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

Winter is coming… Part 1.

1-2   Whether you are a fan of Game of Thrones or not,  winter is coming, and with it come the holidays. It is now more than ever the time to gather around meals and the time to have pleasant moments with love ones. Many agree that this is one of the most important and beautiful times of the year. However, this can become stressful; the challenge is that the magical moment can quickly turn into disaster. But don’t worry, SWANK is here to help you get through this. First, our focus turns to Turkey (or tofurkey) Day.

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This is a great time to share your home with friends after a long and stressful year and to have a pleasant time with them. This year is your year to host a big dinner party by inviting everyone!

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The first advice we can give is not to skimp on food. Put on a great spread, and forget about diets! Cook some mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, dinner rolls, why not a pumpkin pie, and last but not least, the turkey! Remember when grandma left you her secret recipes? But that out! Get every ingredient you could possibly need so Dad doesn’t have to run out minutes before dinner; plus, Thanksgiving grocery stores are a total jungle!  You can even order things from your merchants to have them ready to pick up the day before Thanksgiving. If you don’t have the time to cook, to order your ingredients and everything, you can hire a personal chef for one night, too. Either way, your friends will be impressed and will go back home the belly full of turkey and the head full of memories.

2e2fdc20f27d81315dd321bdd74b19c6-2To make this moment even more beautiful, you should decorate your living place. The key to all ambiance is lots and lots of candles; it is cheap and super effective. You can choose little ones, big ones, cylindrical ones, round ones, buoyant ones in water/vases, and so on… You can be creative on your candle choice and use them as table centerpieces too. You can also add some freshly picked leafs, it will add an autumn touch, and absolutely have yams and pumpkins. We love vinery, goblets for wine, and make sure to bring out whatever you feel comfortable washing at the end of the night. Check out disposable nice plasticware. Your guests won’t even know it wasn’t china and you’ll be able to sit and watch A Christmas Story after dinner with them, too.

Things to remember: place cards are a perfect way to eliminate the hassle of who sits where. We know Aunt Cathy thinks Aunt Jan’s new boyfriend is a gold digger, so this way, they can’t give side eye all night because they are at complete opposite ends of the table! But don’t forget to leave enough places to put all the food on the table. Decoration is good, but not having places for the food can be a mistake. Now you are ready to host your best thanksgiving ever.

And, don’t forget that SWANK is here to help you if you don’t have the time to get through these big events on your own!

Best of the Best NYC Contemporary Wedding Planners / Designers

Such a honor to be side by side with these awesome planner/ designers!
One thing we all have in common we Lve what we do!
‪#‎SwankProductions‬ ‪#‎Brides‬
‪#‎WeddingDesign‬ ‪#‎WeddingPlanning‬

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Beautiful Chandeliers

Chandelier

Because it is Wednesday, (being the middle of the week, we like to call it hump day!) today’s blog will focus on a fun and interesting topic: Chandeliers.

Most of our events will include one type of chandelier, sometimes maybe two, but for one couple, that just wasn’t enough. This couple decided to go all out and have the venue covered in different types of chandeliers hanging over the dinner tables, almost like hanging centerpieces.

The best words to describe this wedding is Extravagant and Glamorous!

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Chandelier 3These chandeliers are really elegant. We had so much fun using these chandeliers to create a gothic and romantic wedding atmosphere at Edison Ballroom.

Chandeliers can be used to exaggerate and bring out a theme. The following are examples of non-tradition, creative chandeliers that we have used in the past to make the theme and color stand out:

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You can view more pictures of the Chandelier Wedding here.

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If you, or anyone you know, has been recently engaged or thinking of finally preparing for their big day, make sure you get in contact with Swank Productions to ensure your dream wedding blossoms to reality.

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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.

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Herbs 

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.

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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

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

Halloween Color Trends

Color trends for Halloween have been stuck for a long time in the candy-corn / black-cat palette – a treat for kids but tricky for adults. Our new vision for stylish wickedness takes the color trend to an aesthetic as refined as fine sugar and as indulgent as a pillowcase full of candy.
The seasons themselves are color trends, and here is Autumn at dusk – beet-stained fingers by kitchen candle light, the last ripened plums before the frost, a sweep of shadow in the clouds, a pale and golden moon about to rise – cool, rich, dark, and magical.
These color trends – unlike the black and orange stripes of old – translate beautifully into any area where color is to be found – from woolen sweaters and chunky scarves to stockings, nail polish, eye shadow and lipsticks, or even as an accent wall in the home. Playing with textures and layering adds depth and narrative to these hues, so get creative! And if you can find a pumpkin in ANY of these colors we’d LOVE to know!

Halloween Entertainment – Blood Manor!

Things that go bump in the night…

I love Halloween.  LOVE IT!  And while my costuming choices tend toward the glamorous and fantastical, I love to see a good zombie or decomposing hog beast lurking in the shadows too. Blood Manor’s Press release party served up the latter in spades.  Billed as ‘New York’s Premier Haunted Attraction’ Blood Manor delivers the blood-soaked goods with creativity, dedication and high production value.

Their cast of characters (who we’ve hired for our Halloween events) is truly dedicated to their craft. I’m not easily spooked, but who (or WHATEVER!) inhabited the aforementioned hog-beast costume had the lurking down to an artful science, appearing behind me soundlessly, and invading my personal space with a hushed and palpable menace – so disconcerting I had to get away! The dark hallways left Braden and I clutching to each other for dear life, but the 3D paint room brought us to our senses…and then blew us away! Their Haunted House is a well conceived and richly produced theatre-piece, absorbing, detailed, terrifying and wonderfully fun.

For anyone who thinks that the ‘slutty witch’ or ‘slutty nun’ or ‘slutty slut’ costume is only scary because of how devoid of inspiration and creativity is, Blood Manor’s experience is an absolute must – a horror film for the artist and intellect alike. Enjoy the feast!

by Colin Whitfield – Swank Event Designer

 

Art Deco – 3 Color Trends With A Modern Twist

DECO THREE WAYS:

From Fall Fashion to Timeless Tabletop, the roaring twenties are back with contemporary lines, classic textures and shimmering shine.

Here’s the SWANK way to play with this Color Trend….

MONDE CAPITALE

Like the top of the Chrysler Building… Old New York Deco, influenced heavily by the aesthetics of the burgeoning technologies of the day – aviation, radio, and luxury ocean liners – is shining bright in chrome and nickel, a monochrome elegance of line and composition. New York deco has a noir element about it, dark and formal, with uncompromising geometry and reflective surfaces akin to both mirrors and armor.  These gowns up the ante on shine and texture, a mosaic of platinum, or black and indigo paillettes and sequins sheathe the models in cascade of chain-mail or finely inlaid glass – while leaving body-conscious seams visible, or belting at the waist to emphasize, economically, the form of the figure. The pantsuit is a study in fine and layered texture, calling to mind the foundational elements of deco architecture – limestone, marble, granite – a hint of sparkle here makes all the difference, and through out the emphasis is on clean lines, stylized forms and richly textured surfaces.

Picture then, a tabletop, in a similar linen, its square or circular shape edged with a sheer band.  Atop it rests black glass chargers and dinner plates, chrome edged votives hosting silver and black candles, and woven wool napkins in pewter-tones and chrome plated candelabras in striking geometric forms. A runner of dark silver tweed spans the length of the table like Fifth Avenue in old New York.  This is deco done darkly – Schwartzwalder Callas in indigo glass complete the look – and the table exudes a classic style that exudes formality in a time of exuberance, and a shine that will endure the somber times to follow.

LA CAGE

New Yorkers work to play, and Hollywood plays as work.  In MIAMI anyone who’s ever worked for anything will find a playground of the highest order, where days melt into one another beneath the sun or beside the sea.  Miami Deco is a candy box of pastel macarons.  Here, in the sun and surf, Deco loosens up, takes off its New York necktie of formality, lets down its Hollywood chignon of polished glamour, and feels free to flounce and sway in colors borne of cockatoos and hibiscus, tropic seas and corals.  Here is deco on holiday.  Layers of sheer silks with color-matched beading, draping as casual as a breeze on Collins Avenue, bare necklines and higher hems, feathers and accessories in the evening only.  The look is exuberant yet easy, jewel-bright yet washed with tropical kind of haze – where once was sapphire and emerald, now floats gossamer cornflower and celadon.  The world through pastel colored lenses.

The Miami table is as ethereal and wonderful as the fashions that inspire it. Here, acrylic tables filled with tinted water and orchid blossoms rest on pastel Spanish tile floors, seating is white-painted wrought iron in clean and sweeping deco lines.  Chargers of mother-of-pearl and glass dinner plates in turquoise or periwinkle add aquatic tones to the resort style buffet.  Chiffon falls cleanly from chair top to the floor, centerpieces are made of corals, both bleached and painted, flocked in glitter and twinkling with fairy-light in teal – calling to mind the glow of phosphorescence along the moon and neon-lit shoreline.  Orchids in vivid yellows and demure pinks emerge from the corals like tropical fish, and above, the ceiling has been draped with raw linens in ivory and antique mauve.  Lucite deco chandeliers are hung with garlands of sea-glass and silver-leaved sand dollars and starfish.  Royal palms stand sentry at the entrances, elegant and iconic in whitewashed terracotta planters.  An exquisite and water-colored fantasy, which is one part resort dining room, two parts cabana and one hundred percent luxurious.

BOULEVARD BOUDOIR

Hollywood, 1928.  Deco here was unsullied by the darkness of industry in New York.  Out east, where captains of industry made money on the backs of coal, manufacturing, and the dark practice of banking, Deco embraced the hard realities involved in realizing icons like Rockefeller center and the Chrysler Building – in LA (as per usual) thing seemed a bit brighter, a reflection of the sun and sea, the clean air- the grace and charm of towering palm trees were the answer to skyscrapers inching steadily toward the firmament above the streets of Manhattan.  Here in LaLaWood, Deco pairs its silver with ivories and cream, ramping up the indulgence with jewel tones and filigreed ornament.  Gone is the reductive stylization of east coast formality, and in its stead we find flourished of inspiration from natural forms, and a color palette brightened and softened by the sea mist in the air.

The gowns above are Hollywood in the adolescence of its golden age.  Silk charmuse is heavily ornamented and bejeweled, the gowns themselves are jewelry of the highest order.  In soft rose and cloudlike angora, with overlay of crystals and matching headpiece, or hand beaded scrolling line work describing natural and Egyptian motifs, the look is rich but soft, tailored, but playful and lively.

 

The dinner table is set with cut crystal stemware, and crystal candelabras evoking the sparkle of diamonds and the buoyancy of light. Silverware is crystal-handled and rose gold plated, Service plates in ivory or cream-toned china soften the edges of the crystal and are, perhaps, stamped or glazed with a tint-on-tint floral motif – Hollywood held on to the flowery whimsy of art nouveau for a little longer than the east coast pushers of progress and innovation.  Chair backs are topped with fur, perhaps angora, or arctic fox, and are festooned with a flapper-length draping of pearls.  Napkins in ivory silk are bound in rings of silver and inlaid semi-precious stone – calling to mind the headpiece of a Hollywood starlet. In Hollywood, white callas and soft lavender roses are the flowers of choice, perhaps enlivened by broad leaved tropical foliage – throughout the space, a thousand votives in lotus-shaped crystal holders fill the room with a soft-focus light – in which we might all be ready for our close-up.

How are you planning on using the ‘new’  Deco as decor?  We would LOVE to hear about it!


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.
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