The Week Before An Event

With only a little over a week to finalize details, I’m working hard to put together an amazing bar mitzvah at a four star hotel in Stamford, Connecticut. Although it is stressful to design such a great event, I’m happy to be a part of a pivotal point of a young man’s life. 

The week before a big event consists of ordering favors and decor, calling to double and triple check previous orders are on their way, and of course, setting up! 

We’ve been working on this event for months! I’m looking forward to seeing our vision come to life. We’ll be taking a lot of pictures! Interested in how it will turn out? Check out our facebook and twitter page to keep updated! 


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An Amazing Event at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

Last month, I had the opportunity to work with a dream client from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. She was planning an event at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After doing a site visit, we designed an event with a lot of impact and a small budget. The client wanted something upbeat and fun after several days of serious meetings, so she chose a South American theme for décor and food in this historical building.

SONY DSC                    SONY DSC

The event dining room was splashed with shades of tiger lily and fuchsia. We used glass, water, orchids, and underwater lights to accent the tables and bring a tropical feel to the room. It was fun combining modern décor with the historic paintings.


The guests arrived and went to the second floor gallery amidst the 18th and 19th century sculptures and paintings. It was a perfect place to have cocktails and conversations with peers while being visually stimulated by the artworks. At that time, the guests wandered through the galleries before going into the dining area. They looked delighted upon entering the rotunda to the drums and strings from the Brazilian band that echoed from wall to wall, filling the once quiet gallery with the beats of South America.

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A busy Spring (so far!)

A lot has been going on with Barbara Jo Saler Events since the fall– I can’t believe how quickly time has flown!

I started the year with a bang, attending The Special Event at the end of January. For those who don’t know about it, The Special Event is a conference that happens once a year in a different city. This year it was in Tampa, Florida. What a great place to get away from gray winter days, even just for a weekend. I had a really great time, and learned a lot at the workshops and seminars I attended. Topics that stuck out to me were lighting and tables. Under-lighting or putting the lighting inside water is a great look for a center piece. It pops. As for tables, square and rectangular alone or mixed with circular make floor plans more interesting. Keep mirrored tables in mind too….Besides absorbing information and brainstorming new styles and ideas, I saw friends and colleagues from all over the world and attended fabulous events connected with the conference.

Last month, Miriam and I attended a bridal showcase at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park. Stephen Starr Events and Uncommon Events hosted it for brides to be, planners, designers, etc. Along with vendors, catered treats, and displays, they showed off an interesting wedding in the round option for inclement weather. Getting excited for an October wedding I’m just beginning to plan at the Horticulture center!

We have a handful of events on our platter that we’re working on now. First off is the 10th annual tribute event for the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy outside of Philadelphia. I was struggling to find the perfectly sized cocktail table for a small seating area, but a trip to Ikea solved that problem. The next step is custom painting. We are doing a 20″ high butter-colored damask fabric on a curved wall that will lend a lot of drama to the decor. Keeping with their blue and yellow school colors, we will hopefully luck out with towering forsythia in tall glass containers.

Now that I’ve convinced my June bride that mirrored tables are the rage, the next step is figuring out how to fit it all in her budget!


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WCI’s Annual Gala

The past few weeks have been very busy for Barbara-Jo Saler Events.  We have been preparing for an important event; Women’s Campaign International’s annual gala at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.  As with any event, there were some challenges.  We were kept on a strict budget which meant we had to be resourceful in our decorating. By digging through the storage unit for vases, napkins, candle holders and anything else that could be useful, then shopping around for the best priced flowers and linens, we were able to take the Metropolitan Club’s gorgeous space and create a soft, intimate mood for the event. Once the linens were laid, the tables set and the candles lit, it was finally time to sit back and enjoy a wonderful evening.  After weeks of trying to pull together all the details of an event, it is always a great feeling to watch the guests arrive and enjoy the night as it unfolds.  Our keynote speaker was Cherie Blair and it was a privilege to be in the presence of a woman who has spent so much time dedicating her life to bettering the lives of women around the world.  We had a delicious dinner followed by an auction to raise money for Women’s Campaign International.  The entire evening was fabulous.  Women’s Campaign International does such great work all over the world and it is an honor to be a part of the work they are doing.

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Another Great Event

The wedding at Merion Tribute House went off without a hitch.  From the ceremony to the food to the music it was truly an event to remember.  Although the reports were calling for rain, we did not let the potential bad weather ruin our plans.  Sunday morning the skies were clear and the ground was dry, which allowed us to have the ceremony outdoors as planned.  It was a gorgeous day and everything was going according to plan.  The grand piano was set on the stage, the food stations were ready to serve and the ceremony was coming to a close when the clouds started to roll in.  Fortunately, every guest was so engrossed in the ceremony that they hardly seemed to notice the few sprinkles that fell.  Following the ceremony, several food stations and bars, set up both in and outside the Merion Tribute House, invited guests to casually mingle while munching on some delicious foods.  There was a sushi bar, meat cooked over hot rocks, red peppers stuffed with potatoes and sausage, almost anything you could ask for.  Trays of seafood surrounded a magnificent ice sculpture.  Of course, the evening did not end there.  A friend of the bride happened to be a world renowned pianist and offered to play a short concert as his gift to the couple.  He played three wonderful pieces that brought the crowd to their feet in applause.  Stacks of red velvet and carrot cake cupcakes along with tiramisu shakes awaited the guests upon conclusion of the concert.  The evening ended with chatter and dancing, and everyone left with a smile on their face.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

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Wow, can you believe its almost August?

It is hard to believe that August is just around the corner. The office has been very busy working on upcoming events and designing new marketing concepts. I’ll be heading to the Hamptons in two weeks for a fabulous 70th birthday party at the Paumanok Vineyard. I’ve just connected with a local, wholesale florist putting together beautiful centerpieces of garden roses, hydrangeas and lots of interesting greens.

I’m off to New York City next week for appointments and to see the fabulous Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met. I hear it is a not to-be missed!

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Why You Need a Wedding Planner

People always ask me why you need a wedding planner. With venues offering to “help you out” and other sources claiming wedding expertise you never know who to believe.  I have an intern this summer who has a sister getting married in a couple weeks in August.  She’s one of those, “do it yourself,” kind of women.  She bought into the venues services and is under the influence that there is no need for a planner when she could do it herself and that the venue can handle anything.   Because as they told her, nothing ever goes wrong at a wedding so why spend money when you can save it, right? Wrong.

 So far she has an August wedding with over 200 guests and an outside venue with the starting at 4:30pm.  We already have a few concerns (4:30 being the heat of the day).  So my intern decided to tell me this story.  They went for a walkthrough the day before another wedding that would be having their ceremony also at 4:30. My intern’s family went to check out the site to get a feel for what their day would hold for them.  Everything seemed to be accounted for, running smoothly, and optimistic.  However, feelings would be very different the next day.  The facility’s air conditioning and cooling unit failed during the wedding.  Cold water was in limited supply, food preparation was at a holt, and everyone was miserable.  Guests began to leave even before the dinner was finally ready … after 9:00pm.  The venue apoligized for the misfortune and said that sometimes these things just happen. 

Imagine if this was your wedding and the only thing someone could do for you or say was, “bad luck.”  Now you would be wishing you had a wedding planner, right?  Let’s just say most people don’t realize what they are missing until it is too late.

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