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.

 


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.


Welcome to Camp MATTitou, A Summer Camp Bar Mitzvah!

January 4, 2016

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WELCOME to Camp MATTitou at The Ritttenhouse! A summer camp-themed bar mitzvah we designed last April for Matthew, a young adventurer who loves his summers at Camp Manitou in Oakland, Maine. Morphing the party into Camp MATTitou, we integrated special elements of his beloved camp experiences into the event décor and food styling of his milestone celebration while still maintaining a sophisticated tone.

{Photos courtesy of Susan Beard Design}

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SIGN UP FOR CAMP came in the way of warm, rustic, camp-inspired party invitations. The feeling and tone of the event was communicated to each guest, young and old, through whimsical motifs, logos, and typefaces that we carried throughout the entire event. In fact, just as campers would see as they arrived at the real Camp Manitou in Maine, the first decorative piece party guests saw upon arrival was our tall directional sign post. Emblazoned with the camp logo and positive, inspiring words representing party activities, the sign post was placed at just the right spot to help encourage guests to venture further into the party.

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INTO THE WOODS WE GO! The entrance to the event space included a weathered-wooden fence, a Camp Mattitou sign, low shrubs, tall birch trees, and dramatic lighting to set the “outdoor” tone.

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BUNK ASSIGNMENTS were given to the kids on a giant bulletin board covered with posters, camp announcements, photos of Matt with his friends, and clipboards.  Traveling trunks labeled with Matt’s name and his camp friends were stacked next to the bulletin board along with sports equipment and typical camp gear.

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PERSONALIZED LOCKERS were designed for the kids to stash their shoes, phones, and fun favors in as they collected them through the night. Old logs were placed around a faux bonfire in the center of the lockers to help kids get their shoes off and party socks ON!

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BUNK BEDS were placed near the lockers and were piled with camp gear, blankets, snacks, sports gear, towels, stickers, and personalized pillows.  At the end of the evening, the bunk beds became a part of our Candy Canteen.

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PHOTO FUNTASTIC! We provided the façade of a summer camp cabin to be used as a photo wall, complete with window frames for the kids to duck behind, hang out of, cramp into, etcetera as take home photo favors. Rustic benches, old guitars and fiddles, and other fun country props were placed on the cabin porch.

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FUNTOWN! Of course, you can’t have a successful summer camp experience without other games and activities for the kids, which is why we provided and managed MANY throughout the night branded Funtown “Splashtown” USA, a local water/amusement park near Camp Mattitou. Banners marked the entrance to Funtown “Splashtown” and we created a fun ‘park directory’ map/sign for the activities area that included summer favorites like Double Pop-a-Shot, Jet Ski Simulators,, White Water Rafting, and Skee Ball, to name a few.

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WELCOME TO VISITING DAY signage was placed at the entrance to the adult cocktail area.

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PEG BOARD SEATING. Our weathered white wooden peg board was used to display camp-themed “activity card” seating assignments for the adults.  Later in the evening we turned this same peg board into a fun, grab what you want, Doughnut Board!

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FOOD CABINS for the adults made sure all the kids at every age got to enjoy the playful theme. Starting with the Hot Dog & Artisan Beer Cabin, a rustic wood cabin façade with a selection of hot dogs with various rolls and toppings.

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LOBSTAH! Then, a huge favorite, the Mac & Cheese Cabin with adult-style interpretations of the Americana-favorite comfort food. Come on now, Lobster Mac & Cheese? Get in line, people. Get. In. Line.

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ALL LOGO’D UP! Of course, we had to use all Camp Mattitou’s fun summer camp logos and signs on the cocktail napkins! The matted natural colors and Native American/Western influences were PERFECT!

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ON TO THE BIG PARTY in the Grand Ballroom which we transformed into a magical, high-energy, outdoor celebration under the stars! Long wooden tables, gingham fabric tablecloths, raw wood cross back chairs, wildflowers, wheat grass, and lanterns of every kind were placed in a room dripping with stars and subtle details.

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THE MESS HALL aka “the kids tables” were a bit more stylish than what Matt usually experiences at summer camp. Long wooden tables with matching bar stools were placed together in the room. Keeping things simple and safe, we placed low arrangements of wheat grass, wildflowers and faux candles on each table.

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ADULT DINNER TABLES were designed with fabulous arrangements of natural elements such as moss, fern, succulents, flowering branches, wood, and other earthy things you would find on the forest floor. Combined with beautiful imported flowers of the season such as Narcissus, Lady Slipper Orchids, Ranunculus, Protea, Hellebores, Fritillaries, Amaryllis, Ornithogalum, Viburnum, Gloriosa, Peonies, and others. On the two longest wooden tables, we suspended wooden and wire mesh lanterns from stained wooden frame structures. Water gardens with moss, rocks, and flowers were placed beneath the lanterns for table top admiration. Flanking these were tall birch trees in leaf with under-plantings of natural designs of flowers and candles. Vintage lanterns were tucked everywhere into the designs. 

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LETTERS FROM CAMP with sweet, sentimental notes from Matt were created as memorable menu cards that blew the guests away! Quite possibly, our favorite detail of the event.

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RUSTIC BARS were custom-designed in our wood shop using re-purposed wood planks, moss and birch branches. Placed at the back of the ballroom for the adults to enjoy, our back bars with rustic wooden shelves and country lanterns added a soft glow.

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SHINING STARS in the form of fiber optic curtains were on every perimeter wall but that only drew the guests eyes to the dance floor! We installed dramatic lighting for Matt’s event, breathing life and excitement into the design of the room. Soft lighting was directed onto the tables in candlelit washes and pin-spots highlighted the floral centerpieces. And, of course, dynamic lighting was installed to move with the groove of LA Stars on stage!

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DRESSING UP the hotel’s parquet dance floor with a large Camp Mattitou logo just made sense. Up above the dance floor, to simulate dancing under the trees, we hung branches and lanterns.

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MULTI MEDIA may not be welcome at every summer camp in favor of activities out of doors, but it was at Camp Mattitou! Two 80” plasma screens were framed in faux timber and were used all night! Most importantly, the screens were used to share Matt’s photo montage. Then, the screens projected the Camp Mattitou logos as well as fun “camp announcements” inviting campers to join their bunkmates for hot waffles, or at the Candy Canteen, or to say it was time to pack up and head home, etc.

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THE CANDY CANTEEN was more than just obscene amounts of nostalgic old time and modern day candies displayed in metal baskets and wooden boxes. Oh no, it was so much more than that! It was a Waffle Station, Doughnut Board and S’mores Extravaganza! Branded burlap bags could be filled up with candy store favorites for the bus ride home while kids munched on freshly made waffles and adults devoured brightly-frosted doughnuts. Passed mini ice cream cones made sure even those guests unwilling to leave the dance floor could enjoy a sweet bite!

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WE’D LIKE S’MORES PLEASE! Can’t fight it, a campy reference was inevitable! But everyone loved the S’mores extravaganza we set up with table top camp ‘fires’, along with other vessels to contain the sticks, marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers.  The benches previously used during the cocktail reception were placed around the s’mores fire for a cozy fireside feel.

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PARTY ON CAMPERS! While guests danced the night away, our team of event managers were hard at work supervising the kids, collecting gifts and cards, changing over food stations, moving set displays, organizing the kids’ sweatshirt favors into their lockers, loading kids on and off buses, and packing up care packages of goodies for hotel guests to enjoy the next day. WHEW! Party on campers, party on.

Mazel tov Matt!

{Credits: Event Design, Lighting, Flowers, Furniture, Party Games, Artwork & Party Planning: Evantine Design; Venue and Catering: The Rittenhouse; Band/Entertainment: LA Stars; Photography: Susan Beard Design}


REAL STORIES: Celebrating Club Cory on this Mitzvah Monday!

April 13, 2015

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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
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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

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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}

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Colorful Leadership Meeting for ADP at Philadelphia Museum of Art

October 3, 2014

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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.