Non-Floral Centerpiece Ideas

Centerpieces 2While although floral arrangements are the most common centerpieces in formal dinners, there are a number of other alternatives that are equally as stylish and fabulous. You can go for these alternatives if you have allergies and you don’t want them bothering you (or your guests) during dinner. Some classic centerpieces include paper flowers, candles, candelabras and themed decorations.

Sometimes people decide that they don’t want to do floral arrangements for their event. It is important to keep in mind that these alternatives are not always cheaper and can be sometimes even more expensive.

Luckily, Swank Productions are experts in this area and have put together a list of alternative centerpieces:

Paper Flower Arrangements

Centerpieces 3It’s hard to believe, but in this picture we have a paper flower arrangement. This is an ideal solution for anyone that suffers allergies. These paper floral arrangements are the perfect alternative to real flowers and unlike real flowers, they last forever!


We even organised a whole wedding dedicated to this idea. Be sure to check out more pictures of our Paper Flower Wedding.

Themed Decorations

A centerpiece is an ideal feature that helps express an events theme. A centerpiece can be a decoration that represents a theme. Below is an example of a centerpiece for a nautical wedding. The yacht centerpieces also had the table numbers written on them.

A decoration will allow you to get creative with your centerpiece and lets you express and exaggerate your theme.



Herbs imitate flowers very well with the green colors and the beautiful smells. Like in the picture below, herbs can be placed in creative glassware and this is very good money-saving alternative.


To create a romantic and more intimate centerpiece, why not try using some candles. The candles can be on own their own or you can pair them up with some other decorations. There is an un-ending amount of centerpieces that you can use with candles and there light._DSC3548 copy2 copy

This is all about thinking outside the box and making your centerpiece unique. If you’re engaged or planning on getting married and want your wedding brought to the next level, be sure to get in contact with Swank Productions.

Also, check out our Swank Decor Sale on pinterest to purchase decorations for any event that you may be hosting.

Swank Productions event planning and design main site: Swank Productions 
You’ll find a ton more photos and learn more about us

8 Reasons To Hire An Event Planner/Designer For Your Corporate Event


It is common for people to think that professional Event Planners are going to be expensive. But the reality is that planners know the tips, tricks and contacts that could save you time and money in the long run without sacrificing the quality of your event.

Here are some of our reasons to hire an Event Planner/Designer for your corporate event:

8. Capitalize on our Contacts and ResourcesYAHOO_GENOME_BE_31

A Planner’s rolodex is a gold mine. From lighting to décor to power and more, all the right contacts are at our fingertips. No more web-searching required when we can speed-dial the best canopy vendor to serve your location, or obtain a liquor application for a City park. Because of the number of events we’ve done with tons of different companies, we know the pros and cons of each and can help me make the best choices and stay on-budget.


7. You’ll host your event at the right placeSwank Productions Studio 450 Corporate Holiday Party Table Set-up (2)

Where you should host your event- what city and where in the city- depends on the kind of event you’re hosting and what your goals are for the event. Your event planner will help you choose a venue that can actually help you meet your goals for your event. This is something that can affect attendance, sales, and tons of other details.

6. You’ll save time

Nobody has enough hours in the day anymore, so why spread yourself too thin doing something that someone else can do for you more efficiently and effectively? Planners thrive on this activity, and they can organize and execute your event in less time than you ever could, allowing you to focus on other responsibilities.


5. You’ll save your company money

Event Planners build relationships with suppliers, and we receive discounted rates from vendors that a quality planner will pass on to the client. When you call the same supplier, you are likely to pay their standard rates, which can be higher by as much as 20 percent or more. You’d think because you have to pay the event planner, you’re spending more money, right? Not so. Once we  know what your budget is (and how strict you are about sticking to it), we can work with vendors to save you money on all kinds of things. In the long run, an event planner can actually save you the money you spent hiring him/her, and then some.

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4. Experience

Over time, Event Planners gain extensive knowledge and wisdom regarding events and parties; they know the latest trends, newest venues, the hot colors, budget-saving secrets and details that you may not be aware of if you plan only one or two events annually.


3. Crisis Management

Despite all the planning, preparation and management, almost every event inevitably encounters an unforeseen problem. You don’t want guests aware of this obstacle and you certainly don’t want to appear panicked. This is when you need a Planner at your side because they know who to call and how to remedy a situation quickly. Whether it’s a missing limo or a fallen wedding gown hem, your Planner can secure the resources necessary to resolve an issue seamlessly and keep the event on track.


2. You’ll have a better-looking event IMG_0529

Event planners know that part of what makes for a great event is that it looks and feels great. There are tons of details that you may not think of on your own or even from browsing Pinterest. Things like, did you know that if you angle your audience chairs a certain way, it makes them feel more involved and engaged? Or that if you have different sized vases it can make a room seem more dimensional and have different levels? Event Planners know the tips and tricks to make an event wow your guests.


1. You can actually enjoy your eventIMG_8071

When you’re planning an event, doing everything yourself is a very, very big job. And it gets stressful. As soon as you hire an event planner, you can breathe. You can step back, regroup, focus on the things you know the most about, and get a lot of work done. Because someone else is handling the details of the event itself, you can be more productive on the things you do best. Plus, when the event begins, Swank Productions will be monitoring and making sure the logistics are handled so that you can focus on making my guests feel welcome and comfortable and maybe even eat the awesome food you chose!

Remember these the next time your company decides to throw an unforgettable party!

Halloween as a Corporate Holiday Party

Halloween as a Corporate Holiday Party?  Why not?  If you don’t want to go the typical ‘Winter Wonderland’ Company Holiday Party then doing a Halloween themed event for your employees and favorite clients is a great way to get the holiday season started!

Here are a few photos of an event we did at Home Studio.  Home is a great event venue for many reasons but what I loved about it was the entire venue is focused around a huge communal kitchen in the center.  That gave us the ability to go full on culinary gore….

Don’t eat before looking! :)








Great Venues for Holiday Parties

It may be only the first week of October but corporate holiday party planning is in full swing! And for some of the hottest venues in New Yok dates are starting to run out.
There are of course dozens of venues that I LOVE for corporate events…but here are some of the ones we’ve recently had fun celebrating the holiday season in.

Angel Oresanz Center









Angel Orensanz is a 1849 synagogue, modeled after the Cathedral of Cologne.  It has a gothic style with an amazing gold-leaf altar, vaulted ceiling and surrounding mezzanine. It once was the studio of Spanish sculptor Angel Orensanz, but now hosts arts events, performances, and private events (most famously the wedding of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick)











The Desmond Tutu Center is a beautifully charming  restored historic 19th-century Gothic structure   True old world style, dark woods, vaulted ceiling with sophisticated 21st-century comforts.


Studio 450







Studio 450 is a gorgeous all white open loft space on the 12th floor of an industrial building on the west side.  With a second floor that has wrap around terrace, this amazingly bright and sunny space is a blank pallate for any event design and perfect for winter holiday parties.


The Puck Building










The Puck Building is a former commercial space with two magnificent floors of venue space perfect for you winter holiday events.  With exposed brink, high ceilings and gorgeous floor to ceiling arched windows this venue can be transformed into anything your mind can come up with.



Gotham Hall was the former headquarters of the Greenwich Savings Bank.  It is a gorgeous venue for corporate events and boasts a magnificent Art Deco ballroom with a seven-story-tall grand vaulted dome ceiling, enormous Corinthian columns and majestic marble floors.

These are of course just a TINY FEW of my favorite venues for hosting a holiday party or corporate event this season.  What are some of your favorites?  Let us know!



Winter Wonderland Corporate Holiday Party at Gotham Hall

Winter Wonderland Holiday Event at Gotham Hall

Corporate holiday party theme takes SWANK’s designs to the ends of the earth.

How to transform a space is always the challenge, and particularly challenging when that space is as grand as the ballroom space at Gotham Hall.  For this corporate client , we were tasked with transforming the colossal room into a party theme drawing inspiration from the arctic.  As far as corporate holiday party themes go, ‘Winter Wonderland’ is one of our favorites and an excellent choice for an office holiday party – non-denominational, seasonal, and rich with decorative possibilities.

Tables were sheathed in lustrous silver lamour linens, with votives ensconced in mounded acrylic ice fragments and drifted swirling artificial snow – the juxtaposition of fire and ice as dynamic and beautiful as ever.

Massive eight-foot tall emperor penguins flanked the doorway and greeted guests with their trademark black-tie sophistication.  Their brethren flocked the room, paired off in smaller sizes as centerpieces on the icy tabletops – his and hers penguins with he in bow tie, she in vintage jewels – their very presence added humor and festivity to a party theme which could easily have gone cold.  Standing sentry atop the bar, another eight foot pair seemed to be taking it all in with characteristic aloofness.

To finish the theme, and transform the space completely, SWANK partnered with legendary NYC Lighting design team Bentley Meeker, who made good use of the soaring, vaulted dome.  Using state of the art laser-cut gobos, their team projected a boreal forest of festive evergreen shapes around the ceiling, simultaneously projecting swirling snow dust and oversized six-point snowflakes onto the walls.  With an aurora borealis color story, and a youthful graphic style, the massive space was transformed into a kind of real life snow globe – awe inspiring, dramatic, but also whimsical and fun – all of which your next party should be!

Holiday Party Themes: To Christmas & Beyond

As the leaves turn and the temperature drops, we find ourselves again at that very special time of year, when we gather together to celebrate our achievements, look back on the past year, show our appreciation to employees and co-workers, and Xerox our derrieres on company equipment.
The office Christmas party is BACK.

This ritual, so noble in theory, is often reduced to something more like to a frat party – beer pong and bagged pretzels. Oh, and corn chips are still corn chips – even with the chipotle-lime dipping sauce.  Not much of a reward for a year of hard work, and all too often, the party the “cool kids” in the office avoid. The irony is that a gathering meant to recognize and affirm the hardworking employee, becomes anything but.

Office holiday parties don’t plan themselves, so let’s not forget the lone staffer who is charged with “making it all happen”.  With little to no event planning experience, this person is little more than a sacrificial lamb.  With the makeup of contemporary offices is diversifying faster than ever, the traditional Christmas-with-a-dash-of-Hanukah party doesn’t work so well.  The artificial tree and token menorah are not going to cut it (one wonders if they ever did).  Times are changing, and there’s no reason that your annual event shouldn’t follow suit. This year, try something different and do a non-traditional holiday party.

Whether you take a baby step and go for a cool winter theme, or, take a giant leap and choose a completely different holiday for your company party, there are lots of unique themes to choose from.  Here are a few of our favorites (and see the gallery below for actual event pics):

Winter Wonderland – An easy way to escape the multi-cultural and religious quagmires and do something new but keep within the traditional spirit.  Go cool blues and snowy whites instead of the typical holiday colors and try spiked hot cocoa and mulled wine instead of the usual beer and room temperature vino.

Colorful Carnival – Why stay stuck in holiday or winter themes when you can put together an evening of classic fun!  Test your strength; get a tattoo, real cotton candy and balloon animals, what could be better.  This one can include the kids as well, which will earn you the undying gratitude of all the parents at your firm.  We like to go more turn-of-the-century-gothic-carnival-chic with our carnivals. We bring it indoors, drop the lights down and bring up colored lighting and dress the station vendors in turn of the century barker gear for the full effect.

Halloween Haven – Instead of adding one more party to the hectic end of the year holiday push, move the party up and do something downright spooky.  Ghouls, ghosts, goblins, black martinis, something and something will put your guests right in the mood.  Make it a costume or masquerade party, you can always give out masks at the door, and give the troops a way to show off their personal flair (or ‘freak’ as the case may be).  Just bear in mind that Halloween décor goes fast, so don’t wait to make your purchases!

No matter what the plan is for this year, themes will always kick it up a notch and make it a memorable experience for all who attend.  A good theme brings everyone together under one flag and gives them something to talk about.  Themes also allow you to add in relevant activities, favors and gift bags and make it more fun without being off base or irrelevant to the theme.

Bear in mind that you don’t have to plan and design the company holiday party alone.  There are great companies out there who will do it all for you soup to nuts (think of us, Swank!), and create a party like you have never experienced. Holiday parties are a reflection of the year that’s past, but are also a nod to the coming year ahead.  Sometimes management just needs a little push to remind them of how much more productive employees can be when they feel appreciated.  Jan in accounting may also need little push to do something better this year, so forward her this article and get yourself a better themed holiday party!

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

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