Special Events
AOO Events creates a 39Modern Baroque on Steriods39 look at the Resort at Pelican Hill for SITE Photo by David E. Merrell/AOO Events

AOO Events creates a 'Modern Baroque on Steriods' look at the Resort at Pelican Hill for SITE.

Behold the Ballroom: Event Pros Take Ballrooms from Bland to Beautiful

The basic hotel ballroom: In the right hands, it transforms from a simple space to an unforgettable setting for special events

GOING FOR BAROQUE Although the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, Calif., is only six years old, its look is "modern Baroque," management says. It was that rich, ornate look from 17th and 18th century Europe that Los Angeles-based AOO Events keyed on to create a "Modern Baroque on Steroids" for the final-night event for SITE.

After an outdoor reception overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the 240 guests entered the ballroom to find an array of tables mixing rectangles, squares and rounds. Antique mirror tops and ornate velvet cloths in wine-red floral prints or gold brocade were accented with wine or gold satin napkins. Tables featured a mix of china, flatware and stemware patterns. Clear Louis XIV Ghost chairs kept the focus on the tables, which were topped with rich arrangements of orange spray roses, hydrangea, cymbidium orchids and Andromeda. The room was finished with red and gold lighting in intricate architectural motifs washing over the walls.

WHITE THIS WAY While a rich mix of color brightens a ballroom, going all-white is still a winner. The team at Atlanta-based Legendary Events reimagined the tan, taupe and mineral green palette of the Astor Ballroom at the Atlanta St. Regis as a white –on-white "winter wonderland" wedding reception for 280 guests.

During the reception, the event team flipped to ceremony area of the ballroom in 30 minutes, removing the ceremony chairs and installing 8-foot manzanita trees and 12-foot crape myrtles covered in fresh white floral, crystal strands and flickering lights, and along with tables, chairs, pillows and place settings. The room glittered, thanks to reflective mirror tabletops and the 27-by-27-foot crystal and snowflake canopy over the dance floor.

And that snowy look never melted; instead, it was the work of the event team, which hand-strung 87,500 feet of organza ribbon for the 8,000-crystal canopy structure, which incorporated the existing chandelier. The frosty finishing touch: 500 white "snowflakes" attached to the bottom of the crystals  (in photo above; photo by Peacock Audio and Video).

The full story appears in the November-December issue of Special Events, available only to subscribers.

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