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Ask the Expert: Summer Events That Are Fresh + Memorable
Q. Do you have any fresh ideas for planning a memorable event for a summer's evening?
A. Provided by Robbie Freund, Event Designer
Like no other season, summer graces us with an abundance of vibrant colors, fragrant flowers, fresh foods and glorious weather tailor-made to please the senses. Incorporating all these elements into your summer evening event is the key to making the night memorable.
For a recent evening cocktail reception at the Warwick Hotel in Denver, I integrated a variety of sensory elements to enhance the event and to make the evening pleasing for the guests on every level.
Sight-- Make the most of what you already have.
The Warwick features a spectacular view of the Denver city lights, so rather than compete with that vista, I kept the decor elegantly simple. The eye-catching outdoor pool became even more stunning with the addition of floating orange and turquosie battery-operated luminaries. Finally, because guests like to see what they're eating, I placed small, battery-operated spotlights on the buffet tables arranged so they illuminated the food.
Touch--Fabric plays a major role in event design.
This season, fabric texture is as important as color and layering. "Bold" and "expressive" dominate the current trend, while lighting adds interest and the illusion of texture to drapery.
To appeal to the tactile senses, I dressed the cocktail tables in summery linen of turquoise ribbon swirl taffeta. Each table was then crowned with centerpieces of deep orange tulips, peacock feathers and fiddlesticks in uplit clear cube vases that had been filled with turquoise beads to create a mosaic of textures.
The food tables were draped with turquoise ribbon swirl taffeta and topped with a sequin shimmer overlay, all inviting to touch.
Smell--A fragrant bouquet fo scents.
In addition to the mouthwatering aroma of delicious food, fresh flowers engage your guests' senses and heighten the enjoyment of the ambiance.
To create an exhilarating, earthy and yet delicate perfume, I placed a large centerpiece of deep orange roses, willow and monstera leaves on each of the food tables, the fragrances capturing the very essence of summer.
Taste--Succulent Summer Flavors.
No other season rivals summer for refreshing flavors that entice your guests' appetites.
For the Warwick event, I included a signature cocktail that incorporated a summery fruit flavor--the Classic Mango Martini.
The menu for table appetizers featured some favorite farmer's market ingredients, including Mini Brie Quesadillas with Fresh Fruit Salsa, Salmon Canapes, Grilled Figs with Prosciutto, and Savory Chicken Bites. The passed appetizers offer the same summer freshness with California Caponata on Assorted Crackers, Mini Black Bean, Corn and Shrimp Tacos, and Bruschetta Cups. Dessert Shooters topped off the evening, offering an array fo choices and flavors.
Sound--Set the Night to Music.
Music is one of the easiest ways to create a mood or even transport your guests to another time or place. For this particular event, a three-piece jazz ensemble provided background music while the guests mingled and reveled in the sensory pleasures of a lovely summer's evening.
Robbie Freund is an imaginative and energetic event designer utilizing her degrees in Interior Design and Event Management. She is highly skilled in communicating a message or impression about an organization through the coordination of activities for small and large groups. Robbie's passion for creativity and her love for expression has led her to create original and unique tablescapes and decor. You can see Robbie's portfolio of her past events at www.tablescapesbydesign.com