Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you!!

I hope you have enjoyed 2009 as much as I have! It was great year for me...marriage, step-motherhood, the start of Gather, LLC., a happy and healthy family, 10 years since I was first diagnosed with cancer and 5 years cancer free!!

With the end of each year, a new year begins....what will 2010 bring?? I am hopeful you will have many, many reasons to GATHER and celebrate!

Below are a few photos from a New Year's Eve House Party Gather helped with. Why fight the crowd and pay the prices of the pre-set menu...when you can have fabulous food, festive decor, flowing champagne and all of your friends!

DIY Project: Jazz up your NYE decor by doing it yourself. A quick trip to Smith's Variety and $11.00 later, I put together some party hats that won't be seen anywhere else tonight. All you need is scrapbook paper, tinsel garland, a hot glue gun and and whatever you want to decorate your hat with.

Before you put up all of your Christmas decor, see if there is anything that can transition into New Year's. Gold or silver balls can be festive (see above), and they can even resemble champagne bubbles if poured in the right canister or vase.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Drum Roll Please.....

It is official, Patone Color Institute has selected TURQUOISE as the color for 2010.

"Turquoise is universally appealing. It puts everyone in the same state of mind — on vacation," says Jane Schoenborn, design director at Lily Pulitzer. "Turquoise for us is a really big color. A lot of times it's transporting, whether you're actually going to a resort destination or not."

Editors Note" Gather LLC has no official comment on the suitability of Lily Pulitzer for your 2010 party wear. We just liked the quote and agree that turquoise is a great color for 2010.

When reading the various articles on this subject, the word VACATION got me pretty excited. "People crave escapism and freshness after a tough year." Does this mean destination weddings are in our future...I sure do hope so! My white legs are in need of the hot tropical sun!

Weather you are planning a destination wedding or an event in your home, you will be seeing turquoise everywhere you turn!
This precious save the date will even get a veegan excited about attending the reception at an Old Dairy Farm!!

Now, this is a save the date is one that will stay on refrigerators for years. It is simply beautiful!

I am not sure where you will find a turquoise get-away car, but oh how fun it would be!
All photos from today's post can be found at

Happy Planning!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Architectural Heritage

For all the great things Birmingham has to offer, there is a limited amount of event space. After being a corporate event planner for 5 years, it seemed liked we kept returning to the same venue time and time again. While I was out looking for a venue for my May 2010 bride, I came across a new venue that can be used for a variety of events....Architectural Heritage (later referred to as "A.H." so I do not have to spell Architectural every time :))

Foremost, you will not have to worry about an approved vendor list at AH....hire whomever you would like and you are even welcome to bring your own bar in (huge money saver!). The only thing they ask is that you return the store as you found it.

Lets take a look around!

I probably should have asked the groom to step aside...oh well, everyone meet Jim! This is the front entrance of A.H. I love the big iron gates. I am very excited about hanging two cool arrangements on each gate to create a grand entrance for the guests. (The iron fence encloses the entire courtyard, so no worries about stragglers joining your party.)

The courtyard displays iron gates, planters, urns, baptismal fonts, one-of-a-kind garden pieces, and terracotta tile out of a ch√Ęteau in the French countryside. The pieces are so beautiful and they add elegance and character to the venue.
My favorite thing about the courtyard is the 18th century wall fountain with Lady Bank Roses.

Notice the two garage doors in the picture on the right. These two doors open and create an indoor/outdoor venue. It is so cool!

I love the columns and lanterns when you first walk in the door.

The flat screen above the limestone manual can play any DVD you wish (slide show of photos would be a fun touch).

The front desk would make a great built-in bar.

Please keep in mind that the 6,500 square foot warehouse is a operating store by day, but the owner Roy Morton will be happy to move furniture out of the way to create the needed space for your event.

A.H. and Integrity Gardens (remember Troy Rhone from blog entry long ago??) is in the processes of making plans for a roof top garden deck. This deck will almost double the size of the available outdoor space. Your guests will now be able to enjoy the a night overlooking Birmingham's much loved Pepper Place.

Be one of the first to host an event in a new venue that offers up an amazing atmosphere and true elegance by just opening the doors.

Happy Planning!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Casual Home Holiday Gathering

As much as I love planning big events, an in-house gathering for a smaller crowd is always something I enjoy doing. This week I had the pleasure of planning a holiday party for board members and staff of a local organization.
The planning got off to a perfect start when a board member offered up her perfect party house as the venue. I knew I was in a great location when I bumped into my friends from Birmingham Home and Garden Magazine doing a profile of the house for an upcoming issue! This magazine always has great articles on the latest entertaining trends and styles.

I was so excited to work with a new caterer, In Good Taste, for this event. They offered an amazing menu for a great price. I got an email from a guest this morning who said her husband woke up still talking about how great the food was! Please remember that In Good Taste doesn't just do big parties. Next time you are having a small group of people over for dinner, they will be happy to take care of your meal.

(Tiffany and Mary, owners and chefs of In Good Taste)

The centerpiece was a simple arrangement of greenery, gladiolus and pomegranates. It only took me a few minutes to put together and really gave the table a festive holiday look.

I really enjoy helping with these types of smaller in-home events. Please let Gather take the stress of out your next event, whether it be a shower, supper club or just a fun dinner with friends!

Happy Planning!

A Modern Christmas Party

I had the pleasure of working with a great client of mine on his 2010 holiday party this week! Hot & Hot Fish Club produced an amazing menu including fried oysters, lamb chops, sushi, duck and much more. After a few months of creative brainstorming, I was so happy with the way the night turned out.

The lighting was done by A.G. Lighting. They are so wonderful and easy to work with!

I was a little worried about putting snow flakes on the ceiling, but it turned out to be a nice touch.

I had been dreaming of how I was going to build this bar for months and I may have dreamed a little too big this time. The walls of greenery between the illuminating cubes took hours upon hours to make. If you have ever made a homecoming float out of tissue paper, then you will get what I mean when I use the word "pomping." I pomped all night Wednesday night (okay...Tom did help, but only for an hour) and finished up on Thursday.

Very thankful I did not go with another green wall for this bar.

The Hot & Hot staff were everywhere. Having an attentive staff is necessary for a great party!

This small centerpiece was as easy as a bag of cranberries and a few gladiolus buds.

I am not a huge fan of poinsettias, but they scream Christmas and added a good dose of red throughout the party.

Happy Planning!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Event Venue in Birmingham....

"You must use our caterer, our bar and our florist if you want to have your wedding here."

Have you heard this before?? If you are planning a wedding or an event in Birmingham, most likely you have. While this cuts down on the decisions you have to make, it leaves you with little flexibility and room to make your event your own.

A client of mine is getting married in May and she is leaving the planning up to me. Given that her family is in the catering business, she would like for me to find a venue that will give us control over the food and bar.

During my search, I came across a venue that I had no idea existed and I thought I would share it with you.

The Villa at Avondale Park

This space is located behind Avondale Park in the Crestwood Area. Now, this is not the greatest part of town, but the villa sits high up on the hill and has a private drive that makes the area very secluded.


$500 for the entire day and evening

You can use whatever vendors you would like

You will need to hire two Birmingham Police officers if there is alcohol being served

There is a great patio on the back that could be tented if it rained.

Love the arched windows!

For a 200 person wedding reception, this venue would be great! The yard around the villa could be utilized as well if you needed more room.

Finding the person in charge of renting this venue is another story. Call me if you are interested and I will help you track her down!

Happy Planning!