Choice Group is an organization whose mission is to provide at risk and foster youth with the safe in the train environment that promotes music and related arts programs as Recreational, educational and life enhancing opportunities.
Founder and Executive Director Dana came with me came to me with an idea of producing their very first annual Los Angeles fundraiser. He is very charming and his cause is so worthy, so with a limited budget, limited time, but grand ideas and a lot of motivation, we took on the dream!
I was able to negotiate a “friends and family” rate for the Santa Monica beachfront Venue Annenberg Beach House.
This is a small space so we had to be very efficient in the layout planning. Here is the floorplan we created which offered a red carpet entrance, step and repeat (photo backdrop), cocktail reception with silent auction, an intimate concert setting and VIP lounge. AND, a green room for the celebrity entertainers to relax. Whew!
The color theme was masculine and elegant with a palette of cool blue, platinum gray and black. Blue up-lighting reflected on walls and white draping plus white lounge furniture and black cocktail attire created the effect.
In addition to the cocktail reception and silent auction, Mary Mary performed an intimate acoustic set, and there was a live electronic auction. I scheduled several of the kids who participate in the program to be at the event and share some of their musical expressions with the guests. Getting safe rides for them from their home all the way to north Santa Monica was a challenge because their parents worked until six or later. But we were able to coordinate ride shares and volunteer helped with pick ups. Having the kids at the event was a real highlight of the night.
The spirits vendor I use most, Wally Wines and Spirits delivered full choice of medium-label beverages which were impressive but stayed in budget.
We used Pico Party Rentals for the staging, AV and some of the furniture. Mary Merry required some backline studio instrument rentals and I called my friend Joey at SIR studio rentals who was very patient with our timeline and budget.
One of the most difficult tasks was putting together the sponsor book. We had to write content and create ads which showcased the sponsors. Getting the sponsors to send in their logos and camera ready ads sometime is always such a challenge! But alas the book come together and looked pretty snazzy!
I wasn’t able to be on site for the day-of the event but I heard it went smoothly and was a very good turnout and they met expectations and fundraising for their first annual gala. Congratulations Choice Group!
It is an honor to help plan and cater a memorial. My roll allows the family to process their goodbyes and know that the details are being taken care of in the best way possible. With some direction from the family and personal insight on the guest of honor, I go to work so they don’t need to. I keep the focus on what is important: family, spending time together and honoring the loved one.
Here are some highlights of a recent Beverly Hills Memorial of a “Southern Bell” and longtime resident of Beverly Hills and an overview of how to plan a somewhat traditional memorial in Los Angeles.
I schedule the regular housekeeper for a thorough house cleaning including all guests rooms so visiting family member might stay over. I make sure she is scheduled the full day-of as well for prep, keeping things tidy during the memorial and making sure the home is back to normal after guests leave. I have the landscape groomed and new flowers planted along the walk way up to the house. I fill the home with fresh flowers, and include the loved one’s favorites. Don’t forget to add small arrangements in the bathrooms. My favorite florist is Jacob at Bells and Whistles Couture Floral Design
This was a Jewish Shivah memorial, so I set up a small table with a pitcher of water and a large shallow bowl outside the front door with quality disposable towels and a small wastebasket. It is traditional for guests to wash their hands upon returning from the cemetery, symbolically washing away the burial and entering the remembering of a life.
Memorial Catering should be kept simple but elegant. Deli platters are common because they are just that, simple, easy, tasty and guests can build as they wish. I encourage others to add to the food table, it’s an honor for them to add to the love in the form of food. I make sure some items are added to the menu that reflect the life of the memorialized. In this case the guest of honor was a southern gal, so we had home-baked mini cornbread muffins and honey butter on the buffet. My favorite memorial caterer is LeAnne at L.A. Spice. A good basic Deli Platter can be ordered from Nate’n Al of Beverly Hills too.
I encourage the host to bring out their best china, silver and platters out because if there ever was a case to use “good plates”, this is it. I book the regular housekeeper to stay on throughout the day to wash the family platters with care and return them to their place.
I set up a table honoring the loved one with photos looking back at their life and accomplishments. I add any special awards or honors, photos of children, beloved pets.
I add very low mellow or classic background music, nothing sad or too celebratory. A trio or quartet of classic musician is also an option if the musicians play low.
The majority of guests will come after the burial service but It’s best to treat this as an “open house” where guests come when they like and leave when they like. I my client requests it, we have remembrance favors at the door as guests leave. These are keepsakes that will remind the guests of the loved one’s life and their time with family and friends at the memorial. Here are a few of the remembrance favors we have offered.
As guests gather, hug each other, enjoy a plate of food, the love and memories begin. This is the time to share stories and experiences of life with the loved one. Many stories will be told over and over and over. I accept this with a smile and know this is how we keep our loved ones a life. The coming together of hearts and memories and the breaking of bread together in the name of a passed loved one is one of the great events of life.
February 24, 2016
One of the best part watching the Academy Awards Sunday will be critiquing the celebrity outfits and the acceptance speeches. But this year make sure you receive the highest critique as the party host!
Really treat your friends to an award-worthy time at your Oscar party by adding these event planner tips:
Create a “Red Carpet” arrival experience by laying a long red runner or red carpet leading to the entrance of your house. Rent a 25’ long one for fifty bucks at Alex Party Rentals http://alexparty.com/. Remember to tape it down for safety!
Add that paparazzi experience when your guests arrive by showering them with the flashes of picture-taking by your brother the novice photographer. Have him print out the best shot of each guest and give it to the guest before they leave as a keepsake of the memorable night.
Pour your guests the same champagne cocktail that the guest at the Governor’s Ball, the obligatory after affair at the Dolby theater in Hollywood , are drinking on Sunday night. Wolfgang Puck will be pouring 230-year-old French champagne house Piper-Heidsieck but you serve Frexinet Champagne for 16.00/bottle. Garnished with a rose petal!
Have a soundtrack playing in the background of Oscar nominated songs when the show is not on.
Serve some of the simple dishes that renowned Los Angeles Caterer Wolfgang Puck is serving to the stars at the Governor’s Ball, like hhis signature favorites, such as smoked salmon Oscars, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, and mini American Wagyu burgers with aged cheddar.. Get the full menu here
Printout Ballots for your guests and have them vote and announce their winners when NBC does. Give a prize or a replica of the gold bald man statue, available at Aahs Gift stores, for the most wins. Here is a good ballet to download.
Enjoy your party and Hooray for Hollywood!
August 13, 2012
This organization is so wonderful and I’m honored to be a part of it. I haven’t been called in to help yet, but I volunteer to be on the committee or to be the wedding coordinator for a local couple who is facing terminal illness and want to get married or remarried.
The nonprofit organization, Wish Upon a Wedding, provides free-of-charge weddings, allowing couples facing serious life-altering circumstances to concentrate on the issues affecting their lives. From the venue to the cake, and most everything between, they take care of all the wedding planning and details.
Learn more here…
July 18, 2012
Japanese Women Guests come to Los Angeles!
You know how in Los Angeles we women have it all and it shows? Healthy, vibrant, good looking, spiritual, confident and friendly? Well others want what we have and are willing to travel to learn how to get it!
As a Los Angeles Event Planner I had the honor of being chosen to design, coordinate and lead this three day intensive workshop for group of women from Japan who are in a transitional place in their lives and are looking for the confidence, charisma and interpersonal skills.
My Event Coordinator Rachel Quinn and I designed an intensive workshop from 9am to 9pm each for three days that led the ladies on a whirlwind tour of the best of LA’s stylists, hair colorists, chefs, fitness centers and spiritual centers to create a well rounded experience of the LA Woman.
Here is a peak into our exciting itinerary…
DAY ONE – We got to know each other in a roundtable welcome meeting that included the goals of each student for the workshop. I gave an overview of our workshop and how it will work with their goals.
Then we went to Melrose in West Hollywood and met Wardrobe Consultant Nicole Longstreath who created an outfit for each girl based on her lifestyle and personal tastes. She did push each student to be creative, daring and expressive in their new wardrobe.
Lunch at Mason Richard Café on Melrose created a charming setting for the manners and etiquette education.
We treated it like an adult finishing school.
A lot of things we went over were manners you would use in a formal event setting and some were just practical tips such as how to pick up a dropped item with a short skirt on.
We found everyone could use a refresher course and some guests learned some of the information for the first time!
In the afternoon we learned how to create impressive floral arrangements from Claudia Rovner at Dave’s Floral Designs in Hollywood.
She showed us some basics as well as some advanced florist’s secrets.
We were all “wowed”!
That night, Dinner at the Vermont Restaurant in Hollywood we enjoyed speaker Jacob Reed on the art of conversation – how to be an engaging speaker and listener. Then we practiced the art among ourselves during dinner and dessert.
DAY TWO – We met at Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades and welcomed spiritual speaker Nancy Bevers of Radiant Being.
She spoke to us about becoming our true unique selves and relying on our higher spirit for confidence and direction.
She led us on an enlightening guided meditation that left us feeling inspired and serene.
Afterwards, we all chose a quiet space in the garden to do a personal meditation.
Next we visited Maha Yoga in Brentwood for a tour of the studio, a peek into the morning’s glass and an overview of the practice and benefits of Yoga.
Lunch was at Tiato Café and event venue in Santa Monica where we enjoyed a healthy fresh California cuisine lunch and Chef Shaun Werth spoke to us about healthy, sustainable food choices for our bodies and the environment.
After lunch we went into the privacy of the Tiato Private Dining Room, turned on some music and learned how to walk like a red carpet model, learned a few hip hop dance moves from Rachel who is a hip hop dance performer.
We then walked off our lunch by walking the few blocks to Spectrum Fitness in the Water Garden Business Park in Santa Monica.
There we met with Physical Trainer David who showed us some basic fitness techniques to strengthen our core and increase our metabolism.
These pointers also help the posture which also helps one walk and posture like a model.
That night at Sur Restaurant in West Hollywood we had an educational workshop on creative table settings for entertaining and events.
The ladies then created a wonderful tablescape and setting using the props we brought for them and the fine chine from Sur.
We sat down and enjoyed the beautiful table setting during cocktails and our dinner.
The special guest speaker after dinner on the topic of Female Sensuality was Kristin Tribby who specialized in female sensuality education.
Her message was about expressiveness, healthy self knowledge and communication.
She also created an anonymous question and answer form that was appreciated.
FINAL DAY – This was event day, so all day we prepped for the finale event and continued to learn about developing confidence can panache!
We met at Juan Juan Salon of Beverly Hills where the women were cut, colored, styled and educated on the ideal style for their face and lifestyle. Juan Juan’s lead stylists gave each woman a private consultation and direction then they were put in the capable, creative hands of the staff.
They also changed into the wardrobe that they developed with the stylists on the first day. All the while I led them in practicing the sexy model walk and staying spiritually centered and focused… And the butterflies began to emerge and spread their wings!
Next, the makeup artists and Mac Makeup Studio on Robertson in Beverly Hills enhanced the beauty of each girl, adding lashes, contour, highlight and educating them on how to create the look themselves.
By the time we gathered at the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills to listen to our final guest speaker, all the girls were very excited and very beautiful!
So that they can use all of what they learned in the workshop to launch their dreams and goals, we had Chrissy Atley of Total Harmony Coaching who spoke on the topic of “Dream It, Believe it Achieve It!”
Rachel talked about the concept of Vision Boards” so one can really keep their mind on the goals with constant visuals helping you see the result then Chrissy gave an overview of step by step ways to really map out the way to get to those goals.
This last work shop really rounded out the experience of the whole, dynamic, confident woman.
Then it was off to the grant finale event!
We moved on to Hollywood at the Lowes Hollywood Hotel on Hollywood and Highland where the girls used all that they learned to strut their stuff on the red carpet while Paparazzi style photographer Vivien Killilea captured the grace and confidence and style that the girls exuded.
The dazzling group was entertained at the dinner show “Hollywood Memories” by actor group The Coterie. It was moving and entertaining and the three course meal was fabulous. We toasted to the girl’s transformation and new friends and experiences.
It was truly a finale ending to a really rewarding workshop. Enjoy these before and after photos!
May 30, 2012
My long time client Brenda B. gave me and Teri Kinne Events, the honor of helping plan her big birthday dinner party.
We chose Crustaceans Beverly Hills as a venue where the ladies had a cozy nook on the top level of the restaurant.
We enjoyed being served a handpicked, four-course menu including, “Mama’s” Secret Recipe Garlic Noodles.
The dinner ended sweetly with a custom birthday cake from the Vanilla Bake Shop in Santa Monica. Thank you VBS Manager Juan for helping with that!
After the dinner the ladies went for late night cocktails and dancing in the Beverly Hills.
March 13, 2012
I think one of the best wedding shows for a Los Angeles Wedding Planner or a bride to attend is, “A Soolip Wedding” show. It happens once a year in Los Angeles and in San Francisco. It was started by Wanda Wen of Soolip Paperie near Melrose Place.
This year the LA show was staged at the Bel Air Bay Club at the top of the hill at Sunset and PCH. The weather at the beach that day was just gorgeous so the venue really shined.
The Soolip Wedding Show vendors this year were so creative with their spaces. It was nice to visit each area and enjoy the display and samples.
One of my favorites was the unique and custom wedding bouquets by Joan Bryant of Make Something Special Happen. So smart and sustainable to hold items that are meaningful, beautiful and non parishable. Just charming!
Specializing in Dessert Stations was Sandee Creager of Candee by Sandee who had a colorful lavendar tone candy station, with a backdrop of rag ties strung on a pipe frame.
It made for a really fun display.
I also learned about a rustic ranch-like, family owned venue called Maravilla Gardens in Camarillo.
It looks spacious with a backdrop of weeping willows, a working farm and rolling greens.
I like their tag line:
“The best kept secret for unforgettable weddings”!
Leaving the show I had to take a shot of the sweet lilac that charmed up this banister outside of the Bay Club.
January 30, 2012
This Bride and Groom had to have a church wedding and envisioned a venue that was “quaint and charming”.
As a Los Angeles Event Wedding Planner, it is my job to know the perfect spot for each couple.
I immediately knew that the Buerge Chapel and Gardens in Pacific Palisades would fit that vision perfectly.
The wedding was in August and the weather was warm in the sweet little chapel, then perfect, for a garden dinner reception. Marjorie, the bride was nervous and kept guests and groom waiting but finally arrived beautiful, fresh and was a vision well worth the wait.
Guests danced to a flamenco guitar trio while enjoying a three-course dinner under the stars with an ocean breeze.
Los Angeles Wedding Planner – Teri Kinne of Teri Kinne Events
Photography – George Kontaxis of Dream Wedding Photography
Flamenco Guitar Trio– Provided by Todd Elliot of Swinger Entertainment
Rentals – Manny of Alex Party Rentals of Venice
Venue – Chris Erickson of Buerge Chapel
Catering – Patty of Merlin’s Kitchen in Westlake.
January 30, 2012
Morley Builders was the proud builders of the New Eco Systems Exhibit wing at the California Science Center in Exhibition Park so it was just fitting that they chose this location to have their annual company picnic in September.
As a Los Angeles Event Planner, Teri Kinne Events was chosen to provide and manage the catering for the 325 guests who were Morley employees and their families.
While guests enjoyed the museum and interactive exhibits, the catering team set up three Build-Your-Own Burger Bar buffet stations with two on site chefs, Chef Gerardo and Chef Amelio grilling on site.
All Beef Burgers, Hot Dogs and all the sides were the menu of the day. Vegetarian’s enjoyed house made vegetarian patties that are a specialty of caterer, Truxton’s American Bistro.
Umbrellas in Morley company colors shaded the Eco Systems Lawn where the guests picnicked. Morley’s fabulous in-house event planner, Kelly Jeantet, was the creative force behind the planning and guest management.
In House Event Planner – Kelly Jeantet
Los Angeles Event Planner / Event Management – Teri Kinne of Teri Kinne Events
Catering – Truxtons American Bistro
January 30, 2012
As a Los Angeles Event Planner, I love to show off my favorite venues to clients and friends.
Photographer Paul, from The Good Photographer, captured the best of guest, ambiance and food images.