Design Mind: Diann Valentine, D.R. Valentine & Associates, Studio City, Calif., www.drvalentine.net
Two for One: Wedding guru and host of DreamWorks TV's “Wedding Day,” scheduled to premiere on TNT this spring, Valentine designed an outdoor wedding at a private home in L.A.'s posh Hancock Park neighborhood to accommodate both ceremony and reception in one lavish, Italian-inspired setting.
Club Med: A luxurious Mediterranean lounge atmosphere prevailed in the garden of the Italian villa-style home, complete with carved antique benches, moss-draped topiary centerpieces and break-up Italianate patterns projected on the surface of the property's pool. Meanwhile, a rich color scheme of rust orange and olive green complemented the estate's ex-terior colors. Amid such well-appointed event environs, the couple said their vows, then simply carried on with the festivities — no travel necessary.
Feast for the Eyes: Adding to the decadent garden vibe, trays of edible treats were suspended from archways, giving guests ample access to snacks throughout the evening while nicely echoing the strands of amber lights hanging from the balcony of the master bedroom.
Pro Quote: “As with indoor events, I believe that good design never fights the architecture and natural elements of a space. As noted in my book ‘Weddings Valentine Style,’ ‘Every space has a spirit, a voice.’ Keep in mind Goethe's declaration that architecture is frozen music. So, as I look at a church or private estate, I also listen. I take in the walls, doorways, moldings, light fixtures — I never fight the architecture, whether art nouveau or rococo. I never work against the aura of a space. I listen for the song.”
— Diann Valentine
Design Mind: Richard Randall, A Joy Wallace Catering Production & Design Team, Miami, www.ajoywallace.com
She'll Always Have Paris: Putting on its thinking berets and tapping into its joie de vivre, the Joy Wallace team outfitted an al fresco bat mitzvah celebration for a wise and worldly 13-year-old with a passion for French fashion and culture.
Garden Party: To immerse guests in Parisian culture, the design crew transformed outdoor space at the bat mitzvah girl's home into a party-ready version of the city's famed Luxembourg Gardens. Highlights included a central 15-foot-wide fountain, a fire pit, wrought-iron bistro tables and 10-foot-tall ficus trees draped with twinkle lights. The 16-foot-high replica of the Arc de Triomphe that served as an entryway to the garden was so large that set designer Alberto Flores had to create it from the inside out, first building steps in the interior so that the top portion could be assembled from within.
Shop and Shoot: A backdrop designed to represent a Parisian street scene — upstairs apartments and downstairs storefronts including jeweler Cartier and bakery Fauchon — not only gave an authentic French feel but, with its scaffolding support, provided a great spot from which to shoot full-view event photos.
Pro Quote: “Fresh night air and being under the stars are elements even the best de-signers of the world can't match. Any opportunity we have to use the natural landscape to enhance our design, we take it. However, just as Mother Nature giveth, she also taketh away. I think there is always an underlying worry about rain and wind being unwelcome guests at an outdoor event. While it is extremely important to have a Plan B, I am far too superstitious to talk about it.”
— Richard Randall
Fab For: Title sponsor Moet & Chandon's tagline is “Be Fabulous,” so Panache — which created the champagne-maker's “Bubble Q” party at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival — made sure the decor scheme was just that.
Bubble-icious: Working with a palette of white and black — with touches of pink in a nod to lounge sponsor Pink Sands Resort — Panache laid on the fizz for the upscale barbecue bash. Accents included all-white linen and furniture, crystal-bead drapes and chandeliers, Moet & Chandon bottles showcased in elongated cylinder vases, and polystyrene “Q's” topping cocktail and chef stations. Nearly two dozen bubble machines placed at bars and food stations generated enough bubbles to fill the 20,000-square-foot tented area.
Cheap and Chic: Inexpensive but dramatic elements such as lampshades of crystal and molded plastic, custom polystyrene pieces and plastic-ball bubbles (sourced from an online “bounce house”-supply wholesaler) made a big impact, while LED push lights saved on electrical costs.
Pro Quote: “When designing an outdoor event, there are a hundred variables thrown into the mix that you don't experience with an indoor event. Not only are there nature's elements to plan for, such as wind, rain, heat and cold, but there's also finding the right products that will withstand each should they arise and still having the ability to execute your vision. It is most important to consider every ‘what if’ situation.”
— Kelly Murphy
Versatile, lightweight, luminous, easy to assemble and transport. Porta-Decor's modular, interchangeable decor systems function as bars, seating, displays and more. Visit www.portadecor.com.
FOGSCREEN, available for events from Encore Creative, is a walk-through projection screen made of “dry” fog. Watch guests gaze in wonder as ultrasonic waves and ordinary tap water combine to form a translucent or opaque surface for projecting images such as corporate logos, photos and event-specific messages. Visit www.encorecreative.biz.
AIR DIMENSIONAL DESIGNS' Tentations are 8 feet tall, up to 19 feet in diameter and customizable to be just about any structures you can dream up, from exhibit-floor sales offices to cabanas to lounges to mini galleries. Visit www.airdd.com.