Winter is coming… Part 2 

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Christmas: the happiest day for all children (wise enough to wait until morning). But before Christmas day, it is Christmas Eve. It is more a family event than a party with friends, though in this day and age, we get to choose our family J.

f886709752aab251e2ba3fa56fe08c74Once again, you can prepare a lovely dinner and concoct a musical atmosphere (AC/DC is good but you should prefer some jazzy, low key tunes for this event). About the dinner; it is the time to be creative while keeping the favorite traditional comfort foods. Be spontaneous and add in a dish most people may never have thought to display. It is now appreciated and trendy to eat foods such as fish and seafood. You can do salmon, oysters, lobster, and other dishes the sea offers us. Speaking of eating differently, our French intern eats snails for Christmas; can you believe it? Why not try? If you prefer those succulent traditional birds, make sure you stuff them with apples and butter and of course, stuffing! Perfect traditional dinner! Maybe try venison, lamb, something new. Vegitarian? Tofurkey! Or some really awesome veggie platters. Corn casserole is always a favorite. So now you have the dinner and the music, is there something missing? YES: the table!

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Once again, the table is very important and is part of the full ambiance of the evening. Thinking of a table center is a way to express your artistic side again, you should keep a theme in mind, the result will be better. Don’t forget the candles, the flowers, you even can add fake snow (real snow tends to melt really fast you know), add place cards, and your most beautiful tableware on this special day. You should bet on a minimalist design, simple, with bright accents, maybe throw in some sequins and flashy objects (white & gold, or white & silver for example).

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Christmas day is now here; it is time to share presents and to wear your pajamas all day long! You can share brunch with your family (mimosas, bloody mary’s and screwdrivers!). It is perfect after the big Christmas Eve dinner. Brunch is cozy, not too serious, intimate, and the fact that you can drink before 3pm will delight everyone. If you don’t have any idea of which kind of food you should prepare for a brunch, do as simple as you can: some fruits, fruit juices, coffee, tea, bacon, eggs, avocados, muffins, toasts, jam, butter, maybe some turkey sandwiches (once again?), and some sweet deserts like the pie from last night. You can add some chill music, such as Amy Winehouse or Frank Sinatra, clear the table entirely form the night before, keep a couple of lively flowers and small pumpkins, but obviously this will be low key. The most important thing will be sharing this magical moment with your loved ones, and to enjoy the beauty of the simplicity of this day.

And, don’t forget that (winter is coming…). No seriously, don’t forget that SWANK is here to help you if you do not have the time to get through all the events this season has to offer, or if you need any advice, it’s our pleasure to help!

xoxo

The SWANK Team

Spring Theme Event Ideas

Spring is such a beautiful time of the year. The trees begin to take shape and turn green once again and the flowers slowly start to wake up from their winters sleep. Spring is all about starting out fresh and having blossoming joy in your life.

Why not add an element of Spring in to your next event to bring freshness and life to your party. You don’t necessarily have to stick to the theme, but try throwing in some of the elements to bring your next party to the next level.

Luckily, Swank Productions have some great tips to help you create a fresh Spring feel.

7Colors

You’re going to want really light colors along with some smooth pastel colors. The first colors that spring to mind (excuse the pun!) are duck-egg blues, fresh yellows and glorious greens. Keep the tone of the colors light. You don’t want too many dark colors dragging down the fresh and positive energy. You can have these colors on fabrics and decorations.

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Spring 1

 

Flowers

Spring is a time when flowers begin to grow into season and brighten up our lives. In my opinion, it is so important to have bright, beautiful and youthful looking flowers. Daisy’s and daffodil’s are a perfect example of flowers that represent spring. Anything with vibrant colors will be sure to bring a new energy of life to your party.

Florals are a must for Spring!

 

 

Food and Drink

spring 4An exciting food that is fresh for spring is cherries.  Lovely colored fruits are so fresh in this season and the bright colors allow the fruit to become like an edible decoration. Healthy foods are a must for the “Rebirth” season. Sticking to fresh and colorful fruit and vegetables will be a hit. Any other cold foods that are fresh are encouraged here.

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Be as creative as possible with all the colors, incorporate them into everything you do. If you’re looking to bring your party 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:http://www.swankproductions.com/
Where you’ll find a ton more photos and learn more about us
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Top 11 Reasons Why You Need A Wedding Planner

Swanky Blogging: Weddings

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You’ve been dreaming about your wedding ever since you can remember, and now that you’re engaged, you’re excited to start the planning process. But planning a wedding isn’t all fun and games. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a wedding planner.

A wedding planner is a professional consultant who will help you with most (if not all) of the tasks involved in planning your wedding. From vendors, accessories, etiquette and even the smallest of details, this expert has the skills and contacts necessary to make your day come together seamlessly.

Here are our top reasons why hiring a wedding planner could be the best decision you ever make!

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11. We Got Your Back:

We will be with you for those times where decisions seem impossible and we will also be there to solve them. When you book your wedding venue, you will generally be in touch with the venues on-site wedding coordinator so that they can assist with logistics for your wedding day. This is not the same as having an independent wedding planner. It is the job of the on-site coordinator, or catering manager, to ensure that the logistics and facilities are running smoothly. It is the job of a wedding planner to encourage your creative flow and to explore any ideas that make this the happiest day of your life. Your wedding planner will create a truly personal and unique experience to tailor your needs. Weddings require a lot of decision-making on hundreds of small details. These decisions will need to be made quickly so that the planning process moves forward. If you and your groom ever find yourselves struggling or having a “creative difference”, your trusted wedding planner can help weigh the pros and con’s so that the planning process becomes an enjoyable experience.

 

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10. Insider Information

As wedding planners, we spend much of our time researching and building relationships with only the best vendors the city has to offer. It is our job to know who to work with and who not to work with. The relationship that a wedding planner has with vendors allows the wedding planner to become a strong negotiator. Wedding planners provide repeat business and loyalty to vendors, and so the vendors are easier to deal with and more flexible.

We deal with vendors so that you don’t have too.

 

9. Saves Timewedding 3

Planning your own wedding will completely consume your time. We understand that you have a very unique idea for your special day and that every detail counts. The endless amount of bridal magazines can be overwhelming. You may know exactly what you want but are finding it hard to put all your ideas together. Your wedding planner will help you focus and piece everything together for you.

 

 

wedding 68. Mediator

Down the line during this journey, difficult decisions can lead to a build-up of stress. Sometimes arguments occur between couples or family members. This is where we become the mediator. We have dealt with family conflict and know exactly what works and what doesn’t. We are here to make sure that the soon to be mother-in-law still invites you around for Sunday dinners and special occasions. It is easier to say “the wedding planner thinks it is best for us to…” rather than to upset anybody.

 

7. Crisis Management

Let’s be honest, whether we like it or not, most big events involve crisis.  Who really wants to deal on their wedding day with the bakery not delivering the cake on time or the flower girl throwing a tantrum? Wedding planners know how to handle all unforeseen circumstances. On your special day, you should enjoy getting your make-up perfected and having your hair done with your friends and family, not on the phone to the band who will be running 30 minutes late.

6. Fresh PerspectiveWedding 7

You’re excited and you have so many ideas that it’s hard to focus on any one idea at a time. It is the job of the wedding planner to listen carefully to your personal vision. Chances are that you have a theme in mind and an idea of the colors you want to use. Wedding planners bring your creative ideas to the next level and inspire you so that your vision becomes a reality and every detail is perfect. We understand that this is your wedding day and you want it to be the best wedding possible. Let your wedding planner inspire you and give you ideas that will make this wedding a reality.

 

5. Paper Pusher

Planning a wedding is not always as fun as it sounds. The whole process can be a paper disaster and involve a huge workload of paperwork. How many vendors do I have? What’s their email? When is the contract due? What dates are the payments due? When is our next appointment? Who do I still need to book? When is my fitting? Keeping track of this can be a nightmare for any couple. Your wedding planner will keep all this work and simplify it into an itinerary so that it is easily read and easy to follow.

4. Meeting Demandswedding 4

Does your family have a different idea of how your wedding should look? Many brides have to deal with a plethora of conflicting opinions from their friends and family about how the wedding should unfold, and it can be hard to please everyone. Not to mention stressful. A wedding planner will deal with your family’s expectations, show you the available options and can be relied upon to give you expert advice so you make an informed decision.

 

3. Turns Dream into Reality

We can understand and interpret your vision. Wedding planners’ jobs are to listen to what you want and make it happen in the most realistic terms. No matter whether you know exactly what you want, have a vague idea, or no idea at all, a wedding planner can help you define the look, style, mood and emotions you want to create. We know the latest trends and are inspired daily by other brides, suppliers and the industry. We can visualize what will work in your venue and know how to bring your desired mood to life.

Most have been dreaming of their wedding day their entire life.  Wedding planners work for the couple and ensure that all desires are met and often surpassed!

wedding 82. Experience

It’s daunting to know how many suppliers are out there and how many people it takes to make a wedding a success. Knowing who to trust and who is right for you is one of the hardest tasks of planning a wedding. A professional wedding planner will have worked in the industry for quite a number of years. An experienced planner can help you navigate around all of the confusions of wedding vendor price tags and create a balanced budget that revolves around your personal wedding priorities. Your wedding planner has the knowledge and experience to advise you and your family on everything from addressing invitations to dealing with uninvited guests. Wedding planners orchestrate from rehearsal through the end of the reception, ensuring everything goes off without a hitch!

 

1. Minimizes Stress and Maximizes Fun

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We can give you peace of mind that things will get done, and done properly. Knowing that you have an advocate there coordinating your day allows you to enjoy the moment and be a relaxed guest at your wedding, not a stressed-out problem solver. Remember, you are the bride! You don’t want to also act as the go-to person for the day-of issues and questions that inevitably come up. Hiring an experienced wedding planner allows you and all of your beloved family and guests to live in the moment, watching your wedding day unfold beautifully as your planner works behind the scenes to keep all the wheels turning. Your wedding will be one of the most unforgettable days of your entire life! Remember it as a joy and enjoy it to the fullest! On the morning of your wedding day, you should be relaxing with your bridesmaids, sipping champagne, and thinking about just one thing: marrying your best friend.

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Spring Wedding Decor & Design Ideas

Spring is FINALLY here!

After what seemed like the longest, coldest, most dreary of winters EVER… April is finally here and thank goodness so is Spring!  And with Spring comes Spring Weddings, Parties & Events!

What I love about spring ties in directly to what I love about event design….the Transformation!  Spring is all about the transformation from the emptiness and cold of winter to the new promise and beauty of spring.  The same goes for event design.  I love…ok I get a complete THRILL…when I get to take an empty venue or a blank table and create a vision of Springs Beauty!

Here are my top 10 favorite spring events

The Knot Wedding Advice from Maya


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

Great Gatsby Wedding Inspiration

SWANK’S Great Gatsby-inspired wedding was an opulent and chic affair, pulling from the richest of source material, and seeking to bring to life the enchantment and wonder of a marvelous bygone era.

The Great Gatsby novel is sprawling and full of ornament and so too was the venue we chose!  Beautiful Hempstead House on Long Island  is a classic gold coast estate restored to its turn of the century glory.  It was the ideal blank canvas for SWANKs creativity to flow! (and we were fortunateas always  to have clients who trusted our design visions implicitly).  Our mission was to beautify and personlize the venue with chic period details and décor evoking the splendor of the roaring twenties but still keeping it modern and not theme(ie)

Invites went out with period art – Gibson girls in the ironic throes of the roaring twenties. On the big day, between ceremony and reception,  guests were greeted with julep-cupped period cocktails.  Lladies with ivory fans and cream-hued parasols strolled the grounds with gentlemen in top hats –all  functional props we provided to shade eyes from the low-angle sun, and  anchoring the period aesthetic.  With top hats tilted and fans a flutter, the guests were treated not only to an amazing array of food and beverage but also to lawn games – bacci ball, croquet, horseshoes and oversized lawn chess were enjoyed by all.

At the escort station, in keeping with the literary design, guests found their names in an antique librarian’s card- catalogue bureau, ensconced in blooms, and draped in flapper pearls. The dinner tables were each named for a character or chapter in the book, and the place settings and floral arrangements were all in lush striking colors of dark browns, deep purples, whites and reds.

I loved seeing the stone walls of one of my favorite venues so magically turn back into a Vanderbilt-esq time- if only for the day – it was a modern take on a twenties grand ballroom, lush with flowers, gleaming with crystal, and alive with the hum of revelers.

As always with all SWANK events…..the details made the day.

Are you planning a Gatsby style event?  We’d love to hear about it!

And if you want to see more of our creative process or the photos of this love story clink these links!

 


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

Winter Wedding Lounge

Looking back on our events, this one at Studio 450 was most definitely one of our coziest!
Studio 450 is another one of our FAVORITE loft venues.  (And you might not know – I have a soft spot for this NYC loft because I was married there a little over 12 years ago) SO many things I love about this loft space like its size, the room layouts and the fact that it has two floors and a really nice size deck.  But most of all I love its shinny whiteness (yes I think I made that word up but it perfectly describes the space)Studio 450 is on West 31st St at 9th avenuewhich I would best describe as a fairly non-descrpt (and kind of always gray) area of the West Side.  There’s usually scaffolding of some sort on one of the buildings in the vicinity.  I know I’m not ‘selling’ why this ‘great’ venue is so great very well but honest, I’m getting to my point, which is this.

There’s something wonderfully magical about going to this dingy gray part of New York City, riding up a huge metal freight sized elevator to the top floor, not knowing what in the world to expect from a party in a place like this.  Having the elevator doors open and arriving into a truly lovely, bright, spacious, glossy white venue with sunny (or sunset) views of New York City in all four directions.
What I absolutely love about this space is that its a large open white pallet.  Its urban chic.  It’s a space where you can truly create ANY type of environment.

I’ve been lucky to work in this venue dozens of times and have had the opportunity to do a lot of very creative themes.  But since I first stepped into this venue, I have ALWAYS wanted to do a cozy ‘ski lodge’ event!  I have done lots of other ‘winter’ environments but I finally got the chance to do my cozy ski lodge here at 450!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking forward to a cozy New Year!!!

Cheers to your next event

xoxo Maya

10 Ways to WOW your Wedding Guests!

Yes, the cake, the gown, and the centerpieces are all important, but these 10 ideas are not only super-simple — they’re also guaranteed to make your wedding rave-worthy.

1. Create a Welcome Video

Most likely you won’t be able to greet all of your out-of-town guests when they arrive, so consider arranging a virtual welcome. Talk to your videographer about creating a brief video of the two of you welcoming them to your wedding location, and provide tips for things to do in the area along with what they can expect for the rest of the weekend (or simply create your own with a digital video camera!).2. Don’t Underestimate the Welcome Bag

Another easy way to impress? Give each guest a welcome bag. Fill an inexpensive basket or canvas tote with bottles of water, a bottle of wine or locally brewed beer, something salty, something sweet, and a piece of fruit. Don’t forget to include a welcome letter (or video) as well as a detailed itinerary for where the guest needs to be and when. Leave the whole thing with the hotel concierge for the guests to pick up when they check in. And be sure to provide them with maps and lists of local restaurants, museums, and other attractions in case they want to explore on their own.

3. Keep Them Entertained — Not Overwhelmed

You don’t want to stress your guests out with too many activities, but a few entertainment options before the wedding will really show them how much thought you put into their visit. Suggest group activities like area hikes or tours for your guests to mingle and get to know each other before the main event. Lay out planned weekend activities for guests in a timeline so that everyone is in-the-know.

4. Ditch the Boring Ceremony Aisle

It’s probably the one detail of wedding planning you forgot about, but it’s also one of the simplest to take to the next level. A creative DIY runner, rustic pew arrangements in Mason jars, or even a quirky patterned rug can all dress up a plain aisle — and make a major impact on your guests.

5. Make Inventive Escort Cards

The escort card display is the first thing your guests see when they walk into your reception — so make it good. Have your calligrapher write guests’ names on pretty vintage mirrors, print names on horse show ribbons, stick the cards in cupcakes, or attach each card to a tiny can of champagne with a note that reads, “Do not open until the wedding toast.”

6. Add Music to the Transitions

Hire a bagpiper, a drum line, a gong player, or even a strolling guitar player to lead guests from one space to the next. If you’re not set on an instrument, localize it: For a tropical setting, hire someone to blow a conch shell, or in the mountains, hire an alpine horn player to announce when it’s time to move.

7. Rethink Wedding Transportation

Okay, you’re probably not going to have a parade float, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with your transportation. Your guests will gape when they walk out of your ceremony and see an awesome antique car or retro school bus waiting to pick you up! Or choose transportation that pays homage to your wedding venue, like a hayride for a country ranch wedding or even a Snowcat for a winter mountain reception.

8. Give Them A Say!

Use your RSVP cards or wedding website to let your guests have an opinion on something other than chicken or fish. Let them request a song, create Mad Lib-style return cards you can then display at the reception, or have them vote on the top-tier flavor of your wedding cake! Guests will love seeing the details that they helped choose come to life on the wedding day.

9. Serve Food You’d Want to Eat

Think about what foods make you happy — whether it be ice cream sandwiches, mac and cheese, watermelon, donuts, or tacos — and add them to the menu. One of our favorite new ideas: a potato chip bar complete with all the dips. Talk to your caterer about putting together a truly personalized (and delicious!) menu. Then watch your guests chow down.
10. Send Them Off with Breakfast 

Even if it’s not an all-out postwedding brunch, plan to give your guests a little goodbye breakfast the day after. Rent out the hotel conference room and talk to the staff about creating a breakfast buffet. Or simply arrange for bagels and coffee to be delivered to your guests’ hotel rooms before they depart.
– Justine Lorelle Blanchard – The Knot & News Channel5Special thanks to: Maya Kalman of Swank Productions in New York Cityand Kelly Karli of Frosted Pink Weddings in Colorado.