Joan Rivers: Celebrity Wedding Planner

When the world looked at Joan Rivers, they saw a pioneering comedienne.  Me too, but I also saw the woman who pushed me into a career in wedding planning.  How could an insult comic I never met set me on the creative path that’s landed me as a wedding planning, etiquette and fashion authority at the top Palm Springs florist? Here’s how.

In 1998, Melissa Rivers, Joan’s daughter, got married.  Joan swung into action as a celebrity wedding planner, seeking out the services of innovative event designer Preston Bailey to create a glittery snow garden inspired by “Dr. Zhivago” with 30,000 white flowers for the wedding at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Inspired by Dr. Zhivago, Russian opulence permeated the wedding.

Inspired by Dr. Zhivago, Russian opulence permeated the wedding.

 

The magazine photos live in my brain to this day. When a client says “winter theme” that’s what I see.  That extravagant celebration showed me what was possible, what creativity could imagine and what opportunities were there to be a part of such events.

Thank you Joan, for your inspiration towards stylish entertaining – and being entertaining.

Be well and love well.

Dinah

 A lovely post script: Joan officiated at the wedding of Preston Bailey and his partner Theo Bleckmann on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

Customize your event venue

A recent bat mitzvah client’s thoughts on the synagogue social hall “It’s ugly!” she moaned “and boring.”  She didn’t understand the first law of event décor: Make a venue what you want it.*

Truth be told, any space can look exactly like you dream it up. Using drapery, carpet, backdrops and the right budget we could turn a roller rink into a ballroom at Versailles. On a smaller scale,  many elements can change the look of a room

Lighting: use targeted lighting to highlight strengths – pin spots on floral arrangements or unique architectural features, a pattern on the dance floor.

dramatic floral centerpieces

dramatic floral centerpieces photo by Rand Larson

Linen & tabletop:  Use lush textured or bright colored tablecloths to draw the eye towards the center of the room. Try overlays, and china that pops with gold or silver chargers. Once the flatware and stemware is added, your tables will be like jewels drawing in the guests.

Dramatic florals:  Flowers pull focus like nothing else. Dramatic buffet pieces, tall centerpieces, suspended arrangements mid-air, get creative to pull the eye away from that fire exit in the corner.

*check with your venue for décor restrictions.

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Breaking News! Kate Middleton is Not Having Twins In July!

I gotta say, I’ve never imagined myself saying this, but I am really grateful that I am not the Princess of Wales. I can’t imagine my due date being worldwide breaking news.  I think that young newlyweds are under enough pressure as it is without throwing the international media into the mix.

Prince Harry and Kate Middleton at the Garter ...

Prince Harry and Kate Middleton at the Garter Procession (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And that’s where I’m going with this, to hope I can talk people into tacking on one extra new year’s resolution for 2013, namely to leave the newlyweds in your lives alone about their baby plans.  In American culture, as soon as the last grain of rice hits the ground it’s the next topic of conversation.  When will they start a family? When will there be grandchildren? And when the newlyweds show up anywhere, they face an inevitable barrage of questions.  And frankly, when (and whether) to have children is a serious, intimate decision that they may not want to share at Easter dinner.  It can be terribly uncomfortable.

So think twice about your questions when your favorite couple returns from their honeymoon, and avoid the whole baby thing. Suggestions: ask them about their trip, ask them about the wedding.  Ask them if they know Kate Middleton is not having twins in July!

Be well, and love well.

-Dinah