A B'naiMitzvah for the Seiger Family. The kids wanted a modern club theme, we gave it to them. Points of interest: The tall vases held round 18" etched glass disks that served as platform for pillar candles. We found these at IKEA, a endtable you can buy for about 20 bucks, the table comes with 2 plates.
This is a Escort Card table we did for a B'naiMitzvah we did. The cards were placed in small glass photo frames and propped on top of 3" glass cubes. Small acolytes submerged in blue tinted water filled several cubes and were left bare to create a cool pattern.
We like trends, we like following trends, and we like to think we set trends or at least we like to think we are staying at the forefront of the latest trends. We all know how much garbage our businesses can create, just one moderate sized event can produce three or four 50 gallon barrels full, four bags that is so easy to just throw in the dumpster and be done with it. Going "Green" is the latest trend in event design. Clients usually associate Green events as "Organic Materials", flowers, paper, reused-repurposed items that they can feel good about cutting the massive carbon footprint they are leaving by throwing a party such as a social or corporate event.
True many florists are touting they only work with 100% organic flowers, but that is kind of a fib. Why? Because the market won't support a 100% total organic florists year around so eventually that business will suffer beyond the ability to fund a "ideal", truthfully, if someone is touting true organic flowers then they are selling bug chewed and flawed flowers. It's like going to the produce isle of a grocery market and choosing between a ripe red flawless apple or a red apple a few worm holes. The media and even a number of so called educated industry pros have carelessly condemned flower growers in South America for using pesticides, herbicides, and even contributing to the demise of poor helpless laborers by gassing them.
Where do we do to pin the label "Green" to our brand?? First we need to realize that commercial growers in South America, California, Holland, and New Zealand have made HUGE leaps in adopting sustainable methods of producing "flawless flowers" that we all want, what our clients demand from us. The system is not perfect, but they have done a fabulous job with adopting natural pest control practices, preservation, and mostly worker safety and wellbeing.
Because you buy flowers with the "Veriflora" label printed on the side of the shipping box, you are essentially supplying "sustainable" flowers, you are in fact supporting the "Green" trend. Proclaim that to your clients, don't be the end of the effort of the backs of many who assure that they are doing their part in being ecologically sustainable.
So it's basic, most of us know how to supply products that can be labeled "Green". Hooray, good for us! Really? Is that it? Kind of lazy way of looking at the whole picture, ya think? What about our operations? If we demand everyone to supply us with "Green" products shouldn't we be practicing sustainable in our own operations? We don't think twice about using buckets of preservatives and disposing it down the drain, out of sight out of mind all in the quest for giving the flower and extra few days of life. Fortunately city refuse regulations are forcing some of us to separate our recyclable materials especially for those of us who operate in a residential zone. My company moved from a DC a commercial zoned area complete with a mammoth dumpster to a rural Connecticut residential zoned area and am forced to separate garbage, recyclables that are labeled to everyday everything else. We started with a 95 gallon container once a week to that same container for recyclables once every two weeks and a 65 gallon container once a week. So I am forced to separate everything just so I don't swim in garbage.
I don't proclaim to anyone that I am a "Green" event designer, however because of my circumstances I naturally practice sustainable ways of dealing. First off is my garbage. Fortunately I live on a piece of land that I built a barn/studio on so I can easily dump all my green waste in a compost pile. This accounts for more then half of my waste. I have two barrels in my studio, one for collecting greens, and one for plastics and odds. I salvage everything, I precut Oasis before soaking so I'm not disposing chunks of wet foam. Much of the packing materials like bubble wrap, paper, styro, I use for transporting. All my shipping boxes are returned to the wholesalers. I use milk creates instead of cardboard for transporting everything to an event. Everything that is recycable goes in the bin for collection. We have a city refusal transpher station that I can take everything else that is recycable, wood, used oil, paint cans, etc. If you live in a commercial zoned area maybe you can collect your greens an barrels and have a driver load and dump at a community compost pile. Or maybe you can request a separate bin or pick up container from your city. I think the point is to try and separate anything recyclable, wasteful, from your green material.
We do in the summer and fall months buy from various local flower farmers that do grow organic flowers and that helps, the quality is usually very good but it is seasonal and varieties are limited to few weeks of mature crop harvest. I do grow various plants on my property but hope to eventually grow quite a bit: boxwood, curly willow, hydrangea, magnolia, peony, and various shrubs.
Some of the products we offer like soy candles help, the paper products, we try to use recycled papers, invitations, office paper, etc. Much of my propwork I save and refashion new props from. You would be surprised what you can find at second hand stores and antique shops, even tag sales are a wealth of inexpensive prop material and vases headed for the landfill.
Going "Green" does cut into our profits, it means a few extra steps in our all ready overburdened days. But you have to look at it as an investment into our industries survival. There are many examples of industries failing because they happen to be stuck in a unsustainable business model. Paper Magazines, inefficient, reliant on forest products and heavy oil consuming transport methods. Lets not follow path, do what we can now because what we do affects the long term survival of events in the future. Markets adjust because the end users set the demand and the entire industry sets it's own trend because there are many creative and conscious people working hard everyday to sustain the earth and it's resources.
As I was secretly stealing left over hors d'oeuvres last weekend out of the venue kitchen I thought "man this good, a shrimp on a fried cracker with a pineapple glaze" but you know, a summer wedding, you need fresh, you need fresh and wet, something clean and healthy.
Of course if you are taking my suggestion and following Jenna's blog Charm and Salt, her latest post "Light Fare" would have been the perfect pairing to a refreshing drink. A mozzarella, basil leaf, and cherry tomato on a single bite skewer sprinkled with a flavored olive oil and lightly dusted with salt and pepper.
This is a great illusion and will create a "wow" factor. If you place a smaller glass cylinder inside a larger cylinder and fill them with water, the weight of the smaller cylinder will actually lower the water line below the water line in the larger cylinder. Has something to do with rocket science I'm sure but the finished illusion is that a candle will burn under water. Tint the water and submerge some long orchid strands for an enhanced look. The only expensive thing about the arrangement is lugging all that water.
This cute center, placed on a children's table was so easy to make. A green metal pail purchased at the Christmas Tree Shop for $2.99, 50 yellow carnations inserted in a 6 inch Oasis Wet Foam Sphere. I recommend spaying a heavy coat of Crowning Glory on the Carnations and this arrangement will last over 2 weeks. A simple folded table number is placed over the pail's handle.
It's Sunday, 12:oo on NPR is about to roll around and Garrison Keiller and his show A Prairie Home Companion will aire. The highlight of my week, time to turn the radio on and prepare to be transported to a simpler time, a safer world, unscripted stories of simple points. Love the music and characters on the show. Loving this show in anticipation reminds me of a time when as kids we would gather around the tele 7pm on Sunday to watch Walt Disney in hopes that this week they would broadcast a cartoon.
Looks like I will miss this years A Prairie Home Companion performed and broadcasted from Tanglewood, my wife and friends failed miserably by not picking up on my subtle hints, it's my Birthday you know.
So yesterday, it's hot, I'm setting up a tent for the kids at the BatMitzvah, I had to suspend 35 lanterns. As always the caterers have to set up bars as you work which means if you are hungry or in this case parched, you simply are distracted by bodily needs.
Jordans Caterers had set this kid's bar, the drink of the night was fresh squeezed Lemonade in cute Mason Jar glasses with handles and they sugared the rim.
Damn they looked good. Damn they looked good. I wonder if when the tender turns his back would she notice one missing, should maybe I ask for one? Damn it's hot, I'm thirsty, got to move this ladder, I'm only on lantern 16, damn they look good.
We produced a BarMitzvah at the New Britain Museum of Arts yesterday. One of the highlights was the Escort Card Table. When we have parties that require Wheat Grass, my fingernails are always chewed off by event time. Through years of experience growing Wheat Grass it is always a touch and go, we want at least four inches and we want it when the blades get that open spoon look. We typically process the seed for planting 7 days before the event and plant 6 days, this is what works for us, but there are so many various conditions that speed or slow growth, old seed, temperature, this time Marcy actually planted the grass for the first time as I was in DC for another event. I was so proud that she exceeded in something that has always been my domain, she babied the seeds, soaking in clean water and rinsing every so often, she prepared the soil perfectly, and never over watered, she did everything right and still the grass grew to 5 inches, but it was fine, we could have planted 5 days prior but it was a new shipment of seed so there is no chance for experimentation.
The Escort Board is a picture frame that I designed with Hosta and Aspedistra leaves with a row of yellow Gerbera Daisies.
This is Jenna. Could there ever be a cuter young woman on the face of the earth? I love my moments with her, she sides as a Wedding Planner with Pineapple Productions, a DC based Planning Firm. Fun, funny, interesting, and unbeknown to me, one hell of a chef. If you like food and wit check out Jenna's blog Charm & Salt.
I had to share a couple of great color shots I stumbled upon on Oh Happy Day. We actually have used the green pallet before without the saffron which I will admit is a great contrast to the aquamarine.
I think this is funny, but I also think it's kind of a wake up call to those of us who produce products and services for social events. Of course there has to be some sort of justification for the prices we charge not forgetting to remember that brides can practically buy the same products we can and these days at the same prices. Fortunately for those who realize that it's the creativity and service that we offer and produce is what justifies the value of our product.
I am finding images like these maddening. I know there are folks volunteering their time and resources capturing and cleaning these poor creatures, but somehow I am finding myself repulsed with the whole idea of off-shore drilling. Not trying to be political here, but I've just heard that a second well has been leaking since Katrina, only a barrel a day, so were told, but frankly we've been fed a bucket of shit. If this catastrophe does not prove that oil consumption is ruining our environment, then we as a species truly deserve our fate. We can see this dismal proof so far through birds, we have not even begun to see the fate of other species effected, yet.
As this poison makes it's way to the Atlantic Currents it will eventually produce a world wide famine for all species. Now I'm not a religious man but when this whole thing began with the burning Oil Rig crashing into the Gulf and immediately I thought of this biblical prophecy:
Rev. 8:10-11: The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water-- the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
Elizabeth Duncan, the best assistant I ever had and now a planner with Pineapple Productions in DC submitted this wedding we worked on together to Style Me Pretty. So delighted with the photos.
This wedding took place at the Cosmo Club in DC, a members only club, this venue holds some of DC's most prestigious society weddings and dinners, it has done so for a very long time. This Ballroom is adjacent to a room were the likes of Albert Einstein and his associates drew up plans for the first atomic bomb.