Riley’s 1st Birthday Party @ Brooklyn Winery

When Annmarie, one of my favorite brides, called to plan her daughter Riley’s first birthday bash–I knew it was going to be a blast. Annmarie and Brian are all about sharing life’s most exciting milestones with their incredible family and friends–and I knew Riley’s party could not disappoint. Annmarie knows how to throw a great party–and that’s why I LOVE working with her.

As always, she tasked me with finding a fabulous urban space. She wanted an “outdoor” beergarden-like atmosphere–but one that was weather-proof (last year, we needed to bring in a tent last minute when her gorgeous baby shower was suddenly threatened by thunderstorms!). She was open to different New York City boroughs, so we headed over the Williamsburg Bridge Brooklyn Winery. Their popular outdoor courtyard had just received a massive facelift including a temperature-controlled, glass-roof atrium!  It was cool, hip, and delicious. Check.

A winery? For a first birthday–I know, it’s out of the box. But that’s what this party was all about–creating a laid-back, cool, grown-up environment for Annmarie & Brian’s friends to enjoy while entertaining the growing brood of offspring among their set (many of whom I met four years ago when I planned their wedding).  Working with Brooklyn Winery, we created a menu that featured Annmarie & Brian’s signature sophisticated plays on kid food–a Mac ‘N Cheese Bar with all the Fixings, BBQ sliders, French Fry Station with Dipping Sauces and fun passed bites, and a gorgeously-stocked bar of old-fashioned sodas and libations.

To make this hipster joint a bit more girly for Riley’s celebration, we chose a palette of hot pink and orange — with chevron all over. I popped hot pink chevron runners on the rustic farm tables, and added a touch of whimsy with a collection of handmade paper pinwheels and tulle poms that I discovered on Etsy’s Shanz Partaaay Decor!

And really, who are we kidding? This was a kid’s party–and the little ones deserved a special place to call their own. I created a space just for them with a custom checkerboard rug, complete with activities, face-painting by the amazing Sharon, and of course, I styled the ultimate sweets station with printables by Chandelier Events and confections from my friends over at Sweet City Candy.

 We’ll post more pics from this adorable in our gallery soon!

So be sure to check back on the spotlight blog. Happy Summer.

Spotlight on "Vintage Confections"

Stuffing an Easter basket or satisfying a sweet-tooth? We can hardly resist these gorgeous gems from Chicago-based Vintage Confections

From their mint-chocolate-chip lollipops to their whimsical candied moustaches to their series of candied birth gems, we’re going crazy-for-Cocoa-Puffs over their inventive selection. They even serve up corn-syrup-free lollipops in fun flavors like citrus blossom, pomengranate, almond, clove and peppermint. I am hoping to find their rose-water marshmallows in my mother’s day package (hint, hint)…We’re also a big fan of their caramel collection (can you say, Lavendar Caramel!) and their monogram line which features 3″ candied letters and numbers. What a great caketopper!

Right now, they’re running a sweet promotion: get a free 1/4 lb. of ANY caramel of your choosing with ANY $10 order. Just put FREECARAMELS in ‘notes to seller’ on their Etsy shop checkout along with the caramel of your choosing. They’ll include it free with your order!

Chandelier Event: Everything Roses 1st Birthday Party

 Planner: Chandelier Events; Florals: Anne Miller for Little Flower Shoppe; Photo: Stacey Ilyse Photography

Planner: Chandelier Events; Florals: Anne Miller for Little Flower Shoppe; Photo: Stacey Ilyse Photography

 Planner: Chandelier Events; Florals: Anne Miller for Little Flower Shoppe; Photo: Stacey Ilyse Photography

 Planner: Chandelier Events; Florals: Anne Miller for Little Flower Shoppe; Photo: Stacey Ilyse Photography

Planner: Chandelier Events; Venue: HoHoKus Inn & Tavern, NJ; Florals: Anne Miller for Little Flower Shoppe; Photo: Stacey Ilyse Photography

This little Chandelier shindig was an especially sweet one for me to plan because it was for my own little girl–and I got my favorite local gals on board to bring it to life. 

We whipped up a chic event for a very small group of friends to celebrate this special moment. We went with a “Pinkalicious” palette–well, because it’s not only her favorite book, but I have to say she is definitely pinkalicious herself. 

Inspired by pink mercury glass vases that I fell in love with at first site, I consulted my friend, the amazingly-talented Anne Miller of Ridgewood, NJ’s Little Flower Shoppe (my neighborhood gem) to pull together lush centerpieces of ranunculus, David Austen roses, red and blackberries, grey dusty miller, carnations (yes! carnations).  She brought my dream of a giant pink floral “M” for Meri to life on the mantel and embellished it with carnation fairy balls on crystal pedestals.

For dessert, we filled containers with all hues of blush, from strawberry m&m’s to bubblegum rock candy from Sweet City Candy (which happens to be owned by my friend Lauren, who I’ve known since I was ONE myself)…and of course, popped a butterfly or two wherever the space needed a little extra fairy dust. 

HoHoKus Inn & Tavern did not disappoint with their lunch menu that featured a fresh strawberry and goat cheese salad, butternut squash ravioli served in mini cast iron skillets, and the most delicious death-by-chocolate mudslide cookies I’ve ever had. Meri got to feast on her very own cake created by our Brooklyn-based friend Cheryl Kleinman–the outside featuring pleated pink fondant, and inside, a Neopolitan-ice-cream-inspired confection with chocolate devil’s food cake with vanilla bean and raspberry mousse filling. 

And all of this was preserved in beautiful photos of the very wonderful Stacey Ilyse!

Looking back on this one just reminds me of how sweet she makes my every single day.

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