Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Great Nicolle & Gatsby Glamour


Let's first go back to June.  Nicolle and I were lounging around in Newport discussing what to do for her big 30th birthday a mere six months later. This genius mentioned a classy, upscale-ish party... I've got it!!! A Gatsby themed party!  But where oh where to have such a gathering.  Neither of us yet own a home that would allow for such a special event nor did we want to shell out major dough for a venue.  Hmmm, what to do?!  So, as months past, we sort of pushed it out of mind and entertained other avenues like a weekend getaway. In November when we still didn't have anything nailed down I started to panic a bit.  Needless to say, when Nic finally gave me the "green light" (yes, that was a Gatsby reference, thank you very much) to go with the classy 1920's party to be held in Los Angeles, I was off and planning... The Great Nicolle was born.

Christmas decor at the Millenium Biltmore
Once the basic plans were set, her TH was the first one I called.  We worked together and masterminded a serious night on the town in the City of Angels.  We did the research and chose the perfect hotel to take us back in time, the Millenium Biltmore.  We also mapped out a killer speakeasy crawl that was going to transport us back to Prohibition with back alley entries and passwords required at every location.  I worked tirelessly gathering the perfect stops on our journey and connecting with the managers at each venue.  Just as I was solidifying our reservations and booking our Bentley, the stars suddenly aligned and the stunning Ms. April from Evoke LA sent me the greatest email on EARTH!  There was an event being thrown just mere miles from our hotel and you'll never guess the theme... wait for it... THE GREAT GATSBY!! We swooped in on some VIP tickets and got ready for the best 30th birthday party ever!

The ballroom
Since the event didn't start until 9pm, I wanted to invite Nicolle's exclusive guest list to my room to enjoy some "illegal" beverages before heading to Gatsby's. My little "libation hour" was complete with signature bottles, twinkling white lights and a killer spread featuring Nic's favorite, cheese-a-palooza. Planning execution: COMMENCE!

Nic's beauty staging area in her hotel room next door
First things first, Space: I needed to become BFF's with the reservations desk at the hotel and make sure I get a killer corner room to have extra space for my guests. Second, to figure out what I want to serve and how I want to serve it.  Drinks: Since Nic and I are bubble heads, meaning we looovveee champagne, prosecco, cava, or really anything sparkling, I needed to get a few options for her to try.  I went to Costco to check out my options and found a phenom bottle of cava.  I bought one for the birthday girl to try. She loved it, so I raced out and bought a case.  I decided to go with sparkling drinks for the ladies and bourbon for the men.  I also purchased small 12 oz bottles of Martinelli's apple and pear cider to use as a little topper for either beverage.


Now, the drink details. Labels: A couple weeks before the party I sent Nicolle some Gatsby book cover designs I wanted her to modify to say The Great Nicolle with a subtle 30 in the background.  As usual, she took my idea and made it 500 times better than I imagined!  I soaked those nasty stock labels right off in prep for my new and improved label.  I also removed all of the foil at the top of the bottle and only left the cork.  I wanted it to appear as though this illegal box of alcohol just shipped across the Atlantic.  I pressed on my new and super sassy labels to every bottle I could find.  I decided to swap out the bourbon bottle for a vintage crystal decanter (thanks Kell!).


Next on my list, food.  Hors d'oeuvres: I knew cheese needed to be at the heart of this spread so I asked Nic for her top five.  While difficult for my dairy diva, she managed to give me a list and I was out of Trader Joe's with Fontina, Creamy Brie, Aged Vermont White Cheddar, Gorgonzola and Goat Cheese, yum!  I decided to pair those rich and delicious treats with an assortment of crackers, granny smith apple slices, dried apricots and blueberries and multi-grain bread.


Now, how to display this spread? Presentation: I love me a multi-level spread, so risers were a must.  I wanted to stick with white, gold and bronze with touches of soft pink.  Since my risers are gold and I already had white plates a plenty (thank you wedding registry) I just needed a couple gold large plates.  The Dollar Tree delivered so I was set there.  I brought my white small square plates as well as handmade cocktail napkins (thanks Shell) for my guests to use and there was not a paper good in sight!  While at the dollar tree I also bought champagne flutes and rocks glasses to personalize for the men. I took some pearl letter stickers I had in my craft storage and put names on each glass to class it up a bit.  Under my white linens I placed white lights to make it really glow.  I topped with bronze sheer fabric before placing my goods to add a bit of color and warm it up a bit.  I bought two dozen white roses with pink tips and placed those around the drink/food area to add a feminine and sweet pop of color.

It's all in the details... the famous 'green light'.
What birthday is complete without something sweet.  Knowing Nic is not a huge cake fan, I was pleased to not have to whip up a two tiered monster.  I went with what I knew she loved, brownies and cookies.   My bombshell brownies packed extra chocolate and were topped with gold sugar crystals.  I also made my signature salted chocolate chip cookies  and threw in a batch of sugar cookies for good measure.


When planning an event like this it is always tricky since you can't see the hotel room before hand.  But, I always pack heavy and bring everything I may or may not need.  6 strands of white lights, table cloths, gold sheer fabric, white paper lanterns, risers, dishes, napkins, food labels (I always make signs for all my eating events, that way people don't have to ask me 100 times), pens, tacks, glue, ribbon, scissors... I was locked and loaded.

All the girls: April, Jolie, Nic & Em
The guests were escorted into the hotel room turned magical cocktail party by uttering the password "1982" to my TH who was standing in as the bouncer for the evening.  My little gathering was the perfect start to a fun filled night.  Clad in floor length and short gowns alike, furs from decades past and colored lips, we sipped, danced and snacked the hours away before heading off to the main event!


Arriving at the Park Plaza hotel, Nic still had no idea what was going on.  Needless to say, when she saw all the commotion out front she was sort of taken aback.  Since there was lines galore, I channeled my inner college girl and marched up to a nice looking man at the door.  I sweetly explained we were with a VERY high profile birthday girl and needed to get in to the VIP area right away!  Apparently, I've still got it, because he sent us right to the front, whoo hoo!!!

Once inside I watched as Nicolle gazed around confused as to why all these people were dressed up for our themed party.  Did I hire all these extras just for photo ops? To make her feel like the most popular girl in the world? No... but I pretended I did!

Men were getting old timey shaves and shoe polishes, and the ladies were treated to gratis manicures
As the Big Band music resonated through the ballroom, we headed to the VIP room to get our drink on.  Since there were 12 vendors all serving signature drinks and tastings, we decided to work the room, after a few photo ops of course!


Once we were loaded with drinks we headed to the "latest hits" ballroom, got a cute little table and danced the night away!!!!  I sure hope my lovely Nic had as much fun as I did.  From start to finish it was an all around Great Night for my Great Nicolle!!! 

Birthday kisses from Jolie!
Notes from Nic: It really was the perfect evening, and I still can't believe how everything worked out! While Em was working hard to prepare the most fabulous pre-party, I was getting all dolled up in my hotel room thanks to Shelly who did my hair and makeup. I'm pretty good at doing my own, but this was not going to be just ANY night out so I wanted to relax and have someone else do my primping. Em came in to check on me every once in a while, refilling my champagne and water cups when they were low. When I finally donned all my jewelry and floor length sequin gown it was like I had just stepped out of the book! I also just couldn't WAIT to see what Em cooked up, because I knew it would be flawless - and of course I was blown away. Earlier in the day the girls even came up with our own hashtag, #GatsbyGlamour, which made me feel even more special! Then when we arrived at the Gatsby event, I literally couldn't believe my eyes! How was this possible? Where did these people come from? It was so perfect that I don't even know how else to describe it. 


Jolie & Nic's cute shoes - both worn to Nic's wedding!
I am SO thankful for Em, my TH, and all my other friends that helped me ring in my 30th birthday. They really went the extra mile to make sure I didn't stop smiling all night. Thank you and I love you all so very much!!!!



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16 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! What a wonderful night and LOVE the shoes! Love your photos too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, it really was a wonderful night. I was so excited to get to wear my wedding shoes again!

      Strive to Thrive,
      Nic

      Delete
  2. Happy Birthday from me too!

    http://glamourgirl-bg.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. happy birthday! what a fun and fabulous way to celebrate :)
    tiffany
    www.hydrangeasandhandbags.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tiffany, it was def. so much fun!

      Strive to Thrive,
      Nic

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  4. That looks like such an amazing party!

    instagram: @anfandhcogirl_us
    http://anfnewsnow.blogspot.com/search/label/An%20ANF%20and%20Hollister%20Girl%20in%20America

    ReplyDelete
  5. What an amazing party! I love the Great Gatsby and all of this is just awesome, especially the beautiful dresses :)

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    Replies
    1. Karen,

      Thank you! It was a great time and Nic and I would totally agree that the dresses were the best part! I got to re-wear my wedding dress, which was simply divine!

      Strive to thrive,
      Em

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  6. Wow...just wow!! Em you are beyond amazing and you out do yourself every time!! You truly are an inspiration. Happy birthday Nic!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebekah,

      Thank you so much for those oh so sweet comments. I just love to throw a great detailed oriented party so the pleasure was all mine1

      Strive to thrive,
      Em

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you! We had a great time and are looking forward to our next Thriving party!

      Strive to thrive,
      Em

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  8. Wow, truly an amazing party!! Gives me a headache just thinking about planning such a thing.:D Happy b-day!;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Peet, thank you! Trust me, while it is in fact a headache at times, knowing how happy you will make the guest of honor is makes it all worth it. Plus it is a great way to flex those organizational skills and get those details on point!

      Strive to thrive,
      Em

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