Alisa Zapiler of Alisa Zapiler Creative Events + Occasions, stresses that a special event should express the individuality and personality of the hosts. “An event is all about the party giver, but it becomes a great party when the guests feel like they’re the center of attention.” Isabelle Kline of Isabelle Kline Design agrees. “I’m excited to see the details and personality from clients reflecting their own style. That makes it their event and not a Pinterest event,” she says. CC Dick and Paige Reberry, owners of Colorado Wedding Company, share their mandate for producing wonderful events: “Guests have come from far and near to celebrate and they should feel appreciated in all elements of the event with a smile when they arrive, clear direction on where to go, pashminas to keep them warm and Advil for their dancing feet.”
This year’s guest experience includes lavish entertaining, staging parties in multiple venues and casino games, according to Walli Richardson of Walli Richardson Special Events Design and Calligraphy. “I try to schedule the event so that there is something new happening every 20 minutes.” Zapiler agrees that pacing is key. “It’s about bringing people together and then offering more intimate moments. I like to change the energy with floor levels, lighting and vignettes.” Zapiler loves dramatic urban venues as well as magnificent mountain views. “Denver is a cosmopolitan city and a design center. A whimsical, quirky and edgy urban vibe works here as well as the more rustic feel.”
Lisa Cook and Leslie Heins of Affair with Flair, like to captivate guests with eye popping visual impressions. “We are using video mapping. A ‘Pandora Box’ merges selected images into a powerful video presentation that tells a story,” they explain. “We’ve also enveloped a ballroom with floor to ceiling curved screens projecting images of deep water and beautiful sea life.”
Glamorous decor is back in a big way with gold, lace and saturated color. But a monochromatic look can be a knockout. “We can practically hear guests’ jaws drop when they walk into stark, crisp, white rooms full of texture,” Cook and Heins say. Small tastes of intense flavors in food and cocktails are wowing guests as well.
Events have become more lavish as the economy strengthens. Dick and Reberry observe that the wedding day is turning into the wedding weekend. Planners report that guest lists are averaging 150 to 225, but counsel that it is preferable to pare the guest list rather than scrimp on personal touches. “Less can be more,” Kline says. “Pampering your guests provides a unique experience with a lot of heart and thought. When you have large groups, the dollars become stretched to the point where pampering your guests is overlooked.” Cook and Heins report that they’re helping clients negotiate pricing more frequently than in past years.
“The best events are a mix of thoughtfulness, equilibrium and artistry tied together to create a holistic experience for everyone,” Zapiler says.