TASTE: A Food Tasting Isn’t Optional in Party Planning

December 8, 2016


Food is part of the entertainment…

One very important, and always challenging-but-exciting, aspect of what we do here at Evantine Design is menu design and planning. Each event we design and produce has unique requirements for food, beverage, display, and service. As a result, we are always looking to create the NEXT exciting food experience for our clients!

A food tasting that wowed…

To that end, earlier this week we were treated to an absolutely exquisite tasting, right here in our design studio. One of our favorite New York caterers created an open kitchen in our floral studio that gave us a chance to see all the culinary magic come to life as each plate was made. It also afforded us the opportunity to ask questions of the chef and culinary team. We are collaborating on many upcoming projects with this caterer in the 2017-2018 event season and it was great fun introducing them to our client in such an interactive fashion!

Only crumbs remained…

We took just a few photos of the food tasting as we were just too busy eating all the delicious food! But as you can see, the chef really pulled out all the tasty stops for us… {nom, nom, nom}

The table is set for the food tasting...

The table is set for the food tasting…

Our floral design studio became an open kitchen...

Our floral design studio became an open kitchen…

A sirloin beef slider with 3 pepper ketchup that was insane, with homemade chips...

We enjoyed a sirloin beef slider with 3 pepper ketchup that was insane, with homemade chips…

Persian Cucumber with Yellowfin Tuna, black olive, caperberry...

Persian Cucumber with Yellowfin Tuna, black olive, caperberry…

Event Planner Paige Dietz tasting the Truffle Grilled Cheese with smoked tomato jam...

Event Planner Paige Dietz tasting the Truffle Grilled Cheese with smoked tomato jam…

Paige loving her Kippered Salmon hors d’oeuvre before we could photograph it...

Paige loving her Kippered Salmon hors d’oeuvre before we could photograph it…

Event Planner Robert Canada, who has dropped his phone one too many times, helps document the tasting...

Event Planner Robert Canada, who has dropped his phone one too many times, helps document the tasting…

An amazing Frank en Croute with spicy mustard...

An amazing Frank en Croute with spicy mustard…

A Citrus Roasted Baby Carrots – Blood orange, puffed rice, parsley-honey dressing...

A Citrus Roasted Baby Carrots – Blood orange, puffed rice, parsley-honey dressing…

The chef plating up the carrot salad...

The chef plating up the carrot salad…

Market Beets with heirloom Apples – SO GOOD.

Market Beets with heirloom Apples – SO GOOD.

Herb roasted beef tenderloin with butternut squash polenta, bordelaise sauce... ahhh-mazing...

Herb roasted beef tenderloin with butternut squash polenta, bordelaise sauce… ahhh-mazing…

Applewood Smoked Chicken Roulade – So smoky and delicious. Served with Cauliflower farrotto, Spinach, Braised Cipollini...

Applewood Smoked Chicken Roulade – So smoky and delicious. Served with Cauliflower farrotto, Spinach, Braised Cipollini…

...and with a rich and mind-blowing Chocolate Bomb for dessert.

…and with a rich and mind-blowing Chocolate Bomb for dessert.


MITZVAHS: Hank’s Hip Hang at Moulin at Sherman Mills

September 7, 2015

modern white lounge mitzvah with raw wood blue lighting evantine designn moulin loft space philadelphia 9

Combining his desire for a fun party with his parents’ wish for a minimalist design, we created Hank’s dream BAR MITZVAH party at Moulin at Sherman Mills. An urban loft space able to host thousands was chosen for Henry aka Hank’s party of 200, but our design plan would incorporate a variety of white lounge settings, light up elements, a giant LED dance floor, and the latest in intelligent lighting into a smartly-designed event floor plan that would bring it all together perfectly.

So as not to fall into the typical category of another light-up mitzvah, and in deference to the industrial-themed location, we enhanced the all-white upholstery pieces with over-sized rustic wooden tables, high gloss white furnishings, contemporary and handmade artistic pieces, as well as architectural flowers and warm candlelight. Add that to the savvy culinary stylings of Brulee Catering and the insanely hot deejay/emcee crew from Norma Michaels Entertainment and the party CRUSHED IT!

But take a look at two things that are easily shown here in this #partystudy; first, the BEFORE AND AFTER photos of the event design that take you from daylight to full-scale event lighting transformation; and second, the clean, thoughtfully laid out floor plan our team produced for design and function.

{Photos courtesy of Pictures by Todd Photography}

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A Hand-Painted Party for Throwback Thursday

January 30, 2014

cigna parties for academy ball philadelphia

Embracing the whole “Throwback Thursday” concept really can be an entertaining way to share some of the amazing events we have produced over the years. Events that exist in our memories as well as in tiny 4 x 6 photos buried in dusty boxes that rarely see the light of day! Which is a shame really, as party planners and event designers with decades of experience in conceptualizing events we are bound to have tackled most themes once, if not twice!

In today’s event scene we see the obsession with calligraphy, painting and illustration continues to dazzle and intensify, making its way into party design and scenic decor in bolder ways than just on paper. Well, like most things in life, that’s a design trend that has been tackled before. Like 15 to 20 years ago! That’s right, what’s old really is new again.

Cigna Corporate Party at Academy Music

These images are from the 1998 Academy Ball Cocktail Reception hosted by CIGNA held in the rehearsal hall at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Generally, The rehearsal hall is pretty bare bones, so Evantine Design was hired to bring in everything to create the desired environment, from walls, rooms, lighting, flowers, rentals, and kitchen space. The design inspiration for the event was the post-modern theater and movie set designs from the 1930’s-1950’s which were designed to be viewed as props and not real, but at the same time to evoke a sense of place and time to transport the audience away from reality. Deep stuff, right? Absolutely.

Our theme was a town square in France, complete with café, walls, park benches, home facades, shops, street carts, and a central “fountain” that guests would wander around or gaze upon just as they would in a small town in France. All in all, we designed, illustrated and hand-painted over 100 panels which were then used to create the streets of the village. To ensure we had thought of every single detail of the town square, right down to the loaves of bread and window shades, we put up the entire set in our greenhouse (back then we did not have the warehouse and design studio we now call home) and then pulled it all apart to put it together again on site for the event. With design this specific, practice makes perfect!

Along the hallway leading into the rehearsal hall, we created an allée of faux trees in a similar illustrated manner as the sets designed for the main room.  The difference being that as you passed by the trees (or upon leaving) you saw the unfinished backs with braces and location markings (and sandbags). This concept of letting the guests experience the behind the scenes AND the finished effects let the attendees feel as if they were part of the theater stage and were characters in our story.

corporate events throw back thursday

CIGNA was a major sponsor for the Academy Ball for many years and sponsored this annual cocktail party.  We transformed the space year after year to the point where it became the talk of the ball and every year, guests wondered if they would walk into a faux French town square, a serene Zen Japanese Garden, a rocking 1950’s diner or futuristic Philadelphia (among others that we created for the client).

Happy Throwback Thursday!

Even Dinner Tables Need Dress Rehearsals by Event Designer Brian Kappra

November 6, 2013

Event Designers Philadelphia Evantine Design Warehouse

My design team and I endeavor to bring inspirational ideas and entertaining concepts to each event design, creating spaces that are not only beautiful but also functional. Which means, in addition to understanding the project goal and interpreting the client’s needs and tastes, careful logistical planning is a must for every party design we produce. Even for the floral designs and decorative tablescapes we create on a weekly basis. We NEVER arrive at a party space and wing the set up. NEVER. No stone is left unturned; no tactical solution is left unaddressed. We know exactly what we have to work with and back that planning up with sketches, floor plans, photographs, and diagrams. (not to mention LISTS!)

If that requires setting up a 50 foot long table like we did above to confirm the overriding big picture design, as well as how all the decorative accessories and floral materials play a part, so be it. Even dinner tables need dress rehearsals.

No matter how busy you are as a party professional, nothing takes precedence over careful planning.

DESIGN NOTES: It’s All in the Details

August 29, 2013


Similar to interior design, we believe a well-designed event space is more than pretty things covered in pretty colors. It encompasses layer after layer of subtle elements that, when presented as a whole, manage to evoke emotion and connection in the guests attending. In essence, a well-designed party is well-designed BECAUSE of the details carefully selected and precisely placed in the setting.

At Evantine Design, we live for the details. In fact, we have 50,000 square feet of warehouse space just to house all of the accessories, linens, votives, frames, trims, fabrics, chairs, containers, vessels, and other decorative elements in our event planning arsenal. We’re devoted to details!


For a recent garden-inspired charity gala we designed here in Philadelphia, the prestigious Ball on The Square, we took our design inspiration from the formal gardens found in Rittenhouse Square. As noted in a previous post on the gala, this year’s ball was a celebration of Paul Philippe Cret, the French-American architect who designed the formal gardens in the Victorian-era city park back in 1913.

Wrapping the whole event design concept around the beauty of Cret’s formal gardens, we layered classic stone urns, weathered gold frames and vintage silver vessels with metallic sequin linens, airy glass chargers and swirl etched glass hurricanes. Whimsical garden statues and formal sculptures, including frogs, angels and mermaids, were used organically throughout the party tent. Even the table top service pieces, such as the flatware, coffee service and salt and pepper shakers, were carefully selected to blend into the whole elegant garden party aesthetic using classic sterling silver.  Menus, signage and place cards were designed with artwork celebrating the Victorian architecture the historic park is known for.

To see some of the decorative pieces we wove through the gala’s event design, take a look below at these wonderful images from our friend, photographer Casey Rodgers.



Casey_Rodger Evantine Design

Creative Event Lighting Evantine Design



Linens Ball on the Square Evantine Design

Chargers Linens Evantine Design

Event Details Evantine Design



vintage candles votives Evantine design


WE LOVE: A Garden-inspired Place Card Table for Ball on The Square

June 23, 2013

Place card Table Decor Evantine Design Casey_Rodger1237

We most certainly love getting these notes from clients after we have designed a party for them. Their note of excitement, amazement and gratitude makes our job all the more worthwhile.

“Brian – Many, many thanks for an outstanding job!! The decor last night was truly amazing! Everyone was raving about how beautiful the tents looked. The place card table was so creatively done and gorgeous!!! -Mary Parenti, Co-chair for the Ball on The Square”

These images were taken at Thursday’s prestigious Ball on The Square gala, an event we have designed for 27 out of its 30 years of galas. For this year’s celebration we went back to the beginning with an ode to formal gardens, classic architecture and elegant outdoor events. The Ball on The Square is always held in the heart of Rittenhouse Square on the 3rd Thursday of June.  This year’s gala, hosted by Mary Parenti and Rich Castor & Lynn and Howard  Shecter, was particularly special as it was a celebration of both the 30th annual ball but also the 100th anniversary of Paul Cret’s elegant design of the park.

If the name is unfamiliar, let us introduce you to Paul Philippe Cret, the French-American architect and industrial designer who for more than 30 years headed up  the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. As a prolific and influential architect, Cret co-designed (with Jacques Greber) the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as well as the Rodin Museum. He also built the Delaware River Bridge, now known as the Ben Franklin Bridge, as well as the Barnes Foundation Gallery, the Memorial Arch at Valley Forge, and Rittenhouse Square. Further afield Cret’s designs include the Pan American Union building and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and the campuses of Brown University and the University of Texas at Austin.

A true visionary who inspires us every single day, if only in the creation of a place card table for a party celebrating his work.


woodland inspired wedding design evantine

COMMUNITY: Let Them Eat Cake with Ron Ben-Israel

April 10, 2013

windmill cake by ron ben-israel evantine design

Well, it’s that time again. Let Them Eat Cake is just days away… April 15th at The Merion in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. It’s Philadelphia’s Wedding Cake Design competition for professionals, students and those who love to bake to create. Brides-to-be, mitzvah moms and fondant foodies will converge for the 8th annual competition to sample cakes from 40 of the regions best of the best bakers. But it’s this year’s judge, our friend and Sweet Genius RON BEN-ISRAEL of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes who will be judging. Just look at some of the amazing cakes this man has created… for tickets to Let Them Eat Cake go here http://bit.ly/14b8c5f.

red and gold wedding cake by ron ben-israel

pink and gold wedding cake by ron ben israel

kinky boots cake ron ben israelron ben israel collagelove cake by ron ben israelJets Football Bar Mitzvah Cake Ron Ben-Israelhot pink and black wedding cake ron ben-israelwhale cake and burger cake ron ben israelpale pink wedding cake by ron ben israel

DESIGN NOTES: A Walk in the Warehouse

March 7, 2013

Brian Kappra Evantine Design Party Warehouse

Walking through the Evantine Design warehouse always impresses and delights our clients, from the new merchandise we’re constantly sourcing to well organized party supplies to keep things efficient… it takes a dedicated crew but the passion for what we do every day clearly shows… It’s truly a labor of love.

Philadelphia Event Designers

Silver Chrome Metal Party Supplies Evantine

Evantine Design Philadelphia Party Planners Modern Chrome Vases

party supplies, philadelphia party planners

Black vases white vases evantine design

gold vases bronze vessels evantine design

Evantine Design Warehouse Philadelphia Party Planners

Green Vases Evantine Design Warehouse

WE LOVE: In the Green Room

March 4, 2013

pantone color trends, green wedding design, philadelphia weddings

We often connect the color green to life, youth, and vitality. It’s the pervasive color found in the world around us, making it an ideal backdrop in interior design and event decor because we are so used to seeing it everywhere. It’s just natural.

While the Pantone People have declared Emerald Green as the design color for 2013, we don’t want to get stuck in just the trendy tones. We happen to love working with all shades of green found on the color chart: moss, lime, kelly, forest, celadon, sage, verdant, fern, jade, hunter, etc. We also like how green can pair beautifully with black and white; or with metallic gold or midnight blue. Stylish. Sophisticated. Organically dramatic.

emerald green evantine design collage

evantine design green event design

{Top to bottom: Green dress by Valentino; Green and white bridal bouquet by Evantine Design; Green spheres and gold candles by Evantine Design; Green Shoes by Christian Louboutin; Green gown by Monique Lhuillier; Green and Leopard Interior Design by Hutton Wilkinson}

DESIGN: Dress Up with Dramatic Chair Covers

February 15, 2013

Resource One, Inc.

As we continue to meet with our clients, preparing their design schemes for their upcoming Spring and Summer weddings, we’re excited to be able to share with them the absolutely stunning chair covers available on the market. Chair covers and chair backs are a fabulous decorative accessory that can make a dramatic statement in your event design. With hundreds of chairs to play with in a typical dinner dance scenario, chair covers can convey mood, color and theme instantaneously. As you can see from these lovely chair covers, there’s a wide variety of fabrics and styles available, from hand-painted flowers on pink silk to appliqued ivory roses on nubby cotton and layered white tulle ruched with crystals.  Here are just some of our favorites…

Spring Chair Covers Wildflower collage

Chairs Covers Nuage Designs 2

resourceone flower chair covers 6

chair backs reds nuage designs

{Chair covers showcased from Resource One, Nuage Designs and Wildflower Linens.}