs and undying passion for creating extraordinary event experiences, Maya risen to become one of the most well known wedding and event planners in New York City. She has been a featured expert on TNT, NBC Today Show, MTV, Martha Stewart, Food Network, Geraldo Live and many more, and has planned and designed weddings, corporate events and parties for some of the top companies, brands and personalities around the world.
Follow Maya on Twitter, Maya on Facebook

Tips for Throwing a Great Summer Party In the City


Summer in the city is HOT and so are the Summer Parties!

Since this weekend is the official start of Summer Parties for many of us,  I thought I’d share some of the ways we’ve created COOL yet CHIC summer parties for our corporate and social clients without leaving the city.


Think Tropical –

Palm Trees add height, drama,  and immediately create a tropical atmosphere.

When it comes to Palm Trees, I of course, love them to be as  tall as possible!  But if the budget doesn’t allow for real palm trees (delivery can sometimes be as expensive as the trees themselves!) then the inflatable ones we used here are a really fun solution.

Add a colorful umbrella (make sure to get a stand since you can just shove it into the sand!) or Tiki inspired one to create the summer feel.  This is of course both useful and decorative.

For more splashes of color, use bright colored beach towels (rolled up) they work as awesome bolster pillows for seating.


Think the Beach & Poolside -

No pool at your Venue?  Bring it all in!  Beach Balls are an inexpensive way to add color, decor and fun! We found these tiny 4’’ beach balls as well as ones that were as large as 30’’ and we used them everywhere!

You can line the floors, the buffets, you can use them as chandeliers!

Inflatable pools filled with ice make for amazing containers to keep your beer, wine and sodas chilly!

And for an unexpected (but very pleasant) surprise to your guests.  Have a shaved ice or snow cone specialty bar (you can serve them with, or without alcohol)!  Nothing cools you down like a spiked snow cone!


Think Bite Size-

People are going to arrive hungry.  But no one wants to be carrying around a huge overloaded plate, while looking for a place to sit down and eat.  When it’s hot, the last thing you want is to be eating food that drips down your arm or is difficult to manage with a drink in your hand.  Make an effort to serve food in bite sizes.  And if you do need utensils, try to serve food that does NOT need a knife.  Your guests will thank you!

And speaking of thanking you…..lets talk about Drinks and WHO is serving.

I always say “People eat with their eyes” even if its unconscious.  When it comes to drinks pick one signature drink that not only tastes good, but LOOKS GREAT.  This one is a super yummy Blueberry Lemonade ( made with Blueberry Kool Aid!).

And if you REALLY want to get your friends chatting…..make sure you get HOT waiters to serve your COOL beverages :)

drink the day away and…… at the end of the evening.  Really?  is there ANYTHING MORE WONDERFUL than the summers night breeze on a NYC rooftop?  I think not!

Whatever you do, once the party starts don’t sweat the small stuff. Let go, and allow let yourself have fun!  The summer flies by so make sure to enjoy it!

Do you have an Summer Party in the City tips?  Let me know I would LOVE to share them!


Check out the Summer Newsletter for more great summer stuff!