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

December 8, 2016

chef-composing-the-carrot-salad

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.

 


A BIRTHDAY BLOW OUT AT THE LOGAN PHILADELPHIA

February 24, 2016

TAKE BACK THE NIGHT!

by Brian Kappra, Creative Director & Owner

Just a little over a month ago we did just that with a big birthday blowout at The Logan, Philadelphia’s newest, sexiest and chicest hotel.

Attached is a short video highlight reel of this most amazing celebration, the first big “do” since the hotel opened. A video created, once again, by the uber-talented team at CinemaCake and in which you can see, frame by frame in super fast speed, the total transformation of the space. You can also witness the shock and awe on the face of the guest of honor, as well as on the faces of her guests. They were BLOWN AWAY!

No, it wasn’t the biggest event in terms of guest count; nor was it an elegant, black tie party. What it was, however, was a complicated combination of food and beverage, event design and entertainment meticulously planned with a strict timeline and many moving parts. To say that The Logan exceeded our expectations seems too weak a statement. I’m STILL amazed at how the entire team at The Logan – folks whom I’ve worked with for years {and years} when the property was the Four Seasons, and those who’ve just come on board – worked as one high energy unit to pull off the best party in years. When we, as event planners, get to plan the entire menu, working with amazing chefs and culinary artists like the ones at The Logan, as well as design two new gorgeous ballrooms around revolving talent and hand picked entertainment we selected for the birthday girl, like Taylor Dane, a hot Boys Tribute Band and more… well, let’s just say, it’s a dream job to orchestrate!

What an incredible experience it was for everyone! Enjoy the film.

 


PLANNING: Celebrate the Joy of Just Being Engaged

January 8, 2016

Pink and white peonies bridal flowers wedding decor philadelphia weddings evantine design michael spain smith photo

The holidays are behind us now and “engagement season” is now officially open! All kidding aside, we congratulate all the newly engaged couples out there and wish you, and your families, much joy during this precious time. But, please, if we could suggest anything to you as wedding planners who have seen it all and then some, PLEASE take the time to enjoy your engagement. Treasure the wedding planning journey for it is more than trying on gowns and tasting cakes. We love seeing happy couples and their families sitting around our conference table; couples who are thoroughly enjoying themselves instead of collapsing under the pressure of weighty expectations.

The careful planning of your wedding is not something to rush through or feel stressed out about. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Savor it. Look at it as a transitional time for you and your beloved to start working together as your own family unit, and for your families to work together as a team. Share your dreams with each other. Include your families in the conversation. Listen to each other. Acknowledge what is important to each of you in sharing the celebration with others. Be willing to compromise or offer realistic alternatives. Trust each other, as well as the experienced professionals you choose to work with on this milestone occasion. Honor each other’s individuality and treasure the unexpected creativity that springs forth during the process.

Being engaged alone is something to celebrate! Planning a wedding is amazing, truly. But marriage, well, MARRIAGE is a beautiful thing if you let it bloom.

{Photo courtesy of Michael Spain-Smith}


A Beautiful Ballroom Reveal for Janey, Andrew and Evantine

January 6, 2016

POWERFUL MOMENTS, TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCES.

That’s what we want to create for our clients no matter what type of event we’re designing for you.

This moment of speechlessness and joy, captured so beautifully by David & Blonnie photo + cinema, says it all and speaks to our hearts as creative professionals. The Sneak, the Peek, or the Ballroom Reveal. No matter how you label it, it’s just a few minutes of privacy in an otherwise jammed wedding day. Wrangling our brides and grooms out of their cocktail reception and away from their guests is never easy, but as you can see, those few stolen moments are worth it! Seeing the ballroom in all its romantic glory is appreciated by all. Particularly after we’ve talked and dreamed about the flowers (and linens, and candles, and dance floor, and lighting, and chairs) for months!

MAGIC MOMENTS FOR WEDDING PLANNERS.

But aside from the stunned amazement enjoyed by our clients, what a gorgeous moment for us at Evantine Design! As Janey and Andrew’s wedding planners, event designers and overall partners in crime, there is nothing more heartwarming than to share these moments with them. In addition to feeling that whoosh! of relief that the design is loved, we got just as blurry-eyed and mushy-brained as they did!

We thank Janey and Andrew, as well as their families, for including us in yet another family celebration.


REAL STORIES: Celebrating Club Cory on this Mitzvah Monday!

April 13, 2015

light up centerpieces elegant bar mitzvahs boys parties evantine design philly mitzvahs cory 11

Happy Mitzvah Monday! The weekend is behind us and we are happy to proclaim that we managed to survive another absolutely AH-mazing mitzvah party! When you produce the detailed, labor-intensive events that we do, day in and day out, it can get a little stressful. But all that passion for producing the impossible in a matter of hours is what we live for! Cory’s Modern Mitzvah this past Saturday at Meadowlands Country Club was another example of that passion. We designed and produced an experience that not only WOWED Cory’s guests from the moment they arrived, but kept them engaged and energized right up until the last sweet second. Always wonderful to get a note like this from your client:

Thank you Brian and Evantine Design for creating such an amazing night. The room was spectacular. You are a pleasure to work with and your vision and creativity is like no other. Thank you for making everything work and creating a beautiful room. There was no detail left out. Thank you for not only doing your part but also reaching out to all my other vendors and making sure everyone was on the same page!!! You are awesome!!!!

I thank my entire, talented design and production team for their dedication and creativity. Team Evantine, we did it again! We worked together to manufacture some unique custom touches throughout the event that made CLUB CORY truly special!  Love, Brian Kappra, Creative Director & Chief Crazy Read the rest of this entry »


REAL STORIES: An Urban Chic Bar Mitzvah Celebration in Valley Forge

February 23, 2015
residential party design for philadelphia bar mitzvahs evantine design blue lighting

Modern garden setting inspired by a chic hotel. Evantine Design.

This bar mitzvah at the Valley Forge Casino and Convention Center challenged us as we had a very limited time frame to load in and install an intricately designed event in a cavernous space underground. Yes, challenging. If only for the WIFI hiccups. But with exceptional advanced planning (the Secret Service has nothing on Team Evantine!), as well as the right production team working together with each event professional as tightly as the Philadelphia Orchestra, only beautiful results are possible! Miles of drape, piles of carpet, crates of truss, boxes of fixtures, load after load of furniture, accessories, flowers, glassware, party favors, and who knows what else, James’ Bar Mitzvah was a real eye-popping stunner!

{Photos courtesy of Susan Beard Design}

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REAL STORIES: A Modern Blue and Purple Wedding at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia

January 9, 2015

purple and blue wedding flowers place card tables evantine design philly florists liz banfield

WITH THE COMING OF THE NEW YEAR, we’re ready to renew and refresh our blog presence beginning with, well, blogging! Duh! The last few months of 2014 were a blur of parties and events, and sadly, hopping on the blog and sharing the journey wasn’t as often as we like it to be. But we know you understand as we all get a little bogged down from time to time, right?

We ARE grateful to see that after 35 years in the weddings and events business, Evantine is not only still relevant, but THRIVING! Many, many wonderful changes are ahead of us this year, but one of those changes will be to see the end of one of our dearest event partnerships. Well, not the end, per se. Just a major shift that will require the end of a glorious era while we wait {impatiently} for the birth of a new one. Of what do we speak? The closing of the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia on One Logan Square, of course! Over the many years since the Four Seasons Hotel opened its luxurious doors at One Logan, Evantine has produced countless glamorous weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, birthday parties, private celebrations, corporate and non-profit events in its stylish rooms. Too numerous to list, frankly. Blessed, honored and grateful would be the words that come to mind in thinking of all the parties we’ve had the pleasure to design inside and outside at One Logan. We’re truly sorry to see it end!

Transformation is afoot! With its closing comes a major renovation and a new luxury hotel set to open in its place. AND, more importantly, a fabulous new home in the clouds for the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia! But where, you ask? Well, as with most things hailed as “top of the line”, not just Anywhere Philadelphia. Comcast Corp. announced in January 2014 that it would build a new skyscraper tower in Philadelphia and as part of the $1.2 billion {and climbing} project, the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia would relocate to the top of the new Comcast tower.

Well, as we like to say here in our own stylish rooms at Evantine Design, BRING IT ON! We’re ready to partner on new adventures! But first, to honor the beautiful relationship we’ve enjoyed with our friends and colleagues at the current Four Seasons Hotel property, until June when One Logan closes, we’re going to regularly feature a Four Seasons event we’ve designed. Yep, right here, All Things Four Seasons will exist on our Evantine Blog! And there’s no time like the present, so without further ado, here’s Juliet and Grant’s Modern Blue and Purple Wedding from May 2014!

{Photos courtesy of Liz Banfield Photography}

Read the rest of this entry »


Colorful Leadership Meeting for ADP at Philadelphia Museum of Art

October 3, 2014

Corporate Events Philadelphia Museum of Art Evantine Design Floral Decor

Yet again, when a client puts their complete trust in the event planning team at Evantine Design, we are only too happy to tackle every challenge to bring to life the thoughtful, branded event they imagined. Earlier this week, we produced a rainbow of modern style for ADP’s Senior Leadership Meeting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As one of the nation’s foremost destinations in which to see world-class art, the Greek Revival main building of the museum is one of the city’s most prestigious venues for corporate events. Thanks to the tremendous talent of Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele, the original architects of the building, the grand, formal nature of the museum gives us event designers much beauty to work with! From stellar, artistic lighting and special effects projected pn statues, walls and steps, to the innovative, urban-classical entertainment and branded decorative accessories, ADP’s meeting was one to remember.

But of course, as you know, we love to make a dramatic statement with our floral decor and this event was no different. Working within the traditional walls of the museum, we elevated the majestic spaces to modern times with contemporary designs that included long feast tables covered with green and white patterned linens, clean white table settings, and glossy white dinner chairs. Running the length of each of the dinner tables, we created centerpieces in custom-made white rectangle wood vases filled with low, lush ombre arrangements of flowers. Seasonal and exotic blooms, such as orchids, dahlias, hydrangea, roses, and tulips, were arranged in bright modern colors that moved from white to yellow, vibrant green, orange, magenta, red, plum, and purple. Striking, bold and yet perfect for networking across the tables.

All branded materials, from signage to menus, placecards and napkins, were orchestrated by our team to flesh out all the details into one cohesive event design. And, as mentioned earlier this week, we brought in the uber talented Black Violin to perform for the guests as yet another nod to ADP’s focus on innovation.

Knowing that it takes a village to make these types of events happen, particularly when produced in pressured, short time frames in public spaces, we thank the talented culinary team at Stephen STARR Events for their collaboration on the menu and food styling for the event.


PLANNING: A Father of the Bride Shares His Tips on Wedding Day Toasts

August 1, 2014

Nothing says “gracious” more than hearing the host of the wedding stand up and make an incredible toast to the entire room. Sure, it’s wonderful to eat delicious food and dance the night away to a fabulous band. But, seriously folks, isn’t it the emotion and the inclusion that keeps the memory of the day fresh in our minds? How you were welcomed, how you were treated and how important you felt in a room of many. That’s what these special milestone celebrations are all about.

To us wedding planners, who have seen hundreds of weddings over the years, nothing reminds us of the REASON for the party more than the heartfelt, insightful, and hopefully HUMOROUS words offered by the father of the bride. Having been blown away recently by a client’s toast, we asked him if we could pick his brain on how he developed his amazing “father of the bride” speech and if he would allow us to share his endearing toast on our blog. It was no surprise to us when he agreed and was more than happy to help. Take a look at his authentic words of wisdom as well as his incredible speech. We hope it inspires you as much as it did us…

{Photo courtesy of Cliff Mautner}

Tulin Wedding 2007 038-1

The SECRET to making a thoughtful wedding day toast starts with a simple, straight-forward approach that goes a little something like this:

  1. Welcome everyone;
  2. Thank your out-of-town guests for traveling from afar;
  3. Thank your daughter’s new in-laws;
  4. Thank your spouse profusely;
  5. Offer a general message to all the guests about the occasion;
  6. Offer a message to your new son-in-law;
  7. Offer a message to your daughter; and then end with glass raised and
  8. Make a toast to the bride and groom.

However, here are a few TOASTING RULES I learned from other fathers of the bride who shared their stories with me:

  • Never say anything even remotely disparaging about the wedding, the wedding guests or the bride and groom.  Do NOT say anything negative, even in jest, such as “I hope your marriage lasts” or “things can get tough at times” or “I wasn’t sure we were gonna make it here tonight” or anything like it. Keep it positive, keep it supportive.
  • Absolutely minimize the use of the word AND as it diminishes the importance of what comes after (except when referring to the bride “and” groom).  Make it two sentences, each standing on its own.
  • Refer to the bridal couple as “Bride and Groom” or “Groom and Bride”; but be consistent and do not switch.
  • In my speech (shared below), you will see the places where I wrote PAUSE.  Those pauses were for emphasis and make people really listen to what’s coming next as in “Sharon, PAUSE, you look so beautiful tonight…”
  • Put the microphone close to your mouth.
  • Try NOT to use a written speech, or if you do need one, hold it only for reminders. Don’t read from it.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

Now, for the WEDDING SPEECH. I am so very honored to share it with you, and with any other father of the bride who can be inspired by it for their own upcoming celebration. Every time I read it, I still weep with joy!  What a special night.  Here goes:

Nancy and I welcome all of you and thank you for being here tonight to help us celebrate Sharon and David’s wedding.  We are truly honored to share such a wonderful occasion with our family and friends.  I am especially proud to say that many of you have been our friends for 20 years, some as many as 30 years, and a few have been my friend for 50 years.

We are especially grateful to those of you who have traveled a little farther than the rest of us, including those from as far south as Florida, as far west as California and as far East as England.

To Jessica and Jon (pause), we couldn’t have asked for better machatunim to share the future with.  We look forward to celebrating simchas, holidays, good food, and good wine for many years to come…..and not only with Sharon and David.

Nancy, there is a list (pause), yes an actual list (pause), that is very long, containing the names of people who have stood in this exact position (pause), at this exact moment in their lives (pause), and with sheer amazement and pride, announced how absolutely incredible someone ELSE has been for pulling together the million details that go into creating a fabulous memory for everyone here tonight.  You may now, officially, add my name to that list.  I am truly grateful for everyday that we have each other.  I thank you and I love you.

And to those of you who root for one or more of the following 7 sports teams, (slowly) the Giants, the Redskins, the Devils, the Rangers, the Capitals, the Mets, or the Nationals, and you know exactly who you are; we who live here welcome you to Philadelphia and ask that we put our rivalry on hold ….for tonight.

Speaking of 7, many of you may not know that the number 7 has tremendous significance in Jewish history and culture; the most obvious being that the world was created in 7 days…6 days of work plus Shabbat.  But did you know that the Torah begins with a verse containing 7 words?  Or that there are 7 Jewish holidays, and that Rosh Hashanah occurs in the 7th month?  Or that there are 7 weeks between Passover, the Exodus from Egypt and Shavout, when Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mt Sinai. You saw Sharon circle David 7 times during the ceremony, and you heard Sheva Bracha, 7 blessings, recited.  There are 7 continents, 7 seas and the list goes on.

So let’s bring it a little closer to home:

  • I’ll bet you didn’t realize that Sharon and David met 7 years after they became Bar and Bat Mitzvah.
  • And, that this weekend marks exactly 7 years since the first time Nancy and I met David when he and Sharon were studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • And, to the entire Rubenstein family, David is about 7 feet tall and we are extremely happy to finally have tall genes in the family
  • And Sharon (pause), you are so beautiful and radiant tonight that Mom and I are in 7th HEAVEN 

David, when I felt the need to confirm, what Nancy and I knew for a long time, that the two of you would make fabulous soul mates and partners, I asked Sharon 7 questions…

  1. Does he treat you as an equal? (pause)
  2. Do you look forward to going home at night just so you can be with him? (pause)
  3. Does he ask for your opinion and does he listen to the answer? (pause)
  4. Is he proud of you? (pause)
  5. Does he respect what’s important to you? (pause)
  6. Does he make you laugh? (pause)
  7. Does he tell you that he loves you? (pause)

Unequivocally, and without hesitation, Sharon gave me 7 Yesses.  David (pause) you are the luckiest person in the room tonight because you are now entrusted with the lion’s share, of the heart, of our favorite daughter in the whole wide world.  Nancy and I are so happy that she chose YOU.  Though your de-facto initiation occurred many years ago, we are thrilled to officially, publicly, and with a tremendous amount of love, welcome you to our family,

(SLOWLY) Sharon, from the first moment we laid eyes on you, Mom and I have been so proud of you.  From You Are My Sunshine, to Har Zion pre school, to the pink corvette, to Do ya, do ya, do ya do yo wanna dance, to the boys baseball team, to Camp PawPaw, Harvard, New York City, the Boston Marathon, and now Penn Health, you’ve had a truly remarkable run that we are absolutely sure will continue with your latest terrific decision (pause) sharing your life with David.

So Sharon and David, here are the last 7 for the evening (pause)…Mom and I hope you will

  1. Stay healthy;
  2. Be involved in your community;
  3. Look South, not North, to see how fortunate your lives are;
  4. Stay close and connected with your family;
  5. Trust your gut – you’ve both experienced plenty of Life’s lessons;
  6. Always, always have each other’s back;
  7. and give each other unconditional love. (pause) ALWAYS.

(PUT DOWN NOTES, PICK UP GLASS)

Please join Nancy and me in a toast to Sharon and David….

You are both so incredibly fortunate to have found each other.  May your lives together always be blessed with happiness, good health and success.  And may you always know how much you are loved.

L’Chaim

 


PRESS: Brian Kappra Names Two of His Favorite Local Venues in Bride’s Magazine

January 8, 2014

Best Wedding  Venues on the East Coast Brian Kappra Evantine

Not only is Evantine’s owner and Creative Director, Brian Kappra, a Philadelphia area native, but he’s been planning events across the Northeast for over 30 years! As a result, it’s no wonder Brian is called upon by magazine editors for his insight into some of the best places to get married.  Together with other wedding experts across the nation, Brian is featured in the recent issue of BRIDES Magazine talking about the Best Wedding Venues in America.

Looking specifically at the Greater Philadelphia region, Brian loves the classic elegance of outdoor tented weddings  at Andalusia and the sexy, urban loft vibe found at Front and Palmer. Why are they high on the list? Well, there are many reasons, from the scenic views and romantic settings, to the blank slate “make it your own” qualities that both offer our brides and grooms. Take a look at just some of the fabulous weddings Brian has designed at these wedding venues:  Vibrantly Hip Outdoor Wedding at Andalusia; Lilly Pulitzer-inspired Wedding at Andalusia; and a Candlelit Wedding at Front and Palmer.

best wedding venues in philadephia brian kappra from evantine