Wednesday, September 29, 2010

{Tip} "Thanks" the perfect gift!

So how many of you have been to a baby or bridal shower (or other event) and you were given a blank envelope? "What's this?" you ask the hostess. "Oh just write your name and address on it," replies the hostess. "It's for the thank you card the guest of honor will send you."

Okay I don't know about everyone else but this always irks my etiquette button. I never comment on the situation when it occurs. I simply grab a pen and fill out the envelope. But a couple of weeks later when I get the card ... it just feels weird to see my own handwriting on the envelope. Now don't get me wrong, I think it's a wonderful thing to do for the guest of honor. But it just seems a bit of a nuisance and kind of tacky for the guests.

My new favorite gift, when I'm hosting a gift giving event for someone, is to give them a set of thank you cards along with address labels for all of their guests and stamps. I give this to the guest of honor at the end of the event to be opened later, so they're not opening up their thank you cards in front of everyone. I like to give address labels instead of handwriting the address on each of the envelopes. This way if the guest of honor wishes to use different thank you cards the ones given can still be used at another time without having to buy all new envelopes for them. And while handwritten addresses for thank you cards are a really nice touch, I think most people will over look labels for a busy bride/expectant mother. And the guest of honor can always choose to hand-write the addresses instead of using the labels if they prefer, and the labels are still a big convenience since all of the guests names and addresses are readily available for them to copy.

I also think this is the perfect gift for the hostess since it is not very expensive, and lets face it, after throwing someone a shower giving them a big, expensive gift isn't usually at the top of the list. I also try and give a thank you card designed to match the style of the party. I think it's a nice touch that the event flows seamlessly from the initial invitation all the way through the event down to the thank you card.

I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on this gift idea. Would you enjoy receiving it if you're the guest of honor? As a guest if you found out the guest of honor received this as a gift, would it tarnish the thank you card when it comes in the mail?

Some of my thank you card designs

Friday, September 24, 2010

Oviatt Penthouse Grand Opening Party

Last night I attended an event put on by Truly Yours Catering at the Historic Oviatt Penthouse in Downtown Los Angeles. They are now the exclusive caterers for the site and threw the party for wedding and corporate event planners.

I've never been to this location before so I was very excited to finally see it in person. This was a great opportunity to view the property because not only did we get to sample the food, but the tours of the penthouse had a wealth of information on the history of the building as well as on using it for events.

Now for a tour of the location!

We pulled up to the building and were greeted by valet parking. This was nice because ... well it's downtown! There are parking lots all over but many of them closed at 8pm or earlier, which is inconvenient for an evening affair. I was not overly impressed by the outside of the building. It didn't stand out when I drove up to it and I had to look at the address to make sure it was the right location.

Cicada restaurant is located on the first floor so that is what you see as you pull up. I didn't see any signage stating it was the Oviatt Building, which was a bit confusing. The entrance area was where the look of the site started to improve.

You then turn left and enter the center elevator (the only one which goes to the penthouse). It's beautiful and the interior is covered in carved wooden panels. When you reach the top the doors open up to an entry room.

Straight ahead you can enter the bride's room. This is a gorgeous bedroom with a patio and Moroccan themed bathroom, that only the bride and disabled guests can use because it's original plumbing (almost 100 years old).

Bridal room

View from the bridal room

View from the bridal room patio


Down the hall is the first bar and a small room which would be great for entertaining guests while they're waiting for the ceremony to start or during a cocktail hour. The bar is a gorgeous example of the art deco design of the building. Next you step up onto the rooftop patio. This is where ceremonies and receptions take place. There is space for another bar on this level.

You can then go up another flight of stairs to the upper rooftop. This area only has enough room for about 40 guests but it also has the best view being the highest point and room for one more bar. This top roof also has a view of the Oviatt's clock tower. This is a nice photo opportunity although do it during the daylight because the numbers light up at night and not all of them illuminate.

I think this location is lovely but definitely not a large space. If you're looking for a unique downtown type of venue for less than 100 people this would definitely work. The Oviatt is only 13 floors so it's surrounded by larger buildings now. The lights from these buildings' windows is lovely though. I would say the highlight of the Oviatt though is the interior. All the woodwork in the bar, floors, and built-in furniture is beautiful.

Now on to the food!

I've worked with Truly Yours Catering at events before and have been pretty happy with them. They're professional and their food is pretty tasty, in my opinion. (Stay tuned for a review of their food at a wedding I recently coordinated.) I went to the event with one of my assistants and she didn't enjoy the food as much as I did. So, as with anything, it's all a manner of opinion. What we both did agree on was the vodka and pomegranate drink special they served. It was amazing! My assistant and I both had to go back for seconds.

As for the food, it included a mashed potato bar, a sushi spread, passed hor d'oeuvres, and a dessert table.

I was a big fan of the mashed potato bar. It was self-serve, which is always nice when you want to pile on toppings. They used martini glasses to hold the potatoes which really made it feel more upscale. The topping choices were plentiful: garlic, olives, sun dried tomatoes, green onions, caramelized onions, mushrooms, bacon bits, etc. The only difficulty was serving yourself and eating it if you had a drink in your other hand.

The sushi was decent and prepared at the serving table as it was eaten. I'm a sushi snob and don't normally enjoy buffet style sushi but I did go back for seconds.

I enjoyed most of the passed hors d'oeuvres. What I really didn't like was the ceviche. It was served in tall shot glasses. This made it difficult to eat, because tipping it back into your mouth caused all of the liquid to come out, but none of the fish. This made the flavor too fishy for me and I didn't even try and dig the fish out of the glass. My favorite hors d'oeuvres was the spicy spoonful of pear and ahi. It was a nice combination and just enough spice to make it interesting.

Finally there was the dessert table. It looked pretty with all the individual servings, but I was disappointed there wasn't any signage. There were so many options but nothing to tell you what any of them were. As for taste I'd say they were average. Nothing I tried got me excited but they were enjoyable.

General Event Information
Maximum # of guests: 125
Site Fees: Friday $2500 / Saturday $2000 & $4300 / Sunday $1500 & $2500
Additional Fees: Up to $990 (Fire Marshall, Security, Cleaning)
Hours: Friday 4PM-1AM / Saturday 9AM-4PM & 6PM-1AM / Sunday 9AM-4PM & 6PM-1AM

Address: 617 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Contact: Roxy Adlesh
Phone: (818) 753-9110


Included in fees: Chairs, tables, linens, tableware, black and white checkered dance floor

Monday, September 20, 2010

EEAD finally enters the blogosphere!

Hello everyone! I'm so excited to finally be writing my first Enchanted Events blog post. It has been on my to do list for quite a long time, and I really enjoy crossing things off of my to do list! So here I am, and I've decided that my first post should be about me and the purpose of this blog. After all, many of you may be wondering why or if you should be reading this blog at all. So let me spend my first post talking about what Enchanted Events & Design and I are all about.

I started this company back in 2004. I am one of those notorious brides turned event planners. I got engaged and fell in love with everything wedding. Before planning my own wedding throwing a party consisted of sending out an Evite and making sure there was enough food and seating. The concept of sitting down to actually plan out decor and time lines was foreign to me, but the act of doing just this for my own wedding got me hooked!

Although my primary love and specialty is wedding days I've also branched out more and more into other events; bridal and baby showers, children's parties, birthdays and more! I love the process of making each event special, unique, beautiful and of course enjoyable.

I hope to use this blog to not only share with you my events and designs, but also to write about different aspects of parties and especially weddings. There are so many traditions wrapped up in getting married both old and new. And I believe each event has its own guidelines to follow. Tradition works beautifully for many people but for others there is a need to break the mold and dare to be different. The success of an event is based on finding the perfect line between the two. I look forward to delving into these topics and hearing your comments!

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